Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog
Hét WO1-forum voor Nederland en Vlaanderen
 
 FAQFAQ   ZoekenZoeken   GebruikerslijstGebruikerslijst   WikiWiki   RegistreerRegistreer 
 ProfielProfiel   Log in om je privé berichten te bekijkenLog in om je privé berichten te bekijken   InloggenInloggen   Actieve TopicsActieve Topics 

The Angel of Mons/ De engelen van Mons

 
Plaats nieuw bericht   Plaats Reactie    Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index -> Mystiek en religie Actieve Topics
Vorige onderwerp :: Volgende onderwerp  
Auteur Bericht
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 6:03    Onderwerp: The Angel of Mons/ De engelen van Mons Reageer met quote

The Angel of Mons is undoubtedly the most enduring supernatural legend of the First World War. But was the claim of divine intervention in battle fact, fiction or modern myth? And what lies behind recent claims that the discovery of a film depicting angels would feature in a Hollywood version of the legend?

DAVID CLARKE finds the truth is far stranger than fiction

During the Great War thousands came to believe that a miracle had happened during the British Army’s first desperate clash with the advancing Germans at Mons in Belgium. In some versions a vision of St George and phantom bowmen halted the Kaiser’s troops, while others claimed angels had thrown a protective curtain around the British, saving them from disaster. The battle of Mons took place on 23 August 1914 and within weeks the ‘angels of Mons’ had entered the realms of legend. By the end of the war it became unpatriotic, even treasonable, to doubt the claims were based on fact.

Gothic horror writer Arthur Machen maintained until his dying day that the Angel of Mons was fiction. Machen believed that his short story, The Bowmen, was the true source of the legend [see panel], pre-dating all other claims that were made from the spring of 1915 onwards. From that time the legend took on a life of its own and even today, versions of the story continue to circulate in folklore and the mass media.

One of the characteristics of ‘urban myths’ is that whenever they are spread, people claim the story is based upon real experience, and in this case to support the story of angelic intervention as being a matter of historical fact. The historian A.J.P. Taylor was so impressed by such ‘evidence’ that he felt confident referring to Mons, in his 1963 history of the First World War, as the only battle where “supernatural intervention was observed, more or less reliably, on the British side.” 1

If recent claims are to be believed, the events at Mons will soon be recreated in a Hollywood feature film. But is this updated version of the legend genuine, or just another example of fiction masquerading as fact?

In March 2001 news of the film was revealed in a story published by the Sunday Times under the headline: “Brando inspired by vision of Mons angel.” The article claimed that director Tony Kaye, working in partnership with Hollywood megastar Marlon Brando, had paid £350,000 for some original black and white film footage purporting to show an image of “an angel.” 2

The footage, it was claimed, had been discovered by accident two years earlier at Bonita’s antique shop in Agincourt Square, Monmouth, South Wales. Danny Sullivan, the Earth Mysteries author and former editor of the Ley Hunter magazine found the old canisters whilst browsing in the shop, and bought the collection for just £15. He also acquired a mass of military memorabilia along with letters documenting the former owner’s extensive correspondence with various mystical societies during the inter-war period. Danny claimed he put the material aside for a year, and it was not until the autumn of 2000, when he began to read the letters, that he realised he had stumbled upon a goldmine.

The papers described the quest undertaken by a West Country soldier, William Doidge, who was born in Monmouth in 1896 and joined the Scots Guard at the outbreak of war in 1914. Doidge fought at the battle of Mons and fell in love with a local woman, Marie, whilst serving with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The letters told how he lost contact with her during the campaign, and after the war he devoted his life to finding the legendary “angel of Mons” which he believed could reunite him with his lost sweetheart.


The photo published in The Sun. Was this William Doidge's angel?

If this romantic script wasn’t sufficient to attract the interest of a Hollywood director, there was more. As he pieced together the fragments of papers, Danny discovered that Doidge’s quest ended in 1952 when he received a letter from a US army veteran, identified only as Doug. The former GI told an angel story of his own from the time of the D-Day landings, when American and Canadian soldiers were training in the grounds of Woodchester Park in the English Cotswolds. In his letters to Doidge, Doug described his sighting of a “spook” in the grounds of the Gothic mansion the night before a pontoon bridge on a lake collapsed, dragging 20 soldiers to their deaths. After hearing this story, Doidge began a nightly vigil in the grounds of Woodchester hoping this angel of death would return. Among the collection, Danny found a black and white photograph “which clearly incorporates the image of an angel” floating in front of a background of gravestones and tombs. The photo, marked “1950 E. Bennett” was examined by professional photographers who found “no hint of forgery about it.” Did the photograph show the angel of Woodchester, and did William Doidge take it?

A view of Woodchester Park

These finds inspired Danny to set up a website dedicated to spreading the story of the mysterious Doidge, a man who “has a strong claim to the title of the UK’s very own Indiana Jones.” The Angel Homepage made a direct link between the Woodchester phenomena of 1952 and the angel of Mons, and implied that Doidge was one of the anonymous soldiers quoted by Harold Begbie in his 1915 book On the Side of the Angels 3. When the website appeared Danny was inundated with emails from people who believed they were relatives of the Doidge, and others who wanted to describe their own experiences with angels.

It was apparently as a direct result of the website that Danny was introduced to Tony Kaye, the British film producer who works from Los Angeles. On seeing the footage, Kaye was so enthusiastic he offered Danny “half a million dollars for both film and papers saying the angel film would form the centrepiece of a major Hollywood movie starring Marlon Brando.” It was this endorsement by a big name that gave the story a touch of credibility. At least it was sufficient for the Sunday Times to take the bait.

This article was soon followed up by The Sun who, in a double-page spread, published what it called “the ghostly ‘angel’ image on Danny’s film, which has now been sent off to Hollywood to be checked out by experts.” Tony Kaye was quoted as saying: “I want to include Doidge’s footage of the apparition at the heart of the movie...it will be a spine-tingling moment. This is the nearest we have on film to proof of an angel.” 4


The 'Angels of Mons' halt the German advance; a picture by Alfred Pearce in A Churchwoman's 1915 book The Chariots of the Gods

Events took an even stranger turn when Danny returned to Bonita’s in search of additional clues. He was disappointed to discover that any additional material had long disappeared. But four days after The Sun published the angel photo, musician John Reynolds posted a message on Danny’s Angel Web log. It read: “You may be interested to know that some time ago, on a trip to Monmouth, I was wandering around an antique shop and bought an old trunk which contained a whole load of weird stuff – wax cylinders, film canisters, papers & diaries. Could this be the same shop…maybe even the trunk you have been looking for? Your angel photograph is very similar to the most amazing images I found on the film, which I have since painstakingly restored.” 5

Reynolds claimed the images had “a profound influence” on his musical compositions. Strangely enough, the picture that subsequently appeared on the cover of his group Ghostland’s album Interview with the Angel was almost identical to the ‘still photo’ Danny Sullivan claimed to have found amongst Doidge’s papers 6. This final ‘coincidence’ had all the hallmarks of a clever publicity stunt. Ghostland were promoted by Burkowski PR, a company with links to Tony Kaye, the director who purchased the ‘angels’ footage from Danny Sullivan. Mark Burkowski, coincidentally, lives in the same small Gloucestershire town as Danny, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the two men are friends!
But what of William Doidge and ‘Doug’ the mysterious character which The Sun assured its readers Marlon Brando was keen to play in the forthcoming film? Did he exist, or was the Indiana Jones-like quest to find the angel as fictional as Machen’s The Bowmen? As is the case in other successful media hoaxes, the clues that should have exposed the facts were always out there, waiting for someone to piece them together. According to Danny “at no time did any one seriously question the credibility of the story. It was simply accepted…as far as the press were concerned I doubt whether the truth of the matter was ever an issue.” 7

The ‘truth’ was exposed in 2002 during a Radio 4 documentary The Making of an Urban Myth, commissioned by BBC Wales and produced by Martin Kurzik. Originally the programme planned to discuss Arthur Machen’s role in creating the original myth. But when reporter Chris Morris followed up the Sunday Times article he was intrigued to find the story apparently confirmed, by both the owner of the antique shop and the PR consultant, Mark Burkowski. As Morris was determined to see the footage, Burkowski suggested he went to see his friend Danny Sullivan. It is not clear whether he knew Danny was about to reveal the whole saga was a publicity stunt, but that is what happened. Doidge’s angel, Danny admitted, was concocted to promote a book he had self-published in 1992 on the occult history of Woodchester Mansion. Due to wrangles with the trustees, copies of the book remained stacked in his garage, unsold. Over a drink in his local pub, Danny and his PR executive friend decided that one way to revive interest in the book was to create a story about a soldier who filmed an angel in the grounds of Woodchester.

By a stroke of genius, this yarn was given historical credibility by the link with the earlier myth of the angel of Mons. Danny told the BBC he suspected the journalists never believed the film actually showed an angel “but I think what swayed it was the fact that the story was made to stand up by a third party coming in and saying that they had paid me a lot of money for this film, and that was Tony Kaye. And that meant the Marlon Brando connection, the Hollywood connection, big money connection and rags-to-riches, good luck story, you know...ordinary bloke finds half a million pound film in junk shop for fifteen quid.”

A flabbergasted Chris Morris then asked if William Doidge really existed, and the following exchange took place:

Danny Sullivan: No he was a complete invention.

Chris Morris: William Doidge doesn’t exist? What about the film?

Danny Sullivan: There’s never been any film [laugher]. People wanted to see the film. The Big Breakfast wanted to see the film. So I said I don’t actually have it, it’s being restored, which it would have had to have been, and that was acceptable. 8

Given these facts, it will be no surprise that attempts to trace ‘the real William Doidge’ in military archives came up against a brick wall. According to Danny, his website helped to demonstrate what he calls “the strength of public belief or wanna-belief in the angel myth.” He told me: “Many people offered suggestions as to the identity of William Doidge and I came very close to finding a man who never existed outside the imagination. I had to abandon the inquiry to avoid upsetting some genuine people.” 9

The Doidge saga is a perfect example of a hoax that took on a reality of its own. Interviewed by the BBC, junkshop owner John Read Smith said he remembered an occasion when Danny visited Agincourt Square and purchased several reels of film. “Among the films was a canister with a number of letters securely attached to it, and written on them was the word angel,” he said. But when quizzed about this claim, Danny replied: “No I have never bought anything from Bonitas at all. I mean I have been in there several times but I have never actually bought anything.” 10

Some who heard the Radio 4 programme reacted angrily, feeling it made them look foolish or gullible because they had accepted a story – published in a highbrow Sunday newspaper – must be true. In doing so, they missed a delicious irony that should have been glaringly apparent. The story was fiction, and was in turn based upon a fictional story by Arthur Machen made “real” for thousands by virtue of its promotion by the mass media during the Great War.

Like Machen’s fable, Doidge’s angel refuses to die. Despite the very public ‘exposure’ some continue to believe the story contains a kernel of truth. Soon after the programme aired, John Read Smith was quoted by the Gloucestershire Echo as warning that Danny Sullivan “could be pulling a double bluff and there might be a new chapter to be written on the legend.” 11 While rumours about a big budget movie continue to circulate, Danny is philosophical about where the story will go next.

Shortly before his death, Arthur Machen came to accept that it was impossible to distance himself from the myth he had created. Like Frankenstein’s monster, the angel of Mons outlived its creator. In his book, The Bowmen and other Legends of the War, re-published by popular demand, he expressed amazement that the story had taken on a life of its own: “It began to dawn on me that if I had failed in the art of letters, I had succeeded, unwittingly, in the art of deceit…the snowball of rumour that was then set rolling has been rolling ever since, growing bigger and bigger, till it is now swollen to monstrous size.” 12
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1


Laatst aangepast door Yvonne op 28 Nov 2005 18:04, in toaal 5 keer bewerkt
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Okt 2005 6:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dangerous Rumours

"...then there is the story of the ‘Angels of Mons’ going strong through the 2nd Corps, of how the angel of the Lord on the traditional white horse, and clad all in white with flaming sword, faced the advancing Germans at Mons and forbade their further progress. Men’s nerves and imagination play weird pranks in these strenuous times."

This paragraph – apparently taken from a letter sent by Brigadier-General John Charteris to his wife in England on 5 September 1914 – is the earliest documentary reference to the angel of Mons. If genuine, it predates The Bowmen by 14 days, and destroys Machen’s claim that his piece of fiction was the single and only source for the legend. But how authentic is the entry, and is Charteris, whose expertise lay in the shadowy fields of intelligence and counter-intelligence, a reliable source?

The account appears in At GHQ, a book published in 1931 that was assembled from an enormous collection of letters dating from1914-18. Charteris was a compulsive writer, and produced more than 1200 separate letters describing his experiences during the campaign, sometimes several in one day. These were gathered by his wife Noel after the war and edited into the form in which they appear in the book. As such they cannot be claimed as original or untouched.

So did Charteris really have advance knowledge of stories circulating amongst the BEF during the retreat from Mons, as his book implies? Or did he recycle rumours that appeared months later?

At the outbreak of the war Charteris travelled to France with the intelligence branch of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). He soon became a trusted and close friend of General Douglas Haig who promoted him to Chief Intelligence Officer at GHQ. In the early weeks of the war, he watched as the British Army retreated from Mons to the Marne and wrote detailed and eloquent accounts of the battles and their aftermath.




The absence of accurate news encouraged those left behind in England to believe false stories and rumours, and these were spread back to the Front in letters from loved ones. The British Press censor took action to quash those that were felt to be harmful, but others were quietly encouraged by the War Office’s nascent intelligence branch for use in the propaganda war against Germany. Although the Germans had superiority in numbers and strategy, they could not have anticipated the Allies’ command of publicity and the use of lies to portray the Kaiser’s army as godless devils. Military historian James Hayward has demonstrated how certain useful rumours were spread to confuse the German High Command. In September 1914 a story that thousands of Russian troops ‘with snow on their boots’ had secretly travelled through England was fed to the spy Carl Lody. His information led the Germans to detach two divisions from the Battle of the Marne to guard the Belgian coast against the phantom Cossacks, a decision which some believe altered the course of the war.

In 1925 Charteris was to claim these allegations were incorrect and absurd "as propaganda was in no way under GHQ France." But as Chief Intelligence Officer, his network of spies and agents were in a key position to plant and spread rumours, as he himself admitted in a speech given in New York that year. As a result the GHQ rumour mill became one of the earliest ‘black propaganda’ campaigns of 20th century warfare. Charteris’ murky role in spreading a story which has become known as "the master hoax" and "the most notorious atrocity myth" of the First World War is a case in point. This was the allegation that the Germans had established a ghoulish "corpse rendering plant" where the bodies of their dead were taken in great secrecy to be boiled down and recycled into fats and glycerine for use in munitions, soap and animal feed. The story originated in the mis-translation of the German word Kadaver that referred to animal, rather than human, corpses.

Stories about the ‘Kadaver factory’ were first heard in London during 1915 alongside the Russians, the angel of Mons and the crucifixion of a Canadian soldier by the Germans. Credit for its authorship has been traced to a section of British intelligence who were largely successful in their plan to portray the Germans as uncivilised devils. The ‘corpse factory’ was seemingly invented to discredit the enemy in the eyes of potential allies, such as the Chinese, who revered their ancestors. The myth proved so durable that it was resurrected in 1917, when detailed accounts from witnesses who had visited the horrible factory appeared in an English-language newspaper, the North China Post. The story was subsequently reprinted in newspapers across Europe and North America. Whilst officially, the British Ministry of Information declined to circulate the allegations, secretly it was preparing specially-translated ‘Corpse Factory’ pamphlets translated into four languages.

The Corpse Factory myth was not exposed until 1925, when Charteris, then a Tory MP, gave a lecture tour in the United States. According to the New York Times, during a speech at a private dinner function he allegedly claimed credit for its invention. Charteris described how one day he had received two photographs, one labelled ‘cadaver’ showing a train taking dead horses from the front to be made into fertiliser, the other showing dead Germans being taken for burial. The New York Times alleged that: "General Charteris had the caption telling of ‘cadaver’ transposed to the picture showing the German dead, and had the photograph sent to a Chinese newspaper in Shanghai."

Furthermore, the retired officer described how a member of his staff then forged the diary of a German soldier which described his transfer from the front to work in the corpse factory, "and of his horror at finding that he was to assist there in boiling down his brother soldiers...[whereupon] he obtained a transfer [back] to the front and was killed." A plan was hatched to plant the diary in the clothing of a dead soldier and have it discovered by a friendly war correspondent. Charteris then stepped in and decided the deception had gone far enough. He was concerned that any error discovered in the diary could expose the story and "such a result would have imperilled all the British propaganda"


The inspirational story of the 'Angel of Mons' was so
widely accepted that by 1915 it was the
basis for musical pieces

These revelations caused a storm of protest across the world and on his return to England Charteris was summoned to the War Office to explain his extraordinary statement. Afterwards he issued a complete denial of everything he was reported to have said, and blamed journalists for misquoting him. "GHQ France," he told The London Times, "only came in when a fictitious diary supporting the Kadaver story was submitted, but when this diary was discovered to be fictitious, it was at once rejected." He did not explain why it was that he had told an American newsman, prior to his return to England, that he had no intention of challenging the news reports of his speech, because any errors "were only of minor importance."

In the original story, Charteris had claimed the corpse factory as "the only time during the war when he actually dodged the truth." If that was the ‘truth’, then did British Intelligence alsoplay a role in spreading the rumours surrounding the angel of Mons? Even in the midst of a ferocious war, such a tactic would hardly tax the resources of a banana republic, let alone those of the British Army. It was, after all, the visit by a mysterious and unnamed "military officer" to a spiritualist magazine in April 1915 that had rekindled interest in Machen’s story. That date coincided with the bad news from the front. With the failure of Haig’s forces to break the German army at the first battle of Ypres and the first use of poison gas all adding to the air of gloom and despair, what better way of raising the nation’s spirits than a story claiming angels had intervened to save British soldiers from the Hun?

During the past century many dedicated researchers have tried in vain to pursue the accounts of those who claimed to have fought at Mons and seen the angels. All gave up in despair, and as a researcher for the Imperial War Museum concluded: "...to pursue the supporting stories to source is to make a journey into a fog." A fog made up, it seems, of myth, propaganda and plain lies.




From FT 170
MAY 2003

IMAGES

Mary Evans Picture Library

Danny Sullivan

LINKS

Sf Site

Legends and traditions of the Great War

Doidge’s angel homepage

NOTES

1. A.J.P.Taylor. The First World War: An illustrated history. London: Penguin, 1963, p. 29.

2. Sunday Times, 11 March 2001.

3. Harold Begbie. On the Side of the Angels. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1915.

4. The Sun, 30 April 2001.

5. Posted on Doidge’s Angel Web Log, 4 May 2001.

6. Interview with the Angel by Ghostland, released June 2001, features vocals by Cara Dillon, Jane Silberry and Sunead O’Connor.

7. Personal communication from Danny Sullivan, November 2002.

8. The Making of an Urban Myth, BBC Radio 4, 14 October 2002.

9. Personal communication from Danny Sullivan, November 2002.

10. BBC Radio 4, 14 October 2002.

11. Gloucestershire Echo, 18 October 2002.

12. Arthur Machen, The Bowmen and other Legends of the War. London: 1915.

AUTHOR

Dr David Clarke teaches an undergraduate course on supernatural belief at Centre for English Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield.

Before completion of his doctorate in folklore, he worked as a journalist and has a lifelong interest in UFOs and Fortean anomalies. His latest book, The Angels of Mons, is published by Wileys in spring 2004.
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 17:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

One of the abiding legends of the Great War is of an intercession by a heavenly agent -- allegedly observed by many soldiers -- during the opening action at Mons, Belgium, part of the larger action known as the Battle of the Frontiers in August 1914. In his book ANGELS A TO Z Matthew Bunson recounts, 'One of the most famous episodes of angelic intervention, [was] the supposedly widely reported descent of an angelic army in August 1914, which came to the aid of the British forces against the Germans in Mons. . . The angelic host's assistance could not have come at a more propitious moment as the British were being driven back by the relentless German advance."

Bunson also relates one version supposedly corroborated by German prisoners describing a force of phantoms armed with bows and arrows and led by a towering figure on a shining white horse who spurred on English forces during an assault on German trenches. Another story spoke of three angelic beings seen by the British, hovering in the air over German lines, providing a source of deep inspiration for them. Aside from these beings, Bunson states that soldiers later claimed to have seen St. Michael the Archangel, the Virgin Mary, even Joan of Arc. [D See reference list at end of article.]

Present day writer Philip Haythornthwaite gives a curious example of the story's lasting power. An employee of his grandfather, a veteran of Mons, became convinced that he had seen the angel. He had recounted that before this he had been a hard drinker. After, he apparently became not only a teetotaler but a pillar of the community. [M]

None of these eyewitnesses, however, who later asserted having viewed the Angel came forward in 1914 and had his name recorded in any log or document. British Army veterans who later told of seeing the Angel were suspect.. Few who fought at Mons survived the war. Most of the "Old Contemptibles", the regulars who fought in the early actions of the Great War, were killed off early.

It would be expected that if some dramatic event had occurred and the men of a particular battalion or company had seen something unusual around Mons, it would be would be mentioned somewhere. In the histories of the regiments most seriously involved in the fighting there is no mention of any events that could be construed as a distraction or an intervention in the fighting. The Units that suffered most heavily on the 23rd, the 4th Royal Fusiliers and the 4th Middlesex did not record any peculiar events whatsoever. Nor did such regiments active in the battle or retreat such as the West Kents and the 2nd Scots Borderers chronicle anything but the brutal combat.

Nevertheless, the Angel did leave a trail. The contemporary diaries and letters of many sane, sober people show that by 1915, in something of a focusing of national collective consciousness, the British had accepted that a supernatural event had taken place at Mons. In the consensus version, the nature of the apparition was angelic rather than, say, saintly or ghostly. Henceforth, Tommy Atkins and his family on the homefront believed in a somewhat standardized legend of the Angel of Mons whose timely appearance showed the Lord's sanction and active support for the opponents of the Kaiser's legions — at least the British opponents.

Furthermore, military historians who have studied Mons have enthusiastically incorporated the legend of the Angel of Mons into their writings up to the present day. Trevor Wilson and Martin Gilbert mention the apparition in their recent works. Daniel David in his bock, THE 1914 CAMPAIGN reports that "Some beleaguered soldiers reported being rescued by angels and ghostly bowmen." Arch Whitehouse in an earlier book, HEROES AND LEGENDS OF WORLD WAR I. states that after the battle on what is known as the Retreat from Mons some Coldstream Guards being the last to withdraw, got lost in the area of the Mormal Forest and had dug-in to make a. last stand. Whitehouse reports an angel then appeared as a dimly outlined female figure. She was tall and slim, wearing a white flowing gown. The Guardsmen followed the glowing figure across an open field to a hidden, sunken road which enabled them to escape. [F,L,Y,Z]

Present day students of the First World War can be excused for scratching their heads in wonder as to what really transpired on those hot August days in 1914 to beget a fragment of folklore that won so many adherents and has had such staying power. Either something unusual happened during the battle or in the subsequent retreat or, as some theorize, the Angel legend has a source away from the battlefield.. The Angel of Mons remains elusive. Eighty years of historical and scientific investigation have left a situation where many reputable sources point to events at Mons, while others treat the Angel a phenomenon created on the homefront. The present authors concluded that to avoid falling in to past traps, a new approach was needed to sort through the evidence, but how could we proceed in a way both systematic and logical given our subject was a spiritual entity?
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 17:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Interestingly, one historian of Mons who remained oblivious to any angelic participation in the battle was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His alter-ego, the master consulting detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, seems to have shared his creator's blind spot for airborne beings, once having declared: "I have investigated many crimes, but I have never yet seen one which was committed by a flying creature!" Nevertheless, as all Baker Street irregulars know, Holmes craved new challenges -- problems contrary to conventional wisdom or incongruent with his vast store facts and observations. Holmes once confidently stated, 'The more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be.'

Inspired by this irresistible Conan Doyle / Holmes connection to Mons, the present authors decided to see if Holmes's universally respected methodology could help guide a more thorough search for the Elusive Angel of Mons. Certainly some of Holmes's key maxims provide a sound footing on which to build any research effort: The present authors will try to follow these guidelines:

1. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. . .
2. "There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so neglected as the art of tracing footsteps.. . .
3. "One should always look for a possible alternative and provide against it. It is the first rule. . .
4. "...Watson you can see everything. You fail, however, to reason from what you see."


GATHERING FACTS

First, we will survey the closest thing to first hand sources, the published sources which focus primarily on the Battle of Mons, to learn what actually happened there while keeping alert for firsthand facts or subtle clues about any unusual sightings or events . . .

WHY MONS?

The bitter struggle at Mons was unintended. The British Expeditionary Force [BEF] went into Belgium to provide an extension on the left [westerly] flank for the opening French offensive plan of World War I, Plan XVII, a unique monument to military arrogance and stupidity. Concurrently. French armies had advanced over the Belgian frontiers to secure the River Sambre. It was in fulfilling its part as the left anchor of the Allied line that British troops had begun to move north towards Belgium on August 18th and 19th of 1914.



It was believed then that the German forces would be approaching from the northeast and the main attack was expected to the Allied line through the Ardennes -- the correct solution for 1940, but not 1914. Under Plan XVII the intention was to deploy the British forces on the extreme left facing northeast along the line Binche-Lens, situated eight miles north of Mons (map 1.) The German center of gravity, however, was much further west than France's supreme commander, Joseph Joffre or BEF Commander Sir John French had anticipated. On August 21st the French 5th Army encountered the enemy just to the east of Namur and Charleroi where the Germans were attempting to cross the Sambre. Subsequently, in the course of the afternoon of the 22nd of August, the Royal Flying Corps made reconnaissance flights toward Charleroi (map 1.) and ascertained that the French center had been driven back.

n the evening of the 22nd, Sir John French held a conference at Le Cateau, and he subsequently announced the anticipated British offensive would not take place. Instead, he agreed to form a position on the Mons-Conde canal (map 2.) for 24 hours as a delaying tactic tactic. [H, p.59]

THE BATTLEFIELD

Mons lies in the center of an industrial mining area, and in fact, was the center of coal mining in Belgium. The Mons-Conde Canal runs southwest from the River Sambre toward the River Scheldt (map 2.) The ground on which the British Army took up its position was a narrow coal field 2 miles wide which extended 20 miles along the canal from a point 6 miles east of Mons to a point 14 miles west. For a mile on either side of the canal, the ground is swampy, and intersected by a network of artificial water courses and is checkered by osier beds. South of the canal and marsh area was a confusion of mining villages built over the coal field. These villages contained endless cobbled roads, broken pit heads, deep ditches and colossal slag heaps, some of them over 100 feet high.

The Mons-Conde Canal loops north around the village of Nimy (map 3.) and is crossed by three road bridges and one railroad bridge. This salient was a key area. At its southern base, the ground rises with two hills and a small wood, the Bois la Haut. North of the canal, particularly near the bridges over the canal in the salient, low woods coming down to within 300 to 400 yards of the canal would provide cover to the approaching Germans. (J, pg 31)
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 17:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

THE OPPOSING FORCES

The BEF that halted on August 23 was composed of two corps of two divisions each and a 5-brigade cavalry contingent, totaling about 70,000 effectives. Their deployment transpired in apparent ignorance of the true nature of the flawed, but breathtakingly daring opposing strategy known as the Schleiffen Plan. The German Army had long prepared a gigantic seven army wheeling movement through Belgium and France that would roll up their opposition from the west. The British Regulars,. half entrenched in a. weak position would be eventually faced by 240,000 men from the 1st German Army, coming primarily, not from the northeast, but the northwest. They were lucky that German First Army Commander General Alexander von Kluck was equally in ignorance of the strength and location of his opposition.

TRACING FOOTSTEPS I

DISPOSITIONS

The BEF was isolated and had no sort of strategic defensive position. With II Corps on the left of I Corps, the BEF deployed roughly from just west of Mons east to Binche. (map 2.) Later the eastern limit of the line was contracted to Bray, leaving the BEF some nine miles from the left flank of the nearest French unit. Tactically, the units were scattered along a defensible straggle of mining villages, water courses, and osier beds with some fields of fire restricted. The loop on the Mons-Conde Canal would first prove a hornets' nest for the Germans attacking it and, later, a veritable death trap for British forces trying to escape. [B]

Smith Dorrien's II Corps stationed in the Nimy Peninsula would bear the heaviest burden at Mons, specifically, the 6th and 9th brigades of his Third Division. We will focus on their operations, since their plight was most dire and needful of divine assistance. The line of II Corps was so thin that it was little better than an outpost line, a chain of small groups lying on the coal bank, almost invisible. From left to right this most pressed part of the British line would be held by the 4th Royal Fusiliers (9th Brig.), the 4th Middles, the 2nd Royal Irish and the 1st Gordon Highlanders (all 8th Brig.) In the westerly section the Royal Fusiliers held the Nimy Bridge, the railway bridge and positions about Lock 6 and the Ghlin-Mons Bridges. (map 3.) The Gordon Highlanders to the far right were entrenched on the eastern slope of Bois la Haut. Officers of all the battalions were on every elevation, peering north and east through glasses, looking for the first sign of the enemy.

1ST CONTACT



The mounted troops of both armies were astir early. British Dragoons reconnoitering east of Mons soon encountered small parties of the enemy. The Germans were completing a grand wheel in from the northeast The wave of Von Kluck's army was soon rolling around the Mons pocket. Before 9am. German guns were in position on the high ground north of the canal, and shells began bursting thickly along the line where battalions of the Middlesex (8th Brig.) and Royal Fusiliers (9th Brig.) met. By 9am the German infantry was pressing on to engage the Middlesex about the village of Ubourg and was fully engaged by 10am. Shortly afterwards, the machine gun section of the Royal Irish (8th Brig.) joined the Middlesex to lend support.

Meanwhile, the Royal Fusiliers were continuously shooting down enemy assault troops. What transpired now is a big part of the non-supernatural legend of Mons. The Germans were coming in swarms, like grey clouds drifting over green fields. They broke out of the woods and came rapidly towards the entrenched British, advancing in what has been described as a medieval "20-acre formation". They were moving against the best riflemen in Europe who were firing 15 rounds a minute. The massed, independent fire from the British position at 800 to 1000 yards had a devastating effect on the German forces. Here they were turned back.

As the southward wheel of Von Kluck's army progressed, however, the wave of the attack gradually spread westward, breaking briefly along the line of the canal. By 11am III German Corps on the right of the unit attacking the Nimy Peninsula came up against the Bridge of Jenappes two miles west of Mon. (map 2.) The BEF was getting surrounded.
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 17:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES

Before our description of the action reaches the crisis point, we return briefly to our other objective of searching the record for clues of odd or transcendental happenings. Where there any special influences which may have effected events at Mons this hot August day? Were there cloud formations shaped like angels that day? Were airships or aircraft of peculiar design floating about? Were odd behaviors or other baffling events observed among the troops on August 23rd? Let us see.

THE WEATHER

The morning of the 23rd of August started out with mist and rain, but this cleared around 10am to fair weather with a prevailing westerly wind. Conan Doyle [as historian] describes a warm August sun later in the day, and Ascoli, a stifling August heat and hot sunshine. There is no mention in any of the texts of any unusual cloud formations.

AIRCRAFT

The British Flying Corps was flying over and behind the battlefield looking for enemy movements and locating enemy batteries [U, pg 304]. There were likely many flights by British and German planes over and around the battlefield. It could be anticipated the regulars who composed the BEF would be somewhat familiar with military aircraft and would not be likely to confuse airplanes or their vapor trails with ethereal apparitions. Further, at Le Cateau three days later, British officers [U, pg 314) described how "the sight of our airplanes above them raised the hopes of the troops and gave them a feeling of security". It is appears doubtful, therefore, whether any powered aircraft at Mons could have been confused with angels. Once it got dark, though, the Germans used an airship with search lights [K, pg 216] It is conceivable that this could have been confused with an angelic host, but none of the later alleged sightings. mention a nighttime event.

RELIGIOUS THEMES

As at nearby Waterloo 99 years earlier, August 23rd was a Sunday. Could there have been a suggestion of forthcoming help at a chapel service that morning? Church bells were ringing early and the inhabitants of the villages near the canal were seen in their best attire going to worship. But not one of the British official or unit histories records any type of worshipping by the troops at Mons. There is much detail about what they ate, where they slept, and how they were dressed, but there is no mention whatsoever in any of the books of any type of worship during the day. Without any chapel services, it is difficult to maintain that an idea of an angel may have been planted earlier in the day.

THE SOLDIERS' FRAME OF MIND
Conan Doyle also notes that the men appeared to be in excellent spirits, singing from one end of the line to the other. They dug fairly shallow rifle pits, more like fox holes of later wars than the trenches of the Great War. . The shallowness of the pits is notable only because later in the war when trenches were deeper than a normal man's height, "sky watching" was a major pastime of men who could see little else of the outside world. At Mons, however, this pastime likely had not developed yet. Besides, fast action was soon occupying the troops attention.

Morale stayed generally high as action unfolded. The perception by the fighting men was that they were more than holding their own. They were inflicting heavy losses on the much-vaunted Germans and were, at least initially, driving them back. Lynn MacDonald in her book 1914 (O, pg 104) stated, "The Tommies, outnumbered by more than 3 to 1, had not merely thwarted the Germans — they had slaughtered them. Both sides fought like lions; both sides were exhausted". Later, the battlefield was seen to be littered with the German dead and wounded. Ross of Blandenburg describes the men as being "jubilant" (V, pg 33), and when they were later ordered to retreat, they were "much disappointed".

Not finding any hard clues about matters supernatural due to any of these factors, let us return to the middle of the action and review the remainder of the battle and the famous 'Retreat from Mons'.
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 17:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

TRACING FOOTSTEPS II

HEAVY FIGHTING IN THE SALIENT

The bridges leading into the Salient would eventually provide an easy passage for the German invaders allowing them with their greater numbers to swamp the British position. At 5:30am on the morning of the 23rd, corps and cavalry division commanders had met with General French and orders were issued for the bridges over the canal to be prepared for demolition. Later, destruction was to be successfully completed for only a few bridges. In an early action the West Kents (5th Div; 13th Brig.) lost 2 officers and 100 men as its Company covering the northerly access to the bridges was driven back.

The 4th Royal Fusiliers guarding south end of the Nimy Railroad Bridge were assaulted early, held off for nearly five hours, but eventually saw their position eroded. The Germans ultimately succeeded in taking all the remaining bridges into the Salient, and the Middlesex and Gordons of the 8th Brigade on the right had to retire. Along with the Royal Irish and Royal Scots, they fell steadily back, fighting every yard of the way. The Germans were shaken but still came on. By 5pm, according to MacDonald, they were trickling into the streets of Mons. British soldiers were doing their best to leave. General Doran's 8th Brigade was able to keep hold on Bois la Haut until after nightfall. (F, pg. 103)

THE SITUATION DETERIORATES FURTHER

At 5pm a telegram was received from General Joffre confirming what the British were learning firsthand, that the original estimate of German forces had been grossly low. There were not only four German corps totaling 200,000 men ahead of them, but 40,000 more troops approaching around their left flank from Tournai.

A second piece of bad news was that the Germans had burst through the line on the River Sambre so the French armies on the British right were in full retreat. The BEF was on its own and would have to fall back. In the early morning of the 24th of August. French gave orders to retire to corps commanders.

Up to that point, British casualties were between 3000 and 4000 men, particularly in the 8th, 9th and 13th brigades. It was estimated that Germans had lost between 7,000 and 10,000 men in the fighting. The 4th Middlesex, one of the units catching the brunt of the German attack lost 350 men.

That same day, Sir John French gave instructions for I Corps to feign an offensive in the direction of Binche in order to take the pressure off II Corps so they could disengage. In withdrawing, Hamilton's 3rd Division, including the 7th, 8th and 9th Brigades once again sustained the most severe losses, especially at Frameries, four miles south of Mons. (map 2.) The 2nd Royal Scots of the 8th Brigade were later attacked by a heavy German column but succeeded in driving the enemy back. During the first full day of the retreat the 7th Brigade (3rd Div.) held positions near Ciply and later Babai They lost several hundred men to heavy fire from the German machine guns positioned on slag heaps. Eventually, all the brigades of the Third Division made their way 30 miles south to the west of the town of Le Cateau. (map 1.)
The other division of II Corps, the Fifth, also suffered on the retreat. On the evening of the 23rd of August, the 14th Brigade had fallen bark to Dour. The15th Brigade was now exposed to a German flanking movement and were only saved by the 2nd Cavalry Brigade. Some hours later, the enemy pressure was again heavy on their flank, and the 1st Cheshires and 1st Norfolks incurred heavy losses. The Cheshires never got the order to pull back and were surrounded. Only 193 out of 1007 men survived the fighting. The Division's 13th Brigade halted at Wasmes and was fiercely attacked by a German vanguard at dawn. The 2nd West Riding Regiment lost their commander, Colonel Gibbs, and almost all their officers. For the remainder of the day and for the whole 25th of August. both divisions fell back with little fighting to Le Cateau

It was the intention of Commander-in-Chief French that the BEF occupy this position the next day with -- once again -- I Corps on the right and II corps on the left. Almost disastrously, though, the two corps became separated, losing communications.

To the east, Sir Douglas Haig's I Corps after the diversion of the 24th of August fell back to the line Babai-Maubeuge by 7pm. On the 25th of August, he continued his retreat by the way of Feignies to Vavesnes and Landrecies. The considerable forest of Mormal now intervened between the two corps of the BEF. Than night Germans attacked, but without much success. It was the Forest of Mormal that the last alleged sighting of an Angel occurred as reported by Arch Whitehouse.

Lynn MacDonald's, 1914, includes one important account. During the retreat from Mons, Captain Arthur Osbon of the 4th Dragoon Guards, a cavalry unit, was involved in intercepting German cavalry coming from Valencielle. He thought that the threatening skies reminded him of Milton's description of legions of dark angels driven by St. Michael to the plains of Hell.. [O, pg. 141]

On the 26th of August, II Corps Commander Smith-Dorrien, cut-off from Haig's I Corps chose to fight a rear-guard action at Le Cateau. (map 1.) In this lesser-known struggle the exhausted soldiers of II Corps again inflicted heavy casualties on the German First Army and managed another narrow escape. Interestingly, Le Cateau has never been associated with an angel or bowman siting. It would seem evocative that August 26th is the anniversary of the Battle of Crecy where honors of the field were won by English bowmen, but no link has ever been made.

After winning some time at Le Cateau, the BEF was able to continue retreating to the River Marne in fairly good order. There they would turn back to the north and play a part in one of history's decisive events, the First Battle of the Marne..

Our survey of sources focusing on the Battle of Mons seems to have provided us with mixed results. The course of the battle and the need for the BEF to withdraw before its more numerous opponent seems clearly delineated, yet reliable reports of sightings of the Angel remain elusive.
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 18:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

REASONING FROM THE FACTS

After reviewing every primary and secondary source we could find on the Battle of Monss, we are left with these facts. There is no documented case single person or group of people named as actually claiming to have made a sighting of benign heaven—sent agents during either the Battle or Retreat from Mons. Captain Osbon's dramatic description of clouds looking like legions of dark angels is neither inspiring nor friendly.'

Nevertheless, many respected modern-day historians (cited at the beginning of the article) seem too have been seduced by the charm of the legend into treating folklore as established fact. The secondhand retellings of the angelic sightings crumble under scrutiny. Bunson's account is pure hearsay and mentions the staving off of nonexistent disasters for retreating English troops. The German prisoners' story references to a force of phantoms is very suspect as the Germans did not have the trenches he cites, and the British were never on the attack at Mons. Trevor Wilson whose account refers to 'all seeming lost' seems inaccurate because this never occurred to the men fighting at that time; they thought they had done very well and the morale was high despite the need to withdraw. Whitehouse's story of the Cold Stream Guards at the Forest of Normal is unrecorded in any primary source or unit history. Gilbert's description of the day dissolves on meteorological grounds. His description of mist and rain lasting all day does not ring true as, in fact, there was sunshine after about 10am.

Yet could such a strongly held and broadly accepted legend be a 100% spontaneous fabrication? Wouldn't it had to have had some origination? Mr. Holmes, at this point, would probably tell us tiresomely that 'there is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.' Certainly, however, he would be as mystified as we are by the absolute lack of firsthand evidence of either an angel or anything even vaguely supernatural appearing during the Battle of Mons. But, let's not give up on the master yet —— where would he turn next? Maybe our scope is too broad. Perhaps Holmes's dictum that there is 'nothing so important as trifles' should guide us for awhile.

THE BOWMEN

Grudgingly, we must return to a theory espoused by several previous students of the Angel. By breathtaking coincidence, concurrently with the battle, an English writer named Arthur Machen wrote a short story (a trifle?) called The Bowmen It was a fictional description of a phantom English army led by St. George marching from Agincourt in the dark days of 1914 to relieve their modern counterparts on an unidentified battlefield.. 'The Bowmen' was published in September 1914 in the LONDON EVENING NEWS. Arthur Machen was an author of mildly supernatural stories and a sometime member of the mystical society, 'The Hermartic Order of the Gordon Dawn'. Several parish magazines quickly sought permission to reprint the story. From there, as Machen later wrote, 'The snowball of rumor was set rolling until it was swollen to a monstrous size.' [R]
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 18:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

From this beginning, the story also appears to have been transformed into one which described how archangels rather than medieval bowmen had come to the aid of the BEF. Machen himself commented that if there was any substance to the story, it was unusual that there were no admitted eyewitnesses who presented themselves. ." He also conjectured that since, "In the popular view shining and benevolent supernatural beings are angels. . . I believe, the Bowmen of my story have become 'the Angels of Mons'."

But if, as the only evidence seems to indicate, the legend's source is Mr. Machen's story, how did a popular supernatural story from the homefront, spread and gain legitimacy amongst the frontline troops overseas? Holmes would quickly see track the connections:

* A timely piece of mock-journalistic fiction appears to shed light on an recent anxiety raising events in France.
* The story with true, but sketchy and censored reportage of the event are published in a widely read newspaper.
* The stories true and fabulous are churned via word of mouth and start to unify, with inconvenient details revised or deleted.
* A simplified version of events becomes the commonly held understanding
* It enters Army lore with the enlistees of Kitchener's New Armies and
* Is taken to the front lines by the newly trained Troops.


Machen's rescuing bowmen, converted to Angels then reduced to the simple, singular Angel of Mons, thus, moved from the homefront to the trenches and was sustained by both the public in Britain and the frontline Tommies.



Holmes would probably avoid speculating about the source of the emotional power the story carried with individuals, impelling its ready acceptance and sustaining it through four years of war and down to the present day.. He always preferred dispassionate logic. The present authors, however, have access to some scientific and historical findings possibly not available to Holmes or Conan Doyle.

That individuals under stress and group pressures become highly suggestible is a finding of modern experimental psychology. Studies of such phenomena as the thought reform of Chinese intellectuals by the Communists; outbreaks of mass hysteria and shared belief in apparitions of Christ or crying Virgins by religious groups seem to verify this. That the summer and fall of 1914 the whole populations of the combatants were suffering great anxiety is clearly demonstrable.

Such processes effecting belief systems, of course, would work also more readily in a population already inclined to believe in ghosts, spirits or angels. While it is not possible to measure such predispositions among the Britons of 1914, their country has had a long history of linking the heavenly and the military.

The Battle of Edgehill in 1642 during the English Civil War was followed by rumors of the dead from the struggle rising from the earth before the eyes of the survivors. Afterwards, a battle on Marston Moor reportedly featured a body of horsemen in the sky. Spirits reportedly even made it to the New World and purportedly assaulted a British garrison there in 1692. In the Eighteenth century there were heavenly sightings at Culloden and twice at a battlefield called Souter Fell. It appears that the Angel of Mons is just the most recent manifestation of a long legacy of apparitions on the battlefields of British armies.

So what are we left with? As Holmes once told Watson, "It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize out of a number of facts which are incidental and which are vital." The authors of this article must concur with Mr. Machen and several later commentators on the Angel legend. The irreducible details about the incident of the Angel of Mons seem to be that a small force of regular soldiers representing a nation with an oral tradition of combat success due to divine participation had a narrow escape against a vastly more numerous opponent at Mons in August, 1914. . Shortly afterwards, a fictional account of a similar battle, by a. certain Mr. Arthur Machen, featuring spectral bowmen aiding the British troops in staving off their advisories appears in the nation's newspapers. Under the stress of national crisis fact and the supernatural were blended together in a myth -- not a superstition, but a part-factual, part-fictional explanation of disconcerting threat and reassurance that the danger would pass. This myth was not tested scientifically; it was not analyzed: it was just accepted. With an explanation of the narrow escape for the Tommies at Mons and a message of divine protection against future defeat, it was exceedingly useful for maintaining the physic stability of Britain's soldiers, citizens and leadership. Folklore, mythology and taboos all start out having practical social use and only become quaint and silly when they have outlived this usefulness.
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 18:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Improbable as it is, all other explanations are more improbable still"
A FINAL THOUGHT

And this brings us to the reason why the authors of this article felt this subject was important enough to re-investigate. Today the Angel of Mons has been reduced to a curiosity —- but only because it no longer serves the valuable function it had for the people Great Britain during World War I. We believe, as with Lord Kitchener pointing out from his recruiting poster and Harry Lauder singing of the pluckiness needed to get to The End of the Road that this story helped carry the British Army and People through the disasters of Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele. And in playing such a concrete role in British life the Angel of Monns deserves a place in the record of the Great War.
SOURCES
A. Anon, The Operations of the British Army in the Present War. The Retreat from Mons, Houghton, Boston, 1917.

B. Ascoli D., The Mons Star, Book Club Associates, London, 1982.

C. Atkinson C.T., The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment 1914-1919, Simpkin, London, 1924.

D. Bunson M., Angels A to Z, Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York, 1996.

E. Corbett-Smith, A., The Retreat from Mons, Cassell & Co., London, 1916.

F. David D., The 1914 Campaign, Military Press, New York, 1987.

G. Doyle A.C., The British Campaign in France & Flanders 1914, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1916.

H. Edmonds J.E., History of the Great War. Military Operations. France and Belgium, August - October 1914, McMillan & Co., London, 1925.

I. Ewing, J., The Royal Scots 1914 - 1919, Oliver & Boyd, London, 1925.

J. Falls C., Life of a Regiment Vol. IV. The Gordon Highlanders in the First World War 1914-1919, University Press, Aberdeen, 1958.

K. Flower N., The History of the Great War. Vol. I, Waverley Book Co., London, no date.

L. Gilbert M., The First World War, Holt & Co., New York, 1994.

M. Haythornthwaite P., The World War I Sourcebook, Arms & Armour, London, 1983.

N. Illustrated War News, The Illustrated London News & Sketch, London, 1914.

O. MacDonald L., 1914, Atheneum, New York, 1988.

P. MacDonald L. 1914-1918 Voices & Images of the Great War, Joseph. London, 1988.

Q. Machen A., The Bowmen, in the Evening News, London, September 29, 1914.

R. Machen A., The Angel of Mons: The Bowmen and Other Legends of the War, London, 1915, PP 5,7.

S. Molony C.V., 'Invicta' With the 1st Battalion the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in the Great War, Nisbet & Co., London, 1923.

T. O'Neill H.C., The Royal Fusiliers in the Great War, Heinemann, London, 1922.

U. Raleigh W., The War in the Air. Vol. I, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1922.

V. Ross of Bladenburg, The Coldstream Guards Vol. I, Oxford University Press, London, 1928.

W. The Times History of the War, The Times, London, 1914.

X. Whalley-Kelly H., 'Ich Dien,' The Prince of Wales's Volunteers. (South Lancashire), Gale & Polden, Aldershot, 1935.

Y. Whitehouse A., Heroes and Legends of World War One, Doubleday & Co., New York, 1964.

Z. Wilson T., The Myriad Faces of War, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1986.

AA. Wyrral E., The Die-Hards in the Great War Vol. I 1914-1916, Harrison & Sons, London 1926.

http://www.worldwar1.com/
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Nov 2005 19:11    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Angel of Mons
AWM File of Research 533 - 14 June 1951

There are various 'Angels of Mons' legends but no official evidence to support the stories. It appears that nothing remotely approaching proof has been offered as to any supernatural intervention during the Retreat from Mons.

Controversy has appeared in the press from time to time over the years and it would seem that still a number of people living firmly believe that the Divine intervention of an angelic host saved the British Army from being destroyed when they were fighting the desperate rearguard action against enormous masses of invaders.

Whether or not the Germans were terrified by the apparition the fact remains that the enemy forces abruptly checked their advance and recoiled in some disorder towards the right flank allowing the remnant of the British forces to continue their retreat.

Mr Arthur Machen claims in his The Bowmen and other Legends of the War that the Angels of Mons was derived from his fiction while Mr. Harold Begbie in his book On the Side of the Angels sets out to prove that before Mr Machen had written his book British soldiers believed that angels had appeared to them. Mr. Begbie states that he has collected from many sources actual experiences which could only be described as supernatural.

(pp.31-33) Here follows the verbatim statement of this dependable lance-corporal:

I was with my battalion in the retreat from Mons on or about August 28th (1914). The weather was very hot and clear, and between eight and nine o'clock in the evening I was standing with a party of nine other men on duty, and some distance on either side there were parties of ten on guard. Immediately behind us half of my battalion was on the edge of a wood resting. An officer suddenly came up to us in a state of great anxiety and asked us if we had seen anything startling ...taking me and some others a few yards away showed us the sky. I could see quite plainly in mid-air a strange light which seemed to be quite distinctly outlined and was not a reflection of the moon, nor were there any clouds in the neighbourhood. The light became brighter and I could see quite distinctly three shapes, one in the centre having what looked like outspread wings, the other two were not so large, but were quite plainly distinct from the centre one. They appeared to have a long loose-hanging garment of a golden tint they were above the German line facing us. We stood watching them for about threequarters of an hour. All the men with me saw them, and other men came up from other groups who also told us that they had seen the same thing. "It is a statement originally made in conversation!

(pp 38-39) Have you met, since you got back here, any of the men who saw the vision?

Only one. He's lying in Netley Hospital at the moment. He's in the Scots Guards ...he described the three figures...as being midway between the earth and the sky - in mid-air: over the German lines and facing towards the British. They kept growing brighter and brighter, he said. The centre figure was much taller than the other two and had shining wings which seemed to protect the lesser figures on either side of him...You could discern there were faces, but you couldn't see what they were like...under the feet of the three figures was a bright star, and that when the figures disappeared the star remained...

(pp. 66-67) In the Observer of August 22nd, 1915, appeared the following paragraph:

The Rev. AA Boddy, Vicar of All Saints' Sunderland, who has just returned home after two months ministerial work at the front, says he had several opportunities of investigating the story of the vision at Mons.

The evidence, he says, though not always direct, was remarkably cumulative, and came through channels which were entitled to respect. Supernatural angel forms had, he believed, been seen. He was reminded of one of the Biblical prophecies that at the time of a great crisis on the earth - great signs shall be from Heaven.

A lady whose name and address, he holds, while nursing in a convalescent hospital, was told by a patient that at the critical period in the retreat from Mons they saw an angel with outstretched wings, like a luminous cloud, between the advancing Germans and themselves. And at the moment the onslaught of the Germans slackened. Unable to credit the story, she was discussing later with a group of officers, when a colonel looked up and said: - Young Lady, the thing happened. You need not be incredulous. I saw it myself

AMB, writing to the Church Times from Paris on July 28th, 1915, gave the following testimony from a German source:

...there was much discussion in Berlin because a certain regiment who had been told off to do a certain duty at a certain battle, failed to carry out their orders, and when censured they declared that they did go forward but found themselves absolutely powerless to proceed with their forces, and their horses turned sharply round and fled like the wind and nothing could stop them...

http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/angel/doc.htm
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
ironmarc



Geregistreerd op: 27-2-2005
Berichten: 537
Woonplaats: IJsselstein

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Sep 2006 16:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wat een interessant stuk Yvonne!!!! Ben wel even bezig geweest maar was zeker de moeite waard!
Dit soort dingen vind ik altijd erg interessant om te lezen, en nu het door zoveel mensen gezien moet zijn tijdens de slag in WW1, maakt het nog mooier.

Bedank voor het stuk, ookal is het nu ongeveer een jaar geleden geplaats Wink

Zal eens kijken of ik het boek ergens op de kopkan tikken, want ik ben wel erg nieuwschierig nu puh
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Bekijk de homepage
RJ



Geregistreerd op: 13-4-2006
Berichten: 881
Woonplaats: Goes

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Sep 2006 19:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een andere boektip:

Patrick Bernauw; de Engel van Mons
ISBN: 9059330013
aantal pagina's: 152

Het is weliswaar een jeugdroman, maar geeft op een leuke manier de moeilijke situatie weer. Een aanrader!

Hier een korte samenvatting:
Hillary zit op een bank in het Waalse stadje Mons. In de schaduw van een oude kastanjeboom heeft hij een afspraak met een meisje op wie hij al tien jaar wacht. Welk verband is er tussen het mysterieuze meisje en een krantenartikel van zijn vader, de beroemde schrijver Arthur Machen, over de Engelen van Mons? Dat magische schimmenleger zou in 1914 gevochten hebben aan de zijde van de Engelsen. 'Ik heb ze verzonnen,' zegt Arthur Machen. Wij hebben ze met onze eigen ogen gezien, beweren veteranen van de Grote Oorlog. Hillary hoopt dat het meisje eindelijk opheldering kan brengen.


Dit boek is de neerslag van de zoektocht van de auteur naar de waarheid achter de legende van de Engelen van Mons. Hemelse wezens zouden op 21 augustus 1914 de kansen van de Engelsen hebben doen keren en hen de overwinning op de Duitsers hebben bezorgd. De Engelse schrijver Arthur Machen publiceerde er een bekend verhaal over, dat volgens hem volledig verzonnen was. Getuigenissen van oorlogsveteranen bevestigen evenwel zijn verhaal. Wat is de waarheid achter deze legende en wat is de rol van het bovennatuurlijke hierin? De ik-figuur Hillary Machen, de zoon van Arthur Machen, probeert het geheim achter de legende te ontsluieren. Een eenduidig besluit is evenwel niet mogelijk. Het boek bevat veel feiten en anekdotes, over de Grote Oorlog, over leven en werk van Arthur Machen. Het verhalende moet daardoor grotendeels wijken voor het essayistische. Deze historische faction probeert feit en fictie, realiteit en mysterie samen te brengen en te verklaren. Het verhaal heeft een vlotte schrijfstijl maar vraagt, door de versnipperde opbouw, een volgehouden inspanning van veertienplussers.
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail MSN Messenger
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 18 Sep 2006 20:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ironmarc @ 18 Sep 2006 17:43 schreef:
Wat een interessant stuk Yvonne!!!! Ben wel even bezig geweest maar was zeker de moeite waard!
Dit soort dingen vind ik altijd erg interessant om te lezen, en nu het door zoveel mensen gezien moet zijn tijdens de slag in WW1, maakt het nog mooier.

Bedank voor het stuk, ookal is het nu ongeveer een jaar geleden geplaats Wink

Zal eens kijken of ik het boek ergens op de kopkan tikken, want ik ben wel erg nieuwschierig nu puh


Dan heb ik nog ene stuk voor je Smile
http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=2671
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
ironmarc



Geregistreerd op: 27-2-2005
Berichten: 537
Woonplaats: IJsselstein

BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2006 8:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

hey, goed man, weer leesvoer puh
Dank je!
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Sep 2007 21:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

THE ANGELS OF MONS - OUR PROTECTIVE GOD

THE ANGELS OF MONS AND THE WHITE CALVARY

By

Bruce Horner


IN 2 Kings 6:17 we read,

"And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."

The Book of Isaiah is full of promises of Heavenly aid to Israel, and reiterates this fact in Isaiah 41:8-14,

"But thou, Israel, [art] my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. [Thou] whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou [art] my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy god: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, [even] them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, [and] ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."

We are also told in subsequent chapters that God created Jacob, and Israel is redeemed; and we are similarly instructed of deliverance by the Psalmist in Psalm 50:15

"And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."

During the World War of 1914-18, there were certainly two outstanding occasions when God fulfilled His Promise, as far as Great Britain was concerned, in a most noticeable manner. In the early months of World War 1 the contemptible little British Army, as the Gerrnan High Command termed it, was hurriedly equipped and sent across the Channel to support the French and Belgian Allies; but these combined forces were far weaker in guns and man power than the Gerrnans, and so, fighting a dogged rearguard action, they fell back before the terrific impact of massed enemy attacks. Serious defeat and tremendous losses appeared inevitable; but, during two days fighting around Mons, the German advance was halted long enough to allow the British Expeditionary Force to withdraw.

Much has been written on the subject of the Angels of Mons and there have been many versions of the phenomena, but it is not inconsistent to believe that they are all substantially true though they differed in certain aspects. A number of accounts are gathered together and examined by Harold Begbie in his book, "On the Side of the Angels", and few readers will remain unconvinced that both British and German troops were aware of supernatural intervention during the battle.

The magazine This England subsequently recalled these events in its pages in the following words:

In the summer 1982 edition of "This England", a correspondent in "Post-box" inquired about the mystery from the First World War which became known to our troops as "The Angels of Mons". Apparently, though outnumbered three to one and on the verge of annihilation by advancing Germans, a heavenly host intervened between the rival armies thus saving the British and causing the enemy to flee in panic.

True or false? Controversy has raged on the subject ever since it was first reported and in an attempt to present all the known facts this is a reprint of the entire testimony of a principal witness, Captain Cecil Wightwick Hayward, formerly Staff Officer in the '1st. Corps Intelligence, British Army Headquarters.

He refers to two incidents, the "Angels of Mons", an event claimed to have been seen in late August 1914 and an even more remarkable phenomenon known as "The White Cavalry" which occurred during July, 1918 and was witnessed by the Germans. Captain Hayward's testimony is printed below

The first of these visions was near the town of Mons, during the battle of that name between the German forces and the British Army, towards the end of August, 1914. The German Army, after sweeping all resistance aside, had advanced on a wide front right into the heart of Belgium and France. Although the Belgians, French and British put up a stout defence, it was principally against the British that the heaviest enemy attacks were launched. Our troops greatly outnumbered, had been fighting continuously for several days, with little or no rest, and our men were almost dropping from fatigue after a prolonged rearguard action during which we lost numbers of men and guns. Serious defeat appeared inevitable, especially as we had practically no reserves ready. It was realised that a "Day of Trouble" had arrived, and that God alone could help us. Churches were crowded with the whole of the British Nation at prayer.

Then occurred the event afterwards known as the appearance of the "Angels of Mons", in answer to national prayer. Of several accounts referring to the appearance of "Angels" the following two are typical, both having been related by British soldiers who vouched for the occurrences as having been observed by them personally.

While a detachment of British soldiers was retiring through Mons under very heavy German artillery and machinegun fire in August 1914 they knelt beside a hastily erected barricade and endeavoured to hold up the enemy advance. The firing on both sides was very intensive, and the air reverberated with deafening crashes of exploding shells.

Suddenly, firing on both sides stopped dead and a silence fell. Looking over the barrier, the astonished British saw four or five wonderful beings much bigger than men, between themselves and the halted Germans. They were white robed and bareheaded, and seemed rather to float than stand. Their backs were towards the British, and they faced the enemy with outstretched arm and hand as if to say: "Stop. Thus far and no further." The sun was shining quite brightly at the time. Next thing the British knew was that the Gerrnans were retreating in great disorder.

On another occasion, the British were in danger of being surrounded by the Germans, and had lost numbers of men and guns. Just when matters seemed hopeless, the heavy enemy fire suddenly stopped dead and a great silence fell over all. The sky opened with a bright shining light and figures of "luminous beings" appeared. They seemed to float between the British and the German forces, and to prevent the further advance of the enemy. Some of the German cavalry were advancing and the officers and men were unable to get their horses to go forward.

Before the surprised British were able to realise what had happened, the whole of the apparently victorious enemy force were retreating in great disorder. This allowed the British and the Allied Armies to reform and fall back upon a line of defence several miles further west, where they "dug in". Then began the period of "trench warfare" which continued for over three years, with varying fortunes to either side until the Spring of 1918.

http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/monsangel.html
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Sep 2007 21:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

THE ANGELS OF MONS - OUR PROTECTIVE GOD

THE ANGELS OF MONS AND THE WHITE CAVALRY - PART TWO



The second occasion of angelic intervention became known as "The White Cavalry."

THE WHITE CAVALRY

The following account of what occurred between the months of April and August, 1918, I(Captain Cecil Wightwick Hayward) can personally vouch for as being true; as fair as that area of the front line trenches is concerned, lying roughly between the town of Ballieul, some fifteen miles south of Ypres, and the town of Arras, some fifteen miles south of Bethune, in La Bassee (France).

I was responsible for the intelligence on this sector of the battle area, and therefore made my headquarters in the bright little town of Bethune, as it was a very good position strategically, and had also remained practically untouched by enemy shell fire, although it was barely three miles from the trenches just across the La Bassee Canal.

It was an anxious time for Great Britain. The British troops had been in the trenches fighting for weeks without rest or relief owing to the fact that reserves were practically exhausted.

It was at this juncture that Portugal came in on our side, and raised a conscripted Army which landed in France early in March, 1918. Towards the end of that rnonth I was instructed by Headquarters that a Portuguese force would be passing through Bethune shortly in order to take over a sector of the front line trenches just in front of Bethune, so as to relieve the British who had been holding it for so long.

It was evident that the enemy was about to intensify this offensive shortly, with a greater concentration of men and heavy guns. On our side, especially between March and June, our troops had been greatly reduced in numbers by heavy casualties in the prolonged righting during those months, and our reserves were practically exhausted.

Although by the middle of May the United States of America had decided to join Great Britain and her Allies, their troops were still being formed, though the first contingent was on its way across the Atlantic. Later on, they came over at the rate of 50,000 weekly; but these reinforcements were not available for the front line much before the middle of June, according as they were dispatched to the various sectors.

As things stood, owing to the vigorous enemy action against the Allied lines to the north of Bethune, the line from La Bassee to Lens and Arras was left in a "pocket" which was liable to be "hemmed in" at any moment, with all the troops, ammunition, arms and equipment it contained.

It was highly improbable that the Portuguese troops, who had by now taken over the La Bassee trenches in front of Bethune, would make much difference to the enemy's plans. Indeed, they did not, for though there had been a temporary lull in the roar of the gun fire, it broke out again shortly afterwards with intensified fury. So tremendous was the reverberating crash of concentrated shell and high explosive fire, that it literally shook the ground and dazed us, though we were nearly three miles behind the front line.

It fell with a dense hall of shrapnel and lead on the unfortunate Portuguese, practically blotting them out wholesale, and thus causing a gap in our front line, through which the enemy began to pour in mass formation. The few Portuguese left came staggering through Bethune, having thrown away their arms and equipment in their mad desire to get away from the hell behind them as quickly as possible.

Shortly afterwards they were followed by British troops, whose flank had been turned, and who were retiring in good order, keeping up a stiff rearguard action as they went.

In Britain everyone was asking: "Would the Germans get through to Paris?" "Would the Americans arrive in time to check their advance?" "Will the English ports be shelled shortly by German big guns from the coast of France?"

But then we remembered the "Angels of Mons" and once again the whole British nation was called to prayer. The President of the United States summoned the Arnerican people to do likewise; and united prayer went up from all the English speaking peoples.

In the meantime, the enemy shell fire, which had been largely directed against the shattered town of Bethune, suddenly lifted and began to burst on a slight rise beyond its outskirts. This open ground was absolutely bare of tree, houses or human beings, yet the enemy gun fire broke on it with increasing fury, and was augmented by heavy bursts of masses machine guns which raked it backward and forward with a hail of lead. We stood looking in astonishment

"Firitz has gone balmy, Sir," said the Sergeant, "what in the world is he peppering the naked ground for?"

"I can't think," I replied. "Get along down to the canal and see what is happening there."

I followed him shortly afterwards, being eager to see for myself, as there were obviously no troops within sight against whom the Germans could be directing their fire.

As I made my way over the scattered debris of the ruined houses, the enemy's fire suddenly ceased, and a curious calm fell on everything. I went on wanderingly, and got outside the town. Then a lark suddenly arose from the remains of a meadow, and soared up, up, up, singing a trilling song which rings on my inward ear today, when I think of it.

I saw my Sergeant and men standing on the edge of a shell hole waving their tin hats. They shouted out:

"Fritz is retiring!"

Indeed he was. Outlined on the slight rise by the La Bassee village, and as far as we could see, was a dense line of German troops, who a short time before had commenced a forward movement to victory, in mass formation. This line suddenly halted, and, as we watched, we saw it break!

Before our astonished eyes, that well drilled and seemingly victorious army broke up into groups of frightened men who were fleeing from us, throwing down their arms, haversacks, rifles, coats and anything which might impede their flight.

It was not long before my Sergeant arrived with two German officer prisoners, and was soon followed by Tommies bringing in batches of twenty or so at a time.

Briefly, the statement the senior German officer made was as follows: The order had been given to advance in mass formation, and our troops were marching behind us singing their way to victory; when Friedrich my lieutenant here said:

"Herr, Kapitan, just look at that open ground behind Bethune, there is a brigade of cavalry coming up through the smoke drifting across it. They must be mad, these English, to advance against such a force as ours in the open. I suppose they must be cavalry of one of their Colonial forces, for see, they are all in white uniform and are mounted on white horses. "

"Strange," I said, "I never heard of the English having any white uniformed cavalry, whether Colonial or not. They have all been fighting on foot for several years past, and anyway, they wear khaki, not white."

"We saw the shells bursting amongst the horses and their riders, all of whom came forward at a quiet walk trot, in parade ground formation, each man and horse in his exact place.

Shortly afterwards, our machine guns opened a heavy fire, raking the advancing cavalry with a dense hail of lead. But they came quietly forward, though the shells were bursting amongst them with intensified fury, and not a single man or horse fell.

Steadily they advanced, clear in the shining sunlight; and a few paces in front of them rode their Leader, a fine figure of a man, whose hair, like spun gold, shone in an aura round his bare head. By his side was a great sword, but his hands lay quietly holding his horse's reins, as his huge white charger bore him proudly forward.

In spite of heavy shell, and concentrated machine gun fire, the White Cavalry advanced, remorseless as fate, like the incoming tide surging over a sandy beach. Then a great fear fell on me, and I turned to flee; yes I, an Officer of the Prussian Guard, fled, panic-stricken, and around me were hundreds of terrified men, whimpering like children, throwing away their arms and accoutrements in order not to have their movements impeded, all running. Their intense desire was to get away from that advancing White Cavalry; but most of all from their awe inspiring Leader.

That is all I have to tell you. We are beaten. The Gerrnan arrny is broken. There may be fighting, but we have lost the war. We are beaten, by the White Cavalry. I cannot understand."

During the following few days I examined many prisoners, and in substance, their accounts tallied with the one given here. This is in spite of the fact that at least two of us could swear that we saw no cavalry in action, here or elsewhere, at that particular time. Neither did any of us see so much as a single white horse either with or without a rider. But it was not necessary for us to do so, the evidence of their presence had to come from the enemy.

Shortly after this, the American forces came into action on the whole front, and about the second week in July there was a general advance which resulted in the capture of over 4,000 enemy and 100 guns on the sector between Bethune and Ypres during the ensuing weeks.

It is interesting to note that official reports give July 11th as the date of the Allied advance, for by November 11 th, 1 918, at 11.00 a.m. the war had ended and an Armistice was declared. Between these dates the British and Allied forces captured 385,000 prisoners and over 5,000 guns.

http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/monsangel2.html
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Mrt 2008 12:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het Mysterie van Mons, een kort verhaal van Patrick Bernauw

1.

Mijn vader, de schrijver Arthur Machen, was in de jaren twintig plotseling erg populair geworden in de Verenigde Staten, vooral dank zij enkele heruitgaven van zijn ouder werk. Wij woonden toen zeer comfortabel in een ruim herenhuis in de wijk St. John’s Wood in Londen. Voortdurend kwamen daar vrienden en bewonderaars over de vloer. Ik zat er op de schoot van wereldberoemde schrijvers en ik speelde met de kunstenaars met wie mijn ouders nachten lang discussieerden en feest vierden.
In de jaren twintig leek het voortdurend feest te zijn in ons huis in St. John’s Wood. Maar toen begon het Amerikaanse succes van mijn vader te tanen. In 1929 zagen mijn ouders zich verplicht hun dure huis te verkopen. We verhuisden naar een bescheidener woning in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
Sindsdien kwamen er niet zo veel vrienden en bewonderaars meer over de vloer. Er werd niet meer zo intens gediscussieerd over kunst, literatuur en het bovennatuurlijke. En er werd vooral veel minder feest gevierd. Ik vond dat allemaal nogal jammer.
Toch kon het bij tijden nog behoorlijk druk worden bij ons thuis. Het was dan ook niet bijzonder opzienbarend dat plots, ergens in de zomervakantie van het jaar 1930, kort na de middag, zomaar uit het niets en onaangekondigd, twee onbekende heren opdoken die mijn vader dringend wilden spreken. Papa deed een dutje in zijn werkkamer, mama wiedde het onkruid en ik zat een of ander duf boek te lezen.
Ik opende de deur voor de twee heren. Ondanks het mooie zomerweer waren ze allebei gekleed in een lange regenjas en droegen ze ook allebei een deukhoed. De ene heer was ongeveer even oud als papa, en dat was dus wel heel erg oud. Maar de andere was nog vrij jong en hij had de ogen, de neus en de mond van Rudolf Valentino.
In de jaren twintig was Rudolf Valentino de grote ster van de toen nog uitsluitend stomme film én mijn allergrootste idool. Toen hij in 1926 overleed, nauwelijks eenendertig jaar was hij geworden, leidde zijn dood tot hysterische taferelen. Radeloze fans kondigden aan zelfmoord te zullen plegen en belegerden de New Yorkse begrafenisondernemer waar zijn lijk lag opgebaard, zodat het verkeer in de buurt hopeloos in de knoei raakte.
Ik was nog te jong om daar veel van mee te maken. Ik had toen ook nog geen films van hem gezien. Maar de afgelopen jaren was hij niet van het witte doek weg te branden geweest en had ik mijn schade in een mum van tijd ingehaald.

In mijn dromen kwam Valentino nu, verkleed als sjeik of gewoon als prins op zijn witte paard, voortdurend toesnellen om me te redden uit de klauwen van een zootje ongure schurken, dat me om onduidelijke redenen ergens in een woestijn gevangen hield. Daarna leefde ik dan nog lang en gelukkig met mijn prins in zijn tent, die hij had opgeslagen vlak bij een paradijselijke oase.
Om een lang verhaal kort te maken: ik wilde wel eens horen wat de reïncarnatie van Rudolf Valentino kwam uitvreten in onze nederige woning in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

Gewoonlijk ontving papa zijn gasten in het salon. Alleen voor zakelijke gesprekken trok hij zich met hen terug in zijn werkkamer. Ik had papa gewekt en hij was met de wedergeboren Rudolf Valentino en zijn oudere metgezel naar de werkkamer gegaan, hoewel ze er geen van beiden uitzagen als uitgevers of redacteuren van een krant of een weekblad.
Waren het soms gewone journalisten? Die zag ik nog wel in staat om zelfs in de tent van sjeik Valentino hun regenjas aan en hun deukhoed op te houden. Maar als het journalisten waren, waarom hadden ze hun komst dan niet aangekondigd? En waarom hadden ze zich niet voorgesteld als collega’s van papa?
Ze hadden niet eens hun naam genoemd. De oudste vroeg naar vader en Rudolf Valentino voegde eraan toe dat ze hem dringend moesten spreken. Ik had geen tijd verprutst met tegenpruttelen. Ik was op staande voet gezwicht. Maar als het niet voor Valentino was geweest, zou ik het tweetal wellicht niet eens in huis gelaten hebben.
Papa had de deur zorgvuldig achter zich gesloten, maar dat was geen probleem. Ik legde mijn oor tegen de deur en ging luistervinken. Ik móést gewoon weten of ik nog een kans maakte om Rudolf Valentino hier terug te zien. Jammer genoeg dempten zowel de beide heren als papa zelf hun stem, alsof ze vermoedden dat de muren hier oren hadden.
‘… de Engelen van Mons,’ hoorde ik de oudere heer kraken. ‘Wij zouden graag van u vernemen hoe u dat precies gedaan hebt, met die Engelen van Mons.’
‘Wij zouden met andere woorden graag hebben dat u dit… experiment… nog eens voor ons overdeed, meneer Machen.’ Dat was het fluwelen stemgeluid van Rudolf Valentino.
‘Ik weet niet waarover u het hebt,’ blafte papa kortaf. ‘Als ik al tot iets dergelijks in staat was, zou ik het ook onmogelijk kunnen herhalen.’
‘Neemt u het ons niet kwalijk,’ antwoordde de oudere meneer rustig, ‘maar dat geloven we niet.’
‘Als u niet met ons wil meewerken, zullen we genoodzaakt zijn onze toevlucht te nemen tot…’
De rest van Valentino’s woorden hoorde ik niet meer, want toen had ik mijn luisterpost reeds verlaten. Ik rende het salon in en ging me zeer onschuldig bezighouden met een paar poppen die daar nog rondslingerden. Rudolf Valentino zou het vast wel belachelijk gevonden hebben, maar ik kon op dat ogenblik niks beters bedenken. En ik had nu eenmaal die leeftijd waarop meisjes al wel eens wat vlinders in de buik krijgen bij het zien van een woestijnprins, maar toch nog geen afscheid kunnen nemen van hun poppen.
Ik hoorde dus hoe papa de dubbelganger van Rudolf Valentino brullend in de rede viel: ‘Eruit!’
Ik gaf mijn strategische positie ijlings op en zag vanuit het salon de deur van papa’s werkkamer open vliegen. Hij joeg zijn beide gasten zowat het huis uit.
‘Ik laat me niet bedreigen in mijn eigen huis!’ schreeuwde hij met overslaande stem.
Ik had papa nooit zo… buiten zichzelf van woede gezien. Hij zag werkelijk wít van woede. Alles beefde aan hem: zijn benen, zijn handen, zijn mondhoeken.
‘U zult hier nog spijt van krijgen, meneer Machen,’ zei Rudolf Valentino koeltjes.
Hij had zichzelf perfect in de hand en verhief zijn stem niet eens. Het maakte zijn woorden des te dreigender.
‘Dat zullen we dan wel zien,’ siste m’n vader. ‘En nu, heren… Ophoepelen!’
Hij gooide de voordeur voor ze open, en daar gingen ze. De oudere heer schudde spijtig het hoofd. Rudolf Valentino wierp papa nog een laatste donkere blik toe.
Papa knalde de deur achter ze dicht en stormde het salon binnen.
‘Janet!’ snauwde hij. ‘Als die twee hier nog eens opdagen, dan laat je ze in geen geval binnen komen! Is dat goed begrepen?’
Ik knikte maar wat.
‘Prachtig!’ riep hij uit, en hij snelde de tuin in.
Terwijl ik mezelf troostte met het denkbeeld dat verboden liefdes toch altijd de mooiste waren, liep ik naar het raam en zag ik hoe papa achterin de tuin druk stond te gebaren tegen mama.
Wat had hem in godsnaam zo van streek gemaakt? De Engelen van Mons, zoveel was zeker. Wat wàs het toch met de beroemde schrijver Arthur Machen en die fameuze Engelen van Mons!?

Lees dit boeiende verhaal verder op:
http://vredeseducatie.blogspot.com/2006/05/het-mysterie-van-mons-een-kort-verhaal.html
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
geert



Geregistreerd op: 2-6-2006
Berichten: 578
Woonplaats: Vlaanderen

BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Mrt 2008 21:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Je moet die roman eens aanschaffen Ivonne. Wink
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Mrt 2008 22:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wink

Goed boek!
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jul 2008 17:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The angels of Mons : The bowmen, and other legends of the war (1915)

Title The angels of Mons : The bowmen, and other legends of the war
Creator Machen, Arthur, 1863-1947
Publisher London : Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent
Date 1915

http://ia331337.us.archive.org/2/items/angelsofmonsbowm00machuoft/angelsofmonsbowm00machuoft.pdf
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Jul 2008 13:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The angel warriors at Mons, including numerous confirmatory testimonies, evidence of the wounded and certain curious historical parallels; ([1915])

Creator Shirley, Ralph, 1865-1946
Publisher London : Newspaper Publicity Co.
Date [1915]

http://ia341007.us.archive.org/2/items/angelwarriorsatm00shir/angelwarriorsatm00shir.pdf
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Aug 2008 20:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Rumours of angels: a legend of the First World War

Abstract

The present paper examines the origin and socio-historical context of the Angels of Mons, a belief-legend that was a source of inspiration for British civilians and troops serving on the Western Front during the war of 1914-8. I trace the source of the legend to a fictional story that was in itself inspired by traditions of supernatural intervention in battle that were of great antiquity. During 1915 two versions, one based upon fiction and the other created from the cauldron of rumour and popular belief, became combined and transformed during oral transmission into a belief-legend that continues to survive in English folklore. My conclusion is that the Angel of Mons can only be interpreted within the context of what Fussell describes as "a world of reinvigorated myth" that appeared in the midst of a war characterised by industrialism and materialism (Fussell 1975, 115).

**********

It's true, Sister. We all saw it. First there was a sort of a yellow mist like, sort of risin' before the Germans as they came to the top of the hill, come on like a solid wall they did--springing out of the earth just solid, no end to 'em. I just gave up. No use fighting the whole German race, thinks I; it's all up with us. The next minute comes this funny cloud of light, and when it clears off there's a tall man with yellow hair in golden armour, on a white horse, holding his sword up, and his mouth open as if he was saying, "Come on boys! I'll put the kybosh on the devils." ... The minute I saw it, I knew we were going to win. It fair bucked me up--yes, sister, thank you. I'm as comfortable as can be (Lancashire Fusilier describes the Battle of Mons to nurse Phyllis Campbell; "The Angels of Mons." London Evening News [31 July 1915], 7).

... It was strong evidence, as I say. Or, rather, it would have been strong evidence but for one circumstance--there was not one word of truth in it. Or, in the stronger phrase of Wemmick, these stories were lies: "Every one of 'em lies, sir" (Machen 1938, 87).

Background

During the decade that preceded the outbreak of the First World War, British society was awash with rumours and fears that were directed outwards towards perceived external aggressors. From 1909 claims of widespread German espionage and phantom Zeppelin airships hovering above the English coastline were circulated by newspapers (Clarke 1999, 39-64). The fear of invasion by foreign hordes was magnified following Britain's entry into the war against Germany in August 1914. Within weeks of the departure to France of the British Expeditionary Force a rumour was spread, largely by newspapers, which claimed that convoys of trains containing a vast Russian army had been seen, travelling under great secrecy from the Scottish ports through England en route to join the Allied effort on the Western front. Belief in the reality of the "Russian myth" persisted until September, when it was denied by the official Press Bureau (Watson and Oldroyd 1995, 193).

In other cases, rumours that appealed to long-established beliefs and traditions would become legends and their influence persisted long after the armistice. In the case of the Angels of Mons, a popular belief developed that a miracle had occurred at a crucial stage in the battle, with the outcome that the British Army was preserved from destruction. This twentieth-century belief emerged from a background of religious and martial traditions that had their ultimate origins in the Middle Ages. St George, who it was claimed had appeared to lead troops fighting at Mons, was traditionally regarded as the patron of English fighting men. In earlier centuries, St George had been invoked during the Crusades and on the field of Agincourt (Hole 1965, 24). As the rumours spread, claims were made that French soldiers had seen a vision of Joan of Arc and St Michael, while Russian infantry had been rallied by their own national hero, General Skobeleff (Shirley 1915, 10).

In 1915, when the war had reached stalemate on the Western Front, rumours originating from the first months of the conflict became immortalised by a stream of newspaper stories, pamphlets and books. As a result, many thousands of people both in Britain and across the world were led to believe that angels had intervened on the Allied side at a decisive point in the first battle of the Great War, and that the course of the conflict had been changed as a result. One historian wrote that the angels of Mons "entered the realm of legend within a fortnight" of the battle (Terraine 1992, 18), and by the spring of 1915 it had become "unpatriotic, almost treasonable, to doubt it" (Fussell 1975, 116). There are many different opinions concerning the origins of the legend. The Imperial War Museum, summarising the popular accounts that were published in 1915, concluded that "to pursue the supporting stories to source is to make a journey into a fog" (Imperial War Museum, undated, 2). The most recent detailed attempt to collate the source material, by Kevin McClure, led to the conclusion: "I still don't know what happened during the Retreat from Mons: I doubt that I ever will" (McClure 1994, 23).


Lees verder ( 18 pagina's):
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2386/is_2_113/ai_95107633&tag=rel.res1?tag=col1;fa_related_widget
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Yvonne
Admin


Geregistreerd op: 2-2-2005
Berichten: 45457

BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Aug 2008 20:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik zie dat de plaatjes bovenaan het niet meer doen,
de correcte link is:
http://www.worldwar1.com/heritage/angel.htm
_________________
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte

https://twitter.com/ForumWO1
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Veertien Achttien



Geregistreerd op: 14-2-2008
Berichten: 41
Woonplaats: Hilvarenbeek

BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Sep 2008 13:29    Onderwerp: Veertien Achttien over Arthur Machen Reageer met quote

Blijft een fascinerend verhaal! Wie er ook oor voor wil hebben, kan naar www.veertienachttien.web-log.nl
Aflevering 9 van mijn podcast Veertien Achttien is gewijd aan Arthur Machen en zijn Bowmen, die de Angels of Mons werden.
_________________
Luister week in week uit naar de Eerste Wereldoorlog via www.veertienachttien.nl
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage
Percy Toplis



Geregistreerd op: 9-5-2009
Berichten: 13473
Woonplaats: Suindrecht

BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Nov 2010 21:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-29967575513903624&hl=en&fs=true
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht
Finnbar
Moderator


Geregistreerd op: 5-11-2009
Berichten: 6975
Woonplaats: Uaso Monte

BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Jan 2012 20:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Arjen87 @ 30 Mei 2011 16:36 schreef:
Wat houdt de legende precies in?
Op 29 september 1914 plaatst de Londense krant ‘The Evening Post’ een artikel genaamd ‘The Bowmen’.
Het bericht gaat over een raadselachtig voorval dat heeft plaats gevonden op 26 augustus 1914 in de buurt van het Belgische Mons. Een groep Britse soldaten van het 2de legerkorps werd door de sterke Duitse overmacht steeds verder terug gedreven. Op het moment dat voor de Britten alle hoop verloren leek te zijn riep een soldaat: “Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius” (vrij vertaald: ‘’Moge Sint Joris vandaag de Engelsen helpen’’). Zijn roep werd door zijn medesoldaten overgenomen waarop ineens, vanuit het niets, een leger van ‘engelen’ opdook. De figuren waren groter dan mensen en omgeven door licht. Ze waren in het wit gekleed, blootshoofds en leken over de grond te zweven. Even later zagen de Britten met verbazing hoe de vijand op de vlucht sloeg en hoe de door de engelen afgeschoten pijlen honderden slachtoffers maakten. Later zouden de Duitsers zich afgevraagd hebben wat de doodsoorzaak was van de gesneuvelden, want op geen van de doden zou een verwonding te zien zijn geweest.

Bowman, propaganda of was er meer aan de hand?
Natuurlijk schreven in die tijd de kranten wel meer glorieuze verhalen en ze namen het niet zo nauw met de werkelijkheid van het front. Maar de ‘Engelen van Mons’ worden ook in officiële documenten vermeld. Later, in 1931, zou voormalig stafofficier Charteris over het voorval schrijven; “De Engelen van Mons interesseren me. Ik kan er maar niet achter komen hoe de legende ontstond”.

Wat zijn de feitelijke gebeurtenissen?
14 augustus was de Britse troepenmacht op weg naar de Franse stellingen van generaal Lanrezac bij Charleroi. Hier was het Franse vijfde leger gelegen. Voordat de Britse troepen dit leger konden bereiken, kwamen ze al Duitse patrouilles tegen. Nadat dit gemeld werd aan generaal Lanrezac, besloot deze om de Duitse troepen aan te vallen, tegen het advies van de inlichtingendienst in. Als tactische zet, groeven de Franse troepen zich in bij het stadje Mons. Lanzerac trok zich terug richting Mons en de Britse troepen waren ook op weg terug, maar werden aangevallen door het 1e Duitse leger van generaal von Kluck. De Britten hielden lang stand tegen de Duitsers, maar het numerieke overwicht dat de Duitsers hadden bracht de Britten in een hopeloze positie. Terugtrekken was dus de enige optie.
Het verhaal gaat dat tijdens dit terugtrekken de Britten werden ondersteund door een leger van engelen.
Feit is dat het de Britten wel gelukt is om terug te trekken.

Wat is de oorsprong van het verhaal?
Bij de slag om Mons en het terugtrekken van de Britse troepen werd St. George gezien, omringd door engelen. Het eerste wat mij hieraan opvalt is het feit dat George een Engelse naam is. De Britten zagen dus ook een Britse heilige, omringd door een leger engelen. Tussen dit leger zouden zich hemelse boogschutters hebben bevonden, die hun boog ook konden inruilen tegen een vlammend zwaard.
Veel soldaten die bij Mons hebben gevochten claimen dat ze werkelijk een leger van engelen hebben gezien en zelfs Duitse krijgsgevangenen bevestigen dit bericht. Vreemd genoeg verscheen er in de week waarin de slag plaatsvond in Engeland een verhaal, genaamd “the Bowmen”. Dit verhaal vertelt ons precies het verhaal van een terugtrekkend leger dat ondersteund wordt door een hemels leger.

Het verhaal van de horror schrijver Arthur Machen verscheen, naar eigen zeggen, eerder dan de berichten uit Mons, waarin de Britten ook engelen zagen. Arthur Machen heeft zijn verhaal tot zijn dood vol gehouden. Volgens hem is zijn verhaal verspreid op het front en door de soldaten verhemelt tot waarheid. In zijn verhaal zat ook een kern van waarheid. De hemelse boogschutters, the bowmen, waren de legendarische spookboogschutters van Agincourt. Hier zal ik straks nog verder op terugkomen. Dit verhaal, als het maar door tien wanhopige en bijgelovige mannen aan het front was gehoord, zou goed aanleiding kunnen geven tot het opleven van de legende. We weten niet hoe het komt dat de Britten zich konden terugtrekken zonder vernietigd te worden door de Duitsers, maar deze legende zou een prachtige reden zijn. Soldaten aan het front, oververmoeid door het lange vluchten en het hectische leven in de loopgraven, zijn vatbaarder voor verhalen, beelden die andere mensen zien. Het verhaal zou snel verspreid kunnen zijn en door velen als waar aangenomen.
Maar er zijn ook bronnen die de claim van Arthur Machen tegenspreken. Een brief die een lid van de Britse inlichtingendienst schrijft naar huis spreekt over de opschudding in de Britse gelederen door een engelenverschijning.
Hier volgt een stuk uit die brief:
"...then there is the story of the ‘Angels of Mons’ going strong through the 2nd Corps, of how the angel of the Lord on the traditional white horse, and clad all in white with flaming sword, faced the advancing Germans at Mons and forbade their further progress. Men’s nerves and imagination play weird pranks in these strenuous times."
Het probleem met deze brief is dat de brief 14 dagen eerder dateert dan het verhaal van Arthur Machen. Als dit een eerlijke en oprechte brief zou zijn, zou Machen’s claim tenietgedaan zijn en zijn verhaal niet de aanleiding hebben gevormd voor de legende. Maar de schrijver van de brief, John Charteris, is geen betrouwbare bron. Als hoog staflid van de inlichtingendienst heeft hij veel valse geruchten verspreid, een leuk voorbeeld daarvan is het valse gerucht dat de Russen de Duitsers via de Belgische kust aan zouden vallen, waarop de Duitsers reageerden door 2 troepenmachten naar de Belgische kust te sturen. Ik neem zelf John Charteris’ bron niet serieus, vooral omdat het verhaal van Machen zo verschrikkelijk veel lijkt op de legende bij Mons. Hoe dit verhaal ontstaan is? Ik denk doordat een paar soldaten het verhaal van Machen hoorden, nadat de slag was afgelopen en hun wonderbaarlijke ontsnapping daaraan toeschreven. Een gerucht gaat als een lopend vuurtje en soldaten nemen door de omstandigheden elke nieuwe ontwikkeling al gauw aan als waarheid. Hoe dit komt zal ik ook straks nog beschrijven.

Wat is de historische herkomst van ‘’The Bowmen’’
Geesten van Britse boogschutters die gesneuveld waren in de slag bij Agincourt, in 1415.
Het verhaal over de hemelse boogschutters, waar Arthur Machen over schrijft is afkomstig van een andere legende. Deze legende gaat over de boogschutters van Agincourt. Deze boogschutters zijn, zoals de naam zegt, betrokken geweest bij de strijd om Agincourt in 1415. Het veel grotere Franse leger van koning Charles tegen het kleine leger van de Engelsen en de Welshmen, onder leiding van koning Henry V. Het zag er somber uit voor de Engelsen, die het al een paar dagen zonder eten hadden moeten stellen. De Fransen kwamen in veel grotere getallen en in hun gelederen was cavalerie te vinden, snelle infanterie en veel keurtroepen. Henry was Frankrijk binnengevallen en Charles stond op het punt Henry maar eens terug te sturen naar het regenachtige eilandje waar hij vandaan kwam. Het grote Franse leger was goed bevoorraad en niets zou de overwinning in de weg staan. Als het niet was voor de Britse langboog. The longbow. Deze boog had een enorm bereik en achter zijn schot zat een enorme kracht. De Fransen daarentegen hadden amper boogschutters tot hun beschikking en de boogschutters die aanwezig waren hadden inferieure bogen ten opzichte van de langboog.
Maar toch, een paar boogschutters zouden het verschil niet maken. Maar ook het landschap was in het voordeel van de Engelsen, het leek op het landschap dat wij nu kennen van de 1e wereldoorlog. Een modderige put. Het duurde dus langer voor de Franse cavalerie bij de Engelsen kon komen en eenmaal geraakt door een pijl, konden de zwaar gepantserde ridders niet overeind komen uit de modder.
De Engelse boogschutters groeven zich in en plaatsten scherpe staken in de grond, met een hoek, zodat de vijandelijke cavalerie een paar lelijke prikjes op zou lopen.
Met een enorme minderheid versloegen de Engelsen de Fransen. De boogschutters van de Engelsen zijn toen de geschiedenis ingegaan als “the bowmen of Agincourt”.
Bij het verhaal van Arthur Machen werden de allang overleden bowmen teruggeroepen als hemelse strijdmacht.

Kun je verklaren waarom zoveel soldaten zeggen dit te hebben meegemaakt?
Hoe kan het dat een engelverschijning, gebaseerd op een fictief verhaal , toch door veel mensen intensief wordt herinnerd. Bijna alle Britse troepen die zich terug moesten trekken bleken zich te herinneren dat hun Heer ze had geholpen. Zelfs Duitse krijgsgevangen spreken van een verschijning van engelen. Om te ontdekken hoe zoiets kan gebeuren moeten we eerst meer van de situatie van de soldaten weten.
De Britse troepen hadden een lange reis achter de rug en het voedsel was schaars, waardoor de meerderheid van de soldaten al minstens een paar dagen geen maal tot zich had genomen. De kou begon ook toe te slaan, de zomer was reeds ten einde en de herfst bracht kou en regen. Het miserabele bestaan van de Britse soldaten bestond uit angst, kou en die eeuwige vochtigheid van de lucht, de regen en grond. Eerst gingen ze er van uit dat de Duitsers nog ver weg waren, maar nadat ze een paar patrouilles hadden gezien, wisten ze dat ze een makkelijk slachtoffer zouden zijn voor het grote Duitse leger. Van te voren waren de verwachtingen van de slag slecht en de Britten hadden het gevoel dat er eindelijk een einde aan zou komen. Niet dat ze dat einde toe juichten, ze waren zelfs bang.
De Duitsers daarentegen hadden al een paar slagen gewonnen en hadden meer zelfvertrouwen, ze zouden dat kleine Engelse legertje wel eens compleet vernietigen.
Het liep anders. De slag kwam en aan geen van de verwachtingen van beide partijen werd beantwoord. De Engelsen werden weliswaar zwaar bestookt, maar het lukte hun wel terug te trekken. De Duitsers wonnen wel, maar het Engelse leger was niet verwoest. Voor de Engelsen zegt het wel wat meer, ze voelden zich gered, gered door een wonder van God. Hun diepe wanhoop werd beantwoord door een teken van God, dat Hij het goed met hun voorhad.
De Duitsers zagen het als een enorme tegenslag en moesten wel erkennen dat de Engelsen gered waren door een wonder.
Toen kwam het verhaal van Arthur Machen in de omloop. Soldaten wisten nog steeds niet wat er nou precies gebeurd was en ze wachtten op een verklaring voor hun wonder. Het verhaal van Arthur Machen bracht deze verklaring. Soldaten die het hoorden, haalden zich beelden voor zich, uit de chaotische uren aan het front, die van slaap en sluimering aan elkaar hingen. Deze beelden bevatten vaak vage dingen en een simpele doek kan dan al als engel gezien worden. Een vreemde wolk voor de zon is St. George en de stem van een luitenant is de stem van God. De mannen vertelden dit aan elkaar en al gauw kwam er een verhaal tot stand, dat verklaarde hoe zij waren ontkomen aan de goddeloze Duitsers.
Voor de Duitsers die geconfronteerd werden met deze Engelse versie van de gebeurtenissen was het makkelijk te erkennen dat het een wonder was. Zij hadden immers onwaarschijnlijk verloren en om dit te verwerken, om te voorkomen dat ze als lafaards werden aangezien, was ook dit wonder een oplossing.
Wat er echt is gebeurd? Een slag waarbij de Engelsen een grote dosis geluk hadden en de Duitse organisatie niet goed in elkaar stak. De losse denkbeelden van de soldaat worden aan elkaar geklonken met flarden van een horrorverhaal.
Voor de Britse soldaten was het geen geluk, er waren geen engelen verschenen, maar voor hen blijft het een wonder.
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail
Finnbar
Moderator


Geregistreerd op: 5-11-2009
Berichten: 6975
Woonplaats: Uaso Monte

BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Sep 2012 8:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Yvonne @ 10 Jul 2008 17:56 schreef:
The angels of Mons : The bowmen, and other legends of the war (1915)

Title The angels of Mons : The bowmen, and other legends of the war
Creator Machen, Arthur, 1863-1947
Publisher London : Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent
Date 1915

http://ia331337.us.archive.org/2/items/angelsofmonsbowm00machuoft/angelsofmonsbowm00machuoft.pdf


http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?p=57421#57421
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail
Finnbar
Moderator


Geregistreerd op: 5-11-2009
Berichten: 6975
Woonplaats: Uaso Monte

BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Aug 2014 11:06    Onderwerp: De engelen van Bergen: een legende uit het begin van de Grot Reageer met quote

De engelen van Bergen: een legende uit het begin van de Grote Oorlog

Oorlog en mythevorming gaan vaak hand in hand. Ook tijdens WOI was dat niet anders. Een kortverhaal in een Engelse krant over de slag bij Bergen van 23 augustus 1914 groeide uit tot een ware legende over heuse engelen die de Engelse soldaten hadden bijgestaan

Lees verder: http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws/14-18/1.2065764
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail
Berichten van afgelopen:   
Plaats nieuw bericht   Plaats Reactie    Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Forum Index -> Mystiek en religie Tijden zijn in GMT + 1 uur
Pagina 1 van 1

 
Ga naar:  
Je mag geen nieuwe onderwerpen plaatsen
Je mag geen reacties plaatsen
Je mag je berichten niet bewerken
Je mag je berichten niet verwijderen
Ja mag niet stemmen in polls


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group