Page 77. " wastage of only 70% of his unit "
28th Batallion of the 2nd Australian Division practicing gun drills during the Third Battle of Ypres
Public Domain28th Batallion of the 2nd Australian Division practicing gun drills during the Third Battle of Ypres - Credit: United Kingdom Government

During the First World War, the town of Ypres in western Belgium was the scene of fierce fighting. There were five Battles of Ypres:

- First Battle of Ypres (19 October - 22 November 1914)

- Second Battle of Ypres (22 April - 15 May 1915)

- Third Battle of Ypres, a.k.a. the Battle of Passchendaele (31 July - 6 November 1917)

- Fourth Battle of Ypres, a.k.a. the Battle of the Lys (9 - 29 April 1918)

- Fifth Battle of Ypres (28 September - 2 October 1918)

Casualties in these gruelling battles were extremely high. The figure given here of 70% losses for 40 yards of gain is an exaggeration, but only just.

Page 82. " Clive and his elephants stomping the French at Plassy "
Lord Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey
Public DomainLord Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey - Credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

The Battle of Plassey took place on 23 June 1757, and was a victory for the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and the French.

The battle took place on the banks of the Bhagirathi River in Palashi, Bengal, and was precipitated by an attack on Calcutta by the Newab of Bengal. Colonel Robert Clive led reinforcements from Madras and recaptured Calcutta, before taking the French fort of Chandernager. Outnumbered by the Newab's forces, the British forged a plot with some of his chiefs, who assembled their armies, but then purposefully did not send them in to fight.

This British victory allowed them to force the Dutch and the French out of South Asia, and establish dominance in the region for around 200 years.

Page 99. " Wandervogel "
Wandervogel
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWandervogel - Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Kaspek

The Wandervogel is a loose collective of German youth organisations that adhere to the ethos of a return to nature.

The collective was established officially in 1901. After the First World War, its leaders returned to Germany disillusioned. Younger members assumed greater leadership roles, and the movement continued alongside the more regimented scout organisations.

During the 1930s, the Nazis saw an opportunity to take control of these organisations for their own ends. Some groups within the Wandervogel collective followed the anti-Semitic lead of the Hitler Youth while others resisted these trends.

After 1933, the Wandervogel and all similar groups were outlawed by the Nazi government, with only the Hitler Youth remaining, along with some religious groups until 1936.

However, the Wandervogel was reestablished after the Second World War, and it still exists today. The movement also has a large following in Japan, where it is popular among university students.