Saturday, November 11, 2006

Armistice Day

From Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory (1975):

There is one unforgettable vignette which if true is fine, and which if apocryphal is even better. It is Herbert Essame's memory of the German machine-gunner signaling the closing of a long run on November 11, 1918: "On the Fourth Army front, at two minutes to eleven, a machine gun, about 200 yards from the leading British troops, fired off a complete belt without a pause. A single machine-gunner was then seen to stand up beside his weapon, take off his helmet, bow, and turning about walk slowly to the rear."

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