The Outrage on the Hospitals

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Outrage on the Hospitals. A Sterner Policy is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times on 27 may 1918.


The Outrage on the Hospitals

The Times (27 may 1918)



Sir, — I am in full agreement with Lord Denbigh that it is our own nerveless policy which exposes us to the outrages of the Huns. They will do what they think they can do with impunity, and they will avoid that which entails punishment. When Miss Cavell was shot we should at once have shot our three leading prisoners. When Captain Fryatt was murdered we should have executed two submarine captains. These are the arguments which the German mentality can understand. Two years ago you allowed me to plead in your columns for the bombing of the Rhine towns, and now, when at last it is partly done, we at once hear, the cry for a truce in such warfare — the very result which I had predicted. But alas for the two wasted years ! Now we have to deal with the bombing of hospitals. German prisoners should at once be picketed among the tents, and the airman captured should be shot, with a notice that such will be the fate of all airmen who are captured in such attempts. We have law and justice on our aide. If they attempt a reprisal, then our own counter-reprisals must be sharp, stern, and relentless. If we are to have war to the knife, then let it at least be equal for both parties.

Yours faithfully,

Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex, May 24.

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