Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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Love and War - 1 2 Aug 1914


I
2 Aug 1914,
5th Baden Mounted Jäger Regiment,
Just south of the Alps

It was half past four, in the morning, and it was quiet. The cocks already growing in the distance, and people whose job was to busy the day, were going about their business. Eggs were being moved, and everything was just getting started. It was just inside the border of France, and the deep Rhine country side. Most of the people were just scratching their heads, and breaking for a new day. A day that was unlike any other day, though they wouldn't know it. Because in the distance, there wore gray uniforms, that were not a part of the countryside, and did not belong. They were German, actually there were several of them, different houses, different aspects, in every detail, they were not German so much as this and different nationalities who we would not recognize, because in our time they were German, but in our time is not their time.

Their time, there was disarray, and Germany wasn't really a word, but it was an idea that they were for. It was gnawing in the boots, it was thought of the brain, and it had so much to do that people did not know that it was there. Language, even English, was different. It was ornate, clean, and fresh. We do not speak the same language, even if we think we do, even if we wish.

The other situation was that the Germans, because while the older Germans were really sort of have German, but the younger ones were true Germans, were cold and heartless, and engulfed as set against “liberté, égalité, fraternité”, the order of 1789 in France. The order that would rule the world would be a step, at lease most people thought it would, in one flash, and roaring of feet. It would be either French system of values, or the German system of values, and grip there they would.

But there was a difference, France had decided that it would be a part of the the system, where as Germany would rule the world, alone, or with an ally, Austria, who was half German and have other things. That would be the difference, because England was both German and French, and it had decided, by whatever means it would do so. It had decided for cold incalculable reasons, that France would be the better partner, not German. Realize, France was both culturally old, and politically old, where as Germany was culturally old, but politically it rested on a framework which was 100 years old, and had grouped itself around the time of 1871, when it finally cleared itself “Germany”, as opposed to the myriad of states, which were referred to as Germany only in the reactive tense that people admitted they did not really know what they were talking about. It is this point in time, you could refer Germany has “große Deutch”, which was large and vague, or as “petite Deutch” which was stronger and feral, but obviously smaller. It was not clear which one would when, but was pettie which had the upper hand at the moment. It grew in stages, from Prussia, which was the largest back, but only the largest pack, who under one man, the indomitable Bismarck would take center stage, to a run state finally named Germany.

At the same time, Italian group from a large selection of states, to be an empire, though not as great, a flare which said that they could be something, but they would rather just be happy instead, and the thought of as great, only they were really so. These pairs of empires were bridges, to the east, which was different area entirely. What is important, was that Germany and Italy said that they were aligned, but Italy had called feet, that would be corrected, but that is not part of this tale.

What is part of this tale is how Wilheilm II schemed and plotted to rule the world, and sweep up gathering morsels in her mouth. He had decided to pick the same group of people, younger than their forefathers, do what could not be done: defeat France and plunder a second time. First time, it had been done, and they thought it would be easier to do so again. They were wrong, in a twist of fate, what they did not understand was that America was going to be the difference, not once again, but twice. But this too, would not be known, if it was just an dream, and France would hold the key, in world war one, thing they call the great war, that saved the day. None of this was known of, neither the terror, or the grief , nor of the vision of a little corporal which would become the second world war. Everyone thought that this would be like the Franco-Prussian war, a little war, design toIs just last a day or a seasoned, they had forgotten what a real war was like. They did not see that this would be a Napoleonic war, as they had not imagined it to be. Everyone thought it would be swift, but they wouldn't imagine that the Germans, for was Germans who said it in the motion and held on, with design it for the length and breath, and turn it into a clash that had not been seen. They did not understand that it was only Bismarck which had rendered the big war into a smaller one, and he was not around to tell that the clatter and the clamor would be renewed. The war was coming, though no one even notices. And while peace was enjoyed, and enraptured, strange things were coming. Most of all in the timing offices of state, it is really their where it started, that dream which was several generations old, and each time it had been renewed, steeping and seizing group of people, which at this point they did not understand what was going to happen.

Remember, they thought it would be over and done with. That's what everybody thought, after after they thought that their was going to be a war, at all. Except a few people, who were planning on, and they thought it would be a short little war, we have notes to prove it.

So rather than start with the deal, we showed start with just a little before the beginning, and plot with who knew from the beginning, even those who know that it was not going to be a short little war. Germans and the French. The few new early, sometimes as much as 25 years, the many new almost as if. So if you want to know what happens to the few, you have to go back 20 years, or more. To the many, you have to go back for only a few weeks. To the horde, even after the outbreak is not enough. But breakpoint is when the action starts, when they are is motion. And not is not very much more different, but it is not to go on. Only Joffrey Joffre on the French side new what was going to happen, and botched it all. Not quite, but almost. So we will begin general Joseph Joffrey, before he realized that he is reaching a war of defense, when he still thinks he is running for of offense.

It was just pretty picture,this mountain top of the Alp, just as clearly it was on the French side, not German side, and certainly not the Swiss side, or the Italian side. Indeed you tell inside was not even in you at the moment, there were to many clients in the way. No, this was definitely the branch side, as only someone who was German would know. And he was German, though you would defend to the last as is needed. It was odd, he knew, he was German, but he also knew that German was not his nationality, Baden was. However, they younger are were truly German to the core, head, and in other places which would not be mentioned. The ones not German with their feet, but whole heartedly. 

Only thought not only though “German”, they invented and breathed to. He watched them hold over for, and realized that they had combined German as a culture with German as a nationality, which he only partially subscribed to. But that was future, no Future, in all of its nominative tents way of being. The cobwebs were not there, in his, though he was trying, their work, cobwebs that is.
There were seven of them, himself included, and there was not yet war on, but it was only just. He knew, and the French new, that this would be an encounter, or just missing the date of border of the encounter. If the hand is friends were going to be the first, let it be glorious, and the same way, if he and his folk were the killing edge, that it be that way, and taste the blood of French folk. They would have to first shots, of course, because they were on the French side, but only the first shots, than they would get swiped in in return. And since last, by this he meant his German army which was being born as we spoke, he had better rifles then did the French. But not better artillery, but that would, be hoped, not be needed, just firearms as of the sort that infantry men possessed.

77s, a terrible thing, were in the hands of the Frenchman - and he knew that they were going to be on the field, but not yet. He pulled up, and scanned through the eye class, and thought he saw something. He wanted to be sure, but that was a luxury that he did have. He was dead before the second glance shot - and only was able to say victory. He took the life, and then taken in return. The rest of his body was dead as for doornail, lying as a cross might lie, serene. One of his cadets grabbed him up on the snow, not much and it was really snow but just a dusting, but it was enough. And then Cpl. cleared away, leaving only the handsome, recently dead, face.

It was actually very clear with only a few clouds scattering in the sunlight, the French and the Germans, both, were retreating away. Because they were not war, yet. The trees were coniferous, and in that golden field of mourning, they were sparkling. French were running down the court, without rhyme or reason to it - while the Germans, two down in their number, were more punctilious in their motions. It was, as noted, just before the war. It was calm, their were no season of guns, it was almost as if nothing happened, or again the played, one team arriving a little bit before another. Down below the French side seizing the advantage, and then it was gone. Each leader knew that he had made a mistake, and each one had died, in that way living up to the creed. Though he did not know it, the French captain was also dead, shot in the same wave as he was.

It was over, and it would be to marked as a skirmish between French and German forces, which was not part and parcel of the war. The war was going to be not about Luxembourg - everything after that was considered the war, but everything before that was considered a skirmish, not part of the actual war itself. This – repeat with me - was a little skirmish, nothing more. When the totals were headed up, these few were argued about. Were they, or won't they, part of the honored dead. Where they are, or weren't they, consigned to burial with the others. That the the horror peeled of and over them, and the decision was not made by the higher ups, but by a corporal, who did not think anything of it. To him, they were war dead, and that was that. And nothing more was to be done about it, until much after the fact. When French and German speakers were quibbling over which dead belonged in which field.

There's only one thing this: Albert Mayer was dead . In nomine Patris et Poundis et Spiritus Sancti. He did know how long he had been abandoned, and his head was still woozy. He did not know that he was dead, only very badly injured. Sliding up, and then down. But the corporal who had pushed him long, decided that this was not going well, and pushed him off so as to gain a firmer footing, after all what difference did it make? The checked the heartbeat, and their was nothing to suggest that his heartbeat would come back after two hours. He dumped him alongside of the road, and strode upwards, this little kernel dump him just decide the road, and caught up with his other friends. But he wasn't, in fact, dead. Though there was very little snow, he got up a dreadful number of hours later, and saw nothing. He was a long way from where he started, and he swore, because it was obvious, to him in any rate, that he'd been dumped on the roadside. First, he checked arms and legs, he knew that his right lower leg was never going To limited strength, indeed he had torn a ligament, maybe two. Their work cuts and bruises as well, but they would matter. He searched down the ligament, and saw that it was not broken. For one moment, he thought he would just crawl back, that was the logical thing to do. But he stood there, and realized while Prussians may have wanted to do things, he did not want to. Baden was different, he realized he'd done his duty, and it was other people do theirs. The first words the Pound wrote in the WWII began like that: _ _ was dead.

And at that moment, he stopped being Lieut. Albert Mayor, and just started being Bert Mayor, who had some dealings with best. Who knows what Bertie was, he knew that he was not going to go. Albert was done, and ready had returned, he just needed some clothes, and would be ready for anything. He realized up was where the Germans were, and down was where the French were, so either left or right would be better for him. And from his direction right with the wrong direction to take, because that way was to Belgium, and the entire might of two terrible armies, and beleaguered armies that wanted nothing to do with them were hovering around each other. He knew, from experience, if nothing else, that it would be futile to go that way. So he turned left instead, and hoped that he would be one of hundred, even 1000, going back his business, because after all, it was going to be a short war in a way.

Or so they thought.

He did things as any low ranking German officer did things, checked the pockets, both for what was there and what was not, he had tobacco, and schnapps. This was a good thing, but it was bad because that was the only two things he had. Not even a glass, he would have to drink it from the bottle. Then he realized, his corporal wanted to make sure that he would be missing, and presumed dead. Which was all right with him, he was not going to want to do anything anyway. He realized that the Prussians were orderly, matter of fact, and a damn pain neck, where has his Baden, wall very strict up to a certain point, were looser after they had some schnapps, and were bit more expensive. And anyway if he needed to, he could join up again. Though he would see how this would go on, December maybe, maybe cleaning up to February. Then he could get home and explain that he was damaged, healed up, and maybe even started a new life, if he chose. But that was a long way, fervor in fact.

No, first of all to get other clothes, civilian clothes, and dress him self up. Then he could get some clothes from somewhere else but around here, and so on until he looked quite different. Than he would blend in for a few months. But the first few hours on 3rd were the tightest ones, they would make or break this plan. But even that wasn't so bad, because how damaging can be? The was very far from the action, and he knew it. So try your best, and if you do not succeed, then you do not, and he tried nonetheless.

Damn, his had felt like the rush in his head was not bottom out the way it should, he was going to check it out, but not for now. For right now, he would have woke a good long distance so as not to be known about. He waited for along time, until it was truly dark, really truly dark. And then followed the footsteps of cows and sheep, until even he could not tell human from bovine, or ovine, steps. Human was a different story, is the were covered with boots that were unmistakably different from the ones that were civilian, they were military, and anyone could recognize them on site. For nightfall, they would have be ditched, and new ones found.

He shifted left, because movements ahead were not civilian in nature, and while French or German, it was all the same to him. He brushed down and squatted, and looked into the distance, and saw that they were French, probably looking for strugglers. They were careful, and they were green, so green in fact that they marched home around in and couldn't see his face even as they were looking at it, 20 bases so best. Then they marched away, upwards, because the knew somewhere off in the distance, there was a group that was going to buzz down them and slaughter themselves. This was, of course, his group, and others just like him. So he stood, and stared again just to be sure, it was 1 o'clock, and then he lit off in to countryside, off at tangential angle, and hoped against hope that there was nothing left. Then he turned right, more towards the French side then the German, and would see what their was to be seen.

He hoped it would be nothing out the ordinary, and truly peaceful morning and afternoon in front of him.

But that was not to last, behind in and in the woods came a distinct roar, but muffled and whose origin was quite muffled. He looked in the direction he thought it had come from, but nothing was there. Though he looked and he looked, it could not be determined what it was that made the roar. So he decided that the better way to go about things was to move down the hill slope, and put as much distance between him and whatever it was.

He edged his way down the hill, peeking ever so gently towards the last place that he heard something from. But there was nothing there. Except out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw something, but he could not make out what. It wasn't a man, but it was shaped like a man. It was not a wolf either, though he thought that it was a combination of two. Thus he was in terror, but he could not figure out, what – exactly - he was in terror of.

The other thing that itched at his mind was this: why were there no people, even a shadow of people. He expected some, even if he had to hide from. But he neither saw German nor French, led alone people who were in civilian clothes. This to was very odd, and it ruminated in the back of his mind. And so even when he was venturing downward, his mind turned to the problem that had been piqued: where more all the people, for example his unit most of all. But terror held him very fast in its grip.
But this would have to wait, diverse thing to do was obvious, and so did that first.


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