5-го сентября 1914 года в издании “The War Illustrated” была опубликована интересная статья “The Cossack—The Grey Nightmare of Germany” – «Казаки—серый кошмар Германии». Привожу оригинальный текст, который можно самостоятельно перевести, используя онлайн переводчики.
Squadron of the terrible Cossacks who invaded Germany and Austria weeks before they were expected.
EVEN at the height of his vainglory, the Prussian has never been able to think without a qualm of the "grey peril ” — the grey - coated, mounted Cossack, bred for war for four hundred years, and living in millions on all the danger points of the Russian frontier from the Don to the Amur and the Usuri. The fear of the Cossack has always been strong upon the mind of the Berliners. For the Russian frontiers-men are all that the Prussians would like to be—the supreme military race.
The Long Service of Russia’s Fighting Men
The Cossack lives for battle, and to him is due the Russian conquest of the whole of Northern Asia. To the number of 2,750,000, he dwells in little commonwealths on vast tracts of land allotted to him by the Tsar.
Each Cossack has about eighty-one acres of property, and in return for this grant he serves as a soldier for twenty years, from the age of eighteen to thirty eight, providing all his own uniforms, equipment, and horses. For three years he trains; for twelve years he goes on active service; for five years he is on the reserve.
He is sweeping, a host of 300,000 horsemen, on Germany and Austria, having crossed into Galicia on the south and ridden far into Prussia on the north, on his way to Berlin.
Fierce in Battle but Amiable in Peace.
Far from being terrible in character, the Cossack is the gayest and most lighthearted of Russians, living in practical independence as a cattle raiser and horse breeder.
But in war, the vehemence with which he fights, and the skill with which he manages his horse, make him a superb cavalryman. It was only in comparison with the mounted Cossack that the Japanese were at a disadvantage in the Manchurian War.
The strong-wristed Cossack soon showed that in the fight against the Prussian, who has been menacing his country for forty years, he would fight with deadly passion. One Cossack named Kriutchoff began the attack on the German frontier by rushing, single-handed, upon a troop of Germans. He received sixteen wounds, and his horse was terribly cut about, but, without any help, he slew of the enemy. He is now recovering from his wounds.
Destroying the Wheat Supplies of Prussia
Until the lance of the Cossack strikes against Brandenberg Gate"’ said a Russian statesman last week, “we shall not close our account with Germany.” It is not far from Posen to the Brandenberg Gate of Berlin, and while the Cossack is eating up the miles between and fighting the Prussian cavalryman, he occupies his leisure -in a piece "of destructive work that may have more bearing on the final result of the war than appears at first sight.
The Germans regard the Cossack as a monster of ravage, and having regard to the work their Uhlans have done in Belgium, the Germans should be good judges of destructive ability. The Cossack, however, is merely laying waste the ripening wheatfields of Eastern Prussia.
The Berliner Knows the Cossacks are Coming.
Having won the decisive Battle of Gumbinnen and outflanked the German army of defence, he has arrived in the nick of time to prevent the richest store of food supplies in Germany being gathered and sent to Berlin, Dantzic, and Konigsberg. This chance of an attack on the Prussian harvest was probably one of the reasons why the Russians bent all their energies on the task of mobilizing sooner than the German expected.