“A bloody scene with no witnesses was about to happen. It was a relief to me, finally, to have the foe in front of me and within reach. I set the mouth of the pistol at the man’s temple – he was too frightened to move – while my other fist grabbed hold of his tunic, feeling medals and badges of rank.
An officer; he must have held some command post in these trenches. With a plaintive sound, he reached into his pocket, not to pull out a weapon, but a photograph which he held up to me. I saw him on it, surrounded by numerous family, all standing on a terrace. It was a plea from another world.
Later, I thought it was blind chance that I let him go and plunged onward. That one man of all often appeared in my dreams. I hope that meant he got to see his homeland again.”
– Lt. Ernst Junger, 73rd Infantry Regiment, Imperial German Army. France July 1916
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.