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Old June 13, 2005, 09:58 PM   #86
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,636
Germans jus wanna have fun

During the Napoleonic Wars, the British recruited heavily from among the Germans and first drew on Hannover (after all, George was of the House of Hannover) and then from Germans in French service who were captured. They were collected into a regiment several battalions strong dubbed The King's German Legion. Over numerous battles, the KGL proved themselves to be very brave & reliable. Their regimental history tells of their various deeds in battle and of service throughout Europe on behalf of England. What it doesn't tell is that the Germans of various battalions of KGL didn't necessarily develop bonds of affection towards their fellow Germans. We hear from a soldier of the 7th Battalion, KGL:

"At no time were we on a kindly footing with the third and sixth regiments of the German legion; and therefore individuals attached to these corps were exempted from the privilege of being brought in by a friend. This exclusion was never forgiven; and the parties against whom it was levelled were perpetually seeking opportunities for revenge. The senior of our company, a good-natured fellow of thirty-six, who was a general favourite of both officers and privates, was one evening, whilst we were indulging ourselves with mirth and wine, in a neighbouring public-house close to our apartment, enjoying the lively conversation of his sweetheart. Suddenly twelve men, belonging to the rifle company of the third battalion, entered the place; and falling upon him, although he had not given the slightest provocation, proceeded to treat him exceedingly ill. In self-defence, he snatched up a sword, and vowed he would kill the next man who should touch him, a threat which he would undoubtedly have put in practice, not in any degree wanting courage; his determined look and gesture made his cowardly assailants pause, and they debated between themselves in what manner they should endeavour to secure him. Accidentally one of our men passed the house; and the terrified girl, her eyes full of tears, repeats to this man that a soldier of the seventh regiment is on the point of being slain. Immediately on receiving this intelligence, he hastens to give us the alarm; and each individual, starting to his sword and cap, rushes impetuously to the opposite wine-shop, which is soon abandoned by the enemy. In the commencement, fists alone were the weapons made use of, but shortly swords were plucked from their scabbards, and a regular battle ensued, in which many wounds were inflicted on either side. Fresh members of both battalions now came up half-naked from the barracks, with fixed bayonets; and in the dark night it was scarcely possible to distinguish friend from foe. Confusion, indeed reigned triumphant. The third battalion had a good many men wounded; we, on the other hand, only a few.

"Patrols were at length dispatched in every direction throughout the town; and numbers were conveyed to the guard-house, which was soon quite filled; the conflict being ultimately terminated by the dispersion of all combatants.

"On the next morning, an order of the day was put forth by our brigadier, in which we were reproached for want of harmony; and it was strictly forbidden for the soldiers of the two obnoxious battalions to enter at one time the same wine-house. On the side of the enemy several swords were missing, - the worthy owners thereof having preferred throwing them away to using them courageously; however, be it remembered, these fellows were amongst the twelve who had originally occasioned the dispute."


Those Germans jus wanna have fun.
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