Skip to comments.Inside the real Birdsong tunnels: Never-before-seen images of the mines dug by British
Posted on 01/27/2012 11:39:41 PM PST by Neil E. Wright
Flanders fields today bears little sign of the four years of war that claimed so many thousands of lives and ravaged this small corner of the Western Front.
But further down, deep below the surface there remains a constant reminder of the bravery and daring of the men who risked their lives for their country.
Beneath the farmers ploughs, most of the tunnels and dug-outs hewn from the earth by English pitmen to literally undermine the German offensive remain intact, untouched for almost 100 years.
They were also the scene of fierce hand-to-hand combat between diggers from both armies, as portrayed in the Sebastian Faulks novel Birdsong.
The tunnel sealed off by British troops during the First World War was excavated in 1997 and found to be intact
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
It seems all the “brave genes” in the French gene pool were lost by 1920...
Read “Hell In A Small Place” about Dien Bien Phu; makes Khe San look like a walk in the park.
I would also point out that the US lost about a million in WWI if you count the losses due to influenza.
Most Civil War casualties were due to dysentery.
Oddly, the French Foreign Legion units at Dien Bien Phu had an unusually large ratio of native French.
Many collaborators after WWII were given the option to stand trial, or to join the FFL to earn clemency.
The French used a lot of colonial troops as well (they weren’t FL though); they had Moroccans, Algerians, Laotians, etc. in the lot.
“They had made a decision to sit out a war between Nazism & Bolshevism...”
So by surrendering to the NAZIs, the French somehow caused the Soviets to not conquer France at the end of WWII like they conquered Eastern Europe because collaborationist Vichy French soldiers fired on Americans in Operation Torch?
You seem intelligent, but I really don’t get what you’re trying to say.
The French had to fight, it was their own damn country.
You asked earlier if the Confedracy would have fought another Civil War in 1881. Are you kidding? Yeah they would have fought - bravely; because it was their own damn country. An honorable Texas man, or Virginia man, or proud gentleman from Tennessee, et. all. would have stood up and defended their homes as best as they were able.
“You asked earlier if the Confedracy would have fought another Civil War in 1881. Are you kidding? Yeah they would have fought - bravely; because it was their own damn country.”
Well they’re 130 years late; why haven’t they attacked the federal forts again?
France had no means or will to fight; they knew the sacrifice of the “Great War” had been for nothing (even being attacked by their allies of that previous war - Italy & Japan), and they rightly figured this would be as meaningless (the subsequent Cold War validated that).
“France had no means or will to fight...”
Yes, i think everyone agrees that France had no will to fight. This is an assertion not in dispute.
What is less clear is support for your assertion that the French surrender prevented a Soviet-style takeover of France like happened in Eastern Europe, and how that ties into Vichy resistance during the African landings.
But thank you for answering. I learned all I need to know in the exchange.
“What is less clear is support for your assertion that the French surrender prevented a Soviet-style takeover of France like happened in Eastern Europe, and how that ties into Vichy resistance during the African landings.”
Western Europe was given a preview of what Stalinism represented during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939); our Popes are still canonizing martyrs among the 7,000 priests (including 12 bishops) that were executed in that short time. Life in the Communist zone had all the hallmarks of what Stalin represented: commissars, political executions, class warfare, starvation. The war ended when the “fascists” (the Spanish Army), with support from Hitler & Mussolini, beat the Communists (supported by Stalin). Months after that war ended, the French were supposed to believe that when Germany & the Soviet Union invaded Poland (yes, the Soviet Union invaded from the east - that is when the Polish officer corps was executed in the Katyn Forest), that they should fight Germany? For unexplained reasons, the heroic allies coming to the defense of Poland failed to declare war against the Soviet Union - an irony not lost on Europeans to this day; the allies also stood by while the Soviet Union invaded the countries of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia - and purged them of enemies as well.
Once the US was allied with the Soviet Union, there was no reason for the French in North Africa to treat them with anything but suspicion.
Cu Chi is the reason I wondered. I watched guys go down in those damned things and wondered if anyone ever lauded them. I was small, but not small enough to go very far in those things. We actually built the base on top of those tunnels.
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