He will give his angels charge of you,
To guard you in all your ways.
неделя, 25 ноември 2012 г.
Angels of Mons
Bogus but curious story of APPARITIONS
of angels who allegedly saved French and British soldiers
from death during a battle at Mons, Belgium in World
Between August 26 and 28, 1914, during the fi rst
engagements of the war, French and British troops set
out near Mons to engage the Germans, expecting a quick
victory. Instead, they were overpowered by the German
artillery, and 15,000 French and British men were lost in the initial stages of fi ghting. The survivors were forced to
retreat, all the while being shelled by the Germans.
Afterward, reports began to circulate that the retreating
soldiers had seen phantom fi ghters on horseback who
had prevented the Germans from slaughtering them all.
After being moved by a radio report, British journalist
Arthur Machen wrote a short story, “The Bowmen,” telling
about how the retreating men had seen ghostly bowmen
and medieval soldiers from the battle of Agincourt
(located near Mons), which took place in the 15th century.
The story was published on September 14, 1914 in
the London Evening News.
Immediately, confi rmations were made. Others reported
seeing winged and robed angels interposing themselves
between the retreating soldiers and the Germans. French
soldiers saw visions of the archangel Michael, or JOAN OF
ARC, and some British claimed to have seen one of their
legendary national heroes, Saint George. Nurses reported
that men who were fatally wounded died in states of
Similar reports from other battlefronts were made. Books
were written and published, including one by Machen, The
Angels of Mons: The Bowmen & Other Legends of War (1915)
and one by Harold Begbie, On the Side of the Angels (1915).
Machen later confessed that he had made his story up.
Some refused to believe him, however; those who reported
seeing apparitions of saviors during battle insisted on the
truth of their experiences.
To complicate the case, in 1930 the director of German
espionage, Friedrich Herzenwirth, stated the Mons
soldiers had indeed seen angels, but they were movie
projections cast on clouds by German aviators to prove
that God was on their side. No proof of this claim was
Most likely, the stories of the Mons angels and phantom
armies are based on faulty memories and fabrication
(albeit sincere) to buttress Machen’s story. However, the
possibility that the soldiers did see apparitions of some
sort cannot be ruled out. Some may have been visions
due to stress, fear and pain, and an intense desire to be
saved. It has been theorized that some of the apparitions
may have been the souls of soldiers freshly killed in the