Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 532 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

More than one general has redeemed faulty dispositions and won fame by a suitably glorious death.

-- James Lawton Stokesbury

World War I The steamer appeared to be close to us and looked colossal. I saw the captain walking on his bridge, a small whistle in his mouth. I saw the crew cleaning the deck forward, and I saw, with surprise and a slight shudder, long rows of wooden partitions right along all decks, from which gleamed the shining black and brown backs of horses.

Oh heavens, horses! What a pity, those lovely beasts!

But it cannot be helped, I went on thinking. War is war, and every horse the fewer on the Western front is a reduction of England's fighting power. I must acknowledge, however, that the thought of what must come was a most unpleasant one, and I will describe what happened as briefly as possible.

"Stand by for firing a torpedo!" I called down to the control room.

"FIRE!"

A slight tremor went through the boat - the torpedo had gone.

The death-bringing shot was a true one, and the torpedo ran towards the doomed ship at high speed. I could follow its course exactly by the light streak of bubbles which was left in its wake.

I saw that the bubble-track of the torpedo had been discovered on the bridge of the steamer, as frightened arms pointed towards the water and the captain put his hands in front of his eyes and waited resignedly. Then a frightful explosion followed, and we were all thrown against one another by the concussion, and then, like Vulcan, huge and majestic, a column of water two hundred metres high and fifty metres broad, terrible in its beauty and power, shot up to the heavens.

"Hit abaft the second funnel," I shouted down to the control room.

All her decks were visible to me. From all the hatchways a storming, despairing mass of men were fighting their way on deck, grimy stokers, officers, soldiers, groom, cooks. They all rushed, ran, screamed for boats, tore and thrust one another from the ladders leading down to them, fought for the lifebelts and jostled one another on the sloping deck. All amongst them, rearing, slipping horses are wedged. The starboard boats could not be lowered on account of the list; everyone therefore ran across to the port boats, which in the hurry and panic, had been lowered with great stupidity either half full or overcrowded. The men left behind were wringing their hands in despair and running to and fro along the decks; finally they threw themselves into the water so as to swim to the boats.

Then - a second explosion, followed by the escape of white hissing steam from all hatchways and scuttles. The white steam drove the horses mad. I saw a beautiful long-tailed dapple-grey horse take a mighty leap over the berthing rails and land into a fully laden boat. At that point I could not bear the sight any longer, and I lowered the periscope and dived deep.

Note: by Adolf K.G.E. von Spiegel


Comments

Display Order
Only logged in users are allowed to comment. register/log in
Related Links

Most-read story in World War I:
German High Seas Fleet
Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Should military training areas be exempt from environmental protection laws?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 147

This Day in History
1914: In the Alsace-Lorraine area between France and Germany, the German Army captures St. Mihiel.

1915: Bulgaria mobilizes troops on the Serbian border.

1916: Sherif of Mecca reports he has forced Taif (60 miles south-east of Mecca) to surrender.

1917: German attacks north of Bezonvaux, Fosses and Chaume Woods, Verdun (north-east), are repulsed.

1918: French and British troops cooperate attacking St. Quentin sector. Good progress is made in spite of strong resistance around hamlets of Salency (Noyon) and Gricourt.



1929: The first flight using only instruments is completed by U.S. Army pilot James Doolittle.

1941: The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones and calculate the number of battleships in each zone—and report the findings back to Japan.


1950: In the south, Eighth Armys 1st Cavalry Division took Sangju and Oksan. On the Inchon/Seoul front, the 7th Infantry Division entered Osan on a drive to link up with Eighth Army forces advancing from the south.

1950: Paratroopers of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, arrived at Kimpo Air Base from Japan. This 4000-man RCT was detached from the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., for service in Korea.

1960: The first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), is launched.