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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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Learning: The Buffs on the Somme

Learning: The Buffs on the Somme

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 Learning: The Buffs on the Somme
Source:
Steady The Buffs!
Author(s):

MARK CONNELLY

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278602.003.0006

The year 1916 and the Battle of the Somme are often identified as the moment when the British army began to learn the lessons of modern, industrialised war, and the experiences of this vast and bloody four-month battle were to play an important role in the emergence of a more efficient force in the spring of 1917. This chapter applies this rationale to the Buffs in an attempt to ascertain whether a perceptible ‘learning curve’ can be identified in 1916. The search for, identification, and analysis of a learning curve rests upon the explanation of two interlocking elements. First is to examine the factors that the individual Buffs battalions had no control over. Secondly, and by contrast, are the factors that the battalions could influence, but these factors, and the courses open to the Buffs, were often shaped and constrained by outside forces.

Keywords:   battalions, industrialised war, the Buffs, Somme, learning curve

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