Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4th

This is the day, one hundred years ago, when Britain entered the European Crisis by declaring war on Germany following Germany's unsatisfactory response to a British Ultimatum that Belgium should remain neutral. On the Western Front following the First Battle of Ypres in October and November of 1914, the German General Von Falkenhayn, realized the stalemate, and told his masters that the only solution to stalemate would be a diplomatic solution.  His prescience was ignored, because leaders are usually testosterone driven Dickheads with the attention span of Fruit Fly.

The War became a war of attrition on the Western Front, and it was really a question of who had more men to send to their deaths in the trenches while maintaining sufficient stability at home, which Germany was unable to do, and it was this failure that resulted in an Armistice of 1918.  The British Army remained a volunteer force until January of 1916. By the end of the war the age of conscription in Britain had been raised to 51,  the average age of a battalion commander was 28, a Pilot in the Royal Flying Corps while at the Front  had an average life expectancy of around two weeks. 

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