Finally there is a chapter that reads more like a narrative and not just a collection of facts and figures with the presumption of previous knowledge. This, the latest chapter in The First World War, describes the war. It brings the situation to light, describing the battlefield scenes that everyday soldiers witnessed. It is much easier to follow.
For example, a Russian officer wrote:
The scene on the German side of the border was...frightening. For miles, haystacks, and barns were burning...Like every army under the sun, we looted and destroyed, and later hated to admit it.
There has never been such a war as this, and never be will be again - waged with such bestial fury.
On the same day refugees arrived in Berlin with reports 'of heads being cut off, children being burned, women raped'...
More than half of them were prisoners of war. And that was true for the war as a whole, not just for the summer of 1915. In a major action on the western front casualties normally divided one-third dead, one-third would and one-third captured, and averaged over the war as a whole, the proportion of prisoners of war in relation to total losses was much smaller.
'We slowly creep towards the sheer cliffs of Mount Čakor, step by step on the compacted snow,' Josip Jeras wrote in his diary, 'On either side of the road refugees are resting. Immobilized by the snow their heads are glued to their breasts. The white snowflakes dance around them while the alpine winds whistle their songs of death. The heads of horses and oxen which have fallen off the path protrude from the snow.' Following narrow tracks, rising to 3,000 feet, and with the temperature dropping to -20 [degrees], the Serbs struggled through snowdrifts and across ice to reach the Adriatic. A hundred and forty thousand got there and were taken off by Entente vessels to Corfu, and thence to Salonika. Of an original strength of 420,000 men in September, some 94,000 had been killed or wounded in action and a further 174,000 were captured or missing. Civilian deaths have not been calculated.
at this summer's teacher institute at Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate New York.
For more anticipation, preparation, and reflection about my involvement in Fort Ticonderoga's Teacher Institute, please refer to my Fort Ticonderoga page.