The Forgotten Angels of Mons

Talk about your new shoes, new car, or UFO's!
Post Reply
billryan
Video Poker Master
Posts: 4402
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:20 pm

The Forgotten Angels of Mons

Post by billryan »

In August 1914, war broke out in Europe. It seemed like everyone wanted a war, and since it was inevitable, why not go for it.
England has a large army, but they are scattered all over their empire so they can only send a small force immediately to France. Unexpectedly, Germany attacks neutral Belgium and in a matter of days sweeps through it and is poised to attack and capture Paris.
Tens of thousands of British men volunteer but they are raw and need six to ten weeks of training before they will be ready to send into combat. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, they request volunteers and a force of some 3,000 Irish volunteers are sent into the fray, with no military training at all. They are assigned to different units and about 500 are sent to the 4th Dubliners, assigned to a bridge across a major canal.
Some 200,000 Germans are rushing to the canal and the Allies defending it number no more than 30,000.
Somehow, the ill-equipped outnumbered Allies manage to stop the Huns and hold the defensive line at the canal. The powers that be decide the Allied forces are too weak to hold this ground so they order a retreat. They order their forces to fall back almost 200 miles to a defensive perimeter they are establishing around Paris. The 4th Dubliners and one or two other units and ordered to cover the withdrawal and to almost everyone's surprise, they do a splendid job and perform as if they were a much larger, well-trained unit rather than the ragtag assembly they were. The British public hears news of the magnificent stand and it blossoms into a much bigger " victory" than it really was.
And then things got strange.

billryan
Video Poker Master
Posts: 4402
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:20 pm

Post by billryan »

We'll get back to the story in a minute but first a little background information is needed.
The 1890s saw Europe and England caught up in a revival of spiritualism and the occult.
A Welshman who went by the pen name of Arthur Machen was one of the more successful occult writes of his day, and even today his short novella- The Great God Pan is recognized as one of the great horror stories ever. He was, literally, the Stephen King of his day. The 20th Century put an end to the Occult revival so by 1914 Machen was forced to take on work as a war correspondent to subliment the meager income he received for writing various short stories for publication in weekly newspapers.

So it comes to be that Machen is in Belgium sending back dispatches of the incredible stand by the outnumbered British troops and the public is foamng at the mouth for news from the front.
A newspaper publishes his report from the front, but it also prints a new short fictional story he just wrote. In the story, the volunteers in Mons are about to be overrun when unexpected help arrives.
Hundreds of armor-clad bowmen emerge from the fog and push back the Germans. It is the ghosts of the English dead from Agincourt who hundreds of years before defeated the French.
To complicate things some more, the same newspaper published another Machen short story, only this one was clearly marked as a work of fiction.
To Machens surprise, a number of other publications, mostly religious in nature, request permission to reprint the story of the Bowmen.
By New Years 1915, the tale of the Miracle of Mons has spread worldwide, with dozens of witness's coming forth. Tales of St. Michael and St George appear, leading heavenly hosts into action. A French aviator claims he was pulled from his burning plane by Joan of Arc, sightings of Norse longboats patroling the Seine come in and hundreds of British soldiers and Officers go on record as having witnessed these events.
The British Parliament is said to have held secret investigations into the accounts. By the Spring, the tales keep coming in and it seems that British Military Intelligence may be exploiting the story, especially among the very religious Irish, who are threatening open rebellion against their colonial masters.
The more Machen insists the story isn't real, it seems the fewer people believe him.

billryan
Video Poker Master
Posts: 4402
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:20 pm

Post by billryan »

By 1916, as the war settled down into unprecedented slaughter among the trenches, with hundreds of thousands of young men killed in battle after battle, the idea of divine intervention seems to have faded away, but after the war yet another wave of this hysteria seems to have shot across the land.
Machen had an incredible revival of his works and long out-of-print stories became best-sellers again.
Today, the Angels of Mons are celebrated and memorialized in art and statue.
Was it hysteria, was it real, no one knows for sure.
In 1917, a 100,000 people in a mud-soaked field in Portugal claimed to have seen the sun dance in the sky. Is one story any more believable than the other?

olds442jetaway
Video Poker Master
Posts: 6768
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by olds442jetaway »

Read up on seven moments of divine intervention in US history on the internet. All documented so who is to say……I may have had a couple myself. Who knows. When I was 18, I lifted a car off an injured driver trapped underneath in a rural area. He survived. Five years ago when a deer dove from the woods and totaled my wife’s car halfway between Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, one hoof went through the windshield right where my wife would have been sitting. Just before I left Mohegan, she was a bit tired so I told her to stay there and rest and I would be back in an hour or so. She stayed. The rest of the story I have already posted about. I pulled the frame of the car away from the engine block and actually drove the car back to the Mohegan garage. The next morning after some more quick fixes, we actually drove the car home. The insurance company totaled the car and try as I might, the next day after we got home, I could not budge the frame even one millimeter. So who is to say? For me I believe.

Post Reply