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In the Russian Ranks A Soldier's Account of the Fighting in Poland   By:

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[Illustration: RUSSIA'S RENOWNED CAVALRY ON THE MARCH]

IN THE RUSSIAN RANKS

A Soldier's Account of the Fighting in Poland

BY

JOHN MORSE

Englishman

ILLUSTRATED WITH REPRODUCTIONS OF PHOTOGRAPHS

NEW YORK

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE OUTBREAK OF THE GREAT WAR II THE SCENE AT KALISZ ON THE 2ND AUGUST, 1914 III THE EVENTS PRECEDING ACTUAL HOSTILITIES IV THE FIRST FIGHT V THE FIGHTING UP TO THE 26TH AUGUST VI THE CAVALRY FIGHTING BEFORE KOENIGSBERG VII THE FIRST INVASION OF EAST PRUSSIA, AND THE RETREAT VIII THE KAISER NOT A SUCCESSFUL GENERAL IX CHIEFLY PERSONAL MATTER X THE FIGHTING ON THE VISTULA IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1914 XI THE RETREAT OF THE GERMANS FROM THE VISTULA XII AN INFANTRY RECONNAISSANCE XIII THE BUTCHER'S BILL TO THE END OF 1914 XIV "DO NOT FIRE ON YOUR COMRADES" XV SMALL AFFAIRS AND PERSONAL ADVENTURES XVI A NIGHT ATTACK ON A BRIDGE HEAD XVII THE FIGHTING NEAR SKYERMEVICE ON THE 3RD, 4TH, AND 5TH FEBRUARY XVIII CHIEFLY GOSSIP XIX THE FIGHTING BEFORE PLOCK XX HARD MARCHING AND DESULTORY FIGHTING XXI RECONNAISSANCE AND TRENCH FIGHTING XXII FROM THE TRENCHES OF PRZASNYSZ TO THE CAMP OF MAKOW XXIII A RIDE TOWARDS OSTROLENKA XXIV A PRISONER IN GERMAN HANDS XXV ADVENTURES DURING THE EFFORT TO ESCAPE XXVI MY LAST DAYS IN RUSSIA

AN ENGLISHMAN IN THE RUSSIAN RANKS

CHAPTER I

THE OUTBREAK OF THE GREAT WAR

On the 1st July, 1914, if I could have seen one step ahead in my life's course, this book would not have been written. On the day named I crossed the German frontier west of Metz; and, for the first time, beheld the territory of the Hun.

Always a student of military matters, at this hour I loved war, and all that pertained to war; now I loathe it with an ineradicable hate and disgust, and hope never again to see ground crimsoned with blood.

But at this time I had heard no hint of war in the centre of Europe and of civilization, and no thoughts were farther from my mind than those of martial contention.

My object in going to Germany was business; but also to spend a holiday in a country I had heard friends praise for its beauty and hospitality; and particularly I wished to visit places renowned in history, art and romance. Little I dreamed that I was to see a horrible blight, a foul leprosy, settle on much that had a hallowed past for every cultivated intellect.

I arrived at Metz from Paris via Chalons and Verdun; and, as my time and means were both limited, I went on, after only two days' delay, to Mayence and Frankfort, and thence to Leipzig, where I had some business to transact. On the 16th July I was at Dresden; on the 20th at Breslau; and on the 22nd I arrived at Ostrovo, a small German town barely ten miles from the Russian frontier, and not more than twelve, English measurement, from Kalisz, which is the capital of a Polish province of the same name.

At Ostrovo I went, by previous invitation, to the house of a German friend, from whom I received the most kindly treatment, and to whom I owe my liberty and possibly my life. It will be obvious that I cannot reveal the name of this person, nor the nature of my business with him. It was my intention to remain a month at Ostrovo, which was a convenient place from whence to make excursions to some of the most interesting Prussian towns.

I loved the sight of armed men; and during my journey, as opportunities occurred, I watched the soldiers I saw in the various cities I passed through. I could not fail to notice the great difference in the military forces of the two countries France and Germany. On the Continent one expects to see a more prominent display of soldiers than is usually the case in our own quiet island home; but there was no great parade of the military element in any of the French garrisons I passed through. In all the large towns a force of some kind was stationed; but in so important a place as Verdun there did not appear to be a stronger military garrison than one would see at such stations in England as Plymouth or Chatham... Continue reading book >>




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