Tommy Atkins at War

As Told in His Own Letters

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Published: 1914
Language: English
Wordcount: 25,773 / 80 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.8
LoC Category: U
Downloads: 404
Added to site: 2005.09.09
mnybks.net#: 11314
Genre: War
Excerpt

ct produced by their heavy guns, which, despite the actual losses inflicted, has not been at all commensurate with the colossal expenditure of ammunition which has really been wasted. By this it is not implied that their artillery fire is not good. It is more than good; it is excellent. But the British soldier is a difficult person to impress or depress, even by immense shells filled with high explosives which detonate with terrific violence and form craters large enough to act as graves for five horses. The German howitzer shells are 8 to 9 inches in caliber, and on impact they send up columns of greasy black smoke. On account of this they are irreverently dubbed 'Coal-boxes,' 'Black Marias,' or 'Jack Johnsons' by the soldiers. Men who take things in this spirit, are, it seems, likely to throw out the calculations based on the loss of moral so carefully framed by the German military philosophers."

Every word of this admirable official message is borne out by the men's own version of their experie

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