Stories From The Great War

The Great War Was The Last War That Letters And Stories Were Published Free Of The Military Sensor. This Blog Will Contain Interesting Stories Taken From Newspapers, Periodicals And Letters From 1914-1918..The War Years.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Dead Belgium Soldiers

London September, 24 1914
Pottsville Miners Journal September 25, 1914

Eighteen year old Corporal Lupin who served in the Regiment of Major Jeanne of Liege, will here forth hold a place in Belgium history as high as that accorded any individual. Corp. Lupin gave his life to his country. The Germans to whom he gave his life paid for it with the annihilation field artillery, horses and men, and the decisive defeat of an attacking column of infantry. Major Jeanne, tells the following story of Corporal Lupin’s heroism. “We were on the right bank of the Meuse at Bellaire, in close touch with the German battery. The musketry on both sides was terrible. All at once the Germans adopted new tactics. They seemed to withdraw from their position and we could distinctly notice their ranks splitting as if in great confusion. It was only to bring up more artillery which had been rushing behind. The move was smartly executed, the ranks closed again, and for a time they seemed to have an advantage over us. “ But now again young Lupin had seen his chance looming, and what he did altogether changed the face of things. Like a flash the boy dashed off under cover of a ditch to the left of the German battery. At 300 meters distance he found shelter behind a wall. He took aim at the battery in enfilade and his Mauser brought down quick succession the chief officer, the under officers and the artillerymen. This time real confusion took place at the German battery, which was nearly silenced. The Germans thinking that a whole platoon was now attacking them directed their last piece of artillery on the wall, and with a terrific crash the wall came down, burying the brave Corporal Lupin. The boy’s bravery had weakened the German position, and it did not take us long to scatter them, and put another victory


Shenandoah Evening Herald
June 20, 1918

By Lowell Mellet, UPI Correspondent.

With the Americans on the Marne. James A. Dunahue of Newark N.J. felt around in the dark till he got hold of a broken pick. Then he hit his sleepy German guard over the head and two days later, yesterday he made the following report to the second division HQ on what it is like to be a prisoner in the German Army:
“I went down the woods (Belleau Wood) and joined my command, what there was left of it. They were all spit upon and mixed up. I heard a whistle blow and went forward. Every time that a flare would go up I would drop down. There was a lot of rifle firing. Just ahead I saw four or five men and thought they were our fellows. I ran right into them and when I got there one of them hit me on the head with something. When I came to they took me up before an officer. He said, “How many Americans are there over here” I said thirty two divisions of Americans and forty divisions of the French he said, “Ach Schwein, Schwein.!”


‘Then they booted me and shoved me away. Going out I got a couple more kicks. They took ,me down the road a piece. Detachments coming along would give me the once over and say: “Ach American! Schwein. I don’t know how long I walked but it was a long time. I didn’t sleep all that night.
“Next morning I got an axe about the size of this helmet handed me and without anything to eat they put me to work cutting with them. They had machine guns all through the woods. Then they took me across an open field and back into another woods and had me cut more brush. They were digging emplacements. They were digging and setting machine guns in it and try it turning all around and then move to another place and then camouflage that hoe with brush.
“That night I tried to sleep in an old covering. About the time I would get started sleeping they would come along and give me a boot and take me to another place. Then they took me on another march.


That evening three men in American uniforms walked up to an officer and talked with him. Then they turned and walked back toward the line. The about seven French soldiers or men in French uniforms walked up and talked to this officer and then turned and walked toward the line.
“They would give me soup and black bread to eat. That was enough to drive a man crazy. Then they would sit in front of me and eat cheese and bread and drink something that looked like coffee to tantalize me. They kept me chopping all the time, they had about 15 or twenty me carrying away the brush while I chopped it. They were using to camouflage the ditches they had ammunition in them.


“I was there about seven or eight nights. I could not keep track of the days. So between shoving me around and kicking me around. I thought I would try to escape and take a chance of being shot. So when another sentry came on I watched him and he sits down by a tree and looked like he was sleeping. I moved a bit an no move out of the sentry. He just kept right on snoring. Away. I just rolled over and got a little closer and still no movement from him. I reached right around and gets hold of an old pick handle. So I hit him on the head with the pick handle and not a sound or grunt out of him. I slipped right away then. Then I ran across those Red Cross dogs of theirs. They have a little canteen on both sides of them. I went on a little piece and stayed in the woods for a while when the dogs were around, but there was not a whimper out of them. They were just running around.


“I would go on and when I would run close to a bunch I would drop down and stay still until they had gone away, and then I would go on further. I would travel by night and lay hid in the woods by day. It took me two days to get up here. Well I kept on coming and one day I found a bag with some old hard bread in it and little pieces of cheese. I came across a stream and soaked the bread and ate it.
“I kept on coming until I got up where the shells were dropping all around me and thought it was all up with me.
“I keep[t on going through and then I heard a sentry, yell “Halt” and I said: “Don’t shoot: I am an American I went up to him and asked where Headquarters was, then I got an M.P. and he took me up to A.P. M.


Frank Taylor UPI Correspondent
July 21, 1918
From the Pottsville Miners Journal July 1918.

With the American Armies in France.
American troops facing their first cavalry charge of the war, utterly wiped out a formidable force of German horsemen east of Rheims and defeated what apparently was an ambitious attempt to cut the allies lines and reach Chalans. So far as is known this is the first time the enemy has employed cavalry since the counter offensive began.
Immediately afterward the same American unit broke up a combined attack of infantry and tanks.
The Americans held an important sector of on a slight rise behind a chalk colored hill, over which were the enemy front positions. When the German cavalry topped the hill and went down upon the Americans they ran into a unit which has a remarkable record for sharpshooting.
Opening up with machine gun automatic rifles and Enfield’s the Americans quickly dropped men and horses. The artillery quickly joined in adding to the slaughter. The cavalry dwindled and only a hand full remained. These galloped back over the hill to the German lines.

The Germans quickly reorganized for another attack. American observers spotted enemy tanks crawling over the chalk like hill accompanied by infantry in great strength.
American artillery cut loose and the first salvo struck several tanks crawling over the chalk hill squarely, splitting them wide open. Simultaneously the German infantry began melting away under the withering fire of American infantry and machine gunners. This effort was broken up almost as quickly as the previous one. And the Germans made no further attempts in this sector.
Reinforced by French infantry the Americans then attacked driving the Boches back beyond their original lines.
Tales of American exploits are numerous as doughboys wander back to the hospital and tell their comrades.
East of Ch√Ęteau-Thierry three Americans captured a German boat and rowed across the Marne under cover of darkness before the German retreat. They his in bushes during the day, exploring the banks and discovering enemy machine guns. Then they re-entered the boat and pushed their exploration further,
The Boches discovered them and opened intense machine gun fire. The Americans escaped by diving over board and swimming half the time under the surface.
The next night they led a stronger patrol of their pals across and extended their investigations, obtaining valuable information concerning the disposition of the German units.
After cleaning the south bank of fugitives tonight. American units crossed the Marne and combed the woods n the north bank east of Chateau-Thierry capturing great numbers of prisoners. Once in a while they encountered Boches who refused to surrender, immediately these Germans didn’t get another chance.
An instance of great bravery occurred when an exploding shell buried a dough boy so that only his head protruded from the dirt. His struggles to extricate himself only exhausted him. Along came a pal, returning to a dressing station with a dangerous head wound. This doughboy stopped and began digging out the buried man. Finally his strength failed him and he fell unconscious. He then recovered somewhat and resumed his digging.
“You go on and get your wound dressed: it’s more serious than my trouble.” The buried doughboy declared. ”Someone will find me”
The other refused to go and fell unconscious again. His companion by super human strength managed to extricate himself at last. Although suffering a badly wounded arm he dragged his pal back to the dressing station. Twice on the way they were bowled over by exploding shells.
Regaining consciousness after treatment the two pals lay recounting their experience.
“Eddie I wonder what protected us and brought us through this alive?” said one.
Fumbling inside his pocket of his dirty blouse the other replied. “This” He pulled out a tiny soiled, Stars and Stripes.