21st September 1914 (Monday)

War!

On the Western Front an anonymous French soldier shares his day’s experiences in a letter to his mother:

“War in rain. It is suffering beyond what can be imagined. Three days and three nights without being able to do anything but tremble and moan, and yet, in spite of all, perfect service must be rendered.

To sleep in a ditch full of water has no equivalent in Dante, but what can be said of the awakening, when one must watch for the moment to kill or be killed!

Above, the roar of the shells drowns the whistling of the wind. Every instant, firing. Then one crouches in the mud, and despair takes possession of one’s soul.

When this torment came to an end I had such a nervous collpase that I wept without knowing why – late, useless tears.”

[Letters of a Solider 1914-1915]

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