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TRUE STORIES OF THE GREAT WAR

TRUE STORIES

OF THE

GREAT WARX

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

1017

REVIEW OF REVIEWS COMPANY

NEW YORK

r

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.

*

1

ii True Stories of the Great War

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

sodes

about the pages and relate the most thrilling epi-

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

iii

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" ;

iv 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

In their physical aspect they are

human documents.

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

The war has

taught men "how to die." These men have lost all fear

as has nothing before in modern times.

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

laughter.

And there

satire, and loud outbursts of 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 American

periodicals have been given the preference.

dially co-operated with us in this undertaking and we

They cor-

We

trust the public will show their due appreciation.

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.

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 :

These will form

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 170 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.

sources.

Full credit

is

given in every instance to the original

VOLUME I—TWENTY-SIX STORY-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 ALBERTTHE KINO WHOSE THRONE IS THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE

"I AM BOUND ON A MISSION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF

FRANCE"

Told by Pierre Loti

8

(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

"WHERE MINUTES ARE ETERNAL"

Told by Gabriele D'Annunzio

(Permission of London Telegraph)

THE BLOOD OF THE RUSSIANS IN FIGHT FOR LIBERTY . "THE DESERTED BATTLEFIELDS I HAVE SEEN"

Told by Count Ilya Tolstoy (Permission of Current History)

.

29

36

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 Philadelphia Public Ledger)

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

THE GENERAL STAFF

Told by Sven Hedin

(Permission of John Lane Company)

49

"THE FIRST HUNDRED THOUSAND"-WITH KITCHENER'S

ARMY IN FRANCE STORIES STRAIGHT FROM THE TRENCHES

Told by Captain Ian Hay Beith

73

(Permission of Houghton, Mifflin and Company)

SOME EXPERIENCES IN HUNGARY

97

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 SCHLESWIG 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

A RECORD OF THE BELTON BULLDOGS

Told by Edmund Yerbury Priestman

(Permission of E.

Dutton and Company)

155

"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)

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 OF THE LONDON IRISH

THE MAN WITH THE ROSARY

Told by Patrick MacGill

217

(Permission of George H. Doran Company)

MY TRIP TO VERDUN—GENERAL PETAIN FACE TO FACE

.

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 STORIES OF AMERICAN TROOPS ON ROAD TO FRONT

225

240

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

ADVENTURES AS ROMANTIC AS MEDIAEVAL LEGENDS

Told by the Men in the Tanks

274

"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)

CONTENTS

TALES FROM SIBERIA-WHEN THE PRISON DOORS OPENED 316

JOURNEY 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"

.

325

"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)

I'hotn by International News Service.

ON OBSERVATION DUTY

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

STORIES OF THE THREE MEN WHO

CAUSED THE WORLD WAR

"How I Met the Kaiser, Crown Prince and

Archduke"

Told by Hall Caine, 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-

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

ity.

Other whisperings there were of the storm that was

In the ominous silence

there were rumours of a certain change that was coming

over the spirit of the Kaiser.

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

For long years he had

so soon to burst on the world.

ancestor, Frederick William, had shown, while gathering

up his giant guardsmen and refusing to allow them to

* All 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

Never had the laws of heredity better justi-

ancestors.

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

opinions, the determination to

interest, everybody's work I thought

control everybody's

all this was written in the Kaiser's masterful face.

suppression of opposing

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.

She's

"Nothing of the kind you're entirely wrong.

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 worth

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

Let us sit

said, "I didn't mean to hurt you, old fellow. down and talk."

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 manceuvers. All had formed an unfavour-

able opinion, yet one after another, with some insincere

compliment, had wriggled out of the difficulty of candid

A soldier came with another story.

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.

"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.