10 MARCH 1900, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Not long ago I quoted in the Times letters from an English and from a German officer serving in the opposed forces anent the bad shooting of the British infantry. As the subject is of importance, and certain anonymous writers expressed doubts as to the truth of the criticism, you may perhaps grant me space for the following extract from a report published in a recent issue of the Revel Gazette, written by a Dr. von Gernet, who is serving in the Boer forces as military doctor :—" It was to me extremely interesting to compare the wounds of the. British and of the Boers. At the first glance one is struck by the fact that almost all (presque tous) the Boers are wounded by cannon, shell, or shrapnel, the majority of wounds being inflicted about the neck or arms, while rifleshot wounds are situated generally about the legs in the region of the thigh" (inflicted when not under cover). "The British, on the other hand, are nearly all hit by rifle bullets, mostly in the region of the chest and arms. This at once characterises the nature of the respective fire The British inundate the Boers with a rain of projectiles, but so far as the infantry fire is concerned it is almost quite without effect (p)eqtie absolument sans (let). Their rifle has not the range which the German rifle of the Boer has." As I see no reason to doubt the main facts in the above report, which, when speak- ing of other details, does not spare defects in the Boer trmament, I think it deserves the publicity which your

aolumns can give am, Sir, &c.,