Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things I'm learning about WWI

Special geometric camouflage was designed for naval vessels, called Razzle Dazzle.

Flyboys (2006) is totally different to The Flyboys (2008). The former is a fictionalised account of the Lafeyette Flying Corps of mostly US men who volunteered to operate the new flying war machines in France.

The movie Valkyrie was linked to the German-made, English-language movie, The Red Barron, based on a fiction about Manfred von Richthofen. The movie was not well received due to historical inaccuracies, a lack of enthusiasm over patriotic war themes in Germany, plus it was one of the most expensive and the least successful German movies in cinematic history. Apparently when Richthofen died of a single wound during an aerial battle with two Canadian pilots, the final word spoken was 'kaputt', which comes from French capot not having made a trick at piquet, according to Meriam-Webster.

  • Dark green = Allies
  • Light green = Allied colonies, dominions, territories or occupied territory
  • Dark orange = Central powers
  • Light orange = Central powers' colonies or occupied territory
  • Grey = Neutral
If you click on the very excellent gif above, it'll open up as a moving diagram of the Allied and Central Powers in WWI. The talented and generous contributor at Wikipedia produced the graphic.

I am still a little unsure as to what extent Anti-Semitism was involved in WWI. I remember from Tea with Mussolini that Cher needed to escape as she was a Jew and that was pre-WWII, but I don't know if there was anything before that.

WWI ended with the signing of the Armistice on November 11th 1918 after the Hundred Days Offensive. Some specific tactics were used, such as Peaceful Penetration, which seems to me to be a revival of ancient war techniques - constantly pressing forward, gaining ground, inching forward in unison, as Roman, Persian, Spartan and Greek armies practised with their tight shielded advances.

What will the remembrance service be like on November 11th 2018?
Will Frank Buckles be there? This short video includes interview material with Mr Buckles and highlights an issue close to his heart. A gross error has occurred on US soil; memorials to WWII, Korea and Vietnam have been established, but there is none for WWI veterans. Please follow this link and sign the petition requesting that this be rectified. How quickly the fortunate free forget the duty they owe to those that sacrificed so much.

After Harry Patch and Henry Allingham, it was thought that no more WWI veterans remained in the UK, but there is one, Mrs Florence Green who worked as a waitress after joining the WRAF two months before Armistice on Nov11th. There is one last British WWI veteran, who now resides in Australia, Claude Choules. He is also remarkably the only surviving veteran in the World who served in both world wars. You can view a record of Choule’s service with the Royal Navy from 1916 to 1926 thanks to the work of the National Archives at Kew.

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