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(Toronto Sun)   95 years ago, the identity of Canada was forged as lumberjack commandos politely kicked in the teeth of the Hun at Vimy ridge, eh?   (torontosun.com) divider line 176
    More: Hero, Vimy, hun, commandos  
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9297 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2012 at 10:42 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-10 11:38:21 AM  

trappedspirit:

What about an arrow to the knee?


An arrow just gets you put on guard duty.
 
2012-04-10 11:39:09 AM  

Father_Jack: Smoking GNU: Whiskey Dickens: Father_Jack: LandOfChocolate: "They invented something that had never been done before, called the rolling barrage -- allied guns were pounding down on Vimy Ridge, and every few minutes the Canadians would move forward,"

I believe this is wrong. Georg Burchmuller invented the "creeping barrage" for the Germans or if he didn't, he certainly made the best use of it.

wait wait wait WAIT.

A german officer? Being influential in tactics? Unpossible.

Next youre going to tell me that the Immelmann Turn was named after a ger- oh.
Ok or that combining dive bombing with concentrations of armor in a lightning war, a blitzkrieg if you will, is also attributed to - oh.
Or that the first assault weapon ever issued to an army is also a german - dammit!
or the first jet fighter?
Or the first cruise and ballistic missile?

oh f this im going home

Yeah, but the British invented the concentration camp. So there!

Yup, and tested it out on my people. Thanks for that.

Boer?

The US used em in the Phillippennes too. indeed thats where we prefected waterboarding and civilian massacring, if the book "imperial cruise" has any validity.


Indeed i am, of "Dorsland Trek" decent.
 
2012-04-10 11:39:33 AM  

Father_Jack: granted its been a while, but didnt they try to take Vimy Ridge a number of times and it always ended badly for the Allies, then they finally got on like the 7th time, and suddenly everyone's all "yay, we be all like, tough, and can beat germany, even tho we lost like 5 battalions of doodz and took us 2 years to get up this one ridge here?"


I think there were two attacks. One of which took the ridge, but there wasn't enough left to stop the counterattack.

gochuck: Vimy also showed that the Canadians, like the Germans, were better off with an officer corps that was merit promoted rather than purchased, as much of the British officer corps began as.


Except sale of commissions was abolished almost 50 years earlier following the Crimean War.

Galloping Galoshes: As the Canadians charged across the shell-blasted battlefield, one Hun turned to his companion and cried "Who are these amazing fearsome warriors?!" To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!" Thus was Canada's national identity forged.


Wrong, that was the War of 1812. WWI was about not being British.

Whiskey Dickens: Besides, very few Germans would have known what Americans look like on the battlefield.


Not to mention most Americans in the war would have been busy taking Vimy Ridge at the time.
 
2012-04-10 11:40:18 AM  

Father_Jack: So lets get this straight:

Vimy Ridge is to Canda as:

Verdun : France
Gallipoli : ANZACs
Somme : UK
Stalingrad: USSR
Iwo : USMC
Gettysburg : US army
Tannenberg : Germany
People Magazine : Sara Palin


did i get this right?


Pretty much, but Sarah Palin's artillery was restricted to a single, worn-out retard cannon.
 
2012-04-10 11:42:26 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: I see you've read Pierre Burton's book too. :)


ecx.images-amazon.com

I have
But I'm not sure what an underground race of mushroom harvesting green men who will try to eat your cat have to do with this...
 
2012-04-10 11:43:35 AM  
That battle resulted in the Germans giving Canadian soldiers the nickname "Stormtroopers". French and British forces tried to get that hill for 2 FARKING YEARS without success. We did it in 4 days.

/We can be pretty badass when we want to.
 
2012-04-10 11:44:27 AM  

Smoking GNU: trappedspirit: Smoking GNU: trappedspirit: They suffered more than 10,600 casualties --3,598 of whom died

The fluck?

"Casualties" in war is seen as those who are put out of fighting action for the war, such as a bullet to the knee or the face (non lethal)"

What about an arrow to the knee?

Those are reserved for adventurers only.


No LOLLIGAGGIN'!
 
2012-04-10 11:49:25 AM  
I've visited Vimy Ridge, and you can go round the tunnels where the PBI lived survived prior to the attack.

The saddest part is in one corner where a bored soldier idly carved his name into a wooden post. The solder's name is now on the monument as somebody whose body was never found. He was 17.

There but for the grace of (insert deity of choice)....
 
Heb
2012-04-10 11:52:28 AM  

Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"


Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.
 
2012-04-10 11:53:57 AM  

Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.


a strong play
 
2012-04-10 11:56:06 AM  
i807.photobucket.com

Ninjas > Lumberjack Commandos
 
2012-04-10 12:00:15 PM  

Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.


Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.

//Occupations, though, are a biatch.
 
2012-04-10 12:03:05 PM  

Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.
//Occupations, though, are a biatch.


the vietnamese would like a word
 
2012-04-10 12:04:40 PM  
I usually knock the Canadians, but I'll give them this one.

At the Canadian War Museum there is an amazing painting of the ghosts of soldiers around the memorial. As a kid I was mesmerized by that painting.

Here's the Wikipedia view Link (new window) , but the link really does not do it justice.
 
Heb
2012-04-10 12:07:17 PM  

Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.

//Occupations, though, are a biatch.

As a European, I am happy to grant that your 8 year revolutionary and vietnam wars were indeed mere flash in the pans. If you want a good proper war, you need to have it with France over a number of generations. Recently they have spoilt this by consistently displaying their devastating new tactic, "surrender".
 
2012-04-10 12:08:43 PM  
Tacky headline smitty.
 
2012-04-10 12:09:12 PM  
There's a link in that article to another article about the Newfoundlanders at Beaumont Hamel. 750 soldiers went out, 68 were available for roll call the next morning. 90% plus casualty rate. Most of them died in the first 30 minutes after moving out, long before anyone reached the German lines..

At the time, Newfoundland wasn't Canadian but what the hey. (new window)
 
2012-04-10 12:11:50 PM  
Cabbage crates over the Vimy?
 
2012-04-10 12:13:39 PM  

ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.


Ahem. Grenada?
 
2012-04-10 12:16:04 PM  

ds_4815: Galloping Galoshes: As the Canadians charged across the shell-blasted battlefield, one Hun turned to his companion and cried "Who are these amazing fearsome warriors?!" To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!" Thus was Canada's national identity forged.

As a Canadian... THIS.

/Okay, actually dual citizenship, but still
//Continues to amazes me that many of us define ourselves by what we aren't


"Zed", not "zee", "ZED"! (new window)
 
2012-04-10 12:17:29 PM  
Tips cap to Canadians, does not doubt their courage, but as my namesake would sadly tell you, "Dulce et decorum est" is a quote from both Horace and Owen.
 
2012-04-10 12:19:43 PM  

ds_4815: To commemorate both this 95th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's maiden voyage from Southampton, I humbly propose we launch a creeping barrage on Celine Dion.


I *like* this idea...
 
2012-04-10 12:20:24 PM  

Heb: Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.

//Occupations, though, are a biatch.
As a European, I am happy to grant that your 8 year revolutionary and vietnam wars were indeed mere flash in the pans. If you want a good proper war, you need to have it with France over a number of generations. Recently they have spoilt this by consistently displaying their devastating new tactic, "surrender".


At one point in WWI, French soldiers when marching into action baahed like sheep. Pretty brave and snarky at the same time.
 
Heb
2012-04-10 12:20:29 PM  

puckrock2000: ds_4815: Galloping Galoshes: As the Canadians charged across the shell-blasted battlefield, one Hun turned to his companion and cried "Who are these amazing fearsome warriors?!" To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!" Thus was Canada's national identity forged.

As a Canadian... THIS.

/Okay, actually dual citizenship, but still
//Continues to amazes me that many of us define ourselves by what we aren't

"Zed", not "zee", "ZED"! (new window)


Excellent :) But where do Canadians stand on the truly annoying American misuse of English?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2010/may/20/language-us a
 
2012-04-10 12:21:09 PM  

Father_Jack: Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.
//Occupations, though, are a biatch.

the vietnamese would like a word


Is that you Ann Coulter?
 
Heb
2012-04-10 12:21:25 PM  
Damn, I still can't link properly on here
 
2012-04-10 12:22:12 PM  

ObscureNameHere: Father_Jack: ObscureNameHere: Vimy Ridge is also an excellent study in how effective communication can bring success. There were several revolutionary concepts (well, revolutionary vis a vis standard 'British' operating model) at play such "Tell the soldiers what is going on" ,"Give them some maps", "Train them on the concepts involved".

what specifically was different?


Well, essentially what I outlined. The British Command rarely shared any information down the line and certainly not with the lowly Infantryman. Maps were unheard of for the common soldier and they usually had no idea about what the overall plan of battle was, beyond "Go that way and try not to die".

The Canadian Forces changed that approach entirely with the lead-up to Vimy by letting the soldiers be involved in the Big Picture and what role they were expected to play as part of larger effort. There was also intensive and repeated training and drills on proper walking speed in light of the 'rolling barrage' that was going in front of the forces. Walk too fast and you get caught in your own barrage. There was also a large-scale mock-up of the entire ridge for soldiers to look at and for Command to plan around.

On an more martial front, I believe was one of the first battles to use medium machine guns firing in an arc to pepper behind the enemy lines in order to prevent reinforcements from rushing up to the front. The artillery was also using innovative microphone + math techniques for effective counter-battery fire.


Coming up with a plan other than "Let's try to break this meat grinder by stuffing handfuls of beef into it and hoping it jams" would have been good enough. We go that extra kilometre.
 
Heb
2012-04-10 12:22:48 PM  
Hope this works!

Link (new window)
 
2012-04-10 12:33:06 PM  

Nightsweat: ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.

Ahem. Grenada?


Ohio-Michigan War

Total fatalities: one pig
 
2012-04-10 12:35:22 PM  

Father_Jack: Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.
//Occupations, though, are a biatch.

the vietnamese would like a word


Vietnam was a TIE!

img.listal.com
 
2012-04-10 12:41:43 PM  

ds_4815: Father_Jack: Publikwerks: Heb: Galloping Galoshes: To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!"

Normally a safe conclusion to draw during the first few years of any world war.

Well, when we're involved, wars don't last that long.
//Occupations, though, are a biatch.

the vietnamese would like a word

Vietnam was a TIE!

[img.listal.com image 640x428]


And we should all celebrate our victories in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Well, except for those POW/MIA Henry Kissinger left behind on his way to Oslo.
 
2012-04-10 12:43:53 PM  

This text is now purple: Nightsweat: ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.

Ahem. Grenada?

Ohio-Michigan War

Total fatalities: one pig


I remember reading about it and just going "What the... Oh geez. Right. Whatever."

There are still technically disputed territories between Canada and the US. Weird.
 
2012-04-10 12:59:15 PM  
Atilla?
 
2012-04-10 01:00:52 PM  

Aidan: This text is now purple: Nightsweat: ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.

Ahem. Grenada?

Ohio-Michigan War

Total fatalities: one pig

I remember reading about it and just going "What the... Oh geez. Right. Whatever."

There are still technically disputed territories between Canada and the US. Weird.


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-10 01:01:20 PM  

ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.


Surely the Iran-Iraq war was no less stupid?

I guess stupidity is hard to quantify.
 
2012-04-10 01:05:30 PM  

Makh: The lofty flowering Cherry!


i8.photobucket.com

/Rather subdued for him, actually
 
2012-04-10 01:09:29 PM  
The German soldiers of WWII used to complain about Americans and their artillery. Instead of sending a squad of men out to solve a problem, the Americans would call in numerous rounds of artillery. How does a German soldier close on a 105 mm round?
 
2012-04-10 01:10:07 PM  

dywed88: Galloping Galoshes: As the Canadians charged across the shell-blasted battlefield, one Hun turned to his companion and cried "Who are these amazing fearsome warriors?!" To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!" Thus was Canada's national identity forged.

Wrong, that was the War of 1812. WWI was about not being British.


1812 was fought by British regulars and refugee Loyalists from the American Colonies. For instance, the Americans burned the British fort at York, not Toronto. Had Canada been full of Canadians, instead of Britons, there would have been no reason to attack.
 
2012-04-10 01:12:44 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: There's a link in that article to another article about the Newfoundlanders at Beaumont Hamel. 750 soldiers went out, 68 were available for roll call the next morning. 90% plus casualty rate. Most of them died in the first 30 minutes after moving out, long before anyone reached the German lines..

At the time, Newfoundland wasn't Canadian but what the hey. (new window)


Sadly, if I recall correctly, the survivors were merged into the Canadian units after that event due to their numbers being too low to operate as a distinct unit.
 
rka
2012-04-10 01:20:47 PM  

Mambo Bananapatch: ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.

Surely the Iran-Iraq war was no less stupid?

I guess stupidity is hard to quantify.


The Iran-Iraq war didn't cripple empires.

Ottoman Empire - gone (basically)
Russian Empire - gone
Austro-Hungarian Empire - gone
German Empire - gone

The French and British empires were bled white and wouldn't last another generation.

In the course of human events, you'd be hard pressed to find another war that caused 6 empires to topple.
Add in 16.5 million military/civilian deaths, 22 million wounded. (wikipedia numbers)...all for what exactly? There was no grand plan of conquest. There was no crazy guy running around exterminating Jews/Gypsies.

Europe just went stark raving mad.
 
2012-04-10 01:21:01 PM  
Way to go, you crazy Canucks.
 
2012-04-10 01:21:44 PM  
CSB time: I visited Ypres a few years ago. It's a town in Belgium which was held by "allied" forces (can we call them that in WWI? It's way shorter than typing "British/Canadian/French/eventually American") for the whole of WWI, but was surrounded on three sides by Germans for most of it. It's about where the whole Passchendaele campaign took place, as well as the first-ever gas attack (which happened to be targeted at Canadians).

Canadian forces were among those stationed in Ypres for a long time, and there were some interesting stories out of that. The Canadians at the time were apparently known for being aggressive both in and out of combat -- they actually built a separate camp just for the Canadians, because when they shared a camp with everyone else they got in too many fistfights with soldiers from other armies. In the museum in Ypres they had a letter written by a German commander to his superiors explaining why he failed to take the city, and amusingly his excuse amounted to "No one told me the Canadians were here!".

Apparently, by the end of the war, Canadians had such a reputation that the German army would immediately beef up defenses to any section of the line where they saw a Canadian unit stationed opposite. Once noticed, that was used as a distraction -- the top British commanders would send the Canadians somewhere, wait for the Germans to move more defenses to that area, then attack somewhere else with other forces.

What really stuck with me, though, was Ypres itself. If you go there, it mostly looks like any other ancient European town. But it's all actually post-WWI construction. It spent literally years getting pounded by German artillery from three sides. After a certain point, they had to build wooden tracks across no-man's-land, because all the artillery from both sides had pounded the ground so thoroughly and effectively that rain would turn it into a sea of mud, and any soldier who stepped in it while wearing his pack was likely to sink and drown. As for Ypres itself, a photographer at the time took a number of pictures at different stages of the war, and the differences were stark.

I can't find the best ones online, so these will have to do:

Before:
s16.postimage.org

After:
s16.postimage.org

Probably the single most enduring images I have from that visit were from two 3D photos taken during the war. One was of half of a horse, stuck up in the middle branches of a tree. The other was of a half-collapsed bunker, where in the pile of dirt you could see the face and left hand of a soldier who'd been inside when it caved in.

And Passchendaele? Hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides, fighting for months over a stretch of land my cousin and I drove in about five minutes. Armies with machine guns, artillery and mustard gas, trying to move it all with horses and coordinate it with carrier pigeons. Truly a seminal achievement in the field of stupid, tragic clusterfarks.
 
2012-04-10 01:27:02 PM  

This text is now purple: Had Canada been full of Canadians, instead of Britons, there would have been no reason to attack.


I could be wrong, but I thought the war of 1812 (North American Edition) was in large part motivated by the US wanting more land. And that the failure to gain land through the war was what really drove American expansion westward after that.
 
2012-04-10 01:29:15 PM  

This text is now purple: dywed88: Galloping Galoshes: As the Canadians charged across the shell-blasted battlefield, one Hun turned to his companion and cried "Who are these amazing fearsome warriors?!" To which his companion replied, "They're not Americans!!" Thus was Canada's national identity forged.

Wrong, that was the War of 1812. WWI was about not being British.

1812 was fought by British regulars and refugee Loyalists from the American Colonies. For instance, the Americans burned the British fort at York, not Toronto. Had Canada been full of Canadians, instead of Britons, there would have been no reason to attack.


Of course, all "Americans" were really just British under the Revolutionary War ended. Which makes that war, in fact, America's first civil war (over 20,000 "americans" fought on the side of The Crown).
 
2012-04-10 01:31:15 PM  

SpaceButler: This text is now purple: Had Canada been full of Canadians, instead of Britons, there would have been no reason to attack.

I could be wrong, but I thought the war of 1812 (North American Edition) was in large part motivated by the US wanting more land. And that the failure to gain land through the war was what really drove American expansion westward after that.


1812 is an odd duck of a war.

Canada considers that they "won" on the premise that if you are attacked and you successfully defend, you have won.

America thinks they won because they didn't lose anything besides bodies.
 
2012-04-10 01:33:50 PM  

Flakeloaf: ObscureNameHere: Father_Jack: ObscureNameHere: Vimy Ridge is also an excellent study in how effective communication can bring success. There were several revolutionary concepts (well, revolutionary vis a vis standard 'British' operating model) at play such "Tell the soldiers what is going on" ,"Give them some maps", "Train them on the concepts involved".

what specifically was different?


Well, essentially what I outlined. The British Command rarely shared any information down the line and certainly not with the lowly Infantryman. Maps were unheard of for the common soldier and they usually had no idea about what the overall plan of battle was, beyond "Go that way and try not to die".

The Canadian Forces changed that approach entirely with the lead-up to Vimy by letting the soldiers be involved in the Big Picture and what role they were expected to play as part of larger effort. There was also intensive and repeated training and drills on proper walking speed in light of the 'rolling barrage' that was going in front of the forces. Walk too fast and you get caught in your own barrage. There was also a large-scale mock-up of the entire ridge for soldiers to look at and for Command to plan around.

On an more martial front, I believe was one of the first battles to use medium machine guns firing in an arc to pepper behind the enemy lines in order to prevent reinforcements from rushing up to the front. The artillery was also using innovative microphone + math techniques for effective counter-battery fire.

Coming up with a plan other than "Let's try to break this meat grinder by stuffing handfuls of beef into it and hoping it jams" would have been good enough. We go that extra kilometre.


However, surpringsly enough, it was the Russians who actually thought up the whole squad tactic, but the Germans who applied it (with the stormtrooper concept).
 
rka
2012-04-10 01:35:45 PM  

SpaceButler: This text is now purple: Had Canada been full of Canadians, instead of Britons, there would have been no reason to attack.

I could be wrong, but I thought the war of 1812 (North American Edition) was in large part motivated by the US wanting more land. And that the failure to gain land through the war was what really drove American expansion westward after that.


That's almost entirely a view for Canadians, by Canadians.
 
2012-04-10 01:45:15 PM  

rka: Mambo Bananapatch: ryant123: Kudos to the Canadians, but it's too bad it had to happen as a part of the stupidest war ever fought in history.

Surely the Iran-Iraq war was no less stupid?

I guess stupidity is hard to quantify.

The Iran-Iraq war didn't cripple empires.

Ottoman Empire - gone (basically)
Russian Empire - gone
Austro-Hungarian Empire - gone
German Empire - gone

The French and British empires were bled white and wouldn't last another generation.

In the course of human events, you'd be hard pressed to find another war that caused 6 empires to topple.
Add in 16.5 million military/civilian deaths, 22 million wounded. (wikipedia numbers)...all for what exactly? There was no grand plan of conquest. There was no crazy guy running around exterminating Jews/Gypsies.

Europe just went stark raving mad.


Good point. It's still amazing to me that Canada had far more casualties in World War One than World War Two.
 
2012-04-10 01:47:43 PM  

Yaxe: However, surpringsly enough, it was the Russians who actually thought up the whole squad tactic, but the Germans who applied it (with the stormtrooper concept).


My favourite early application of squad tactics is the planned use of the first practical submachine guns ever developed. They were developed by the German army, and fired the same 9mm rounds as Luger pistols. But to save money and production time, instead of designing a new magazine, someone decided they should just use the mags for Lugers issued to artillery personnel -- drum-style mags, with 32 rounds, and which required a special tool to reload. The idea was to have small squads of stormtroopers with SMGs for clearing trenches -- but drum magazines are really bulky to carry, and to be effective with an SMG in that context you want a lot of bullets. So the brilliant plan was that for each group of several soldiers with SMGs, there'd be one guy following them with a wheelbarrow full of magazines.

Luckily for anyone in one of those units, I don't think they managed to actually put this into practice much before the war ended.
 
2012-04-10 01:48:06 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: The German soldiers of WWII used to complain about Americans and their artillery. Instead of sending a squad of men out to solve a problem, the Americans would call in numerous rounds of artillery. How does a German soldier close on a 105 mm round?


In Nazi Germany, 105 mm round closes on you!

/amidoingitright?
 
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