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World Wars

The Unspeakable Turk
Although the great issues of the war were decided, and victor...

Why The United States Entered The War
The United States was slow to enter the war, because her peop...

The Thirteenth Regiment
The World War has shown clearly that all peoples are not alik...

President Wilson In France
On December 14, 1918, President Wilson arrived in Paris. He ...

The Second Line Of Defense
In Norwich, England, stands a memorial which will forever be ...

Alsace-lorraine
On slight pretext, Germany in 1864 and in 1866 had made wars ...

America Enters The War
SPEECH BY LLOYD GEORGE, BRITISH PREMIER, APRIL 12, 1917 ...

The Poilu
The soldier of France, the poilu, is a crusader. He is fight...

The Kaiser's Crown
(VERSAILLES, JANUARY 18, 1871) The wind on the Thames ...

U S Destroyer _osmond C Ingram_
If you were standing on the deck of a patrol boat watching fo...

Duty
So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man...

Trees
I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. ...

To Wish To Take Away One From The Immortal Glory Which Belongs
to the Allied armies, nor from the undying gratitude which we o...

Waiting For The Flash
Not at once can the mind grasp the full significance of the w...

The Yank
The boche went into the war as a robber, the poilu as a crusa...

The Searchlights
Political morality differs from individual morality, because ...

Song Of The Aviator
(This poem was written for an entertainment given by the Y.M....

Redeemed Italy
Italy, since 1860 at least, has cherished the dream that some...

Blocking The Channel
Bruges is an important city of Belgium made familiar to Ameri...

Four Soldiers
THE BOCHE The boche was chiefly what his masters made him....



Four Soldiers






THE BOCHE

The boche was chiefly what his masters made him.

He was planned and turned out according to specifications. His leaders
and his enemies always knew just what he would do under any given
circumstances, and he himself always knew just what he would do. He
would do what he was ordered to do, if he understood the order and had
been taught how to execute it; otherwise he would do nothing but stare
helplessly. He was a machine built to order, according to plans and
specifications.

In critical moments the boche waited for direction instead of relying
on himself. He could not vary a hairbreadth from an order given, even
when the variation would have brought success. He was part of a
machine army, a cog in a mechanism which needed a push to make it move;
his actions must be dictated or he could not act; his very thoughts
were disciplined and uniformed.


To the boche there was no chivalry in war. He fought as the
barbarians would have fought, if they had had all his knowledge and
equipment, but were still uncivilized. Women and children never called
forth his pity or his mercy. He would defile and destroy a church or a
cathedral with greater pleasure than he would a peasant's hut.

To him there were no laws of war. War meant to fight, to conquer, to
kill, to gain the end by any means whatever. Dropping bombs on
defenseless women and children and on Red Cross hospitals; torpedoing
merchant ships without warning and sending all the passengers, even
neutrals or friends, to death, or worse, in open boats far from land;
firing on stretcher-bearers and nurses; using poison gas and liquid
fire; poisoning wells and spreading disease germs; all are forbidden to
civilized races by the laws of war. The boche regularly perpetrated
them all and committed other atrocities much worse. He hoped to
frighten the world by his cruelty and brutality, by making every man,
woman, and child among his enemies believe that each boche was an
unconquerable giant possessed of a devil.

To the boche war was simply a robbery, and he was one of a robber
band. On the land, he was a brigand, on the sea, a pirate. He went
about his business with no more mercy and chivalry than a New York
gunman or a Paris apache. To him war was a business, an unlawful
business to be sure, but, he believed, a profitable one. He went at
it, therefore, as he had at manufacturing and commerce in the days of
peace. He sought to do bigger things than any one else and to gain an
advantage by any means, fair or foul. Why should he think about being
fair or humane? He was a thief, not a judge.

And yet let it be recorded that while nearly all boches acted like
brutes instead of men, there were some who were different and who
showed the highest type of courage and died bravely as soldiers may die.





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