Battlefields hold horrors that only war can bring. Living in a world where death can claim you or your companions at any moment, creates a reality that forever changes all who exist in that moment. But there are things that slink in the hinterlands that wish to cheat every bullet of its prize in order to slake its blood lust.
The Belgium village of Mons was occupied by German troops in 1914. In August of that year the British, heavily outnumbered, attempted to liberate Mons, and suffered large fatalities as the fighting became trench warfare. Artillery fire and bursts of machine gun shots were traded between the Germans and the British. The trenches became soaked in blood as soldiers grappled in hand to hand combat.
Between the enemy lines lay what became known as No Man's Land. A muddied wasteland of barbed wire, land mines and the remains of soldiers who could not be recovered by their comrades.
From this hellish ground at the Battle of Mons grew the tales of an enormous hound that hunted soldiers from either side.
In 1919, Canadian war veteran F. J. Newhouse retold the stories of the phantom hound whose hunting grounds had been No Man's Land.
It all started on the night of November 14, 1914, when Captain Yeskes and four London Fusileers patrolled No Man's Land. Melting into the darkness of the night, this was the last seen of them. Their dead bodies were found several days later. They all bore teeth marks on their throats, as if they were savaged by a beast.
Then soon after, from the murkiness of the British trenches a bloodcurdling howl echoed. The men named it the Hound of Mons, and this phantom dog became the terror of even the most battled-hardened soldiers.
The war raged on and for two years, patrols would venture out only to be found later with the marks of sharp teeth on their throats. The howling continued and sentries described a lean wraith-like figure that glimmered in the darkness as it ran on four paws beyond the perimeter of the barb wire.
Then one day it stopped, and "from then, on the Germans never had another important success."
According to newspapers of the time, secret papers were recovered from the home of the late Dr. Hochmuller which proved the dog was a living thing. "A giant hound with the brain of a human madman."
Alledgedly this dog was the result of an experiment conducted by Hochmuller to sway the war in favor of the Germans. The story goes that he searched the wards of German hospitals for an insane patient who harbored a deep hatred of England. He received authorization to remove the patient's brain, and transplant it into a giant Siberian wolfhound. The animal was carefully nursed and the man died. The dog was trained in ferocity and then released in No Man's Land to stalk the men of both armies.
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