clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Corn Flakes: Battle of the Somme, Driverless Cars

100 years again the Battle of the Somme started. Are driverless cars really all that? Don't you wish Nebraska football would return?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Somme Centenary Commemorations In France Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in World War I. If you check the news out of Europe, you’ll see that they’re commemorating it with re-enactments, speeches, and pageantry.

Somme was the British chance to start making waves in the Great War. Seen from another perspective, it was France’s way of saying "we’re bleeding ourselves white here against the Germans, not giving a shit about our common soldiers, how’s about it time that you butchered a few hundred thousand of your men as well?".

So the British came up with the idea of attacking the Germans at Somme, the thought being that it would be the great push to end the war. Note that the Battle of Verdun was still going on.

The idea was that the British would pound the German lines with artillery for a full straight week, then just walk over where they were because the artillery would destroy everything German. Unfortunately, the Bosch (Fritz, Jerries) dug themselves some fine deep trenches, and when the artillery stopped, they manned their lead-spitting machine guns and mowed the Brits down like fodder.

100 years ago today was the bloodiest day in the British military history, with nearly 20,000 dead out of over 57,000 casualties. The battle would last until November 18th, and in the end there would be over one million casualties (casualty accounts vary) - 419,000 British, 200,000 French, and 500,000 Germans, making it one of the worst battles in human history.

Despite the horrific start, the battle was a strategic victory for the Allies (the Brits). It saw the first use of tanks in warfare. Air warfare was a factor, and the Brits changed some of their tactics, such as allowing officers to make battlefield decisions, and the walking barrage, a method by which the artillery would walk shells in front of men walking towards enemy trenches so that the enemy couldn’t just sit in their trenches and mow them down.

There is a lot more to know about the Battle of Somme. Look up the following:

  • Pals Battalions - A method of recruiting men into the army
  • The Mark I British Tank
  • "The Battle of the Somme" - a propaganda film.
  • The Maschinengewehr 08 - the standard German machine gun of the time, which had an effective firing range of 2000 meters.
  • Artillery. Look up statistics on artillery and be amazed/horrified.

And there are gobs of videos on youtube, such as:

From Defeat To Victory: Battle of Somme

This one takes the approach that while the first day was a horrible disaster, the Brits turned things around and everything turned out wonderful.

Somme 'Iron Harvest' will take 500 years to clear, say bomb disposal experts on centenary of bloody battle

It will take another five centuries to clear the Somme battlefields before the area is safe, bomb disposal experts warned on Thursday after collecting 25 tons of munitions this year alone.

"The Great War" series on Youtube is excellent and ongoing and you can digest it little bits at a time.

So, make yourself a Brit living now, right now, or living 100 years ago. Which would you rather be, a poor bastard walking across No Man’s Land directly into German machine fire, or some dude who’s wondering thinking that the world is ending because you have to deal with Brexit.


5 silly ways to improve the Big Ten's bowl lineup, or at least not make it worse! -

Or at least not make it worse.

Coastal Carolina wins 2016 College World Series: Chanticleers snatch first national title -

Gary Gilmore's Chanticleers held off a late rally from Arizona to win, 4-3, and capture the school's first championship in any sport.


Get your gloves ready for these takes.

Paulette Leaphart walked topless from Biloxi to Washington to talk about the realities of cancer survivors

Paulette Leaphart, who was featured in Beyonce's "Lemonade" video, completed a walk from Biloxi, Mississippi, to Washington to meet with Congress and advance the conversation about cancer.


You get the idea that if this woman had to walk across No Man’s Land into machine gun fire that she would emerge unyielding and unharmed.

Fourth-quarter pass defense, penalties, turnovers doomed 2015 Cornhuskers | The Gazette

Nebraska’s 2015 football campaign resembled a 40-year-old man in great shape, a good complexion but with a near-fatal cholesterol level.

HAHAHA What a great opening.

Tesla driver killed in crash with Autopilot active, NHTSA investigating | The Verge

A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot system activated was involved in a fatal crash, the first known fatality in a Tesla where Autopilot was active. The company revealed the crash in a blog post posted today and says it informed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the incident, which is now investigating.

This was bound to happen sooner or later, giving an excuse to guys like me who think this whole "driverless" car concept is being sold way ahead of its time. People want tech like Autopilot and the driverless concept to be reality so they can spend more time on their phones while they’re in a car.

I get it. I see it all the time as I’m driving.

We should go in the other direction. Everybody gets a manual transmission. You have to learn how to operate a vehicle, you have to drive with both hands, and if you can’t do that, you don’t drive on your own and you call a friend, or Uber.


If you have an event (or stuff) you'd like to promote, send me an email at

Minnesotans for Nebraska Golf Outing - July 25th

MN4NE will be having their annual golf outing on July 25th. Nebraska wrestling coach Mark Manning will be the speaker at the after-golf dinner. If you don't golf (I don't, but plan to get there for dinner), you can sign up for just the dinner. More information can be found in the attached PDF.

Husker Salute 2016 Golf Scramble

July 22nd, 2016 at the Plattview, Nebraska Golf Club. Eric Crouch, you know, that guy who won a Heisman Trophy, will be there. More specific information and registration can be found here!