Unknown.

True stories of the great war; tales of adventure--heroic deeds--exploits told by the soldiers, officers, nurses, diplomats, eye witnesses, collected ... from official and authoritative sources .. (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 26)
Online LibraryUnknownTrue stories of the great war; tales of adventure--heroic deeds--exploits told by the soldiers, officers, nurses, diplomats, eye witnesses, collected ... from official and authoritative sources .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Columbia 5ftnit)ersttp

tntljeCttpuflSrttigork

THE LIBRARIES




TRUE STORIES OF THE GREAT WAR



TRUE STORIES

OF THE

GREAT WAR



TALES OF ADVENTURE— HEROIC DEEDS— EXPLOITS

TOLD BY THE SOLDIERS, OFFICERS, NURSES,

DIPLOMATS, EYE WITNESSES



Collected in Six Volumes

From Official and Authoritative Sources

{See Introductory to Volume I)



VOLUME I



Editor-in-Chief

FRANCIS TREVELYAN MILLER (Litt. D., LL.D.)

Editor of The Search-Light Library



• 1917
REVIEW OF.REVTF.WSCOMf ANY
MEW YORK



Copyright, 1917, by
REVIEW OF REVIEWS COMPANY









TRUE STORIES OF THE
^- GREAT WAR

INTRODUCTORY

Thirty million soldiers, each living a great human
story— this is the real drama of the Great War as it is
being written into the hearts and memories of the men
at the front. If these soldiers could be gathered around
one camp-fire, and each soldier could relate the most
thrilling moment of his experience— what stories we
would hear! "Don Quioxte," the "Arabian Nights,"
Dante's "Inferno," Milton's "Paradise Lost, and Re-
gained"— all the legends and tales of the world's liter-
ature out-told by the soldiers themselves.

It is from the lips of these soldiers, and those who
have passed through the tragedy of the war— the women
and children whose eyes have beheld the inferno and
whose souls have been uplifted by suffering and self-
sacrifice— the generations will hear the epic of the day£
when millions of men gave their lives to "make the world
safe for Democracy." The magnitude of this gigantic
struggle against autocracy is such that human imagina-
tion cannot visualize it— it requires one to stand face to
face with death itself.

A member of the British War Staff estimates that
more than a million letters a day are passing from the
trenches and bases of the various armies "to the folk-
back home." Another observer at the General Head-
quarters of one of the armies estimates that more than
a million and a half diaries are being kept by the soldiers.



ii True Stories of the Great IV ar

It is in these words, inscribed by bleeding bodies and
suffering hearts, that posterity is to hear True Stories of
the Great War.

It is the purpose of these volumes, therefore, to begin
the preservation of these soldiers' stories. This is the
first collection that has been made; it is in itself an his-
toric event. The manner in which this service has been
performed may be of interest to the reader. It was my
privilege to appoint a committee, or board of editors, to
collect stories from soldiers in the various armies — per-
sonal letters, records of personal experiences, reminis-
cences, and all other available material. An exhaustive
investigation has been made into the files of European
and American periodicals to find the various narratives
that have "crept into print."

More than eight thousand stories were considered. The
vast amount of human material would require innumer-
able volumes to preserve it. It was the judgment of the
committee that this documentary evidence could be
brought into practical limitations by selecting a sufficient
number of narratives to cover every human phase of the
Great War and preserve them in six volumes.

This first collection of "True Stories" forms what
might be termed a "story-history" of the Great War, al-
though all chronological plan is purposely avoided in
order to preserve the story-teller's "reality" rather than
the historian's record.

These volumes are in the nature of a "Round Table"
in which soldiers, refugees, nurses, eye-witnesses — all
gather about the pages and relate the most thrilling epi-
sodes of their war experiences. We hear the tales of the
soldiers who invaded Belgium, through the campaigns
and battles on all the fronts, to the landing of the Amer-
ican troops in France. Diplomats tell of the scenes at
the outbreak of the war; despatch bearers relate their



Introductory m

missions of danger from Paris to Berlin, London, Vienna,
Petrograd; refugees describe the flight of the Belgians,
the exodus of the Serbians, the invasion of Poland. Emis-
saries at General Headquarters tell of their dinners with
the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, with Hindenburg and
Zimmerman, and describe the scenes inside the German
empire. Soldiers from the Marne, the Aisne, Verdun-
relate their experiences. We listen to passengers tossed
into the sea from the Lusitania; revolutionists who over-
threw the Czar in Russia ; exiles returning from Siberia.
We hear the tales of the fighters from South Africa,
Egypt, Turkey ; stories from the Far East along the seas
of China. The lieutenant of the Emden relates his ad-
ventures. There are stories told by Kitchener's "mob";
the "fighting Irish," Scottish Highlanders, the Canadians,
the Australians, the Hindus. The French hussars and
poilus tell of their experiences ; the Italians in the Alps,
the Austrians in the Carpathians— the stories cover the
whole world and every race and nation.

These personal narratives reveal the psychology of war
in all its horrible reality— modern warfare on its gigantic
scale— the genius of invention and organization applied
to destruction. They reveal, moreover, the psychology of
human nature and human emotions in all their moods
and passions. The first impression is of the physical hor-
ror of the war, but this is soon overcome by the higher
spirituality that impels men to sacrifice their lives for
civilization and humanity. The stories sink at times into
grossest brutality only to rise to the heights of nobility
on the part of the sufferers. Officers tell of the charges
of their battalions ; the men in the trenches tell of the
"nights of terror"; spies tell of their secret missions;
nurses deliver the death-messages of the dying; priests
tell how they carry the Cross of Christ to the bloody
fields ; the prisoners tell the "inside story of the prisons" ;



hr True Stories of the Great War

aviators relate their death-duels in the air; submarine
officers tell how they torpedo and capture the enemies'
ships. There is testimony from the lips of women who
were ravaged ; children who were brutally mutilated ; wit-
nesses who saw soldiers crucified ; soldiers lashed to their
guns; babies torn from their mothers' arms; homes in
flames and ruins, cathedrals desecrated.

And yet there is an undercurrent of humanity in these
human documents. In their physical aspect they are
almost beyond human belief — but there is a certain spirit-
ual force running through them. There is a nobility in
them that rises above all the physical anguish.

These stories (and this war) reveal the souls of men
as has nothing before in modern times. The war has
taught men "how to die." These men have lost all fear
of death. They have traveled the road of the cruci-
fixion and stood before Calvary ; they have caught a
glimpse of something finer, nobler, truer than their own
individual existence. Through suffering and self-sacri-
fice they have risen to the noblest heights. They have
found something that we who have not faced death in
the trenches may never find — they have felt an exaltation
in mind and body that we may never know. There is
the fire of the Old Crusaders about them; they have
caught the realization of the glory of humanity as they
march into the face of death. It is interesting to observe
that wherever the story-teller is fighting for a principle,
he sees no horror in war or death. It is only where he
thinks of his individual suffering, where his thoughts are
of his own physical self, that he complains.

And there is even humor in these stories ; we see men
laughing at death ; we see the wounded smiling and tell-
ing humorous tales of their suffering; there is irony,
cajolery, good-natured satire, and loud outbursts of
laughter. And there is tenderness in them — kindness,



Introductory v

gentleness, devotion, affection, and love. We find in
them every human passion — and every divine emotion.
They form a new insight into character and manhood —
they inspire us with a new and deeper faith in humanity.

The committee in making these selections found that
many of the human documents of the Great War are
being preserved by the British, French, and German pub^
lishing houses, but it is the American publishers who are
performing the greatest service in the preservation of war
literature. We have given consideration wherever pos-
sible to the notable work that is being done by our
American colleagues. While we have selected from all
sources what we consider to be the best stories of the
war, giving full recognition in every instance to the origi-
nal sources, it is a pleasure to state that our Americart
periodicals have been given the preference. They cor-
dially co-operated with us in this undertaking and we
trust the public will show their due appreciation. We
would especially call attention to the list of books and
publishers recorded in the contents pages of the several
volumes ; also to the periodicals which are preserving
many of the human stories of the war. These will form
the basis for much of the literature of the future.

As editor-in-chief of these volumes, I desire further
to give full recognition to my associates:. Mr. M. M.
Lourens, of the University of Leyden ; Mr. Egbert Gilliss
Handy, founder of The Search-Light Libra-y; Mr.
Walter R. Bickford, former managing editor of The
Journal of American History ; and the staff of inves-
tigators at The Search-Light Library who made the
extensive researches and comprehensive bibliographies —
covering the whole range of literature on The Great
War — required as a basis for the production of these
books.

Francis Trevelyan Miller.



CONTENTS



The Board of Editors in accordance with the plan outlined in "Intro-
ductory" for collecting the "Best Stories of the War," has selected
this group of stories for VOLUME I from the most authentic
sources in Europe and America. This volume includes 179 episodes
and tales of adventure told by twenty-six story-tellers— Soldiers,
Staff Observers, Officers, Despatch Riders, Cavalrymen, Aviators,
Nurses, Prisoners, Raiders, Secret Service Men and American
soldiers. Full credit is given in every instance to the original
sources.

VOLUME I— TWENTY-SIX STORV-TELLERS-170 EPISODES

STORIES OF THE THREE MEN WHO CAUSED THE WORLD

WAR 1

"HOW I MET THE KAISER, CROWN PRINCE AND ARCH-
DUKE"
Told by Hall Caine
(Permission of J. B. Lippincott Company)

MY VISIT TO KING ALBERT— THE KINO WHOSE THRONE IS

THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE 8

"I AM BOUND ON A MISSION FROM THE PRESIDENT QF

FRANCE"
Told by Pierre Loti
(Permission of J. B. Lippincott Company)

"VIVE LA FRANCE"— HOW THEY DIE FOR THEIR COUNTRY 23

LAST MESSAGES OF FRENCH SOLDIERS

Told by Rene Bazin
(Permission of Current History)

FOR GOD AND ITALY— BREATHING DEATH WITH THE

ITALIANS 29

"WHERE MINUTES ARE ETERNAL"
Told by Gabriele D'Annunzio
(Permission of London Telegraph)

THE BLOOD OF THE RUSSIANS IN FIGHT FOR LIBERTY . . 36

"THE DESERTED BATTLEFIELDS I HAVE SEEN"
Told by Count Ilya Tolstoy
^Permission of Current History)

(Volume I)



CONTENTS

MY EXPERIENCES IN THE WAR HOSPITALS OF RUMANIA 44

THE HORRORS OF THE LITTLE BALKAN KINGDOM
Told by Queen Marie of Rumania
(Permission of Philadelplua Public Ledger)

"WITH THE GERMAN ARMIES IN THE WEST"— VISITS TO

THE GENERAL STAFF 49

Told by Sven Hedin
(Permission of John Lane Company)

"THE FIRST HUNDRED THOUSAND"-WITH KITCHENER'S

ARMY IN FRANCE 73

STORIES STRAIGHT FROM THE TRENCHES

Told by Captain Ian Hay Beith
(Permission of Houghton, Mifflin and Company)

SOME EXPERIENCES IN HUNGARY «7

IN THE PALACE OF PRINCE AND PRINCESS K

Told by Mina Macdonald
(Permission of Longmans, Green and Company)

••FORCED TO FIGHT"— THE TALE OF A SCHLESWIO DANE 117

"WHAT MY EYES WITNESSED IN EAST PRUSSIA"
Told by Eric Erichsen
(Permission of Robert M. McBride and Company)

••ADVENTURES OF A DESPATCH RIDER" 133

AN OXFORD MAN WITH THE MOTORCYCLISTS
Told by Capt. W. H. L. Watson
(Permission of Dodd, Mead and Company)

WITH A B.-P. SCOUT IN GALLIPOLI— ON THE TURKISH

FRONTIER 155

A RECORD OF THE BELTON BULLDOGS
Told by Edmund Yerbury Priestman
(Permission of E. P, Dutton and Company)

"IN THE FIELD"— THE STORIES OF THE FRENCH CHASSEURS 165

IMPRESSIONS OF AN OFFICER OF LIGHT CAVALRY
Told by Lieut. Marcel Dupont
(Permission of J. B. Lippincott Company)

••FIELD HOSPITAL AND FLYING COLUMN"— IN RUSSIA . . 181

JOURNAL OF AN ENGLISH NURSING SISTER
Told by Violetta Thurston
(Permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons)

(Volume I)



CONTENTS

AN UNCENSORED DIARY-FROM THE CENTRAL EMPIRES . 192

AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN COPENHAGEN
Told by Ernesta Drinker Bullitt
(Permission of Doubleday, Page and Company)

"A STUDENT IN ARMS"— IN THE RANKS WITH KITCHENER'S

ARMY 209

RESURRECTION OF THE SOUL ON THE BATTLEFIELD
Told by Donald Hankey
(Permission of E. P. Dutton and Company)

"THE RED HORIZON"— STORIES OP THE LONDON IRISH . . 217

THE MAN WITH THE ROSARY
Told by Patrick MacGill

(Permission of George H. Doran Company)

MY TRIP TO VERDUN— GENERAL PETAIN FACE TO FACE . 225

FROM GRAVES OF THE MARNE TO HILLS OF THE MEUSE
Told by Frank H. Simonds

(Permission of American Review of Reviews)

UNDER THE STARS AND STRIPES— WITH AMERICAN ARMY

IN FRANCE 249

STORIES OF AMERICAN TROOPS ON ROAD TO FRONT

Told by Lincoln Eyre, with Pershing's Army
(Permission of New York World)

WITH THE SERBIAN STOICS IN EXILE— UNDER THE GER-
MAN YOKE 257

EXPERIENCES IN THE FLIGHT TO ALBANIA
Told by Gordon Gordon -Smith
(Permission of New York Tribune)

TALES OF THE TANKS— WITH THE ARMORED MONSTERS IN

BATTLE 274

ADVENTURES AS ROMANTIC AS MEDLAEVAL LEGENDS
Told by the Men in the Tanks

"MY ESCAPE FROM THE TURKS DISGUISED AS A WOMAN" . 288

THE STORY OF A WONDERFUL FEAT
Told by Private Miron D. Arber
(Permission of Wide World Magazine)

TALES OF GERMAN AIR RAIDERS OVER LONDON AND PARIS 306

"HOW WE DROP BOMBS ON THE ENEMIES' CITIES"
Told by the Air Raiders Themselves
(Permission of New York American)

(Volume I)



CONTENTS

TALES FROM SIBERIA-WHEN THE PRISON DOORS OPENED 316

JOURxXEY HOME OF A HUNDRED THOUSAND EXILES
Told by (name withheld), an Eye-Witness
(Permission of New York Evening World, Los Angeles Times,
and Literary Digest)

SURVIVORS' STORIES OF SINKING OF THE "LUSITANIA" srs

"HOW WE SAW OUR SHIP GO DOWN-TORPEDOED BY A

GERMAN SUBMARINE"
Told by Passengers of the Ill-Fated "Lusitania"

WITH THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS ON THE FIELDS OF FRANCE 340

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES DIRECT FROM THE FRONT
(Permission of New York Sun)



^^3



m^%



hoto by International News Service.

ON OBSERVATION DUTY

A Better Defense Against Enemy Eyes Than Against Bullets or Shells !



'• J ir-Mk »• -v-m



'4 .t',''%^t'




.m i



f^


p






1


J




i


FORWARD !

[> Minutes hater These Britishers Were in the Qermart


J*




1

<


^■^


.11


5

c

s



STORIES OF THE THREE MEN WHO
CAUSED THE WORLD WAR

"How I Met the Kaiser, Crown Prince and
Archduke"

Told hy Hall CainCy Famous British Novelist, Who
Offered All to His Country

This celebrated novelist, since the outbreak of the War, has
fought a noble battle for the Anglo-Saxon race with the "pen
that is mightier than the sword." His appeals to America have
been the voice of a world patriot calling in the name of human-
ity. He presents the great actors in vivid pen pictures, the
Kaiser, the Crown Prince, the Archduke. The following pen
sketches are from "The Drama of 365 Days," by permission of
the publishers /. B. Lippincott Company: Copyright, 1915.

* I— PEN PORTRAITS OF THE KAISER

Other whisperings there were of the storm that was
so soon to burst on the world. In the ominous silence
there were rumours of a certain change that was coming
over the spirit of the Kaiser. For long years he had
been credited with a sincere love of peace, and a ceaseless
desire to restrain the forces about him that were making
for war. Although constantly occupied with the making
of a big army, and inspiring it with great ideals, he was
thought to have as little desire for actual warfare as his
ancestor, Frederick William, had shown, while gathering
up his giant guardsmen and refusing to allow them to



*A11 numerals throughout these volumes are for the purpose
of enumerating the various stories and episodes herein told —
they have no relation to the chapters in the original sources.

I



2 Stories of the Three Men Who Caused the World War

fight. Particularly it was believed in Berlin (not alto-
gether graciously) that his affection for, and even fear
of his grandmother, Queen Victoria, would compel him
to exhaust all efforts to preserve peace in the event of
trouble with Great Britain. But Victoria was dead, and
King Edward might perhaps be smiled at — behind his
back — and then a younger generation was knocking at
the Kaiser's door in the person of his eldest son, who
represented forces which he might not long be able to
hold in check. How would he act now?

Thousands of persons in this country had countless
opportunities before the war of forming an estimate of
the Kaiser's character. I had only one, and it was not of
the best. For years the English traveller abroad felt as
if he were always following in the track of a grandiose
personality who was playing on the scene of the world
as on a stage, fond as an actor of dressing up in fine
uniforms, of making pictures, scenes, and impressions,
and leaving his visible mark behind him — as in the case
of the huge gap in the thick walls of Jerusalem, torn
down (it was said with his consent) to let his equipage
pass through.

In Rome I saw a man who was a true son of his
ancestors. Never had the laws of heredity better justi-
fied themselves. Frederick William, Frederick the
Great, William the First — the Hohenzollerns were all
there. The glittering eyes, the withered arm, the features
that gave signs of frightful periodical pain, the immense
energy, the gigantic egotism, the ravenous vanity, the
fanaticism amounting to frenzy, the dominating power,
the dictatorial temper, the indifference to suffering
(whether his own or other people's), the overbearing
suppression of opposing opinions, the determination to
control everybody's interest, everybody's work — I thought
all this was written in the Kaiser's masterful face.



stories of the Three Men Who Caused the World War 3

Then came stories. One of my friends in Rome was
an American doctor who had been called to attend a lady
of the Emperor's household. "Well, doctor, what's she
suffering from?" said the Kaiser. The doctor told him.
"Nothing of the kind — you're entirely wrong. She's
suffering from so and so," said the Majesty of Germany,
stamping up and down the room. At length the Ameri-
can doctor lost control. "Sir," he said, "in my country
we have a saying that one bad practitioner is wortli
twenty good amateurs — you're the amateur." The doctor
lived through it. Frederick William would have dragged
him to the window and tried to fling him out of it.
William II put his arm round the doctor's shoulder and
said, "I didn't mean to hurt you, old fellow. Let us sit
down and talk."

A soldier came with another story. After a sham
fight conducted by the Kaiser the generals of the Ger-
man army had been summoned to say what they thought
of the Royal manoeuvers. All had formed an unfavour-
able opinion, yet one after another, with some insincere
compliment, had wriggled out of the difficulty of candid
criticism. But at length came an officer, who said:

"Sir, if it had been real warfare to-day there wouldn't
be enough wood in Germany to make coffins for the men
who would be dead."

The general lived through it, too — at first in a certain
disfavour, but afterwards in recovered honour.

Such was the Kaiser, who a year ago had to meet the
mighty wind of War. He was in Norway for his usual
summer holiday in July, 1914, when affairs were reaching
their crisis. Rumour has it that he was not satisfied
with the measure of the information that was reaching
him, therefore he returned to Berlin, somewhat to the
discomfiture of his ministers, intending, it is said, for
various reasons (not necessarily humanitarian) to stop or



4 Stories of the Three Men Who Caused the World War

at least postpone the war. If so, he arrived too late. He
was told that matters had gone too far. They must go
on now. J'Very well, if they must, they must," he is re-
ported to have said. And there is the familiar story that
after he had signed his name on the first of August to
the document that plunged Europe into the conflict that
has since shaken it to its foundations, he flung down his
pen and cried, "You'll live to regret this, gentlemen."

II— PEN-PORTRAIT OF THE CROWN PRINCE

And then the Crown Prince. In August of last year
nine out of every ten of us would have said that not the
father, but the son, of the Royal family of Germany
had been the chief provocative cause of the war. Sub-
sequent events have lessened the weight of that opinion.
But the young man's known popularity among an active
section of the officers of the army; their subterranean
schemes to set him off against his father ; a vague suspi-
cion of the Kaiser's jealousy of his eldest son — all these
facts and shadows of facts give colour to the impression
that not least among the forces which led the Emperor
on that fateful first of August to declare war against
Russia was the presence and the importunity of the
Crown Prince. What kind of man was it, then, whom
the invisible powers of evil were employing to precipitate
this insensate struggle?

Hundreds of persons in England, France, Russia and
Italy must have met the Crown Prince of Germany at
more or less close quarters, and formed their own esti-
mates of his character. The barbed-wire fence of pro-
tective ceremony which usually surrounds Royal person-
ages, concealing their little human foibles, was period-
ically broken down in the case of the Heir-Apparent to
the German Throne by his incursion every winter into a
small cosmopolitan community which repaired to the



Stories of the Three MeniWho Caused the World War 5

snows of the Engadine for health or pleasure. In that;
stark environment I myself, in common with many oth-
ers, saw the descendant of the Fredericks every day, for
several weeks of several years, at a distance that called
for no intellectual field-glasses. And now I venture to
say, for whatever it may be worth, that the result was
an entirely unfavourable impression.

I saw a young man without a particle of natural dis-
tinction, whether physical, moral, or mental. The figure,
long rather than tall; the hatchet face, the selfish eyes,
the meaningless mouth, the retreating forehead, the van-
ishing chin, the energy that expressed itself merely in
restless movement, achieving little, and often aiming at
nothing at all; the uncultivated intellect, the narrow
views of life and the world; the morbid craving for
change, for excitement of any sort; the indifference to
other people's feelings, the shockingly bad manners, the
assumption of a right to disregard and even to outrage
the common conventions on which social intercourse de-
pends — all this was, so far as my observation enabled
me to judge, only too plainly apparent in the person of
the Crown Prince.

Outside the narrow group that gathered about him
(a group hailing, ironically enough, from the land of a
great Republic) I cannot remember to have heard in any
winter one really warm word about him, one story of an
act of kindness, or even generous condescension, such as
it is easy for a royal personage to perform. On the
contrary, I was constantly hearing tales of silly fooleries,
of overbearing behaviour, of deliberate rudeness, such as
irresistibly recalled, in spirit if not in form, the conduct
of the common barrator in the guise of a king, who, if
Macaulay's stories are to be credited, used to kick a lady
in the open streets and tell her to go home and mind
her brats.



6 Stories of the Three Men Who Caused the World War

III— PEN-PORTRAIT OF THE ARCHDUKE
FERDINAND

Then the Archduke Ferdinand of Austro-Hungar}%
whose assassination was the ostensible cause of this
devastating war — what kind of man was he? Quite a
different person from the Crown Prince, and yet, so
far as I could judge, just as little worthy of the appalling
sacrifice of human life which his death has occasioned.

Not long before his tragic end I spent a month under



Online LibraryUnknownTrue stories of the great war; tales of adventure--heroic deeds--exploits told by the soldiers, officers, nurses, diplomats, eye witnesses, collected ... from official and authoritative sources .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 26)