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France accuses UK military of war crimes.

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France accuses UK military of war crimes.

Old 27th Oct 2008, 17:35
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Re the carpet bombing of German cities and the casualty claims. I read recently that the Dresden figure of 200k to 250k has been debunked as Nazi propaganda by German historians who put the figure at less than 20k.

Not saying that that's not a big number but it does serve to show how even the best intentioned historians can get it wrong.

Dresden bombing death toll lower than thought - Telegraph

I edited this to add a link .
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 17:46
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Sorry mate, I've been beating around the bush....

Why didn't the frogs fire back with back with baguettes? Maybe a little pate here and fromage there? That should have done the trick.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 17:51
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Back to Agincourt

Ah yes the famous 'English' victory at Agincourt commanded by a King born in Monmouth, with the majority of the archers coming from Gwent.

With around 5000 archers firing at a rate of approx 10 arrows a minute the effect must have been devastating. All told a great British victory.

BTW even Shakespeare portrays 'Henry V' as a welshman.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 18:09
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Henry V Welsh?

Might be worse - he could have been Lancastrian!

W
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 18:21
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Oh dear. A Welshsman

Second to the Scots for leaving a cold/wet place and telling the world the cold/wet place that is so wonderful that you will never return to the cold/wet place. That's why you lot bet on the French.

How do you spell looser
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 18:25
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How do you spell looser
Not like this anyway...
 
Old 27th Oct 2008, 21:18
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My professional life is paid for by teaching English to children. I greatly prefer the "ability to communicate" over "correctness", but I'm calling you over this. I don't know what your native language is, but if you equate the Boer "concentration camps" to Nazi and Soviet extermination camps, then you really need to get a life. Don't bother trying to communicate in English until you can tell the difference between turd and merde.
Kirchener death camps, were specialy designed to starve to death thousands of civilians, mainly women and children. Even in the nazi death camps they had what Kirchener denied to those prisoners: FOOD

You may pride yourself with your perfect mastering of English language, (English is so easy, look in England some very young children manage to speak properly)but you are nothing but a bloody revisionist, and a (c)unt.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 21:40
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Steady on, Baron mon vieux!

All the dealings with the French Air Force I've had has shown them to be highly skilled and professional. With a strong sense of patriotism and a splendid 'Gallic' attitude to stupid rules. Their observance of Spam-stupidity at Incirlik was classic, for example.

Great wine and smelly cheese too! Just don't eat too much or you'll end up surrendering.

A new aeroplane enters service. It is flown by Spams, Rosbifs and Grenouilles.
  • The Spam looks through the book of rules to find out how to do something. No rule = no can do.
  • The Brit looks through the book of rules to find out if there's anything to prevent him from doing what he wants. No rule = game is on.
  • The Frenchman? Looks puzzled and asks "Book? What book?"

Vive la difference!!




BTW I cannot find any reasonable excuse whatsoever for the wanton destruction of Dresden. It was purely a set piece demonstration to the Soviet Union to show that they'd be next in line if the Bolsheviks didn't watch it - the war was all but won and Churchill b£oody well knew it was. Harris should have queried his political masters, but didn't.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 22:26
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BEags,

Dresden was the logical culmination of the campaign that Harris wanted to wage (and which he believed could bring victory all on its own). The idea that it was something pressed on him, or that he'd have wanted to resist, is silly.

Moreover, Dresden was a legitimate target - the capital of Saxony, and a major industrial centre and transport cross roads, Dresden was one of a number of eastern cities whose bombing was intended to hamper reinforcement from the west and to disrupt fleeing refugees and army units from the east.

Area bombing was the best means of ensuring success, as even by 1945, Bomber Command's Main Force accuracy was insufficient to take out pinpoint targets.

Wiping out Dresden ensured that its railways, bridges, and administrative centre would be destroyed. Specifically targeting these would not have ensured that.

Baron Rouge,

Witless and hysterical propaganda, dear boy!

"In South Africa, there can be no question that the infamous concentration camps were tragically mismanaged but the false notion that they were somehow a manifestation of a darker, cruel side of Kitchener's nature originated in the 1950s. In fact, both the British authorities and the Boers were quite unprepared for the spread of contagion within the camps and the Boers twice refused the offer to remove their families from British protection. Kitchener was horrified by the casualties that occurred and, contrary to report, did visit the camps to see what could be done."

Last edited by Jackonicko; 27th Oct 2008 at 22:37.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 22:39
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Jacko,

Balls.

In a word.

Here's what Harris had to say:

"With the German army on the frontiers of Germany we quickly set up GH and Oboe ground stations close behind the front line and this ensured the success of attacks on many distant objectives when the weather would otherwise have prevented us from finding the target. At the same time the bombers could fly with comparative safety even to targets as distant as Dresden or Chemnitz, which I had not ventured to attack before, because the enemy had lost his early warning system and the whole fighter defence of Germany could therefore generally be out-manoeuvred.


In February of 1945, with the Russian army threatening the heart of Saxony, I was called upon to attack Dresden; this was considered a target of the first importance for the offensive on the Eastern front. Dresden had by this time become the main centre of communications for the defence of Germany on the southern half of the Eastern front and it was considered that a heavy air attack would disorganise these communications and also make Dresden useless as a controlling centre for the defence. It was also by far the largest city in Germany - the pre-war population was 630,000 - which had been left intact; it had never before been bombed. As a large centre of war industry it was also of the highest importance.

An attack on the night of February 13th-14th by just over 800 aircraft, bombing in two sections in order to get the night fighters dispersed and grounded before the second attack, was almost as overwhelming in its effect as the Battle of Hamburg, though the area of devastation -1600 acres - was considerably less; there was, it appears, a fire-typhoon, and the effect on German morale, not only in Dresden but in far distant parts of the country, was extremely serious. The Americans carried out two light attacks in daylight on the next two days.

I know that the destruction of so large and splendid a city at this late stage of the war was considered unnecessary even by a good many people who admit that our earlier attacks were as fully justified as any other operation of war. Here I will only say that the attack on Dresden was at the time considered a military necessity by much more important people than myself, and that if their judgment was right the same arguments must apply that I have set out in an earlier chapter in which I said what I think about the ethics of bombing as a whole."
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 23:10
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Harris' post war justification, written after the outcry, is what is "balls" old chap.

There's plenty of more reliable, less 'interested' coverage of the Bomber War than Butch's apologist self justification.
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 23:17
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Beags suggest you read Dresden by Frederick Taylor - shatters the myth of Dresden as the innocent cultural centre that spent WW2 manufacturing porcelain Sheppardesses. To argue the point that the war was nearly over …..then all they had to do to avoid the bombing was to surrender – despite David “Hitler was misunderstood” Irving’s best efforts to make the German people out to be martyrs they brought it on them selves
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Old 27th Oct 2008, 23:37
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With respect, baron rouge (and read my postings above), I am not a cnut, I am not an apologist, and I'm not a revisionist. I wrote earlier that all nations have historical reasons for shame. Pointing the finger and muddying the waters with the "concentration camp" pejorative brings you no respect. What is your evidence for systematic genocide in South Africa? Where are the Gas Chambers? Which race/religion was targeted for extermination?
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 00:53
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I always thought reason the French were do upset by Agincourt was that their aristocracy in the shape of their mounted knights were slaughtered by the English peasant archers.
Could well be.

The English victory at Agincourt was one of the most overwhelming, and unexpected, results of any medieval battle, but it wasn’t the first time the
French were comprehensively walloped by the English during the Hundred Years War.

The Battle of Sluys in 1340 was the first major battle of the Hundred Years War and was a dramatic naval victory for Edward III.

Six years later the French were particularly miffed after the Battle of Crecy in 1346 when Edward III defeated a vastly superior French army. At
Crecy, with the defeated French having fled the field, the English looked through the wounded French to see who was worth taking prisoner for
ransom. Those knights who were too severely wounded to be easily carried off the field were dispatched with misericordias (mercy-givers). These were long daggers which were inserted through the unprotected underarms and into the heart, or through visor slits and into the brain. This was against the chivalric codes of warfare, since peasants were killing knights - rather than in face to face in combat with their peers - it just wasn’t on.

The French suffered again ten years later when they were defeated by Edward III’s son Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales (the Black Prince) at
the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. During this battle Prince Edward’s army captured the French King John, along with his young son Philip together with many French nobles. The capture of King John altered the balance of power in the war, and gave the English a vastly improved negotiating position.

In medieval times (and later) slaughter of the wounded during and after a battle was normal practice regardless of which side of the battle you were
on. “Atrocities” as we acknowledge them today didn’t exist; it was normal and accepted medieval military behaviour. The incidents that were
commented upon by the chroniclers of these events was when an ordinary peasant soldier killed a knight or a lord as he lay wounded or dying,
such a thing was against all the rules of chivalry.

Gallic hauteur and pride is so universally accepted as a national characteristic that its display goes almost without any notice, even by the French themselves and over the years, France like most European nations committed “atrocities”. What about these for example:

1. The putting down of the heretics during the Albigensian crusade against the Cathars in 1209? (Particularly at Beziers, Minerve and
Carcassonne, at Lavaour 400 Cathars were burned to death, “the biggest human bonfire in history” as a contemporary chronicler recorded.

2. Philip IV of France arresting the French Knights Templar’s, charging them with numerous heresies, torturing them to extract false
confessions of blasphemy. These confessions, despite having been obtained under duress, caused dozens of Templar’s to be burned at the stake in Paris.






3. Massacre of Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572.



4. Congo (French) in the late 1800’s as reported by Pierre Brazza.

5. Casablanca in 1907.

6. Algeria in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Mind you we have to live with some not very nice historical “atrocities” of our own such as the battle of Culloden Moor (16 April 1746), the battle where the Duke of Cumberland earned his nickname “Butcher Cumberland” after the defeat of the Jacobite army at Culloden Moor when he ordered the death of any wounded Jacobite found on the battlefield. The redcoats clubbed or bayoneted surviving Jacobites to death, often mutilating their bodies before moving onto the next wounded combatant. Any that managed to flee from Culloden Moor to neighbouring villages were hunted down by the redcoats and slaughtered along with those harbouring the fugitives. Innocent women and children were murdered; homes, barns, outbuildings and agricultural implements were destroyed.

France-UK rivalry goes back centuries. But perhaps things are changing, witness President Sarkozy's comments during his visit earlier this year when he acknowledged that the UK had twice come to the aid of France, and the French would not forget that.

As far as Franco-British customs go, personally I much prefer an unhurried long lunch with a bottle of Sauvignon blanc to a pie and chips at the pub, so there is one French custom that I like!

PS. Apologies for the sloppy pagination above. It looked good before I submitted the post, but came out as shown.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 08:52
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"Concentration Camps" in South Africa.

The concentration camps in South Africa were not built as death camps for innocent women and children.

The Boers initial strategy for the Second Boer War was to besiege major settlements in the hinterland of the country and prevent relief by throwing up a defence line to prevent relief from the ports. Initial British strategy was to force these lines by frontal assault - this culminated in "Black Week" where 3 major attacks were bloodily repulsed. Eventually, the defence lines were worn down and Mafeking, Ladysmith and Kimberly were relieved. Following this, the Boers turned to hit and run tactics - ambushing pockets of British Troops then riding off into the Velt before reinforcements could arrive. These raiders were sheltered by the many isolated farms in the area. (Winston Churchill was captured during one of these raids on an armoured train).

Kitchener's plan was to enclose the Velt to deny freedom of movement to the Boers - he achieved this by using wire to fence across the grasslands with a small outpost of soldiers every mile or so along the wire. He deied shelter by burning down "hostile" farmsteads and housing their inhabitants in camps - by concentrating the farmers' families together they were known as "Concentration Camps". Sadly, there was little hygene in these camps - no toilet facilities and limited water supplies. Needless to say, disease was rife and many thousands died - especially the old and the young.

These camps were not designed to kill/exterminate the civilian population - they came about from a military policy to bring the Boer to heel -admittedly a cruel and ultimately deadly policy. The policy brought the word "Concentration Camp" to the English language to be used 40 years later during WW2.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 09:25
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cher "tartine de pain grillé chaud"

If your English pride entice you to say:

The English victory at Agincourt was one of the most overwhelming, and unexpected, results of any medieval battle, but it wasn’t the first time the French were comprehensively walloped by the English during the Hundred Years War.
You are just convenientely forgetting the main thing : the result of that war because if the English won some battles , in the end they were booted out of France.

These are juste some battles were the English were comprehensively walloped by the French during the Hundred years War.

·
1429, 17 July Battle of Patay In a reverse of Agincourt/Crécy, a French army under La Hire, Richemont, Joan of Arc, and other commanders break through English archers under Lord Talbot and then pursue and mop up the other sections of the English army, killing or capturing about half (2,200) of their troops. The Earl of Shrewsbury (Talbot) and Hungerford are captured.

· 1450 Battle of Formigny A French force under the Comte de Clermont defeats an English force under Thomas Kyriell

· 1453 Battle of Castillon Jean Bureau defeats Talbot to end the Hundred Years' War. This was also the first battle in European history where the use of cannon was a major factor in determining the victor.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 09:31
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YouTube - Bagpipes in the Longest Day
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 10:11
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Baron Rouge,

Sadly the Lancastrian "King" Henry VI was on the English throne during the time of French ascendency. He was ineffectual and at times quite mad; the country was governed by his wife (Margaret of Anjou who happened to be French) and her lover, the Duke of Somerset. The complete mismanagement of England during this time led directly to the end of the Hundred Years War and the loss of the vast majority of French possessions, and eventually Civil War - the Wars of the Roses, although Calais stayed with us until the reign of Queen Mary.

As they say in Yorkshire:

"Two things come from the west; bad weather and Lancastrians".
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 10:13
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Baron rouge

Excuse me for being pedantic, but you are obviously referring to the SECOND Hundred Years War - the earlier conflict running from 1152-1259.

The English victories at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt were spectacular - but less decisive than the Naval victory at L'Ecluse (Sluys) where some 20,000 Frenchmen perished in 1340.
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Old 28th Oct 2008, 10:21
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Contrary to popular opinion the archers in this period were predominatley English, not Welsh.
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