But sometimes, someone might want to cripple a satellite. No nation can yet put lasers in space that literally shoot down satellites. Generating enough power for such lasers is hard, whether one uses electricity or chemicals. However, high-powered lasers could in theory be fired from ground stations or mounted on aircraft. All the major space powers have put research funding into such weapons. The damage can be temporary, unless the laser is powerful enough to make it permanent.
Lasers need to be aimed very precisely, and to work well they require complex adaptive optics to make up for atmospheric disturbances, much as some large ground-based telescopes do. Yet there is some evidence, all unconfirmed and eminently deniable, that they are already being used. Countries are pushing the limits of accepted behavior and challenging norms.
Shortly after it was launched, a Chinese satellite, supposedly designed to test high-performance solar cells and new propellants, began approaching a number of other Chinese communications satellites, staying in orbit near them before moving on. It got within a few miles of one—dangerously close in space terms. It paid visits to others in and Another Chinese satellite, launched last December, released a second object once it reached geostationary orbit that seemed to be under independent control. The suspicion is that China is practicing for something known as a co-orbital attack, in which an object is sent into orbit near a target satellite, maneuvers itself into position, and then waits for an order.
Such exercises could have less aggressive purposes—inspecting other satellites or repairing or disposing of them, perhaps. Russia, too, has been playing about in geostationary orbit. One of its satellites, Olymp-K, began moving about regularly, at one point getting in between two Intelsat commercial satellites. As the dominant player in space for decades, the US now has the most to lose. The DIA report points out that both China and Russia reorganized their militaries to give space warfare a far more central role.
And there are fears among the US military that the US has lost its edge. In response, the US military is starting to make satellites tougher to find and attack. For instance, the NTS-3, a new experimental GPS satellite scheduled for launch in , will have programmable, steerable antennas that can broadcast at higher power to counter jamming. Another solution is not just to make single satellites more resilient, but to use constellations in which any one satellite is not that important. The maj or spacefaring nations ratified the treaty long ago, but the ambitions of the treaty to codify peaceful uses of space seem increasingly distant, as hawkish rhetoric and actions grow more common.
Representatives from more than 25 countries met at a closed meeting in Geneva in March to discuss a new treaty. Niall Firth. Space How to fight a war in space and get away with it. Satellites are so crucial that attacking them could be seen as an act of war. The bad news is, it may have already happened. Tagged Tech Policy , Space Exploration. Facial disfigurement was another impact of trench warfare.
New plastic surgery techniques were developed during the war, but many men suffered from negative reactions to their appearance for the rest of their lives. Joseph Pickard of the Northumberland Fusiliers was wounded by shrapnel in March There was only once and it was before I got my nose put on when I was down in Wales. And I think it was the first time I was ever out the hospital. And I wanted to go down and have a look at the place. It's got a square and all that sort of thing. Then it had.
But anyhow, all the houses are built on a hillside, in rows you see. And I was going along the bottom and there was some kids, sort of playing about. And as I went past, a short time after, they got up and galloped past me, you see. I passed about two or three streets and when I got there, all the kids in the blinking neighbourhood had gathered.
Looking, gawping at you. Course I still had this thing you see, I never used to bother, nothing but a plastic stuff or whatever it was, white stuff transparent nearly. And I could have taken the crutch and hit the whole blinking lot of them.
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I knew what they were looking at. So I turned round and I went back to hospital. I turned straight round and went back.
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After that I just walked out. Any time I was going anywhere, I just walked out. The effects could be felt soon after or years later, and could be short-lived or permanent. After she returned to Britain she suffered a nervous breakdown. I came home to Bletchley, nobody knew me.
And then, it's very strange… I'd been out there over three years and I'd never been bad or never broke down or anything. Now, I'd only been in Bletchley three weeks and I absolutely collapsed and went to pieces. But I got over it alright, it took me a few weeks, but I got over it.
The high cost of the war and its long-term implications might have led many who fought in it to wonder if it had all been worthwhile. Makes you think how lucky you… well, how very lucky I've been all the way through my life, you know, things have panned out for me alright.
It was rough going at the time; I can't think that it had any adverse effect. It's the experience, it all mounted to experience. See, I could look back on in my mind, my eventual mind and experiences, to think well I can speak from experience that I did do my bit and I done what I could to, we thought at the time, it was saving the country from the Germans invading this country — that was the thought we had. Because it had to be done, there was no other means of doing it. British private Aneurin Williams found that the comradeship that developed between men who had served together was a clear positive effect of his wartime experiences.
Well for a start it teach you a lesson to look after yourself, for a start.
And I think to treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself because you was all mates together, see, there was no, very seldom there was an outcast. Say you'd get reinforcements come, they soon adapt to how you were. So it taught you that lesson I think. To be matey, as the saying is. One realised there was a lot of men died really unnecessarily. Because I think war is absolutely horrible. There should never be any more wars.
It should all be done by negotiations. There may be right on both sides. But I think war is horrible. But I was bombed. And I think everything should be done to avoid war, everything that possibly can be done. But try as hard as you can, because so many innocent people die in a war. Reflecting on one of the worst moments of the war that he experienced, British NCO Frederick Holmes found that it was useful for putting other events in his life in perspective.
Well in one respect it acted as a consolation. And that has stood me in good stead many a time since when I've been worried about some small thing. This is nothing. I'd spend the rest of my life in prison rather than be in that lot again. Leonard Gomm, who served with the London Regiment, felt bitter that some of his friends died in the war. The saddest of all, in my opinion, of those we knew so well we could depend, was Sergeant McKenzie; he really was an awfully nice man. And he had such an aptitude and a penchant for chocolate that we called him the chocolate soldier.
Although he was a most efficient man and he always looked, even if we were up to our neck in mud, somehow old Mac always looked as though he'd just stepped out of a band box. And here, again, sad to relate, he was killed. And before we put him in a winding-sheet — and I buried him personally — I parted his hair, and straightened him up. I shall never forget him; he was one of my best pals. And when these things happen, it's just another notch of bitterness that remains.
It imposed strict conditions on Germany, including the payment of large reparations. Edwin Hiles, a schoolboy in London at the time, thought that the terms of the treaty were overly harsh. And I remember the teacher telling me about the Treaty of Versailles in And as a small child, I knew that that was wrong. It's wrong, surely? One major legacy of the war was the number of widows that were left, often with young children and little money to live on. She described the despair she felt at his loss. And all the thoughts I had was for my husband.
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And I used to sit at night and try to do a bit of reading to pass the time away like that. But it was very, very hard and I would wonder what he was doing and if he was thinking about me. And wondering how he was going on and when I would see him again. And all things like that. So, after I found that it was officially known that he had been killed I used to pass my time away trying to make little baby clothes for my baby and eventually the baby came to be born.
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Cultural responses to the First World War continue to shape the way in which it is remembered. Art, poetry, music and literature have all been used to express and reflect upon wartime experiences. I remember quite well my brother was very punctilious about working for the Ministry of Information, as it was then, I think, in the First World War. What was awful about that First World War was the struggle, sheer physical struggle, apart from the danger. Those terrible marches, and getting food and things up to support trenches.
They told upon one as much as anything. The war produced a huge outpouring of literature and poetry. Sassoon was decorated for bravery on the Western Front in The barrage roars and lifts. O Jesu, make it stop! Remembrance Day has been held every November since to commemorate the lives lost in the war. British officer Maurice Jenks was in Constantinople on the first anniversary of Armistice Day and was impressed by how it was observed.
I remember that very well. It was most moving. But it happened just like that. It was extraordinary. At five to eleven there was the usual row of trains hooting, boats whistling, people yelling for alms and, you know, an absolute furore. And at a quarter of a minute past eleven it was dead silence.
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It's impossible to believe. But the Turkish — of course, the Turks are grand fellows, there's no doubt — and the Turkish police had made up their mind, or the Turkish government had made up their mind, that they were going to show us that they were still a disciplined nation. And they did, without any beating over the head, which I would have understood. If the policemen had come out with their great truncheons and said, 'You keep quiet,' that would have been fine. They just came and stood there and everything was quiet.
It was impossible to believe. And of course, for the first time it had ever happened, it was most moving. Walter Grover served with the Sussex Regiment. He paused every Remembrance Day to think of the men he served alongside that were killed near the end of the war. I always think on 11 November when I'm standing still for that two minute silence my mind goes back to the last few pals that I knew that were killed on that fateful hour on the Sambre Canal. Just a few more days, or just a few more hours and they would have been alive. And yet, when I went across the last time and I put — I found the graves of the fellows I went over the canal with and I put some flowers there on their graves, just this year.
On Remembrance Day , the body of an unknown soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey to represent all the British Empire dead of the war. As part of his role with the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries on the Western Front, Henry Williams was involved in the process of selecting the body. I instructed my five officers in charge of these five different sectors which we were running and that they were to produce during the next fortnight or so an unknown British soldier, with every careful attention to the fact that there could be no possible identification.
And have him sent up by ambulance to my headquarters at Saint Pol in France. After the five soldiers arrived up from the five different sectors, we examined them very, very carefully to make certain there was no possible identification, even by teeth or anything else other than the fact that he was an unknown British warrior. You got a sort of a pride with it. And the time we eventually went up to the Cenotaph on November the eleventh, four flights of fifty men who went up to the Cenotaph on November the eleventh.
Oh it was wonderful, you know, it was one of those kicks you get in life that you never forget. You know, we went up by train from Uxbridge to Wellington Barracks. And there we had our white rifle slings, white belts and just ordinary blue uniform and overcoats, you see, it being November.
And we marched from Wellington Barracks to the Cenotaph just with the contingence of all other troops. And it was a wonderful feeling, you know, you feel on top of the world. You feel smart, you feel fit, you feel good. It was a wonderful feeling. Between and a two minute silence was observed throughout Britain at 11 o'clock on 11 November. On one occasion, George Jameson, who had served in the British Army throughout the war, witnessed the power of this collective act of remembrance. The thing that impressed me most about it was the two minute silence.
It was terrific. I've never heard silence pulsate to that extent. There was no doubt about it — the human emotion that must have been pent up in that massive crowd seemed to vibrate in the air and you were conscious of it. Poppies have become one of the most recognizable symbols of remembrance, inspired by the large numbers that grew in the churned-up soil of the Western Front. Artificial poppies have been worn every November since, to remember those killed in conflict.
Stewart Cleeve, who served with the Royal Garrison Artillery on the Western Front, thought poppies were a fitting means of commemoration. Oh, I think it's a most appropriate symbol. It was a very typical emblem — a very suitable emblem for Poppy Day. I think it's a brilliant idea and I hope it'll last for so long as we have to remember wars.
Having been through such a significant experience together, men who served in the First World War often formed veterans associations in its aftermath. Members would meet up for reunions, have dinner, talk and remember together. William Cowley was a member of the Gallipoli Association. Well it's a comradeship, you know, and I meet some of the old boys when I go up there.