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In the Claws of the German Eagle   By: (1883-1962)

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First Page:

E text prepared by A. Langley




My thanks go to the Editors of The Outlook for permission to reproduce the articles which first appeared in that magazine.

Also to many friends all the way from Maverick to Pasadena. Above all to Frank Purchase, my comrade in the first weeks of the war and always.


Instead of a Preface

Part I The Spy Hunters Of Belgium

Chapter I. A Little German Surprise Party II. Sweating Under The German Third Degree III. A Night On A Prison Floor IV. Roulette And Liberty

Part II On Foot With The German Army

V. The Gray Hordes Out Of The North VI. In The Black Wake Of The War VII. A Duelist From Marburg VIII. Thirty Seven Miles In A Day

Part III With The War Photographers In Belgium

IX. How I Was Shot As A German Spy X. The Little Belgian Who Said, "You Betcha" XI. Atrocities And The Socialist

Part IV Love Among The Ruins


XII. The Beating Of "The General" XIII. America In The Arms Of France XIV. No Man's Land


Instead Of A Preface

The horrible and incomprehensible hates and brutalities of the European War! Unspeakable atrocities! Men blood lusting like a lot of tigers!

Horrible they are indeed. But my experiences in the war zone render them no longer incomprehensible. For, while over there, in my own blood I felt the same raging beasts. Over there, in my own soul I knew the shattering of my most cherished principles.

It is not an unique experience. Whoever has been drawn into the center of the conflict has found himself swept by passions of whose presence and power he had never dreamed.

For example: I was a pacifist bred in the bone. Yet, caught in Paris at the outbreak of the war, my convictions underwent a rapid crumbling before the rising tide of French national feeling. The American Legion exercised a growing fascination over me. A little longer, and I might have been marching out to the music of the Marseillaise, dedicated to the killing of the Germans. Two weeks later I fell under the spell of the self same Germans. That long gray column swinging on through Liege so mesmerized me that my natural revulsion against slaughter was changed to actual admiration.

Had an officer right then thrust a musket into my hand, I could have mechanically fallen into step and fared forth to the killing of the French. Such an experience makes one chary about dispensing counsels of perfection to those fighting in the vortex of the world storm. Whenever I begin to get shocked at the black crimes of the belligerents, my own collapse lies there to accuse me.

It is in the spirit of a non partisan, then, that this chronicle of adventure in those crucial days of the early war is written. It is a welter of experiences and reactions which the future may use as another first hand document in casting up its own conclusions. There is no careful culling out of just those episodes which support a particular theory, such as the total and complete depravity of the German race.

Despite my British ancestry, the record tries to be impartial without pro or anti German squint. If the reader had been in my skin, zigzagging his way through five different armies, the things which I saw are precisely the ones which he would have seen. So I am not to blame whether these episodes damn the Germans or bless them. Some do, and some don't. What one ran into was largely a matter of luck.

For example: In Brussels on September 27, 1914, I fell in with a lieutenant of the British army. With an American passport he had made his way into the city through the German lines. We both desired to see Louvain, but all passage thereto was for the moment forbidden. Starting out on the main road, however, sentry after sentry passed us along until we were halted near staff headquarters, a few miles out of the city, and taken before the commandant. We informed him of our overweening desire to view the ruins of Louvain... Continue reading book >>

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