Rain in East Africa, 1916
It was at this stage, and after our initial success, that the rainy season set in; and that is another great feature of German East Africa. I had read much about it, and I had heard more; but the reality far surpassed the worst I had read or heard. For weeks the rain came down ceaselessly, pitilessly, sometimes three inches in twenty-four hours, until all the hollows became rivers, all the low-lying valleys became lakes, the bridges disappeared, and all roads dissolved in mud. All communications came to an end, and even Moses himself in the desert had not such a commissariat situation as faced me.
Not Really a Pacifist
Never mind about that now. The Germans are frightfully efficient and will invade us too. We must have a levée en masse. We must get out our shot guns and man the hedges and ditches, but it will be the end of civilization.
WWI & European Self-Loathing
The Europeans, "torch bearers of civilization," are eating at each other, trampling down civilization, ruining Europe; and who will be the better? It is like an avalanche, growing ever more ravaging, as it falls sweeping away trees, woods, homesteads, farms. The catastrophe gets greater and greater. All know the avalanche will consume the valley but no force can stop it . . . European civilization has failed — it was rotten to the core.
At the Paris Victory Parade: 14 July 1919
Bitterness! Disgust! I have recognized the crowd. . . It is the brutish elemental crowd which does not change, which slavishly acclaims Caesar or Boulanger, which yells at the vanquished, which chooses indifferently its heroes among boxers, gladiators and captains.
A Zeppelin Crew Member Speaks
Our nerves are ruined by mistreatment. If anyone should say that he was not haunted by visions of burning airships, then he would be a braggart. But nobody makes this assertion; everyone has the courage to confess his dreams and thoughts.
The Somme—After That First Day, the Next Phase
This woodland fighting has been as bad as anything in this war — most frightful and bloody. Dead bodies lie strewn beneath the trees, and in the shell-holes are wounded men who have crawled there to die. There is hardly any cover in which men may get shelter from shell-fire.
At the Hour of the Armistice
As noon approached, we became conscious of an unusual quietness all around us. Firing of all kinds had almost entirely ceased. . . After eleven o'clock, all firing ceased entirely, not a sound anywhere. Soon everyone was talking about it. No word had reached us yet. . . While we were getting ready to take our wounded man to the rear, a runner appeared with the official news that an Armistice had been signed. Most everybody let out a few healthy yells, but I did not. For one reason, I didn't feel much like yelling. I had some difficulty getting three more fellows to help me carry the stretcher. The one I did get had to stop every few minutes and rest. I kept urging the necessity of getting the fellow under medical care as soon as possible, for he was badly in need of attention.
Death at the Labyrinth
Come, my old dads, you're not going to let your child die alone.
Facing the Russians
The Russians attack with incredible fury. . . in sovereign disregard for human life, attacking and attacking until piles of corpses make the land almost unpassable.
I think it better that in times like these
A poet keep his mouth shut, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter's night.
A Long Look Back
We have discovered that the scheme of 'outlawing war' has made war more like an outlaw without making it less frequent and that to banish the knight does not alleviate the suffering of the peasant.