THE ENGLISH A REA COOL LOT.
One of the frankest tributes yet paid to the superlative ability of the British soldier is that of a trerman officer who lias been conversing with a. well-known Dane. In September this gentleman undertook a long' business journey through North and Ontrai Germany, and. a deeply interesting letter of Jii.s is published by the 'BergetM Annonce Tidende. - Wha-9 the officer ia member of the German General Staff) said in an interview is «Jt forth as follows: The Frenchmen an- lively soldiers. smart in their movements, always ready to run to and fro: good at bayonet attacks where they can' make, progress, but no good in bayonet attacks when luck is against them- 'Nevertheless, they must besaid. •.,> be a useful factor in hai'id-to-hand fighting Their temperament is fiery, and, what I did not know before, they are. cunning. Their artillery appears to be as good as ours. Here the Danish merchant broke in with: ''What! Better than the German* :" Officer (smtLngi : Well, let it ao at that. They _ aim well, both with cannon and rifle. They are better toldicrs than we expected. But for real endurance they cannot he compared with the elite of the Allies' troops—the English. Yes. the English have prepared a, surprise for us m this war, especially in the battles in North France. Best When Luck is Bad.— The Englishman is cool, indifferent to danger and to tiie dispensations of Providence He stays where he is commanded He shoots magnificently, extraordinarily well. He is good at "bayonet attack—better than the Frenchman—and, if I may sav so. good in another wav, for it is during those bayonet attacks, when luck is against him, that he is at his very' best. His endurance and marksmanship make him an opponent of high rank. But' it is the English we try to hit hardest' in this war. After we had broken through : the French positions on the Belgian fron-! tier and had got .foffre's army On the move towards tha couth the German, army's, advance appeared to be checked. It. was General French's army that had. stayed the retreat. Wo ordered-the Eng--lish. lines to be ftormed. Oar troops 1 dashed into them with fixed bayonets, but i our efforts to drive the English back were! in vain. They are very, good at resisting J a bayonet attack. The English axe strong | people, athletic and well developed. i>owe decided !<> shoot them down, but ve found that thev aimed remarkably ■weil.j "Every bullet ' r otind its billet," as'they—lTeroh Infantry.— We ordered our lx-st shots to tackle: them, but the result was not in j Then we got all our artillery at wdrkj that could "lie spared against them. We swept, the English positions with a rainj of shells—-a 'egular bombardment. When! the firing ceased we expected to find thet English 'had fled. The English artillery! cannot be compared with ours or thed French, and we son i silenced it. We. had ■ not. heard from th--- English for an hour. < Put how can 1 describe, our astonishment? Beyond the shell-swept /one we saw Eng-j lish soldiers' heads moving, and they he--gan to use their rides again as soon as the' roa-t was clear. 'i'iie English are a. <-00l lot 1 We had io ,-i'sauh. again and again, 'hut- in vain. 'A'e wne. in fact, xepulsod aft-"r having literally s.:irrotind< s d them. Their perseverance a.id phu-k hael gained their j'lsi re-ta.'d. The retirement crrdd now bn sen:.''! out. in an orderly way. All risk of en*strophe to the retr--atinc r.imv was .-ue.-'ed. Even the sight of the wcn'ndt'd .-nrpri-ed -as and commanded our i-esp-.-t Th--y lev t-o still and scarcely ov»r "ompiaiiiel.
Permanent link to this item
THE ENGLISH AREA COOL LOT., Evening Star, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915
THE ENGLISH AREA COOL LOT. Evening Star, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915
Using This Item
Allied Press Ltd is the copyright owner for the Evening Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Allied Press Ltd. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.