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www.dugout-ww1.com THE INTERNETS LEADING MAGAZINE OF WORLD WAR ONE HISTORY

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STURM-PIONIER-BATTALION “ROHR” ARTICLES

THE BATTLE AT HILL 70 HISTORY

THE WHIPPET TANK BIOGRAPHY

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA THE MAN, THE HISTORY, THE LEGEND… BONUS ARTICLES

AUTOMATIC MURDER ON THE WESTERN FRONT! VICKERS MACHINE GUN PLUS… FACTSHEETS: ALBOTROS D1 HMS DREADNOUGHT AMERICAN M6 TANK.

MACHINE GUN CORPS


JANUARY 2011

Contents Page This Month’s Articles              

Welcome Letter Book Review DVD Review Reenactment Group History of Sturm-Batallion Rohr N.5 Whippet Tank Lawrence of Arabia Mess Hut Vickers Machine Gun Holding of Hill 70 Machine Gun Corps Factsheet…Dreadnought Factsheet…American 6 Ton Tank Factsheet…Albatros D1

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Hi Fellow Enthusiasts Welcome to the next edition of Dugout WW1 This period saw some of the more exotic and defining units and figures of the First World War. In this issue, there is a bloody and remarkable story of one of the most famous man of WW1, Manfred Von Richtofen aka The Red Baron. This edition also includes one of the bravest black American units of the conflict, the 372nd ‘Red Hand’ Regiment. Further to this, a special article focuses on one of the most ingenious weapons of World War 1. My interest of the battles and campaigns that were fought with such brutality has been shown in this issue and I hope you find this issue as gripping as I do. Unlike printed copy magazines, this publication has interactive videos and a range of photographs that will give you a graphic insight into the lives of the people in World War 1. I hope you find this as passionate and interesting a subject as we do, Until the next issue

Stephanie and Simon editor@dugout-ww1.com www.dugout-ww1.com © Dugout-ww1 MMXI


B o o k R e v i e w

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John Lewis-Stempel’s book “Six Weeks: The short life of the British Officer in the First World War” takes a poignant look at the young men who, through bravery, following their older heroes and madness, led the masses who have become known as lions led by donkeys.

Despite post-war film portrayals of these young men as privately educated, upper class men, many were just normal boys who stepped without a doubt to their duty in the trenches. Overall the book is as much an emotional journey as it is historical. There is a lot of information on how the officers lived and died as well as the topic of poetry. In particular accounts such as men and officers having gardens and flower beds in the trenches show how men could find a small measure of peace in such a terrible conflict.

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(Click Image) On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the Great War ended. As with wars across the centuries, soldiers returned home and attempt to find order in their lives that were once filled with death, blood and tragedy. Max Arthur emotionally highlights that although for some it was a great time of joy, the majority of people faced severe hardships. Ultimately there are no innocents in war. For those who returned, some had physical disabilities whilst others had mental scars which would never be healed. Finally when all of the few were home, work was scarce and those and their families who had sacrificed so much found a bitter peace and deprivation in a so called “Land fit for heroes” promised by Lloyd George.

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D World War 1 in Colour-Complete TV series V(2003) D ’ s (Click Image) World War 1 in Colour is a Channel 5 documentary, made up of six 50 minute episodes, in cooperation with the Imperial War Museum. Initially designed to bring the Great War alive with the use of colour, the production shows the true cost of war.

There are moving

interviews with very elderly veterans and extracts from letters ad memoirs. All aspects of the war are covered including Land, Air and Sea. In particular 75% of the material has never been seen before on Television.

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WWI - The Bloody War (3-Disc Box Set) (2008)

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An excellent series charting some of The Great Wars’ most disastrous and inhumane wastages of life. The series, produced by the History Channel, comprises of three discs and is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Great War.

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In The Next Issue... Next Issue:  American Warbird Volunteers-Lafayette Escadrille  Manfred Von Richtofen “The Red Baron”  Factsheet†Renault FT 17  Factsheet†SE5.a  Factsheet†SMS Elbing  (Re-enactment Group)  Battle! Slaughter at Tafas  Weapon! Bergmann MP18-The World‟s first Submachine Gun  Mess Hut  Book Review  DVD Review  Mark IV „Male‟ Tank  Fokker DR.1

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Sturm Batallion Rohr Nr. 5

Sturm Batallion Rohr Nr. 5 was recreated in 1979 to participate in the second WW1 reenactment event held, at Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland. We are the second senior German unit in the Great War Association. The current Great War events are held at “The Caesar Krause Memorial Site” which is located in Newville, Pennsylvania. The GWA now owns the site and it has been transformed in to a realistic WW1 battlefield complete with

trenches, shell holes, dugouts and plenty of barbed wire. We have, on occasion, WW1 replica aircraft that perform dogfights and strafing runs on the trenches. Pyrotechnics are also utilized at events to simulate bombardments.

Sturm Batallion Rohr was chosen to be represented by us to recreate the classic Stormtrooper impression. Our goal is to accurately portray the German Stormtrooper in kit as well as action. Unlike the

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regular infantry units, Stormtroopers were equipped with carbines, long handled shovels, wire cutters, grenade bags, trench clubs, knives and assault packs. As the point of many assaults, our aggressive nature upon entering the enemy trench is essential in allowing the follow up infantry the ability to capture and hold sections of the trench. Our membership currently stands at 20. As with most reenactment units, the diverse makeup of the membership is plethora of backgrounds. We have businessmen, law enforcement, firemen, truck drivers, a dentist, a nurse, students, former military and just about everything career you can think of. Because of this with pride ourselves with having a great bond of comradeship that has lasted all these years. Our highest rank is Sergeant which eliminates any egos who dream of Officer Status. We work hard on our impressions

and our section of trench. Our dugout is typical of the behind the lines billets generally afforded to Storm Units.

Contact: Jim Michaud 18 Walnut Avenue Rockville Centre, New York 11570 Email: jjjrmich@aol.com Jim Samler 7 Van Alst Rd. Montgomery, New York 12549 Email: nsamler@hvc.rr.com

Http://www.5throhr-kbilr.com

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Sturm Batallion Rohr Nr. 5 History of Sturm Battalion Rohr Nr. 5 is best viewed on http://www.kaiserscross.com/4 0029/69301.html For the most detailed information available at this time. However, I’ll give you a short version compiled from numerous articles. Taking French Captain Laffargue’s pamphlet on newly developed assault tactics to the next level, Major Hermann Reddemann helped form the base plan for what was to be evolutionary tactics employed by German specialist troops in 1915. Official accounts of the war reveal the origins of a special Combat Engineer assault unit in May 1915 that came under command of Hauptmann Willi Rohr on August 8, 1915. Rohr organized his new unit (comprised of mainly Pioniers) into closely coordinated small groups heavily armed with machine guns, flamethrowers and hand grenades that were

trained to advance in short rushes from shell hole to shell hole. Unlike conventional infantry tactics, Rohr’s troops took advantage of the existing terrain for cover. The tactic of closely following a timed creeping barrage of artillery helped to afford the German assault troops the maximum amount of surprise when arriving at the enemy trench. Rohr’s Stosstruppen (shock troops or assault troops) were later called Sturmtruppen (storm troops) evoking the Germanic warriors of mythology. Specialized equipment and uniforms changed the look of the German soldier from the spike helmet wearing, sharply dressed parade ground soldat to a functional, practically equipped shock trooper. Sturm Batallion Rohr was the first unit to receive the M1916 steel helmet and was committed for the first time with great success in the Verdun battle front. Rohr’s unit was continually used during the

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battle and made impressive gains. Commanders from neighboring units asked for and got training in assault tactics. A directive from General Erich von Falkynhayn, OHL Chief of Staff, ordered selected unit leaders to report to Rohr for an intensive 2 week training course. They were then to go back to their commands and train their own men. In August 1916, General von Ludendorff replaced Falkynhayn as Chief of Staff and in September, visited the 5th Army commanded by Crown Prince Wilhelm on the Western Front. A welcoming Honor Guard comprised of Sturm Batallion Rohr in full assault gear and

steel helmets. Impressed by their look and battle honors, Ludendorff was impressed enough to revise current German Army battle tactics and to order all units trained in assault techniques. Sturm Batallion Rohr was utilized as a training unit to undertake the huge task of retraining all units in the West in these new and effective tactics. Rohr’s men were called back to the front on occasion and used numerous times in major offensives. The battle successes of Sturm Batallion Rohr Nr. 5 help evolve the outdated 19th battle tactics into strategy that is still used today in the modern military.

Jim Michaud (Sturm Batallion Rohr Nr. 5)

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The Whippet “Oh what a lovely War!” The „Whippet‟ or Medium Mark A Whippet was one of the key Allied Tanks of World War 1. Its initial role was to support the heavier and slower allied tanks by exploiting its speed and mobility. The whippet was responsible for more German casualties than any other allied armoured vehicle during the First World War. The concept of a fast tank was the brainchild of Col. Ernest D. Swinton, who was the „father‟ of armoured fighting vehicles. In February 1916, Colonel Swinton organised a presentation of the allies first tracked vehicle titled „little willie‟ before the British Governments Minister for Armament David Lloyd George and Commander in Chief Lord Kitchener.

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Birth of a weapon „Little Willie‟ weighed 16.5 tonnes, was 5.87 metres long, and had a width of 2.86 metres and a height of 2.51metres. In total, the height was 9 feet with dummy turret added. The prototype had a crew of six men and had a FosterDaimler Knight Sleeve valve petrol engine, which had a horsepower of 105 and two-speed forwards and one reverse final drive by Renolds chains. The vehicle had a top speed of 2mph. In terms of „Willies‟ armaments, its primary armament was a Vickers 2-pounder gun and had a secondary armament of 6 Madsen Machine Guns. Following the First World War, „Little Willie‟ was preserved and was saved from being scrapped in 1940. In the twenty-first century, „Little Willie‟ is displayed at the Bovington Tank Museum.

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Breaking the Deadlock By the trench warfare deadlock of 1916, a breakthrough was needed for the allies. The military required a faster and lighter armoured machine than the then standard tank. It was believed that such a machine should exploit the breakthrough in enemies‟ defences by the heavy tanks and cavalry. For the role envisaged, the typical length of a normal tank was not considered important but lightness and reduction in armour was favoured to maximise speed. Following the allied Somme offensive between July and November 1916, in which the allies lost over 100 tanks, the Tank Supply Department focused on the improvement of a weapon that had showed little progress in the battle. During the meeting on October 3rd 1916, William Tritton, who incidentally designed the Mark I tank, proposed the concept of an armoured vehicle that would became known as the „Whippet‟.

The „magic‟ of Tritton The initial design for a new tank was accepted on the 10th November 1916 and approved by the War office on 25th November 1916. Sir William Tritton of William Foster & Co. Ltd. of Lincoln undertook the design and manufacture of a prototype vehicle to meet the requirements, incidentally known as “Tritton‟s Light Machine” or “Tritton Chaser”, was

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completed by February 1917. Although named after him, Tritton renamed the vehicle “Whippet”. On March 3rd 1917, at the Oldbury training ground Mechanical Warfare Supply Department organised a demonstration of a Whippet Tank for military personnel of the General Staff. The performance of the Whippet was exceptional!, achieving a speed of 11.5kmh whereas a Mark I tanks top speed was only 5kmh. The following day, Sir Lawrence Kiggell, on behalf of Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, ordered the production of 200 whippets and first delivery by July 1917. In looking at the technical aspects of the „Whippet‟ tank, in looking at the compact designs, Tritton placed the crew behind the engine. In order to achieve sufficient power from the engines, which tanks needed as well as avoidance of the cumbersome gear change, twin Taylor commercial vehicle engines with their own clutch and gearbox were used. The two systems were joined at the cross shaft from where the final drive to the tracks was by chains to sprockets on either side. For steering the clutches joining the cross shaft were released and one or the other engines speeded up. In essence the turn being on the side opposite to that of the faster running engine. The subsequent steering effect could be increased by the use of the brakes on one engine or another. Although this was controlled by one man, it rested upon the skill of the driver ©Dugout-ww1 MMXI


as one or both engines could be stalled if care was not taken. In particular, to aid performance by decreasing track friction, rollers were introduced on the top of the tracks as well as a series of chutes along the sides to clear the mud.

Overall it proved impossible to control the speeds of the engines, causing the vehicle to take unexpected and unpredictable paths. Drivers became wary and stopped the vehicle, locked one track and slowly started again

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before every turn. Despite this action, many tracks broke as the movement was too abrupt. Another feature of this new type of tank was the fuel tank, which alarmingly was located in front of the hull. The whippet had a crew of three: a commander, a driver, and gunner, in some occasions a fourth gunner was taken in order to utilise the four machine guns. Further to this, at times, a machine gun was removed to give more room, as the machine guns could be moved between mountings. The whippet could cross 2 metre wide trenches, wade through 1 metre of water, pass over 0.7m high walls and climb slopes up to 40 degrees. The crews often eluded the confinements of the tank to that of a Turkish bath as, poor ventilation system, lack of light and high temperatures made conditions practically unbearable. In looking at the armaments, the whippets initial rotating turret was changed for a box shaped structure armed with four 0.303 French Hotchkiss machine guns and a total of 5400 rounds. The large number of guns was designed to balance the vehicle as the turret was removed. All these changes appears to have had a detrimental effect upon the performance of the vehicle as, Trittonâ€&#x;s Chaser weighed in total 12 tonnes whereas the Mark A Whippet now weighed 14 tonnes. Experimental work was taken out on the Whippet during its lifetime. Major Phillip Johnson, who was part of the Tank Corps workshops in France, began fitting the Whippets with leaf springs in 1918. Then later in 1918, Johnson fitted a Whippet with a sprung track roller. The end result being a speed of around 30mph was achieved. Other experiments included fitting Whippets with trailing wheels from Mark I tanks and attaching a climbing tail. It ŠDugout-ww1 MMXI


appears all of the modifications and variations were an attempt to improve the vehicles trench-crossing ability. The German Leichter Kampfwagen „Light Cavalry Tank‟ resembled the Whippet and was developed from December 1917. It also was a turret-less tank with the engine in front, but it was smaller and had thinner armour.

The first „Whippets‟ left the factory in October 1917, and two were delivered to F Battalion of the tank corps, who were the first unit to use them. In December 1917 the initial order of 200 was increased to 385; however this was later cancelled in favour of more advanced types. By March 1918, 3rd and 6th Tank battalions were equipped with 48 Whippets each.

Combat! The baptism of fire for the Whippets was in spring of 1918, during the Germans spring offensive known as

‘Kaiserschlacht’. The 3rd Tank battalion received Whippets in Bray-surSomme on March 21st 1918, at the very start of Kaiserschlacht Two days later the battalion was forced to withdraw destroying the newly delivered tanks which could not evacuate due to mechanical failures. During the offensive near Cachy, a single Whippet company of seven tanks wiped out two entire German

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infantry battalions, killing over 400 men. That very same day one Whippet was destroyed by a German A7V in the world‟s second tank battle. This is recorded as the only time the Whippet fought an enemy tank. In another sector of the front, Company X, detached from 3rd Tank Battalion, gained supremacy over German forces at Amiens. The company which was equipped with 7 Whippets, under the command of Capt. T. R. Price ordered his men to charge the enemy in line formation, through the enemy, stop and then return to friendly positions. The attack was executed with military precision and inflicted heavy casualties to the Germans. The losses inflicted upon the allies during the spring offensive were that high that plans to equip 5 Tank Battalions with 36 Whippets each had to be shelved. In the end, only 3rd Tank Brigade had Whippets, 48 in each of its two battalions (3rd and 6th Tank Battalion). Supported by other allied armoured units, the Whippets took part in the Amiens offensive of August 1918, which saw the destruction of German fighting spirit. The Whippet‟s broke through the German lines causing the loss of artillery in one sector of the battle.

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The Legend of the „Musical Box‟ Although the Whippet‟s had proved themselves, the cooperation of tanks and cavalry on the battlefield broke down. While advancing the Whippets could not keep pace with the cavalry and when the Whippets were attacked, the cavalry could not support them. Tanks of the 6th battalion gathered at Marcelcave in the evening of the first day of battle. From the original compliment of 48 tanks, 40 were still in running order. Whilst accounting for the losses, Whippet number 344 named „Musical Box‟ was missing. The story of this tank and its crew is the greatest single tank action of the entire war. The crew of Whippet number 344 under the command of Lt. C. B. Arnold performed the greatest mechanical cavalry charge of the war. Moving off at zero hour on the 8th August with the rest of the troops across that sector, they passed the railway at Villiers-Bretonneux and somehow became detached from the main force. Arnold became aware of a force of Mark V tanks and Australian Infantry under fire from German artillery. Arnold attacked without hesitation, first passing in front of the German guns and then to the rear peppering the gun positions with machine gun fire. The timely attack by Arnold allowed the Australian infantry to move forward. For the next 9 hours Arnold and his crew attacked German rear positions, infantry, and wagons. They dispersed a whole battalion of infantry in a camp between Bayonvillers and Harbonnieres, destroyed an observation balloon and a transport column of the German 225.Division. Following unremitting attack upon the Germans, the conditions inside Arnold‟s Whippet became so difficult that the crew used the mouthpieces of their gasmasks for breathing. The destruction of „Musical Box‟ came when the ©Dugout-ww1 MMXI


Germans cornered Arnoldâ€&#x;s tank and set it ablaze with artillery fire. Baling out of the burning wreck, the driver was shot and Arnold and the remaining crewman were taken prisoner.

(Whippet in action 1916-1918)

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VCâ€&#x;s During the course of the First World War, two Victoria Crosses were awarded to Whippet officers. The first was Lt. Sewell who on the 29th August, was leading an attack east of Favreuill when tank number A233 slipped into a deep shell crater, overturned and caught fire. Sewell got out of his tank and came to the aid of the stricken crew. Digging an entrance to the hatch which was embedded in the side of the crater, Sewell was able to get the crew to safety. However Sewell was shot whilst attempting to return to his tank. The second man awarded a VC was the commanding officer of the 6th Tank Battalion, Lt. Col West. On September 18th 1918 whilst reconnoitring on horseback, West came upon the front line at Lagincourt where the Germans were pressing a counter attack. British casualties were high and there was disarray and confusion. West rode his horse in front of the retreating British soldiers, under intense gunfire and rallied the troops. West was subsequently shot and died on the battlefield.

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Camouflage: The exact camouflage patterns of First World War tanks are hazy at best. The individual colour schemes used on the first tanks began to be replaced by dark Khaki brown by 1917. Surviving Whippet tanks appear to have had a colour scheme of green; however the exact shade is uncertain.

Markings: The use of nicknames for individual tanks was standard during the First World War, as it was during the second. Nicknames were mostly painted on the front of the tank. Call signs began appearing as markings during the First World War. In 1916 all A-Companies used call signs “C” and followed in numerical sequence. In particular national markings or ID bands were used at the end of the war. As a direct order from GCHQ, from June 1918, British tanks were ordered to have such stripes. This was a direct result of the Germans capturing and using allied tanks in the field. Thus, to avoid confusion, allied tanks were marked. The stripes colours ran white-red-white indicating that they were tanks of the cavalry corps. With regard to Whippet‟s, national markings were often put on the front of the vehicle. There are also examples of Whippet‟s carrying ID markings on engine covers.

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Post-War In the aftermath of the November armistice the Whippet continued to see action across the milito-politico countries of Europe. Whippets were sent to Ireland during the Anglo-Irish War (1913-1921) serving with the 17th Battalion, Royal Tank Corps. During Russiaâ€&#x;s Civil War (1917-1923) following the October Revolution, British Whippet tanks were sent with allied Expeditionary forces in support of the White Russians against the Bolsheviks

(White Russian Forces using Whippet tanks circa 1920)

In the midst of the political and military chaos of post-war Germany, allied tanks captured by the Germans were used extensively in the infighting between communists or supporters of communism and those forces on the right i.e. Freikorps.

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Renowned for their determination and brutality, the Freikorps used modern warfare methods i.e. Tanks, Flamethrowers and assault tactics to crush pockets of supporters of the left in cities such as Berlin, Munich and the Ruhr pocket. Even though the Germans believed the „Whippet‟ was the only allied tank worth copying, the German forces during and immediately after the war, never used them in combat. Although two whippets were captured by German forces, they were soon discarded as not being vital as the German LKII was being constructed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_-Jk0H5RWA Archive Footage of Whippet Tanks ▲

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Lawrence of Arabia "I deem him one of the greatest beings alive in our time... We shall never see his like again. His name will live in history. It will live in the annals of war... It will live in the legends of Arabia."-Winston Churchill Thomas Edward Lawrence or „Lawrence of Arabia‟, known professionally as T.E.Lawrence was one of the most iconic figures of the First World War. To this day, Lawrence has become a household name conjuring images of adventure, sweeping deserts and the image of a mysterious figure that has never been fully understood. Renowned for his liaisons with the warring Arab tribes against the Ottoman Empire, Lawrence became one of the leaders of the Arab revolt which began in 1916. Lawrence‟s image with the public was due in part to the great reportage of Lowell Thomas who, during the war photographed and filmed Lawrence on campaign in Palestine. Following the war Lowell toured the world showing and narrating his film “Allenby in Palestine” and “Lawrence in Arabia”, making both himself and Lawrence household names. In the wake of Arab nationalists after World War 1, Lawrence used his newly gained public fame to further

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support the promises made to the Arabs during the First World War, which were then betrayed by imperial powers.

The Great War In the summer of 1914, Lawrence was a university postgraduate who had travelled extensively throughout the Ottoman Empire. In travelling across the Middle-East, Lawrence became known to Turkish and German officials. Furthermore Lawrence came into contact with German and Ottoman technical advisors who were building the Berlin to Baghdad railway, which was designed to unify and solidify the Ottoman Empire. This contact with Central Power officials and the railway was to be a significant advantage to Lawrence in the coming years. Volunteering for the war effort, Lawrence was posted to the Intelligence Staff of the General Officer Commanding Middle-East based in Cairo. Lawrence‟s first-hand experience and travels of the Middle-East proved invaluable to the allies as the Foreign Office‟s Arab Bureau was set up to harness the resentment the native Arab tribes felt towards their Turkish overlords. The concept of a guerrilla campaign supported and financed by outside powers, supporting violence and action against the Turks, would ultimately divert the efforts and materials of Turkey away from Great Britain

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and her allies. The Ottoman cost of subjugating unrest would far outweigh the allies cost of sponsoring it. Between 1916 and 1918, Lawrence fought with and led Arab irregular troops, in extensive guerrilla operations against the forces of Turkey. Persuading the Arabs not to attack the Turks head on, Lawrence instigated Arab attacks on Turkeys supply route, the Hejaz railway. Lawrence‟s pre-war experiences with Turkey‟s vital railway allowed the Arab forces to maximise hit and run tactics which tied up Turkish troops, who were forced to protect the railway and its vital links.

„Sideshow of a sideshow‟ Aqaba! In the spring of 1917, Lawrence envisaged a joint attack of Hareth Arab forces and Howetat Arabs who were under the command of Auda Abu Tayi against the strategically located but lightly defended coastal town of Aqaba. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_777HdrgiTM Audas Camp ▲ On 6th July, after a surprise and monumentally thought attack, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and his forces. The attack and taking of Aqaba was seen as a great strategic success as the Turks believed that Aqaba could only be taken from the sea as the desert around Aqaba was impassable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7waPSdYH02k Attack on Aqaba ▲

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Following Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted Major and the new Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby saw the value and utilised Lawrence and his tactics. Following the war Allenby commented

“"I gave him a free hand. His cooperation was marked by the utmost loyalty, and I never had anything but praise for his work, which, indeed, was invaluable throughout the campaign." Throughout the rest of 1917, the Arab forces in conjuncture with the EEF gradually pushed back and caused irreparable damage to Turkey‟s war effort in the Middle-East. Despite this, the winds of politics were beginning to blow against the Arabs and their cause.

“A dangerous Man” In the final year of the war, Lawrence frantically sought to make good on the promises he made to the Arabs. The drive towards and capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war saw Lawrence promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and the creation of a provisional Arab government with Prince Feisal Ibn Hussein at its head. Despite all of Lawrence‟s efforts, all of his and the Arab gains in the last year of the war would come apart. During the closing year of the war, Lawrence sought, with success and failure, to convince the British High Command that Arab independence was in Britain‟s interests. Further to this he reminded both political and military figures of the “Hussein-McMahon agreements” which were signed between the British Government and Arab officials in 1915. The agreement stressed that if the Arabs forced Turkey out of the Middle-East with support

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from the allies, then the allies would guarantee an independent Arab state. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1WcbVE_DhU Arabs in Damascus â–˛ The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain and subsequent Balfour Declaration signed between Britain and Jewish representatives contradicted earlier promises made to the Arabs and ended the promises of Arab independence. The political and military upheaval strained all parties involved including Lawrence. Just prior to arriving at Damascus, the Arab army fell upon a retreating Turkish column and under orders from Lawrence massacred the Turks. Pictures of Lawrence taken in Damascus in 1918 show a physically and mentally strained man on the edge of sanity. (Lawrence in Damascus, 1918, showing evident physical and mental strain)

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(Map of Middle-East according to Sykes-Picot Agreement)

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“The Great Silence” In the Post-War Years, Lawrence worked as part of the Arab/Allied delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Prince Feisal‟s rule as King of Syria came to an abrupt end in 1920 as French forces under the command of General Mariano Goybet defeated Arab forces and entered Damascus. France‟s actions forever broke Lawrence‟s vision of an independent Arab Arabia.

(Arab delegation at Paris Peace Conference 1919) Left to Right: Rustum Haidar, Nuri as-Said, Prince Feisal Captain Pisani (rear), T.E.Lawrence, Feisal‟s slave, Captain Hassan Khadri

In the wake of the smash and grab of empires, the growth of Nationalism in Colonial empires and political dealings; Lawrence became embroiled in the Arabs determination to gain from the First World War. Between 1920 and 1922 both Lawrence and Gertrude Bell served as advisors to Churchill, who oversaw The Cairo conference which was organised to resolve factious issues between parties following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

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(Churchill pictured with his “40 Gertrude Bell and Lawrence at Conference)

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thieves” including Giza 1922, Cairo


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Vickers Machine Gun The Vickers Machine Gun or ‘Vickers’ is one of the most well-known machine guns of the twentieth century and ultimately the First World War. The name ‘Vickers’ refers to the water-cooled .303 machine gun produced by Vickers Limited between 1912 and 1968. Its long service in war, peace and civil administration has made it recognisable throughout the world.

Its distinct

shape has made it instantly recognisable in films such as Ghandi, Michael Collins and Lawrence of Arabia. In the beginning the Vickers design was based on the design of the Maxim Machine gun designed by Sir Hiram Maxim in the late 19th Century.

parts and substituting strength alloys.

Following the purchase of the Maxim Company in 1896, Vickers redrew and improved the design by removing all unnecessary weight in components made from high

Vickers new machine gun was formally accepted by the Army as its main machine gun in November 1912. Despite this, by the outbreak of war in 1914, there were shortages of

Vickers

machine

guns;

thus

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the

BEF

or

British


Expeditionary Force used both Vickers and Maxims in the early days of WW1. When war was declared in August 1914, Vickers was producing 12 machine guns per week. Demand was that high, that Vickers had to increase production. Overall in 1915 Vickers supplied the British armed forces with 2,405 guns.

The production had more than doubled by the

following year to 7,429. In total by 1918, 39,473 Vickers Machine guns were produced, seeing service in France, Russia, Palestine and East Africa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZyy-HSnOec Lawrence of Arabia Train attack scene ▲ Despite Vickers contribution to the war effort, Vickers Company was accused of profiteering from the war as they charged the British Government £175 per gun.

In

light of increasing government pressure, Vickers slashed the price to £80 per gun. The effectiveness of the Vickers was shown during the allied attack on High Wood on the 24th August 1916, as it is estimated that ten Vickers fired over one million rounds in the space of twelve hours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY2xgWnoCaw Overview of Vickers ▲ Throughout

the

First

World

War,

the

Vickers

was

superseded by the Lewis Gun, and as the Lewis was adopted as a light machine gun and issued to Infantry units, the Vickers was redefined as a heavy machine gun,

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withdrawn from Infantry units and grouped into the new Machine Gun Corps.

Specs: The weight of the Vickers varied depending on what gear was attached, however the main gun weighed between 2530lb and the tripod the gun was mounted on weighed between 40-50lb.

The 250 round ammunition boxes

weighed 22lb each, and the gun required 7.5 imperial pints of

water

in

its

evaporative cooling system to stop it from

overheating.

The resulting heat created firing,

when boiled

the

water in the jacket surrounding it. The result

was

that

steam was taken by a flexible tube to a condenser container. This system was beneficial because it avoided giving the location of the gun away and the water collected could be reused. The standard round for most British weapons of the First World War was the .303 inch round.

This type of round

was used in the Vickers, Lewis Gun and Lee-Enfield Rifle. In terms of the Vickers, 250 rounds were hand loaded into canvas ammunition belts. In particular there was also a 0.5inch

calibre

which

was

used

weapon. Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI

as

an

anti-aircraft


Furthermore, the

Vickers

as was

bought and used by other

powers,

Vickers

produced

various calibres to meet the demands of the buyer. The

gun

was 3ft

and 8 inches long (1.1m) and its rate of fire was between 450-600 rounds per minute. With skilled crews and practice, it was expected that 100,000 rounds could be fired per hour, and the barrel changed every hour.

The muzzle velocity of the Vickers

was 744m/sec and the effective range was 2,187yds (2,000m). The maximum range was 4,500yds (4,100m)

Use: The gun and tripod were carried separately, as both were heavy.

Although in its original design the gun was not

designed to be manhandled by its crew, the weapon was so popular that the crew were more than willing to manpack it through all terrain.

The tripod was placed to

create a firm base, and its legs were weighed down to counter the recoil. The water jacket would be filled with water and in some cases when water was not available, the crews would urinate into the jacket. The downside of this was that as the urine became heated it gave off a pungent smell and it corroded the inner lining of the barrel. Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


The Vickers generally required a crew of six or eight to operate and carry all the equipment. The loader sat to the gunners’ right and fed in the canvas belts. The firing mechanism would draw in the belt, push each round out of the belt and into the breach, fire it, and then eject the brass cartridge out of the bottom. The gunner was taught to place the two fingers of both hands on top of the firing grip and press the trigger with his thumbs.

The reason for this was the blowback

lever (circled just in front of the gunners’ right hand) would swing back at a high rate as each round was fired through the gun. If the gunner’s hands weren’t positioned properly, the lever would crack into his knuckles. © Dugout-ww1 MMXI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPv_f_aSyP4 Firing Vickers ▲ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcF7jwWkFMc Slow motion firing of Vickers ▲ The Vickers was utilised for indirect fire against targets up to a range of 4,500 yards. This so called ‘plunging’ fire was devastatingly used against trench systems, road junctions and formation points. In some cases an enemy location was zeroed in on during the day and attacked at night.

A white disc would be set up on a pole near the

MMG, and the gunner would aim for a mark on it, knowing that this corresponded to aiming at the distant target. The Vickers had a back sight with a tall extension for this very purpose. The Germans had a similar weapon, the MG 08, which had a separate attachment sight with a range calculator.

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PRIVATE HERBERT GEORGE COLUMBINE 9th Squadron (Cavalry) Born 28.11.1893 / Died 22.3.1918 Date of Gazette 3.5.1918 On 22nd March 1918 at Hervilly Wood, France, Private Columbine took over command of a gun and kept firing it from 9am to 1pm in an isolated position with no wire in front. During this time wave after wave of the enemy failed to get up to him, but at last with the help of a low flying aircraft the enemy managed to gain a strong foot holding in the trench. As the position was now untenable, Private Columbine told the two remaining men to get away, and although he was being bombed on either side, he kept his gun firing, inflicting losses until he was killed by a bomb which blew up him and his gun.

(Bronze bust of Columbine located in Marine Gardens Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex)

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LANCE CORPORAL HAROLD SANDFORD MUGFORD 8th Squadron (Cavalry) Born 31.8.1894 / Died 16.6.1958 Date of Gazette 26.11.1917 On 11th April 1917 at Monchy-LePreux, France, under intense fire, Lance Corporal Mugford got his machine gun into a forward very exposed position from which he dealt very efficiently with the enemy. Almost immediately his No.2 was killed and he was severely wounded. He was ordered to go to a new position and then have his wounds dressed but he refused, staying to inflict severe damage on the enemy with his gun. Soon afterwards a shell broke both his legs, but he still remained with his gun and when he was at last removed to the dressing station he was again wounded. "The infantry," said Private Finch, "had the order to take

the village at all costs and of course, they took the village all right, but by the time they got there they were very much thinned out and it fell to our lot to go into action, and hold the position. We lost nearly half our men in galloping into Monchy le Preux, and when we got there we had no ammunition. That put us back a bit and I found ammunition and got our gun into action.� Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


The holding of Hill 70: Canada‟s defiance against Germany‟s onslaught! The battle of Hill 70 was a minor engagement between the Canadian Corps and five superior divisions of the German sixth Army. The battle took place on the outskirts of Lens in the Nord-Pasde-Calais part of France between 15th August 1917 and 25th August 1917. In the 10 day slaughter for the hill the Canadian Corps inflicted an unknown number of wounded and killed upon the Germans, capturing 1,369 prisoners and suffering 9,198 killed or wounded. In total 6 Victoria Crosses were awarded to the Canadian Corps for their actions during the battle. The engagement is often forgotten as it falls between Canada‟s baptism of fire at Vimy Ridge and the attrition slaughter of Passchendaele. The objective of the assault was to inflict casualties and draw Germans from the Battle of Passchendaele. The Canadians executed a limited operation to quickly occupy the high ground at Hill 70, form defensive positions, and

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through small arms fire and artillery-repel German counterattacks. Much later, the Canadian Corps attempted to extend its positions into the city of Lens; however both sides remained locked in their positions.

(A group of Canadians, standing with mugs at a soup kitchen set up on boards "100 yards from Boche lines" during the push on Hill 70) The battle for Hill 70 witnessed the first uses of true modern warfare, gas warfare and assault tactics. Ultimately the goal of Canadaâ€&#x;s heroes was only partially accomplished. The Canadians were successful in preventing German formations from transferring men to Passchendaele, however failed to draw troops from other sectors.

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The beginning: The British First Army Commander, General Henry Horne, ordered the Canadian Corps to relieve the British First Corps from their position opposite the city of Lens on 10th July 1917. Horne then directed Arthur Currie, Commander of the Canadian Corps to develop and execute a plan to capture the city of Lens by the end of July.

The Battle: Arthur Currie regarded the heights of Hill 70 more of a tactical advantage than the city of Lens itself. To merely occupy the city whilst the Germans controlled the high ground was seen to be suicidal. At the initial briefing, Currie persuaded Horne to make Hill 70 the primary objective. The control of Hill 70 would provide excellent observation positions for the allies. Currie formulated that the Germans would counterattack if Hill 70 was captured, largely due to its observational significance. The observational significance, Currie believed, of Hill 70 would give the allies well directed and devastating artillery fire on the Germans. The initial plan was to quickly occupy the high ground, form defensive positions and wait for the counter attack!. The plan called for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions to attack on a front of 4,000 yards. Their objective was to capture the German positions occupying the eastern or reverse slope of Hill 70. The 1st Canadian Divisionâ€&#x;s 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack north of Hill 70 whilst the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack the summit. The 4th and 5th Infantry brigades of the 2nd Canadian Division would assault the rubble remains of the Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


suburbs of Cite St. Edouard, St. Laurent and St. Emile south of Hill 70 In order to give the Canadian‟s a chance; diversionary attacks were planned by the British First Army in the south of La Bassee Canal. Ultimately bad weather postponed the attack on the hill from late July till mid-August. In the „softening up‟ period, Royal Engineers fired a total of 3500 gas drums and 900 gas shells into Lens by the 15th August. Allied artillery neutralised 40 out of the estimated 102 batteries around Lens and allied troops were rotated through to the reserve area to receive and conduct training for the upcoming assault. Evidently these actions did not go unnoticed by the German High Command, which obviously made it impossible to conceal the allies‟ intentions and even the date of the attack. In order to counter the knowledge the Germans had, the allies misled the Germans by staging exercises with dummy tanks on the 14th August west of Lens. The assault on Hill 70 began at 4:25am on the morning of 15th August. Divisional field artillery executed a rolling barrage directly in advance of the assaulting troops while howitzers shelled German positions 400m in front of the rolling barrage and other German strongpoints were shelled. To counter the impending assault, the Germans had moved their reserve troops to the front line the night before in anticipation of an attack. From the start the Canadians were in trouble, at 3am the main body of Canadian troops were detected and within 5 minutes of © Dugout-ww1 MMXI


the assault commencing, the Germans brought down defensive but widely scattered artillery fire. In the wake of the rolling barrage and howitzer attack, the forward units of the German front line were overwhelmed. Within twenty minutes of the attack, both Canadian Divisions had reached their objectives. As of 6am the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade had reached the second objective line, whereas other Canadian elements had reached their final objective. Despite the initial success, only the flanking companies of the two battalions attacking the Hill had managed to reach their objectives. The remains of both units retreated and consolidated their position at a previous objective line. On the right flank of the 2nd Canadian Division, the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division sacrificed themselves in order to divert German fire from the main objective. Four hours from the start, the 4th Canadian division attempted to exploit the shock of the attack and drive towards Lens itself. This drive, although daring and brave, was unsuccessful as the Germans counterattacked and drove the Canadians back.

‘Sturm des Krieges’ (Storm of War) The Canadians knew how strategically valuable Hill 70 was to the Germans. Preparing for the expected st nd counterattack, the 1 and 2 Canadian Divisions began to reinforce whatever cover was available.

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(Canadians in Captured German trenches) Within two hours of the start of the battle, the Germans began to use their reserves to mount counterattacks. In the time between 7am and 9am of the 15th, the Germans launched four separate attacks against the Canadians holding onto Hill 70. Valiantly each attack was repulsed, in part due to forward artillery observers who zeroed in on German positions. At least one instance, the counter attack was only repulsed after engaging in hand-to-hand fighting. As battle raged over the Hill, the Germans brought up reinforcements, and in the next three days the Germans executed no less than 21 counter-attacks against the Canadians on the hill. A frontal assault against the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade on the afternoon of the 15th Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


August was ultimately a slaughter as the Canadians smashed the attacking Germans. Despite this, a German assault on the 4th Infantry Brigade was a success as the Germans recaptured Chicory Trench but which was recaptured later the same afternoon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJZttzblHFQ German counter attacks at Hill 70 â–˛ The morning of the 16th August was still. By the afternoon the Canadians attacked and captured the remainder of its final objectives.

Like the previous day, the attack was

lightening quick, successful and was counter-attacked on several occasions by the Germans.

Between the 16th and 18th of August the 4th and 11th Infantry Brigades attempted to destroy a German Salient positioned between Cite St. Elisabeth and Lens failed with heavy casualties. By the 17th the German High Command realised that to successfully beat the Canadians, allied artillery would have to be destroyed.

Thus a series of

storm attacks against a chalk quarry under Canadian control outside of Cite St. Auguste were planned.

The

plan was to also wear down Canadian artillery resources by sending up falsie flare signals and provoking the Canadians into unnecessary shelling. The slaughter at Hill 70 saw Germany employ its most deadly gas agent to date, Mustard Gas.

Between the

region of 15,000 and 20,000 new Mustard Gas shells were fire during the ten days of slaughter. The Canadian 1st and 2nd Artillery Field Brigades and the Canadian front line Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


were heavily shelled with gas shells. The Germans used Gas as a cover for a number of attacks on the Canadian held

Chalk

quarry.

The

Germans

also

employed

„Sturmtrooper‟ tactics and flamethrowers and were able to break the Canadian line north of the quarry on the morning of the 18th before being pushed back.

„Yellow Cross Death‟ The most widely used and possibly the most effective chemical gas used during World

War

one

was

Mustard Gas, which was introduced by Germany in July 1917, just prior to the

battle

Passchendaele. Germans

marked

of The their

shells yellow for Mustard and Green for Chlorine and Phosgene. named

Mustard

shells

Yellow

Cross as to the colour on the shell casing. Mustard was known to the British

as

whereas

HS

the

or

„Hun

French

Stuff‟,

called

it

„Yperite‟. Although not a particularly effective killing agent, Mustard Gases best trait was the harassment of the enemy and the pollution of the battlefield.

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The Germans


Delivered by artillery shells, mustard gas was heavier than air so it sank to the ground as an oily liquid resembling sherry. Once into the soil, Mustard Gas remained active for days, weeks and even months. The most horrific effects of Mustard Gas appeared on the human body, whereas Chlorine filled the lungs with fluid and Phosgene burnt the lungs, Mustard caused internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes. Furthermore the skin of the victim blistered, their eyes became sore and they began to vomit. Most victims had to be strapped to their stretchers as the wounds were extremely painful. One nurse, Vera Brittain wrote:

“I wish those people who talk about going on with this war whatever it costs could see the soldiers suffering from mustard gas poisoning. Great mustard-coloured blisters, blind eyes, all sticky and stuck together, always fighting for breath, with voices a mere whisper, saying that their throats are closing and they know they will choke.” (Brittain, Vera (1933). Testament of

Youth: An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900-1925. New York: The Macmillan Company.)

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Push on Lens! Following the German counter-attacks for the high ground and the appalling fighting for the quarry, the Canadian Corps consolidated their positions.

The frontline was

withdrawn,

middle

midway

between

the

and

final

objective lines and the 4th division advanced its forward units to the outskirts of Lens. Despite all the sacrifices of the Canadians to that date, the British High Command asked for more of the Canadians.

An

attack,

scheduled

for

the

morning of the 21st August planned German

1917, to

was

attack

positions

along a 3,000 yard front directly opposite the 2nd and 4th Canadian Divisions. The attack was planned to begin at 4.35am however German artillery shelled the Canadian positions at 4.00am. In the ensuing chaos, both sides met in No-Mans-Land between their respective objectives and bitter hand to hand combat ensued.

In the maelstrom of death and

gunfire, the Canadian 6th Brigadeâ€&#x;s advance collapsed. Furthermore communications were cut between forward and advancing units and headquarters.

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Savage German counter attack, forced any units of the 6th Infantry Brigade to retreat to their original positions. The 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade did little better. Carnage of Canadian lives ensued as heavy German artillery and machine gun fire withered Canadian numbers.

The two

units of the 10th which had managed to reach their intended objective didnâ€&#x;t do so until the late evening. As a result, the Canadians only partially got to their objectives and hardly made a dent in the German lines.

A further

attack was planned on the 22nd in order to rectify the mistakes

of

the

previous

day,

however

due

to

misunderstandings at battalion level the attack failed to materialise. A reserve Brigade unit was literally sacrificed in order to attempt to rectify the situation.

Overall the

attack proved to be a costly failure as the majority of the attacking

Canadians

were killed,

wounded

or

taken

prisoner. By the end of the carnage, the disputed scrap of ground was in German hands and remained in German hands until the end of the war.

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The quiet before the storm: The remaining days of August, September and October were quiet as the Canadian Corps rested and prepared itself for another offensive. No further offensive around Lens materialised as the British First Army lacked sufficient supplies. The Canadian Corps was merely transferred from one level of hell to another as the Corps was ordered to the Ypres sector in preparation for the second battle of Passchendaele. Although the Canadian Corps failed to objectively take Lens, the Canadians had took and held Hill 70 in the face of bloody German onslaughts. For their heroic action, six men of the Canadian Corps were awarded the Victoria Cross. In addition to the VC, three DSOs, 7 MC, 9 DCMs and 60 MMs were earned by the 10th Battalion, giving the 10th Battalion the distinction of receiving more medals than any other Canadian combat unit in a single action in the course of the First World War.

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VC‟s Private Harry Brown 1898-1917 Harry Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Hill 70 on the 16th August 1917. Brown and another soldier were running the gauntlet with important dispatches, when Brown was mortally wounded. He died of his injuries the following day. The citation reads

“For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer. He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying ' Important message.' He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later. His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties”.

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Okill Massey Learmonth 1894-19th August 1917 On the 18th August 1917, during a determined German counter attack, Learmonth devoutly stood in the path of the German advance. The citation reads

“For most conspicuous bravery and exceptional devotion to duty. During a determined counterattack on our new positions, this officer, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later, he carried on a tremendous fight with the advancing enemy. Although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, bombed the enemy continuously and directed the defence in such a manner as to infuse a spirit of utmost resistance into his men. On several occasions this very brave officer actually caught bombs thrown at him by the enemy and threw them back. When he was unable by reason of his wounds to carry on the fight he still refused to be carried out of the line, and continued to give instructions and invaluable advice to his junior officers, finally handing over all his duties before he was evacuated from the front line to the hospital where he died.�

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(Map showing sector of Front including Lens and Vimy Ridge) Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


Machine Gun Corps

In 1914 the tactical and military use of the machine gun was unappreciated by the British military.

Subsequently

the British Army went to war in the summer of 1914 with its infantry units and cavalry units having a small machine gun section of only two guns a piece.

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In November 1914 a technological development of the machine gun was introduced in the form of the Motor Machine Gun Service which was administered by the Royal Artillery.

The unit comprised of motor cycle

machine gun batteries.

Further to this, a machine gun

school was opened in France.

A

gruelling

year of war on the

western

front proved to military analysts

that

machine

guns

had to be used more effectively and used in larger units. The subsequent Machine Gun Corps of the British Army was formed in October 1915 in response to the demand of war. The Corps consisted of Infantry, Cavalry and motor machine gun units.

In particular a heavy

branch of the corps were the first to use Tanks in action, and subsequently that section of the Machine Gun Corps was designated the Tank Corps later called the Royal Tank

Regiment.

A depot and

training centre

was

established at Belton Park in Grantham, Lincolnshire and a base depot at Camiers in France.

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In terms of the internal working of the Machine Gun Corps, the Infantry Branch was by far the largest and at the beginning formed by battalion machine gun sections which then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and then grouped into Brigade Machine Gun companies. As the Corps developed, new units were raised at Grantham, and in 1917 a fourth company was added to each division.

In the beginning of 1918, the four

companies

each

of

division

formed

battalions.

With regard to cavalry units, the Machine Gun elements of the

unit

were

grouped

into

Brigade

Machine

Gun

Squadrons. The motorised elements of the Machine Gun Corps formed several units which included motor cycle batteries, light armoured motor batteries and light car patrols. One of the Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


most well-known vehicles of World War one which utilised the Vickers Machine Gun was the Rolls Royce Armoured Car.

(The heavy branch of the Machine Gun Corps had the honour of manning the first tanks in action at Flers at the battle of the Somme in 1916) Throughout the four years of war, the Machine Gun Corps saw action in all theatres of war, including France, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Salonika, East Africa and Italy.

Garnering a heroic, adventurous and enviable

reputation, the Machine Gun Corps gained a record for heroism as a front line fighting force. In the latter part of the war, as tactics changed from attack to stalwart Š Dugout-ww1 MMXI


defence, the Machine Gun Corps served well in advance of the Front line. In the aftermath of the Great War, the Machine Gun Corps was re-organised as many of its officers and men returned to civilian life. Despite this, the Corps continued to see action during the Russian Civil War, Anglo-Irish War and subsequent Irish Civil War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. Whilst facing civil war and growth of nationalism within the British Empire, the Machine Gun Corps served well in the occupation of Germany between the armistice and the Paris Peace conference. The corps training and equipment made it ideal for small garrisons to control large populations. The sad demise of the Machine Gun Corps came in the cost cutting years of the early twenties. By 1920 the headquarters of the Corp in Belton Park was closed and the war office sought to close or dispose of many of the buildings. The Corps was disbanded in 1922 as a costcutting measure.

(„Black and Tans‟, Corner of Parliament Street-Dublin, November 12th 1920)

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VCâ€&#x;s and Notables: Captain Kermit Roosevelt born 1889, died 1943, was the son of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. A graduate of Harvard University, Kermit was a noted explorer and soldier who served in both World Wars. During the First World War Kermit joined the British Army in order to participate in the Mesopotamian Campaign. During his service he was attached to the 14th Light Armoured Motor Battery of the Machine Gun Corps. Despite his active service and desire to be part of the action, the British High Command decided his life was too valuable thus making him an officer in charge of transport. Despite the transfer, Roosevelt was bold, daring and courageous like his father. He was awarded the Military Cross on 26th August 1918. During 1918 Kermit transferred to the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) following Americas declaration of war.

(Kermit Roosevelt, explorer, author, and soldier, accompanied his father, Theodore Roosevelt on several expeditions to Africa and the Amazon)

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PRIVATE HERBERT GEORGE COLUMBINE Private

Herbert

George

Columbine

attached to the 9th Squadron of the Machine Gun Corps was posthumously gazetted the Victoria Cross for the following action. During the onslaught of Germanys final spring offensive in 1918, on March 22nd of that year Private Columbine took command of a Vickers

Machine

Gun

at

Hervilly

Wood. From 9am to 1pm, Columbine, isolated

and

protection, advancing Germans.

without

barbed

continuously

fired

wire at

During the four hour engagement,

wave after wave of German infantry attempted to assault his position, without success. Despite Columbines valiant efforts, the Germans with the help of air support managed to gain a footing in Columbines trench.

Understanding

their position was compromised, Columbine ordered the two remaining men to withdraw, and although being attacked on both sides, kept his gun firing, inflicting bomb

heavy

from

a

losses German

until

a

aircraft

scored a direct hit and killed him. (Columbine was formally gazetted VC on 3rd May 1918)

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Casualties and Remembrance: In total 170,500 officers and men served in the Machine Gun Corps during the First World War.

Of the 170

thousand, 62,049 were casualties of war, including 12,498 killed.

Due to the appalling losses in action the Corps

earned the nickname „the Suicide Club‟. The Machine Gun Corps Memorial, also referred to as The Boy David, is a memorial to the casualties of the Machine Gun Corps during the First World War.

The memorial is

topped with a nude statue of young David which was sculpted by Francis Derwent Wood in 1925. Either side of young David is a Vickers Machine Gun encased in bronze and

laurel

wreathed.

The

memorial

proved

to

be

controversial as did Wood‟s sculpture entitled “Canada‟s Golgotha”. Although originally erected next to Grosvenor Place, it was dismantled afterwards due to road works and finally re-erected in 1963 at the central section of Hyde Park Corner.

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Mess Hut ‘Trench Stew’  2 Carrots  1 Turnip  ½ tin of corned Beef (bully beef)  ¼ Stock Cube  1 or 2 biscuits  1 pint of water Put the water onto boil and slice up the carrot and turnip. Once water is boiling add diced vegetables. Add the stock, stir and leave for 10 minutes. Then mash up the corned beef (bully beef) and add to the mixture. Finally add the biscuits (optional) and stir. This WW1 recipe is based on the recollections of British Army veterans who served in the trenches. The availability of hot ready food at the frontline was erratic at best. Soldiers who had portable stoves, or any cooking implements, would boil up any food readily at hand including stale biscuits/bread and/or add canned food to the stew.


‘Belgium Put The Kibosh On The Kaiser’ http://www.worldonewar.com/songs/Mark_Sheridan__Belgium_Put_The_Kibosh_On_The_Kaiser.mp3 A silly German sausage Dreamt Napoleon he'd be, Then he went and broke his promise, It was made in Germany. He shook hands with Britannia And eternal peace he swore, Naughty boy, he talked of peace While he prepared for war. He stirred up little Serbia To serve his dirty tricks But naughty nights at Liege Quite upset this Dirty Dick. His luggage labelled 'England' And his programme nicely set, He shouted 'First stop Paris', But he hasn't got there yet. For Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser; Europe took the stick and made him sore; On his throne it hurts to sit, And when John Bull starts to hit, He will never sit upon it any more. His warships sailed upon the sea, They looked a pretty sight But when they heard the bulldog bark They disappeared from sight. The Kaiser said 'Be careful, If by Jellicoe they're seen, Then every man-of-war I've got Will be a submarine'. We chased his ship to Turkey, And the Kaiser startled stood, Schratch'd his head and said 'Don't hurt,

(Alf Ellerton)


You see I'm touching wood';

Then Turkey brought her warships Just to aid the German plot, Be careful, Mr Turkey, Or you'll do the Turkey Trot. Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser; Europe took the stick and made him sore; And if Turkey makes a stand She'll get gurkha'd and japanned, And it won't be Hoch the Kaiser any more. He'll have to go to school again And learn his geography, He quite forgot Britannia And the hands across the sea, Australia and Canada, the Russian and the Jap, And England looked so small He couldn't see her on the map. Whilst Ireland seemed unsettled, 'Ah' said he 'I'll settle John', But he didn't know the Irish Like he knew them later on. Though the Kaiser stirred the lion, Please excuse him for the crime, His lunatic attendant Wasn't with him at the time. For Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser; Europe took the stick and made him sore; We shall shout with victory's joy, Hold your hand out, naughty boy, You must never play at soldiers any more. For Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser; Europe took the stick and made him sore; On his throne it hurts to sit,


And when John Bull starts to hit, He will never sit upon it any more.

This quick tune was a very popular and patriotic song of the First World War.

It was wrote in 1915 by Mark

Sheridan and gives reference to the initial 1914 campaign in Belgium where the small B.E.F managed to delay the German army, wrecking Germanys schlieffen plan which depended on advancing on France and capturing Paris in a matter of weeks.


‘Mademoiselle from Armentieres’ http://www.worldonewar.com/songs/Jack_Charman__Mademoiselle_From_Armentieres.mp3

Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, She hasn't been kissed in forty years, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? She had the form like the back of a hack, When she cried the tears ran down her back, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? She never could hold the love of man 'Cause she took her baths in a talcum can, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? She had four chins, her knees would knock, And her face would stop a cuckoo clock, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? She could beg a franc, a drink, a meal, But it wasn't because of sex appeal, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? She could guzzle a barrel of sour wine, And eat a hog without peeling the rind, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo.


The MPS think they won the war, Parley-voo. The MPS think they won the war, Parley-voo. The MPS think they won the war, Standing guard at the café door, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. The officers get the pie and cake, Parley-voo. The officers get the pie and cake, Parley-voo. The officers get the pie and cake, And all we get is the bellyache, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. The sergeant ought to take a bath, Parley-voo. The sergeant ought to take a bath, Parley-voo. If he changes his underwear The frogs will give him the Croix-de-Guerre, Hinky-dinky, parley-voo. You might forget the gas and shells, Parley-voo. You might forget the gas and shells, Parley-voo. You might forget the groans and yells But you'll never forget the mademoiselles, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Mademoiselle from Armentieres, Parley-voo? Just blow your nose, and dry your tears, We'll all be back in a few short years, Hinky, dinky, parley-voo. “Mademoiselle from Armentieres” was another popular song sung during the First World War. It was also known by its French line “Hinky Dinky Parley Voo”. It was considered a sexy song, and when later sung on radio and TV only the first verse was sung. The tune of the song is originally thought to be a popular song of the French army in the 1830‟s. The original lyrics told of the raunchy encounter of an inn-keeper‟s daughter, named Mademoiselle de Bar le Luc, with two German officers. The tune was later resurrected during the


Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and again in 1914 when the B.E.F „Old Contemptiblesâ€&#x; became aware of it.


Six Ton Tank M1917  Armament: One 37mm cannon or one colt 7.62mm machine-gun.  Armour: 17mm  Crew: 2  Dimensions: Length - 5m; Width - 1.9m; Height - 2.3m  Weight: 6.4 tons  Power Plant: Budha HU modified 4cylinder water cooled 42hp.  Speed: 8km/h 5.5mph  Range: 48km 30 miles (on road). The Franco-American Six Ton Tank (or Special Tractor) M1917 was an American variant of Renault’s FT17.

The initial design was

accepted by the US army in October 1918.

In total, between

October 1918 and 1919, America ordered approximately 4,400 tanks.

However, of those 4,400 ordered units, only 950 were

delivered before the contract was cancelled. In particular, no US manufactured tank reached the Western Front in time to take part in WW1.

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Of the 950 produced, 374 had cannons, 526 had machine guns and 50 were used as signal tanks. The tank was lengthened and updated compared to the French model.

The engine was a 100hp Franklin engine which was an

electric self-starter rather than a crank starter. The crew, driver and gunner, were separated from the engine by a bulkhead. Steel wheels were fitted as well as a turret which had 360 degree rotation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv6Iyaghpes (US 6 Ton Tank) â–˛

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HMS Dreadnought Cost: £1,672,483 (excluding armament) Built: 1905–1906 In service: 1906–1919 In commission: 1906–1919 Ordered: 1905 Builder: HM Dockyard, Portsmouth Laid down: 2 October 1905 Launched: 10 February 1906 Commissioned: 2 December 1906 Decommissioned: February 1919 Fate: Scrapped 1923 General characteristics: Displacement: 18,120 long tons (18,410 t) (normal load) 20,730 long tons (21,060 t) (deep load) Length: 527 ft (161 m) Beam: 82 ft 1 in (25.0 m) Draught: 29 ft 7.5 in (9.030 m) (deep load) Installed power: 23,000 shp (17,000 kW)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgrBL0zjYZU

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Propulsion: 4 shafts, Parsons direct drive steam turbines 18 Babcock & Wilcox water-tube boilers Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) Range: 6,620 nautical miles (12,260 km; 7,620 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) Complement: 700–810 Armament: 5 × 2 - BL 12-inch Mark X guns 27 × 1 - 12-pdr 18 cwt Mark I guns 5 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes Armour: Belt: 4–11 in (102–279 mm) Deck: .75–3 in (19–76 mm) Barbettes: 4–11 in (102–279 mm) Turrets: 3–12 in (76–305 mm) Conning tower: 11 in (279 mm) Bulkheads: 8 in (203 mm) For a vessel which was designed to combat other capital ships, Dreadnoughts only action was the ramming and sinking of U-29, captained by K/Lt Otto Weddigen, on March 18th 1915. U-29 had broken the surface immediately ahead of Dreadnought after firing at HMS Neptune; Dreadnought gave chase and sliced the submarine in two. Incidentally Dreadnought almost collided with HMS Temerairre who was also attempting to catch the U-Boat. She was refitting between April and June 1916 and missed the battle of Jutland, which was the most significant naval engagement of the entire war. Dreadnought became the flagship of the 3rd Battle Squadron on 9th July 1916 and was based at Sheerness as part of a force designed to counter shore bombardment. She returned to the Grand Fleet in March 1918, resuming her role as Flagship of Fourth Battle Squadron, however she was paid off in July 1918 to begin another refit. Finally placed in reserve in February 1919.

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Albatros D1      

Crew: one pilot

Gross weight: 898 kg (1,809 lb)

Length: 7.40 m (23 ft 3.5 in) Wingspan: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in) Height: 2.95 m (9 ft 8 in) Wing area: 22.9 m² (247 ft²) Empty weight: 645 kg (1,422 lb)

 Performance     

Maximum speed: 175 km/h (110 mph) Endurance: 1.5 hours Service ceiling: 3,000 m (9,840 ft) Rate of climb: 2.8 m/s (547 ft/min) o Armament 2 × forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 Machine Guns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1vWb_OVBE0 Albatros Biplane WW1 ▲ The German Albatros D.I was one of the most famous fighters of WW1. Although its career was short, it spawned a series of Albatros

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variants which formed the majority of German and Austrian squadrons for the last two years of the First World War. Initially designed by Robert Thelen, R. Schubert and Gnadig; it was ordered and introduced in 1917 in response to the latest allied fighters such as Nieuport 11 and the Airco D.H.2 The Albatros used a plywood panelled fuselage, which although was stronger and lighter, gave a more aerodynamic shape. Furthermore it was cheaper to manufacture. Due to the installation of 150hp Benz Bz.III or a 160hp Mercedes D.III inline engine, the Albatros became the most powerful aircraft the German air force had to date. Although not very manoeuvrable, the Albatros was compensated by its Superior speed and firepower, and it quickly came to be loved by such aces as Richtofen and Boelcke. By November 1917, a total of 50 D.I aircraft were in service. Replacing the earlier Fokker and Halberstadt types, ultimately the introduction of the Albatros gave real firepower and bite to Germany’s new fighter squadrons.

http://freercplans.com/img-albatros-d1-3803.htm Link to JPEG ▲

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“DEKKO’S” ROW  Supplier

This site retails excellent reproduction and original documents from the Third Reich.

 Supplier

An excellent specialist supplier of British Militaria between 1914-1965


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Website retailing reproduction and original firearms and technical parts

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Website supplying American Civil War, World War 1 and World War 2. Website includes U.S, German and British items for Air Force, Navy and Army. Items varying from field gear to insignia.


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Quality site that gives detailed information on the restoration and reproduction of German helmets from both World Wars.

A site that is dedicated to the fixtures and fittings of World War 1 helmets, the site also retails excellent quality reproduction trench watches-items generally seen in modern depictions as worn by Officers.

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“DEKKO’S” ROW

This site specialises in reproduction German, Italian and Imperial Japanese Militaria items from both world Wars.

Reenactor.net is an online advert, blog and discussion site, focusing on reenacting history from Ancient period to Post World War 2.

This site focuses on reproduction items and uniforms from the First World War and Second from countries such as America, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Britain and France

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“DEKKO’S” ROW

Original and reproduction German Militaria items.

Reproduction civilian and military boots dating from early 18th century too World War 2.

This website focuses on reproduction World War 1 and 2 German military items, from uniforms to personal items.

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