The Daily Mail is calling it the “Pompeii of the Western Front”. Recently, construction on a highway near Carspach, France, discovered a group of twenty one German soldiers from the First World War, who were buried suddenly by an explosion which collapsed their underground shelter in 1918. These unfortunates and their possessions remained well preserved and undisturbed until archaeologists were called in to excavate the site.

Readers of Mad Padre will know that this site maintains a keen watch for all mentions of that most intrepid and unsung of creatures, the military goat. There is a goat angle to this story, since while excavating his trench system the archaeologists also unnearthed the skeleton of a goat. The goat is “assumed to be [have been]a source of fresh milk for the soldiers”.

German soldiers with goat in World War Two (sadly, no pictures of Great War Germans with goats are available to my knowledge).

This story does throw some light on the everyday life of soldiers in the trenches, and hints at a practical use for the strange custom of the goat as a unit mascot. While it gives me no pleasure to imagine the horrible last seconds of these men’s lives, it does give me some pleasure to imagine that their last days were made more pleasant by the company (and milk) of that most noble and sagacious of creatures, the military goat.

0 Responses

  1. "that most noble and sagacious of creatures"

    Are these specially bred 'cause each of our standard model civlian goats are dumber than a box of rocks. 😉