In the claws of the German eagle (1917) PDF book:( Personal Memoirs of the brutal Stories of the World War)

In the claws of the German eagle (1917) PDF book: (Personal Memoirs of the brutal Stories of the World War)

In the claws of the German eagle (1917) PDF book

Excerpt from the introduction:

The horrible and incomprehensible hates and brutalities of the European War! Unspeakable atrocities! Men blood-lusting likes a lot of tigers! Horrible they are true. But my experiences in the war zone render them no longer incomprehensible. For, while over there, in my own blood I felt the same raging beasts. Over there, in my own soul, I knew the shattering of my most cherished principles. It is not a unique experience. Whoever has been drawn into the center of the conflict has found himself swept by passions of whose presence and power he had never dreamed. For example, I was a pacifist bred in the bone. Yet, caught in Paris at the outbreak of the war, my convictions underwent a rapid crumbling before the rising tide of French national feeling. The American Legion exercised

In the claws of the German eagle (1917)
a growing fascination over me. A little longer, and I might have been marching out to the music of the Marseillaise, dedicated to the killing of the Germans. Two weeks later I fell under the spell of the self-same Germans. That long gray column swinging on through Liege so mesmerized me that my natural revulsion against slaughter was changed to actual admiration.

Had an officer right then thrust a musket into my hand, I could have mechanically fallen into step and fared forth to the killing of the French. Such an experience makes one chary about dispensing counsels of perfection to those fighting in the vortex of the world-storm. Whenever I begin to get shocked at the black crimes of the belligerents, my own collapse lies there to accuse me. It is in the spirit of a non-partisan, then, that this chronicle of adventure in those crucial days of the early war is written. It is a welter of experiences and reactions which the future may use as another first-hand document in casting up its own conclusions. There is no careful

culling out of just those episodes which support a particular theory, such as the total and complete depravity of the German race. Despite my British ancestry, the record tries to be impartial — without pro- or anti-German squint. If the reader had been in my skin, zig-zagging his way through five different armies, the things which I saw are precisely the ones which he would have seen. So I am not to blame whether these episodes damn the Germans or bless them. Some do, and some don't. What one ran into was largely a matter of luck. For example: In Brussels on September 27, 1914, I fell in with a lieutenant of the British army. With an American passport, he had made his way into the city through the German lines. We both desired to see Louvain, but all passage thereto was for the moment forbidden. Start- ing out on the main road, however, sentry after sentry passed us along until we were halted near staff headquarters, a few miles out of the city, and taken before the commandant. We informed him of our overweening desire to view the ruins of Louvain. He explained, as sarcastically as he could, that war was not a social diversion, and bade us make a quick return to Brussels, swerving neither to the right nor left as we went.


Instead of a Preface 1
 I. A Little German Surprise Party. 11 II. Sweating under the German Third Degree 30 III. A Night on a Prison Floor ... 50 IV. Roulette and Liberty 68
V. The Gray Hordes out of the North. 95 VI. In the Black Wake of the War. 107 VII. A Duelist from Marburg .... 121 VIII. Thirty-seven Miles in a Day . . . 135

IX. How I Was Shot as a German Spy. 153 X. The Little Belgian Who Said, "You Betcha" 175 XI. Atrocities and the Socialist . . . 192 viii

CONTENTS PART IV LOVE AMONG THE RUINS CHAPTER PAGE XII. The Beating or "The General"... 225 XIII. America in the Arms of France. 248 XIV. No-Man's-Land 263 Afterword 270

Author: Albert Rhys Williams  
Publication Date:1917  

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