This is a clip from the 1986 BBC production 'The Monocled Mutineer' based on the life of Percy Topliss and much hated by the Thatcher government - bbcshop.com/drama+arts/the-monocled-mutineer-dvd/invt/bbcdvd2485
Even better is Richard Attenborough's 1969 feature film: Oh! What A Lovely War bookshop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/5014437925831/Oh-What-A-Lovely-War-DVD/
Michael Gove defends deaths of 37 million people as "just"
The Education Secretary has attacked "Left-wing academics" and Blackadder for suggesting that the First World War was nothing but a "misbegotten shambles".
Cambridge history professor hits back at Michael Gove's 'ignorant attack'
Professor Sir Richard Evans angered by Gove's criticisms of his work on World War One
JONATHAN BROWN Author Biography Friday 03 January 2014
The battlefield hostilities may have officially terminated 96 years ago but the argument over the rights and wrongs of the First World War show little sign having been settled. Today, one of Britain's most eminent historians hit back at what he described as an "ignorant attack" by Education Secretary Michael Gove on his analysis of the conflict.
Writing in the Daily Mail yesterday Mr Gove accused Professor Sir Richard Evans of failing to acknowledge the debt owed to the soldiers that were killed in the Great War claiming he had previously dismissed attempts to honour their sacrifice as "narrow tub-thumping jingoism".
Sir Richard, Regius Professor of History and President of Wolfson College Cambridge, suggested the criticism stemmed from his vocal opposition to the Education Secretary's ill-fated attempts to reform the way history is taught in schools.
Professor Evans told The Independent: "I never said that at all. I said his proposals for the National Curriculum were narrow tub-thumping jingoism and there is some relationship between that." In his article Mr Gove claimed that the centenary of the start of the war which is being marked this year should not be seen "through the fictional prism" of Oh! What a Lovely War and Black Adder which characterised the four years of fighting which cost 16m lives and resulted in 20m wounded as a "series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite". "Even to this day there are left-wing academics all too happy to feed these myths," he wrote.
However, Professor Evans accused Mr Gove of oversimplification. "How can you possibly claim that Britain was fighting for democracy and liberal values when the main ally was Tsarist Russia? That was a despotism that put Germany in the shade and sponsored pogroms in 1903-6."
He said that unlike Germany where male suffrage was universal -- 40 per cent of those British troops fighting in the war did not have the vote until 1918. "The Kaiser was not like Hitler, he was not a dictator. He could never make his mind up and changed his mind every five minutes. The largest political party in Germany in 1914 were the Social Democrats," he said. "Germany was a very divided country in 1914 and becomes more so as time goes on. It is not Nazi Germany," he added.
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