Lest We Forget the Horror…

Anzac Day is a good time to reflect on those whose lives were taken in wars involving Australia. With the extinction now of our First World War veterans the realities – not to mention the politics – of commemoration in Australia are bound to become ever more difficult and, perhaps, controversial. There has long been an Australian tendency to deify the Digger – to place him on a pedestal as some sort of white-hat crusader who found glory on the battlefield, even in death. The truth, as I have discovered by walking the battlefields in France and the Middle East is grittier, often more disturbing and always more compelling.

The Australian government has received more than 600 public submissions about how WWI should be commemorated. Some expound the mythologies of Anzac. Others are characterised by a desire to strip it of embellishment as its centenary nears.

One submission stood out to me. It is from Vietnam veteran Jim Robertson. He writes:

”… if I may, an observation made from some experience of these matters – I have served on two similar Commonwealth committees. These ‘commemorations’ all too often turn into a celebration and more particularly one long photo opportunity for politicians … And two more if I may – PLEASE, in your reports, publications and promotions, try to avoid the utterly demeaning term ‘fallen’ when speaking of war dead – they did not trip over a stick or a garden hose, they were drowned, burned, shot, gassed and eviscerated to lie face down in mud or sand or at the bottom of the ocean. ”War is humankind’s most horrific activity and it must be portrayed as such for that is how veterans see it. It should not be made to appear otherwise by false sensitivity or photos of politicians trying to look dutifully serious. And do please, avoid that other offensive expression, ‘win’ or ‘won’ when referring to combat decorations. War is not a card game or Lotto. Decorations are not won, they are awarded. I wish the committee well.”

I, too, hope that we start to see the wars that have involved Australians from beyond the cliche. While official history and semi-official accounts of the various units can serve their purpose very well, they are best read with the personal writings of Australian soldiers themselves. Recently, while at Fromelles to research two Australian Rules footballers who fought at the Somme, I read a potted history of the 29th Battalion to which one footballer belonged. Fromelles was a human butchery – a British bungle that cost 2500 Australian lives in barely 48 hours, eclipsing the worst days of the Diggers’ eight pointless months at Gallipoli. According to this history, the 29th Battalion, which took part in the attack on Fromelles in 1916, had ”achieved in its failure a renown that will never die, a glory that cannot pass away. It tried and it died.” I doubt whether too many of the Australians who were swallowed by the mud at Fromelles, after the German machine gunners cut them down, found glory in it.

Same goes for the mates who searched for them across the body-littered no man’s land for the next few days. In an essay in The Australian Literary Review this month about the great collection of WWI soldier diaries held by the State Library of NSW, historian Peter Cochrane eloquently observed how the tone of the diaries began to change after the men saw action:

”The quaint imperial conviction that war was manly and glorious gave way to the grim certainty that it was butchery or murder in a vast slaughterhouse … Novices charging to glory became, if they survived, dour professionals sustained only by duty and mateship. Rivers of blood destroyed the romance of battle.”

More than 61,000 Australians died in WWI, at least 50,000 of them on the European Western Front. The war stultified Australia for at least a generation. It’s why we need to remember, of course. Germany lost more than 2 million soldiers, conscripted men and boys, in the same war. One of the saddest places I have visited on the Somme (a big call, given the profound melancholy that marks this part of the Western Front) is the German Cemetery at Fricourt. Throughout the legion of British and allied cemeteries that have come to characterise the topography of the Somme and Flanders, you will always find visitors who’ve come to remember their dead. At Fricourt, where the dead are buried four to a grave, there are only the gardeners.

Paul Daley

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37 thoughts on “Lest We Forget the Horror…

  1. We also tend to forget that at gallipoli there were vast numbers of Turkish casualties, along with British, french and new Zealand troops.

    We tend to focus on the relatively minor Australian aspect to the exclusion of all else.

  2. ANZAC DAY! While all multicultists, from politics and business down to low level propagandists like those running “the anti-bogan”, should always be ashamed of themselves, there is never a day when you should hang your head in deep shame tha this. As you ruthlessly promote mass immigration, multiple culture-ism, and racial replacement here. If you went and defecated on the graves of Australian servicemen then you could not insult them and their legacy any more. What is befalling Australia now, the (not so) quiet invasion by manner of mass immigration, is far more dangerous and ultimately destructive than the incredible conflicts overseas in which good Australian, and New Zealand, men answered the call of their civilisation and served it and their people with courage and honour.
    The traitors who engineer or encourage “multiculturalism” now should indeed be deeply ashamed…but shame generally comes from a sense of character and conscience that is clearly missing in them.
    Traitors and cowards used to be shot.
    Now, we should simply STOP listening to the rats in our midst who would encourage the kind of defeat that Australians never before suffered.

    Each of you who are so perfidious as to author or encourage something like this website should be ashamed, each day you continue to do so…and most especially on ANZAC Day!

    • there is no invasion, as has been explained many many times. this is simply an immigration policy that was started in the early 50’s. as you speak out against australian society and cululture it would be more accurate to describe you as the traitor and coward.

      “the kind of defeat that Australians never before suffered.”? you do realise that australia has lost most of the conflicts we’ve been in since ww2 right? except korea, as thats still going.

      go take a history lesson. you might learn something

  3. Who’s “we” zulu??? Many of us have avoided the brainwashing and liberal immolation of history that has marred recent years.
    We know precisely the scope of the Dardanelles theatre, and the wider conflict.
    WE are Australians…that is why WE have focused on, and focus on, the aspect that OUR dominion and OUR forefathers took as they served, fought, often suffered and died, for our empire, our civilisation, our nation, our society, and for US!
    WE who treasure that, honour that!

    • actually they signed up to fight for god, king and the british empire. and at gallipoli australains we outnumbered by the french, british and turks. it was far from a purely australain enterprise.

      the australai they fought for and the society they fought for hasn’t existed for over half a century. societies and cultures change.

  4. Immigration…mass immigration…instigated wth increasing ruthlessness by successive governments, without the consent of the Australian people, with nothing but contempt for the Australian people, and with the effect that Australians are being rapidly sidelined and eliminated in our own country…IS INVASION “zulu”!
    The masses of people coming hee, from their own failed societies and cultures, who all to a person KNOW that they COULD NEVER HAVE MADE SUCH A NATION POSSIBLE, and who intend to use it for all they can, are an invading force!
    DON’T try and portray it otherwise, especially on a day such as this!

    Australian military forces have suffered incredible military defeats and reverses along with our many stunning victories, we have NEVER been invaded or conquered though, and have suffered NOTHING that would lead to the defeat and loss of nation that is being inflicted by way of immigration!

    What the hell do you think I have been talking about here for so long you mug? I have many times confirmed that Australians, in the A.I.F, answered the call of and served God, King, and the British Empire! That is our civilisation, we are British!
    That is the shining reality that multicult propaganda so mercilessly and relentlessly tries to tarnish, and often to outright deny!

    Australian society IS NOT CHANGING!!!
    The population of a sound sovereign nation being deliberately and artificially replaced by foreign races and nations is NOT that society changing!
    Australian society, one of the greatest societies on earth, IS NOT CHANGING…it is being CHANGED!!!
    That is totally different!
    That would NEVER happen unless malicious forces MADE it happen!
    DO NOT try and paint te deliberate and ruthless replacement of the Australian people by alien races and foreign cultures as being some “natural” change!

    It is amazing that multicult dogs DENY their agenda even as they cannot help but voice it!
    You deny Australia is being invaded with one breath…and then proclaim that Australian society is being “changed” with the next! You low down bastard! That is EXACTLY the insult to every Australian soldier who served God, King, Empire, and their people, that I am remonstrating against!
    NO non-White/non-Western society is being so “changed”!
    We are of the highest race and most accomplished civilisation…we do NOT have to “change”!
    Being replaced by other races (who could never have created such a great society) is not “change”, it is death!
    Any progress, of any sort, into the future, is to be made by OURSELVES…AS OURSELVES!

    • actually the white australia policy was removed by the australian government because the australian people demanded that it be so.
      there is no standard by which someone can say that a culture has ‘failed’ scotty. a culture is the set of norms by which a people live by.

      no heres a thing; you constantly talk about your hatred of foreiogn cultures, societies and countries and yet you proclaim your love of britain and our bond with new zealand. these are foreign countries scott, with a different (although realted) society and culture.
      we are australian, not british. and australian is a nationality not a race.

      australian society has changed and is changing. the society of the 20’s was different to that of the 40’s and so on and so forth. societies and cultures change.

      and an invasion is an act of a foriegn power vua their military. it is not a bunch of civilians. oh and we get british and new zealand migrants, but somehow they dont count in your eyes am i right?

    • “Being replaced by other races (who could never have created such a great society)”

      – Shows narrow view of history. Up until a few centuries ago, the richest and most prosperous countries in the world were non-white non-western.

    • you never specify who is orchastrating this “replacement of the Australian people by alien races and foreign cultures” or indeed why.
      one of the more absurd conspiracy theories.

    • Scott, you “we are British”? Wtf? You say you speak for most Australians, yet most Australians would laugh at that.

      • sorry, typo. Meant to say:
        Scott, you *say* “we are British”? Wtf? You say you speak for most Australians, yet most Australians would laugh at that.

        (Maybe I’m suffering boganitus?)

      • i think he’s a little old school in his beliefs. as in he seems to belive in the supremacy of the british empire. you the one which finally died in ’45. and had been broken since around 1900.

  5. Up until a few, or more centuries, ago…THAT’S the point!
    Up until a few centuries ago…and most of those countries/societies/empires were so prosperous on the back of conquest, invasion, massacre, theft, and enslavement! Exactly the things that left wing liberals cannot stop blabbering about about Whites! Those countries or powers never made as much of themselves as we did!
    Up until a few centuries ago…yes indeed, that’s the POINT!
    A few centuries ago, or more, those great and prosperous countries and powers petered ou and stagnated!
    They could NEVER have made the leaps that we did!
    Be it the Ottomans, the Safavids, the Mughals, the Aztec, or the Ch’ing, they came to a conclusion, faltered, stagnated, and remained derelict.

    No, NONE of the peoples so eager to take advantage of the sedition shown by either our elected “leaders” or hysterical White liberals, and who rush into our society could EVER have made it so!

    A few centuries ago Great Britain was very well on the ascendency to being the only hyper-power the world has ever known.
    This society does not have to end merely because some want to end it!

    Many of us know better, and will resist that!

    You know both who and what made possible the society that you exist within, and it’s benefits…and that sticks in the throats of hate filled liberals!

    It’s also really and truly side-splittingly hilarious that multicultists who on one hand go off at Australians who speak up for our nation (and we’re talking about it up until VERY recently!) as that we’re “living in the past”, then have to go on about foreign countries or civilisations being great or prosperous a “a few centuries ago”, or go on about peoples many centuries or thousands of years ago!
    Our society continues in a linear line of success unabated and unchecked until now!
    That does not have to end.
    Why do people like YOU loathe your own people and society and wish to put a hand to the knife that would kill both, THAT is the question!

    We were great a few centuries ago, we were great a century ago, we were great 40 years ago, wewere great 10 years ago!
    There’s no conceivable reason why we should not remain great continually!

    • unabated line of success? we were almost anihilated in ww2, saved only by americas pacific intervention. britain the power that you claimwas almost a hyper power hasn’t been a major power since ww2. powers wax and wane. when someone talkes about how great the ottomans were (or whatever civilisation it was) they are pionting at that at one time this power was the mightiest in the region and then it crumbled. as all powers do. britain used to be the most powerful nation and now its not. america used to be one of the most powerful along with the USSR and now its on the way out not even 20 years after the USSR fell.

      what you seem to not understand is just how much of a minor power australia is. you continually bring it back to britain and the old ideas of a british empire. we haven’t been part of britain for over 100 years. britian lost its major power status over 60 years ago. australia is a tiny country just outside of asia that has always depended on other nations for one thing or another. it used to be defence and currently our economy is heavily dependent on japan, china and india for its survival.

    • I was going to say something slightly different to your sentiments, thought about it and decided to hell with it im going to say it anyways

      Scott, fuck off with your tl;dr tirades. You are an embarrassing child trying to be intellectual and, as always, failing.

      M-Dawg, zulu, TAB, et al keep up the great work

  6. It’s astounding and outrageous how some assholes pontificate about us, our society, and our future as well…as though it’s all just “changing”!
    Like it’s nothing at all!

    As though Australians woke up one sunny morning, yawned, stretched, an in union said that we’d like to be replaced by the nations of the world.
    Or that Australians just started naturally morphing into Asians and Africans and God only knows what else!
    As though it’s all just part of the flow.
    As though, hey presto, Australians magically “changed” into a fractured mess of cultures, a myriad of different races, and a babel of incoherent languages.
    As though the “change” being wrougt upin Australia is somehow natural and irresistable.

    Nonsense!

    If a crowd of people arrived at your home, moved in, and took over, would you say your homw is changing?
    Sure, it’s fucking changing, but it’s NOT you who’s changing it!

    What is with this insane liberal obsession with “change” as well???
    Change is actually not always inevitable.
    Change is often for the WORSE as well!
    It’d have to be a pretty fuckin’ good reason for the “change” of Australia being replaced by masses of foreign races…and as yet NONE have ben provided….and NONE can be!

    Much change is for the worse.
    People get cancer, that’s not a good change!
    People go broke, that’s not a good change!

    This insane maxim trumpeted loudly and continually nowadays, of “change”, “change”, “change”, “CHANGE”!
    It’s always negative, always destructive, always irresponsible, always nihilistic.

    Change is not always good.
    The changes being wrought upon the Australian people serve some people, they serve the power elite orchestrating them, they sure as fuck serve the people departing their crowded nations to take advantage of ours, they serve the sick and suicidal fantasies of anti-white liberals, they serve some things but NOT the Australian people or our good future!

    This demented, short term, mindless chant of “change”.

    Not all change is for the good, in fact much is for the worse.

    Multicultists say half a thing, hoping that will end it.
    Yes, obviously Australian society is “changing”…but it is being changed!
    It is deliberate and malicious, not natural or healthy.
    You say “change”…when it is BEING changed!

    Yes, there is great ‘change’ being inflicted on Australia…and it is all change for the WORSE!

    Changes being made, that we can easily reverse!

    • one post ago you talked about how old empires stagnated and declined.
      now you say that change is for the worse?

      and now you say that a small group of immigrants is somehow magically changing us into asians? really? you’re going to run with that bullshit? do you even know how genetics works? people don’t become other people. thats just not even remotely feasible.
      oh and australia isn’t ‘fractured’. its unified behind multiculturalism as it has for several decades. only a small, near insignificant minority like yourself who cling to old ideals and racial theories debunked several decades ago oppose multiculturalism. pathetic really.

      • Re you genetics comment, Zulu, maybe Scott actually believes he’s going to turn Asian (or “be turned Asian”).

        • there was a belief (that finally died around the late 60’s) that asian blood was powerful and would somehow (through magic probably) overpower ‘white blood’. it was part of the belief that if you were given ‘black blood’ that you would turn black.

          yeah it was total crap. obviously. scott isn’t too bright though.

  7. Lots of ad-homs in the last reply but one logical sore-throat sticks out. You claim that the non-western countries that prospered did so by war and conquest alone. This itself is blatant generalisation and lacks evidence but let’s say that its true. Doesn’t that mean there were countries that *did* become prosperous on their own which were then invaded and conquered?

    Besides, when I said prosperous I did not mean mere wealth alone. Achievements like Human rights, women’s rights, Science, Rationality, Reason, Spirit of free inquiry, secularism, Animal rights, Right to education and health…. things that western society is rightly proud of championing today has pre-dated parallels right across the non-western world. This does not in any way belittle the achievements of western civilisation. It simply celebrates the underlying humanity that runs across the entire species.

    To claim that only the white race is biologically or sociologically capable of such achievements (that seems to be the underlying message) would be to cherry pick bits of history that suits one’s prejudice.

  8. Having visited two areas Ypres in Belgium and Hellfire Pass in the lst 15 months the sad loss of lives in war is mindblowing. All men who fight in war go because they believe what they are doing is right and all lives no matter what their nationality lost are a tragedy…they leave behind mothers, fathers. wives, siblings and children to mourn their loss.

    Even after all of this I fear the rise of nationhood a scarey thing…these young men and women did not die for this they died for freedom and everyone deserves that right…..no matter where they were born.

  9. Scott,
    You are such a moron it astounds me that you keep posting in the face of people clearly more intelligent than you on a blog where the majority of readers are just waiting for idiotic comments that you provide.
    The truth is, in almost every war they have felt compelled/pressured/obligated to fight in, Australian forces have been a very minor part of the overall force. Many bad decisions have led to terrible slaughters of all involved at some time or another. I find it hard to believe that we still actually have wars. Then I read comments from individuals such as you and I am reminded of the ignorance and fear stil present in so many of us.
    You say change is terrible although change is the only thing that enables societies to grow. What strikes me everywhere I go is just how frightened people are of change, of new things, of different things. It is this fear that keeps human beings from developing. Fear gives way to violence quite often and fear of change is the biggest issue hindering any real positive developments in any society in today’s world.
    Bring on change, change to the point of complete systems, especially economic ones, collapsing spectacularly. It seems humans generally don’t fix things until they break.

    • i must admit i was surprised. if anything i thought he’d instantly attack us for some perceived slight. but nope he disappointed even my low expectations.

  10. I fail to see what this post has to do with discrimination or anti discrimination. From what I can gather the message is “Don’t like or glorify war, Everyone!”. Well, no shit Sherlock.

    • It is an attempt to get away from the sorts of stereotypes our dear fiend friend Scott likes to promote

      1. White Anglo males (WAMs) as the only people who fought for Australia.

      2. War is good.

      3. Said WAMs are somehow superior to everyone else, including the black and brown people who fought beside them.

      4. ANZAC Day is solely about points (1), (2) and (3)

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