On Guard

August 10, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Received 3 letters from Nora. On guard all night. The French Artillery threw a barrage of about 300 shells over us into German lines.

We expect a return tonight. I got a check for $1.00 from Swift.”

Since Robert is spending so much time on guard this week, this passage from Pershing’s Crusaders seems appropriate:

Men standing sentry duty in the trenches or occupying listening and observations posts in No Man’s Land often did so alone. This isolation, the innate human fear of the dark, and the presence of an all-seeing and unseen enemy capable of all forms of evil and mischief played on the soldiers’ minds. After being sent to man a listening post in No Man’s Land, Duncan Kemerer admitted, “I was never so scared in my life, as all was so quiet, and the least noise or movement of shrubbery in darkness made you have all kinds of imaginations.” He further confessed that “I was never so relieved in all my life” as when his four-hour vigil came to an end.

I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

A fantastic illustration of where the listening posts were located:


Where was Robert today? See the timeline. 

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