The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania on April 29, 1918 · Page 7
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version

The Daily Courier from Connellsville, Pennsylvania · Page 7

Connellsville, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Monday, April 29, 1918
Page 7
Start Free Trial

Page 7 article text (OCR)

MONDAY, APRIL 29, 191S. THE DAILY C O U R I E R . CUNXKLLSV1 K A G K SEVEN. Tho of a Deserter 5y 3 Prussian Who Participated fn the ing and Pillaging of Belgium Gwyristi to Detrtf Free Fmi. CHAPTER !. J am a German soldier. Naturally *t the time when the war started we did not fesovr that there -would be suck l war cs is being waged today, Daily -we soldiers were told that Prance and Russia wanted to attacfe ns and that the kaiser was doing ev- acythlag possible for our protection. Already on July 20 -we were armed to the teeth and prepared to march away. During ' these preparations, which showed las all that war had to come, 18 men of my company deserted, The fcovernmeat* published, during thU time, bulletins almost hourly to prepare the people for the war, a vQMerfage that succeeded perfectly. Consequently two days before -war was declared, the people were overwhelmingly for war, but they were_ certain that it was only to be between Germany »nd Prance. Of the Interpefctlon' of Belgium. Russia, England and Italy, the country had AS UtSe thought as it did of any participation of the United States. AH thought only of the promenade to Paris, which, to the disappointment of the people, and also, surely to the disappointment of the autocracy, has been longer drawn oat than had been risfced for. In these days of uncertainty the soldiers, contrary to the cruel treatment which they had experienced before, were treated liberally with great quantities of supplies, delicacies and beer, so that most of the soldiers were »o drnni continuously that they were Tumble to realize the seriousness of tb« situation. And yet the majority of the soldiers could not be enthused over the war. They cheered an? were enthn- ·lastlc because they knew it was the orders. On July "31, 1914. one day before tlte declaration of war, we left, after being 1 brought to war strength, tor oar garrison at Mainz-am-Rbeine. Where the enemy toward which we were to point our bayonets was we had not the slightest Idea, All we did know was that we had to be transported somewhere to protect the border. There t»ere stirring times as we started out. Tens of thousands of people threw flowers^ at us and a!l wanted to ^foike hands. AH--eren soldiers--cried 1 Many embraced their W!T«E or young brides. The bands pteyed farewell songs ar.d people laughed and cried nil at the same time. Strangers embraced j:nd kissed each other- "A Teritable witdi's holiday" of emotion ^as loosened and engulfed the''populace like a storm, J^o one, cot eren the strongest, could resist Its powers. Yet even this was surpassed by the leaTe-tafc'mg at the depot, where last farewells had to be said. This scene -\riD never leave me! How desperately many women dung t* tbeir men I Many had to be forcibly removed. But this was at last 3crae and then. we were placed in cattle cars. .Night came and we had no lights. The train went slowly toward the Rhine, It went smoothly enough. Chir company, which fcaVl had days of grent excitement, welcomed tbe rest that the journey afforded. Most of the soldiers · Slept with their knapsacks ft*= pillows. Others looked dreamily itito the future. Stin otbers*secretly pulled pic- turesfrom their breastpockets and only a rery few IcUted time by discussion and commsot on their possible destination, : ·Where are we goingr?" Yes, where? Jfo -one knew. Thoa after ' endless hours, tb« train stopped. "We were In Daren. W|ai were we there for? We did not know. The officers only shrugged their shoulders at our questions. After a brief pause we wenr ahead. On the evening of August 1 we reached a farmyard near Duren. Our company was bilLated in a barn. jS'o one knew what we had to do. Ignorant of tbe purpose of oar being sent so near the Belgian border we laid down on our beds of straw. Something had to happen soon to rescue us from this uncertainty;. How few saspected that would be tke last irigbt for many of us on Ger- man ground. An alarm took us from our beds at 3 a. m. The company gathered and the captain demoastrat- i cd the war situation. As to the dlrec- j tion of the mjirch he himself was ig- '. nor ant. ; Scarcely half an hour later 50 big : trucks drove up and stopped on the I road before otir quarters. The drlv- | ers also were Ignorant and waited for orders. Disens3ion of our destination started afresh* The orderlies who had been keeping their cars open said we would enter Belgium that day. Others contradicted them, no ono ! knew lor certainly. { But the order to march did not come i and in the evening we went hack to ' our straw. But tbe rest was short. At 1 a. m. we were again aroused and honored by a speech frora our captain. He said, we were at war with Belgium. He told us to show ourselves brave, deserve the Iron cross and bring honor to Germany. Then he continued: "We only make war against the armed force, the Belgi.-in array. Life and property of civilians are protected under International law. Yet you soldiers most not forget to keep your lives for the fatherland or sell them Honored by a Speech From Oar Captain. dearly as possible. Unnecessary shedding of blood we wHl prohibit to the civilian population. Tet I ask you to consider that too much consideration borders on cowardice and that will be piraished very severely." After this speech of our captain we were loaded on our autos and at 4 a. m. crossed the border into Edghnn. In order to make this a historical oc- casltm we were ordered to give three cbeers. On the speedy autos we reached otrr goal at 10 a. m. It was a beautiful little rural Tillage, Inhabitants of the villages we had passed looked at us in astonishment, so that we an got tbe Impression that these country people never knew why w« came to Belgium. They were frightened out of their sleep and looked out at us from their Triiodows. As TVC halted ai*d left our ante*, -fee farmers came out and offered us coffee, bread* meat, etc,' "VTe were still without a field kitchen, so that we enjoyed tbe enemy's offerings more so since those o/ tbe better class of villagers refused any pay. They told IMI the Belgian soldiers had departed to some unknown destination. After a short rest we marcM on. The autos returned. Hardly had we marched an hour wfcen we wer^over- taKen by 1 cavalry, dragoons ami hussars, who reported that the Germans were mtuxAdng ail ore* tbe neighborhood on an roads. Eight behind came the bicycle corps. This was comforting. We no longer fe3t alone, Isolated in a strange country. Anotb#r bicycte division over- took us and passed on. Angry \vojrds were now uttered by members of our company, - The others eouM rids but we had to walk. What \vc. had always taken for granted sudden]y became j great injustice. If it die! no good our grumbling at least wus n diversion from the weight of our packs. The heat was oppressive. The s\ve.*rt came from nil pures. Tho now and stiff leather trappings rubbed us start. 1 , especially upon our hips. It wus a relief at 2 p, m. to halt at an abandoned farm and rest on the grass. Wo might have lain down about ten minutes when suddenly .we hoard firing. We jumped up like lightijing and hurried to our puns,- The tiring which was about throe kilometers away grew more lively. At once we were on the raiircft again. From the expressions on the faces; of tbe soldiers we could read the minds of the men. Something took possession of them which they had never -DX- periencod before. As for myself I became very restless. Fright and curiosity lashed my brnln. Everything whirled around in ray head nnd jiiy heart was beating wildly. But I strov^ to conceal my fright from my comrades. I am sure that 1 tried energetically. I don't know that I succeeded better than ray companions. Although I knew we would be In the fi^ht in an hour, I tried to persuade myself Uiat our Interference would nut he necessary. I clung tightly *» everything which might strengthen this hope. Tho bicycles lying in the road Indicated that the bicycle division was I n ' the fight at this point. How strong ' the enemy was we dEtl not know us we raced toward the firing line. Everybody crouched down as low a? possible while jumping to the right and left. Before and behind us the ballets wore flying continuously, yet we reached the firing line without losses. We were greeted joyously by our hard- pressed comrades. The bicycle regi-i meet had not suffered any losses except for a few* slightly wounded men who were still able to take pan in the fight. We were lying flat on the ground and firing In the direction ordered for all we were worth, even though we had not seen our enemies. That was opparenOy not interesting enough to : some of our soldiers. They wanted to know how the people were looking ·whom tbt-y had to shoot at. They got tip to u kneeling position. Two men of my company had to pay for their curiosity with their lives almost Instantly. The first victim of oar party ·vrent down without a sound. The second threw his arms high In the air and fell on. his back. Both "were dead Instantly. It is Impossible for me to describe the feeling that overcame me in tho first rciU volley as we advanced and came directly within the range of the j flre. I no longer felt any fright, ooty an impulse to get Into action as qaick- ly as possible. Tet at the slgbt of the flrst corpse a terrible fear seized me. For mlmups I was completely strmned, lost all self-control and wns absolutely ucable to think or do anything. I pressed my face and nunds dose to the ground. I wanted to dutch iny ! . gua and- shoot blindly. Presently I j ! calmed d'own, I suddenly become con-, j tented with myself and conditions! about me and when soon afterward the command vas Bounded along tbe ·whole line, "Spring ont !"* "Forward { march P J charged as did everyone j else like one possessed. The order to j halt followed. Like wet bags we [ ^tamped to tne ground. Firing had bo- i gun anew. ' Our firing DOW became more lively momentarily and increased to a fenr- fn3 loca'ness. If we had occasion to : say anything to our comrades we bad ! to sbont so loudly in their ears that It ' hurt our throats, Coder the effect of oor fire the enemy grew rnstless, the fire weakened and his Une waTered, As only 500 j meters separated us from thora we j could observe esactly what happened j there. We saw about half the enemy retire In Uif*foDcrtriag manner: Every otlier man quit the line, leaving his alternate In his place. Those remaining held OD until the retiring party halted. We used this moment to Inflict the most severe leases on tbe retreating enemr. -Aa far ae we conld scan the horizon to the right and left we saw the Germans advancing In several sectors. Also for onr detachments the order came to advance as the enemy retreated. The tasfc of clinging to the heels ! -of the rearing enemy BO tenaciously i that no time -would l» allowed to make ! a new stand tell to ns. We followed ! the Belgian*, scarcely stopping to | breathe on tiic iray, in order to pro- · vent their fortifying themselves in a j village situated just, ahead. We fcacw j that a bloody houeo-to-hotis* flght lay j betare us, yet the Belgians never at- | tempted to establish themselves, bat managed to escape with astonishing cleverness, TO B- CONTINUED. NowjstheTime flake your.Selection Thermometer re 1US1C A Orafonolu--can you think' of a more deliglitfr.l coinpa.ilion for Ihe entire family'.' It v-'ill solve for all u'mse the problem if " F f o w sliall I entertain my jOK-sts?" Our large assortment ranges in price from $18.00 for a. perfect l i t t l e machine, to $1:40.00 for the more massive model". t h a t ·vvliei: you invest in a Mi-afonoia. you are not spending money for a fleeting pleasure. Instead, you bring to your home a constant and ever- ready source of recreation and entertainment. Onr liberal c-reiiii terms enable everyone 10 share in this pleasure NOW. *--- Columbia Von could not invest $18.00 to bPt- !er advantage. Kere is an instrument that does not merely depond upon low price for Us estremfl popularity. Plays all Columbia records with f u l l mnsicn! expression. It is l i g h t and er.pj.'y movcci about, 7nalc'ing It an iricai parf of you r t: am i oq u i pm en i. Nicfl y finished in mahogany or fjuaripred #o!di.»n oak. A Perfect GrafGsoIa T_ jij'.-u]iii;e a machine of this char- ;iv;r:v for ^ rt-iaariiable a price, is iudci'd ;i w o r k of ^eaiu^. Combines C!\ir.-i ordinary purity (if tone and sound volume. This is one of the racis: popular models made. Finely liinshed in mahogany or golden oak. i: wiU become a highly ornamental · a d d i t i o n to you:' homo furnishings ns veil as an oxceJlnm entertainer. romp and lienr it play your favor- i:p recorde. n n d ;r convinced that i' is t h e mnc.hir.p 'or ynu. (kafonoia The fine icn* volume and musical qualities of this machino peaces ii entirely out oi' ihe class oT t.he or- tHnary Io\v priced phonograph. It riprnducR5 with nbBnline accuracy, tho most delicate touches of the woridV mivfttpra, Una very pnwpr- f u l motor, B^iniifuHy finished in mahogany or Koldcn oak. it will ;m- pai*t an air oJ! rirlincss in any homp. F-]xc'i!s many i n n r r u i n c n l s pcnprally snld a.t considcrahly higher prices. TI1K LATKST HITS J I A V E JUST ABK1VED C0.1IE AM) H K A R YOl'JS FAVOJMTES MOVE BY AUTO TRUCKS BOTH PHONES OPPMAH5 TRANSFER OPPOSITE POST OFFICE CONNELLSVILLE., PA. Phnne 4SO. »1S X. 6(h SI. TRAXSKKk COJU'A.VY General, Light acrl Heavy Hauling. Jjncal and Long Diatance Jlovir.g. JA3TES IV. STEAKGK Cojtl and Coke. OonncJlsvnip. TRY OUE ! CLASSIFIED ADLETS. ; .--,, j Just Over the Bridge' Connellsvillc (West Sid?) : MOTOR TIirCK Bad TVAGOIfS. READ THE COURIER. Carroll Battery Co. I Patonize Home Merchants A Factor? Trained Battery Stan. . Who Advertise in This Pap«] CAP"STCBBS "CAT" HANDS BIM; KAISEE OTfE.JflGHT «£TW£t!?* r 1'HJK EYES By EDTVEU '. WOT'UD VOO J30. IF VOU HAH I A fUUUON 3SOLLft«S ; !a f IS MV KtO, BILL, HE'S COT A fi-REAT BUSIAJESS. ^0.11 Olv HIM'. TAKES- 1 AFTER HIS \ FATHER-EH!

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page