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Today: Battle of the Somme Centenary

Irish-Rationalist

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The Battle of the Somme centenary is being marked across Northern Ireland and in Thiepval, France, where thousands of Irishmen were killed. The opening day, 1 July 1916, remains the bloodiest in the British Army's history.

A total of 19,240 British troops were killed within 24 hours, and almost a tenth of those who died that first day were from the 36th Ulster Division. Several towns and cities in NI are holding commemorations, and at Dublin's War Memorial Gardens.



Thiepval memorial to the missing.

The Somme - 20,000 men walked slowly to their death on the first day - The Irish News

BBC - World War One on TV and Radio

Irishmen, Protestant and Catholic, Unionist and Nationalist who constituted the 36th Ulster Division (UVF) and 16th Irish Division (Irish Volunteers) fought and died side by side at the Somme in 1916. Their motives of course were antithetical, but all paid the ultimate sacrifice.

After partition the Somme became an identity narrative for Ulster Loyalists with Somme parades and memorials. With 1916 becoming the main Republican narrative, the Irish Nationalist's who perished at the Somme were mostly forgotten, with many Nationalist's attempting a disassociation with their contribution to the British war effort.

Just as the rebel leaders of 1916 were initially scorned and ridiculed and are now lauded, the Irishmen who fought and died for Britain as a means to gain Irish home rule and independence should be offered similar recognition. An estimated 50,000 Irishmen were killed while serving in the British, Commonwealth and US armies in WW1. All deserve some respect.
 


McSlaggart

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The Battle of the Somme centenary is being marked across Northern Ireland and in Thiepval, France,
The "Germans" lost more troops.

Somme. The whole history of the world cannot contain a more ghastly word.

— Friedrich Steinbrecher

“See that little stream? We could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk to it — a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
 

Levellers

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I thought only loyal Orange brethren died here. Don't tell me feenyions were there as well.
 

Marcella

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May all the men that lost their lives in WW1 Rest In Peace. May we resolve to learn from the lessons of the past and never again stand over such slaughter.
 

Enigma Variations

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The Battle of the Somme centenary is being marked across Northern Ireland and in Thiepval, France, where thousands of Irishmen were killed. The opening day, 1 July 1916, remains the bloodiest in the British Army's history.
Ah, the Somme - biggest waste of life of the last century. I'm not sure what should be remembered more - that those men went out over the trenches and faced slaughter, or the indisputable fact that if they didn't follow orders they would have faced slaughter anyway at the hands of their own, for being cowards. Not much of a choice for those guys.....
WW1 was just just another episode in the mass deceit and cynical exploitation of badly educated, lowly paid people by the UK toff establishment.
Thank God it doesn't happen these days.....................................:-(

 

DT123

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It's nice to have the choice how to spend the £350 m though.
 

Irish-Rationalist

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Ah, the Somme - biggest waste of life of the last century. I'm not sure what should be remembered more - that those men went out over the trenches and faced slaughter, or the indisputable fact that if they didn't follow orders they would have faced slaughter anyway at the hands of their own, for being cowards. Not much of a choice for those guys.....
WW1 was just just another episode in the mass deceit and cynical exploitation of badly educated, lowly paid people by the UK toff establishment.
Thank God it doesn't happen these days.....................................:-(

It's nice to have the choice how to spend the £350 m though.
Yeah, that mythical £350m, it will be needed to plug the whole in tax receipts
If I could just hasten to remind you chaps that this is not a thread to opportunistically debate the rights or wrongs of the Brexit referendum result, but to offer your thoughts pertaining to today's Somme commemorations.

As you were.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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May all the men that lost their lives in WW1 Rest In Peace. May we resolve to learn from the lessons of the past and never again stand over such slaughter.
Amen to that. RIP for sure, but damn anyone who glories in war, usually a fanatic, evil minded and/or chickenhawk.

Wars should always be a last resort, and yet that war was nothing of the sort. What a total waste of lives that war was. In those graves, often unknown, lies the cure to cancer, the best of athletes, poets, peace makers, artists and tenors, etc. How many of those young men were otherwise destined to be the next Jonas Salk (creator/donor of polio vaccine), Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Thomas Paine, Beethoven, Martin Luther King Jr, etc.
 

Enigma Variations

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If I could just hasten to remind you chaps that this is not a thread to opportunistically debate the rights or wrongs of the Brexit referendum result, but to offer your thoughts pertaining to today's Somme commemorations.

As you were.
Oh please stop this maudlin sentimental nonsense. :)
The analogy is apt. The British toff establishment exploited the innocent gullibility of the deprived and the badly educated then with lies about "the freedom of small nations", and again last week with the message in the image I posted. Plus ça change...........................
That is the only one appropriate thing to remember here. Those who fail to learn history are destined to repeat it, one way or another.
They are dead for 100 years. People need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago. I have. It is called maturity.
They were murdered respectively by German and British imperialists. The men who died 100 years ago today had no choice. What is little known is that in the trenches when these forays over the top were about to begin one guy was left behind and his sole job was to shoot any of his colleagues who retreated and jumped back in.
That is how their deaths should be remembered, and bastards like Churchill would now be reviled instead of lionised nowadays in any sane, logical society, because he didn't win WW2, but he was a bastard. Stalin won the war and only because he was an even bigger bastard than Hitler.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Oh please stop this maudlin sentimental nonsense. :)
The analogy is apt. The British toff establishment exploited the innocent gullibility of the deprived and the badly educated then with lies about "the freedom of small nations", and again last week with the message in the image I posted. Plus ça change...........................
That is the only one appropriate thing to remember here. Those who fail to learn history are destined to repeat it, one way or another.
They are dead for 100 years. People need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago. I have. It is called maturity.
They were murdered respectively by German and British imperialists. The men who died 100 years ago today had no choice. What is little known is that in the trenches when these forays over the top were about to begin one guy was left behind and his sole job was to shoot any of his colleagues who retreated and jumped back in.
That is how their deaths should be remembered, and bastards like Churchill would now be reviled instead of lionised nowadays in any sane, logical society, because he didn't win WW2, but he was a bastard. Stalin won the war and only because he was an even bigger bastard than Hitler.
WWI was completely unnecessary waste of lives thanks to the frivolities of royals and the greeds of their empires.

Two notes though.

As to "[p]eople need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago", I agree insofar as people misuse them to abuse people today. It's a huge problem in Ireland's miseries as we all know.

However, that's not always the point behind recognising them as here. When people note valiant sacrifices by them and/or wish to pay respects to them, that's another story and perfectly legitimate. When witnessing the dead of WWII at Normandy, they died to free Europe from the evils of the Axis, or when travelling through the graves of Gettysburg, they died to set slaves free. It's important to note those sacrifices. As for the Somme, people can and do use that to recognise the tragedies of war and learn good lessons from them.

As for Churchill, he was a man of his times in a nation of its times, and his 'sins' viewed today reflect that in retrospect. That said, since your reply references Brexit, Churchill's lessons from the tragedies of two world wars was advocating 'the United States of Europe'. In short, he was a major advocate and cornerstone founding father of the EU.

'Europe Unite' Says Churchill at the Hague (1948) -- United States of Europe
Founding fathers of the European Union: Winston Churchill
Churchill - United States of Europe

. . .
"We must build a kind of United States of Europe. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can."
. . .
"Britain will have to play her full part as a member of the European family."....."should be a movement of the people, not parties"...
. . .
Churchill, who also proposed a European ‘Charter’ and ‘Court’ of Human Rights, continued, ‘We aim at the eventual participation of all the peoples throughout the continent whose society and way of life are in accord with the Charter of Human Rights.

During this momentous speech, Churchill proclaimed:

We cannot aim at anything less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when that Union will be achieved.’
. . .
The Churchill Society, London.

Churchill's vision was undone by the Brexit.
 
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DT123

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Oh please stop this maudlin sentimental nonsense. :)
The analogy is apt. The British toff establishment exploited the innocent gullibility of the deprived and the badly educated then with lies about "the freedom of small nations", and again last week with the message in the image I posted. Plus ça change...........................
That is the only one appropriate thing to remember here. Those who fail to learn history are destined to repeat it, one way or another.
They are dead for 100 years. People need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago. I have. It is called maturity.
They were murdered respectively by German and British imperialists. The men who died 100 years ago today had no choice. What is little known is that in the trenches when these forays over the top were about to begin one guy was left behind and his sole job was to shoot any of his colleagues who retreated and jumped back in.
That is how their deaths should be remembered, and bastards like Churchill would now be reviled instead of lionised nowadays in any sane, logical society, because he didn't win WW2, but he was a bastard. Stalin won the war and only because he was an even bigger bastard than Hitler.
For someone who wants to learn from history you seem keen to forget that Germany tried to dominate Europe twice in the last 100 years.

Who dominates the EU?
 

McSlaggart

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For someone who wants to learn from history you seem keen to forget that Germany tried to dominate Europe twice in the last 100 years.
Do you object? Do you think the UK should have went to war against the Germans/Austria in WW1 and if you do on what grounds?
 

Irish-Rationalist

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Oh please stop this maudlin sentimental nonsense. :)
The analogy is apt. The British toff establishment exploited the innocent gullibility of the deprived and the badly educated then with lies about "the freedom of small nations", and again last week with the message in the image I posted. Plus ça change...........................
That is the only one appropriate thing to remember here. Those who fail to learn history are destined to repeat it, one way or another.
They are dead for 100 years. People need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago. I have. It is called maturity.
They were murdered respectively by German and British imperialists. The men who died 100 years ago today had no choice. What is little known is that in the trenches when these forays over the top were about to begin one guy was left behind and his sole job was to shoot any of his colleagues who retreated and jumped back in.
That is how their deaths should be remembered, and bastards like Churchill would now be reviled instead of lionised nowadays in any sane, logical society, because he didn't win WW2, but he was a bastard. Stalin won the war and only because he was an even bigger bastard than Hitler.
The world is dominated and ruled by "bastards". Bastards reach the top of their chosen profession, the socio-economic and political elites are crammed with 'bastards' i.e. sociopaths, and it could be argued that it was 'bastards' i.e. sociopaths in positions of political and military power who sent all of those being commemorated to their deaths. The British Officer class who ordered the regular soldiers over the top have been described as "donkeys" leading brave and gallant men to their slaughter.

Today, as 100 years ago, it is generally those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder who are absorbed by the armed forces, and usually due to poor education and even poorer job prospects. The working class have also traditionally been the most unapologetically patriotic, thus making them effortless fodder for recruitment for the battlefield. But whilst some people join the Armed forces because they have no other opportunities available to them, others choose because they are genuinely interested in making a contribution to a war effort and/or the defence of their nation.

Your description of the military dead as "They are dead for 100 years. People need to get over their dead relatives who died a century ago. I have. It is called maturity" is distinctly callous and immature. I'm not a British imperialist, very far from it, but I honour and respect those, rightly or wrongly, wisely or unwisely, who chose or were coerced by socio-economic and political circumstances to enlist.

The UVF i.e. 36th Ulster Division were fighting to retain Ireland within the UK and under empire. The 16th Irish Division i.e. Irish Volunteers contributed to the British war effort as a means of demonstrating to Britain that Ireland was worthy of home rule. Both factions were motivated by a diametrical patriotism, and whilst they may have been murdered by imperialists, both factions in Ireland enlisted in the British Army to advance their respective cause.
 
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DT123

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Do you object? Do you think the UK should have went to war against the Germans/Austria in WW1 and if you do on what grounds?
Of course I don't object.

That is the point.

Others seem happy to allow themselves to be dominated by Germany , this time , without a fight.
 

McSlaggart

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Of course I don't object.

That is the point.

Others seem happy to allow themselves to be dominated by Germany , this time , without a fight.
Why do you think it was ok for the UK to fight in Europe? What grounds did they have for doing so?
 

Jack O Neill

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Of course I don't object.

That is the point.

Others seem happy to allow themselves to be dominated by Germany , this time , without a fight.
Germany just won, Brixet is the 2016 equivalent of Dunkirk with the little englanders running in haste back to their overcrowded little island wailing for the US to step in and save them again . Britain had lots of support within the EU to force change and act as a bulwark to German dominance but once again as so often before they have proved how inept , incompetent , and just downright stupid they are
 

Enigma Variations

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The world is dominated and ruled by "bastards". Bastards reach the top of their chosen profession, the socio-economic and political elites are crammed with 'bastards' i.e. sociopaths, and it could be argued that it was 'bastards' i.e. sociopaths in positions of political and military power who sent all of those being commemorated to their deaths. The British Officer class who ordered the regular soldiers over the top have been described as "donkeys" leading brave and gallant men to their slaughter.
They weren't brave and gallant. They were frightened, intimidated men who had no choice but to go over the top, because they faced certain death if they didn't. It was an issue of calculating the odds of survival, nothing more.
Celebrating their "sacrifice for king & country" just makes a mockery of the truth. It is a lie. They were poor, terrified men who were murdered by their own state. They should be remembered as victims of the state, not as heroes.
It is time to tell the truth, so that another generation of mugs won't be conned into becoming cannon fodder for the Thatchers, Blairs, & Camerons of the future.
 

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