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Rare Climate Anomaly & WW1

Discussion in 'Military History' started by GRW, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    It also aided the Spanish Flu's spread. I'm sure something similar happened in the decades before the appearance of the Black Death too; there were widespread famines caused by crop failures.
    "Scientists have pinpointed a freak 'climate anomaly' which they say was to blame for 'substantially' increasing casualties during the First World War and in its aftermath.
    In total, some 8.5million troops died fighting between 1914 and 1918, with some of the heaviest losses coming on the waterlogged battlefields of Verdun, the Somme and Ypres, as soldiers drowned in mud or died from disease.
    Now, researchers believe they have pinpointed a once-in-100-year weather system that brought six years of rain and cold weather in Europe, starting in 1914 and ending late in 1919.
    Periods when the weather system was most active either coincide or immediately precede times when the bloodiest battles took place, they say.
    And the anomaly also contributed to the Spanish Flu pandemic which followed the conflict, killing an estimated 3million in Europe alone and up to 100million worldwide, the study concludes."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8767611/WW1-battlefields-turned-liquid-graves-one-100-year-climate-anomaly.html
     
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  2. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Mud is usually used as a symbol of the First World War and the Western Front, however this is a very partial and often misleading impression. During the summer months life in the trenches was often unbearably hot and very very dusty and shirt sleeves and shorts very often the BEF dress of the day. However shorts were a technical breech of dress regulations and whilst a blind eye was usually turned photos were not encouraged. However enough have survived to show that short trousers were frequently worn. This includes film clips of shorted soldiers working in cooperation with tanks in a demonstration in front of George V.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Ahhh, weathermen...a 90% chance of rain with a 80% chance of being wrong, means a 72% chance of sunny skies.

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/122629/pdf

    There, in France, were more rainy days in 1910, than in 1916. There were more rainy days in 1912 & 1913 than in 1915. The number of rainy days in France was 11 days below average.

    There was more rainfall in France in 1909 than in 1915, and more rainfall in 1910 than in 1916.

    Computer modelling is all well and good. But, you should look at primary sources to confirm the model's accuracy. Apparently, their model is not that accurate.

    I'd like to find Argot's paper on the weather in France 1914-17 and read it, but Google has been no help, returning results only for or from the above linked source.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  4. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    And weather can vary considerably within a year. For example from Sept 1914 to late December that year it was exceedingly rainy in Flanders but unusually mild. From December until spring it was very cold but unusually dry. On average the winter was cold and wet. Indian army battalions arriving in France in Autumn 1914 went into the trenches using rubberised ground sheets as ponchos and did not don great coats until December. This has caused some historians who should have known better to claim that their winter gear did not arrive in time and they had to spend the first half of the winter in unsuitable clothing. However examination of Battalion War Diaries shows that great coats and other winter gear was issued to the overwhelming majority of units on arrival in France but held in store until colder and dryer weather began. The British army greatcoat in wet conditions acted like a wick.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye true, give it a week and someone will "prove" the exact opposite. No mention of the millions of shells churning up the landscape and destroying what little drainage might have existed.
    Found this article from September 1916 for a bit of perspective-
    Has the War Affected the Weather?
    Weren't shorts also issued by the British as an anti-lice measure?
     
  7. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    He seems to have been exonerated, at least according to this-
    https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(09)60530-4.pdf
    Same as the guy regarded as "patient zero" in the AIDS outbreak in America. The popular press just love a good scapegoat-
    Gaëtan Dugas - Wikipedia
     
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