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Steady The Buffs!A Regiment, a Region, and the Great War$
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Mark Connelly

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278602.001.0001

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Raiding, 1915–1918: Learning on the Job or Unnecessary Attrition?

Raiding, 1915–1918: Learning on the Job or Unnecessary Attrition?

(p.77) 4 Raiding, 1915–1918: Learning on the Job or Unnecessary Attrition?
Steady The Buffs!


Oxford University Press

The value of trench raids has been much debated by military historians. Fuelled by the often contradictory and strident memories of veterans, the controversy over raiding has not yet reached a consensus. Arguments in favour of raiding suggest that it honed skills and fostered an aggressive spirit in men who might otherwise have atrophied into the apathetic routines of trench warfare; while those against the policy have contended that raiding merely drained battalions of their most intrepid and resourceful officers and men for little overall gain. This chapter argues that the experiences of the Buffs reveals that the issue of raiding and its value is an extremely complex one that makes it difficult to sustain a simple and clear conclusion as to its value and impact.

Keywords:   trench raids, aggressive spirit, battalions, the Buffs, trench warfare

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