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A Little Garrison by Fritz Oswald Bilse

A Little Garrison

A REALISTIC NOVEL _of_ GERMAN ARMY LIFE of TO-DAY

By FRITZ VON DER KYRBURG (Lieutenant Bilse) . _Translated, Edited and with a Special Introduction by_ WOLF VON SCHIERBRAND Author of "GERMANY: THE WELDING OF A WORLD POWER," "THE KAISER'S SPEECHES," ETC., ETC.

_NEW YORK_ . FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY . _Publishers_

_Copyright, 1904,_

BY FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY.

_All rights reserved._

This edition published in January, 1904.

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.

Contents

PAGE

INTRODUCTION vii

CHAPTER

I. An Evening Party at Captain Koenig's 1

II. What Happened at the Casino Dance 29

III. The Consequences of a May Bowl 63

IV. The Case of Sergeant Schmitz 80

V. Officers at a Masquerade 140

VI. A Sensational Event stirs the Garrison 161

VII. An Airy Structure Collapses 207

VIII. Changes in the Garrison 264

IX. Resignations are in Order 282

X. Unto This Last 301

Introduction

In his book, _Le Debacle_, Zola shows in a vivid and intelligible manner the downfall of Napoleon III. and his army, and paints in his usual matter-of-fact tints the actual condition of the great host led forth to destruction. He makes us read in the soul of the common French soldier and in that of his commanding officer. The keen analysis of the characters he portrays enables us humanly to understand the catastrophe on the plains of Sedan. The whole Second Empire undermined by corruption; the army, head and front, honeycombed with loose morals, favoritism, and boundless conceit,--we begin to perceive the main reasons underlying the utter defeat of a gallant nation. And this all the more when, side by side with the sombre painting of Zola, we read the God-fearing letters written home from the reeking battlefields by William I. and his Iron Chancellor.

Indeed, when the conquering German legions returned, in the spring of 1871, to their own firesides, they presented a body of men of whom any nation might have been proud. Elated they were at their unparalleled successes, but not puffed-up or vainglorious.

A generation has passed since then. Is the German army of to-day still of the same metal? Does it, as a body, still show the same sterling qualities which led it to victory after victory on the soil of France?


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