alnawaem.com/components/map4.php A History and an Explanation for Boys and Girls do. And in telling the tale of the victory of the Allies, though we cannot help being proud of the way our men fought, it must be remembered that the Germans fought bravely too, though they were not always well led. Every Briton must rejoice at the story of how the invincible soldiers of the Prussian Guard gave way at last before our men. On 16 December the Germans shelled the east coast towns of Whitby, Scarborough and the Hartlepools. This language is the emotive rhetoric of politicians, in which the deaths of children and women are outrages, while the slaughter of men in similar circumstances is of little account.
Mainly, however, we are given accounts of the terrible destruction that the Germans inflicted, both on cities like Louvain and Malines and on the civilian population. It concerns Alsace rather than Belgium and illustrates the bitter opposition to German military might that was typical of Alsatians despite the fact that they spoke German too.
It seems that a German column was passing along a wooded defile when it met a French boy scout, who was seized, and asked where the French troops were.
He refused to say. At this moment a French battery opened fire from a wood only fifty yards away.
The Germans managed to get into cover, and took the boy with them. When they asked him if he knew that the French were in the wood, he did not deny it. They told him that they were going to shoot him, but he showed no fear. Germans tend to figure only as the undifferentiated enemy.
The kind of explanatory historical and political background provided by Sir Edward Parrott is hardly attempted, perhaps because Mrs Lowndes was targeting a younger readership. However, at this stage in the war she allows herself to relate a merciful exception to the pitiless way in which the war was being waged:. They were there all through the cold, dark night, with only the dead about them. When dawn came they began to talk to one another, and the Frenchman gave his water-bottle to the German.
The German sipped a little, and then kissed the hand of the man who had been his enemy. It is a rare reminder that the German soldiers were men with similar feelings to their opponents. Though the stories of F. Brereton, in With the Allies to the Rhine. Yet amidst all these strictures he can say of a German general at the end of the war:. They were following in the footsteps of G. Henty — Brereton was actually a cousin of Henty — and they used the staples of his stories, but transferred to the setting of the First World War.
In these stories it was a quite typical procedure to paint the enemy black, but have a single enemy figure with some humane characteristics. But the main focus was youthful deeds of bravery against the odds, captures by the enemy followed by skilful escapes and plenty of robust action and fighting. Very often the hero would be wounded, but not too seriously. In this way the accusation of unrealism would be avoided.
He is called Monsieur Joseph, and he has a colleague called Paul Harn. It tells a story about a few Australian soldiers who are pitted against the machinations of two naturalized Britons of German descent — Sir Julius Hoggenbach, a powerful man in the City, and Mr Montague Spurling formerly Sperling — who are working as spies in the German interest.
No one appeared to know what had become of them, though some suspected that Sir Julius had fallen a victim to the rage for interning men of enemy birth, however useful they might have shown themselves to their adopted country. Very few connected their disappearance with a brief paragraph that was printed one day in the papers — the bare official announcement that two spies, tried by court-martial and convicted, had been sentenced to death p.
Stork speaks German, French, English and Dutch, was formerly an actor and once played Iago, so his malignant role can hardly be doubted. The man from whom he has taken his orders, Baron von Essling, ends up in a prisoner of war camp at Wakefield reading the Prussian historian Treitschke. Gilson roundly declares:. In sinking one of the most famous of the U boats within range of the great guns of four of the most powerful of the German battle-cruisers, Captain Crouch accomplished a feat which was as much to his own credit as it was of service to his country p.
It forms part of the propaganda of the war, in which the popular press played a prominent role. Newspapers and magazines published cartoons and verses galore, encouraging those left at home and vigorously attacking the enemy. Hurry with the whitewash, Pour it out in streams! Bleach the ravaged country, Louvain, Antwerp, Rheims!
Belgium concocted war, Thus deserves her fate! His gullibility was derided by E. Mason in The Book of Artemas , which was sufficiently popular to have reached a th edition by London: W.
Its style and format is modelled on the Authorized Version of the Bible, and it begins by attacking the Kaiser in allegorical mode:. Now there was peace over all the land of Eur and amongst all the nations that abode there, it was a time of great content.
But Willi, who ruled over the men of Hu, was a crafty man and greedy, and his ways were devious. And when he beheld the prosperity of the land and the industry of those that dwelt round about, and that they did live in peace, the one with the other, his heart grew black within him and his soul vomited envy. Moreover , he was a proud man and ambitious withal. His covetousness was like unto a tree, that being planted in fertile ground, flourisheth mightily; and the independence of the peoples was as gall unto his vanity.
Now the son of Willi was a young man, and he was puffed out with pride and his mind was empty; in his living, he was vicious, and his name, it was Mud.
Railway stations at St. The humour is rather simple-minded and has no greater aim that to raise a laugh at the expense of the stupid Germans. It is not as clever as the criticism of heavy-handed German ways and notions of culture to be found in Professor Knatschke. Professor Knatschke remarks:.
A considerable number of the rhymes focus on the Kaiser and the drubbing the British soldiers are going to inflict on him. A typical example is:. Ride-a-cock horse, the frontier across, To see Puffing Billy astride a high horse — Blood on his fingers and shells for his foes, He shall be hated wherever he goes!
But the Germans more generally were also mocked in these parodies:. Higgledy-piggledy, my Black Hun! She lays mines where the trade-ships run; Friends and foes she treats as one — Higgledy-piggledy, my Black Hun! Here we have yet another nursery rhyme travestied:. Peradventure he journeys, or sleeps, or is balmy p. Fifty-one travesties of nursery rhymes and similar verse-forms treat a whole range of German figures and war-matters, not simply the Kaiser and the Crown Prince.
There was a Pan-German And what do you think? He lived upon nothing But envy and ink. A was an Army that none could withstand. B were the British contemptible band! John Hamund , while Frederick Warne and Co.
It has remained in print ever since. Its familiarity to the English middle class meant that its verses and pictures were so well known that it lent itself to travesties of the most amazing kind. There had already been two political travesties — The Political Struwwelpeter and The Struwwelpeter Alphabet — before. One way cultures remember and digest the past is through stories, which is why the best of these colonial adventure stories deserve to be reread, in all their awkward ambivalence.
Postcolonialism throws up difficulties for western writers, but it can also open up new routes into stories about it. I had also long been interested in the Thugs — the roadside bandits who befriended, then strangled, unwary travellers on the roads of India — and the man who had crushed and chronicled them, a soldier-turned-administrator called William Sleeman.
Even in the driest historical accounts the story of the Thugs was almost impossible to believe.
Sleeman's grandson claimed they killed more than a million people over several centuries; these days estimates range between 50, and ,, which are still astonishing numbers. Sleeman said, and believed, that the murders were acts of devotion to the goddess Kali. Almost as striking, it seems that certain native rulers were protecting the Thugs in return for a share of the spoils. They perfectly exposed India's lack of "moral compass", the evils of Hinduism, and the country's inability to rule itself.
Sleeman's work, naturally, demonstrated the effectiveness and rightness of British rule. Just as intensely, other historians disputed this.
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