By Peter Barton
While the warfare raged throughout Flanders fields, an both frightening and occasionally extra risky conflict came about underground. "Beneath Flanders Fields" tells the tale of the tunnellers' struggle, which nonetheless is still the most misunderstood, misrepresented and mystifying conflicts of the good struggle. A wealth of private stories display the engineering, know-how and technology at the back of how this such a lot extreme of battles was once fought - and gained. They communicate of ways the tunnellers lived a constant lifestyles within the depths of the battlefield for nearly and a part years, enduring actual and psychological stresses that have been frequently extra severe than their infantry opposite numbers. Their lives have been decreased to a fancy warfare of silence, rigidity and claustrophobia, best as much as the main dramatic mine offensive in heritage introduced on 7 June 1917 at Messines Ridge. but, Messines was once now not the top in their tale, which persevered with the crafting of a complete underground international of headquarters, cookhouses and hospitals, housing the innumerable troops who gone through this a part of the Western entrance. right here, this impressive, hidden global is printed and the delicate legacy it has left in the back of on Flanders fields is dropped at gentle.
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Additional info for Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War 1914-18
The Fourth Division under General Snow had joined the battle lacking cavalry, communications, field ambulances, engineers, and—most critical—artillery, and had arrived in a state of general disorder. One of its young officers, Lieutenant Bernard L. O. [commanding officer] galloped up to us forward companies and shouted to us to attack the enemy on the forward hill at once. This was the only order; there was no reconnaissance, no plan, no covering fire. We rushed up the hill, came under heavy fire, my Company Commander was wounded and there were many casualties.
With II Corps spread across the countryside, and with some elements still arriving in Le Câteau, Smith-Dorrien knew that he could not possibly reach all of his units in time to call for an immediate withdrawal. Nor could he expect his exhausted troops to march any farther without some rest. , so the decision to move or fight resided with him alone. Smith-Dorrien asked Allenby if he would accept orders from him. Allenby said yes. “Very well, gentlemen, we will fight,” Smith-Dorrien declared, in one of the most controversial decisions of the Marne campaign.
The crusty Belgian commander sent the emissary off in a huff. Emmich responded with an artillery bombardment, followed by a night infantry attack that lasted into the next day and cost him such severe casualties that he had to call on Bülow for reinforcements. On August 7, General Erich Ludendorf, liaison officer between Bülow’s Second Army and Emmich’s task force, assumed command of the German Fourteenth Brigade after 45 46 THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE MARNE the death of its commander while in action.
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