BERLINER ZEITUNG 1ST JANUARY 1915
While the Heimat ushers in the new year our soldiers toil for victory at the front. Our brave boys advance victoriously and gloriously against the magnitude of enemies that surround us. In Serbia the infantry of General Eberhardt push onwards into the tall, Balkan mountains...
General von Emmich, X Corps CO, put the paper down as he entered the field hospital on the outskirts of the bombed out town of Calais. From the North the boom of the coastal artillery batteries mixed in from the sharp retorts of rifles and machine guns that came from the town. The last pockets of resistance were being ruthlessly wiped out. But the totality of the victory could not emasculate the cost. The field of battle was littered with bodies, in blue but also very many in field grey. The cost of this folly had been high on both sides.
He entered the hospital and immediately the stench pervaded all his senses. The sweet, pungent smell of rotten limbs, blood stained the floor red, as if a ceremonial arpet had been laid in honour of such an illustrious visitor. The air was thick with the moans of the wounded, punctuated here and there by a last shriek or gurgled mutterings of a departing warrior. A soldiers death is an ugly one he thought, so much for glory and Valhalla.
He stopped at the bed of a schutze whose chest had been torn open by a bullet. The youths eye were open and the colour of blue steel, yet they held no fear. The boys chest heaved uncontrolably, a nurse held his hand and stroked his sweat drenched hair. The insignia on what remained of his tunic indicated he was part of the now shattered 19th Infantry Division. The General moved away allowing the soldier the dignity of passing privately into the next world.
And so it went, bed after bed, death after death. The operation had cost his Corps one division and had bloodied another but in the report he had made to the General Staff he only extolled the successful outcome of the attack, what would those cold hearted bastards care about indivduals whose lives had been extinguished in the fire of war?
"Home by Christmas," he muttered to his aide as he was driven back to his field HQ in ST Omer. 'I doubt many of us will see home again,' he thought silently.
(wyatt uses his skills to add flavour to the AAR, i use mine)
1966 was a great year for english football...eric was born