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World Wars

The Really Invincible Armada
The northern coast of Scotland is about as far north as the s...

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

A Congressional Message
FROM PRESIDENT WILSON'S ANNUAL ADDRESS TO CONGRESS DECEMBE...

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

A Carol From Flanders
1914 In Flanders on the Christmas morn The trench...

United States Day
United States Day was celebrated in Paris on April 20, 1918. ...

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

The Capture Of Dun
After the Americans had cleared the Saint Mihiel salient, Mar...

The United States At War--at Home
When any nation declares war, it immediately brings upon itse...

The Quality Of Mercy
There is an old saying, Like king, like people, which means t...

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

The Call To Arms In Our Street
There's a woman sobs her heart out, With her head agains...

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

At The Front
What one soldier writes, millions have experienced. At f...

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. ...

The United States At War--in France
Adapted with a few omissions and changes in language from the...

Joyce Kilmer
The first poet and author in the American army to give up his...

Pershing At The Tomb Of Lafayette
They knew they were fighting our war. As the months gr...

The Secret Service
The United States did not declare war till nearly three years...



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.





Next: The Poilu

Previous: The First To Fall In Battle



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