Scots up in arms as warrior spirit attacked

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    They were the "Devils in Skirts" or the "Ladies from Hell" and their battlefield exploits were legendary.

    Their reputation was forged by feats of astonishing bravery amid the carnage of the First World War and just the sight of Scots soldiers dressed in traditional kilts was said to strike fear into the hearts of their German enemy.

    But a leading German military historian has now dismissed as a "myth" the idea that Scottish soldiers terrified the Kaiser's army and claims there is no evidence to show that the Scots were feared more than any other British troops. The Scottish regiments attracted interest more for their wearing of the kilt than because of their prowess in battle, he says, adding that the Germans were far more scared of coming up against black troops from the French African colonies.

    But the claims have provoked fury from representatives of the Scottish regiments, which traditionally regard their soldiers as charging fearlessly into battle to the bloodcurdling sound of the bagpipes. Major George Burns, of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Association, said: "We all know that the sight of the kilt frightened the lives out of the Germans. It is a fact that the bravery and fighting ability of the Scottish regiments impressed all the sides in both world wars."

    Almost 700,000 Scots served in the Great War, mostly on the Western Front, with 150,000 losing their lives. What is beyond doubt is their role in fighting ferocious rearguard actions that slowed the German advance across Europe in 1914.

    The "Devils in Skirts" nickname was supposed to have been given to the soldiers of the 51st Highland Division during the Battle of Ancre in 1916.

    They had to cross a battlefield littered with the fallen from a previous assault and enter a deep depression, called the Y ravine, to reach enemy positions. But they stormed the German troops with such determination that thousands of prisoners were taken. By the end of the conflict in 1918, the 51st Highlanders were known as the best fighting division in France despite horrific losses.

    But German historians believe their reputation owed as much to Allied propaganda as it did to their feats of arms.
  2. scrimnet

    scrimnet New Member

    The German fear of French Colonials stems more from the Italian Campaign of WW2. Around Monte Cassino,they feared them because of the story that they collected the testicles of their enemies as war trophies
  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I've heard of Indians taking scalps ....... but that's something else Scrim !!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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