I love this cheery sentence:
“We moderns are extraordinarily unkind to each other in war – and in peace!”

Great War Fiction


Crozier in 1916

Brigadier-General F.P. Crozier was not the kind of soldier who let ethical niceties get in the way of military success. Describing typical trench raids in his memoir A Brass Hat in No Man’s Land (1930), he writes:

As we require only one prisoner on each occasion, and as more are a nuisance, all other enemy soldiers encountered must be put to death.

All – it is implied – includes those offering to surrender.

What are our weapons? The pistol, the rifle, the bullet, the bayonet, knuckle-dusters, hook knives with which to rip up, daggers for the heart, butchers’ knives for the throat, the bomb for random work, once the prisoner has been extracted and bags of aminal thrown into the dugouts, served up with time fuses, to blow whole companies to smithereens. Tear gas bombs to cause temporary blindness, egg bombs charged with deadly poison to pulverise…

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