On Monday morning, 25 September 1915, 10,000 British soldiers at Loos set out to attack German lines. At 100 metres, German machine guns opened up and they fell “like wheat before scythes.” 8,000 were killed, wounded or missing.

When the stragglers turned back at the wire in front of the German trenches, the German soldiers refused their officers’ commands to shoot them in the back “out of sympathy, consternation and disgust.”

The present British Prime Minister, whose name I don’t remember, has called on his fellow-countrymen to celebrate the British spirit of 1914 in the same way as they did the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year.

We need a German historian, Adam Schild, to remind us what we who are a little older than the callow youth heading the government have long known – that World War One was above all a senseless sacrifice of young lives – hopelessly wrong strategies and enormous cruelty by generals towards their own men – on all sides.

It’s in German, but just know it’s out there … Der Grosse Krieg – the Great War – by Adam Schild. Review http://bit.ly/1akmByy

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