Print by Louis Raemaekers
Kaiser and Crown Prince in sleigh driven by death.
Information Written on Back: No. 144 / 19 / The Krownprinc: I can not help thinking all the time of the Beresina.
Additional Information from "Raemaekers' Cartoons: With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers" by Louis Raemaekers Copyright 1916 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19126/19126-h/19126-h.htm)
NOTE: "Is it still a long way to the Beresina?"
The whole civilized world sincerely hopes not.
Death, with the grin on his fleshless face, is hurrying them along to it as fast as his troika can go. Three black horses abreast he drives—Dishonour, Disappointment, and Disgrace—and the more audacious of the carrion-crows fly croaking ominously alongside.
Little Willie, with the insignia of his family's doom on his head, is not happy in his mind. "Father's" plans have not worked smoothly, his promises have not been fulfilled. Little Willie is concerned for his own future. He is the only soul in the world who is.
When the First—the real—Napoleon entered Russia, on June 24, 1812, he led an army of 414,000 men—the grande armée. When the great retreat began from burnt-out Moscow he had less than 100,000. By the time the Beresina was reached but little of the grand army was left. "Of the cavalry reserve, formerly 32,000 men, only 100 answered the muster-roll." The passage of the river, which was to interpose its barrier between him and the pursuing Russians, was an inferno of panic, selfishness, and utter demoralization. Finally, to secure his own safety, Napoleon had the bridges burnt before half his men had crossed. The roll-call that night totalled 8,000 gaunt spectres, hardly to be called men.
"Father, is it still a long way to the Beresina?"
We may surely and rightly put up that question as a prayer to the God whom Kaiser William claims as friend, but whom he has flouted and bruised as never mortal man since time began has bruised and flouted friend before.
"Is it still a long way to the Beresina?"
God grant them a short quick course, an end forever to militarism, to the wastage it has entailed, and to all those evils which have made such things possible in this year of grace 1916.
NOTE AUTHOR: John Oxenham
CARTOON CAPTION: "Father, is it still a long way to the Beresina?"
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Crown Prince Wilhelm
World War 1
|Image size||37.6 x 29.1 cm|