War Book of the University of Wisconsin: Papers on the Causes and Issues of the War by Members of the Faculty

By Willard G. Bleyer; University of Wisconsin | Go to book overview

WHAT FRIGHTFULNESS MEANS

By E. B. McGILVARY Professor of Philosophy

The German army is bound by oath to the Kaiser and to the Kaiser alone. The Kaiser's addresses to his troops show the extent of this obligation. "You have given yourselves to me, body and soul. In view of the present Socialistic agitations it may come to pass that I shall command you to shoot your own relatives, brothers, yes, even parents,--which God forbid! but even then you must follow my command without a murmur."

When young men have given themselves thus to a warlord, they will hardly balk at other commands that run counter to their natural feelings. To know what sort of war they will wage in Poland, Belgium and northern France, it will be sufficient to discover what sort of war they were taught to wage.

The German soldier reads his orders for his treatment of the enemy in the War Manual (Kriegsbrauch) published by the German General Staff in 1902. Their essence is frightfulness. The German soldier, like the soldier of every country represented at the Hague Conference of 1899, is supposed to receive his orders for his treatment of the enemy from the regulations adopted at this conference. The essence of these regulations is humanity, in so far as this is possible in the conduct of war.

-119-

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War Book of the University of Wisconsin: Papers on the Causes and Issues of the War by Members of the Faculty
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface 3
  • Contents 5
  • Introduction 11
  • Germany's Secret War Council, July 5, 1914 15
  • Germany's Ambition for World Power 30
  • Bibliography 43
  • Why Germany Wanted War 45
  • How Germany Explains Her Acts 61
  • Why Russia, France, and Britain Entered the War 75
  • Did Germany Wrong Belgium? 89
  • How Germany Makes War 101
  • What Frightfulness Means 119
  • Germany's War on Neutrals 131
  • How Germany Overthrew International Law 141
  • German Autocracy and Militarism 153
  • Our Right to Ship Munitions 180
  • Bibliography 192
  • Germany's War on Us in Time of Peace 193
  • German Submarines and the British Blockade 203
  • Bibliography 212
  • Germany's Gain from Germany's Defeat 213
  • Bibliography 224
  • Why Workingmen Support the War 225
  • If Germany Wins 241
  • The World Must Be Made Safe for Democracy 253
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