‘It is a cliché that wars seldom go according to plan, but perhaps none has gone astray as dramatically as the First World War. The vast German sweep through the Low Countries succeeded only in branding the Kaiser’s Reich a nation of butchers and bringing the United Kingdom into the war. Field commanders were unable to achieve the clock-work precision required by the Schlieffen Plan and the German advance was stopped at the Marne in early September 1914. The Kaiser would not spend Christmas in Paris. The troops of both sides, however, would spend the next four years in the mud of the trenches, which one wag described as an attempt to drain Switzerland into the North Sea. It is remarkable that one could find any humor in the trenches, where filth, disease and death were constant companions, as were the rotting, unburied dead in their uncounted hundreds and thousands…’
This episode is written by Tom Hall.
Tom is an American polymath who has written several past programs. This episode represents his return after an extended illness.
Author’s note: The American Rifleman is a publication of the National Rifle Association, an organization that has drawn much political ire of late. The “Rifleman’s” position as a source of authoritative, unbiased firearms information is, however, unquestioned.