By Peter Barton
When the conflict raged throughout Flanders fields, an both frightening and infrequently extra risky conflict happened underground. "Beneath Flanders Fields" tells the tale of the tunnellers' battle, which nonetheless continues to be the most misunderstood, misrepresented and mystifying conflicts of the good warfare. A wealth of private stories exhibit the engineering, expertise and technological know-how at the back of how this such a lot excessive of battles was once fought - and received. They communicate of the way the tunnellers lived a continuing life within the depths of the battlefield for nearly and a part years, enduring actual and psychological stresses that have been frequently extra severe than their infantry opposite numbers. Their lives have been decreased to a posh conflict of silence, rigidity and claustrophobia, top as much as the main dramatic mine offensive in historical past introduced on 7 June 1917 at Messines Ridge. but, Messines used to be now not the top in their tale, which endured with the crafting of an entire underground global of headquarters, cookhouses and hospitals, housing the innumerable troops who undergone this a part of the Western entrance. right here, this striking, hidden global is printed and the delicate legacy it has left at the back of on Flanders fields is delivered to mild.
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Additional info for Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War 1914-18
The idea was to break through to the Rhine River and cut off the German armies sweeping through Belgium. As the PROMOTING THE WAR Max Aitken was a young Canadian who served for a time as a journalist on the western front. He moved back to England during the war. Through his connections in the British government he won the title of Lord Beaverbrook, as well as an appointment as minister of propaganda. Beaverbrook’s mission was to convince the public to support the war effort. He commissioned artists to create striking posters.
The country had only recently been united into a single nation, but there remained regional and ethnic divisions. Most men from Saxony and Bavaria were not professional soldiers. They were volunteers and recruits who were not as committed to the war. However, Prussians in general made fierce and dedicated soldiers; the Prussian army had led the assault on France in 1870. Saxons and Bavarians were often hostile to the Prussians and their traditional culture of military discipline. As an Allied letter writer observed, The Germans opposite us were awfully decent fellows—Saxons, intelligent and respectable-looking men.
It seems rather ridiculous to make such a tremendous business of it when, after all, our first business is to beat the Germans. Our enemy thinks of war, and nothing else, whilst we must mix it up with plum puddings. 4 All sides were still committed to victory. The British sought to tear down Germany’s military superiority in Europe. indd 47 10/9/15 11:26 AM Gifts arrive for German soldiers. their existence as a nation was under threat. Austria still wanted revenge on Serbia. France and Belgium wanted reparations for the war’s cost in soldiers and material and for the many ruined cities and civilian deaths in their territories.
Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War 1914-18 by Peter Barton