Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 462

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[Page 462]

A few days ago the Germans shelled a church within 500 yds of here & killed the local priest besides four civilians, included in the casualties was a baby. The 1st shot hit the steeple & down it came.

This tabernacle was in a small hamlet miles behind the line & was used by the Huns only to range their gun on. When they got the distance then they started on perhaps a legitimate target.

Personally, I think they would not have done the damage (at least, for economical reasons) if they had know the distance to the target which had some military importance but it shows how little they stick at destroying churches, which are usually the highest point in a village, & consequently a good aiming mark for the mathematical calculation of gunnery targets. It is only the carrying out, I suppose, of the teachings of Moltke & Bismarck which are still in their military text books, to make war a success – make it morally, terrible.

26-6-17 To-day I have been "hob-nobbing" with Royalty. The military Routine Order did not call it that, but said it was a review of representatives from different units by The Duke of Connaught who I have discovered is the King's uncle, he being the Late King Edwards eldest Brother

[Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), Prussian statesman and strategist.
Helmuth von Moltke (1848-1916), Chief of the German general Staff at the outbreak of World War I.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942), seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; Governor General of Canada 1911-1916, and King Edward VII's and the Canadian Commander-in-Chief's representative through the first years of World War I.]

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