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Certain death: Suicide missions of the First World War
Douglas Haig was the British General who planned and executed the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916-March 21, 1917. Reflecting on hundreds of thousands of British casualties, he wrote (De Groot, 1989): "Credit must be paid to the splendid young officers who were able time and time again to attack these tremendous positions. To many it meant certain death, and all must have known that before they started."

Asking men to get out of trenches and to run into machine-gun fire and artillery shells…certain death. Compared with the soldiers of the First World War—the suicide missions they were compelled to undertake—the undertakings of contemporary suicide bombers are trivial.

Everyone knows what happened during the First World War, yet at the same time everyone does not know. Knowing yet not knowing…at the heart of the narrative of the First World War.