1930s >> 1937 >> no-389-january-1937

What Newspapers Did Not Tel

And what French Soldiers Thought of War
In the French Army in 1917 “Camps were placarded with notices declaring the intention of the soldiers to refuse to go back again to the trenches. . . .  A battalion ordered to the front refused. . . . Soldiers coming home on leave sang the Internationale and demanded peace. Mutinies occurred in 16 different Army Corps, the mutineers alleging that they had been sacrificed by treacherous or inefficient Generals.
A force of 15,000 Russians which had been sent to France, openly revolted and had to be bombarded by artillery fire into surrender. A number of young infantrymen marched through the streets ‘baa-ing’ like sheep, to indicate that they were being driven like lambs to the slaughter. The ominous symptoms which preceded the Russian Revolution, and later on the German, appeared in the French Army in 1917.”—Lloyd George, War Memoirs, p. 2132.


Where the Generals Sent Them Last Time
“The whole surface of the ground consisted of nothing but a series of overlapping shell craters, half full of yellow, slimy water. Through falling into these ponds hundreds upon hundreds of unwounded men lost their lives by drowning.


“Hundreds of thousands of British troops fought through the slough . . . slept in mud-holes. When they squelched along, they were shot down into the slush; if wounded they were drowned in the slime; but the survivors still crept and dragged onward for 4 months, with their rifles choked with Flemish ooze. . . . A tragedy of heroic endurance enacted in mud, and the British Press rang with praises of . . . the Commander-in-Chief!”


A “highly placed officer from H.Q.” on his first visit to the battle front burst into tears and cried: “Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?”—Lloyd George, War Memoirs, pp. 2208-11.