The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Story of the Great War, Volume 8

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Title: The Story of the Great War, Volume 8

Editor: Francis J. Reynolds

Allen L. Churchill

Francis Trevelyan Miller

Release date: November 25, 2010 [eBook #34444]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Charlene Taylor, Christine P. Travers and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
(This file was produced from images generously made
available by The Internet Archive)




Signing the Peace Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles, on June 28, 1919. Georges Clemenceau, French Premier, is standing and inviting the German delegates to affix their signatures to the document.



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Copyright 1920
By P. F. Collier & Son

(p. 001) CONTENTS















(p. 007) LIST OF MAPS




The continued advance of the Allies in the first days of August, 1918, along the front from Soissons to Rheims was a decisive blow to the German hopes of gaining Paris; the capital was no longer threatened. The hard-pressed foe was now forced to retreat hurriedly on all sides of the Marne salient, which was rapidly being flattened out by the irresistible pressure of French and British armies.

On August 2, 1918, the forces under General Mangin took Soissons. Southwest of Rheims General Berthelot occupied Ville-en-Tardenois, marking an advance for the day of over three miles. Supported by a French contingent, British troops crossed the Crise River, which joins the Aisne at Soissons, and regained a considerable strip of territory southeast of that city. The German retreat was orderly and in no sense a rout. Their hurried retirement was marked by pillage and incendiarism and the usual devastations according to their settled program.

North of Fère-en-Tardenois French and American forces advanced simultaneously in the early morning of August 2, 1918, the French occupying Cramaille and Cramoiselle and later Saponay, where forty railroad cars and a number of locomotives fell into their hands. The advance of the Allies was made under heavy barrage; the German artillery replied at times, but it (p. 010) was feeble and ineffective. Their retreat was in a northward direction through the valley from Saponay and was marked by great fires behind the lines as they destroyed many ammunition dumps before retiring. At a few points there was some sharp fighting, but the Germans made no serious attempt to stem the advance of the Allies and seemed only eager to get away and avoid trouble as far as possible.

French cavalry, with American infantry supporting, operated near Dravegny about two and a half miles to the north of Coulanges. This forward movement was of importance as it brought the Allies within eight miles of Fismes to the southeast, on the railroad between Soissons and Rheims.

It was learned through prisoners that the Germans would make a stand on the line of the Vesle River, where determined resistance might be expected. It was not believed, however, that this effort would prove formidable; for the Allies had only to make a slight advance when their heavy guns would be in a position to shell Fismes and render any other place in the neighborhood untenable.

The Germans had succeeded in extricating the greater portion of their armies from the salient, but it was evident that there was confusion in their ranks and a lack of order. Their retreat was marked by clouds of smoke and many fires and explosions that denoted hurried flight.

Though the Germans were hurrying to escape, they took time to destroy practically everything that was of any value in the towns evacuated. Before leaving Fère-en-Tardenois there was not one house that had not been shelled or dynamited. When the French entered Villeneuve they found twenty-three villagers who had been virtually German prisoners for nearly two months. They all slept in a cellar for mutual protection, subsisting on a stock of flour and canned goods, and vegetables which they had raised themselves. During the day they avoided the Germans, declining to associate with them or to accept the food they offered. In this place the French found twenty-five wounded or dead Germans in the church. Several had died of starvation as result of the hurried retreat.

(p. 011) In another town occupied by the French they found the church was used by the Germans as a storehouse for loot. There were piles of mattresses and boxes containing copper and brass articles, also church vestments ready for shipment to Germany.

The roadways through which the Germans retreated from Fère-en-Tardenois were obstructed by wagons, dead horses and men, and piles of ammunition. Some of the wagons had been abandoned in hurried flight and in some cases drivers and horses were killed by French and American gunners.

Allied forces continued their victorious sweep northward on August 3, 1918, capturing practically the entire Aisne-Vesle front between Soissons and Rheims, which marked an advance of six miles at some points, while more than fifty villages recently held by the enemy were recovered.

The Allies' advance was on a front of thirty miles, and before the close of the day they held the southern banks of the Aisne and the Vesle from Soissons to the important town of Fismes, where American troops occupied positions on the outskirts.

East of Fismes the Allies were on a line north of Courville, Brancourt, Courcelles, and Champigny, towns in close proximity to the Vesle River, while cavalry patrols were operating along the Soissons-Rheims railroad which follows the course of the stream.

To the north British forces operating in the Albert sector were making substantial gains, forcing the Germans to retreat to the east bank of the Ancre River on a frontage of between seven and eight miles and at some places over a mile in depth. This was followed by the capture of Dernancourt by the British, while their patrols entered the outskirts of Albert.

The capture of Fismes, the great ammunition and supply depot, on August 4, 1918, was the most important victory won by the Allies on that date. The brilliant performance of the American troops on this occasion received high praise.

Northwest of Rheims the Allies had pushed forward to the village of La Neuvillette, about two miles north of the Vesle. East of Fismes at several points in the neighborhood of Champigny bodies of French troops had crossed the Vesle River, and (p. 012) the result of these advances was the retreat of the Germans from the southern bank.

The inability of the enemy to make a determined stand on an established line was due to the constant pounding which Foch maintained and a constant pressure that never relaxed. The big salient that had loomed so formidable a fortnight before was now almost wiped out. With British and French troops in one corner of it, Americans in the center, and British, French, and Italians in the other corner, the Germans never had an opportunity, harassed as they were on all sides, to establish themselves in positions to check the Allies' advance. So they chose the better part of valor and retreated, leaving a trail of burning villages behind them. But their flight was too hurried for them to destroy all their stores, and goods to the value of millions of dollars fell into the hands of the Allies.

The Vesle River, flooded by recent rains, hampered the retreat of the German rear guards, who, unable to cross the stream, were forced to fight for their lives. Most of them were killed and the rest were made prisoners.

On August 5, 1918, the Germans attempted to make some kind of stand on the Vesle, where their heavy guns were busy shelling the Allies' lines. In spite of this resistance French patrols succeeded in crossing the river at several points between Sermoise, east of Soissons and Fismes, and between Fismes and Muizon. The Germans on the north bank were well supplied with machine guns and bomb throwers, while their aviators, using machine guns, wrought considerable destruction among the French troops. Between Muizon and Rheims, where the French were firmly established on the south bank of the river, there was hard fighting, but the Germans were unable to dislodge the French from their positions.

In the morning of August 7, 1918, Field Marshal Haig delivered a heavy blow at the armies of Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria on the southern side of the Lys salient. The British attack was launched on the front of about five miles, advancing their whole line to a depth of a thousand yards. To the south on the front east of Amiens on the Bray-Corbie road British troops recaptured (p. 013) positions which the Germans had occupied on the previous day.

Along the Vesle between Braisne and Fismes, where French and American troops held the highway which runs parallel with the river, the Germans made furious counterattacks, but failed to dislodge the Allies. Nor were they able to hinder more than temporarily the French and Americans from crossing the river on hastily constructed bridges which their engineers had thrown over the stream protected by a heavy barrage.

At daybreak, August 8, 1918, Field Marshal Haig attacked the German lines from near Albert south to Braches, on the Avre above Montdidier, with forces that included not only British, French, and Australian troops but also Canadians who had been brought up suddenly from the vicinity of Lens. The enemy, taken by surprise, were thrust back along almost the entire front of twenty-five miles, and this resulted in the capture by the Allies of over a hundred guns and more than 10,000 prisoners. The advance was between four and five miles, and at one point seven miles.

The British launched their attack in a mist, after only a few minutes of artillery preparation, and the Germans were overwhelmed in the first onrush. The British won their objectives with only nominal losses. Of an entire army corps only two officers and fifteen men of the ranks were reported as casualties. The heavy mist in the early morning when the Allies advanced favored their plans, for not until 8 o'clock did a German aeroplane appear over the line and by that time the Allies had already made important progress. In the advance, tanks and armored cars accomplished wonders, striking dismay in the ranks of the enemy as they plunged through the mists, spouting fire and destruction, sweeping on heedless of obstacles and of the concentrated attack of German guns. By noon the Germans were making desperate efforts to escape with their transports.

The quick and complete victory of the Allies on this day, August 8, 1918, proved that Foch's counteroffensive had turned the scale in their favor. From this time on, the Allies attacked and the Germans retreated.

Advance of the Allies on the Amiens Front, August 8, 1918.

(p. 015) Moreuil and the territory adjoining Villers-aux-Érables were taken by the French while the British captured the Dodo and Hamel Woods and Marcelcave after hard fighting and occupied territory to a considerable distance beyond. Four German divisions were badly cut up in course of the struggle, while the Allies' casualties were unimportant. It was only around Morlancourt that the Germans made a determined stand. Here fighting continued throughout the day, and though the enemy launched a number of counterattacks they failed to gain or recover any ground.

Along the French front after an artillery preparation of forty-five minutes the troops made a dashing advance, and by 8 o'clock in the morning had gained their first objectives. Their advance was in the direction of Demuin and Aubercourt, while at the same time the British were thrusting forward toward Cerisy-Gailly on the south side of the Somme.

After the capture of Moreuil, where the French met with stout resistance, they crossed the Avre, a difficult operation, as they were constantly under the fierce fire of enemy guns. Once across the river their difficulties increased, for they had to advance up steep slopes from the river edge in the face of heavy German fire. They had had no help from the tanks to lead the way and break down the enemy's resistance.

Somewhat later when bridges were thrown across the stream the tanks got over, but by that time the French had succeeded in winning the top of the slopes and the enemy had fallen back.

After the Germans had been forced out of the Moreuil region their resistance became steadily weaker. The French captured all the heights together with the villages of Braches and La Neuville on the eastern bank of the Avre. On the northern portion of the battle area, where the German opposition was feebler, the advance was more rapid.

While the French and British were engaged in smashing the German forces in the west, the American and the French (as described elsewhere in these pages) were keeping up an irresistible pressure along the Vesle River.

(p. 016) The Allied advance east of Amiens continued on August 9, 1918, with the Anglo-French forces in possession of a line running through Pierrepont, Arvillers, Rozières, and Morcourt, marking an advance since the previous night of about five miles. Beyond this newly established line Allied cavalry and tanks had succeeded in penetrating within a mile of the important Chaulnes railway junction. In this advance the Allies captured over 17,000 prisoners and 300 guns, including railway guns of the heaviest caliber. In the Lys sector of the Flanders front the British were also successful in carrying their line forward between the Bourre and the Lawe Rivers to a maximum depth of 2,000 yards and taking possession of Locon and four other villages.

It was evident everywhere in the battle areas that the Germans were retiring in great haste, for as the Allies drove forward they found on the battle ground abandoned guns, stores, and even artillery maps and military documents. Allied observers reported streams of enemy transports and men hurrying eastward in full retreat.

A joyous spirit pervaded the ranks of the Allies as they moved victoriously forward, their cavalry rounding up villages, while tanks and armored cars overran the country clearing a way for the advance of the troops, or destroying the enemy transports. The performance of one tank is especially worthy of record, since it shot up a German corps headquarters.

Running into an enemy-held town, where the German corps headquarters staff stationed there was having luncheon, the tank opened fire through the windows, killing a number of Germans and wounding others, while a few managed to make a hurried escape. Inside the German lines a group of armored cars halted a German supply column and destroyed it. At Framerville a train loaded with Germans was attacked by a group of cars and finally set on fire.

All along the line enemy snipers were active, and isolated gun billets were a source of trouble, but these were silenced one by one as the Allies swept on. The Germans tried to destroy all their ammunition dumps and stores in their hasty flight, (p. 017) but had not time to make a complete job of it, and consequently were forced to abandon vast quantities of military supplies, most of which the French and British found immediate use for. The towns captured from the Germans were inhospitable places for the most part.

The enemy had tried to destroy everything before the retirement, but the Allies' advance was so rapid that all the houses could not be dynamited. In and around most of the towns were found small holes covered with curved iron slabs where the German gunners had lived before they were killed or forced to run for their lives.

The result of the Allied advance had an important effect on the strategical situation, for the Germans were now in an uncomfortable salient with only one line of railway to supply them, and that was under fire of the Allied guns. The advance had also freed for the use of the Allies the main Paris-Amiens railway. Previous to the German retirement this line was under easy range of their guns and the Allies were unable to use it freely.

August 10, 1918, was a notable day for the French forces when Marshal Foch threw his First Army against the apex of the German salient southeast of Amiens. Montdidier was captured, and the salient was smashed in to an average depth of six miles on a thirteen-mile front, reaching a line extending from Andechy to the northeast of Montdidier to Elincourt, ten miles to the southeast. From Albert to the southern side of the Montdidier salient the whole Allied line was pushed eastward, reaching a maximum distance in the direction of Chaulnes, the principal railroad center of the Germans west of the Somme River.

The French launched their attack without any artillery preparation in the sector east of Montdidier between Courcelles-Epayelles and the Matz River. The Germans were on the alert, but the dash and suddenness of the French attack overcame their most determined efforts. In one hour after the French went forward their first objective, Ressons-sur-Matz, was won, and in the succeeding two hours they had captured Mortemer, (p. 018) Cuvilly, and Marqueglise. At some points the advance was five miles. By noon on August 10, 1918, the Germans in Montdidier found that they had been caught in the jaws of a trap. Converging French attacks from the north and south had succeeded in practically encircling the town. The French drive had also deprived the Germans from using the Montdidier-Chaulnes railway, which was the only line that supplied food and material to their fighting front at the bottom of the Montdidier pocket.

By the capture of Faverolles, which was stormed by the French in the morning of August 10, 1918, the Germans were hampered in their withdrawal of troops from Montdidier. The day closed with Von Hutier's forces in hurried retreat from the Montdidier-Noyon line.

The Allies had made their great advance with only moderate losses. The casualties, including killed, wounded, and missing, numbered less than 6,000, or not more than a fourth of the number of prisoners taken. In the course of the fighting eleven German divisions had been defeated and so badly cut up that a long time must elapse before they would be in a condition to be re-formed and ready for serious work.

North of the Ancre River the British had firmly established their positions and were pushing out patrols in the direction of Bray. In their advance south of the Somme they captured Warvillers, Vrely, Folies, Rozières, and Vauvillers. To the north of the Somme, where they were aided by the brilliant fighting of the Americans, Chipilly Spur was the scene of a determined struggle. After winning the Spur the Allies pressed on, driving the Germans before them. An interesting feature of the day's advance was the capture at Lihons of a complete German divisional headquarters and staff.

The Germans showed more than common ingenuity in devising traps to hinder the advance of the Allies. In many instances a large number of shells would be placed in pockets under the roads so arranged that the weight of a passing wagon or motor lorry would explode them. They also arranged barbed-wire entanglements so that attacking troops would explode mines, (p. 019) but the Allies had learned through bitter experience the gentle ways of the enemy, and took effective means to render the German traps ineffective. Poisoned food and poisoned water marked the enemy's backward trail, but the Allies had long before concerted measures to protect the troops from such Teutonic pleasantries.

The Allies continued to fight their way forward during the night of August 10, 1918, and on the following day the armies of Von Hutier and Von der Marwitz were in full retreat in the direction of Péronne, Nesle, and Ham. Important rear guards were sacrificed by the Germans to secure the safety of their main armies, and it became increasingly evident that they were running out of reserves.

The Allied line on the front from Albert south to the Oise was carried forward, especially to the south, where the French were operating by themselves. During the night Haig's troops advanced their line on the high ground between Etinehem and Dernancourt. Farther south on the other side of the Somme the Germans, having received reenforcements, delivered powerful attacks against the British positions at Lihons and succeeded in making a temporary breach in the British line. In a fierce counterattack the British drove them back with heavy losses and the line was completely restored.

The capture of the Massif of Lassigny by the French on August 12, 1918, was of first importance to the Allies, for the heights command a broad sweep of difficult country and when in German hands were a formidable obstacle to the Allied advance.

German positions at Roye were now threatened on three sides—north, west, and south—as the Allies pushed their lines forward. The British gained ground to the east of Fouquescourt, while the French captured the village of Armancourt, and Tilleloy and the Bois des Loges.

The heavy guns of the Allies continued to shell the Somme bridges in the Chaulnes region which the Germans would have to cross if they were forced to evacuate this territory. South of the Somme Haig's troops captured the village of Proyart and (p. 020) linked up their positions east of Mericourt with those to the east of Etinehem, which is on the northern bank.

While the Allies' advance had slowed down owing to the increasing number of reserves which the Germans threw into the battle line the enemy was gradually being thrust out of the strongest positions which he had held so long.

Since the beginning of the Allied counteroffensive which began on July 18, 1918, they had captured over 70,000 prisoners, about 1,000 guns and over 10,000 machine guns.

On August 12-18, 1918, French forces under General Humbert resumed the offensive between the Matz and Oise Rivers and a drive forward was made into the German lines. East and north of Gury good progress was recorded, increasing the menace to Lassigny two miles to the northeast. The French also advanced two kilometers north of Cambronne, and eastward in the valley of the Oise, owing to continued pressure, the Germans were forced out of their trenches to the west of Bailly.

The Allied artillery had now fall control of the converging roads in and out of Noyon, near the southern end of the line, notably that running northward to Ham. Under these conditions any attempt of the enemy to carry out a retrograde movement was greatly hampered.

August 13-14, 1918, the Germans began the evacuation of a five-mile front north of Albert, extending from Beaumont-Hamel northward through the villages of Serre and Puisieux-au-Mont to Bucquoy. On the French front the town of Ribécourt, six miles from Noyon and on the road to that city, was wrested from the Germans as the result of a further thrust between the Matz and Oise Rivers.

General Humbert's advance had made the French position on the southern part of the Thiescourt plateau secure. The Germans now occupied Plemont, which they captured early in the June fighting, and reoccupied their old trenches, which were still organized with wire entanglements. Here as elsewhere the Germans had the advantage that they were falling back on their supplies while the French were forced to bring theirs up through (p. 021) a very difficult country. General Humbert and his men had been fighting now continuously for four days, a great part of the time in gas-drenched sectors and against strongly held positions which the Germans had deemed impregnable. The French now held possession of two important crests, Claude Farm and Ecouvillon, and were within a hundred yards of Le Monolithe, another high plateau commanding a wide sweep of territory to the north and east.

All the German positions between the western outskirts of Bray and Etineham were captured by the Australians, giving the British control of the river banks southwest of Bray. The Australians after a hard and brilliant fight drove the enemy from the Cateau Wood.

On the southern end of the Picardy battle line General Humbert's army continued to press the advance toward Noyon. The desperate defense maintained by the Germans on the Chaulnes-Roye road for a time delayed French storming operations which were impending. General Rawlinson's army, which held the line to the north of the French positions, was subjected to fierce German attacks on the whole front. The enemy seemed determined to maintain his hold on the Chaulnes heights regardless of the cost. The French advance was made against a line that was thinly held, but which bristled with machine guns so numerous that there was one to every two men, it was reported. Moreover, the battle area traversed by the French troops was deluged with mustard gas, so that there were days in which they were forced to wear their masks even when snatching a few hours of repose. Yet the French continued to win dominating positions and forced the Germans back in spite of all attempts to hinder their progress.

On August 15, 1918, Australian troops under Marshal Haig made a drive against the German defenses on the center of the Somme battle front between Chaulnes and Roye and captured the villages of Parvillers and Demery. Progress was also made south of the Somme, southeast of Proyart, and to the northwest of Chaulnes. North of Albert, in the sector where the Germans were forced to evacuate their positions which projected into (p. 022) the British line between Beaumont-Hamel and Bucquoy, Haig's troops continued to push forward. On General Humbert's front east of Montdidier his tireless fighters conquered two strongly fortified farms to the northwest of Ribécourt.

Albert was still strongly held by the Germans, and British patrols entering the town were fired upon from the cathedral. The steady advance of the Allies, however, so seriously menaced the German positions in and around the town that it was only a question of time when they would be forced to retire from every point of defense.

On August 16, 1918, British and French troops, operating together, made a drive against the strongly held German positions between Chaulnes and Roye. Advancing on an eight-mile front from a point west of Fransart to the neighborhood of Laucourt, they made substantial progress and reduced a number of important German strongholds. Forward movements were also made by the British in the Ancre sector in which the Germans were forced to withdraw their first-line positions, and Haig's men pushed ahead on the three-mile front between Beaucourt on the Ancre and Puisieux-au-Mont.

The capture of Ecouvillon, which made easy the capture of Ribécourt, by General Humbert's indefatigable troops, was followed by the occupation of Monolithe Farm. This gave the Third French Army a strong position from which to threaten the German line of retreat along the road to Noyon. Hardly less important was the capture by the French of "Z" Wood and Demery Wood, two heavily timbered tracts where the Germans had been holding out for days with grim determination, because of the great value of these strong positions. They commanded a wide stretch of ground, and the Allied positions for some miles on either side of the two woods were considerably strengthened by their capture. They were indeed the last of the more important positions on the new front held by the enemy. The Germans made an ineffectual attempt to recover Demery, but were driven back in disorder with heavy losses.

The Allies' plans had now made such favorable progress that a German retreat on a large scale was anticipated. The appointment (p. 023) of General Von Boehm to the command of the German army group in the center of the present battle front strengthened this belief. For this officer was known as a "retreat specialist" who had won a deserved reputation in the art of concealing the movements of great masses of troops. It was he who had concentrated a great army and in absolute secrecy in the forests of the Laon region where he launched the surprise attack over the Chemin-des-Dames. To Von Boehm also belonged the credit of extricating the battered armies of the Crown Prince from the Aisne-Marne salient after Foch's mighty blow of July 18, 1918. Von Boehm's appearance on the Somme-Oise front was almost proof that a great German retirement was soon to begin.



With almost monotonous regularity the daily record was now of continued Allied advancements and enemy defeats. The Germans at times offered stout resistance and launched desperate counterattacks, but they were unable to delay more than temporarily the mighty forward sweep of the Allies, while their losses in men and material reached enormous figures.

The French forces continued to fight with a dash and ardor that carried everything before them. Day and night with few chances for repose they fought on over the most difficult ground that was constantly flooded with poisonous gases.

On April 16-17, 1918, Foch's men carried out a successful attack northwest of Soissons in the Autrèches region, and operating on a three-mile front smashed through enemy positions to the depth of a mile. They won in this advance the important plateau to the north of the village of Autrèches, which gave (p. 024) them command of the country extending northward, south of the Oise River. Further local actions at other points on the front greatly strengthened the grip of the Allies on the approaches to Roye to the west, north, and south. The Germans in that region maintained an incessant artillery fire, but the only effect it had was to delay for a time the Allies' advance. The French were now within a mile of Roye on two sides. British troops under Marshal Haig meanwhile were not idle. Good progress was made on the 17th to the north of Proyart, just south of the Somme. Farther to the south, troops operating north of Lihons, which lies about two miles to the west of Chaulnes, pushed their line forward to the depth of a mile. More progress was also made in the Amiens-Roye road region and to the north of the Ancre River.

West of Armentières British troops drove the Germans back on a front of four miles between Bailleul and Vieux Berquin in the Lys sector. They also captured the village of Outersteene, a mile east of Merris and took 400 prisoners. The German positions around Roye continued to be threatened by the British pressure, and on August 18, 1918, Marshal Haig's men pushed their line forward to the north of that place between Chilly and Fransart.

To the south of the Avre River the French, as they fought their way forward, captured over 400 Germans, overcoming some important enemy strongholds.

From the positions captured by the French north of the Aisne River the Allies could now dominate the German batteries of big guns at Chavigny and Juvigny, north of Soissons. These batteries were formidable, commanding not only the city of Soissons, but a wide region around. The Allies were now able to exert such pressure on the Germans here that they must soon be forced to retire and the city of Soissons would be relieved of the danger of bombardment.

Allied operations on two widely separated fronts—the British on the north of the Lys salient, and the French between the Aisne and the Oise—had increased the difficulties of the Germans in these areas.

(p. 025) Lassigny was seriously threatened by the capture of Fresmières (on the Roye highroad two and a half miles to the north) by the advance of Foch's troops to the western outskirts of the town, and the occupation of the Thiescourt Wood.

On the night of August 18, 1918, the French launched an attack on a front of about fifteen miles east of Ribécourt and across the Oise to Fontenoy, six miles west of Soissons. The fighting, vigorously pushed on the following day, resulted in notable gains for the Allied arms. The capture of the village of Rimprez, on the west bank of the Oise on the Noyon-Compiègne road, was followed by an advance of two miles northward to the southern edge of Dressincourt. Equally important gains were made at other points in the line of attack. The plateau west of Nampcel and Morsain and several other villages were carried by storm. In the course of the fighting the French captured over 2,000 prisoners, including several battalion commanders.

In the Lys salient the British continued the irresistible drive forward. Marshal Haig's advance was on a front of nearly six miles. His line was carried up to the town of Merville and to the north-and-south road through the town from Les Purebecques on the north to Paradis to the south.

The victories of the French troops between the Oise and the Aisne gave them possession of the Oise Valley as far as Mont Renaud. General Mangin, who carried out these successful operations, was now in a position to force the enemy to resort to desperate measures to escape a serious defeat. His artillery now commanded all roads of importance, and the only exit available for the Germans from the region of Noyon and Lassigny was a narrow-gauge line running north to Ham by way of Guiscard and the highroad running in the same direction. Von Hutier had either to check Mangin's advance, or choose this narrow outlet for extricating his troops and material. Rather than face this alternative, the Germans were offering a desperate resistance in an endeavor to hold on to their present lines, hoping against hope that something might occur that would enable them to shake off the Allies' strangle hold.

(p. 026) General Debeney's advance on Lassigny and Roye had slackened up owing to the stout opposition offered by the enemy, but he continued to make steady progress.

In the early morning of August 20, 1918, General Mangin began an operation between the Aisne and the Oise southeast of Noyon and northwest of Soissons that achieved a splendid success. Striking on a fifteen-and-a-half-mile front he smashed into the German line to an average depth of two and a half miles, capturing seven towns and over 8,000 prisoners.

By these operations General Mangin wrested from the Germans at Cuts and Mont de Choissy all the heights remaining south of the Oise in that region. The French batteries now commanded a wide sweep of territory and most of the important roads. General Mangin's right, firmly established on the heights around Fontenoy, now began to drive the enemy from the elevated ground south of the Oise, leaving them no option but to cross the river, or retreat toward the east. The Germans fought desperately to hold their ground, relying principally on their vast number of machine guns. During the night, in anticipation of General Mangin's attacks, they had received reenforcements brought up from the Soissons front in motor lorries to help meet the shock of the French troops. They fought with dogged determination, but from the start their position was hopeless. Their artillery fire was of the feeblest and they had practically no help from airplanes.

Continuing their attacks in the region northwest of Soissons, General Mangin's troops captured Lassigny. The advance, made over a front of fifteen miles, smashed the German lines at some points to the depth of five miles. To the southeast of Lassigny, by winning a foothold in Plemont, the French menaced the Germans' grip on the valley of Divette. Across the Oise and farther east, Mangin's men had reached the river from the south between Sempigny and Pontoise. In the conquered territory, won in less than twenty-four hours, the Germans were driven from twenty villages.

While the French were driving the Germans before them and winning wide stretches of territory, the Third British Army (p. 027) under General Sir Julian Byng was adding to the glory of British arms. Under cover of a heavy fog, General Byng attacked on a ten-mile front from the Ancre River to the neighborhood of Moyenville, driving back the enemy along the whole line and gaining at some points ground to the depth of two miles. General von Below's Seventeenth Army, which the British fought against, was badly cut up; their losses in guns and men were so heavy as to suggest that the German morale was crumbling, and that their fighting power was rapidly disintegrating.

It was just at daybreak that the British big guns began the overture that preceded the attack. The fog was so dense that the men in the tanks could not see more than a hundred feet ahead, but it was favorable to the assaulting formations as it served to shield their movements from the enemy observers. The German guns replied only feebly, showing that they were short of heavy cannon, a fact that had been noted before in recent fighting in this region. Their chief dependence on this occasion was in machine guns, with which they seemed to be exceedingly supplied. Situated in isolated posts, these did effective work, and there was sharp fighting at various points. The German garrison occupying the shell-shattered ruins of what had been the village of Courcelles, near the center of the battle front, made a stubborn resistance, and for a time the advance of the British infantry was held up at this point. With the arrival on the scene of a drove of tanks, German resistance broke down. The machine-gun nests were quickly smashed, and the gunners killed or made prisoners; and wherever there was resistance the tanks quickly crushed out all desire of the enemy to continue the fight.

Engaged in this advance were tanks of various types, and all found their work cut out for them. The big tanks smashed in the enemy defenses, dipped in and out of shell holes and performed all the heavy work, while the small whippet tanks and armored cars dashed around at high speed attacking gun nests from the rear and clearing the way for the advance of the infantry. Despite the vigorous resistance offered by the Germans (p. 028) at some points, the British losses in casualties were comparatively small, and some formations met with none at all. The village of Beaucourt was won with only three casualties.

When the fog lifted about noon, and the sun shone out, the Germans attempted several counterattacks, but were unable to force the British to relinquish a foot of the territory they had gained.

In the morning of August 22, 1918, the British delivered a new attack on a six-mile front between Albert and Bray on the Somme, which was entirely successful, all objectives being won and an advance made of two miles. The important town of Albert was captured and 1,400 prisoners and a large number of cannon. North of the Ancre the battle raged throughout the day, and the Germans were forced to fall back all along the line. Isolated counterattacks were attempted, but they crumbled beneath the hammer blows of the British armies. There was hard fighting along the Arras-Albert railway embankment for the valuable positions that overlook the flat country around. To the south from Achiet-le-Grand to the Ancre the opposing armies swept back and forth in attacks and counterattacks again and again renewed. At Achiet-le-Grand and Miraumont, where the Germans launched their most ambitious counterattacks, they employed fresh troops that had been rushed forward from other sectors to relieve Von Below's hard-pressed Seventeenth Army.

During August 21-22, 1918, the French Third and Fourth Armies under General Mangin continued to press their advance night and day along the front from Lassigny to the north of Soissons. At some points an advance of seven miles was made, and there was evidence that the Germans were so badly mauled that their retreat amounted practically to a rout.

The French push toward the roads leading to Chauny menaced the enemy's line of retirement and explained his hurried retreat. By the capture of Bouguignon, St. Paul-aux-Bois, and Quincy the French had won command of the valley of the Ailette from the region of Coucy-le-Château to the Oise. General Humbert's troops also made notable gains and wrested important (p. 029) positions from the enemy. By the occupation of the height of Plemont and the capture of Thiescourt the French now held all the hills known as the Thiescourt Massif, thus giving them the strongest points overlooking the region around.

It was evident in different parts of the fighting area that the Germans were in a confused and even panic-stricken state of mind. The French advance guard was so close to them when they crossed the Oise that they had not time to destroy the bridges over the river. Allied observers noted streams of enemy transports in wild confusion back of the fighting front, and all discipline and order seemed to have been lost. Upon the Ailette front the sudden attack of the French caused the hasty retreat of a division of German reserves which had been brought forward to launch a counterattack. Falling back, this division precipitated a panic in the ranks of another division which had intended to support the first division's attack, and the result was a confused and disorderly retreat.

Marshal Foch's plan to give the enemy no rest day or night, and to follow up each blow by another, a plan which had resulted in great victories for the Allies and constant demoralization of the forces of the enemy, continued to be the order of the day. The British, operating on a thirty-mile front, unceasingly hammered Crown Prince Rupprecht's armies, striking suddenly at different points, and always advancing in spite of the most determined opposition. The Third and Fourth British Armies under Generals Byng and Rawlinson made important gains on August 22-23, 1918. It was a day of disaster for the Germans, whose desperate attempts to check the British advance resulted only in frightful losses of men and accomplished nothing. Prince Rupprecht sacrificed his troops recklessly in an effort to stave off the inevitable. The British guns swept the Germans from the field, or crushed them as they tried to force their way forward. One entire German battalion was annihilated during the fighting. General Byng made an advance of two miles to the neighborhood of Grandcourt, east of the Ancre. Gomiecourt and four other villages were carried by storm. To the north the British captured Achiet-le-Grand, (p. 030) which is on the Arras-Albert railroad, and for the possession of which Germans and British had been fighting for some days past.

Field Marshal Haig's armies continued to deal the German forces staggering blows as they drove forward. Bray, on the northern bank of the Somme, was captured on August 23, 1918. Thiepval, a strong position on high ground and which dominated miles of territory, was occupied by British forces after a hard struggle and against the concentrated fire of countless machine guns. Miraumont, in the center of the battle front and to which the Germans clung with desperate energy, was now surrounded on all sides and its fall was only a question of a few hours. The British were now driving ahead in the direction of Bapaume, and on the 23d occupied a small town on the outskirts. Croisilles, north of Mory, some miles east of the Arras-Bapaume road, was also won, marking the extreme point of the British advance for the day in the northern battle zone.

North of the river Scarpe the fighting was intense. The British, despite stiff opposition, penetrated the old German line and made important gains when they attacked Givenchy. The Germans fought bravely, contesting every yard of ground, but it was a losing battle, and the field was littered thickly with their dead. They had brought up new divisions that were thrown into the fight, but the reenforcements were unable to check, except temporarily, the Allies' continuous push forward.

On the French front General Mangin's troops had crossed the Oise and reached the outskirts of the village of Morlincourt, a mile and a quarter from the railway station of Noyon. The fall of that place within a short time was inevitable.

The French advance on the Soissons end of the battle front proceeded more slowly, but the forward movement was not arrested. Their operations in this region threatened the turning of both the Chemin-des-Dames and the German positions on the Vesle. On August 23, 1918, General Mangin's troops had won the greater part of the Juvigny Plateau, which brought them to the edge of the battle field of 1917. To the north lay (p. 031) the Ailette Valley. Eight miles eastward was Laffaux Mill and the beginning of the Chemin-des-Dames, familiar landmarks and the scene of intense fighting in the previous year.

On the battle front north of the Somme the British armies continued to advance in the face of heavy resistance from the Germans, who had been strongly reenforced in the course of the past twenty-four hours (August 24-25, 1918). Haig's troops had captured a dozen villages and carried their new front within a thousand yards of the old Hindenburg Line. From Albert to Bapaume, the whole length of the highroad was now in British hands. East of Bray Australian troops carried important heights in possession of the enemy. North of Bapaume the villages of Sapignies and Behagnies, which formed part of the defenses of the town, were taken by British troops. The Germans, as they retired, left great quantities of stores, equipment and military supplies on the field. They destroyed what they could, but a vast amount fell to the victors.

Since August 21, 1918, the British had captured over 17,000 prisoners and a great number of cannon and machine guns.

The British advance owed much of its success to the wonderful service performed by the motor cars, which did scout work far in advance of the infantry. They continued throughout the fighting to harass the enemy and strike confusion in his ranks, falling upon transport columns and inflicting terrible damage. They attacked retreating bodies of Germans and mowed them down with machine guns, and were everywhere active factors in the demoralization of the enemy. The tanks cooperating with the armored cars were no less effective. Breaking the way for the advancing troops they rolled into the towns and cleaned out the strong points under floods of fire. The Germans never lost their fear of the tanks and it was not unusual during the British advance for large bodies to surrender as soon as one of the grim-looking monsters lumbered into view.

An interesting incident in connection with the capture of Thiepval Ridge is related, when a British detachment was saved by an aeroplane. This detachment, pressing forward too fast, found itself out of touch with the main body and was (p. 032) suddenly surrounded by Germans. An observer in the air noted their predicament and dropped a message "Stick it out." He then notified the British command and troops were rushed to the rescue, and the Germans were driven off.

German prisoners captured when Miraumont fell said that they had been three days without food. All seemed happy that they were out of the war, especially the Alsatians who had been placed in German regiments.

"If any of us are caught deserting," said an Alsatian prisoner, "his family is punished, and even his female relatives are sent to dig in the front-line and other trenches."

In the course of this British drive forty-two German divisions had suffered heavy losses; 40,000 soldiers and several hundred officers in prisoners alone.

On August 25, 1918, the troops of the Third French Army, fighting in water up to their waists in the marshes along the Avre, captured two of the strongest defenses of Roye. The first attack was made on the village of Fresnoy, two and a half miles to the north of Roye, where the Germans had restored their old fortifications of 1914-17, and had filled the neighborhood with machine-gun nests. After a brief artillery preparation the French stormed the concrete blockhouses and killed the gunners serving their pieces. Fresnoy was a notable stronghold and one of the centers of German resistance around Roye from which they had launched their counterattacks in attempts to check the advance. The Germans had orders to hold the place at any cost, but the French attacking from the north and south simultaneously bore down all resistance. Four hundred prisoners, including sixteen officers, were captured in the town. Another strong outpost of Roye, the village of St. Mard in the marshes of the Avre, was won by General Debeney's men in the afternoon after a violent struggle. The Germans had surrounded their concrete blockhouses with water let in from the Avre and through the floods in the face of intense machine-gun fire the French had to force their way to capture the position.

Roye was now invested from the north, west and south, and the German hold on the place was slowly weakened. North of (p. 033) Soissons, on the far right of the French line, the Germans renewed their efforts against the line from Pont-St. Mard to Juvigny. They were thrown back everywhere, the French making new gains and occupying Domaine Wood.

On the same day, while the French were making progress against heavy odds, British troops were in battle on a thirty-mile front, from the river Scarpe at a point east of Arras to Lihons south of the Somme, crossing the Hindenburg line on the northern sector of their attack. Canadians captured the villages of Wancourt and Monchy-le-Preux which formed part of the famous German defense, and they continued to make progress in an easterly direction. Scottish troops, driving forward on the north bank of the Scarpe, reached the outskirts of Roeux, north of Monchy-le-Preux.

General Debeney's First Army, after crushing the Germans in their battle positions around Roye, captured the town and continued pursuing the enemy who were retreating on a line from Hallu to the region south of Roye. The French advance was made on a twelve-mile front, and territory was gained to a depth of two and a half miles, the Germans being forced back on both sides of the Avre River.

By encircling tactics the French smashed the numerous machine-gun nests that were the backbone of the defense. One after another heavily fortified positions were turned and the Germans were forced to surrender the first and then the second line of defenses of 1914, to which they had retreated after being driven out of Montdidier.

The second German line was broken in the morning of August 26, 1918, when the French infantry, after repulsing a counterattack at St. Mard, encircled Roye and drove the enemy back some miles east of the town.

The British continued their attacks eastward along the southern bank of the Scarpe, occupying a considerable portion of the Hindenburg line and Chérisy, Vis-en-Artois, and the Bois du Sart, an advance of nearly four miles. In the night Canadians and Scottish troops carried Roeux and Fontaine-les-Croisilles, and the slopes around. North of the Scarpe, (p. 034) Gavrelle was occupied, and farther south between Croisilles and Bapaume New Zealanders and English, crushing heavy attacks by German reenforcements, continued to make good progress.

Bapaume was now farther threatened by this extension of the British attack to the north. The Germans had been forced back to the north of the city and their counterattacks on the south had utterly broken down. The capture of Montauban by the British marked an advance of two miles in twenty-four hours. Bazentin-le-Grand, southwest of Bapaume, was also occupied by Marshal Haig's men. This place lies a little to the west of the highroad from Bapaume to the Somme and its capture made the German hold in the region increasingly difficult. Bapaume was now being gradually surrounded by the Allies, and its fall was only a question of time.

During August 27-28, 1918, the French continued to drive the Germans before them on the whole front from Chaulnes to the Oise. In less than twenty-four hours General Humbert's troops made an advance of eight miles through a difficult country of woods, hills, and ravines west of Noyon. Mont Renaud, a famous stronghold commanding the Oise Valley, was carried by storm. Pushing on to the gates of Noyon the French surrounded the last bastion, Poqueri-Court Hill.

The capture of Chaulnes further precipitated the German retreat north of the Avre River. The French engaged in close pursuit of the foe, whom they continued to harass with mustard-gas shells the Germans left behind, and which were being fired from German guns by French gunners. In the course of the night General Debeney's troops advanced four and a half miles, and by morning were on the outskirts of Nesle, close on the heels of the retreating foe.

After the fall of Chaulnes, Gomiecourt to the north and Sept Fours and a score of other villages were captured.

The territory abandoned by the Germans in the retreat presented scenes of desolation and ruin unsurpassed since the war began. The names of towns had no longer any significance but as geographical designations. As places of habitation they had (p. 035) ceased to exist, and even their sites were difficult to recognize. The cemeteries were blown up and ruined and the contents of the graves scattered. At Roye and other towns the Germans had carefully filled the ruins with mustard gas which for a time prevented the Allies from occupying these places.

Croisilles, the strong German position to the north of Bapaume, which had long held out against British attacks, was captured by a flanking movement by Haig's men on August 27, 1918. Further gains were made at all points on the battle line between Bapaume and the river Scarpe. North of the Arras-Cambrai road the Canadians captured the villages of Boiry and Pelves. On the north bank of the Somme British troops occupied Curly and Hardecourt, and drove forward in the direction of Maurepas. South of the river, Australians in an advance of between four and five miles were on their way to the crossings of the Somme at Péronne and Brie, encountering hard resistance from the Germans as they pushed on.

A large German force was brought up to attack the British positions east of Monchy. According to the statements of prisoners, some of the German companies at the last moment refused to fight, and the others were forced to go ahead without them. For tactical reasons the British withdrew a few hundred yards and then organized an attack that drove the Germans from the field, and they were seen no more that day. According to an eyewitness the ground in this region was in parts literally carpeted with bodies in field gray.

The total captures of the Allies on the western front since July 18, 1918, were now over 120,000 prisoners and over 2,000 guns. The British captured between August 21, 1918, and August 26, 1918, more than 21,000 prisoners of all ranks, and their own losses in killed, wounded, and missing during this period was only slightly in excess of this number. Since August 8, 1918, the British captures exceeded 47,000 officers and men, and over 600 guns.

It was evidently the purpose of the Germans at this stage to retire to a shorter line on the western front where they could obtain better defensive positions against the Allies' blows, and (p. 036) so economize their forces. The rapid advance of the British on both sides of the Scarpe, which threatened to flank the entire Hindenburg position, was a serious obstacle in the way of the Germans carrying out their plan.



Noyon, the important German stronghold at the peak of the Oise Canal du Nord salient, was captured by General Humbert's troops after heavy fighting on August 29, 1918. Continuing to drive forward, French forces obtained a grip on the southern slopes of Mont St. Simeon to the east, the strongest German position remaining in that sector. About the same time another French army under General Mangin had forced a crossing of the Oise at Morlincourt and captured Landrimont. North of Noyon a third French army under General Debeney took Quesnoy Wood, which narrowed the pocket from the western side and brought the French within shelling distance of the main road leading out of it in the direction of Ham.

The attempt of the Germans to stem the French pursuit by fighting rear-guard actions with machine-gun sections was only locally successful. On favorable ground it succeeded in delaying the advance, but the fast drive of the French advance guard forced the enemy to risk an engagement with strong forces, or hasten his retreat. The Germans chose the latter alternative and fled along the road leading to St. Quentin, La Fère, and the Hindenburg line.

The continued pressure of Humbert's army from the west, and Mangin's troops which crossed the Oise from the south and took Morlincourt while another French contingent was (p. 037) entering Noyon, further added to the difficulties of the enemy, and threatened General von Hutier's army with disaster.

Bapaume, which for several days had been surrounded by British forces, was occupied on August 29, 1918, and the Germans were in full retreat, trying to get away behind their rear guards before they were caught and annihilated. North of the Scarpe River, beyond Arras, and across the old Somme battle fields by Ginchy, Guillemont, and Morval, British troops were pushing on, and in the Australian fighting zone by Feuillières and Belloy above the Somme the enemy was fleeing in wild haste, leaving vast stores of guns and ammunition behind. The German rear guards maintained at times a fierce resistance to gain time for an orderly retreat and delay the capture of Péronne until the enormous stores there could be removed. From Bapaume and Bullecourt to the north of the Arras-Cambrai road the German army was swiftly disappearing from all the country west of the Somme and from the battle fields beyond Delville Wood. The same British soldiers now driving forward on the heels of the retreating foe were in March falling back over the same ground when the Germans had overwhelming numbers in their favor.

The French armies during August 29-30, 1918, continued to make important strategic gains. Among the most notable was the occupation of Mont St. Simeon, a height which protected the German flank, a great natural rampart on which the enemy relied for protection during his retreat before the attacks of Generals Debeney and Rawlinson.

East, and northeast of Bapaume, the British forces continued to go forward and gain ground. At Bullecourt on the Hindenburg Line and at Hendecourt to the east of the line the advance was held up by the strong German counterattacks. These places, which had been captured by the British on August 29, 1918, became untenable under the enemy assaults and Marshal Haig's troops were forced to withdraw to the west of them.

At other points good progress was made, the British capturing several villages on the Arras-Bapaume front while they (p. 038) advanced their line both on the Arras-Cambrai and the Bapaume-Cambrai roads. Farther to the south the British to the north of the Somme went forward in the direction of Péronne, taking Combles and Cléry. By these operations they had completely freed the country south and west of the Somme of the Germans. The last of the enemy were driven behind the river in the morning of August 30, 1918.

On the last day of the month Australian troops in a valorous charge stormed Mont St. Quentin and Feuilleucourt to the north of Péronne, capturing 1,500 Germans by the operation. The seizure of an important height near St. Quentin village gave the British a commanding position to threaten Péronne, and it was inevitable that the fall of that place could not be long delayed.

While the Australians were closely engaged near Péronne a contingent of English troops on the left captured Marrières Wood and high ground farther north of the Péronne-Bapaume road. At various points between Kemmel and Béthune the Germans were in retreat, and the British gained considerable ground. Bailleul was now in British hands, and their patrols had gained a foothold on Mont de Lille. Advances were also made to the east of La Couture and Vieille Chapelle, and on the Scherpenberg from southwest of Ypres the British crossed old enemy trenches without meeting any opposition.

Péronne, the German stronghold on the great bend of the Somme River, was captured in a brilliant attack made by the Australians on September 1, 1918. It was inevitable after the occupation of Mont St. Quentin on the day before by these same valorous troops that the town must soon be abandoned by the Germans, but it was owing to the quick action of the Australians that they were forced out so soon. Owing to the admirable work performed by English engineers at the river crossings the Australians were able to move their guns forward over the Somme and fire at close range on the enemy. Cooperating with the Australians, London troops captured Bouchavesnes, four miles to the north of Péronne, and Rancourt, both villages on the road to Bapaume. Over 2,000 prisoners were (p. 039) taken in these operations. Farther to the north the Germans fled before the British approach, evacuating several villages to the south of Bapaume.

To the northeast of this place, astride the Hindenburg line, the enemy offered strong opposition, but the British crushed every attack and won the much-fought-over ruins of Bullecourt and Hendecourt.

In the Lys salient it was much the same story, the Germans continuing to retreat and the British to pursue. In the course of twenty-four hours' fighting Haig's troops gained about two miles on a front of twenty miles. The British had now reached the outskirts of Lens, where large fires were seen burning, an indication of further German retirement.

The British had every reason to feel proud of their achievements in August, 1918, for in addition to the large territory won from the enemy they captured in that month 57,318 prisoners, 657 guns, more than 5,790 machine guns, and over 1,000 trench mortars, besides a vast quantity of stores and war material of every description.

North and south of the Aillette River, General Mangin's troops made further advances, on the first day of the month capturing Crécy-au-Mont on the southern bank, and gaining a firm hold west of Coucy-le-Château. A few miles to the south the French stormed the town of Leury and took more than 1,000 prisoners. Two miles northeast of Nesle, Rouy-le-Petit was occupied, and other French forces crossed the Somme Canal at Epénancourt seven miles south of Péronne.

One of the most notable achievements of the British advance was carrying the famous Queant-Drocourt "switch line" on September 1-2, 1918. This strongly fortified stretch of trenches was won by English, Scottish, and Canadian troops on a front of about six miles. The Germans considered this one of their strongest positions and made desperate efforts to hold it, but were unable to hold back the impetuous drive of the British forces, which were in high spirits over their almost continuous victories. The fighting became fast and furious, and the Germans rushed forward reenforcements, but it was a losing game (p. 040) for them from the first and their losses were appalling. The British captured thousands of prisoners; the roads to the rear of the fighting front were jammed with them. In parts of the battle field bodies in field-gray lay in piles.

The Canadians, whose attack was made astride the road from Arras to Cambrai, captured the villages of Dury, Cagnicourt, and Villers-les-Cagnicourt, the last place being four miles beyond the point from which the attack was launched.

The left wing of the attacking forces, composed of English troops, drove a wedge in the German defenses northeast of Eterpigny, while the right composed of English and Scottish troops driving forward in the direction of Quéant captured a string of strongly fortified positions including the village of Noreuil. Southward to a point beyond Péronne the tide of battle swept, the British capturing towns and villages and always advancing. On the Lys front it was the same story, the Germans in retreat, the British in close pursuit. They took Neuve Eglise, a place not forgotten in former fights, and pushed their line forward to the east of Estaires.

American troops after the capture of Voormezeele in Flanders advanced from that village and linked up with the British in close pursuit of the German rear guards. The French, pushing forward north of Soissons, noted great fires in the direction of Vauxaillon, indicating that the enemy was burning his supplies previous to retirement. They had now completed the conquest of the Soissons Plateau and the Germans were forced to retire to the Chemin-des-Dames, which was already threatened by the French advance toward Vauxaillon.

Field Marshal Haig's troops continued their victorious advance on September 3, 1918, gaining Baralle, eight miles from Cambrai, crossing the Drocourt-Queant line and forcing the Germans to retire in haste to the Canal du Nord. They carried by storm Quéant, and thirteen other villages were taken on a twenty-mile front, which attained a maximum depth of six miles. In the course of these operations the British took over 10,000 prisoners. Their outposts had now been pushed forward to the outskirts of Lens.

(p. 041) On the following day the eastward sweep of British troops north of Péronne continued. On a front of about fifteen miles northward from Moislains they forced a crossing of the Canal du Nord and made substantial progress eastward.

Meanwhile north of the Vesle on a front of nearly twenty miles the German armies were in full retreat before the advance of Franco-American armies.

Simultaneously the French were making important gains northeast of Noyon, and were driving the Germans before them in the territory between the Canal du Nord and the Oise.

French armies continued to drive the Germans before them in southern Picardy, cooperating with the Americans in the territory between the Vesle and Aisne Rivers. At some points the French advanced their line seven miles and captured on the way some thirty villages. They crossed the Somme Canal and pressed forward in the direction of Ham with its roads leading to St. Quentin and La Fère. By the capture of Coucy-le-Château to the south and neighboring towns they threatened the German defenses of the Chemin-des-Dames. North of the Vesle, where the Americans were taking part in the advance, the Allied line was pushed to the southern bank of the Aisne on a front of more than eight miles.

On September 5-6, 1918, the French, with the Americans cooperating, continued to press on at the heels of the retreating Germans. From the posts of the Americans on the Aisne to the breaches in the Hindenburg line north of Cambrai, on a front of more than ninety miles, the Allies pushed the advance. The drive southeast from the Somme resulted in the capture of the important juncture point of Ham and Chauny. North of the Aisne they occupied all the old trenches along the front and threatened the German hold on the Chemin-des-Dames.

The British armies, linking up with the French advancing on Ham, and into the territory to the south, continued their forward movement eastward from the Somme. From this river, south of Péronne, the troops of Field Marshal Haig had penetrated German positions about seven miles on a twelve-mile front and occupied six important villages.

(p. 042) Vast supplies of coal and road-building material were captured during this advance, which offered conclusive proof that the Germans had planned to hold all winter the line from which they had been driven.

Sporadic attempts were made by the enemy to hold up the British drive, but their troops developed no staying power and their attacks generally broke down after the failure of the first fierce onslaught. Haig's warriors had now entered the old defense system which they had held before the beginning of the great German offensive in March, 1918.

The French continued to make good progress in their advance along the banks of the St. Quentin Canal north of the Somme, capturing Hamel and three other villages to the west of it. South of the Somme they encountered heavy resistance. The village of Avesnes which they had won was retaken by the Germans, but after a hard struggle it remained in French hands.

Progress was also made on both sides of the Oise, the French advancing within two miles of La Fère to the northern edge of the forest of St. Gobain, which forms the western defense of the Laon region. The Massif of St. Gobain formed the pivot of the German system, whose importance was only comparable to that of Cambrai for British operations.

One great factor which aided materially in the advance of the Allies was the great increase in their engines of offense, whether in armored cars, tanks, Stokes guns, or great cannon, that could smash whole blocks of defense at one shot. The French were now supplied with howitzers of twenty-one inch caliber whose shell, over six feet long, could wreck a dozen batteries in a protected ravine, or wipe out an entire regiment hidden in an apparently impenetrable cave.

So far the first part of Marshal Foch's program had been accomplished. The Germans had been driven back along the whole line from Arras to Rheims, and had practically lost all ground won in their four great drives which began on March 21, 1918, and ended on July 18, 1918, when Foch dealt a smashing blow on their flank between the Marne and the Aisne.

(p. 043) During September 9-10, 1918, in spite of heavy rainstorms which halted Haig's men to provide shelters on recovered ground, the British advanced their line nearer Cambrai, fighting off strong German attacks in that region. Meanwhile the French gained three and a half miles, and occupied positions near St. Quentin on three sides. This new dash brought them nearer the flanking of La Fère on the north and south.

September 12, 1918, was a memorable day in the history of the American Army in France when under command of General Pershing they launched an attack from all sides of the St. Mihiel salient that resulted in the capture of the town of that name and over 13,000 prisoners. The American army was now operating under its own command instead of fighting as part of a British or French army. All day and far into the night the fight was continuous on the British front, when the heights of Avrincourt were stormed and positions won that overlooked the German defenses for many miles. Further progress was made in the Havrincourt region during September 13-14, 1918, where to the southeast of Cambrai the British established posts east and north of the village of Havrincourt. General Pétain meanwhile had launched an attack on an eleven-mile front on both sides of the Ailette River between the Aisne and the Vesle, advancing his line to a distance of two miles at the farthest point and capturing over 1,000 prisoners. This French drive was of special importance, for it threatened to turn the flank of the German defensive positions on the Chemin-des-Dames, and weakened the enemy's hold on Laon. South of the Ailette the French won the famous Mont des Singes, and the villages of Allemant and Sanoy.

In the morning of September 14, 1918, General Mangin's troops struck a new blow at the German salient north of Soissons. The French advance was so rapid that at one point a German colonel and his entire staff were captured. The taking of Laffaux Mill, a point of vital importance to the enemy, meant the gain of a valuable portion of the Hindenburg line. The Germans made a desperate effort to maintain their hold on this position, but in spite of their employment of strong reserves (p. 044) they were unable to delay more than a short time the French advance. On General Mangin's right, the Mennejean Farm was the scene of the most stubborn fighting during the day. The Germans had transformed every shell crater into miniature forts and machine-gun nests which had to be overcome one by one by grenade fighting of the fiercest description. But the Germans failed everywhere to check the French, who by noon had carried the entire position and bagged over 2,500 prisoners.

After the capture of Havrincourt and neighboring towns by the British, followed by counterattacks which were everywhere repulsed, there was no important infantry action attempted and the Germans settled down to shelling the line.

British and French troops in coordinated operations on a twenty-two-mile front advanced their lines on the outlying defenses of St. Quentin on September 18, 1918. The British attack was made by English, Irish, Scottish, and Australian troops on a sixteen-mile front to the northwest of the city and resulted in the capture of over 6,000 prisoners and the occupation of ten villages and outer defenses of the Hindenburg line in wide sectors. The push was made in the midst of a pouring rain and the Germans offered strong resistance, but the British, elated with victory, drove forward and crushed all opposition.

While the British were driving ahead, the French on their immediate right attacked and advanced their lines a mile and a quarter on a six-mile front, reaching the western outskirts of Francilly-Silency, three miles west of St. Quentin, and the southern edge of Contescourt, four miles southwest of that city, marking their nearest approaches to the German base. During the night of September 18, 1918, the British continued to drive forward into the Hindenburg outposts northwest of St. Quentin, capturing the village of Lempire and Gauche Wood. In the course of two days' fighting in this region the British captured 10,000 prisoners and over sixty guns.

Late in the day of September 18, 1918, the Germans counterattacked on a wide front west of Cambrai between Gouzeaucourt and the Arras-Cambrai road. Starting off with a bombardment of great intensity they launched an infantry attack northward (p. 045) from Trescault, but were repulsed at all points with heavy losses. North of Mœuvres, the Sixth German Division, under cover of a heavy barrage, and while forty German batteries were at work, made a determined attack on the British positions. Though their lines were torn and formations shattered by the British field batteries and the steady machine-gun and rifle fire, they still pressed forward, climbing over the bodies of their dead. At a tragic cost of life a few of the advanced British positions were penetrated, but before the end of the day after a stubborn struggle they were expelled and the British reoccupied the positions.

The fighting here had been costly for the British as well as for the foe. The Germans displayed complete disregard for life and demonstrated a spirit of initiative that was quite unusual. German machine gunners established themselves in some derelict British tanks which they transformed into forts, sweeping the area around with machine-gun bullets that wrought considerable destruction. Groups of German machine gunners in other parts of the field, and aided by some infantry, established themselves in wrecked villages, in woods, and earth-works, and in old trench systems, where the British line of advance passed just beyond them. Other British troops following the first waves suffered considerably from the attacks of these independent fighters. It was necessary to mop up each isolated post before the advance could be continued.

The French meanwhile had been pushing their lines closer to St. Quentin from the south and the southwest. During the night of September 18-19, 1918, they fought their way into Contescourt, which lies four miles to the southwest of St. Quentin, and in the morning occupied Castres, about half a mile to the northeast. Farther east and south they advanced to the outskirts of Benay, a town six miles south of the city.

The strongly fortified village of Mœuvres, seven miles west of Cambrai, which had been the scene of intense fighting for some days, was captured by the British in the morning of September 20, 1918. The Germans fought stubbornly to hold the village, which with its covering positions consisted of a solid (p. 046) mass of trenches and dugouts covering a square mile of ground. It was the junction of the main and support Hindenburg line and the most formidable obstacle that the British encountered anywhere in that defensive system.

The occupation by the British of a series of redoubts around the Malassise Farm brought their line nearer to the St. Quentin Canal at Vendhuile. Only three fortified villages now remained in German hands on the battle front between Villers-Guislain and the defenses of St. Quentin. With the capture of Ronssoy by English County troops, Lempire, a village one mile to the north, was completely cleared of the enemy. The Germans were now clinging to strong positions in ravines, quarries, and ditches between Lempire and Villers-Guislain, but they had suffered so severely in recent counterattacks that they attempted no more.

In the course of operations on September 21 and 22, 1918, advances were made by English troops east of Epihy, and the Australians near Hargicourt made new inroads into the outer defenses of the Hindenburg line northwest of St. Quentin. The most extensive gain was made north of the Scarpe River, where the Germans were thrown back on a two-mile front.

South of Villers-Guislain, and to the right of this sector, the Germans launched a powerful counterattack which was crushed by the British, who flung the enemy back and took advantage of the opportunity to carry forward their line.

On the French front in spite of increased enemy resistance substantial gains were made daily. By the capture of the woods north of Lys-Fontaine the Germans were forced to evacuate Vendhuile to escape being cornered there with their backs to the river Oise. General Debeney's troops now held all the west bank of the Oise for more than half the distance from La Fère to Moy. The French had now reached the heavy, marshy country south of the valley of the Oise, which offered great difficulties to any troops that might attempt a crossing north of La Fère.

Debeney's men continued to advance all day September 22, 1918, toward the La Fère road south of St. Quentin, and as they (p. 047) approached nearer the Hindenburg line around that place the Germans made determined efforts to keep them from it. North of the Somme they were hurriedly organizing a defensive system on a line of heights running parallel to the Hindenburg positions from east of Holnon to Hill 23, and thence through Hill 138 east of Savy Wood to Dallon Height on the road from Ham to St. Quentin.

South of the Somme the French advanced into a defense line parallel to the Hindenburg positions, by winning a height northeast of Castres, the line of ridges connecting Urvillers and Cerizy and the spur that dominates Mayot from the west.

British and French troops on September 24, 1918, attacking on adjacent fronts totaling about seven miles, made advances that tightened their grip on St. Quentin from the northwest, west, and southwest.

By the capture of Pontruet, Marshal Haig's troops had now advanced within three-quarters of a mile of important defenses of the Hindenburg line at the bend of St. Quentin Canal. On the right wing of the British, the French took Francilly-Silency, Dallon, and other villages which, with the British occupation of the high ground west of Fayot, gave the Allies a line of positions lying in a five-mile arc of a circle with a radius of less than three miles from the center at St. Quentin.

General Gouraud's troops attacking the German positions in the Champagne on September 26, 1918, won their first objectives within a few hours, and took Serven which had been in the hands of the enemy since 1914. Gouraud's troops also occupied the high ground positions of the Butte de Mesnil and the Navarin Farm. The abandonment by the Germans of strong positions which they had held for a long time, and had made as impregnable as human ingenuity could devise, demonstrated that they were in a panicky and nervous state of mind.

The Third and Fourth British Armies under General Sir Henry Horne and Sir Julian Byng made an attack before daybreak on September 27, 1918, on a wide front toward Cambrai, and were successful in carrying all their objectives. The principal attack was on a front of fourteen miles, and resulted in (p. 048) the winning of German positions of great strength. On the north of the main attack the British captured Beaucamp, and drove the enemy from the ridge toward Marcoing. Arleux-en-Gohelle on the extreme left was occupied, and in operations north and south of the Sensee and Scarpe Rivers the towns of Sauchy-Lestrées and Sauchy-Cauchy were captured.

The troops of General Haldane on the right center carried out a successful operation, breaking through the German defenses east of Havrincourt, capturing Flesquières and a long spur running eastward from that village toward Marcoing. In the direction of Fontaine Notre Dame the British in this region had pushed forward to within three miles of Cambrai. In the course of these operations over 6,000 prisoners were captured. The Germans had engaged on this battle front nine divisions, or about 122,000 men.

The British were now in a good position to capture Cambrai. Even at this stage of the struggle the Germans could not use the town, for the roads, railway, and junction were all under the fire of the British guns.

French troops on the battle line east of Rheims continued their advance on September 27, 1918. In the two days' fighting on this front they took over 10,000 prisoners, enormous quantities of war material, and had moved their line ahead at some points a distance of five miles.

On the first day of the battle Gouraud's men recaptured all the positions abandoned July 15, 1918, and then stormed the Hindenburg line on a length of nineteen miles. They were now on the front of the second Hindenburg line along the Py River, marking the successful termination of the first phase of the attack which the French continued to press with irresistible valor despite the frantic efforts of the enemy to check their advance.

(p. 049) CHAPTER IV


The Allies continued to strike on every front on September 27-28, 1918. Between the sea and St. Quentin, Champagne, and Verdun the whole German military machine was tottering and nearing the breaking point.

Belgian and British troops attacking on a front of about ten miles between Dixmude to a point north of Ypres made an advance of three and a half miles, the Belgians alone capturing over 4,000 prisoners. The occupied territory included the first and the second line of the German defenses.

Field Marshal Haig's troops operating in the Cambrai region continued their advance on the town whose fall was imminent. With the capture of Sailly the British were now within two miles of Cambrai, and still forging forward. To the northwest a number of villages including Epinoy and Oisy-le-Verger were occupied and to the north of the Sensee Canal the village of Arleux.

During the night of September 27, 1918, the Germans made a desperate counterattack southwest of Marcoing, and near Beaucamp, but they were thrown back with heavy losses and the British pressed on two miles beyond Beaucamp Ridge, where they occupied high ground known as the Highland and Welsh Ridges.

Between the Ailette and the Aisne General Mangin's troops continued their irresistible advance, penetrating the ravine between Jouy and Aizy and capturing these villages. The principal victory of the day was the winning of Fort Malmaison, one of the strongholds southeast of Laon. Here the Germans had prepared a deadly trap for the French troops, but owing to the precautions taken the explosion did no damage.

(p. 050) In the Champagne General Gouraud's forces continued to operate with the accuracy of a finely adjusted piece of mechanism. At Somme-Py, where the German defensive works were of the most elaborate description and included a system of trenches and underground works to an extent of five miles, after hot fighting in the streets with grenade and bayonet the French took the entire system and advanced their line to the north of the town.

There was no harder struggle on any Allied front at this time than the French were engaged in north of Grateuil and Fontaine-en-Dormois. The Germans in this region displayed intense energy in the defense of the valleys, bringing up reserves and employing countless machine guns in their determination to stem the tide of the French advance which was constantly hurling them backward. Again and again the Germans counterattacked, only to be crushed by Gouraud's troops, who immediately proceeded to press onward. The German infantry fought well at times, but there was something lacking; they displayed nervousness and had no staying powers. And their gunners too showed that their nerves were shaken, wasting ammunition without reason and laying down barrages where they could serve no possible purpose.

September 29, 1918, was a big day for the British and American troops when Field Marshal Haig launched a new offensive movement on the thirty-mile front from St. Quentin to the Sensee River. The Americans attacking the Hindenburg line on a front of nearly three miles captured Bellicourt and Nauroy.

On the extreme British right the Twentieth Corps struck across the Scheldt Canal from Bellenglise northward. The Forty-sixth Midland Division, equipped with mats, life belts, rafts, and bridging material, stormed the main Hindenburg defenses running along the eastern bank of the canal. In spite of the depth of the water, and the width of the canal, and the strong German defenses, consisting of numerous tunnels and concrete works, this division captured the entire enemy position opposed to them. After this master stroke the division with (p. 051) great bravery drove ahead up the slopes beyond the canal, capturing many prisoners on the way. Bellenglise, Lehaucourt, and Magny-la-Fosse were now in British hands.

In the center of the attack English troops captured Villers-Guislain while New Zealand troops broke up a hostile attack, and pressing on took La Vacquerie and high ground in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile the Sixty-ninth Division, having forced the crossing of the Scheldt at several points, continued to advance. After stiff fighting in the western outskirts of Masnières and Les Rues Vertes they took both of these villages and carried the defensive system covering Rumilly, driving on to the western outskirts of the village. North of the Bapaume-Cambrai road Canadian troops gained possession of the defense system known as the Marcoing-Masnières line as far north as Sailly.

On the French front as the result of General Mangin's advance on this date the entire Malmaison Plateau and the western end of the Chemin-des-Dames were won. For weeks the Germans had been fighting to hold the approaches to the massif of St. Gobain and Laon which they were now forced to abandon. For four years this group of heights formed the central pillar of the German line in France. Marshal Foch's strategy forced the enemy, as on the Marne, to withdraw his center before the Allied attack to the north and the east and compelled him to move back on the wings. This retreat was one of the first direct results of the French, American, and British offensive of the past three days.

On the last day of September, 1918, the British continued to drive forward into the outskirts of Cambrai, capturing the suburbs on three sides of the city. Toward St. Quentin the villages of Thorigny and Le Tronquoy to the north and east of that town were won. In the course of the fighting north of St. Quentin the British captured over 4,000 prisoners and forty guns.

In Flanders the Belgian and British advance was pushed to an average depth of five and a maximum depth of eight miles. (p. 052) The British had won the famous Messines Ridge and Cheluwe, while the Belgians had advanced beyond Dixmude and taken Roulers.

Fighting of the fiercest description continued throughout October 1, 1918, all along the Cambrai-St. Quentin front, the British winning positions on the greater part of the line. The Germans, anticipating the speedy capture of Cambrai, had fired the city at different points. The British, continuing to close in, stormed in the night Proville to the west and Tilloy on the north. Farther south toward St. Quentin they captured the villages of Vendhuile and Lavergies. To the north of Cambrai they made notable progress in spite of the presence in the enemy fighting line of fresh German reserves thrown in between the city and the Sensee River.

During the month of September, 1918, the British had captured on the western front 66,000 prisoners and 700 guns. In four days' fighting up to October 1, 1918, General Haig's troops had engaged and defeated thirty-six German divisions, or approximately 432,000 men.

French troops entered St. Quentin in the afternoon of October 1, 1918. Heavy fighting continued along the whole Franco-American front from St. Quentin to the Meuse. The British on the north and the French on the south drew an arc around St. Quentin well to the rear of the city. Toward the Aisne the French had pushed on beyond Revillon. In the center the Germans continued to cling stubbornly to the wooded height of St. Thierry, where they had established a line of positions stretching from Cormicy to the Vesle, flanking Rheims on the northwest and enabling them to maintain their hold on a semicircle of strong points around Rheims.

Cambrai having been mined by the Germans, the occupation of the city was delayed by the British, but their patrols penetrated the burning city. Canadian troops held the suburbs of Neuville St. Remy on the north and Crèvecœur and Rumilly on the south.

The rapid advance of the Allies in Belgium on the north and the British thrust past Cambrai on the south forced the Germans (p. 053) to begin a retreat on a wide front on both sides of the La Bassée Canal.

In the night of October 1-2, 1918, General Berthelot's forces on the French front completed their conquest of the St. Thierry Massif, the important height west of Rheims, occupying Pouillon and the fort of St. Thierry.

These great gains enabled the French to dominate the plain from the east and threaten all the German positions along the Aisne-Marne Canal from Bethany to the north, including the fort of Brimont, where the guns were posted that wrought most of the destruction to Rheims. General Gouraud and Berthelot by their advances threatened to make of the Rheims salient another pocket from which the Germans would have great difficulty in extricating themselves.

In the Champagne desperate efforts were made by the enemy to hold back Gouraud's forces on the line of Monthers-Orfeuil-Liry. Steep cliffs and deep ravines furnished the Germans with excellent positions for defense, but the French crushed every counterattack and drove ahead. South of Orfeuil and Liry General Gouraud broke through heavy wire defenses, and won a powerful position by assault.

East of Liry in the wooded valley of the Aisne there was hard fighting which ended in the occupation of the most important positions by General Gouraud's men. Farther east where the Germans had flooded the region of Challerange the French displayed the same intrepidity as at other points on the battle front, gaining ground and occupying the railroad at Autry.

On October 3, 1918, Field Marshal Haig's forces shattered vital German defenses between St. Quentin and Cambrai. Attacking with infantry and tanks on the eight-mile front from Sequehart to the Scheldt Canal the British broke through the strong Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line west and southwest of Beaurevoir.

On the left of the attack English and Irish troops forced the passage of the Scheldt Canal at Gouy and Le Catelet and captured both villages. At the farthest point of this advance the (p. 054) British penetrated German positions to a depth of about five miles. Over 5,000 prisoners were taken by the British during the drive.

In Flanders the Germans were in retreat on the twenty-mile front between Armentières and Lens, which the British now occupied. Between these strongholds the British had advanced their line three miles eastward through Avion, Vendin, Wieres, and Herlies.

St. Quentin was completely cleared of German troops by October 2, 1918. Not one of its original 56,000 inhabitants remained. All were carried away by the Germans. As it was believed the enemy had mined the town with time fuses the French did not occupy the town, but remained outside waiting for developments.

From St. Quentin to the Argonne the French armies continued to gain ground all along the line. They were closing the only avenue of escape for the Germans on the west side of the Argonne Forest, and clearing the region north and west of Rheims.

General Gouraud on the eastern side of the line by the occupation of the important railway town of Challerange now controlled the western exit from the Grand Pré Gap through the forest. Southeast of Orfeuil the French held a wooded area, their guns dominating the only railway which was available to the Germans north of that position. The French also enlarged their gains north of Somme-Py in the Champagne, capturing Mont Blanc with the Americans and the Medeah Farm.

Around Rheims the Germans had been forced back so far that the city must soon be freed from the menace of bombardment. Cormicy, northwest of the city, was captured by the French and Loivre to the north, while the Aisne Canal was reached between Concevreux and La Neuvillette.

Debeney's indomitable troops north and east of St. Quentin continued to drive forward. He broke the Hindenburg line from Le Tronquoy to Lesdins and gained a hold on the railway east of St. Quentin. Progress was also made at Neuville St. Armand and Itancourt. Continuing their pressure on the Germans (p. 055) seeking to repair the gap torn in the Hindenburg defenses northeast of St. Quentin, British troops on October 4-5, 1918, pushed on toward Fresnoy-le-Grand in the face of determined and powerful enemy counterattacks.

The Germans continued to retreat on the Lens-Armentières front. The British lines were advanced over two miles to Erquinghem and Wavrin west and southwest of Lille.

In the Champagne the entire enemy front was crumbling before the hammer blows of the French army under Berthelot and the Franco-American legions under Gouraud. North of Rheims the capture of Fort Brimont and strong mountain positions to the east gave the French enormous advantage over the enemy, of which they were not slow to avail themselves. The entire massif of Moronvilliers was conquered; by the afternoon of October 5, 1918, the French had reached Bethenville, three miles to the north. In the course of the advance the Germans were forced to evacuate many positions which they had held since 1914.

Threatened by the British thrust toward Lille the enemy began the evacuation of the city. Farther south, in the crucial area north of St. Quentin, British forces again broke through the Hindenburg system of defenses. They crossed the Scheldt Canal on the eight-mile front between Crèvecœur and Le Catelet and won a section of the famous line on the plateau of La Terrière in this sector, the Germans hurriedly retiring from the high ground east of the canal.

French victories in the Champagne continued with clockwork regularity every day, and it might be said with truth every few hours of the day. German resistance was broken on a front of about twenty-eight miles in the Rheims salient, where as the result of pressure east and west the enemy was compelled to surrender his strongest positions.

The French continued in pursuit through the night of October 5-6, 1918, the whole front along the river Suippe. Other French troops having crossed the Aisne Canal had advanced to the outskirts of Aiguilcourt and pressing on north of Rheims captured a number of villages to the northeast of the city, reaching (p. 056) the Suippe River at Pont Faverger, which was conquered and occupied.

In the fighting on the British front on October 6, 1918, the village of Fresnoy, ten miles west of Douai, was won. Between Cambrai and St. Quentin after the capture of Abencheul-au-Bois the British established themselves in strong positions on the high ground toward Lesdain. Montbregain and Beaurevoir, villages to the northeast of St. Quentin which had changed hands several times in the recent fighting, were won by the British at a late hour in the day.

During the night Marshal Haig's troops established a post at the crossing of the Scheldt Canal, five miles northwest of Cambrai, and advanced their lines south on the west and southwest. By the advance north of Wez Maquart the British were now within about five miles west of the city.

At times during the British pursuit the enemy's rear guards attempted to make a stand, but in every instance they were annihilated. The Germans seemed to have become panic-stricken, for, while they could maintain a stubborn defense, there was no method in their fighting; it was the desperate struggle of men who know they are playing a losing game.

The continued French pressure in the Champagne yielded daily results. On October 7, 1918, Berry-au-Bac at the junction of the river Aisne and the Aisne Canal on the left wing of the offensive was captured. On the rest of the Champagne front the French held their gains, and pushed on to the north and east of the Arnes River.

Early in the morning of October 8, 1918, British and American troops with the French cooperating on the right launched an attack on a twenty-mile front from Cambrai southward, shattering the remains of the Hindenburg system to a large extent, and advancing along the whole fighting line a distance of three miles.

The British artillery fire, which began to shell the enemy through the night and in the morning, was of the most unprecedented violence, the guns being massed wheel to wheel. Such a destructive fire was poured into the enemy lines that when the (p. 057) attack was made the Germans were generally too panic-stricken to fight with either courage or method.

Americans on the British front were concerned at this time in the brilliant operations northeast of St. Quentin.

South of the American fighting line the French, starting from Rouvroy, captured the hills to the eastward and the villages of Essigny and Fontaine. South of Cambrai, where the Germans counterattacked heavily with reserves, they made temporary gains of ground from which they were afterward driven out. Large numbers of German gunners who attempted to check the Allied onslaught were killed.

On the following day the Allies struck again on a front of more than thirty miles from north of Cambrai to the south of St. Quentin and completed the breaking through of the entire Hindenburg defensive system from Arras to St. Quentin. The German retreat now became almost a rout, involving thirty divisions.

At 4 o'clock in the morning with only the light of the stars and flares to guide them Canadian and English troops pressing forward from the north and south joined up in the chief square of Cambrai. The Germans were in retreat behind their rear guards, and the whole city was in Allied hands, but the enemy had mined it, and there were constant explosions that reduced many fine buildings to ruins. It was a great day for the Allies, and especially for the British, for in exactly two months they had fought their way back to their old front lines and were now far into the country beyond, which they had never penetrated before. Cambrai, a prize, was won, and the Germans, defeated and broken, were scuttling away with all the speed they could muster.

During October 8-9, 1918, the battle in Champagne continued with increasing violence from the Aisne in the region of Vaux-le-Mouron, which the French captured, to the Suippe River at Bazancourt, which was also won. North of St. Etienne on the Arnes River the Germans made powerful attacks on the positions won by General Gouraud's men, but were unable to regain a foot of ground, while their casualties were enormous. The (p. 058) determined fighting here and on the Suippe River by the Germans was evidently for the purpose of gaining time for a wide retreat. For the persistence and vigor of the Allied pressure had evidently disarranged all their plans, as up to this time they had been unable to prepare a stable position to which their shattered formations could retire in security.

In the Cambrai-St. Quentin sector the Anglo-American forces continued to advance during October 9-10, 1918, the greatest progress being made east and southeast of Cambrai, where Marshal Haig had pushed his lines to the banks of the Selle River, capturing the important German base of Le Cateau. This marked an advance of about ten miles east and fifteen miles southeast of Cambrai in the face of determined resistance by the enemy's rear guards. During this forward sweep many French civilians were found in the captured villages, 2,500 being liberated in Caudry alone.

Farther to the north several villages southeast of Lens were occupied. The French, on the south of the British and Americans, continued to carry out dashing attacks and wrested from the enemy a number of villages northeast of St. Quentin. North of the Aisne they gained possession of the Croix-sans-Tête plateau. In Champagne Liry was occupied.

The Germans began on October 10-11, 1918, the withdrawal from their strong positions north of the Sensee River before the far-reaching advance of the British south of that stream. North of the Scarpe the British pressed on in the direction of Douai, which the Germans were preparing to abandon. From every front came the same story of German retirement, though here and there they continued to hold on to a strong position to hinder the advance of the Allies and secure the safety of their fleeing forces. On the whole front from the Soissons-Laon road to Grand Pré north of the Argonne Forest their hosts were on the backward move. In Champagne, where General Gouraud's army captured Machault after a four-mile advance, they were retreating toward Vouziers, and under pressure of the converging attack west and south of the Chemin-des-Dames were gradually forced off of that famous height, relinquishing (p. 059) some of their strongest positions. In the Laon area the Germans were facing the utmost difficulties, where the Hunding line between the rivers Serre and Sissonne had been turned by the French.

In the night of October 11, 1918, French advance guards occupied Vouziers, which the Germans had burned and looted before retiring. The highroad running west from Vouziers to Pauvres was now entirely in French hands, and German resistance seemed weakening through this sector. West of Pauvres the French held the slopes above the marshy wooded valley of the Retourne.

On the left, General Berthelot's army captured the dominating height of Cæsar's Camp and advanced beyond Mauchamp Farm to the north. Still more important progress was made in the loop of the Aisne River, where French cavalry aided by armored cars took Asfeld-La-Ville, thus creating a new salient between them and the advance to the westward which occupied the greater part of the Chemin-des-Dames.

General Mangin's troops meanwhile were encountering strong opposition as they forced their way forward into the wooded heights that constituted the outer bastion of the St. Gobain Forest. This operation, taken in conjunction with the advance of Generals Debeney and Gouraud on the flanks, rendered the position of the German forces holding the Laon salient increasingly dangerous.

On October 12, 1918, General Mangin seized the greater part of the St. Gobain Massif. La Fère, the outpost to the north on the Oise, was also won. Laon, the last of the great natural obstacles forming the keystone of the German defenses in France, yielded without a fight.

The British had now invested Douai, and the fall of that place was only a question of hours.

All these important achievements were less spectacular than the great battle in Flanders which began on October 14, 1918, and was fought by the combined Belgian, French, and British troops under the command of King Albert. The whole Allied line advanced on an irregular front of about twenty-five miles (p. 060) from the region of Courtemarck to that of Courtrai, penetrating enemy positions six and seven miles.

The British Second Army under General Sir Herbert Plumer captured the villages of Gulleghem and Heule and advanced as far as the outskirts of Courtrai, having taken nearly 4,000 prisoners and fifty guns. The Belgians and French bagged over 7,000 and eighty guns.

In French Flanders the British carried their lines forward in the neighborhood of Haubourdin about three miles west of Lille, and farther south crossed the Haute Deule Canal and took a number of villages northeast of Lens.

So fast were the Germans retreating that the British, French, and Belgian infantry in the center of the battle front had lost sight of them. The victory was especially memorable because it was a triumph for the gallant little Belgian army, which with the assistance of French and British had driven the despoilers of their country from a large territory which the Germans had occupied since the first days of the war. Moreover, they had gained in this battle such strong positions that the Germans must soon be forced to abandon the entire coast of Belgium.

The sweeping advance of the Allied infantry, preceded by French cavalry which performed wonderful work in carrying out charges, left Lille and the mining and manufacturing districts of Tourcoing, Roubaix, and Tournai in a salient that was growing deeper every hour and which the Germans could not possibly hold for long. In the region of Thourout the Allies encountered intense opposition. The struggle was here from house to house and street to street, and the casualties were heavy on both sides. The Germans had posted machine guns in the windows of the dwellings and in the cellars, firing streams of bullets into the advancing Belgians, but were unable to force them back. The troops of King Albert fought with a fierce determination to wreak revenge on the despoilers of their country, and nothing could withstand the cold fury of their onslaught. To the northeast of Courtrai they stormed and captured Bavichove and on the north Andoye and Cachten.

Battle lines and operations on the Western Front in 1918, including German territory held by the Allied armies of occupation.

(p. 062) The capture by the British of Linselles along the Lys placed the Germans in the salient in a highly precarious position as the Allies pressed forward, and it was inevitable that they must soon retire to save themselves.

Outside Courtrai the infantry made an advance of about three miles. Here they were forced to crush stubborn enemy attacks, the Germans having received orders to hold on to the last. Very few of their machine gunners who tried to hold up the Allied advance managed to escape.

From the Thielt positions, where the French cavalry, owing to the hardness of the ground and roads, were able to operate freely and consequently worry the Germans, the Holland border was less than twenty miles. It was through this gap that the Germans throughout the whole Belgian coast system must retire if they were to save themselves, provided that the Allies continued to advance. Every yard of ground gained by the Allies in this area lessened the Germans' chances of escape by narrowing the gap through which they must go.

The Allied offensive in Flanders did not spend itself for nearly three days, the German retreat becoming more and more disorderly so that at some points it was a veritable rout. The entire Belgian front from the south was in constant movement. From Ostend and that section of the Belgian coast the Germans fled precipitately. British naval forces and Belgian aviators entered Ostend on October 17, 1918, where they were received with cheers and tears of joy by the inhabitants.

The Allied infantry made rapid progress on October 17-18, 1918, while the Germans were hurrying eastward through the passage between Bruges and the Holland border. There was only one good road that they could take and consequently this was crowded with transports and by troops in flight continually harassed by the Belgian guns. The whole of the German army under General von Arnim, comprising seventeen divisions, was in retreat from the north to the region of Lille. King Albert of Belgium and Queen Elizabeth entered Ostend in the afternoon of October 17, 1918.

The Prince of Wales with General Currie and General Watson, on a street in Denain, France, shortly after its capture by the Canadian troops. Denain is near the border of Belgium and the Belgian town of Valenciennes, which was taken on November 4, 1918.

(p. 063) CHAPTER V


The Allies continued to be masters of the situation on the Flanders front. October 17-18, 1918, Zeebrugge, the only submarine base on the coast remaining to the Germans after they were driven out of Ostend, and Blankenberghe, a port four miles to the southwest, were occupied. The French gained possession of Thielt and advanced a mile east of the town. Southeast of Douai the British occupied a number of villages. Roubaix and Tourcoing were entered in the afternoon of October 18, 1918. Southeast of Cambrai, on the Bohain-Le Cateau front, where Anglo-American forces were operating, over 4,000 prisoners were taken in the space of twenty-four hours. From the Oise River eastward to the Argonne Forest French troops made important advances and gained fifteen villages, many of which had been heavily fortified by the enemy.

All that remained now of the important German conquests in France was the somewhat narrow frontier tract between Valenciennes and Metz. Here were two small salients around which there was intense fighting that continued almost without cessation October 17-18, 1918.

The Americans and General Gouraud's troops on the east were hammering at the strong German positions on the Grand Pré heights, a northern extension of the Argonne Forest. Here the Germans had some of their best troops stationed, who held on with grim determination, for a break through between the Aisne and the Meuse would cut off their retreat into Luxemburg and force them back to the forest of the Ardennes. The other salient between Le Cateau and Rethel was so fraught with danger to the troops holding it that early in the morning of October 18, 1918, the Germans began to abandon their positions under pressure of the advancing French troops.

The "Hindenburg line," the line of farthest German advance and the battle line when the armistice began, November 11, 1918.

(p. 065) On the west of the Oise General von Hutier was fighting desperately to hold back the advance of General Debeney toward Guise. The French stormed Petit Verey and Marchavenne, and continuing to push on captured Mennevret in the morning of October 18, 1918.

The Germans were favored by two important obstacles, the group of hills east of Berneville and the mass of Andigny Forest lying before Wassigny. They might attempt to make a stand on the Oise near Guise and along the Oise-Sambre Canal, but their forces had been so badly cut up by the French that their plight had become increasingly desperate. In less than a day they had lost more than 5,500 men and a vast amount of military supplies.

The British army, operating in conjunction with the Belgians, attacked on October 20, 1918, to the north and advanced past Courtrai. The recovery of Ghent had now become inevitable if the push could be maintained. For the Allied guns were pounding the Germans on all sides, while their cavalry patrols, leading the infantry, pressed on closer and closer to the city.

Meanwhile the British Third Army pushed its way eastward to the south of Valenciennes, endangering all the German forces northward to Flanders and southward to the Oise Canal behind which the enemy had begun to retreat before British and Americans. This thrust upset the German plan of trying to hold the line east of the Scheldt.

The British Third Army encountered the heaviest fighting in carrying out this operation, for the Germans realized the importance of delaying here their advance. Smashing all resistance the British gained the high ground to the east of the line from which they were advancing in the face of a torrential hail of machine-gun bullets. The destructive gun nests were rapidly cleaned up, and the German losses were very heavy. Fighting was especially bloody in the region of St. Python, where the enemy fought behind barricades. South of Le Cateau the British and Americans continued to make steady progress. American patrols pushing out from the Mazinghien area had now reached (p. 066) the banks of the Oise Canal. In this region German guns were constantly active and all villages around were heavily shelled. It was necessary to remove the civilians from some of these towns to places of safety. The Germans entirely disregarded their presence.

Every hour now France and Belgium were recovering precious soil and cities, and thousands of their people were being liberated from German bondage. Especially grateful to the Belgians was the recovery of the ancient city of Bruges which Belgians and British won on October 20, 1918, though German rear guards were in the neighborhood. War had not changed greatly the grand old city built in the middle ages, or injured the beauty of its quaint architecture. The inhabitants massed before the Hôtel de Ville were celebrating their liberation from the Germans' yoke. Everyone had a flag or banner—British, Belgian, or French—and the British troops were received with the wildest enthusiasm and hailed as saviors.

Throughout the night of October 20-21, 1918, and during the day the Allied troops were everywhere driving the Germans eastward. In Belgium they were now within three miles of Eecloo and along the whole forty-mile stretch between Courtrai and the Dutch border British, French, and Belgians were hustling the enemy backward and closing in around Ghent. In the center the British were on the west bank of the Scheldt, north of Tournai, before which the Germans were making a determined stand with countless machine guns. Frontally the British held positions near Valenciennes, and to the northwest had penetrated the great Viccigne-Raismes Forest. Northwest of Lille they were driving on toward Le Quesnoy and fighting every foot of the way.

The great battle had now entered into the second phase. The first was the wiping out of the Lille salient, when the Germans were driven out of western Belgium. This accomplished, the Allies on the north started a sweeping movement on October 20-21, 1918, pivoting on a point east of Courtrai, the purpose of which was to clear the Germans from their front in northern Belgium and at the same time threaten their right flank.

(p. 067) In the center of the fighting area the British were pushing forward toward the west bank of the Scheldt. The Germans took advantage of the width of the stream and its marshy borders, where they found some protection from the Allied pressure. They were hiding in shallow trenches; their artillery in the rear, sadly depleted in numbers, afforded them very little help. In their hurried flight the Germans had little time in which to remove their artillery and vast stores of ammunition. They destroyed some material, but a great deal fell into the hands of the Allies, especially guns. These were promptly turned toward the east, and shells made in Germany were hurled at their former owners as they fled in panicky retreat.

October 21-22, 1918, on the twenty-five-mile front from Pont-à-Chin northwest of Tournai to Thiant, southwest of Valenciennes, British troops engaged along the western bank of the Scheldt won ground at many points. South of Tournai they captured the villages of Hollain and Bruyelle and drove into the western suburbs of Valenciennes.

In northern Belgium troops under King Albert gained the Lys Canal on the whole of their front and had pushed across the stream. The Second British Army, advancing on a front of about a mile between the Lys and the Scheldt under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire established a bridgehead on the river to the east of Pecq.

The Third and Fourth British Armies began a new drive on October 23, 1918, to the south of Valenciennes, smashing through strong German defenses to a depth of three miles and capturing many important villages, several thousand prisoners and numerous guns. This attack resulted in the driving of a wedge into German positions at a point considered the most vital of the lines which the Germans were holding. The enemy fought courageously, the gunners holding out to the last.

The British First Army to the north continued to harass the foe by continued attacks, and gained positions well to the northeast of Valenciennes whose fall was imminent. The British were now only three miles from Le Quesnoy and still forging ahead toward the town. Catillon was carried early in the fighting, (p. 068) and later the British occupied Ors. Before retreating, the Germans destroyed all the bridges over the canal between these places.

The heaviest fighting in this battle was in Leveque Wood, where the Germans had cunningly hidden machine-gun nests that were difficult to overcome. But the wood was cleared after a time and the British pressed on to the great Mormal Forest on the edge of which the Germans were concentrating troops to make a stand.

The British continued to make gains on the following day south of Valenciennes, capturing several villages and strong points. On the north the Germans were cleared from the Raismes Forest. Advances were made along the whole front between the Sambre Canal and the Scheldt (about seventeen miles), and the forward pressure continued without relaxation, though the Germans attempted by counterattacks to gain time. Since the fighting began on the previous day over 7,000 prisoners and 100 guns were captured by the British.

In order to check the advance on Valenciennes the Germans broke down the banks and opened the sluice gates northeast and southwest of the city and flooded vast stretches of country. The British, however, continued to drive ahead, and fighting their way into the city from the west, there were spirited fights in the streets between patrols. During the night of October 23-24, 1918, artillery duels increased on the battle front south of the city.

The British gunners wrought fearful damage in the traffic-crowded roads to the rear of the German line. The advance of the British in the moonlight, protected by flocks of night bombing airplanes, offered a strange and moving dramatic spectacle. At Pomereuil they were held up for a time by a heavy concentration of machine guns. Waiting until the advance had made progress north and south of them, they swept around on both sides of the gun nests. They found the German machine gunners occupying positions around a triangular space that had been cleared. The British, ignoring the invitation to enter the clearing, passed the gunners and captured Pomereuil (p. 069) Wood behind the triangle, and thus surrounded the enemy. Then they stormed and carried the position.

Continuing their attacks upon the German lines south of Valenciennes, the British on October 25, 1918, advancing on a front of between six and seven miles, reached the Le Quesnoy-Valenciennes railway, capturing several villages on the way. Simultaneously with this operation the French armies, striking on the Serre and Aisne Rivers over a front of about forty miles, advanced their lines at all points, capturing villages and positions and taking over 3,000 prisoners. East of Courtrai, in the direction of the Scheldt, the British and French troops made further progress, wresting a number of villages and positions from the enemy.

The climax of the French attack was General Guillemat's drive east of Laon against the Hunding position, the elaborately prepared line protecting the German center. Here was a quadruple trench system backed by concrete shelters, five lines of barbed wire each twenty feet deep, and the ground between planted with antitank mines, yet the indomitable French soldiers broke through it on a ten-mile front between St. Quentin-le-Petit and Herpy, and held their ground against deluges of gas and high-explosive shells.

On the center of the great offensive General Mangin's army took Mortiers, on the south bank of the Serre, and gained a bridgehead north of the river.

Farther north the British continued to press forward toward Valenciennes, and on their right General Plumer's troops under command of King Albert continued to cooperate in the drive against the German line on the Scheldt.

On the whole forty-mile front of the offensive which the French began on October 25, 1918, great gains of territory were made. The Germans lost Crecy-sur-Serre in the center, and were forced to abandon a good part of the Hunding position. In two days Generals Debeney and Guillemat captured more than 6,000 prisoners, twenty cannon, and hundreds of machine guns. On October 27, 1918, General Debeney had pushed on to the outskirts of Guise. The Germans on this date launched three (p. 070) fierce attacks against three different points on the British front southeast of Valenciennes, all of which ended for them in disaster and heavy losses.

The British forward movement south of Valenciennes slowed down on October 28, 1918, but the French between the Oise and the Serre drove the Germans back two miles at the apex of their attack in the region of Bois-les-Pargny. On the Aisne front west of Château Porcien they drove forward to the north of Herpy.

In Belgium the Allies' positions became daily more favorable, while the difficulties of the Germans increased proportionately. The Allies were now within five miles of Ghent, and it was only owing to the delay in bringing up artillery that the city had not already fallen. In the hope of destroying the Allies' lines of communication with Bruges the Germans kept Stroobrigge under continuous fire. Maideghem and Aldeghem were also subjected to incessant artillery attacks.

The retirement of General Ludendorff, formerly chief of staff and really generalissimo of the German armies at this time, was an event of the highest importance. As the persistent advocate of war to the bitter end, and which he had never failed to assert would result in the defeat of Germany's enemies, his throwing up the sponge at a time of crisis in his country's destiny could only mean one of two things: he had all the effective power of the empire against him, or he foresaw the triumph of the Allies and was eager to seek cover before the German armies were forced to surrender.

On the last day of the month the Allies wrested from the Germans a big slice of territory in Belgium between Deynze on the north and Avelghem on the south on a battle front of about fifteen miles. The attack in which Belgian, French, British, and American troops were engaged, was launched before 6 o'clock in the morning, and by noon the British had broken their way through to a depth of 400 yards while on their left their allies were encountering strong opposition, but winning high ground between the Lys and Scheldt Rivers. Many towns and hamlets were liberated during this drive, including Pergwyk, (p. 071) Tierghein, Anseghem and Winterken. The front of this attack was about twelve miles, and German positions were penetrated to a depth of three and four miles.

The Allies resumed the offensive on this battle front on the following day and won an advance of more than five miles, which brought them to the Scheldt from Berchem to Gavere, ten miles south of Ghent. South of Valenciennes an advance of two miles resulted in the capture of Alnoy and Preseau. This forward drive carried the British to the southern edge of the flooded territory around Valenciennes. They captured during the advance between 3,000 and 4,000 prisoners.

The city of Valenciennes which the Germans had held so long and so tenaciously was captured by the British in the morning of November 2, 1918. The Canadian troops under General Currie encountered strong resistance from the enemy in the outskirts, and after a hard struggle crushed all resistance and entered the city. Other British contingents pressing on beyond Valenciennes occupied St. Saulve to the northeast on the road to Mons. West of Landrécies in the Mormal Forest region the British advanced their lines and took a number of prisoners.

The Germans by opening the Scheldt sluice gates had flooded the northern side of the city, and their only way of escape was to the southeast, where they had concentrated all their available forces. These fought with stubborn energy, but they failed to more than delay for a time the advance of the Canadians and English, who were supported by an immense concentration of artillery. The enemy's counterattacks were made with the help of tanks, but they all broke down, and the British captured the tanks and thousands of prisoners. Valenciennes, though in British hands on November 2, 1918, was still an uncomfortable place for the inhabitants, who were in a confused state of mind twixt joy and fear. There was joy that they had been liberated and fear because of the shells that were falling around them and passing over the houses. The way from Douai to Valenciennes was a scene of ruin and desolation as the British and Canadians had fought their way through the villages along these roads, and most of the houses were smashed by German shells.

(p. 072) An interesting souvenir left by the Germans in Valenciennes was a poster on the walls which the inhabitants of the city could now afford to laugh at. This was an order for the mobilization of all the men between the ages of 15 and 35, who must present themselves to the German commandant in order to be evacuated through the German lines. In case any disregarded this order severe penalties were to be exacted. This order was dated October 31, 1918, and the day of mobilization was to take place on November 1, 1918, the day before the British entered the city. Twenty thousand people were expelled by force on October 3, 1918, and driven in the direction of Mons. Only about 5,000 remained in the city and these were employed by the Germans in city work, such as maintaining the fire and water supplies, cleaning the streets, washing, and in various menial offices. Among those in the city when the British took possession were many who after the expulsion on October 3, 1918, were too feeble to continue the march and had dropped out, encumbering the German line of retreat. There were others who had escaped from their German captors, and also a number of young men who had hidden themselves and lived in cellars for days.

During the last week of the German occupation only one regiment was allowed in the city and this was chiefly to pillage, as the troops defending the place were holding positions outside. Many houses were looted, especially on the night before the British stormed the outskirts.

The German officers were especially eager for souvenirs which took the form of valuable paintings cut from the frames, and which they found in houses of the better class. The German Government had been hard, and there were fines for the slightest infraction of rules, which increased in severity as the enemy needed money. Trivial offenses at first were punished by a hundred marks fine, but in the last days of German occupation it was raised to two thousand marks.

While the British were driving forward on the Valenciennes front the American army was winning laurels north of Verdun, where they smashed the Freya Line and put the Germans to (p. 073) rout. The advance on this difficult front was intended to cut the German line of communications. This was achieved.

On the left of the Americans the French Fourth Army was in hot pursuit of the Germans who were fleeing across the Argonne Forest. The French smashed the enemy's rear guards, who attempted to delay the advance, and made important progress along the whole line of attack. On the left Semuy was taken and the French lines were carried as far as the southern bank of the Ardennes Canal. To the south Bois Vandy and the village of Balay were cleared of Germans, who fought desperately but were unable to delay for more than a few hours the irresistible advance of the French troops. On the right Longwe and Primat were occupied. North of the last-named place the French pushed on past Chêne Pâté and despite that formidable obstacle, the Argonne Forest, continued to pursue the Germans, whose retreat was so hurried that they left large quantities of material on the field which they had not found time to destroy. In the course of this advance the French captured over 1,400 prisoners.

South and east of Valenciennes, where the Germans had established positions, the British on November 2-3, 1918, were fighting their way forward, driving back the enemy rear guards and taking prisoners.

Field Marshal Haig's troops won another notable victory on November 4, 1918, when attacking on a thirty-mile front between the Scheldt and the Oise-Sambre Canal, with the French cooperating on the right, a drive was made into enemy positions and over 10,000 Germans and 200 guns were captured. The British drive, in which troops of the First, Third, and Fourth Armies participated, resulted in the capture of Landrécies south of the Mormal Forest, Catillon, and a considerable number of smaller towns, and advanced the British lines more than three miles to the east of the Oise-Sambre Canal. North of this stream, in the great Mormal Forest, the British won strongly fortified positions and advanced to the center of the wood.

To the south the Fifth French Army under General Debeney, linking up with the British, forced the passage of the canal and (p. 074) made an advance to a depth of two miles beyond it, driving the Germans from a number of villages of great strategic importance. In this advance the French bagged 30,000 prisoners and a large number of cannon.

King Albert's army in Belgium continued to gain victories and to press the German retreat. He had completed the work of forcing the enemy across the Terneuzen Canal, which runs northward from Ghent and is close to the suburbs of the city on two sides. South of Ghent the west bank of the Scheldt was now in the hands of the Allies.

British and French armies in Belgium continued to crush and overrun the German positions. In the morning of November 5, 1918, the British forced their way through the greater part of the Mormal Forest, the infantry being east of a line through Locquignol and Les Grandes Pâtures. They had overcome the formidable defenses on the western fringe of the forest and had now confronting them only hastily improvised machine-gun posts. The French continued to drive the Germans before them between the Sambre Canal and the Argonne Forest, clearing the enemy out of wide stretches of territory and carrying their line forward more than six miles. The towns of Guise and Marie were captured during this advance and 4,000 Germans and 60 guns.

On November 6, 1918, a German delegation left Berlin for the western front to conclude an armistice with Marshal Foch, representing the Allied armies. The negotiations led to a cessation of hostilities on November 11, 1918.

The victorious sweep of the Allies continued undiminished from the Scheldt to the Meuse, where the Germans were being driven back along the whole front. On November 6, 1918, the British, advancing east of the Mormal Forest, occupied a number of villages and the important railway junction at Aulnoye. The French armies made a bound of from five to seven miles along the whole front. Vervins, Rethel, and Montcornet, all important places, were occupied and the advance continued.

Crossing the Belgian border north and east of Hirson, French cavalry occupied a number of villages and the important fortress (p. 075) of Hirson, advancing their line nine miles at some points. Along the entire thirty-mile front from the junction of the French and British armies to the Meuse east of Mézières, now strongly invested, the French pushed on with irresistible ardor. The water barriers of the Thon and the Aure were forced, and the plateaus to the north occupied. On the British front the same story of victory was repeated. Field Marshal Haig's troops completed the capture of Tournai, and Antoing, to the south of that Belgian city, was occupied. On November 9, 1918, the British had driven forward to the outskirts of Renaix, twelve miles northeast of Tournai. The Second and Fifth Armies meanwhile had gained the east bank of the Scheldt throughout their entire front. These operations took place north of the Mons-Condé Canal, along the line of which the British were advancing on Mons. South of the Belgian frontier they took the important town of Maubeuge, and pressed on toward the Belgian frontier on both sides of the Sambre, meeting with only feeble resistance from the disorganized enemy.

The remaining inhabitants of Tournai, which the British entered on November 8, 1918, received their liberators with wild demonstrations of joy such as only a people were capable of who had lived for years under the tyrannic rule of the Germans. For three weeks before the British captured the town the inhabitants had been living in cellars in hourly fear that the furious gunfire would smash the buildings above their heads and that they would be buried in the ruins. There was also the dread that asphyxiating gas would creep into their hiding places and destroy them with its fumes. A month before British occupation the Germans had carried away all the able-bodied men in the place, numbering more than 10,000, leaving their women-folk to weep for them. For a week previous to the British entry Tournai was under bombardment day and night. Then forty-eight hours before the Germans were driven out more terrible sounds were heard by the frightened people hiding in the cellars, explosions that shook every building as by an earthquake. The Germans were blowing up the bridges over the Scheldt Canal, and their retreat from Tournai had begun.

(p. 076) Though German delegates were on their way to the French front to arrange for an armistice, the Allies continued to fight and advance with the same irresistible ardor as if there had been no question of a cessation of hostilities. In southern Belgium the British continued to carry their lines forward, reaching on November 10, 1918, the Franco-Belgian frontier south of the Sambre. North of the Mons-Condé Canal they pressed on beyond the Scheldt, capturing Leuze, while British cavalry advanced to Ath, which lies sixteen miles east of Tournai.

Farther to the north the British captured Renaix and carried their line to a point four miles to the east of that place.

While the British were sweeping on in southern Belgium the French were engaged in repulsing strong attacks launched against them as they crossed the Meuse. Numerous villages along the whole line were freed from the enemy. Here, as at other places, the haste of the German retreat was emphasized by the abandonment of vast stores of war material, cannon, and even railroad trains, which fell into the hands of the French.

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon of November 10, 1918, General Gouraud made his official entry into Sedan; a thrilling hour for the French as they recalled the German triumph here in the war of 1870.

Slowly, but surely, French territory occupied by the enemy along the Belgian frontier was diminishing in size. The French troops everywhere were now within a short day's march of the border line, and but for the congested roads encumbered with traffic, and by the booty which the Germans left behind, the liberation of French soil could have been completed in less than a day's advance.

The German territory occupied under the armistice terms.

Though it was known among the troops of the Allies as well as by the Germans that an armistice might be declared at any moment, there were no changes in the attitude of the combatants. The Germans fought when they had to, sullenly and determinedly, but most of their efforts were concentrated in making all haste they could to reach the border. To the last they showed a savage spirit, and nowhere more so than at Mézières, where throughout the morning of November 10, 1918, their batteries deluged the (p. 078) city with high explosives and poison gas. There 20,000 civilians—men, women, and children—were shut in, with no hope of escape. Incendiary shells fired a hospital, and it was necessary to evacuate the wounded to the cellars near by, where the panic-stricken inhabitants were crouching. There was some protection from shells in the cellars, but none against the heavy fumes of poison gas with which the Germans proceeded to flood the city. There were no gas masks and no chemicals that would enable the people to improvise protective head coverings.

The British captured Mons during the night of November 10-11, 1918, after a stiff fight outside the town. For the British the war ended at Mons as it had begun there. Since early morning their troops knew that the armistice had been signed, and that hostilities would cease at 11 o'clock. All the way to Mons British forces were on the march with bands playing, and nearly every man carried on his rifle a little flag of France or Belgium.

Ghent was the last Belgian town which was rescued from the Germans before the armistice. They held the canal in front of it by machine-gun fire until 2 o'clock in the morning of November 11, 1918, when they made a hurried retreat.

A dozen Belgian soldiers, led by a young lieutenant, were the first to enter the city, and a few minutes later the streets were thronged with people wild with joy, who embraced the troops and each other, shouting and cheering. After four years of oppressive German rule Ghent of historic memories was free.

A Canadian brigade, serving as Guard of Honor, in the occupation of Mons, Belgium, taken by Canadian forces on November 11, 1918. The fighting of British troops thus ended with a victorious entry into the town where their first terrible battle was fought in 1914.

Hostilities ceased on all the battle fronts at 11 a. m. on November 11, 1918. The machine guns and great cannon that had rattled and thundered for fifty months were silent. On the front lines, when the last shot was fired, the British, Americans, and Belgians gave free vent to their feelings of joy that the war was over, the victory won. The soldiers of France were less demonstrative and seemed unable at first to realize that the long-drawn agony was ended; but though they did not express themselves in wild cheering, every face was aglow with pride and happiness. Back of the lines, among the ruined villages, there were more evidences of the gladness that filled every war-weary (p. 079) heart, and while church bells rung out a joyous peal the songs of victory, which had cheered the poilus through the long conflict, resounded again with a deeper feeling and more triumphant note.

According to the terms of the armistice the Germans yielded over to Allied occupation "the countries on the left bank of the Rhine," together with surrender to Allied control of the crossings of the Rhine at Mayence, Coblenz, and Cologne, including bridgeheads of thirty-kilometer radius on the eastern bank of the river and the establishment of a neutral zone on that bank from thirty to forty kilometers in breadth and running from the frontier of Holland to the Swiss frontier.

On November 17, 1918, the Allied armies of occupation began the march to the Rhine. The American army, consisting of six divisions under General Dickman, was the first to start, moving in a northeasterly direction on a front of fifty miles from Mouzon on the Meuse to beyond Fresnes. At Montmédy, the first important place reached by the Americans, they were received with wild acclamation by the inhabitants and the Stars and Stripes waved from the Hôtel de Ville. At Longwy and Briey, the great industrial centers, it was the same story. Lorraine and Luxemburg were crossed and Coblenz was reached on December 12, 1918, where headquarters of the army of occupation were established.

On the same date the British Second and Fourth Army under Generals Plumer and Rawlinson began their advance to Cologne. In conjunction with their allies, a French army under General Mangin set out for Mayence, while General Pétain, now a marshal of France, entered Metz. Throughout Belgium and France the armies of the Allies received the most enthusiastic reception in which there was no discordant note. It was only when they crossed the border and entered Germany that they met with veiled hostility. There were crowds and bands, but no enthusiasm. But, if this was lacking, there were no aggressive manifestations of hatred toward the invaders of the Fatherland. A sense of joy and relief that the war was over vanquished for the time at least every other feeling.




With the complete surrender of Bolshevist Russia to the Germans, through the notorious Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, there was presented to the Allies the problem of supporting those elements in the country still disposed to resist the Teutonic invasion. Military intervention, by way of Siberia, with the active assistance of the Japanese, was proposed, but met with the determined opposition of President Wilson, whose strong democratic principles deterred him from interfering with the internal affairs of Russia under any pretext whatever. Subsequently he modified his views on this point, being largely influenced by the Czecho-Slovak movement, one of the most remarkable and picturesque features of the entire war.


Although many important campaigns, some of them of dazzling brilliancy, were carried on during the World War in various parts of Europe and Asia in Russia, Palestine, Bulgaria, and on the Italo Austrian frontier, the result of the struggle was decided on the western front. Here the great armies of Germany and the Entente were locked for four years in death grapple. The map shows the theater of operations. The white line marks the farthest limit of the German advance, when in September, 1914, their armies were turned back when Von Kluck was within twenty two miles of Paris. Within that line and the black line with white dots which marks the position of the contending armies when the armistice was signed, November 11, 1918, the heaviest fighting of the war took place. In this area are shown the Marne River, which the Germans reached in 1914 and 1918, the Aisne, to which they retreated after their first repulse before Paris, and the Somme, where the Allies were victorious in the campaign of 1918. The heavy red lines include the territory of Germany occupied by the victorious Allies after the armistice. Of this, Alsace and Lorraine have been definitely ceded to France by the Peace Treaty. At three great crossings of the Rhine—Cologne, Coblenz and Mayence—bridgeheads were established, each with a radius of eighteen miles to be occupied respectively by British, American, and French armies. The oblique red lines on the right bank of the Rhine mark a strip six miles wide and parallel with the river that constitutes a neutral zone. The occupied territory is to be held for fifteen years, the period in which it is estimated Germany will have paid the indemnity demanded by the Treaty.


The battle of St. Mihiel was fought September 12th, 1918. It was notable not only for the completeness of the victory, but also because it was the first great battle planned and fought wholly under American direction. The St. Mihiel salient had been formed during the first invasion by the Germans in 1914 and had been held by them for four years. In two days the American First Army wiped it out of existence. The red dots indicate the line of the contending armies when the battle was joined. The broad red line shows the position three days later. The salient was crushed by the irristible onset of the Americans, and 152 square miles of territory, including seventy-two villages, were taken. In twenty-seven hours after the attack was launched 15,000 prisoners and hundreds of guns were captured, together with vast stores of munitions and supplies, while a force of Germans, estimated from 90,000 to 100,000 men, was in headlong retreat. The battle was of immense strategic importance, as it freed Verdun from menace on its right flank and placed the dominating heights of the Meuse in Allied hands.


The battle of the Argonne Forest has been described as the greatest of the war. It was certainly the most difficult. The story of its taking is an epic and reflects imperishable glory on American arms. The forest had been held by the Germans for four years. Its natural difficulties were so great that Napoleon himself had refused to attack it, believing it impregnable. To these natural obstacles the Germans had brought all the aids of military science. Every foot of it had been ranged for their artillery. Thousands of miles of barbed wire had been wound from bush to bush and tree to tree. Myriads of machine-gun nests commanded all strategic points. The ground had to be won foot by foot. It was believed even by many of the Allied commanders that success was impossible. The Germans realized the tremendous importance of the position, and had brought up their best divisions for its defense. But the power and fury of the American attack could not be denied. The American First Army began the battle September 26, 1918, between the Meuse and Aisne Rivers, directly east of Rheims, on a front of twenty miles. They took 5,000 prisoners on the first day, and 3,000 more on the second, besides obtaining all their objectives. Day by day the struggle continued, the Americans always advancing, until by October 16 Grand Pré was taken and the forest was practically cleared. From that point the First Army under General Liggett, and the Second under General Bullard fought their way to the Meuse. The red dotted line shows where the offensive began, and the broad red line indicates the position when the armistice was signed, November 11, 1918.


The arbitrament of war has changed the face of Europe. In the central and eastern portions of the Continent all national boundary lines have been recast. Some of the changes made are definite and final. Others are tentative and still await final definition. A multitude of conflicting claims have had to be adjusted, and the task is so colossal that months or years may elapse before the work of the various boundary commissions is completed. In cases where doubt existed as to the propriety of certain proposed changes, arrangements were made for a plebiscite whereby the people of the territory in question could determine by vote to what nation they wished to belong. In still other cases, cities, districts, and waterways were internationalized and placed under the control of the League of Nations. The general principle sought to be followed was that of self-determination of peoples and an opportunity for every nation to develop economic prosperity. The principle was of necessity modified in judging the Central Powers, where the question of reparation was a factor. Territorially, France and Poland have gained most heavily, while Germany and Austria-Hungary have been the greatest losers.

The one decision concerning which there was no question in the Peace Conference was the restoration of Alsace-Lorraine (1) to France, from whom it had been wrested by Germany forty-eight years before. The coal mines of the Saar Valley (2) region were given to France outright in compensation for the wrecking of French coal mines at Lens, and whether the region itself should be restored to Germany or remain attached to France was to be determined by vote of the inhabitants after fifteen years. The district covers 738 square miles. The sovereignty of Germany over Moresnet and the circles of Eupen and Malmedy (3) was relinquished to Belgium. The people of these circles could, if they chose, protest within six months this change of nationality. The territory in question covers 382 square miles. Parts of Schleswig (4) representing 2,787 square miles, formerly taken from Denmark by Prussia, are to determine their nationality by popular vote. The district is divided into three zones for this purpose. Poland (5) receives outright parts of Silesia, Posen, and West Prussia, with a total of 27,683 square miles. The city of Danzig (6) on the Baltic is made a free port under the supervision of the League of Nations. An area about the city aggregating 729 square miles is internationalized. Parts of East Prussia (7) and Upper Silesia (8) will have their destiny determined by vote of the inhabitants. By far the greatest sufferer in the new territorial adjustment is the former empire of Austria-Hungary (9), which from an area of 240,000 square miles was reduced to about 25,000 square miles. Part of this had been lost when Hungary (10) seceded from the Dual Empire shortly after the armistice was declared. Apart from the cessions to Italy, the new state of Czecho-Slovakia (11), four times as large as Belgium, and covering 48,000 square miles, has been carved out of the former territory of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The greater part of Jugoslavia (12), officially known as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, has also been formed from former Austro-Hungarian territory. The fate of the city of Fiume (13) is still undetermined, as is the final disposition of the Dalmation coast (14), the greater part of which, however, is certain to be assigned to Italy. The Trentino (15) and Istria (16), formerly part of the "Italian Irredenta," have been made definitely Italian. Thrace (17) has been taken from Bulgarian control and placed at the disposition of the Allies, and Bulgaria (18) has been compelled to rectify her frontiers at several points in favor of Serbia. Rumania receives Transylvania (19) and the richest part of the Banat of Temesvar (20). Bessarabia (21) was united with Rumania before the conclusion of the war. The Ukraine (22), one of the richest sections of the old Russian Empire, has seceded from the parent state. Finland's independence (23) has been recognized by the Powers. The group of what was known as the Russian Baltic Provinces, and whose problems are largely identical, Esthonia (24), Latvia (25), and Lithuania (26), have declared themselves independent republics. The truncated territory of the former Russian Empire is now under Soviet government with Moscow as capital. In the Near East, Georgia (28) and Armenia have set up a republican form of government, but their boundaries are as yet ill-defined.

Transcriber's note: the numbering in the text skips from (26) to (28)—there is no (27)! Also, there are no footnotes on the page to match the numbers.

As already stated in previous installments of this work, the Czecho-Slovaks were Slavic soldiers of the Austrian armies who had been taken prisoners by the Russians, and who, after the fall of the Czar, volunteered to fight against the Central Powers with the Allies because of their desire to obtain independence for Bohemia and Slovakia, parts of the dominions of the Austrian empire. They look a leading part in the offensive which Kerensky attempted against the Teutons, and which failed so disastrously on account of the broken morale of the Russians. When the Bolsheviki seized the reins of government, the Czecho-Slovaks refused to lay down their arms and asked that they might be permitted to retire from Russia by way of Vladivostok, (p. 081) whence they hoped to be transported to France and allowed to take their place with the Allies on the western front. To this arrangement the Bolsheviki agreed, and the Czecho-Slovaks began at once embarking on trains over the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But before even the first contingents had safely reached Vladivostok, friction broke out between them and the Bolsheviki, which presently took on the aspect of an armed conflict, with remarkably successful results for the Czecho-Slovaks, who gained almost complete possession of the railroad and large areas of Siberia.

The Bolsheviki maintained that Allied intrigues had caused the Czecho-Slovaks to turn on them, while the Allied representatives laid the blame to German pressure applied to the Soviet Government. Captain Vladimir Hurban, an officer of the Czecho-Slovak Army, who came to Washington to report to Prof. Masaryk, President of the National Council of the Czecho-Slovaks, supplies details which are not only of vivid interest in themselves, but assist in fixing the responsibility for the bloodshed which resulted in such advantages to the Allied cause.

"When the Bolshevist Soviet Government signed the peace treaty in the beginning of March, 1918," says Captain Hurban, in his personal narrative, "our army of about 50,000 was in Ukrainia, near Kiev.... The Germans advanced against us in overwhelming numbers and there was danger that we would be surrounded.... The Bolshevist Red Guards had seized the locomotives and were fleeing east in panic. Under these circumstances Emperor Charles sent us a special envoy with the promise that if we would disarm we should be amnestied and our land should receive autonomy. We refused to negotiate with the Austrian emperor.

"As we could not hold a front, we began to retreat to the eastward.... When we arrived at Bachmac the Germans were there waiting for us. There began a battle lasting four days, in which they were badly defeated and which enabled us to get our trains through. The commander of the German detachment offered us a forty-eight hour truce, which we accepted, for our duty was to leave Ukrainia. The truce was canceled by (p. 082) the German chief commander, Linsingen, but too late; our trains had already got away. We lost altogether about 600 men in dead, wounded, and missing, while we buried 2,000 Germans in one day.

"In this manner we escaped from Ukrainia. Our relations with the Bolsheviki were still good. We refrained from meddling in Russian internal affairs, and we tried to come to an agreement with the Bolshevist Government with respect to our departure, or passage through Russia. But already signs were visible that the Bolsheviki, either under German influence or because we then represented the only real power in Russia, would try to put obstacles in our way. It would have sufficed to order one of our regiments—our army was then, in March, near Moscow—to take Moscow, and in half a day there would have been no Bolshevist Government; for then we were well armed, having taken from the front everything we could carry, to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Germans.... To prove indisputably our loyalty we turned over to the Bolsheviki everything, all our arms, with the exception of a few rifles (ten rifles to each 100 men). The equipment we turned over to the Bolsheviki, including arms, horses, automobiles, aeroplanes, etc., was worth more than a million rubles, and it was legally in our possession, for we took it away from the Germans, to whom it had been abandoned by the fleeing Bolsheviki. This transfer of the equipment was, of course, preceded by an agreement made between us and the Moscow Government by which we were guaranteed unmolested passage through Siberia, to which the Government pledged to give its unconditional support....

"Under such circumstances we began our pilgrimage east. I was in the first train—there were then eighty trains of us—which was to prepare the way. We were determined to leave Russia without a conflict. Notwithstanding that we kept our word, that we surrendered all arms except the few necessary, our progress was hindered, and unending negotiations had to be repeated in every seat of a local soviet. We were threatened by machine guns, cannon, but we patiently stood it all, though the Bolsheviki Red Guard could have been disbanded by a few (p. 083) of our volunteers. After fifty-seven days of such tiresome travel our first train arrived at Vladivostok, where we were enthusiastically received by the Allied units stationed there.

"When the Germans saw that we, notwithstanding all their intrigues, were nearing Vladivostok, they exercised a direct pressure on Lenine and Trotzky; for the things that were committed by the Soviets cannot any further be explained away on the grounds of ignorance. The trains were stopped at different stations, so that they were finally stopped at a distance of fifty miles from each other. Provoking incidents of all kinds were the order of the day. The arming of the German and Magyar prisoners was begun on a large scale. One of the orders of Tchitcherin, Bolshevist foreign minister, reads: 'Dispatch all German and Magyar prisoners out of Siberia; stop the Czecho-Slovaks.' Three members of our National Council, who were sent to Moscow for an explanation of the stopping of our trains, were arrested. At the same time our trains were attacked at different stations by Soviet troops, formed mostly of German and Magyar prisoners.

"I will recall the Irkutsk incident. Our train, with about 400 men, armed with ten rifles and twenty hand grenades, was surrounded by a few thousand Red Guards, armed with machine guns and cannon. Their commander gave our men ten minutes in which to surrender their arms, or be shot. According to their habit, our leaders began negotiations: Suddenly there was heard the German command, 'schiessen!' and the Red Guards began firing at the train. Our men jumped off the train, and in five minutes all the machine guns were in their possession, the Russian Bolsheviki disarmed, and all the Magyars and Germans done away with. The Siberian Government, which resides in Irkutsk and which, as it appeared later, ordered this attack, can thank only the intervention of the American and French consuls that it was not destroyed by our embittered volunteers.

"To what extreme our loyalty was carried is shown by the fact that, although perfidiously attacked, and although we disarmed the Red Guard in Irkutsk, we still began new negotiations, with the result that we surrendered all our arms, on the condition (p. 084) that all German and Magyar prisoners would be disarmed and disbanded, and that we would be allowed to proceed unmolested."

As narrated in a previous volume of this work, the Czecho-Slovaks were thus compelled to engage in military operations against the Bolsheviki, and in doing so obtained possession of large areas in Siberia, including large cities, where they were welcomed by the populations and dissolved the Soviets. On the other hand, however, many large units of them found themselves isolated and unable to proceed on their way to Vladivostok. It was to assist them to extricate themselves from these positions that the United States finally agreed to dispatch a limited military force to Russian territory. Late in July, 1918, an arrangement to this effect was made with Japan. And on August 3, 1918, an official announcement was issued at Washington, in part as follows:

"In the judgment of the Government of the United States—a judgment arrived at after repeated and very searching consideration of the whole situation—military intervention in Russia would be more likely to add to the present sad confusion there than to cure it, and would injure Russia, rather than help her out of her distress. Such military intervention as has been most frequently proposed, even supposing it to be efficacious in its immediate object of delivering an attack upon Germany from the east, would, in its judgment, be more likely to turn out to be merely a method of making use of Russia than to be a method of saving her. Her people, if they profited by it at all, would not profit by it in time to deliver them from their present desperate difficulties, and their substance would meantime be used to maintain foreign armies, not to reconstitute their own, or to feed their own men, women, and children. We are bending all our energies now to the purpose of winning on the western front, and it would, in the judgment of the Government of the United States, be most unwise to divide or dissipate our forces.

"As the Government of the United States sees the present circumstances, therefore, military action is admissible in Russia (p. 085) now only to render such protection and help as is possible to the Czecho-Slovaks against the armed Austrian and German prisoners who are attacking them, and to steady any efforts at self-government or self-defense in which the Russians themselves may be willing to accept assistance. Whether from Vladivostok or from Murmansk and Archangel, the only present object for which American troops will be employed will be to guard military stores which may subsequently be needed by Russian forces and to render such aid as may be acceptable to the Russians in the organization of their own self-defense.

"With such objects in view, the Government of the United States is now cooperating with the Governments of France and Great Britain in the neighborhood of Murmansk and Archangel. The United States and Japan are the only powers which are just now in a position to act in Siberia in sufficient force to accomplish even such modest objects as those that have been outlined. The Government of the United States has, therefore, proposed to the Government of Japan that each of the two governments send a force of a few thousand men to Vladivostok, with the purpose of cooperating as a single force in the occupation of Vladivostok and in safeguarding, as far as it may be, the country to the rear of the westward-moving Czecho-Slovaks, and the Japanese Government has consented.

"In taking this action the Government of the United States wishes to announce to the people of Russia, in the most public and solemn manner, that it contemplates no interference with the political sovereignty of Russia, no intervention in her internal affairs—not even in the local affairs of the limited areas which her military force may be obliged to occupy—and no impairment of her territorial integrity, either now or hereafter, but that what we are about to do has as its single and only object the rendering of such aid as shall be acceptable to the Russian people themselves in their endeavors to regain control of their own affairs, their own territory, and their own destiny."

The Japanese issued a similar declaration a few days later, also disclaiming any desire for territorial aggrandizement at the cost of Russia.

(p. 086) During the first week of August, 1918, about 7,000 American soldiers, most of them regulars from the Philippines, were landed at Vladivostok, the United States Government announcing, on August 7, 1918, that Major General William S. Graves, former assistant chief of the Army General Staff, would have command of the American expedition. The Japanese landed a similar force, under General Kikuzo Otani, president of the famous military technical school of Toyama Gakko, and who, on account of his senior rank, would assume command of the entire Allied force. The French and British landed smaller forces each, the former being native troops from Tonkin and the British being local garrisons from India.

Meanwhile the Czecho-Slovak Army in the interior of Russia continued its operations. On July 26, 1918, they reported the capture of Simbirsk, 600 miles east of Moscow; on the last day of the month they gained possession of a large railroad bridge at Syzram, in the Volga region, and on the following day they took the city of Ekaterinburg, where the czar had been executed by order of the Ural regional soviet. In western Siberia they ordered the mobilization of the classes from 1912 to 1920, at Omsk. It was also reported that they were being joined by thousands of Rumanians and Italians who had formerly been soldiers in the Austrian armies and had later been taken prisoners by the imperial Russian armies. By this time it was generally recognized that the original plan of the Czecho-Slovaks, to withdraw from Russia by way of Vladivostok, had been changed to one whereby they were to remain and form the nucleus about which the anti-Bolshevist elements in Russia and the Allies might reconstruct an eastern front against the German forces.

The Japanese, being the first to land at Vladivostok, were the first to advance into the interior, and they immediately took up their position along the Ussuri River, which forms the eastern boundary of Manchuria with Siberia. The Americans, as soon as they arrived, occupied the railway toward Nikolsk.

At this time, in the middle of August, 1918, the main forces of the enemy, Russian Bolsheviki and German and Magyar ex-prisoners, (p. 087) were located near Chita, in Transbaikalia, numbering about 50,000. Others occupied positions along the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, north of Vladivostok.

On August 24, 1918, the first serious fighting took place, when the Japanese, supported by their allies, drove the Red Guards fifteen miles north from the Ussuri. Here the enemy numbered about 8,000, consisting of infantry and some artillery. Four days later the Japanese occupied Krasnoyarsk and Blagovyeshchensk. On September 7, 1918, the Bolshevist naval base at Khabarovsk was taken by Japanese cavalry, the booty including seventeen gunboats, four other vessels, and 120 guns.

One of the objects of the expedition was to establish communications with the Czecho-Slovaks far in the interior of the country, and this was quickly accomplished by an unexpected success on the part of the Allied forces. The isolated Czecho-Slovak army near Lake Baikal, under Colonel Gaida, had been endeavoring to advance toward Chita. General Semenov, the Russian anti-Bolshevist leader, with a force of Cossacks supported by Japanese, had been coming out of China and was also advancing toward Chita. A delayed dispatch from the American Consul at Irkutsk, dated August 13, 1918, brought word that the Bolsheviki army east of Lake Baikal had been destroyed and on September 4, 1918, telegraphic communication between Irkutsk and Vladivostok was reopened. On the same day it was announced that the Czecho-Slovaks and the Cossacks and Japanese under Semenov had joined hands at Chita and that that main stronghold was taken. This gave the Allied forces entire control of the railways in Siberia as far west as Samara, on the Volga River, a few hundred miles from Moscow.

During this period the anti-Bolshevist elements in Russia were cooperating with these efforts in their behalf. On August 5, 1918, the Russian embassy in Washington announced the formation of a new government in Siberia, whose chief purpose was to oust the Soviets and bring Russia back in line with the Allies against Germany.

"The United Siberian Government," said the statement in part, "states that it was elected on January 26, 1916, by the (p. 088) members of a regional Siberian Duma—representative assembly. The point where this government has temporarily transferred its center is Vladivostok, the other members of it remaining at Omsk. A message from those at Omsk has just been received, stating that, owing to the combined efforts of the Czecho-Slovaks and the military organizations of the Siberian Government itself, the following cities have been liberated from the Bolsheviki: Mariinsk, Novo Nicolayevsk, Tomsk, Narim, Tobolsk, Barnaul, Semipalatinsk, Karkarlinski, Atchinsk, and Krasnoyarsk.... The 'Temporary Government of Siberia' adds a public statement of its political aims, which are: the creation of a Russian army, well disciplined, in order to reestablish, in cooperation with the Allies, a battle front against Germany. Siberia, being an inseparable part of United Russia, the Temporary Government of Siberia believes it to be its first duty to safeguard, in the territory of Siberia, the interests of the whole of Russia, to recognize all the international treaties and agreements of Russia with friendly nations which were in force until October 25, 1917, the moment of the Bolshevist uprising...."



As recounted in the previous installment of this work, the Allies and the United States had already, in July, 1918, landed troops in the Murmansk Peninsula, in northern Russia, primarily to ward off a German invasion through Finland, secondly to guard those military supplies and stores which the imperialist Government had purchased in Great Britain and America, though they were still not paid for. These supplies were largely stored in Kola, and there was fear that the Germans, either directly, or through pressure applied to the Soviet Government in Moscow, might obtain possession of them.

(p. 089) The first Allied forces had been landed on July 15, 1918, and included some American marines. On the following day, in declaring the object of this act of intervention, Rear Admiral Kemp, of the British Navy, had announced that the Allied forces would advance southward "in accord with the local soviet authorities, and at the request of the local population for help."

On August 4, 1918, another force was landed at Archangel, on the south shore of the White Sea, and had taken control of the coast northward to Murmansk. Included in this force were some American troops and members of the Russian Officers League. An anti-Bolshevist revolution had already taken place in Archangel, and when the Allies landed they were greeted with much enthusiasm by the population.

Under the protection of the Allied forces in this region a Provisional Government of the Country of the North was at once organized, largely made up of Socialistic elements: Social Revolutionists and the Mensheviki, the minority party of the Social Democrats. The leaders were members of the Constituent Assembly which the Bolsheviki had dispersed in Petrograd on its attempt to hold its first session. The president of the new republic was Nicholas Tchaikovsky, the noted Russian revolutionist of early days and colleague of "Grandmother" Breshkovskaya. On August 7, 1918, Tchaikovsky's Government issued a proclamation of its purposes, in which, after denouncing the Bolsheviki as traitors to Russia, it was declared that the Government of the North Country desired to defend the country against German invasion, to reestablish the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, and to maintain law and order in the interests of all the people.

"The Government," continued the manifesto, "counts on the Russian, American, and British peoples, as well as those of other nations, for aid in combating famine and relieving the financial situation. It recognizes that intervention by the Allies in Russia's internal affairs is not directed against the interests of the people, and that the people will welcome the Allied troops who have come to fight against the common enemy...."

(p. 090) The Allied forces landed in Archangel, in cooperation with those already established on the Murmansk coast, and Russian White Guards and volunteers began to advance toward the south, in the direction of Vologda, with the purpose of joining hands with the extreme western wing of the Czecho-Slovaks, and thus establish a complete chain through Russia from the White Sea to the Pacific. On August 31, 1918, an attack was made on Obozerskaya, seventy-five miles south of Archangel, and taken.

On September 8, 1918, Tchaikovsky's Government was overthrown by elements opposed to it, though still in favor of Allied intervention, but four days later these counter-revolutionary forces were persuaded to retire from the field and permit Tchaikovsky to reestablish himself. On September 11, 1918, more American troops were landed to augment the Allied forces, these Americans being men picked for their special fitness for standing the rigors of a northern Russian winter. In the middle of September, 1918, the first really serious contact with the enemy took place and, as admitted by Pravda, the official organ of the Bolsheviki in Moscow, the Soviet forces were seriously defeated and driven southward. Many Bolshevist officers, said Pravda, had deserted to the enemy.



The first landing of Allied soldiers, on the Murmansk Coast, had brought forth a strong protest from the Soviet Government in Moscow, and though the Allied Governments, and especially the United States, were still inclined to hold friendly relations with the Bolshevist Government, these relations now began undergoing a decided change. On July 29, 1918, Lenine, at a closed meeting of the executive committee of his Government, (p. 091) had declared that Russia was in a state of war with the Entente nations, but when the Entente diplomats sought further details regarding this statement, the Foreign Minister, Tchitcherin, replied that this was merely a private utterance on the part of the Bolshevist premier and had not been made in his official capacity; that, at any rate, it was meant only to imply that Russia was defending herself against foreign invasion. At the time he urged the American ambassador and the other Allied representatives, who were then in Vologda, to return to Moscow. But instead of complying with this request Mr. Francis and his colleagues removed to Archangel, where they would be under the protection of the Allied forces of occupation. In a final message to the Russian foreign minister, Mr. Francis stated that he had no intention of quitting Russia, and that at any rate he would only be absent temporarily. The Allied consuls, he added, would remain. Tchitcherin, on the other hand, said that, even if they did depart, the absence of the Allied diplomats would not affect the situation, and that there was no reason why the consuls and citizens of the Allied nations should not remain in Russia.

On August 10, 1918, the Bolshevist authorities arrested the British acting consul general in Moscow, together with six of his staff and several French diplomatic agents. The reason given was that the Bolshevist forces had been fired upon by the Allies on landing in Archangel. Great Britain immediately responded by arresting the Bolshevist representative in London, M. Litvinov. A few days later the Britishers arrested in Moscow were released. Nevertheless, De Witt C. Poole, American consul in Moscow, fearing that he might be arrested next, destroyed his private codes, turned over the archives of the consulate to the Swedish consul, then applied for a passport to leave the country.

Hitherto the Soviet Government had shown some discrimination in favor of the United States in dealing with foreign diplomats, its members recognizing the disinterestedness of the United States Government and showing appreciation of President Wilson's reluctance to interfere in the internal affairs of Russia. (p. 092) But after Washington's announcement of its decision to participate in the Siberian expedition together with Japan, this attitude underwent a change. After that announcement had been made, the Soviet Government at Moscow issued a reply to the Japanese and American statements (of August 3, 1918), which was published in the "Tageblatt" of Berlin on August 20, 1918. The following is a translation of this German version:

"The American and Japanese Governments have addressed a message to the Russian people in connection with the landing of their forces on Russian territory. Both Governments declare their armed intervention was dictated by the desire to come to the aid of the Czecho-Slovaks who, it is alleged, are menaced by Germans and Austrians.

"The Russian Federal Republic feels compelled to make this declaration:

"'The statement made by the American and Japanese Governments is not based on accurate information. The Czecho-Slovak detachments are not menaced by either Germans or Austrians. On the soil of the Soviet Republic the battle continues between the Red Soviet Army, created by peasants and workers, on the one hand, and Czecho-Slovak detachments, in concert with landowners, the bourgeoisie, and counter-revolutionaries, on the other.

"'In this battle the workmen and peasants are defending the revolution, which is endangered by the counter-revolution, aided and abetted by the Czecho-Slovaks. The Soviet Government is convinced that its enemies are only attempting to blind proletarian elements of the population and they seek to deceive them by fostering in them the belief that Germans and Austrians are menacing the Czecho-Slovaks.

"'Should, however, the grounds of this attack on the Soviet Republic be really those stated in the Japanese-American message, the Soviet Government suggests that the Governments exactly formulate their wishes in the matter.


(p. 093) Of this and similar protests the Allied Governments took no notice beyond a communication which Minister Francis addressed to Foreign Minister Tchitcherin, in which he said that the pro-German activities of the Soviet Government were the cause of the animosity shown to the Bolsheviki by the Allies.

Toward the end of August, 1918, the British Government had released Litvinov, the Bolshevist representative in London, and the Soviet Government had freed the British subjects under arrest in Moscow, by mutual agreement; relations seemed about to improve. But on August 31, 1918, occurred an incident in Moscow which rendered the situation worse than ever, rousing very strong feeling against the Bolsheviki in Great Britain.

On the evening of August 30, 1918, Premier Lenine, while returning from a public meeting at which he had been a speaker, was shot by a woman and severely wounded. Lenine's place was immediately taken by Leo Kamenev, vice president of the Petrograd Soviet. The would-be assassin, a girl student by the name of Dora Kaplan, was a member of the Social Revolutionary Party, which had long since declared war against the Bolsheviki, but the Soviet officials apparently believed that the initiative for the attempt on Lenine's life came from outside sources.

On the following day, August 31, 1918, a search was ordered of the British embassy in Petrograd. One of the Bolshevist commissioners was instructed to conduct the search, it being reported that the Socialist Revolutionists, Savinkov and Filonenko, were hiding on the premises of the embassy. Accompanied by a detachment of Red Guards, the commissioner, Hillier, went to the embassy and, proceeding to the first floor, was met by shots which killed one of his escort and wounded another. A fight ensued in the corridor, in which Captain Francis Cromie, the British military attaché, was killed. The police then entered the embassy and arrested forty persons. As soon as the news of the attack reached London the British Government sent the following protest to the Soviet Government:

(p. 094) "An outrageous attack has been made on the British embassy in Petrograd, its contents have been sacked and destroyed, Captain Cromie, who tried to defend it, was murdered, and his body barbarously mutilated. We demand immediate reparation and the prompt punishment of anyone responsible for or concerned in this abominable outrage.

"Should the Russian Soviet Government fail to give complete satisfaction, or should any further acts of violence be committed against a British subject, His Majesty's Government will hold the members of the Soviet Government individually responsible and will make every endeavor to secure that they shall be treated as outlaws by the governments of all civilized nations, and that no place of refuge shall be left them. You have already been informed through M. Litvinov that His Majesty's Government was prepared to do everything possible to secure the immediate return of the official representatives of Great Britain and of the Russian Soviet Government to their respective countries. A guarantee was given by His Majesty's Government that as soon as the British officials were allowed to pass the Russo-Finnish frontier, M. Litvinov and all the members of his staff would have permission to proceed immediately to Russia.

"We have now learned that a decree was published on August 29, 1918, ordering the arrest of all British and French subjects between the ages of eighteen and forty, and that British officials have been arrested on trumped-up charges of conspiring against the Soviet Government.

"His Majesty's Government has therefore found it necessary to place M. Litvinov and the members of his staff under preventive arrest until such time as all British representatives are set at liberty and allowed to proceed to the Finnish frontier, free from molestation."

The protest had its effect, in so far that the subjects of the Allied Governments were gradually released and allowed to leave Russia, and late in September, 1918, the British Government allowed the Bolshevist representative, held under arrest in London, to proceed to Russia.

(p. 095) CHAPTER IX


On September 10, 1918, a consular report received in Washington stated that the German Government had finally completed a plan for dividing the Baltic provinces of the former Russian empire into administrative districts, all to constitute a single military administration of the Baltic provinces, with headquarters in Riga. They were to be placed under the authority of the commanding officer of the town and of Von Goesler, the administration chief, who had been at the head of the German administration in Courland. The administration of the provinces included a provincial administration for Courland, with its seat at Mitau; an administration for Livonia, with a seat at Riga; and another for Esthonia, with a seat at Reval. The town of Riga constituted in itself a special administration district, placed under the authority of the captain of the town. Lithuania constituted the military administration of Lithuania, the seat being at Vilna.

Since the defeat of the German armies the peoples of all these provinces have been looking anxiously toward the Allies for some indication of the policy to be pursued regarding disposition of their territories. Early in November, 1918, Esthonia declared itself an independent republic. The Government consists of President Constantine Paets, former mayor of Reval, and a cabinet of eight ministers, the capital being at Reval. The proclamation declared that Esthonia wished to preserve absolute neutrality, and that the Esthonian soldiers in the Russian Army would be recalled and demobilized.

In the middle of October, 1918, the Lithuanians addressed to Prince Maximilian, German chancellor, a note demanding the immediate evacuation of Lithuanian territory. The National Assembly decided to set up a national government and to create an army and a police force. Plans were also announced for the convocation of a permanent national assembly.




The disastrous, abortive attempt of the Austro-Hungarian armies, made at the behest of the German high command as a blind to cover the operations planned for midsummer 1918 on the western front, has been described in detail in the last volume. It will be recalled that it consisted of two distinct phases: The Austrian offensive, begun on June 15, 1918, and resulting during the week following in considerable gains along the Piave; and the Italian counteroffensive, setting in on June 22, 1918, and resulting in the loss to the Austrians of all the newly gained ground, as well as of positions which they had held for quite some time. This counteroffensive had reached its end practically on July 6, 1918. From then on, for some three and one-half months, General Diaz employed his Italian armies, ably supported by various Allied detachments, carefully but continuously for the purpose of securing certain well-defined positions from which to land a powerful offensive movement against the Austro-Hungarians, a movement that had been planned months earlier by the now combined Supreme Command of the Allies at the head of which had been placed General Foch.

How far the new pooling of all Allied military resources had progressed by August, 1918, is, perhaps, most typically illustrated by the appearance on the Italian front of a regiment of United States infantry. Its reception and its review by King Victor Emmanuel of Italy on August 1, 1918, is graphically (p. 097) described by the London "Times" correspondent attached to Italian Headquarters.

"The American infantry," he says, "that have arrived on the Italian front marched past King Victor Emmanuel to-day. Signor Orlando, the prime minister, and Mr. Nelson Page, the American ambassador to Italy, were with the king. A cardinal-archbishop in his scarlet robes was a brilliant figure among the group of gray-clad generals and drab civilians who were waiting to pay their respects to the king.

"The unusual height and bigness of frame of the individual man was what struck one most as the long khaki column moved by. These Americans are comparatively young soldiers, but their review discipline was thoroughly steady. Looking them over, one had the feeling that in the American army the individual as such counts for more than in most European armies. The highly trained amateur, brought to the climax of personal perfection—that is the aim of American training, rather than the production of the machine-made professional soldier.

"The Italian peasants watched the Americans with admiration and delight. 'What a life I have had!' said an old dame, who served me with coffee in a wayside inn. 'I was here as a girl when the French and Piedmontese defeated the Austrians at Solferino. I remember the battle in 1866, when the Italians beat the Austrians again. Then in this war I have seen Italian, British, and French troops pass by, and at last here I am watching the Americans.'"

A stirring manifesto was issued to the Italian army recalling the close relations existing between the United States and Italy before the war and the important part Italians in recent years had been playing in the development of the New World.

Military operations on the Italian front on August 1, 1918, were of minor importance and, in this respect, were quite typical of what was to take place during August, September, and the first three weeks of October, 1918. There was moderate artillery activity along the whole front. At Alano Italian patrols forced advanced Austrian posts to withdraw, inflicting losses and taking (p. 098) some prisoners. A captive balloon and six hostile aeroplanes were brought down.

The Austrian activity moderated somewhat on August 2, 1918. Italian and Allied artillery effectively bombarded Austrian lines of communication at Asiago. Along the whole front Italian patrols were extremely active.

South of Nago, on August 3, 1918, an Italian assault detachment captured by a surprise attack Hill 173 on Dosso Alto, which the Austrians had taken on June 15, 1918. In spite of determined resistance four officers and 172 men were taken prisoners after many had been killed or wounded. During the preceding night French detachments in a series of brilliant surprise attacks had penetrated deeply into the Austrian lines at Zocchi, east of Asiago, capturing some 125 men and considerable material. West of Asiago British troops broke into Gaiga, making some prisoners. In the Tasson region and in the Alano Basin Italian reconnoitering patrols gathered in considerable booty and took some prisoners.

Between Asiago and the Brenta Italian patrols on August 6, 1918, effectively harassed the enemy's advanced lines, inflicting losses and capturing prisoners.

The largest operation that the British, fighting in Italy, had yet carried out was put through between midnight and 4 a. m., August 8, 1918. It was not an attack so much as a simultaneous series of about a dozen raids along the whole of our front. To blow up dugouts, destroy machine-gun emplacements, and take prisoners were the objectives and in realizing them the British troops reached the southern fringe of Asiago town, the first Allied troops to touch its outskirts since 1916.

Like a stroke of noisy magic the British barrage burst out in the silence of the mountain night exactly at 12 o'clock. The Asiago Plateau, a natural stage for warfare, five miles or so across, with barriers of black pine-grown hills to north and south, was for the next three hours ablaze with red, bursting shells, dazzling Verey flares of different colors, solo searchlights, and the dull glow of fires. One could imagine the commotion in the Austrian lines at that sudden interruption of the peace of (p. 099) the summer night. Hungarians, Croats, Bosniaks, tumbling pell-mell from their dugouts; staff officers behind the front, two hours abed, rushing half-dressed to the telephones. For three hours, while the British were about their work, the din went on, until at 3 o'clock they came back, bringing at a small cost 360 prisoners with them, and leaving many enemy dead in their ruined works.

On the same day in the Giudicaris region Italian parties forced the Chiese River. In the Daone Valley other Italian troops surprised a party of the enemy on the southern slope of Dosso del Morti and took twenty-one prisoners. This was a period of raids on a large scale. For several nights Italian or Allied guns spread their fire over the plain of northern Italy. Following on the successful British invasion of the enemy's front line, the French during the night of August 9, 1918, took five officers and 238 men in a surprise attack. On the Sisemol sector, and between there and the Brenta, the Italians brought in sixty prisoners from the enemy front lines.

Again on August 10, 1918, French troops penetrated deeply into the enemy's strong points in Monte Sisemol, destroying part of the garrison and forcing the remainder to surrender. Two hundred and fifty prisoners and eight machine guns were taken.

From their positions on Monte di Valbella, Col del Rosso, and Col di Chele Italian troops succeeded at various points in passing the enemy lines and inflicting heavy losses. They took fifty-nine prisoners, suffering only slight losses themselves.

During August 10 and 11, 1918, the fighting activity along the whole front was very moderate. North of Col del Rosso Italian patrols forced back an advanced Austrian outpost. Five hostile aeroplanes were brought down.

Fighting occurred during the next few days in the Tonale region and in the Lagarina Valley. On the Piave an Italian detachment crossed the western branch of the river, made a surprise landing on an islet west of Grave di Papadopoli and occupied it. Thirty-six prisoners and four machine guns were captured.

(p. 100) In the Tonale region Austrian reactions against advanced Italian positions were repulsed on August 15, 1918. On the Piave, southwest of Grave di Papadopoli, three hostile attacks against the Italian garrison were driven back with heavy losses. Four hostile aeroplanes and a captive balloon were brought down.

There was lively activity by both artilleries during August 16, 1918, on the Asiago Plateau, northwest of the region of Monte Grappa, and on the middle Piave. In the upper Zebru Valley one of the Italian patrols attacked an enemy advance post at an altitude of over 11,000 feet and drove it back. Two hostile aeroplanes were downed.

On August 17, 1918, there were isolated artillery actions from Stalvio to Asiago, in the Grappa region, and on the lower Piave. After violent artillery preparation the enemy attempted, by strong encircling attacks, to retake the Piave Islet, captured by the Italians a few days earlier. After suffering heavy losses, abandoning machine guns and material, and leaving twenty-nine prisoners in Italian hands, the Austrians were forced to retire.

Still another Austrian attack, made the next day, August 18, 1918, against the same position broke down under Italian fire. On the whole front there were artillery duels and considerable activity by reconnoitering patrols.

Early in the morning of August 19, 1918, after violent artillery bombardments, numerous enemy troops attacked from west and from north the Italian lines on the Cornone, forming southern slopes of the Sasso Rosso, on the Asiago front. The Italian garrison stopped the enemy after a brisk hand-to-hand struggle. Reenforcements quickly arrived, counterattacked the enemy, repulsed him with heavy losses, and captured prisoners. Austrian attempts to attack Italian advanced lines north of the Ledro Lake and to surprise protection patrols north of the Col del Rosso were hindered by Italian fire. British reconnoitering parties captured a few prisoners on the Asiago Plateau. Allied batteries had been very active from the Lagarina Valley to Astico Valley. An unusual enemy artillery activity in the Asalone area provoked effective concentrations of fire on the part of the Italian batteries.

Italy's successful offensive, October, 1918.

(p. 102) These local minor engagements and artillery actions were typical of the fighting on the Austro-Italian front during the next ten days, indeed, with few exceptions one might say, almost during the next two months. Day by day fights between advanced posts were reported. Thus Italian reconnoitering patrols captured prisoners on August 27, 1918, as they did, indeed, on almost every day, in the Posina Valley, in the Val di Assa, and in the Grappa region. An Austrian motor boat, maneuvering on Lake Garda in the Grentino sector, was sunk by Italian artillery.

In the Concei Valley enemy attacks were averted on August 28, 1918, by Italian fire. Advanced posts were driven back with losses. Prisoners were taken on the northern slopes of Altissimo, and north of Col del Rosso hostile reconnoitering parties were dispersed.

On the following day, August 29, 1918, in the Brenta Valley, Italian infantry parties, in a successful surprise operation, captured the village of Rivalta. Successively other detachments, with the cooperation of the artillery, occupied the village of Sasso Stefani, after having overcome in a lively fight the stubborn resistance of the enemy. Thirty-eight prisoners, including one officer, were captured. In the region to the north of Col del Rosso, on the Asiago Plateau, two enemy thrusts were again completely arrested by Italian fire.

Italian artillery carried out concentrations in the mountain area on September 1, 1918. On the Piave some boats, containing Austrian troops attempting a surprise attack, were upset. At Stelvio and on the Asiago Plateau Austrian patrols were repulsed with heavy losses to them.

Along the mountainous front Italian artillery on September 6, 1918, effectively shelled the enemy's front lines and rear areas. In the Concalaghi, Pesina, and the Assa Valley Italian patrols engaged enemy exploring and drove them back. North of Monfenera an attempt to raid the advanced lines was arrested by the garrison, which afterward, by a counterattack, put the Austrians to flight with losses. On the lower Piave Austrian scouts attempting to cross the river in small boats were driven back by rifle fire.

(p. 103) During the night following the French carried out a raid which was typical of the work the Allied troops accomplished on the plateau of Asiago. The two companies that made the attack had a mile and a half of no-man's-land to cross. The ground was most difficult—cut up into ravines, pitted with flooded shell holes, densely overgrown with tall grass, and littered not only with old trenches, ruined dugouts and tangles of torn barbed wire, but also with Austrian dead, who still lay there unburied since the big attack in June.

It was at night and in a dense fog that the French started out. It took three hours for the half battalion to grope its way toward the Austrian line, but shortly before 5 o'clock they were ready to attack, and at 9 minutes to 5 a fierce French box barrage—in front and behind the enemy trenches and from the flanks—was opened on the enemy trenches, and the Italian and British artillery on either side started a distracting bombardment. At 5 o'clock precisely the barrage lifted and the French infantry rushed forward to find a smashed trench in front of them, fuming with smoke and dust and strewn with dead and wounded men. Some of the stouter redoubts and machine-gun posts held out for a little while, but with bombs and fire boxes their garrisons were smoked or blasted into silence, and then with fifty prisoners the two French companies came back, having to pass, indeed, through the Austrian barrage, but losing only a few men on the way.

Austro-Hungarian patrols which attempted on September 13, 1918, to approach the Italian lines on Monte Corno, in the Grappa region of the mountain front, were repulsed by the Italian fire.

Italian infantry and ardoti parties after a short but effective artillery bombardment, and assisted by low-flying aeroplanes, in the morning of September 14, 1918, attacked and captured the whole of an Austrian defensive system on the Grovella, south of Corte. Three hundred and fifty prisoners, a number of machine guns, some hundreds of rifles, and much other war material fell into Italian hands.

In the region north and northwest of Grappa, on the northern Italian front, Italian detachments in the morning of September (p. 104) 15, 1918, raided the enemy lines and improved at some points the positions already occupied. The Italians took 321 prisoners and captured numerous machine guns. On the remainder of the front there were artillery duels and patrol activity.

On either side of the narrow and precipitous gorge of the Brenta River, at the point where it leaves the Austrian lines and enters the Vallian, an eyewitness of some of these attacks says, there has existed since last winter a formidable barricade of wire and a complex system of enemy trenches. Wire fills the whole valley with an impassable tangle. It lies half under water in the rushing stream itself and writhes up each wall of the steeply sloping rock on either side. Moreover, on the ledges and in the caves and crannies of those high cliffs were hidden Austrian machine guns to sweep the narrow gorge below.

Yet with a sudden attack at dawn of September 16, 1918, Italian infantry rushed the whole of this barrier system and captured nearly 350 prisoners. The fighting was severe, but short, in the dark ravine, and the Italians' victory was aided by their aeroplanes, which dived one after another into that gap between the high mountains, dropping bombs and emptying drums of machine-gun bullets upon the Austrian garrison below. Shortly afterward another sector close at hand, to the north of Mount Grappa broke into activity. A series of little raids and rushes were carried out there to improve the line in several places. At once, here too, the Italians made good their intentions, and took over 300 prisoners and a number of machine guns.

Along the whole front there were artillery actions of a harassing nature during September 10, 1918. Italian batteries caused fires at Melette, in the Asiago Plateau region and blew up an ammunition dump near Grisolera, on the lower Piave River. Attempts of hostile assault parties failed in front of the Italian lines south of Mori, at Mont Corno, and Val Arsa, to the north of Grappa and east of Salettuol.

On the other hand, Italian reconnoitering parties attacked and drove back in the Ledro Valley a small observation post of the enemy, who left dead and prisoners. Ammunition and (p. 105) various material were brought back from reconnoissances at Tonaleselle and on the islets in the Piave in the Montello region. One hostile aeroplane was brought down. West of Feeri, and in the valley of Jenioa, there were patrol encounters with the capture of some prisoners by the Italians.

Among the Allied troops fighting with the Italians was a Czecho-Slovak unit. On September 21, 1918, an action occurred between these troops and German and Hungarian forces on the Trentino front. It was the first in Italy in which the Czecho-Slovaks operated as a unit in their regular formation. The enemy launched the attack, prepared with greatest secrecy, east of Lake Garda. It appeared from the dispatches that the Germans and Magyars had no definite territorial objective, but planned the stroke in the hope of gaining support for the Austrian claim that the Czecho-Slovaks would give way voluntarily when faced by the army of the country that so long had held them in subjugation.

It was believed in Rome and by officials of the Czecho-Slovak Headquarters in Washington that if the Austrians had achieved even a local success they would, after executing as traitors any Czecho-Slovaks taken prisoners, have again affirmed that the Czecho-Slovaks did not wish to fight against Austria.

The assault was begun at daybreak by picked detachments composed exclusively of Magyars and Germans under General Schiesser. It followed a destructive artillery fire in which thousands of gas shells were used. The Czecho-Slovaks went over the top to meet the foe, and the first column was forced to retire. The second column, after desperate hand-to-hand fighting, succeeded in occupying a part of the Czecho-Slovak position, but was driven out after a bloody battle. No prisoners were taken by either side.

Premier Orlando of Italy paid homage to the valor of the Czecho-Slovaks by a telegram of congratulation to the Czecho-Slovak National Council in Paris.

For the next few weeks this continuous struggle on the part of the Italians to secure the positions necessary for their men was maintained without change.




In spite of the decisive and continuous defeats which the Allies administered to the German armies on the western front in midsummer 1918, the German Government maintained in its public utterances its usual confidence in a victorious outcome of the war. Apropos of the fourth anniversary of the war the German emperor issued one of his typical, high-sounding addresses to the army and navy in which he said:

"Serious years of war lie behind you. The German people, convinced of its just cause, resting on its hard sword, and trusting in God's gracious help, has, with its faithful allies, confronted a world of enemies. Your vigorous fighting spirit carried war in the first year into the enemy's country and preserved the homeland from the horrors and devastations of war. In the second and third years of war you, by destructive blows, broke the strength of the enemy in the east. Meanwhile your comrades in the west offered a brave and victorious front to enormously superior forces.

"As the fruit of these victories the fourth year of war brought us peace in the east. In the west the enemy was heavily hit by the force of your assault. The battles won in recent months count among the highest deeds of fame of German history. You are in the midst of the hardest struggle. Desperate efforts of the enemy will, as hitherto, be foiled by your bravery. Of that I am certain, and with me the entire Fatherland.

"American armies and numerical superiority do not frighten us. It is spirit which brings a decision. Prussian and German (p. 107) history teaches that, as well as the course which the campaign has hitherto taken.

"In comradeship with the army stands my navy. In the unshakable will to victory, in the struggle with opponents who are often superior, and despite the united efforts of the greatest naval powers of the world, my submarines, sure of success, are tenaciously attacking and fighting the vital forces which are streaming across the sea to the enemy. Ever ready for battle, the high-sea forces in untiring work guard the road for the submarines to the open sea and, in union with the defenders of the coast, safeguard for them the sources of their strength.

"Far from home, a small heroic band of our colonial troops is offering a brave resistance to a crushingly superior force.

"We remember with reverence all who have given their lives for the Fatherland. Filled with care for its brothers in the field, the people at home is in its self-sacrificing devotion placing its entire strength at the service of our great cause. We must and we shall continue the fight until the enemy's will to destruction is broken. We will make every sacrifice and put forth every effort to that end. In this spirit the army and the homeland are inseparably bound together. Their united stand and their unbending will will bring victory in the struggle for Germany's right and Germany's freedom. God grant it!"

It was not long, however, before signs appeared that this spirit of confidence was gradually, but surely waning. During the latter part of August and the early part of September, 1918, no opportunity was permitted to pass by the leading men of the German Government that they did not use to indicate to the Allies that German demands had been extensively pared down. The emperor, the crown prince, Von Hindenburg, the chancellor (Von Hertling), Dr. Solf, the foreign minister, and a large number of minor lights continuously expressed in their speeches at every possible occasion how eager they were for peace and how willing they were to come to an understanding.

Early in September, 1918, it became known that General von Linsingen had placed the city of Berlin and the province of Brandenburg in a state of siege and had announced that heavy (p. 108) penalties would be imposed on persons inventing or circulating untrue rumors calculated to disquiet the populace. About the same time a proclamation of considerable length was issued by Field Marshal von Hindenburg warning the German people to resist the "poisonous" propaganda by which the Allies were attempting to undermine their morale. A few days later the emperor made a remarkable speech to the workers of the Krupp works at Essen, remarkable for its unusual moderation as well as for the plea it contained to support the army. Never before in the history of the German emperor had he addressed an assembly of workers in a similar tone of appeal and with as little of the spirit of command.

Momentous events now began to happen in Germany in quick succession. On September 29, 1918, Chancellor von Hertling, Vice Chancellor von Payer, and Foreign Minister von Hintze tendered their resignations, which the emperor accepted. They were succeeded respectively by Prince Max of Baden, Mathias Erzberger, and Dr. W. S. Solf. The first of these was the heir presumptive to the grand ducal throne of Baden, a man about fifty years old and with comparatively moderate and progressive views. The second was a leader of the Centrist (Catholic) party and had frequently expressed his opposition to indemnities and annexations. The third, the former Colonial Secretary, also could be considered as a man of moderate political views. At the same time a number of Socialists entered the Cabinet. Dr. Eduard David became Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Herr Bauer, Secretary of State of the Labor Office, and Philipp Scheidemann, Majority Socialist leader, Secretary of State without Portfolio.

No time was lost by the new chancellor in starting a new drive for a peace by negotiation. On October 4, 1918, he sent through the Swiss Government his famous note appealing to President Wilson for immediate institution of peace negotiations, based on the President's message to Congress on January 8, 1918, and on his speech of September 27, 1918, involving the "Fourteen Points." This was followed by an exchange of notes between the German Government and the President, in which (p. 109) Mr. Wilson stated the views of the Allies with firmness. These notes may be considered the beginning of the end.

The day after Prince Max had sent his first note he made a speech in the Reichstag which perhaps was the most moderate utterance made by any member of the German Government since the start of the war. In it he declares his agreement with the program of the majority parties in the Reichstag which, according to the "Berliner Tageblatt," involved:

"(1) Adherence to the Imperial Government's reply to the papal note of August 1, 1917.

"(2) Declaration of readiness to join the League of Nations in accordance with the following principles—namely, that the league shall comprise all states, and be based on the idea of equality for all peoples, its aim is to safeguard a lasting peace, independent existence and free economic development for all peoples; the League of Nations, with all its resources, protects the states which join it in the rights guaranteed to them by the league, which recognizes their possessions and excludes all special treaties opposed to the aims of the league; the foundations of the league are comprehensive, and comprise the extension of international law, reciprocal obligation of states to submit to peaceful treatment every conflict which is not solvable by diplomatic means, the carrying out of the principle of freedom of the seas, the understanding regarding all-round simultaneous disarmament on land and water, the guaranteeing of an open door for economic, civil, and legal intercourse between nations, and international extension of social legislation and protection for workers.

"(3) An unequivocal declaration regarding the restoration of Belgium and an agreement regarding indemnification.

"(4) The peace treaties hitherto concluded must form no hindrance to the general conclusion of peace. In the Baltic provinces of Lithuania and Poland, popular assemblies are to be created at the earliest possible moment on a broad basis. These states, where civil administration is to be introduced at the earliest possible moment, are to settle their own constitutions and their relations to neighboring peoples.

(p. 110) "(5) Provides for the establishment of an independent federal state of Alsace-Lorraine, with full autonomy corresponding to the demand of Alsace-Lorraine for a popular assembly.

"(6) The carrying out without delay of electoral reform in Prussia; likewise the endeavor to bring about such reform in those federal states which are still without it.

"(7) Aims at coordination of the Imperial Government and the summoning of Government representatives from Parliament to carry out a uniform Imperial policy. The strict observance of all constitutional responsibility. The abolition of all military institutions that serve for the exercise of political influence.

"(8) Says that with a view to the protection of personal liberty, right of meeting, and the freedom of the press, prescriptions regarding the state of siege shall immediately be amended and the censorship restricted to questions of relations to foreign governments, war, strategy, and tactics, troop movements, and the manufacture of war material. The establishment of a political control department for all measures taken on the ground of the state of siege is also demanded."

During the next two weeks a number of constitutional reforms were instituted. The Prussian Diet passed an equal franchise law. The emperor's prerogative to make war and peace and to make treaties with foreign nations was abridged and required the consent of the Federal Council and the Reichstag.

Day by day now the signs of internal collapse became more evident. On October 24, 1918, Dr. Karl Liebknecht was released from prison. Three days later the emperor accepted the resignation of General von Ludendorff, considered generally the head and leader of the militarists and junkers. On the same day a meeting of the Crown Council and of many dignitaries of the entire empire took place. Abdication of the emperor and crown prince became one of the principal topics of discussion, even though the emperor on November 3, 1918, in a manifesto expressed his full support of all reforms.

On November 7, 1918, the German fleet revolted. Kiel was seized by the Soldiers' Council. The emperor's brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, was reported to have fled. On November 8, (p. 111) 1918, the chancellor resigned, but his resignation was not accepted. On the same day Bavaria was declared a republic. The revolution broke out in many other parts of the empire. On November 9, 1918, the chancellor published the following decree:

"The kaiser and king has decided to renounce the throne.

"The Imperial Chancellor will remain in office until the questions connected with the abdication of the kaiser, the renouncing by the crown prince of the throne of the German Empire and of Prussia, and the setting up of a regency have been settled.

"For the regency he intends to appoint Deputy Ebert as Imperial Chancellor, and he proposes that a bill shall be brought in for the establishment of a law providing for the immediate promulgation of general suffrage and for a constitutional German National Assembly, which will settle finally the future form of government of the German nation and of those peoples which might be desirous of coming within the empire.

The Imperial Chancellor."

The new German chancellor, the Socialist Deputy Friedrich Ebert, announced these momentous events in the following manifesto, dated November 10, 1918:

"Citizens: The ex-Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden, in agreement with all the secretaries of state, has handed over to me the task of liquidating his affairs as chancellor. I am on the point of forming a new Government in accord with the various parties, and will keep public opinion freely informed of the course of events.

"The new Government will be a Government of the people. It must make every effort to secure in the quickest possible time peace for the German people and consolidate the liberty which they have won.

"The new Government has taken charge of the administration, to preserve the German people from civil war and famine and to accomplish their legitimate claim to autonomy. The Government can solve this problem only if all the officials in town and country will help.

(p. 112) "I know it will be difficult for some to work with the new men who have taken charge of the empire, but I appeal to their love of the people. Lack of organization would in this heavy time mean anarchy in Germany and the surrender of the country to tremendous misery. Therefore, help your native country with fearless, indefatigable work for the future, everyone at his post.

"I demand everyone's support in the hard task awaiting us. You know how seriously the war has menaced the provisioning of the people, which is the first condition of the people's existence. The political transformation should not trouble the people. The food supply is the first duty of all, whether in town or country, and they should not embarrass, but rather aid, the production of food supplies and their transport to the towns.

"Food shortage signifies pillage and robbery, with great misery. The poorest will suffer the most, and the industrial worker will be affected hardest. All who illicitly lay hands on food supplies or other supplies of prime necessity or the means of transport necessary for their distribution will be guilty in the highest degree toward the community.

"I ask you immediately to leave the streets and remain orderly and calm."

On the same day the emperor and the crown prince fled to Holland, where they were promptly interned. Not until some time later did the actual text of their abdications become known; that of the emperor was published on November 30, 1918, and that of his eldest son on December 6, 1918. The former read:

"I hereby for all the future renounce my rights to the Crown of Prussia and my rights to the German Imperial Crown. At the same time I release all officials of the German Empire and Prussia, as well as all the noncommissioned officers and men of the Navy, of the Prussian Army, and of the Federal contingents, from the oath of fealty which they have made to me as their Kaiser, King, and Supreme Commander. I expect of them that until the reorganization of the German people they will (p. 113) assist those who have been entrusted with the duty of protecting the nation against the threatening danger of anarchy, famine, and foreign rule.

"Given under our own hand and our Imperial Seal, Amerongen, November 28, 1918.

"(Signed) Wilhelm."

One by one the kings, grand dukes, dukes, and princes of the various German states abdicated and, finally, the last autocratic monarchies of the western world had disappeared.



Jerusalem surrendered, it will be recalled, to General Allenby, commander in chief of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force, on December 9, 1917. Two days later he entered, at the head of his victorious army, the Holy City, at last again in the hands of Christendom. From then on the British advance continued steadily, even if slowly, toward the north across the whole breadth of Palestine. Jericho fell on February 21, 1918. There was much fighting during March and April, 1918, but after that a period of comparative inactivity set in which was utilized by the British to repair the damages which war had wrought in the Holy Land and to carry through sanitary and administrative reforms which laid a sound foundation for bringing back some of the glory of past centuries. Not until September, 1918, did any military operations of importance occur. Then, however, a new British offensive set in, described in the following pages, which was to drive the Turks forever out of Palestine, Syria, and Arabia.

Much the same story is to be told about the British operations in Mesopotamia, along the Tigris and Euphrates. There, it will (p. 114) be remembered, General Maude had captured Bagdad, the ancient capital of the Caliphs, on March 11, 1917, and had then followed up his success by a steady advance in a northwesterly direction until he fell a victim to cholera on November 19, 1917. He had been succeeded in the command in chief of the Indian Expeditionary Force by General Marshall, who, with the same tenacity as his lamented predecessor and as his companion in arms in Palestine, continued to push the British advance during the balance of 1917 and the first half of 1918. The ancient city of Hit was captured in March, 1918, and from then on the Turks were driven back without let-up.

A considerable share of the victory in Palestine was due to the Arabs who had rebelled against the Turk and, under the king of the Hedjaz, had allied themselves with the British. As early as February, 1918, the Arab and British fronts had been joined at the Dead Sea, and from then on had cooperated in the closest possible manner against the common enemy whom even German support was to avail nothing.

During the early summer of 1918, comparative inactivity ruled along the Palestine front. In August, 1918, only a few minor operations were reported. Thus, on the morning of August 8, 1918, an extensive bombing raid was carried out by Royal Air Force and Australian units against the Turkish camps and establishments in the vicinity of Amman railway station, on the Hedjaz Railway, twenty-five miles east of the Jericho bridgehead.

On the same day Imperial Camel troops, cooperating with the Arab forces of the king of the Hedjaz, seized Mudawara railway station on the Hedjaz Railway, sixty-five miles south of Maan, killing thirty-five and capturing 120 of the enemy, with two guns and three machine guns.

During the night of August 12, 1918, British troops carried out a series of successful raids at various points on a frontage of ten miles astride the Jerusalem-Nablus (Shechem) road, killing some 200 of the enemy and capturing seventeen Turkish officers and 230 of other ranks, with fifteen machine guns.

The conquest of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia by the British armies.

(p. 116) Then again there was a month of inactivity, ominous by its very quietness. And, indeed, before long the storm broke. Soon after the middle of September, 1918, a carefully planned offensive was started by General Allenby, an offensive which was destined to free the Holy Land from Turkish domination.

During the night of September 18, 1918, British troops commenced a general attack on the front between the Jordan and the sea. To the east of the Jerusalem-Shechem road British and Indian troops advanced and successfully intercepted the Turkish road communications leading southeast from Shechem.

Early in the morning of September 19, 1918, the main attack, in which French troops participated, was launched, after a short bombardment, between Rafat and the coast.

The Allied infantry made rapid progress, overrunning the entire hostile defensive system on this frontage by 8 a. m., and penetrating to a maximum depth of five miles before swinging eastward. Tul Keram railway junction was occupied in the course of the afternoon, while a brigade of Australian Light Horse had reached the main Tul Keram-Messudieh railway and road in the vicinity of Anebta, cutting off large bodies of the retreating enemy, with guns and transport. Meantime a strong cavalry force of British, Indian, and Australian troops, moving northward in the coastal plain, seized the road junction of Hudeira, nineteen miles from the point of departure, and twenty-eight miles north of Joppe, by midday.

East of the Jordan, a strong detachment of the Arab troops of the king of the Hedjaz, descending on the Turkish railway junction of Deraa, severed the rail communications leading north, south, and west from that center. Naval units cooperated with the advance of the land troops, clearing the coastal roads with gunfire.

By 8 p. m. on September 19, 1918, over 3,000 prisoners had passed through corps cages, many more being reported, but not yet counted. Large quantities of material had also been taken.

By 8 p. m. on September 20, 1918, the enemy resistance had collapsed everywhere, save on the Turkish left in the Jordan (p. 117) Valley. The British left wing, having swung round to the east, had reached the line Bidieh-Baka-Messudieh Junction, astride the rail and roads converging on Shechem from the west. The right wing, advancing through difficult country against considerable resistance, had reached the line Khan Jibeit-Es Sawieh, facing north astride the Jerusalem-Shechem road. On the north, cavalry, traversing the Field of Armageddon, had occupied Nazareth, Afuleh, and Beisan, and were collecting the disorganized masses of enemy troops and transport as they arrived from the south.

All avenues of escape open to the enemy, except the fords across the Jordan between Beisan and Jisr-ed-Damieh, a distance of twenty-seven miles, were thus closed. East of the Jordan, the Arab forces of the king of the Hedjaz had effected numerous demolitions on the railways radiating from Deraa, several important bridges, including one in the Yarmuk Valley, having been destroyed.

By 9 p. m. on September 21, 1918, the infantry of the British left wing, pivoting on their left about Bir Asur, five miles east by north from Tul Keram, had reached the line Beit Dejan-Semaria-Bir Asur, shepherding the enemy on and west of the Jerusalem-Shechem road into the arms of the cavalry operating southward from Jenin and Beisan.

Other enemy columns vainly attempted to escape into the Jordan Valley, in the direction of Jisr-ed Damieh, southeast of Shechem, which was still held by enemy troops. These columns suffered severely from British aircraft, which constantly harassed them with bombs and machine-gun fire from low altitudes.

In the vicinity of Lake Galilee British cavalry detachments held Nazareth and the rail and road passages over the Jordan at Jisr el Mujamia.

Having seized the passages off the Jordan at Jisr-ed Damieh, twenty-three miles north of the Dead Sea, on the morning of September 22, 1918, the last avenue of escape open to the enemy west of the river was closed. The Seventh and Eighth Turkish Armies virtually ceased to exist. Their entire transport was in British hands.

(p. 118) By September 22, 1918, 25,000 prisoners and 260 guns had been counted, but many prisoners and much material remained to be enumerated.

East of the Jordan the enemy was reported on September 24, 1918, withdrawing toward Amman, on the Hedjaz Railway, twenty-four miles east of the Jordan, pursued by Australian, New Zealand, East Indian, and Jewish troops, which had reached Es Salt, eleven miles east of the Jordan, capturing guns and prisoners. In the north cavalry had occupied Jaifa and Acre, after slight opposition.

The Arab forces of King Hussein had occupied Maan, about seventy miles south of the Dead Sea and were harassing the bodies of the enemy retreating northward toward Amman along the Hedjaz Railway.

Operations against Amman were begun at dawn of September 26, 1918, by the Anzacs. By 2 o'clock that afternoon this ancient stronghold of the Turks, in the defense of which they were assisted by German forces, had been rushed by New Zealand troops.

On the north affairs were progressing equally favorable to the British forces. During the night of September 27, 1918, the cavalry of General Allenby's Army swam and forded the Jordan north of Lake Tiberias, and on the day following captured the high ground to the east. Early that morning they were astride the Damascus road at Dar Ezaras and later that day they had advanced to El Kuneitrah, forty miles southwest of Damascus.

On the same day other cavalry detachments of General Allenby's Army joined hands with the Arab Army at Deraa, in Gilead. From then on, both from the Jordan crossing and from Deraa, British cavalry and armored cars pushed forward to Damascus, either route being about fifty miles in length. The Arabs were cooperating on the Deraa-Damascus line, which is that of the Hedjaz Railway. In their pursuit the advancing columns crossed both the Pharpar and the Albana, "the rivers of Damascus." By the evening of September 30, 1918, British cavalry had established themselves on the north, west, and south of Damascus. (p. 119) From the enemy rear guards, which disputed the advance throughout the day, 1,000 prisoners and five guns were taken. Finally, troops of the Australian Mounted Division entered Damascus during the night of September 30, 1918. At 6 a. m. on October 1, 1918, the city was occupied by a British force and and by a portion of the Arab Army of King Hussein. Over 7,000 prisoners were taken. After the surrender, with the exception of necessary guards, all the Allied troops were withdrawn from the city, and for the time being the local authorities remained responsible for its administration.

Damascus has a population of from 230,000 to 300,000. It is the starting point of the Hedjaz Railway, built by Abdul Hamid, nominally for the benefit of pilgrims to Mecca and Medina, but in reality to increase the Ottoman hold on western Arabia. This line connects southward with the railways to Palestine, while westward a railway runs to the important seaport of Beirut. Northward a railway runs to Homs and Aleppo, fifty miles distant, where it connects with the Bagdad Railway.

During the next few days there was no change in the general situation. To the north and west of Damascus, on the Aleppo and Beirut roads respectively, British cavalry were clearing the country, and took over 15,000 prisoners in that area.

Since the commencement of operations on the night of September 18, 1918, over 71,000 prisoners and 350 guns had been captured, besides some 8,000 prisoners claimed by the Arab Army of King Hussein. Included in these figures are the Turkish commanders of the Sixteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-fourth, Fifty-third, and composite divisions, the commander of the Maan garrison, and German and Austrian troops numbering over 200 officers and 3,000 of other ranks.

In the afternoon of October 6, 1918, Zahleh, at the foot of Mount Lebanon, and Raysk, respectively thirty-three and thirty miles northwest of Damascus, were occupied by British cavalry. Raysk is the point at which the enemy broad-gauge railway from the north joins the 1.05-meter gauge system of Palestine. The latter system was now, therefore, entirely in British hands. A considerable quantity of rolling stock, ammunition, and engineer (p. 120) stores were captured. The railway station and aerodrome had been burned by the retreating enemy prior to evacuation.

In the coastal area the enemy evacuated Beirut and retired northward. Saida (Sidon) was occupied by British troops on October 7, 1918, without opposition. French and British warships entered the port of Beirut on October 6, 1918, finding the town evacuated by the enemy.

On October 7, 1918, British armored cars, preceding cavalry and infantry columns, arrived, and on October 8, 1918, advanced detachments of British and Indian infantry occupied the place, being received enthusiastically by the inhabitants.

The number of prisoners taken by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, exclusive of those taken by the Arab Armies, had risen to over 75,000, and it was estimated that of the entire strength of the Turkish Fourth, Seventh, and Eighth Armies not more than 17,000 in all had escaped, this figure including about 4,000 effective rifles. Many of the prisoners captured were in a lamentable state of exhaustion. The prisoners taken by the Arab forces numbered 8,000, so that the total captures by the Allies in Palestine and Syria since September 18, 1918, amounted to over 83,000. Of these over 3,200 were Germans or Austrians.

In occupying Beirut the British captured sixty Turkish officers and 600 men. Baalbek was entered by armored car batteries on October 9, 1918, after a force of some 500 Turks had surrendered to the inhabitants. Advanced British cavalry and armored cars occupied Tripoli thirty-five miles north of Beirut, on October 13, 1918, and Homs, on the Damascus-Aleppo Railroad, about eighty miles distant from either of these two cities, on October 15, 1918.

In Mesopotamia British troops continued to pursue the Turks on both banks of the Tigris. On October 25, 1918, British columns moving up the eastern bank forced the passage of the Lesser Zab near its mouth in conjunction with cavalry, which had crossed this river on the previous evening seven miles farther upstream. The latter movement turned the left flank of a Turkish force holding the angle formed by the junction of the Lesser (p. 121) Zab with the Tigris, and assisted the main body to drive the enemy across the Tigris to the western bank.

Meanwhile other British troops advancing up the right on western bank of the Tigris over a difficult country, much cut up by ravines, forced the Turks from a hill position which they were holding in prolongation of their forces on the left bank. The enemy, after burning their stores, retired about four miles farther up the river.

On the Kirkuk road, the main Bagdad-Mosul highway, lying east of the Tigris, British patrols entered the southern outskirts of Kirkuk. The Turks appear to be occupying in strength the high ground to the north of the town, which is about 100 miles southeast of Mosul.

On October 26, 1918, the Turks still held a strong position on the Jebel Hamrin, west of the mouth of the Lesser Zab. But on the previous day British armored cars, moving by the desert track farther to the west, had struck in on the Turkish line of communications in the neighborhood of Kalet Shergat, where they attacked the enemy's convoys.

At the same time British cavalry, moving up the left bank of the Tigris, threatened the enemy's line of communication from the east. The pressure of British troops in front, combined with attacks on their communications, compelled the Turks to retreat twelve miles to the north during the night of October 26, 1918, to a position three miles south of Kalet Shergat.

By October 27, 1918, the British main body was in touch with Turkish troops covering the crossing of the Lesser Zab.

All that day Turkish reserves tried to break through the Eleventh Indian Cavalry Brigade, who barred the road to Mosul, but without success, though the arrival of Turkish reenforcements from Mosul forced that brigade to draw back its right in order to cover its rear.

On the night of October 27-28, 1918, the Seventh Indian Cavalry Brigade joined the Eleventh, and the Fifty-third Indian Infantry Brigade, moving up the east bank after a march of thirty-three miles, was able to support the cavalry in preventing any Turks from breaking through northward. On October 28, (p. 122) 1918, the Seventeenth Indian Division successfully assaulted the Turkish Shergat position, and on the 29th, though exhausted by their continuous fighting and marching through the rugged hills, pushed forward and attacked till nightfall the Turks who were now hemmed in.

On the morning of October 30, 1918, the Turkish commander surrendered his entire force, consisting of the whole of the Fourteenth Division, the bulk of the Second Division, and portions of two regiments of the Fifth Division, with all their artillery trains and administrative services, amounting to some 8,000 men.

In the meantime, British advanced cavalry and armored cars had occupied Aleppo on the morning of October 26, 1918, after overcoming slight opposition.

British cavalry immediately renewed their advance and by October 28, 1918, they were fifteen miles north of Aleppo, having occupied Muslimie station, the junction of the Bagdad and Damascus-Aleppo Railways.

That evening British cavalry, moving up the east bank of the Tigris, forded the river north of Kalat Shergat, joined the armored cars which approached from the west, and established themselves astride the Turkish communications with Mosul.

There they were heavily attacked by the Turks on October 29, 1918, and, though the right flank had to withdraw, they succeeded in defeating all attempts to drive them off the road. In the evening they were reenforced by troops from the eastern bank, which enabled them to restore the situation completely.

The same day other British troops advanced up the western bank of the Tigris after a long and difficult march, attacked and drove the Turks from their positions three miles south of Kalat Shergat, and captured the village.

On October 30, 1918, the pursuit continued. The Turks were heavily engaged five miles north of Kalat Shergat, where they put up a stubborn defense in broken ground and ravines. By nightfall the British had penetrated deeply into the enemy positions, (p. 123) and a portion of his force, which attempted to escape to the northwest, was cut off by cavalry from the north, who captured 1,000 prisoners and much material.



On October 24, 1918, indications that a new Allied offensive was about to be started on the Italian front were officially confirmed. An intense artillery fire broke out that morning at dawn along the Italian line. The fire was especially violent in the region of Monte Grappa. Brisk infantry actions occurred on the highlands of the Seven Communes, the Italian troops obtaining considerable success.

At the same time French sections attacked the enemy positions at Monte Sisomel, forcing the defenders to give way and capturing three officers and about 800 men. British troops attacked the Austrian positions south of Asiago and captured six officers and about 300 men.

Violent actions were being carried on by the Italian troops south of Assa and north of Monte Val Bella. A considerable number of enemy troops were captured during this operation.

It soon became evident that this was to be an offensive, carefully prepared and planned on a large scale, but no one then dreamed of the final results it was destined to have, though military officials in Washington apparently had high hopes from the very beginning. They were quoted in newspapers as early as the second day of the offensive as stating that the place selected for the attack indicated that the present operations might be preliminary steps to a major offensive. If the high ground between the Brenta and Piave Rivers were carried in sufficient force, it was believed that it might be possible for the Italian army, supported by French and British units and artillery, (p. 124) and possibly by American troops, to reach the valley of the upper Piave and outflank the whole Austrian position on the lower stretches of the river, running from the Monte Grappa Plateau to the sea. Immediate withdrawal of the Austrian forces on this line would appear to be the certain result of any striking Italian success on the lines under assault.

The Piave forms a great loop, flowing down toward the plateau from the northeast, then swinging sharply southeast to reach the sea. West of the Monte Grappa Heights, that deflect the river's course, the Brenta flows down from the northwest and bends sharply south about the eastern face of the rugged plateau. It was in the territory between the two rivers that the new attack had been launched.

Aside from its military significance, the operation in Italy was being watched closely by officials as a test of the spirit of the Austrian army. Reports of disorders and disaffections in the Dual Monarchy had been persistent for months, and it was regarded as quite within the range of possibility that the war weariness at home would show itself decisively at the front. In that case, it was felt, the early capitulation of Germany's chief ally might be expected.

The second day's news, indeed, supported these high hopes.

Bitter fighting occurred during the morning of October 25, 1918, in the Monte Grappa region. Parties of Italian troops resolutely attacked some portions of the formidable enemy positions and succeeded in wresting from him and maintaining possession of the important supporting points in the western and southern area of the massif. They established themselves on the northern bank of the Ornic Torrent in the Alano Basin. The enemy, who offered stubborn resistance, suffered considerable losses.

A few small islands were occupied at Grave di Papodopoli, in the Piave River. The hostile garrisons were captured. In the Posina-Altico sector and in the Assa Valley enemy advanced posts were destroyed. On the Asiago Plateau, Italian and Allied patrols carried out a small surprise attack with success. The total number of prisoners captured from midnight of October (p. 125) 23 to midnight of October 24, 1918, was four officers and 2,791 men of other ranks.

Again on October 26, 1918, in the region northwest of the Monte Grappa massif, fighting began at dawn and continued the whole day on the terrain carried by the Italians on the preceding day. The struggle was fierce and with varying fortune, but finally the stubbornness of the Fourth Italian Army overcame the desperate attacks of the enemy and the Italian positions were maintained and extended at some points. The Aosta Brigade, with remarkable élan, took Monte Valderoa, to the northwest of Monte Spinoncia.

Aeroplanes bombed and dispersed columns of troops and transports in the Augana Valley, the Cismon Valley, and the Arten Basin. During that day forty-seven officers and 2,002 of other ranks were captured.

The Pesaro Brigade and the Eighteenth and Twenty-third Assault Detachments carried out the difficult conquest of Monte Pertica, which had been formidably fortified by the enemy.

The attack of the Tenth Italian Army across the Piave in the area of the island of Grave di Papodopoli commenced at 6.40 a. m., October 7, 1918. The Italian troops on the right met with strong resistance. After heavy fighting, this resistance was overcome and the advance successfully commenced. On the right of the Eleventh Italian Corps, commanded by General Paolino, British troops advanced east of the river and reached the line from the neighborhood of Roncadelle to a point halfway to Cimadolino and St. Pelo di Piave, where they came in touch with the Fourteenth British Corps, under Lieutenant General Sir U. Babington, who had captured Tezze and Borgo Malamotte. Later in the day the Italians, in conjunction with Allied contingents, crossed the Piave River by force of arms, engaging in bitter battles the enemy, who strove desperately to bar the way.

Between the slopes and heights of Valdobbiadene and the mouth of the Soligo Torrent Italian infantry assault troops had passed, during the night, under violent fire to the left bank of the river, broken into the enemy's front lines, and carried them. (p. 126) Supported by the fire of the artillery on the right bank, they gained ground and repulsed enemy counterattacks throughout the day.

To the south the Tenth Army, taking advantage of the successes of the British at Grave di Papodopoli, compelled the enemy to retire, and repulsed two counterattacks in the direction of Borgo Malanotte and Roncadelle. The prisoners taken during the day aggregated more than 9,000. Fifty-one guns were captured. Allied aircraft, with extreme daring, again attacked the enemy troops from low altitudes.

In local fighting on Monte Grappa 150 prisoners were taken. The enemy heavily attacked on Monte Pertica and obtained a foothold in the Italian positions, although at great sacrifices. Later the Italian infantry, in severe fighting, drove out the enemy and regained the lost positions. By the end of the day the line of the Tenth Army was reported to run south of Stabinzzos, Polo di Piaveborgo, Zanettiborgo, Malanotte, Lasegac, and Tonon.

The next day the battle was continued with equal success by the Italians and their allies. The Twelfth Army took the heights of Valdobbiadene. French infantry captured in assault Mont Pionar. The plain of Sernaglia was occupied. Italian troops carried the heights of Colfosco and had entered Susegana. Advance guards pushed to the left of the Monticono. On the left bank of the Ornic River the Italians had occupied the village of Alano di Piave, taking several hundred prisoners. Aeroplanes daringly carried supplies to advanced troops on the left bank of the Piave.

On the same day it also became officially known that Americans were standing on reserve behind the British and Italian forces now driving across the Piave.

The news, according to a Washington dispatch to the New York "Times," was considered significant not because of the size of the American contingent in Italy or the direct effect it might have on the battle, but because it indicated that the Italian drive was a definite part of the great offensive that was rapidly bringing complete defeat to the Central Powers.

(p. 127) So far as official announcements showed there were but two regiments of infantry and necessary auxiliary troops in the American force in Italy. These units and any others that may have been sent probably were expected to operate as a part of one of the Italian or British organizations when the time had come to throw them into the line. The same practice was followed in France, where two Italian divisions had been employed at various times on the front as units of a French army corps.

The sending of American troops to Italy was not with the idea of adding military strength but to demonstrate the unity of command and purpose on all fronts. For that reason the force detached by General Pershing for this purpose was believed not to have exceeded a brigade of infantry at most. The artillery support contributed by the Allies to the Italian front was largely British. Some American air units were in Italy and had participated in the work at the front.

It became known on October 28, 1918, that American troops were fighting in Italy. On that day the offensive extended southward from the middle Piave. A third army had entered the struggle. On the front from the Brenta to the sea three-quarters of the Italian army were fighting in union with a French division and the 332d American Infantry Regiment.

Between the Brenta and Piave Rivers the bitterness of the resistance and the aggressiveness of the enemy, supported by fresh reserves had, for six days, given the struggle particular fierceness. East of the Piave the enemy was yielding to Italian troops' pressure and the Italian troops were overcoming successive lines.

In the Grappa region the Italian Fourth Army gained advantages. In the region of Pertice and Col del Orso, the Twelfth Army had reached the outskirts of the village of Quero, taken Sequisine, and earned Monte Cesen.

The Eighth Army occupied the defile of Follina and reached Vittorio. There was fighting north of Conegliano. The Italian Tenth Army was beyond the Conegliano-Oderzo road. The Third Army had crossed the Piave to San Dona Piave and east of (p. 128) Zenson. The prisoners captured so far numbered 802 officers and 32,198 men. Of guns several hundred had been taken.

On October 30, 1918, the Italian and Allied armies were continuing to rapidly advance after the retreating enemy, who attempted in vain to retard them. Heads of columns had reached Serravalle, Orsago, Gajarine, and Oderzo. Cavalry divisions were advancing in the plains and some squadrons entered Sacile.

In overcoming strong resistance between the Piave and the Monticano, the Third Army fought brilliantly. The river crossing at Ponti di Piave was carried in a fierce action. The enemy was obliged to evacuate Asiago, which was promptly occupied.

During the rush of the advance it had been impossible to keep count of the thousands of prisoners and many guns. Besides the populations of towns and villages, there had been liberated numbers of Italian prisoners who had been in Austrian hands.

The success of the Italian forces was rapidly assuming great proportions. The routed enemy was retreating east of the Piave, unable to withstand the close pressure of Allied troops on the mountain front. In the Venetian plains and the Alpine foothills the Italian armies were irresistibly directed on the objectives assigned to them. Hostile masses were thronging into the mountain valleys or attempting to reach the crossings on the Tagliamento. Prisoners, guns, material, stores, and depots almost intact, were being left in Italian hands.

The Twelfth Army had completed its possession of the massif of Cison and was now fighting to carry the gorge of Quero. The Eighth Army had captured the spur between the Follina Basin and the Piave Valley. Other forces had occupied the defile of Serravalle and were advancing toward the high plain of Cansiglio and toward Pordenone. Czecho-Slovaks had been in the action throughout the entire week.

In the Grappa region the attack was renewed in the morning. Col Caprile, Col Bonatto, Asolone, Monte Prassaolan, the Solarolo salient, and Monte Spinocia had been carried. On the Asiago Plateau the harassed enemy maintained an aggressive fire.

(p. 129) By then it had been ascertained that the prisoners taken exceeded 50,000. More than 300 guns had been counted.

The advance of the Tenth Army, with which British and American troops were fighting, continued without check throughout the day. British cavalry detachments, in close touch with Italian cavalry, had reached the western outskirts of Sacile. Troops of the Fourteenth British Corps had reached the Livenza River at Francenigo. Farther south the Eleventh Italian Corps had occupied Oderzo. This advance had been gained throughout practically the entire length of the objective assigned to the Earl of Cavan, British Commander on the Piave, by General Diaz when plans were first formed early in October, 1918. The energy and determination of the infantry had been beyond all praise.

The difficulties of bridging the Piave led at first to an inevitable shortness of supplies. In spite of lack of food and sleep and in the face of constant fighting the Thirty-seventh Italian Division and the Seventh and Twenty-third British Divisions had advanced without relief to their final objective. British and Italian troops operating on the Asiago Plateau entered Camporovere (northeast of Asiago) and captured the heights of Mocatz. The number of prisoners taken by the Tenth Army alone had increased to more than 12,000.

The battle continued to expand. The enemy maintained intact his resistance from Stelvio to the Astico, but he was vacillating on the Asiago Plateau and in full retreat along the remainder of the front. He was protected more by interruptions in the roads than by his rear guards, who were irresistibly overwhelmed. Italian batteries, brought forward quickly with captured enemy artillery, were intensely shelling the adversary, firing to the extreme extent of their range. Cavalry divisions, having destroyed the enemy resistance on the Livenza and reestablished crossings, were marching toward the Tagliamento.

The Sixth Army, on October 31, 1918, entered into action with a brilliant advance by the Ancona Brigade at the end of the Brenta Valley, and in the morning it attacked the adversary along the whole front.

(p. 130) On the Grappa, under the impetus of the Fourth Army's thrust, the enemy front had collapsed. It was impossible to estimate the prisoners coming down the mountain in flocks. All the hostile artillery here was captured. The Italians forced the gorge of Quero, passed beyond the spur east of Monteresen, and were advancing in the Piave Valley. Overcoming the enemy rear guards at the Passo di St. Buldo, Italian troops were descending into the Piave Valley toward Belluno. Other parties were engaged in fighting in the hollow of Fadalto, which was still occupied by the enemy. Cavalry and cyclists, following the road to the foothills, were opening the way to Aviano.

By the end of the day the Fourth Army was master of the Fonzaso Valley. The Bologna Brigade entered Feltre that night.

The Twelfth Army, having gone through the Quero defile from the mountains, was joining up on the Piave course with the Eighth Army. The latter had descended the valley of the Piave to the south of Belluno, and had detachments engaged in the Fadalto Valley, which light columns were encircling by way of Farra d'Alpago.

The right wing of the front of the Third Army had been prolonged toward the coast by a marine regiment, which had occupied all the intricate coastal zone, which the enemy in part flooded. A patrol of sailors had reached Caorile. The Third Army by nightfall had reached the Livenza. Advanced guards entered Motta di Livenza and Torre di Mosto. British infantry and mounted troops occupied Sacile. The troops of the Tenth Army reached the line of the Livenza from that place as far south as Brugnera. The number of prisoners was continually increasing, and the various armies captured more than 700 guns. The booty taken was immense, its value being estimated in billions of lire.

As the Italian army prosecuted its victorious advance, most deplorable evidence was coming to light of atrocities by the enemy during the period of invasion. In Italy, as in France, the fury of the barbarians was intense against things and persons. Such fury was witnessed not only by Italian soldiers, but by representatives of the Italian and Allied press accompanying (p. 131) advancing columns. Everywhere there were tokens of willful, useless destruction and brutal robberies. Terrified eyewitnesses narrated horrible scenes. The Italian Government, the military authorities, and the Allies stated that they would not fail to carry out rigorous inquiry regarding abominations committed, of which the enemy must give an account. Italians found in freed zones were in a terrible state. They lacked everything because the enemy during a year of occupation had destroyed, burned, sacked, and carried off everything.

The utter collapse of the Austrian forces and the fierceness of the fighting are well illustrated by a special dispatch sent under date of October 31, 1918, from Italian headquarters east of the Piave and published in the New York "Times" the following day. It said:

"At many points east of the Piave there are so many Austrian prisoners that they block the roads over which they are being marched to the rear. The Venetian plain immediately east of the Piave is a scene of desolation. Houses and villages have been ruined by shell fire. When the advancing Italians reached Sacile they were received as saviors, and the women and children of the town fell on their knees before them. During a recent influenza epidemic in the town the Austrians are said to have brutally rejected appeals from mothers for food for their sick children.

"Every bridge in the path of the advancing Allies has been the scene of fighting. One railroad bridge near Conegliano was lost and retaken thirty times. In the storming of Monte Cismon, which gives to the Allies command of the valleys of the Brenta and Cismon—and the domination of the Brenta virtually means possession of the Trentino—an Austrian battery of six guns which had been shelling the city of Bassano was captured. The morning before it was taken fifty persons were killed in Bassano."

By November 1, 1918, more than 1,000 square miles of Italy's invaded provinces had been reconquered, but the greatest importance of the daring movement conceived by General Diaz was his success in separating the Austrian army occupying the (p. 132) Monte Grappa and Trentino regions from that on the Venetian plains. At the same time he was threatening the Austrian contingents holding the section southeast of the Piave, which, it was expected, would be enveloped or cut off by the Italians advancing toward Pordenone.

Allied troops had reached the Gringo, five miles north of Monte Lisser. They had cut off the retreat of the Austrians in Trentino, except over mule paths in the mountains. On the Asiago Plateau the Sixth Army and two Allied divisions carried formidable positions which the Austrians had held for many months. Monte Mosciavi, Monte Baldo, Monte Longara, La Meletia di Gallio, Sasso Rosso, Monte Spitz, and Lambara were taken. Three thousand prisoners and 232 guns were captured on the Asiago Plateau alone.

Enemy resistance at Fidalto defile was overcome by Italian troops who entered Belluno. The Third Cavalry Division reached the plains north of Pordenone. The Second Cavalry was fighting hostile rear guards in Meduna. The infantry of the Tenth and Third Armies passed the Livenza River between Sacile and San Stino.

East of the Brenta the pursuit continued. On the Asiago Plateau the enemy was resisting to gain time for the masses in the rear to retire, but the troops of the Sixth Army crossed by force of arms the pass between Rotzo and Roana, carrying in a bitter struggle Monte Cimone and Monte Lisser, and were advancing in the valley of the Nos.

The Fourth Army occupied the heights north of the hollow of Fonzaso, and pushed forward columns into the Sugana Valley. The old frontier was passed in the evening. Alpine groups, having crossed the Piave with improvised means in the neighborhood of Busche, spread out in the area between Feltre and San Giustina. Italian troops who the day before won in heavy fighting at the Passo di Boldo the hollow of Fadalto were going up the Cordevole Valley. They had passed beyond Ponte nelle Alpi and were marching toward Longarone.

On the plains an Italian cavalry division under the Count of Turin, having overcome the resistance of the enemy at Castello (p. 133) d'Aviano, Roveredo-in-Piano, San Martino, and San Quirino, occupied Pordenone and passed the Cellima-Meduna. Italian and Allied aviators were complete masters of the air and continued without pause their daring activities. An Italian airship bombarded the railway stations in the Sugana Valley at night.

It was not possible to calculate the number of guns abandoned on the lines of battle, now distant from the fighting fronts, and on the roads. More than 1,600 had been counted so far. More than 80,000 prisoners had been counted. Italian soldiers had liberated also several thousand prisoners from captivity.

British troops of the Tenth Army crossed the Livenza River between Motta and Sacile and established a bridgehead east of that stream. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry Regiment captured twelve mountain guns and fifteen machine guns. The Forty-eighth Division, operating on the Asiago Plateau, was reported to have advanced its line two kilometers northward, but was meeting with machine-gun resistance in the neighborhood of Monte Interrotto.

The First Army on November 2, 1918, captured Monte Majo and attacked Passo della Borcola. In the Posina sector Italian troops took Monte Cimone, on the Tonezzo Plateau, and, after ascending the Assa Valley, occupied Lastebasse.

On the Asiago Plateau the Allies captured a great number of prisoners and guns. Still the advance continued. There were lively rear-guard combats west of Castelnuovo, in the Sugana Valley, and at Ponte della Serra, in the Cismon Valley. In the Cordevole Valley Italian advance guards reached Mis. Italian cavalry occupied Spilimbergo and Pordenone, and the fighting reached the east bank of the Tagliamento, across which patrols had been thrown.

In the plains the heads of the Italian columns reached the line of Azzanodecimo, Portogruaro, Concordia, and Sagittaria.

On the same day Allied troops broke through the enemy's fortifications at Celadel. The Tonale Pass was forced and the Val Arsa taken from Col Santa to the north of Pasubio.

(p. 134) The advance was continuing irresistibly on the Tonezza, the Asiago Plateau, in the Sugana Valley, the valleys of Cismon and Cordevole, and along the Piave and on the plains.

On the Tagliamento, cavalry, supported by mounted batteries, Bersaglieri, and cyclists, was winning bitter combats against the adversary, who, surprised on his side of the river, was fighting with great stubbornness. The Second Brigade, with the regiments from Genoa and Italian and Allied airmen, brilliantly maintained exceptional activity. The total of prisoners had reached 100,000 and the guns captured more than 2,000.

The bridging of the Livenza River was being rapidly carried out by British troops, some of whom were well east of that river. The number of prisoners captured by the Tenth Army alone could not at that time be accurately given, but it was known to be considerably over 15,000, with 150 guns. Of these more than 10,000 prisoners and more than 100 guns had been captured by the Fourteenth British Corps. The booty taken at Sacile included among the vast amount of other material an ordnance workshop complete and a pontoon park. In their operations on the Asiago Plateau the Forty-eighth British Division captured nearly 200 prisoners. The British air force continued throughout the day to bomb the dense masses of retiring Austrians with visibly good results.

In the meantime Austria-Hungary had appealed for an armistice on October 29, 1918. After careful deliberations on the part of the Allies, during the process of which the Italian forces had continued their victorious advance without abatement, the terms on which the Allies had agreed were submitted to the Austrians, who accepted them on November 3, 1918, and hostilities were suspended on November 4, 1918, at 3 p. m. Germany had now lost her route to the East, and if she continued the war must fight single-handed on the western front.

Before the armistice became operative the Italian columns, having passed every obstacle and overcome every resistance, had advanced with great impetus and had firmly established themselves behind the enemy in the Adige Valley, closing the openings of all the roads convergent to it. The Seventh Army, by rapidly (p. 135) taking the region to the west of the Adige, became master of the Passo della Mendola, and had pushed patrols on the river in the direction of Bolzani, The First Army, which, with the advance made on November 3, 1918, by its Twenty-ninth Corps, had crowned its brilliant maneuver for the taking of Trento, occupied Monticelli, dominating the confluence of the Adige Noce. Early in the afternoon of November 4, 1918, the headquarters of this army were established at Trento.

The landing at Trieste began at 11 o'clock a. m., November 3, 1918. The first to land was a battalion of the Royal Italian Marines, which was received by the population assembled on the embankments with great jubilation. The city was bedecked with Italian flags, and in a short time Bersaglieri were marching through its streets, enthusiastically acclaimed by the population.

From then on the Italians extended their successes toward the south along the Dalmatian coast. Within a few days Austria-Hungary lost all her ports and her end as a maritime power seemed assured.

Lissa was occupied by naval forces on the same day. On November 4, 1918, Italian vessels occupied Abbazia, Rovigno, and Parenzo on the Istrian coast, the neighboring island of Lussin, and, in the middle Adriatic, Lagosta, Meleda, and Curzola. Other ships entered the port of Fiume. Small parties of sailors landed at Riva.

Thus the liberation of "Italia Irredenta" was practically completed.



After the overwhelming defeats which the Turkish armies had suffered—as described in other chapters of this volume—in Mesopotamia and Palestine in the fall of 1918, it became clear that the hour for surrender had struck for Turkey.

(p. 136) As soon as the Turkish authorities had decided that their cause was lost, they sent General Townshend, the hero of Kut-el-Amara, who since the British debacle on the Tigris in 1916 had been their prisoner, to inform the British Admiral in command in the Ægean Sea that they desired to open immediately negotiations for an armistice. Vice Admiral Calthorp, the British commander, replied that, if Turkey sent fully accredited plenipotentiaries, they would be informed of the conditions which the Allies had decided to impose upon Turkey before hostilities could cease.

The Turkish plenipotentiaries arrived at Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, in the Ægean Sea, on October 27, 1918. Three days were consumed in parleys, at the end of which the armistice was signed in the evening of October 30, 1918. It was to take effect at noon of the next day, and involved, among others, the following terms: The opening of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, with Allied occupation of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus forts; immediate demobilization of the Turkish army; surrender of war vessels in Turkish waters; right of the Allies to occupy strategic points; withdrawal of Turkish troops from Persia; surrender of garrisons in Hedjaz, Syria, Mesopotamia, etc., to the nearest Allied commander; Turkey to cease all relations with the Central Powers.

Hard on the heels of the surrender of Germany's second ally came the total collapse of its principal supporter, Austria-Hungary.

(p. 137) CHAPTER XV


The sustained success of the Allied armies in France and Belgium in August and September of 1918 strengthened the determination of the Allies not to relax any efforts to prosecute the war to a victorious conclusion. The Central Powers were no less impressed with the trend of events, and throughout September and October repeated efforts were made by Austria-Hungary and by Germany to induce President Wilson to take the first steps toward an armistice and peace. The President made it clear that the United States would urge no course upon the Allies that might in any way sacrifice the military advantage their armies had gained. It became more and more evident that the terms of armistice and peace would be dictated by the Allies.

That Germany was quite as anxious to bring about a speedy armistice as Austria-Hungary was expressed in a note which the Washington Government received on October 30, 1918, and which the State Department declined to make public because it was evident that the document had been prepared mainly for propaganda purposes. The note described the various steps that had been taken to democratize the German Government with the view to impressing the United States that they had complied with President Wilson's stand not to discuss an armistice with a nation that was still dominated by an autocracy. The note endeavored to prove that the German people were now in complete control of the Government, but it failed to impress the Administration, since it did not show any change in the situation created by other German proposals to suspend hostilities. The evident purpose of the appeal was to influence sentiment in foreign countries and gain sympathy in the United States. It was well understood at Washington and in the capitals of the (p. 138) Allies that the Central Powers realized that they faced complete disaster and that their only hope of saving anything from the wreck was to bring about a speedy cessation of hostilities.

On October 31, 1918, the representatives of the Entente Powers assembled at Versailles to consider the terms of the armistice after an informal meeting at the home of Colonel E. M. House, President Wilson's personal representative. On this date Turkey capitulated. The United States had no part in arranging the Turkish armistice, which was chiefly the work of the British and French representatives. The principal terms of the armistice granted by the Allies to Turkey were: The opening of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus and access to the Black Sea, and occupation of all forts along these waters by the Allies. All Allied prisoners of war and Armenian interned persons and prisoners to be collected in Constantinople and handed over unconditionally to the Allies. Immediate demobilization of the Turkish army except such as were required to guard frontiers and maintain internal order. The surrender of all war vessels in Turkish waters, or waters occupied by Turkey. Free use by Allied ships of all ports and anchorages now in Turkish occupation and denial of their use by the enemy. Wireless, cable, and telegraph stations to be controlled by the Allies. The surrender of all garrisons in Hedjaz, Yemen, Mesopotamia, etc. All Germans and Austrians—naval, military, or civilians—to be evacuated within one month from Turkish dominions.

The capitulation of Turkey, though anticipated for some days by the Entente and the United States, was important inasmuch as it was expected to hasten the collapse of the Central Powers. Austria, aflame with anarchy, and with revolutionary mobs parading the capital, had no choice but to submit to the Allies' terms. In Washington the complete collapse and unconditional surrender of Germany was hourly expected.

All interest was now centered in the Supreme War Council in session at Versailles, where the terms to be offered to the Central Powers were under discussion. There were present during the deliberations General Tasker H. Bliss, representing the United States, Premier Clemenceau, Marshal Foch, Field (p. 139) Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Colonel E. M. House, President Wilson's personal representative, and David Lloyd-George, the British prime minister. It was decided that the terms to be submitted to Germany should be confined strictly to military requirements conditioned generally upon President Wilson's principles. During the discussion of Austrian questions Serbian and Greek representatives were present because of their special interest in Austrian affairs.

At Washington President Wilson kept in touch with the United States representatives at the Versailles Council. Colonel House advised the President of the progress of the deliberations, and there were frequent exchanges of communications. It was known in Washington that political and economic conditions in the Central Powers had reached such a pass that Austria could not, and Germany would not, refuse to sign any terms which the Entente was prepared to offer.

The complete destruction of the Austrian armies by the Italians, which resulted in the capture of over 300,000 prisoners and 5,000 guns, left the dual monarchy no alternative but complete surrender. On November 3, 1918, an armistice with Austria was signed by General Diaz, the Italian commander in chief, which went into operation at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the following day. The principal terms in the armistice may be briefly outlined:

Demobilization of the Austro-Hungarian army and withdrawal of all forces operating on the front from the North Sea to Switzerland. Half the divisional corps and army artillery and equipment to be collected at points indicated by the Allies and the United States for delivery to them. Evacuation of all territories invaded by Austria-Hungary since the beginning of the war. The Allies to have the right of free movement over all roads, railroads, and waterways in Austro-Hungarian territory. The armies of the Allies to occupy such strategic points as they deemed necessary to conduct military operations, or to maintain order. Complete evacuation of all German troops within fifteen days from Italian and Balkan fronts and all Austro-Hungarian territory.

(p. 140) Evacuated territories to be governed by local authorities under control of the Allied armies of occupation. Immediate repatriation without reciprocity of all Allied prisoners of war and civil populations evacuated from their homes.

The naval conditions included surrender to the Allies and the United States of fifteen submarines and all German submarines in Austrian waters, three battleships, three light cruisers, nine destroyers, six Danube monitors, etc. Freedom of navigation for the Allies in the Adriatic and all waterways, with occupation of forts and defenses on the Danube. The existing blockade conditions to remain unchanged, and all naval aircraft to be concentrated and impactionized in Austro-Hungarian bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America.

The drastic character of the armistice terms were calculated to please even the "Bitter Enders" in America and Europe. President Wilson's diplomacy was now triumphantly vindicated, and those members of Congress who had found fault with his note writing were ready to concede that to him belonged a great deal of the credit of bringing about a situation that must lead to the ending of the war on the Allies' own terms.

On November 6, 1918, the German Government sent a wireless message to Marshal Foch asking him to receive German plenipotentiaries who would arrive at the French outposts on the following day (November 7) to arrange for the armistice. The mission was headed by Mathias Erzberger, secretary of state, and included General von Winterfeld, Count Alfred von Oberndorf, General von Grunnel, and Naval Captain von Sallow.

As previously noted in the last chapter devoted to military operations, the armistice was signed by the German representatives and all hostilities ceased on November 11, 1918, at 11 a. m. On the same date President Wilson announced the terms of the armistice in his address to Congress. Briefly summarized, Germany agreed to the immediate evacuation of all invaded countries, including Alsace-Lorraine, and yielded over to Allied occupation "the countries on the left bank of the Rhine," including control of the crossings of that river at Mayence, Coblenz, and (p. 141) Cologne; bridgeheads of thirty kilometer radius on the eastern bank and the establishment of a neutral zone from thirty to forty kilometers in breadth and running from the frontier of Holland to the Swiss frontier. Germany surrendered about half her navy, including 160 submarines, which passed at once under control of the Allies to be disarmed and interned in Allied or neutral ports. All other German warships were to be disarmed and concentrated in German naval bases and held under control of the Allies and the United States. All the railways of Belgium, Luxemburg, and of Alsace-Lorraine with their equipment were to be given up.

In the east Germany abandoned the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk. All German troops in Russia, Rumania, or Turkey were to be withdrawn and the agents of German propaganda recalled. The Baltic was opened to the warships of the Allies, and provision was made that through Danzig or the Vistula supplies might be sent to the starving peoples of Poland and Russia.

The Black Sea ports were also to be evacuated by Germany and she must give up the Russian fleet. While the blockade was to be maintained as respected Germany, all German restriction upon the trade of neutrals was removed. Germany must give up all the prisoners she had taken, all the ships she had seized, but this was not reciprocal. German prisoners of war and German ships remained in the custody of the Allies.

While President Wilson was reading to the assembled Congress the drastic terms which Germany had been forced to accept in order to obtain peace there was a tense silence on the part of the great audience. It was only when they realized, as paragraph after paragraph was read, how complete the victory of the Allies was that faint handclapping was heard, then cheers and presently everyone in the gallery and on the floor was on his feet cheering madly. After reading the terms of the armistice President Wilson continued:

"The war thus comes to an end; for, having accepted these terms of armistice, it will be impossible for the German command to renew it."




The fleets of the Allies, and the American fleet, had comparatively few opportunities for direct action after August 1, 1918, yet they had a great share in winning the war.

A British destroyer which had been seriously damaged by collision was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine in the Mediterranean on August 6, 1918. Two officers and five men lost their lives as a result of the collision.

On the next day, August 7, 1918, the old French cruiser Dupetit Thouars, which was cooperating with the American navy in the protection of shipping in the Atlantic, was torpedoed by a submarine. American destroyers rescued the crew, of which, however, thirteen were reported missing. The Dupetit Thouars, 9,367 tons, was launched in 1901. She carried two 6-inch and eight 6.4-inch guns.

Two British destroyers struck mines and sank on August 15, 1918. Twenty-six men were reported missing—presumed killed by explosion or drowned. One man died of wounds.

In the latter part of August, 1918, a notable feat was performed by an Italian submarine. On August 20, 1918, it was officially reported that, a few days before in the upper Adriatic, the Italian submarine F7, after crossing certain mined areas, boldly entered the Gulf of Quarnerolo, and seeing near the island of Pago a large Austrian steamer going south, the F7 succeeded in hitting the vessel amidships with a torpedo, which sank her. The submarine returned unharmed to her base.

(p. 143) Although the Germans gave no opportunity to the British and Allied fleets to enter into a real naval battle, the British were active in the Helgoland Bight, and were carrying out operations with various kinds of light forces in the North Sea, the average number of such operations being no less than five daily. The number of German surface crafts destroyed in the Bight during the year ran into three figures.

A British torpedo-boat destroyer was sunk on September 8, 1918, as the result of a collision during a fog. There were no casualties.

Eight days later, on September 16, 1918, a British monitor was sunk as she was lying in a harbor. One officer and nineteen men were killed and fifty-seven men were missing and were presumed to have been killed.

In the latter part of September, 1918, a part of the British fleet again, as it had done many times before, bombarded successfully the German defenses and points of communication on the Belgian coast. This operation was carried out in cooperation with extensive military operations on the part of the Allied forces on the Flanders front.

Still another British torpedo gunboat was sunk on September 30, 1918, as the result of a collision with a merchant vessel. One officer and fifty-two men were reported missing, presumed to have been drowned.

That the Swedish navy suffered the loss of one of its boats during the month of September, 1918, became known when it was announced on September 25, 1918, that the Swedish gunboat Gunhild had been sunk by striking a German mine in the Skagerrak, with the loss of the chief officer and eighteen men.

On October 17, 1918, the British navy at last came into its own. It will be recalled that by that time the Germans had been forced by the unceasing attacks along the western front, described in another part of this volume, to withdraw from the Belgian coast. Shortly after noon of the 17th, Vice Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, commanding the British Dover Patrol Force, landed at Ostend after Royal Air Force contingents working with the navy had landed at Ostend and had reported it clear of the enemy.

(p. 144) However, it was soon ascertained that the enemy at the time was not clear of the town and a light battery at Le Coq opened fire on the ships. Two shells, falling on the beach close to a crowd, excited the inhabitants. A heavy battery of four guns in the direction of Zeebrugge opened fire on the destroyers, and, as it seemed possible the presence of the naval force might lead to the bombardment of Ostend or to more shells falling in the town, where they would endanger the lives of civilians, the British decided to withdraw the naval force, and thus give the enemy no excuse for firing toward the town. They, therefore, reembarked and the destroyers withdrew, being heavily shelled, to just east of Middelkerke. Four motor launches were left at Ostend as an inshore patrol, the inhabitants being nervous of the Germans returning. The King and Queen of the Belgians expressed the wish to visit Ostend, either from the sea or the air. In view of the difficulty of landing and the uncertainty of the situation, they proceeded in the destroyer Termagant, flying the Belgian flag at the main, to the vicinity of Ostend. The senior officer of the British motor-launch patrol off Ostend, which had been reenforced by French motor launches, reported that all had been quiet for some hours. Their majesties therefore landed and proceeded to the Hôtel de Ville. They were received everywhere with indescribable enthusiasm. They returned to Dunkirk about 10 o'clock at night. The British naval forces suffered no damage and no casualties.

In the morning of November 1, 1918, after the Austrian fleet had been surrendered to the Jugoslav National Committee, Commander Rossetti and Lieutenant Paolucci of the Italian navy succeeded in entering the inner harbor of Pola and sank the large battleship Viribus Unitis, flagship of the Austro-Hungarian fleet. This daring enterprise was accomplished by the use of a so-called "navy tank" which succeeded in penetrating the mine field at the entrance to the harbor. This was described by naval officials as a small vessel, similar to the "Eagle boats" being built for the United States navy.

During this period the Italian navy also was active in the occupation of Austro-Hungarian ports on the Adriatic. Thus Italian (p. 145) battleships entered the ports of Zara and Lussinpiccolo and raised the Italian flag there. Zara is a seaport of Austria-Hungary and is the capital of Dalmatia. It is situated on a promontory on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, 170 miles southeast of Venice. Lussinpiccolo is a town on an island belonging to the Crownland of Istria. It is the principal seaport of the Quarnero Islands, between Istria and the Croatian Coast.

A few days before the cessation of hostilities the British battleship Britannia was torpedoed near the west entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar on November 9, 1918, and sank three and a half hours later. Thirty-nine officers and 673 men were saved. The Britannia, which had a displacement of 16,350 tons, was launched at Portsmouth December 10, 1904. She was 453.7 feet in length, had a speed of approximately nineteen knots, and carried a peace-time complement of 777 men. Her main armament consisted of four 12-inch guns.

The end was rapidly approaching now, and on November 12, 1918, the Allied fleets passed through the Dardanelles in fine weather. British and Indian troops occupying the forts were paraded as the ships passed. The fleet arrived off Constantinople at 8 a. m. on November 13, 1918. This was the fourth time in a century that British battleships passed through the Dardanelles and arrived before Constantinople on a mission of war.

It was 7.30 in the morning, according to the special correspondent of the London "Times," that the flagship Superb was sighted in the Sea of Marmora, steaming slowly toward the entrance of the Bosporus, Behind her came the Temeraire, bearing General Sir Henry Wilson, who was to command the garrisons of Allied troops in the forts of the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The Lord Nelson and the Agamemnon were next, and then followed, in an imposing procession of line ahead, the cruisers, destroyers, and other craft making up the British squadron. Half an hour's steaming behind them, a distance that was diminished toward the end, came the French squadron in similar formation. Then followed the Italian and Greek warships.

(p. 146) At the entrance to the Bosporus the fleet divided into two parts. The Superb and Temeraire, followed by two French battleships, came on as a silent line of great gray ships and anchored close to the European shore of the Straits, within near view of the Sultan's palace and the Turkish Chamber of Deputies. The two French battleships dropped anchor astern of them, and then followed the battleships of Italy and Greece. The rest of the Allied fleet was placed round the corner of the Bosporus in the Sea of Marmora, and at noon the whole fleet was to weigh anchor again and go to its prepared base in the Gulf of Ismid.

General Sir Henry Wilson soon afterward landed on the quay. He was received by Djevad Pasha, Turkish Chief of Staff, and on the quay were drawn up a guard of honor of several hundred British and Indian prisoners of war in their light-colored clothes of blanket cloth. Massed everywhere, as near as the Turkish police would let them come, were dense crowds of the population of Constantinople.

We now come to one of the most dramatic incidents of the war, as far as it affected the naval forces. Early in November, 1918, the mighty German fleet at Kiel had revolted. Soon after that came the cessation of hostilities, following on the signing of the armistice. Included in the terms of the latter were, it will be recalled, certain severe provisions concerning the surrender of a large part of the German naval forces. The time for carrying out these provisions had now been reached.

At sunrise of November 20, 1918, twenty German submarines were surrendered to Rear Admiral Reginald W. Tyrwhitt of the British navy thirty miles off Harwich. These were the first U-boats to be turned over to the Allies by Germany. Admiral Tyrwhitt received the surrender of the German craft on board his flagship, the Curaçao. The submarines proceeded to Harwich in charge of their own crews. They were then boarded by British crews and interpreters, and proceeded to Parkston Quay, near by. Twenty additional submarines were to be surrendered on the following day. Other U-boats were handed over later in accordance with the armistice terms.



A most dramatic event was the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. The British Grand Fleet, accompanied by an American battle squadron and French cruisers, steamed out before dawn in the morning of November 21, 1918, from its Scottish base to accept the surrender of the German battleships, battle cruisers, and destroyers. The point of rendezvous for the Allied and German sea forces was between thirty and forty miles east of May Island, opposite the Firth of Forth. The fleet which witnessed the surrender consisted of some 400 ships, including sixty dreadnoughts, fifty light cruisers, and nearly 200 destroyers. Admiral Sir David Beatty, commander of the Grand Fleet, was on the Queen Elizabeth. The German warships, strung out in a single column almost twenty miles long, were led into the Firth of Forth between twin columns of Allied ships which overlapped the Germans at each end.

The main Allied fleet, extending over a line fourteen miles long in the Firth of Forth, began to weigh anchor at 1 o'clock in the morning. The Scotch mist which for days had obscured the harbor was swept away by a stiff breeze, and the moon shone brilliantly out of a clear sky. The ships quickly took their stations in the long double line they held throughout the day. British battle cruisers led the way, followed by dreadnoughts. Admiral Beatty's flagship, the Queen Elizabeth, led the squadron in the northern column. Five American battleships, the New York, Texas, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Florida, commanded by Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, fell into line behind Admiral Beatty's craft, balancing a British squadron similar in power in the opposite file. All the battleships of the Allies were ready for instant action in case of treachery on the part of the Germans.

The surrender of the German fleet.

The rendezvous was approximately fifty miles distant and the ships gauged their speed to arrive at the appointed place at (p. 149) 8 o'clock. At 5 o'clock a signal summoned the men to battle stations, and, except the officers on the bridges, the ships' companies were hidden behind bulwarks of steel. When dawn broke, the sea was again covered with mist, which reduced the visibility to less than 8,000 yards.

Eyes straining through the murky haze finally were rewarded. Off the starboard bow, the Cardiff, trailing an observation kite balloon, came steaming in. Close behind her came the first of the German ships, the great battle cruiser Seydlitz, which was flying the flag of Commodore Togert. After her came four others of the same type, the Derfflinger, Von der Tann, Hindenburg, and Moltke. They moved along three cable lengths apart.

Immediately following them were nine dreadnoughts, the Friedrich der Grosse, flagship of Rear Admiral von Reuter; the Koenig Albert, Kaiser, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiserin, Bayern, Markgraf, Prinzregent Luitpold, and the Grosser Kurfürst. Three miles astern of the battleships came seven light cruisers, the Karlsruhe, bearing the ensign of Commodore Harder; the Frankfort, Emden, Nürnberg, Brummer, Cöln, and Bremen. Then came another gap of three miles and German destroyers came steaming in, five columns abreast, with ten destroyers to a column.

Every vessel steaming out to meet them flew battle ensigns and was ready for instant action, with its men at battle stations and guns in position.

Six miles separated the Allied columns, and squarely between them the Cardiff brought her charges, all steaming at the stipulated speed of ten knots. As ordered, their guns were in regular fore-and-aft positions, and, as far as powerful glasses could determine, there was no sign to provoke suspicion. Until all the major ships had been swallowed up in the enveloping Allied columns, the latter never for a moment relaxed their alert watch. Over the Germans circled a British dirigible, which acted as eyes for the Allied ships, which, although the fog had lifted, were still too distant for accurate observation.

When the leading German ship had reached the western end of the flanking columns the Allied ships put about in squadrons. (p. 150) Quickly re-forming their lines, they proceeded to escort the enemy into the Firth of Forth. By noon the last wisp of fog had dispersed and a splendid view of the vast array of war craft could be obtained. Holding steadily to its course, the great fleet reached May Island at 2 o'clock. The captive Germans were piloted to anchorages assigned to them and British ships from the northern column steamed on to the regular anchorages higher up the Firth.

Inspection parties from the Grand Fleet boarded the Germans to make sure that all conditions of the armistice were observed. The enemy vessels were to be interned in Scapa Flow. Part of the crews were to remain for maintenance work and the remainder were to be returned to Germany soon.

The total tonnage surrendered, exclusive of submarines, amounted to approximately 420,000, divided as follows: Battle cruisers, 121,000 tons; dreadnoughts, 225,000 tons; light cruisers, 43,000 tons, and destroyers, 30,000.

Even after the cessation of hostilities there was still plenty of work to do for the naval forces of the Allies. After the occupation of Constantinople, already described, Allied ships occupied Odessa on November 26, 1918, and on the same day anchored off Sebastopol, the Russian naval base in the Crimea. There they took over the Russian ships, then in the hands of the Germans, as well as some German submarines.

In the Baltic, too, British and other Allied ships made their appearance. On December 3, 1918, a British squadron, consisting of twenty-two ships and including destroyers, cruisers, mine sweepers, and transport steamers, were reported to have arrived in the port of Libau in Courland. At midnight on December 4, 1918, one of these ships, the British light cruiser Cassandra, of 6,000 tons, struck a mine and sank within an hour with a loss of eleven men. A few days later, on December 6, 1918, it was announced that some of these ships had successfully bombarded, from the Gulf of Finland, front and rear positions held by the Bolsheviki forces in Esthonia, stopping their advance.




The glory of our accomplishment in France lies in the titanic energy and natural resourcefulness of our people which were applied with a unity of purpose which surprised even ourselves. It is possible for us to exaggerate our part in assisting the Allies to final victory, and it is also possible for us to underestimate our part.

If England had not entered the war in 1914, and if Italy and Rumania had not entered later, and if Canada and Australia and the British dominions had not put forth all their strength, and if the United States had not sent an army to France, the Germans would have won. The balance of victory and failure at times hung by a thread. While Americans must always realize that comparatively we suffered slightly beside Britain and France and Italy, and that the Canadians were the veterans of cruel and wicked fighting in holding the western front against the enemy in the height of his confidence, numbers, and efficiency, no one will gainsay that at the end of the conflict we were giving our lives as freely as our neighbors and Allies.

Any consideration of our accomplishment must include the fact that we were as unprepared in April, 1917, for any immense military effort as we had been in August, 1914. While the world witnessed the British making citizen armies out of raw material (p. 152) by slow and costly processes, our governmental policy, to the regret of many of our people, had not been to profit by the application of their experience in view of the emergency which seemed inevitable to many observers, but, as neutrals, to keep ourselves free from any imputation of militaristic aims.

Once we were in the war, the policy of our Government was to put all our preparations in the hands of the regular army and to assist the Allies in every way that was in our power. Our people had learned from observation of the European war that modern warfare required expert direction, and with a unanimity that was startling in a democracy which had always resisted any efforts to form a large army in our country we welcomed the national draft and a centralization of authority in the hands of the President and army chiefs which was out of keeping with all our precedents.

Our training camps were to repeat under the draft the slow and wearisome business of training not only men but officers to command them at the same time that we were building new factories and plants to supply the army with ordnance and with ships to transport men and material to France. As the Allies had waited on England to become prepared, they must now wait on the United States; and in the crisis of their fortunes, when the Germans had had repeated successes, they faced the question of whether or not the resources of the United States in men and material could be transformed into a force that could be exerted by sea against the submarine or on the western front in time to prevent a German victory.

The sending of Major General John J. Pershing to France with a pioneer staff in May, 1917, had for its military purpose the huge and time-consuming task of preparing the way for the troops that were to arrive as soon as we had them trained, and the immediate object of assuring the people of the Allies that we meant to make active warfare on the western front. Although we had relieved the financial stress of the Allies by our loans, and with the removal of our interference with the British blockade we had strengthened the wall around Germany, we were incapable for the first eight months of striking any blow (p. 153) of account against the enemy except through the flotilla of destroyers which we had sent to cooperate with the British navy in combating the submarine. Considering that the French and British had over three million troops on the western front, the total of our regular army of one hundred thousand men, if all had been immediately dispatched to France, would hardly have been an important military factor. In a war where such enormous numbers were engaged, though we might have ten million able-bodied men in the United States, they were of no combat service against the enemy until they were in France, armed and trained.

The French offensive, in the early spring of 1917, had failed with the result that France was depressed and that all observers agreed that it was not in the power of the exhausted French army to undertake another offensive. The Germans, after their retreat across the old Somme battle fields, had stood firm on the Hindenburg line. Despite their losses they had sufficient force on the western front to assure, unless there was some unexpected break in their morale, their retention of their positions in face of the determined attacks of the British in their summer offensives, culminating in the bloody ridge of Passchendaele, which were made not in the expectation of any decision, but to hold German divisions off from the Italian front, from an effort to crush Rumania, an effort against Saloniki and from exploitation of their successes in Russia.

With Russia out of the war, Rumania crippled, the Servian army reduced to a small body of veterans and the Italian offensive making no decisive progress, it was evident that unless Germany could be starved into submission by the blockade, which seemed out of the question from the information in possession of Allied councils, we must have a fighting force in France which should be as strong as either that of the British or the French while its transport across the Atlantic through the submarine zone was by no means assured. Trusting to no adventitious event to make so large an army unnecessary, General Pershing and his staff, after they had studied the situation and conferred with the Allied command, decided that their duty (p. 154) as pioneers was to prepare for the operations in France of an army of at least one million men with the communications and plant for their support capable of expansion for the care of two million men.

As the Allies throughout the war had depended very largely for war material upon America and overseas countries, it was essential that we should be capable of largely providing for our army from the resources of our own country. With the French railway system strained to capacity, and France suffering from a shortage of labor behind the lines, owing to all her able-bodied males being in active service, we must furnish transportation as well as labor from home. Despite the strong influences brought to bear to have our soldiers introduced by regiments and battalions into the French and British armies, it was our duty, not only to our national spirit but to our conception of our duty to the Allies, to form an integral American army which should fight as a unit in the same manner that the British and French armies were fighting.

A glance at the map of the whole western front, in reference to the coast line and the harbors of France and its railway systems, will readily indicate to any observer the strategic character of the conception of General Pershing in 1917, which had its climax of success in November, 1918. The British army was on the left of the long battle line from Switzerland to Flanders, with its bases close to the Channel and home bases. The French army was to hold the center of the line, fighting for the heart of France, and on the right the American army, drawing its supplies three thousand miles across the sea and across southern and central France, was to face the Rhine.

For any great final Allied offensive, unless some unforeseen circumstance favored, the Allies must wait upon the formation of an army of American citizens who would be made approximately as capable in all the complicated technique of modern warfare as the French and British armies. That this achievement was possible we knew because of the success of the British new army, and particularly that of the Canadians, who had not even had as much military preparation as the Australians, but had (p. 155) learned at the cannon's mouth the lessons of experience which no amount of theory or practice can approximate.

As the early introduction of small American forces into the Allied armies must be of relatively small effect in their relation to the immense whole, ample time must be taken for the training and preparation in order to assure the exertion of a maximum of pressure when we should begin to fight in earnest. It was equally important both for the effect upon Allied and German sentiment that when we did begin active campaigning there should be no setbacks for our army. According to the promise which we had made to the French Government we were due to have by July 1, 1918, some five hundred thousand troops in France. Even that number, when you include all the men who were required along the lines of communication, seemed a small force on the continent of Europe, and, at the time that this program was arranged, the suggestion of a million men in France was probably considered seriously only by the officers who were on the ground.

The first American troops to arrive in France was the 1st Division of regulars (then under command of Sibert), including the brigade of Marines. They were very largely raw recruits, in no sense a highly trained regular division; they were to be followed by regular divisions and National Guard divisions, which were to be established in their drill grounds for periods of training before entering the trenches.

Indeed the history of our operations may be divided into three phases:

The first was the period of preparation and training and of trench experience of the earlier divisions and of the organization of our general staff, the instruction of our reserve officers in the various schools and in the actual work at the front, and inaugurating the immense constructive work required for our lines of communication. Through the winter of 1917-18, whether drilling in the muddy fields of Lorraine or holding trenches, our men, in the penetrating, moist, and cold climate, knew as great hardships as any veteran of the Civil War or of the Revolution, Lorraine was aptly called our "Valley Forge" in France. It (p. 156) was a winter of discouragement including the disaster to the Italian army, the increasing submarine ravages, the want of shipping to keep up the program of troop transport, the failure of supplies to arrive, the final collapse of Russia and Rumania, the depression among the French and Italian people, the severe food restrictions in England, and the gathering of the German armies with their superior numbers for the great offensives for the spring of 1918.

So serious did the Allies consider the situation that they were willing to offer Germany a very favorable peace, but Germany, confident that the Americans could not exert their pressure in time and that Allied spirits were depressed to a point when at any moment Allied disagreement might lead to an Allied collapse, refused to consider the offers. History offers nothing in the record of great wars in affording more contrast than the pessimism in the inner councils of the Allies in the winter of 1917-18, and the spring of 1918, in comparison with the complete victory which was achieved in the fall of 1918.

Our second phase came with the first of the German offensives on March 21, 1918, against the British army. The success of this offensive startled the people of the Allied world to a full realization of the perilous situation of their cause. It was an innovation in tactics in that the Germans had swept through the front lines and support lines of the trench system, capturing the guns whose answering artillery fire had hitherto been the main reliance of the defense in stopping the enemy's charges, and carrying the warfare into the open. We had then only four divisions which had been in the trenches, Bullard's 1st Regulars and Bundy's 2d Regulars and Marines and Edwards's 26th, or New England, and Menoher's 42d, or Rainbow, National Guard Divisions. The plan had been to put them into a permanent American sector in Lorraine, but in face of this new emergency they were to be turned over to the French for such use as Marshal Foch, the new commander in chief of the Allied forces, might decide to make of them.

Up to this time the phrase "Too proud to fight" had haunted the minds of the Allied peoples when they thought of American (p. 157) troops. They considered that we had been very slow in beginning active warfare. Our losses in the quiet trenches that we had occupied had been thus far normally slight compared with those in an active battle sector. There was a disposition to think that probably America was not sufficiently in earnest to make any great sacrifice of lives. We were willing to loan the Allies money, to supply them with materials of war and to make some show of military force; but the contemplation of a nation three thousand miles away from Europe fighting with all the heroic disregard of life of the Allies on their own soil seemed a little out of keeping with the accepted traditions of military history to Europeans.

Never were soldiers watched with more critical interest or deeper appreciation of the influence of the result than our divisions when they were first engaged in violent action at Cantigny and in the Château-Thierry operations in the course of the trying months of the German offensives and the subsequent Allied counteroffensives. Not only had the Europeans wondered if we would fight, but they had grave doubts of our battle skill. The seriousness of the situation deepened their concern. Anyone who really knew America had no doubt that we would fight. At the same time thoughtful Americans, familiar with the increasingly difficult technique which was the accumulation of more than three years' experience, when they thought of how relatively little experience our citizen soldiers had had, saw them go into action beside veteran French and British divisions with misgivings lest their skill might not be in keeping with their valor. Their initiative and furious application led to more rapid learning than the most optimistic of their teachers had imagined.

The American army had been trained for the offensive. We had, at the start, the natural initiative which the Canadians had so abundantly shown, and which in the introduction of the trench raid they applied in the only innovation of tactics with the exception of the tanks which the British army developed. The Canadians, coming from a more sparsely settled country than ours, with a larger percentage of its citizens of English-speaking (p. 158) origin than we have, if we except the French Canadian population, had the advantage, in the views of many, over American forces which must include a large number of draft men unfamiliar with the English language who had had only a brief residence in the United States.

If the American army was to be the decisive army owing to its youth and its numbers, then there must never enter any thought into our minds other than that once we were prepared for action that action should be continuously one of attack. If the old German trench line were to be broken and the war of movement were again to lead to an Appomattox for the German army that could only be won by tactics which, with unwavering determination, would eventually capitalize German exhaustion after four years of war in the conviction on the part of German soldiers that resistance against the immense forces of American reserves that were coming was hopeless. In brief, America must show the Germans that millions of Americans, who had the spirit of the Canadians, were to follow the Canadians across the Atlantic.

The greatest difficulty that Allied commanders had had was keeping soldiers from falling into the habit of trench defensive, which was the result of the early days of murderous fighting, when all attempts either by the Germans or the Allies to "break through" had failed. Our hope was that our soldiers would have the good fortune to escape the fearful attrition of trench fighting and that our offensive spirit would suffer no setbacks in actual experience.

Where we had been in the trenches we had insistently kept the upper hand over the enemy, meeting his trench raids with better than he gave, answering his artillery fire with heavier artillery fire and pressing him at every point. No feature of war is more underestimated than psychology. The psychology of conviction that you are going to win, confirmed by actual victory in the first shock of arms, is one of the best guaranties of continued victory.

Happily, our divisions, which were transferred to the active battle front in western France, were able to apply their offensive (p. 159) spirit with immediate offensive results. At Cantigny, on the eve of the third German offensive, in our first attack we took all of our objectives skillfully, and when the 2d Division was thrown across the Paris road to resist the advance of the Germans which was then slowing down, our men, who were in the pink of youthful vigor, immediately attacked. They were on a comparatively short front, but their conduct thrilled all the Allied soldiers and people with the rallying conviction that the Americans had brought to France a telling new energy into an old war. The British who had stood out stubbornly against the mighty German thrusts felt more than ever confidence due to the presence of American divisions with their army. More important than generals or staff, the American individual soldier stood in no awe of his enemy, but, on the contrary, was confident of his personal superiority. It needed no urging from his officers for him to attack. When in doubt his idea was to charge. Again, the 3d Division in the defense of the Marne bridgeheads at Château-Thierry, though it had had no trench experience and had never been under fire before, simply confirmed the quality which the old divisions had exemplified as something that was a common trait.

Against the great fifth German offensive the 42d, or Rainbow Division, which was represented with the National Guard of our twenty-six States and was conscious of holding the honor of the National Guard and of the honor of America in its keeping, showed that if stubborn resistance was requisite as well as attack they could be depended upon. Dickman's 3d Division, against that same offensive, broke the German crossing of the Marne and then, when the front line battalions had lost one-third to one-half of its men, counterattacked with a dexterity and a viciousness that thrilled the most veteran and phlegmatic of military critics.

For the Allied counteroffensive, which was the turning of the tide against the German offensives, the French High Command chose that the 1st (now under command of Summerall) and 2d (now under command of Harbord) Divisions, should cooperate with the best of French divisions in the drive toward (p. 160) Soissons which was to force the gradual evacuation of the Germans of the Marne salient.

This operation and the operations that preceded it in resisting the German offensives were all known to the general public as Château-Thierry, which is the name of the town lying in the lap of the hills on the bank of the Marne. No American soldiers ever fought in Château-Thierry with the exception of the machine-gun battalion of the 3d Division, which was in the town very briefly in a rear-guard action before retiring with its French associates to the other side of the Marne to prevent the Germans from crossing. In the counteroffensive it was the French who retook the town without any fighting as it was no longer defensible once the surrounding hills had been taken, and in their taking we assisted. But for all the splendid work of our divisions in the second battle of the Marne, as it is sometimes called, Château-Thierry has become the accepted name. Any one of the eight divisions engaged in the operations which began with the defense of Paris and ended with driving the Germans back to their old line was at Château-Thierry in the accepted sense of the term.

General Pershing had been convinced that the Marne salient, which extended into the Allied line in an immense pocket, not only from its configuration invited attack, but that the Germans had so far extended themselves in their giant efforts that the tables could be easily turned. If he had been slow to enter his divisions into active sectors until they had been trained, he was now, in face of this opportunity, not only prepared to send in his trained divisions, but to send in divisions which had only recently arrived. By this time we were beginning to feel the accumulated results of the work of our training camps at home in forming our untrained citizens into battalions and regiments and divisions, and we were having the actual results in France of the full awakening of the American people and the Allies to the danger of defeat which the German offensives had brought, and the shipping which had been provided for at the Abbéville Conference of the Allied statesmen and commanders was rushing the men from our training camps to Europe with a speed (p. 161) that surpassed the transport program by two to one by midsummer.

Instead of five hundred thousand in July, 1918, we had a million; and the two million would soon follow.

The indefatigable industry of our workers, in preparation for the reception of vast hosts which at the inception of the great plan seemed visionary, now appeared as the most practical kind of prevision, a prevision which was to play an important part in winning the war. By results we had answered the fears of all skeptics. All the way from the North Sea, over four hundred miles to Switzerland, the traveler saw American soldiers behind the line; and they were scattered through all the villages of France. We had ten divisions who had been assigned to the British, we had soldiers in training in the Ypres salient on the old Somme battle field, in Champagne, in the Woevre, in Lorraine, and in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in sight of the Alps. The transports were disembarking men by the thousands every day and railroad trains were dispatching our divisions here and there with a frequency that left it out of the question that any man or woman in France should not now realize by their own observation that America was in the war in earnest and she was bringing her man power to bear on the battle front.

Our project for an army of our own had been abandoned for the time being in order to meet the emergency due to the German offensives. The American effort in France had been that of many scattered divisions called to fill breaches and then sent into the attack in order to make the most of the turn of the tide. We could not have an American army in our own sector until these detached divisions had assisted in making sure that Paris was forever out of danger, and that there was not enough spirit or force left in the German armies to undertake an offensive of any kind.

The situation of our forces meanwhile was unique and amazingly difficult. The British had their line from thirty to seventy-five miles from the coast which was only an hour's ride away from England itself, and the French were in their own country wherever they went. But the nearest homes of our (p. 162) soldiers were three thousand miles away and the homes of some of them were five and six thousand miles. When they received "leaves" they could not go to visit their families as the British and French might. While the British were in their permanent sector with all the system of supplies regularly established, our soldiers might be one day serving with the British army and the next day with the French; they knew the weariness of long rides on railway trains, billets in barns and haylofts, and no home associations except that of their own companionship and that supplied by the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., the Knights of Columbus, and the Salvation Army. They were under the strictest kind of censorship, their mail took weeks to reach France and then followed them about from place to place in trying to overtake them.

The rapidity with which they were being brought across the seas in unexpected numbers into a land which had suffered the strain of war for four years led to confusion and discomfort under the fearful pressure of the forthcoming tremendous effort which was to use all the will power, energy, and brains of every man that America had in France.

For we were now to know no rest until the armistice was signed. After the 1st and 2d Divisions had fought themselves to utter exhaustion in the drive to Soissons with a loss of nearly 50 per cent of their infantry, the work of reducing the salient fell upon the "Yankee" 26th Division, which had been hurried from a long tour in the mud and misery of the Toul sector, upon Muir's "Iron" 28th Division of Pennsylvania National Guard, coming fresh from the drill grounds back of the British front to the drive toward the Ourcq, upon the redoubtable 3d Division, which, despite its losses in resisting the German crossing of the Marne, took up the counteroffensive with a fiery zeal.

Then the 42d Division swung around to take the place of the "Yankee" 26th, after it had fought heroically to exhaustion in attacking through more forests and against more machine-gun nests, and Haans 32d Division of National Guard from Michigan and Wisconsin, "the Arrows," who always broke the line which (p. 163) came down the apron of the hills toward Cierges under artillery fire with the jauntiness of parade, conquered the wicked woods and heights of the ravines on the other side of the Ourcq in its first great action. Hersey's 4th Regular Division with but little experience lived up to the record of the other divisions by promptly becoming veteran and Duncan's 77th "Liberty" Division, of New York City, the first of the National Army divisions to arrive in France and the first to know active battle, pressed on to the Vesle. All these gave all the strength they had, all fought until in weariness they must accept relief, in that wonderful revelation of citizen America turned soldier.

There was not one of these divisions that did not regret that instead of being associated with French divisions they were not associated with American divisions. All were ambitious to be a part of our own army. They had finished their Château-Thierry job; they had done all that was expected of them; they had met the emergency. Château-Thierry had been an introduction, a preparation, a proof of quality for other and greater tasks which commanders had now learned that we could perform.

Now began the Hegira of our divisions toward our own American sector in Lorraine, where all but two, who were with the British, were to join them. With the assurance that by the first of December we should have more than two million Americans in France while the number of German reserve divisions were dwindling and the Germans could hope for no further reenforcements, the offensive of Château-Thierry was to be followed by the succeeding offensives with which, as opportunity offered, Marshal Foch was to conduct his final campaign. Germany had no hope now of winning the war. The question was how soon it might be won by the Allies.

With the attack on the Saint Mihiel salient our army entered upon its third and greatest phase, which was the cumulation of all the plans made in June, 1917. At that time it was considered that we should be ready for our first offensive operation as an integral force by the autumn of 1918, and the salient was considered as its objective; but, as I have said, we had not calculated (p. 164) upon a million men by midsummer of 1918, which our lines of communication would have to supply, let alone two million by November 1, 1918. The requirements laid upon transport and supply were more than doubled, while the emergency of scattering our divisions to resist the German offensives had introduced an unexpected feature, and the strain upon France and England, as the result of these offensives, had interfered with our receiving as much assistance from them as we might have originally expected.

As officers in France had foreseen, the promises of our ambitious program in the manufacture of aeroplanes, ordnance, and material of war at home, could not be fulfilled even by the most diligent application of energy and enterprise as soon as the War Department had hoped. We were still equipping all our divisions with British gas masks and helmets. Only in the last days of the Château-Thierry operations had a plane driven by a Liberty motor flown over our lines. All our artillery and machine guns were still French. The Browning machine guns were only just beginning to arrive; and we waited upon the American tanks and gas outfits and other weapons.

These handicaps made the successes which were to follow all the more remarkable. The increasing forces must all have their daily rations, and in the pressure of battle the artillery must not lack ammunition, and there must be at all times sufficient transport, whether railroad, motor, or horse, in order that the supplies should be delivered at the front. Therefore the development of the Service of Supply as a part of the whole project must keep pace in capacity and efficiency with the demands of the fighting forces.

Our army's activities were divided into three zones: the base, the intermediate, and advance, with that of the base and the intermediate in charge of the commanding general of the Service of Supply at Tours. Every harbor of western France not occupied by the British was teeming with American effort, while Marseilles, in the Mediterranean, was caring for our increasing business which the Atlantic ports could not accommodate. The (p. 165) recruits for the army of the Service of Supply must keep pace with those for the army at the front. Battalions of negroes had been brought from the Southern States to act as laborers and stevedores. We were using German prisoners for labor as fast as they were captured.

At Bordeaux and Saint Nazaire, particularly, among the ports, we had built long expanses of wharves and the spur tracks which connected them with systems of warehouses. The plan had been always to have reserve supplies for forty-five days at the base ports; with thirty days' at the great intermediate depot of Gièvres, where another vast system of spur tracks and warehouses had been built in open fields, and fifteen days' supplies at the regulating stations with their systems of spur tracks and warehouses where the trains were made up to meet the immediate requisitions from the front. Without any prevision as to when the war would end, with nothing certain except that we must go on preparing as if it were to last for years in order the sooner to force the end, new construction, while requirements of the present were met, must keep pace with growth. We had car and locomotive assembling shops; motor repair shops; salvage depots, remount depots, and immense areas of hospitals, with as many as eighteen thousand beds in a single area, which had been building in grim expectation of the flow of wounded from the front when we began operations on a large scale. Nurses and doctors must be in sufficient numbers for the emergency.

Never had America had such a test of its organizing capacity as in its formation of the Service of Supply. Its problems, both in number and complexity as well as in the size of the task, the amount of material and personnel required, were far greater than those of the Panama Canal. The leisure which any undertaking permits in carrying out plans and the dependence which may be placed upon the receipt of tools and material in time of peace were both wanting under the pressure of war. Personnel for this enterprise was summoned from our engineers, our business men and experts, and from the ranks of skilled labor in every civil branch who were for the first time brought together (p. 166) in a national organization in foreign surroundings where they faced many difficulties with which they were unfamiliar, under the direction of the regular army, which had to reconcile all policies with the requirements of the front line, and which had to expand its imagination and its powers of organization from a quartermaster's business of a little regular army to the mastery of unparalleled forces in the direction of reserve officers who had been used to handling great business enterprises.

Next to the position of General Pershing that of the commanding general of the Service of Supply was the most important in France. It was proposed at one time from Washington that he should have authority coordinate with General Pershing's direct from Washington; but this was strongly opposed on the ground that the commander in chief of the fighting army must be supreme over every branch if he were to be responsible for the success of a campaign. Major General James G. Harbord, who had been the first chief of staff of the American Expeditionary Force and later commanded the marine brigade of the 2d Division and afterward the division itself in the Château-Thierry operations, was summoned from the front late in July, 1918, at a time when the rapid arrival of troops from America and the prospects of the terrific demands of the campaigns which would ensue made it vital that there should be administrative reform in the Service of Supply by some man not only of high organizing ability but with the personal quality that inspires coordination among his adjutants, if the Service of Supply were to be equal to the enormous demands which would be placed upon it in the next few months.

Whether it was the officers drawn from civil life without military training, or the laborers or the privates, every man in the Service of Supply wished that he were at the front. Hundreds of officers with combat training and thousands of soldiers who had been in the training camps found themselves, because of their particular efficiency in business organization, immured in some particular Service of Supply branch, doing long hours of prosaic work in the different camps and shops (p. 167) of the base ports and central France without hope, so far as they could see, of ever hearing a shot fired. It seemed to them frequently that the staff organization of the Service of Supply lacked the characteristics of energetic direction and team play with which they had been familiar in civil life. They had everything to make them discouraged. General Harbord, with the reputation he had won as a fighter, his magnetism, his understanding of human nature and his capability of promptly grasping the essentials of any problem, soon showed that he had the talent for transforming the spirit of the personnel by applying the indefatigable industry and the patriotic spirit of this vast force in a homogeneous corps, without which the victory of the American forces in France would not have been possible.

While General Harbord was reorganizing the Service of Supply, General Pershing was preparing in haste and under great handicaps for the direction of hundreds of thousands of men in battle. The division was the fighting unit of our army. It went into the trenches and into battle as a division; was transferred from one part of the line to the other as a unit which was complete in all its branches, with a personnel of twenty-seven thousand men, or about double the size of a British or French division. The command of many divisions in battle brought us to the question of higher tactics. We had to train officers for this high responsibility as well as for leading the battalions in the front line.

According to the original plan we were to have six divisions to a corps. Major General Hunter Liggett, as soon as we had four divisions in training, had been set the task of organizing our first corps. He had a high reputation in the regular army as a student and tactician, and he was a man of great poise and a most thorough student. The withdrawal of our divisions from our Lorraine sector, in order to assist in the defense of Paris and later in the counteroffensive of July, had allowed General Liggett little practical experience. With the rapid arrival of our troops other corps staffs were rapidly formed. Major General Robert L. Bullard, who had commanded the (p. 168) 1st Division in the Toul sector and in the attack on Cantigny, was given the command of the 3d Corps. For a brief period both General Liggett and General Bullard and their staff had some experience acting as corps commanders in the Château-Thierry operations. Not until the Saint Mihiel operations, however, had we ever had more than two divisions operating together under American command. Meanwhile we had organized our First Army, which was under the personal command of General Pershing.

With our new corps and army organization, we were now to undertake an attack against the fortifications of one of the most formidable positions on the western front with a shorter period of preparation than had been generally accepted as necessary by the veteran French and British armies whose staffs had had four years' training under actual battle conditions. The experts, whether in the gaining of intelligence, in the handling of traffic, or in the highly complex technique of the arrangements for the liaison of artillery and infantry and aviation and all the other branches of uniformity of operations between the divisions, were to apply in practice what they had learned in theory and by observation of the Allied armies. Their theory had been learned at the staff school of Langres, solving problems of combat organization and listening to lectures by staff officers of other armies; but theory is not practice.

Since 1915 there had been no important action from Verdun to the Swiss border. The wedge of the Saint Mihiel salient, which the Germans had won in 1914 with its commanding hills and ridges, had remained an eyesore on the map of the western front. Aside from its strong natural positions it was defended by the most elaborate of modern fortifications. By the criterion of precedents of previous offensives against front-line positions we should succeed in our undertaking only at an immense cost of life, should the Germans decide to make a determined defense. Until a few days before the attack we had every expectation that they would. The original plan was that we should go through to Mars-la-Tour and Etain until we (p. 169) were before the great German fortress of Metz. Marshal Foch changed this plan, as we shall see.

By the time we had finished the Saint Mihiel operations the chilling fall rains would have begun in earnest. These would not only expose the men, but would impede transport. We should use the winter months for applying the lessons learned in our first offensive in the forming of our organization for the greater offensive which was to begin in the spring of 1919 and continue until we had won a decision. For in 1919 it was the American army with its inexhaustible reserves and the vigor of its youth which was due to do the leading and to endure accordingly heavy losses. The artillery, the machine guns, the tanks, and all the other material which we had been manufacturing at home as it arrived through the winter of 1918 we should incorporate into our organization.

Marshal Foch, who desired the complete success of the Saint Mihiel offensive as a part of his plan, had assigned to the American army, under General Pershing's command, ample forces in addition to our own artillery and aviation. While French divisions were to mark time at the apex of the salient before following up our attack, the American divisions from right to left, the 90th, 5th, 2d, 89th, 42d, and 1st were to swing in on the eastern side of the salient, with the 82d as a pivot and the 26th Division, cooperating with French troops, was to swing in on the western side. For the first time our army corps and divisional artillery were to cooperate in a preliminary bombardment in cutting the barbed wire, encountering the enemy's artillery fire, and to prepare the way for the charge of a long line of American infantry in the first attack of an American army as an army on the continent of Europe. For the first time the responsibility for command all the way from the front line through all the headquarters up to that other commander in chief was ours. The French staff officers were at hand with their advice and information, but ours was the decision and the battle was ours.

By the morning of September 12, 1918, the Germans, in view of the strength of our forces and of the pressure on other parts of their line, had decided not to make strong resistance in the (p. 170) Saint Mihiel salient. Indeed, they contemplated a rear-guard action in withdrawal, but not expecting that we would attack on the 12th, owing to rainy weather, we practically caught them before their withdrawal had begun, with the result that the impetuosity of the attack of our men, who forced their way through stretches of barbed wire which the artillery fire had not cut, cleared both the first and second lines of defense on schedule time and gathered in prisoners and guns out of all keeping to their losses. On the morning of the 13th, troops of the 26th Division and the 1st Division, swinging in from the east and west, had come together and the Saint Mihiel salient was no more. Our success had been complete and inexpensive. It thrilled the Allied armies with fresh confidence in our arms when they saw that the angle on the old line of the map had been straightened and the German people, to whom the Saint Mihiel salient had become equally a symbol, were accordingly depressed.

Already, instead of looking forward to months of preparation for the next offensive, our army had begun preparations for another offensive which was to begin only thirteen days after that of Saint Mihiel. Marshal Foch had decided before the Saint Mihiel attack to change his plan, and instead of going through to Mars-la-Tour and Etain, only to cut the salient, withdrawing surplus troops for action elsewhere. In conjunction with the Fourth French Army, which was to attack from the left, we were to attack from the Argonne Forest to the Meuse River in the greatest battle in which Americans had ever been engaged. Following the success of the Château-Thierry offensive in which our troops had played a part, the British Canadians and the French had had continuing success in their offensives beginning on August 8, 1918. Our 32d Division had increased the reputation which it had won in the fighting on the Ourcq by assisting the French in breaking the old front-line positions northeast of Soissons.

The Allies had now regained practically all the ground that the Germans had won in their spring and summer offensives. In places they had penetrated the Hindenburg line. The Belgian (p. 171) as well as the British and French armies were about to take the offensive. The German losses in prisoners and material in the last month indicated a decline in German morale. Information confirmed the idea that Hindenburg, with his rapidly weakening reserves, was contemplating a withdrawal to the line of the Meuse. Every consideration called upon the Allied armies to stretch their resources in men and material to the utmost in order to take advantage of the situation. For the first time since the war had begun on the western front they completely had the initiative.

The next step was to broaden the front of the Allied attacks, further confusing Ludendorff in his dispositions, and breaking through the Hindenburg line and all the old front-line positions which the Germans had held for four years, to force the offensive in the open, where rapid maneuvers could harass the effort of the Germans in withdrawing their forces and the material which they had accumulated through four years, and by repeated blows continue to weaken their morale until a positive decision was won.

If Ludendorff were given leisure for a deliberate retreat to a shorter line which he could fortify during the winter while his army recovered its spirit, this shorter line would give him all the advantage which serves the defense in deeper concentrations of troops to the mile with less room for the offensive to maneuver for surprises.

All the Allied offensives—Champagne, Loos, the Somme, Arras, and Passchendaele—had been made to the west of the Argonne Forest, because of the advantage of ground. To the east, facing the Rhine, the Germans had their great fortress of Metz, and the positions in Lorraine and the Vosges Mountains and the wedge of Saint Mihiel, which had seemed unconquerable. The Meuse River winds past Saint Mihiel through the town of Verdun, then northward where it turns westward toward Sedan. All the way from Saint Mihiel, including the hills of the forts of Verdun, which look out on the plain of the Woevre with the fortress of Metz in the distance, runs a rampart of heights clear to the great bastion of the Forest of (p. 172) Argonne, where the country becomes more rolling, and therefore better ground for military operations.

The line of our second offensive was to be from the Meuse River just west of Verdun to the western edge of the Argonne Forest. Anyone who looks at the map of the old line of the western front and of the enemy's railroad communications would say at once that this was the obvious line for an offensive. The Metz-Lille railway line, two-track all the way, and in places four-track, runs through Sedan and Mézières, following the Meuse Valley where it turns westward. This was the most important southern transversal line that the Germans had for supplying their armies in eastern France and connecting them with the coal fields of northern France. Northeast of the Meuse-Argonne positions were the famous Briey iron fields on which the Germans were dependent for their supplies of ore for the Krupp works. A blow toward Mézières and toward Briey was a blow at the heart of German military power.

The Germans fully realized the danger in this direction and knew, as our generals knew, how thoroughly it was protected. They had all the advantage of rail connections in hastening their reserves to this point if the Allies had made an advance in this direction. In 1916 or 1917 the Germans would have welcomed the Meuse-Argonne offensive, in the confidence that the Allied attacks would have suffered as bloody repulses as the Germans suffered at Verdun against the same kind of positions. The front German line was in the southern part of the Forest of Argonne with its ravines and hills covered with dense undergrowth. And back of this was still another great forest, that of Bourgogne. Offensives against even small patches of woods had proved the hopelessness of any frontal attack against forests.

East of the Argonne Forest is the little river Aire, its valley forming a trough between the hills, and between that and the Meuse for a distance of about ten miles the German line, which had been placed in the retreat from the Marne, had at its rear a whaleback of rising heights which reached their summit (p. 173) in the neighborhood of Buzancy. From this summit it was downhill all the way to the Meuse River. It was this summit which the American army must gain in advancing over ground in which nature seemed to have had in mind the possibilities of modern warfare in defense. The heights would give observation for the enemy guns which were hidden on the reverse slopes. Numerous patches of woods and tricky ravines made ideal positions for machine-gun nests. One position gained, the victor still looked ahead to higher ground. The enemy could always bring his reserves up under cover while those of the attacking force would be in full view.

The soldiers of our new army had shown that they had the spirit of attack. Marshal Foch was to give them the opportunity to display it to the utmost, and in the conference which he and General Pershing held before the battle of Saint Mihiel one of the great decisions of the war was made. We were to send partly trained divisions into a conflict in winter rains and under incalculable hardships in the faith that our courage, exerted to its utmost in the fall of 1918, might break the weakening German army before it could recover its spirit, while the losses which this effort entailed would save us from far greater losses in the spring and the prolongation of the war. Though we should never reach the summit of those heights, the threat which we should make against the German line of communications must withdraw more and more German troops from other parts of the line, and keep on increasing the confusion of Ludendorff's dispositions.

The only American comparison for the Meuse-Argonne Battle was the Appomattox campaign which lasted much longer and consisted of a series of separate actions with nothing like the concentration and continuous fighting which the Americans of another generation were to endure. Grant had no lack of supplies, he had more guns than he could use and was fighting on his own soil with ample resources in reserve within easy reach. Pershing's army was not relatively as ready for the task that it was to undertake as McClellan had been for his Peninsula campaign.

(p. 174) From the time of the attack of Saint Mihiel on September 12, 1918, until September 25, 1918, we had thirteen days to prepare for an offensive which, as it was made by a new army, could be likened to the great Somme offensive of the British in 1916. Then the British had taken five months in which to build roads, dig assembly trenches, prepare ammunition dumps, and bring up necessary engineering material. But it must be borne in mind that at this time the enemy was in the prime of his numbers and confidence. Moreover, such elaborate arrangements were then considered necessary in order to take powerfully intrenched lines. They had the fault of warning the enemy in ample time of any concentration which enabled him to mass men and material for defense. Later, the French had developed a system of limited objectives of brief artillery preparations, followed by the rolling barrage which preceded the advance of the infantry, while the enemy's strong points and gun positions were smothered with shells. The Germans, however, in their great offensive against the British in March, 1918, had taken ample time for preparation while they made the innovation of driving through for sufficiently great depth to become masters of all the trench defenses and of the opposing artillery.

In the counteroffensive toward Soissons on July 18, 1918, and again in the Anglo-French-Canadian offensive of August 8, 1918, and the succeeding offensives, the Allies had depended on either a very brief artillery preparation or upon not opening fire until the moment of the infantry's advance while they followed through in the German fashion. In our Meuse-Argonne offensive, we had all these precedents and the experience of the officers in directing them for our guidance. But very veteran and skilled armies had carried out the later style of offensive, and they had the advantage which comes from long experience that the units, used to keeping their uniformity in battle action, did not become dispersed after they had made a certain advance as was supposed to be the case in any extensive offensive where new divisions were engaged.

The most disastrous example in throwing an untrained division into a violent attack was that of the British 21st Division (p. 175) in the fall of 1915 at Loos, which in trying to apply its drill-ground training under fire, became disorganized and failed to take its objectives. Later, after it had had more experience, this same division, though no more courageous than in its first battle, proved itself masterful in the complicated technique of modern attack which it had learned in diligent application in smaller actions after Loos, and by applying the lessons learned at Loos by thorough drilling.

Practically all our pioneer divisions which had had long experience in France were either engaged at Saint Mihiel or else they were occupied elsewhere. For the new offensive we must therefore depend upon new divisions which had been a shorter time in France than the 1st or 2d or 26th or 42d Divisions.

Following the attack by the American army on the Meuse-Argonne line and the 4th French Army on its left with their threat toward the lines of communications, the British and French were to strike the Hindenburg line in the St. Quentin-Cambrai region on September 29, 1918, and on October 2, 1918, the French were to attack to the east of Rheims. Thus a succession of offensives were to broaden the whole front of operations in an effort to break through the old trench line, all the way from the Meuse to the North Sea, and bring the Allied armies into the open where they would be forever free of trench shackles. This was a most audacious enterprise which was warranted by the information which the Allies had of the state of the German army. The Bulgarian army was beginning to disintegrate and the Italians had turned the Austrian offensive on the Piave into a disaster from which the Austro-Hungarian armies could not recover. Throughout the months of August and September, 1918, the Germans had been yielding large numbers of prisoners and an immense quantity of material, while the Allied losses had been comparatively light.

The German cards were now on the table; the number of German divisions in reserve were known; and in the arrival of American divisions the Allies had a vast store of man power. We had become the dependable quantity of a mighty growing reserve force.

(p. 176) Marshal Foch chose to put us in the very hinge of the whole movement and he set for our objective in a swift series of advances nothing less than the heights of Buzancy—the heights of the whaleback itself. Had we gained that within three or four days, we would have threatened the retreat of the whole German army, indeed, the capture of a hundred thousand or more Germans would have been fairly certain. No one considered such a success except in the category of a military miracle until German reserves were more depleted than they were at the end of September.

Ludendorff, on his side, knew that he must hold the hinge of the door. He might yield toward the west, if necessary, but must not yield in front of Mézières and Sedan. The neck of the bottle must not be closed. The measure of our initial success, whatever the intrepidity of our attack, must depend largely upon how far we were able to take the Germans by surprise, and the depth of our advance must depend upon our ability to bring up our artillery and ammunition and food for our men. To the rear of the line from the Meuse to the Argonne Forest there are literally only two roads of approach. If we attempted to build more, they would immediately be visible to the aeroplane observers of the enemy. We could not build more when our engineers and our laborers were occupied at Saint Mihiel.

If we arranged elaborate dumps of ammunition, these would inevitably be seen by the enemy or their presence would be communicated in some way as past experience had proved. To move long columns of troops and transport by day was equally an advertisement of our plan for an enormous attack which was the thing that we wished to conceal when the success of the attack was to depend upon secret mobilization and a swift blow. If we were to repair the old roads across the broad area of the shell-crushed no-man's-land and through the trench systems after our attack, this also required the assembling of a great deal of material in view of the enemy.

No part of a modern army's arrangements is more difficult than the handling of the necessarily dense vehicular traffic behind the immediate front, even if ample supplies are brought (p. 177) to the railheads. The numbers of motor trucks and ambulances required were incredible. Our Service of Supply, which had been concentrating all its energies and material toward Saint Mihiel, now had to prepare for another equally great offensive. New railheads, new railways, new hospitals, new headquarters, and new routes of transport had to be established. With the certainty that the Saint Mihiel sector, if it became violent, would consume large quantities of ammunition we had to provide for the immense consumption of ammunition which would undoubtedly be required in the Meuse-Argonne.

The continued fighting throughout the summer, with additional and unexpected requirements for the new offensive campaign, had made increasingly heavy drafts upon transport and animals. It was no use to say that more horses were coming from Spain and from America; they were needed now. All the tanks and aeroplanes and the light and heavy artillery which were in the making at home or on the docks at New York would be of no service unless they were in the battle. The lack of sufficient railway lines and shortage of rolling stock required accordingly more travel on the limited roads approaching the area of concentration east and west of Verdun.

When artillery, in course of being withdrawn from the Saint Mihiel front to go to the Argonne front, had their horses killed, the weary survivors who were now to draw the guns could not be forced through according to the usual schedule. They had to cross the streams of traffic running to the Saint Mihiel front. At night all the roads were solid columns of men and vehicles that had to keep at the uniform pace of the slowest of its units lest motor transport, which could go fifteen miles an hour, in trying to pass tractor-drawn heavy artillery that could go three or four, should become imbedded in the mud and thus stall the whole column for hours.

Thus the unprecedented strain of the Meuse-Argonne Battle, which was to endure for six weeks, began with the difficulties of mobilization. During the Château-Thierry operations we had had summer weather, when men could sleep in the open with comfort, when it was easy to repair broken roads and (p. 178) when motor trucks which got off the road did not sink into the mud. Now we had already entered the period of chill fall rains which made the ground porous and wet marching soldiers to the skin. Instead of time for reflection and reorganization, in applying the lesions of the Saint Mihiel salient, every officer and man was straining his utmost to make sure by improvisation, when organization failed and by sheer sleepless industry, of meeting with forced smiles each new contingency as it developed.

Our three corps in line were, the first under General Liggett on the left, the fifth under General Cameron in the center, and the third under General Bullard on the right. The corps headquarters were established only four days before the attack. Unfamiliar except in theory, and from what they had learned at Saint Mihiel, with the problems of directing an army in a prolonged battle, they had not a quarter of the time for preparations which they ordinarily should have received even if they had had long experience. They did not know the division commanders or the divisions which were to serve under them, and the divisions did not arrive until the last moment.

Artillery brigades, fresh from the training grounds where they had only received their guns, marched up to be assigned to divisions with which they had never cooperated in action. Batteries that had no horses depended upon batteries that had horses to be drawn into position. The coordination of infantry units for the attack was dependent upon coordination by paper directions rather than previous association.

We had an enormous concentration of artillery and of aviation, thanks to assistance from the French, but our aviation and much of that of the French sent us was new. Our aviators lacked experience as observers in keeping their liaison in directing artillery fire and in informing the infantry of the movements of their units and of the enemy's. Infantry and artillery commanders who had had little previous battle experience, were not always fortunate in their efforts to keep liaison with one another and with the aviation in view of the aviation's inexperience. To say that the American army was ready for (p. 179) such an offensive as that of the Meuse-Argonne would be unfair to the men who began the battle and detracting from the glory of their achievement. Her courage, eagerness, adaptability, and industry were merits which were to overcome the handicaps in a way that made results even more glorious in the greatest battle of our history.

Aside from the fact that two of the divisions in line were going under fire for the first time there was not one of the divisions which was not handicapped in some way for their effort, either for want of artillery or because they had had no time to rest after hard marches or previous battles. In the space of this brief review it is impossible to tell of their actions in detail which reflected credit on each one of the Regular, National Guard, or National Army divisions, and which, taken together, reflected credit upon the army as a whole.

On the right was Bell's 33d Division of Illinois National Guard. At its back was the famous Mort Homme, or Dead Man's Hill, where Frenchmen and Germans had struggled in the battle of Verdun, with its shell craters now fringed with weeds. The 33d had to cross the Forges Brook and swing in toward the Meuse River protecting the right flank of the whole movement which rested on the river. On the left of the 33d was the 80th, Cronkhite's Blue Ridge Division, trained at the British front and come from Saint Mihiel. Next in line was the 4th Regular Division, which, coming fresh from the British front, had fought magnificently in the Château-Thierry operations. On its left was Kuhn's 79th, the National Army Division from Camp Meade, which had never heard a shot fired until it marched up amidst the roar of guns and artillery preparation. Then we had Farnsworth's 37th, National Guard of Ohio, which with unconquerable persistence was to take the wicked Malancourt Woods; and then the 91st Division of the National Army from the Pacific slope which was to give such a remarkable exhibition of continued and determined advance. Next we had Traub's 85th Division, National Guard from Kansas and Missouri, which was set the dreadful task of taking the heights on the west of the Aire river and of crossing the Exermont ravine. Next was (p. 180) Muir's 28th, or "Iron" Division, National Guard of Pennsylvania, which was in the valley of the Aire and faced the wooded heights of the Argonne which were thrust out Gibraltarlike into the valley. Finally, on the extreme left was the 77th, National Army from New York (now under command of Alexander), facing the heart of the formidable Argonne Forest.

Some of these divisions had more difficult obstacles than others to overcome. Their relative position in line was due less to a strategic arrangement, with any view to their experience or to their exhaustion in relation to their objectives, than to the relation of their positions to the roads by which they had had to travel in reaching the front. Up to this time the 4th, the 77th, and the 28th had probably seen the most fighting. They had just come from the Château-Thierry operations and in common with all the other divisions, were short of transport and had to make forced marches.

All the men of all the divisions had either been sleeping in box cars on railroad trains or they had been in the miserable crowded billets of small villages, getting what rest, after marching at night, they could during the day, in the midst of the rumble of traffic. No corps, divisional, regimental, or battalion commander, no chief of one of the staff sections who had anything to do with the direction of traffic, could say quite how this was accomplished, except by sleepless vigil and grim, sweating effort, but the fact was that the miracle had happened; for on the night of September 24, 1918, every division was in position, with a thin fringe of the French remaining in the front line in order to prevent the Germans, if they took any prisoners, from identifying the number of American divisions which were present.

Marshal Foch had now postponed the attack until the 26th; this gave the men a day in which to rest as much as they could, and a little more time for the artillery and staff to make its preparation.

General Pershing, who was to direct the battle in person, had taken up his headquarters in the city hall of the village of Souilly on the "sacred road" from Bar-le-Duc to Verdun (p. 181) where the French commanders had planned the defense against the great German offensive of 1916.

On the morning of the 26th, after six hours of artillery preparation, the waves of infantry of these nine divisions which had now assembled in the front-line trenches, relieving the French, went over the top in beginning the greatest battle in American history. The fortifications which they attacked represented the result of all the experience which the Germans, in their antlike industry, had applied in preparing their defenses. No-man's-land had been pummeled by four years of shell fire until the rims of shell craters joined. The weeds which had grown up hid the rims, slippery in the morning mist, and made footing more uncertain on the soft turf. The barbed-wire entanglements were deep, in keeping with the formidability of the German trench system. When they built these works, the Germans rightly considered them impregnable. The story of every battalion that attacked that morning, as well as every battalion that participated in the Argonne Battle, is worthy of a lengthier description than I am giving to the whole operations of the American Expeditionary Force.

It is usual in such attacks that, at many points of the line where the enemy's barbed wire has not been cut by the artillery fire, or where machine-gun nests are strategically placed, portions of the advancing wave of infantry are held up with the result that succeeding portions push on until they are caught in salients in enfilade fire. This leads to confusion and frequently to arresting the whole attack, or at least to interfering with the plan, thus giving the enemy time to bring up his reserves and profit by his opportunity. This had happened in the Somme offensive, at Loos, at Passchendaele and in the fifth and last German offensive and, indeed, in every big offensive on the western front. There was every reason why it should happen this time to the eye of any experienced observer who had not the youthful enthusiasm of our soldiers, who in their ingrained American offensive spirit, attacked in a manner as confident as if they were used to breaking first-line trench systems as a part of their routine of drill.

(p. 182) It was this spirit, on that memorable morning, that carried the fortifications at every point. By every rule, by every precedent, after they had gone through the barbed-wire and in and out of the maze of trenches and then over the shell craters of No-man's-land they ought, even if they had not been under fire, to have lost their uniformity of line and formed into irregular groups. But instead of this they kept on going, overcoming the enemy's machine-gun nests and gathering in prisoners, when sheer fatigue ought to have stopped them. By night some of them had reached objectives five and six miles beyond the front line.

The daring stroke of throwing our army against the Meuse-Argonne line straight at the enemy's communications had already had its reward; although the Germans had been warned of the attack, they had no idea that it would be in such force. They recognized at once that the threat against the Lille-Metz railroad was serious. They must bring up good divisions and enough of them, and sufficient artillery, to make sure that it was arrested.

Our task, now, was the thankless one of continuing to draw more and more divisions against us in the consciousness that every German whom we held or whom we killed or wounded was one more removed from the British or French fronts. We were to have the stiffest fighting of any part of the line, and the value in what we did was not to be reckoned in ground gained, but in damage done the enemy. During the following days we continued to advance while the Germans settled down in strength in front of us and established themselves in the strong trench line of the Kriemhilde Stellung across a series of commanding heights. Our divisions, exhausted after a week or more of fighting, had to be relieved by rested divisions which were called to the front including the 3d and the 5th and 1st Divisions of Regulars. We had to weaken our line a little owing to the necessities of transport.

The embargo on building roads before the attack, and our inability to bring up engineering material, and our lack of labor and sufficient experience in handling traffic, which can only be (p. 183) learned in battle, led to inevitable congestion. The area of shell craters, extending for half a mile or more as well as across no-man's-land, which consisted simply of earth pulverized by four years of shell fire, seemed to have no bottom to the engineers who worked night and day in order to make the passage of the artillery and the heavy motor trucks possible. In the dripping rain and penetrating cold, taking what sleep they might steal in wet clothes, all hands kept ceaselessly at their task while the men in the front line were digging "fox holes" in the seeping slopes of hills among the roots of trees of gassed woods and in ravines. The issue was joined in stubborn and bitter fighting in which it was the American plan always to keep the initiative and the upper hand over the enemy and to force him to put in more and more of his decreasing reserves.

We still had our Second Corps with the British under the command of Major General George W. Read, consisting of O'Ryan's 27th National Guard Division from New York and Lewis's 30th National Guard Division from the Southern mountain States. They had assisted in driving the Germans out of the positions they had won in the Ypres salient in April, 1918. After that they were swung around across the old Somme battle field, and in keeping with the policy of the Allied command, which recognized the confident valor of our men in the attack, they were to be sent against one of the strongest portions of the old Hindenburg line, that of the region over the St. Quentin Canal tunnel. Allied commanders said that the sheer presence of our troops in the offensive inspirited their own. The homesickness of our men who knew that they could not return until they had won the war was an impelling influence to force the issue now that their quick intelligence assured them that victory depended upon pressing the enemy hard.

Though the 27th and 30th Divisions were never to be associated with their own army, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of September, 1918, they were to know in the company of the British the same kind of fighting that we had in breaking the line in the Argonne, as they charged through the enemy's (p. 184) barrages and against his machine-gun nests for the conquest of the famous positions which had taken the name of Hindenburg, who had given them his especial attention and who had declared that they never could be taken. The 30th made a clean sweep, but it was not in human power for the 27th Division to reach all of its objectives. The gallant men of the 27th had, however, in two days' fighting, immortalized their division before the Australians, coming fresh into the line, took their place according to schedule and completed the task.

Throughout the offensives of August and September, 1918, the German positions in front of Rheims had remained where they were established in September of 1914. On October 2, 1918, in an offensive in this sector, Le Jeune's 2d Division with its brigades of Regulars and Marines, which led all our divisions in the number of its casualties in this war, was joined with the French in an attack to disengage Rheims; and when, after fighting its way through the deep trenches cut in the chalky soil of Champagne, the 2d stormed Blanc Mont, the German guns had fired their last shot at the cathedral and were in retreat. Smith's 36th Division of National Guard, from Texas, which was without its artillery and which had never been under fire, took the place of the 2d, and, after enduring with an amazing equanimity a terrific bombardment from the German guns before they withdrew, pursued the enemy to the Aisne at a rate of travel worthy of Texans and most discomforting to German veterans.

We now return to the Meuse-Argonne Battle, where as I have said, the issue was joined in "hammering it out on this line" tactics, and divisions which had fought with lion-hearted determination until they were staggering with exhaustion and their ranks depleted by casualties, were withdrawn in order that fresh divisions might take their place. Some divisions either for one reason or another were able to remain in longer than others. The harder a division's experience the more it suffered from what is known as "dispersion"; its units, either in their continued advances or in resisting attacks and counterattacks in the midst of continued shell fire, lost their cohesion. How they (p. 185) kept cohesion even for a day was a marvel past understanding. A division which had only a portion of its troops at a time in the front line could last longer than a division that had put all its reserves into action and had worn out the personnel of the whole division.

Much depended upon the division commander and his staff. If he were capable and his division well-trained, he could accomplish results through prompt tactical adaptability to the situation on his front without unnecessary sacrifice of his men. In holding ground against machine-gun fire the fewer men on the front the better. The object was always to gain, of course, the maximum of advantage at the minimum of cost. When our lines settled down in a position it was not to intrench according to the old system, but simply to bide their time for another attack.

There was no thought but the offensive. The days of trench warfare were entirely over. The contact with the enemy was through outpost lines in fox holes and machine-gun positions chosen carefully with a view to interlocking fire that covered every possible path or avenue of approach. With the Germans bringing up fresh artillery and countless machine guns in full realization of the situation it became evident that further advance by piecemeal was impracticable and that another general attack should be made along the old battle front.

Across the Meuse River on our right flank were a series of heights ideal for artillery positions, overlooking not only the valley, but all the ravines, the roads, and open places. Thus our 3d Corps, swinging toward the whaleback, was literally in a trough of fire from the heights of the whaleback in front and in flank and from the heights across the Meuse in flank. On our left flank our 1st Corps was in the same hateful position as our 3d on our right. The 28th Division was fighting against the wooded escarpments which extended from the bastion of the Argonne Forest into the river valley. In the forest itself, the 77th was meeting with stubborn resistance in the thick underbrush, and the French army on its left was as unable as the 28th Division on its right to relieve its situation.

(p. 186) Summerall's 1st Division of Regulars, the oldest of our divisions in France, with its rank full and its spirit high, which had been brought from Saint Mihiel and attached to the 5th Corps, was swung over to the 1st Corps for its part in the general attack set for October 4, 1918. It was evident that no further progress could be made until we had mastered the commanding heights on the eastern wall of the Aire, and for this task the 1st Division was chosen. Fighting with all the experienced skill and courage which was its characteristic, it succeeded in its undertaking in a series of continuing attacks and with a loss of over nine thousand men, which included about half its infantry. In order to spread the wedge which it started, Duncan's 82d, or All-American Division of the National Army, swung in on its left between it and Muir's 28th across the river bottoms against the heights on the other side. With this aid the 28th was able to continue its advance and complete its task before it was relieved, and the 77th Division, the French army now coming up on its left, was able to make a thrilling advance to the northern edge of the forest.

On the right of the 1st, Haan's 32d Division of Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard, with a heroism in keeping with its brilliant record on the Ourcq and at Juvigny, extended the wedge in that direction by repeated assaults upon the stubbornly defended positions which were a part of the Germans' powerful Romagne system. Later Menoher's Rainbow Division, the 42d, relieved the 1st Division, and with a tenacity of purpose in keeping with its veteran reputation continued attacking until its magnificent persistence had its reward. To the east the 3d Division (now commanded by Buck and later by Preston Brown), which had been the stone wall on the banks of the Marne against the fifth German offensive, was fighting against terrific odds. It was to pay for the ground which it gained in the ensuing days with over eight thousand casualties.

Meanwhile, with every advance that its divisions made, the position of Bullard's 3d Corps became more wickedly exposed to the fire from across the Meuse where the German artillery from its heights looked down upon our men as upon the arena (p. 187) of an amphitheater. But here, as elsewhere, there was no cessation of the offensive. Hershey's 4th Regular Division, schooled in the Château-Thierry fighting, showed an endurance in keeping with its skill by remaining in line for over three weeks; the 5th Regulars, first commanded by MacMahon and then by Ely, which had learned their first lesson in attack by its taking of Frappelle in the Vosges Mountains, and which had again at Saint Mihiel shown a mettle which promised to make it dependable for any kind of an emergency, had now come in to take the place of Cronkhite's 80th in that trough of hell where it was to begin its long and thrilling career of accomplishment in the great battle. On its right, Allen's 90th National Army from Texas had come in on the left and immediately, though it had not been long in France, proved that it was worthy of the best traditions of its home State by its stoicism under gas and shells and the attacking fervor which were to give it a place of honor until the armistice was signed—after its crossing of the Meuse.

The Germans were now bringing in their best veteran shock divisions and countless machine guns manned by chosen "no quarter" gunners. It is significant that on September 29, 1918, three days after we had begun our Argonne attacks, Hindenburg had informed the German Government that it ought to sue for peace, and on October 3, 1918, after the British assault, which included our 2d Corps, had broken the Hindenburg line and the ferocious attacks against the positions in the Rheims sector had developed, that he informed the German Government that the situation of the German army was hopeless. Therefore the Germans on the Meuse-Argonne front were fighting with the desperation of men with their backs against the wall to save the line of communications for their retreat. Our lack of sufficient fresh divisions in reserve and of sufficient artillery in the second week of October, 1918, for extensive operations may have given them hope of success; but we were gathering our forces for another general attack.

Meanwhile it became increasingly evident that something must be done to stop the flanking fire into our 3d Corps from (p. 188) across the Meuse where the 17th French Corps was calling for American divisions to assist in mastering the heights where the plentiful German artillery was in position. Bell's redoubtable 33d Division of Illinois National Guard had crossed the river from the left bank, after a most remarkable feat of bridge building under heavy fire, and had swung north as a part of a general attack against these heights. Here the fighting was to be equally as fierce and quite as thankless as on the main battle front; for here the Germans were in the area of their old Verdun offensive, and they were perfectly familiar with the ground and had at their backs all the roads and barracks which they had used in 1916. The main line of hills and ridges, and the covering positions of the lesser heights and slopes which they held, were already prepared with dugouts and cement pill boxes, while in place of Württembergers they brought in their best Prussian troops, with ample machine guns, to assist an artillery defense which had the sweep of a half-mile circle east and west of the Meuse, thus enabling them not only to concentrate at any point on our 3d Corps on the west bank of the Meuse, but upon the 17th French Corps on the east bank.

Our approach to these defenses was through the ruined villages of the Verdun battle fields and along the roads which led us into the bottom of a cup, with its rim occupied by the enemy, through a ravine which was truly called "Death Valley." Morton's 29th, National Guard of New Jersey, which was to have its first important battle experience in conquering positions which would have baffled the skill of the most veteran of divisions, advanced on the right of the 33d. Later Edwards's 26th "Yankee" Division, which had known all the kinds of fighting which the American army had to offer, arrived from its drive in closing the Saint Mihiel salient for a period of a remorseless, grinding fighting which was in keeping with its experience. Against pill boxes, woods, and twisting ravines, across open spaces swept by machine-gun fire, repulsed by counterattacks and attacking again, the 33d (until it was relieved), the 29th for a long period, and the 26th had a battle of their own under the 17th French Corps.

(p. 189) The Germans had even stronger reasons for not yielding the heights on the east of the Meuse than they had on the west of the Meuse. Once we had Belleu Wood and Pylon Observatory we looked down on a broad valley and were approaching the last of the hills which separated us from the plain of the Woevre and German soil. Indeed, this portion of the east bank of the Meuse was the very key to the positions where the Germans would have made their stand on a shorter line if they succeeded in withdrawing their army.

October 11, 1918, was memorable in the history of the organization of the American Expeditionary Force, as, on that day, General Pershing appointed Major General Hunter Liggett our pioneer corps commander, to command the 1st American Army, and appointed Major General Robert L. Bullard to the command of the 2d Army which was operating on the Saint Mihiel salient. Both were veterans who had won the additional star of a lieutenant general which they now received for long service in France. General Bullard had commanded the 1st Division; and two other men who had been trained in that veteran school also received promotions. Major General John L. Hines, who had come to France as a major, succeeded General Bullard in command of the 3d Corps and Major General Charles F. Summerall was given command of the 5th Corps in place of General Cameron. Major General Dickman, who had commanded the 3d Division in the Château-Thierry operations, succeeded General Liggett in command of the First Corps.

On October 14, 1918, another general attack for the length of the main battle front took place. The Germans could not afford to lose any great depth of ground or their main positions defending the crest of the whaleback would be in danger. All their skill was applied in their maze of machine-gun positions, to utilize every detail of advantage of that monstrously favorable ground of slopes, woods, and ravines. The American divisions, steeled now to this ruthless fighting against a hidden enemy, took machine guns only to find that there were machine guns behind them; they took woods, ravines, and crests only to find that there were more woods, ravines, and crests yet to be (p. 190) conquered. They made vital gains and fought off fierce counterattacks to hold them. And the Germans brought in still more divisions and still more artillery and machine guns in their desperate determination which they set against that unremitting offensive spirit and unyielding will of the Americans. Under cold rain and mist in the soaked earth the grinding continued.

After the 77th Division had come out victorious from its long fight in the Argonne Forest, McCrea's 78th "Lightning" National Army Division had relieved it in that inconceivably hard and thankless task of cleaning up the town of Grand Pré and the positions north of the gap of Grand Pré. Day after day it kept on attacking even when there was a lull in other parts of the line. When Wright's 89th Division came into the line we had in these men of the Middle West, well drilled and in fine fettle, another new force in the battle which was to bring honor to the National Army and the nation. The 89th and the 90th and 5th Divisions and other divisions improved their opportunities in the final week of October, 1918, by taking positions which were valuable for the general attack, now in preparation, which was to take place on November 1, 1918.

With ample artillery and fresh reserves at our command we were determined to gain the summit of the whaleback in a final drive. This was the third phase of the battle, the second having been the long merciless hammering throughout the month of October, 1918, in which the endurance, the nerves and the aggressive spirit of American soldiers were tested as they never were before. Every day we were becoming more skillful in combat and our traffic arrangements were improving in their organization. The line from left to right on the morning of November 1, 1918, was: the 78th, 77th, 80th, 2d, 89th, 90th, and 5th Divisions. Our infantry, protected by the best artillery service which it had ever had, with the exception of some delay at certain points, irresistible in its sweep everywhere, gained its objectives, mastering the heights for which it had fought for six weeks. On November 2, 1918, the German communiqué made its confession to the German people that the American army had broken the German line.

(p. 191) The battle now became one of skillful maneuvers and rapid pursuit down the apron of lesser heights and slopes toward the Meuse. Behind the 1st Corps in reserve was the 42d Division; behind the 5th Corps in the center the 1st; and behind the 3d Corps on the right the 32d. These three veteran divisions, after their rest from the fearful fighting of the second phase of the battle, now had the opportunity finally, as the movement spread, to join in the glorious final phase which saw that army of regulars, guardsmen, and draftmen, the strongest force America had ever had under arms, as citizens victorious in the cause of democracy.

On November 11, 1918, when the armistice was signed, the 5th and 90th Divisions of the 3d Corps had swung well across the Meuse, taking the heights on the other side. The 89th and 2d Divisions were also across, while the 42d Division had reached the suburbs of Sedan, and the 77th Division was on the left bank. Kuhn's 79th Division from Camp Meade, which had relieved the worn and gallant 29th Division, which had done such lion's work across the Meuse, moving in unison with the operations beginning November 1, 1918, had conquered the heights which had poured their fire down into the trough where the Third Corps had fought. The 26th Division, which had stubbornly kept in line despite its losses and the misery of its position, was able to appreciate, as only such veterans could, the privilege of operating on the 79th's right, in mastering the positions on its front which had so long defied it. These two divisions were both attacking on the morning of the 11th. Before nightfall they had gained the last of the hills separating them from the plain of the Woevre. Thus the rapid daily advances of the American forces toward and across the Meuse, in their capture of the positions upon which the Germans depended for their winter defense line, had been not the least of the arguments which Marshal Foch was offering the Germans for signing the armistice.

We had only two divisions in reserve when hostilities finished. If we had come late into the war, once our legions were prepared, we had not been hesitant in giving them for service. All the resources of our army from the base ports to the front line had (p. 192) been stretched to their limit. Our hospitals were full and our surgeons exhausted. We had broken up freshly arriving divisions when the Service of Supply demanded more labor in order that the demands of the front should be filled at this juncture When the hope had risen in every heart that by a supreme effort we might bring the orgy of the great war to a close. We had fought for six weeks in chill winter rains and in face of fire and of hardships; and in the test of nerves, courage, and devotion we had come out triumphant. And through it all there had been no finer heroism than that of the trained army nurses who kept cheerful when staggering with fatigue in caring for the wounded in our hospitals. Be it aviator or motor truck driver, soldier in the fox hole or stevedore on the docks, all had given their strength and zeal in keeping with the spirit of their errand in France. There remained the task of the organization of the 3d Army, under General Dickman from the veteran divisions, which had the fortune to be in the front line on November 11, 1918, to march through Luxemburg and across the German frontier to the Rhine, where they did their duty as policemen during the peace negotiations; and the further task of reversing the great machinery of the army, in sending the soldiers home in good health after their wonderful experience and splendid service.




The Peace Congress held its first session at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on January 18, 1919, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris. The scene of this historic event upon which the interest of the world centered was the former Salle d'Horloge, renamed for the occasion Salle de la Paix, one of the most magnificent reception rooms in all Europe.

The French Government had made careful preparation of the chamber for every need of the assembly, and in a manner worthy of such a gathering.

For the opening session seventy-two seats were provided, the Japanese, the British and Colonial delegates, and the fifth British delegate were on the outer side of the great horseshoe. To the right of the table of honor a seat was reserved for the fifth American delegate.

The delegates representing Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Czecho-Slovakia, and Uruguay were seated in the order named.

At the left wing of the table sat the delegates of Siam, Rumania, Poland, Liberia, Hedjaz, Ecuador, China, and Bolivia.

A striking object among the decorations of the splendid chamber was a heroic marble statue of Peace holding aloft the (p. 194) torch of Civilization which stood behind the chair of Premier Clemenceau.

A council table of horseshoe form, covered with green baize, stood directly before the statue. Nine seats of honor had been prepared at the upper end of the table for the presiding officer, the vice presidents and the premiers. On each side of the wings of the great horseshoe there were fifteen seats, making sixty in all, in addition to the nine seats of honor at the head of the table.

The seats, upholstered in leather of a vivid crimson, served to emphasize and throw into relief the figures of the representatives in somewhat somber attire. The walls of the chamber were decorated in white and gold and from the ceiling, whose borders were frescoed with dancing Cupids in pastel shades, hung four great crystal chandeliers. An abundance of light from five large windows overlooking the Seine made it possible for the delegates to read and write in any part of the hall. From the council room there opened another sumptuous apartment overlooking the gardens where the delegates could retire for consultations. Adjoining was a superbly furnished dining room, where meals could be served when protracted meetings were held.

Long before the Peace Congress began its session the Quai d'Orsay was thronged with people, their eyes fixed on the windows of the Salle de la Paix. The Palais Bourbon and the Foreign Office were protected by a line of troops, and a special guard of honor was drawn up near the entrance to the Foreign Office, the delegates passing through a double file of soldiers. Each arrival was the signal for a fanfare of trumpets and full military honors from the troops on guard. President Wilson's appearance a few minutes before the time fixed for the opening of the session was the occasion for a remarkable demonstration of good will on the part of the crowd. The President joined M. Pichon, the French foreign minister, in the anteroom and was conducted to the council chamber. At the table of honor Mr. Wilson was joined by Secretary Lansing, Mr. White, and General Bliss, and exchanged greeting with other delegates.

(p. 195) President Poincaré entered the chamber at 3 o'clock, and the entire assembly stood up as he delivered his address, which was in French. After he had concluded, an interpreter read the speech in English.

In the course of his remarks, which were delivered with calm earnestness, M. Poincaré, after greeting the delegates in the name of the French Republic, reviewed the course of the war, placing on Germany the guilt of premeditation in plunging the world into frightful disaster for the purpose of spoils and conquest. He praised the Allies for the mighty efforts they had made to crush the German menace, and dwelt on America's unselfishness in entering the world war in defense of free ideals.

In conclusion he spoke warmly in favor of the League of Nations, which would be a supreme guaranty against any fresh assault upon the rights of peoples. M. Poincaré then declared the congress open and retired.

Georges Clemenceau, the French premier, was elected permanent chairman of the conference. Speeches by President Wilson, Premier Lloyd-George, and Baron Sonnino expressed the desire of the representatives of the different nations to reach a friendly understanding with respect to the problems that were to be decided at the conference.

President Wilson, in proposing Premier Clemenceau for the permanent chairmanship, said:

"It gives me great pleasure to propose as permanent chairman of the conference Mr. Clemenceau, the president of the council.

"I would do this as a matter of custom. I would do this as a tribute to the French Republic. But I wish to do it as something more than that. I wish to do it as the tribute to the man.

"France deserves the precedence, not only because we are meeting at her capital, and because she has undergone some of the most tragical suffering of the war, but also because her capital, her ancient and beautiful capital, has so often been the center of conferences of this sort, on which the fortunes of large parts of the world turned.

(p. 196) "It is a very delightful thought that the history of the world, which has so often been centered here, will now be crowned by the achievements of this conference—because there is a sense in which this is the supreme conference of the history of mankind.

"More nations are represented here than were ever represented in such a conference before. The fortunes of all peoples are involved. A great war is ended which seemed about to bring a universal cataclysm. The danger is past. A victory has been won for mankind, and it is delightful that we should be able to record these results in this place.

"But it is more delightful to honor France, because we can honor her in the person of so distinguished a servant. We have all felt in our participation in the struggles of this war the fine steadfastness which characterized the leadership of the French in the hands of Mr. Clemenceau. We have learned to admire him, and those of us who have been associated with him have acquired a genuine affection for him.

"Moreover, those of us who have been in these recent days in constant consultation with him know how warmly his purpose is set toward the goal of achievement to which all our faces are turned. He feels as we feel, as I have no doubt everyone in this room feels, that we are trusted to do a great thing, to do it in the highest spirit of friendship and accommodation, and to do it as promptly as possible in order that the hearts of men may have fear lifted from them, and that they may return to those purposes of life which will bring them happiness and contentment and prosperity.

"Knowing his brotherhood of heart in these great matters, it affords me a personal pleasure to propose that Mr. Clemenceau shall be the permanent chairman of this conference."

In accepting the presidency of the congress M. Clemenceau expressed his gratification for the honor paid him and outlined the principal questions which the conference must decide. The three principal subjects of these were, he said, responsibility of the authors of the war, responsibility for the crimes committed during the war, and international labor legislation. The League of Nations would lead the program at the next full session.

(p. 197) Mr. Lloyd-George, who seconded Mr. Wilson's motion, and Baron Sonnino, the Italian foreign minister, paid tribute to M. Clemenceau's courage, energy, and inspiration which had helped the Allies to bring the war to a triumphant conclusion.

At this session the regulations governing the conference proceedings were adopted. The following were the regulations regarding the composition of the congress:

The belligerent Powers with general interests—the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan—shall take part in all meetings and commissions.

The belligerent Powers with particular interests—Belgium, Brazil, the British Dominions, and India, China, Cuba, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Siam and the Czecho-Slovak Republic—shall take part in these sittings at which questions concerning them are discussed.

The Powers in a state of diplomatic rupture with the enemy powers—Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay—shall take part; in the sittings at which questions concerning them are discussed.

The neutral Powers, and states in process of formation, may be heard either orally or in writing, when summoned by the Powers with general interests at sittings devoted especially to the examination of questions directly concerning them, but only so far as these questions are concerned.

The representation of the different Powers was fixed as follows:

Five for the United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan; three for Belgium, Brazil, and Serbia; two for China, Greece, the king of the Hedjaz, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Siam, and the Czecho-Slovak Republic; one for Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, and Panama; one for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay.

The British Dominions and India were to be represented as follows:

Two delegates each for Australia, Canada, South Africa, and India, including the native states; one delegate for New Zealand.

(p. 198) Although the number of delegates must not exceed the above figures, each delegate had the right to avail himself of the panel system, by which the representatives of the Dominions, New Zealand, and India might be included in the representation of the British Empire.

Montenegro would be represented by one delegate as soon as the political situation of the country was cleared up. The conference would fix the representation of Russia at the moment when the matters concerning Russia were examined.

It was further decided that the secretariat should be appointed from outside the plenipotentiaries, composed of one representative of the United States of America, one of the British Empire, one of France, one of Italy, and one of Japan.

It was decided that the publicity of the proceedings should be assured by official communiques prepared by the secretariat and made public. In case of a disagreement as to the drafting of these communiques the matter should be referred to the principal plenipotentiaries or their representatives.

A provision was made that all questions to be decided upon should be subject to two readings. The program regarding resolutions which was agreed upon was, in brief, that a committee should be formed for drafting the resolutions adopted, composed of five members not forming part of the plenipotentiary delegates, and composed of one representative of the United States of America, one of the British Empire, one of France, one of Italy, and one of Japan. This committee should concern itself only with questions that have been decided. Its sole duty should be to draw up the text of the decision adopted and to present it for the approval of the conference.

The supreme council, consisting of two ranking delegates from each of the five chief Powers, held its first session on January 20, 1919, when the Russian situation was considered and was further discussed on the following day. At the session of the council of January 22, 1919, the decision was announced by which all Russian factions were invited to a conference at Princes' Island, Sea of Marmora. (The proposed conference was subsequently abandoned, as certain Russian factions refused (p. 199) to negotiate with representatives of the Soviet Government of Lenine and Trotzky.)

At the meeting of the supreme council on January 23, 1919, an order of business was announced for a plenary meeting of the conference on January 25, 1919, when the following questions were considered for this purpose.

First.—International legislation on labor.

Second.—Responsibility and punishments in connection with the war.

Third.—Reparation for war damage.

Four.—International régime of ports, waterways, and railways.

On January 24, 1919, the supreme council met for the first time as the supreme war council. Besides President Wilson and the premiers and foreign ministers of the Allied Powers, there were present also Marshal Foch, Field Marshal Haig, General Pershing, General Diaz, and the generals of the Versailles war council, including Generals Wilson, Bliss, Bolling, and Robilant.

The council conferred with Marshal Foch and other military authorities as to the strength of the forces to be allowed to the various Allied Powers on the western front during the period of the armistice.

The President of the United States and the prime ministers and foreign ministers of the Allied and Associated Governments addressed a communication to the world in which reference was made regarding the use of armed force in many parts of Europe and the East to gain possession of territory "the rightful claim to which the Peace Conference is to be asked to determine." Those employing armed force for such purposes were warned that they were prejudicing their claims by so doing, and that "if they expect justice, they must refrain from force and place their claims in unclouded good faith in the hands of the Conference of Peace."

On the same day the mission of the Allies and Associated Great Powers to Poland was discussed. It was agreed that M. Pichon, the French foreign minister, should prepare the instructions to the mission, and that one press representative for each (p. 200) of the five great Powers should be allowed to accompany the mission. The question of territorial adjustment concerning the German colonies was then discussed by Sir Robert Borden, prime minister of Canada; Mr. Hughes, prime minister of Australia; General Smuts, representing General Botha, the prime minister of South Africa, and Mr. Massey, prime minister of New Zealand.

At the second plenary session of the Peace Conference on January 25, 1919, with M. Clemenceau in the chair, the plan for a League of Nations was unanimously adopted. The resolution on the creation of a committee on the League of Nations was as follows:

It is essential to the maintenance of the world settlement which the associated nations are now met to establish that a League of Nations be created to promote international obligations and to provide safeguards against war.

This league should be created as an integral part of the general treaty of peace, and should be open to every civilized nation which can be relied on to promote its objects.

The members of the league should periodically meet in international conference, and should have a permanent organization and secretaries to carry on the business of the league in the intervals between the conference.

The conference therefore appoints a committee, representative of the Associated Governments, to work out the constitution and the functions of the league, and the draft of resolutions in regard to breaches of the laws of war for presentation to the Peace Congress.

That a commission, composed of two representatives apiece from the five great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other Power's, be appointed to inquire upon the following:

First.—The responsibility of the authors of the war.

Second.—The facts as to the breaches of the laws and customs of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their allies on land, on sea, and in the air during the present war.

Third.—The degree of responsibility for these offenses attaching to particular members of the enemy's forces, including (p. 201) members of the General Staffs and other individuals however highly placed.

Fourth.—The constitution and procedure of a tribunal appropriate to the trial of these offenses.

After the reading of the resolutions by M. Clemenceau President Wilson addressed the assembly. He said that they had met together for two purposes: to make the present settlements rendered necessary by the war and to secure the lasting peace of the world not only by the present settlements, but by the arrangements which they should make for its maintenance.

The League of Nations Mr. Wilson believed to be necessary for both of these purposes. Some complicated questions could not be worked out to an ultimate issue at the time, but would need subsequent consideration, they were not susceptible of confident judgments at present. It would be necessary to set up some machinery to render the work of the conference complete.

"We have assembled here for the purpose of doing very much more than making the present settlements that are necessary.... We are not the representative of governments, but representatives of the peoples. It will not suffice to satisfy governmental circles anywhere. It is necessary that we should satisfy the opinion of mankind.

"The burdens of the war have fallen in an unusual degree upon the whole population of the countries involved." Here, Mr. Wilson spoke of the burden thrown upon the older men, women, and children, upon the homes of the civilized world.

These people looked to this assembly to make a peace which would make them secure. "It is a solemn obligation on our part, therefore, to make permanent arrangements that justice shall be rendered and peace maintained.... Central settlements may be temporary, but the actions of the nations in the interest of peace and justice must be permanent. We can set up permanent processes. We may not be able to set up a permanent decision."

In a sense, said President Wilson, the United States was less interested in this subject than the other nations here assembled. Her great territory and extensive sea borders made her less (p. 202) likely to suffer from enemy attacks than other nations. The deep ardor of the United States for the society of nations did not spring from apprehension, but out of the ideals begotten of the war.

"In coming into this war the United States never for a moment thought that she was intervening in the politics of Europe, or the politics of Asia, or the politics of any part of the world. Her thought was that all the world had now become conscious that there was a single cause of justice and liberty for men of every kind and place.

"Therefore the United States would feel that its part in this war should be played in vain if there ensued upon it abortive European settlements. It would feel that it could not take part in guaranteeing those European settlements unless that guaranty involved the continuous superintendence of the peace of the world by the associated nations of the world."

To make the League of Nations a vital thing, said Mr. Wilson, it must continue to function, there must be no intermission of its watchfulness and of its labor; it should be the eye of the nations to keep watch upon the common interest.

The select classes of mankind, said President Wilson, were no longer governors of mankind. The fortunes of mankind were now in the hands of the plain people of the whole world. "Satisfy them and you have justified their confidence not only, but have established peace. Fail to satisfy them and no arrangement that you can make will either set up or steady the peace of the world." In the United States the great project of a League of Nations was regarded as the keynote of the whole. "If we returned to the United States without having made every effort in our power to realize this program, we should return to meet the merited scorn of our fellow citizens.... We have no choice but to observe their mandate. But it is with the greatest pleasure and enthusiasm that we accept that mandate. And because this is the keynote of the whole fabric, we have pledged our every purpose to it, as we have to every item of the fabric. We would not dare abate a single item of the program which constitutes our instructions; we would not dare to compromise (p. 203) upon any matter as the champions of this thing—the peace of the world, this attitude of justice, this principle, that we are the masters of no peoples, but are here to see that every people in the world shall choose its own masters and govern its own destinies, not as we wish, but as they wish.

"We are here to see, in short, that the very foundations of this war are swept away. Those foundations were the private choice of a small coterie of civil rulers, of military staffs. Those foundations were the aggression of great Powers upon the small. Those foundations were the holding together of empires of unwilling subjects by the duress of arms. Those foundations were the power of small bodies of men to wield their will and use mankind as pawns in the game. And nothing less than the emancipation of the world from these things will accomplish peace...."

Mr. Lloyd-George, the British premier, and Signor Orlando, premier of Italy, followed President Wilson, and made eloquent speeches in support of the resolution. After Leon Bourgeois, a French delegate, and representatives of China, Poland, and Belgium had expressed their adherence to the plan for a League of Nations the resolution was unanimously adopted.

It was decided at the conference to appoint a commission in regard to reparation for war damage to consist of representatives from Belgium, Greece, Poland, Rumania, and Serbia who would report on the amount of reparation which the enemy countries ought to pay, on what they are capable of paying, and on the method, form, and time within which payment should be made.

A resolution in regard to international legislation on industrial and labor questions was also passed. This provided for the appointment of two representatives apiece from the five great Powers and five representatives to be elected by the other Powers represented at the Peace Conference to inquire into the conditions of employment from the international aspect and to recommend the form of a permanent agency, to continue such inquiry in cooperation with and under the direction of the League of Nations. The conference also adopted a resolution to (p. 204) appoint a commission to inquire and report upon the international régime of ports, waterways, and railways.

The supreme council at its session on January 27, 1919, prepared a program of work and the constitution of new committees for economic and financial questions and those relating to private and maritime laws. The question of the former German colonies was discussed on the following day. At the two sessions of the supreme council on January 29, 1919, reports were heard from delegates on the Polish situation and Polish claims, and the Czecho-Slovak delegates gave their views.

The question of Kiauchau and the Pacific Islands created sharp differences between the delegates of China and Japan. China finally agreed that Kiauchau should be left to the disposal of Japan, to be restored to China on condition that it was opened as a commercial port.

At the meeting of the supreme council on January 30, 1919, the question of the German colonies in the Pacific and in Africa and the occupied territory in Turkey was discussed. Provisional arrangements were made to incorporate in the constitution of the League of Nation a plan for administering the German colonies by which the league should assign them to various powers for administration. This was opposed by the representative of Australia, who insisted on the annexation of New Guinea to Australia.

President Wilson was firmly opposed to a division of Germany's colonial possessions among the Powers which then held them. He believed that to divide the colonies among the Entente nations would be in direct contravention of the "Fourteen Points" which had been accepted as a basis of peace, and would violate the principles of the League of Nations.

The famous "Fourteen Points," it will be remembered, were formulated by President Wilson, and in January, 1918, were offered to the belligerent nations as the foundation for peace negotiations:

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any (p. 205) kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as seas may be closed in whole, or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal as far as possible of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associated for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and also impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon the strict observance of principles that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the desired determination of her own political development and national policy, and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under the institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to some will be the acid test of their good will, of the comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they themselves have set and determined for the (p. 206) government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrongs done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace and Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity for autonomous development.

XI. Russia, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored, Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea, and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nations which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity for autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenants.

XIV. A genuine association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees (p. 207) of political independence and territorial integrity of great and small states alike.

At the session of the supreme council on February 1, 1919, a decision was reached concerning the German colonies and the conditions were later confirmed by the covenant of the League of Nations.

President Wilson presided at the opening meeting of the League of Nations Commission on February 3, 1919, held at the residence of Colonel Edward House in Paris. The United States was represented by Mr. Wilson, Colonel House, and Mr. Miller, technical expert. Lord Robert Cecil and General Christian Smuts represented Great Britain; for France, Leon Bourgeois and Ferdinand Larnaude; for Italy Premier Orlando, and for Japan Baron Chinda; also delegates from Belgium, Serbia, Brazil, Portugal, and China.

The discussion in which Mr. Wilson took a leading part was not general but specific, as the printed text of the agreed plan for the formation of the League of Nations was before the meeting.

On the same date important committees on reparation, ports, waterways and railways held their first formal meetings. The French and British presented a program recognizing the right of nations to control international waterways and international railways, which was accepted by the commission.

The commission of the Allied Nations held daily sessions beginning February 4, 1919, and made continued progress. The delegates were unanimous in believing that a League of Nations was desirable, but some doubted its immediate efficiency and favored maintaining the old order of balance of power until the new plan had demonstrated its capacity and workability, to meet the needs of nations loving peace. Much time was spent in winning over these dissenters, and it was only accomplished after long and patient endeavors.

The final session of the League of Nations Commission was held on February 13, 1919, when a French delegate offered a clause for an interallied military force to compel peace, and the Japanese presented an amendment providing that racial discrimination (p. 208) should not be tolerated. Both proposals were defeated.

At this meeting the constitution of the League of Nations as finally drafted was unanimously adopted by the committee and President Wilson was designated to present the completed plan to the plenary council at their next session.



On February 14, 1919, President Wilson read the draft of the constitution of the League of Nations before the plenary council of the Peace Conference and afterward delivered an earnest and spirited address in support of the plan. Lord Robert Cecil, head of the British delegation, expressed his approval of the League and constitution in an eloquent speech, and the Italian Premier Signor Orlando, described his satisfaction at having collaborated in one of the greatest documents in all history.

Leon Bourgeois, for France, said that the French delegation reserved the right to present their views on certain details of the plan which made no distinction between great and small States. France and Belgium, said M. Bourgeois, were especially exposed to danger, and required additional guarantees. He urged a system of permanent inspection of existing armaments and forces as a means to avoid the renewal of wars.

The text of the document read by President Wilson at the plenary session, opening with a preamble, is here given in full.

"In order to promote international cooperation and to secure international peace and security by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just, and (p. 209) honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, the Powers signatory to this covenant adopt this constitution of the League of Nations."

Of the twenty-six articles which comprise the constitution of the League of Nations some were afterward amended, and such changes will be noted later in their place.

The first seven articles of the constitution which are the least important to the general reader may be thus summarized:

The action of the high contracting parties under the terms of the covenant shall be effected through the meeting of a body of delegates representing them, and the meetings of an executive council, and of a permanent international secretariat to be established at the seat of the League. Each of the high contracting parties shall have one vote, but not more than three representatives.

The executive council shall consist of representatives of the United States of America, British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan, and representatives of four other states members of the League. Meetings shall be held as occasion requires and at least once a year. Any Power shall be invited to attend a meeting of the council when matters concerning its interests are to be discussed. The first meeting of the body of delegates shall be summoned by the President of the United States.

Admission to the League of states not signatories to the covenant requires the assent of not less than two-thirds of the states represented in the body of delegates. Only full self-governing countries or dominions shall be admitted.

Article VIII. Provides that the executive council shall determine for the consideration of the several governments what military equipment and armament is fair in proportion to the scale of forces, laid down in the program of disarmament. The high contracting parties agree to examine the manufacture by private enterprise of war material and direct the executive (p. 210) council to advise how to prevent the evil effects attendant on such manufacture, respecting the need of those countries that cannot manufacture munitions and war implements necessary for their safety.

Article IX. Permanent commission shall be constituted to advise the council on the execution of the provisions of articles I and VIII and on military and, naval questions generally.

Article X. This and the two following, as among the most important articles in the constitution, and which became the subject of heated controversy, must be given in full:

"The high contracting parties shall undertake to respect and preserve against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all the states members of the League. In case of any such aggression, or in case of any threat of danger of such aggression, the executive council shall advise upon the means by which the obligation shall be fulfilled."

Article XI. States that any war, or threat of war, is a matter of concern to the League, and the high contracting parties reserve the right to take such action as will conserve the peace of nations.

Article XII. States in effect that if disputes arise that cannot be adjusted by the ordinary processes of diplomacy no resort to war will be made until the questions involved are submitted for arbitration of the executive council. Until three months after the award by the arbitrators war will not even then be resorted to against a member of the League which complies with the award of the arbitrators, or the recommendation of the executive council.

Article XIII. The high contracting parties agree that disputes or difficulties arising between them which cannot be settled by diplomacy they will submit the whole matter to arbitration. They agree to carry out in good faith any award that may be rendered.

Article XIV. Provides for the establishment of an international court of justice to hear and determine any matters suitable for submission to it for arbitration.

(p. 211) Article XV. Disputes between members of the League not submitted to arbitration shall be referred to the executive council. If the dispute has not been settled, a report by the council shall be published and recommendation made by the council for the settlement of the difficulty. If the report is unanimously agreed to by the council other than the parties to the dispute, the high contracting parties agree that they will not go to war with any party which complies with the recommendations.

Article XVI. "Should any of the high contracting parties break or disregard its covenants under Article XII, it shall thereby ipso facto be deemed to have committed an act of war against all the other members of the League, which hereby immediately undertakes to subject it to the severance of all intercourse between their nationals, trade or financial relations, the prohibition of all intercourse between their nationals and the nationals of the covenant-breaking state, and the prevention of all financial, commercial, or personal intercourse between the nationals of the convenant-breaking state and the nationals of any other state, whether a member of the League or not.

"It shall be the duty of the executive committee council in such a case to recommend what effective military or naval force the members of the League shall severally contribute to the armed forces to be used to protect the covenant of the League." This article further states that the high contracting parties agree to mutually support each other financially and economically, and in resisting any special measures aimed at one of their number by the convenant-breaking state.

Article XVII. Considers disputes between one state member of the League and another state which is not a member of the League, or between states not members of the League. In such event the high contracting parties invite the state, or states, not members of the League to become members and accept the obligations of the League membership for the dispute in such conditions as the executive council shall deem just. The executive council will immediately inquire into the merits of the dispute and recommend such action as may be deemed just and (p. 212) equitable. Any Power refusing to accept the obligations of membership in the League for the purposes of the League would constitute a breach of Article XII. The provisions of Article XVI shall be applicable too against a state taking such action.

Article XVIII. In this article the League is empowered with general supervision of the trade in arms and ammunition with countries where control of the traffic is necessary.

Article XIX. Deals with the question of colonies and territories which through the war have ceased to be under the old sovereignty. "Inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves ... there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization, and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in the constitution of the League." The tutelage of such peoples, it was advised, should be intrusted to the advanced nations, and should be exercised by them as mandatories on behalf of the League. Communities that have reached a stage of development as in Turkey could be provisionally recognized as independent nations, subject to administrative advice and assistance by mandatory power until they were strong enough to stand alone.

Article XX. In this the League promises to endeavor to secure and maintain fair conditions of labor for men, women, and children in all countries where their commercial and industrial relations extend, and agree to establish a permanent bureau of labor.

Article XXI. Provision through the instrumentality of the League to secure and maintain freedom of transit and equitable treatment for the commerce of all states members of the League. Special arrangements with regard to the necessities of the regions devastated during the war.

Article XXII. The high contracting parties agree to place under control of the League all international bureaus already established if the parties to such treaties consent. All such international bureaus in the future shall be placed under the League.

(p. 213) Article XXIII. Every treaty or international engagement entered into by any member of the League shall be registered with the secretary general and published by him. No treaty or international engagement shall be binding until so registered.

Article XXIV. The body of delegates shall have the right to advise the reconsideration by states members of the League of treaties which have become inapplicable, and of international conditions of which the continuance may endanger world peace.

Article XXV. The high contracting parties agree to abrogate all obligations inconsistent with the terms of the covenant, and will not hereafter enter into any engagements inconsistent with those terms. Powers signatory hereto, or subsequently admitted to the League, who have undertaken any obligations inconsistent with the terms of this convenant shall take steps to secure release from such obligations.

Article XXVI is concerned with amendments to the covenant. These are to take effect when ratified by the states whose representatives compose the executive council, and by three-fourths of the states whose representatives compose the body of delegates.

At the conclusion of his reading of the draft of the constitution of the League, President Wilson said in part:

"It is not a vehicle of power, but a vehicle in which power may be varied at the discretion of those who exercise it, and in accordance with the changing circumstances of the time. And yet, while it is elastic, while it is general in its terms, it is definite in the one thing that we were called upon to make definite. It is a definite guaranty of peace. It is a definite guaranty by word against aggression. It is a definite guaranty against the things which have just come near bringing the whole structure of civilization into ruin.

"Its purposes do not for a moment lie vague. Its purposes are declared and its powers are unmistakable. It is not in contemplation that this should be merely a league to secure the peace of the world. It is a league which can be used for cooperation in any international matter. That is the significance of the provision introduced concerning labor. There are many (p. 214) ameliorations of labor conditions which can be effected by conference and discussion. I anticipate that there will be a very great usefulness in the bureau of labor which it is contemplated shall be set up by the League. Men, women, and children who work have been in the background through long ages, and sometimes seemed to be forgotten.... Now these people will be drawn into the field of international consultation and help and will be the wards of the combined governments of the world.

"As you will notice there is an imperative article concerning the publicity of all international agreements. Henceforth no member of the League can claim any agreement valid which it has not registered with the secretary general.... And the duty is laid upon the secretary general to publish every document of that sort, at the earliest possible time....

"Then there is a feature about this covenant which to my mind is one of the greatest and most satisfactory advances that have been made. We are done with annexations of helpless peoples, meant in some instances by some Powers to be used merely for exploitation. We recognize in the most solemn manner that the helpless and undeveloped peoples of the world ... put an obligation upon us to look after their interests primarily before we use them for our interests and that in all cases of this sort hereafter it shall be the duty of the League to see that the nations who are assigned as the tutors and advisers and directors of these peoples shall look to their interests and their development before they look to the interests and desires of the mandatory nation itself....

"It has been one of the many distressing revelations of recent years that the great Power which has just been happily defeated put intolerable burdens and injustice upon the helpless peoples of some of the colonies which it annexed to itself, that its interest was rather their extermination than their development, that the desire was to possess their land for European purposes and not to enjoy their confidence in order that mankind might be lifted in these places to the next higher level.

"Now the world, expressing its conscience in law, says there is an end of that, that our consciences shall be settled to this (p. 215) thing. States will be picked out which have shown that they can exercise a conscience in this matter and under their tutelage the helpless peoples of the world will come into a new light and into a new hope.

"So I think that I can say of this document that it is at one and the same time a practical document, a human document. There is a pulse of sympathy in it. There is a compulsion of conscience throughout it. It is practical, and yet it is intended to purify, to rectify, to elevate.

"It was in one sense, said Mr. Wilson, a belated document, for he believed the conscience of the world had long been prepared to express itself in some such way.

"We are not just now discovering our sympathy for these peoples and our interest in them. We are simply expressing it, for it has long been felt and in the administration of the affairs of more than one of the great states represented here—so far as I know all of the great states that are represented here—that humane impulse has already expressed itself in their dealings with their colonies whose peoples were yet at a low stage of civilization.

... "Many terrible things have come out of this war, gentlemen, but some very beautiful things have come out of it. Wrong has been defeated, but the rest of the world has been more conscious than it ever was before of the majority of right. People that were suspicious of each other can now live as friends and comrades in a single family, and desire to do so. The miasma of distrust, of intrigue is cleared away. Men are looking eye to eye and saying: 'We are brothers, and have a common purpose. We did not realize it before, but now we do realize it, and this is our covenant of friendship.'"

After notifying by cable the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs at Washington, that he would return to America and confer with them at the White House, President Wilson sailed from Brest for home on February 15, 1919. Greeted at Boston by a great multitude of enthusiastic citizens, he delivered an address in the afternoon to 7,000 people assembled in Mechanic Hall on the subject of the League of Nations. Traversing (p. 216) much of the ground he had covered in his speech on the draft of the League in Paris, Mr. Wilson said he had been impressed with the wonderful fact during his work at the Peace Conference that there was no nation in Europe that suspected the motives of the United States....

"Before this war, Europe did not believe in us as she does now. She did not believe in us during the first three years of the war. She seems to have believed that we were holding off because we thought we could make more by staying out than by going in. And, all of a sudden, in a short eighteen months, the whole verdict is reversed.... They saw what we did—that, without making a single claim, we put all our men and all our means at the disposal of those who were fighting for their homes, in the first instance, but for a cause, the cause of human rights and justice, and that we went in, not to support their national claims, but to support the great cause which they held in common. And when they saw that not only America held ideas, but acted ideals, they were converted to America and became firm partisans of those ideals....

"And now do you realize that this confidence which we have established throughout the world imposes a burden upon us, if you choose to call it a burden? It is one of those burdens which any nation should be proud to carry."

President Wilson said that all the peoples of Europe were buoyed up with a new hope, that they believed a new age was dawning, when nations would understand each other and support each other in every just cause and unite every moral and physical strength to see that right should prevail. "If America were at this juncture to fail the world, what would become of it?" He dwelt on the despair and bitterness that would follow if America failed to justify the world's hope; on the return to the old bad conditions that had prevailed before the war when all European nations were hostile camps.

Yet the most satisfactory treaty of peace, said Mr. Wilson, would have little value unless it were backed by the united nations to defend it, with great forces combined to make it good, and the assurance given to oppressed peoples of the world (p. 217) that they should be safe. America would not disappoint the hopes of the world, and would make men free. "If we did not do that, the fame of America would be gone and all her power would be dissipated. She then would have to keep her power for those narrow, selfish, provincial purposes which seem so dear to some minds that have no sweep beyond the nearest horizon." He spoke of the claims of Poland, and the wrongs of Armenia, and of the aspirations of the Czecho-Slovaks and Jugoslavs, and how certain powers would pounce upon them if there were not the guarantees of the world behind their liberty.

President Wilson said he had returned to report progress which would not stop short of the goal. The people were in the saddle and they would see to it that if their own present governments did not do their will some other governments shall. "And the secret is out and the present governments know it."

Before President Wilson returned to America the League of Nations covenant had already been discussed in the United States Senate. The Republican members in particular were vehement and even bitter in denouncing the project as set forth in the original draft. Senator Poindexter declared in the course of a three-hour speech that the charter of the League meant surrender of American sovereignty to European nations. Article X bound the United States as one of the contracting parties, he said, to preserve against aggressions the territory and political independence in all states members of the League. This, argued the Senator, would compel the United States to tax its people and sacrifice its soldiers to make war on behalf of a foreign country. In mixing in the affairs of small European nations, these small nations would intrude into the affairs of the United States. To place into the hands of the council of the League of Nations—all but one foreigners with different ideals and interests—such control over the sovereign action of the American people for which so many heroes had labored "would be as though it were a pitiful murder of the very souls of our fathers in their own house, builded by their hands...."

Senator Borah, Republican, attacked the League as a radical departure from the policy laid down in Washington's Farewell (p. 218) Address and the Monroe Doctrine. Article X, which provided for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the nations of the League, the Senator said, would first obligate America to protect the territorial integrity of Great Britain. If the British Empire was threatened in any part, not the United States Congress, or the people, or the Government would determine what should be done, but the executive council, of which the American people had one member, would determine what should be done. The British Empire, united in interest with Italy and Japan, would outvote America in the League. The whole project, he believed, would sterilize the principle of nationalism and abrogate the American Constitution.

The League found a sturdy and eloquent champion in Senator Hitchcock, Democrat, of Nebraska, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. In the course of a speech delivered on February 27, 1919, Senator Hitchcock expressed his belief that the League was a positive guaranty against future world wars. The attitude Japan might take regarding her nationals was not a cause for worry. Japan had already recognized the exclusion laws of the United States. There was no question about Mexico, which could not give guaranties of international obligations and therefore would not be admitted to the League.

Senator Hitchcock declared that those who opposed the League were thinking in the terms of the past. The fear expressed that the League would open the way to European despotism was without foundation, for the spirit of despotism had vanished. Democracy was the mastering spirit in all the nine nations represented in the executive council, yes, even in Japan. Such a league, he argued, with its provision of arbitration and delay for calm consideration, would make war improbable. The restrictions on armaments would save the great nations billions and eliminate oppressive tax burdens.

One of the principal arguments against the League was that in joining it America would have to renounce the Monroe Doctrine and relinquish the right to attack any nation that attempted to establish itself in the Western Hemisphere. Senator Hitchcock argued that the League of Nations included the very (p. 219) purposes of the Monroe Doctrine in that it prevented the aggression of nations upon each other. An unfriendly act, or attack, upon any American republic, or upon the United States, would at once be the subject of inquiry and action by the League of Nations. America also would no longer be compelled to defend alone the Western Hemisphere, but would be backed by the sympathy and help of the League of Nations.

"We have been told that this is one of those entangling alliances against which Washington warned us. I deny it. In Washington's day the world was full of alliances, the nations of the world were seeking to maintain, through the theories of the balance of power, their rival interest. Alliances were for the very purpose of waging war, whereas the League of Nations is a great covenant among the democracies of the world for the purposes of preserving peace."

Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, Republican leader in the Senate, expressed the definite opposition of his party to the League as proposed in a speech before the Senate on February 28, 1919.

Senator Knox, Republican, of Pennsylvania, ex-Secretary of State and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, speaking on March 1, 1919, before the Senate, expressed himself in favor of a modified League that would preserve our sovereignty. The chief points in his argument may be summarized.

The Central Powers must not be left out of the League, or it would force them for mutual protection to form a second League of Nations, which the neutral states would almost certainly join. The result would be two great camps, each preparing for a new and greater life-and-death struggle.

Even the term League of Nations was a misnomer, for according to the proposed plan the nations of the world were divided into three classes.

First.—Signatories to the covenant confined perhaps to the five great Entente Powers—British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, and United States.

Second.—States not signatory, but named in the protocol, including (p. 220) possibly such Entente Powers, if any, as were not signatories, as well as other states neutral in the war.

Third.—Those states which are neither signatories nor protocol states which must furnish guaranties as to their intention to be bound by their international obligations, to be admitted to the League.

Thus the League of Nations, said Senator Knox, in the sense of all the nations was not created by the document, nor were the states members of the League treated as equals. He pointed out the difficulties in withdrawing from the League. "Once in this union we remain there no matter how onerous its gigantic burdens may become."

The climax to the senatorial discussion came when Senator Lodge circulated a proposal to reject the League of Nations constitution as then drafted. Thirty-nine members of the next Senate, said Senator Lodge, approved of the proposal, and read out their names. The thirty-nine members of the next Senate, if they stood fast for rejecting the League's constitution, would represent more than one-third of the body which must ratify any treaty by a two-thirds vote before it became effective.

Immediately after Congress adjourned on March 4, 1919, President Wilson left Washington for New York, where he delivered an address on the League in the evening of that date at the Metropolitan Opera House.

President Wilson in his address covered much the same ground he had traversed in his Boston speech, and paid his respects to the critics of the covenant in somewhat scathing terms. He was amazed that there should be in some quarters such ignorance of the state of the world. "These gentlemen do not know what the mind of men is just now. Everybody else does. I do not know where they have been closeted. I do not know by what influences they have been blinded; but I do know that they have been separated from the general currents of the thought of mankind.... I have heard no counsel of generosity in their criticism. I have heard no constructive suggestions. I have heard nothing except 'will it not be dangerous to us to help the world?' It will be fatal to us not to help it."

(p. 221) After concluding his address President Wilson and party boarded the George Washington and sailed again for France.

The attacks on the League of Nations in the United States affected the attitude of the French press and of the delegates in Paris, who had been critical of the project. But as soon as it became apparent that the Wilson program was in danger of defeat at home the press rallied to its support and the delegates, fearing failure of the whole project, became advocates of the covenant as it stood. Only Germany denounced it as unjust to the German people. Italy gave unqualified support, and England's attitude, as expressed through Mr. Balfour, was that an immense responsibility rested on the American people. "They have come into the war. Their action has had profound importance. Their service to mankind in this crisis will make a great page in their history. But that service is only half accomplished if they do not take a share in the even more responsible labors of peace."

The effect of the assaults upon the League was to speed up the preliminary work on the Peace Treaty.



On April 28, 1919, the revised covenant of the League of Nations was adopted by the plenary session of the Peace Conference without divisions and without amendment. Sir Eric Drummond of Great Britain was nominated the first secretary general of the League.

The covenant as drafted may be briefly summed up.

"The original members of the League of Nations shall be those of the signatories which are named in the annex to this covenant, and also such of those other states named in the annex as shall accede without reservation to this covenant."

(p. 222) (In the annex to the covenant the original members of the League of Nations signatory to the treaty of peace are given as follows: the United States of America, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, British Empire, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New South Wales, India, China, Cuba, Czecho-Slovakia, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Serbia, Siam, and Uruguay. States invited to accede to the covenant: Argentine Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Persia, Salvador, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela.) It is interesting to note that Mexico was not included among the states invited to join the League.

Article I, as revised, provides that "Any self-governing state, dominion, or colony, not named in the annex may become a member of the League if its admission is agreed to by two-thirds of the assembly, provided it shall give effective guaranties of its sincere intention to observe its international obligations and shall accept such regulations as may be prescribed by the League in regard to its military and naval forces and armaments.

"Any member of the League may, after two years' notice of its intention, withdraw from the League, provided that all its international obligations and all its obligations under this covenant shall have been fulfilled at the time of its withdrawal."

Article IV, as revised, reads: "The council shall consist of representatives of the United States of America, of the British Empire, of France, of Italy, and of Japan, together with four other members of the League. These four members of the League shall be selected by the assembly from time to time in its discretion. Until the appointment of the representatives of the four members of the League first selected by the assembly, representatives of (blank) shall be members of the council."

Two new paragraphs in this article provide specifically for one vote for each member of the League in the council, which was understood before, and providing also for one representative of each member of the League.

The signers of the treaty for the United States: President Woodrow Wilson, Robert Lansing, Henry White, Edward M. House, Tasker H. Bliss; for the British Empire: David Lloyd-George, Andrew Bonar Law, Viscount Milner, Arthur James Balfour, George N. Barnes.

Signature of Ch. J. Doherty and A. L. Sifton, Canada; W. N. Hughes and Joseph Cook, Australia; Louis Botha and J. C. Smuts, South Africa; W. F. Massey, New Zealand; Ed. S. Montagu and Sir Ganga Singh, India; for France: Georges Clemenceau, S. Pichon, L. L. Klotz, A. Tardieu, Jules Cambon.

Signatures of delegates from Peru, Portugal, Rumania, Jugoslavia, Siam, Czecho-Slovakia, Uruguay. Pages preceding were delegates from Italy, Japan, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hedjaz, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama.

Signatures and seals of the German delegates, Dr. Hermann Muller and Dr. Bell.

Names of delegates, not previously given, who signed on behalf of the Allied and Associated Powers, are: ITALY, Baron Sonnino, Marquis Imperiali, S. Crespi; BELGIUM, Paul Hymans, Van den Heuvel, E. Vandervelde; BOLIVIA, Ismael Montes; BRAZIL, P. Calogeras, Rodrigo Octavio; CUBA, Antonio Sanchez de Bustamente; ECUADOR, Enrique Dorn y de Alsua; GREECE, E. Venizelos, N. Politis; GUATEMALA, Joaquin Mendez; HAITI, Terulien Guilbaud; HEDJAZ, Rustem Haidar, Abdul Hadi Anuni; HONDURAS, Policarpo Bonilla; LIBERIA, C. D. B. King; NICARAGUA, Salvador Chamorro; PANAMA, Antonio Burgos; PERU, Candamo; POLAND, Paderewski, Dmowski; PORTUGAL, Costa, Soares; RUMANIA, Bratiano, Coanda; JUGOSLAVIA, Pachitch, Trumbitch, Vesnitch; SIAM, Prince Charoon, Prince Traislos Probandhu; CZECHO-SLOVAKIA, Kramarez, Benes; URUGUAY, Buero.

(p. 223) A new paragraph in Article V expressly incorporates the provision as to the unanimity of voting, which was at first taken for granted. The second paragraph of Article VI has added to it that a majority of the assembly must approve the appointment of the secretary general.

In Article VII Geneva is named as the seat of the League, as before, but the council are given power to establish it elsewhere if subsequently desired.

A new paragraph in Article VII establishes equality of employment of men and women by the League.

An added paragraph in Article XIII gives instances of disputes which are generally suitable to arbitration, such disputes as to the interpretation of a treaty, as to any question of international law, as to the existence of any fact, which if established would constitute a breach of any international obligation, or as to the extent and nature of the reparation to be made for any such breach.

A new paragraph added to Article XV is an amendment regarding domestic jurisdiction, that where the council finds that a question arising out of an international dispute affects matters which are clearly under the domestic jurisdiction of one or other of the parties, it is to report to that effect and make no recommendation.

A new paragraph in Article XVI provides for expulsion from the League when a member violates any covenant "by a vote of the council concurred in by the representatives of all the other members of the League represented thereon."

Article XXI was not in the first draft of the League covenant and reads: "Nothing in this covenant shall be deemed to affect the validity of international engagements, such as treaties of arbitration, or regional understandings, such as the Monroe Doctrine, for securing the maintenance of peace."

This amendment recognizing the validity of the Monroe Doctrine meets the "inequality of voting power" criticism, and its inclusion in the covenant was regarded as a personal triumph for President Wilson.

(p. 224) Article XXII provides that all agreements shall be unanimous and that a nation must decide whether it is to be a mandatory for any other nation.

Article XXIII contains a new clause providing for just treatment of the aborigines, a clause looking toward prevention of the white slave traffic and opium traffic, and a clause looking toward progress in international prevention of disease.

Article XXV specifically mentions the Red Cross as one of the international organizations which are to connect their work with the work of the League.

Article XXVI permits the amendment of the covenant by a majority of the states composing the assembly, instead of three-fourths of the states, though it does not change the requirement in that matter with regard to the vote of the council. A new paragraph was added to this Article at the request of the Brazilian delegates in order to avoid constitutional difficulties. It permits any member of the League to dissent from an amendment, the effect of such dissent being withdrawal from the League.

On May 7, 1919 (the anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania), the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers on the one hand and Germany on the other was delivered to the German plenipotentiaries at Versailles. Fifteen days were allowed for reply.

The treaty represents the work of more than a thousand experts who were continuously engaged on the task for three and a half months. It is the longest treaty ever drawn, totaling about 80,000 words. The treaty does not deal with questions affecting Austria, Bulgaria, and Turkey except to the extent of binding Germany to accept any agreement reached with her old allies.

The covenant of the League of Nations is contained in the first section of the treaty and in addition to its general duties others are specified.

The League may question Germany at any time for a violation of the neutralized zone east of the Rhine as a threat against the world's peace. A high commissioner of Danzig will be appointed (p. 225) to guarantee the independence of the free city, and arrange treaties between Danzig, Germany, and Poland. It will appoint three out of five members of the Sarre commission, oversee its régime and carry out the plebiscite. The mandatory system will be applied to the former German colonies and the League will act as a final court in the matter of the plebiscites of the Belgian-German frontier and Kiel Canal disputes.



Germany cedes to France Alsace-Lorraine, 5,600 square miles to the southwest, and to Belgium two small districts between Luxemburg and Holland, totaling 382 square miles. To Poland she cedes the southeastern point of Silesia beyond and including Oppeln, most of Posen and West Prussia, 27,686 square miles. East Prussia is thus isolated from the main body by a portion of Poland. Germany loses dominion over the northeastern tip of East Prussia, forty square miles north of the River Memel and the internationalized areas around Danzig, 729 square miles, and the basin of the Sarre, 738 square miles, between the western border of the Rhenish Palatinate of Bavaria and the southeast corner of Luxemburg. The Danzig area consists of a V between the Nogat and Vistula Rivers, made a W by the addition of a similar V on the west including the city of Danzig. The southeastern third of East Prussia and the area between East Prussia and the Vistula north of latitude 53 degrees 3 minutes is to have its nationality determined by popular vote, 5,785 square miles, and the same with Schleswig, 2,787 square miles.



Germany is to consent to the abrogation of the treaties of 1839 which established Belgium as a neutral state, and she agrees to any convention the Allied and Associated Powers may determine to replace them.

(p. 226) She is to recognize Belgium's sovereignty over the contested territory of Moresnet and part of Prussian Moresnet, and renounce in Belgium's favor all rights over the circles of Eupen and Malmedy, whose inhabitants may within six months protest the change, in whole or part, the League of Nations to decide.

Germany renounces her various treaties and conventions with the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, all rights of exploitation of railroads, and adheres to the abrogation of its neutrality, accepting in advance any international agreement arrived at by the Powers.

Germany will not maintain fortifications, or armed forces, within fifty kilometers east of the Rhine, hold maneuvers, or maintain works to facilitate mobilization. In case of violation "she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the powers who sign the present treaty and as intending to disturb the peace of the world."


Alsace-Lorraine are restored to France with their frontiers as before 1871. Citizenship is regulated by detailed provisions distinguishing those who are immediately restored to French citizenship, those who have to make applications therefor, and those for whom naturalization is open after three years. All public and private property of former German sovereigns passes to France without payment or credit. Ownership over railways and rights over tramway concessions and the Rhine bridges pass to France.

For five years manufactured products of Alsace-Lorraine will be admitted free of duty to Germany to a total amount not exceeding in any year the average of the three years preceding the war. Textile materials may be imported from Germany into Alsace-Lorraine and reexported free of duty. For seven years, perhaps ten, the ports of Kehl and Strassburg shall be administered by a French administrator appointed by the Central Rhine Commission. Property rights will be safeguarded in both ports and equality of treatment in traffic assured nationals, vessels, and goods of all countries.

(p. 227) Contracts between Alsace-Lorraine and Germany are maintained, but France has the right to annul them on grounds of public interest. Judgments of courts hold in certain classes of cases, others require first a judicial exequatur. War-time political condemnations are null and void and the obligation to repay war fines is established, as in other parts of Allied territory.


To compensate France for the destruction of her coal mines in the north, Germany cedes to France full ownership of the coal mines in the Sarre basin, their value to be estimated by the Reparation Commission and credited against that account. France replaces the present owners, whom Germany undertakes to indemnify. France will continue to supply coal for present needs and contribute in just proportion to local taxes. The basin extends from the frontier of Lorraine as reannexed to France as far as St. Wendel, including on the west the Sarre valley as far as Saarholzbach and on the east the town of Homburg.

To secure the rights and welfare of the population and guarantee to France entire freedom in working the mines the League of Nations will appoint a commission of five to govern the territory, one French, one a native of Sarre, and three representing different countries other than France and Germany. Existing German legislation will remain the basis of the law, but the commission may make modifications after consulting a local representative assembly which it will organize. It will have taxing power for local purposes only. The assembly must approve new taxes. The wishes of local labor organizations will be considered in labor legislation and the labor program of the League. French and other labor may be utilized freely; the former are at liberty to belong to French unions. Pensions and social insurance will be maintained by Germany and the Sarre Commission.

There will be no military service; a local gendarmerie will preserve order. The people will preserve their local assemblies, religious assemblies, schools, etc., but may only vote for local assemblies. They will keep their present nationality except as (p. 228) they wish to change it, and their property will be respected if they wish to leave the territory. As a part of the French customs system there will be no export tax on coal and metal products going to Germany, nor on German products entering the basin and for five years no import duties on products going and coming. For local consumption French money may circulate without any restrictions.

After fifteen years a plebiscite will be held to discover if the people wish a continuance of the régime under the League of Nations, union with France, or union with Germany. The right to vote will belong to all inhabitants over twenty, resident therein at the signature. The League will take into account the opinions expressed and decide the ultimate sovereignty. In any portion restored to Germany the German Government must buy out French mines at their appraised value, which if not paid for in six months pass finally to France. In case that Germany should buy the mines, the League will decide how much coal shall be annually sold to France.


"Germany recognizes the total independence of German-Austria in the boundaries traced." She recognizes the independence of the Czecho-Slovak state, including the autonomous territory of the Ruthenians south of the Carpathians, accepting the frontiers as will be determined, which in the case of the German frontier follows the frontier of Bohemia in 1914.


Germany cedes to Poland the greater part of upper Silesia, Posen, and the province of West Prussia on the left bank of the Vistula. A Field Boundary Commission of seven, five representing Allied and Associated Powers and one each representing Poland and Germany, shall be constituted to delimit this boundary. Special provisions to protect racial, linguistic or religious minorities and secure equitable treatment of commerce for other nations will be laid down in a subsequent treaty.

(p. 229) The southern and eastern frontiers of East Prussia as touching Poland shall be fixed by plebiscites, the first in the regency of Allenstein between the southern frontier of East Prussia and the northern frontier, or Regierungsbezirk Allenstein, from where it meets the boundary between East and West Prussia, to its junction with the boundary between the circles of Oletsko and Angerburg, thence the northern boundary of Oletsko to its junction with the present frontier. The second plebiscite will be held in the area comprising the circles of Stuhm and Rosenberg and the parts of the circles of Marienburg and Marienwerder east of the Vistula.

In each case German troops and authorities will move out within fifteen days of the peace and an international commission of five members appointed by the Allied and Associated Powers will arrange for a free, fair, and secret vote.

Regulations will be drawn up by the Allied and Associated Powers assuring East Prussia full and equitable use and access of the Vistula. A subsequent convention will fix terms between Poland, Germany, and Danzig, to assure railway communication across German territory on the right bank of the Vistula between Poland and Danzig, while Poland shall grant free passage from East Prussia to Germany. The northeastern corner of East Prussia about Memel is to be ceded by Germany to the Associated Powers, the former agreeing to accept the settlements made, in particular as regards nationality.


Danzig and the territory near it is constituted a free city under guaranty of the League of Nations. A high commission appointed by the League and the president of Danzig shall draw up a constitution in agreement with the representatives of the city, dealing with all differences between the city and Poland. The boundaries of the city shall be delimited by a commission appointed within six months of the peace of representatives chosen by the Allied and Associated Powers and one each for Germany and Poland. A convention, the terms to be fixed by the Powers, will include Danzig in the Polish customs frontiers (p. 230) through a free area in the port; insure Poland free use of the city's waterways, docks, the control of the Vistula and the whole railway system within the city, and telegraphic and telephonic communication between Poland and Danzig; provides against discrimination against Poles in the city, and places its foreign relations and the diplomatic protection of its citizens abroad in charge of Poland.


The frontier between Germany and Denmark, will be fixed by the self-determination of the population. Ten days from the peace German troops and authorities shall evacuate the region north of the line running from the mouth of the Schlei, south of Kappel, Schleswig, and Friedrichstadt along the Eider to the North Sea south of Tönning; the Workmen's and Soldiers' Councils shall be dissolved and the territory administered by an international commission of five, of whom Norway and Sweden shall be invited to name two.

This commission shall insure a free and secret vote, and draw a new frontier on the basis of the plebiscite, Germany renouncing all sovereignty over territories north of this line in favor of the Associated Governments, who will hand them over to Denmark. All military works on islands of Helgoland and Dune will be destroyed by German labor under supervision of the Allies.


Germany agrees to respect the independence of all territories which were part of the Russian Empire. Accepts abrogation of Brest-Litovsk and other treaties, and recognizes all treaties of the powers with states part of former Empire. The Allied and Associated Powers reserve the right of Russia to obtain restitution and reparation on the principles of present treaty.


Outside Europe, Germany renounces all rights as to her own and her allies' territories to all the Allied and Associated Powers and will accept whatever measures are taken by the five powers.


Germany renounces in favor of the Allied and Associated Power her overseas possessions. All property of the German Empire, or state, passes to the government exercising authority in the territory. Provision will be made for the repatriation of German nationals and of German subjects holding property. Germany undertakes to pay damages to French nationals in the Cameroons who suffered from acts of German civil and military authorities between January, 1900, to August 1, 1914.


Germany renounces in favor of China all privileges and indemnities resulting from the Boxer rebellion of 1901, and all public property except diplomatic and consular establishments in the German concessions of Tientsin and Hankow, and in other Chinese territory except Kiauchau, and agrees to return to China all astronomical instruments seized in 1900 and 1901. Germany accepts the abrogation of concessions at Hankow and Tientsin, China agreeing to open them to international use. Germany renounces all claims against China, or any allied or associated government, for the internment or repatriation of her citizens in China, and for seizure or liquidation of German interests. She renounces in favor of Great Britain her state property in the British concession at Canton, and of France and China.

Germany recognizes that all agreements with Siam ceased July 22, 1917. All German property but consular and diplomatic premises pass to Siam. Germany waives all claims against Siam for seizure of German property during the war.


Germany renounces all rights under international arrangements of 1911 and 1912, regarding Liberia. All commercial treaties and agreements between herself and Liberia are abrogated and she recognizes Liberia's right to determine the status and condition of the reestablishment of Germans in Liberia.

(p. 232) MOROCCO.

Germany renounces all her rights, titles, etc., under the act of Algeciras and French-German conventions of 1909 and 1911, and all arrangements with the Sherifian Empire. She undertakes not to interfere in any negotiations as to Morocco between France and other powers, accepts the French protectorate and renounces the capitulations. The Sherifian Government shall have complete liberty of action over German nationals. All German property may be sold and the proceeds deducted from the reparation account.


Germany recognizes the British Protectorate over Egypt and renounces the capitulations and all treaties, etc., concluded by her with Egypt. She undertakes not to intervene in any negotiations between Great Britain and other powers. She consents to the transfer to Great Britain of the powers given to the late Sultan of Turkey for securing the free navigation of the Suez Canal. German nationals will be dealt with as in Morocco. Anglo-Egyptian goods entering Germany shall enjoy the same treatment as British goods.

Germany accepts all arrangements which the Allied and Associated Powers make with Turkey and Bulgaria.


Germany cedes to Japan all rights, etc., notably as to Kiauchau and the railroads, mines, and cables acquired by her treaty with China of 1907 and agreements as to Shantung. All German rights to the railroad from Tsingtau to Tsinan-fu, including mining rights, pass equally to Japan, and the cables from Tsingtau to Shanghai and Che-foo free of all charges.



The German army must be demobilized within two months of the peace. Its strength may not exceed 100,000 including 4,000 (p. 233) officers, to be devoted exclusively to maintaining internal order and control of frontiers. The great German General Staff is abolished. The army administrative service is reduced to one-tenth of the total in 1913 budget.

Customs officers, coast guards, etc., may not exceed the number in 1913. Local police may be increased with growth in population only, and none of these may be assembled for military training.

Within three months of the peace all establishments manufacturing arms and munitions of war except those specifically excepted must be closed and their personnel dismissed. The amount of armament and munitions allowed Germany is laid down in detail tables, all in excess to be surrendered or rendered useless. The manufacture or importations of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases is forbidden, as well as importations of arms, munitions, and war material. Germany may not manufacture such material for foreign governments.

Conscription is abolished. The enlisted personnel is to be maintained by voluntary enlistments for a term of twelve consecutive years. Officers remaining in the service must agree to serve to the age of forty-five. Newly appointed officers agree to serve for twenty-five years.

No military schools but those indispensable shall exist in Germany two months after the peace. No associations, such as societies of discharged soldiers, shooting or touring clubs, etc., may occupy themselves with military matters. All measures of mobilization are forbidden.

All fortified works in German territory within a zone of fifty kilometers east of the Rhine shall be dismantled within three months. Construction of new fortifications is forbidden. Fortified works on southern and eastern front may remain. Interallied commissions will see to the execution of the provisions for which a time limit is set, the maximum named being three months. Germany must afford them every facility to go to any part of Germany, pay their expenses, and cost of labor and material necessary in destruction or surrender of army equipment.


The German navy must be demobilized within two months of the peace. She will be allowed six small battleships, six light cruisers, twelve destroyers, twelve torpedo boats and no submarines, either military or commercial, with a personnel of 15,000 men, including officers, and no reserve force of any character. Conscription is abolished, only voluntary service being permitted, with a minimum period of twenty-five years' service for officers and twelve for men. No member of the German mercantile marine will be permitted any naval training.

All German vessels of war in foreign ports and the German high-sea fleet interned at Scapa Flow will be surrendered, the final disposition to be decided upon by the Allied and Associated Powers. Germany must surrender forty-two modern destroyers, fifty modern torpedo boats, and all submarines with their salvage vessels. War vessels under construction must be broken up, other war vessels may be placed in reserve, or used in commerce. Ships cannot be replaced except those lost, until at the end of twenty years for battleships, and fifteen years for destroyers. The largest armored ship permitted Germany will be 10,000 tons. All German fortifications in the Baltic defending the passages through the belts must be demolished. For three months after the peace German wireless stations at Nauen, Hanover, and Berlin will be permitted to send commercial messages only under supervision of the Associated and Allied Powers, and no more may be built.


Germany renounces all title to specified cables, the value of such as were privately owned being credited to her against reparation indebtedness. The armed forces of Germany must not include air forces for more than 100 unarmed seaplanes. No dirigibles shall be kept. All the air personnel must be demobilized within two months except for 1,000 men retained until October 1, 1919. No aviation grounds or dirigible sheds are allowed within 150 kilometers of the Rhine, or the eastern (p. 235) or southern frontiers. Existing installations will be destroyed. Manufacture of aircraft is forbidden for six months. All military and naval aeronautical material must be surrendered within three months, except the 100 planes specified.


Repatriation of German prisoners and interned civilians will be carried out without delay at Germany's expense by a mixed commission of Allies and Germans. The Allies have the right to hold German officers until Germany has surrendered persons guilty of offenses against the laws and customs of war. Repatriation is conditional on the immediate release of any Allied subjects still in Germany. Germany is to restore all property belonging to Allied prisoners.


Both parties will respect and maintain the graves of soldiers and sailors buried on their territory and assist commissions charged with identifying, registering, etc., erecting monuments over the graves, and to afford each other facilities for repatriating the remains of their soldiers.



"The Allied and Associated Powers publicly arraign William II of Hohenzollern, formerly German Emperor, not for the offenses against any criminal law, but for the supreme offense against international morality and the sanctity of treaties."

Holland will be requested to surrender the ex-emperor, and a tribunal will be set up composed of one judge from each of the five great powers, with full guarantees of the right of the defense. It will fix the penalty which should be imposed.

Persons accused of acts violating the laws and customs of war will be tried and punished by military tribunals. If the charges affect the nationals of only one state, they will be tried before a (p. 236) tribunal of that state; if they affect the nationals of several states, they will be tried by joint tribunals of the several states concerned. Germany shall surrender all persons so accused and all documents and information necessary to insure full knowledge of the incriminating acts, the discovery of the offenders, etc.



The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of herself and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies. The total obligation of Germany to pay is to be determined and notified to her not later than May 1, 1921, by an Interallied reparations commission. At the same time a schedule of payments to discharge the obligation within thirty years shall be presented.... She further agrees to restore to the Allies cash and certain articles which can be identified.

Germany shall pay within two years one thousand million pounds sterling in either gold, goods, ships, etc.; this sum being included in the first thousand million bond issue referred to later. Expenses such as those of the army of occupation and payments for foodstuffs, raw materials, etc., may be deducted at the Allies' discretion.

Germany further binds herself to pay all sums borrowed by Belgium from her allies as a result of Germany's violation of the treaty of 1839, up to November 11, 1918, and will at once issue and hand over to the Reparations Commission 5 per cent gold bonds falling due in 1926.

Germany is required to make compensation for all damages caused to civilians, such as injury caused by acts of war, exposure at sea, maltreatment of prisoners; damages to the Allied peoples represented by pensions and separation allowances, to property; damages to civilians forced to labor; damages in the form of fines or levies imposed by the enemy.

(p. 237) The sums for reparation which Germany is required to pay shall become a charge upon her revenues prior to that for the service or discharge of any domestic loan.

In case of voluntary default by Germany the Allied and Associated Powers shall take measures which Germany agrees not to regard as acts of war, and may include economic and financial prohibition and reprisals.

The Reparations Commission shall consist of one representative of the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Belgium, a representative of Serbia or Japan taking the place of the Belgian representative when the interests of either country are particularly affected, with all other Allied Powers entitled, when their claims are under consideration, to the right of representation without voting power. The commission shall permit Germany to give evidence regarding her capacity to pay and assure her opportunity to be heard. Permanent headquarters will be established at Paris, which will become the exclusive agency of the Allies for reparations. Majority vote will prevail, except that unanimity is required on questions involving the sovereignty of the Allies, the cancellation of all, or part of Germany's indebtedness, the time and manner of selling, negotiating, etc., bonds issued by Germany.

The commission may require Germany to give issues of bonds from time to time to cover claims not otherwise satisfied. Bond issues are required presently of Germany in acknowledgment of its debt as follows: 20,000,000,000 marks gold payable not later than May 1, 1921, without interest; 40,000,000,000 marks gold bonds bearing interest at 5 per cent under terms fixed by the commission. Interest on Germany's debt will be 5 per cent., unless otherwise determined by the commission. Payments not made in gold may be accepted in the form of properties, commodities, businesses, rights, concessions, etc.

The German Government recognizes the right of the Allies to the replacement ton for ton and class for class of all merchant ships and fishing boats lost or damaged owing to the war, and cedes to the Allies all German merchant ships of 1,600 tons gross, and upward; one-half of her ships between 1,600 and (p. 238) 1,000 tons gross, and one-quarter of her steam trawlers and other fishing boats, to be delivered within two months to the Reparations Commission. Germany further agrees to build as reparation merchant ships to the amount not exceeding 200,000 tons gross annually during the next five years. All ships used for inland navigation taken by Germany from the Allies are to be restored within two months; the amount of loss not covered by such restitution to be made up from Germany's river fleet up to 20 per cent thereof.

To effect payment by deliveries in kind, Germany is required for a period of years varying in each case to deliver coal, coal-tar products in specific amounts to the Reparations Commission. The conditions of delivery will be modified so as not to interfere with Germany's industrial requirements.


Germany undertakes to devote her economic resources directly to the physical restoration of the invaded areas, replacing destroyed articles by the delivery of animals, machinery, etc., existing in Germany and to manufacture materials needed for reconstruction.

Germany is to deliver to France annually for ten years coal equivalent to the prewar output of Nord and Pas de Calais mines, and the annual production during above ten-year period. Germany further gives options over ten years for delivery of 7,000,000 tons of coal per year to France, in addition to the above, of 8,000,000 tons to Belgium, and of an amount rising from 4,500,000 in 1919 to 1920 to 8,500,000 in 1923 to 1924 to Italy, at prices fixed as prescribed in the treaty. Provision is also made for delivery to France of benzol, coal-tar and ammonia.

Germany is to restore within six months the Koran of the Caliph Othman to the King of the Hedjaz, the skull of the Sultan Okwawa to Great Britain, and to the French Government papers and flags taken in 1870. For destroying the Louvain library Germany is to hand over manuscripts, rare books, etc., to the equivalent of those destroyed.

(p. 239) Germany is also to hand over to Belgium the wings of the altar piece of "The Adoration of the Lamb" by the Van Eyck's, now in Berlin, and the wings of the altar piece "The Last Supper," now in Berlin and Munich.


Powers to which German territory is ceded will assume a portion of the German prewar debt, the amount to be fixed by the Reparations Commission, except Alsace-Lorraine and Poland. If the value of the German public property in ceded territory exceeds the amount of debt assumed, the states to which the property is ceded will give credit on reparation for the excess, excepting Alsace-Lorraine. Mandatory powers will not assume any German debts, or give any credit for German Government property. Germany renounces all right of representation on, or control of, state banks, commissions, or like organizations.

Germany is required to pay the total cost of the armies of occupation as long as they are maintained in German territory, this cost to be a first charge on her resources. The cost of reparations is the next charge, after making such provisions for payment for imports as the Allies may deem necessary.

Germany is to deliver to the Allied and Associated Powers all sums deposited in Germany by Turkey, and Austria-Hungary, in connection with the financial support extended to them during the war, and to transfer to the Allies all claims against Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, or Turkey in connection with agreements made during the war. Germany confirms the renunciation of the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk.

Germany will expropriate any rights or interests of her nationals in public utilities in ceded territories, or those administered by mandatories, and in Turkey, China, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, and transfer them to the Reparations Commission which will credit her with their value.

(p. 240) SECTION IX.


The contracting powers agree, whether or not they have signed and ratified the opium convention of January 23, 1912, or signed the special protocol opened at the Hague in accordance with the resolutions by the third Opium conference in 1914, to bring the said convention into force by enacting within twelve months of the peace the necessary legislation.


The Allied and Associated Powers agree that the properties of religious missions in territories belonging to or ceded to them shall continue in their work under the control of the powers, Germany renouncing all claims in their behalf.



For six months Germany shall impose no tariff duties higher than the lowest in force in 1914. For wines, oils, vegetable oils, artificial silk, and washed and scoured wool, the restriction obtains for two and a half years more. For five years, unless extended by the League, Germany must give favored-nation clauses treatment to Allied and Associated Powers. She shall impose no customs tariff for five years on goods originating in Alsace-Lorraine and for three years on goods originating in former German territory ceded to Poland, with the right of observation of a similar exception for Luxemburg.


Ships of the Allied and Associated Powers shall for five years and thereafter under condition of reciprocity, unless the League otherwise decides, enjoy the same rights in German ports as German vessels, and have most-favored-nation treatment in (p. 241) fishing, coast trade, and towage, even in territorial waters. Ships of a country having no seacoast may be registered at some place within its territory.


Germany undertakes to give the trade of the Allied and Associated Powers safeguards against unfair competition, suppressing the use of false wrappings and markings and on condition of reciprocity to respect the laws and judicial decisions of Allied and Associated States in respect of regional appellations of wines and spirits.


Germany shall impose no exceptional taxes or restrictions upon the nationals of Allied and Associated States for a period of five years, and unless the League acts, for an additional five years German nationality shall not continue to attach to a person who has become a national of an Allied or Associated State.


Some forty multilateral conventions are renewed between Germany and the Allied and Associated Powers, but special conditions are attached to Germany's readmission to several. As to postal and telegraphic conventions Germany must not refuse to make reciprocal agreements with new states.

She must agree, as respects the radiotelegraphic convention, to provisional rules to be communicated to her. In the North Sea fisheries, and North Sea liquor traffic, convention rights of police and inspection over associated fishing boats shall be exercised for at least five years only by vessels of these powers. As to the international railway union, Germany shall adhere to the new convention when formulated. China, as to the Chinese customs tariff arrangement of 1905 regarding Whangpoo and the Boxer indemnity of 1901; France, Portugal, and Rumania as to the Hague Convention of 1903, relating to civil procedure; and Great Britain and the United States as to Article III of the (p. 242) Samoa Treaty of 1899, are relieved of all obligations toward Germany.


Each Allied and Associated State may renew any treaty with Germany, in so far as is consistent with the Peace Treaty, by giving notice within six months. Treaties entered into by Germany since August 1, 1914, with other enemy states, and before or since that date with Rumania, Russia, and parts of Russia, are abrogated, and concessions granted under pressure by Russia to German subjects are annulled. The Allied and Associated States are to enjoy most-favored-nation treatment under treaties entered into by Germany before August 1, 1914, and during the war.


Clearing houses will be established, one in Germany, and one in each Allied and Associated State for the payment of prewar debts and those from contracts suspended during the war. For adjustment of proceeds of liquidation of enemy property and settlement of other obligations each state participating assumes responsibility for debts owing its nationals, to nationals of enemy states, except in case of prewar insolvency of the debtor. Proceeds of sale of enemy properties in each participating state may be used to pay the debts owed the nationals of that state. Disputes to be settled by the courts of the debtor country.


Germany shall restore or pay for all enemy property seized or damaged by her, the amount to be fixed by a mixed tribunal. German property within Allied or Associated States may be liquidated as compensation for property of their nationals not paid for by Germany, who will compensate her nationals for such losses.

Prewar contracts between Allied and Associated States—excepting the United States, Japan, and Brazil,—and German nationals are canceled except for debts for accounts already performed.

(p. 243) For the transfer of property, leases of land, mortgages, etc., arbitral tribunals of three members, one from Germany, and one each chosen by Associated States, shall have jurisdiction over all disputes.


Fire insurance contracts are not dissolved by the war even if premiums have not been paid, but lapse at the date of the first premium falling due three months after the peace. Life insurance contracts may be restored by payment of accumulated premiums and interest. Marine insurance contracts are dissolved by the outbreak of war except where the risk insured against had already been incurred. Reinsurance contracts are abrogated unless invasion has made it impossible for the reinsured to find another reinsurer. Any Associated or Allied Power may cancel all contracts running between its nationals and a German life insurance company, the latter being obligated to hand over the proportion of the assets attributable to such policies.


Rights to industrial, literary, and artistic property are reestablished. Special war measures of the powers are ratified, and the right reserved to impose conditions on the use of German patents and copyrights in the public interest. Except as between the United States and Germany prewar licenses and rights to sue for infringements committed during the war are canceled.



Aircraft of Allied and Associated Powers shall have full liberty of passage, etc., and equal treatment with German planes in German territory and with most-favored-nation planes as to commercial traffic. Germany agrees to accept Allied certificates of airworthiness, competency, etc., and to apply the convention relative to aerial navigation concluded between the powers to her own aircraft over her own territory.

(p. 244) SECTION XII.


Germany shall grant freedom of transit through her territories by mail or water to persons, goods, from or to any of the Allied and Associated Powers without customs or restrictions. The powers shall have equal rights with her own nationals in her ports and waterways.

Free zones existing in German ports on August 1, 1914, must be maintained with due facilities as to warehouses, etc., without charge except for use and administration.

The Elbe from the junction of the Ultava, the Ultava from Prague, the Oder from Oppa, the Niemen from Grodno, and the Danube from Ulm are declared international together with their connections, and will be placed under international commissions.

The Rhine is placed under a central commission to meet at Strassburg, within six months of the peace. Germany must give France all rights to take water to feed canals between the two extreme points of her frontiers. She must also hand over all drafts and designs for this part of the river.

Belgium is permitted to build a Rhine-Meuse canal, Germany to construct the part within her territory. The Central Rhine Commission may extend its jurisdiction over the lower Moselle, upper Rhine and lateral canals. Germany must cede to the Allied and Associated Governments certain vessels and facilities on all these rivers as specified by an arbiter named by the United States.

In addition to most-favored-nation treatment on her railways, Germany agrees to cooperate in through-ticket services between Allied, Associated, and other states, to allow the construction of improvements and to conform her rolling stock to enable its incorporation in trains of the Allied and Associated Powers.


To assure Czecho-Slovakia access to the sea toward the Adriatic she may run her own through trains to Fiume and (p. 245) Trieste. Germany will lease her spaces in Hamburg and Stettin, the detail to be worked out by a commission.


The Kiel Canal shall be free and open to all ships of all nations at peace with Germany; subjects, goods, ships to be treated on terms of absolute equality, and no taxes may be imposed but those necessary for upkeep and improvement.



Members of the League of Nations agree to establish a permanent organization to promote international adjustment of labor conditions to consist of an annual conference and a labor office, the former composed of four representatives of each state, two from the government and one each from employers and employed.

The international labor office will be established at Geneva as a part of the League. It is to collect and distribute information on labor throughout the world, publish a periodical, and prepare agenda for the conference. The first conference will take place in October, 1919, at Washington to discuss the eight-hour day, prevention of unemployment, child labor, and similar questions.

Nine principles of labor conditions are recognized in the treaty. They include the principle that labor should not be regarded as a mere commodity; the right of association of employers and employees; a wage adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of life; the eight-hour day, or forty-eight hour week; a weekly rest of twenty-four hours, including Sunday; abolition of child labor, education, and proper physical development of children, equal pay for equal work for men and women; equitable treatment of all workers lawfully resident therein, including foreigners; a system of inspection in which women shall take part.

(p. 246) SECTION XIV.


As a guaranty for the execution of the treaty, German territory to the west of the Rhine with the bridgeheads will be occupied by Allied and Associated troops for fifteen years. If Germany faithfully carries out conditions, certain districts, including the Cologne bridgehead, will be evacuated in five years, certain other districts and territories nearest the Belgian frontier after ten years, and remainder after fifteen years.

If Germany fails to observe her obligations during occupation, or after fifteen years, the whole or part of the areas will be immediately reoccupied. If before the expiration of the fifteen years Germany complies with all her treaty undertakings, the occupying forces will be withdrawn immediately.

All German troops at present in territories east of the new frontier shall return as soon as the Allies deem wise.



Germany agrees to recognize the full validity of the treaties of peace and additional conventions to be concluded by the Allied and Associated Powers with the powers allied with Germany, to agree to the decisions to be taken as to the territories of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, and to recognize the new states in the frontiers to be fixed for them. Germany agrees not to put forward any pecuniary claims against Allied or Associated Powers signing the present treaty based on events previous to the coming into force of the treaty.


Late Commander of the 198th Battalion, Canadian Buffs


Late Commander of the 198th Battalion, Canadian Buffs

When the dark cloud broke on August 4, 1914, Canada was not wholly unprepared. While not a militaristic people, Canadians had always recognized that it was the duty of every able-bodied citizen to be prepared to defend his country in case of need. That principle had underlain the military policy of the nineteenth century both before and after Confederation. Every citizen of fighting age was theoretically a soldier, more or less prepared to take his share in national defense.

To this was added, in later years, a feeling that some day Canadians might be called upon to take a part in the defense of the British Empire should it become engaged in a supreme struggle. This feeling developed during the South African War when Canada took over the last garrison duties from the Imperial forces as well as the naval stations at Halifax and Esquimalt. The obligation of contributing men to Imperial defense was admitted and discussed at the various Imperial Conferences between 1900 and 1914. Assisted by British experts, certain military and naval preparations had been made with the intention of meeting any national emergency and any imperial necessity which might arise.

While these grave obligations may have rested lightly on the majority of the people engaged in agriculture, commerce, and railway building, the country was not mentally unprepared for the great call of August, 1914. This explains in part why the recruiting of her early battalions and the prompt dispatch of her first contingent of 33,000 men was so enthusiastically accomplished. Division followed division until in about fifteen months Canada had a fighting army corps in France. This accomplishment surprised herself not more than it surprised the (p. 250) Allies and the enemy. Canada's enlistment during the five years of activity totaled one-thirteenth of her population. Over four hundred thousand men, out of a population of about eight millions, actually crossed the ocean. Four divisions fought as such in France. Railway troops worked with every British Army, and forestry battalions did almost all the work of that nature required to supply the needs of both French and British forces on the western front. The casualties among Canadian troops were quite equal to those sustained by the more numerous armies of the United States, because of the greater duration of Canadian service.

Such success as the Canadians had in fighting was due largely to inheritance and environment. Many of those who fought were of British birth or were English, Scotch, Irish, or Welsh once or twice removed. The military instincts of the British and French races had been preserved to a remarkable degree in the Dominion. Added to this was the energy, adaptability, and initiative developed in a people living in small communities scattered through the vast open spaces of a country almost equal in area to the whole of Europe. The pluck of the pioneer, the tenacity of the settler, the self-reliance of the rider of the plains, the initiative of the woodsman, the skill of the shantyman and the prospector—all these combined to give the Canadian army a quality second to none among those engaged in the Great World War.

Remarkable also was the development of officer ability. The Canadian army, after the first two years, was officered entirely by Canadians. The business man, with his experience in organization and executive, became a military administrator in a wonderfully short space of time. The corps commander had never been in any military school except the Canadian militia. Of the seven or eight men who served as divisional commanders, not more than three could qualify as professional soldiers before the war. Of the brigadiers and battalion commanders probably 90 per cent had never attended a military school for more than a month. Canada's army was a citizen army, commanded and administered by men without business training. Such professional (p. 251) soldiers as Canada had before the war became administrators rather than leaders in battle. The war developed so much that was new in tactics and technique that the militia officer had almost an equal chance with the so-called military expert.

If the individual soldier ranked high in initiative and valor, he also must be credited with a loyalty to discipline and to his national traditions. He quickly acquired steadiness and obedience to his officers. He respected himself and his superiors. While never servile nor obsequious, he rendered such service as made the fighting units effective because of their cohesion and compactness. That was remarkably exhibited in the first great engagement in which Canadians took part, the Second Battle of Ypres. It was equally in evidence at Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, and Mons during the final period of the war. The Canadian never forgot he was a Canadian. He had such a sublime faith in himself and in his army as a whole, that his ambition was only fully realized when he was asked to do more than was usually asked of a soldier in this titanic struggle. He never despised the enemy, but he never lost the feeling that he was physically and mentally the enemy's superior. Excepting, perhaps, the Guards Division, the Fifty-first Division, and the Australians, the Canadian army yielded the palm to no portion of the British fighting forces.

Finally, Canadian success in the field of war was but a reflection of the determination of those who remained at home and who with wonderful fortitude, self-sacrifice, and determination backed the army to the limit. There were few tears and less mawkishness when the battalions moved out from their home towns on the long trail. The sentiment of the time was stern because of the prevailing spirit of duty and responsibility. But no nation has paid more honor to those who served nor has done more toward reestablishing the warrior in citizen life than have the Canadian people. If the pay of the soldier was good and the allowance to his dependents adequate, the effort and money expended on his reestablishment have been most generous. In raising Red Cross gratuities and other patriotic funds, (p. 252) the motto of Canadians was "Give till it hurts." In the production of food and of war material, the nation accomplished the seemingly impossible. In subscriptions to the national loans, patriotism reached heights undreamed of by bankers and financial experts. Nearly seventy million shells, made and exported by a country that never before made an explosive instrument of this kind; the purchase of over two thousand million dollars worth of Dominion Government bonds by a people who had never bought a million of such in their history—these are the tangible results by which one may measure the depth of Canadian loyalty and determination.

When the war broke out, the Hon. (afterward Sir) Sam Hughes was Minister of Militia and Defense. He possessed militia experience extending over many years and had seen active service in South Africa. The possibility of war in Europe in which the Empire troops would be engaged had long been in his mind, and he had studied in advance the possibilities of such a situation. Consequently when the first contingent was authorized he proceeded to discharge both the civil duties of Minister of Militia and the military duties of Chief of Staff. He it was who recruited, organized, administered, and commanded this first Canadian army. He was the driving power which brought success in the speedy dispatch of the first contingent and the raising and the training of subsequent divisions.

This very success in the end brought a change. General Hughes centralized too much power in himself to please all those with whom he was associated. The purchasing of supplies for the army was taken from his department and put in charge of a purchasing board. A Shell Committee was formed at his suggestion and this later grew into the Imperial Munitions Board. The administration of the troops in England was gradually organized and eventually placed under General (afterward Sir Richard) Turner at Argyll House, London. The control of the army in the field passed as a matter of course to the British authorities, who were responsible for food, clothing, transport, and administration from the moment the troops crossed the Channel.

(p. 253) Sir Sam Hughes resigned his post as Minister of Militia in the autumn of 1916. He was succeeded by Sir Edward Kemp, who later went to England as Minister of the Overseas Forces of Canada. His place in Canada was taken by General The Hon. S. C. Mewburn, who remained Minister for some time after the war closed.

In the field the first commanding officer of the little Canadian army was General Alderson, an English officer of experience. He was in charge when the First Division made its unique reputation at the Second Battle of Ypres. Later on General Byng, a younger English officer, was selected to command the corps, which he did with complete success. In process of time a Canadian was selected in the person of General (afterward Sir) Arthur W. Currie. He took over in 1917 and commanded with general satisfaction for the remainder of the war. On his return to Canada he was made Inspector General, the highest purely military office in the Canadian army next to that of the Governor General who is Commander in Chief.

After the Fifth Division was filled up, the unsystematic practice of sending reenforcements overseas by battalions and batteries was discontinued. In January, 1917, a new method of furnishing drafts was outlined. This necessitated the reorganizing of the whole army on a territorial basis. There was created in each military district in Canada a home battalion, with corresponding battalions in England and in France. The scheme was as follows:

M. D. No. 1—Western Ontario Regiment (one depot battalion in Canada, two reserve battalions in England, and 1st, 18th, 160th, 161st, and 2d Pioneers in the field).

M. D. No. 2—1st Central Ontario Regiment (3d, 4th, 5th, 15th, 20th, 75th, 123d, 124th, 134th, 198th, and 208th Bus.).—2d Central Ontario Regiment (4th C. M. R., 54th, 58th, 102d, 116th, 119th, 125th, and 164th).

M. D. No. 3—Eastern Ontario Regiment (P. P. C. L. I., 2d, 21st, 38th, 156th).

M. D. No. 4—1st Quebec Regiment (5th C. M. R., 13th, 14th, 24th, 42d, 87th).

M. D. No. 5—2d Quebec Regiment (22d and 159th).

(p. 254) M. D. No. 6—Nova Scotia Regiment (R. C. R., 25th, 85th, 185th).

M. D. No. 7—New Brunswick Regiment (26th, 100th).

M. D. No. 10—Manitoba Regiment (8th, 16th, 27th, 43d, 52d, 78th, and 107th Regt).

M. D. No. 11—British Columbia Regiment (2d C. M. R., 7th, 29th, 47th, and 72d).

M. D. No. 12—Saskatchewan Regiment (3d C. M. R., 5th, 28th. and 46th).

M. D. No. 13—Alberta Regiment (10th, 31st, 49th, and 50th).

The idea behind this scheme was to effect a closer connection between the military patriotism and pride of the home distinct with the battalions serving overseas. The hope was distinctly expressed that "the Canadian militia should inherit the honors and distinctions won in battle by the Canadian Expeditionary Force."

There is no question that this measure was founded in wisdom and that it worked tolerably well. It was not always possible to maintain it exactly, since the smaller provinces had too many battalions for their resources in men. Consequently Ontario, which produced most men proportionately, was called upon to reenforce units credited to other provinces. For example, the 2d C. M. R. ceased to be a British Columbian unit early in 1918, although its commanding officer was a British Columbian who continued to give British Columbia officers the preference. This, however, was quite on a par with the selection of generals in France; for, when the war closed, Ontario which contributed half the men in the ranks, did not have a single brigadier or divisional commander on active duty.

It is also interesting to note that the hope of the originators of the scheme with regard to the old militia inheriting the "Honors and distinctions" of the C. E. F. has been negatived by the action of the militia authorities of 1919 in disbanding all militia units which existed previous to the war. This action seems to have been based on a mistaken conception of the important part played by the Canadian militia from 1860 to 1914.

General Sir Arthur William Currie, who commanded the Canadian Army Corps in France from 1917 to 1919. He was later made Canadian Inspector General and Principal of McGill University.

(p. 255) Early in 1918 came one of the greatest discussions of policy that ever engaged the Canadian army leaders. The British had decided to reduce their brigades from four battalions to three to conform to the German changes and for other good and sufficient reasons. The Canadians were requested to conform to the new organization, and the chiefs of Argyll House decided that this should be done by creating two corps of three divisions each instead of one corps of four divisions. Thus, instead of five divisions with 12 battalions of infantry each, there would be six divisions of 9 battalions each, and the number of infantry battalions would be reduced from 60 to 54. This was to be accomplished by breaking up four battalions of the Fifth Division, the infantry of which was still in Witley Camp, England, and turning the other two into pioneer battalions for the Fifth and Sixth Divisions.

The scheme was so far planned and executed that the two battalions of the Fifth, chosen to be pioneers, had already commenced their training as such, and the four battalions to be eliminated had already been decided upon. Argyll House had even chosen, unofficially, the new staffs required.

The proposal was negatived eventually by the influence of the corps commander. Quite naturally, he did not take kindly to the reduction of his corps from four to three divisions. His four divisional commanders did not relish having their commands reduced from twelve battalions of infantry to nine. A protest was lodged with Sir Edward Kemp, who had recently arrived in England as Minister of Militia Overseas. After consultation with Ottawa, Sir Edward Kemp decided that General Currie was right and the request of the British authorities was refused. The logical consequence of that refusal was the break-up of the infantry of the Fifth Division, since four divisions were sufficient for the one corps which it was decided to maintain. Its artillery and engineers were already in France, and its machine-gun companies also passed over intact. The artillery retained its identity until the end of the war.

After the break-up of the Fifth Division, and because reenforcements for some months had exceeded casualties, the corps commander (p. 256) found himself with an abundance of troops. He therefore decided to enlarge his establishment, increasing the number of men in each infantry battalion, to change his pioneer battalions into engineer brigades with greatly increased strength, and to create machine-gun battalions instead of machine-gun companies. Even these changes left him with surplus men, and so came the creation of The Hughes Brigade (4,234), The McPhail Brigade (4,776), and Brutinel's Brigade, afterward known as the "Independent Force." The latter was composed largely of motor machine-gun units, cyclists, and cavalry, and was used as emergency corps troops. There was also an engineer motor-transport company, a tramway company, a field-survey company, several searchlight companies and various other corps accessories.

Here is seen one of the difficulties of coordinating the military forces of the Empire, a problem which tried the patience of the higher command. The overseas troops were magnificent in their fighting qualities, but the overseas officers were not always as sympathetic with the higher military control as might have been expected. The overseas business man makes a good soldier and a good general, but in either case he is prone to exhibit those elemental qualities which make him a trenchant and resourceful warrior.

Another of the outstanding problems which faced the Canadian army was the question of the supply of officers. Canada had an oversupply of officers from the start, and the army never quite recovered from the malady. This surplus was continually seeking to be absorbed while the officers in the field were quite as assiduous in trying to keep it from fulfilling its desires. Most officers who went over with the First and Second Divisions had friends of equal civilian rank with themselves in their commands and they desired to see these men rewarded with commissions earned in the field. As all four divisions were controlled largely by those who arrived in France in 1915, the surplus officer in the Canadian camps in England was usually forced to return home without fighting; to seek imperial service as town major—the lowliest employment in the army; or to serve as supernumerary (p. 257) without recognition. When the infantry of the Fifth Division was broken up, the surplus officer question became even more acute. As an example of the injustice which necessarily resulted, it may be cited that one former commanding officer from the Fifth Division was killed when acting as platoon commander in a battalion in the Second Division.

Another unfortunate result of the surplus officer was the creation of new posts for those who had to be absorbed. Many young officers were given unnecessary jobs in brigade, divisional and corps staffs who but made extra work for those who had already enough to do. In other words, the heads of the staff were overburdened with a multiplicity of juniors. The Canadian corps had, it is said, nearly as many staff officers as any other two corps in France. The primary causes, it must be remembered, were the free creation of officers in Canada and the lack of coordination between those in control of this function in the field and at home.

After the United States came into the war a British Canadian Recruiting Commission was established in that country to enable Britishers of military age to join either the British or Canadian armies. This was done with the approval and consent of the United States Congress. Twenty-seven recruiting depots and three divisional headquarters were established and by the end of the war 60,000 volunteers had been dealt with, of whom 42,000 were accepted. Of these about 30,000 went to the Canadian army.

The official report (Memo. No. 5) regarding the later phases of this work says: "Effective stimulus was given to the recruiting operations of the Mission by the announcement and conclusion of negotiations for satisfactory conventions between the United States and Great Britain and Canada, providing for mutual compulsory military service, whereby those of military age were compelled within a limited period to elect between military service in their country of residence or of origin."

When the war was concluded and the work of disbanding and repatriating the army was begun, there was again some conflict of opinion between the authorities at home and those in the field. (p. 258) The plan proposed by the officials in Canada provided for sending home the men in the order of enlistment. The corps authorities opposed this and asked that the units be sent home intact, disregarding the date of enlistment. Either scheme had its difficulties, but as usual the corps authorities had their way. The Third Division units came home first, followed by those of the First, Second, Fourth, and details. The various units returned to their territorial headquarters in Canada practically intact.

Thus ended Canada's greatest war achievement—a chapter full of conflicting theories and methods, redolent of minor errors and clash of ambitions, but on the whole creditable and glorious. Above everything else the patriotism, courage, gallantry, and self-sacrifice of all classes of people in the greatest of the British dominions overseas shines conspicuously and brilliantly.

The deeds of the Canadian army in this World War will vitalize the pages of the nation's history in all the years-to-be. The monuments in France and Canada, the sacred colors in cathedrals and public buildings, the bronze tablets which will be erected everywhere, will gather up and preserve the memories of those who died that others might live. Meantime those who served know that in all that was done they but followed the simple path of duty.




Canada was no more prepared than any other nation for the outbreak of the Great War. Because of their geographical isolation from the turmoil of international politics the Canadians were even more incredulous of war, in their mental attitude, than their kin across the waters. It is against this important fact as a background that one must consider the achievements of the Canadians during the war—and marvel.

Theodore Roosevelt once suggested that to maintain a "fighting edge" men should do continuous battle, but the Canadians have demonstrated the fallacy of this precept, in a military sense at least.

For over a hundred years Canada had known only an atmosphere of peace and almost continuous prosperity. Truly, during that period the mother country had frequently waged warfare along the outskirts of the Empire, and had even engaged in one or two wars of considerable magnitude, but never had she felt the danger so pressing as to send a call for help across the Atlantic.

Canadian help was, indeed, offered during the Crimean campaign, but before this impulse could materialize on the field of battle the need had ceased to exist. Again, during the South African struggle, the same impulse had been manifested, and nearly eight thousand Canadian volunteers did eventually reach the fighting front against the Boers. But these had been inspired (p. 260) by a spirit of adventure, rather than by any sense of patriotic duty.

There was everything in their environment to develop peaceful instincts in the Canadians. To the east and west were limitless expanses of sea; northward was the frozen Arctic; and to the southward was another people who, though thirteen times greater in population, was equally isolated from the political jealousies and rivalries of Europe, and their kinsmen in speech, customs, and, to a large extent, in blood also. From this direction no danger had threatened during the century, and danger from across the seas had been of too intangible a quality to reach the imagination.

Under these conditions the Canadians had devoted themselves exclusively to the labors and arts of peace: of agriculture, manufacturing, and trade and commerce. Vast natural resources lay before them awaiting exploitation and development. The psychology of the Canadian was entirely constructive.

There remained, of course, the sense of responsibility involved in the ties binding the people to the British Empire, a subconscious realization that when Great Britain was at war, Canada, too, would be at war. Yet here again environment and local conditions tended to reduce this consciousness to the quality of abstract theory, a mere convention. The native Canadian, though of British ancestry, knew England only through hearsay or the written word. And a considerable portion of Canada's population felt not even the tie of a common speech and literature. In so far as they recognized this bond, the temperamental self-reliance of the Canadian people was inclined to reduce it to a sentiment, rather than any deep feeling of dependence on the power of the British navy. A keen sense of economic independence and strength served still further to intensify this feeling. Whatever allegiance the average Canadian owed to the Empire must have been, and undoubtedly was, of the nature of an ideal—something far more abstract than the ordinary sentiment of patriotism—love of country.

In a people in this state of mind the first threat of a great war involving themselves could only have roused varying degrees of (p. 261) skepticism—while the first actual confirmation must have struck them with the impact of a thunderbolt.

Canadians were shocked—unutterably, outrageously shocked.

Casual observers, basing their judgment on the mental attitude of the people, as briefly outlined above, might reasonably have expected a quick return to the previous state of mind, at most a strong sympathy for the mother country, which might manifest itself in substantial contributions of funds, supplies, and perhaps a few battalions of enthusiastic adventurers. For, whatever might have been said at the time as a recruiting argument, Canadians felt no danger of immediate, or even future, invasion by European armies. When it came to that they had every reason to believe that the hundred million population of the United States would stand solidly with them, quite aside from the Monroe Doctrine. There was, of course, the possibility that Canada's trade with Great Britain, totaling half a billion dollars a year, would be destroyed in case of naval disaster to the British navy, but that would be only temporary. Whoever conquered would be willing to pay a stiff price for a portion of Canada's tremendous wheat crops, nearly 140,000,000 bushels in 1913. Economically Canada was in no way dependent on European countries.

But such a chain of deductions would have ignored the chief premise—the spirit of the people who made up the Canadian nation. For a hundred years, indeed, the people of Canada had pursued the paths of peace; for three generations they had known no stronger passion than that involved in ordinary political partisan strife.

Vice and idleness, not the pursuits of peace, render men soft and flabby in spirit. A pioneer stock does not require the continuous excitement of military warfare to maintain its combativeness; it needs only a just cause to rouse it to furnace heat. And that just cause the Canadians found in the attitude of England that Germany and Austria should not dominate the political destinies of peoples outside their frontiers. Within twenty-four hours all Canada was aflame with the war passion, but it was a passion thoroughly controlled by the reason behind it.

(p. 262) "When Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war!" became a popular slogan. Intermingling with that supreme indignation, with the fervent loyalty to the empire, was the sinking dread of the tremendous sacrifices, not only in material interests, but in blood, which would have to be made, and that dread was terrible because of the profound sincerity and determination of the people to enter into the struggle, to stay until the bitter end. There was nothing jubilant in the wave of enthusiasm which swept over Canada in favor of the war during that first week in August; that note would have been out of harmony with the grim determination which was the dominating element in the popular emotion which swept over the land. It was not the sort of emotion which would naturally manifest itself in noisy street demonstrations, especially among people of Anglo-Saxon blood.

Such demonstrations did, indeed, occur, especially in those districts where the population was predominantly of Latin blood. In Montreal and Quebec vast throngs paraded the streets during the first few days of August, 1914, carrying Belgian, French, and British flags, singing the "Marseillaise" and "Rule Britannia," and cheering the orators who addressed the crowds. But in Toronto and in other cities in the English-speaking districts the crowds, though they filled the streets before the bulletin boards of the principal newspapers, maintained a silence which was even more impressive.

Whatever undercurrents of opinion there might have been against a whole-hearted support of the Empire in the struggle, such as manifested itself openly in practically all the belligerent European countries, found little expression in Canada. Political party issue sank for the time being out of sight, and the popular voice, as expressed through the newspapers of diverse shades of opinion, and through the popular political leaders, was practically unanimous. And that voice demanded that Canada should strain every resource, should offer every available man, in Britain's support.

The Toronto "Globe," chief organ of the Liberals, was one of the first to enunciate the main issue of the great struggle impending—that (p. 263) it was a gigantic contest between the forces of autocracy and democracy, and that, in supporting England, Canada was not alone fulfilling her obligations to the mother country, but she was championing the cause of human liberty the world over.

"Because it is the world's fight for freedom," spoke that journal on August 4, 1914, "Britain, reluctantly but resolutely, speaks the word, and Canada also answers aye."

"There can be no question as to Canada's duty if the European War goes on," said the Toronto "Star" on August 4, 1914. "This country must do all it can to support the arms of Britain."

The Toronto "World," representing the Conservatives, urged the immediate organization of a fighting force of 50,000 men, to be sent across as soon as they could be trained. The Montreal "Star," having invited expressions of opinion from some hundreds of prominent political and industrial leaders and municipal officials, published them in full. Of the many pages of telegrams printed, only two failed to emphasize the need of an immediate contribution of money and men. The mayor of Quebec, the center of French Canada, was in favor of "all we can do to help the Empire in money, arms, and men." Alphonse Verville, representing French-Canadian labor elements in Parliament, believed that "we should be prepared to give Great Britain all the assistance she needs." Turning to his fellow citizens, the French-Canadian mayor of Montreal said: "The war is as much in defense of Canada as of Great Britain."

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, representing the opposition in Parliament, made a statement on August 4, 1914, of which the following is a part:

"I have often declared that if the mother country were ever in danger, or if danger ever threatened, Canada should render assistance to the fullest extent in her power. In view of the critical nature of the situation I have canceled all my meetings. Pending such great questions there should be a truce to party strife."

(p. 264) Even in the French provinces demonstrations of enthusiasm soon passed, giving place to intense energy in preparation. With a silent determination the people faced the gigantic task before them, unappalled. And a gigantic task it was, apparently, to a people so unprepared materially for the prosecution of warfare on so tremendous a scale as was now demanded of them, if their aid was to count. But if the spirit was there, so were the material resources, the raw material—and the men.



Some few words should be devoted to the personnel of the Government which immediately took supreme charge of the almost superhuman preparations which Canada undertook as her share in the gigantic struggle, and which were so successfully carried to a conclusion. Not only was this task which the Government faced a tremendous one, but it was of a nature extremely foreign to its supposed qualifications. To practically all of these men the science of waging war, or preparing for war, was as strange as it was to the majority of Canada's peaceful citizens.

Sir Robert Borden and his ministers had only been in office three years, and of their number only one had ever had previous experience as a Cabinet minister. It was essentially a Government for the handling of peace problems, so that there is little to be wondered at if minor mistakes were committed and occasional criticism did manifest itself.

The premier and his colleagues met the crisis and assumed their new responsibilities with a calm efficiency. There was nothing in the personality of the premier to make him a popular or a picturesque figure, but the fact remains that he so far fulfilled his responsibilities that at the end of the war he was one of the two premiers of the belligerent governments who (p. 265) had not passed from power—who still held the confidence of their people.

Associated with Sir Robert Borden was Thomas White (later Sir Thomas), Minister of Finance, whose experience in big-scale finance had been gained in Toronto business circles. To no small degree was the financial equilibrium which Canada maintained during the first few months of the war due to his ability.

Lieutenant General Sir Sam Hughes, as Minister of Militia, assumed an order importance in the Cabinet which his position had not warranted in times of peace. Bluff, frank, independent of public opinion almost to an unpleasant degree where his own convictions were concerned, he was the object of more criticism and censure than any of his colleagues. As an advocate of extensive military preparedness he had not been popular before the war and had often been denounced as a militarist and a jingo. Under his direction came the preparation for and the organization of the military forces which Canada was to send across seas to fight in France. In the main, what he accomplished speaks for him.

On the shoulders of these three men fell the main responsibilities of preparing Canada for assuming her share in the Great War.

The work of the other members of the Government brought them less into the public eye. These were Sir George E. Foster, Minister of Trade and Commerce, the one member who had experience in a previous administration; Robert Rogers, Minister of Public Works; J. Douglas Hazen, Minister of Marine, Fisheries, and Naval Affairs, under whose jurisdiction came the defense of the coast and harbors; Martin Burrel, Minister of Agriculture, who popularized the slogan "Patriotism and Production"; the Hon. C. J. Doherty, Minister of Justice; the Hon. Frank Cochrane, Minister of Railways; the Hon. W. J. Roche, Minister of the Interior; the Hon. T. W. Crothers, Minister of Labor; the Hon. J. D. Reid, Minister of Customs; and the Hon. A. E. Kemp and the Hon. J. A. Lougheed, ministers without portfolios. The interests of the two million French-speaking population (p. 266) of the Dominion were indirectly represented in the Government by the Hon. L. P. Pelletier, Postmaster General; the Hon. W. B. Nantel, Minister of Inland Revenue, and the Hon. Louis Coderre, Secretary of State.

Many and varied were the special war problems which the Government had to handle, but first and foremost was that of organizing and equipping a military force. With characteristic energy General Hughes hurried to this, his special task. On the last day of July, 1914, he had already hurried to Ottawa and there called an emergency meeting of the Militia Council, comprising Colonel E. Fiset, D. S. O., Deputy Minister; Colonel W. G. Gwatkin, Chief of the General Staff; Colonel V. A. S. Williams, A. D. C, Adjutant General; and Major General D. A. Macdonald, C. M. G., I. S. O., Quartermaster General. At this conference it was decided, subject to the approval of the governor general and the premier, that an initial force of 20,000 should be organized, equipped, and sent across if war was declared.

By the time that all doubt on that point was past General Hughes and his staff of assistants had already formulated their plan of action. From all parts of the country came offers of aid from men who had had military training.

Practically there was very little to build upon; Canada had barely a nucleus around which to create that big and efficient military organization which afterward became so powerful a factor in the military situation in France. The Royal Military College at Kingston had, indeed, turned out hundreds of young military officers, but most of them had accepted commissions in the British army and were now scattered all over the world in the British possessions as officers in British regiments.

Everything must be created anew. But the crude material, the man power, was there. According to the census taken in 1911 there were a little over a million and a half men between the ages of twenty and forty-four, of which a trifle over half were married, with families dependent on them. Allowing for a normal increase in the population, and for the fact that the (p. 267) military age was from eighteen to forty-five, and eliminating the physically unfit, Canada had available about a million and a half for active military service.

On August 6, 1914, the Government issued a call for volunteers for the formation of the First Army Division, to number about 21,000 men. The responses came immediately and in a volume greater than could be handled. To this first quota Ontario and the West contributed most generously. No more men were needed for the time being, though probably a hundred thousand men could have been obtained within those first few weeks, had they been needed. It was not till this first contingent had gone through its preliminary training and had been equipped and sent to training camp in England that the second call was issued, for another 21,000 men, in November, 1914.



The calling together of the men, during the earlier period of the war at least, was the easiest part of the work in hand. The training and equipment of these first two contingents required all of the rest of the first war year. Eight thousand horses had to be purchased and shipped from all parts of the country to the training camps. Provisions to feed men and horses had also to be gathered in from all the Provinces and shipped across after the first contingent had sailed. Over a hundred special trains were needed to accomplish this before the end of the year, after which, as the Canadian forces on the other side increased, they were augmented in proportion. With the first contingent there was shipped a consignment of war material including seventy field guns alone. The total value of this first shipment approached close to $14,000,000.

Nor were these supplies confined to the use of Canadian troops exclusively. On August 6, 1914, when war had become a definite (p. 268) certainty, the governor general sent the following message to the British colonial secretary:

"My advisers request me to inform you that the people of Canada, through their Government, desire to offer one million bags of flour, of ninety-eight pounds each, as a gift to the people of the United Kingdom, to be placed at the disposal of his Majesty's Government, and to be used for such purposes as they may deem expedient."

This munificent gift was accepted with deepest expressions of gratitude, and with the assurance that "we can never forget the generosity and promptitude of this gift and the patriotism from which it springs." Two hundred trains, of thirty cars each, were required to transport this flour, valued at $3,000,000, to the port whence it was shipped.

Meanwhile, during the first few weeks after the call for men had been issued, hurried preparations were made to establish the training camps in which they were to be received and trained. Most notable of these mobilization centers was Valcartier Camp, ideally situated outside of Quebec. Under the direction of Captain William Price, Lieutenant Colonel E. H. Burstall, and Lieutenant Colonel W. McBain, extensive housing accommodations were erected, roads constructed, and all the improvements of a modern city were installed. One prominent feature was three miles of rifle butts for rifle practice. Here 33,000 recruits were gathered and housed before three months had passed.

The training of the recruits in the Canadian mobilization camps was, for obvious reasons, only of the most elementary sort. First of all there was a dearth of competent instructors, which could be more plentifully supplied in England. And then there was the psychological factor; it was difficult to make the men realize the seriousness of military discipline on native soil, so distant as it was from the seat of war. Therefore the men were taught little more than how to march in proper formation before they were shipped to England, where they were to be more fully "licked into shape" in the Canadian training camps established there.

(p. 269) Once on the other side, immersed in the tense war feeling which permeated the English people, almost within sound of the big guns which were already thundering close to the gates of Paris, the Canadian recruit came to a profound realization of the full significance of the situation and his responsibilities. Under these conditions he quickly relinquished the last vestige of that intense individualism so characteristic of the sons of pioneers, an excellent quality in a guerrilla fighter, but not so desirable in the units of a large fighting organization.

During the last week of September, 1914, the first contingent of recruits at Valcartier Camp began embarking for its overseas journey. On the 21st the premier and several of his Cabinet members formally delivered a farewell address to these men about to leave their native country for war service. At Quebec a great fleet of transports, thirty-two in number, were anchored in readiness, and as each received its assignment of troops, it lifted anchor and sailed quietly and secretly down the river, toward the open sea, there to meet a convoy of warships, under the command of Rear Admiral Rosslyn E. Wemyss, C. M. G., D. S. Q. As each regiment embarked there was read to it the farewell message of the governor general:

"On the eve of your departure from Canada I wish to congratulate you on having the privilege of taking part, with the other forces of the crown, in fighting for the honor of the king and the Empire. You have nobly responded to the call of duty, and Canada will know how to appreciate the patriotic spirit that animates you. I have complete confidence that you will do your duty, and that Canada will have every reason to be proud of you. You leave these shores with the knowledge that all Canadian hearts beat for you, and that our prayers and best wishes will ever attend you. May God bless you and bring you back victorious."

(p. 270) CHAPTER IV


The departure of the first contingent, which became known to the public through an announcement made to the press by General (then Colonel) Hughes on September 24, brought all Canada to a first profound realization of the tragic aspects of the war. The first big sacrifice had been made.

Meanwhile recruiting continued at a steady pace. But it was now becoming more obvious that a sense of patriotic duty, rather than enthusiasm, was to be the impelling motive henceforward. The youth of the country came forward more deliberately, thoughtfully.

During 1915 180,000 men responded to this call of duty, or at the average rate of 3,400 a week. A large proportion of these, especially in the second half of the year, undoubtedly had been moved by the campaign of education which was carried on by the newspapers. "The country requires," said the Toronto "Globe," in its issue of January 23, 1915, "information as to the causes of the war, the issues involved, and the pressing need for men."

The difference between the first volunteers and those who only came forward during the later periods was one which certainly reflected no discredit on the latter. If they came more slowly it was only that they were, on the whole, older men, more inclined to be guided by reason than by youthful enthusiasm. These were the men who had given the issues of the war close study, and by the process of deliberate judgment came to the conclusion that their duty, not to Canada, or to the Empire, alone, required them to offer themselves, but a duty to the cause of world democracy and civilization itself. From these came some of the best soldiers who later distinguished themselves and won promotion on the bloody fields of battle in France.

At the end of the year 212,000 Canadians were in uniform. At that time the Government called for a total contribution of (p. 271) half a million men. In the middle of February a mere handful short of a quarter of a million men had enlisted. Of these 30 per cent were native-born Canadians, 62 per cent were British-born settlers, and 8 per cent were foreign born.

On November 2, 1915, an official announcement indicated in what proportion the various provinces had contributed to the total number of enlistments. The figures were as follows:

Ontario, 42,300; Quebec, 14,000; the Maritime Provinces, 15,000; Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 28,000; British Columbia and the Yukon, 17,000; Alberta, 14,200.

At this time recruiting was now averaging 2,000 a day.

The call for half a million men which the premier issued at the first of the year, 1916, stimulated recruiting perceptibly. During the month of January 30,000 men responded from all parts of Canada; in February almost 27,000 enlisted; and in March nearly 33,000 presented themselves. The grand total during these three months was not far short of 90,000. By the following June 335,000 of the half million men called for had been obtained.

During the summer and the fall of 1916 the stream of recruits began to diminish very perceptibly. During this period the daily average dropped down to three hundred.

By this time the volunteer system was beginning to reach its limits. But the record was, nevertheless, a splendid one, especially when it is remembered how abstract the issues of the war must have been to the minds of a large portion of the masses. At the end of 1916 434,529 men from Canada were on war duty of some kind, not counting over 70,000 casualties at the front.

During 1917 the slackening of recruiting became so apparent that the Government had now to consider extraordinary means to stimulating it, if Canada was to raise her full quota of half a million men. Chief of these means was the creation of the National Service Board, by an Order in Council, on October 5, 1916. This body was empowered to order a registration of the remaining man power of the nation, for the purpose of bringing about a coordination of the various industries with a view to army requirements.

(p. 272) The census taken by the board during the following few months showed a total enumeration of 1,549,360 able-bodied workers, 286,976 of which were engaged in nonessential occupations, and 183,727 in agriculture. Included there were 4,660 skilled workers in the mining industry, shipbuilding, and the manufacture of munitions. The work of the board brought this information, but no increase in enlistments.

Splendid as had been the response of Canada's youth, the fact had now to be faced, in the beginning of the fourth year of the war, that the need for men at the front exceeded the supply available through the volunteer system. Needs considered, there remained only the last resort—conscription.

This was a decision which the Government faced with extreme reluctance. Already conscription had become the subject of a great deal of heated discussion, in legislative halls as well as in the daily press. Temperamentally the Canadian people could accept the idea only with the greatest of reluctance. It was contrary to the individualistic sentiment of the nation. But it was the only remaining alternative to a still greater evil—a German victory.



The question of conscription came to a final issue on May 18, 1917, when the premier returned from England, where he had been in conference with his colleagues on the Imperial War Board. It was then that he announced that it would be necessary to introduce a conscription measure in the near future.

"A great struggle lies before us," he said, "and I cannot put that before you more forcibly than by stating that at the commencement of this spring's campaign Germany put in the field one million more men than she put in the field last spring.... Hitherto we have depended on voluntary enlistment. I, myself, (p. 273) stated to Parliament that nothing but voluntary enlistment was proposed by the Government. But I return to Canada impressed at once with the extreme gravity of the situation and with a sense of responsibility for our further effort at the most critical period of the war. It is apparent to me that the voluntary system will not yield further substantial results."

Only a little over fifty thousand men more were needed to supply the need at the front, and to complete Canada's full quota, but they were needed most imperatively. That this need was strongly impressed on the public mind became apparent during the month which intervened between these utterances by the premier and the first presentation of the Conscription Bill in Parliament. As a matter of fact, Australia and South Africa were the only belligerent countries besides Canada, at this time, which had not been compelled to adopt the principle of forcible enlistment.

On June 11 the bill was presented to Parliament, with a speech by the premier explaining all its provisions. Administration was placed under the Department of Justice, and the term was for the duration of the war, including demobilization. All male British subjects in Canada were included, from the ages of twenty to forty-five. Those eligible were divided into six classes, according to their marital conditions and ages, and each class was to be called in succession. An amendment presented by the leader of the opposition would have submitted the bill to a referendum vote of the electorate, but this was rejected by a vote of 111 against 62. The bill finally passed the third reading by a vote of 102 against 44.

At the end of the year 404,395 eligible men had registered. The number of men eventually drafted under this law amounted to 83,000, making the total number of enlistments up to the end of the war 611,741.

The army thus raised was eventually represented in infantry and cavalry battalions, exclusive of engineers, forestry, railway construction, pioneer, and cyclist corps, or the Siberian expeditionary force of 4,000 men. The following list was issued by the Government at the close of the war:


First Lt. Col. F. W. Hill Valcartier October 3, 1914
Second " D. Watson " " 3, 1914
Third " R. Rennie " " 3, 1914
Fourth " R. H. Labatt " " 3, 1914
Fifth " G. S. Tuxford " " 3, 1914
Sixth " R. W. Paterson " " 3, 1914
Seventh " W. Hart-McHarg " " 3, 1914
Eighth " L. J. Lipsett " " 3, 1914
Ninth " S. M. Rogers " " 3, 1914
Tenth " R. L. Boyle " " 3, 1914
Eleventh " R. Burritt " " 3, 1914
Twelfth " H. F. McLeod " " 3, 1914
Thirteenth " F. O. W. Loomis " " 3, 1914
Fourteenth " F. S. Meighen " " 3, 1914
Fifteenth " J. A. Currie " " 3, 1914
Sixteenth " R. G. E. Leckie " " 3, 1914
Seventeenth " S. G. Robertson " " 3, 1914
Eighteenth " E. S. Wigle London, Ont. April 18, 1915
Nineteenth " J. J. McLaren Toronto May 13, 1915
Twentieth " J. A. W. Allen " " 15, 1915
Twenty-first " W. St. P. Hughes Kingston " 6, 1915
Twenty-second " F. M. Gaudet St. Jean, P.Q. " 20, 1915
Twenty-third " F. W. Fisher Quebec February 23, 1915
Twenty-fourth " J. A. Gunn Montreal May 11, 1915
Twenty-fifth " G. A. LeCain Halifax " 20, 1915
Twenty-sixth " J. L. McAvity St. John, N.B. June 13, 1915
Twenty-seventh " I. R. Snider Winnipeg May 17, 1915
Twenty-eighth " J. F. L. Embury " " 29, 1915
(p. 275) Twenty-ninth " H. S. Tobin Vancouver " 20, 1915
Thirtieth " J. A. Hall " February 23, 1915
Thirty-first " A. B. Bell Calgary May 17, 1915
Thirty-second " H. J. Cowan Winnipeg February 23, 1915
Thirty-third " A. Wilson London, Ont March 13, 1916
Thirty-fourth " A. J. Oliver Guelph, Ont October 23, 1915
Thirty-fifth " F. C. McCordick Toronto " 16, 1915
Thirty-sixth " E. C. Ashton Hamilton June 19, 1915
Thirty-seventh " C. F. Beck Sault Ste. Marie November 27, 1915
Thirty-eighth " C. W. Edwards Ottawa May 30, 1916
Thirty-ninth " J. A. V. Preston Belleville June 24, 1915
Fortieth " A. Vincent Halifax October 8, 1915
Forty-first " L. A. Archambault Quebec " 18, 1915
Forty-second " G. S. Cantlie Montreal June 10, 1915
Forty-third " R. M. Thomson Winnipeg " 1, 1915
Forty-fourth " E. R. Wayland " October 23, 1915
Forty-fifth " F. J. Clark Brandon March 13, 1916
Forty-sixth " H. Snell Regina October 23, 1915
Forty-seventh " W. R. Winsby New Westminster November 13, 1915
Forty-eighth " W. J. H. Holmes Victoria July 1, 1915
Forty-ninth " W. A. Griesbach Edmonton June 4, 1915
Fiftieth " E. G. Mason Calgary October 27, 1915
Fifty-first " R. Del. Harwood Edmonton April 18, 1916
Fifty-second " J. A. D. Hulme Port Arthur November 23, 1916
Fifty-third " R. M. Dennistoun Winnipeg March 29, 1916
Fifty-fourth " W. M. Davis Nelson, B. C November 22, 1915
Fifty-fifth " J. R. Kirkpatrick Sussex, N. B October 30, 1915
Fifty-sixth " W. C. G. Armstrong Calgary March 23, 1916
Fifty-seventh " E. T. Paquette Quebec June 2, 1916
Fifty-eighth " H. A. Genet Toronto November 22, 1915
(p. 276) Fifty-ninth " H. J. Dawson Brockville April 21, 1916
Sixtieth " F. A. Gascoigne Valcartier November 6, 1915
Sixty-first " F. J. Murray Winnipeg April 21, 1916
Sixty-second " J. Hulme Vancouver March 23, 1916
Sixty-third " G. B. McLeod Edmonton April 22, 1916
Sixty-fourth " H. M. Campbell Halifax March 31, 1916
Sixty-fifth " N. Lang Saskatoon June 18, 1916
Sixty-sixth " J. W. McKinery Edmonton April 28, 1916
Sixty-seventh " Lorne Ross Victoria " 21, 1916
Sixty-eighth " P. E. Perrett Regina " 28, 1916
Sixty-ninth " J. A. Dansereau Montreal " 17, 1916
Seventieth " R. I. Towers London, Ont. " 24, 1916
Seventy-first " D. M. Sutherland Woodstock, Ont. " 21, 1916
Seventy-second " J. A. Clark Vancouver " 23, 1916
Seventy-third " P. Davidson Montreal March 31, 1916
Seventy-fourth " J. M. McCausland Toronto " 29, 1916
Seventy-fifth " S. G. Beckett " " 29, 1916
Seventy-sixth " J. Ballantine Barrie, Ont. April 23, 1916
Seventy-seventh " D. R. Street Ottawa June 19, 1916
Seventy-eighth " J. Kirkcaldy Winnipeg May 20, 1916
Seventy-ninth " G. Clinglan Brandon, Man April 24, 1916
Eightieth " W. G. Ketcheson Belleville May 16, 1916
Eighty-first " B. H. Belson Toronto April 28, 1916
Eighty-second " W. A. Lowry Calgary May 20, 1916
Eighty-third " R. Pellatt Toronto April 28, 1916
Eighty-fourth " W. D. Stewart " June 18, 1916
Eighty-fifth " E. C. Phinney Halifax October 12, 1916
Eighty-sixth " W. W. Stewart Hamilton May 19, 1916
Eighty-seventh " I. P. Rexford St. Jean, P. Q. April 23, 1916
Eighty-eighth " J. R. Cullin Victoria May 31, 1916
(p. 277) Eighty-ninth " W. W. Nasmyth Calgary " 31, 1916
Ninetieth " W. A. Monroe Winnipeg " 31, 1916
Ninety-first " W. J. Green St. Thomas June 28, 1916
Ninety-second " G. G. Chisholm Toronto May 20, 1916
Ninety-third " I. J. Johnston Peterborough July 15, 1916
Ninety-fourth " H. A. C. Machin Port Arthur June 28, 1916
Ninety-fifth " R. K. Barker Toronto May 31, 1916
Ninety-sixth " J. Glenn Saskatoon September 26, 1916
Ninety-seventh " A. B. Clark Toronto " 18, 1916
Ninety-eighth " H. A. Rose Welland, Ont. July 8, 1916
Ninety-ninth " T. B. Welch Windsor, Ont. May 31, 1916
Hundredth " J. B. Mitchell Winnipeg September 18, 1916
Hundred-first " D. MacLean " June 28, 1916
Hundred-second " J. W. Warden Victoria " 18, 1916
Hundred-third " E. C. J. L. Henniker " July 23, 1916
Hundred-fourth " G. W. Fowler Sussex, N. B. June 28, 1916
Hundred-fifth " A. E. Ings Charlottetown July 15, 1916
Hundred-sixth " R. Innes Truro, N. S " 15, 1916
Hundred-seventh " R. Glenn Campbell Winnipeg September 18, 1916
Hundred-eighth " G. H. Bradbury Selkirk, Man. " 18, 1916
Hundred-ninth " J. J. H. Fee Lindsay, Ont. July 23, 1916
Hundred-tenth " J. B. Youngs Stratford, Ont. October 31, 1916
Hundred-eleventh " J. D. Clark Galt, Ont. September 25, 1916
Hundred-twelfth " H. B. Tremaine Windsor. N. S. July 23, 1916
Hundred-thirteenth " W. A. Pryce Jones Lethbridge, Alberta September 25, 1916
Hundred-fourteenth " A. T. Thompson Cayuga, Ont. October 31, 1916
Hundred-fifteenth " F. V. Wedderburn St. John, N. B. July 23, 1916
Hundred-sixteenth " S. Sharpe. Uxbridge, Ont. " 23, 1916
Hundred-seventeenth " L. J. Gilbert Sherbrooke, P.Q. August 14, 1916
Hundred-eighteenth " W. M. O. Lochead Kitchener January 23, 1917
(p. 278) Hundred-nineteenth " T. P. T. Rowland Sault Ste. Marie August 8, 1916
Hundred-twentieth " D. G. Fearman Hamilton " 14, 1916
Hundred-twenty-first " A. W. McLelan New Westminster, B.C. " 14, 1916
Hundred-twenty-second " D. M. Grant Huntersville & Galt, Ont. June 2, 1917
Hundred-twenty-third " W. B. Kingsmill Toronto August 7, 1916
Hundred-twenty-fourth " W. C. V. Chadwick " " 7, 1916
Hundred-twenty-fifth " M. E. B. Cutcliffe Brantford " 7, 1916
Hundred-twenty-sixth " S. J. Hamilton Toronto " 14, 1916
Hundred-twenty-seventh " T. Clark " " 22, 1916
Hundred-twenty-eighth " F. Pawlett Moosejaw, Sask. " 15, 1916
Hundred-twenty-ninth " W. Knowles Dundas, Ont. " 22, 1916
Hundred-thirtieth " J. F. De Hertel Perth, Ont. September 23, 1916
Hundred-thirty-first " J. D. Taylor New Westminster October 31, 1918
Hundred-thirty-second " G. W. Mesereau Chatham, N. B. " 25, 1917
Hundred-thirty-third " A. C. Pratt Simcoe, Ont. " 30, 1916
Hundred-thirty-fourth " A. A. Miller Toronto September 6, 1916
Hundred-thirty-fifth " B. Robson London, Ont. August 22, 1916
Hundred-thirty-sixth " R. W. Smart Port Hope, Ont. September 25, 1916
Hundred-thirty-seventh " G. W. Morfitt Calgary August 22, 1916
Hundred-thirty-eighth " R. Belcher Edmonton " 22, 1916
Hundred-thirty-ninth " W. H. Floyd Cobourg September 25, 1916
Hundred-fortieth " L. H. Beer St. Johns, N. B. " 25, 1916
Hundred-forty-first " D. C. McKenzie Fort Francis April 29, 1917
Hundred-forty-second " C. M. R. Graham London, Ont. October 31, 1916
Hundred-forty-third " A. B. Powley Victoria February 17, 1917
Hundred-forty-fourth " A. W. Morley Winnipeg September 18, 1916
Hundred-forty-fifth " W. E. Forbes Moncton, N. B. " 25, 1916
Hundred-forty-sixth Major C. A. Lowe Kingston, Ont. " 25, 1916
Hundred-forty-seventh Lt. Col. G. F. McFarland Owen Sound November 18, 1916
Hundred-forty-eighth " A. Magee Montreal, P.Q. September 26, 1916
(p. 279) Hundred-forty-ninth " R. G. C. Kelley Watford, Ont March 28, 1917
Hundred-fiftieth " H. Barre Montreal September 23, 1916
Hundred-fifty-first " J. W. Arnott Strathcona October 3, 1916
Hundred-fifty-second " S. Nells Wayburn, Sask " 3, 1916
Hundred-fifty-third " R. T. Pritchard Guelph, Ont April 29, 1917
Hundred-fifty-fourth " A. G. F. McDonald Cornwall October 25, 1916
Hundred-fifty-fifth " M. K. Adams Belleville " 17, 1916
Hundred-fifty-sixth " T. C. D. Bedell Brockville " 17, 1916
Hundred-fifty-seventh " D. H. McLaren Barrie, Ont " 17, 1916
Hundred-fifty-eighth " C. Milne Vancouver November 13, 1916
Hundred-fifty-ninth " E. F. Armstrong Haileybury October 31, 1916
Hundred-sixtieth " A. Weir Walkerton, Ont " 17, 1916
Hundred-sixty-first " H. B. Combe Clinton, Ont " 30, 1916
Hundred-sixty-second " J. Arthurs Parry Sound " 30, 1916
Hundred-sixty-third " H. Desrosiers Montreal November 27, 1916
Hundred-sixty-fourth " P. Domville Milton, Ont April 11, 1916
Hundred-sixty-fifth " L. C. D'Aigle Moncton March 28, 1916
Hundred-sixty-sixth " W. G. Mitchell Toronto October 12, 1916
Hundred-sixty-seventh " O. Readman Quebec [1]
Hundred-sixty-eighth " W. T. McMullin Woodstock October 3, 1916
Hundred-sixty-ninth " J. G. Wright Toronto " 17, 1916
Hundred-seventieth " L. Reed " " 25, 1916
Hundred-seventy-first " Sir W. Price Quebec November 23, 1916
Hundred-seventy-second " J. R. Vickers Kamloops, B. C. October 25, 1916
Hundred-seventy-third " W. H. Bruce Hamilton, Ont November 13, 1916
Hundred-seventy-fourth " H. F. Osler Winnipeg April 29, 1917
Hundred-seventy-fifth " N. Spencer Medicine Hat October 3, 1916
Hundred-seventy-sixth " D. Sharpe St. Catherines April 29, 1917
Hundred-seventy-seventh " J. B. McFee Simcoe, Ont May 3, 1917
(p. 280) Hundred-seventy-eighth " L. de la B. Girouard Victoriaville March 3, 1917
Hundred-seventy-ninth " J. Y. Reid Winnipeg October 3, 1916
Hundred-eightieth " R. H. Green Toronto November 13, 1916
Hundred-eighty-first " H. B. Combe Brandon, Man April 18, 1917
Hundred-eighty-second " A. A. Cockburn Whitby May 3, 1917
Hundred-eighty-third " W. T. Edgecomb Winnipeg October 3, 1916
Hundred-eighty-fourth " W. H. Sharpe Lisgar, Man " 31, 1916
Hundred-eighty-fifth " F. P. Day Halifax " 12, 1916
Hundred-eighty-sixth Major Neil Smith Chatham, Ont March 28, 1917
Hundred-eighty-seventh Lt. Col. G. W. Robinson Red Deer December 15, 1916
Hundred-eighty-eighth " C. J. Donaldson Prince Albert October 12, 1916
Hundred-eighty-ninth " A. Piuze Frazerville September 9, 1916
Hundred-ninetieth " G. K. Watson Winnipeg May 3, 1917
Hundred-ninety-first " W. G. Bryan McLeod, Alta March 28, 1917
Hundred-ninety-second Captain H. E. Lyon Blairmore, Alta October 31, 1916
Hundred-ninety-third Lt. Col. J. Stanfield Truro, N. S " 12, 1916
Hundred-ninety-fourth " W. C. Craig Edmonton November 13, 1916
Hundred-ninety-fifth " A. C. Gomer Regina October 31, 1916
Hundred-ninety-sixth " D. S. Mackay Camp Hughes " 31, 1916
Hundred-ninety-seventh " H. G. Fonseca Winnipeg January 23, 1917
Hundred-ninety-eighth " J. A. Cooper Toronto March 28, 1917
Hundred-ninety-ninth " P. J. Trihey Montreal December 15, 1916
Two-hundredth " A. L. Bonnycastle Winnipeg May 3, 1917
Two-hundred-first " E. W. Hagarty   Disbanded
Two-hundred-second " T. E. Bowen Edmonton November 23, 1916
Two-hundred-third " J. E. Hansford Winnipeg October 26, 1916
Two-hundred-fourth " W. H. Price Toronto March 23, 1917
Two-hundred-fifth " R. R. Moodie Hamilton [2]
Two-hundred-sixth " T. Pagnuelo Montreal [3]
(p. 281) Two-hundred-seventh " C. W. McLean Ottawa June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-eighth " T. H. Lennox Toronto March 21, 1917
Two-hundred-ninth " W. O. Smyth Swift Current October 31, 1917
Two-hundred-tenth " W. E. Seaborn Moosejaw. Sask April 11, 1917
Two-hundred-eleventh " W. M. Sage Vancouver December 15, 1916
Two-hundred-twelfth " E. C. Pitman Winnipeg [4]
Two-hundred-thirteenth " B. J. McCormick St. Catherines [4]
Two-hundred-fourteenth " J. H. Hearn Wadena, Sask April 18, 1917
Two-hundred-fifteenth " H. E. Snider Brantford " 29, 1917
Two-hundred-sixteenth " F. L. Burton Toronto " 18, 1917
Two-hundred-seventeenth " A. B. Gillis Moosomin, Sask June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-eighteenth " J. K. Cornwall Victoria February 17, 1917
Two-hundred-nineteenth " W. H. Muirhead Halifax October 12, 1916
Two-hundred-twentieth " B. H. Brown Toronto April 29, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-first " M. McMeans Winnipeg " 18, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-second " J. Lightfoot " November 13, 1916
Two-hundred-twenty-third " H. Albrechsten " May 3, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-fourth " A. McDougall Ottawa " 19, 1916
Two-hundred-twenty-fifth " J. Mackay Fernie, B. C January 25, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-sixth " R. A. G. Gillespie Dauphin, Man December 15, 1916
Two-hundred-twenty-seventh " C. H. Le P. Jones Hamilton April 11, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-eighth " A. Earchman North Bay February 16, 1917
Two-hundred-twenty-ninth " H. D. Pickett Moosejaw April 18, 1917
Two-hundred-thirtieth " R. de Salaberry Brockville January 23, 1917
Two-hundred-thirty-first " F. E. Leach Vancouver April 11, 1917
Two-hundred-thirty-second " R. P. Laurie Battleford " 18, 1917
Two-hundred-thirty-third " E. Leprohon Winnipeg [5]
Two-hundred-thirty-fourth " W. Wallace Toronto April 18, 1917
Two-hundred-thirty-fifth " S. B. Scobel Belleville May 3, 1917
Two-hundred-thirty-sixth " P. A. Guthrie Fredericton November 9, 1917
(p. 282) Two-hundred-thirty-seventh " Rev. C. S. Bullock Sussex [6]
Two-hundred-thirty-eighth " W. R. Smith Valcartier September 11, 1916
Two-hundred-thirty-ninth Major V. L. MacDonald " December 15, 1916
Two-hundred-fortieth Lt. Col. E. J. Watt Renfrew May 3, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-first " W. L. McGregor Windsor April 29, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-second " J. B. White Montreal November 23, 1916
Two-hundred-forty-third " J. E. Bradshaw Prince Albert June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-fourth " E. M. McRobie Montreal March 28, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-fifth " C. C. Ballantyne " May 3, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-sixth " N. H. Parson Halifax June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-seventh " C. H. Ackerman Peterboro [7]
Two-hundred-forty-eighth " J. H. Rorke Owen Sound June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-forty-ninth " C. B. Keenlyside Regina February 21, 1918
Two-hundred-fiftieth " W. H. Hastings Winnipeg [8]
Two-hundred-fifty-first " G. H. Nicholson " October 6, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-second " J. J. Glass Lindsay June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-third " P. G. C. Campbell Kingston April 29, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-fourth " A. P. Allen Belleville June 2, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-fifth " G. C. Royce Toronto " 2, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-sixth " W. A. McConnell " March 28, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-seventh " L. T. Martin Ottawa February 16, 1917
Two-hundred-fifty-eighth " P. E. Blondin Quebec October 6, 1917
No. 1 University Inf. Co Captain P. Molson Montreal May 29, 1915
No. 2 " " " G. C. MacDonald " June 29, 1917
No. 3 " " Lieut. F. L. Turnbull " September 4, 1915
No. 4 " " " J. R. Mitchener " November 27, 1915
No. 5 " " " O. S. Tyndale " April 2, 1916
Yukon Inf. Co Comm. Black Dawson City January 24, 1917
No. 1 Jewish Inf. Co Captain I. Friedman Montreal March 28, 1917
No. 1 Independent Inf. Co Major T.J. Langford Winnipeg October 6, 1917


R. C. D Lt. Col. C. M. Nelles Toronto October 3, 1914
L. S. H " A. C. MacDonald Winnipeg " 3, 1914
R. N. W. M. P Major C. L. Jennings Regina June 4, 1918
C. M. R. Depot Lt. Col. W. C. Brooks Hamilton Oct. 22, 1917
First C. M. R. Bde " F. O. Sissons Winnipeg June 12, 1915
First Regt. C. M. R " H. J. Stevenson Included in First Brigade " 12, 1915
Second " " "J. C. L. Bott " "12, 1915
Third " " "L. J. Whittaker " "12, 1915
Second C. M. R. Bde Col. C. A. Smart Sherbrooke July 18, 1915
Fourth Regt. C. M. R Lt. Col. S. F. Smith Included in Second Brigade "18, 1915
Fifth " " "G. H. Baker " "18, 1915
Sixth " " "R. H. Ryan " "18, 1915
Seventh " " Major E. I. Leonard London, Ont June 29, 1915
Eighth " " Lt. Col J. R. Munro Ottawa Oct. 9, 1915
Ninth " " "G. C. Hodson Lloydminster, Sask Nov. 23, 1915
Tenth " " Major F. C Washington Portage la Prairie Apr. 28, 1916
Eleventh " " Lt. Col. G. H. Kirkpatrick Vancouver July 8, 1916
Twelfth " " "G. MacDonald Calgary Oct. 9, 1915
Thirteenth Regt. C. M. R "V. H. Holmes Medicine Hat June 28, 1916
First Can. Div. Cav. Sq. "F. C. Jamieson Valcartier Oct. 3, 1914
Second " " Major H. J. Leonard London, Ont. June 9, 1915
Third " " "T. W. Wright Winnipeg Jan. 22, 1916
Fourth " " Lt. Col. R. A. Carman Portage la Prairie Apr. 28, 1916

(p. 284) A digest of the foregoing tables will indicate the proportionate enlistments in the various sections of the country. Population considered, the West did better than the East.

As to the proportional representation of the various occupations in the enlistments, some light is thrown on that by figures presented by Mr. N. W. Rowell, K. C., in the Ontario Legislature, covering the period of heaviest voluntary enlistment, up to March 1, 1916. Out of a total of 263,111 recruits, 6 per cent, or 16,153 were professional men; 2 per cent, or 6,530, were merchants or men in the employing class; 18 per cent, or 48,777, were clerical workers; 64 per cent, or 170,369, were manual workers; 6 per cent, or 17,044, were farmers; and 1 per cent, or 4,238, were students.

The latter item deserves special mention, in the unusual enthusiasm shown by the students of the Canadian universities. At the end of 1914 McGill University had nearly a hundred of its student body in training on Salisbury Plain, many more were at Exhibition Park, preparing themselves for active service at the front, while others were in different camps throughout the country; 1,800 men were in the Officers' Training Corps, with 80 members of the faculty acting as officers. On March 1, 1915, 307 undergraduates had enlisted. Out of 4,000 registered students there were, at the end of 1915, 811 enlisted men, together with 1,003 graduates and 83 members of the staff.

The University of Toronto, by the end of 1918, was represented by 5,308 men, from its staff, graduates, undergraduates, and its faculty of education, of which 531 were killed. Other Ontario universities were represented by 900 men on active service. At the close of the war it was estimated that about 17,000 college students, or graduates, had enlisted, of which about 1,200 were reported as casualties.

(p. 285) CHAPTER VI


No consideration of the activity of the university graduates, or undergraduates, in the war can be made without reference to that famous regiment whose personnel was very largely made up of university men—the Princess Patricia Regiment, the first Canadian body of fighting men to reach the front, and the one that suffered most heavily.

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment was recruited in Montreal, though its members were from all parts of the Dominion. This body was formed on the initiative of A. Hamilton Gault of Montreal. The regiment was first commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F. D. Farquhar, D. S. O., of the Coldstream Guards, and military secretary to the governor general. The other original officers were Major A. Hamilton Gault; Adjutant, Captain H. C. Buller; Quartermaster, the Hon. Lieutenant C. A. Wake; Paymaster, the Hon. Captain D. H. MacDougall; Medical Officer, Major C. B. Keenan. The heroic career of this body of men at the front will be followed in a later part of this volume.

Those brigades which embarked from Quebec during the fall of 1914 were those which were later to become famous as the First Canadian Division, which was the first large body of Canadian troops to arrive in France.

The First Division was constituted as follows: First Artillery Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel E. W. B. Morrison; Second Artillery Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Creelman; Third Artillery Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Mitchell; First Infantry Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel M. S. Mercer; Second Infantry Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Currie; Third Infantry Brigade, commanded by Colonel R. E. W. Turner; Royal Canadian Dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel C. M. Nelles; Lord Strathcona's Horse, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. (p. 286) H. Macdonnell; Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. A. Panet; Fourth Infantry Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Cohoe; First to Ninth Field Batteries, commanded respectively by Major C. H. L. Sharman, Lieutenant Colonel C. H. MacLaren, Major A. G. L. McNaughton, Major E. G. Hanson, Lieutenant Colonel H. G. McLeod, Major W. B. M. King, Major H. G. Carscallon, and Major E. A. McDougall. The General Staff officers were: Colonel E. H. Hard, Lieutenant Colonel A. H. Macdonnell, Lieutenant Colonel G. C. W. Gordon-Hall, Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Mitchell, and Lieutenant Colonel H. J. Lamb. Besides the above units there were also the Automobile and Machine Gun Brigade, various line of communication units, a clearing hospital, two stationary hospitals, and two general hospitals and remount department.

The Second Canadian Division was composed of those units which arrived in England during March, April, and May, 1915. It was in command of Major General S. B. Steele, who was afterward succeeded by Brigadier General R. E. W. Turner. As finally constituted the infantry included the Fourth Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Lord Brooke; the Fifth Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Watson; and the Sixth Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. D. B. Ketchen.

A fifth division was later organized in England, but was there held as a reserve, most of its constituent elements being sent to France as reenforcements to the first four divisions.

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade was not organized until early in 1915, in England, but its constituent parts had come over from Canada with the first contingent. From the time of its formation until May, 1918, it was under the command of Brigadier General (later Major General) J. E. B. Seeley, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O., M. P., a veteran of the South African War, where he served under Sir John French, and later Secretary of State for War in the Asquith Cabinet.

The brigade was originally formed from the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse, King Edward's Horse, an Imperial unit, and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. In 1916 (p. 287) the King Edward's Horse left the brigade and its place was taken by the Fort Garry Horse, previously known as the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment. Later the brigade had added to it the Machine Gun Squadron, the Canadian Cavalry Field Ambulance, and the Mobile Veterinary Section. During the early part of its services in France the brigade operated as infantry, and it was not till the early part of 1916 that it was finally reconstituted as a cavalry force. The cavalry brigade ranged in numbers from two to three thousand throughout the war.



Of the special corps, outside the regular classifications into which all armies are subdivided—infantry, cavalry, artillery, etc., special emphasis and more detailed description should be accorded the Canadian Forestry and the Canadian Railway Corps. The extraordinary dimensions which these arms of the service acquired must be considered when the number of Canadian troops on the actual field of battle is compared with those who did not reach the front. No general history of the war can ever be written without devoting considerable space to these two corps as factors which assumed much importance in the defeat of Germany.

In the production of lumber, and in the building of railways, to keep up with the rapid westward progress of the Canadian population, Canada stands forth preeminent. It was only natural that the special skill and knowledge acquired in these industries should be in strong demand by the Allied forces in general, and it was Canada which could supply it in the greatest measure. Hence the unusual number of Canadian recruits who were diverted to these particular branches of military service.

The formation of the Forestry Corps came about through the growing shortage of shipping. In February, 1916, the British (p. 288) Government issued a proclamation restricting certain imports, for the sake of economy in shipping. One of the chief commodities affected was timber, of which six million tons was being brought into the country annually.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies called on the Governor General of Canada for assistance in the production of timber for military purposes from the home forests in England and Scotland. A special force of Canadian lumbermen was asked for.

The result was the formation of the 224th Canadian Forestry Battalion, which was sent over to England in the early part of the year. The first unit to arrive in England carried with it all the machinery necessary and immediately established a lumber camp and saw mill in Surrey. Within three months after the first call for this special assistance the battalion had been organized, transported across the waters, and had sawn and delivered its first lot of sawn English lumber. The battalion eventually reached a working force of over 1,500, detachments from which were distributed over various parts of England and Scotland.

So big a success was the work of the 224th Lumber Battalion that further and continuous demands were made on the Canadians for lumbermen to cut the trees of Britain into lumber for the allied armies on the western front. From this battalion gradually developed the Canadian Forestry Corps, which later came to supply cut lumber to the military forces of all the nations participating in the operations against the Germans in France and Belgium.

Not long after the first contingent of Canadian lumbermen had arrived in England, another cablegram was sent by the British authorities to the Governor General of Canada, asking for more lumbermen. "His Majesty's Government again turns to Canada for assistance," the cablegram concluded.

This was the occasion for the formation of the 238th Canadian Forestry Battalion, which arrived in England a few months later, in September, 1916. But even before it had arrived the French Government's grant of extensive forests to the British forces had brought about the necessity of putting the timber-cutting activities of the British Government on a much broader (p. 289) basis, and some of the Canadian lumber detachments were sent across to France.

In October, 1916, authority was granted for the formation of the Canadian Forestry Corps, under the command of Major General Alexander McDougal, who was then a Lieutenant Colonel, commanding the 224th Battalion. By the British Government he was appointed director of the timber operations for France and Great Britain. The two battalions already in France and England thus became the nucleus of the corps.

Meanwhile enough machinery and other equipment was being prepared and shipped from Canada to afford employment to 10,000 men. For by this time it had been decided that timber imports would have to bear 60 per cent of the total reductions decided upon, as three and a half million tons of shipping could thereby be saved.

The first detachment of the Forestry Corps to arrive in France began work in the Bois Normand. Later three other centers were established: one in the Jura Mountains, one near Bordeaux, and another in the Marne district. But the work of the corps spread over a wide area, reaching out to the frontiers of Switzerland, Spain, and Germany.

The corps headquarters was established at Paris-Plage, in the neighborhood of Boulogne, the supply department for equipment being at Havre.

In so far as it was possible the methods of the Canadian lumber camps were employed in cutting lumber in the corps' camps, but certain differences in physical conditions caused many obstacles to present themselves. In the absence of the waterways facilities, so common in the Canadian forests, a great many miles of railways had to be built for the transportation of the logs to the sawmills.

In the mountainous districts, however, conditions, especially during winter, more closely representing those to which the men were used in their native forests, and Canadian methods could therefore be more closely applied.

The officers and men of the corps were recruited from all parts of Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific seaboards. Special (p. 290) effort was made to allot men to forests more nearly resembling those they were used to at home. As an instance, the men from eastern Canada, not used to the giant logs of the West, were assigned to the medium-sized timber in the level portions of France, while the Westerners were sent to the Jura and the Vosges Mountains, where logging engines, heavy steel cables, and modern railway construction were involved in the work of getting the logs out.

Most of the detachments worked in stationary camps, but there were also a great number of mobile camps which, together with their equipment, moved about from place to place, supplying timber to those points at the front where a demand happened to develop to an acute degree. Often detachments would be working within range of the enemy artillery fire and at considerable risk to men and equipment. The degree of efficiency which some of these detachments acquired in their movements is illustrated by the following extract from an official report:

"This, the record transfer, was in the case of a sawmill where the last log was sawn at nine o'clock on the day the move was to take place. By seven o'clock the next day the mill had been moved to a wood three miles away and was in full operation. The following day the product of this mill exceeded 18,000 board feet, and the day after the total output was 23,000 board feet, much more than the guaranteed capacity of the mill."

The largest output by any one stationary camp, according to the official report, was registered by the group operating in the Jura Mountains. Here a total of 156,000 board feet was cut in ten hours in a mill which was only registered to turn out 30,000 feet in that time.

Across the Channel, in Great Britain, the operations of the Forestry Corps extended over six districts—four in England and two in Scotland. Forty-three detachments were spread over these areas, totaling 12,533 men at the end of the war, though of this number about 3,000 were attached labor or prisoners of war. In England the corps did especially noteworthy service in supplying the Royal Air Force, more specially for the defense wing. In a letter of appreciation written by Lord Derby, Secretary of (p. 291) State for War, it was indicated that on several occasions the men of the Forestry Corps had worked at the rate of ninety hours a week to supply timber needed in the construction of aerodromes for the aeroplanes used to repel hostile air raids.

In November, 1918, at the conclusion of hostilities, the total strength of the Canadian Forestry Corps stood at 31,447, divided as follows: In France, regular officers, 425; attached officers, 53; other ranks, 11,702; attached, 1,039; prisoners of war, 5,021; giving a total of 18,240. In Great Britain there were: Regular officers, 343; attached officers, 49; other ranks, 9,624; attached labor, 1,926; prisoners of war, 1,265; making a total of 13,207.

When hostilities ceased over 70 per cent of the timber in use on the western front by all the Allied armies had been supplied by the Forestry Corps. Up to December, 1918, the corps had supplied nearly 814,000,000 board feet of sawn lumber.

"It is largely due," wrote Lord Derby, in the spring of 1918, "to the operations of the units of this corps in France that we have practically stopped the shipment of British-grown timber to France, thus saving cross-channel tonnage, while we are also able to save the shipment of foreign timber by having the production of the corps in England to meet the various national demands."



Never did railways as a means of transportation play so important a part in warfare as during the recent World War, in spite of the remarkable development of motor vehicles. It was her superior railway systems which gave Germany her principal advantage over the Russians on the eastern front, and as the great struggle developed, it became daily more obvious that the Allies would have to draw on their resources in railway construction to the uttermost to offset the initial advantage which Germany had in this respect on the western front.

(p. 292) At first the French undertook to direct what railway construction it was thought would be necessary, but it was not long before the French Government was forced to call on the British for help. Finally the British found themselves unable to keep pace with the demand, and what was more natural than that Canada, the land of marvelous railway construction, should in her turn be appealed to?

It was in the spring of 1915 that the British Government asked for two railway construction companies. The Canadian Government turned the request over to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, with the result that from the employees of that corporation were recruited the first five hundred members of the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, which landed in France in the following August.

In May, 1916, the situation in France had become so pressing that the British War Office was compelled to ask for another unit, of about one thousand men, for railway construction behind the lines in France.

The task of organizing this body of men was assigned by the Canadian Government to Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Stewart, who combed the railway workers of the whole country for technical experts and efficient workers. These men were then formed into the 239th Overseas Railway Construction Corps.

Meanwhile Sir Eric Geddes had been assigned the task, as director general of transportation, to reorganize the transportation service behind the lines on the western front. He immediately called General Stewart over to England for a special conference, the outcome of which was a further demand on Canada for railway men.

It was agreed that Canada should furnish five battalions of railway construction men, which were to be known as the Canadian Railway Troops. General Stewart was then instructed to proceed to France to act as deputy director of light railways, as well as chief in command of the Canadian Railway Troops.

In January, 1917, General Stewart became Deputy Director General of Transportation, which gave him jurisdiction over the Royal Engineers' Railway Construction companies as well as (p. 293) over his own Canadians. By this time it had been decided to increase the number of battalions to ten.

The 127th Infantry Battalion was reorganized as the 2d Battalion of Canadian Railway Troops, and proceeded to France in January, 1917. The 239th was renamed the 3d Battalion of Canadian Railway Troops, and followed the 2d two months later. The 4th and 5th Battalions were organized at Purfleet, and proceeded to France at about the same time. By the following April still another battalion had arrived in France, and by June all ten were behind the lines. Henceforward they carried on practically all the light railway construction along the whole western front, especially such lines as had to be laid in quick time, over ground evacuated by the enemy in their retreat.

Upon their first arrival the Canadian Railway Troops rendered notable service, just before the attack on and capture of Vimy Ridge. For some weeks before the weather had been unusually rainy, and the ground was so deep with mud as to be almost impassable for any kind of vehicle. In spite of these conditions the Canadian railway men laid their roads to within rifle range of the front lines, ready to serve as supply lines when the advance should begin.

The attack begun, and the advance progressing, the railway detachment followed the front line closely, laying their tracks almost as fast as the infantry could push ahead. In this way supplies of provisions and ammunition were carried forward, while the wounded were carried back to the clearing hospitals.

Within a week before the Arras offensive tracks had been laid to the top of Vimy Ridge, and by the end of April, 1917, when the British lines were pushed across the level plain beyond the Ridge, the light railways had followed them so closely that food supplies were dumped almost by the field kitchens. Such similar service was rendered by the Canadian Railway Construction Troops at Messines as well.

It was at Ypres, however, that they especially distinguished themselves. During two months of the summer of 1917, says the official report, the average daily number of breaks in the light railway lines behind the front, due to German artillery fire, was (p. 294) about a hundred exclusively within the area occupied by the Second and Fifth British Armies alone. Here the Canadians pursued their construction work exposed to the full fire of the enemy guns, without even the moral satisfaction of being able to return the fire.

On one occasion, however, they were to have this satisfaction in full. It was during the last four days of March, 1918, while the Germans were advancing on Amiens, that a break suddenly developed in the British lines. No reserves were available at the time. On the spur of the moment the railway men organized sixteen Lewis-gun teams and held the ground in the break until finally they were relieved by regular troops.

Early in 1918 the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, the 58th Broad Gauge Operating Company, the 13th Light Railway Operating Company, the 69th Wagon Erecting Company, and the 85th Engine Crew Company were brought under headquarters, and the whole were formed into the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops.

In the summer of 1918, General Allenby, in command of the expeditionary force in Palestine, called for a company of expert bridge builders. The War Office immediately called for volunteers from among the Canadian Railway Troops, and 6 officers and 250 men were sent to Palestine. The following table, taken from the report of the Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, shows the relative strength of the Canadian and the Imperial Railway Construction Corps at different periods of the war:

  Nominal Strength Imperial Railway Construction Troops Nominal Strength Canadian Railway Construction Troops
December 31, 1914 1,476 ——
December 31, 1915 2,440 512
December 31, 1916 4,900 1,617
January 30, 1917 7,340 11,562
December 31, 1917 7,340 13,772
November 11, 1918 7,340 14,877

(p. 295) Besides the foregoing, there were four Canadian Railway Troops Operating Companies, with a total strength of 1,087 when the armistice was signed. The total number of Canadian railway troops in England when hostilities ceased was 3,364.

During the period of their work at the front members of the railway troops were awarded 489 honors and decorations.



That Canada should have had no flying branch of her military establishment at the outbreak of the war is hardly a matter of surprise when her lack of military preparedness in other branches is also considered.

Nevertheless, though it was not considered advisable to organize specially a Canadian flying force until only a short time before the close of the war, over 8,000 Canadians became proficient flyers and aerial fighters, that number having enlisted and held commissions in the Royal Flying Corps. This number, it will be noted, is quite above the logical proportion that could ordinarily have been expected from Canada, population considered.

Those Canadians who entered the Royal Flying Corps were exceptionally well adapted to this branch of the service. Apparently conditions of life and open-air training in the Dominion tend to endow men with those faculties which are essential to the successful flyer.

During the latter part of the war the question of forming a separate Canadian flying corps began to receive consideration, and finally, in the early part of 1918, steps were taken to bring this idea to a point of materialization. The matter now formed the subject of discussion between the Canadian Ministry and the Secretary of State for the Royal Air Force. A memorandum setting forth tentative arrangements was then drawn up. On July (p. 296) 8, 1918, it was definitely settled that the Canadian Flying Corps should be organized.

The memorandum provided specifically for two air squadrons. These were to be organized in England by the overseas military forces of Canada, in conjunction with the Royal Air Force. For the carrying out of this provision a Canadian Air Force Section of the Canadian General Staff was created. The types of squadrons decided upon were a single-seater scout squadron and a day bombing squadron. These were actually organized and went into quarters at Upper Heyford, near Oxford. Training was in progress when the armistice was signed, so that the Canadian flying force never went into action.

Training continued, however, but was adapted to future postwar flying, special attention being paid to wireless operations, photographic training, aerial geographical training, and cross-country flying.

To provide for a flying force on a peace basis, for the future Canadian military service, the following establishment was then authorized:

A director of air service, assisted by a staff captain and a staff lieutenant, along with four other ranks; a wing headquarters, consisting of a lieutenant colonel, who will have command of the two squadrons, assisted by a captain for administration, a captain for technical duties, and a lieutenant for armament, along with five other ranks; No. 1 Squadron (scout), consisting of 18 aeroplanes, commanded by a major with three captains, flight commanders, and 18 flying officers of the rank of lieutenant, the total personnel being 159; No. 2 Squadron (day bombing), also consisting of 18 aeroplanes, manned like Squadron No. 1; and a technical and supply branch, consisting of a headquarters, technical branch, and a supply depot.

At the end of 1918 the equipment of the Canadian Air Corps consisted of 3 aeroplanes, presented by the Imperial Air Fleet Committee; 16 presented by the Overseas Club and Patriotic League; and 40 German aeroplanes allotted by the Air Ministry. In addition to the above 50 Curtiss machines were presented to the Canadian Government by the Imperial Munitions Board, (p. 297) making a total of 109 machines available for service on the return to Canada of the Canadian Air Force.

Like the aeroplane, the tank became a military weapon only during the Great War, and tank battalions were entirely unknown as a branch of any army service before hostilities began. At about the same time that the matter of forming a Canadian air force came up for consideration, the organization of a separate Canadian tank battalion was also discussed. It was in March, 1918, that the British War Office requested the Canadian Government to supply the men for one tank battalion. By the middle of summer the battalion had been formed and had arrived in England, comprising 92 officers and 716 men.

What made this battalion especially noteworthy was the fact that the entire body had been recruited from among the students of Canadian universities. One company came from McGill University, another from Toronto University, while the third came from the others.

While the battalion was in training, two months later, the British Government again requested the Canadian Governor General to provide a tank battalion. This request was immediately complied with, and in the middle of October, 1918, the 2d Canadian Tank Battalion arrived in England from Canada, consisting of 44 officers and 960 other ranks.

Meanwhile the 1st Battalion had completed the training course and was preparing to embark for France when the armistice was signed. At that time, however, Canada had been requested to recruit a third tank battalion.

At the time that hostilities ceased, says the official report of the Overseas Ministry, the Medical Corps of the Canadian overseas forces exceeded in numbers the entire British Royal Army Medical Corps during the South African War. In November, 1918, the bed capacity of the hospitals overseas amounted to 40,000, as compared to 3,000 in June, 1915.

In the matter of a military medical service Canada had been prepared to a certain degree. Back in 1904 the first nucleus of the Army Medical Corps had been formed, and in 1911 the equipment of a military medical branch had been authorized, including (p. 298) a complete scheme for quick mobilization in case of hostilities. Thus there was a basis for the high degree of efficiency which characterized the Canadian Medical Corps, and won for it the highest recommendations as early as the Second Battle of Ypres. This efficiency was largely due to the director of the corps, Major General G. L. Foster, C. B.

This, however, was merely a nucleus, and the later tremendous development of the corps was entirely due to the spirit of self-sacrifice and patriotism of the great number of Canadian doctors and surgeons who flocked to the colors during the early months of the war and freely offered their professional services.

The work of the corps was divided into two distinct sections, each with a character peculiar to itself yet harmonizing and cooperating closely. There was, first of all, the professional side, comprising scientific medical work and investigation, and the military side, which provides for the physical organization on which the professional work must be based.

One of the first tasks undertaken was the creation of a consultant staff, with officers of rich experience to superintend at hospitals, sanitary formations, laboratories, etc. It was organized on an effective and systematic basis, and its big success was largely due to the invaluable services which were rendered by some of Canada's most brilliant medical men, in cooperation with those of England and France. The Canadian consultants and specialists attended the various important Allied medical conferences and made tours of observation and instruction in the hospitals of the various countries, and it was by these and other means that the Canadian soldiers in hospitals benefited by the latest medical and surgical discoveries in every land which was at war with the country responsible for the horrors which had to be faced. This knowledge was passed on and diffused among the staffs of all the Canadian hospitals. In the remarkable development of reconstructive surgery which took place during the war the Canadian surgeons had their full share.

In the defensive warfare with epidemic diseases the Canadian Medical Corps attained a degree of efficiency that contrasted well with the medical corps of any of the Allied armies. The results (p. 299) in regard to enteric were perhaps the most remarkable of all. Of 100,000 Canadian patients only one man was found to have typhoid, and he, for some reason or other, had not been inoculated.

The military organization of the corps was in all respect equal to the professional qualities of its members. In one division there were about twenty regimental medical officers and three field ambulances, with nine medical officers each—about 750 men to the three ambulances. For transport each ambulance had fifty horses, and seven motor and three horse ambulances, with general service wagons and carts in addition.

The following represented a few of the specific achievements of the corps:

A school of massage and Swedish remedial drill was organized for training nurse sisters and soldiers for this service in hospitals.

A laboratory service was organized on an economical and efficient basis. Four grades of laboratories were adopted, with standard equipment and an established personnel for each; and each of the two laboratory units and twenty-two hospital laboratories were organized. The X-Ray laboratory service was similarly organized and systematized.

A central medical stores was established, through which all medical supplies and technical equipment were received and distributed.

The sanitary service was also completely reorganized and measures for the prevention and control of infectious diseases placed on an effective basis.

Among the units organized were: Ten general hospitals; 8 special hospitals; 6 convalescent hospitals; 3 ship hospitals (one of which, the Llandovery Castle, was sunk by a German submarine); 2 laboratory units; 4 sanitary sections; 1 medical stores; 1 regimental depot and training school; 7 administrative units for training areas.

The following table, taken from the official report of the Ministry, shows the strength of the Canadian Army Medical Corps on June 1 of successive years and on November 30, 1918:

(p. 300) June 1 1915 June 1 1916 June 1 1917 June 1 1918 Nov. 30 1918
Officers 378 817 1,319 1,386 1,451
Nursing Sisters 535 915 1,486 1,829 1,886
Other Ranks 3,620 6,913 11,327 12,304 12,243
Total Personnel 4,533 8,645 14,132 15,519 15,580

In connection with the medical service, and yet comprising a separate and certainly a new feature of military organization, was the Canadian Army Dental Corps, which was developed to extraordinary dimensions. Undoubtedly thousands of young Canadians had never had their teeth troubles properly attended to until they entered the army.

The Dental Corps was organized within a few months after the first contingent had gone overseas, early in 1915, in fact. The organization was under the direction of the Director of Dental Services, Colonel J. A. Armstrong, C. M. G. In France the corps members carried on their work principally at field ambulances, casualty clearing stations, general and stationary hospitals, and at base camps.

On arriving in England every Canadian soldier was obliged to submit to mouth inspection, and, if time permitted, his requirements were attended to there. If the time did not permit, his teeth record followed him over to France, and there, as soon as he found a permanent station, the work was continued and completed. In addition to the general clinics, which handled the bulk of the work, there were special clinics, where dental surgery was practiced and wounds affecting the region around the mouth and jaws were attended to. Here was performed some of the remarkable facial surgery whose development was a special feature of the war.

To combat an epidemic of infectious stomatitis, commonly known as "trench mouth," which at one time affected 10,000 men, the Dental Corps established the Department of Oral Pathology, and as a result of microscopic diagnosis and persistent treatment the disease was finally brought under control.

(p. 301) Summed up, the total number of dental operations from July 15, 1915, till December 31, 1918, amounted to 2,225,442, including 96,713 operations performed on soldiers of Imperial units who chanced to come within the jurisdiction of the Canadian Dental Corps.

On first coming overseas the strength of the Dental Corps was 30 officers, 34 noncommissioned officers, and 40 privates. When the armistice was signed this number had increased to 223 officers, 221 noncommissioned officers, and 238 privates.

No consideration of Canada's war establishment, as developed during the great world struggle, can be complete without a few words devoted to Canada's naval service.

At the outbreak of the war Canada's naval strength was represented by two vessels, the Niobe, a cruiser of 11,000 tons displacement, with a main armament of sixteen 6-inch guns, stationed at Halifax, and the Rainbow, a small cruiser of 3,600 tons, armed with two 6-inch, six 4.7-inch, and four 12-pounder guns, stationed at Esquimalt.

The latter vessel performed patrol service along the Pacific Coast during the war, cruising as far south as Panama, and captured several ships carrying contraband of war.

The Niobe performed similar duty on the Atlantic Coast for over a year, and afterward became a depot ship at Halifax.

When the war began the Canadian Government immediately took over a number of small craft from the Departments of Marine and Customs, which were fitted out for patrol duty. To this fleet were added two submarines, which had been purchased just before war was declared. Later more vessels were taken over from private owners and utilized for coast patrol.

The officers and men of the Royal Canadian Navy numbered 749, and the officers and men of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve amounted to 4,374. In addition to these over 1,700 Canadians went into the Imperial navy and saw service in the war area.

(p. 302) CHAPTER X


Although the Canadian forces operating in the field were under the British High Command, Canada retained control of the vast army she had sent overseas in so far as military operations were not concerned. For this purpose an extensive and a somewhat complicated administrative machinery was required.

Up until the close of 1916 Sir George H. Perley acted as High Commissioner for Canada in England. At the end of that period, however, Sir George became the Minister of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada with enlarged powers, and a Military Council composed of Brigadier General P. E. Thacker, as Adjutant General; Brigadier General A. D. McRae, as Acting Quartermaster and Chief Executive Officer, and Major General R. E. W. Turner, as Commander of the Canadian troops in England.

During the summer of 1917 still further changes were made, through which the administration of the Canadian military establishment in England was divided into four branches, under the supervision of the Military Secretary, Major F. F. Montague, the General Staff, in charge of Lieutenant Colonel H. F. McDonald, the Adjutant General, Brigadier General P. E. Thacker, and the Quartermaster General, Brigadier General A. D. McRae.

In May, 1918, the Canadian Headquarters Staff in England was created, with Lieutenant General Sir R. E. W. Turner as Chief of Staff.

Over in France, in the war zone, by agreement with the British War Office, a Canadian section of General Headquarters of the British armies in France was formed in July, 1918. This section was in no way supposed to interfere in purely fighting operations, but through it the Canadian Government obtained control over matters of organization and administration within its own forces.

Lieutenant General Sir Ernest William Turner, V. C. He commanded a Canadian Division in France in 1915 and was Commander of Canadian Troops in England from 1916 on.




The fleet with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, after a long but uneventful voyage, arrived in Plymouth Sound in the evening of October 14, 1914. The British censorship had maintained such secrecy regarding their movements that the people of Plymouth and Devonport first learned that they had crossed the seas when the transports were in harbor. When the news spread through the neighborhood the townsfolk flocked to the waterside and with cheers and song welcomed the soldiers of the Dominion. This demonstration was repeated on a greater and more enthusiastic scale when the troops later disembarked and marched through the streets.

Lieutenant General E. A. H. Alderson, C. B., was appointed to the command of the contingent, which soon after landing encamped on Salisbury Plain. Here the Canadians spent four miserable months of one of the rainiest seasons on record. They were most of the time under canvas, the roads became quagmires, they were miles from any considerable town, yet despite their discomforts they maintained a brave and cheerful spirit.

King George, accompanied by Field Marshals Roberts and Kitchener, Sir George Perley, member of the Canadian Cabinet, and Sir Richard McBride, Prime Minister of British Columbia, visited the troops in November, 1914.

(p. 304) The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, composed largely of soldiers who had seen war service, left for the front early in December, 1914, and joined the Twenty-seventh British Division.

On February 4, 1915, a division composed of three infantry brigades, three artillery brigades, ammunition column, divisional engineers, divisional mounted troops, and divisional train left Salisbury Plain and sailed from Avonmouth, the last transport reaching St.-Nazaire, on the Bay of Biscay, in the second week of February, 1915.

The 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 17th Battalions remained in England as the base brigade of the division. Later these battalions were formed into the Canadian Training Depot, and afterward, with the coming of reenforcements, into the Canadian Training Division, under the command of Brigadier General J. C. MacDougall.

The Canadians had a long journey of 350 miles after landing in France before they arrived at the front within the triangle of country between St.-Omer on the west, Ypres on the east, and Béthune to the south. At this time the entire British army in Europe was contained in this territory.

When the Canadians arrived in England the British held a front between twenty and thirty miles long running from Ypres on the north, where the Seventh Division made its historic stand against the Prussian Guards, to Givenchy on the south near the scene of the battle that was afterward fought at Neuve Chapelle. This front the British had continued to maintain through the long winter when it may be truly said that they lived, ate, slept in mud. Mud they were never free from until the welcome spring brought a cessation of the almost continuous rain and the winds dried up the mire.

When the Canadians took their turn as a division in the trenches there were no sensational happenings. They were not called upon to attack, nor was their bravery tested in holding a trench against a determined assault by the enemy. But the weeks spent in trench work were not wasted, and they learned much that was to serve them well in after days when they were in the (p. 305) thick of the hardest fighting of the war. There were casualties from snipers and sufficient excitement to keep them keyed up to the proper fighting spirit.

Here we must leave for a time the Canadian Division and follow the fortunes of Princess Patricia's Light Infantry Regiment, which was the first to carry the badge of Canada on the battle fields of Flanders.

As previously noted, the "Princess Pats" arrived in France December, 1914. The regiment was hurried north to strengthen the Eightieth Brigade of the Twenty-seventh British Division holding a thin line which the Germans continually assailed. For several months the regiment was engaged in hard winter trench work. Later a section of trench in front of the village of St.-Eloi was occupied by them. This was a dangerous position where it was impossible to raise the hand without attracting the bullet of a sniper. The Germans seemed to know the position of every dugout in the Princess Patricia's lines. It was said that they had rifles so fixed as to cover them exactly, and it was only necessary to pull the trigger without aiming. The regiment lost some valuable officers at this time.

It was while they held the trenches before St.-Eloi that the Patricias were engaged in an important action. On February 28, 1915, the Germans had completed a sap which became a source of danger and loss. The battalion commander decided to sweep away this menace. Major Hamilton Gault and Lieutenant Colquhoun went out after dark and made a careful reconnoissance of the German position, returning to the line with much valuable information. But more was needed, and Lieutenant Colquhoun went out again and alone and fell into the hands of the enemy.

It was decided to attack on the strength of information that had been obtained and an assault was organized by Lieutenant Crabbe, the bomb throwers being commanded by Lieutenant Papineau, the last a lineal descendant of the rebel of 1837. Corporal Ross was in command of the snipers. A body of troops were organized in support with picks and shovels to destroy the parapet of the enemy trench, which at the nearest point was (p. 306) only about fifteen yards away. Corporal Ross, who was in the lead when the party ran forward and flung themselves into the sap, was killed. Lieutenant Papineau with his bombers ran along the outside of the parapet bombing the occupants of the trench, while Lieutenant Crabbe followed up with his detachment through the trench to "clean up" until a barricade which the Germans had built barred farther progress.

While troops held the rear of the sap to beat off counterattacks, Sergeant Major Lloyd led a platoon which demolished the German's parapet. In the course of this operation the gallant Lloyd was killed. Just as the day was breaking, the party completed the job and were ordered back to their trenches. There were casualties, among the wounded being Major Gault, but the work had been carried out so successfully that none regretted the cost.

On March 1, 1915, the Germans made a fierce attack with bombs and shells to recover the site of the sap, which had been demolished by the battalion, and the struggle continued until the 6th. On this date, after the men had withdrawn from the trenches, which were only twenty or thirty yards from the Germans, British artillery wiped out the sap and the trench which the enemy had used in making it, the enemy being blown high in the air by the explosive shells.

Here, for a time, we leave the Princess Patricias and return to the Canadian Division on the eve of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. The Canadian infantry was not especially engaged in this contest, but Canadian artillery played an important part in the bombardment that preceded the British attack. The Canadians were ready waiting during the struggle for an order to join the fight, but they were not called upon. The main purpose of the British offensive was to break the German lines and occupy Aubers Ridge, which dominates Lille. Had they succeeded, the enemy would probably have been forced out of this part of France.

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle was the first great effort made by the British to pierce the German lines since the fighting around the Marne and the Aisne. All the British gained in this costly operation was about a mile of territory on a three-mile front.

(p. 307) After Neuve Chapelle quiet reigned in the trenches of the Canadian Division. In the last days of March the troops were withdrawn and went into rest camps.

The Princess Patricias were in billets when the Germans made a powerful attack on the intrenchments around St.-Eloi on March 13, 1915. It became necessary to organize a counterattack to relieve the pressure, and hurried orders were sent to the battalion at Westoutre to proceed at once to St.-Eloi. The Princess Patricias marched off at 7 p. m. and joining a battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps proceeded by way of Dickebush to Voormanzeele. While the troops were drawn up along the road, news came in that Germans in large numbers were moving toward the eastern end of the village. The battalion commander detailed Number 4 Company to occupy a position on the east as a precaution against surprise. The St.-Eloi mound and trenches to the west of it had been captured by the Germans, and the battalion was ordered to cooperate with the rifle brigade in an endeavor to recover the lost positions.

At St.-Eloi it was learned that trench A, as it was known to the Intelligence Staff, had been retaken by the British. The battalion occupied a breastwork to the west of a farm building, which was to be their first objective. It was just before daybreak when the battalion arrived, and an attack was at once organized by Number 2 Company against trench P, the approach being made in three parties from the back of trench A.

The Germans had possession of the mound from which their guns could sweep the approaches. To have attempted to cross that fire-swept field would have been a useless sacrifice of men. Three platoons therefore were detailed to hold the right of the breastwork near the mound while the remainder of the battalion was withdrawn to Voormanzeele.

The troops left at the breastwork held fast during the long and trying night, which was all that could have been expected of them. At daybreak they withdrew and joined the battalion then at Dickebush.

On March 20, 1915, Colonel Francis Farquhar, commanding officer of the battalion, was killed by a stray bullet. This fine (p. 308) officer had been military secretary to the Duke of Connaught and had done more for the battalion than it is possible to record here. Though a strict disciplinarian, Colonel Farquhar was greatly loved by the soldiers for his patience and good humor and his readiness to hear their complaints and improve their condition whenever possible. Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Buller succeeded to the command of the regiment.

After the death of Colonel Farquhar the battalion retired to rest, occupying a line on the Polygon Wood in the Ypres salient. Near by they constructed log cabins of such skillful workmanship as to excite the admiration of the French, British, and Belgian officers who visited the camp. The regiment was also busy improving and strengthening the trenches and in erecting breastworks before them under cover of the wood. When enemy guns were bombarding Ypres again the battalion, then in billets in the neighborhood of that stricken town, were ordered once more to the trenches.

The Second Battle of Ypres began on April 21, 1915, and during the first days of the struggle the Patricias occupied trenches some distance south and west of those held by the Canadian Division. Though doomed to inaction they were constantly shelled by the enemy. They were eager to join in the battle raging in the north and where their kinsmen were desperately engaged, but the order to move to the firing line never came. On May 3, 1915, the battalion was withdrawn to a subsidiary line a considerable distance to the rear.

In the meantime the Canadian Division won enduring fame at Ypres. Their achievements were all the more remarkable because the division was in the main made up of raw material, and until the outbreak of war untrained and undisciplined in warfare. The officers, too, had mostly learned military science from study rather than from experience; yet these former lawyers, professors, and business men, with rare exceptions, displayed valor and resource at the most trying moments in the battle.

It was on April 22, 1915, that the Germans brought into action a new form of "frightfulness," which was so far successful that a gap was created in the Allies' line, which might have led to (p. 309) disastrous results but for the dauntless courage displayed by the Canadians.

It was a calm, sunny, and peaceful day when the enemy sprang their surprise. The Canadian Division held a line of about five thousand yards extending in a northwesterly direction from the Ypres-Roulers railway to the Ypres-Poelcappelle road where at the terminus it joined the French. The division comprised three infantry brigades, the first in reserve, the second on the right, and the third in contact with the French, as previously noted. In addition to the infantry there were the artillery brigades.

About 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 22d, the Germans projected asphyxiating gas of great intensity over the French line on the left. Aided by the favorable wind, the gas penetrated the trenches, poisoning and disabling great numbers of troops who were wholly unprepared to combat this new horror of warfare. The French troops, principally Turcos and Zouaves, became panic-stricken and fled back over the canal and through the village of Vlamertinghe just at twilight. The Canadian reserve battalions of the First Brigade were amazed as the French soldiers surged into the town, their faces contorted with pain, and gasping for breath. It was some time before order could be restored and the staff officers could learn from the fugitives that they had left thousands of their comrades dead, or dying, that a four-mile gap had been created in the French line through which the Germans were advancing in the wake of their gas attack.

The withdrawal of the French created a serious situation as the Canadian Third Brigade was now without any left. It was imperative under the circumstances that the Canadian lines should be at once greatly extended to the left rear. The first reserve could not be moved from reserve at short notice, and the line increased from 5,000 to 9,000 yards was not the same line which the Allies had held at the time of the gas attack. A gap still remained on the left.

Brigadier General Turner (now Major General), the commander of the Third Brigade, was forced to throw back his left flank southward to protect his rear. While these adjustments of the positions were under way, resulting at first in some confusion, (p. 310) the Germans, who had been pushing rapidly forward, captured four British 4.7 guns which had been lent to the French.

The Canadian Division stood fast against overwhelming odds. They were outnumbered four to one, while the enemy was also greatly superior in artillery. The gap in the line remained, though somewhat reduced in extent. The Canadians, aroused to the dangers of the situation, fought with dogged determination for two days and nights, losing heavily, especially in officers. The Germans made the most of the advantage gained by the breach in the Allies' line and launched a series of attacks against the new Canadian salient. At every point the troops of the Dominion were faced by superior numbers and the fighting was especially fierce and sanguinary on the apex of the new line which ran toward St.-Julien.

The Third Brigade under General Turner was ordered to counterattack the wood where the Germans had captured four British guns on April 22, 1915. The 2d Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel (now Brigadier General) Watson and the 3d (Toronto) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Rennie (now also a Brigadier General), both of the First Brigade, reenforced Turner's brigade. At this time the 7th Battalion (British Columbia Regiment) held intrenchments in support of the Third Brigade.

The 10th Battalion and the 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion delivered an attack on the wood some time after midnight on April 23, 1915. The battalions, under the commands respectively of Lieutenant Colonel Boyle and Lieutenant Colonel (now Brigadier General) R. G. E. Leckie, made a dashing advance on the wood in the face of a heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, which was soon followed by a close and desperate struggle in the pale moonlight, the Canadians finally carrying the position at the point of the bayonet.

Those who participated in the advance on the wood described the havoc wrought in the Canadian ranks by the enemy's machine-gun fire, and, though many fell, others took their places and the line never for a moment wavered. The German garrison in the wood were evidently demoralized by the fierceness of the (p. 311) Canadians' assault, having counted on the effective fire of their machine guns to shatter its force. The victors penetrated to the far side of the woods, where they dug themselves in, but were unable to hold the position when later in the night the Germans concentrated a sweeping gunfire on the wood, which made the place untenable. The four British guns were not recovered, as the enemy had destroyed them some time during the progress of fighting.

Shortly after the attack on the wood Lieutenant Colonel Boyle ordered the 10th Battalion to capture a German trench on the battalion's right front. At the beginning of the assault, when the German gunfire began, Colonel Boyle fell wounded, his left thigh pierced in five places. His second in command, Major MacLaren, was wounded about the same time. Colonel Boyle was removed to Poperinghe, but died soon afterward. Major MacLaren while being moved to a hospital was killed by a shell.

Major D. M. Ormond, who succeeded to the command of the 10th Battalion, was wounded soon after assuming the position. Major Guthrie, a lawyer from Fredericton, New Brunswick, a tried and courageous soldier, then took command.

The Canadians continued to fight and hold their difficult position during the night of April 22-23, 1915, the Germans in increasing numbers delivering one assault after another. The odds were so greatly in favor of the enemy that it seemed inevitable that the Canadians must give way unless they were reenforced. When the situation became entirely discouraging, British troops began to arrive under the command of Colonel Geddes of the Buffs. The reenforcements consisted of three and a half battalions of the Twenty-eighth Division, a composite force drawn from different regiments that became known as Geddes's Detachment.

The Second Canadian Brigade at this time was holding its own, but the Third Canadian Brigade had been pushed back on St.-Julien, where the Germans were making a strong effort to outflank it. Had they succeeded, the result might have been disastrous to the whole Canadian line and involved others. To ease the German pressure a counterattack was launched against (p. 312) the first German line at 6.30 a. m. by the 1st (Ontario) Battalion and the 4th Battalion of the First Brigade under Brigadier General Mercer acting with Geddes's Detachment.

The 4th Battalion made the advance, having the 1st in support, under the covering fire of the First Canadian Artillery Brigade. The troops were conscious that they were engaged in a desperate venture, but their comrades were in peril, and there was no hesitation as they dashed into the storm of fire that swept the field from the enemy's guns. The attack was pressed, though the casualties reached an alarming figure. Colonel Birchall, commanding the 4th Battalion, who, waving a light cane, encouraged and rallied his men, was killed. The loss of their beloved commander fired the troops with renewed energy, and with hoarse cries they dashed forward against the enemy to avenge his death. So fierce was the onslaught that the Germans were overwhelmed and the first line of trenches was won after a hand-to-hand conflict.

The importance of this victory—won in the face of almost certain death—saved the Canadian left, and not only that, but it maintained at a critical moment the integrity of the Allied line. For the 4th Canadian Battalion did more than capture the German trench: they held it against the most determined German assaults until April 25, 1915, when the decimated and weary remnants of the battalion were finally relieved.

The success of the attack was not a little due to the admirable work of the First Artillery Brigade under Lieutenant Colonel Morrison, whose battery of four 18-pounders was later supplemented by two heavier guns, and served with great efficiency throughout the struggle. Colonel Morrison for his services was given command of the artillery of the Second Division with the rank of brigadier general. Another officer who contributed to the victory was Captain T. E. Powers of the Signal Company of General Mercer's command. Though the enemy's heavy shell fire repeatedly cut the signal wires, communication with the front line of the attack was never lost.

General Turner's Third Brigade, which, as previously noted, was holding the Canadian left on April 22, 1915, and after (p. 313) attacking had taken over the defense of the new Canadian salient, had also sent a detachment to establish a line between the wood and St.-Julien. Here they were subjected to a heavy gas attack followed by two enemy assaults. They were unprovided with the means for protecting themselves against the gas, but a wet handkerchief stuffed in the mouth was found to afford relief, and they held their ground beating off the heavy attacks in which the enemy lost heavily. The assault on the wood, as previously narrated, followed.

About 4 a. m. on the following day the Germans made a gas attack on the Second Brigade holding the line which ran northeast, and the Third Brigade which continued the line up to the pivotal point and then extended down in a southeasterly direction. The Royal Highlanders of Montreal, 13th Battalion, and the 48th Highlanders, 15th Battalion, were especially affected by the gas. The trenches of the 48th Highlanders became so untenable for a time that they were forced to retire until conditions improved.

During the night of April 23, 1915, the Third Brigade, which had displayed fearless courage and tenacity, was subjected to an unusual strain when the Germans attempted to sweep around and smash their left wing. One attempt succeeded in part, considerable numbers pushing past the unsupported left of the brigade, taking up a position between the wood and St.-Julien. This added to the difficulties of the Canadians, who felt that they were isolated from the brigade base.

The situation called for heroic action, and it would be impossible to select any battalion for special commendation in this hour of crisis when all displayed such valor and fortitude. The fate of some of the officers must be briefly described.

Major Norsworthy, who was in the reserve trenches half a mile back of the firing line, was killed while attempting to bring up reenforcements to Major McCuaig. Captain Guy Drummond fell while he was engaged in rallying French troops. The death of these officers left Major McCuaig to handle the situation. Through the afternoon and night, his communications cut and without artillery support, this intrepid fighter held on. The (p. 314) Germans were strong enough to overwhelm him, knowing the weakness of his position; that they held off was because they feared his supports when in reality he had none. When daylight came, revealing the weakness of the defense to the Germans, the wounded having been evacuated. Major McCuaig withdrew his men under fire as Major Buchanan with reenforcements appeared on the scene.

The battalion, which had faced such fearful odds and held on until relieved, occupied dugouts until dark when they retired to a new line. Having waited until all the wounded were removed, Major McCuaig, who had faced death every moment during that terrible struggle, was wounded and captured by the enemy.

The officers of the 7th Battalion (British Columbia Regiment) displayed no less valor during the fateful struggle than those whose fate has been described. This battalion, which was attached to the Third Brigade, occupied on April 23, 1915, the forward crest of a ridge, with its left flank near St.-Julien, and throughout the day was under a blasting shell fire. After receiving orders in the afternoon to strengthen the position for holding it during the night, Colonel Hart-McHarg of Vancouver, Major Odlum (afterward Lieutenant Colonel commanding the battalion), and Lieutenant Mathewson of the Canadian Engineers went out to choose the site for the new trenches which were to be due as soon as darkness fell. Not knowing exactly where the German lines were located, they suddenly became aware of the enemy lining the hedges not more than 100 yards away. In the hurried retreat Colonel Hart-McHarg was seriously wounded. Lieutenant Mathewson remained with him while Major Odlum ran in search of help. After dark Colonel Hart-McHarg was carried back to battalion headquarters, but died during the night.

Major Odlum succeeded to the command of the battalion, which continued to fight off enemy attacks until, flanked both right and left, it was forced to retire, its fighting strength being reduced to 100 men.

The 7th Battalion, after being strengthened by additional troops from the 10th, was again sent into the fight on the following (p. 315) day, to hold a gap in a Canadian line. Here it stood fast and fought until surrounded by the enemy, when the battalion succeeded in withdrawing under cover of a heavy mist. In the course of three days' fighting the 7th had lost its colonel, and 600 of its officers and men had been killed, or wounded. Some companies lost every officer. Lieutenant E. D. Bellew, machine-gun officer of the battalion, continued to serve his gun until it was destroyed, and continued to use relays of loaded rifles until wounded and taken prisoner.

The Canadian line was now strengthened by the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and the 1st Royal West Kents, and the division was further aided by French counterattacks, but the increasing artillery fire of the enemy and their great superiority in numbers rendered the Canadian salient untenable. Retirement was imperative, and fighting every yard of the way the Canadians fell back on St.-Julien. This place being exposed to enemy fire from right and left, a further retirement was necessary. The Third Brigade began a retreat southward. Detachments of the 13th and 14th Battalions were cut off before they could escape from the village. After being surrounded they fought on until their ammunition gave out and all were killed, wounded, or captured.

The retirement of the Third Brigade had exposed the flank of General Currie's Second Brigade. To meet the situation, he flung his left flank round south, holding his line of trenches from the afternoon of April 22, 1915, to the afternoon of April 25, 1915. On the last date he withdrew his undefeated troops. His trenches had been wiped out by artillery fire, and his fortifications in the field had been demolished; only the spirit of the troops remained unbroken.

Mention should be made here of the 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles), Lieutenant Colonel Lipsett commanding, which held the extreme left of the brigade position and held on through a most critical period. Early in the morning of April 23, 1915, this battalion had been driven from the trenches by a violent gas attack, but in less than an hour counterattacked and recaptured the trenches, bayoneting the enemy. Colonel Lipsett held the (p. 316) position after the forced retirement of the Third Brigade, his left "in the air," until the night of the 24th, when two British regiments arrived and filled the gap.

Two companies of the 8th Battalion were relieved by Durham Light Infantry on the morning of the 25th and retired to reserve trenches. The Durhams were so badly hammered by the enemy during the day that a company of the 8th Canadian Battalion replaced them on the extreme left of the Canadian line. The Germans were in position to the rear of this company, while their guns on the left flank enfiladed it. The Canadians were ordered to retire, and the movement was carried out with a loss of 45 per cent of their strength. The platoon covering the retirement had all its officers and men either killed or taken prisoners.

The Germans had captured the village of St.-Julien in the morning of April 25, 1915, and the situation demanded an offensive movement to check their further progress. General Alderson, commanding the Canadians and also the reenforcements, directed the advance of the Tenth Brigade under General Hull and the Northumberland Brigade through the Canadian left and center. As we are dealing with the story of the Canadian contingent, it is only necessary to say that the British troops succeeded in arresting the German advance.

The Second and Third Brigades and the reenforcements had retired, fighting all the way, to a line which ran roughly from Fortuin south of St.-Julien toward Passchendaele, where they were relieved by two British brigades.

The Canadians were out of the firing line on April 26, 1915, but, owing to the force of the enemy's attacks, General Currie's Second Brigade, reduced to a quarter of its strength, was compelled to return to the firing line. Throughout the 26th they held the apex of the line, and not until two days later were they relieved and sent to billets in the rear. During the struggle Lieutenant Colonel Kemis-Betty, Brigade Major, and Major Mersereau, Staff Captain, were both wounded by a shell. Colonel Kemis-Betty continued, despite his serious wounds, to discharge his duties throughout April 26, 1915. Major Mersereau, who was very badly injured, was removed to General Currie's dugout (p. 317) and remained there until night as no ambulance was available. He was finally removed under shell fire by Colonel Mitchell of the Headquarters Staff as far as Fortuin, and afterward invalided home to Canada.

The principal achievements of the Canadians at Ypres having now been described in outline, there remains to be recorded an operation carried out by Lieutenant Colonel Watson. In the night of April 28, 1915, Colonel Watson was commanded to carry out a dangerous and difficult task. This was to advance with his battalion and dig a line of trenches which would link up with the French on the left and the Rifle Brigade on the right. Proceeding north toward St.-Julien he was held up for an hour by a storm of shrapnel, but moved on again at 8 o'clock. After crossing the bridge over the Ypres Canal great precautions were taken to conceal the movements of the battalion from the enemy. The newly arrived officers and men who had joined the battalion that morning received a terrible baptism of fire in this their first experience at the front. The Germans, believing that some important movement was under way, filled the air with high explosives, and their shells rained down on every hedgerow and clump of trees that the battalion passed. It was a long and terrifying journey, and considering conditions the casualties were few. The battalion finally arrived behind the first-line trench, which was held at the time by a battalion of the King's Own Borderers. Reaching the place where the trenches were to be dug, Colonel Watson led out two companies, while two others acted as covers for the diggers. Through the night the work went on while enemy guns and rifles from the neighboring ridge were active. Though star shells and flares were numerous, and the Germans must have been aware of the work that was going on, all their bullets passed fortunately over the heads of the trench diggers, who worked steadily at their task. It was 2 o'clock in the morning when the battalion completed its work. The officers and men were so exhausted that many slept on the march back to the billets.

In the afternoon of May 2, 1915, the First Canadian Infantry Brigade was moved to the support of the Tenth and Twelfth (p. 318) Infantry Brigades (British) because of the gas which flooded the entire front. The poisonous fumes had disabled the troops of the Twelfth Brigade, and they were forced to fall back, but the Tenth Brigade stood fast.

During the night of May 3, 1915, and the morning of the 4th, the First Canadian Infantry Brigade withdrew from the line and went into billets at Bailleul. General Alderson in the night of May 4 handed over the command of the section to the general officer commanding the Fourth Division, withdrawing the Third Infantry Brigade on that date and the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade on the following day.

The second phase of the Second Battle of Ypres dates from the time that the British line was readjusted. An account of the noble part played by the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in subsequent operations must be recorded. The regiment from April, 1915, occupied trenches south and west of those held by the Canadian Division, where they were constantly under shell fire. The "Princess Pats" were eager to take part in the battle to the north, where their brothers in arms were engaged in a desperate struggle, but not until May 4 were they afforded an opportunity.

On that date the regiment occupied a new line. A strong enemy attack developed which was beaten off. Throughout the day the regiment was heavily bombarded, and some of their trenches were destroyed. During the night they were relieved by the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and withdrew to reserve trenches. Major Gault arrived on May 5, 1915, and took over the command, Lieutenant Colonel Buller having lost an eye from the splinter of a shell.

In the night of May 6, 1915, the "Princess Pats," who had been fretting over their inaction, were sent to relieve the 2d Shropshire's in the trenches. The Germans maintained a heavy bombardment throughout the night and the next day. On May 7, 1915, the roll call showed the strength of the battalion as 635.

The battalion the next day came under heavy shell fire, which began on the right flank, followed by enfilading the fire trenches. Preceded by gas shells, the Germans advanced on the double (p. 319) from the hill in front of the trench, but were beaten back by rifle fire. Every telephone wire having been cut by 6 a. m., it was necessary to dispatch every signaler, pioneer, orderly, and servant at battalion headquarters to man the support trenches.

The struggle was short but intense, and the Germans were thrown back, leaving many dead and wounded on the field. But though repulsed, the enemy were still able to inflict great damage. They had installed several machine guns in buildings near, and could sweep the parapets of the Canadian fire and support trenches. A runner was dispatched to brigade headquarters to inform them of the situation.

Major Gault was badly wounded in the arm and thigh by a shell at 7 a. m., and as it was impossible to move him, he lay in a trench for ten hours, enduring without a murmur intense suffering. Lieutenant Niven, the next senior officer who was unwounded, took over the command.

The Germans now brought heavy howitzers into action, using high explosives which, with the work of the field guns, wrought havoc among the trenches, demolishing them at some points.

The enemy's infantry made an attack at 9 o'clock, but were assailed by such heavy machine-gun and rifle fire that they were at first halted and then driven to seek cover. The Germans lost heavily in this encounter, but the battalion also suffered many casualties. Of the officers, Captain Hill, and Lieutenants Martin, Triggs, and De Bay were wounded.

The commanding officer, Lieutenant Niven, succeeded in establishing contact with the King's Own Light Infantry on the left, and the Fourth Rifle Brigade on the right, but as these formations had been badly punished, they were unable to afford any assistance.

The Germans had taken the exact range of the Canadian machine guns and buried every one of them. The gunners dug them out and served them again. One gun was buried by the enemy fire three times, dug up and put into action, but was finally demolished by a shell which also destroyed the whole section. Corporal Dover, who had served his gun throughout this trying period, lost a leg and an arm in the explosion. After being dug (p. 320) out by comrades, and while he was being lowered into the trench, an enemy bullet ended the brave man's sufferings.

The Germans maintained this deadly and destructive fire, and by 10.30 fully half of the right fire trench had been demolished. Lieutenant Denison then ordered Lieutenant Clark to withdraw the remnant of command into a communication trench on the right, while he held on himself with Lieutenant Lane and a few men to that part of the fire trench which was still tenable. The German guns continued their deadly work. Lieutenant Edwards was killed. The left fire trench was blown in, and the machine guns silenced. Sergeant Scott and a few men who survived entered a communication trench and held fast until it too was demolished. Lieutenant Crawford, serving in the hottest corners in the morning, was badly wounded. Captain Adamson, wounded in the shoulder, continued to serve out small ammunition with a single arm. Sergeant Major Fraser was killed while performing similar work. There were now only four officers remaining: Lieutenants Papineau, Niven, Vandenberg, and Clark. Lieutenants Niven and Clark were troopers when the war began.

When the supplies of small-arms ammunition were almost exhausted about noon on May 7, 1915, it was the snipers of the battalion who carried messages across the heavily shell-swept ground to the brigade headquarters, and to the Reserve Battalion at Belle-Waarde Lake in the rear.

A contingent of the Fourth Rifle Brigade reenforced the desperately tired battalion early in the afternoon, their arrival being greeted by hearty cheers from the weary defenders. They brought with them a machine-gun section which was of inestimable value at that time. The Rifles were placed on the extreme right to protect the battalion's flanks, in line with the Canadian support trenches hidden by trees and hedgerows.

Lieutenant Niven, the commanding officer, at 2 p. m. visited headquarters to describe the situation of the battalion returning half an hour later. During his journey both of the orderlies who accompanied him were struck by explosive shells.

About 3 p. m. the battalion welcomed a detachment of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, who brought with them (p. 321) twenty boxes of small-arms ammunition, which were at once distributed as they were sorely needed. The Shropshires were assigned to the left end of the support trench.

When later in the afternoon the support trenches were inspected it was discovered that a gap of about fifty yards existed, and the few men who could be spared were hurried there to reestablish contact with the regiment on the left. This quick move had just been made when news came that the battalions on the left had been forced to withdraw to a line of trenches in the rear.

The Germans now began their last attack, which was vigorously pressed. A few succeeded in penetrating the fire trench on the right, which was practically undefended, all the Princess Patricias having fallen. But they only occupied the trench for a short time and their last offensive ended in failure.

The situation of the Canadians did not improve as the long afternoon wore away. The number of casualties was constantly increasing. All the company commanders were dead or wounded by 10 o'clock at night, and the roll call showed a strength of 150 rifles and a few stretcher bearers.

Shortly before midnight the King's Royal Rifle Corps relieved the battalion and assisted in the burial of the dead. Those who had fallen in the fire trenches were already buried under the earth which the German shells had thrown over them.

The remnant of the shattered regiment, with bared heads, stood by the open graves of their comrades, while Lieutenant Niven, holding the gloriously stained colors of the Princess Patricias, recited the Church of England service for the dead.

After the simple and impressive ceremony the survivors of the battalion still lingered around the graves of their comrades until the colonel of the Rifles ordered them to retire. Led by Lieutenant Papineau the Canadians in sad silence went back to reserve trenches and later were ordered to another part of the position. During the day the section of trenches they occupied was heavily shelled and they lost five men killed and several wounded.

The Princess Patricias were in bivouac in the rear on May 13, 1915, when news arrived that their old fellow fighters, the Fourth (p. 322) Rifle Brigade, were in a difficult position and sorely pressed by the enemy. They at once formed a composite battalion with the Fourth King's Rifle Corps and hurried to the relief of their friends, whom they helped to break down the German assaults. This was the last effort that the survivors of the regiment were called upon to make at this stage of the war.

What the Princess Patricias accomplished during the remainder of the year 1915 may be described here though the record runs ahead of the story of the Canadian Division.

Major Pelly, who had been invalided to England in March, 1915, returned to the regiment on May 15, 1915, and took over the command from Lieutenant Niven, who had so bravely served throughout the darkest hours in the regiment's history.

Early in June, 1915, the Princess Patricias held a trench line at Armentières and continued there until the last days of August, 1915. Lieutenant C. J. T. Stewart, and other officers who had been wounded in the spring fighting, returned to the battalion, and reenforcements from Canada brought it up to full strength.

With the Twenty-seventh Division the battalion occupied a line of trenches held by the Third Army, and subsequently the Princess Patricias went into billets far back of the fighting area. On November 27, 1915, they were once more united with the Canadian Corps from whom they had long been separated.



In staging the Battle of Festubert, where the Canadians fought with distinction and again displayed their dashing bravery and staying powers, the Allies had a definite purpose in view. General Joffre had prepared a great offensive in May, 1915, in (p. 323) Artois, and the French had made important progress, but some defenses of Lens, the key to the whole French objective, remained in possession of the enemy. The Germans were sending powerful reenforcements into the south, and Sir John French, acting with the French commander, advanced his forces to attack. His purpose was to arrest the German reenforcements headed for Lens, and afford the British a chance to capture Aubers Ridge, which they had failed to do at Neuve Chapelle. The Ridge dominated Lille and La Bassée, and if the French succeeded in their part of the plan, which was to reach Lens, the Allies would be strong enough to push on together toward the city which was their objective.

The German positions were attacked on May 9, 1915. In brief detail the engagement was planned as follows: Sir Herbert Plumer with the Second Army was to protect Ypres while the Third Corps held Armentières. Sir Douglas Haig's First Army was to carry intrenchments and redoubts on the right of Prince Rupprecht's Army. The Fourth Corps was to attack the German position at Rouge Bancs northwest of Fromeles, and the First Corps and Indian Corps were to occupy the plain between Neuve Chapelle and Givenchy and then take the Aubers Ridge.

The fighting was vigorously pressed by the British for several days and nights, followed by a lull, but on May 16, 1915, the struggle was renewed. The Second and Seventh Divisions, which had been badly shattered, were withdrawn from the fighting line, their places being taken by the Canadian Division and the Fifty-first Highland Division (Territorials).

The British attack had failed to clear the way to Lille and Aubers Ridge was still in German hands. British and Canadian troops had again and again pierced but not broken the German lines, taking the first, second, and third trenches. The result was to split up the German line into innumerable fortified strong points. They were on the defensive, and the front with its pits, quarries, mills, farms, etc., had all been transformed into small forts that were packed with machine guns. These forts were linked together by tunnels and galleries reenforced with concrete. Had the British and Canadians been amply supplied (p. 324) with guns and ammunition, the task of reducing these many forts would still have been a long and difficult task. The British attack weakened when it was found that the artillery was not strong enough to reduce the German fortifications and it ceased entirely on May 26, 1915.

The failure of the British at Festubert was attributed in many quarters to the shortage of munitions. In England press and public raised such an outcry as to produce a crisis that led to a Coalition Government. Festubert served to arouse the nation to a sense of the mighty task it had undertaken and the need of greater effort if victory was to be won. Out of this determination to prosecute the war more vigorously the War Committee was created and later the Allies' Grand Council of War in Paris.

The Canadian Division after the Second Battle of Ypres had moved into billets where until May 14, 1915, the tired troops enjoyed a much-needed rest. Headquarters had moved to the southern section of the British line and preparations were under way for a new offensive operation. Reenforcements were constantly arriving from the Canadian base in England, where fresh troops from the Dominion gathered in increasing numbers.

On May 17, 1915, the Canadian infantry brigades, raised to full strength, were on their way to the firing lines. By this date the British had driven two salients into the German lines, one north of Festubert and the other to the south of it. The operation of connecting the two salients was pressed during the day.

On May 18, 1915, the Canadian Third Brigade occupied reserve trenches, two companies of the 14th (Royal Montreal) Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Meighen, and two companies of the 16th (Canadian Scottish) under Lieutenant Colonel (afterward Brigadier General) Leckie being ordered to advance on La Quinque Rue to the northwest of an Orchard which the Germans had made a strong defensive position. The 16th Canadian Scottish were ordered to make a flanking movement on this position, advancing for this purpose through an old German communicating trench. They were to attack at the same time as the frontal attack developed. This movement was hurriedly carried out, there being no time to reconnoiter the ground. The (p. 325) 16th battalion company which undertook the flanking operation reached its position. The remaining company of that regiment and the 14th advanced under intense shell fire, reaching part of their objective, but were unable at once to carry out the attack on the German position in the Orchard as they lacked a covering fire. They were ordered to dig themselves in and link up with the Wiltshire Battalion on the right and the Coldstream Guards on the left. This was after an advance had been made of about 500 yards. Two companies of the 16th sent up by Lieutenant Colonel Leckie came to their assistance in the work of trench digging and relieved the two original companies at daybreak.

Sometime in the night the companies of the 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal) were also withdrawn, the Coldstream Guards on one flank and the 16th Canadian Scottish on the other spreading out so as to hold the trench.

The attack on the Orchard was ordered for the night of May 20, 1915. Major Leckie, a brother of the Lieutenant Colonel of that name, made a reconnoissance of the German position. One of the patrols engaged in this work had a narrow escape from being cut off by the enemy and the other suffered a number of casualties, showing that the Germans were alert and that the Canadians had a hard task before them. In the course of the night the Canadian Scottish had worked their way forward and established a garrison of thirty men with two machine guns in a deserted house not far from the German lines.

This operation was carried out with such secrecy that the enemy never learned that a garrison was in the building, which remained unharmed while all the British trenches were under heavy bombardment.

The hour fixed for the attack on the Orchard was 7.45 p. m. Major Rae had command of the two attacking companies, the Canadian Scottish under Captain Morison and Major Peck. It was planned that while these companies attacked the 15th Battalion were to strike at a German position on the right.

In the afternoon the Canadian artillery hammered the Orchard position, the bombardment increasing in intensity as the zero hour approached. When the thunder of the guns ceased the two (p. 326) companies of the 16th Canadians went over the top, and advanced, while the machine guns in the garrisoned house opened fire on the German position. As it was now clear daylight the Germans were alert, and a storm of shrapnel machine-gun and rifle fire assailed the Canadians who continued steadily to push forward.

Having gained the edge of the Orchard, they were confronted by a deep ditch full of water backed by a hedge which had been made into a strong barricade with wire. The Canadians crossed the ditch, though the water was up to their necks in some places, and broke through the hedge. By this time the Germans had mostly retired from the Orchard to trenches in the rear, leaving only a guard to hold the position, until they could get reenforcements and return to drive out the attackers. The Germans left in the Orchard manned a machine-gun redoubt in a central position where they might have worked considerable destruction on their assailants, but for some reason they did not attempt to fight when the Canadians appeared, but retreated with their guns. The main body of the Germans, however, returned to contest the advance, and though outnumbering the Canadians two to one they were forced to beat a hasty retreat. The Orchard position was cleared by three platoons; the fourth, being compelled to make a detour owing to an impassable ditch, did not arrive on the scene until the occupation of the Orchard was completed.

One company which had not penetrated the Orchard occupied a trench running in a southwesterly direction which the Germans had abandoned. This movement was made to prevent the enemy from making a flank counterattack while the assault on the Orchard was in progress. It was a highly exposed position, but important to hold for the success of the attack, and the Germans' fire caused many casualties. Had the enemy been able to get back into this position—which they had evidently planned to do after the bombardment of the Orchard—the operation carried out by the Canadians might have failed of success.

One of the bravest exploits of the many performed during the struggle was that of Sapper Harmon of the 1st Field Company, (p. 327) C. E., one of a party of twelve sappers and fifty infantrymen of the 3d Canadian Battalion, which had constructed a barricade of sandbags across a road leading to the Orchard while under heavy fire. The Germans later smashed the barrier with a shell, and Harmon wormed his way forward and repaired it while a machine gun not more than sixty yards away was pumping bullets into the barricade. Of Harmon's party which went out to build the obstruction, six of the twelve were killed, and of the infantry, out of fifty, six were killed and twenty-four wounded.

Sapper Harmon continued his dangerous and useful work in the Orchard, where alone and unassisted he worked for thirty-six hours digging tunnels to serve in subsequent operations.

A short time after the capture of the Orchard the Canadians played a little trick on the Germans that cost the latter many casualties. While the Canadian artillery hammered a section of their line, a great show was made of preparing to attack as soon as the firing ceased. As was their usual custom the Germans fell back on their support trenches ready to rush forward when the bombardment ceased and meet the Canadian attack. The operation did not develop exactly as they expected, for after the guns shifted from the front trenches and shelled the supports, and the Germans notwithstanding pushed forward and occupied the front trenches the Canadian infantry did not attack. They stood fast while their guns shortened range and the enemy crowded in the front trenches received the full blast of a devastating fire. The German wireless on the following day reported that a heavy Canadian attack had been repulsed.

Early in the evening of May 20, 1915, the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Loomis, moved across the British trenches under intense shell fire that caused heavy casualties, in support of the 16th Battalion Canadian Scotch.

Three companies of the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders), after the Orchard had been won, now marched forward under Major Buchanan, who replaced the commanding officer, who was severely wounded. A fourth company advanced and occupied a (p. 328) support trench in the immediate rear. The position having been consolidated, the weary but elated 16th Battalion, which had performed such brilliant work, withdrew from the scene.

North of the Orchard the Germans made a demonstration in the afternoon of May 21, 1915, but the fire of the Canadian artillery dispersed them. The Germans did not attempt to attack during the night though they kept up a constant musketry fire. Canadian working parties by the light of German flares were busy improving the position, which they left in excellent condition when the 3d Toronto Battalion of the First Brigade relieved the Royal Highlanders.

The Second Canadian Infantry Brigade had in the night of May 19, 1915, taken over trenches recently won by the Twenty-first British Brigade and also a section of trenches from the Forty-seventh Division. Meanwhile the 8th and 10th Battalions occupied the front-line trenches, while the 5th Battalion went into Brigade Reserve with one company at Festubert. Three companies bivouacked near the Willow Road, and the 7th Battalion joined the Divisional Reserve.

Major Guthrie, who had joined the 10th Canadian Battalion at Ypres as a lieutenant, after most of its officers were casualties, made an effort in the early evening of May 20, 1915, to capture an important position known as Bexhill. The attempt was not successful, for the preliminary bombardment was ineffectual, and the troops were forced to cross a gap in the fire trench in open view of the Germans, who made the most of the opportunity. The only approach to the coveted position was through an old communicating trench that the enemy could easily sweep with their machine guns. The 10th Battalion, after all the leading men in the advance company had been struck down, was forced to retire. (The casualties of the 10th Battalion while in action during April and May, 1915, were 809. At Ypres alone the casualties were 600 of all ranks.)

During the night the Canadians carried out a successful reconnoissance of the German position and the gap in the fire trenches was repaired. Covered communications were now assured for further operations in all parts of the line.

(p. 329) In the evening of May 21, 1915, the German position was heavily bombarded under the direction of Brigadier General Burstall and continued until 8.30, when two companies of the 10th Battalion and the grenade company of the First Canadian Brigade launched the attack. The German redoubt on Bexhill responded with a withering machine-gun fire against which it was impossible to advance. The Canadian left was badly cut up and unable to move. Those attacking on the right gained the trench line running southward from Bexhill, and, with bombers leading the way, drove the Germans for a considerable distance down the trench and then hurriedly threw up a barricade to hold what they had gained. The Germans made several attempts in the course of the night to win back the trench, but their every effort failed.

The Canadian attack had achieved only a partial success, and this was won at a heavy cost. As at Ypres they displayed the same unflinching bravery while facing heavy odds, and the only marvel was that they had been able to gain so much. Individual acts that deserved the V. C. were many. Major E. J. Ashton of Saskatoon, who had been wounded in the head on the previous night and continued to serve, was again wounded. Corporal W. R. Brooks, a sniper belonging to the 10th Battalion, during the night left the trench under heavy fire and brought back two men of the Camerons who had been lying for three days in the field.

The Germans made another effort to regain the captured trench at daybreak on May 22, 1915. They maintained a furious bombardment that lasted all day until the trench was reduced to ruins. Forced to abandon the southern end of the trench, the Canadians, despite their heavy casualties, clung to the remaining portion, where they built another barricade.

The courage displayed by officers and men during the bombardment was beyond praise. Though practically at the mercy of the enemy, their spirit remained unbroken. Captain McMeans, Lieutenant Smith-Rowse, and Lieutenant Passmore were killed, and Lieutenant Denison was wounded. Half of the men of the company were killed or wounded, but the poor remnant (p. 330) clung obstinately to the position. Captain J. M. Prowse having been wounded, returned to his command as soon as his wounds were dressed, and even after he had been buried under the parapet continued to serve. Company Sergeant Major John Hay deserves special mention for the gallant example of fortitude he displayed, steadying and controlling the men of his company after all the officers and half of the troopers were dead or wounded.

The Germans prepared an infantry attack in the afternoon, but were driven back by the Canadian artillery and machine-gun fire. In the course of the night British troops and a detachment of the First Canadian Infantry Brigade and King Edward's Horse and Strathcona's Horse took over the trenches. The Strathconas served as infantry, and it was the first time that they took part in the Great War. Their services in the South African campaign will be remembered.

The trench held by the 8th Canadian Battalion, which had lost about 90 per cent of its officers and men, was relieved by King Edward's Horse. The Post Office Rifles of the Forty-seventh Division were on the right of Strathcona's Horse, but the latter manned the Rifles' machine guns.

The Seventh Prussian Army Corps started a massed attack upon King Edward's Horse on May 23, 1915, but were driven back by the heavy fire of the Canadian artillery brigades.

At 11 o'clock at night on this date the 5th Canadian Battalion was ordered to take Bexhill salient and redoubt, which had been attempted before without success. The attacking force consisted of two companies of the battalion, about 500 men, under Major Edgar. In addition 100 men from the 7th (British Columbia) Battalion, divided into two parties, were assigned to the work of constructing bridges before the attack and to consolidating the positions that were won. Lieutenant (afterward Captain) R. Murdie, commanding the bridge makers (50 men), took his party out in the early morning of the 24th while the moon was still brightly shining, and threw out twelve bridges over a ditch filled with water between the Canadian line and their objective in the attack.

(p. 331) At 2.45 a. m. the Canadians went over the top. Lieutenant Tozer with the battalion bombers reached the German communication trench leading to the redoubt and after an intense struggle occupied the redoubt. The attacking party won about 200 yards of trenches to the left of it and a small strip on the right, clearing out the enemy, who lost heavily.

The two attacking companies of the 5th Battalion, reenforced by a company of the 7th Battalion and a squadron of Strathcona's Horse, were now strong enough to attempt the capture of Bexhill proper. The attack was vigorously pressed against stiff enemy opposition, and shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning the German strong point had been won and 130 yards of trenches to the north of the position. A little later a platoon from the 5th Battalion arrived with orders to dig in and hold fast. The Germans held very strong positions and it was not deemed expedient to attempt to win more ground at that time. Major Odlum now assumed command of the 5th Battalion as Colonel Tuxford had fallen ill and Major Edgar was wounded.

The small force under Major Edgar had suffered heavy losses, especially among the officers. The commanders of the two companies, Major Tenaille and Captain Hopkins, were killed, and also Captains Maikle, Currie, McGee, and Mundell, while Major Thornton, Captain S. J. Anderson, Captain Endicott, Major Morris, Lieutenant Quinan, and Lieutenant Davis were wounded. Major Powley was wounded while bringing up his company from the 7th. The enemy's guns were active throughout the morning, but the accurate fire of the Canadian artillery held them to their position, and no attack to recover the redoubt was attempted.

Throughout the day the captured trenches were held by those who had won them. At night they were relieved by the Royal Canadian Dragoons and the 2d Battalion of the First Brigade. It was time, for the Second Brigade had never passed through a more fiery trial, having lost 55 officers and 980 men.

At 11.30 p. m. on May 24, 1915, the 3d Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel (afterward Brigadier General) Rennie made an assault on a strong German machine-gun redoubt known as The Well. In the first rush they won a section of trench, but the (p. 332) machine-gun fire was so intense in the redoubt that to attempt an advance, or to hold on would have caused needless sacrifice of life. The heroic attackers were forced to retire, having incurred severe losses.

Brigadier General Seeley, M. P., a popular and experienced officer, assumed command of the troops which had captured Bexhill on the following day. Arriving at a critical moment, he at once grasped the situation and took measures to improve conditions. General Seeley was in command through two trying days and nights, inspiring the officers and men with his courage and activity. It was a time of severe trial for the brigade, whose losses were heavy, especially in officers. Lieutenant W. G. Tennant of Strathcona's Horse was killed, and the wounded included Major D. D. Young, Royal Canadian Dragoons; Major J. A. Hesketh, Strathcona's Horse; Lieutenants A. D. Cameron, D. C. McDonald, J. A. Sparkes, Strathcona's Horse; Major C. Harding, and Lieutenants C. Brook and R. C. Everett, King Edward's Horse.

It would be impossible in this narrative to record all the acts of bravery performed by officers and men during these days of struggle, but a few should be described as examples of the fighting spirit. Among the bravest of the brave mention must be made of Major Arthur Cecil Murray, M. P., to whose efforts the gain in ground on the left was in large measure due. Major Murray inspired the men with his own intrepid spirit, leading his squadron as coolly as if on parade, and held his ground under heavy machine-gun fire while the work of constructing a parapet was under way. Lieutenant (afterward Captain) J. A. Critchley of Strathcona's Horse, armed with bombs, attacked the Germans' machine-gun redoubt under heavy fire. In the night of May 25, 1915, Corporal Legge of the Royal Canadian Dragoons crept out of the trenches and located a German machine gun which had caused many casualties, and which his regiment were then enabled to silence.

Sergeant Morris of King Edward's Horse on the same date accompanied the brigade grenade company, reenforcing the Post Office Rifles of the Forty-seventh London Division, who were (p. 333) engaged in an attack on a German position. Sergeant Morris led a party down a German communication trench, and, after all were killed or wounded but himself, fought on alone with bombs, rifle, and bayonet until the Post Office Rifles arrived on the scene and he was relieved.

On May 26, 1915, Corporal Pym of the Royal Canadian Dragoons heard cries for help in English between the lines, and crawling out of his trench, making his way across the field swept by machine-gun and rifle fire, reached a wounded man who had been lying there for three days and nights. Finding it impossible to bring in the unfortunate alone, owing to his severe wounds, Pym sent a call to the trench for help. Sergeant Hollowell immediately responded, but was killed just as he reached the two men in the field. Pym after many efforts succeeded in bringing in the wounded soldier alive.

The 4th Canadian Battalion was under incessant fire at Festubert through ten days and eleven nights. On May 27, 1915, all communication wires between the fire trenches and battalion and brigade headquarters had been cut by the enemy's fire. Private (afterward Lieutenant) W. E. F. Hart volunteered to mend the wires and succeeded in repairing eleven breaks, reestablishing communications. In the Orchard he worked under heavy shrapnel fire without cover for an hour and a half, completing the work he had set out to perform. Hart, who owned a farm near Brantford, Ontario, was with the battalion since August, 1914. He afterward became a signaling officer of the 4th Battalion.

Sergeant Hickey, who had distinguished himself in April, 1915, at Pilckem Ridge, when he brought in five wounded men under heavy shell fire, performed a no less heroic act at Festubert. On May 24, 1915, he volunteered to try and recover two trench mortars that had been abandoned on the previous day. None of the 4th Battalion expected him to return alive through the storm of fire the Germans were creating, but he returned with the mortars and, what was even more important, with information concerning a short safe route by which troops could be brought up from the reserve trenches to the firing line. This (p. 334) brave soldier, who had risked death so many times, was killed by a stray bullet on May 30, 1915.

The Canadian division was withdrawn on May 31, 1915, and moved to the south of the British line, where the routine of trench warfare was continued until the middle of June, 1915.

Among the minor engagements between the close of the Battle of Festubert and the great struggle at Loos the fight at Givenchy stands out conspicuous. Here the Canadians again demonstrated their unconquerable spirit and stubborn bravery.

The Seventh British Division had been ordered to make a frontal attack on a German position known as Stony Mountain and the 1st Canadian (Ontario) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Hill of the First Brigade was detailed to capture two lines of German trenches running south from Stony Mountain to another strong point called Dorchester. This operation was intended to secure the right flank of the British division.

In the afternoon of June 15, 1915, the 1st Canadian Battalion (Ontario Regiment) reached the line of trenches opposite the position to be attacked, joining the 2d Canadian Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Watson. To the right of the attacking battalion the 2d and 4th Canadian Battalions held the line to the La Bassée Canal, the 3d Canadian Toronto Regiment in support, the East Yorks holding the left.

For three hours in the evening the Ontario Regiment was under enemy fire awaiting the order to charge. Two 18-pounders had been installed in the infantry trenches under cover of darkness and fifteen minutes before zero hour they opened fire on the German parapets. One gun under the direction of Lieutenant C. S. Craig cleared the ground of wire entanglements and smashed two German machine guns. Lieutenant Craig, who had been wounded at Ypres, was again injured while doing his duty at Givenchy.

Lieutenant L. S. Kelly, in charge of the other gun, was successful in destroying a German machine gun, when an enemy shell demolished his own gun and he received at the same time a serious wound. Corporal King was also struck down and died of his wounds, while several of the gun crew were wounded.

(p. 335) A tragic result followed the explosion of a mine. Owing to the fact that water had been found under the German trenches it was impossible to tunnel far enough forward, so an unusually heavy charge was used, which it was hoped would reach the Germans. The explosion had a serious result in the Canadian trench lines, several bombers being killed and wounded, while a reserve depot of bombs was buried under the ruins. As the enemy blew up another bomb depot a little later, the shortage of bombs was keenly felt as there were no other supplies convenient to draw upon.

It was at this time that Lieutenant Colonel Beecher, the second in command, was killed by a splinter from a high explosive.

Under cover of the smoke and flying débris of the explosion the attacking company under Major G. J. L. Smith dashed forward into the devastating fire from the machine guns in Stony Mountain, and captured the enemy's front trench and Dorchester. The Canadians opposite Stony Mountain were held up by the enemy fire and all were either killed or wounded.

Bombing parties had followed the leading company that attacked. The one on the right advanced without a leader, Lieutenant C. A. James, who had charge, having been killed. The bombing party on the left under Lieutenant G. N. Gordon narrowly escaped being wiped out. Only a few straggled back to the first-line trench, among whom was Lieutenant Gordon, who was later wounded and then killed by a German bomb.

A blocking party of eight sappers of the 1st Field Company of Canadian Engineers, which had followed the leading company into the attack, had also been all killed and wounded; but one man, Sapper Harmon, gathering bombs from his dead and wounded comrades, bombed his way along the trench alone, finally getting away with ten bullets in his body after he had hurled his last bomb.

The second company under Captain G. L. Wilkinson joined with the leading company in an attack on the German second-line trench. The enemy presented a stiff front and many were bayoneted who resisted. The group of prisoners sent back later (p. 336) with an escort came under fire of their own guns in Stony Mountain, and some of them were killed as well as a few of their captors.

The third company was in charge of Lieutenant T. C. Sims, the other company officers, Captain F. W. Robinson and Lieutenant P. W. Pick, having been killed at the time of the mine explosion. In the advance across the open space between the lines they suffered many casualties, but completed the work of consolidating the first-line German trench that had been captured. The fourth company, which now advanced to support, met with a series of misfortunes. Captain Delamater, the officer in charge, was wounded, and Lieutenant J. C. L. Young, who assumed command, was wounded soon after. The command now devolved upon Lieutenant Tranter, who a moment later was killed. Company Sergeant Major Owen then assumed charge, who proved himself fully equal to the task in bravery and resource. When Lieutenant F. W. Campbell was bringing up two machine guns to the rear of Captain Wilkinson's company the whole crew of one gun were either killed or wounded. A few men of the other crew reached the Germans' first-line trench and pushed on toward Stony Mountain, preceded by bombers and under heavy fire, until held up by an enemy barricade. Of the machine-gun crew only Lieutenant Campbell and Private Vincent were fit to fight and they still had the machine gun and tripod. Lacking a suitable base, Lieutenant Campbell set up the gun on Private Vincent's broad back and maintained a continuous fire on the enemy. When German bombers invaded the trench Lieutenant Campbell was struck down, but succeeded in crawling out of the trench and was carried in a dying condition to the Canadian line by Company Sergeant Major Owen. Private Vincent meanwhile had made his escape from the enemy trench and brought away the machine gun in safety.

The Germans' heavy machine-gun fire forced the Canadian working parties to abandon the attempt to construct the line joining the Canadian trenches with the enemy trench that had been captured. The battalion's efforts were now concentrated in building barricades immediately south of Stony Mountain and to (p. 337) the north of Dorchester, and to maintaining a strong hold on the second-line trench.

Owing to the explosion of the mine, as previously noted, the battalion suffered from a lack of bombs. Private Smith of Southampton, Ontario, son of a Methodist minister, a young man under twenty, undertook to increase the supply. He had been buried when the mine exploded, but dug himself out. This catastrophe deprived the Canadians in the captured trench of bombs, and Private Smith, gathering bombs from the dead and wounded around him, crawled forward on all fours, and under fire, bringing the needed supplies to his comrades. Five times he went forward loaded down with bombs to the points where they were mostly needed, and while his clothes were reduced to tatters by the German fire he miraculously escaped uninjured.

Despite Private Smith's heroic effort the supply of bombs ran out, while the increasing machine-gun and rifle fire from Stony Mountain added to the difficulties of the Canadians in holding the line.

Reenforcements from the 3d Battalion arrived, but little could be done until more bombs could be found. Four volunteers were killed one by one while on their way to get more. Sergeant Krantz of London, Ontario, succeeded in bringing back a load, and Sergeant Newell, a cheesemaker of Watford, and Sergeant Major Cuddy, a druggist from Strathroy, went out on the same mission. The Canadians in the second German line, having lost most of their officers, were slowly forced back along the communication trench, and as nearly all the volunteers who had gone after bombs were killed, the supply gave out and the defense was in a perilous position.

Meanwhile the British division, owing to the strength of Stony Mountain and of the German line north of that strong point, had been unable to advance on the left. The Canadians meanwhile stood fast, trusting that attack on the left would succeed.

The Germans having assembled strong forces for attack, the remnant of the battalion, lacking bombs and other supplies, was forced to withdraw from all the ground that had been gained, losing heavily from the enemy's fire during the operation.

(p. 338) Only three out of twenty-three combatant officers who were in this action escaped death or wounds. The fortunate ones were Colonel Hill, who was in the thick of the struggle and displayed great courage and resource, and Lieutenants S. A. Creighton and T. C. Sims.

The plan of the attack was prepared by the corps commander, the operations of the 1st Canadian Battalion being directed by the Brigade Commander General Mercer. A lawyer by profession, this distinguished officer had taken an active part in Canadian militia affairs for twenty-five years, and while commanding officer of the Queen's Own of Toronto enjoyed universal esteem.

During the attack so many individual acts of bravery were performed—it was such a common and indeed expected thing—that they failed to attract much attention, but a few examples of heroism must be noted.

On the day after the attack, when the space between the British and German lines was swept by a heavy shell and rifle fire, a wounded man was observed lying in the open. Lance Corporal E. A. Barrett of the 4th Battalion, who had been steward of the Edmonton Club, at once volunteered to go out and bring the wounded man in. This act he successfully carried out in safety though in clear view of the enemy who made him their special target.

A few days later Lieutenant Houghton of Winnipeg, machine-gun officer of the 8th Battalion, noticed a British soldier lying near a German trench and evidently badly wounded. When dark set in, with the assistance of Private G. F. Clark of the 8th Battalion, Winnipeg Rifles, they dug a hole in the parapet, and Clark went out and brought in the wounded man. A bullet through Clark's cap showed how narrowly he had escaped with his life. As the opponents' trenches here were not more than thirty-five yards apart the Germans must have been napping, as they failed to get him. After the rescue of the wounded man Private Clark went out and brought in a machine gun which the Canadians had been forced to abandon near the German trenches in the recent attack.

(p. 339) For several days after the attack the Canadians were under heavy artillery fire, when they were relieved, and the headquarters moved to the north. Here they occupied a trench line taken over from the British.

On Dominion Day the trenches were decorated with the flowers of France, which seemed to enrage the Germans, who proceeded to destroy the ornamentation by concentrated fire. Back of the lines the men of the Dominion celebrated the holiday with athletic sports, the pipers of the Scottish Canadian battalions enlivening the occasion by playing the national airs of Great Britain and the Allies.



During the summer various units of the Second Canadian Division arrived in England and went into training at Shorncliffe, where they were more fortunate than the First Division, who worked through months of rain, while they had the benefit of sunny summer weather.

Major General Turner took over the command from General Steele, who remained to command the troops at Shorncliffe. On September 5, 1915, the transportation of the troops to Havre was begun. Eight battalions were left in reserve at Shorncliffe.

The First Division in the latter part of summer held a sector whose right rested on the northern edge of Ploegsteert. As the troops of the Second Division joined the fighting line the sector was extended northward until the left rested on a point a short distance south of St.-Eloi. The Second Division took over the northern line ending by St.-Eloi, while the First occupied the Ploegsteert area to the south.

(p. 340) The Canadian Corps had been formed on September 13, 1915, the Second Division arriving at Caestre on the following day. General Alderson, being appointed corps commander, relinquished the command of the First Division to General Currie and Brigadier General Lipsett succeeded to the Second Brigade. Major General Turner, then in command of the Second Division, was succeeded in the command of the Third Brigade by Brigadier General Leckie, his brother, Major Leckie, taking over from him the command of the 16th Battalion. The duty planned for the Second Division was to relieve the Twenty-eighth British Division in what may be called, for convenience, the Kemmel section of the line, which extended north from the ground of the First Canadian Division.

The relief was carried through by September 23, 1915. The last week of September in this year was the period of the Anglo-French offensive when Loos and Champagne were on every tongue.

The Canadians staged a demonstration that would hold the enemy to their trenches, and prevent them from reenforcing their sorely tried comrades in the south. On September 25, 1915, the Germans could see ominous activity in the Canadian trenches. Orders were shouted, whistles blown, every preparation was made for attack. The enemy was completely fooled, put down a barrage behind the Canadian firing line to prevent the bringing up of supports and thronged their own second-line trenches where they were heavily shelled. When it was too late for them to move troops to Loos, the Canadian fire ceased and the Germans could then see that no new attack was intended.

The winter of 1915-16 passed with periods of quiet broken by bombardments, trench raids, and encounters between patrols. The chief event of the New Year was the formation of the Third Division and at the same time the Seventh and Eighth Brigade took shape. The Seventh Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Macdonell, consisted of the Princess Patricias, the Royal Canadian Regiment, the 42d Royal Highlanders of Canada, and the 49th (Edmonton) Canadian Battalion. The Eighth Brigade was made up of the six Canadian mounted rifle regiments made (p. 341) into four infantry battalions under command of Brigadier General Williams. Early in January, 1916, the Third Division was constituted out of these brigades, and Major General Mercer was appointed to the command.

In February, 1916, began a period of close cooperation with the Fifth British Corps, which was to last for nearly seven weeks owing to the fighting around the mound at St.-Eloi. Patrol encounters became frequent in the days that followed. The Canadian corps on February 17, 1916, had an unfortunate day when Generals Macdonell and Leckie were severely wounded by stray bullets.

The heaviest fight in which the Canadians were engaged since the Second Battle of Ypres began in the night of April 3, 1916. The Battle of St.-Eloi will always rank among the highest achievements of the Canadian troops, who again demonstrated in this hard-fought struggle their indomitable courage and stubborn tenacity. The Second Division had taken over the ground won by the Third Division in recent engagements. The opposing lines opposite St.-Eloi ran due east and west. The new line won by the Third Division was a salient thrust due south into the German position, receding slightly on the right and abruptly on the left, to meet the old British line. To quote the official story: "The old British line had been the arc of a bow turned north and the new line became the arm of a bow pushed south. The distance between these bows never exceeded 500 yards, and both of them were less than 1,000 yards in length from end to end with a frontage of 600 yards. In the middle, running as the string of both concave bows, and separated by 200 or 250 yards from either old or new line, was the original German line, blown to atoms in most places, and represented through the center part of its length by a series of four huge mine craters. These crowned the mound of St.-Eloi, a rise in the ground which dominated the whole country."

The explosion of the great mine had damaged trenches on both sides, and had created in the center of the arc of the bow a line of great piles of earth. The trenches captured by the Third Division lay in front. To the rear were the remains of the old (p. 342) line, a crater imposing a barrier between troops holding either side. The new front trench could not be reached except from the right or left, and a line is always in danger when supports cannot be brought up from the rear.

The frontage at St.-Eloi was 600 to 1,000 yards, and the Germans' guns had hammered it for three weeks until the whole surface of the ground was uptorn. The Second Division occupied this area in the night of April 3, 1916. Brigadier General Ketchen and the Sixth Brigade took over the immediate front while the Fourth and Fifth Brigades were in reserve. The 27th (Winnipeg) Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Snider, held the right of the line to the 31st (Alberta) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Bell on the left. The 29th (Vancouver) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Tobin was in support of the 27th while the 28th (Northwest) under Lieutenant Colonel Embury was behind the craters and in the center, supporting the 31st with its left.

The Canadian communication trench from the right of the old British line broke out straight to the left, running east to meet the old original German firing trench at a spot that was known as Sackville Center. It was held by a company of the 27th under Lieutenant Wilson. To the left the line crossed the first of two roads that led to Wytschaete, which, running north and south, meet at St.-Eloi; here the front, after a stretch of fifty yards to the southeast, turned due east to Bathurst Butts near the second road, then bent abruptly north completing the salient by meeting the old German firing trench at Campbelltown Corner. This line was 540 yards in length, the few firing platforms facing the wrong way, the Third Division having failed to turn it about when they took the line. The two companies of the 27th shared the frontage. Machine guns were numerous along the line, and as they were constantly put out of action there were frequent calls for additional guns.

The relief was successfully carried out during the night of April 4, 1916. The British of the Sixty-first Brigade, Third British Division, who had been fighting for five days under heavy shell fire, were found to be in a thoroughly exhausted condition. (p. 343) To this badly hammered line the 27th (Winnipeg) and the 31st (Alberta) succeeded.

General Turner had made plans to make the position secure and tenable, but before they could be more than started the German advance checked further operations.

The working of evacuating the British wounded began in the morning, when the German guns were busy. Lieutenant McCaw's company held fast while the bombardment destroyed the greater part of their position and sixty-seven out of the ninety men present were killed or wounded. Captain Meredith of the 27th found that the position he was to occupy had been wiped out and it was only possible to find shelter for a few groups of bombers and his sentries in shell holes and behind improvised refuge barriers. It was necessary to send most of his men back while forty tried to hold a position where 200 were needed.

In the night of April 5-6, 1916, Captain Gwynn of the 29th Battalion took over Meredith's command from the left of the line while Lieutenant O'Brien of the same regiment relieved the 27th Company on the right.

Small parties of Germans during the night of the 5th, dashing through the Canadian artillery fire, had been steadily massing within striking distance on the front, while the battered 27th Battalion was being relieved.

The German artillery preparation began at 3 a. m. on April 6, 1916. Canadian officers around the telephone dugout discovered that the line was cut. The bombardment increased to a tornado of fire. Officers were unable to rejoin their units. To move even was certain death; while shell holes opened everywhere and trenches were shattered. The Sixth Canadian Brigade found that many of its rifle and machine guns had become clogged with mud and were useless. As day broke, the Germans were seen advancing up the Wytschaete road toward Sackville Center. Every Canadian gun was brought to bear, but the mud thrown up by the bombardment had put them out of action, and groups were too isolated to make a counterattack with the bayonet. Lieutenant Browne of the 22d French Canadians turned his Lewis (p. 344) gun on the Germans, but after a few of the enemy were shot down it went out of action. The Germans dashed by toward the craters in the rear, overpowering the small groups holding them. Two or three hundred Germans with machine guns held Craters 2 and 3, to the left of the Canadian position, and in the course of the day working to the left won Craters 4 and 5. The trench between Campbelltown Corner and the old British line became untenable, and while some got back to the original line, others occupied Craters 6 and 7. While here they were presently attacked by the Germans, who, however, gained nothing, being beaten off by Major Doughty of the 31st, who organized the defense. All this took place while the relief of the 27th was being completed, a time when there is always some confusion. Small parties found themselves in danger of being surrounded and retired toward Sackville Center and Fredericton Fort, where Captains Gwynn and Meredith were organizing the defense. The officers determined to hold on though under heavy machine-gun fire, and called on Colonel Snider, the nearest commanding officer, for help. The cover was poor, and many men fell. Lieutenant Jackson went out to discover the precise position of the enemy and returned with one private, eight others having been immediately killed. The Germans' fire on the communication trenches made it impossible for the Canadian command to move up supports, and believing the enemy was only a raiding party, hesitated to bombard for fear that more Canadians than Germans would be killed. Not until 5 o'clock on the 6th did General Kitchen learn that Craters 2 and 3 had been lost, when artillery fire was opened on Crater 2.

The trench mortars in the right-hand trenches were out of action, but some 18-pounders were brought up and turned on the enemy in Crater 2. A bombing and infantry attack from the north and northeast was prepared and the 28th Battalion was ordered to move up behind the center of the position and aid in the assault.

Parties of the 27th and 29th and machine-gun teams of the Fifth Brigade, struggling to reach the rallying point before Crater 1, lost heavily. Only one gun was brought out of action (p. 345) by Sergeant Naylor of the 24th. Parties of the 25th and 26th were never seen again. Lieutenant Browne of the 22d (French-Canadians) and a handful of men marched through the enemy line and after a hand-to-hand fight in an enemy trench reached Fredericton fort with only two men of his section alive.

Captains Meredith and Gwynn, who were defending Fredericton, held on for two hours longer, their men falling fast around them and were then forced to retire.

The Canadians had lost all the new line except a few outpost positions, and the remainder of the struggle was devoted to attempts to regain the lost ground and drive the Germans from the craters.

On the morning of April 6, 1916, when headquarters learned of the German attack, supports and reserves of the Sixth Brigade were ordered forward. Two companies of the 29th were by this time with the 27th in the old British trenches and the new Canadian line beyond. The 28th occupied Voormezeele in the support center line. The 18th (Western Ontario) under Lieutenant Colonel Wigle, and 21st (Eastern Ontario) under Lieutenant Colonel Hughes, were in reserve at Dickebush. Two counterattacks were made simultaneously. Right-of-the-line bombers of the 27th and 29th headed an assault on Craters 2 and 3. Bombers of the 28th and 31st Battalions from the left center of the line were to occupy Craters 4 and 5. The troops of these two regiments had to come up from behind St.-Eloi and the Germans turned a heavy barrage of fire on them. They were unfamiliar with the ground, and seeing the outlines of two craters before them assumed these were their objectives. No one knew at the time that the craters on the left were in German hands. The attack on Craters 2 and 3 met with such a sweeping machine-gun fire from the Germans that the attack had to be abandoned.

Canadian artillery bombarded the craters during the day, and it was decided to attack 4 and 5 (supposed to be Craters 2 and 3) in the evening of April 6, 1916. Soon after dark fifty or sixty Germans, who had been hiding all day in shell holes, suddenly attacked the 31st, but were swept away by a heavy fire and only a few escaped.

(p. 346) Later in the evening the 28th moved forward in parties to the support of the much-tried 31st Battalion, making a junction with Major Daly (21st) behind the craters held by the Canadians. They were ordered to assault and capture Craters 2 and 3, but actually advanced against Craters 4 and 5. The bombers under Lieutenant V. P. Murphy, supported by Captain Styles, established themselves near the hostile craters, but owing to the darkness and impassable mud, and the ground a mass of holes, further progress could not be made.

Daybreak on the 7th found the Canadian infantry occupying Craters 6 and 7, but no progress had been made against German positions. The attackers had lost their way or were worn out from exhaustion. Though the opposing forces were within forty yards of each other during the night they had never come to grips.

Orders continued to come up from the rear to capture the enemy's intrenchments at any cost, and while reenforcements went forward, in the conditions existing at the front they mysteriously vanished.

That night the Fourth Brigade began to come up to the relief. The Sixth Brigade had fought nobly for three days and nights, with casualties of 617 officers and men. The 27th had lost eight officers and 209 of its rank and file killed or wounded. The 31st came next with 180 casualties, then the 29th with a roll of 180 casualties, while the 28th lost 101. The brigade had achieved a glorious defeat.

The relief, which lasted over four nights, put the 21st instead of the 27th on the right in the trenches, the 18th replacing the 28th in the center support position, while the 19th took the place of the 31st on the left in the Canadian craters.

Before the relief was completed on the night of April 8-9, 1916, a new attack was made against Craters 2 and 3. Captain Miller of the 21st, leading the attack on the right, was wounded in the engagement. With a bombing party he had gained the edge of Crater 2 without being observed. Finding the crater too strongly held, an attack was not attempted until Lieutenant Brownlee and fifty men reenforced the party. By this time the Germans were (p. 347) alert and started such a heavy fire that only a fourth of the party succeeded in struggling back to the trench.

The assault on Crater 3 by the 18th was also a failure. Lieutenant Kerr, who led the party, was wounded, and the blasting German gunfire forced them to reoccupy the old British line, putting out an advanced post before it fifty yards from the German crater. There was great difficulty in getting in the wounded. Captain McKeough and Sergeants Richardson, Cunningham, and Bowie again and again dashed through the fire to bring in the casualties. Meanwhile the 19th Battalion was engaged in relieving the 31st in the Canadian craters. Majors Moors and Morrison (19th Battalion), who successively held this dangerous position, could accomplish little as the German Crater 5 dominated it. Attacks were made, but all failed. On the night of April 9, 1916, an assault was pushed with some success. Lieutenant Davidson (21st) and Lieutenant Brownlee with a strong party of bombers seized Crater 1 and pushed north to capture Crater 2 from the rear. Here they failed, but dug in close to its rim and consolidated the ground thus won.

The 19th Battalion continued to hold positions in the Canadian craters until relieved on the 12th. Among conspicuous acts of bravery at this time was that of Corporal A. F. Lynch, who went out and dragged in a machine gun the entire crew of which had been killed.

Attempts were repeatedly made to wrest the lost positions from the enemy, but all failed. On the night of April 11, 1916, the Fourth Brigade was relieved by the Fifth; their casualties were 14 officers and 389 men.

It was decided to reconstruct the old British line and hold fast to the two craters then in possession. The Fifth Brigade under General Watson began the work of reconstruction. The relief of the Fourth started on the 11th, and General Watson took over the line the next morning. By April 13, 1916, the relief was accomplished. The position taken over consisted of trenches and posts in the old British line, the Craters 6 and 7, advanced trenches in Crater 1, and Sackville center and outposts to the north. The work of consolidating this last position fell to the 24th (Victoria (p. 348) Rifles). In the night of April 14-15, 1916, Lieutenants Robertson and Duclos made two daring reconnoissances. Major Ross and Lieutenant Greenshields also went out on the same dangerous mission, gaining information that led to a strengthening of the posts in the old German trench leading to Crater 2, and the approaches to Crater 1. Brigadier General Watson saw the necessity of making over a strong front line, and this was carried out under heavy fire.

The Germans launched four successive bombing attacks on the night of the 14th which were repulsed by bombers under Lieutenant Farish, grenade officer of the 25th. After that, action merged into ordinary trench warfare though the artillery continued active. On the 16th the weather conditions enabled aeroplanes once more to carry out observations. Then it was discovered that Craters 4 and 5 were in German hands and Craters 6 and 7 held by the Canadians.

So heavy was the German fire on the Canadian craters during the succeeding days that the High Command considered abandoning them, but finally decided that they must be held at whatever cost. Brigade relieved brigade, and every effort was made to strengthen the positions.

Early in the morning on the 15th the Germans made a powerful bombing assault on Craters 6 and 7. Communications were broken and runners who tried to get through to the main position were killed or driven back. The 25th held on until relieved by parties of the 24th on the 16th. The relieving force immediately were called on to beat off another enemy attack.

At noon on April 17, 1916, the 24th Battalion was relieved by the 26th. The terrible strain to which the troops were subjected at this time necessitated that these, too, should have relief. The 26th were in turn relieved by the 29th Battalion of the Sixth Brigade in the night of April 18-19, 1916. On the next day the defense collapsed. Crater 6 was held by Lieutenant Myers and forty men on the left, and Lieutenant Biggs occupied Crater 7 on the right. The Germans shelled the crater so heavily in the afternoon that only a few of the defenders were left alive. Then the Germans advanced. Lieutenant Biggs appears to have allowed (p. 349) his few men to surrender, but Lieutenant Myers fought to the last. Five men who tried to get away across the fire-swept country escaped, though only one man was unwounded. They were the sole survivors of the garrison. All the others were killed or taken prisoner.

Thus the craters which the Canadians had clung to so long were lost. That they were untenable was the German view, for no attempts were made to occupy them. On the 20th Major Tait of the 29th on reconnoissance with a small party found Crater 6 demolished around the edges, and within a mass of mud full of dead bodies. No further efforts were made by the Canadians to reoccupy the position. Crater 1, which had been held throughout the fighting of the 19th, remained definitely in their hands.

On May 28, 1916, General Alderson took over new duties and was succeeded by General Sir Julian Byng, commander of the 3d (British) Cavalry.

When the storm broke on June 2, 1916, the struggle began southeast of Ypres, which lies in a depression, a ridge curving around southwest to Mount Sorrel.

From ruined Hooge, beyond a mile of green water meadows, Zouave Wood is seen running up one of the greatest gaps in the ridge. This gap isolates Hooge from the system and through it the Germans could view the British trenches in the plain. To the south the slopes are covered by Sanctuary Wood and crowned by Hills 61 and 62, and beyond Mount Sorrel completing the fighting area. Between Sanctuary Wood and Mount Sorrel is a bare tongue of higher ground, Observatory Ridge, running due west into the British positions toward Zillebeke village. Such was the position occupied by the Third Canadian Division on the first day of June, 1916, as viewed from the rear. They held the high ground, a plateau, and were determined to retain it.

The First Canadian Division was on the right of the Third. The Second Division was farther south at St.-Eloi, and was not called on until later in the action.

The left of the line was held by the Seventh Brigade under Brigadier General A. C. Macdonell and the right by the Eighth Brigade under Brigadier General Victor Williams. Two companies (p. 350) of the Royal Canadian Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Hill were astride the Menin road on the far side of Hooge, their left sloping down through bombing posts to link with the British at Bellewaarde Beek, their right in touch with the Princess Patricias at the gap under Lieutenant Colonel Buller. In the southern section of Sanctuary Wood they met the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles of the Eighth Brigade under Colonel Shaw holding Hills 61 and 62. Next on the right was the 4th Mounted Canadian Rifles under Colonel Ussher holding Mount Sorrel, where the Second Brigade of the First Division continued the line.

Back of the front line there was a support line left of the position. From the Menin road support line trenches extended southeast, held by the support company of the Princess Patricias and the Royal Canadian Regiment. Northeast of Maple Copse, and in the middle of Sanctuary Wood, the support line broke into two systems of trenches. A series of communication trenches broke abruptly back to Maple Copse and the southwest, forming an apex facing the enemy. From the apex the support line continued back of the Canadian front-line trenches on Hill 62 and Mount Sorrel. Fortified posts back of these covered the ground between Zouave Wood and the southern slopes of Observatory Ridge. A second line known as G. H. Q. nearer Ypres was the last defense.

The 5th Canadian Rifles support battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Baker held the fortified post on the north, the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles the post on the south. The Princess Patricias held one fort. Maple Copse was occupied by a company and a half of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, the 42d Battalion of Royal Highlanders and the remaining company of the Royal Canadian Regiment. The 49th Edmonton Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Griesbach was the reserve battalion of the Seventh Brigade, and the 2d Canadian Mounted Rifles of the Eighth.

The German offensive on June 2, 1916, was not unexpected, as for some days they had been driving "T" saps in front of their lines and linking them together to form advance trenches.

(p. 351) The German bombardment, which began about 8.30 a. m., surpassed anything of its kind the Canadians had faced since landing on the continent. A tornado of fire and steel swept defenses away. The defenders were slain, or wounded, or buried under débris. The generals and their staffs were caught in the storm. One of the first shells wounded Brigadier General Williams, who was later made a prisoner by the Germans. General Mercer was last seen encouraging his men, and his fate was not known until ten days later when his body, with both legs broken, was found in one of the side trenches. This gallant soldier was buried at Poperinghe, where many other brave Canadian soldiers lie.

The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles were swept away by the storm of fire, but afterward it was learned that some parties had escaped. The garrison holding the last trench on the right reached the lines of the Second Brigade when night fell.

The German advance was stubbornly resisted. Major Dennison fought a rear-guard action and got back to the second line with five men. The fortified post held by the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles was blown up. One garrison was wiped out, and only three men got away from the other post. Between thirty and forty men were rallied behind the support line. The casualties were 637.

The 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion on their left had also met with disaster. Their trenches were obliterated. The survivors retired to the apex, and some on battalion headquarters.

The German attack launched just after 1 o'clock was made in four successive lines from the southwest. Mount Sorrel was reached and the German left flank began clearing the way, when the center attacked the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Colonel Shaw in his redoubt found his right flank exposed, and was attacked on all sides. The garrison fought hard. Colonel Shaw fell and with him Major Palmer and Lieutenant Rowles. At last all the officers but two and most of the noncommissioned officers were killed and wounded. Lieutenants Key and Evans led fifteen survivors back to a fortified post before the apex where, with the help of stragglers, they held out until relieved the next day. The total casualties of the regiment were 367.

(p. 352) The Princess Patricias had two companies in the firing line, one in a communication trench leading up to it, and a fourth in the support-line trenches. They were the next to withstand the German assault. The company on the right hand in the firing line was blown from the trenches. The survivors retired to the communication trenches held by the support company. The German wave engulfed all the left except the front-line company under Captain Niven, which turned and volleyed into the German rear. The company held ground for eighteen hours fighting hard and with excellent results. Their casualties were heavy, but the enemy too was hard hit.

The Germans next attacked the Princess Patricias in the communication trenches, bombing their way along to the apex line then lightly held. Colonel Buller was killed while rallying the support platoons in the communication trench. A close and dreadful struggle ensued between Germans and Canadians in the communication trenches. The latter endeavored to build blocks down the communication trenches to hold the enemy from reaching the support line until it had been fully manned. The garrison of each block perished while a new one farther on was being built. They kept off the enemy long enough, however, for the reserve company to come up and the vital position was saved. Had the support line gone, the Ypres salient would have gone with it. Colonel Buller saved the day by holding on until General Macdonell could bring up his reserve.

Captain Niven meanwhile was clinging to the knoll of trenches in the front line to the northwest, threatened on all sides by the Germans. His right-hand platoon had been smashed by the bombardment and Lieutenant Haggerty was killed. Lieutenant Molson took over the command, but, being wounded, the section had to be abandoned. Lieutenants Triggs and Irwin, the latter the only remaining subaltern, were wounded later in the day. Captain Niven, though wounded, and the only officer remaining of his company, continued to command. All communication with the battalion was cut off, but some runners got through. At twilight Captain Niven gave up his command to Lieutenant Glascoe from headquarters, and after having his wound (p. 353) dressed returned to his company, only to be struck down by a bullet.

Lieutenant Glascoe, seeing the surviving party would soon be surrounded, brought away the remnant to the support line in safety. Lieutenant C. P. Cotton of the First Divisional Artillery in command of the gun crews serving two 18-pounders continued to fire upon the enemy coming over Observatory Ridge until they were within a few yards of the gun pits. Lieutenant Cotton and the gun crews fought to the last.

The attack spread to Hooge in the afternoon when the Royal Canadian Regiment repulsed two heavy attacks. But the Canadian position was still serious, for the Germans had smashed the front and support lines on the crest of the ridge and decimated the defenders. In strong force they now advanced on Observatory Ridge, into the heart of the Canadian position, and were also attacking farther north communication trenches leading to the support lines. The enemy had won the support trenches on Hill 62 and Mount Sorrel, and it was a matter of life and death for the Canadians to hold on to the support trenches to the apex and Maple Copse. The 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles offered a stout resistance, but their position and that of the Seventh Brigade was seriously imperiled, though General Macdonell was active pushing up reenforcements. Early in the afternoon the 5th Mounted Rifles were nearly blown out of Maple Copse. The Germans got into the support line on the left, and the Princess Patricias bayoneted a large number in a hand-to-hand struggle.

In the meantime the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade on the right was threatened by the enemy from the rear. They got as far as Armagh House, but were driven out by a patrol of the 5th Battalion. The 7th Battalion (British Columbia) was brought up to support the 5th Battalion.

The 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles held fast in Maple Copse, but their brave commander, Colonel Baker, was slain. The Royal Canadian Regiment still hung on to its position on the left. The center and support trenches behind were intact, the Princess Patricias and the 42d still held fast. Lieutenant Evans clung to (p. 354) the fortified post in front, and the Germans could not shell the Mounted Rifles out of Maple Copse. To the south the 5th Battalion of the First Division were in Square Wood and the front line leading to Hill 60.

The Canadians launched a counterattack at 7.10 a. m. on June 3, 1916. Major Stewart, formerly of the U. S. A., leading the 7th Battalion, was slain. The objective of the 7th, supported by the 10th, was to clear the enemy from the southern edge of Observatory Ridge and push on to Mount Sorrel. The attacks were vigorously pressed, but all broke down.

To the north the 15th Battalion attacked at 8.35 a. m. They were astride the ridge, but the ground in front offered no cover and they were forced to dig in just behind Rudkin House.

The 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment) went forward an hour after the first attack took place, and linked up with the 15th at Rudkin House.

The 49th and 60th on the extreme left were to attack through Sanctuary Wood. The 52d and 60th were caught in barrages and most of their senior officers were killed, and failed to arrive at the time fixed for the assault. The 60th eventually reached the position assigned in the support trenches and held the line all day under a withering fire.

The 49th in the apex and support line in Sanctuary Wood attacked at 7 a. m. Captain McNaughton and Lieutenant F. W. Scott and five other officers were killed, while eight officers were wounded. They advanced and established blocks in Sanctuary Wood, making the apex of the new front line comparatively safe from assault. By early evening of June 3, 1916, it was known that the counterattack had failed in its main objective. The Canadians had gained something by making good the line that ran continuously from the Menin road to Hill 60, and the danger that threatened on June 2, 1916, was now averted. But it was evident that the situation could not be left as it was and preparations to strike again were made by the High Command, which led to the fight for Hooge.

From the knoll of Hooge one can look down on Ypres, hence its importance. Advance trenches had been pushed to the east (p. 355) end of the village overlooking Bellewaarde Lake. On the left the ground slopes abruptly to Bellewaarde Beek, on the other side of which was the 60th Battalion. The line here was open to German attack from the higher ground.

The 28th Battalion went forward in the night of June 5-6, 1916, to relieve the Royal Canadian Regiment, an operation which was accomplished under heavy fire. At 7 a. m. on June 6, 1916, the Germans began a bombardment that lasted for seven hours when the assault on Hooge began. They knew the importance of Hooge, which must be captured if the new line was to be made complete and the Ypres salient broken. At 2 p. m. they exploded four mines under the Canadian front-line trenches. One company of the 28th perished and many of the remaining company were killed or wounded. Following the explosions the Germans occupied the trenches in Hooge and attacked the Sixtieth British Brigade opposite Bellewaarde Farm, but here they were repulsed. They next advanced down the Menin road. Captain Styles of the 28th had organized a defense in the support line and fortunately had numerous machine guns, and a number of enemy attacks were beaten off. About 4 p. m. the 31st in the support trenches were attacked and the enemy renewed their attempts in the evening through Zouave Wood. They lost heavily and gained nothing. But the Sixth Brigade had suffered, its casualties were 20 officers and 580 men. The village of Hooge was lost, and the road to Ypres lay open to the enemy.

Preparations were now made by the Canadian High Command for a general assault on the night of June 12-13, 1916. The Ninth British Brigade took over the St.-Eloi sector, releasing the Second Division to occupy ground in the north, while the First Division prepared for the attack. General Lipsett commanded the 1st, 3d, 7th, and 8th Battalions for the right attack. General Tuxford took command of the 2d, 4th, 13th, and 16th, while General Hughes remained as divisional reserve with the 5th, 10th, 14th, and 15th Battalions.

In the night of June 12, 1916, the German trenches were bombarded for four hours and at 1.30 a. m. the battalions advanced in three successive lines. All the battalions gained their objectives. (p. 356) The 16th reached Mount Sorrel on the right, the 16th Hill 62 in center, and the 13th the old lines to the north of this.

During the night of the 12th German positions had been heavily shelled and at 1.30 a. m. on the 13th, Lieutenant Colonel Allen led the 3d Toronto Battalion forward with the 1st in support, and captured the German first line. A fortified post in the enemy's hands was carried by assault, and the objective was won forty minutes after the action began. Colonel J. E. Leckie of the 16th Battalion (center attacked) had discovered an old trench 100 yards nearer their objective and two lines were passed up to the unmarked trench unknown to the enemy. The Germans were hemmed in front and rear before they learned of the presence of the Canadians. The two supporting lines did not have the same good fortune, but suffered heavily from shell fire as they climbed the parapet.

The second two waves of the 16th encountered strong resistance as they approached the German front line, and Captain Wood, an American army officer, was killed. The trench was taken and the defenders killed or made prisoners. A machine gun a short distance away, which gave the Canadians trouble, was silenced by Captain Bell-Irving, who dashed from the line and killed the gun crew. Line after line was carried. The 16th recaptured the heights, their old ground, and linked up with the 3d Battalion.

The 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) under Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan, after some bombing encounters, broke through to the north of Hill 62 and joined up with the 16th on the right. The 58th (Colonel Genet) had fought their way up the communication trenches and the circle from left to right was complete.

The First Division, through error caused by the dim light, occupied a trench that was fifty yards from their objective. Bombing posts were established down the German communication trenches, but the Germans did not attempt a counterattack. When the morning dawned at last, the Canadians were once more masters of the heights defending the Ypres salient.

(p. 357) The Canadians broke into the great Battle of the Somme on September 4, 1916, when the First Division relieved the Australians before Pozières and the men from overseas fought together for thirty-six hours. On September 15, 1916, the Eleventh Division (British) held the front flank in front of Thiepval, but the Second and Third Canadian Divisions shared in the general advance, pushing their line forward over the Pozières Ridge and down the slope to join the Fifteenth Scottish Division in Martinpuich on the right. All Canada was represented in this achievement. The capture of Courcelette was largely the work of the 22d Battalion of the Fifth Brigade French Canadians of the Second Division. The Third Canadian Division during the Courcelette operation was working upon the left flank of the Second, as it attacked the village, protecting it from enfilade attack. The Canadians brought back 1,300 prisoners.

This important victory was followed by a day of failure. The Third Division, still operating on the left of the Second, advanced to carry the Zollern Trench and Zollern Redoubt north of Courcelette. The Seventh and Ninth Brigades were in the attacking line, but the Seventh was held up. The Ninth was halted by a barbed-wire entanglement. The 60th (Montreal) and the 52d (New Ontario) lost 800 men between them and the operation was suspended.



During the early months of 1917 the Canadians, now forming a self-contained corps under the command of General Sir Julian Byng, continued on the front north of Arras where they soon were to win new glory in the Vimy-Lens sector. January, February, and March, 1917, saw no action of great importance, though many brilliant raids were carried out successfully by the various units of the Canadian corps. The chief work on hand at this time was careful training and (p. 358) preparation for the part the Canadians were to play in the Battle of Arras.

To them had been assigned the sector facing directly the menacing Vimy Ridge, a long, gradual slope with a maximum elevation of 450 feet. The four Canadian divisions were disposed in their numerical order with the First (Currie) on the right wing, in touch with the Fifty-first British Division, and the Fourth (Watson) on the left wing, in touch with the First British Corps. The center was held by the Second and Third Canadian Divisions (Burstall and Lipsett).

The infantry brigades were commanded by Brigadier Generals Garnet B. Hughes, C. M. G.; W. St. P. Hughes, D. S. O.; F. O. Loomis, D. S. O.; G. S. Tuxford, C. B., C. M. G.; Robert Rennie, C. M. G., M. V. O., D. S. O.; A. H. Macdonell, C. M. G., D. S. O.; A. C. Macdonell, D. S. O., C. M. G.; H. D. B. Ketchen, C. M. G.; J. H. Elmsley, D. S. O.; F. W. Hill, D. S. O.; Victor W. Odlum, D. S. O., and J. H. MacBrien, D. S. O.

At half past 5 on Easter Monday morning, April 9, 1917, the great attack was launched with terrible fire from massed artillery and from many field guns in hidden advance positions. The Canadian "heavies" bombarded the enemy positions on and beyond the ridge, and trenches, dugouts, emplacements, and roads, which for long had been kept in a continual state of disrepair by the Canadian fire, were now smashed to uselessness. An intense barrage of shrapnel from field guns, strengthened by the indirect fire of hundreds of machine guns, was laid along the front.

At the same moment the Canadian troops advanced in line, in three waves of attack. Flurries of snow drifted over the battle field as the Canadians left their jumping-off trenches behind the rolling barrage. The light was sufficient for maneuvering purposes and yet obscure enough to obstruct the range of vision and lessen the accuracy of fire of the German riflemen and machine-gunners.

The troops on the extreme left made a start under conditions as favorable as those in the center and right, but they were soon confronted by a strong and constantly strengthening opposition. (p. 359) The advance of these troops was soon checked between the first and second lines of objectives by heavy fighting, which was more formidable against the center of the line than against the flanks.

A dip in the ground caused a change of direction, which swung these troops off their central objectives. They reached their goals on the flanks, only to find themselves subjected to heavy, close-range fire of machine guns and rifles. To be enfiladed from the center and the north was bad enough, but to add to the situation, caves or a tunnel, in the hostile line over which we had already advanced, now disgorged Germans, who promptly reoccupied their old front and opened fire on the Canadian rear. The enemy at these points fought with unusual vigor and resolution.

These troops on the extreme left fought all day, and by 10 o'clock at night succeeded in disposing of the enemy in their rear and capturing the major portion of the enemy trenches in their center. "The Pimple," in the north, still remained to the enemy, but by then snow was falling heavily and it was wisely decided to consolidate the hard-won gains and prepare for a counterattack rather than to undertake a further assault that night. The "Pimple" would keep for the morrow.

In the meantime the other troops fought forward to one line after another without serious check, but with many brisk encounters and not without casualties. Most of these were the result of shrapnel fire, only a small percentage were fatal, and the majority of the wounds were of a minor character.

On the German second line the troops drew breath and consolidated their gains. The Canadian barrage was laid before them steady as a wall. Fresh troops came up and deployed into position. They waited for the barrage to lift at the ordained minute and lead them on. The enemy's artillery fire—their counterbarrage and bombardment of the Canadian gun positions—was not strong as strength in such things was considered in those days. Prisoners were already hurrying to the rear in hundreds, pathetically and often ludicrously grateful to the fortunes of war that had saved them alive for capture. They surrendered promptly and willingly.

(p. 360) The barrage lifted, and the two divisions on the right followed it forward to the German third line. Here again they paused for a time, then advanced again, behind the ever-ready and unslackening barrage, for a distance of about 1,200 yards. This advance included the capture of several villages, Hill 140, a number of fortified woods, and several trenches and belts of wire. And still the enemy surrendered by hundreds and scuttled rearward to safety. Their resistance grew feebler, their hands more eager to relinquish their weapons and ascend high above their heads at each stage of the Canadian advance.

At 10 o'clock snow fell heavily from black clouds sweeping low across the ridge. Half an hour later the snow ceased, the clouds thinned, and the sun shone fitfully over the shattered and clamorous battle field. Word was received at the advanced headquarters that the British division on the immediate right was enjoying a degree of success in its operations equal to the Canadian success.

Events continued to develop with rapidity and precision. By 1 o'clock in the afternoon every point in the enemy's third line of the Canadian objectives had been reached and secured. By this time the troops on the right had consolidated their gains and advanced strong patrols. From their new positions they commanded a wide view of enemy territory to the eastward. They reported a massing of Germans on a road in the new field of vision, and heavy guns immediately dealt with the matter. By noon one of the battalions of a division had received and dealt drastically with three counterattacks. Its front remained unshaken. Shortly after this the Canadian corps was able to state that the prisoners already to hand numbered 3 battalion commanders, 15 other officers, and more than 2,000 noncommissioned officers and men—with plenty more in sight—making for the "cages" as fast as their legs would carry them.

The final stage of the attack of the troops on the right was now made. They passed through the wide belts of enemy wire which fringed the plateau by way of wide gaps torn by our heavy artillery at fixed intervals. So they issued on the eastern slopes of Vimy Ridge—the first Allied troops to look down upon the (p. 361) level plain of Douai since the German occupation in 1914. They saw the villages of Farbus, Vimy, and Petit Vimy at their feet, and beyond these the hamlets of Willerval, Bailleul, Oppy, and Mericourt. They pressed on to Farbus Wood and Goulot Wood, and possessed themselves of several hostile batteries and much ammunition.

By an early hour of the afternoon all the Canadian objectives save those of the left of the attack had been gained and the task of consolidating and strengthening these gains was well in hand. Throughout the day the most courageous and devoted cooperation was rendered to the Canadian corps by a brigade and a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.

The night saw all of Vimy Ridge, with the exception of a few trenches on Hill 145, secure in Canadian hands.

During the next two days the Canadians, greatly hampered by dreadful weather, consolidated their new positions. When this had been accomplished, operations were again resumed.

Attacks were delivered simultaneously at 5 A. M. on April 12, 1917, by English and Canadian troops against the two small hills known as "The Pimple," and the Bois-en-Hache, situated on either side of the Souchez River. Both of these positions were captured, with a number of prisoners and machine guns. Steps were at once taken to consolidate these gains and patrols were pushed forward to maintain touch with the enemy.

The results of this last success at once declared themselves. Prior to its accomplishment there had been many signs that the enemy was preparing to make strong counterattacks from the direction of Givenchy and Hirondelle Woods to recover the Vimy Ridge. The positions captured on April 12, 1917, commanded both these localities, and he was therefore compelled to abandon the undertaking. His attitude in this neighborhood forthwith ceased to be aggressive, and indications of an immediate withdrawal from the areas commanded by the Vimy Ridge multiplied rapidly.

The withdrawal commenced on the morning of April 13, 1917. Before noon on that day Canadian patrols had succeeded in occupying the southern portion of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, had pushed (p. 362) through Petit Vimy, and had reached the crossroads 500 yards northeast of the village. That afternoon English patrols north of the Souchez River crossed no-man's-land and entered Angres, while Canadian troops completed the occupation of Givenchy-en-Gohelle and the German trench system east of it. Farther south other troops seized Petit Vimy and Vimy, and Willerval and Bailleul were occupied in turn.

For the next two weeks these gains were maintained without any further attempt to extend them.

In the meantime a great French offensive had been launched on the Aisne and in Champagne and, in order to assist their allies, the British had decided to resume their operations at Arras. The British Commander in Chief, Sir Douglas Haig, in his report describes the participation of the Canadians in these operations as follows:

"The first of these attacks was delivered on the 28th of April, 1917, on a front of about eight miles north of Monchy-le-Preux. With a view to economizing my troops, my objectives were shallow, and for a like reason, and also in order to give the appearance of an attack on a more imposing scale, demonstrations were continued southward to the Arras-Cambrai road and northward to the Souchez River.

"The assault was launched at 4.25 a. m. by British and Canadian troops and resulted in heavy fighting, which continued throughout the greater part of the 28th and 29th of April, 1917. The enemy delivered counterattack after counterattack with the greatest determination and most lavish expenditure of men. Our positions at Gavrelle alone were again attacked seven times with strong forces, and on each occasion the enemy was repulsed with great loss.

"In spite of the enemy's desperate resistance, the village of Arleux-en-Gohelle was captured by Canadian troops after bitter hand-to-hand fighting, and English troops made further progress in the neighborhood of Oppy, on Greenland Hill, and between Monchy-le-Preux and the Scarpe. In addition to these advances, another 1,000 German prisoners were taken by us in the course of the two days' fighting.

(p. 363) "Five days later, at 3.45 a. m. on the 3d of May, 1917, another attack was undertaken by us of a similar nature to that of the 28th of April, 1917, which in the character of the subsequent fighting it closely resembled.

"In view of important operations which the French were to carry out on the 5th of May, 1917, I arranged for a considerable extension of my active front. While the Third and First Armies attacked from Fontaine-les-Croisilles to Fresnoy, the Fifth Army launched a second attack upon the Hindenburg line in the neighborhood of Bullecourt. This gave a total front of over sixteen miles.

"Along practically the whole of this front our troops broke into the enemy's positions. Australian troops carried the Hindenburg line east of Bullecourt, Eastern county battalions took Chérisy. Other English troops entered Roeux and captured the German trenches south of Fresnoy. Canadian battalions found Fresnoy full of German troops assembled for a hostile attack, which was to have been delivered at a later hour. After hard fighting, in which the enemy lost heavily, the Canadians carried the village, thereby completing an unbroken series of successes.

"Later in the day, strong hostile counterattacks once more developed, accompanied by an intense bombardment with heavy guns. Fierce fighting lasted throughout the afternoon and far into the night, and our troops were obliged to withdraw from Roeux and Chérisy. They maintained their hold, however, on Fresnoy and the Hindenburg line east of Bullecourt, as well as upon certain trench elements west of Fontaine-les-Croisilles and south of the Scarpe.

"Early in May, 1917, local attacks had been undertaken by Canadian troops in the neighborhood of the Souchez River, which formed the prelude to a long-sustained series of minor operations directed against the defense of Lens. Substantial progress was made in this area on June 5 and 19, 1917, and five days later North Midland troops captured an important position on the slopes of a small hill southwest of Lens, forcing the enemy to make a considerable withdrawal on both sides of the river. (p. 364) Canadian troops took La Coulotte on June 26, 1917, and by the morning of June 28, 1917, had reached the outskirts of Avion.

"On the evening of June 28, 1917, a deliberate and carefully thought-out scheme was put into operation by the First Army to give the enemy the impression that he was being attacked on a twelve-mile front from Gavrelle to Hulluch.

"Elaborate demonstrations were made on the whole of this front, accompanied by discharges of gas, smoke and thermit, and a mock raid was successfully carried out southeast of Loos. At the same time real attacks were made, with complete success, by English troops on a front of 2,000 yards opposite Oppy, and by Canadian and North Midland troops on a front of two and a half miles astride the Souchez River. All objectives were gained, including Eleu dit Leauvette and the southern half of Avion, with some 300 prisoners and a number of machine guns."

In the meantime the commander of the Canadian corps, General Sir Julian Byng, early in June, 1917, had been promoted to the command of one of the British armies. On June 19, 1917, Major General Sir Arthur Currie, who only a short time before had been knighted by King George on the battle field of Vimy, was gazetted as the new commander of the Canadian corps and in July was promoted to the rank of Major General. He was succeeded in the command of the first Canadian Division by Major General A. C. Macdonell. Sir Arthur Currie had a most distinguished career. Having joined the Canadian militia as early as 1895 as a private, he had gradually worked up his way to the command of the Fifth British Columbia Regiment of Garrison Artillery. In 1914 he was given command of a brigade for active service, and in 1915 was promoted to the command of the First Canadian Division, showing in all his commands exceptional military capacity.

In the middle of August, 1917, the Canadians again became active in the Lens sector. A highly successful operation was carried out in the neighborhood of Lens, whereby the situation of the forces in that sector was greatly improved. At the same time the threat to Lens itself was rendered more immediate and more insistent and the enemy was prevented from concentrating (p. 365) the whole of his attention and resources upon the front of the British main offensive.

At 4.25 a. m. on August 15, 1917, the Canadian corps attacked on a front of 4,000 yards southeast and east of Loos. The objectives consisted of the strongly fortified hill known as Hill 70, which had been reached but not held in the battle of Loos on September 25, 1915, and also the mining suburbs of Cité Ste.-Élizabeth, Cité St.-Emile, and Cité St.-Laurent, together with the whole of Bois Rase and the western half of Bois Hugo. The observation from Hill 70 had been very useful to the enemy, and its possession materially increased the British command over the defenses of Lens.

Practically the whole of these objectives was gained rapidly at light cost and in exact accordance with plan. Only at the farthest apex of the advance a short length of German trench west of Cité St.-Auguste resisted the first assault. This position was again attacked on the afternoon of the following day and captured after a fierce struggle lasting far into the night.

A number of local counterattacks on the morning of August 15, 1917, were repulsed, and in the evening a powerful attack delivered across the open by a German reserve division was broken up with heavy loss. In addition to the enemy's other casualties, 1,120 prisoners from three German divisions were captured by the Canadians.

Then came a period of well-deserved rest, not lacking, of course, in plenty of drill and training for the battle-weary Canadians. On October 23, 1917, the corps began its move to the north to participate in the Battle of Passchendaele. Before long the Canadians were again in the thick of the fighting.

At an early hour on the morning of October 26, 1917, in spite of heavy rain, English and Canadian troops attacked on a front extending from the Ypres-Roulers railway to beyond Poelcappelle.

The Canadians attacked on the right on both sides of the small stream known as the Ravebeek, which flows southwestward from Passchendaele. On the left bank of the stream they advanced astride the main ridge and established themselves securely on (p. 366) the small hill south of Passchendaele. North of the Ravebeek strong resistance was met on the Bellevue Spur, a very strong point, which had resisted all efforts in previous attacks. With splendid determination the Canadians renewed their attack on this point in the afternoon and captured it. Two strong counterattacks south and west of Passchendaele were beaten off, and by nightfall the Canadians had gained practically the whole of their objectives.

At this time the need for the policy of activity adopted by the British had been still further emphasized by recent developments in Italy. Additional importance was given to it by the increasing probability that a time was approaching when the enemy's power of drawing reenforcements from Russia would increase considerably. In pursuance of this policy, therefore, two short advances were made on the 30th of October and the 6th of November, 1917, by which possession of Passchendaele was gained.

In the first operation Canadian and English troops attacked at 5:50 a. m. on a front extending from the Ypres-Roulers railway to the Poelcappelle-Westroosebeke road.

On the right the Canadians continued their advance along the high ground and reached the outskirts of Passchendaele, capturing an important position at Crest Farm on a small hill southwest of the village. Fighting was severe at all points, but particularly on the spur west of Passchendaele. Here no less than five strong counterattacks were beaten off in the course of the day, the Canadians being greatly assisted by the fire of captured German machine guns in Crest Farm.

During the succeeding days small advances were made by night southwest of Passchendaele, and a hostile attack on both sides of the Ypres-Roulers railway was successfully repulsed.

At the left is Major General Sir Archibald Cameron Macdonell, who commanded the Canadian First Division in 1917 and 1918; at the right is Major General Sir Henry Edward Burstall, who commanded the Canadian Corps Artillery, and later the Second Canadian Division.

At 6 a. m. on the 6th of November, 1917, Canadian troops renewed their attack and captured the village of Passchendaele, together with the high ground immediately in the north and northwest. Sharp fighting took place for the possession of "pill boxes" in the northern end of the village, around Mosselmarkt, and on the Goudberg Spur. All objectives were gained at an early (p. 367) hour, and at 8.50 a. m. a hostile counterattack north of Passchendaele was beaten off.

Over 400 prisoners were captured in this most successful attack, by which, for the second time within the year, Canadian troops achieved a record of uninterrupted success. Four days later, in extremely unfavorable weather, British and Canadian troops attacked northward from Passchendaele and Goudberg, and captured further ground on the main ridge after heavy fighting.



During the last year of the war in France and Belgium there were about 160,000 Canadians at the front, including an army corps of four infantry divisions of 80,000 men under command of Sir Arthur Currie; a cavalry brigade, 3,000 strong, under General Seely, and, after the middle of the year, Brigadier General R. W. Paterson, D. S. O.; numerous and effectively organized lines of communication units, railway, forestry, engineer, medical, ambulance, sanitary, veterinary, dental, salvage, and other services. The divisional commanders of the infantry were as follows: Major General Sir A. C. Macdonell, K. C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O., First Division; Major General Sir H. E. Burstall, K. C. B., C. M. G., Second Division; Major General F. O. Loomis, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O., Third Division; Major General Sir David Watson, K. C. B., C. M. G., Fourth Division. Headquarters officials included Brigadier General R. J. L. Hayter, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General G. J. Farmer, and Major General W. B. Lindsay, C. M. G., D. S. O.; the artillery commander was Major General E. W. B. Morrison, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O., and his five divisional corps commanders were Brigadier Generals H. C. Thacker, C. M. G., D. S. O.; H. A. Panet, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O.; J. S. Stewart, C. M. G., D. S. O.; W. B. M. King, C. M. G., D. S. O.; W. O. H. Dodds, (p. 368) C. M. G.; the Machine-Gun Corps was commanded by Brigadier General R. Brutinel, C. M. G., D. S. O., and the Canadian representative at General Headquarters was Brigadier General J. F. L. Embury, C. M. G., D. S. O.; the Railway Troops were led by Brigadier General J. W. Stewart, C. B., C. M. G., and the Army Medical Services by Brigadier General A. T. Ross, C. B., C. M. G.; the Siberian Expeditionary Force was commanded by Major General J. H. Elmsley, C. B., C. M. G., and Brigadier General H. C. Bickford, C. M. G. The Infantry Brigade commanders in France and Flanders were as follows: Brigadier General W. A. Griesbach, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford, C. B., C. M. G.; Brigadier General George F. McCuaig, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General T. L. Tremblay, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General Alex. Ross, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General J. A. Clark, D. S. O.; Brigadier General D. C. Draper, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General D. M. Ormond, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General J. M. Ross, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General Victor W. Odlum, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O.; Brigadier General J. H. MacBrien, C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O.

After the Battle of Passchendaele the Canadian Corps was assigned to a part of the front where it had won immortal glory early in 1917—the Vimy sector. From January 1 to March 21, 1918, the corps held a front of some 13,000 yards from Hill 70 to Acheville, slightly east of a line drawn between Loos and Vimy.

This front was divided into five sections: Hill 70, St.-Emile, Lens, Avion, and Mericourt. The corps now settled down to the routine of trench warfare. Lieutenant General Sir A. W. Currie, of course, was in command. His dispositions provided that three of the divisions held the line while one was resting and training in reserve. Each of the divisions had approximately one month out of the line. This arrangement allowed the divisions to absorb more quickly the fresh drafts and to train rapidly the new officers and N. C. O's.

The Canadians were no strangers to this sector. Having wrested it from the enemy in April, 1917, in the Battle of Vimy and subsequent actions, they had held it practically ever since, except for the short interval late in 1917 when they fought the (p. 369) Battle of Passchendaele. It had been considerably improved by comprehensive defenses and complete systems of trench railways, roads, and water supply were in operation.

The great importance of this particular sector arose from the fact that behind Vimy Ridge lay the northern collieries of France and certain tactical features which covered the British lateral communication. "Here," as the British Commander in Chief said in one of his reports, "little or no ground could be given up."

A comparatively shallow advance beyond the Vimy Ridge would have stopped the operation of the collieries, paralyzing the production of war material in France, as well as inflicting very severe hardships on the already sorely tried population. In conjunction with the shortage of shipping, which practically forbade an increase in the importation of coal from England, the loss of the northern collieries might have definitely crippled France. On the other hand, a deep penetration at that point, by bringing the Amiens-Bethune railway and main road under fire, would have placed the British army in a critical position, by threatening to cut it in two and by depriving it of vital lateral communication.

The tactical and strategical results to be gained by a moderate success at that point were so far-reaching in effect that, notwithstanding the natural difficulties confronting an attack on that sector, it was fully expected that the German offensive would be directed against this the central part of the British front.

With the prospect of a German offensive now confronting the Canadians, it was decided that the defenses should be revised, to take advantage of the lessons recently learned and to embody the latest methods. Moreover, instructions had been issued by the First Army defining the policy of defense to be adopted and the methods to be followed.

The completion of the revised corps defenses and the execution of the new army program resulted in the organization of a very deep defended area, consisting of successive defensive systems, roughly parallel to the general line of the front and linked together by switch lines sited to protect both flanks.

(p. 370) As planned, the main framework of the defense in depth was based upon machine-gun positions, protected by belts of wire entanglements so placed, in relation to the field of fire of the machine guns, that they were enfiladed over their entire length. The whole area was compartmented in such a way that the loss of ground at any one point could be localized, and would not cause a forced retirement from adjoining areas.

Machine-gun emplacements of the Champagne type were constructed, and dugout accommodation for the machine-gun detachments was provided in the deep tunnels of these emplacements.

This framework was completed as rapidly as possible by trenches and by defended localities organized for all-round defense.

A great many dugouts were made to accommodate the garrisons of these localities, and for dressing stations and battle headquarters. Advantage was taken of the possibility of utilizing the subways tunneled in 1916-17 for the attack on Vimy Ridge, and in addition steps were taken to create an obstacle on the southern flank of Vimy Ridge by the construction of dams to enable the valley of the Scarpe to be flooded as required. Trial inundations were made to insure the smooth working of these arrangements.

A great deal of care was given to the distribution of the artillery in relation to the policy of defense. Three systems of battery positions were built so as to distribute the guns in depth and sited so as to cover the ground to the northeast, east, and south, in case the flanks of the corps should be turned. These batteries were protected with barbed-wire entanglements and machine-gun positions against a sudden penetration of the enemy, and they were designed to become the natural rallying points of infantry in this eventuality.

Successive lines of retirement were also prepared, battery positions were selected, organized, and marked, cross-country tracks were opened up, and observation posts, echeloned in depth, were located and wired in.

On Vimy Ridge alone seventy-two new battery positions were built and stacked with ammunition; these positions could be used (p. 371) either for the distribution of the corps artillery in depth, or as positions which reenforcing artillery could immediately take up in the event of a heavy attack.

The weather being much finer during the months of January, February, and March, 1918, than is generally the case, very good progress was made, and the following defensive works were completed in rear of the main front-line defensive system:

In addition to the above, existing trench systems, dugouts, gun positions, and machine-gun emplacements were strengthened and repaired. Each trench system was plentifully marked with signboards and many open machine-gun positions were sited and marked.

Machine-gun positions, defended localities, and certain portions of trenches were stored with several days' supply of ammunition, food, and water for the use of the garrisons.

The front held remained comparatively quiet during January, 1918, and, except for minor patrolling encounters and occasional shoots, nothing beyond the usual activity ever prevailing on a front held by this corps occurred.

In the months of February and March, 1918, little or no work was being done by the enemy on his actual defenses, but roads and disused trench railways were being repaired. In the rear areas his ammunition and engineer supply dumps were increasing in number and in size, while fresh battery positions were appearing almost daily. Furthermore, hostile aircraft and anti-aircraft guns were very active in preventing reconnoissance by British aeroplanes.

Early in March, 1918, it was considered that the enemy's front was ready for offensive operations. No concentration of troops had been observed, but the numerous towns and villages in close proximity to the front provided extensive accommodation and made it possible for him to conceal such concentrations. Conditions so favorable to the Germans required relentless vigilance on the part of the Corps Intelligence Organization, as the Canadians (p. 372) were dependent on the efficiency of this branch of the service for timely warning against surprise attacks.

In addition to the preparation above mentioned the enemy assumed early in February, 1918, a very aggressive attitude, raiding the Canadian lines very frequently, using for the purpose specially trained storm troops. His destructive shoots and intense gas shelling were also of frequent occurrence. To quell this activity, numerous counter-raids, retaliation shoots, and gas projections were carried out, and especially in the Lens sector soon had the desired effect.

Prisoners captured in Canadian raids stated that all their divisions had been brought up to strength and were undergoing hard training in the tactics of semiopen warfare. They stated, or left it to be understood, that the forthcoming German attacks were based on a very deep initial penetration and the rapid exploitation of success. No indications were given as to the points at which attacks would be launched, but they stated that every one of their sectors was prepared and practically ready. It was also definitely established that the enemy reserve divisions were kept near railways, ready to be moved quickly to the parts of the front selected for the coming drive.



On March 21, 1918, the Germans launched a violent attack against the Fifth and Third British Armies. The battle resulting from this attack, known as the Battle of Amiens, did not involve directly the majority of the Canadian Corps. The latter on that date was disposed as follows: Third Canadian Division (Major General L. J. Lipsett), in the line, Mericourt-Avion sections; Fourth Canadian Division (Major General Sir D. Watson), in the line, Lens-St.-Emile sections; First Canadian Division (Major General Sir A. C. Macdonell), in the line, Hill (p. 373) 70 section; Second Canadian Division (Major General Sir H. E. Burstall), resting, Auchel area.

In the afternoon orders were received to take over the front of the Sixty-second Division (Thirteenth Corps) in the Acheville sector. The Second Canadian Division, then in reserve, was at first chosen to execute this order. But when, somewhat later, the Canadian Corps was instructed to keep one complete division in reserve, this order was canceled, and instead the Third Canadian Division was ordered to execute its frontage by relieving the Sixty-second Division in the Acheville-Arleux sector, making the total Canadian front 17,000 yards.

In the evening of March 22, 1918, the Hill 70 sector, then held by the First Canadian Division, was taken over by the Fourth, extending the latter's frontage, while the former was placed in reserve.

Late that night General Headquarters ordered the withdrawal of the First Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade (Lieutenant Colonel W. K. Walker) from the Vimy sector. This unit, the next morning, moved south to the support of the Fifth Army, and by midnight of March 23, 1918, having traveled over 100 miles during the day, all batteries were in action on a thirty-five-mile front east of Amiens.

Under orders of the Fifth and later of the Fourth Army, it was ordered to fight a rear-guard action to delay the advance of the enemy and to fill dangerous gaps on the army fronts. For nineteen days this unit was continuously in action north and south of the Somme, fighting against overwhelming odds. Using to the utmost its great mobility, it fought over 200 square miles of territory. It is difficult to appraise in its correct extent the influence—material and moral—that the forty machine guns of this unit had in the events which were then taking place. The losses suffered amounted to about 75 per cent of the trench strength of the unit, and to keep it in being throughout that fighting, reenforcements by personnel of the infantry branch of the Canadian Machine-Gun Corps were authorized.

On the 23d, at 10.50 a. m., the Second Canadian Division was ordered to concentrate at once west of Arras in the Mont St.-Eloi (p. 374) area, and having carried this out, passed into General Headquarters reserve.

The First Canadian Division was moved by busses to Couturelle area, embussing at about midnight, March 27, 1918. At dawn, March 28, 1918, the enemy struck heavily astride the river Scarpe, and the First Canadian Division was ordered at 10.30 a. m. to retain the busses by which they had moved south and to move back to the Arras-Bainville area at once, coming there under orders of the Seventeenth Corps.

This move was very difficult, because some busses had already been sent back to the Park, many units were still en route to the Couturelle area, and the mounted units and transport were in column on the road Hauteville-Saulty-Couturelle. The division, however, extricated itself, and on the night of the 28th, under orders of the Seventeenth Corps, placed two battalions in the forward area in support of the Forty-sixth Infantry Brigade, Fifteenth Division. At daybreak on the 29th the Third Canadian Infantry Brigade moved to support the Fifteenth Division, and during the night of the 29th and 30th the First Canadian Brigade relieved the Forty-sixth Infantry Brigade in the Telegraph Hill sector, that brigade front being transferred from the Fifteenth Division to the First Canadian Division on March 30, 1918.

The Second Canadian Division passed under orders of the Sixth Corps on March 28, 1918, and moved forward in support of the Third British Division in the Neuville-Vitasse sector. On the night of March 29-30, 1918, it relieved the Third British Division in the line, and on the night of March 31-April 1, 1918, extended its front southward by relieving the left battalion of the Guards Division.

The front held by the Second Canadian Division extended from south of the Cojeul River, east of Boisleux St.-Marc, to the southern slopes of Telegraph Hill (where it joined with the First Canadian Division), a total length of about 6,000 yards. The Second Canadian Division held this front for an uninterrupted period of ninety-two days, during which time it repulsed a series of local attacks and carried out no less than 27 raids, capturing 3 officers, 101 other ranks, 22 machine guns, 2 trench mortars, (p. 375) and inflicting severe casualties on the enemy. The aggressive attitude adopted by this division at such a critical time and under adverse conditions had a most excellent effect and it certainly reduced to the lowest point the fighting value of two German divisions, namely, the Twenty-sixth Reserve Division and the One Hundred and Eighty-fifth Division. The Second Canadian Division returned under the orders of the Canadian corps on July 1, 1918.

The Third Canadian Division had been attached on March 27, 1918, to the Thirteenth Corps. Thus, under pressure of circumstances, the unity of command of the Canadian divisions had been destroyed. They were now attached to two different armies (First and Third) and under command of three different corps (Sixth, Seventeenth, and Thirteenth).

On March 28, 1918, the Germans launched a very heavy attack in the Arras sector from Gavrelle to Puisieux. The Third, Fifteenth, Fourth, and Fifty-sixth British Divisions successfully repulsed this offensive.

The attack was renewed in the afternoon, north of the Scarpe, on the front of the Fifty-sixth Division, but did not there meet with greater success. A certain amount of ground had, however, been captured by the enemy.

The renewed attack on the Fifty-sixth Division had considerably lowered its power of resistance. German prisoners captured in the morning were insistent that the attack would be renewed again on the 29th, by storm troops which had been held in reserve for the purpose of capturing the Vimy Ridge by attacking it from the south. It was most urgent that the Fifty-sixth Division should be supported without delay.

On March 28, 1918, the Fourth Canadian Division, then holding the Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sector, was relieved by the Forty-sixth British Division, First Corps, and in turn relieved the Fifty-sixth British Division in the Oppy-Gavrelle sector.

On the completion of this relief the Canadian Corps was to relieve the Thirteenth Corps, and General Sir Currie again assumed command of the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions.

(p. 376) In the meantime all the battalions which the Fourth Canadian Divisions could spare were to be sent at once by the quickest way to the support of the Fifty-sixth Division.

The Fourth Canadian Division, therefore, immediately organized a Composite Brigade, under Brigadier General V. W. Odlum, consisting of the three reserve battalions of the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Brigades, and the support battalions of the Eleventh and Twelfth Brigades. This Composite Brigade was moved in haste by light railway and lorry to the vicinity of Mont St.-Eloi, from whence it marched into reserve positions during daylight on the 28th.

On the night of the 28th-29th the units of the Fifty-sixth Division which had been most heavily engaged were relieved by these five Canadian battalions, which came under orders of the Third Canadian Division.

It was not until about 10.00 p. m., on the night of the 28th-29th, that the leading troops of the Forty-sixth Division arrived and began to relieve the Fourth Canadian Division.

In view of the seriousness of the situation, units of the Fourth Canadian Division were moved, as the relief progressed, by lorry and light railway to Neuville St.-Vaast, and marched quickly into the line to relieve the elements of the Fifty-sixth Division.

The situation of the Canadian divisions at noon, March 30, 1918, after some other readjustments had been carried into effect, was as follows:

Third Army. Under Sixth Corps—Second Canadian Division: Neuville-Vitasse sector. Under Seventeenth Corps—First Canadian Division: Telegraph Hill sector.

First Army. Under Canadian Corps—Third Canadian Division: Acheville-Mericourt-Avion sector. Under Canadian Corps—Fourth Canadian Division: Gavrelle-Oppy sector.

On April 7, 1918, the First Canadian Division relieved the Fourth British Division astride the Scarpe and came under orders of Canadian Corps; the army boundaries being altered so as to include the sector taken over by the First Canadian Division in the First Army front.

(p. 377) In the meantime, on the night of March 28th-29th, 1918, owing to operations astride the river Scarpe, the front-line system had been abandoned under orders of the Thirteenth Corps and the troops withdrawn to the Blue line in front of the Bailleul-Willer-val-Chaudière-Hirondelle line, as far north as the Mericourt sector.

This Blue line was originally sited and constructed as an intermediate position, and consisted in most parts of a single trench none too plentifully supplied with dugouts. This meant that until a support line was dug and made continuous the troops had to be kept in strength in the front line, subject to heavy casualties from hostile shelling and to probable annihilation in case of an organized attack.

Any advance beyond the Blue line on the Fourth Canadian Division front would have brought the Germans within assaulting distance of the weakest part of the Vimy Ridge, and the severity of the shelling seemed to indicate that a renewal of their attacks was probable.

Every effort was made to give more depth to the new front-line system by pushing forward a line of outposts and by digging a continuous support line, as well as by constructing reserve lines at certain points of greater tactical importance. Switch lines facing south were also sited and dug or improved.

To increase the depth of the defenses, machine-gun detachments were extemporized by borrowing men from the machine-gun battalions, who had then completed their organization on an eight-battery basis. Some fifty extra machine guns were secured from ordnance and other sources, and also a number of extra Lewis guns.

Personnel from the Canadian Light Horse and the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion were organized in Lewis and Hotchkiss gun detachments and sent forward to man the defenses in Vimy and Willerval localities, under orders of the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions.

The machine-gun companies of the Fifth Canadian Division had arrived in France on March 25, 1918, and in view of the extreme urgency of the situation the personnel and armament (p. 378) had been moved by lorries, sent specially by Canadian Corps, from Le Havre to Verdrel, where they were in corps reserve.

Their horse transport having now arrived, these machine-gun companies (Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth) were moved to the Vimy Ridge and allotted definite positions of defense on March 30, 1918.

The front held by the Canadian Corps on April 8, 1918, was approximately 16,000 yards in length. It will be remembered that the Second Canadian Division under the Sixth Corps (Third Army) was holding 6,000 yards of front, making a total of 22,000 yards of front held by Canadian troops.

On April 9, 1918, the Germans attacked on the Lys front between La Bassée and Armentières. Making rapid progress, they crossed the Lys River on the 10th, and on the following days advanced west of Merville-Bailleul. They were well held at Givenchy by the Fifty-fifth Division and their attack made no progress southward.

The Canadian Corps was not involved in this fighting, but it now found itself in a deep salient, following with anxiety the development of the Battle of the Lys.

The Battle of the Lys added a new burden to the already sorely tried British Army, and it was imperative that troops should at once be made available to stop the German advance.

On the 10th, the Canadian front was extended by taking over from the First Corps the line held by the Forty-sixth Division (Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sector). This relief was commenced on April 11, 1918, and completed on the night of the 12th-13th by the Third Canadian Division; concurrently with it, the inter-divisional boundaries were readjusted and the artillery redistributed to meet as well as possible the new conditions.

The front held by the three divisions then in the Canadian Corps had a length of approximately 29,000 yards, and of necessity the line was held very thinly and without much depth.

To deceive the enemy regarding their dispositions and intentions, the Canadians adopted a very aggressive attitude. The artillery constantly harassed the enemy's forward and rear areas (p. 379) and the infantry penetrated his line at many points with strong fighting patrols and bold raiding parties. Gas was also projected on numerous occasions. This activity on the immediate flank of the Lys salient greatly perturbed the enemy, who gave many indications of nervous uncertainty.

The situation was critical, and extensive steps were taken at once to increase the ability of the Canadian Corps to withstand hostile attacks.

The success of the German offensive emphasized the need of greater depth for defensive dispositions, which depend very largely on the stopping power of the machine gun. Unfortunately the number of machine guns with a division was inadequate to give the required depth of defense on a front exceeding 4,000 yards in length. Each Canadian division was now holding a front approximately 10,000 yards in length, and the extemporized machine-gun detachments formed previously, added to the machine-gun companies of the Fifth Canadian Division, were far from sufficient for the task.

General Sir Currie therefore decided to add a third company of four batteries to each battalion of the Canadian Machine-Gun Corps, thus bringing up to ninety-six the number of machine guns in each Canadian division. This entailed an increase in personnel of approximately 50 per cent of the strength of each machine-gun battalion.

These companies were formed provisionally on April 12, 1918, by withdrawing fifty men from each infantry battalion. Of these men a portion was sent to the Machine-Gun Battalion to be combined with the trained personnel, so that each machine-gun crew would include at least four trained gunners. The remainder of the infantry personnel withdrawn as above stated was sent to a special machine-gun depot formed for the purpose, and there underwent an abridged but intensive course of training. Thus an immediate supply of reenforcements was insured. Twenty-three-ton lorries had been borrowed from General Headquarters to supply a modicum of transport to the new units, and on April 13, 1918, some of the new machine-gun batteries were already in the line at critical points.

(p. 380) Sufficient troops were not now available to garrison the local defenses of Vimy Ridge, or to reenforce parts of the front if the enemy was successful in effecting a deep penetration.

Two special brigades were therefore organized:

The Hughes Brigade—Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H. T. Hughes. Approximate strength, officers, 184; other ranks, 4,050.

McPhail's Brigade—Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. McPhail. Approximate strength, officers, 148; other ranks, 4,628.

Two companies of the Eleventh Tank Battalion (twenty-four tanks) were placed at the disposal of the Canadian Corps on April 13, 1918. These tanks had officers, drivers, and armament, but no other personnel. A sufficient number of trained Lewis gunners were found from the First, Third, and Fourth Canadian Divisional wings and the Canadian Field Artillery supplied the required number of gunners.

The tanks were then distributed at the critical points in the corps area, namely: Behind the St. Catherine switch at intervals of about 300 yards, facing south—18 tanks. In the gap between the Souchez River and Bois-en-Hache, facing east—three tanks. On the ridge line behind Angres, facing east—three tanks.

It was intended that these tanks should form points of resistance to check any forward flow of hostile forces and so give time to the Canadian infantry to re-form in case they should be forced back. In any event the tanks were to remain in action for twelve hours after coming in contact with the enemy and thus gain the time so essential in a crisis.

The First Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade, now returned from the Amiens Battle, was held as a mobile reserve at one hour's notice. Bridges, railways, roads, and pumping stations were prepared for demolition, to be blown up as a last resort.

Extended almost to the breaking point, in danger of being annihilated by overwhelming attacks, the corps confidently awaited the assault. All ranks of the corps were unanimous in their ardent resolve to hold to the last every inch of the ground intrusted to their keeping.

(p. 381) It was for them a matter of great pride that their front was substantially the only part of the British line which had not budged, and one and all felt that it could not budge so long as they were alive.

Eventually, the First, Third, and Fourth Canadian Divisions were relieved in their sectors by the Fifteenth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second, Twentieth, and Twenty-fourth British Divisions. The relief started on May 1 and was completed on May 7, 1918.

As the relief progressed, the Canadian Corps handed over command of the Avion-Lens-St.-Emile-Hill 70 sectors to the Eighteenth Corps and the balance of the front to the Seventeenth Corps.

The length of front held by the Canadian Corps at the various stages of the German offensive has been given previously, but it is here recalled that from April 10, 1918, until relieved the corps held a line exceeding 29,000 yards in length; the Second Canadian Division, then with the Sixth Corps, was holding 6,000 yards of front, making a total length of 35,000 yards of front held by the four Canadian divisions. The total length of the line held by the British army between the Oise and the sea was approximately 100 miles, therefore the Canadian troops were holding approximately one-fifth of the total front.

Thus, although the Canadian Corps did not, during this period, have to repulse any German attacks on its front, it nevertheless played a part worthy of its strength during that period.

On completion of the relief on May 7, 1918, with the exception of the Second Canadian Division, which was still in the line in the Third Army area, the Canadian Corps was placed in the General Headquarters reserve in the First Army area (Arras sector), and disposed as follows:

Headquarters—Pernes, and later Bryas. First Canadian Division—Le Cauroy area. Third Canadian Division—St. Hilaire area. Fourth Canadian Division—Monchy-Bréton area.

One infantry brigade and one machine-gun company from each Canadian division were billeted well forward in support of the corps in the line as follows:

(p. 382) (a) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company—Anzin area. Support, Seventeenth Corps.

(b) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company—Château de la Haie area. Support, Eighteenth Corps.

(c) One infantry brigade, one machine-gun company—Ham en Artois area. Support, Eleventh Corps.

These brigades were kept under one hour's notice from 5.00 a. m. to 7.00 a. m. daily and under four hours' notice during the remainder of the day. The remainder of the Canadian Corps was under four hours' notice.

Reconnoissances of the front which the corps would have to support in case of an attack were ordered and carried out by staff and regimental officers. The brigades billeted forward were relieved from time to time under divisional arrangements.

On May 23, 1918, the Seventy-fourth British Division, newly arrived in France from Palestine, came under Canadian Corps for administration and training. It was necessary to rearrange the areas among the divisions in the corps to make room for the Seventy-fourth Division and to equalize the training facilities. With the exception of these moves, the disposition of the Canadian Corps remained substantially the same until June 25, 1918.

On that date the Second Canadian Division, which had been in the line since March 30, 1918, was relieved by the Third Canadian Division, which came then under the Sixth Corps, Third Army area, with headquarters at Basseux. Readjustments were also made in the locations of all the Canadian troops then in reserve.

At the left is Major General David Watson, who commanded the Fourth Canadian Division from 1916 on; at the right is Major General Louis James Lipsett, who commanded the Third Canadian Division from 1916 to 1918. He was killed in action.

Though the principal reason for placing the Canadians into reserve, of course, was to give them a much-needed and well-deserved rest, their entire time was by no means devoted to this purpose. Throughout this period there went forward a steady process of reorganization and training. Reinforcements were received and gradually absorbed. The most intensive kind of tactical and individual training was carried on throughout May, June, and July, 1918. At the same time preparations were being made to recapture Merville and part of the Lys salient, operations (p. 383) which for purposes of maintaining secrecy were then known as the "Delta attack."

One memorable event of this period was the celebration of Dominion Day. Ever since the Canadians had arrived in France, July 1 had been set aside for this purpose, but never before had the "sports" been as brilliant as on July 1, 1918.

Finally, on July 6, 1918, the Canadian Corps was warned to be prepared to relieve the Seventeenth Corps in the line. This operation was begun on July 10 and completed on July 15, 1918, when Lieutenant General Sir A. W. Currie assumed command of the Seventeenth Corps front (Arras-Lens sector), disposing his forces as follows:

Headquarters Canadian Corps—Duisans (First Army area). Second Canadian Division, in the line—Telegraph Hill section. First Canadian Division, in the line—Feuchy-Fampoux section. Fourth Canadian Division, in the line—Gavrelle-Oppy section. Under Sixth Corps—Third Army area. Third Canadian Division, in the line—Neuville-Vitasse section.



The relief of the Seventeenth Corps by the Canadian Corps on July 15, 1918, after the corps' long period of rest and training, with the attendant movement and activity, made the enemy alert and anxious as to the British intentions on this front. He was successful in securing identifications at various points of the line, which he penetrated by raiding.

As it was desired to keep him fully occupied on this front, the artillery activity was increased and our infantry engaged in vigorous patrolling and raiding.

By the latter part of July, 1918, the Allied High Command had decided to enlarge the scope of the operations east of Amiens. Originally conceived as of a purely local character, they were (p. 384) now intended to reduce the entire salient of the Somme created by the successful German offensive of March 21, 1918, and the days following.

During the last few days of July, 1918, and the first few days of August, 1918, the Canadian Corps was relieved by the Seventeenth Corps and was transferred from the First to the Fourth Army area. On July 30, 1918, Canadian Headquarters moved to Molliens Vidarne, in the Amiens sector.

The attack against the Somme salient eventually was set for August 8, 1918.

The front of attack was to extend from Moreuil to Ville-sur-Ancre on a front of approximately 20,000 yards. The dispositions of the troops participating in the attack were as follows:

(a) On the right from Moreuil to Thennes (inclusive)—the First French Army under order of commander in chief British army.

(b) In the center from Thennes (exclusive) to the Amiens-Chaulnes Railway—the Canadian Corps.

(c) On the left from the Amiens-Chaulnes Railway to the Somme—the Australian Corps.

(d) The left flank of the Australian Corps was covered by the Third (British) Corps attacking in the direction of Merlancourt.

The object of the attack was to push forward in the direction of the line Roye-Chaulnes with the least possible delay, thrusting the enemy back in the general direction of Ham, and so facilitating the operations of the French on the front between Montdidier and Noyon.

The battle front of the Canadian Corps extended from a point about 800 yards south of Hourges to the Amiens-Chaulnes Railway. It crossed the river Luce about 800 yards northeast of Hourges, and remaining well west of Hangard passed through the western portion of Hangard Wood. The total length exceeded 8,500 yards in a straight line.

In addition to the four Canadian divisions, the following troops were placed under Canadian Corps for the operation: Fifth Squadron. R. A. F.; Fourth Tank Brigade; Third Cavalry Division.

(p. 385) A mobile force was organized consisting of the First and Second Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigades, the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion, and a section of 6-in. Newton Mortars mounted on motor lorries. This force was named the Canadian Independent Force, placed under the command of Brigadier General R. Brutinel, and given the task of cooperating with the cavalry in the neighborhood of the Amiens-Roye road, covering the right flank of the right division and maintaining liaison with the French.

Two British divisions were held in army reserve, and were available in the event of certain situations developing.

The total artillery amounted to seventeen brigades of field artillery and nine brigades of heavy artillery, plus four additional batteries of long-range guns.

At 10.00 a. m. on the morning of August 5, 1918, General Sir A. W. Currie took over command of the battle front, then held by the Fourth Australian Division. During the hours of darkness on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th the attacking Canadian troops relieved the Australian troops, with the exception of those holding the outpost line, who remained in position until the night of August 7-8, 1918.

The dispositions of the Canadian Corps on the morning of the 8th at zero hour were as follows: On the right, the Third Canadian Division, in liaison with the French; in the center, the First Canadian Division; on the left, the Second Canadian Division, in liaison with the Australians; in reserve, behind the Third Canadian Division, the Fourth Canadian Division.

Each of these divisions had their allotment of tanks. East of the Noye River, the Third Cavalry Division. Behind Gentelle Wood, the Canadian Independent Force.

At 4.20 a. m., August 8, 1918, the initial assault was delivered on the entire army front of attack, and the First French Army opened their bombardment.

The attack made satisfactory progress from the outset on the whole front.

East of Hourges, opposite the Third Canadian Division, the high ground which dominated the Canadian front and a portion of (p. 386) the French front had been seized quickly by the Ninth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General D. M. Ormond), and the way was opened for the Canadian Independent Force and the Fourth Canadian Division.

By the afternoon the Canadian Corps had gained all its objectives, with the exception of a few hundred yards on the right in the vicinity of Le Quesnel, where stiff resistance was offered by unexpected reserves, but this was made good the following morning. The day's operations in which the four Canadian divisions took part represented a maximum penetration of the enemy's defenses of over eight miles, and included the capture of the following villages: Hangard, Demuin, Beaucourt, Aubercourt, Courcelles, Ignaucourt, Cayeux, Caix, Marcelcave, Wiencourt, l'Equipée, and Guillaucourt. In addition to these, the Canadian Independent Forces assisted the French in the capture of Mezières, which was holding up their advance.

On the following day, August 9, 1918, the advance was continued, with the Third, First, and Second Canadian Divisions in the line, the Fourth Canadian Division being held in corps reserve. Substantial progress was made, and by evening the average depth of advance was about four miles, with a maximum of six and one half miles at some points. The following additional villages were captured: Le Quesnel, Folies, Bouchoir, Beaufort, Warvillers, Rouvroy, Vrely, Meharicourt, and Rosières.

The infantry and tanks of the Third Canadian Division and the Canadian Independent Force cooperated with the French in the capture of Arvillers.

During the day the enemy's resistance stiffened considerably, and whatever gains were made resulted from heavy infantry fighting against fresh troops, with only a few tanks available for support.

The attack was continued on the morning of the 10th, with the Third Canadian Division on the right and the Fourth Canadian Division on the left, the First and Second Canadian Divisions being held in corps reserve. After the Third Canadian Division had taken the village of Le Quesnoy-en-Santerre, the Thirty-second Division, which had come under the Canadian (p. 387) Corps on the night of the 9th-10th, and had been ordered to relieve the Third Canadian Division, passed through it and advanced the line somewhat farther through the old British trenches west of Parvillers and Damery. The Fourth Canadian Division during the day succeeded, after very hard fighting, in occupying Fouquescourt, Maucourt, Chilly, and Hallu.

During the night 10th-11th a strong enemy counterattack developed against a part of the front of the Fourth Canadian Division east of Hallu. This counterattack was beaten off, but owing to general conditions the line at that point was slightly withdrawn to the railway embankment immediately to the west of Hallu. Subsequent upon this slight withdrawal, and with a view to reducing the existing salient forward of Chilly, the line was further withdrawn to the eastern outskirts of that village.

On August 11, 1918, at 9.30 a. m., the Thirty-second Division launched an attack against Damery, but was not successful. The Fourth Canadian Division improved their line by advancing it locally to reduce the Chilly salient, which was still very pronounced.

During the night of August 12, 1918, the Thirty-second Division and Fourth Canadian Division were relieved by the Third and Second Canadian Divisions respectively.

It now became increasingly apparent that strong enemy reserves had been sent forward to stem the Canadian advance. Six fresh divisions and a large number of light and heavy batteries had been brought in, and were fighting hard in a strongly intrenched defensive position.

August 12, 13, 14, 1918, were characterized chiefly by patrol encounters and local trench fighting. The Third Canadian Division cleared the network of trenches between Fouquescourt and Parvillers, and advanced the line as far as the northern and western edge of Parvillers and Damery. These two villages were captured in the evening of August 15, 1918, and were held in spite of heavy counterattacks. Bois de Damery was also taken, and this enabled the French to capture the important position known as Bois-en-Z.

(p. 388) On the nights of August 15, 16, and 17, 1918, the First Canadian Division relieved the Third Canadian Division, the latter being withdrawn to corps reserve.

Progress was made during August 16-17, 1918, the enemy being driven out of Fransart by the Fourth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General R. Rennie) of the Second Canadian Division, and out of La Chavatte by the First Canadian Division, the Canadian line on the right being advanced in cooperation with the French.

The relief of the Second Canadian Division by the Fourth Canadian Division was carried out on the nights of August 15-16 and 16-17, 1918, the former being withdrawn to corps reserve on the 17th.

August 18, 1918, was quiet along the front, but on the 19th the Fourth Canadian Division carried out a minor operation near Chilly, which greatly improved the line in that neighborhood. Four hostile counterattacks to recover the newly won ground were beaten off during the night.

In the meantime it had been decided to transfer the Canadian Corps back to the First Army. On the 19th, the Second and Third Canadian Divisions started their move to the First Army, and on the night of the 19th-20th the relief of the First Canadian Division by the French commenced. This relief was completed on the 22d, and the First Canadian Division was placed in corps reserve.

On August 22, 1918, General Currie handed over command of the Canadian Corps front, and of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions, Second Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade, the Eighth Army Brigade, C. F. A., and the C. C. H. A., to the G. O. C. Australian Corps, and Canadian Headquarters moved north to Hautecloque (Arras-Lens sector).

Between August 8 and 22, 1918, the Canadian Corps fought against fifteen German divisions; of these, ten were directly engaged and thoroughly defeated, prisoners being captured from almost every one of their battalions; the five other divisions, fighting astride the Canadian flanks, were only partially engaged.

(p. 389) In the same period the Canadian Corps captured 9,131 prisoners, 190 guns of all calibers, and more than 1,000 machine guns and trench mortars.

The greatest depth penetrated approximated to fourteen miles, and an area of over sixty-seven square miles containing twenty-seven towns and villages had been liberated.

The casualties suffered by the Canadian Corps in the fourteen days' heavy fighting amounted to—

  Officers Other Ranks
Killed 126 1,688
Missing 9 436
Wounded 444 8,659
  ——— ———
Total 579 10,783

Considering the number of German divisions engaged, and the results achieved, the casualties were very light.



Canadian Headquarters were moved from Hautecloque to Noyelle Vion on August 23, 1918, and at noon General Currie assumed command of the front then held by the Seventeenth (British) Corps, extending from Neuville-Vitasse to Gavrelle in the Arras-Lens sector. The First and Fourth Canadian Divisions returned to the corps from the Amiens front on August 25 and 28, 1918, respectively. The corps thus was again with the First Army.

The general military situation at this time on the Amiens-Arras front is described by General Currie in his official report of these operations as follows:

"In sympathy with the severe reverses suffered on the Marne, and consequent upon the actions now fully developed in the Somme salient, signs were not wanting that the enemy was preparing to evacuate the salient of the Lys. This evacuation began under pressure of the First Army on August 25, 1918.

(p. 390) "All these attacks and their results, direct or indirect, enabled the Allies to recover the ground they had lost in the course of the German offensive operations.

"The recapture of that ground was, however, of secondary importance as compared to the moral results of these successive victories.

"The German armies had been impressed in the course of these operations by the superiority of our generalship and of our organization, and by the great determination of our troops and subordinate commanders.

"The Hindenburg system, however, was intact, and the enemy Higher Command hoped and believed that behind this powerfully organized area the German armies might be collected and reorganized.

"Fighting the most determined rear-guard action in the Somme salient, they expected that our armies would be tired and depleted by the time they reached the forward area of the Hindenburg system.

"The Battle of Cambrai, now about to be begun, shattered their hopes. By breaking through the Drocourt-Queant line, itself but a part of the Hindenburg system, the Canadian Corps carried the operations forward to ground that had been in the hands of the Germans since 1914.

"This advance constituted a direct threat on the rear of the German armies north and south of Cambrai.

"Dominated at all times, paralyzed by the swift and bold strokes on vital points of their line and by the relentless pressure applied everywhere, the German Higher Command was unable to take adequate steps to localize and stop our advance. After the Drocourt-Queant line was broken, the retreat of the enemy became more accelerated, and our attacks met everywhere with less organized and determined resistance.

"The moral effect of the most bitter and relentless fighting which led to the capture of Cambrai was tremendous. The Germans had at last learned and understood that they were beaten."

The Canadian Corps, on the right of the First Army, was to attack eastward astride the Arras-Cambrai road, and by forcing (p. 391) its way through the Drocourt-Queant line south of the Scarpe to break the hinge of the Hindenburg system and prevent the possibility of the enemy rallying behind this powerfully organized defended area.

The ground to be attacked lent itself peculiarly to defense, being composed of a succession of ridges, rivers, and canals, which formed natural lines of defense of very great strength. These natural positions, often mutually supporting, had been abundantly fortified. Their organization was the last work in military engineering, and represented years of intensive and systematic labor. Barbed-wire entanglements were formidable, machine-gun positions innumerable, and large tunnels had been provided for the protection of the garrison.

The four main system of defense consisted of the following lines: The old German front system east of Monchy-le-Preux, the Fresnes-Rouvroy line, the Drocourt-Queant line, and the Canal du Nord line. These, with their subsidiary switches and strong points, as well as the less organized, but by no means weak intermediate lines of trenches, made the series of positions to be attacked without doubt one of the strongest defensively on the western front.

Broad glacis, studded with machine-gun nests, defended the immediate approaches to these lines, and this necessitated in each case heavy fighting to gain a suitable jumping-off line before assaulting the main position.

In addition to these systems, and as a preliminary to the attack on the old German system east of Monchy-le-Preux, it was necessary to capture the very well organized British defenses which had been lost in the fighting of March, 1918.

These defenses were intact to a depth of about 5,500 yards, and were dominated by the heights of Monchy-le-Preux, from which the Germans were enjoying superior observation.

Throughout these operations there could not be any element of surprise, other than that afforded by the selection of the actual hour of the assaults. The positions to be attacked formed the pivot of the movements of the German army to the south, and the security of the armies to the north depended also on (p. 392) these positions being retained. There was consequently little doubt that the enemy was alert, and had made every disposition to repulse the expected attacks. Therefore, the plans necessitated provision for very hard and continuous fighting, the main stress being laid on the continuity of the operations.

On August 26, 1918, at 3.00 a. m., the attack was launched under the usual artillery and machine-gun barrages. It made good progress, the village of Monchy-le-Preux being entered early in the day, after a very brilliant encircling attack carried out by the Eighth Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General D. C. Draper). The trenches immediately to the east of Monchy-le-Preux were found to be heavily held, and were not cleared until about 11 a. m. by the Seventh Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General H. Dyer).

Guemappe was captured by 4 p. m. and Wancourt Tower and the top of Heninel Ridge were in Canadian hands at 10.40 p. m. The defenders of the latter feature fought hard but eventually succumbed to a determined attack delivered by the Sixth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General A. H. Bell), under cover of an extemporized barrage fired by the Second Canadian Divisional Artillery (Brigadier General H. A. Panet). During the night this brigade captured, in addition, Egret Trench, thus securing a good jumping-off place for the operations of the following day.

The attack was renewed at 4.55 a. m. on August 27, 1918, by the Second and Third Canadian Divisions, in the face of increased opposition, under a uniformly good initial barrage.

The Second Canadian Division pushed doggedly forward through the old German trench system, where very stiff hand-to-hand fighting took place, and crossed the Sensee River, after capturing the villages of Chérisy and Vis-en-Artois.

The Third Canadian Division encountered very heavy opposition, but succeeded in capturing Bois-du-Vert, Bois-du-Sart, and reaching the western outskirts of Haucourt, Remy, Boiry-Notre-Dame, and Pelves.

The enemy throughout the day pushed a large number of reenforcements forward, bringing up machine-gun units in motor (p. 393) lorries in the face of our accurate field and heavy artillery fire. Hostile field batteries in the open, firing over open sights, showed remarkable tenacity, several remaining in action until the personnel had been destroyed by our machine-gun fire.

At 9.00 a. m. on August 28, 1918, the Third Canadian Division resumed the attack, followed at 12.30 by the Second Canadian Division. The objective for the day was the capture of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line, the possession of which was vital to the success of further operations.

On the left, the Third Canadian Division had pushed forward, captured the Fresnes-Rouvroy line from the Sensee River to north of Boiry-Notre-Dame, and had secured that village, Jigsaw Wood, and entered Pelves. They had, however, been unable to clear the village of Haucourt.

On the front of the Second Canadian Division the fighting was most severe. The wire in front of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line was found to be almost intact, and although at some points the Fifth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General T. L. Tremblay) had succeeded in penetrating the line, the first objective could not be secured, except one short length on the extreme right. Subjected to heavy machine-gun fire from both flanks as well as frontally, the attacking troops had suffered heavy casualties, which they had borne with the utmost fortitude.

At nightfall the general line of the Second Canadian Division was little in advance of the line held the night before, although a few small parties of stubborn men were still as far forward as the wire of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line.

Enemy reenforcements were seen dribbling forward all day long.

The Second and Third Canadian Divisions were now exhausted, and during the night of August 28-29, 1918, they were relieved by the First Canadian Division on the right, the Fourth (British) Division on the left, and Brutinel's Brigade (formerly the Canadian Independent Force) on the extreme left flank.

The heavy artillery from now on concentrated on the cutting of the broad belts of wire in front of the Drocourt-Queant line, (p. 394) and the engineers prepared the bridging material required for the crossings of the Sensee River and the Canal du Nord.

During the day (August 29, 1918) the Canadian line had been considerably improved by minor operations.

On August 30, 1918, the First Canadian Division attacked the Vis-en-Artois Switch, Upton Wood, and the Fresnes-Rouvroy line south of the Vis-en-Artois Switch. The attack, a daring maneuver, organized and carried out by the First Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General W. A. Griesbach), under cover of very ingenious barrages arranged by the C. R. A., First Canadian Division (Brigadier General H. C. Thacker), was eminently successful, all objectives being captured and the entire garrison either killed or taken prisoner. Heavy counterattacks by fresh troops were repulsed during the afternoon and following night.

On August 31, 1918, the remainder of the Fresnes-Rouvroy line south of the Arras-Cambrai road, including Ocean Work, was captured by the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General F. O. W. Loomis).

In the meantime, the Fourth (British) Division had doggedly pushed ahead, crossing the valley of the Sensee River and capturing the villages of Haucourt, Remy, and Eterpigny. This advance was over very difficult, thickly wooded country, and the fighting was very heavy, particularly in the vicinity of St.-Servin's Farm, which, after changing hands several times, remained in possession of the enemy until September 2, 1918.

On the night of August 31-September 1 the Fourth Canadian Division came into the line on a one-brigade front between the First Canadian Division and Fourth (British) Division.

The important strong point known as the Crow's Nest was captured by the Third Canadian Infantry Brigade on September 1, 1918.

During the afternoon and evening of September 1, 1918, the enemy delivered violent counterattacks, directed against the junction of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions. Two fresh divisions and two divisions already in the line were identified in the course of this heavy fighting. The Canadian troops were (p. 395) forced back slightly twice, but the ground was each time regained and finally held. The hand-to-hand fighting for the possession of the crest of the spur at this point really continued until zero hour the next day, the troops attacking the Drocourt-Queant line, as they moved forward, taking over the fight from the troops then holding the line.

At 5.00 a. m. September 2, 1918, the major operation against the Drocourt-Queant line was launched. Preceded by a dense barrage, and assisted by tanks, the infantry pushed forward rapidly, and the Drocourt-Queant line (the first objective) and its support line (the second objective), including the village of Dury, were captured according to program. With the capture of the second objective the field artillery barrage was shot out, and the attack farther east had to be carried forward without its assistance. The enemy's resistance, free of the demoralizing effect of the barrage, stiffened considerably, the open country being swept continually by intense machine-gun fire. In addition, the tanks soon became casualties from enemy guns firing point-blank, and the advance on the left and center was held up.

Brutinel's Brigade, reenforced by a regiment of cavalry (Tenth Royal Hussars) and armored cars, endeavored to pass through to capture the Marquion Bridge on the Canal du Nord. Wire, trenches, and sunken roads, however, confined the movements of the force to the Arras-Cambrai road; and this was rendered impassable by enemy machine-gun fire and by batteries firing over open sights.

On the right, however, the First Canadian Division pushed forward despite very heavy machine-gun and direct artillery fire, and captured the villages of Cagnicourt and Villers-lez-Cagnicourt, the Bois de Bouche and Bois de Loison to the east of Cagnicourt.

Further progress made by the First Canadian Division in the afternoon resulted in the capture of the heavily wired Buissy Switch line as far south as the outskirts of Buissy; this largely outflanked the enemy still holding out in front of the Fourth Canadian Division, and compelled their retirement during the night behind the Canal du Nord.

(p. 396) By now the number of unwounded prisoners captured exceeded 5,000, and Canadian infantry had penetrated the enemy's defenses to a depth exceeding 6,000 yards.

In the night of September 3-4, 1918, the Second and Third Canadian Divisions relieved the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions respectively, and the Fourth (British) Division was relieved by the First (British) Division, which had come under the Canadian Corps on September 1, 1918, and had been concentrated after that date in the Monchy-le-Preux, Vis-en-Artois, Guemappe area.

The next objective on the Canadian front was now the Canal du Nord. This position, however, was so strongly held and the natural difficulties of the terrain involved were so great that it was decided to make further preparations before attempting this operation which, from its very nature, would have to form part of a larger scheme.

The Canadians now held positions which were defensively very strong. The line, therefore, was held very thinly in order to gain an opportunity to rest and refit the divisions. Until September 27, 1918, no changes developed on the Canadian front. Night patrolling and sniping, of course, were kept up. There was also continuous night firing by artillery and machine guns, while the heavy artillery (Brigadier General R. H. Massie) carried out daily wire cutting, counterbattery shoots, and gas concentrations.



The share of the Canadian Corps in the operations in the direction of Cambrai, toward the preparations of which the best part of September, 1918, was devoted, was at first to be the crossing of the Canal du Nord and the capture of Bourlon Wood and of the high ground to the northeast of it. Later during the month the task of the corps was enlarged to include the capture (p. 397) of the bridges over the Canal-de-l'Escaut, north of Cambrai, and of the high ground overlooking the Sensee Valley. The strength of the corps was increased by attaching to it the Eleventh Division and the Seventh Tank Battalion.

At 5.20 a. m., September 27, 1918, the attack was successfully launched, and in spite of all obstacles went well from the first.

The barrage was uniformly good, and the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisional Artilleries, commanded respectively by Brigadier General J. S. Stewart and Brigadier General W. B. M. King, were successful in advancing into captured ground, and continued the barrage as planned.

Early in the afternoon the first phase of the attack was substantially over, and the readjustments of the fronts preparatory to the second phase were under way.

On the extreme right, however, the Seventeenth Corps had failed to keep pace with the Canadian advance, and the latter's right flank, submitted to severe enfilade machine-gun fire from the vicinity of Anneux, had to be refused for a considerable distance to retain touch with the left of the Seventeenth Corps; therefore the encircling movement which was to have given the Canadians Bourlon Wood could not be developed.

Fully alive to the gravity of the situation which would be created on the flank of the Third Army by the failure to capture and hold Bourlon Wood, the Fourth Canadian Division attacked from the north side of the wood and captured all the high ground, pushing patrols as far as Fontaine-Notre-Dame. Bourlon Wood, which is 110 meters high, dominates the ground as far south as Flequières and Havrincourt; its loss after very heavy fighting in November, 1917, during the first battle of Cambrai, caused eventually the withdrawal of the Third Army from a large portion of the ground they had won by their surprise attack.

A severe counterattack, launched from the direction of Raillencourt against the left of the Fourth Canadian Division, was repulsed in the afternoon with heavy losses to the enemy.

The First Canadian Division and the Eleventh (British) Division made substantial gains, the former capturing Haynecourt (p. 398) and crossing the Douai-Cambrai road, and the latter pushing on and taking Epinoy and Oisy-le-Verger by evening.

The attack was continued on September 28, 1918. The Third Canadian Division captured Fontaine-Notre-Dame (one of the Seventeenth Corps' objectives) and, penetrating the Marcoing line, reached the western outskirts of St.-Olle. The Fourth Canadian Division captured Raillencourt and Sailly, and the Eleventh (British) Division established posts in Aubencheul-au-Bac and occupied the Bois-de-Quesnoy. The First Canadian Division, in view of their advance of the previous day which had produced a considerable salient, did not push forward.

Heavy fighting characterized September 29, 1918. The Third Canadian Division, the Fourth Canadian Division, and the First Canadian Division all made progress in the face of severe opposition. The Third Canadian Division pushed the line forward to the junction of the Arras and Bapaume road, the western outskirts of Neuville St.-Remy and the Douai-Cambrai road. They also cleared the Marquion line from the Bapaume-Cambrai road southward toward the Canal-de-l'Escaut. The Fourth Canadian Division captured Sancourt, crossed the Douai-Cambrai railway and entered Blecourt, but later withdrew to the line of the railway in the face of a heavy counterattack.

The operation of September 30, 1918, was planned in two phases. In the first, the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions were to push forward across the high ground between the Canal-de-l'Escaut and the Blecourt-Bantigny Ravine, when Brutinel's Brigade was to pass through them and secure bridgeheads at Ramillies and Eswars. The second phase, to take place on the success of the first, provided for the seizing of the high ground overlooking the Sensee River by the First Canadian Division and the Eleventh (British) Division. The attack was commenced well, and the villages of Tilloy and Blecourt were captured by the Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions respectively. A heavy counterattack, however, against the Fourth Canadian Division and the left flank of the Third Canadian Division, assisted by exceptionally severe enfilade fire from the high ground to the north of the Blecourt-Bantigny Ravine, forced the line on the left (p. 399) back to the eastern outskirts of Sancourt. The second phase of the attack was not carried out, and the net gains for the day were the capture of Tilloy and some progress made on the right of the Third Canadian Division from Neuville St.-Remy south. Prisoners taken during the day testified to the supreme importance, in the eyes of the enemy, of the positions held by him and the necessity that they be held at all costs.

The tremendous exertions and considerable casualties consequent upon the four days' almost continuous fighting had made heavy inroads on the freshness and efficiency of all arms, and it was questionable whether an immediate decision could be forced in the face of the heavy concentration of troops which the successful and, from the enemy's standpoint, dangerous advance had drawn. On the other hand, it was known that the enemy had suffered severely, and it was quite possible that matters had reached a stage where he no longer considered the retention of this position worth the severe losses both in men and morale consequent upon a continuance of the defense. It was therefore decided that the assault would be continued on October 1, 1918, the four divisions in line attacking simultaneously under a heavy barrage, coordinated by the G. O. C, R. A. During the night the Twenty-second Corps took over a portion of the front held by the Eleventh Division, the Fifty-sixth Division becoming responsible for the defense of the relieved front at 6.00 a. m., October 1, 1918.

The attack made excellent progress in the early stages, and the troops reached the general line, Canal-de-l'Escaut (east of Neuville St.-Remy), Morenchies Wood, Cuvillers, Bantigny (all inclusive).

The decision of the enemy to resist to the last quickly manifested itself. About 10.00 a. m. heavy counterattacks developed up the Bantigny Ravine from the direction of Paillencourt. These, supplemented by enfilade fire from the high ground just south of Abancourt, which still remained in the enemy's hands, due to a certain extent to the inability of the Eleventh Division on the left to make progress, were sufficient to press back the more advanced troops. Pockets of the enemy in Blecourt and (p. 400) Bantigny continued to give trouble, and the Canadian line was ultimately forced by greatly superior numbers out of Cuvillers, Bantigny, and Blecourt.

To continue to throw tired troops against such opposition, without giving them an opportunity to refit and recuperate, was obviously inviting a serious failure, and the Canadian commander in chief accordingly decided to break off the engagement. The five days' fighting had yielded practical gains of a very valuable nature, as well as 7,059 prisoners and 205 guns.

The Second Canadian Division had been in close support throughout the day, and during the night of October 1-2, 1918, relieved the Fourth Canadian Division and parts of the Third and First Canadian Divisions in the line from the railway south of Tilloy to Blecourt inclusive. On relief, the Fourth Canadian Division came into corps reserve in bivouacs in the Inchy-Queant area.

The relief considerably thinned out the infantry and in anticipation of possible counterattacks a large number of machine-gun batteries were placed in the line.

October 2, 1918, passed without any substantial change in the situation. The enemy's artillery was very active throughout the day, and at 6.15 p. m. he delivered a determined counterattack, with a force estimated at about a battalion strong, against the ridge northeast of Tilloy, on the Second Canadian Division front. This counterattack was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy.

During the night of October 2-3, 1918, the Eleventh Division extended its frontage to the right as far as Blecourt (inclusive), relieving the remainder of the First Canadian Division, who came into corps reserve west of the Canal on completion of the relief.

The dispositions of the Canadian Corps at noon, October 3, 1918, were as follows:

In the line—the Third Canadian Division on the right on a one-brigade front, from the Arras-Cambrai railway to the Cambrai-Douai railway south of Tilloy; the Second Canadian Division in the center, on a two-brigade front, extending to the northern outskirts of Blecourt, and the Eleventh Division on the left (p. 401) continuing the line to a point 1,000 yards south of Aubencheul-au-Bac.

In corps reserve—the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions. The latter was moved to billets in the Haute Avesnes-Arras area on the night of October 7-8, 1918, to give more opportunity to rest and refit.

The period from October 3 to 8, 1918, passed without any material changes on the corps front. An enemy counterattack was beaten off by the Second Canadian Division, opposite Bantigny, on the morning of October 4, 1918, and the Eleventh Division considerably improved the line on the northern flank by successful minor operations on October 5 and 6, 1918.

Many patrol encounters took place, in which some prisoners were captured, and our artillery and machine guns kept the enemy under continual harassing fire day and night. In addition, our heavy artillery carried out a daily program of gas concentrations and counterbattery shoots.

Orders were received on October 3, 1918, for the relief of the corps by the Twenty-second Corps. Concurrently with this relief, and as it progressed, the Canadian Corps was to take over the front of the Twenty-second Corps.

Plans for further operations having been formulated to take place on the Third Army front, the Canadian Corps was ordered on October 5, 1918, to cooperate by forcing the crossings of the Canal-de-l'Escaut, north of Cambrai, and the relief contemplated was, therefore, postponed.

The Third Army had been successful in crossing the Canal-de-l'Escaut south of Cambrai between Crèvecœur and Proville. The operation now contemplated had for its object the capture of Cambrai by envelopment. This was to be carried out in two phases.

In the first phase the Seventeenth Corps was to capture Awoignt by attacking from the south, the Canadian Corps was to cooperate by an artillery demonstration. In the second phase the Canadian Corps was to cross the Canal-de-l'Escaut and, advancing rapidly, capture Escaudœuvres, joining hands with the Seventeenth Corps northeast of Cambrai.

(p. 402) The positions occupied by the Third and Second Canadian Divisions were not favorable for an attack by day; the Third Canadian Division was in front of Cambrai, and house-to-house fighting was out of the question; the Second Canadian Division was separated from the Canal by glacislike slopes, devoid of cover, and on which the enemy had good observation from the numerous houses on the east side of the Canal as well as from the high ground east of Escaudœuvres. In addition, Morenchies, Pont d'Aire, Ramillies, and the villages to the north were strongly held by the enemy.

In spite of the difficulties of a night operation it was decided that the Second Canadian Division would attack by night, and attempt to seize the bridges before they were blown up by the enemy.

The Third Canadian Division was to cover the right of the Second Canadian Division by capturing the railway embankment, and entering Cambrai as soon as possible to prevent any action of the enemy against the right flank of the Second Canadian Division, which, under the best circumstances, was bound to be in the air for some time after the crossing of the Canal.

Brutinel's Brigade was to cross the Canal as soon as possible and extend the gains of the Second Canadian Division by seizing the high ground east of Thun St.-Martin. Ten brigades of field artillery were available for the operation.

At 4.30 a. m., October 8, 1918, the Third Army attacked, and at the same hour an artillery demonstration was carried out on the Canadian Corps front.

The Seventeenth Corps on the right did not reach Awoignt, but in the evening they were ordered to continue their advance on the morning of October 9, 1918, to capture the town; concurrently with this advance the Canadian Corps was to secure the crossings of the Canal-de-l'Escaut.

In spite of the darkness of a rainy night the assembly was completed and the attack was launched successfully at 1.30 a. m., October 9, 1918. Rapid progress was made, and at 2.25 a. m., the Second Canadian Division had captured Ramillies and established (p. 403) posts on the Canal there, and patrols were pushing out to the northeast. On the right the infantry, assisted by a party of engineers, rushed the crossings at Pont d'Aire, and, after sharp fighting, captured the bridge intact with the exception of the western spillway, which had been partially destroyed. Two cork bridges were thrown across, and by 3.35 a. m. the infantry were well established on the eastern side of the Canal. The Third Canadian Division had cleared the railway, and their patrols were pushing into Cambrai, while the engineers were commencing work on the bridges.

By 8.00 a. m. the Second Canadian Division had captured Escaudœuvres, and had established a line on the high ground immediately to the north and east. Detachments of the Third Canadian Division had by this time completely cleared Cambrai of the enemy, and troops of the Third Army could be seen coming up toward it from the south.

Cambrai was to be deliberately set on fire by the enemy. Huge fires were burning in the Square when Canadian patrols went through, and many others broke out in all parts of the city. Piles of inflammable material were found ready for the torch, but the enemy was unable to carry out his intention owing to the Canadians' unexpected attack and rapid progress. A party of one officer and a few men, which had been left with instructions to set fire to Cambrai, was discovered and dealt with before it could do any further damage. The fires were successfully checked by a large detachment of Canadian engineers, who entered the city with the patrols. A considerable number of road mines, "booby traps," etc., were also located and removed.

An air reconnoissance at dawn indicated that the enemy had withdrawn from the area between the Canal-de-l'Escaut and the Canal-de-la Sensee, and that all bridges over the latter had been destroyed.

Brutinel's Brigade, passing through the infantry of the Second Canadian Division, seized the high ground at Croix St.-Hubert and pushed cavalry patrols into Thun Levecque.

The Second Canadian Division east of the Canal progressed toward the north and occupied Thun Levecque, Thun St.-Martin, (p. 404) Blecourt, Cuvillers, and Bantigny, and the Eleventh Division occupied Abancourt and reached the outskirts of Paillencourt.

The Third Canadian Division was withdrawn at 7.10 p. m. when the Twenty-fourth Division (Seventeenth Corps) passed through and joined up with the Second Canadian Division, and Cambrai and the positions to the east were taken over or occupied by the Seventeenth Corps.

The Third Canadian Division was moved on the following day to bivouacs in the Inchy-Queant area to rest and refit after twelve days of battle.

The attack was continued at 6.00 a. m., October 10, 1918, by the Second Canadian and Eleventh (British) Divisions, and good progress was made. The Second Canadian Division captured Naves, and by nightfall reached a point one and a half miles northeast on the Cambrai-Salzoir road. From there the line ran westward to the Canal-de-l'Escaut, exclusive of Iwuy, where the Canadians had been held up by machine-gun fire.

In this attack Brutinel's Brigade operated along the Cambrai-Salzoir road, but finding the bridge over the Erclin River destroyed could not get their cars farther forward. This bridge, although on the outpost line under heavy fire, was immediately replaced by the engineers, a covering party being supplied by Brutinel's Brigade. Machine-gun crews from the cars went forward on foot, however, and materially assisted the infantry advancing at this point, and the corps cavalry, by a brilliant charge, helped in the capture of the ground east of the Rieux-Iwuy road.

On the left the Eleventh Division cleared the enemy from the area between the Canal-de-l'Escaut and the Sensee Canal, captured Paillencourt and Estrun, and reached the outskirts of Hem-Lenglet, which they occupied during the night.

The Forty-ninth and Fifty-first Divisions were released from army reserve and transferred to the Canadian Corps on October 10, 1918. During the night of October 10-11, 1918, the former believed that part of the Second Canadian Division east of Iwuy, and the Fifty-first (Highland) Division moved to the Escaudœuvres area.

(p. 405) At 9.00 a. m., October 11, 1918, the Canadian Corps resumed the attack with the Forty-ninth Division on the right and the Second Canadian Division on the left. The enemy laid down a heavy artillery barrage and both divisions encountered stiff opposition. After fierce fighting, however, the attack made good progress, the Forty-ninth Division gaining the high ground east of Iwuy, and the Second Canadian Division capturing Iwuy and the high ground to the north.

About 10.30 a. m. the enemy delivered a heavy counterattack under an artillery barrage and supported by seven tanks, from the direction of Avesnes-le-Sec, against the Forty-ninth and Second Canadian Divisions. The Canadian line was forced back slightly at first, but six of the tanks were knocked out by the artillery, the assaulting infantry dispersed by machine-gun and rifle fire, and the attack repulsed.

Meanwhile, on October 7 and 8, 1918, the First Canadian Division had relieved the Fourth (British) Division (Twenty-second Corps) on the frontage between Palluel and the Scarpe River, and passed under the command of the G. O. C., Twenty-second Corps.

On October 11, 1918, General Sir A. W. Currie handed over command of the corps front (less the Eleventh Divisional sector) to the G. O. C., Twenty-second Corps, and the Second Canadian and the Forty-ninth and Fifty-first Divisions were transferred to the Twenty-second Corps. At the same time he assumed command of the former Twenty-second Corps front, and the Fifty-sixth and the First Canadian Divisions were transferred in the line to the Canadian Corps. During the night of October 11-12, 1918, the Second Canadian Division was relieved in the line east of the Iwuy-Denain railway by the Fifty-first (Highland) Division, and on completion of the relief, the Canadian commander in chief assumed command of the remainder of the Second Canadian Divisional front, extending from the Iwuy-Denain railway exclusive to the Canal-de-l'Escaut.

The battle of Arras-Cambrai, so fruitful in results, was now closed. Since August 26, 1918, the Canadian Corps had advanced twenty-three miles, fighting for every foot of ground and overcoming (p. 406) bitter resistance. In that period the Canadian Corps engaged and defeated decisively thirty-one German divisions, reenforced by numerous marksmen machine-gun companies. These divisions were met in strongly fortified positions and under conditions most favorable to the defense.

In the battle 18,585 prisoners were captured by the Canadians, together with 371 guns, 1,923 machine guns and many trench mortars.

Over 116 square miles of French soil, containing fifty-four towns and villages and including the city of Cambrai, were liberated.

The severity of the fighting and the heroism of the Canadian troops may be gathered from the casualties suffered between August 22 and October 11, 1918, and which are as follows:

  Officers Other Ranks
Killed 296 4,071
Missing 18 1,912
Wounded 1,230 23,279
  ——— ———
Total 1,544 29,262



The new front of the Canadian Corps on October 11, 1918, extended from Iwuy-Denain railway, north of Iwuy, to the Canal-de-l'Escaut at Estrun, thence following the southern bank of the Canal-de-la-Sensee to Palluel, thence crossing the Sensee River at Hamel to the Scarpe River east of Vitry. The front was held by the Second Canadian Division from the right to the Canal-de-l'Escaut; the Eleventh Division from Estrun (inclusive) to Aubencheul-au-Bac (exclusive); the Fifty-sixth Division from Aubencheul-au-Bac (inclusive) to Palluel (inclusive), and the First Canadian Division from Palluel (exclusive) to the western boundary.

(p. 407) The fronts of the Eleventh and Fifty-sixth Divisions were then stationary, but on the front of the First Canadian Division crossings had been forced over the Sensee and Trinquis Rivers that morning, and the enemy was retiring, closely followed by battle patrols of the First Canadian Division.

The First Canadian Division had relieved the Fourth British Division in the line along the south side of the valleys of the Sensee and Trinquis Rivers, from Palluel exclusive to the Scarpe, during the nights of October 5-6 and 6-7, 1918, coming under orders of the Twenty-second Corps. The front had been a quiet one, the river valleys having been flooded by the enemy to an average width of from 300 to 400 yards, and the bridges destroyed.

On the morning of October 8, 1918, the division carried out a "Chinese attack" with a view to ascertaining the enemy's probable action if attacked. Under cover of the barrage, patrols succeeded in enlarging the small bridgehead across the river at Sailly-en-Ostrevent, capturing twenty-four prisoners and two machine guns.

The enemy was expected to withdraw shortly, and this barrage was repeated daily at dawn with the object of harassing the enemy and testing his strength. At 3.00 a. m., October 10, 1918, battle patrols were pushed out by the Third Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General G. S. Tuxford) from the bridgehead at Sailly, and after capturing the village they entered the Drocourt-Queant line to the northeast. Thirty prisoners and six machine guns were sent back from Sailly at daylight; a strong enemy counterattack (estimated at two battalions) overran the force in the Drocourt-Queant line and recaptured Sailly, driving the Canadian line back to the line previously held.

On October 11, 1918, in conjunction with an attack on the left by the Eighth Division, Canadian troops forced their way over the narrow crossings of the Sensee and Trinquis Rivers in the face of considerable machine-gun fire and pushed northward and eastward, meeting only resistance from isolated machine-gun nests. The performance of the first patrols in forcing their (p. 408) way across the narrow causeways, all stoutly defended by machine guns, was a splendid achievement.

By the night of October 11, 1918, the First Canadian Division, on the left, had reached the line Hamel-Estrées-Noyelles (all inclusive), and at dawn, October 12, 1918, pushed forward, clearing Arleux and reaching the west bank of the Canal from Palluel to the Scarpe.

On October 12, 1918, the line remained stationary between the Canal du Nord and the Canal-de-l'Escaut. East of the Canal-de-l'Escaut the Second Canadian Division attacked at noon in conjunction with the Twenty-second Corps on the right and captured Hordain. Attempts to push forward to Basseville were, however, stopped by machine-gun fire. The restricted area and the inundated conditions of the ground prevented further progress on this front until the troops on the right could get forward.

On the Canadian Corps' front, the divisions in the line were confronted by the Canal-de-la-Sensee, and this in its flooded condition was a serious obstacle, the few crossings possible being narrow and easily defended. Orders were issued, however, that a policy of aggressive patrolling should be adopted to detect at the earliest possible moment any retirement, and that all preparations should be made for an immediate and rapid pursuit.

The Canadian patrols were most daring during the next few days, but no weak spot was to be found along the enemy front, all attempts at crossing the Canal being stopped by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire.

During the night of October 12-13, 1918, the Second Canadian Division extended its left to Aubencheul-au-Bac (exclusive), relieving the Eleventh Division in the line, with the Fourth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General G. E. McCuaig) on the right, and the Sixth Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General A. Ross) on the left. At this stage the G. O. C. Fifty-sixth Division represented that his troops were too weak and tired to carry out the vigorous pursuit required in case of an enemy withdrawal. The Fourth Canadian Division was, (p. 409) therefore, ordered to relieve the Fifty-sixth Division by the morning of October 16, 1918, and in the meantime to place one brigade at the disposal of the G. O. C. Fifty-sixth Division to be used in following up the enemy. On October 13, 1918, the Tenth Canadian Infantry Brigade, which had been resting in Arras, was accordingly moved up to Marquion, and came into reserve under the Fifty-sixth Division.

During the early morning of October 13, 1918, the Fifty-sixth Division crossed the Canal and succeeded in establishing a bridgehead at Aubigny-au-Bac, capturing the village with 201 prisoners. At 10.00 p. m. the following night, however, an enemy counterattack in strength caused their withdrawal from the village, but the bridgehead was retained. The relief of the Fifty-sixth Division by the Fourth Canadian Division was carried out on the nights of October 14-15 and 15-16, 1918, without incident, and the former moved back to rest in the Arras-Haute Avesnes-Marœuil area, coming into army reserve.

Patrols of the First Canadian Division succeeded in crossing the Canal near Ferin, on its left brigade front, during the early morning of October 14, 1918, but, meeting strong resistance, the parties withdrew, taking with them some prisoners and machine guns.

Test barrages were carried out on the corps' front each morning to ascertain the enemy's strength and attitude, and on October 17, 1918, the enemy was found extremely quiet and did not retaliate to the artillery fire on the front of the First Canadian Division. Patrols were, therefore, sent out on that front and succeeded in crossing the Canal in several places, meeting only slight opposition. Stronger patrols followed and made good progress.

On the front of the Fourth Canadian Division, however, all attempts to cross the Canal were still met by machine-gun fire. After the First Canadian Division had secured crossings, a battalion of the Fourth Canadian Division was sent up to take advantage of these crossings, and, working down the east side of the Canal, cleared the enemy on the Fourth Canadian Division front, and enabled the advance to commence there.

(p. 410) Farther to the right, at Hem Lenglet, the Second Canadian Division succeeded in crossing the Canal later in the day, and patrols were pushed on in the direction of Wasnes-au-Bac. Only enemy rear guards were encountered during the day, and the opposition was nowhere heavy, although more organized and stubborn on the right opposite the Second Canadian Division.

By 6.00 a. m., October 18, 1918, practically all of the infantry of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions and several battalions of the Second Canadian Division were across the Canal, and the following towns were liberated: Ferin, Courchelettes, Goeulzin, Le Racquet, Villers-au-Tertre, Cantin, Roucourt, Brunemont, Aubigny-au-Bac, Fechain, Fressain, Bugnicourt, and Hem Lenglet.

During that day two armored cars, one squadron of the Canadian Light Horse, and one company of Canadian Corps Cyclists from Brutinel's Brigade, were attached to each of the First and Fourth Canadian Divisions to assist in the pursuit of the enemy. These troops rendered valuable service to the divisions to which they were attached, although the enemy's very complete road destruction prevented the armored cars from operating to their full extent.

Throughout the advance now begun a great amount of work was thrown upon the engineers, and their resources in man and material were taxed to the utmost. The enemy's demolition had been very well planned and thoroughly carried out, all bridges over the canals and streams being destroyed, every crossroad and road junction rendered impassable by the blowing up of large mines, and the railways—light and standard—blown up at frequent intervals. The enemy also considerably impeded the Canadians' progress by his clever manipulation of the water levels in the canals which he controlled.

Footbridges were first thrown across the Canal, and these were quickly followed by the heavier types of bridges to carry battalion transport and artillery, and in addition eight heavy traffic bridges, ranging in length from 90 to 160 feet, were at once put under way. On the front of the First Canadian Division on the left the enemy drained the Canal, and it was (p. 411) found impossible to complete and use the pontoon bridges first commenced.

The engineers in the forward area concentrated their efforts on road repair, craters being quickly filled in, for the most part with material gathered on the spot and found in enemy dumps. In addition, the whole areas were searched immediately after their occupation, many "booby traps" and delayed action mines being discovered and rendered harmless, and all water supply sources being tested.

It was clear from the wholesale destruction of roads and railways that the reconstruction of communications would be very slow and that it would be difficult to keep the troops supplied. Canadian railway troops were brought up, and as soon as the enemy had been cleared away from the Canal, work was commenced on the repairing of the standard-gauge railway forward from Sauchy Lestrée. The construction of a railway bridge over the Canal at Aubencheul-au-Bac was immediately commenced.

The enemy retirement now extended considerably north of the Canadian front, and the Eighth Corps on the left began to move forward. During October 18, 1918, rapid and fairly easy progress was made, and the following towns and villages were liberated from the enemy: Dechy, Sin-le-Noble, Guesnain, Montigny, Pecquencourt, Loffre, Lewarde, Erchin, Masny, Ecaillon, Marquette, Wasnes-au-Bac and the western portions of Auberchicourt and Monchecourt.

During the day the advance had carried the Canadians into a large industrial area, and well-built towns became more frequent. It also liberated the first of a host of civilians, 2,000 being found in Pecquencourt and a few in Auberchicourt. These people had been left by the retiring enemy without food, and faced, as the Canadians were, by an ever-lengthening line of communication, and with only one bridge yet available for anything but horse transport, the work of the supply services was greatly increased. This additional burden was, however, cheerfully accepted, and the liberated civilians, whose numbers exceeded 70,000 before Valenciennes was reached, as well as the rapidly advancing troops, were at no time without a regular supply of food.

(p. 412) On October 19, 1918, the advance was continued on the whole corps' front, nearly 40 towns and villages being wrested from the enemy, including the large town of Denain.

The Twenty-second Corps, advancing on the right from the south, gained touch with the Fourth Canadian Division just east of Denain on the evening of October 19, 1918, pinching out the Second Canadian Division, which was then concentrated in the Auberchicourt area, where good billets were available.

In spite of bad weather and increased resistance more ground was gained on the 20th, and the villages of Hasnon, Les Faux, Wallers, and Haveluy, with a large population, were freed.

During the day resistance had stiffened all along the line. The ground over which the Canadians were advancing was very flat, and there was no tactical advantage to be gained by pushing forward, and a farther advance would also increase the difficulties of supply. In addition, on the left, the Eighth Corps had not been able to cope with the supply question and had not advanced in conformity with the Canadian progress. In view of these considerations, orders were issued that divisions were to maintain touch with the enemy without becoming involved in heavy fighting.

For a time on October 20, 1918, the Fourth Canadian Division was held up just east of Denain by machine-gun and artillery fire, and it was not until late in the afternoon that the troops could make progress there.

Continuing the advance on October 21, 1918, a footing was gained in the Forêt-de-Vicoigne, and the following villages were captured: Aremberg, Oisy, Herin, Rouvignes, Aubry, Petite Forêt, Anzin, Prouvy, Bellaing, and Wavrechain. As on the previous day, all these villages contained civilians who subsequently suffered considerably from deliberate hostile shelling.

The First Canadian Division had now been in the line for two weeks without having had an opportunity to rest and refit since the hard-fought battle of the Canal du Nord, and orders were issued for its relief by the Third Canadian Division. At dawn on October 22, 1918, in order that touch with the enemy be maintained, the First Canadian Division pushed forward. Following (p. 413) closely, the Third Canadian Division passed through the First Canadian Division during the forenoon, on the left brigade front, about 9.00 a. m. on the line of the St.-Amand-Raismes road, and on the right about 12 noon on the line of the St.-Amand-Raismes railway, the Forêt-de-Vicoigne having been cleared of the enemy. On relief the First Canadian Division came into rest billets in the Somain-Pecquencourt-Masny area.

The Third and Fourth Canadian Divisions pushed on during October 22, 1918, and by nightfall Trith St.-Leger, La Vignoble, La Sentinelle, Waast-le-Haut, Beauvrages, Bruay, and practically the whole of the large forest of Raismes, were in their hands. On the left brigade front of the Fourth Canadian Division the Canal-de-l'Escaut had been reached in places. A very large area northeast of Valenciennes and a smaller area to the southwest had been flooded, and to the west of the city the Canal itself provided a serious obstacle. To the southwest, beyond the flooded area, Mont Houy and the Famars Ridge made a natural line of defense.

The divisions continued to push forward in the face of steadily increasing opposition, and by October 25, 1918, had reached the Canal and the western edge of the inundated area along the whole corps front.

The Canadian troops had had a very arduous pursuit and the railhead for supplies and ammunition was still very far to the rear. It was therefore decided that they should make good the west bank of the Canal and stand fast until the flanking corps had made progress.

Attempts to cross the Canal proved that the enemy was holding in strength a naturally strong position, and it was ordered that no crossing in force would be attempted without reference to corps headquarters. The engineers established dumps of material well forward on selected sites so that the bridges necessary to cross the Canal on the resumption of the advance could be constructed without delay.

It had become apparent that, unless the enemy withdrew, Valenciennes could only be taken from the south. The Twenty-second Corps, on the right, had meanwhile succeeded in crossing (p. 414) the Ecaillon River after a hard fight and captured the Famars Ridge. They had, however, been unable to take Mont Houy, which commanded Valenciennes from the south.

On October 27, 1918, the First Army commander outlined the plans for operations to be carried out in conjunction with attacks on a large scale by the Third and Fourth Armies to the south, as follows:

The First Army was to capture Valenciennes; the operation to be carried out in three phases, as follows:

(a) The capture of Mont Houy and Aulnoy—to be carried out by the Twenty-second Corps on the morning of October 28, 1918.

(b) The capture of the high ground overlooking Valenciennes from the south—to be carried out by the Canadian Corps on a subsequent date, probably October 30, 1918.

(c) The capture of high ground east of Valenciennes—to be carried out after (b) above, probably on November 1.

Valenciennes would thus be outflanked from the south. The Canadian Corps would take over, probably on the night of October 28-29, 1918, the left brigade frontage of the Twenty-second Corps (approximately 2,500 yards) in order to carry out phases (b) and (c) of this operation. The above attacks were to be carried out simultaneously with the attacks of the Third and Fourth Armies.

In accordance with the above, instructions were issued to the Third Canadian Division to take over the frontage of the left brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division. The Fourth Canadian Division was, in turn, ordered to relieve the left brigade of the Twenty-second Corps (Fifty-first Division), both side slips to take place on the night of October 28-29, 1918, subsequent to the capture of Mont Houy by the Twenty-second Corps.

At the left is Major General Sir Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis, who commanded the Third Canadian Division in the latter half of 1918; at the right is Brigadier General Raymond Brutinel, who commanded the Canadian Motor Machine Gun Corps.

The attack of the Fifty-first Division on Mont Houy on October 28, 1918, was not successful. In the first rush the troops succeeded in gaining a foothold on the objective, but were subsequently driven out by repeated counterattacks. In view of this, the relief of the left brigade of that division by the Fourth Canadian Division was postponed. During the night of October 28-29, (p. 415) 1918, however, the Third Canadian Division relieved the left brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division.

Orders were received that the Canadian Corps was to carry out all three phases of the operations against Valenciennes in conjunction with attacks of the Twenty-second Corps. Accordingly, the Fourth Canadian Division was ordered to relieve the left brigade of the Fifty-first Division during the night of October 29-30, 1918, on the line then held, and to be prepared to carry out the attack on the morning of November 1, 1918.

In conjunction with the attack the Third Canadian Division was ordered to cross the Canal and the inundated area on its front, and establish a bridgehead to enable the engineers to reconstruct the bridges leading into the city.

In the short period available, elaborate preparations were made for the support of the attack. The position was eminently suitable for the use of enfilade as well as frontal fire, the general direction of the attack on Mont Houy being parallel to our front, and full advantage of this was taken in arranging the artillery and machine-gun barrages.

The application of heavy artillery fire was restricted because the enemy had retained many civilians in Valenciennes and the adjoining villages. Strict orders were issued that the city and villages were not to be bombarded, with the exception of a row of houses on the eastern side of the Canal which were occupied by a large number of machine guns. To hinder the good observation which the enemy would otherwise have been able to enjoy from the city and villages, very elaborate arrangements were made to place heavy smoke screens along certain areas.

Despite great difficulties of transport, the supplies of ammunition, bridging material, etc., moved forward were sufficient, and before dawn on November 1, 1918, all preparations were completed.

At 5.15 a. m., November 1, 1918, the attack was launched, and from the first went entirely according to plan on the Canadian Corps front. The enemy barrage dropped quickly and was very heavy, but shortly afterward slackened down under the influence of efficient counterbattery fire. In the meantime the attacking (p. 416) infantry got well away, advancing under a most excellent barrage and reaching their objective, the line of the Valenciennes-Maubeuge railway, on time right behind the barrage.

The fighting during the advance was heavy, especially around the houses along the Famars-Valenciennes road and in Aulnoy.

The thoroughness of the preparations made for this small but important battle is better illustrated by the following striking figures:

Number of enemy dead buried, over 800
Prisoners captured, over
(Exceeding the number of assaulting troops.)
Canadian casualties (approximate), 80 killed and 300 wounded.

On the left, the left brigade of the Fourth Canadian Division and the Third Canadian Division had, in the meantime, succeeded in crossing the Canal. Bridgeheads were established north of the city, the station and railway yards were seized, and the engineers commenced the construction of bridges.

The enemy did not counterattack against the Canadian Corps during the day, but continued to hold out strongly in the southern outskirts of Valenciennes and Marly, and in the steel works to the southeast until dark. Two counterattacks against the Twenty-second Corps front on the right caused some anxiety, but that flank was strengthened and no trouble developed.

During the night the Fourth Canadian Division took over an additional brigade frontage from the Forty-ninth Division (Twenty-second Corps) on the right preparatory to the capture of the high ground east of Marly.

Patrols of the Fourth Canadian Division pushed forward during the night and ascertained that the enemy was withdrawing. In the early morning the Canadian troops had completely cleared Valenciennes and Marly, and patrols had entered St.-Saulve.

The advance was continued in the face of stubborn resistance from enemy rear guards throughout November 2, 1918, on the whole corps front, and by nightfall had reached the line Marly-St.-Saulve-Bas Amarais-Raucourt Château, all inclusive. On the front of the Third Canadian Division the advance was particularly difficult, the country being under water except where (p. 417) railway embankments, slag heaps, and houses stood up out of the flood and afforded excellent cover for enemy machine gunners and riflemen.

Some stiff fighting took place when the advance was continued on November 3, 1918, but in spite of this good progress was made, especially on the right on the front of the Eleventh Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General V. W. Odlum), where the line was advanced 3,000 yards and the village of Estreux captured. Progress on the left was necessarily slower owing to the flooded nature of the ground.

The front of the Third Canadian Division had now become very extended, and on the night of November 3-4 a portion of it, from Odomez to Fresnes—about a mile in extent—was handed over to the Fifty-second Division of the Eighth Corps.

On November 4, 1918, the line was carried forward about two miles on the front of the Fourth Canadian Division. The Third Canadian Division was still forcing its way through marsh and water, and made good the Vicq-Thiers railway. On the extreme left of the Third Canadian Division a strong point east of the Canal-de-l'Escaut was captured and the Escaupont-Quievrechain railway bridge was taken. The village of Onnaing and the western part of Rombies fell into their hands during the day.

During the early hours of November 5, 1918, the Third Canadian Division entered the town of Vicq, following the capture of two points of local tactical importance west of the town. A large portion of the line of the Escaupont-Quievrechain railway was also made good, and the northern part of Quarouble captured during the day.

The Fourth Canadian Division attacked on November 5, 1918, and clearing Rombies and the southern part of Quarouble, crossed the river Aunelle between Rombies and Marchipont, the enemy fighting very stubbornly to prevent their crossing. By this advance the first troops of the Canadian Corps crossed into Belgian territory, the Aunelle River being the boundary at that point.

The advance was resumed on November 6, 1918, and important progress was made. The villages of Marchipont, Baisieux, and the southern portion of Quievrechain were taken by the Fourth (p. 418) Canadian Division while the Third Canadian Division took the railway station and glassworks at Quievrechain and the northern part of the village, and also captured Crespin farther north.

The enemy's resistance was very stubborn. The Twenty-second Corps on the right were forced to give up a portion of the ground gained and to withdraw to the west bank of Honelle River at Angre, in the face of severe counterattacks.

The Second Canadian Division relieved the Canadian Division during the night of 6-7, and the latter was withdrawn to rest in the Anzin-Aubry area, just west of Valenciennes.

On their right the Canadians were now getting into the heart of the Belgian coal district—a thickly populated area—where the numerous towns and villages, the coal mines, and the commanding slag heaps complicated the task.

The Second and Third Canadian Divisions attacked on the morning of November 7, 1918, and, although by this time the weather had broken and the country was rapidly becoming thoroughly water-logged, good progress was made during the day, the enemy showing increasing signs of demoralization.

The Second Canadian Division, on the right, cleared the remainder of Baisieux, captured the sugar refinery northeast of that town, the town of Elouges, and the many small settlements that surrounded it. In conjunction with the Third Canadian Division Quievrain was taken, and an advance of about two and a half miles was made. On the left the Third Canadian Division, in addition to cooperating with the Second Canadian Division in the capture of Quievrain, pushed along the Mons road for about 4,000 yards and took La Croix and Hensies, north of the road.

When the advance was continued on November 8, 1918, the Third Canadian Division pushed troops to the north, and by noon had secured the villages of Thievencelle and St.-Aybert. Later in the day a footbridge was constructed across the Conde-Mons Canal, and under cover of darkness patrols crossed and a bridgehead was established.

Farther south the Third Canadian Division had surprised the enemy in the village of Montreuil-sur-Haine and Thulin at an early hour, and these towns were quickly captured. Pushing (p. 419) on from here the village of Hamin was taken, and by nightfall the troops were on the western outskirts of Boussu.

The Second Canadian Division met with strong opposition. Good progress was, however, made, and by midnight the important village of Dour and the smaller villages of Bois-de-Boussu, Petit Hornu, Bois-de-Epinois, and a portion of the Bois-de-Leveque was cleared.

Resuming the advance on November 9, 1918, the Second Canadian Division captured Warquignies, Champ-des-Sait, Petit Wasmes, Wasmes-Paturages, La Bouverie, Lugies, Frameries, and Genly with little opposition. The advance made by this division was over four miles through densely populated areas, the twin towns of Wasmes-Paturages combined having a population of about 30,000. By nightfall the Second Canadian Division was clear of the main mining district.

The Third Canadian Division had on its left front crossed the river Haine during the night, north of Montreuil-sur-Haine, and later secured a further hold on the north bank of the Conde-Mons Canal near Le Petit Crepin. During the afternoon, further troops were sent across the Canal, and the villages of Petit Crepin, Ville Pommereuil, Hautrage, and Terte were taken. Farther west the patrols which had crossed the Canal on the previous day entered Pommereuil and Bernissart.

The Third Canadian Division had also occupied Boussu, on its right, before daylight on the 9th, and rapid progress eastward was made during the day toward Mons, the villages of Cuesmes, Jemappes, Flenu, Hornu, Wasmes, Quaregnon, Wasmuel, and St.-Ghislain all being captured. The rapidity of this advance had evidently surprised and disorganized the enemy, although some opposition was met.

By the morning of November 10, 1918, the Fifty-second Division (Eighth Corps) had advanced and relieved that part of the Third Canadian Division operating north of the left boundary of the Canadian Corps.

The Third Canadian Division's advance on November 10, 1918, brought the Canadian troops to the southwestern outskirts of Mons, while the Second Canadian Division had reached the (p. 420) Mons-Givry road, outflanking the city from the south, but, owing to the large number of civilians still in the city, it was not possible for us to bombard the town. To the north of the Conde-Mons Canal, a further advance was made and the village of Ghlin secured.

During the night of November 10-11, 1918, the divisions resumed their advance, and immediately after dark the troops of the Seventh Canadian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier General J. A. Clark) commenced to close in. The villages of Nimy and Petit Nimy were quickly captured and an entry into Mons by way of the railway station was effected before midnight. By 6.00 a. m. on November 11, 1918, the stubborn machine-gun resistance had been broken and the town cleared of the enemy.

The Second Canadian Division had, during the night, taken the Bois-le-Haut, a wood crowning a large hill on the southeastern outskirts of Mons, thus securing the right flank of the Third Canadian Division. The capture of this high ground forced upon the enemy a further retirement, and the Canadian troops, still pressing on, reached and captured St.-Symphorien and Fbg. Barthelmy by 8.00 a. m.

In the meantime, word had been received through the First Army that hostilities would cease at 11.00 a. m. on November 11, 1918, the armistice having been signed in acceptance of the Allied terms.

To secure a satisfactory line for the defense of Mons, the Canadian line was further advanced, and the Bois-d'Havre, Bois-du-Rapois and the town and villages of Havre, Bon Vouloir, La Bruyère, Maisières, St.-Denis, and Obourg were captured before hostilities ceased.

Between October 11 and November 11, 1918, the Canadian Corps had advanced to a total depth exceeding ninety-one thousand yards (91,000 yards) through a country in which the enemy had destroyed railways, bridges, and roads, and flooded large areas to further impede our progress.

To the normal difficulties of moving and supplying a large number of men in a comparatively restricted area were added the necessity of feeding several hundred thousand people, chiefly (p. 421) women and children, left in a starving condition by the enemy. Several deaths by starvation, or through suffering consequent to privation, were experienced in villages or towns which, being kept under hostile shell fire and defended by machine guns, could not be captured rapidly by our troops.

The fighting was light up to the Canal-de-l'Escaut, but stiffened perceptibly from there on until the capture of Mons, and added a great deal to the physical exertion caused by such a long advance in adverse weather. The following table shows the average daily advances made by the Canadian Corps in that period:

From October 11 to October 12 4,000
  " 12   " 17 7,000
  " 17   " 18 5,000
  " 18   " 19 12,000
  " 19   " 20 2,500
  " 20   " 21 5,000
  " 21   " 22 6,000
  " 22   " 23 3,000
  " 23   " 24 1,000
  " 24   November 1 3,500 [9]
  November 1   " 2 3,000  
  " 2   " 3 2,000
  " 3   " 4 3,000
  " 4   " 5 1,500
  " 5   " 6 4,000
  " 6   " 7 4,000
  " 7   " 8 3,500
  " 8   " 9 11,000
  " 9   " 10 1,500
  " 10   " 11 9,000
Total   91,500

Between August 8 and November 11, 1918, the following had been captured:

Prisoners 31,537
Guns (heavy and field) 623
Machine guns 2,842
Trench mortars (heavy and light) 336

Over 500 square miles of territory and 228 cities, towns, and villages had been liberated, including the cities of Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes, and Mons.

(p. 422) When it is recalled that since August 8, 1918, the Canadian Corps had fought battles of the first magnitude, having a direct bearing on the general situation, and contributing to an extent difficult to realize to the defeat of the German armies in the field, this advance under most difficult conditions constitutes a decisive test of their superior energy and power of endurance.

It was befitting that the capture of Mons should close the fighting records of the Canadian troops, in which every battle they fought is a resplendent page of glory.

The Canadian Corps was deeply appreciative of the honor of having been selected among the first for the task of establishing and occupying the bridgeheads east of the Rhine.

A long march of 170 miles under difficult conditions was ahead of them, but they ungrudgingly looked forward to what had always been their ultimate objective—the occupation of German soil.


  Officers Other Ranks Total  
Killed in action and died of wounds 2,559 48,557 51,116
Accidentally killed 5 8 13
Died of disease 292 4,613 4,905
Wounded 5,349 143,510 148,859
Presumed dead 187 4,915 5,102
Missing 57 57
Deaths in Canada 2,633 2,633
  ———— ———— ————
  8,392 204,293 212,685 [10]
Total prisoners of war 236 3,493 3,729  
Repatriated 204 3,086 3,290
C. E. F.—Siberian force—  
Accidentally killed   4  
Died of disease   13
Wounded   1
Enlistments up to November 15, 1918   595,441 [11]
Sailings to England   418,052  
Sailings to Siberia   4,214
  422,266 [12]




While the enlistment and equipment of the first contingent proceeded apace, all political ranks united for the war. Militarists and pacifists, fathoms apart in times of peace on the question of a Dominion navy, joined hands. Party lines, as in Great Britain, were instantly obliterated. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, former Prime Minister, and leader of the opposition in the Canadian Parliament, who, at the Imperial Conference of 1911, advocated the doctrine of colonial neutrality, declaring that Canada would not necessarily consider herself bound to take part in wars in which Great Britain might become involved, immediately threw the weight of his influence behind the Government. When the Dominion Parliament met August 19, 1914, to indorse Great Britain's participation in the war, Sir Wilfrid, after announcing that for the present all party lines had been abolished, said:

"So long as there is danger at the front it is our duty, more pressing than all other duties on this first day of debate, to let Great Britain, to let all the friends and foes of Great Britain, know that there is in Canada but one mind and one heart, and that all Canadians stand behind the mother country, conscious and proud that she did not engage in war from selfish motives or for aggrandizement, but to maintain untarnished the honor of her name, to fulfill her obligations to her allies, to maintain her treaty obligations, and to save civilization from the unbridled lust of conquest and power."

(p. 424) Of the Canadian contingent he said it was the opinion of the British Government that the assistance of Canadian troops, humble though it might be, would be appreciated for their material and moral help, and would show the world that Canada, daughter of England, intended to stand by her in the conflict.

Canada's Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, had opened Parliament wearing a general's field uniform in khaki, and reminded the legislators that England was asking for their help. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in the speech he made, presented a motion proposing that the Dominion be prepared to carry out the duke's suggestion. The motion's seconder was the Premier, Sir Robert Borden, who said:

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the mother country. With firm hearts we abide the issue. The men who are going to the front from Canada are going as freemen from a free country to serve this Dominion and the Empire. We are giving our best to our country, and we are proud to do it." The press of Canada ardently indorsed the decision.

The Canadian Parliament immediately voted a war credit of $50,000,000, the minister of finance declaring that Canada was prepared to spend her last drop of blood and her last dollar in the defense of the country. This measure, the first contribution from Canada's war chest on behalf of the Empire, signalized an outpouring of gifts in kind, official or private, in rich profusion. From its storehouses the Government presented Great Britain with 98,000 bags of flour; the Provinces thereupon followed with individual gifts of supplies. Ontario gave 250,000 bags of flour; Manitoba, 50,000 bags; Quebec, 4,000,000 pounds of cheese; New Brunswick, 100,000 bushels of potatoes; Saskatchewan, 1,500 horses, valued at $250,000; Alberta, 500,000 bushels of oats; Prince Edward Island, 100,000 bushels of oats; British Columbia, 25,000 cases of salmon; while Nova Scotia at first offered 100,000 tons of coal, a cumbrous contribution, which was later converted to its cash equivalent. These governmental offerings evoked no less handsome responses to the call of the mother country from many cities and towns, corporations, and individuals. Great Britain's sinews of war were further reenforced by $100,000 (p. 425) from the Bank of Montreal; $500,000 from Mr. J. K. L. Ross of Montreal; a battery of machine guns from Mr. J. C. Eaton of Toronto; while Mr. Hamilton Gault of Montreal equipped and raised at his own expense a crack regiment composed entirely of men possessing war medals, and known as the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, or more properly as "Princess Pat's Pets." Having outfitted this force at a cost of $1,500,000, Mr. Gault did not take command, but joined it as one of its officers, while Mrs. Gault closed her home and left for the front as a nurse. Corporations also contributed funds for the war, and many employees gave a percentage of their salaries.

The women of Canada raised a fund of $285,960, one hundred thousand of which was for military hospital purposes, and the remainder for a naval hospital. The Canadian Red Cross sent a fully equipped field hospital and $50,000 to the British Red Cross Society. The Dominion Government provided $100,000 for a Canadian hospital in France. Farmers in different districts gathered vast stocks of flour and farming produce and sent them to England. The Canadians also raised their own Patriotic Relief Fund, devoted to caring for dependents of Canadians fighting at the front and providing a subsistence for their future. Eighteen cities raised considerably over $5,000,000 for this fund within ten weeks of the outbreak of the war. Montreal leading with $2,000,000, and Toronto with nearly $1,000,000.

In the wake of this munificence came an increased depression. Before the war a temporary check had come to a long and unexampled era of prosperity in Canada. An industrial crisis had set in, and the war brought it to an acute point. There had been an overstimulation of industrial enterprises; land values had been artificially inflated in the Northwest; and capital had been too easily raised. Capital now became scarce; Canadian promotions were viewed with suspicion; and some foreign investments were withdrawn. With the war many Canadians, who were working and giving whole-heartedly for the Empire, saw their enterprises facing ruin for want of capital they could not obtain. The stock exchanges were closed. Shares in some of the soundest industrial concerns were almost unsalable; others (p. 426) were offered for little more than half their market price of a few months before. Canadian Pacific shares, as an example, fell to $157-½; a little over a year previous to the war they had reached $254. Government and municipal undertakings found difficulty in obtaining funds to continue public works, and in consequence had to discharge hundreds of men. A number of establishments closed altogether; others continued on curtailed time and staffs.

Montreal felt an immediate depressing tendency on the outbreak of the war. In Toronto the financial stringency caused by the war brought a more serious phase to the labor situation in that city than had ever before been encountered. All lines of industry were affected, and thousands of men and women paid off. The enlistment of several thousands of Canadians did not appreciably relieve the congestion in the labor market. The building trade was suddenly paralyzed owing to the inability of contractors to obtain advances from banks and loan companies. The same check to all manner of business enterprises and construction work was felt in Port Arthur, Fort William, Sault Ste. Marie, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Prince Rupert, and Victoria. In all these cities the numbers of unemployed grew to extraordinary proportions. So, while military preparations were proceeding without pause, the Dominion, Provincial, and municipal authorities and business interests had to wrestle with the industrial situation. In due time distress was relieved, new enterprises were initiated, wholesale economies instituted, and vigorous efforts made to restore financial stability.

Canada looked suspiciously at the migratory Germans within her gates when the war broke out, but more assuringly at her settlers of German descent, who were not only domiciled but rooted on her soil. Of these Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoke thus in the Canadian House of Parliament: "They have shown more than once their devotion to British institutions, but they would not be men if they did not in their hearts have a deep feeling for the land of their ancestry. Nobody blames them for that. There is nothing, perhaps, so painful as a situation in which the mind and heart are driven in opposite directions. Let me tell (p. 427) my fellow countrymen of German origin that Great Britain has no antagonism to the German people. We respect and admire them, but in the struggle for constitutional liberty which has been universal in Europe the German people have not made the same advances as some other nations. I am sure they will agree with me that if the institutions of the land of their ancestors were as free as those of the land of their adoption, this cruel war would never have taken place."

This sentiment brought a ready echo from Berlin, Ontario, which at least showed that that German colony shared the common aspirations of the Dominion. In a cablegram sent to Lord Kitchener the citizens of this Ontario German settlement said:

"Berlin, Ontario, a city of 18,000, of which 12,000 are German or of German descent, proposes to raise $75,000 or more for the National (Canadian) Patriotic Fund. The German people want to see militarism in Germany smashed for good, and the people set free to shape a greater and better Germany."

Pro-German sentiment undoubtedly lurked in these German Canadian communities, but it was quiescent and therefore harmless. Hence anti-German sentiment, which became demonstrative and dangerous upon the declaration of war by Great Britain, did not direct its attention to the German settlements, but to the consulates. Those at Vancouver and Winnipeg were stoned by mobs, and the German and Austrian consuls were requested to leave the country. There was a fear of spies, and a number of unaffiliated Germans were arrested and interned.

Then the popular imagination became scared by the remote possibility of an invasion of Canada by German and Austrian Americans. A feeling of nervousness over the supposed danger was reported along the Canadian frontier, though the fears of the border communities were accounted as groundless. The Government was fully cognizant of conditions along the border and military activities kept at least 40,000 men either mobilized or under arms in various parts of the country, composed of 10,000 as guards for home defense and 30,000 in training for oversea service. The danger, fanciful or not, caused extra precautions to be taken against any invasion across the Niagara (p. 428) River. Guards were stationed at Fort Erie, directly opposite Buffalo, and the whole river front from there to Niagara Falls and Queenstown was patrolled day and night by between 500 and 600 members of the newly organized home guards—in automobiles or on motorcycles. The guard on the Welland Canal was doubled.

There had been occasional trouble with alien workmen at munition factories, some of which, incidentally, were hemmed in by three successive fences of barbed wire, outside of which marched armed sentries. A railroad bridge in the Northwest had been blown up. Later a sentry on guard at a lock in the Soulanges Canal, near Montreal, had been shot.

Then followed an attempt to blow up the international bridge between Maine and New Brunswick. Here were sporadic manifestations which called for the services of the new home guards to protect railroads and canals, not only to safeguard Canadian commerce, but because any destruction of canals and bridges might seriously hamper the work of forwarding supplies to England. Much of England's food passed through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence, and the wreck of one lock by explosion during the navigation season would be a serious disaster. After navigation closed the means of forwarding supplies and troops became even more limited. The Intercolonial Railroad, which is owned by the Government, was the only line extending to the Atlantic seaboard without crossing American territory, and for that reason was the sole artery available for the transport of troops. The entire 700 miles of its main line therefore had to be patrolled.

When found, however, alien enemies were well treated in Canada. They were but little molested, and unless under actual suspicion were allowed comparative freedom, being only required to register and report at certain intervals. Detention camps were subsequently established for those suspected of plotting and spying and for those in want. Some Germans and Austrians succeeded in fleeing the country when the war broke out. A ticket agent at Montreal was tried for treason—an offense punishable by death—on a charge that he had assisted them to leave (p. 429) Canada. German and Austrian workmen who did not leave were not permitted to depart, even to the United States, lest they should find means of returning to their own countries to join their armies. Most of them were unemployed; and as alien enemies were not supposed to be provided for by charitable organizations, they were assembled in camps to protect them from starvation.

Germany's attitude toward Canada was indicated in a statement credited to Count von Bernstorff, the German ambassador in Washington, regarding the scope of the Monroe Doctrine. The curious contention was therein made that Canada, by sending troops to fight against Germany, had violated that doctrine. The alleged violation was not very clear, unless, from the German viewpoint, it consisted in giving Germany cause for attacking Canada, which would at once test the effectiveness of the Monroe Doctrine. But this, the statement said, Germany had no intention of doing, nor of attempting to colonize Canada after the war if she were victorious.

Canada refused to take seriously this promise of Germany not to annex her. Most of the Canadian press waxed sarcastic, and those who dealt seriously with the German statement seized upon it as an excuse to beat the recruiting drum for the British army, especially the implication that, because Canada had sided against Germany, there was nothing in the Monroe Doctrine to prevent her landing an armed force in Canada. "Possibly he" (Count von Bernstorff), commented the Montreal "Herald," "expects the United States will now go out of its way and tell him how cordially they would welcome such delightful neighbors on the Canadian side of 3,000 miles of unfortified territory."

The unexampled conditions created by the war with Canada, of which the foregoing is a survey—her activities, turmoil, welding of political cleavages, industrial sacrifices, benevolences, and needless precautions against unsubstantial dangers—merely featured her real achievement. This was the creation of an army in being for the European battle field.




When the war broke out in 1914, Great Britain looked to Canada for a supply of munitions as well as men. Not a shell, cartridge, nor fuse had ever before been made by a Canadian manufacturer. A new industry immediately sprang into being, assuming quite large proportions by the middle of 1915, by which time there were approximately over 400 establishments in full blast. From a modest output in 1914 representing a value of $28,164, the Canadian munitions factories piled up a record of production which stood at over $1,000,000,000 in value with the war's close in November, 1918.

The Imperial Ministry of Munitions, which threw out its lines from London to obtain munitions whence it could, asked much of Canada and got much. "Who would have dreamed," said a member of the British Government in 1915, "that Canada would have produced more munitions than any country in the world except Germany prior to the war?" Of the projectiles used by all the British armies in the third year of the war, Canada was producing 55 per cent of the shrapnel shells; 42 per cent of the 4.5-inch shells; 27 per cent of the 6-inch; 15 per cent of the 8-inch; and 16 per cent of the 9.2-inch. In fact, when the Germans complained that the Allied armies were being munitioned by the United States, they lost sight—or did not know—of the fact that many of the shells they objected to as American really came from Canada. In addition to shells and fuses and related products, there were vast exports of explosives and chemicals, metals, and (p. 431) spruce and fir for airships and other purposes. The war contracts which started all this activity were spread over a thousand contractors and called for the employment of from 200,000 to 300,000 workers.

The table of achievement, as it stands in the Government records, was as under


1914 to December 31 $ 28,164
1915 "   57,213,688
1916 "   296,505,257
1917 "   388,213,553
1918 "   260,711,751


Shells 65,343,647
Fuses 29,638,126
Fuse parts 16,174,073
Cartridge cases 48,627,673
Percussion primers 35,386,488
Exploder containers 13,285,000
Shell and adapter forgings 6,412,115
Explosives and Chemicals— Lbs.  
T. N. T. 14,754,950
Cordite 28,542,157
Other (more than) 41,000,000
Metals and Compounds—
Steel bars 43,077,923
Zinc 35,412,413
Nickel 1,792,000
Other (more than) 27,000,000
Lumber for Aeroplanes— Feet  
Spruce 16,289,227
Fir 6,801,324
Other Lumber—
Douglas fir 11,530,315
Pine—various kinds and qualities 10,360,566
Spruce 8,345,675

This table bears a little amplification, more especially as to the disposition of the huge volume of lumber logged. Much of it, as will be seen, went into the manufacture of aeroplanes. A (p. 432) plant at Toronto, financed with British capital, but organized and operated by Canadians, manufactured 2,050 complete machines, turning out 350 a month. The airships represented a value of $6,700,000, and required over 2,000 workers in their construction. The plant also provided a number of flying boats for the United States Navy.

Canada's shipbuilding record was no less notable. Her yards turned out 103 vessels (45 steel, 58 wooden) with an approximate dead-weight carrying capacity of 367,367 tons. In addition, the Department of Naval Service undertook to build a number of small warcraft for various Allied governments. These little vessels were produced at various points on the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. For the British Government Canadian yards supplied 12 submarines, 60 armed trawlers, 100 armed drifters, 550 coastal patrol motor boats, and 24 steel lighters for use in Mesopotamia; for the French Government, 6 armed trawlers and 36 coastal patrol motor boats; for the Italian Government, 6 submarines; and for the Russian Government one large armed ice breaker and some submarines.

The outstanding feature of all the munition making was, as the table shows, the production of shells. It needed nimble feminine fingers to turn out the very nub of a shell, namely, the fuse. Consider the record of a huge factory near Montreal, which engaged in loading and assembling time and percussion fuses, completing in all 8,400,000. The work involved the blending of fast and slow burning powders; forcing the powder into the time rings under a pressure of 68,000 pounds per square inch; assembling the fifty-two component parts which made up the complete fuse; the packing, checking, and shipping the completed product. Women became expert in the work of fuse making, which meant being careful even to the 1-1000th of an inch.

"A shell with a defective fuse," wrote one observer of their work, "is worse than no shell at all. It may fail to explode, it may explode in the wrong place, at the wrong time, or in the wrong way." Canadian women made fuses that made the perfect shell. Not only in fuse making did they excel; heavy work became easy when machines, at the suggestion of the women (p. 433) themselves, were changed in position. Finally there was no difference in the work done by men and women. Within five weeks of the time they first heard of a 9.2-inch shell 400 women in one factory were successfully turning them out, performing every operation from that subsequent to the fabrication of the metal to and including that of shipping.

Before October, 1916, no women had ever worked in Canada as producers in a metal plant. There was a prejudice against employment of women. The need of shells and the need of shell makers dissipated prejudice and put women into Canadian munitions plants. At first they were given the light work to do and were set to tending a machine; work that required little intelligence on the part of the operator, but was extremely trying on the nerves. It soon became apparent that women excelled in work that required accuracy and delicate handling.

Women worked cheerfully and long. In the time of greatest need there were 35,000 women at work in the munitions factories of Canada; after the first call there was no shortage of women help. For various good reasons it was decided to give a badge without charge to any woman who worked for thirty days continuously. For each additional six months' service a bar was added. In all, 18,999 badges and 8,032 service bars were used in Canada. They were earned as follows: One bar, 4,003; two bars, 1,135; three bars, 447; four bars, 84; five bars, 16; six bars, 2.

In addition a commemorative badge was awarded to all workmen in the various plants who served continuously for a year or more. Far from disturbing labor conditions the entry of women into munitions plants aroused the most wonderful cooperation and enthusiasm and actually dispelled what might have been a serious drawback in "serving the man who serves the gun."

It began with a Shell Committee, composed of honorary members, which was formed when the British Government decided that Canada was a good field for producing shrapnel shells, especially as basic steel—the only steel Canada turned out—proved serviceable for shell making. The Shell Committee placed contracts on behalf of the British War Office, but the volume of (p. 434) business expanded to such a degree that the committee only gave place to a board directly responsible to the Imperial Ministry of Munitions. The work of this Munitions Board developed a number of auxiliary departments, directed by business men located in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria, who handled enormous purchases of materials for use in munition making, supervised construction, conducted logging operations, and checked and rectified all engineering gauges. The forging of steel had to be arranged and the forgings and components distributed to the machining plants situated in the various Provinces. Shipbuilding required the acquisition of much timber and supplies for the hulls and the construction of engines and boilers.

These national plants were erected at Trenton, Renfrew, and Nobel for producing nitrocellulose, cordite, and T. N. T., with acid plants, and a factory for turning out acetone and methyl-ethyl-ketone. In the forging operations steel turnings had to be melted in electric furnaces, the steel thus subsequently produced being converted into forgings. The manufacture of aeroplanes for the Royal Air Force included a constructional section which built all aerodromes, machine shops, barracks, and officers' quarters at the various camps. The logging operations, which were conducted in British Columbia, produced spruce and fir for aeroplanes, and called for fleets of tugs which delivered the logs to cutting mills. Every kind of material that could be made available for war purposes was explored for by the Munitions Board in areas of natural resources hitherto undeveloped, with the result that industries new to Canada were established. One development was an extensive production of alloys used in the manufacture of high-speed cutting tools. Another achievement was the creation of the explosive and propellent industry.

The manufacture of munitions spread over the whole of Canada, with the exception of Prince Edward Island—which is exclusively agricultural—and even invaded the island of Newfoundland. From the first factory in the east to the last factory on the Pacific coast was a journey of 4,500 miles.

"Steel," it was recorded, "was purchased wherever it could be obtained. It was shipped 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 miles to have (p. 435) it forged. From the forging plant it was shipped back again 500 or 600 miles or forwarded 2,000 miles to machining plants. Other component parts were purchased from manufacturers as far south as Florida. They were sent to remote points in order that every Canadian manufacturer engaged in munitions contract might sustain delivery of finished shells."

The policy pursued in all the complex operations thus briefly outlined aimed at the elimination of the middleman and dealing direct with those who performed the work. Raw materials of every description were purchased and passed on from one contractor to another, saving the contractor large investments of capital otherwise necessary to produce complete shells, and enabling a proper distribution of the materials available to insure maximum production. Subsequently the war munitions business was placed on a competitive basis.

All the work accomplished was due to the initiative of the Imperial Munitions Board, which was presided over by Sir Joseph Flavelle. There was, of course, a governing stimulus in all it did, namely, the needs of the war, which evolved the board's creation on broad lines when, in November, 1915, the British Government placed munition contracts in Canada amounting to $300,000,000. Manufacturers adapted their plants to munition making; thousands of men and women toiled at the lathe and in places of great responsibility and danger; patriotic Canadians freely gave their services when called upon with no other reward than the satisfaction of serving the state. The board's administrative staff numbered close to a thousand men and women, and of them Sir Joseph Flavelle declared that no body of men charged with serious duty ever received more loyal and efficient support. The same tribute was bestowed on the great home army of eager participants in munition making of all ranks, though, like the good workers they all were, they found duty its own reward.

An important factor in the manufacture of munitions was the work of the Canadian War Trade Board. Its functions braced the supervision and control of the Dominion's industries, and the direction of all essential trades, occupations, and materials to the (p. 436) conduct of the war. It was especially valuable in reaching outside of Canada for needed materials for munitions, particularly from the United States.

The War Trade Board was born of a crisis. Until the United States entered the war Canada had been able to obtain raw materials and half-finished products necessary in the munitions industry without difficulty from her southern neighbor. The situation changed when the United States began to conserve every raw material and product which could be used in the war. To present her case effectively Canada had to organize on national lines. The two countries were not independent, American industries needing nickel matter, asbestos, pulp, and power from Canada, and Canadians requiring pig iron, iron ore, steel sheets, coal, cotton, etc., from the United States. By both countries appointing a War Trade Board composed of outstanding business men in both countries, and by means of a Canadian War Mission established in Washington, the two countries were able to present a solid industrial front to the enemy and still preserve their respective national interests intact.

Drastic elimination of nonessentials was the first essential so that the railroads of the continent and the shipping of the world could devote their energies to carrying necessaries for sustaining the Allied war effort. The Canadian Board saw that no company imported any material when stocks in Canada could be utilized for its needs. This was not only to fulfill its obligations to the United States War Trade Board, but to keep down imports to the lowest possible figure so that Canada's trade balance with the United States should be as little adverse as possible. For the same reason a number of imports were placed on the restricted list.

Every day from all over Canada came anxious men and constant streams of letters and telegrams informing the board as to stocks of raw materials on hand, and explaining the needs. The War Trade Board undertook to see that the materials were forthcoming, if possible, and to secure them from within Canada or from the United States or elsewhere. It purchased and distributed tin plate in Canada, negotiated for the reopening of (p. 437) dormant blast furnaces and the construction of new undertakings for the production of pig iron, and obtained huge supplies required from the United States. It controlled the sale, purchase, and use of platinum. It financed the purchase and allotment through the Wool Commission of 46,208 bales of Australian wool weighing 15,573,542 pounds and valued at ten and a half million dollars, as well as five and a half million dollars' worth of tops and noils from the United Kingdom. It had power to pay bounties on the production of linen yarns in Canada. It also controlled the production and distribution of iron and steel and their products in Canada, and was empowered to take over and carry on the management of chrome ore-producing properties for a period of five years.

The Board also served as a clearing house for industrial information to manufacturers, keeping in constant touch with the various industries, either individually or through such bodies as the Imperial Munitions Board, the Canadian Wool Commission, the War Purchasing Commission, the Canadian Tanners' Council, the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, and the Canadian Wool Growers' Association.

Had it not been for the existence of such a body, there were many raw materials and products which Canadians could not have secured at all, as the British, United States, and Australian Governments would not have permitted their shipment but for assurances as to the use to which they would be put or of a substantial cash advance. The shortage of shipping made it necessary in some cases to secure a vessel to go to South America or some other country to get materials urgently needed in Canada, and only a government body could have induced the admiralty to permit it.

The securing of steel plates for Canadian shipbuilding industries was one of the board's most arduous and continuous tasks. Profiteering in steel-plate and boiler-tube stocks was sternly checked in the cases where complaints were well founded. Canadian steel companies were induced to make all the car plates necessary for the Government's car program. The pyrites exports were increased to meet the needs of the sulphuric (p. 438) acid makers in the United States. Nitroglycerine was conserved by restricting the content in commercial explosives.

The commandeering powers of the board were not often exercised, its authority to do so alone being amply sufficient to obtain the ends for which it was created. Most of the money made by the board was in connection with its wool purchases. The money obtained for the tops and noils from the United Kingdom it sent to the British Treasury. With the proclamation of peace the board passed out of existence.



The war left Canada, as it did other countries, with an army of demobilized men, able and disabled, who needed Government help to reestablish themselves in civilian life. For soldier citizens who were attracted by farming, an extensive land settlement policy was devised, and to a large extent its application solved one of the Government's problems in affording thousands of ex-soldiers the means of settling on the land, of which Canada had more to offer than anything else. "The corner stone of Canada's industrial fabric is and must continue to be the land," said Arthur Meighen, M. P., the Minister of the Interior, "and to utilize this heritage to the best advantage—to build into it and upon it as large a proportion as possible of the best blood and spirit of our country, thus solving a problem of reconstruction than which none is more vital in its bearing on national well-being—is what is sought to be achieved."

The war, in effect, had created an opportunity for land development by producing a colony of soldier settlers who readily turned to farming after their open-air life in the battle areas. But the Government was careful not to subject them to the hazards and isolation which the ordinary, prewar settler had to face. Only land of good value, well located, and of such fertility as to insure (p. 439) profitable returns, was allocated among them. A search was made through the prairie Provinces for areas suitable for soldier settlement contained in forest reserves or held under grazing leases. The Government held a number of these reserves so that men whose demobilization was deferred could have an equal opportunity with those who were discharged first. Inadequate means of communication affected the disposition of immense areas of arable land, which would otherwise have been available for soldiers. But it was decided to develop and close in settlement only those areas that were contiguous to existing or promoted railroad lines. The Government considered it inadvisable to encourage the veterans of the Great War to settle on free homesteads at a greater distance than fifteen miles from market facilities. This policy was especially designed for soldiers who labored under some physical disability and who were in receipt of pensions, and for such settlers small holdings, close to large centers of population, were selected.

Canada had early anticipated the problem of rehabilitating her returned soldiers. The Soldier Settlement Board was created long before the Armistice, and was in good working order when the time for demobilization arrived. Hence, when the stream of returned soldiers began to flow toward the fertile farm lands which the Dominion Government opened to them for ownership and development, the machinery for so settling the incomers was ready for operation.

The Government not only settled soldiers on homesteads, but lent them money to stock and equip their farms and afforded them training knowledge. They could borrow up to $4,500 on the purchase of land; up to $2,000 on the purchase of live stock, implements, and other equipment; and up to $1,000 on the erection of buildings and other permanent improvements. This made a total of $7,500, all of which, except the $2,000 for equipment, was repayable in twenty-five years on the amortization plan. The acquisition of farm equipment was rendered easier by an arrangement with agricultural implement firms, who undertook to charge specially low prices to soldier settlers. The Government also employed experts to purchase horses, cattle, (p. 440) sheep, and swine at the best prices obtainable, and resold them to settlers at the price paid for them. Lumber dealers in the western Provinces undertook, by arrangement with the Government, to provide lumber at prices considerably below those charged the public. A soldier settler had similar facilities for erecting a home on his land, the Government providing plans for standard houses of four types, ranging from a modest dwelling suitable for a bachelor settler to more commodious and convenient six-roomed houses.

Before the stage of actual occupation was reached in the case of settlers lacking sufficient farming experience, they were placed in agricultural training centers, especially equipped, where they obtained a practical knowledge of farm work, or else with selected farmers throughout the Dominion, who regarded them as students eager to know how to run a farm rather than as mere farm hands. The prospective farmer's womankind, if likewise unversed in farm work and house management, received the needful instruction from the home branch of the Soldier's Settlement Board. In order to enable him to tide over his non-productive period of training, the Government made allowances to a returned soldier both for himself and for the support of any dependents he might have. He likewise received free board as well as free tuition, and if engaged with a farmer was entitled to retain any remuneration his services yielded. While on a farm, representatives of the board visited him to ascertain his progress, so that they could determine when he was qualified to take over a farm of his own.

The railroads, like the farmers and agricultural firms, cooperated with the Government in assisting returned soldiers to settle upon the land. A special low transportation rate of one cent per mile, applying to the whole of Canada except northern Alberta, was fixed, but the prospective farmer was not entitled to the reduction for ordinary journeys. The rate only applied to the soldier's first trip to work with a farmer, or to attend an agricultural school or to look for land, or for a return journey home to transport his family and chattels to his homestead. Choice of land and location lay wholly with the soldier, but was (p. 441) subject to the judgment of the board's land inspectors, who passed upon its value, and determined whether it was suitable for the purchaser and was worth the price. When an inspector approved the soldier's selection, the land was purchased by the board and sold to the applicant.

Once established in his new environment, the ex-soldier was not left to his own devices. The board's inspectors and supervisors regularly visited him—to give any practical guidance he might require, while local agricultural bodies and individual farmers volunteered their aid to assist him and smooth his path to success. But a condition precedent to his establishing himself on the land with Government aid was that he must first prove his military eligibility and also reveal a capacity, during his tenure at a training college or with a farmer, for owning and operating a farm of his own. That done, the Government lost no time in smoothing the way for him.

As to his army qualifications, an applicant must either have been a discharged member of the expeditionary forces of Canada, Great Britain, or of any of the self-governing Dominions, or a resident of Canada—who had joined the Allied forces at the time of enlistment. In either case he must have served outside the country in which he enlisted or in a theater of actual war; but he was also eligible as a discharged member of the Canadian expeditionary forces who had not served overseas, but who had become incapacitated from military service and entitled to a pension. Widows of members of both forces who had died in actual service were entitled to the same facilities to settle on the land.

The Government's land scheme for soldiers proved a great success. By November 1, 1919, over 40,000 men had applied for the benefits of the Government's offer, and over 30,000 had obtained qualification certificates after receiving tuition at training centers or with farmers. The scheme as a whole involved an expenditure of upward of $100,000,000.

Canada has regarded her returned soldiers as her wards, especially the disabled. Governmental guardianship could go no further. Her scale of pensions, for example, is more than one-third (p. 442) higher than that paid by any other nation. Any soldier or sailor disabled in the service of the Empire became entitled to a pension if medical attention failed to restore his normal capacities for earning a livelihood. The pension was neither a gift, a gratuity, nor a reward for service. The Government called it "compensation for disability suffered through the war," and its amount bore no relation to the calling previously followed by the recipient. A man totally disabled received $720; if married, the amount was $900, with $144 for the first child and $96 for subsequent children. Men totally helpless could also receive a special allowance of $450. The disabled received most of the pension fund, fully three-fourths going to them, while the remaining fourth went to the dependents of deceased service men.

There were twenty classes of disability pensions, according to the degree of the disability, which was the decisive factor in each case. No reduction was made because of the recipient's earning powers or because of his actual earnings. His physical disability, whatever it was—not his ability to support himself—determined the amount. He became a pensioner because of the loss or the lessening of a natural function of the body, and the pension lasted as long as the disability did. When the disability ceased, the pension also ceased. Medical reexaminations were made periodically so that pensions could be adjusted in accordance with the developments in a soldier's condition.

The payment of pensions, which was undertaken by the Board of Pension Commissioners, involved an annual expenditure of $30,000,000. It developed a largely and highly complex business machine; which had its beginnings early in the war period, growing from a small staff of 34 members, handling 2,700 pensions, to a clerical force of 1,300 and a pension roll of 80,000. District offices were established in the large centers of the Dominion to afford discharged men convenient bureaus of information. Medical officers were attached to each office, also Government visitors, who were detailed to call on a pensioner at least once annually. A pensioner's fitness to remain a pensioner was thus ascertained, in order to prevent any improper expenditure of pension money.

(p. 443) Then there was the war-service gratuity to which members of all ranks in the Canadian army were entitled upon discharge, after being in active service outside the Dominion. The payment covered six months and served as a send-off to each demobilized man to enable him to live in comfort pending his settling down to a civil occupation by his own efforts or through Government aid. The gratuities were based on a sliding scale, dependent on length of service; but a minimum payment was also determined on. It was fixed at $70 a month for the service men without dependents and $100 a month for those who had any. Thus, sergeants, corporals, lance corporals and privates without dependents received $420 for six months, or $70 monthly, and those with families, $600 for six months, or $100 monthly. Where the scale of pay was higher than this minimum it was based on the rate of pay of rank and the length of service. The war gratuity was really a continuation of army pay for six months after discharge.



Among the various voluntary war organizations working in Canada, or among the Canadian troops overseas, the most extensive in its scope was the Canadian Patriotic Fund. It was a form of war relief peculiar to Canada, a product of public initiative, entirely unrelated to the Government, being inspired by individual sympathy with the individual needs of service men and by the intimate and old-fashioned neighborly spirit that made all men brothers in an emergency. As a Canadian innovation, arising from the Dominion's own particular problems, and reflecting in a tangible form her characteristics as a nation, the fund was nation-wide in its workings, both in the source of its contributions and their distribution. It represented a voluntary "drive" for money which continued throughout the war period, (p. 444) and its administration was no less notable than its collection. Throughout the Dominion there was a coordination of effort and sympathies on the part of the fund's dispensers, with a complete elimination of overlapping and its attendant waste of time, money, and energy.

The Fund in every respect was a national organization covering all the Provinces except Manitoba (which created a fund of its own), and its object was to assist, wherever necessary, the dependent relatives resident in Canada of Allied soldiers and sailors serving in the war. It was administered locally through committees serving gratuitously, who, while they acted on general instructions from headquarters, also had discretionary powers in approving applications and naming the amount to be granted. As to the service of the Fund, from June, 1916, to November, 1918, it yielded an average amount of $900,000 a month for relief work and provided assistance to between 50,000 and 60,000 families. The Fund represented voluntary contributions from everybody in the Dominion and reached the impressive figure of nearly $43,000,000.

The dispensers of the Fund had one thought in mind. It was the home the service man had left behind him, with special recognition of the size of a man's family and local conditions affecting the cost of living, both being determining factors in the budget making necessary for the right and equitable distribution of such a fund. It was an additional prop for the support of soldiers' families in the absence of the breadwinner, in that it provided a supplementary income to that allowed by the Government.

On enlistment the wife of every soldier received from the War Ministry a separation allowance, originally of $20, later increased to $25. She also received a part of her husband's assigned pay, which differed according to rank. The two payments averaged $35 a month, a sum inadequate for the upkeep of a home, and hence the beneficence of the work of the Fund in augmenting the income of a soldier's wife or other home folks to the level of the cost of living became apparent. It supplemented the home income at the point of deficiency, adding to (p. 445) the Government allowance a sufficient sum to overcome difficulties of living due to local conditions and to the size of the families. Instead of $35 a month, a typical Canadian soldier's family, consisting of a wife and two children, received about $51.25 a month from all sources with the help of the Patriotic Fund's disbursements.

One of its prime objects lay in inspiring the sympathetic atmosphere and attitude so necessary in war times. This object was achieved by reason of the character of the Fund's personnel, especially in local branches, where much, if not all, of the executive work was in the hands of warm-hearted, patriotic women, who did not spare themselves, but gave of their best to the cause they had made their own.

"Keeping the home fires burning" had an appealing sound. The neighborly spirit which animated the giving of contributions kept the home fires burning in that the giving was not spasmodic but sustained, enabling a continuous expansion of the Fund. It was this "touch of nature that makes the whole world kin"—that made all Canada kin—which endeared the Fund to every Canadian, rich and poor alike, and alone accounted for the great response made to every appeal for contributions. Every Canadian regarded his participation in the fund as a personal promissory note; he felt that he was "backing" the service man in a very near and individual sense.

Once the monthly output exceeded the income. In 1915 the monthly output increased from $175,000 to $325,000, which showed how Canadians regarded the Fund. These were anxious times for the Fund executive, and it was at this time that the value of making the appeal Dominion-wide became apparent. Reviewing the difficulties of this period in handling the Fund, Sir Herbert Ames wrote:

"As a rule recruiting was greatest in Provinces least favorably situated financially. Common service, common sacrifice, the principle of giving money or men saved the day. By 1916 the needs of the fund were placed at $8,000,000. 'Give till it hurts,' became the slogan. A systematic allotment of each Province's share of the total contribution was made. Ontario (p. 446) was asked for $4,500,000; Quebec, $1,500,000; Maritime Provinces, $700,000; and Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, $500,000. Every Province was subdivided; each city or town was asked to assume its share. Publicity was given the campaign through newspapers, posters, leaflets, buttons, the Speakers' Patriotic League, and skilled organizers of campaigns. The close of the year showed an increase of 20 per cent in demands on the Fund and an increase of 50 per cent in the amount contributed over the amount asked in the campaign. On New Year's Day the Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, asked for $8,000,000; Canada's answer was $11,375,345. Since June, 1916, the fund has expended an average of $900,000, which is quite timely help to 165,000 individuals."

Following the campaign of 1916 the responses became more and more generous. The Provinces and the larger cities reached great heights in giving. But while individuals contributed checks for princely amounts, the bulk of the Fund was provided by the small wage earners. "This showed," said Sir Herbert Ames, "how thoroughly the Fund represented Canada's war spirit."

British Columbia led all other Provinces in recruiting according to population. It was essentially a Province of wage earners; yet its contributions to the Fund, sustained year after year, were remarkable. In the mountain districts it was the established practice among miners and smelters to contribute "a shift a month" to the fund. The town of Trail, with a population of 4,000, contributed $50,000 a year, or $12.50 per capita. Rossland, with a similar population, gave $36,000 a year. Headly, with a population of 400, gave $9,000 a year or $22.50 per head. Greenwood, numbering 600, donated $15,000, or $25 per head; Phoenix, with 1,200, yielded $18,000, while Silverton, with 800, produced $16,000 a year. In some districts the workmen instructed the superintendents to deduct 3-½ per cent, or one day's pay, per month, from their wages.

The response from sparsely settled districts was no less generous; but there was a difficulty in gathering collections over scattered rural communities. They did not, however, allow this (p. 447) obstacle to deprive them from sharing in the good work, and accordingly requested their councils to levy assessments for the fund, whereby rural contributions could be gathered and equalized. The contribution of such rural council, thus obtained, represented the various individual contributions of the constituents and was voluntary. In this way the rural communities contributed in 1917 the sum of $3,000,000.

Besides these collective efforts, there was scarcely a community that did not furnish examples of self-denying generosity by individuals or groups, some of whom could not afford the sacrifice. The shareholders of an Ontario fire insura