THE BRITISH BAYONET
WHAT THE GERMANS FEAR
Throughout tho war the Germans, in spite of their enormous formations, the fatal magnificence of their operation*, the sizo of their armaments, the capacity of their destructive engines, the rapidity and precision of their movements, the gigantic surprises of their terrific guns, have never really "rzot home" in their furious attacks upon the British. Why was it that the Germans were ever foiled of what constitute victory? The answer, given by a London newspaper, is " The bayonet." The telegrams of the Kaiser to Potsdam were not so very much exaggerated. He had well-nigh encircled tho British force, his numbers were overwhelming, by all the rules of war he had done what he said, or it was just being done; but he omitted one factor—the bayonet. Military science, muniments of war. and precision in thoir use did all that they could, all that they had ever claimed to do, yet with success in reach, they did not putout their hands to seize it, because they would not come to conclusions with the bayonet. What the ■ short-pointed sword was to tho Romans —the most deadly of all their weapons, as former German tr : bes realised to their cost —-the bayonet is to the British.
A corporal of the South Lancashire Regiment said : " They (the Germans) have a trick of throwing masses of cavalry at our weakest infantry when they are advancing in an exposed position or in retreat. They tried it on as often as they could, but what they don't seem able to get over is the quick way in which the smallest part of our infantry will turn round and give them the bayonet. At first they come on all swagger, thinking they are going to cut our men down, but when they becan to see what our chaps were up to they weren't so keen on keeping it up. T have seen them coming cm with great bluster and bounce tntil the order 'Prepare to receive cavalry' was carried out in the old British way, and then they took to their heels as fast <w their horses could carry them." The present struggle has witnessed more bayonet work inone day than was seen iu a whole campaign of Napoleonic wr.rs Even military theories do not always take into account the whole anatomy of man There is the old Adam in him, the overwhelming thirst to come to '.lose gups However done up a British soldier may be. he can always raise a cheer ai the words : " Now, lads, give them the bayonet."
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THE BRITISH BAYONET, Evening Star, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914