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Old September 22, 2012, 07:27 AM   #52
Scouse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2011
Posts: 132
Scorch - so which is it then Pershing held them back or the Anglo-French made them dig ditches?

The Americans were not in noncombat positions because the Anglo-French wanted them there, but because the decision of their leader required it. You make it sounds like the Allies did everything to stop the plucky Americans from getting into the thick of it, until the Doughboys finally begged borrowed or stole rifles and immediately beat the Germans into submission.

Respectfully, you are wrong on the Boer War. There were distinct phases to that conflict, the initial phase where there were minimal British troops available and the Afrikaaners were on the offensive, the middle phase where British troops arrived and pitched battles were fought, and the final phase of guerilla warfare which was finally ended by counter-guerilla tactics involving mobile flying columns and the tragic policy of internment of the civil population.

The middle phase saw the British Army repeatedly launch frontal attacks against strongly held Boer positions, usually on hills or ridge lines, only to be decimated by an army of good riflemen who were equipped with both machine guns and artillery. The British had more artillery (borrowed from the Navy) but no particular advantage in machine guns. Battles like Colenso, Spion Kop and Magersfontein. The Boer Army operated in large formations during that phase, not as guerillas. Irregulars they certainly were, but they only resorted to guerilla war when it was forced upon them by massively superior forces.

As for the Enfield having to be fed with 5 round chargers (as Mike points out, not until after the Boer War), so what? Yup, this is less good than if all 10 could be loaded at once but for my money it is still better than the 5 everyone else had.

It has been nailed above: the attempt to adopt the P13/14 was the people who made the decisions getting it wrong, misdiagnosing the causes of failure and being blinded by hype and marketing.

The rifles the Boers used were 1888 models, an action entirely inferior to the Enfield (NOT the 98 action that is the ancestor of most bolt rifles in the world today - which are sporting rifles, not battle rifles).

As for the rest of your last paragraph, you seem to have some personal dislike of the British, or at least some desire to make barbed remarks based on your own, er, interesting version of history. Thats fine, I am sure as a nation the British will get over it, but I won't bother engaging with you on it.
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