Sunday, 27 April 2014


A week on the Somme and walking up the track from Bazentin to High Wood we came across this grenade at the side of the path. The lever and pin were still present and somehow it seemed more sinister than all the other shells left lying around.

I took the route from Serre across Redan Ridge to the Sunken lane where Malins took his famous shots of the Lancashire Fusiliers waiting on the start line. Its by far the most atmospheric spot on the battlefields I know. Seeing the fields of fire that the Germans would have had certainly lets you know why the Battalion did not get far. I'm a great believer in the revisionist school of WW1 but the Generals sometimes make it very hard for you. Whoever ordered that particular event really must have been a lunatic if they anticipated success with even a single Maxim remaining. The theory of the beaten zone was not new in 1916 so why it should have been so overlooked or ignored in the tactical planning is a mystery. The whole front line is made up of a myriad of short range engagements which succeeded for the British where common sense was applied.

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