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'Preserved' WWI British officer found 90 YEARS ON (In Flanders)
The Scotsman ^ | Mon 30 May 2005 | ALLAN HALL

Posted on 05/30/2005 8:17:51 PM PDT by nickcarraway

THE remarkably well preserved remains of a British officer, killed in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, have been discovered in the mud of Flanders.

The man, still wearing his gas cape, boots and helmet, was killed during the battle of Passchendaele almost 90 years ago.

A Commonwealth War Graves Commission team is due to arrive in Belgium today to help identify the Lancashire Fusiliers' officer, whose remains were found by archaeologists.

The officer, who was found on Friday, is one of more than 58,000 men who fought in the notorious Ypres Salient in Belgium during the Great War with no known grave. Some half-a-million allied soldiers died in the mud and blood of this sector of the western front before the assault intended to smash the German line was called off after four months.

The officer was apparently buried hastily, according to the man leading the archaeological team searching a railway embankment that cut through the British and German lines during the battle. Among items found on his body were a wallet containing a stamp and a silver case of cigarettes.

Franky Bostyn, curator of the Passchendaele Museum, said the man also had a wristwatch.

"He was in a shell hole wrapped in his gas cape and when we carefully removed that, we saw the whole body was completely preserved," he said. "He was not buried, just thrown in, but he had his full equipment on him."

The dense blue clay of Flanders is credited with preserving the soldier's equipment and personal belongings. Juergen Debeleye, the museum's deputy head of research, said: "The clay is a marvellous preservative. The buttons on his tunic shone like new and we could tell instantly what regiment he was with.

"This was a wonderful find. He even had his wallet with him, and a Bible was found near the body. He would have been buried very quickly. We hope to have an identity for the man soon.

"It will be wonderful to give a name to an unknown soldier, for his family to know he can at last be buried with full military honours."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: archaeology; belgium; flanders; france; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; passchendaele; unitedkingdom; worldwarii; wwi

1 posted on 05/30/2005 8:17:52 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Another Bog Body, like those thousands of years old.


2 posted on 05/30/2005 8:19:43 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: nickcarraway

Brins to mind the senseless slaughter of Ypres and most of the European war of 1914-1918.


3 posted on 05/30/2005 8:33:02 PM PDT by massatoosits (just ask the Brits...)
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To: blam; SunkenCiv

Ping


4 posted on 05/30/2005 8:34:06 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: BenLurkin
Bog People
5 posted on 05/30/2005 8:39:43 PM PDT by blam
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To: BenLurkin
Thanks BenL. I'm not going to ping the list, just add it to the catalog, under "Thoroughly Modern Miscellany". The loss of life in WWI was atrocious. One would have thought that the Allied command would have learned its lesson from Flanders and not made the same stupid blunder in the Battle of the Somme, in which almost a quarter of all WWI casualties took place.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

6 posted on 05/30/2005 8:45:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: AdmSmith

pong


7 posted on 05/30/2005 8:49:21 PM PDT by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR) [there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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Whoops, 1/4 is way too high. The total casualties are shown as 420,000 British, 200,000 French, and an estimated 500,000 German casualties. However, the British and French systematically underreported Allied casualties and issued inflated estimates of German casualties.
The Myth of the Great War: A New Military History of World War I The Myth of the Great War:
A New Military History of World War I

by John Mosier
paperback

8 posted on 05/30/2005 8:55:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv
remember your history...Flanders is a reference to the Belgian territory upon which the three battles of Ypres were fought. Passandaele I believe was the third of those battles, occurring in late 1917. It remains that it, as were most of the large land engagements, frightful slaughters brought on by generals and politicians trapped in the age of Napoleon and Bismark.
9 posted on 05/30/2005 9:05:42 PM PDT by massatoosits (just ask the Brits...)
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mind-boggling... 1 in 8 KIA, 1 in 3 wounded, millions additional MIA...

World War One 1914-1918

Main Source: A 1930s Military study done by US Army Officer Vincent J. Esposito, Colonel, US Military Academy. All are Official figures.

Country Mobilized Killed Wounded POW/Missing Died as POW or by Disease Total % of Mobilized
Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000   9,150,000 76.3%
France 8,410,000 1,357,800 3,588,470 537,000 297,000 6,160,800 73.3%
British Empire 8,904,467 908,371 2,090,212 191,652   3,190,235 35.8%
Italy 5,615,000 650,000 947,000 600,000 530,000 2,197,000 39.1%
USA 4,734,991 53,402 (combat)
63,114 (non-combat)
204,002 3,973 / 3,350   364,800 8.4%
Japan 800,000 301 907 3   1,210 0.2%
Romania 750,000 335,706 120,000 80,000 62,000 535,706 71.4%
Serbia 707,343 45,000 133,148 152,958   331,106 46.8%
Belgium 267,000 13,716 44,686 34,659   93,061 34.9%
Greece 230,000 5,000 21,000 1,000 32,000 27,000 11.7%
Portugal 100,000 7,222 13,751 12,318 4,100 33,291 33.3%
Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000   20,000 40.0%
Allied Total 42,188,810 5,152,115 12,831,004 4,121,090 925,100 22,104,209 52.4%
Germany 11,000,000 1,773,300 4,216,058 1,152,800 224,000 7,142,558 64.9%
Austria-Hungary 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000 32,000 7,020,000 90.0%
Turkey 2,850,000 325,789 400,000 250,000 163,000 975,000 34.2%
Bulgaria 1,200,000 87,500 152,390 27,029 184,500 266,919 22.2%
Central Powers Total 22,850,000 3,386,200 8,388,448 3,629,829 603,000 15,404,477 67.4%
All Total 65,038,810 8,538,315 21,219,452 7,750,919   37,508,686 57.7%

10 posted on 05/30/2005 9:12:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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seems like there was a FR topic regarding some recently discovered photos from Alpine warfare in WWI. Oh well, maybe someone here has the link. Meanwhile...

World War One Color Photos
Big D & Bubba Show | 3/2/05 | Unknown
Posted on 03/03/2005 2:25:44 PM PST by Jinjelsnaps
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1355366/posts


11 posted on 05/30/2005 9:18:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: massatoosits

roo, the old switche', to me. Thanks.


12 posted on 05/30/2005 9:19:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Wow,

I need to study up on WW1 some more, those numbers are staggering and humbling

Salute


13 posted on 05/30/2005 9:25:14 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: TexasTransplant

The WWII numbers for mobilization are of course much larger; US losses were more than double for WWII; the scale of that war was much greater; in the battle of Kursk alone (July 1943), six thousand tanks took part, of which more than half were destroyed. The US alone built tens of thousands of planes and tanks, thousands of ships and landing craft, and much of that was scrapped by 1950. Scrapping it all took a lot of time, because of the sheer quantity.

In each of the World Wars, looks like about 1 in 40 US personnel died.


14 posted on 05/30/2005 9:53:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SunkenCiv
With 11,000 dead at Vimy alone, I think Canada can be counted separately from the "British Empire"

Enlisted 595,000

Served overseas 418,000

Killed in Action 35,666

Died of wounds 12,420

Died of disease 5,405

Wounded 155,799

Presumed dead 4,671

Missing 425

Total Dead 60,383

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

15 posted on 05/30/2005 10:01:52 PM PDT by Antioch (Benedict XVI: "I think the essential point is a weakness of faith.")
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To: SunkenCiv

The number that struck me was 67% of the mobilized were either killed, wounded or missing (combined total, both sides)

I am worried that our war on terror will not be as kind to our side until we get as serious about winning as these folks were and to get there what will the ROP have to inflict upon us before we do get serious, and We Demand Unconditional Surrender or Death from them as they demand from us? When will the War really begin?


16 posted on 05/30/2005 10:11:09 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: SunkenCiv

Yet today it is popular on the left and the far right to downplay the significance of WW1, its combatants, and America's "dubious" role in it. It's unforgivable that our contemporaries are forgetting the sacrifices so many made to save the west just 110 years ago.


17 posted on 05/30/2005 10:38:35 PM PDT by John Filson
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To: SunkenCiv
In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields

18 posted on 05/31/2005 12:17:21 AM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: massatoosits

Saw something on the history channel where Gen. George Marshall grabbed Pershing (the overall commander of the army) by the arm in front of the troops and held on to him until he was done berating him for the lack of material, planning, training, etc. from the higher ups. Instead of a court-marshall, Pershing took Marshall as his right-hand man.


19 posted on 05/31/2005 12:40:33 AM PDT by geopyg ("It's not that liberals don't know much, it's just that what they know just ain't so." (~ R. Reagan))
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To: SunkenCiv

Those are some astounding numbers. One can easily seey why, with >70% casualties, Russia was ripe for revolution and France was sent into a seemingly irreversible decline. It's also easy to see wny the Western democracies had such an aversion to war during the twenties and thirties--an aversion that Hitler used to his advantage.


20 posted on 05/31/2005 12:43:32 AM PDT by kms61
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To: TexasTransplant
When will the War [on terrorism] really begin?

When they figure out how to wage war on a tactic rather than an enemy.

21 posted on 05/31/2005 3:00:31 AM PDT by NMC EXP (Choose one: [a] party [b] principle.)
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To: nickcarraway
"Some half-a-million allied soldiers died in the mud and blood of this sector of the western front before the assault intended to smash the German line was called off after four months."

- Just some of the deaths caused directly by General Haig, who oversaw this fiasco. A man with no military imagination and whose major tactic throughout was to argue that if we killed 1.2 Germans for every one of ours, we would have to eventually win due to the laws of attrition. A butcher who carried a bible a prayed constantly. All in all, a scary guy.
22 posted on 05/31/2005 3:10:04 AM PDT by finnigan2
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To: kms61
"Those are some astounding numbers. One can easily seey why, with >70% casualties, Russia was ripe for revolution and France was sent into a seemingly irreversible decline. It's also easy to see wny the Western democracies had such an aversion to war during the twenties and thirties--an aversion that Hitler used to his advantage."

Yes, they are astounding. It brings one to realize the number Russia (USSR) lost not only during the War but also in the purges, starvations, more purges, and in the WWII!

This explained much of the USSR's fear of war and their military build-ups!

23 posted on 05/31/2005 3:52:21 AM PDT by Sen Jack S. Fogbound (Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead !)
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To: massatoosits

The sad thing is that the western powers had sent observers to the US Civil War but learned nothing from that slaughter. Mix in machine guns and more trenches and you get WWI.


24 posted on 05/31/2005 4:03:36 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 51-58)
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To: Straight Vermonter
The sad thing is that the western powers had sent observers to the US Civil War but learned nothing from that slaughter. Mix in machine guns and more trenches and you get WWI.

True enough. The last few months of the war saw both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac locked in the same static trench warfare that Europe would see 50 years later.

European observers dismissed the lessons as the result of amateurs playing war and ignored the effects of rifled muskets and concentrated artillery on mass lines of troops marching across an open field. They still thought that Napoleonic warfare was viable, and would go on thinking that till they bled Europe white.

Of course, there were more than a few Union and Confederate generals who were still enamored of Napoleon themselves, including Lee, who blew the war at Gettysburg by ordering Pickett's Charge, a hopeless attempt to break the Union center. He told Longstreet that by breaking the center, he'd crush the Yankees like Napoleon had done at Austerlitz. All he managed to accomplish was waste a lot of his troops lives for nothing, something the British, French, and German generals would prove themselves more than adept at 50 years later.

25 posted on 05/31/2005 4:32:49 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) (I don't hate anybody, except the French....)
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To: nickcarraway
"This was a wonderful find."

I suppose I know what old Juergen means, but still... br-r-r-r-r!

"Ghoulish" comes to mind.

Dan
Biblical Christianity BLOG

26 posted on 05/31/2005 4:36:34 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: ABG(anybody but Gore)

Good points. Lee was a great believer in trench warfare and used trenching to great effect. He was called the "king of spades" by his own troops.


27 posted on 05/31/2005 7:49:05 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 51-58)
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To: Straight Vermonter

But some learn...Consider the German staff officers who devoured Charles DeGaulle's seminal works on mobile armor warfare. There were Franks and Allemeni who learned from the monstrous failures of the elders in the Great War..


28 posted on 05/31/2005 5:00:32 PM PDT by massatoosits (just ask the Brits...)
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