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(1914-1918) WWI
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George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10971
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 6:36:26 AM

Thanks Phil. I found the documentary to be convincing as well. Several of the British historians featured in the documentary suggested that Britain's reputation would have suffered had they not intervened on behalf of Belgium and France.

John commented that perhaps a non-European person like Pres. Wilson should have or could have stepped in to act as an honest broker in an attempt to bring the factions to some sort of detente.

But I do wonder, in that era, whether the European nations would have been prepared to take advice from a representative of the US.

As well, would isolationism have made Wilson's participation unlikely. I don't really know whether the American people would have wanted him to step in and especially the sizeable German-American population. Wilson had been telling the American people that they must embrace neutrality, "in thought as well as deed."

Now it seems to me that Wilson did attempt to mediate but I had thought that it was after hostilities had commenced and the UK was preventing US trade with its enemies.

Did Wilson attempt to mediate prior to Aug. 1914?

EDIT: The following article published in the National Portrait Gallery suggests that Wilson, only elected in 1913, did make offers to mediate but they were rejected. Quote:
many countries failed to take seriously any of Wilson’s offers to be a mediator.

I wish that the article had fleshed out that comment so that I would know when Wilson offered his services and why his offers were spurned.

The article: [Read More]

EDIT: This article describes two attempts by the US to mediate but they happened after hostilities had begun. Quote:
On two occasions, in early 1915 and then again in early 1916, he sent his chief foreign policy advisor, Colonel Edward M. House (1858-1938) to Europe for face to face meetings with British, German, and French leaders, trying to find an avenue for wider talks or an opening for an American demand that hostilities cease.


[Read More]

So Wilson did try. Was he motivated solely by economic concerns or did his devout Christian faith prompt him to try to stop the conflict?

George
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john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 7:35:22 AM

George
Wilson did try but not until the years you mentioned. By then I believe his creditability was no longer to be trusted by the Central Powers. Wilson was a smug idealist who often took the high moral stand as long as it fit his beliefs. His neutral in thoughts, words and deeds was pretty hollow.

His handling of the Sussex Pledge is a good example of how he fit things to his ideas

For a man of a devout Christian faith he allowed himself to get involved in at least two passionate affairs, one while he was married the other soon after his wife's death. The second one in 1916 consumed most of his time to the concerns of many of his followers. It was at this time that Col. House thought he could influence Wilson on the war. Unfortunately for House, the second Mrs. Wilson hated him.

The joke going around Washington at the time was....
What did Mrs. Gault do when the President proposed marriage to her?
She fell out of bed.

Phil
One reason that Wilson could not get them to the table was his peace without victory stance. The Allies knew about the German atrocities plus the devastation the Germans did to the land as they withdrew to the Hindenburg line. The Russian-German Treaty of 1917 only reinforced what kind of peace Germany would offer.


----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 9:58:45 AM

John,

By the Russian-German Treaty of 1917, do you allude to Brest -Litovsk ? Wasn’t that early 1918 ? There was a very harsh treaty with Romania, too, which was also settled in 1918. Peace of Bucharest.....punitive and a portent.

Woodrow Wilson liked to cite his childhood in Virginia as a time rendered traumatic by the ravages of the Civil War, and its ensuing Reconstruction. Did he thereby consider himself to be qualified to pontificate about the issue of the Great War ?

Some commentators insist that the warfare in America 1861-65 gave some hint as to what a great European war fifty years later might be like. The Overland Campaign in Virginia was the most indicative, I suppose.
There was also the Franco Prussian War, and, most recently, the Russo Japanese conflict and some fierce fighting in the Balkan Wars. South Africa impinged on British perceptions.

There was, I suspect , a greater awareness of what war was going to be like than the general perception allows for. People were not so easily duped, or so servile and compliant, as our media depictions suggest.

Editing here : what I’m driving at here, in a rather round about way, is the question of how far the Great War of 1914-18 was characterised by “ exceptionalism”. Apart from the obviously exponential increase in scale , did it exhibit traits of intensity and ferocity that transcended everything that had gone before ?

Regards, Phil

----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2778
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 1:19:52 PM

Quote:
I do recall one historian saying it all came down to honor


Then he was a lousy historian

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2778
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 1:22:01 PM

Quote:
An interesting BBC doc that asserts that the British involvement in WW1 was not a futile effort. It is called, The Necessary War.

[Read More]

There are many other sources that would argue the opposite.

George


Including me. And a whole host of others outside the UK.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2778
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 1:26:34 PM

Quote:
Editing here : what I’m driving at here, in a rather round about way, is the question of how far the Great War of 1914-18 was characterised by “ exceptionalism”. Apart from the obviously exponential increase in scale , did it exhibit traits of intensity and ferocity that transcended everything that had gone before ? Regards, Phil


Childs play compared to "The Thirty Years War".

Trevor

Edit: Just to let it sink in - Albert Speer once said that the german defeat in 1945 was the worst thing to happen to Germany SINCE the Thirty Years War.
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 1:50:13 PM

Phil
"By the Russian-German Treaty of 1917, do you allude to Brest -Litovsk ? Wasn’t that early 1918 ? There was a very harsh treaty with Romania, too, which was also settled in 1918. Peace of Bucharest.....punitive and a portent." Yes I was.

Wilson and the Civil War. He was born in 1858 in Virginia. His family moved to Augusta, Ga. He said his earliest recollection was at the age of 3 he heard people cussing that Lincoln had been elected President. Not sure if he remembered the CW or what he was told about the war.

Trevor
Jay Winters-Cambridge U. Took the his quote on honor from film "The Great War and the shaping of the 20th C"




----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 2:04:15 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Editing here : what I’m driving at here, in a rather round about way, is the question of how far the Great War of 1914-18 was characterised by “ exceptionalism”. Apart from the obviously exponential increase in scale , did it exhibit traits of intensity and ferocity that transcended everything that had gone before ? Regards, Phil


Childs play compared to "The Thirty Years War".

Trevor


Trevor,

What did 1914-1945 constitute if not another Thirty Years War ?

Sometimes I wonder if we underrate the awful wars in the eighteenth century : the War of the Spanish Succession and the Seven Years War were both horrifically bloody, and pretty global, too.

This thread is about the Battle of Mons in 1914.....and suddenly I think of a place very close to Mons, where a battle of incredible bloodiness had been fought a couple of centuries earlier : Malplaquet.

I suppose that those earlier wars did not entail the whole nation being under arms....although I’m wondering about the impact of the Seven Years War on Prussia. I’m aware you know a thing or two about the story of Frederick the Great, and would welcome your observations about how the Prussian people suffered under the onslaught of Russians, French and Austrians.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2778
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 2:56:01 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Editing here : what I’m driving at here, in a rather round about way, is the question of how far the Great War of 1914-18 was characterised by “ exceptionalism”. Apart from the obviously exponential increase in scale , did it exhibit traits of intensity and ferocity that transcended everything that had gone before ? Regards, Phil


Childs play compared to "The Thirty Years War".

Trevor


Trevor,

What did 1914-1945 constitute if not another Thirty Years War ?

Sometimes I wonder if we underrate the awful wars in the eighteenth century : the War of the Spanish Succession and the Seven Years War were both horrifically bloody, and pretty global, too.

This thread is about the Battle of Mons in 1914.....and suddenly I think of a place very close to Mons, where a battle of incredible bloodiness had been fought a couple of centuries earlier : Malplaquet.

I suppose that those earlier wars did not entail the whole nation being under arms....although I’m wondering about the impact of the Seven Years War on Prussia. I’m aware you know a thing or two about the story of Frederick the Great, and would welcome your observations about how the Prussian people suffered under the onslaught of Russians, French and Austrians.

Regards, Phil


Yes Phil. In fact, many European historians ( and a nod to John - Jay Winter) refer to 14-45 as the Second Thirty Years War.

It is estimated that Prussia lost about 20% of itś male population in the Seven Years War. And it was Frederick who is believed first to have used the term "perfidious Albion".

More later. Especially about Belgium.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 6:08:48 PM

I have put here a video entitled "The Fallen of WWII" Even though we are talking WWI and other wars here right now, about 3/4 of the way through the video it shows a comparison to other previous war both in terms of number of dead and also to world population. It might serve to help answer some of the questions asked here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwKPFT-RioU

Usually when I post links I need someone to clear it up. George?
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10971
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/4/2020 8:47:37 PM

This should do it.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George
----------------------------------
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 3:46:14 AM

John and George,

What a fascinating and striking way of surveying the demographic horrors of the ages !

Thank you.

I must confess that I get a bit agitated by the very apparent downplaying of the cost of WW1.

The criteria used to assess its human toll are, in my opinion, not the same as those used to measure that of WW2. Comparing apples and oranges, as people say.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 7:05:52 AM

George
Thank you for your help

Phil
I once read and I don't know how true this is that WWII was the first modern war where civilian deaths were larger than military deaths. WWI deaths are mainly military deaths, not to downplay the number of civilians who did die. Using this criteria, it may seem easier to push down the horrors of WWI cost in humam lives.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 8:30:49 AM

John,

Direct violence against civilians in WW1 caused far fewer deaths than it was to in WW2.....although we must not forget the huge numbers of Armenians who were killed by the Ottomans in 1915.

Civilian victims of air raids 1914-18 were numbered in the thousands , compared with hundreds of thousands - millions, even - 1939-45.

But if we’re to count the six hundred thousand plus victims of hunger and privation in the siege of Leningrad, might we not consider several hundred thousand deaths attributable to the British Blockade 1914-18 ?

The other aspect of the seventy million deaths ascribed to WW2 is that it includes ( my supposition, I must check here) huge numbers who died in the Sino Japanese conflict from 1937, and also, I think, deaths in the post war upheavals that rent the world in the years immediately after 1945. Using that criterion, we should include the massive toll of the Russian Civil War as attributable to WW1, and , also, the ethnic cleansing and massacres attendant on the break up of the Ottoman Empire in the Near East.

I won’t even begin to discuss the tens of millions who perished in the Influenza Pandemic that started in 1918 !

You’ll be convinced, I hope, that attributing fifteen million deaths to WW1, as opposed to seventy million in WW2, might be construed as something of a distortion .

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 9:13:05 AM

Phil
I agree. The number of civilian deaths in Germany because of the British blockade was huge. What amazes me was even after the armistice the blockade still continued.

WWI blew up the 20th C. It was still the 19th C prior to 1914. Morals, fashion, and life changed in a big way. You might say that before the war Western civilization had much more positive outlook on life. Afterwards not so much. WWI was like a body blow to the collective pysche. The current generation blamed the older generation and became the "Lost Generation". An entire generation of future leaders was wiped away and those that remained were scarred by the war in some way.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 11:22:11 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Editing here : what I’m driving at here, in a rather round about way, is the question of how far the Great War of 1914-18 was characterised by “ exceptionalism”. Apart from the obviously exponential increase in scale , did it exhibit traits of intensity and ferocity that transcended everything that had gone before ? Regards, Phil


Childs play compared to "The Thirty Years War".

Trevor


Trevor,

What did 1914-1945 constitute if not another Thirty Years War ?

Sometimes I wonder if we underrate the awful wars in the eighteenth century : the War of the Spanish Succession and the Seven Years War were both horrifically bloody, and pretty global, too.

This thread is about the Battle of Mons in 1914.....and suddenly I think of a place very close to Mons, where a battle of incredible bloodiness had been fought a couple of centuries earlier : Malplaquet.

I suppose that those earlier wars did not entail the whole nation being under arms....although I’m wondering about the impact of the Seven Years War on Prussia. I’m aware you know a thing or two about the story of Frederick the Great, and would welcome your observations about how the Prussian people suffered under the onslaught of Russians, French and Austrians.

Regards, Phil


Yes Phil. In fact, many European historians ( and a nod to John - Jay Winter) refer to 14-45 as the Second Thirty Years War.

It is estimated that Prussia lost about 20% of itś male population in the Seven Years War. And it was Frederick who is believed first to have used the term "perfidious Albion".

More later. Especially about Belgium.

Trevor


Thanks, Trevor.

If Prussia lost one fifth of its male population, that’s twice the proportionate loss suffered by Great Britain in the First World War.

My supposition is that a much greater proportion of deaths in the Seven Years War were from disease than from combat : this was not to be the case in 1914-18 ; but I know that one or two of the battles fought by Frederick the Great were bloody beyond belief .

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 12:17:22 PM

Phil
Battle of Zorndorff seems to be Frederick the Great's bloodiest battle

I think the Battle of Malphaquet set the mark as the bloodiest only to be surpassed by the Battle of Borodino. Borodino held the record until WWI
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 2:14:32 PM

John,

There was another battle, Kunersdorf, I think, which was even bloodier than Zorndorf.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/5/2020 8:46:41 PM

Phil
I'm not sure but it appears that Frederick's losses are higher at Kunersdorf but in overall numbers I think its Zorndorf. Hard to find numbers especially Russians.

Frederick's army did fall apart at Kunersdorf but within a week many of the stragglers rejoined him. He did lose heavily in officers
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 8:17:58 AM

John,

As you say, Russian numbers are hard to pin down.

Kunersdorf cost the Prussians alone 6,048 killed, 11,101 wounded and 1,354 missing, which, from a force of 49,000, is something catastrophic.

There is a figure cited for Zorndorf which gives 7,790 for the Russians in killed alone, compared with 3,680 for the Prussians.

Considering that both sides combined lost just under 4,000 killed in action at Antietam, we can appreciate the stupefying carnage of these eighteenth century battles.

Much higher ratios of killed as opposed to wounded in Frederick the Great's big battles, implying close quarters cannon fire and hand to hand combat. It might also be the case that the figure for killed included died of wounds.

Looking forward to the time of Mons, I note that on 24th August 1914 the heavy fighting between the Russians and the Germans was in full swing, just as the British were retreating from Mons and were in a perilous situation.

At that very time, it was the Germans who felt they were fighting for their lives as the Russian armies invaded East Prussia. The Russians were accompanied by Colonel ( General?) Knox, a British observer, who wrote of that day :

The Russians used the spade freely.....I saw rifle trenches scooped out within 130 yards of the defenders' trenches. The German machine guns were deadly, running down rows of Russians immediately they raised themselves in the potato-fields to fire or advance...…..one Russian regiment had nine company commanders killed out of sixteen, and one company that went into action 190 strong lost all its officers and 120 men killed.

That's killed, note, not killed and wounded.

The British, too, experienced this lethal MG fire, even though they were retreating instead of attacking. That very same day as Knox was witnessing the slaughter of those Russians, a German MG company was able to establish a position on a mine head and fire on British troops who were trying to withdraw from a defensive position they had tried to establish at a place called Quiverain. From a range of 660 yards, this German fire was so effective that a sergeant walked the field later and counted 280 British bodies. I have to say that we need to be circumspect here : the CWGC figure for British dead for the Western Front that day is about 460, and it's hard to believe that more than sixty per cent of them could be attributed to this single episode....but, who knows ?

I gleaned this information from Terence Zuber's book The Mons Myth.

Regards, Phil

----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining
NY USA
Posts: 914
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 12:06:55 PM

And 660 yards wasn't even all that long range for a WW1 heavy machine gun.
People tend not to realize just how dominating these weapons were. I sometimes think that this is an aftereffect of movies like "All Quiet on the Western Front", which show machine guns mowing down troops in the barbed wire, at close range. But then, showing them engaging reverse slope positions at 2,000 yards probably wouldn't be as exciting.
WW1 infantry rifles were actually sighted to about the same ranges as the machine guns, and fired the same ammunition. But the individual riflemen simply couldn't use that sort of range effectively, in the same way a highly trained machine gun crew could, firing from a stable mount, at surveyed targets, using detailed tables of fire.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 12:52:33 PM

Agreed, Jim, with the added comment that MG fire was deployed most effectively in enfilade.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10971
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 1:11:27 PM

Odd wasn't it that the British perhaps did not appreciate the benefit of MG fire at the beginning of the war yet they were very quick to mount MG's on motorcycles or armoured vehicles?

The Motor Machine Gun Service became very important to the British and Commonwealth war effort.

MG fire was also used much like artillery, firing at long range for suppression. The heavy Vickers could be used to target a distant crossroad to saturate it with fire, as an example.
Or MG's could fire over the heads of their own troops as they attacked. Was that called barrage fire?
----------------------------------
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 816
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 2:38:05 PM

George.
"MG fire was also used much like artillery, firing at long range for suppression. The heavy Vickers could be used to target a distant crossroad to saturate it with fire, as an example.
Or MG's could fire over the heads of their own troops as they attacked"


I think many have the vision of Sgt York and All Quiet on the Western Front on how the machine gun was used. (Kudos to Phil) I have to admit so did I at one time. It started out as a defensive weapon that quickly was adapted to the assault.

Phil
A large number of Prussian wounded at Konersdorf died because Cossacks roamed the field killing those left behind and looting. Also as the Prussians fled the field no one remained to care for the wounded
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 3:44:19 PM

George and John,

There is an account by a British officer which has become controversial .

Lt Colonel Seton Hutchison claimed to have organised a MG barrage, when he deployed the 33rd MG company in a novel barrage - of unprecedented scale - in which twenty (?) guns fired incessantly over the German lines in a sector of the Somme in July 1916.

He stated that they fired one million rounds in a matter of hours.

The effect on the Germans - by the testimony of those who survived - was deadly.

A kind of “ beaten zone” was established which was so deluged with bullets that the enemy could not fight effectively and allowed the British to make headway and achieve local success.

There has been a debate about the claim : arithmetically, the million rounds seems quite plausible, given the rate of fire of a Vickers Machine gun and the number of guns deployed, and the duration of the barrage.

But, those familiar with the overheating of the guns, the constant need to re-supply ammo and the sheer effort and hassle involved, have dismissed the claim as fanciful.

This officer became a maverick commentator, and made some lurid claims about his wartime experiences. I think he joined the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s and used anecdotes from his wartime service to bolster up his credibility with the Oswald Mosley factions.

OTOH, he did have a distinguished record, and some people maintain that his story is authentic .

Regards, Phil

----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Jim Cameron
Ossining
NY USA
Posts: 914
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 9:30:39 PM

I am familiar with the account, which is often cited, but have never examined it in any depth.
The million rounds figure does sound high, even if not strictly speaking impossible on a purely mechanical basis.
Machine gun barrages were certainly planned and executed, especially during major operations. In the case at hand I wouldn't rule out the basic account being generally accurate, because there's nothing implausible about it, with the number of rounds fired perhaps overstated. Perhaps "a million" simply had a more impressive ring to it.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Jim Cameron
Ossining
NY USA
Posts: 914
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/6/2020 9:31:14 PM

I am familiar with the account, which is often cited, but have never examined it in any depth.
The million rounds figure does sound high, even if not strictly speaking impossible on a purely mechanical basis.
Machine gun barrages were certainly planned and executed, especially during major operations. In the case at hand I wouldn't rule out the basic account being generally accurate, because there's nothing implausible about it, with the number of rounds fired perhaps overstated. Perhaps "a million" simply had a more impressive ring to it.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4650
Battle of Mons 1914
Posted on: 2/7/2020 3:09:33 AM

Jim,

The same man - Lt Colonel Graham Seton Hutchison - enhanced his notoriety when he claimed that, during the crisis of March 1918, he turned his MGs on British soldiers who were fleeing the front line and killed forty of them. He was advocating this kind of discipline as what the nation - and race - needed to uphold standards.

This episode has been cited as a reason for doubting his “million bullet barrage” story....he was either a man who liked telling tall stories, or a man who boasted about things that he ought not to be proud of.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
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