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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Deadline

posted by on October 29 at 12:52 PM

A gloomy story in today’s BBC about the men who died after Armistice was signed:

…hundreds of these soldiers would lose their lives thrown into action by generals who knew that the Armistice had already been signed.

The recklessness of General Wright, of the 89th American Division, is a case in point.

Seeing his troops were exhausted and dirty, and hearing there were bathing facilities available in the nearby town of Stenay, he decided to take the town so his men could refresh themselves.

“That lunatic decision cost something like 300 casualties, many of them battle deaths, for an inconceivable reason,” says [historian] Mr Persico.
At 10.45 another 40-year-old soldier, Frenchman Augustin Trebuchon, was taking a message to troops by the River Meuse saying that soup would be served at 11.30 after the peace, when he too was killed.

Augustin Trebuchon’s grave - along with all those French soldiers killed on 11 November 1918 - is marked 10/11/18. It is said that after the war France was so ashamed that men would die on the final day that they had all the graves backdated.

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"how do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?"

john kerry was right & is still right today. he should have owned this quote & made bush eat it.

Posted by max solomon | October 29, 2008 1:05 PM

It's really hard to fathom the impact on one's soul of having spent the last few years of your life making decisions that routinely led to the death of thousands of men under your command.

Posted by Martin H. Duke | October 29, 2008 1:35 PM

My father told me about a similar thing in Korea. The armistice was signed and they had a lot of mortar ammo that the CO did not want to deal with. So they fired it all off at the enemy lines. When they ran out, the Chinese troops on the North Korean side started firing back. They had enough artillery to last right up to the cease fire time. A bunch of people died on both sides because some twit did not want to do inventory.

Posted by AK Rob | October 29, 2008 1:41 PM

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