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Over the Front in an Aeroplane and Scenes Inside t

He ignored Paris and followed the enemy army


Tournedos grilles a la Bouchere

Pommes frites

Pigeons rotis

Haricots verts a l'anglaise

Creme au chocolat

Compote de peches

Dessert

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The conversation was of course not for publication, but one passage I think I can repeat without fear of violating confidence.

"Why did not Von Kluck march on Paris when he had the chance?" I asked the officer who was sitting on one side of me.

"I will tell you," he replied. "In the 1913 'Kriegsspiel' [great manoeuvres] in Germany the theoretical invasion of France by the attacking armies was precisely the same advance as in actual fact they made the following year. In the maneuvers Von Kluck commanded the right wing precisely as he did in the actual invasion. In these maneuvers he came to a point in his advance where he had to choose between attacking Paris and swinging past Paris in pursuit of the enemy. He decided to attack Paris. The verdict of the board of generals who were judging the maneuvers contained the severest kind of arraignment of Von Kluck for having violated the cardinal principal

of German military strategy by allowing a mere geographical point to divert him from the one paramount object of German generalship--the enemy's army. We actually possess a copy of this official reprimand, for 'tout s'achete' (there is nothing that money will not buy), you know. Now when little over one year later Von Kluck in actual warfare came face to face with precisely the same choice of alternatives, with the previous year's censure still stingingly fresh in mind, he ignored Paris and followed the enemy army."

Luncheon over, we bade the splendid young General and his staff good-bye, and motored quite a distance to visit one of the French field hospitals. The wounded, after having first aid applied in the trenches, were brought here in ambulances, where their wounds were thoroughly dressed or operations performed. When there was a great rush of wounded those capable of standing the journey were shipped on to base hospitals as quickly as possible to make room for the new cases. During the last few months, however, there had been so little hard fighting on the section of the front which this hospital served, that many of the wounded had been kept there for weeks and some for months. The big rooms on the ground floor of the large country house in which the hospital had been located, had been converted into wards for the wounded privates, while the bedrooms on the upper floor were reserved principally for officers.

It was curious to hear the deprecatory tone in which the Chief Surgeon regretted that he had no freshly wounded to bandage or operate on for our benefit. In fact from the front hospitals to the great base hospitals of Paris the surgeons are all alike. They cannot keep a professional note of regret out of their voices when explaining that very few wounded have come in of late, nor a professional note of encouragement when they understand an important action is soon to be fought which will again fill their cots with "cases." It would be an outrage to hold this attitude against these splendid men. If they had not become impregnated by their professional point of view toward the horrors of their work, they would all long ago have been in madhouses.


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