A study of war, vol.1 by Quincy Wright

By Quincy Wright

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After tea and a cigarette, he set off to return to his horse, back at the gun lines a half mile away. I had scarcely left the Staffordshires’ bomb-proof when a shrapnel burst just behind me and on my right, the bullets striking some ten yards to my right. Ten seconds later the second shell of the pair arrived, and burst ten or twenty yards to my left. Had I been ten yards to the right or to the left, one or other would have got me. Lieutenant Hindson, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, noted: During the night there were several violent outbursts of fire, lasting some time, but nothing followed.

The Worcesters’ history notes: Belgian refugees All that day a distant thunder of gunfire had been heard to the southward. As evening came on, the French territorials withdrew behind the line of the British brigades and an ever-increasing swarm of refugees came thronging westward through the entrenched position. A chilling drizzle ushered in a dark, wet night, which passed without incident save for the intermittent flash and rumble of gunfire on the Menin Road. General Victor d’Urbal, commander of Le Détachement d’Armée de Belgique (DAB).

Situation map, evening of 18 October. I Corps. This, the principal major British formation covered in this book, had taken considerable casualties during the Aisne fighting. It is instructive to look at what a fairly typical battalion which formed part of it, 1/South Wales Borderers, 3 Brigade, 1st Division, had endured since it left the UK on 12 August. When the battalion went overseas it had 977 men, including twenty six officers, a warrant officer, forty nine sergeants and 911 men. It also had a ‘10%’ reserve to act as first reinforcements, which came out to France a week later.

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