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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 09:41AM

This is a recreation of what the end of the Great War sounded like at 11:11 on 11/11/1918.

Sadly, the "War To End All Wars" did not end war or human conflict. We should always remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

We worked with the team at Imperial War Museum to reimagine what the end of the First World War might have sounded like for their Making a New World season. They asked us to create an interpretation based on a unique image from their archive: a section of film called the End of the War which shows a before and after recording made by a ‘sound ranging’ unit at the end of the First World War, on 11 November 1918.

The End of the War shows a ‘recording’ made on film of sound pressure impulses picked up by ‘sound ranging’ equipment stationed along the allied front.

The purpose of this equipment was to try and determine where enemy guns were positioned by analysing the length of time it took sound impulses from the firing of guns to arrive at the allied front. The sound ranging equipment used six tuned low frequency ‘microphones’ (indicated by the six parallel lines on the film) arranged in a wide arc behind allied lines. The microphones were connected to a string galvanometer at a forward listening position. A low frequency signal picked up by one of these microphones would move a thin wire in the galvanometer and cast a shadow onto a piece of moving film.

The equipment takes advantage of both the consistency and relative difference between the speed of sound and the speed of light to create a visual recording of the sound impulses which would arrive at the microphones after the flash of the guns being fired. An operator would wait for the flash of an enemy gun to start the film rolling and the equipment would record the signals as they arrived progressively based on their proximity to the impulse source.

The film took around five minutes to develop after which trained analysts could decode the patterns on the film and use them to work out the positions of enemy guns using a process called multilateration.

By the end of WW1 sound ranging techniques could locate enemy guns within 25m to 50m under normal atmospheric conditions and even determine the caliber, number of guns and the target. The document above gives us a great insight into how intense and chaotic the barrage of gunfire must have been to those fighting. The missing section that has been edited out of the film in the middle of the image also begs the question “what would those 2 minutes have sounded like?"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2020 09:48AM by anybody.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 10:16AM

The end of WW1 was agreed st 5 am on 11/11. The total futility of this appalling war is likely underlined by the fact the last soldier killed was American Henry Gunther who was killed at 10.59. Gung ho commanders were still launching attacks in the full knowledge that the war would end at 11 am.

Shout out for my cousin Ronald A. Andrews killed July 1944 near Caen, Normandy aged 21.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 01:50AM

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 12:53PM

A shout out also to Private George Thomas Chapman, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment who died April 9, 1916, whose commemorative poppy I wear today. Part of the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered project. Lest we forget.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 01:26PM

Total futility is right. The grief still hangs heavy for all wars fought and all sacrifices made. Our 11:00 moment of silence is coming up soon here on the West Coast of Canada. I've been listening to a radio program inviting people to call in to share the names of those they're remembering. Lots of gratitude and tears, still, after all these years.

Like Ronald A. Andrews and George Thomas Chapman in your case, kentish.

Lest we forget indeed.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 01:55PM

I have lost the site but there is a beautiful YT video of the Last Post played by a wonderful violinist. Apt for the day if you can find it. I have visited the Normandy beaches and the grave of my cousin in Brouay, France. For real tears though there is little to match the Last Post ceremony that takes place every night of the year at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. To take part while looking at the massive walls adorned with the names of 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers of whom no trace was ever found, is quite profound. The Menin Gate memorial straddles the road that lead out to the trenches. The last contact with "civilization" these soldiers had before facing the horrors of life in the trenches.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 20, 2020 04:36PM

Late response, kentish. Hope you see it.

I will look for that Last Post you reference, even if I missed it for 11/11.

I heard an interview with Peter Jackson on or around Nov 11, who is the director of a new documentary about the war, that I wanted to tell you about. In a funny coincidence, anybody's post above includes a link to a preview of it. Jackson's thoughts in the interview I saw on TV were very moving. I predict the documentary will be too.

He spoke of Canadian ships ("tubs" he called them, for the types of boats we had) crossing the Atlantic taking food and supplies to England. Jackson said something like the UK was cut off and it was their only supply line. He said that when one of the Canadian boats was hit and sinking the other vessels couldn't stop to pick up men who were in the water. He said "The Atlantic is their only grave" (so they don't get poppies). That's why it was so touching to read your comment about Private Chapman, for whom you wore your poppy this year. We will remember them, indeed.

Jackson said that he made the film in colour because he wanted the audience to "see the war the way the troops saw it. The blood was red". And besides, he said, young people today "aren't used to black and white".

Jackson stated that "war is a colossal human failure" but added that with Hitler there was no choice.

I appreciate seeing the trailer in the link that anybody posted. I can't usually watch too much war stuff but I will likely look this one up. Besides, I find paying attention, and giving thanks, is a way of expressing appreciation, still, after all this time.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 09:18PM

"They Shall Not Grow Old" (2018)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2020 09:19PM by anybody.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: November 11, 2020 01:40PM

And speaking of total futility and lives wasted, this is a WWII story sung/told by Christine Lavin. It's 9 minutes long, but worth a listen.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 03:47PM

"This was war. This is what men do."

Tearjerker, BoJ.

What in the freakin' hell...

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: November 12, 2020 04:59PM

That is incredible, anybody. Fascinating explanation of the sound re-creation. Thank you. I hope I can remember some of those details.

Yes, it must have been horrific.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 01:30AM

Many cities now use "shot spotter" technology to accurately locate gunfire. Microphones are installed in high-crime areas, and what they "hear" is computer-analyzed. By measuring the distances among the various microphones, the computer can very accurately identify where gunshot(s) were fired. This is produced on a display and a dispatcher can get that info right out to the nearest units.

It can distinguish between handgun and rifle shots, also firecrackers, car backfires, and other things which go Bang in the night. (Cars don't backfire anymore, do they?)

Israel developed the technology to counter PLA attacks.

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Posted by: kentish ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 11:27AM

You might excuse me if I do not find this reassuring. The very idea that cities need such "devices" to keep track of gunshots is an indictment of America today, or even, perhaps, the way it has always been.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 09:13PM

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 13, 2020 09:50PM


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