Friday, March 29, 2019

War Heroes

The fate of the ‘Bonus Army’ of unemployed First World War veterans.

"...In the late afternoon a mixed force consisting of four troops of cavalry with drawn sabres, six tanks, and a column of infantry with fixed bayonets and tear-gas bombs in their belts moved on the Bonus Army camp at Hard-Luck-on-the-River. At its head, on a white horse, rode General Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, accompanied by his aide. Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower ... The Bonus Army and its dependents were given an hour to evacuate the camp; then the troops moved in, throwing tear-gas bombs among those veterans who still lingered on and setting fire to their shacks and huts. A seven-year-old boy who had returned to recover a toy was bayoneted in the leg by a soldier; Major George S. Patton, Jnr. personally accomplished the destruction of a shack which happened to belong to a veteran who, during the war, had been decorated for saving the major’s life...."
Goronwy Rees, The Great Slump – Capitalism in Crisis, 1929-1933

No comments: