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kenneth505

The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire

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bill24chev

As the deed has already been done (a spoiler alert for Mr Broomfield :o !)

The description of the Western Front as a '... Complex infrastructure of roads, railways, ammunition dumps, factories, hospitals, brothels & morgues, the Western Front was a linear city extending 450 miles from the Swiss frontier to the English Channel...' was clever, but I had to run back & replay to make sure that I had heard brothels included. Possibly being pedantic, an opportunist 'bolt-on' they might have been, but I doubt that brothels have ever have been seen, at least in the military sense, as part of the infrastructure.

NigelS

Brothels! Maybe not for the "Puritan" and prudish British, but possibly an important consideration by the French and Germans.

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David Filsell

I thought prog two rather left LvB stranded. There at the beginning, there at the end of the piece but no real substance. But that said much good coverage of the story. Does anyone know where the 'mini mosque' is?

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Maureene

Brothels! Maybe not for the "Puritan" and prudish British, but possibly an important consideration by the French and Germans.

British Army regiments in India had official regimental brothels up until the late 1890s/early1900s, not all that many years before the Great War. They were closed down due to campaigning in Britain. There is a book about this campaign called Josephine Butler and the Prostitution Campaigns: The Queen's daughters in India.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=YXWsQ8Qno94C (preview Google Books)

Pages 42-43 Under ten viceroys 
the reminiscences of a Gurkha 
by Major-General Nigel Woodyatt give a short account of the situation c mid 1880s

https://archive.org/details/undertenviceroys00woodiala Archive.org

Cheers

Maureen

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kenneth505

The second program was just as good. Opened a wide new range of interesting topics to research.

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Roxy

I've just watched the first programme on iplayer and, whilst it was enjoyable and I'll certainly watch the next episode, I was slightly disappointed. I thought that the presenter did appear to have an agenda - that the 'martial races' were sent to Europe under false pretenses; they would never have volunteered to have gone on their own accord, whereas Gordon Corrigan intimates that they were disappointed to have left the Western Front before they were allowed to help win the war! Well, let's wait to see what episode 2 brings!

Roxy

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seaforth78

Another quibble : the statement that more Frenchmen were killed in 1914 than in any other year. Not so. More died in 1915 than in 1914, although, of course, the rate of loss was far higher in those five months in 1914 than at any other time.

On the plus side, Olusoga stipulated that, at Verdun, half a million men were wounded and a quarter of a million died ; thereby avoiding the frequently made error of conflating total casualties with dead.

I was surprised that he didn't allude to the Senegalese soldiers who entered Germany during the occupation after the war. Their consorting with German women resulted in numbers of mixed race children who were sterilised in the Nazi era.

I wonder what Gordon Corrigan would have made of the programme. He is an unrepentant proponent of the view that the Indian army was indeed characterised by different martial qualities according to race. It's fair to say that his experience qualifies him to know whereof he speaks.

But, let me reiterate : quibbles notwithstanding, a very creditable broadcast, and I for one will be keen to encounter Olusoga again, on screen or in print.

Phil (PJA)

Thank you PJA, as I first read the above I sat bolt upright in bed in disbelief thinking why i had I never had of this before? Well, I just learned something:

https://books.google.com/books?id=l7UqAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA596&lpg=PA596&dq=Senegalese+soldiers+and+German+women&source=bl&ots=0zV35JdvEZ&sig=_KMwwjuCvjrDVur-IyX2tLwwLQo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8XbhVImfO5X-sASR5oDoBg&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Senegalese%20soldiers%20and%20German%20women&f=false

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David Filsell

The only advice is to avoid any so called forgotten subjects, voices etc by book or television programme

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Ken S.

So Lettow-Vorbeck was a "rogue general" who essentially accomplished nothing?

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Gunga Din

The BBC has just released this two part programme again on iPlayer..... worth watching although the writer/presenter appears to have an agenda based on modern perspectives. It nonetheless highlights aspects of the Great War that are not in the mainstream and for that reason alone makes it worthwhile. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04d526s/the-worlds-war-forgotten-soldiers-of-empire-1-martial-races

Edited by Gunga Din

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