One hundred years ago, 19th Century warfare died a brutal death. The traditional waves of men thrown over the side of trenches were cut down by Hiram Maxim’s Machine Guns which the Brits ended up calling The Devil’s Paintbrush.
When the battle was finally over in November, a million men died on both sides.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
(For the Fallen – Robert Laurence Binyon)