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On the day of my stay at Charleroi, at about seven o'clock in the evening, there was a good deal of bustle round about the station, many trains from Maubeuge arriving. One of these trains was entirely filled by officers of the garrison who had been taken prisoner. Another carried only wounded Germans, lying on light stretchers, on which they were transported through the streets to the hospitals at Charleroi. Many had fearful wounds, and convulsively held their hands on the injured parts, while others lay still, the pallor of death on their face. Maubeuge must have cost the Germans enormous sacrifices, as for many of the wretched wounded no room could be found at Charleroi, and they had to be taken farther by train, to Namur or Brussels.

The officer assured me that a new effort would be made soon, as they were commanded to take Pontisse and Lierce at any price, the seventh and ninth regiment of foot-artillery of Cologne being selected for the purpose..
Labourers were called up to assist in reinforcing the conquered forts on the left bank of the Meuse, the forts which by and by might be used to shell their fellow-countrymen, in case the Germans should be forced to retire. Nobody will have offered himself for this work voluntarily, the less so as the proclamation wound up as follows:鈥.
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We jogged on to Louvain at a rate of not quite three miles an hour. Here and there we had to wait a half or a whole hour to let trains from Brussels pass. The reason why the train went so slowly was because a week before a Belgian patrol had daringly broken through the outposts and destroyed the railway near Lovenjool. That village was then burned down completely and the vicar made a prisoner.?
Short stories
When we came to Jumet, a suburb of Charleroi, and a prosperous place with flourishing factories, we found the whole town wrecked.... Nearly all the houses were burned immediately after the occupation by the Germans, and many inhabitants were killed, of course under the pretext that they had been shooting.!
Word games
Andenne, on the right bank of the Meuse, was a town of 8,000 inhabitants. When the Germans arrived there on the morning of August 19th they found the bridge connecting Andenne and Seilles wrecked. In the afternoon they began building a pontoon bridge, which was ready the next day. They were very much put out about the wrecking of the other bridge, by the Belgian soldiers, a couple of hours before their arrival. Their exasperation became still greater when they discovered after having finished the pontoon bridge, that the big tunnel on the left bank of the Meuse had also been made useless by barricades and entanglements..
Video zone
That I was "wanted" is proved by the fact that two persons have had the greatest trouble because they were mistaken for the Mokveld-Correspondent of De Tijd. My colleague Kemper passed a fortnight in prison in Brussels, accused of having written various articles in De Tijd, which were written by me, and I relate, in the chapter "Round about Bilsen," what Mr. Van Wersch, another Netherlander, suffered for the same reason..

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"Why not, sir?" I asked.
At Thourout all convents and large buildings had been turned into hospitals, and the streets on both sides were full of big wagons. Hundreds of soldiers went off, and large convoys of carts were standing243 in the meadows and on the roads, where officers and men were also practising riding. We were here in the rear, where there was a continuous going and coming from the front. Most soldiers were in a more or less excited mood; some did not hide their discontent, or sat musing dejectedly, asking themselves how these terrible days would end for them? Others again seemed to have got into a sort of frenzy in consequence of the continuous fighting and were not able to think logically at all. They told excited stories about the British whom they had killed, and chased away from the 42 c.m. guns, who, according to them, were also at work in the swampy soil near Nieuwpoort, and also told about the shooting civilians, and those cursed Belgians, who cut open the bellies of their poor wounded, or sliced off their noses, hands, and ears. Of course pure fairy tales, but recited with much power of conviction.
I had to listen to a prolonged hymn of praise of the Netherlanders, who were such sensible people, and the best friends of the Germans; protestations which did not interest me in the least at that moment. On the contrary, it struck me as deplorable that this man did not say a single word of his own accord about the horrible thing happening close by: the destruction of an entire community! He did not seem to attach any importance to it....
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!