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Thread: The deadliest day in WWI

  1. #1
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    The deadliest day in WWI

    Yesterday 22 August was the day with the most casualties in the first world war.
    During fights in the Belgian province Luxemburg 42000 soldiers died. 28000 French and 14000 Germans during a French counterattack.
    I did not know that. I guess most people think that the war in the treches was the bloodiest but never again died so much soldeiers in one day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Waharoa's Avatar
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    That is a hell of a lot of deaths in one day. When you think that is who died... not including those injured or severely wounded... sobering...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waharoa View Post
    That is a hell of a lot of deaths in one day. When you think that is who died... not including those injured or severely wounded... sobering...
    Particularly when you consider what the population would have been then, massive proportion of a countries %

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    Tragic and made particularly poignant when
    you wander through a military cemetary and read the ages and see how little of life they got to enjoy.

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    I've never been there, is it Flanders and the Somme? My mum talks about it quite a lot though and has been a few times; as many of her generation have I guess. Her dad ( my grandad ) survived the trenches and came home but was gassed there and didn't live long after the war.

    I've been to Normandy and seen the American cemetary there and it's huge; really sobering to see the scale of it and know that it's one of many. Knowing that WW1 was worse is pretty arresting, I tend to count my blessings when thinking about these things; how lucky am I to be pretty much the first generation that nobody shoved a gun into our hands and sent us off to war?

    I really like this:

    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.

    By John Macrae, 1915

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    No the Belgian province of Luxemburg is in the French speaking South of Belgium. The batle was near Virton near the French border. The Somme is a litle more to the South.
    The trenches in Belgium were in Flanders and followed more or less the Ijzer river from Nieuwpoort on the coast to Diksmuide where the Belgian "trench of death" was (Belgians and Germans were on some places 30 meters from each other, you still can visit those trenches) and the to Ieper (Ypres salient) with Passendale and so (Tyne Cot cemetary and a lot of others).
    My grandfather was also in the trenches and survived, but was also gassed and had lung problems till he died in 53.

  7. #7
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    Just for the Kiwi's here, the War Graves Project is photographing NZ war graves around the world and has about 84% completed including Thailand and many other theatres.

    Very easy to use to look up a relative or who ever and a nice tribute to those who died.

    New Zealand Wargraves Project |

    If you can't think of anyone off hand here is one with a family connection of mine

    Ian Grant was shot down by a german in 1942 and his brother Reg saw him being shot down and Reg shot down the german who killed his brother.
    Reg went on to become one of NZ's aces and was killed in 1944 testing the new Mustang. All 3 boys from this family were killed in the RAF. Their parents owned the old "Gluepot" hotel at 3 lamps in Ponsonby, Auckland.

    Ian Alexander Grant | New Zealand Wargraves Project

    Hope you don't mind my bit of nostalgia although not exactly on topic

  8. #8
    Senior Member PadMC's Avatar
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    If you can't think of anyone off hand here is one with a family connection of mine

    Ian Grant was shot down by a german in 1942 and his brother Reg saw him being shot down and Reg shot down the german who killed his brother.
    Reg went on to become one of NZ's aces and was killed in 1944 testing the new Mustang. All 3 boys from this family were killed in the RAF. Their parents owned the old "Gluepot" hotel at 3 lamps in Ponsonby, Auckland.

    Ian Alexander Grant | New Zealand Wargraves Project

    Hope you don't mind my bit of nostalgia although not exactly on topic
    Nice post. I think those kind of individual lives and stories are interesting to read and hear about.
    TLandHim likes this.

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