I was just over at The Galloping Beaver and there's a side-bar with the latest blogging action. It hadn't changed much from yesterday afternoon! Is Canadian leftist blogging dying? Who is still working furiously to provide written political sustenance? Besides Montreal Simon and Owen at Northern Reflections?
Well, it wasn't quiet on the Western Front one hundred years ago. On March 10th, 1915, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle began. It would last three days. It was noteworthy because it showed how offensives would go for the rest of the war. A brief period of advance, which would slow down because the attackers couldn't feed more troops in faster than defenders could reinforce. Plus, on such a large scale, the primitive communications systems at the time broke down at the front lines, making it impossible for leaders to respond to new possibilities, or for the artillery to communicate with the infantry. Things would always develop into the mass slaughter that war was infamous for.
You know, one hundred years ago is like a foreign country. Most of those men were from the country, whereas most of us are urban. Even in cities, things like getting water, lighting and heating one's home, cooking a meal, was more like being at the cottage for us. And, there was a greater faith in authority I think. But when you look at those young, traumatized men in World War I, they're not all that different from young men today.
That trauma would go on to build the world as we know it today. Their trauma helped produce (at least) World War Two and the Balance of Terror that followed that. We're still living in the world they made. Even in death.