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Br Cornelius

WW1 trench warefare as population control

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I was talking to a New Zealand friend over the christmas holidays and he told me something shocking.

He said that during the WW1 the UK government cabinet papers showed that the government was very concerned that a glut of underemployed working class people posed a threat to national stability with a very real fear of Russian style revolution. The papers supposedly say that they were very well aware that the trench warfare they advocated was wasteful of people and that this was a way to avoid such a post war revolution by reducing the working class population of the UK.

The question is, is this true and does anyone have references to the supposed cabinet papers.

Br Cornelius

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I doubt it is true, but no, I don't have access to those papers.

The trench warfare resulted from the deployment of a single piece of army equipment: The machine gun. Armored vehicles to neutralize them had not been yet invented. In fact, once they were it was over pretty quick and never used again in that extend.

Besides, the world population did not significantly get lower in WW!, gruesome as it was.

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I doubt it is true, but no, I don't have access to those papers.

The trench warfare resulted from the deployment of a single piece of army equipment: The machine gun. Armored vehicles to neutralize them had not been yet invented. In fact, once they were it was over pretty quick and never used again in that extend.

Besides, the world population did not significantly get lower in WW!, gruesome as it was.

I was skeptical - but this man is intelligent to a degree that I cannot believe he was mistaken. The policy may not have been effective - but thats not to say that it wasn't tried.

Br Cornelius

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The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 killed from 20 to 50 million people - 1 to 3 percent of the worlds population! (exact count impossible of course)... WWI killed about 16 million...

The epidemic lasted about 13 months while the war lasted just shy of 5 years...

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...yeah this has a strong smell to it. I'd need to actually see the papers since the reasoning doesn't make any sense given that trench warfare we well in use before the Russian Revolution. The Battle of the Somme, the most wasteful attack by the British during the war, happened roughly nine months before the first rumblings of the Russian Revolution began. So unless the British government knew the future the use of trench warfare is in no way connected to fears of social unrest. In fact after the Soviets took control the methods of trench warefare actually involved and men weren't being slaughters to the degree they had been in the first few years of the war. In all the theory makes no sense and doesn't fit with the historical data we have.

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...yeah this has a strong smell to it. I'd need to actually see the papers since the reasoning doesn't make any sense given that trench warfare we well in use before the Russian Revolution. The Battle of the Somme, the most wasteful attack by the British during the war, happened roughly nine months before the first rumblings of the Russian Revolution began. So unless the British government knew the future the use of trench warfare is in no way connected to fears of social unrest. In fact after the Soviets took control the methods of trench warefare actually involved and men weren't being slaughters to the degree they had been in the first few years of the war. In all the theory makes no sense and doesn't fit with the historical data we have.

I will have to see if I can get references as without them its just a terrible idea. Still, as I said, knowing this man I find it difficult to believe there isn't something in it.

Br Cornelius

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Until the Cabinet Secretariat was formed in December 1916 no formal records of Cabinet meetings, such as minutes and conclusions, were kept. The only record of Cabinet decisions was contained in letters written by the Prime Minister to the Sovereign after each meeting.

I have on file - Papers of the Committee for Imperial Defence to 1914 (HMSO, 1964), and Cabinet Papers, 1915-1916 (HMSO, 1966), and I can find nothing there, so where Br Cornelius' mate found the info is a mystery to me.

(PS. Having said that, It's not beyond the realms of possibility!)

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 killed from 20 to 50 million people - 1 to 3 percent of the worlds population! (exact count impossible of course)... WWI killed about 16 million...

(Can o' worms time) The geographic origin, or underlying cause of that little episode was never identified either!

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Well even smart people can be tricked or drawn in to foolish theories. Or maybe he's just messing with you. Because the theory just makes zero sense.

Another hit against this idea is that the French, Germans, Belgians, Italians, Ottomans, Serbs, Greeks, and Austrians all engaged in trench warefare. So it wasn't just the British who came up with this idea, it was the military theory of the day. Even the Russians used trenches, though to a much lesser degree. And it should be noted that the French suffered far more loses to due the flawed thinking of trench warefare than the British. So unless all these governments were afraid of worker uprisings that had not happened yet...

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(Can o' worms time) The geographic origin, or underlying cause of that little episode was never identified either!

It's a bit amazing that it spread so far and so fast considering that the fastest means of transportation was either train or steamship...

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(Can o' worms time) The geographic origin, or underlying cause of that little episode was never identified either!

While quite right, I doubt that in the teens of the 20th century anybody would have been capable of altering a virus, in fact they had a hard time creating a new strain of potatoes, something that today can be done in high school science class.

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I was talking to a New Zealand friend over the christmas holidays and he told me something shocking.

He said that during the WW1 the UK government cabinet papers showed that the government was very concerned that a glut of underemployed working class people posed a threat to national stability with a very real fear of Russian style revolution. The papers supposedly say that they were very well aware that the trench warfare they advocated was wasteful of people and that this was a way to avoid such a post war revolution by reducing the working class population of the UK.

The question is, is this true and does anyone have references to the supposed cabinet papers.

Br Cornelius

Why am I not surprised that Cornelius is the poster of such a ludicrus story?

The stalemate called trench warfare happened because no one had a big enough technological or numerological advantage to break the others line. The Germans tried gas, we adapted and used gas masks. We tried tanks and caught them with their pants down. Their lines broke so they surrendered.

There was no conspiracy to reduce your numbers by sending you over the top to be mowed down by German machine guns. At the time it was the only tactic boths side had available to wage war on each other. I will also point out that it isnt just privates who went over the top but officers too. Go watch Black Adder because even Captain Darling took part in the charge.

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Why am I not surprised that Cornelius is the poster of such a ludicrus story?

The stalemate called trench warfare happened because no one had a big enough technological or numerological advantage to break the others line. The Germans tried gas, we adapted and used gas masks. We tried tanks and caught them with their pants down. Their lines broke so they surrendered.

There was no conspiracy to reduce your numbers by sending you over the top to be mowed down by German machine guns. At the time it was the only tactic boths side had available to wage war on each other. I will also point out that it isnt just privates who went over the top but officers too. Go watch Black Adder because even Captain Darling took part in the charge.

I was looking for the evidence which my friend says exists. If it cannot be turned up I will revert to my original position of skeptism.

The whole thing hings on evidence and without it I am not really interested. I will have to try contacting him and getting a link, but he spends most of his time abroad working so it may be some time.

Maybe you should try that approach with your own wild ideas :D

Br Cornelius

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I was looking for the evidence which my friend says exists. If it cannot be turned up I will revert to my original position of skeptism.

The whole thing hings on evidence and without it I am not really interested. I will have to try contacting him and getting a link, but he spends most of his time abroad working so it may be some time.

Maybe you should try that approach with your own wild ideas :D

Br Cornelius

Oh I'm sorry the Germans never used gas and we never invented the tank because I havent posted evidence.

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Oh I'm sorry the Germans never used gas and we never invented the tank because I havent posted evidence.

I was refering to the fact that you dismissed the possibility that the idea could be true without seeing the evidence (or lack of).

This thread was a bait to see if anyone had that evidence - I was skeptical when I was told the story and I remain skeptical because there is as yet no evidence.

The other facts you mentioned are immaterial to this thread.

Br Cornelius

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I doubt evidence will turn up since the theory doesn't fit the time frame of the war nor the historical facts we have. Sounds like an attempt to link the population reduction conspiracy theories with historical "fact".

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I doubt evidence will turn up since the theory doesn't fit the time frame of the war nor the historical facts we have. Sounds like an attempt to link the population reduction conspiracy theories with historical "fact".

The man who told me is not prone to CT's.

Time will tell.

Br Cornelius

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I watched a documentary about ww1 & apparently our military tactics hadn't developed much further than during the Nepoleonic wars, & with the development of the rapid fire machine gun, walking slowly in the upright position towards the enemy was a recipe for disaster.

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I watched a documentary about ww1 & apparently our military tactics hadn't developed much further than during the Nepoleonic wars, & with the development of the rapid fire machine gun, walking slowly in the upright position towards the enemy was a recipe for disaster.

Even during the American Civil War when weapons began to become more lethal, they were essentially using Napoleonic tactics... About the only branches of the worlds armies to 'learn the lesson' were the Cavalry and the Artillery... The Artillery learned to perform mass barrages with higher precision and the Cavalry learned to largely abandon the sabre and lance and rely almost entirely on firearms and maneuver...

Towards the end of WWI the Germans had developed fairly effective infiltration tactics that caused considerable trouble for the Allies... IIFRC they were called "Stosstruppen"...They were on the verge of changing from a Napoleonic 'line of battle' to more modern tactics... Unfortunately for them they ran out of resources, manpower, morale and time...

Edited by Taun

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I whole heartedly agree with the last few posts.

If it was a form of population control then why would Canada, Australia and New Zealand (all which were sparsely populated) send the best of at least two generations (disproportinately) into a meat grinder?

No, Br. Cornelius, I don't think that your friend is a CT either. I think that he just has a healthy long standing distust of Imperialism.

But yes, the UK did 'actively engage in wasteful trench warfare', only because the Germans did the same thing. If two people dig the same pit, neither can get out.

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I was refering to the fact that you dismissed the possibility that the idea could be true without seeing the evidence (or lack of).

This thread was a bait to see if anyone had that evidence - I was skeptical when I was told the story and I remain skeptical because there is as yet no evidence.

The other facts you mentioned are immaterial to this thread.

Br Cornelius

Yes I dismiss such a ludicrus idea.

From many of your other ramblings its obvious you've got an 'us and them' mentality firmly lodged in your mind. I dont know why you have it or why you cant see beyond it but thats none of my business. However the idea the working class are somehow being persecuted by those higher up the chain and your new idea that this extended to genocide during WW1 is dangerous, scary and laughable.

I think you need to drop your negative perceptions and be more positive towards others. People have a keen sense of fairness as the recent experiments in primary schools show were they got the kids to do two nice things to other people per week. Nice, positive, friendly actions towards others gets the same response back because it makes people like you. Negative perceptions and bitter remarks attract the same response back because it makes people hate you. If you try being nice, positive and friendly towards those with higher positions than you in society instead of constantly whinning about them then you might get a shock.

Someone higher up is a human being just like you not the demon you want them to be.

Edited by Mr Right Wing

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Yes I dismiss such a ludicrus idea.

From many of your other ramblings its obvious you've got an 'us and them' mentality firmly lodged in your mind. I dont know why you have it or why you cant see beyond it but thats none of my business. However the idea the working class are somehow being persecuted by those higher up the chain and your new idea that this extended to genocide during WW1 is dangerous, scary and laughable.

I think you need to drop your negative perceptions and be more positive towards others. People have a keen sense of fairness as the recent experiments in primary schools show were they got the kids to do two nice things to other people per week. Nice, positive, friendly actions towards others gets the same response back because it makes people like you. Negative perceptions and bitter remarks attract the same response back because it makes people hate you. If you try being nice, positive and friendly towards those with higher positions than you in society instead of constantly whinning about them then you might get a shock.

duplicate

Edited by Mr Right Wing

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Any war that is that gruesome is seen as a form of population control from people that sit protected behind a desk. Wether they realize it or not. Wake up. You dont have a million people die over a few square miles over several years because its cool or fun.

Politics aside.

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I was talking to a New Zealand friend over the christmas holidays and he told me something shocking.

He said that during the WW1 the UK government cabinet papers showed that the government was very concerned that a glut of underemployed working class people posed a threat to national stability with a very real fear of Russian style revolution. The papers supposedly say that they were very well aware that the trench warfare they advocated was wasteful of people and that this was a way to avoid such a post war revolution by reducing the working class population of the UK.

The question is, is this true and does anyone have references to the supposed cabinet papers.

Br Cornelius

Weird post?? But weirdly enough there seems to be a ring of truth about this..

Contary to what a lot of the previous posters have said, trench warefare was first created and used by the Maori here in New Zealand way back in the 1840s.. The British new exactly what to epect from trench warfare during WW1 because the'd seen it in use against them during the New Zealand Land wars and they got a hammering over it.. Hell, 50 years later they used it to great effect in the boar wars..

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Yes I dismiss such a ludicrus idea.

From many of your other ramblings its obvious you've got an 'us and them' mentality firmly lodged in your mind. I dont know why you have it or why you cant see beyond it but thats none of my business. However the idea the working class are somehow being persecuted by those higher up the chain and your new idea that this extended to genocide during WW1 is dangerous, scary and laughable.

I think you need to drop your negative perceptions and be more positive towards others. People have a keen sense of fairness as the recent experiments in primary schools show were they got the kids to do two nice things to other people per week. Nice, positive, friendly actions towards others gets the same response back because it makes people like you. Negative perceptions and bitter remarks attract the same response back because it makes people hate you. If you try being nice, positive and friendly towards those with higher positions than you in society instead of constantly whinning about them then you might get a shock.

Someone higher up is a human being just like you not the demon you want them to be.

Mr Right Wing - I want facts not your opinions. When I have them I will voice my opinion on this subject.

To deny that Britain has been riven by class conflict is to deny reality. Harold Wilson was under constant threat of a coup;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson_conspiracy_theories

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Weird post?? But weirdly enough there seems to be a ring of truth about this..

Contary to what a lot of the previous posters have said, trench warefare was first created and used by the Maori here in New Zealand way back in the 1840s.. The British new exactly what to epect from trench warfare during WW1 because the'd seen it in use against them during the New Zealand Land wars and they got a hammering over it.. Hell, 50 years later they used it to great effect in the boar wars..

While the Maori did indeed use trenches... trench warfare has existed at least since the mid to late 1600's... The French Marshall Vaubaun (sp?) firmly believed in it and advocated it's use to assault the 'star fortresses' that he helped design and sell to virtually all the crowned heads of Europe... Probably if you go further back in history you could find examples of trench warfare all the way back to the Romans and Greeks...

from what I can find... the first sustained, heavy use of modern trench warfare started in about 1863 during the seige of Vicksburg in the American Civil war...

Edited by Taun

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