The Angel of Mons

#1
Just read a very interesting book on the "Angel of Mons".

During the opening months of WW1 whilst the war was still fluid, before the stalemate of the trenches, the British Expeditionary Force fought a costly rearguard action against advancing German troops. Afterwards reports circulated that an Angel, or St George on a white Charger had appeared, and had turned the tide of the battle, saving British Troops from annihilation. Hundreds of soldiers swore to having seen visions of angels and reports of the phenomena, no doubt fuelled by the war office happy to convince people that God was on our side, were widely circulated at the time.

My question is, have there been any more recent accounts of supernatural intervention in recent conflicts or was it all driven by beliefs in an age where the existance of God was accepted as fact rather than a possibility?
 
#2
It has widely been dismissed. The story of the angels was spread after a popular paperback short story paper around at the time published a story along those very sam elines where angels came and fought along side the troops in the trenches. Chinese whispers did the rest.
 
#4
There is the incredible intervention by a dark angel in the recent GW2. Many troops were finding themselves in danger because of lack of equipment and/or ammunition. But the dark angel came along 6 months later and - hey presto, everyone had had plenty of kit and ammo after all. The dark angel's name was rarely mentioned, but 'TCH' was oft on the soldiers lips.
 
#5
Here's an online article that takes a look at the legend, the battle it describes, and what could have actually happened to give rise to such an enduring story:

worldwar1.com

Not being much of a military historian, perhaps you can look at it with a more critical eye. :)

I first read about this story in a book of "phantom army"-type legends. I remember another story in the same book of a small village somewhere in Europe that was purported to have heard one night, from start to finish, the sounds of a battle that had taken place there years before in WWI (down to explosions and cries of soldiers). I don't remember which battle it was, but I was fascinated by the story. Have any collectors of this sort of lore heard this story before?
 
#6
Reminds me of Lord of the Rings - the Two Towers, this story. Maybe it actually gave rise to this bit:
 

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#7
Dr_Evil said:
Reminds me of Lord of the Rings - the Two Towers, this story. Maybe it actually gave rise to this bit:
Very interesting. But I wonder how it is described in the book? Does that passage have any correlation to historical matter from Mons?
 
#8
Dr_Evil said:
Reminds me of Lord of the Rings - the Two Towers, this story. Maybe it actually gave rise to this bit:
Very interesting. But I wonder how it is described in the book? Does that passage have any correlation to historical matter from Mons?
 
#9
I'm no Tolkien boffin and so can't quote you chapter and verse. But Tolkien did serve in WWI on the Western Front and commentators have frequently pointed out that his experiences there fed into the book. See

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngbeyond/rings/influences.html

I was struck by the similarity of the following in the page TankiesYank linked to, and the episode in the images above:

In his book ANGELS A TO Z Matthew Bunson recounts, 'One of the most famous episodes of angelic intervention, [was] the supposedly widely reported descent of an angelic army in August 1914, which came to the aid of the British forces against the Germans in Mons. . . The angelic host's assistance could not have come at a more propitious moment as the British were being driven back by the relentless German advance."

Bunson also relates one version supposedly corroborated by German prisoners describing a force of phantoms armed with bows and arrows and led by a towering figure on a shining white horse who spurred on English forces during an assault on German trenches.
 
#10
A fascinating association. I wasn't aware that Tolkien had fought in WW1. It would seem that he drew much inspiration from those times. Be hard not too I imagine.
 
#12
Sorry, not had time to look at the links above, but my understanding was that said 'Angel' was some sort of 'eerie' fog which descended upon the Mons battlefield with little or no warning thus facilitating the withdrawal of our troops. Maybe wrong.
 
#13
The report of the Angel of Mons was serious enough for Caharteris the 1 Corps G2 to put it in his diary.

It was probably a genuine phenomena, but it a geniuine piece of mass hallucination by some very very tired sleep deprived people.

There are several pieces piece in Lord of the Rings based on Tolkein's experience in the Great War

I read that the images of the dead marshes with dead bodies in every pool of water ...

.. Is based on his impressions of the Ancre Valley on the Somme.

The relationship between Frodoand Sam was based on the officer and his batman.
 
#14
Not a deep student but have read many diaries etc. from guys in the first WW. My grandfather figured in a number. With all respect, I cannot think that many of us around now can ever understand the impact of that war. The only word to describe some actions was slaughter. Images from latter days burn deeply but to imagine everything multiplied many times, day after day in the same situation, is almost beyond my imagination.
It follows that almost anyone writing anything in those days would have been most unusual if the war had not been the source of much emotion. Kipling's search for the remains of his son is especially poingnant when one can relate his words with conditions.
 
#15
not 100% but i think i read some place that the angel of mons turned out to be a fluke of a light shining on a statue and reflecting off low cloud.
Again i say i might be way off but im sure i remember reading that somewhere
 
#16
Excellent links above,

This thread brings to mind some of the "myths" from WW11 of foo fighters ( strange balls of light following bombers over Germany) or some of the post war tales of time slip (where military aircraft have flown into cloud to be buzzed by a WW11 fighter). Hard to disprove due to pilot logs ect.

Also well documented " haunted" battle fields here where sounds of conflict reappear include Edgehill and Culloden.

If the above is possible or reported, why not what seems an angel or ghost battalion as that part of France has been fought over many times over centuries?
 
#17
Whilst at LRRPs, we had a WW2 German Supply Officer tell us of his capture at Stalingrad and eventual release after many years in a gulag......

He gave us all a picture, of an artillery map, that had the Virgin Mary drawn all over it.

He explained that through-out Stalingrad, German soldiers began drawing The Virgin everywhere...books, walls, cars etc.... partly as lucky charms and totems, but also because many claimed that she would walk unexpectedly across a fire-fight...often witnessed by both sides.

This went on for years, sometimes described as a lunatic girl fleeing the battle but often with hordes of angels etc…

A truly amazing guy to listen to, this bloke was a credit to his army.

(I still have the photo and can PM a copy if anyone likes?)
 
#19
Could this have been some sort of Psywar operation? I remember an elderly teacher at school suggesting that Images may have been projected onto clouds etc to put the s.1t up the germans and hope in our own guys.

Just a possibility although I am sure the paperwork would have turned up by now if true?

Trotsky
 
#20
When I was at Mons ( not in 1914)and visiting the museum they thought the Angel of Mons was the result of flares lighting up a figure of an angel on the church roof, I also think that in the distant passed I have read the about the same storey of the figure.
 

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