History The Deadline
posted by October 29 at 12:52 PMon
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.