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.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Heroic French war dog, honored by the Army now un-American, thanks to Y. M. C. A. Man.
Pottsville Miners Journal. June 11, 1919.
Loost, credited with two official citations, spent years in no man’s land on slopes of Verdun’s protecting outpost from German raiders and patrols.
If the airmen were the eyes of the Army this dog was the ears of at least a part of it. For two years he lay every night out in no man’s land. Watching and listening for Germans patrols and raiding parties. His name is Loost, and as a real veteran of the war he has two citations to his credit for having saved French troops from surprise attacks by the Hun patrols. He did this while it staying on the outer defenses of Verdun. So acute is Loost’s hearing that he could detect sappers trying to tunnel under the French trenches, a gift that enabled him several times to spoil the plans of the German engineers. After the armistice was signed he came into the hands of the French war dog society which encouraged the breeding of such dogs long before the war and later has taken care of those animals which became disabled or too old to be longer fit for active work. It was while he was a guest of the society that Loost met his present owner. Ralph H. McKelvey, a New York insurance broker who was doing welfare work for in France for the YMCA.
McKelvey’s work was the dispatching of tons of books for the doughboys in all parts of France. A great warehouse in Paris was filled with volumes pamphlets and reading matter of all sorts and it was McKelvey’s job to keep this mass of literature moving to the points where it was most needed. So well did he do this that the president of the war dog society from admiration of McKelvey’s work and knowing McKelvey’s love of dogs promised him a canine war hero to bring to America and give a home.
Loost does not know a word of English and has to be spoken to in French, but when talked to in his native tongue he seems to understand everything and anything. The “Y” man said,, when on the liner on the way home ,, “Loost got only a puzzled stare and a wine when McKelvey cried, Go up the ladder Loost, but when McKelvey said, “Alles”, Loost! “Montes “Loost at once scrambled up the ladder, to the cheers of the voyageurs.
On one of the occasions when this dog was honored. The French commander of a company at one of the outer defenses of Verdun officially recommended him for a citation, and another time loosed was cited by a kernel and paraded before the grateful French troops.
In all probability, Loost  never will see his native land again Mr. McKelvey has a large country place in northern New York and there the war hero will go to live. Having nothing more difficult or dangerous to do than an occasional  drive home the cows. McKelvey foresees the need of a French course for his farmhands if his new dog is going to escape being homesick.

Aviators Thrilling Story Of Battle In the Air



Aviators Thrilling Story Of Battle In the Air.

German Craft was attacked By a British Biplane and a 90 Mile An Hour Bleriot.

Were 5,000 Feet In The Air.

Awful Moment of Suspense When Craft Got Above Him And he Thought Bomb Was Coming.

By Karl H. Von Wiegand  United Press Corresponent.

Berlin, the hay, September 9. The chief actor in the first actual battle in the air, Sgt. Warner of the German aviation for, piloted Lieut. Von Heidsen in the latter’s passage over Paris, told me this story.


It is a remarkable tale of adventure, eclipsing those of fiction writers. Attacked by a powerful British biplane and a 90 mile an hour Bleriot, Warner only escaped  through a most fortunate commission of circumstances which led him to pilot his machine inside of the German lines.


The men hold the reserve seats in the theater of war who see the battles as not even the generals can see them, are the German airmen, and Warner to me when I saw him at needs just before I started for Berlin. That I am alive today is due to Providence to my own efforts.


I had received orders to locate the English forces and to determine their exact battle lines and those of their French supports. Acc0mpanied  by Lieut. Von Helgeson, who was detailed as expert observer, I went up in my big monoplane and headed directly south in the general direction of Paris, although on this trip we did not go across the city. Previously, on Sunday, we flew across Paris and dropped three bombs one failed to explode. Another dropped on the roof of a house and set fire to it and the third felony Boulevard and made a big hole. But we flew back to our lines in time without being molested and we were so high the rifle fire did not reach us.


With this trip to locate the enemy, we flew directly south from Mons following a broad and plainly marked road. In route we passed over the edge of a magnificent forest in which more than 40,000 inhabitants the surrounding country had taken refuge. After flying for more than an hour, we passed directly over the English headquarters and I was able to locate the positions of the commander in chief and his staff area we accurately map this position and then swept across the French position paying special attention to the location of their artillery, much of which was masked in places of woods and behind buildings and hedges.


The Lieut. made rough sketches of everything. I was intently watching the country when suddenly the Lieut. pressed my arm, he pointed upward. At that time we were nearly 5000 feet in the air. I looked in the direction in which he was pointing and their fully 1000 feet higher than we were, and coming at full speed directly toward us, is a big Bristol biplane. It was evident from the start that he was far speedier than we were. I tried to climb upward realizing that when he got over me he would drop a bomb and we would be blown to Adams. But the effort was vein. The Bristol held me for speed. I could not get one level with him. Soon the Bristol was directly over our heads. My God man, I was not afraid but this was a moment of Spence that took a part of my life I was scared that the bomb was coming. At last I know how a bird feels when an eagle or hawk swooping down upon it. I thought every minute was to us our last I was certain. That, the British were trying to do us as to go so close that there bomb could not miss my nerves were entirely unstrung and it was all that I could do to keep my monoplane on an even keel.


Suddenly I saw a flash alongside of me for a moment I thought this expected mom and struck and I realize that the Lieut. was shooting with his automatic pistol the Englishman had their propeller in front, so they could not spot from that position area was now, now certain, they carry no bombs as they veered off some 500 feet the side, at the same time keeping hundred and 50 feet above us.


All this time, we were headed northward again toward the German lines. The plunging of the airplanes made accurate shooting difficult although one shot struck my plane. It was very evident that the Englishman was shooting to disable our motor and we were doing the same thing on our part area the noise of the discharge of the automatics was drowned in the work of our propellers


There was a feeling of utter helplessness so far as we were concerned are machine was far slower and much more unwieldy than theirs. I kept figuring on when the next bullet strike us with their greater speed they seem certain finally to get us.


While this thought was passing through my mind the Lieut. again touched me and pointed thousands of feet higher. There, coming at tremendous speed was a small  Bleriot monoplane. It looked for all the world like an  eagle coming to join the attack. I felt certain now that the end was in sight as all of the French aviators we have captured in the present have carried bombs.  And the speed of the new comer. It was far greater than the Bristol this gave him still more of an advantage. The Lieut. kept firing in return as calmly as at the firing range.


Suddenly, however, German troops appeared below us they began firing at the enemy and the Bleriot and the Bristol finally exhausting their ammunition sailed off to the south not harmed area we then landed with our reports which were especially vulnerable because of the location of the French artillery. However I would not want to go through such an experience again area


Warner is an enthusiastic student of aviation and is a typical German soldier. He entered the army after graduating from a university and his face and scalp are covered with scars.. He declares the zeppelins have not yet been really tested and that when they finally get into action they will do great damage to the enemy. He is enthusiastic over the German aviation Corps and declared it has already been in Incalculable benefit to the German Gen. staff.


, on

Friday, March 15, 2013

Howitzer of the 15th Field Artillery

Cpl. Doyle’s War Story of Soissons Fray.


  Cpl. William J. Doyle, battery C, 12th Field artillery, Second Division. U. S. A., Now at new weld on the Rhine with the American forces recently one sixth prize to a competition among 2000 competitors who wrote for a Philadelphian newspaper. The gallant Cpl. is a son of the Shenandoah labor news editor and naturally his townsman and the people of the county are interested in his achievement. It is a thrilling story describing events in which he participated during the counter offensive ordered by general spoke and purging at soy sans, and indicates the splendid exploits of the regulars.


Superb artillery work Neuweld, Germany, February 27, 1919 second Field artillery brigade second division army of occupation Germany.

To the editor of war letters there were two American divisions the first and second summoned by general spoke for his counter offensive blow of July 18 upon Soissins. Being a member the 12th Field artillery of the latter division. It will to my lot to be one of those fortunate participating in the great stroke dealt the Bosche.


Our division was lying in support of the 26th division on the Ch√Ęteau Thierry a front when the hurry up call came, and with the least display of any movement, that might appraise the enemy, we slipped away in the early morning of the 15th. We were well on our way when daylight came and night coming on so is still traveling in a line parallel with the front. We had stopped for a brief time, in which to feed both men and horses, traveling steadily all the night of the 15th and the morning of the 16th the result was that 10 A. M. Of the latter they saw the finish of one of the most remarkable marches ever affected by an army.


One piece (Canon) from each battery throughout the entire brigade was ordered into position for the night of the 16th with orders to adjust on the morning of the 17th. After these orders had been carried out, and they were of an extremely difficult nature, the remaining pieces from each of the batteries together with the ammunition trains, arrived and were placed in position. The result of the long march and sleepless nights was shown by the terror firing barraged the Allied artillery “put over” for their doughboys.


About 10 AM of the 18th we advanced 8 km. On our new position our regiment of batteries was lined up, hub to hub with the 17th heavy artillery, just across the road. We remained in this position until the night of the 21st without suffering any casualties although the Bosche Avion’s seem to have the supremacy of the air. The operators of enemy planes made matters quite interesting in the daytime by flying low overhead and shooting off their machine guns, and at night dropping bombs whenever they surmise our soldiers might be.


Well anyway during the evening of the 21st our battery commander gathered us around him in a rather fatherly sort of manner and confided to us the orders he had received. Our commander, Lieut. Mehl (he was killed on the same mission), told us that our work that night would be hazardous and in going about it we might keep absolute quiet. Every man in the outfit showed by the unruffled manner in which he received the news us stuff each was made of and they fully lived up to the my expectations during the trying hours of the next day. We had great difficulty in getting to the destination set by our regimental commander, on account of the extremely narrow road we traversed, with traffic trying to affect passage in an opposite direction.


After great delay (it had taken us almost 8 hours to travel a little over 2 km) we finally pulled into a field a little to the left of Bell Fontaine farm. Set up our guns and were given quiet orders to catch a little sleep. The men threw themselves down wherever there were shell holes so as to afford some protected from the cold win and drizzling rain that had set in. We were awakened in the morning by our battery commander, who gave orders for the lenders to come up. This signified that we were to advance. The morning began to clear up an observation was very good. The Dutchman’s observation post, presumably on the knoll of hills in front, would loose no time in getting an end just went on us. By this time our entire battalion of 75’s was ready to move forward.


Our battery being nearest the road received orders to regain the main road fork and proceed in the direction of the enemy. Fritz sent in a few, well to our rear, and we were counted counting ourselves lucky on his poor adjustment, when suddenly he began to adjust on the road over which we had orders to travel. His adjustment was perfect, and he opened up with a battery of 77’s, putting a barrage across the road.


During this time we were moving forward in an orderly manner, when the range of an enemy fire was extended to our very line of march. Lieut. Mehl calmly gave a left about, and on the execution of the order one of the poles of the first section limber was broken. Men rushed to the assistance of the drivers, unhitched the horses and pulled the case onto the rear of the Bell Fontaine farm. Lieut. Mel had in the meantime confided to the battalion commander that it would be fatal to attempt the passage over the showed road. Receiving orders to the contrary, he commanded his battery to again move forward, placing himself so some 50 yards in its lead. The shells were coming over pretty steadily now with a mixture of gas, high explosives and some shrapnel.

On account of the open nature of the country, the observation was perfect, and it seemed to me that an act of Providence was all that kept us from being annihilated. One of the shelves made a perfect hit on the road, just in front, and the flying pieces played a tattoo on the sides of the leading caissons. One of the noncoms, Sgt. James broth, took command and gave a left about knowing that by so doing he would save the command. Our battery, arriving at Bell Fontaine farm took the road to the right again moving forward but this time protected by an installation. The shell that caused the orderly retreat of the battery was also responsible for the brave commander’s death.


To return to the battery; the command fell upon a young Lieut. Wood by name who assumed charge and led the organization in its charge “over the top” the battery travel slightly to the right following the road and seemed from enemy view by the woods on both sides of the road. But now comes again and open space in the final – for a supreme position on the hill overlooking Parsy Tigny. The battery was, divided into sections with orders to Gallup, the Canon years cleaning for their lives to whatever they might lay their hands on during a wild ride. It was all over in a few minutes: the show was gained and the guns once more placed in position


Each piece had fired 50 rounds on the town from the new commander, Lieut. early, a ride with orders to retire. We had once more to Gallup in plain view of the enemy. All went well until we had gained the wooded road. The enemy, timing is sent his murderous shells over, killing one man and wounding another; one of the drivers had a horse killed underneath his while he escaped uninjured. Bringing along what material we could, we again set up in position in the road of Belle Fontaine farm. We curtailed all unnecessary movement, but the Bosch over Avalon’s, flying low, discerned our position and flew over the enemy lines with the news. About midday, while half the battery was eating in the farmhouse, the enemy opened up with terrific fire on his already adjusted territory, maintaining the bombardment, for almost an hour.


The men in the farmhouse ignoring danger rush to the aid of their comrades, performing deeds of bravery that demanded cool headedness and initiative. Our firing battery suffered casualties that they to the extent of two officers and six men killed, and about 25 wounded and gassed. We lost 15 to 20 horses rendering the battery in mobile for the time being. However, with the few remaining men, and under great difficulty the guns were removed that night. It was a moonlit night. The Bosche planes were flying low. These, coupled with the open nature of the country, rendered the task hazardous, especially so to the already exhausted and demoralize personnel.


The pieces and caissons were hauled by hand down a road leading to a wooded section. Many stops at the meme eight, when the steady hum drum of the Bosche machines was heard overhead for the enemy bombing planes were on the “warpath” that night. The men were sent to the ammunition train echelon for a night’s rest, where the battery was reorganized and sent up to the following night to once more take up its fight for liberty and democracy.


Such is the simple story of their heroic and sacrificing work of one battery of American artillery, and its symbolic of each and every organization in the second division.


Cpl. William J Doyle battery C, 12th Field Artillery, Army Of Occupation. Germany.

Sunday, December 16, 2012



Paris Sept 2, 1914

“It was like hell cut loose”, is the way a French Officer of zouaves described the charge of the Turcos France’s black troops at the Battle of Charleroi.
Telling of the terrific charges of the blacks, the officer declared, “they fought at such close quarters with the Germans that many of the men got hold of the noses of the enemy with their teeth.
“When the fighting was at the height our colonel suddenly ordered, “give the Turcos free rein,” said the officer.. Then the avalanche began , it was like hell was set loose., They tore along the Marseillais,” but no man could even hear the man next to him in the ranks, so terrible was the pounding of guns, infantry and artillery poured shot into them, and they fell by the dozens, but dashed on. When they  were within fifteen yards of the batteries, the Germans had to cease firing to avoid shooting their own guards. A bloody bayonet fight then followed. While a man was bayoneting a German and could not release his weapon at once, he would whip out his revolver and shoot another. In the meantime a companion, by his side would be attacking the bayoneting foe with the butt of his rifle. The soldiers of the Kaiser were giants,  but they fell like flies. Blood splashed everywhere, I must have shot a hundred with my revolver.
The remnant of the Germans command finally fled for their lives, but not many escaped.. When our survivors got back to Charleroi , we lost more than a score, when the Germans mounted a howitzers in the church steeple, despite the fact that the building was flying the Red Cross flag.”



LONDON SEPT. 7, 1914

The London Globe prints a gruesome story of the manner in which the French Senegalese soldiers have followed up victories over German troops. The account is contained in a letter from a reader of the Globe who claim to have witnessed the incidents.
“It is a wonder”, reads a letter to the Globe, “that the French and British troops have not retaliated on the Germans for the terrible atrocities committed by the latter. The Tucos and Senegalese, however are not so scrupulous.
“One Senegalese warrior is walking about Havre with a neck lass of German ears strong across his shoulders. Another carries at his waist the gory head of a Uhlan with a dented picklehaube set with a rakish tilt over one eye.
“ A wounded Turco was put into the carriage of a Red Cross train with four wounded Germans. At the first stop, a doctor came to the window and asked if they were all right. The Turco replied that the Germans were resting peacefully.
“It  was not until the train reached the destination that it was discovered how peaceful their rest was. The Turco had strangled all four of them.”
One can quite understand the French desire to gets at the Germans. The letter stated. “ I hear first hand stories, not third hand , “yarns”  that make the blood run cold. All boys whom they catch have their right arms  cut off sometimes at the wrist, sometimes at the elbow. Both boys and girls are mutilated in revolting fashion. Quite close in Arras a three weeks old child was torn from its mothers breast and hacked into bits before her eyes.”

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.