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Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00

Con-Dem revisionism must be challenged

As expected, the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war is being used as an excuse by the government to rewrite history and to create some sort of feel-good, Olympic-style propaganda which, Tories hope, will result in electoral reward.

We now learn that the chair of the board that is advising the government on this, thinks the time is ripe for a new assessment of the "lions led by donkeys" idea.

In addition, the discussions on whether to celebrate August 9 1918 are ongoing, not because it was the date that the penny finally dropped for the military leaders but because it was a "black day" for the German army according to Ludendorff.

Perhaps not all proverbial "donkeys," but it wasn't until the fifth year of conflict that the generals realised surprise was key to victory and could well result in much less slaughter of our soldiers.

Silence and night movement of troops plus the absence of the usual pre-battle bombardment actually caught out the Germans and played a crucial role in the ensuing forward movement.

Rewriting history to suit the ideological and nationalistic wishes of a government still willing to listen to military chiefs who think Afghanistan can be conquered, the Taliban defeated and that nuclear weapons are essential in their "war against terror," must be opposed.

The government's idea of the commemoration of war does nothing for international harmony and serves only to provide numerous excuses for political posturing.

As a result, it can only be supported if it refuses to celebrate "victory" but instead accepts the historical fact that in 1914, the British volunteers - convinced as they were by the government propaganda that the war would be "over by Christmas" - were sent to their deaths by the incompetence of the military high command.

Bernie Evans


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