Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/02/24

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Embedded Brit journalists will receive Iraq Campaignmedal
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 14:59:56 -0500
References: <>

I think there are plenty of misconceptions about WWI. I think we will 
see some revisionism before the centenary. The slaughter was 
undoubtedly horrific and the mode of warfare, transitional between 
cavalry and mechanics, diabolical, but it wasn't senseless nor, 
arguably, unnecessary. A war would have come sooner or later once the 
immoveable object of the British Empire met the irresistible force of 
German expansionism. Sarajevo lit the powder keg but the sparks would 
have kept on coming.

After WWI the cry that went up was for social reform at home, and for 
an international political settlement that would prevent another war 
like it. The voices that said the whole thing had been a terrible 
mistake were almost silent, as far as I am aware from my own reading.

As for film and photography of WWI, there is actually lots of archive 
footage of horrible things behind the lines (I've seen most of it) but 
little battle footage for the simple reason that cameras generally 
required hand winding and to poke your head above the parapet during 
action would be suicide. There are fragments of battle footage shot 
from just above the trench wall but not much. Most of the rest of it is 

I do think people were aware, by late 1916 at least, of the level of 
casualties simply because so many families had lost sons, husbands and 
fathers. There continued to be an extremely strong belief, in GB 
anyway, that the war was justified and that it was a man's duty to go 
and fight. It's not the case that there was a sudden realization 
afterwards of how many people had died.

On Feb 24, 2004, at 9:47 AM, Tim Atherton wrote:

>> As to WWI, reporting and photography were heavily censored; had they 
>> not
>> been, and had folks at home been aware of the utterly senseless,
>> unnecessary slaughter of that particular war, it is likely there would
>> have been major resistance to the war in the Allied nations.
> What's interesting about WWI is that the work of the official "War
> Artists" - especially British & Canadian, while generally not seen 
> until
> somewhat later, probably gave (and still gives) a much more accurate 
> account
> of what was happening and the reality of the situation "in the 
> trenches"
> tim
> --
> To unsubscribe, see
- --
John Brownlow
Deep Fried Films, Inc

- --
To unsubscribe, see

In reply to: Message from Tim Atherton <> (RE: [Leica] Embedded Brit journalists will receive Iraq Campaignmedal)