Some wars are older than any of us…

In a camera phone clip posted on social media [Telegraph Оперативний ЗСУ] Saturday at least four Ukrainian soldiers wait in a muddy trench for the enemy to attack or to receive new orders.
[click sound icon lower right and also go to full screen].

The adage ‘war is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror’, is said to date from the First World War and its trench warfare.

17 thoughts on “Some wars are older than any of us…

  1. Old Bill says:

    Trench foot, or immersion foot syndrome, is a serious condition that results from your feet being wet for too long. The condition first became known during World War I, when soldiers got trench foot from fighting in cold, wet conditions in trenches without the extra socks or boots to help keep their feet dry.
    Trench foot killed an estimated 2,000 American and 75,000 British soldiers during WWI. https://www.healthline.com/health/trench-foot#causes

  2. Nuts says:

    From mid-December 1944 through the end of January 1945, in the heavily forested Ardennes Mountains of Belgium, thousands of American, British, Canadian, Belgian and French forces struggled to turn back the final major German offensive of World War II. While Allied forces ultimately triumphed, it was a vicious six weeks of fighting, with tens of thousands dead on both sides. Today, the conflict is known as the Battle of the Bulge.
    It was waged in harsh, wintry conditions — about 8 inches of snow on the ground and an average temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 7 C.)

    U.S. infantrymen of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, First U.S. Army, crouch in a snow-filled ditch, taking shelter from a German artillery barrage during the Battle of Heartbreak Crossroads in the Krinkelter woods on 14 December 1944. Photo by Pfc. James F. Clancy, US Army Signal Corps (click image to enlarge)

    • eideard says:

      My closest friend for most of my life was a decorated hero of that battle. My home state’s most decorated soldier of that war…Clyde Trudeau. Survived the battle…and 18 months in VA hospitals from injuries acquired. A lifetime of fine care from the VA, as well.

      • Joe says:

        “This story retraces the events of December 22nd, 1944 at Bastogne, Belgium; the day we received German surrender ultimatum and issued the subsequent “Nuts!” reply.
        Its author, Kenneth J. McAuliffe, Jr., is the nephew of Brig. Gen. Anthony ‘Tony’ McAuliffe who commanded the Division during the defense of Bastogne. This has been verified to be100% accurate.” (U.S. Army newsroom) https://www.army.mil/article/92856/the_story_of_the_nuts_reply

        “In yon strait path a thousand May well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me!”
        Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome, “Horatius” (1842)

  3. Joe says:

    “On east front with Ukrainian troops: Constant shelling, no heat or coffee” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/07/kremmina-luhansk-eastern-front-ukraine/
    But: “A commander manning one of Ukraine’s forward-most positions did not flinch at the roar of shells crashing close by as he zoomed in on his tablet to show how Kyiv’s forces in the area have advanced within five miles of Kreminna — an occupied stronghold for the Russian military and potential gateway for the Ukrainian forces as they press into the eastern Luhansk region.”

    “The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.”
    Nikos Kazantzakis (1883~1957)

  4. Threnody says:

    “For seventeen days and seventeen nights none of us have had our clothes off, nor our boots even, except occasionally. In all that time while I was awake, gunfire and rifle fire never ceased for sixty seconds … And behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed, and a terrible anxiety lest the line should give way.”

    John McCrae, in a letter to his mother after the Second Battle of Ypres, May 1915.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20121007202546/http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/history/firstwar/mccrae/flanders)

      • Joe says:

        A newly released video by Russian state media purports to show close combat between Russian and Ukrainian forces during trench warfare in Ukraine. Senior Correspondent for Russia Today, Murad Gazdiev, released the video on Telegram on Tuesday.
        RT has regularly been described as a major propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy.

        Translation: “Assault on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Hard shots. 18+ Our attack aircraft quietly approached the enemy fortifications, crawled under the barbed wire and blocked the enemy in his dugout. After a brief battle, one Ukrainian military man stepped forward and was shot almost to the point. In total, three prisoners, two destroyed soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Attack aircraft of the 2nd Army Corps of Lugansk were operating. Handsome.”

        https://tlgrm.eu/channels/@msgazdiev/1143

  5. Messines says:

    Intense fighting is raging in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, as both sides battle for Soledar, a salt mining town just three miles from Bakhmut. Russia forces and Wagner Group mercenaries are likely to have seized control of most of the town, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday. Some of the fighting has centered around disused salt mine tunnels that run under the area — leading to concerns from both sides that they could be used for infiltration.
    “This is what madness looks like,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said of Soledar in his nightly address. “Everything is completely destroyed. There is almost no life yet,” he said. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/01/10/russia-ukraine-war-latest-updates/

    • Joe says:

      ‘Brutal, bloody battles’: Russia’s ‘insane’ fight for Soledar
      While Ukrainian forces quietly gained ground in Luhansk, the focus has been on a ferocious Russian offensive on the eastern towns of Bakhmut and Soledar.
      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/11/ukraines-allies-not-giving-tools-to-defeat-russia-as-town-falls
      Soledar’s strategic value was low, analysts have said. “Russian forces are still far from being within striking distance of an operational encirclement of Bakhmut,” wrote the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), as they would have to reach two key highways kilometers behind Ukrainian lines.
      “Considering that the recent rate of gains in this area has been on the order of a few hundred meters a day, at most, it is highly unlikely that Russian forces will be successful in cohering a mechanized push towards these [areas],” ISW said.
      Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said a victory in Soledar would “not make any sense” strategically for Russia.
      “For the Russians there is no strategic goal. It is an open space and our positions are more advantageous. We see a completely irresponsible attitude – to put it mildly – from the Russian elite towards their own military personnel, who are dying there by the thousands,” Podolyak said.

      • Hexenkessel says:

        On Thursday, Ukraine said it was sending reinforcements and supplies to Soledar, as well as to the eastern city of Bakhmut. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the move following a meeting in Kyiv with the Ukrainian army’s general staff. Soledar is an important gateway town that could allow Russia to turn their attention to other areas of Donetsk province that remain under Ukrainian control, especially the nearby strategic city of Bakhmut. Putin stated his goal of seizing the Donbas region, made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, when he launched the invasion last year. Capturing Soledar, a town known for its salt mines, would give Russia and its Wagner group, a rare territorial gain.
        The Russian Defense Ministry last evening also announced a change in its military leadership, naming General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, as the top commander of the war. The previous commander, General Sergei Surovikin, nicknamed the “Butcher of Syria” for his brutal tactics during the Syrian war, was demoted to become Gerasimov’s deputy along with two other generals. (Deutsche Welle News) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8zVWaMPW-s

  6. Ante up says:

    The Western alliance’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine received a shot in the arm this week as multiple European nations for the first time answered President Volodymyr Zelensky’s longstanding call to supply modern battle tanks to Kyiv.
    France, Poland and the United Kingdom have pledged to soon send tanks for the Ukrainian military to use in its efforts to protect itself from Russia. Finland is considering following suit.
    The moves have piled pressure on Germany, which last week said it would transfer infantry fighting vehicles to Kyiv but is yet to commit to sending tanks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted that any such plan would need to be fully coordinated with the whole of the Western alliance, including the United States. https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/14/europe/european-tanks-to-ukraine-intl/index.html

  7. Liddell Hart says:

    Just two weeks after the administration of U.S. president Joe Biden announced it would donate 50 M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles, a Ukrainian army brigade has begun training on the vehicles.
    And not just any brigade—the 47th Assault Brigade. A new, all-volunteer unit that’s hastening the Ukrainian army’s evolution into a NATO-style force. Not just with the M-2s, but also American rifles and ex-Slovenian tanks armed with British guns. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2023/01/15/it-took-just-two-weeks-for-one-of-the-ukrainian-armys–newest-brigades-to-get-american-made-m-2-fighting-vehicles/?sh=50c5df0f510c
    Meanwhile: Leopard 2 battle tanks from German industrial reserves wanted by Ukraine will not be ready to be delivered until 2024, the arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has warned, increasing pressure on Nato allies to support Ukraine with armored vehicles in active service instead, ahead of a key meeting this week.
    “Leopard 2 is the most commonly used battle tank in Europe”, Anton Hofreiter of the [German] Green party told the news outlet t-online. “It is obvious we should approach our European partners and jointly put Leopard 2 at Ukraine’s disposal.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/15/german-battle-tanks-for-ukraine-wont-be-ready-until-2024

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