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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:56 pm
 


Last night I saw the movie Passendale. It was a good movie. I'm interested in how accurate the attitudes, feeling of the people at the time in that Zeitgeist. Were they accurately depicted in the film?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:03 pm
 


You thought it was good?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:24 pm
 


When I look at a movie like this I'm not interested in the love story stuff. I'm interested in the uniforms and the attitudes and how folks perceived thing in that time period.

The US involvement in WW I was a lot less than what what you guys did. You were involved from 1914, we only got involved in 1918. The pervailing American attitude was that it was none of our business, (but any how) I am curious as to the feelings, prejudices and attitudes in Canada at the time. Were these things portrayed accurately at least as far as you know.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:32 pm
 


One of the things that struck me when I visited Ottawa the first time was that there were many monuments to WW I a lot more than we have down here, but you loss a greater percentage of that generation than we did.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:23 pm
 


GreenTiger GreenTiger:
The US involvement in WW I was a lot less than what what you guys did. You were involved from 1914, we only got involved in 1918. The prevailing American attitude was that it was none of our business,


The USA was still stinging from European involvement in the US Civil War where both France and Britain traded with the South and supplied weapons and warships to the Confederacy. Anti-Uk and anti-French sentiment was so high at the outset of the war that it was not inconceivable that the US could have entered the war on the Austro-Hungarian & German side.

Germany's ill-conceived dalliance with Mexico was what put an end to that notion.

Then, when the US did get into the war, our losses were significantly less than those of the French and British due to differences in philosophy. First, President Wilson placed US forces under the command of General Pershing despite demands from the French and British to use US troops as replacements in British and French divisions. This prevented American forces from being used for bloody diversions as were the Aussies and Kiwis at Gallipoli.

Consequently, US forces did not participate in many of the pointless bayonet charges that the British and French military leadership preferred. US military doctrine was centrally influenced by the Civil War and it was a doctrine of manoeuver while sometimes still using frontal assaults to support manoeuver actions. The Battle of Little Round Top was far more influential on American military thought than was Waterloo or the Crimea or the Franco-Prussian War. By 1917 the devastating French and British losses from ridiculous bayonet charges against German machine guns led to mass insubordination and mass desertions in those armies.

At the very end of the war it is of significance that the last soldier to die on the Allied side was a Canadian. While the Americans mostly stayed in place on Nov. 11, 1918 the French and British ordered utterly pointless final assaults against German positions that morning. What they were trying to prove or accomplish is irrelevant when if they'd simply waited for 11am they could've simply walked into the German positions and taken them unchallenged.

If anything, the actions of Nov. 11, 1918 speak more to why the British and French lost more troops than did the Americans even in battles in which they fought more or less side by side.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:38 pm
 


The attitude of the time was largely that we were going to war for democracy, and Britain, at the time Canada was still extremely loyal to Britain and especially so in the west where many of the people had come from Britain within the last 10-20 years. At first the recruiting offices actually had to turn away people and the greatest fear was that the war would be over before they arrived, one paper actually suggested having a quota on German soldiers. When they passed the Wartime Measures Act the main complaint was that they didn't think it was strong enough.

As the war continued the people willing to go dropped and the public became more concerned with the immigrants and not the war. While loyalty remained public opinion had largely shifted to thinking of the war as brutal and too costly, setting the tone for our WWII assistance which was primarily in supplies, training pilots and escorting convoys.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:59 pm
 


jeff744 jeff744:

As the war continued the people willing to go dropped and the public became more concerned with the immigrants and not the war. While loyalty remained public opinion had largely shifted to thinking of the war as brutal and too costly, setting the tone for our WWII assistance which was primarily in supplies, training pilots and escorting convoys.



The first part of your post was ok, the second......

well, 1.1 million Servicemen, the world's 3rd largest Navy, 4th largest Airforce
and 50,000 dead buried around the world would beg to differ with you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:11 pm
 


I agree with martin, maybe you should do a little research into Canada's contribution to WWII before spouting off about it jeff. :?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:17 pm
 


Good to hear from you guys. What Jeff said didn't seem right, but I don't have that history in my head the way you do. Weren't the Canadians involved at Normandy - Juno Beach or something, and they liberated Holland? And then Italy too?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:21 pm
 


Yes it was Juno, a quick google search will bring up many more offensives that Canada was involved in.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:26 pm
 


andyt andyt:
Good to hear from you guys. What Jeff said didn't seem right, but I don't have that history in my head the way you do. Weren't the Canadians involved at Normandy - Juno Beach or something, and they liberated Holland? And then Italy too?



:)

Hong Kong 1941
France 1940
Dieppe 1942
Italy 1943-44
and yes Normandy, all up the French coast, Holland and into Germany for the end of the war.
25000 ship crossings over the Atlantic
God knows how any air sorties over all continents.




easy read -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_h ... rld_War_II


harder -- http://www.wwii.ca/


passing the first two will get you the offical history link, but since it is
26 chapters and over 600 pages............

well, I enjoyed it :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:32 pm
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
The USA was still stinging from European involvement in the US Civil War where both France and Britain traded with the South and supplied weapons and warships to the Confederacy. Anti-Uk and anti-French sentiment was so high at the outset of the war that it was not inconceivable that the US could have entered the war on the Austro-Hungarian & German side.



I highly doubt that the US would have ever joined the war on the side of the Germans - they were making far too much money selling arms and ammunition to France and the UK. Not to mention the fact that most of the people who fought in the Civil War were dead and buried. That, coupled with the near constant British efforts to ingratiate themselves with US administrations (like siding with the US over Canada on the Alaskan Pandhandle dispute), made it very unlikely that the USA would ever have sided with the Central Powers.

And while the USA was a rising power, it couldn't have broken the Allied blockade of Germany by itslef, as France and Britain had far larger and more powerful navies during the war.


Last edited by bootlegga on Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:33 pm
 


Dieppe, that's the one I was trying to remember. Wiki tells me that 60% of the 6000 Canadian troops lost their lives.

I'm not a war buff. I'll criticize Canada and the military both past and present if I think it's justified. But you've also gotta give credit where credit is due. I wonder what our contribution was relative to population size compared to the Americans? Not to take anything away from them, when they stepped in the war was won. But I think Canada gave it a good shot too, and helped to hold the line until the Yanks made up their minds to join in.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:11 pm
 


bootlegga bootlegga:
I highly doubt that the US would have ever joined the war on the side of the Germans - they were making far too much money selling arms and ammunition to France and the UK. Not to mention the fact that most of the people who fought in the Civil War were dead and buried. That, coupled with the near constant British efforts to ingratiate themselves with US administrations (like siding with the US over Canada on the Alaskan Pandhandle dispute), made it very unlikely that the USA would ever have sided with the Central Powers.

And while the USA was a rising power, it couldn't have broken the Allied blockade of Germany by itslef, as France and Britain had far larger and more powerful navies during the war.


In the 1910 US Census German-Americans and Irish-Americans together formed the majority of the US population. That particular segment of the US populace was not so terribly enamored of either the UK or of France. While there was a commercial relationship do note that trade should not be mistaken for friendship. Prior to both world wars German and France were each others #1 trading partner and the US was Japan's #1 trading partner prior to WW2.

That the US and Britain were important trading partners did not preclude the USA from sitting out the war (as it did for most of it) or joining the Entente. President Wilson was keenly aware of British espionage in the US and an incident in the Washington Navy Yard of 1912 involved British nationals and was a minor scandal of the time.

The two most important things that swung US opinion to the Western Allies were the sinking of the Lusitania (which history now shows was a valid target for the Germans) and other attacks on passenger ships and then the Zimmerman telegram that was interecepted by and passed to the US by British intelligence.

That the US did not build a major navy for WW1 had to do with the fact that the German Navy was bottled up and controlled by the Royal Navy.

We had the industrial capability at the time to build a larger navy but it would've been senseless to build a massive navy to fight what was principally a land war by 1915. As it was, the battleships that the US sent to join the Brits in 1918 mostly just tooled around burning oil.

As to the Alaska Panhandle issue, the Brits more or less did cede the territory in return for improved relations with a rising industrial power whose Pacific Fleet at the time was more than a match for the Royal Navy that operated only from Esquimalt in the Eastern Pacific. Obviously, this action paid off some years later when the Brits needed the US for supplies and food during WW1.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:42 pm
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
then the Zimmerman telegram that was interecepted by and passed to the US by British intelligence.




Telegram from Germany to Mexico, promising help to regain Texas, New Mexico and Arizona
in return for help in a war with the US.

The Americans went nuts when it hit the papers, and perhaps the
"straw that broke the camels back" for the US to get involved in WW1.


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