Wednesday, December 19, 2018


This is coolbert:

Amiens? Amiens?

"The Battle of Amiens . . . was the opening phase of the Allied offensive which began on 8 August 1918, later known as the Hundred Days Offensive, that ultimately led to the end of the First World War."

Allied troops on the Western Front during the Great War [WW1] using that proper combination of combined combat arms [infantry, artillery, armor, combat aviation]. Second-class German troops in second-class fortifications routed and put to flight, large numbers surrendering. .

NOW thanks to a recent edition of the BBC History magazine an extract more or less in entirety from an article by  Nick Lloyd.

"Why Don't we celebrate Amiens?"

"British popular memory of the First World War has been dominated by the grim, attritional struggles of 1916-17, with the Somme and Passchendaele epitomizing the terrible carnage and ultimate futility of the war."

"By contrast Amiens has been largely forgotten. It was s a battle of much shorter duration and with so many fewer casualties than the Somme and Passchendaele. It was also only one part of a series of major offensives (known as the Hundred Days) that brought the war on the western front to an end. These are perhaps some reasons why it has attracted much less attention from historians than other battles."

"Crucially, however, Amiens did not fit in with the dire image of the war that many influential critics of the British High Command - - from David Lloyd George and the military theorist Basil Lidell Hart to Joan Littlewood (creator of Oh, What a Lovely War!) want - - wanted to portray. For them, the First World War was an unrelieved disaster and the role role that British commanders played in failing to learn lessons was a fundamental aspect of the war. They saw no reason to analyze Amiens in any detail"

"Amiens was, in many respects, a model battle of positional warfare. it showed that the stalemate of trench warfare was now over and also illustrated the degree to which a combination of infantry and artillery, plus armored vehicles and air power, had reshaped the nature of warfare and brought about the return of maneuver to the battlefield. It devastated German morale and revealed to the German High Command they had no answer to the kinds of tactics and the awe-inspiring mass that Allied armies could now deploy on the western front. It showed, all too clearly, that the war had to be ended. Amiens, therefore, was not just a forgotten battle but an inconvenient one too."

Amiens a model of success in marked contrast compared to what had preceded in the last four years of conflict. Lloyd George and his "dire image of the war" hardly without foundation. In many respects Lloyd George quite correct indeed!


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