Remembering the fallen...

galteeman

Ad Honorem
Apr 2008
2,198
Sodom and Begorrah
#31
Here are some not so glorious reasons for men going to fight in WW1 and for the existence of ww1 in the first place.

We are the toughest.
We are the British and we will kick the ass of the Hun. If you don't voluteer to fight you are a bloody coward. We are the Aussies and we will prove we are tougher than the English ponces etc. Us Canadians are more loyal than anyone else and we will prove it etc. Wtf was going on with the Scots, I mean they really must have had something to prove. Peer group pressure to enlist especially in the initial stages of the war must have been huge. If you didn't join up you would be denounced as a coward.

A bit of a holiday
It was also attractive no doubt to have a bit of adventure as opposed to starting a life sentence in some pit or mill doing some godawful miserable job and they worked long and hard back then .So it was also a selfish thing to enlist which gave you a status in the community and a break from the mundane, a bit of a holiday. After the first year or 2 this illusion had disappeared of but by then they had conscription.

Conscription
Only 1/4 of those eligable had volunteered by the end of the war which indicates that even back then with all the propaganda and lack of freedom of information most people weren't buying it. To me that proves that the government were full of **** and the people knew it.Once the truth became known of the horrors of France and the futility of the war volunteer recruits swiftly dried up so they introduced conscription in 1916. What glory for the poor conscript on a pittance wage sent to die in the pointless war. If he refused he will get hard labour or be shot by his own side. Enough sensible people in Australia, Ireland and Canada to prevent the crazies from forcing their fellow citizens off to die with them.

Get rid of the rabble.
'The sneer of cold command'
In the eyes of the ruling class the regular British troops were considered to be a low born rabble. They weren't even allowed to vote.They were paid a pittance too, less than 1/10th of what officers were paid and less than 1/5th of what dominion troops got. If they were slaughtered so what?, it would get rid of surplus population or some other notion that would cross their 100 years ago minds. There is evidence that on the German side that fears of Bolshevism spurred them on in order to get rid of the potential troublemaking classes by conscripting them off to war. Wasn't socialism on the rise in the UK at the time?.

Game of soldiers.
Freud had a theory that men have a primitive instinct that makes them enjoy killing. There are numerous accounts men expressing joy at the carnage and others of people treating it like a big hunt or form of sport. This line of Winston Churchill himself sums up this mindset and he was supposed to be one of the guys in charge ffs.
'I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it.'

Ww2 dead confused with ww1
All the dead of ww1 and ww2 are lumped together as glorious dead. Whereas in ww2 they had genuine bad guys for an enemy in Nazi Germany a case could be made that that war had to be fought for civilisation and that those who died are indeed glorious dead. Even if the ww2 dead were no better in their reasons for fighting than the ww1 dead at least they can be redeemed with hindsight. In ww1 there doesn't seem to be any way their deaths can be justified. It is unreasonable to call the ww1 dead glorious for all the above reasons.

Just some thoughts guys feel free to shoot them down which no doubt ye will.
 

avon

Forum Staff
May 2008
14,253
#32
Wars don't really solve anything anyway.
That's somewhat debatable. It might be said that wars do solve problems. Societal problems, international disputes, economic, ideological ... etc. etc. Didn't WWII solve the problem of Germany??

As long as there are people willing to die, there will be people more than willing to make them die.
Too true, sadly.
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
#33
That's somewhat debatable. It might be said that wars do solve problems. Societal problems, international disputes, economic, ideological ... etc. etc.
As the man said, "War is not the best way of settling differences; it is the only way of preventing their being settled for you."
 
Oct 2008
4,309
The Bright Center of the Universe
#37
Enough sensible people in Australia, Ireland and Canada to prevent the crazies from forcing their fellow citizens off to die with them.
I love how you refer to one of Australia's greatest leaders as a "Crazy":D. Anyway, I see where you are coming from and I agree. People should not have be forced to go to war if they do not want to. I am proud that my countrymen voted against conscription for the simple fact that they did not want others to have to experience what they experienced and this was just after Third Ypres
 

Rosi

Historum Emeritas
Jul 2008
6,242
#38
That's somewhat debatable. It might be said that wars do solve problems. Societal problems, international disputes, economic, ideological ... etc. etc. Didn't WWII solve the problem of Germany??
The victors impose their will on the losers. That's hardly called a solution. It lasts as long as it lasts. Who knows where Germany will go next, the WW2 isn't all that old. Still less the fall of the Berlin wall. These things take time to play out.
 

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