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Countdown to First World War anniversaries coming up in 2015


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Centenary News looks ahead to some of the major First World War anniversaries which will be remembered in 2015.

Among them:

Second Battle of Ypres

Przemyśl battles

Lusitania sinking

Italy declares war / Isonzo Front opens

Dardanelles/Gallipoli

Which battle/event interests you most? About which battle/event do you think the biggest GMIC discussions will occur?

I've always been interested in the Isonzo Front. So, I'll be looking to read more and have discussions about that part of the war this year.

Second would be the KuK Army and the Russians at Przemyśl.

Edited by IrishGunner
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May 9... first day of the 2nd Battle of Artois ... French attempt to take Hill 140 (later to be known to others as Vimy Ridge).

My great grandfather, Ernest Hauser, was wounded in the initial assault.

He was 17, Swiss, and served with French Foreign Legion.

Beginning of a long career in the Legion. Check out the French page (French Foreign Legion Medal group - thread) for lots more info on him.

I only met him once in 1982. He showed me the bullet hole in his leg form the battle.

As a 7 year old it made a big impression.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am sure there will be a lot of interest in Gallipoli this year and I expect to see a lot about it on the TV etc...

Back in 2013 I briefly looked into going to the anniversary as an average tourist and not an organised RSL trip or similar. Almost everywhere was already fully booked and flights were a problem too.

Tony

Edited by Tony
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Being Australian, 2015 will focus upon the Gallipoli campaign.  Happily, it has kicked off with what looks like a historically correct version of the landing at Anzac.  Ashmead Bartlett NEVER landed at Anzac yet managed to get his imaginative rendition of 'shot and shell' published and popularised around Australia and in the minds of thousands of school children.  CEW Bean landed four hours after sunrise and consistently corrected the record and said the landing was relatively unopposed.  The new TV series "Gallipoli" has told this version.

 

I am always amazed that Australians regard the landing as a shambles.  All modern research indicates we landed where Birdwood and Bridges wanted the troops.  Fisherman's Hut would have been a slaughterhouse.  They choose this cove because you wouldn't send a dog up it and the Turks had it very lightly defended. Birdwood, quite rightly for a Brit., fully understood the nature of his 'colonial' Anzac's and knew they could conquer anything.

 

How close?  If the leading elements had been reinforced and provided with ammunition, they would have seized the Vital Ground that dominated the strait and the peninsula.  The campaign would have been over on the night of the first day.  Sadly, the turning point was the arrival of Mustafa Kemal who made his men fix bayonets and take up firing positions even though they had no ammunition.  He reasoned that the Anzacs would go to ground and they did.  The momentum was lost.  Kemal's regiment arrived and the campaign was lost.

 

An excellent program to watch is "Gallipoli from the Air".  Explains all of the work put into selecting Anzac Cove. Also the Australian War Memorial magazine, War Cry, had a series of articles that provided proof of this planning.

 

I look forward to the truth finally being told.  Not a disaster and poor planning but a bold gamble with risks calculated fully in keeping with the spirit and elan that typified the Anzacs in WW1.

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Maa'aate,

 

We shouldn't be too tough on the Brits either.  The River Clyde experiment at Cape Helles was worth a try.  People forget that this was the first real attempt to land on a hostile shore for almost two thousand years.  Yes, Julius Caesar and Emperor Claudius got ashore, but there is a slight difference between Celts with swords and Turks with Maxim machine guns.

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I'm still reading about the Germans through Belgium gents. The '15 battles should be interesting but Nov-Dec '14 Eastern Front was important most of us westerners forget about them, I do.

Last night I took a break from the West and read about the battles of Lódz and the importance of Limanowa-Åapanów which could have taken the Austrians out the war....there is sooo much to read about that's for sure.

 

Eric

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  • 2 weeks later...

I understand your forward planning.  I have planned to take long service leave to be at Villers-Bretonneux in 2018.

 

On 24 April, the Germans captured Villers-Bretonneux- which just a few weeks earlier the Australians had fought so hard to defend. The town's defence had been given over to British troops while the Australian divisions regrouped. The enemy attack was spearheaded by tanks which pushed through the British defences. This battle was unique in that it was the first involving tank-against-tank fighting, demonstrating the significance that tanks had increasingly come to assume in 1918.

 

Orders for the immediate recapture of Villers-Bretonneux were met with a plan to launch an attack by two brigades, the 13th and the 15th. The unconventional night attack began on the 24th. One brigade approached from the north and one from the south, meeting at the village's eastern edge, thereby surrounding the Germans and driving them from Villers-Bretonneux and the adjacent woods.

 

After the Anzac Day counter-attack, British and French commanders lavished praise upon the Australian soldiers who took part, Brigadier-General George Grogan, a witness, later wrote that it was "perhaps the greatest individual feat of the war", for troops to attack at night, across unfamiliar ground with only short notice, and no artillery preparation.

 

These factors had proved essential to the Australian success. Foch spoke of their "astonishing valiance [sic]..." and General Sir Henry Rawlinson attributed the safety of Amiens to the "...determination, tenacity and valour of the Australian Corps".

 

How can any true Australian not want to visit this place on the 100th anniversary of the battle.

Edited by aussiesoldier
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