We saw last week on Britain’s Great War how the Germans pummelled British forces from one end of Mons to the other with a fist of pure emotion and left them with a cauliflower arse and a head of scattered dreams. They weren’t done with Blighty yet. On May 7 1915 German U-boat U20 launched a torpedo that brutally turded ocean liner RMS Lusitania leading to 1198 civilian deaths. The turdpedo that ripped into Lusitania’s starboard bow simultaneously ripped a hole in the notion that this war could be fought remotely. Outrage was international, fear universal and beating up people who looked or sounded a bit German became the national sport. Unusually for the British, they excelled at it.
The turdpedo that ripped into Lusitania’s starboard bow simultaneously ripped a hole in the notion that this war could be fought remotely.
A shame they weren’t doing likewise on the Western front. The army needed better munitions – the feeble shit they were being handed was bouncing off the Germans, making the Hun seem indestructible. The Daily Mail called out Kitchener on the fiasco in an editorial – unheard of in those days. It paved the way for David Lloyd George to become Minister of Munitions and he was an altogether different beast. Like all great men he realised that if you really want to win a war you get the chicks on board.
“Get the broads out of the kitchens and into the factories making munitions” was his rallying cry. To this end he met with highly strung suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. The two had something of a history. A while back she’d tried to blow his balls off, fucking up his house in the process. “Harmless banter, Martin” was Lloyd George’s gracious take on the assassination attempt and he struck a deal with the pyromaniac: get these crazy bitches to work and I’ll get you the vote. Pankhurst cackled like the mad wicth she was and accepted. Suffrage was on.
A while back she’d tried to blow his balls off, fucking up his house in the process. “Harmless banter, Martin” was Lloyd George’s gracious take
With the dames pumping out bullets and shells like there was no tomorrow production skyrocketed. So did idiotic propaganda posters, toxic jaundice and fatal workplace accidents but this was the price of war.
Back in the rat-filled trenches a grisly stalemate prevailed. Half a million British dead and no gain to show for it. So conscription, for the first time in British history, came in. With their numbers bolstered the Allies decided to go on the offensive. The result was the Battle of the Somme.
A seven day-long shock and awe bombardment of the Germans was intended to decimate the enemy for the land battle. Officers assured their troops taking the battered German positions would be a piece of piss – a morning stroll across the poppy fields of Picardy.
But with thousands of the British shells failing to explode and the impressively fortified concrete bunkers of the Krauts the Allies faced a mean, pissed off enemy when they went over the top. German gunfire cut through young British bodies like a scythe through corn with the kind of fuck-you efficiency that would later lead to multiple penalty shootout victories. Over 57,000 British casualties on the first day, over 19,000 of them deaths, ushered in a four-month slaughterfest of mud, blood, human offal and shit.
57,000 British casualties on the first day, over 19,000 of them deaths, ushered in a four-month slaughterfest of mud, blood, human offal and shit.
British troops would like to refer to it as “The Great Fuck-Up”. That was being polite.
The verdict: Starting to get tricky now.
Marks out of 10: 7