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- British, French and American Relations on the Western Front, 1914–1918
- Battle of Verdun
It did not. The Battle of the Somme in was actually the second Battle of the Somme. In September , the British Expeditionary Force was not involved in the battles of Picardy and Albert so it is not as well recorded or reported. Although fighting around the ancient fortress city of Verdun started in and continued until , the massive German offensive beginning on Feb. On June 23, French General Robert Nivelle exhorted his men to hold: vous ne les laisserrez pas passer you shall not let them pass.
The shortened adopted French battle cry then and forever after the battle was on ne passe pas or ils ne passeront pas they shall not pass. This special centennial exhibition draws on the extensive collection of the Museum and Memorial to show the immense scope of the Western Front battles and other areas of action. Noteworthy objects on exhibit include a British Vickers machine gun, a Verdun commemorative flag, German uniforms from regiments at both battles and a French infantry folding bicycle. The documentary evidence for many battles can be fragmentary and unsubstantiated by archaeological evidence.
Worse still the battlefield itself may have changed over time. Even if we know exactly where the battle was and what happened, the ground itself may have changed. The tactical significance of the ground may not be obvious from the current topography. There are over battlefields skirmishes and sieges in England alone. Not all of these can be located with certainty and in others the battlefield topography has changed beyond recognition. There are 43 battlefields on the English Heritage Battlefield Register. These are battlefields that a panel of experts has agreed can be identified with some certainty, have historic significance and can be viewed within their historic landscape.
The Battlefields Trust is a charity dedicated to preserving and developing battlefields for heritage purposes. Their Battlefield Resource centre was funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and has information on over 70 battlefields, collated by professional historians and archaeologists. These include the English Heritage Registered Battlefields. Information on each battle typically includes a reconstruction of the historic terrain, source material on each battle as well as an interpretation of what happened.
This should be a key resource for anyone planning a visit to a UK battlefield. These are far from exhaustive. Central government was paralysed. The hereditary ruler was ineffectual, even when not confined to his sick bed. Government appointments were made through nepotism within cliques and its business was notorious for inefficiency and corruption. The ruling elite was divided into factions with an opposition forming around one of the few military leaders to emerge with credit from the disastrous failure of a long war with a neighbour.
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Large parts of the country were in a state of anarchy, dominated by regional warlords who dispensed partisan justice. Pirates operated with impunity in the seas off its shores. This could be a failing state in one of the hot spots of conflict in Africa. Technology may have developed, but political and military problems of rebuilding a state are recognisable across the years. This is also an era that saw rapid development in military technology and in the evolution of weapons and tactics. At a low level campaigns and actions offer opportunities to view relevant ground.
There are opportunities to explore doctrine through comparing and contrasting modern and medieval components of force, or different arms of service. The political and military leaders of this war deserve modern study as examples of leadership in battle and in conflict resolution. Some of these men were cable of major feats of arms including night marches and deployments and forced marches that would test a modern force.
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There are many evocative locations from this era. The battles of Barnet and Tewksbury are well documented and we have archaeological evidence for others…. Several of the strategies used for nation building by these 15 th Century leaders have a surprisingly modern flavour, including reconciliation parades, and unity governments of erstwhile enemies. The social and economic world of the 15 th Century allows modern Britons an opportunity to understand and empathise with people whose lives are dominated by different attitudes to loyalty, justice and faith.
Some regarded the collapse of the state as inevitable. Creating a united country from two traditional enemies would be doomed to fail. Worse still, the state included four ethnic groups two of which were dominated by radically opposed religious sects. The fact that this artificial country had existed for over thirty years was a tribute to the political skill of the leader who created the country.
His successor was less adept and less able to play the different factions off against each other. The situation spiraled out of control and entered into a series of civil wars lasting nearly a decade. The English Civil War is an opportunity to look at warfare in a setting with a modern context.
It has the ethnic and religious tensions that bedevil many nations. The atrocities of the war provide a context for a modern discussion about legal and moral issues. There are battlefields, sieges and skirmishes across the UK. Many of the battlefields can be easily interpreted and lend themselves for study. Uneasy is the head on the throne. The authoritarian ruler is increasingly at odds with many of the key stakeholders in the country. He is introducing policies that seek to impose fundamentalist religious orthodoxy of one sect over that held by the majority.
Exiled opposition groups are seeking allies and funding for an attempt to change the regime.
This takes place against a back drop of a struggle for world dominance between the major power blocks of the time. The events of in the British Isles offer an opportunity to explore the strategic and operational challenges of regime change. The Glorious Revolution of saw an occupying power take control over England and Scotland with less resistance than that offered in the early stages of Gulf War 2. Other engagements of the war take place in Northern Ireland ; e. However, a staff ride that contemplates Ireland or Central Scotland may also consider Flanders.
These battles are also inside the period of recorded history of the Regimental history. The Royal Regiment of Scotland has forebears at both Scottish battles and Bonnie Dundee is immortalised in a rousing canter for several mounted units. Almost every ruler from the Romans onwards has needed to undertake counter insurgency operations in some part of the British Isles.
The problems of counter insurgency are eternal. Culture and technology evolve, but the problems of combating hostile elements within a population are eternal. The Norman and Roman operations against the indigenous populations have left limited traces that can be directly linked to battlefields. There are better opportunities to explore counter insurgency campaigns in the pacification of Wales by Edward 1 st and of Scotland after the rebellion. At the battle of Moel-y-don the Welsh surprise the English as they attempt to cross the Menai Strait on a pontoon bridge.
The campaign also contains one of the good examples of tactical development. The battle of Orewin Bridge is one of the first to use the combination of firepower and manoeuvre, using the combination of archers and cavalry to defeat a strongly positioned Welsh force.
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A pre C20th Battlefield Study will broadly follow good practice for staff rides or Battlefield Studies. The design should start with the aims in terms of training objectives. There are some implications for designing staff rides and battlefield studies using a pre 20 th Century setting.
It is harder for modern soldiers to relate to pre weapons and tactics. If the essence of the tour is to consider counter insurgency or stabilisation operations, the social and political environment is important. Ideas for bringing the era alive include the use of living history re-enactors and role play exercises as well as visits to suitable interpretation centres or museums. Visiting the ground is at the heart of a battlefield study or Staff ride.
The challenge is to obtain contemporary lessons from actions that involve troops, weapons and tactics as alien as those of the pre gunpowder era.
In theory UK based tours should be cheaper than overseas tours. There are savings on accommodation if suitable military accommodation can be found and there is no need for ferry or air tickets or toll road fees. However, the travel costs to Scotland can be almost as expensive as NW Europe and will involve long transit times.
Furthermore in some cases UK destinations impose higher costs If you would like to talk about any ideas inspired by this article, please drop me a line at enquiries staffrideservices. The Battle of Waterloo is probably the most famous battle of the Napoleonic wars. But if you want to understand why Napoleon was so powerful you need to visit somewhere else.
British, French and American Relations on the Western Front, 1914–1918
Austerlitz is regarded my many as seen as his masterpiece and genius for War. Napoleon fought two campaigns in Austria as Emperor of France. The campaign led to the decisive battle of Austerlitz 2nd December near Brno. Madrid will be the graveyard of fascism from the Siege of Madrid ; photo taken by Soviet journalist Mikhail Koltsov. On ne passe pas! Red plaque commemorating the Battle of Cable Street. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.
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Battle of Verdun
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