Thursday, April 21, 2011

August 21.

This is coolbert:

"there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven" - - Luke 21:11

And INDEED there was a great sign and portent in the heavens. And the correct interpretation was made. This was an omen that bode no good!

August 21, 1914. A total eclipse of the sun, the path of totality passing directly over and observable by the massed forces of the advancing and hitherto victorious Imperial Russian army. The invasion of East Prussia so far successful in an unanticipated manner - - the Russian "steamroller" unstoppable - - so it was thought.

I knew there was something to this and there was! A literary reference to the eclipse, not found in the "Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman, BUT being found in the book "August 1914" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn [part of the "Red Wheel" saga]. Quoting in entirety from the passage, the writing genius of Alexander far surpassing my feeble efforts and eloquence:

"On the third day (21 August) after they had crossed the German frontier, there was a total eclipse of the sun. Officers had been ordered in advance to explain to the men that this was in the normal course of things, nothing to worry about, and that all they need to do was keep a tight rein on the horses. The simple peasants, however, did not believe them. When it started getting dark in the middle of the sultry day, and birds flew about with frantic cries, and horses reared and tried to bolt in the sinister reddish twilight, the soldiers crossed themselves to a man and muttered, 'It's a bad omen! It bodes no good!'"

Again, indeed, the proper interpretation of this omen was made, astonishingly so! That "unstoppable" Russian steamroller less than a week later routed, put to flight, vanquished on the battlefield in a most humiliating and complete manner, seemingly to never recover - - Tannenberg!!


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