When the war is not going as planned

“There they lay – badly wounded cases or men who could not walk any farther – wrapped in rags and bedded down on dirty straw or simply on the floorboards, keeping themselves warm by huddling together or by means of bonfires. There was no one there to attend to them, if there had been, it would not have helped them much, for the Army Staff had canceled the sixty-gramme bread ration for the wounded on the ground that those who cannot fight, shall not eat. The walking cases dragged themselves to a near-by pump to wait for the horse-drawn carts. Before the unsuspecting driver understood what was happening they would throw themselves with pocket-knives, pieces of metal or just their bare hands on to the trembling horse and cut it to pieces, carrying away with them the shreds of steaming flesh.”

German soldiers in the winter of 1942 / 43, during the battle of Stalingrad — hungry, wounded, sick. The war wasn’t going as planned…

“The Lieutenant was silent. He remembered the alcazar and thought of the General with the message who wasn’t able to speak when he came into the Presence. Frederick the Great’s generals had thrown their daggers on the ground in front of the King. How was it that the generals of today won battles and wore decorations, if they were so cowardly?”

Heinrich Gerlach, in “The Forsaken Army”. The novel is considered in line with Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpieces.

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One response to “When the war is not going as planned

  1. Elizabeth

    Interesting to remember in light of the recent cancellation of benefits for wounded Canadian soldiers.

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