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Glen St J. Barclay - The Empire is Marching, a study of the military effort of the British Empire 1800 to 1945. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1976.

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Introduction

Glen St J. Barclay - The Empire is Marching, a study of the military effort of the British Empire 1800 to 1945. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1976 58 -Canadian Prime Minister Laurier offered an expeditionary force of 20'000 men, subsequently raised to 33'000. "was in Canada but one mind and one heart". 59 -6th August "His Majesty's government gratefully accept your offer of your ministers to send 20'000 men to this country as soon as possible" to Australia. A German pacific squadron the British were concerned. 60 -New Zealanders descended on Apia on 29th August, Germans having no means of resistance surrendered. Rabaul and New Guinea were seized by the Australians on 17th September, showed an unexpected aptitude for jungle fighting. 61 -The opening stages of the war had not gone to plan. 62 - The Canadian expeditionary force of 33'000 men had arrived in England on 3rd October. ...read more.

Middle

47 infantry from UK, and 4 from Australia, 3 from Canada, and 1 from NZ, with an infantry brigade from south Africa. The Somme offensive first great military operation on the western front employing exclusively the resources of the British Empire. It failed because British resources were simply not adequate to the task of overcoming the Germans on any battlefield in France. Haig called off the battle - 204'000 non British allied troops died. 68 new divisions came forward to replace the old, even the survivors ready to fight again. Empire would not be necessarily endangered by casualties or even retrievable military defeat. Haig decided as early as august 1916 that Australian troops were ignorant and their commanding officer legge was "not much good". (600'000 men good?) "Desertion was assuming alarming proportions among the Australian troops" - to war office allow him to shoot a few. Remarkable that the rate of desertion was 4 times as high in the Australian divisions as in any other units of the British Empire. ...read more.

Conclusion

74 - Liddell Hart judged Australian commander sir john monash to have "probably the greatest capacity for command in modern war". General Von kuhl that the Canadians were the best troops the British ever had. 75 - why? Best physical specimens for fighting troops of countries that had high standards of living, outdoor work in challenging climates. Canadians best fed and best educated, climate fitted to separate strong from the weak. 77-australian corps falling apart through physical exhaustion. Mutinied briefly on 14th sept when denied a nights rest after a weeks continuous fighting. 79 - Highly effective fighting men. 81 The huge Indian army could effectively be employed only against opponents as ill-equipped and unwieldy as itself. The other colonies could only afford token contributions. Conceivable that the huge mass of colonial empire might be regarded as a positive military liability. The Canadians had provided supplies of munitions far beyond the requirements of their own armed forces: Canadian exports to the UK increased forty fold during the inter war years. Canadian factories produced 3000 aircraft and 30% of ammunition used on western front in 1917 and 18. ...read more.

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