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Subdeacon Joe

The Cost of War

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This has got to be one of the most powerful photographs I have ever seen. Above is a battalion of the Cameron Highlanders in 1914, prior to being despatched to the front line; below is the same battalion upon their return in 1918 after the armistice. On the eve of the centennial anniversary of the armistice I would like to remember the millions of souls who gave their lives defending our shores and preserving our freedom, and to those who survived the unimaginable horrors. Lest we forget.

 

 

FB_IMG_1604630870998.jpg

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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Modern sounds have been used to create this recording which is based on sound ranging. This is extraordinarily clever. The soundscape of the Great War must have been devastating: constant artillery bombardment, rifle shots, fighter planes buzzing overhead and the screams of soldiers encountering gas. But we don’t actually know quite what the World War I sounded like. Magnetic tape didn’t exist yet and recording technology was in its infancy, requiring sound to be mechanically produced using a needle and soft wax or metal. Taking such machines into the field was not practical. Still, there were people on the front recording. Special units used a technique called “sound ranging” to try and determine where enemy gunfire was coming from. To do so, technicians set up strings of microphones—actually barrels of oil dug into the ground—a certain distance apart, then used a piece of photographic film to visually record noise intensity. The effect is similar to the way a seismometer records an earthquake. Using that data and the time between when a shot was fired and when it hit, they could then triangulate where enemy artillery was located—and adjust their own guns accordingly. At least one bit of that “sound ranging” film survived the War—the film recording the last few minutes of World War I when the guns finally fell silent at the River Moselle on the American Front.

 

 

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Sadly about 11000 soldiers on all sides became casualties  in the 6 or so hours between the actual signing and when the guns fell silent. :(

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The more I look at this picture, the more I see there's something wrong. These pictures weren't taken 4 years apart. The shadows are exactly the same. The man front & center in the top pic is the same man standing in exactly the same spot in the lower pic. The trees are exactly the same. The pictures are taken from exactly the same spot and elevation. The shadows from the line of men in the bottom pic aren't the same length or angle as the shadow of the man in front.

Edited by Three Foot Johnson

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6 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

The more I look at this picture, the more I see there's something wrong. These pictures weren't taken 4 years apart. The shadows are exactly the same. The man front & center in the top pic is the same man standing in exactly the same spot in the lower pic. The trees are exactly the same. The pictures are taken from exactly the same spot and elevation. The shadows from the line of men in the bottom pic aren't the same length or angle as the shadow of the man in front.

You can tell them. I wouldn't say s**T to any of them. Men that have been through what they represent have very low sense of humor.

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7 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

The more I look at this picture, the more I see there's something wrong. These pictures weren't taken 4 years apart. The shadows are exactly the same. The man front & center in the top pic is the same man standing in exactly the same spot in the lower pic. The trees are exactly the same. The pictures are taken from exactly the same spot and elevation. The shadows from the line of men in the bottom pic aren't the same length or angle as the shadow of the man in front.

 

Say that it is their Morning Colours or some such ceremony.  Same time of day, positions drilled into them by daily repetition.  They are going to be in the same spot.  I've seen a few parade grounds that have slightly worn spots from people taking the same position every day for decades.

 

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1 hour ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Say that it is their Morning Colours or some such ceremony.  Same time of day, positions drilled into them by daily repetition.  They are going to be in the same spot.  I've seen a few parade grounds that have slightly worn spots from people taking the same position every day for decades.

 

 

There are worn spots like that in the wooden drill hall floor in the Cartier Square Drill Hall.

The Drill Hall is shared by the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and The Governor General's Foot Guards, both Militia/Reserve units.

 

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My wife and I visited Scotland in 2016.  The castle in the background of those photos is Edinburgh castle, and is centuries old.  Both photos you showed are also on display there, along with the story you told.  

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4 hours ago, Noz said:

You can tell them. I wouldn't say s**T to any of them. Men that have been through what they represent have very low sense of humor.

Pretty sure the're all dead, so...

 

A one minute Google search turned up several sites that indicate the lower photo has been manipulated and faked.

 

https://hoaxeye.com/2018/12/02/cameron-highlanders-1914/

 

(edit) Perhaps saying the picture is faked isn't exactly correct, it could be the story that's in error. Every twig, branch, and gap in the trees is absolutely identical. There is no way the two pictures were taken four years apart. Every shadow is identical, except for the shadows of the line of men in the bottom pic. Odd that the officer in front would cast a shadow, but none of the men behind him do. 

Edited by Three Foot Johnson
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The point of the photo is that out of all the men pictured after 4 years of brutal fighting only a handful returned.

 

Doesn't matter if it is doctored or not; the message is what matters.

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I agree with Three Foot Johnson. War is terrible enough without going around making doctored photos of it.

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3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

The point of the photo is that out of all the men pictured after 4 years of brutal fighting only a handful returned.

 

Doesn't matter if it is doctored or not; the message is what matters.

 

I doubt it was 'doctored', even if not an actual photo. It was produced as an illustration of the extent of the destruction of the lives in the unit, which was undoubtedly quite accurate. So it seems to me.

 

My grandfather was in the British forces in WWI. Fortunately, he was not in the infantry, but was in the Royal Air Force, flying as an artillery spotter. 

Edited by Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619
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As a spotter, that job was plenty dangerous. Especially during the "Fokker Scourge". Those guys were up there basically in kites with gas tanks just waiting for an incendiary, and, no parachutes.:blink::blush:

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One explanation is that it was merely a representation of the scope of the casualties. 
Shadows can be exact if taken at the same day year after year. But the trees are exactly the same.

My great grandfather was a regimental quartermaster sgt.
His unit went over in 1914. Less than 20 of the originals returned at the end.

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4 hours ago, Four-Eyed Buck,SASS #14795 said:

As a spotter, that job was plenty dangerous. Especially during the "Fokker Scourge". Those guys were up there basically in kites with gas tanks just waiting for an incendiary, and, no parachutes.:blink::blush:

 

My grandad was never shot down, but he lost power once at 4,000 ft and glided to a landing, just behind German lines. He evaded, with a whiff of mustard gas.

 

He said that those biplanes glided well. One very interesting I remember, he said that when he was made a pilot, he was made an officer. At that point, he was required to grow a mustache and carry a swagger stick....

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Looking at war statistics, the Great War, later called WW I, is the first war with such a high % of MIA.  1.5 MIAs out of 6 million dead combatants, mostly due to 130k pound of artillery per killed or missing lost and the remoteness of some battles, like the Alps and Urals.

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It looks like there is a car of that era parked near the entrance to the building.  What are the odds that the same car would be parked in the same spot 4 years later.  While it's a moving photo and emphasizes the number of losses in that war, I think this photo has been faked.

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8 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

One explanation is that it was merely a representation of the scope of the casualties. 
Shadows can be exact if taken at the same day year after year. But the trees are exactly the same.

My great grandfather was a regimental quartermaster sgt.
His unit went over in 1914. Less than 20 of the originals returned at the end.

 

That was my immediate thought when I first saw the photograph... it never even occurred to me that anyone was attempting to present it as anything but that - a
"representation."

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Looking at it again I think it's obvious that the second photo is meant to demonstrate the number of survivors compared to the whole regiment in the first photo.  I don't know if they're representing missing, wounded and killed in action or just missing and fatalaties. Or is someone saying the small number in the second photo is not accurate? 

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Crosby/Stills/Nash said it back in the day: Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground.

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On 11/5/2020 at 9:50 PM, Subdeacon Joe said:

This has got to be one of the most powerful photographs I have ever seen. Above is a battalion of the Cameron Highlanders in 1914, prior to being despatched to the front line; below is the same battalion upon their return in 1918 after the armistice. On the eve of the centennial anniversary of the armistice I would like to remember the millions of souls who gave their lives defending our shores and preserving our freedom, and to those who survived the unimaginable horrors. Lest we forget.

 

 

FB_IMG_1604630870998.jpg

 

Unfortunately this happened to a great many British and other Commonwealth regiments that saw combat in France and Gallipoli.  Other theaters of war that saw extensive trench warfare probably had similar casualty rates.  Similar losses among British and other Commonwealth regiments also happened in WWII Burma and probably North Africa & Italy.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

Looking at it again I think it's obvious that the second photo is meant to demonstrate the number of survivors compared to the whole regiment in the first photo.  I don't know if they're representing missing, wounded and killed in action or just missing and fatalaties. Or is someone saying the small number in the second photo is not accurate? 

Hard to say. My thought is that it represents original members who were still present for duty at the end. ,KIA,WIA, MIA not included. Disease struck many down in those days also. We can only guess.

 

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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I would say it is a manipulated photo. Manipulating images has been done since the dawn of cameras. There should be a shadow to the right of the troops like there is with the man out front. And it looks like the guy out front is identical in both photos. I'm sure it was done to make an impact on the viewer.

 

I have read Brady moved bodies around to make a more dramatic image while documenting the Civil War. Good graphic artists could do great manipulation with the negatives. People do it all the time now with computer software.

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i think the photo was trying to make "the point" rather than persuade someone today , 

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