At the outbreak of World War One, over 35,000 German university and technical college students all hopped up on nationalism volunteered for the army.
They received just eight weeks’ training.
They received that training from elderly officers of the reserve, whose military ideas were still rooted in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871.
In other words, these officers had scant knowledge of the killing power of modern artillery and machine guns.
Worse yet, instead of dividing these student volunteers up amongst more experienced units, the German High Command used them to hastily re-form the Fourth Army.
They did not fare well against the killing power of modern artillery and machine guns.
They particularly didn’t fare well in the First Battle of the Ypres: 25,000 of these student volunteers were killed.
It became known as Kindermord bei Ypern.
That’s German for the “Massacre of the Innocents at Ypres”.
One German survivor of the battle said, “The men were too young and the officers too old.”
2012 | Digital Print | Hahnemuhle Photo Rag | 40" x 53" | Edition of 5