Friday, December 4, 2020

The Brutal Costs Of A Military Victory

Two photographs together show the same place, Vimy Ridge, shortly after the war and years later when the massive memorial was erected there.

This look back at the field artillery I showed yesterday includes a large painting with men at work with one of those guns.

A portion of this area shows the effects of the War at home, with paintings, photographs, and artifacts.

The Halifax Explosion is part of that story of the War at home, an incident that happened on December 6th, 1917. The painting is Convoy In Bedford Basin by Arthur Lismer. He was a commissioned war artist who would, after the war, join his friends in founding The Group Of Seven.

Passchendaele was another Canadian victory, but a horrific one; if ever there was a hell on Earth, it was this place and this battle. 

One can walk in this area that has been designed to recreate the ground at Passchendaele, with equipment and bodies in the mud.

After four years of commanders throwing masses of men into machine gun positions and all for nothing, it was a new way of thinking that would bring an end to the war: combined-arms fighting, or the coordination of all military assets, working together to break German lines. The Hundred Days would see the end of World War One.

The system itself is broken down here; if only military planners had thought of it years before instead of wasting millions of lives with Napoleonic era tactics. Of the Canadians who served, more than one in ten died, with far more wounded. This was typical of that war.

I close out the Museum's coverage of World War One with a painting, one that is said to have included an officer who decades later would be a governor general of the country.


  1. I saw a documentary recently about how important the farming community was during the wars, I imagine they needed them to keep feeding all the people. Visiting military museums is always a good learning experience.

  2. I agree with Amy: visiting a military museum is always a learning experience.

  3. Strange enough. I know of no military museum here. Through another blogger I learned of one in Cologne.
    Some idiot in this town gave a certain Austrian, small, ugly man German citizenship and hence WWII started. I found this out by chance (that it was "my" town).
    War. Complex subject.

  4. A very detailed account you show there William

  5. Hello,
    The War exhibits are a reminder of the terrors and triumphs. Thanks for sharing!
    I am always for avoiding wars, they are a waste.
    Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy weekend!

  6. War ... the never ending story of lost lives. So horrible and sad.

  7. War means many lost lives. Something which hopefully won't happen again.

  8. Sad. I've never been to a war museum ...

  9. The Christmas tree sent from Nova Scotia to Boston, as thanks for help after the explosion, just went recently for this year.

  10. ...winning comes at a terrible cost.

  11. All those brave young men lost, unbearable to think about William ✨

  12. So very sad. I wish we could move beyond bloody wars.

  13. What horrific times.
    Glad that we are so highly evolved and in the divine's image and all that.

  14. It's difficult to look back at these moments that if they happened before would have made things much more successful.

  15. Not something I want to dwell on.

  16. @Amy: it was absolutely essential.

    @Italiafinlandia: this one certainly is.

    @Iris: and if the Great War had been sorted out in the way Wilson had been pushing for, there would have never been a Second World War.

    @Lady Fi: quite so.

    @Bill: thank you!

  17. @Eileen: you're welcome.

    @Jan: that is quite true.

    @Nancy: hopefully not.

    @Ella: I get to this one a couple of times a year.

    @Marie: that's something that is still remembered.

    @Tom: it certainly does.

  18. @Grace: an entire generation, killed, wounded, or traumatized and haunted.

    @DJan: it would be ideal.

    @Anvilcloud: or so it seems.

    @RedPat: very much so.

    @Red: that's true.

    @Sharon: true.

  19. Terrible times with lots of casualties.

  20. War is horrid. So much pain and sorrow.

  21. Oh, gosh! I read a book about the Halifax explosion. Can't remember the title right now, but well worth looking up.

  22. WWI was so brutal, one would have hoped, without hesistation the world would have been quick to stop WWII.

  23. I'm sure we must have museums like this -- maybe more in Washington or battle sites. But they are very powerful and impressive.

  24. When you list the number of killed in just one skirmish--well the stats arte terrible. I echo Joanne--War id HELL!

  25. @Bill: definitely.

    @Gemel: indeed.

    @Revrunner: it was a catastrophe.

    @Maywyn: if WWI had been resolved properly by the victors- ie in not seeking revenge- there would have never been a WWII.

    @Jan: that they were.

    @Jeanie: I know there are several.

    @Magiceye: thank you.

    @Joanne: it is, yes.

    @MB: very much so.