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You are going to read an article about a legend. Five paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from the paragraphs A-G the one which fits each gap (1-5). There are TWO extra paragraphs you do not need to use.

THE LEGEND OF THE BATTLE OF MONS

The Angel of Mons – a popular story about a group of angels who supposedly protected members of the British army in the Battle of Mons - is perhaps the most enduring supernatural legend of the First World War.

The battle of Mons took place on 23 August 1914 and within weeks, tales of the ‘Angel of Mons’ had entered the realms of legend. It arose from a belief that a miracle had happened during the British Army’s first desperate clash with the advancing Germans at Mons, in Belgium. 1 .

By the end of the war it became unpatriotic, even treasonable, to doubt these claims were based on fact. The spread of the legend was aided by the publication of Arthur Machen’s short story The Bowmen, which was inspired by accounts he had read of the fighting and an idea he had had soon after the battle. Machen’s story was written from a first-hand perspective and was a kind of false document, a technique he knew well. 2 . He responded that it was completely imaginary; he had no desire to create a hoax.

First let us look at the Machen short story. Arthur Machen was a journalist and a fiction writer. For years he lived in a shabby rented room, writing articles and short stories until he accidentally found fame with his story about cut-off British troops being rescued from the Germans by a ghostly presence. The story was published in The London Evening News and, despite Machen’s insistence that it was purely imaginary, rapidly became regarded as true. 3 . Most bizarrely, veterans of the battle granted support to the story, ensuring that the apparent visions acquired a legendary quality both during and after the war. Many people in Britain gave Machen’s story some credence, somewhat to the embarrassment of the latter, who continued to deny any element of fact in his story.

Now let’s look at the facts. On August 22-23, 1914, the first major engagement of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War took place. 4 . This was rapidly perceived by the British public as a key moment in the war. Despite the censorship going on in Britain at the time, it was the first indication the public had that defeating Germany would not be as easy as some had thought. Considering the numbers of German troops involved, the British ability to hold them off for as long as they did seemed remarkable, and army recruitment shot up in the weeks that followed. If nothing else the Battle of Mons (and the fantasy that it inspired) proved a remarkable morale booster in Britain at a time when military success on the battlefield was proving elusive. The sudden spread of rumours of further battlefield visions in the spring of 1915, six months after the events and Machen’s story was published, is also of note. The stories published then often attributed their sources to anonymous British officers. It is speculated that these men may have been part of a covert attempt by military intelligence to spread morale-boosting propaganda and disinformation. 5 .
Nevertheless, the Angel of Mons remains one of the most famous ‘accidental hoaxes’ in history.