On this day in history...

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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:25 am

August 8th, 1918 - beginning of the Battle of Amiens, widely regarded as a (the? local expert Heid can advise I'm sure) major turning point that would lead to the end of WW1.

August 8th, 1513 - marriage of King James IV of Scots (one who tried to add the Highlands & Islands to his domain) to Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England.

August 8th, 1908 - first public flight by the Wright brothers, at a racecourse in Le Mans.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:12 am

General Ludendorff called this 8th of August "the Black Day of the German Army", so there is at least one expert who agrees with you.

It was also teh day of record losses of planes. Around 50 each.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:17 am

Lianachan wrote:August 8th, 1918 - beginning of the Battle of Amiens, widely regarded as a (the? local expert Heid can advise I'm sure) major turning point that would lead to the end of WW1.

Hindenburg described 8th August as "the Black Day of the German Army" since not only were they beaten decisively but many soldiers surrendered or ran away, which was unusual. Amiens was the start of the end as after that the Germans rarely stood and fought the way they had previously and it is at the start of the "Hundred Days" campaign which ended the war. I would argue the turning point came in 1917 when the Germans realised that they couldn't stop British "bite and hold" tactics when they were properly planned and that the defenders were taking as many casualties as the attackers for the first time. Vimy Ridge and Arras in the Spring of 1917 and Messines and even 3rd Ypres* in the autumn were more of a turning point as it made the Germans realise that their army couldn't take another year of defensive battles which was one of the reasons for the Kaiserschlacht in spring 1918 which burned out the German army for good.

TL:DR - Eh, sort of.

Edit: I took so long to compose my reply Arneb jumped in first.

*When Gough (pronounced Guff appropriately enough) rushed attacks they failed, when Plumer was allowed to take his time they succeeded, even in the worst of the rain and mud.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:30 am

Arneb wrote:It was also teh day of record losses of planes. Around 50 each.

It must be remembered that air combat was rarely an end in itself but a means of allowing your own reconnaissance planes to overfly enemy lines while preventing theirs from overflying yours. By this stage in the war the RAF were taking daily photos of the German trenches and rear areas and passing those to the artillery to identify targets. Once the battle started the RAF used radios in planes to correct the fall of shot for artillery batteries in real time, with the infantry using signal panels to identify targets and mark their locations. It was astonishingly sophisticated given the equipment available.

Sorry, I can get quite tedious very quickly.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:37 am

Heid the Ba wrote:
Lianachan wrote:August 8th, 1918 - beginning of the Battle of Amiens, widely regarded as a (the? local expert Heid can advise I'm sure) major turning point that would lead to the end of WW1.

Hindenburg described 8th August as "the Black Day of the German Army" since not only were they beaten decisively but many soldiers surrendered or ran away, which was unusual. Amiens was the start of the end as after that the Germans rarely stood and fought the way they had previously and it is at the start of the "Hundred Days" campaign which ended the war. I would argue the turning point came in 1917 when the Germans realised that they couldn't stop British "bite and hold" tactics when they were properly planned and that the defenders were taking as many casualties as the attackers for the first time. Vimy Ridge and Arras in the Spring of 1917 and Messines and even 3rd Ypres* in the autumn were more of a turning point as it made the Germans realise that their army couldn't take another year of defensive battles which was one of the reasons for the Kaiserschlacht in spring 1918 which burned out the German army for good.

Perhaps "an" expert, certainly not "the" expert, the 50 year old book I was sent to review is on Amiens so my opinion carries some weight in some circles.

TL:DR - Eh, sort of.

Edit: I took so long to compose my reply Arneb jumped in first.

*When Gough (pronounced Guff appropriately enough) rushed attacks they failed, when Plumer was allowed to take his time they succeeded, even in the worst of the rain and mud.


Cheers for the comprehensive response. Regarding "the", it was intended as a possible alternative to "a" in the whole sentence - "a turning point"/"the turning point".

You're definitely AN expert for sure, as indeed nicely demonstrated by the book review, but you're obviously not THE expert, as that's either Tony Robinson or Dan Snow according to my telly.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:40 am

Heid the Ba wrote:
Arneb wrote:It was also teh day of record losses of planes. Around 50 each.

It must be remembered that air combat was rarely an end in itself but a means of allowing your own reconnaissance planes to overfly enemy lines while preventing theirs from overflying yours. By this stage in the war the RAF were taking daily photos of the German trenches and rear areas and passing those to the artillery to identify targets. Once the battle started the RAF used radios in planes to correct the fall of shot for artillery batteries in real time, with the infantry using signal panels to identify targets and mark their locations. It was astonishingly sophisticated given the equipment available.

Sorry, I can get quite tedious very quickly.


I'm always impressed by the sophistication of the ways people have come up with to do various things, in and out of war, with the levels of technology they had available to them at the time. It's one of the best things about being an archaeologist, that sort of stuff.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:41 am

I re-read your post and realised I had misinterpreted the "the" so deleted part of my post. Yes, those are indeed the main experts, with Guy Martin making a late run on the rails.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:50 am

Lianachan wrote:I'm always impressed by the sophistication of the ways people have come up with to do various things, in and out of war, with the levels of technology they had available to them at the time. It's one of the best things about being an archaeologist, that sort of stuff.

Indeed, I find it fascinating while continually being astonished that many people assume that without computers nothing clever was ever done. For example most people assume that artillery in the Great War just lined up wheel to wheel and fired in the general direction of the enemy. In fact on arrival in France each gun was test fired and calibrated against a standard weapon. Each batch of ammunition was test fired against a standard. Every battery received daily weather reports for windage and air pressure, both of which affected range and direction. Every gun in a battery was triangulated on the lead gun so, in theory, only it needed to be ranged in on a target and every other gun didn't have to be as long as the correct calculations were made for the other gun's location, its characteristics, the ammunition's characteristics, the weather, the type of ammunition etc. All calculated by sliderule and pencil and paper.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:38 pm

I told my boy a bit about the Apollo computer, and how you could fly to the Moon with a machine that gave you nothing but one row with a four-digit number, after you had typed in two more four digit numbers. Never mind floating points. He was duly impressed.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:04 pm

Oh, and:

August 8th, 1983 - first recording of Computer Blue. Fans of distorted guitar feedback fed through a flanger should jump in about 10:40 of that track for 3 or so minutes of it.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby g-one » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:59 pm

Heid the Ba wrote:those are indeed the main experts, with Guy Martin making a late run on the rails.

I hope you're talking about the Guy Martin I'm talking about. :mrgreen:
After seeing him in TT3D: Closer to the Edge I'm hooked.
We don't get any of his TV stuff though. I'm sure it's highly entertaining!
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:28 am

Yes, that's him. He seems like a genuinely likeable person who makes some very good telly. The problem is it is all getting a bit samey. The first thing I remember was him going to Latvia to track down family there as one of his grandfathers was Latvian. It was good in a by the numbers tv show kind of way. Then he started making more shows on one of two themes. Guy goes to India, China, Russia etc. and he is amazed that countries where some people live in cardboard boxes can have a space programme. The others are Guy builds a Spitfire, tank, house, coal mine etc. and they are about the engineering.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:19 am

9th August 48 BC – Caesar's Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus: Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:59 am

9 August 1918, Italian planes throw pamphlets on Vienna asking the Austrian to throw away the Prussioan yoke.
Heaavy losses for the Allied Forces at the Somme. 35 of 45 planes shot down.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:07 am

9th August 1945 - (currently) the last use of a nuclear bomb in war, a bad day to be in Nagasaki. You'd probably feel a bit paranoid if you were there and had also been in Hiroshima 3 days earlier.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:03 pm

Couldn't blame one for taking it personally, really.

That's true grit showing up for work in bandages after an atmic blast.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lance » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:08 pm

Heid the Ba wrote:9th August 48 BC – Caesar's Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus: Julius Caesar decisively defeats Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey flees to Egypt.

I thought it was Mount Vesuvius that defeated Pompeii. And you spelled it wrong...
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:57 pm

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lance » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:02 pm

:glp-1rof1:
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:33 pm

Not to forget: 9 August, 1965, is the day when Singapore, thrown out from Malaysia, announced its independence. Here's to your new home, Mactep!
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:08 am

10th August 1993: Oklahoma City Bombing when several Lone Wolf not-terrorists blow up a federal building.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:17 am

Boy are we lucky that no Lone Wolves survive and no late confessions out of remorse are possible. The death penalty certainly comes in handy at times.

10 August is generelly a busy day in World history.

1918 - 7 new Germans divisions arrive for meat grinding at Amiens. They are rumered to have been greeted, by a batallion of druck Bavarians, what are you war-extenders doing here?
The total number of German POW for the Amiens region alone reaches 24 k.

612 B.C. (!) Fall of Ninive at the hands of the Babylonians
843 A.D. Partition of the Frankonian Empire in the Traty of Verdun
955 Victory of Otto the Great over the Hungarians in the Battle at the Lech Fields
997 destruction of Santiago de Compostela (but not the reputed apostle grave) by Almansor
1500 a DDD (Diogo Dias) sights Madagascar for the first time
1512 Another DDD (Franando Magellaes) stes oput on his round the world tour.
1792 Storming of the Tuileries, and capture of Louis XVI. It didn't end well for him.
1948 Beginning of the Consitutional Convent at Herrenchiemsee, which gave (West) Germany its splendid Grundgesetz
1990 The Magellan probe (now you know whence the name) enters orbit around Venus
And many more.

Interstingly, the German Wikipedia entry neglects to mention the Oklahoma City Non-Terrorist attack. That's the kind of error you get in amateur endeavours like this, sometimes.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Lianachan » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:18 am

10th of August, 991 - the English/Anglo-Saxons are handed their arses back to them by "Vikings" at the Battle of Maldon.

10th of August, 1675 - the foundation stone is laid at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Last edited by Lianachan on Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Arneb » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:19 am

I thought I didn't need to write that one up, because you would :D ,
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Re: On this day in history...

Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:38 am

Arneb wrote:1918 - 7 new Germans divisions arrive for meat grinding at Amiens. They are rumered to have been greeted, by a batallion of druck Bavarians, what are you war-extenders doing here?
The total number of German POW for the Amiens region alone reaches 24 k.

One of the reasons for the large numbers surrendering was that divisions from the East were completely unprepared for the shitstorm they walked into in the West. This was exacerbated by the German habit of stripping all the good soldiers out of line divisions to create Stormtrooper units, which simply lead to the good troops being killed in the assaults and the depleted line divisions surrendering or retreating more readily.
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