When the World War had been announced


When the World War had been announced


When the World War had been announced

And all the enemies had been allied

The Kaiser said to Mr Krupp:

“As I have been reading so often in the papers

You produce brooms made of steel.

Do you happen to have one to use against our enemies?”


Krupp replies: “I am always going to help you.

Indeed, I’ve got a proper woman

Who is not made of china.

Surely, she will waste no time

Where she sweeps, with her broom

There remains never anything left.”


In Liege, Namur and Antwerp

She was sweeping with her broom

As if she were reaping grain.

Says the Kaiser: “My dear brave lady,

What is your name?”

“Big Bertha, Your Majesty!”


And the Kaiser continued praising her

And decorated her with the Iron Cross.

Big Bertha curtseys and laughs.

Kaiser says, “Such a woman

I never saw in all my life.

Very well done, indeed, my Krupp!”


Gert Vonhoff, “When the World War had been announced,” War in other words, accessed May 24, 2019, http://warinotherwords.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/38.

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