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taking notes


Alecras234
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Hi id like some advice if i may please?   I'm typing notes in a question and answer format from my battle of the somme book.   The thing is i find it difficult trying to word the questions.    Should i write a term on one side of a card then write the definition on the other side,  i think that would be easier.   What way would you suggest is best for learning new information?   Here's what i've done, not sure they're worded right.

 

Where did the Allies meet to discuss battle plans for 1916?  Chantily conference 

Where was it decided for the Somme offensive?   Chantily conference 

When was the Somme offensive decided?  December 1915 

Who were the Allies?  Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia 

Who replaced Sir John French a week after the Chantily conference?  Sir Douglas Haig 

What was the objective of the Somme offensive?  To relieve pressure on the French at Verdun 
When was the Battle of Verdun? 21 February 1916        

Who was minister of war?  Horatio Kitchener 

What was the army of volunteer’s raised known as?  Kitchener’s army?   

How many men had volunteered for Kitchener’s recruits by the end of 1914?  Over a million 

What was the ship called that Kitchener drowned on?  HMS Hampshire 

When did Kitchener drown?  5 June 1916 

Edited by Alecras234
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Hi again, Ash

 

I guess you need to do whatever is best for you. Your questions are nice and straightforward, and I wouldn't have known the answers to half of them (not that I'm particularly interested in the war on the Continent). And your typing them must be an improvement on my scribbled notes that feature a scrawled version of Speedwriting that I can't always decipher.

 

And your questions provide a good framework on which to build your knowledge of the Great War. As I've said before, don't worry too much about absorbing all the detail. (Currently I'm reading a Wilbur Smith novel of 950 pages and skipping chunks of it.)

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How do these sound please?  I wasn't sure how to word some, especially what was the Pals battalion and where the battle of the Somme was decided.

 

Where did the Allies meet to discuss battle plans for 1916?  Chantily conference 

When was the Chantilly conference?  December 1915 

Who replaced Sir John French as commander in chief a week after the Chantily conference?  Sir Douglas Haig 

What was the objective of the Somme offensive?  To relieve pressure on the French at Verdun 
When was the Battle of Verdun? 21 February 1916        

Who was secretary of state of war?  Horatio Kitchener 

What ship was Kitchener on when it sank?  HMS Hampshire 

When did Kitchener die?  5 June 1916 

 

How many men had volunteered for Kitchener’s recruits by the end of 1914?  Over a million 

What ship did Kitchener die on?  HMS Hampshire 

When did HMS Hampshire sink?  5 June 1916 

What were The Pals battalions?  Groups of friends that joined from various towns 

What was the first pals battalion?    The Stockbrokers battalion 

How many towns had formed into Battalions by the end of September 1914?   Almost sixty 

Who referred the BEF as a contemptible little army?  Kaiser Wilhelm II 

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Generally fine, Ash.  Though at first I was unsure about your last but one question and answer, but then I Googled, and found on a BBC website: "By the end of September 1914, over 50 towns had formed pals battalions." I hadn't realised that there were so many and that they had been formed so rapidly.

 

Despite the name, I wouldn't say that the Pals battalions were exactly "groups of friends", but people from the same town or city or, as with the Stockbrokers Battalion,  from the same background. Each battalion would have numbered some 800 men, so they wouldn't all be friends.  Small groups of friends might enlist together but there would also have been individuals.

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Who referred the BEF as a contemptible little army?  Kaiser Wilhelm II 

 

Not entirely accurate...the British Press translated the Kaiser's comment as such hence the popularity of the phrase and the orginal BEF of 1914 being referred to as "The Old Contemptibles".

 

A more accurate translation of the Kaiser's comment would be "Contemptably small Army" referring to it's size.

Edited by squirrel
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so how shall i word it for my notes?  it says in my book,  

The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, had reputably referred to the BEF as ‘General French's contemptible little army’. The ‘contemptible’ may have referred to the size rather than the quality of Britain’s army but nonetheless the BEF took perverse pride in calling themselves the ‘old contemptibles’.

 

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2 minutes ago, Alecras234 said:

The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, had reputedly referred to the BEF as ‘General French's contemptible little army’

I think you have answered that yourself there.

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im confused sorry, people telling me my questions aren't accurate.  So who referred the BEF as a contemptible little army?  Kaiser wilhelm II is right?

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The Kaiser is said to have referred to the BEF in that way, but presumably in German. Something may have been lost in translation.

 

Here on the GWF we have discussed the wording several times, including here.

 

You could re-phrase your question to read "Who is said to have referred to the BEF as a contemptible little army? "

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Ok i have altered my question to that.    When im reading my book,  i know to make questions using Who, What, Where, Why How, but i want to make my own questions, does it matter how accurate they are?  it's only for my learning.    I keep having doubts about making questions, so then i dont do them because im doubting myself. 

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Ash, it's not so much that the questions need to be "accurate" but the answers!

 

You're doing the right thing by building a framework of basic questions and answers to help you understand the bigger picture.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've made these question and answers, do they sound ok?  Whenever i write question and answers i never know if they make sense and which are important to know.

 

How many troops made up the BEF that landed in France in 1914?   80,000 

When was the Battle of Mons?    23 August 1914  

Who was the first British soldier to be killed during WW1?   Private John Parr 

Who was the last British soldier to be killed during WW1?  George Ellison 

Why were the BEF forced into a retreat at Mons? Because they were outnumbered by the German advance 

Who was commander in chief of the BEF in 1914?   Sir John French  

 

When was the Battle of the Marne?    5 September 1914 

Who was the first British soldier to be executed during WW1?   Thomas Highgate 

Who was French commander in chief?    Joseph Joffre 

Where did the French government evacuate to fearing German capture of Paris?   Bordeaux  

Where did the Schlieffen plan come to an end?  The Battle of the  Marne 

How were Parisian soldiers transported to the Marne?   In taxicabs 

 

Where had the Germans retreated north to?  Aisne river 

Who dug in on high ground overlooking the river Aisne? Germans 

Who replaced Von Moltke as German commander in chief?  Erich Von Falkenhayn 

When was the Battle of the Aisne?  13 September 1914 

 

What was the continuous line of trenches known as?   The Race to the Sea 

How far did the line of trenches extend to?  The Belgian coast 

When was Antwerp pounded by the German army?  28 September 1914 

Why was the British government afraid if Antwerp should fall? Because then the Germans would have access to the channel ports and could threaten Britain. 

Who arrived in Antwerp to assess the situation?  Winston Churchill 

What did Churchill decide to do about the situation in Antwerp?  Send 3,000 marines to relieve the Belgians 

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They certainly make sense, Ash, though as my knowledge of this aspect of the war is less than yours I can't confirm how accurate are the answers.

 

Your Qs & As continue to provide a useful framework on which you can build up an appreciation of this period.

 

Not that it matters too much in the overall scheme of things who were the first and last British soldiers to die (or be executed), and the names you mention have been extensively debated in previous threads. If a particular individual does interest you, bear him in mind for future investigation (perhaps by reading those old threads) but for the time being I suggest that you continue to concentrate on those early months of the war in France and Belgium

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I had a thought, i like reading about WW1 tanks such as the British mk1, mk4 and mk5 etc.    I read that with the British mk1, there was originally 100 built but the order was increased because 6 tank companies were created,  the mk1 first saw action at fleurs courcelette on 15 September 1916,  things like that, the mk4 first saw action at Cambrai and was fitted with facsines,  things like that i like reading.    Should i start reading about the Somme as the British mk1 tanks first faught there and not concentrate so much on the BEF during the eatrly months of 1914?

Thanks

Ash

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Whatever suits you, Ash. There's no harm in flitting from one subject to another. You seem to have gained a good outline knowledge of the first months of the war - better than mine. But I wonder about your studying the Somme, which was a very complex battle. I've never tried to, as I suspect that I would become confused about all the units and sectors.

 

Now that tanks have attracted your interest, why not concentrate on them - their development, their role in the Battle of the Somme and their later activities.

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Thanks for that.   I'm reading a book called Tank Hunter World War One, by Craig Moore,  Here is part of what it says in the introduction,  

The chapters at the beginning of the book concentrate on the history of early tank development and the different types used during the First World War. The later chapters cover some of the important battles of the war where tanks were used on the battlefield.    I don't know about when you mentioned about looking at different Tank divisions or something, whether this book would help?     The other book is called,   Battle of the Somme, by Rupert Colley.  it gives a brief run through of the Somme in the introduction, but the overall book discusses the battle of Verdun, not in too much detail and then the Somme again not too much detail as in regiments, divisions, none of that just simply what happened, who the key players were, Sir john french, Henry Rawlinson, Douglas Haig and things.    What do you think, shall i take notes from my tank book and then from the Somme book?   None of the books talk about what division was where,  yes later on in the tank book it says that at Fleurs when the 25 tanks out of the 49 were A and B company, C and D company hadn't turned up.   Something like that i can't remember.

 

Ash

 

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Good Morning, Ash

 

I don't know Craig Moore's book, but it sounds a good one for you to start with.

 

I wouldn't bother with noting or trying to remember that such and such a company of tanks hadn't turned up. The main point is that almost half the expected number of tanks didn't show up and perhaps you need to note down why not. (Mechanical failure, IIRC?)

 

As previously admitted, I know little about the war on the Continent and already you know more than I do!

 

Moonraker

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Good morning Moonraker,  what's your name?

 

Can you suggest any good  tank books?    What do you read about and what interests you about ww1?   Thanks.

 

Ash

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Ash: sorry, I haven't come across many tank books. My interests centre on military Wiltshire and other aspects of the Home Front.

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Sadly, there are few detailed books currently available on the introduction of tanks in 1916; the best is  the Tanks at Flers  by Trevor Pidgeon but it is currently out of print. 

Other recent books which are useful are the Devil's Chariots by John Glanfield, which covers development and production and The Tanks in the Great War, by JFC Fuller written in 1919 but readily available as a paperback is worth a read.  You might be interested in this book, which will be published by Helion in the Autumn, which is the first volume in a new in depth history.  

 

helion1000759.jpg

Edited by delta
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I have made a list of question and answers to help me to learn facts but im not happy with some, i feel they could be worded better but im struggling to word them.    What do you think?   Here are my question and answers.   I'm not sure about the Winston churchill and Antwerp question.

How many volunteers had signed up  for the army by the end of 1914?   over one million 

Who was Horatio Kitchener?  Minister of War 

When did Kitchener die?    5 June 1916   

 

What were Pals Battalions?  Where men could sign up and serve alongside their friends, relatives or workmates 

What was the first Pals battalion?   The Stockbrokers Battalion 

 

When was the Battle of Mons?    23 August 1914  

Who was the first British soldier to be killed during WW1?   Private John Parr 

Who was the last British soldier to be killed during WW1?  George Ellison 

Who was commander in chief of the BEF in 1914?   Sir John French  

 

When was the Battle of the Marne?    5 September 1914 

Who was the first British soldier to be executed during WW1?   Thomas Highgate 

Who was French commander in chief?    Joseph Joffre 

What battle ended the German capture of Paris?   Marne 

What battle did the Schlieffen plan come to an end?    Marne 

 

Who replaced Von Moltke as German commander in chief?  Erich Von Falkenhayn 

When was the Battle of the Aisne?  13 September 1914 

 

When was Antwerp captured by the German army?  28 September 1914 

Who did Winston Churchill decide would help defend Antwerp from German capture?   3,000 British marines 

When did the BEF start arriving in France?   7 August 1914 

Who is said to have referred to the BEF as a contemptible little army?  Kaiser Wilhelm II 

 

Who devised the Schlieffen Plan?  Alfred Von Schlieffen 

What year did Schlieffen die?  1913 

What was the objective of the Schlieffen plan? To avoid a two-front war by defeating France in less than 6 weeks 

Who replaced Schlieffen as German chief of staff?      Helmuth Von Moltke 

When did Britain declare war on Germany?  4 August 1914 

 

When was Brussels captured by the Germans?  20 August 1914 

When was Sir John French replaced?  December 1915 

What was the BEF’s first battle on European soil since Waterloo 99 years earlier?  Mons 

Who wrote a made-up account of ghostly figures protecting the British soldiers as they retreated?  Arthur Machen 

 

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Your Q & As are worded well enough, Ash. I can readily understand them; what matters most is that you can.

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I'm told on the ww1 buffs facebook page that my Q&A's are wrong, especially the one about Winston Churchill sending 3,000 British marines to protect Antwerp.    They always hit me with complicated details whereas im after the basic facts which im only copying from my book.    They don't seem to understand what simple facts are.

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On 22/06/2021 at 10:49, Alecras234 said:

Can you suggest any good  tank books?

Particularly if you are interested in the men rather than the machines then Delta's first book is a fascinating study which includes lots of detail about the first tank actions.  The First Tank Crews by Stephen Pope published by Helion and due to be re-released, having been updated, in paperback I think this autumn. Well worth a read.

Regards, Paul 

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    Hi i'd like advice please?  I'm making notes from my book on ww1 like i posted in a previous thread, they're only dates, places and names but i'm happy sort of.  What i'd like are notes of battles and who fought in them, what divisions and such.   How do i go about this please?   Thanks

 

Ash

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