2 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections
THEY CHEW CORDITE.
One of the troubles of most Euro pean armies is that those soldiers who can get hold of it insist on using that terrible explosive cordite as if it were a sort of chewing gum. Its popularity is due to the fact that when chewed in small quantities it has a stimulating and exhilarating effect, like small doses of alcohol. Its taste, too, is sweet, cordite being three-fifths nitro-glyce rîne, an explosive which is sugary to the taste. When chewed in large quan tities cordite becomes more powerful
in its effects, bringing on a blissful state of ecstasy, and sometimes mak ing the victim of the habit see visions. But the real danger of the habit lies in the fact that though nitro-glycerine will only explode when given a very hard blow or touched by an electric spark, there is always a possibility that the grinding of exceptionally hard teeth might provide the necessary hard blow. Within the last few years, at least, three soldiers—two German and one Austrian—have been blown to bits, the use of cordite as a chewing gum being the suspected cause. The habit was not unknown in the British Army some years ago, till the military authorities took steps to stop it.