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Title: Current History: A Monthly Magazine of the New York Times, May 1918

Author: Various

Release date: February 2, 2012 [eBook #38750]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

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PRESIDENT WILSON The first portrait of President Wilson since America entered the war, taken at the White House March 19, 1918 (© Sun Printing and Publishing Association)
PRESIDENT WILSON The first portrait of President Wilson since America entered the war, taken at the White House March 19, 1918
(© Sun Printing and Publishing Association)
FERDINAND FOCH Generalissimo of the allied armies on the western front
Generalissimo of the allied armies on the western front


A Monthly Magazine of The New York Times

Published by The New York Times Company, Times Square, New York, N. Y.

Vol. VIII.} No. 2     May, 1918     25 Cents a Copy
Part I.     }$3.00 a Year


THE BATTLE OF PICARDY: A Military Review197
    The British Reverses and Their CausesBy a Military Observer205
    How General Carey Saved Amiens219
    Battle Viewed From the French FrontBy G. H. Perris221
    Caring for Thousands of Refugees228
PROGRESS OF THE WAR: Chronology to April 18231
    The Czar's Loyalty to the Allies: An Autograph Letter239
    Our War Machine in New Phases243
    Shortage in Aircraft Production245
    War Department's Improved SystemBy Benedict Crowell254
    The Surgeon General's Great OrganizationBy Caswell A. Mayo256
RUSSIA AND THE ALLIESBy Arthur J. Balfour272
Contents Continued on Next Page
Copyright, 1918, by The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved.
Entered at the Post Offices in New York and in Canada as Second Class Matter.
    Messenger Dogs in the German Army283
    Admiralty Summary of Shipping Losses286
    The Month's Submarine Record289
TYPICAL U-BOAT METHODS: British Admiralty Records290
    The Story of an Indomitable CaptainBy Joseph Conrad292
    Venice Under the Grim Shadow299
    The Tale of Zeppelin Disasters309
THE IRISH GUARDSBy Rudyard Kipling313
THE GUILT OF GERMANY: Prince Lichnowsky's Memorandum314
    Reply of Former Foreign Minister von Jagow320
    Great Britain's Reply to Count Czernin327
    Charts of Battle of Jutland332
THE BATTLE OF CAMBRAI: Official ReportBy Field Marshal Haig349


President WilsonFrontis
Ferdinand Foch, Generalissimo"
Benedict Crowell204
American Army Chiefs205
British Commanders in France220
German Commanders in France221
United States Congress236
American First Aid Station237
Representatives of Central Powers    268
Panorama of Venice269
Henry P. Davison284
Actual Surrender of Jerusalem285
Camp Zachary Taylor316
View of Camp Sherman317
Graves of Tuscania Victims332
Liberty Loan Poster333



[Period Ended April 19, 1918.]

An Epoch-making Month

The month covered by this issue of Current History Magazine was the most fateful in a military way since the beginning of the war. The most desperate and sanguinary battle in history, begun with the great German offensive in France March 21, 1918, was at its most furious phase when these pages were printed. No less than 4,000,000 men were engaged in deadly combat on a front of 150 miles.

General Foch, by agreement of the Allies, was made Commander in Chief of the allied armies in France, March 28. This decision, long regarded as of supreme importance, was hastened by the new emergency. The United States on April 16 officially approved the appointment. The result of the change was to co-ordinate all the allied forces in France into one army. Early fruits of this new unity were apparent in the news of April 19, when it was announced that heavy French reinforcements had come that day to the relief of the hard-pressed and weary British troops in Flanders, and had halted the Germans; the same day the French counterattacked in the Amiens region and thrust the Germans back, thus giving a brighter aspect to the entire situation in France. The story of the battle of Picardy up to April 18 is told elsewhere in detail.

The separation of Russian provinces from the old Russian Empire continued during the month; the resistance of the Bolsheviki in Finland, the Ukraine, Lithuania, the Caucasus, and other provinces that had been alienated either by secession or by German acquisition grew feebler as the weeks elapsed, and the stability of the new republics under German suzerainty was correspondingly strengthened.

The chief political events were the exposure by France of Austria's duplicity in seeking a separate peace, which caused the downfall of the Austrian Premier, and the application of conscription to Ireland, to be followed by home rule. On April 18 Lord Derby was appointed British Ambassador to France, succeeding Lord Bertie, and was succeeded as Secretary of State for War by Viscount Milner. Austen Chamberlain, son of the late Joseph Chamberlain, was made a member of the War Cabinet.

Secretary of War Baker, who had left for England, France, and Italy early in March, returned on April 17 and spoke in enthusiastic terms of the American forces abroad. He expressed firm confidence in the ultimate defeat of Germany.

General Pershing offered all his available forces to General Foch when the storm of the German offensive broke, and many American units were at once brigaded with British and French forces. The appeals of France and Great Britain for man power met with instant response on this side of the Atlantic, and every ton of available shipping was employed in the transport of American troops. Developments in this regard gave promise of fulfilling the War Department's expressed intention of having an American Army of 1,500,000 in France by the end of 1918.

All American war preparations were visibly speeded up as the situation grew more serious for the Allies, and the spirit of the nation became one of widespread determination to win, even though it should require years of warfare and the entire physical and financial resources of the United States.

Execution of Bolo Pacha

Bolo Pacha, who was convicted by a French court-martial of treason, was executed at Vincennes April 17 by a firing squad. The chaplain, after the execution, found lying over Bolo's heart two embroidered handkerchiefs, which had been pierced by the bullets. One was given to Bolo's brother and the other to his widow.

A few days before the execution the[192] condemned man sent for the public prosecutor, and, it is stated, made important revelations regarding former Premier Caillaux and Senator Humbert, against whom similar charges are pending.

It was proved that Bolo Pacha, whose real name was Paul Bolo, was a poor man before the war, a pensioner of his brother, Mgr. Bolo, a prominent French prelate. The testimony revealed that $1,683,000 had been transferred by the Deutsche Bank at Berlin on the recommendation of Ambassador Bernstorff to Bolo's credit in New York for the purchase of Senator Humbert's newspaper, the Paris Journal; Bolo made an offer of $400,000 for Le Figaro, bought 1,500 shares in Le Rappel for $34,000, and even approached Clemenceau's Homme Enchainé. Papers he got control over included Paris-Midi, Le Cri de Paris, a satirical weekly, and La Revue, of which Jean Finot is editor. The curious thing about the method employed to make these newspapers serve German interests was that under Bolo's control they became exponents of "defeatism" carried to the extreme of ultra-French militarism. The explanation is that the German war party could use quotations from the Bolo papers to persuade the German people that their existence was threatened by the French, thereby justifying the German Government and rekindling in the people the war fervor which was fast oozing out of them. Then, when the opportune moment came, the same ultra-patriotic papers, so it was expected, would suddenly turn pacifist and thereby stir up dissension in the nation and destroy the efficiency of its war measures.

The Numbers in the World's Greatest Battles

THE stupendous character of the battle of Picardy is realized when the numbers engaged in previous noted battles of history are considered. Setting aside the mythical five millions of the army of Xerxes and the ten thousand of Xenophon, accurate figures in Greece are recorded for the campaigns of Philip of Macedon and his more famous son. At Cheronaea, fought in B. C. 338, Philip had 30,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry, the latter led by Alexander, then 18 years old. Alexander's cavalry attack on the flank won the battle, driving back the Athenians and Thebans, who were slightly outnumbered. At Arbela, in October, 331, Alexander the Great, with 47,000 Macedonians, defeated a Persian force three or four times as great, piercing between the Persian left and centre. Pyrrhus of Epirus had, at Asculum, in the year 279, 45,000 infantry against an equal number of Romans, but he had elephants, practically equivalent to artillery.

Hannibal at Cannae, in 216, had 50,000 veterans against Varro's 50,000 Romans, who were drawn up with their backs to the sea, and were thus unable to withdraw before Hannibal's overwhelming onslaught. Julius Caesar at Alesia had 50,000 Romans against 80,000 Gallic infantry and 15,000 cavalry. At Pharsalus, in the civil war, the Pompeians, with 60,000, were routed by the Caesareans with 25,000, losing 15,000, while Julius Caesar lost only 200. Augustus Caesar formed a standing army of 300,000, his legions consisting of 3,000 heavy infantry, 1,200 light infantry, and 300 cavalry each.

Genghiz Khan began with a small force of 6,000, with which he fought and conquered his father-in-law, who had 10,000. At the Battle of the Indus, Genghiz Khan commanded a huge army of 300,000 Tartars. At the battle of Karakin, in 1218, he led 700,000 Tartars against 400,000 Kharismians, completely defeating them. Oliver Cromwell's army, in its most complete form, numbered about 80,000. The army of Frederick the Great, at its highest point of efficiency, numbered 200,000, while the army of Louis XIV. numbered 240,000 men.

In 1793, when Republican France was threatened with invasion, and Carnot was "organizing victory," the effective French forces probably numbered 300,000, though the total number available under the newly introduced system of conscription was four times as many, about a million and a quarter. At the battle of Auerstadt-Jena, on Oct. 14, 1806, Napoleon had a French Army of[193] 160,000, against some 140,000 Prussians. About this time Napoleon made the army corps the practical unit instead of the division, as formerly. The Grand Army, which invaded Russia in 1812, totaled 467,000, but this included 280,000 foreign troops. At the battle of Leipsic, a year after the retreat from Moscow, Napoleon, with 155,000, faced 160,000 Austrians, 60,000 Prussians, and 60,000 Swedes under the recreant Frenchman Bernadotte, the ancestor of the present King of Sweden.

At Waterloo, the French Army is said to have numbered 72,000, against whom were drawn up, at the beginning of the battle, 24,000 British and 43,500 Dutch and Belgian troops. The Dutch and Belgians withdrew before the end of the battle, their place being taken by Blücher's contingent.

The forces commanded by George Washington were always numerically small, a few thousand only, and were in ceaseless flux. In 1790, the American Army consisted of 1,216 men. In the war of 1812, the invading force, which burned the national capital, numbered 3,500 men. At the beginning of the American civil war, the regular army numbered 15,300. Between April, 1861, and April, 1865, the total Federal forces enrolled amounted to 2,759,049, while the Confederates enrolled about 1,100,000, making a total of practically 4,000,000 from a population of 32,000,000; this would be equivalent to an army of from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000 with the present population of the United States. The total furnished for the war with Spain was 10,017 officers and 213,218 men.

The Austrian Army at Sadowa numbered 200,000; the French Army at Sedan some 120,000. At the battle of Mukden, Russians and Japanese each had a force of about 300,000, the largest number in any modern battle up to that time, though greatly outnumbered by Genghiz Khan.

Emperor Charles's Separate Peace Plan

The disclosures regarding Austria's efforts to make a separate peace with France, which are dealt with elsewhere in this issue of Current History Magazine, took a more sensational turn April 11, 1918, when the following official note was issued by the French Government:

Once caught in the cogwheels of lying, there is no means of stopping. Emperor Charles, under Berlin's eye, is taking on himself the lying denials of Count Czernin, and thus compels the French Government to supply the proof. Herewith is the text of an autograph letter communicated on March 31, 1917, by Prince Sixtus de Bourbon, the Emperor of Austria's brother-in-law, to President Poincaré, and communicated immediately, with the Prince's consent, to the French Premier:

My Dear Sixtus: The end of the third year of this war, which has brought so much mourning and grief into the world, approaches. All the peoples of my empire are more closely united than ever in the common determination to safeguard the integrity of the monarchy at the cost even of the heaviest sacrifices.

Thanks to their union, with the generous co-operation of all nationalities, my empire and monarchy have succeeded in resisting the gravest assaults for nearly three years. Nobody can question the military advantages secured by my troops, particularly in the Balkans.

France, on her side, has shown force, resistance, and dashing courage which are magnificent. We all unreservedly admire the admirable bravery, which is traditional to her army, and the spirit of sacrifice of the entire French people.

Therefore it is a special pleasure to me to note that, although for the moment adversaries, no real divergence of views or aspirations separates many of my empire from France, and that I am justified in hoping that my keen sympathy for France, joined to that which prevails in the whole monarchy, will forever avoid a return of the state of war, for which no responsibility can fall on me.

With this in mind, and to show in a definite manner the reality of these feelings, I beg you to convey privately and unofficially to President Poincaré that I will support by every means, and by exerting all my personal influence with my allies, France's just claims regarding Alsace-Lorraine.

Belgium should be entirely re-established in her sovereignty, retaining entirely her African possessions without prejudice to the compensations she should receive for the losses she has undergone.

Serbia should be re-established in her sovereignty, and, as a pledge of our good-will,[194] we are ready to assure her equitable natural access to the Adriatic, and also wide economic concessions in Austria-Hungary. On her side, we will demand, as primordial and essential conditions, that Serbia cease in the future all relation with and suppress every association or group whose political object aims at the disintegration of the monarchy, particularly the Serbian political society, Narodni Ochrana; that Serbia loyally and by every means in her power prevent any kind of political agitation, either in Serbia or beyond her frontiers, in the foregoing direction, and give assurances thereof under the guarantee of the Entente Powers.

The events in Russia compel me to reserve my ideas with regard to that country until a legal definite Government is established there.

Having thus laid my ideas clearly before you, I would ask you in turn, after consulting with these two powers, to lay before me the opinion first of France and England, with a view thus to preparing the ground for an understanding on the basis of which official preliminary negotiations could be taken up and reach a result satisfactory to all.

Hoping that thus we will soon be able together to put a limit to the sufferings of so many millions of men and families now plunged in sadness and anxiety, I beg to assure you of my warmest and most brotherly affection.


The reply of Emperor Charles to the foregoing letter was in the form of the following telegram to Emperor William:

Clemenceau's accusations against me are so low that I have no intention to discuss longer this affair with France. My cannon in the west is our last reply.

In faithful friendship,


As a result of the publication of the letter, whose existence it is claimed was unknown to him, Count Czernin on April 15 resigned his portfolio as Foreign Minister and Premier, and accepted appointment as a Major General in the Austrian Army. He was succeeded by Baron Burian, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs from Sept. 15, 1914, to Dec. 23, 1916, when he was succeeded by Count Czernin.

It was authoritatively announced that the letter was communicated to the British, French, and Italian Premiers at a meeting which took place at St. Jean de Maurienne, April 19, 1917, and unanimously judged as insincere and intended to mask some subtle manoeuvre for stirring up friction between the Allies.

The day before the letter was published Emperor Charles sent a telegram to Emperor William, in which he said:

I accuse M. Clemenceau of piling up lies to escape the web of lies in which he is involved, making the false assertion that I in some manner recognized France's claim to Alsace-Lorraine as just. I indignantly repel the assertion.

To this the German Emperor replied as follows:

Accept my heartiest thanks for the letter in which you repudiate the assertion of the French Premier regarding your attitude toward the French claims on Alsace-Lorraine as entirely baseless and once again accentuate the solidarity of the interests which exist between us and our empires. I hasten to tell you that in my eyes there is no need whatever for such assurance on your part, for I have not for a moment been in doubt. You have made our cause your own; in like measure we stand for the rights of your monarchy.

The heavy battles in these years clearly demonstrate this for every one who will see. They have only drawn the bond closer. Our enemies, who are unable to do anything against us in honorable battle, do not recoil from the most sordid and lowest means. We must put up with that, but all the more it is our duty ruthlessly to grapple with and beat the enemy in all the war theatres.

After the publication of the letter the Austrian Government announced that it was "garbled" and intimated that portions of it were forged before it reached Prince Sixtus. The German press accepted the letter as genuine with caustic and hostile criticism. It was announced April 18 that the original letter of the Emperor was in the possession of Prince Sixtus, who sent a copy of it to President Poincaré.

When Austria Ruled Prussia

Emperor Karl's effort to make a separate peace recalls the period, beginning with the Summer of 1849, when Austria and Prussia were literally at daggers drawn. Twenty-eight North German States had just formed a Prussian League, under the leadership of Friedrich Wilhelm IV. of Prussia. Austria, under the leadership of Franz Josef, organized a counterleague of South German States, and had the support of[195] Nicholas I. of Russia, who had helped Austria to subdue Hungary. Schwarzenberg, the fighting man of the Austrian Confederation, announced his policy: "First humiliate Prussia, then destroy her." The practical collision between Prussian North Germany and Austrian South Germany came when the Elector of Hesse quarreled with his people. The Hessians appealed to the Council of the Prussian League, of which Hesse was a member, while the Elector of Hesse appealed to the Emperor of Austria. Austria and Prussia both set armies in movement, the Austrian force being mainly composed of Bavarian troops, and a kind of half-battle was fought on the frontier of Bavaria. But the Prussian Army was weak and inefficient, while Nicholas I. of Russia was open in his support of Austria. Friedrich Wilhelm IV. of Prussia met Schwarzenberg in a conference at Olmütz on Nov. 28, 1850, and offered Prussia's submission to Austria. Austria then restored the old Diet and reorganized the German Confederation upon the basis of 1815, the Federal act creating this confederation having actually antedated the battle of Waterloo by a week. In this confederation, which was composed of sovereigns, not of peoples, (thirty-four sovereign Princes and the four "free cities" of Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, and Frankfort,) and which met in the Federal Diet at Frankfort, the Austrian representatives presided, and Austria's pre-eminence lasted until the battle of Sadowa, in 1866, when the simultaneous attacks of Prussia and Italy brought about Austria's defeat.

A Union of the Jugo-Slavs

A public meeting held at Rome March 14, 1918, was addressed by Professor Salvemini, a distinguished historian, who advocated the policy of Mazzini that the Italians should ally themselves with the Balkan peoples in order to free them from Austrian and Turkish domination. The speaker opposed the teaching of Cesare Balbo, who advocated a free hand for Austria in the Balkans in return for the cession of the Italian provinces. The leading Serbians and numerous influential Jugo-Slav exiles from Austria-Hungary have indorsed Professor Salvemini's proposition, and a number of Italian Deputies and publicists have joined the movement.

A conference under the auspices of the Serbian Society of Great Britain was held in London March 13, 1918, which was attended by the Executive Committees of the British-Italian League, the Anglo-Hellenic Society, and the Anglo-Rumanian Society. The following resolutions were unanimously passed:

1. This conference learns with gratification of the present understanding between representative Italians and the Jugo-Slavs, convinced as it is that it is in the vital interest of both races that they should unite on the basis, as far as practicable, of the principle of self-determination and in a spirit of mutual toleration and friendliness as allies against German and Austro-Magyar military domination.

2. The conference confidently hopes that such an understanding will not weaken but strengthen the bonds of alliance which exist between Serbia and Greece, and that it will be followed by a similar amicable settlement of all outstanding questions between Italy and Greece, so that the Eastern Mediterranean may present a solid bulwark against the German Drang nach Osten.

3. The conference sends fraternal greetings to Rumania and assures the Rumanian people that, whatever terms Rumania is forced to accept from the enemy by the cruel exigencies of the war, the British people will not cease to regard her as an ally in spirit, and will not cease to strive for the attainment of her national unity as one of the essential factors of a lasting peace.

A convention of Bohemians, Slavs, Jugo-Slavs, Rumanians, Serbians, Italians, and Poles met at Rome on April 10 under the Presidency of former Senator Ruffini, with prominent Italians and Frenchmen present, among them former Ministers Martini, Barzilai, Franklin, Bouillon, and Albert Thomas. Dr. Trumbitch, President of the Jugo-Slav Committee in Great Britain, also attended. It was the first assemblage of representatives of the nationalities that are opposed to Austrian dominion. The Mayor of Rome was a participant. The Italian and Polish representatives for the first time gave their adhesion to the[196] Jugo-Slav aspiration. The following declaration was adopted:

1. Every people proclaims it to be its right to determine its own nationality and national unity and complete independence.

2. Every people knows that the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is an instrument of German domination and a fundamental obstacle to the realization of its rights to free development and self-government.

3. The Congress recognizes the necessity of fighting against the common oppressors.

The representatives of the Jugo-Slavs agree:

That the unity and independence of the Jugo-Slav Nation is considered of vital importance by Italy.

That the deliverance of the Adriatic Sea and its defense from any enemy is of capital interest to the two peoples.

That territorial controversies will be amicably settled on the principle of nationality and in such a manner as not to injure the vital interests of the two nations; interests which will be taken into account at the peace conferences.

The Polish delegates added their declaration that they consider Germany as the principal enemy of Poland, and that they believe that the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is the only way through which they can obtain their independence from Germany.

Can a Nation Be Wiped Out?

If we pass by the ancient epoch when it was the custom of the conqueror to "take the city, and slay the people therein, and beat down the city, and sow it with salt," and come to more modern times, we shall find cause to question whether any people has been actually exterminated by war.

Probably the worst devastation in modern Europe was that caused by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) when the Germans were fighting among themselves. Season by season, says the historian, armies of ruthless freebooters harried the land with fire and sword. The peasant, who found that he toiled only to feed robbers and to draw them to outrage and torture his family, ceased to labor and became himself robber and camp follower. Half the population and two-thirds of the movable property of Germany were swept away. In many large districts the facts were worse than this average. The Duchy of Württemberg had 50,000 people left out of 500,000. Populous cities had become hamlets; and for miles upon miles, former hamlets were the lairs of wolf packs. Not until 1850 did some sections of Germany again contain as many homesteads and cattle as in 1618. So there is justification for the belief that Montenegro, Serbia, and Armenia will come back again to health and strength.

On March 21 an order was issued, applying to all of Great Britain, requiring all entertainments, including theatres, to close at 10:30 P. M., and forbidding any shop window lighting. No public meals were allowed after 9:30 P. M. at hotels, restaurants, clubs, and boarding houses, and the tube and train services were reduced; also, by one-sixth, the amount of gas or electricity allowance.

British Man-power Bill.

The British Man-Power bill, which provides for conscription in Ireland and was described in the important address by Premier Lloyd George, (Page 263,) passed its third reading in the House of Commons April 16 by a vote of 301 to 103. The Government announced that a bill giving home rule to Ireland would be introduced, and if it failed of passage the Government would resign. The Man-Power bill was passed in record time by the House of Lords and became a law by the King's signature April 19. Meetings of protest were held by Nationalists, who joined with Sinn Feiners, O'Brienites, Laborites, and Clericals in denouncing the measure.

An increase of 1,426,000 in the number of women employed since 1914 is shown in figures announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The greatest increase was in industries, which took in 530,000 more women, but the largest proportionate increase was 214,000 additional women taken into Government service. Women have replaced 1,413,000 men since 1914. Industrial and Government work has taken 400,000 women formerly employed in domestic service or in dressmaking.



Military Review of the Greatest Battle in History From March 21 to April 17, 1918

On March 21 the Germans began the great battle which military experts of both sides believe may decide the war. What was indicated in broad lines was that they wished to reach the Channel by way of the Somme and thereby isolate most of the British Army and the entire Belgian and Portuguese Armies in the north. A corollary to such an isolation would have been a movement south on Paris.

As to the narrower lines of the German military plan, however, they became clear. The Germans struck from points where their railways allowed them the greatest possible concentration of troops and at points where the lines of the Allies, owing to the uncompleted battles of Flanders and Cambrai and the failures at Lens, St. Quentin, and La Fère last year, were relatively weak or could be out-manoeuvred with superior force of men and material.

In the first phase of the battle, which carried the enemy down the Somme and its southern tributary, the Avre, to within six miles of Amiens, and to within forty-six miles of the Channel, they first eliminated the Cambrai salient so as to protect their northern flank and then concentrated their attack between St. Quentin and La Fère, near the point where the French and the British Armies joined. The flanks of the great salient thereby developed, however, made dangerous further progress down the Somme. On the north it was threatened by the Arras salient with its protecting ridge of Vimy; on the south by the watershed of the Oise and Aisne.

Frontal attacks to eliminate the Arras salient and the, Oise-Aisne watershed having failed, a flanking movement against the former, which should also have strategic ramifications further north, followed as a matter of military expediency. Thus on April 9 the second phase began. Again they sought the line of cleavage between two armies, where differences of language and tactics made military cohesion difficult—between the British and the Portuguese on the Lille front. A successful penetration of this front for a distance of ten miles would have placed the enemy on the left-rear of Vimy Ridge in the south, and in the north on the right-rear of Messines Ridge, which protects Ypres, the capture of which by the British a year ago had made the subsequent battle of Flanders and their occupation of Passchendaele in the direction of Roulers possible.

In other words, Vimy Ridge bears the same relation to Arras that Messines and its contiguous hills do to Ypres, but while the former ridge also flanks the great German salient stretching down to the Oise, the latter ridge flanks from the southeast the British salient at Ypres developed by the battle of Flanders.

In this second phase of the great battle the German penetration, through military design or expediency, has so far been developed in the direction of Ypres; not in the direction of Arras.


As to the number of men engaged on each side, experts at the front have been wide apart. It has been understood that Great Britain has in France 3,500,000 rifles, and that of these 675,000 were on the front when the attack began, thus (if these figures are correct) leaving an army of reserve and manoeuvre of 2,850,000, minus 150,000 men on leave in England. It was understood that the number of French rifles available on the Continent is between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000, of which 1,575,000 were at the front on March 21, leaving 2,425,000 for reserve and manoeuvre, which to the extent of 500,000 may have been available in the present battle, with the constant deploying of the French line in the south and the taking over of ten miles of the British line.


[200] The potential strength of the Germans in the western theatre before the Russian revolution was estimated at 4,500,000 rifles, more than half of which were on the front. According to Sir Aukland Geddes, the British Minister of National Service, the secession of Russia added to the enemy's potential strength on the western front possibly as many as 1,600,000 men, of whom 950,000 were Germans. If we add 1,000,000 to the 4,500,000 German rifles in the west we have the 5,500,000 thus produced opposing, at least, 8,500,000 Allies, consisting of French, British, American, Belgian, Portuguese, Russian, and Polish troops. [The British official estimates on April 17 appear on Page 207.]

Nevertheless, in nearly all the engagements of the battle thus far, the Allies appear to have been measurably outnumbered in a ratio varying from three to one to five to three. Up to March 26, aside from the French being constantly forced to augment their forces in the south, only the British 3d, 4th, and 5th Armies had been engaged, approximately numbering 600,000 rifles. Against these, up to the same date, the Germans had been able to concentrate ninety-seven divisions, or 1,164,000 rifles, with special concentrations of 120,000 rifles against Bucquoy, on April 6, and 180,000 against the French between Lassigny and Noyon, on March 27 and April 3. On the subsequent development of the Lille front the Germans seemed to have been able to concentrate their forces, where they outnumber the British and Portuguese three to two.


It was inevitable, in the retreat forced on the British from their static positions, that a large number of men and guns should have been captured by the enemy—during the first rush the Germans claimed 75,000 and 600 respectively. But the German casualties, owing to their massed formation, must, according to all accounts, be staggering, having probably already reached the Verdun maximum of 600,000. The attrition of their war material must also be enormous. And just as the entire armies of the Allies outnumber the enemy eight to five, it may be estimated that their material, actual and immediately available, is 30 per cent. greater.

The most useful guide to the development of the plans of the enemy, their modification, transformation, and failure, either transitory or permanent, is physical geography. The initial impetus of the assault carried the Germans with "shock" and alternating forces beyond a hypothetical straight line of fifty miles extending from the Scarpe on the north to the junction of the Ailette and the Oise on the south. This was done without their moving their heavy guns, probably not even their mid-calibre guns, from their emplacements.


By March 25 they had covered an area of about 500 square miles and had penetrated beyond Croisilles, Bapaume, Péronne, Brie, Nesle, and the forest northeast of Noyon. In the two following days they recovered the entire battlefield of the Somme, occupied the British railway junction and supply depot at Albert, drove the British four miles down the Somme, and took Roye and Noyon from the French, driving the latter across the Oise. On the 29th the French counterattacked and recovered eight square miles between Lassigny and Noyon, but west of this position the enemy, on a twelve-mile front with a penetration of seven miles, enveloped Montdidier. The next day the Germans gained some ground north of the Scarpe before Vimy Ridge and obliterated an ally salient with its vertex at Vrely by straightening their line between the Somme and Montdidier.

From March 29 until April 8 the enemy consolidated his positions on a front which had been expanded from seventy-five miles, including two large salients, to 125 miles, including innumerable small ones, embracing a terrain of about 800 square miles west of the front as it was on March 20.

On April 3 the enemy was strongly counterattacked by the British at Ayette and by the French at Plémont, near[201] Lassigny. Similar counterattacks recovered Hébuterne for the British and Cantigny for the French on April 5; Beaumont Hamel and a strong position west of Albert for the British and a flanking position north of Aubvillers for the French on April 7.


Meanwhile, April 4, the Germans had occupied Hamel and two villages near Grivesnes, driving out the French, and had[202] made a furious assault upon the positions of the latter between the Luce rivulet and the Avre River, but without success. On the 5th they had made similar attacks at five points: they were successful against the British at Dernancourt, against the French at Casel; they were driven back with heavy losses by the British at Moyenneville and Villers-Bertonneux and by the French at Cantigny. On the 6th the enemy had made concentrated attacks at six points: south of Albert, beyond the Vaire Wood, between Hailles and Rouvrel, and on the Oise east of Chauny he gained ground, but his attempt to take Mesnil beyond Montdidier and Mount Rénaud beyond Noyon were costly failures. On the 7th he attacked the British strategic position at Eucquoy and the French position east of Chauny. At the former place he was repulsed with heavy loss; at the latter his official chronicler asserted that he gained ground.


Then north of the great salient just occupied, the Germans struck, on April 9, between the important British depots of Arras and Ypres, forty miles apart, concentrating on a twelve-mile front between Givenchy and Fleurbaix. During the two following days the concentration moved north five miles, penetrating between Armentières and Messines. On the 11th it had developed as far north as Hollebeke, four miles southeast of Ypres, had partly enveloped Messines Ridge and entirely Armentières and the town of Estaires on the Lys River. By the 12th it had swelled beyond Merville and Lestrem in the south, was threatening the railway junction of Bailleul in the middle ground, had gained a footing on Messines Ridge, and was investing the neighboring heights of Neuve Eglise and Kemmel in the north. By the morning of the 17th the German penetration had reached Locon in the south, the Nieppe Forest in the middle ground, and had occupied Bailleul and the eastern heights of the ridge in the north and threatened the western and more elevated heights of Mont Rouge and Mont Kemmel. Thus in eight days the Germans had developed a sector on the Lille front of originally twenty-two miles, a salient embracing an area of about 825 square miles with a new front of about thirty-five miles.


The initial bombardment which preceded the first infantry advance against the Cambrai salient, at 8 o'clock on the morning of March 21, was widely distributed—as far north as Ypres and as far south as the Oise. It consisted mainly of gas and high explosive shells. The first infantry attack, which penetrated the first and second lines on a sixteen-mile front extending from Lagnicourt to Gauche Wood just south of Gouseaucourt, caused a retreat from the salient which had been left exposed to any superior attack since last December. In rapid succession the British positions, now indefinitely exposed on the north, were then attacked between Arras and La Fère, with tremendous concentration between the latter and St. Quentin. According to the German report of the 22d: "After powerful fire by our artillery and mine throwers our infantry stormed in broad sectors and everywhere captured the first enemy line."

From the 22d until the 25th the Germans kept up a heavy fire upon the French front, mingled with raids, both land and air, evidently with the intention of preventing a movement of the French behind the lines as long as the German intentions remained uncertain.

By the 24th, however, these intentions had been measurably revealed, both by documents found on prisoners and by the general tendency of the battle. On that day the enemy succeeded in crossing the Somme south of Péronne, while north of it he forced the British to retire from the line of the River Torille. On the same day Chauny and Ham were captured, the British 3d and 4th Armies were pressed behind Péronne and Ham, and the 5th Army almost lost contact with the French. Here began that wonderful feat which has made the name of General Carey famous. On the 25th the enemy, by a series of drives en masse, managed to envelop Bapaume, while south of Péronne he made still further progress, "west of the Somme."[203]




Nesle was lost and recovered several times by the French troops, who had already begun to relieve certain portions of the British right, with its unlucky 5th Army, as early as the 23d. In the engagements between Bapaume and Péronne the German armies of von Below, who had just returned from Italy, and von der Marwitz were personally directed by Crown Prince Rupprecht, and outnumbered the British three to two.


From the 25th to the 27th there was a lull in the north, evidently conceived by the Germans for bringing their heavier guns up to new emplacements, but in the south during this time the enemy heavily concentrated against the new French troops that were appearing upon the lengthening line and forced them to give up Lihons and Noyon. When the German pressure was renewed in the north Albert became the obvious objective, on account of the massed attacks made upon Ablainville near by. In the battle of the Somme, Albert, as a junction and depot, performed for the British in a minor degree what Cambrai later performed for the Germans in the present battle. On March 27 the British began a retreat on a wide front on both sides of the Somme, and in the evening Albert was evacuated. The next day came the great French counterattack between Lassigny and Noyon, already mentioned in connection with the geographical development of the battle.

On the 28th the German attack was renewed on the Somme, where it pressed back the British near the Chippily crossing, and before Arras, where a frontal attack was repulsed with great enemy loss. This attack was renewed for three successive days. Then on April 3 the French again won near Lassigny and repulsed heavy German attacks around Moreuil.


On April 4 a frightful battle developed, where on a narrow ten-mile front, between Grivesnes, near the vertex of the Montdidier salient, and the Roye-Amiens road, the Germans sacrificed thousands of men in a vain attempt to drive a wedge between the newly discovered junction of the French and British Armies.

From the 4th until the 7th, with the exception of the check the enemy met with at Bucquoy on the latter date, he made a reconsolidation of his lines, partially digging in on the sector before Amiens. The British positions around Arras, to the north of the great salient, which had again and again repelled frontal attacks, and the French positions on the Montdidier salient and the Oise-Aisne watershed on the south, now warned him of the danger of further progress west without augmented protection of his flanks.

Hence, on April 9, the reason for his sudden concentration and attack on the Lille front,[205] and particularly upon the junction of the British and Portuguese lines near La Bassée Canal to a point east of Armentières, which is still in progress. The geographical as well as the strategic features of this phase of the battle have already been described. Complete success had marked the German efforts on this sector up to April 17.

During the entire period covered the airplanes employed on the battlefront were in the ratio of seven to five in favor of the Allies, whose killings have been in the ratio of five to two. This, taken in connection with the destruction of a great German plant and airdrome at Friedrichshafen on April 15, is believed to place the dominance of the air with all it includes as to observation and the bombing of transport and arsenal in the hands of the Allies.

BENEDICT CROWELL Assistant Secretary of War and, during Mr. Baker's absence in Europe, Acting Secretary of War (© Harris & Ewing)
Assistant Secretary of War and, during Mr. Baker's absence in Europe, Acting Secretary of War
(© Harris & Ewing)


AMERICAN ARMY CHIEFS AND EXPERTS Maj. Gen. George O. Squier, Chief of Signal Corps
Maj. Gen. George O. Squier,
Chief of Signal Corps
Lieut. Col. Edward A. Kreger, Judge Advocate General in France (© Harris & Ewing)
Lieut. Col. Edward A. Kreger,
Judge Advocate General in France
(© Harris & Ewing)
Col. Palmer E. Pierce, Director of Purchases for the War Department (© Harris & Ewing)
Col. Palmer E. Pierce,
Director of Purchases for the War Department
(© Harris & Ewing)
Maj. Gen. Evan M. Johnston, Temporary Commander at Camp Upton, N. Y. (Press Illustrating Service)
Maj. Gen. Evan M. Johnston,
Temporary Commander at Camp Upton, N. Y.
(Press Illustrating Service)

The British Reverses and Their Causes

By a Military Observer

Premier Lloyd George in his speech of April 9 [printed on Page 263] compared the operations in Picardy with the battle of Cambrai. In fact, the best way to understand what happened in the initial stage of the great German drive is to remember the sequence of events in the German attacks on the positions near Cambrai in 1917. At Cambrai there was a mistaken confidence in the ability to hold the terrain, although German attacks were expected. When these German assaults came, one was a surprise, because there had been an unexpected concentration of German troops; and this attack broke through the defense to such an extent that it forced the abandonment of other positions, with losses of prisoners and guns. All these tactical elements were present at the beginning of the German drive in March, but on a much larger scale, because in this case the German assaults were made on a front of some fifty miles.

The difficult problem for the Allies, in preparing to defend their long front against the expected German offensive, was to provide against the well-known German tactics of assembling superior numbers at the place of battle. In this war the German "massed attacks" have not been so much a matter of formation as of delivering streams of troops at the chosen point of contact to overwhelm their opponents with superior numbers at that point. These German tactics were again used in the attacks, begun on March 21, against the British front from southeast of Arras as far as La Fère.


Here were in position the 3d British Army (General Byng) in the section toward Arras, and, on the right to the south, the 5th British Army (General Gough) in the region west of St. Quentin. On March 21 there was a tremendous bombardment followed by infantry attacks all along the line, which resulted in winning many first-line positions. This was nothing more than had been expected, and provision had been made against it; but, unfortunately, as at Cambrai, the Germans had been enabled to make an unexpected concentration of superior numbers against positions of the 5th British Army.[1] The assault of this overwhelming force broke through the British lines, even to the extent of involving engineers and laborers behind the lines, as at Cambrai, with the same disastrous results. This breakdown of the defense forced a retreat from the British positions far different from the retirement that had been planned—and it brought about the withdrawal of the whole 5th Army, resulting in what the British Premier called "crippling one of our great armies."

After such a disaster, it was found necessary to abandon a[206] great amount of terrain to maintain a junction between the two British armies. Péronne and Bapaume were soon captured by the Germans, and on March 27 the Germans reported the occupation of Albert. On the same day Roye and Noyon were taken. On the next day the Germans had pushed as far west as Pierrepont and taken possession of Montdidier. As was to be expected in such a retreat, there soon was a large toll of British guns and prisoners. On March 29 the Germans claimed 1,100 guns and 70,000 prisoners. They had also captured great quantities of material and 100 tanks.

These were heavy losses, but such losses were not the really serious element in the situation. A study of the map will show that, as the 5th Army retreated toward the west, there was left an increasingly long sector south of Noyon and curving north, west of Montdidier to the Avre River—and it was necessary that this dangerous opening should be protected by the French reserves. With extraordinary rapidity and efficiency French troops were rushed to this region, and the almost impossible task was accomplished of repairing the defense. But the drain on the French reserves had been heavy, and the necessity to use them for this purpose had neutralized a force that had been prepared for a different object against such a German drive.

That these reserves were being held as a mobile army was so generally known that, it will be remembered, there was daily expectation of a counterattack by this force. There is no need to point out how great might have been the results of an assault upon an enemy exhausted by days of fighting; but any such plan was rendered impossible at the time by the need to use these troops to defend the new line, which was nearly as long as the original battle line at the time of the attacks on March 21.


Yet, on the other hand, from this battle's costly object lesson in the weakness of divided commands, came at last the appointment of the French General, Foch, (March 28,) to absolute command over all the armies of the Allies on the western front. For a long time a single command has been the one great need to insure military efficiency, and obtaining this is an offset against the losses in the battle which brought such a command into being.

Throughout the war the great outstanding element of failure for the Allies has been lack of co-ordination. The varying aims of the different nations in the war have accounted for this to a great degree, but on the battlefields of France there should have been no delay in giving the command to the chosen General of the nation which had everything at stake. All the influence of the United States had been exerted for a long time in favor of a single command, and at once the unrestricted use of the American force in France was offered to General Foch.

From what has been said of the course of the battle of Picardy, it can readily be seen that the task of the new Commander in Chief was one of the hardest ever given to a General on taking command of an army. After a disaster that had greatly impaired the availability of the troops of the Allies, General Foch was obliged to face the culminating effort of the greatest military machine in all history with a force placed under his command made up of armies that had never been in co-ordination—and after the collapse of one of these armies.

Another serious element in the battle in Flanders is the fact that it has been necessary to send to this front also French troops from General Foch's reserves, making another drain upon these forces. The appointment of General Foch to the chief command literally on the battlefield was formally confirmed by the British and French Governments in the following notice which appeared in Le Temps April 14:

The British Government and the French Government have agreed to give General Foch the title of Commander in Chief of the allied armies operating in France.

The United States, after having greatly helped to bring about General Foch's command, has given a large part[207] of the American force in France to be brigaded with the allied troops wherever there are weak spots. These factors in the military situation may make it possible for General Foch again to assemble a mobile army for a counterstroke against the German offensive.


The first days of April saw the end of the initial phase of the great drive. There were other gains that brought the Germans uncomfortably near Amiens, but the character of the fighting was similar to that of the last three years on the western front. The new line of battle extended southwest from Arras, beyond Albert, to the west of Moreuil, about nine miles south of Amiens. It lay to the west of Pierrepont and Montdidier, curving to the south of Noyon and to the region of the Oise. The greatest penetration into the terrain of the Allies had been about thirty-five miles. The Berlin War Office announced the capture of 90,000 prisoners and 1,300 guns in this first phase of the German offensive.

Through the first week of April there was sharp fighting at different points in the line, north of Albert, east of Amiens, and on the River Oise. In this last region the French, in rectifying their new defense, lost 2,000 prisoners, but there was nothing accomplished in any combat that meant a tactical change in the general situation. Suddenly, on April 8, there were heavy bombardments in the region of La Bassée and Armentières, which were followed by strong attacks on this front; and on April 9 General Haig reported: "Favored by a thick mist which made observation impossible, the enemy succeeded in forcing his way into the Allies' positions in the neighborhood of Neuve Chapelle." These attacks developed into a second stage of the great German offensive, and, as before, the shock of the initial surprise attack seriously impaired the British positions. Portuguese troops were reported as fighting with the British troops on this sector. On April 10 General Haig reported that the Germans had also forced back his line north of Armentières. These reverses resulted in the capture of Armentières on April 11 by the Germans, as the city was encircled from the north and south. The Germans claimed the capture of the garrison of 3,000 and forty-five guns. The battle had spread to a front of about twenty-five miles on April 12, with the Germans penetrating to Merville, eleven miles southwest of Armentières. On this day the German official report claimed 20,000 prisoners and 200 guns.


General Haig issued the following proclamation to his troops on April 12:

Three weeks ago today the enemy began his terrific attacks against us on a fifty-mile front. His objects are to separate us from the French, to take the Channel ports, and to destroy the British Army.

In spite of throwing already 106 divisions into the battle, and enduring the most reckless sacrifice of human life, he has yet made little progress toward his goals.

We owe this to the determined fighting and self-sacrifice of our troops. Words fail me to express the admiration which I feel for the splendid resistance offered by all ranks of our army under the most trying circumstances.

Many among us now are tired. To those I would say that victory will belong to the side which holds out the longest. The French Army is moving rapidly and in great force to our support. There is no other course open to us but to fight it out.

Every position must be held to the last man. There must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end. The safety of our homes and the freedom of mankind depend alike upon the conduct of each one of us at this critical moment.

The situation on April 17 was summed up by General Maurice, Director of War Operations in the British War Office, in these words:

The British Army is playing the rôle which it often has played before. It is fighting a Waterloo while Blücher is marching to the battlefield.

The British Army is under a terrible hammering, but, providing we stand that hammering without breaking down, and providing Blücher is marching to the battlefield, there is no reason for discouragement.

The enormous task which the British Army has performed and still is performing may be shown by a few figures. In this battle of Armentières the Germans[208] thus far have engaged twenty-eight divisions (392,000 men) and since March 21 they have engaged 126 divisions, (1,764,000 men.)

Of these the British Army alone has engaged seventy-nine, (1,106,000 men,) the French alone have engaged twenty-four, (336,000 men,) and the remainder, twenty-three, (322,000 men,) have been engaged by the British and French together.

Of the German divisions which the British engaged, twenty-eight have been fought twice and one thrice. Of the German divisions which the French engaged, four have fought twice. Of the German divisions which the French and British engaged together, fifteen have been fought twice and one thrice.

It is unpleasant business standing the hammering, but so long as we can stand it the only question to be asked is, What is happening to Blücher—what has become of the reserves?

Thus the perilous situation stood at the time when this magazine went to press—April 19—with the British fighting fiercely in Flanders and waiting for Foch to strike with his reserve forces and relieve the strain.

The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps


Great work! State work!—willingly done and well,
For the men who are doing so much for us
Ay—more than words can tell!
Right work! White work! faithfully, skillfully done,
But the whole of the soul of it will not be known
Till the war is properly won.

They mend the men; they tend the men;
They help them carry on;
They drop a little veil upon
The woes they've undergone.

They feed the men; they speed the men;
They make their daily bread;
They mend them while they're living,
And they tend them when they're dead.

There's many a lonely man out there
They've saved from black despair;
There's many a lowly grave out there
Made gracious by their care.

They toil for them; they moil for them;
Help lame dogs over stiles,
And do their best to buck them up
With cheery words and smiles.

They're just a little bit of home,
Come out to lend a hand.
They're gleams of warm bright sunshine
In a dreary, weary land.

They are sweet as pinks and daisies,
Just the sight of them is good,
When you've lived for eighteen months or so
In a sink of Flanders mud.

New work, true work, gallantly, patiently done,
For the men who are giving their all for us—
Your brother, your lover, your son.
High work! Thy work, if truly to Thee it's done!—
But we never shall know all the debt we owe
Till the war is really won.


[1] "And the Germans were actually in some parts within a few yards of our front line before any one knew of their approach."—Lloyd George.


Four Epic Weeks of Carnage

By Philip Gibbs

Special Correspondent with the British Armies
[Copyrighted in U. S. A.]

The first phase of the battle of Picardy, which began March 21, 1918, was a vain attempt of the German forces to drive a wedge between the French and British Armies at their point of juncture; the second was an equally unsuccessful attempt to wrest Arras and Vimy Ridge from the British; the third sought to annihilate the British armies in Flanders and break through to the English Channel. The last-named phase was still undecided when this magazine went to press, (April 19.) All three phases were vividly described from day to day by Philip Gibbs. The following narrative is compiled from his dispatches to The New York Times, which are available for Current History Magazine as an affiliated publication of the Times:

Thursday, March 21.—A German offensive against the British front has begun. At about 5 o'clock this morning the enemy began an intense bombardment of the lines and batteries on a very wide front—something like sixty miles, from the country south of the Scarpe and to the west of Bullecourt in the neighborhood of Croisilles, as far south as the positions between St. Quentin and the British right flank.

After several hours of this hurricane shelling, in which a great deal of gas was used, the German infantry advanced and developed attacks against a number of strategical points on a very wide front.

Among the places against which they have directed their chief efforts are Bullecourt, Lagnecourt, and Noreuil, both west of Cambrai, where they once before penetrated the British lines and were slaughtered in great numbers; the St. Quentin Ridge, which was on the right of the Cambrai fighting, and the villages of Roussoy and Hargicourt, south of the Cambrai salient.

Friday, March 22.—The enemy flung the full weight of his great army against the British yesterday. Nearly forty divisions are identified, and it is certain that as many as fifty must be engaged. In proportions of men, the British are much outnumbered, therefore the obstinacy of the resistance of the troops is wonderful. Nine German divisions were hurled against three British at one part of the line, and eight against two at another. All the storm troops, including the guards, were in brand-new uniforms. They advanced in dense masses, and never faltered until shattered by the machine-gun fire.

The enemy introduced no new frightfulness, no tanks and no specially invented gas, but relied on the power of his artillery and the weight of the infantry assault. The supporting waves advanced over the bodies of the dead and wounded. The German commanders were ruthless in the sacrifice of life, in the hope of overwhelming the defense by the sheer weight of numbers.

They had exceeding power in guns. Opposite three of the British divisions they had a thousand, and at most parts of the line one to every twelve or fifteen yards. They had brought a number of long-range guns, probably naval, and their shellfire was scattered as far back as twenty-eight miles behind the lines. During the last hour of the bombardment they poured out gas shells, and continued to send concentrated gas about the British batteries and reserve trenches. The atmosphere was filled with poisonous clouds.

Saturday, March 23.—The enemy has[210] been continuing his attacks all day along the whole battlefront and has made further progress at various points in spite of the heroic resistance of the British troops, greatly outnumbered owing to the enormous concentration of the enemy divisions, which are constantly reinforced and passing through one another, so that fresh regiments may pursue the assaults.


The St. Quentin attack began along the whole sweep of the front with six hours' bombardment and intense gas shelling of the British batteries, and afterward an attack was launched by overwhelming numbers of German storm troops. The British battleline was held by some three divisions, from a point south of Pontruet to Itancourt, south of the St. Quentin Canal. Along this sector the enemy line had been held before the attack by three divisions also, but the night before the battle they were reinforced until eight German divisions [upward of 100,000 men] were massed for assault on a front of some 2,000 yards. I believe this is a greater strength than has ever been brought into battle on such a narrow front during the whole of this war.

On this sector, the front north and south of St. Quentin, and opposite the British line further south, the enemy's intention, as is known from prisoners, was to reach the line of the St. Quentin Canal—or the Crozat Canal, as it is sometimes called—on the first day, and then advance in quick stages westward. The rate of progress was to be eight miles on the first day, twelve on the second, and twenty on the third.

In spite of their intense gunfire of massed batteries, supported by Austrian howitzers and large numbers of heavy trench mortars, the Germans' plans were thwarted so far as this rapidity of progress was concerned.

The heavy fog of the early morning on Thursday threw their assault troops at some points into wild confusion. The first line of assault, each division apparently advancing with two regiments in line, with two battalions in line, with the other strength of the divisions following in depth, with light machine-gun companies at intervals of 100 yards, and then heavy machine guns and field artillery, sometimes became hopelessly mixed up with the third and fourth lines, while right battalions were confused with left battalions.

This fog and the British machine-gun fire, which caught the German waves, checked the pace of their onslaught and caused heavy losses.

The German high command relied entirely on weight of guns and man power to break the British resistance, and the driving power of the whole monstrous machine was set in movement. The British line was not strong enough to hold all the old positions against such a tide of brute force. The men served their guns and rifles, but as attack followed attack and column followed column, and their own losses increased as the hours passed, they were ordered at certain points to give ground and fall back, fighting heroic rearguard actions from one position to another.


The main attack, just south of St. Quentin, was directed against Urvillers and Essigny, and the enemy forced his way through these places by great drives. The British garrison there was partly destroyed by his stupendous gunfire. He gained possession of Essigny before midday, March 21, and captured Contescourt, on the edge of the canal. This gave him important high ground, of which he made full use.

He succeeded by this movement in bending in the British line at the right flank of the Ulster division, north of the canal, which he crossed hereabout, and by advancing his field artillery was able to bombard the line to which the main body of the British troops had been withdrawn. Down from Maissemy and Holnon Wood to Savy and Roupy he pressed forward against this line.

The enemy was so densely massed that there was a division on about a kilometer of front. None of them spread out on more than two kilometers for a division, with a battalion for every 500 yards.

German storm troops were able to[211] force their way to Vendeuil, Lyfontaine, and Benay, south of Essigny, and to strike against Jussy and Tergnier, on the St. Quentin Canal, on the evening of the first day.

They brought up two more divisions, and that night, owing to the pressure of their attacks, it was decided that the British withdraw to a prepared line further west, which was the best defense. This was done during the darkness, the retirement being covered by gallant rearguards.

This morning the Germans followed up our withdrawal by clearing up all the ground in the bend formed by the acute angle of the St. Quentin Canal, which has its apex at Ugny, six kilometers east of Ham, and it was reported that their patrols had entered the town of Ham itself.


Monday, March 25.—The enemy fought fiercely yesterday to gain a crossing over the Somme south of Péronne. He flung across a pontoon bridge and rafts, and his men tried to cross, but the British field artillery, firing at short range, smashed up many of these bridges and killed his engineers and infantry. Gallant counterattacks by some of the British flung him back across the river at several points, but elsewhere he held his crossing long enough to put over some of his forces.

All the fighting in this part of the country since March 21 has been a continuous battle, in which the British divisions holding the front line below Gouzeaucourt to Maissemy have shown magnificent powers of endurance, as indeed have all the others engaged, and have only yielded ground under pressure of overwhelming numbers and great gunfire.

There was a bloody struggle in some old chalk quarries, where many German dead now lie, and after the enemy had come some way forward ten British tanks drove into him and shattered some of his battalions with their machine-gun fire, dispersing groups of his advancing units. The tanks manoeuvred about, firing continually on each flank and causing terror among the enemy's foremost assault troops. The British fought a number of rearguard actions and made many counterattacks in the neighborhood of Roisel, and fell back to the line of the Somme only when new masses of Germans passed through those battalions which they had met and beaten.


The British gunners were firing hour after hour at large bodies of Germans moving so close to them that the guns were laid directly on to their targets, and caused deadly losses in these ranks of field-gray men who never ceased to come forward in a living tide at whatever cost of life and bore down on the defensive lines. Under this ceaseless tide some of the British guns had to be abandoned, but many of them were withdrawn to the other side of the Somme, and the gunners were wonderful in the skill and courage with which they made this passage, took up new positions, and went into action again like exhibition batteries at Earls Court.

By Saturday morning the German troops were exhausted and spent, and in some parts of the line made no further effort for a time, but halted to gain some sleep and await fresh rations. On Saturday and Sunday the British, who had had no rest from fighting, were reinforced and given some relief, though many of them were again engaged, and, weary as they were, put up gallant fights against the enemy, who also had been reinforced by great numbers and came on again in an unending onslaught.


Tuesday, March 26.—Since yesterday morning the enemy has continued his violent thrusts against the British line westward from Bapaume and Péronne, and his massed troops, mostly Brandenburgers and picked troops, are now advancing in the direction of Roye and Nesle, where French troops are heavily engaged.

At the same time he is passing on over the old Somme battlefields down from[212] Delville Wood, High Wood, and Maurepas toward the old lines the British held before the beginning of the Somme battles in 1916.

The enemy has paused since he began the great offensive, on Thursday last, only to bring up new divisions and pass them through and beyond those divisions exhausted by attack or shattered under the British fire while they reform and rest and then come on again, relieved once more by reserves and continually crowding over the captured ground. By this means, and owing to the enormous forces at the disposal of the German command, they are able to pursue any advantage gained with fresh troops against the hard-pressed British, who have been fighting without respite since the beginning of the battle, six days ago, except where on the right some of them have now been replaced in the front line by French battalions.

In spite of the gravity of these hours and the progress made by the enemy, there never has been a more glorious spirit shown by British troops throughout history, and when one day all the details of this battle may be written it will be an epic of heroism more wonderful than the world now realizes, for the British troops and their officers have withstood an onslaught of enormous forces which have never been less than two to one, and in most parts of the line have been four to one and six to one and eight to one, nine divisions against three around Croisilles, eight divisions against two from the Cambrai sector westward, and in many places one division against one battalion.


Our men have been fighting for six days and nights like this, after the first storm of shells and gas, until their beards have grown long and their faces haggard and worn for lack of sleep, and their clothes have become torn on wire and covered with dust of mud and chalk. I saw a small party of them today so weary with this endless battle they could hardly walk, and they were holding hands like tired children and leaning against each other like drunken men, but for the most part they hold their heads up gamely, because so far luck has been against them.

The whole movement of the army under the necessity of withdrawal from fixed positions is as orderly as though on manoeuvres in England. I can say honestly I have seen no officer show sign of being flurried.

It is all an amazing drama, because this open warfare is a new thing to the army, and the menace of the enemy is strong and serious, and retirement under the terrific pressure of the human avalanche now hurled against the defenders is by no means pleasant. But in the inevitable turmoil of this situation, in roads crowded with traffic of men and guns, in villages seething with troops rushed up toward the battle line, on the field of battle itself, the British Army retains its self-control, its will power, and its supreme, inspired courage.


Wednesday, March 27.—The enemy has not made further advances on a big scale between the Arras-Bapaume road on the left of the battlefront and the village of Bray, on the Somme, but has paused in his massed attacks in order to reorganize his line and bring up artillery.

There are heavy concentrations of German storm troops behind Maurepas, Ginchy, and Beugnatre, and the roads around Bapaume have been crowded with men and guns and transport passing down through Le Sars, with German cavalry along the Bapaume-Gudecourt road and a steady drift downward to the town of Albert.

That poor, stricken city of the golden Virgin, head downward, with her babe in her outstretched arms, which I described so often in accounts of the battles of the Somme in 1916, when that falling statue was lit up by shellfire, was yesterday in the centre of the fighting north of the Somme. [The golden Virgin and tower were destroyed later.] The night before their assault yesterday they bombed it heavily from the air, using the brilliant moonlight, which lay white over all the battlefields and these[213] roofs, to fly low and pick their targets wherever they saw men moving or horses tethered.

In several cases it was not men they hit, but women and children who, when the war seemed to have passed from this place a year ago, crept back to their homes and built little wooden booths in which they sold papers and picture postcards to the troops. Now suddenly the war has flamed over them again and they were caught, before they could escape, by thunderbolts out of the shining moonlight, terribly clear and revealing dead horses about the ruined streets.


Friday, March 29.—The enemy's pressure has for the time being relaxed a little across the Somme, east of Corbie, and whatever effort he has made during the last day and night has been repulsed with the most heavy losses.

Yesterday the most exciting situation and the fiercest struggle was on the left of the British battleline, from Gavrelle southward to below the Scarpe. It was a deliberate, resolute effort by the enemy to capture Arras. Three divisions of special storm troops, the 184th, 12th, and 27th Reserve, had been brought up for this purpose, though one of them had been engaged before and roughly handled. They were ordered to take Arras yesterday at all costs, and before their advance very heavy bombardment was flung over the British lines from about 5 o'clock in the morning for several hours.

Their main thrust was toward Roeux, that frightful little village, with its chemical works, which I used to write about so much in April and May last. Once again yesterday it became a shambles. The British had machine guns well placed with a wide field of fire, and as the Germans came down the slopes they were swept with streams of bullets, which cut swaths in their formations, but once again, as on March 21, the enemy was reckless of life, theirs as well as the British, and always his tide of men flowed forward, passing over dead and wounded, and creeping forward like flowing water. The British field guns raked them while the heavies pulled further back to avoid being blown up or captured.


On and about Orange Hill and Telegraph Hill British battalions who know this ground of old fought tenaciously under murderous machine-gun fire, the enemy's screen of infantry covering machine-gun batteries which were rushed forward very quickly and took up positions in shell holes and behind bits of broken wall and any kind of cover, in ditches and sunken roads.

A footing gained by the enemy on part of Orange Hill and Infantry Hill rendered it necessary to fall back yesterday toward the old German support lines before that battle in April, 1917. The British fought like tigers, and would not retire until the pressure on them made it impossible to resist the continual thrust of new attacks by fresh troops. There were heroic actions by small groups of men struggling to hold up the front line, and some of them stayed so long after the enemy had broken beyond them that they were cut off.

Frightful fighting was happening not far from Neuville, Vitasse, and Mercatel and in this neighborhood the British held out with wonderful determination until exhausted by battle and until only a poor remnant of men had strength to stand against these massed attacks.

By the end of the day the enemy's assaults weakened, and then died out because his losses were enormous and the spirit of his attack was broken by such stubborn resistance.


Sunday, March 31.—We now have knowledge that the attack on Arras was prepared on a scale of enormous strength by divisions arranged in depth, preceded by a bombardment as great as that which fell upon any part of the British line on the morning of March 21, and that the enemy had determined to capture not only Arras itself but Vimy Ridge.

It was the heroic resistance of the British troops that defeated this furious[214] onslaught and destroyed by enormous losses to the German troops this dark scheme of their high command. Seven German divisions were in position north of the Scarpe and twelve south, in an arc around the defenses of Arras.

The brunt of this attack, preceded by colossal gunfire, fell upon London troops, and against these the German tides dashed and broke. By artillery fire, machine-gun fire, and rifle fire, the enemy's advancing waves of men were swept to pieces, and though they came on again and again this massacre continued until at last it must have sickened even the high German officers directing the operations from behind. The attacks died out and the night was quiet around Arras while the enemy collected his wounded. It was an utter defeat which will at least check German efforts around Arras.

On this Easter Sunday, under bright sunshine which is breaking through the storm clouds, the fields of France are strewn with death. A year ago it was the same around the old City of Artois, for it was on Easter Sunday, April 2, that we began the battle of Arras and fought over that ground which is again our battlefield, and it was a great anthem of gunfire which rose up to the sky on Easter morn.

Apart from all regrets at having had to fall back at all and at having suffered losses for which there is mourning in our hearts, because so many splendid men have fallen on the field of honor—that terrible field of honor which will be watered with tears for all time—we may at least rejoice that by the skill of our fighting officers and the steady courage of our men our line was brought back unbroken.

Heroic Cavalry Charge

Monday, April 1.—The battle of which I have been trying to give a daily narrative has been on so vast a scale, filled with so many episodes of terrific adventure and with so many hundreds of thousands of men moving along its lines of fire that I find it impossible to give a picture of the emotion and spirit of it. We out here, who knew this thing was coming upon us, creeping nearer every day with its monstrous menace, held our breath and waited. When at last the thing broke it was more frightful in its loosing of overwhelming powers than even we had guessed. Since then all our armies have lived with an intense understanding of the greatness of these days, of their meaning to the destiny of the world, and every private soldier, or transport driver, or linesman, or laborer, has been exalted by an emotion stronger than the effect of drugs.

In the wood of Moreuil this morning British cavalry performed a feat as fine as the Balaklava charge, and this also should be made into a ballad and learned by heart.

Twelve hundred men who had been riding through the night went forward in three waves and charged that dark wood next morning at a hard gallop. The first wave rode to the edge of the wood, and the second to the centre, and the third wave went right through to the other side, riding through the enemy and over his machine guns and in the face of a hail of bullets from hidden machines. They cleared the wood of Moreuil and brought back prisoners and thirteen machine guns, but there were many empty saddles, and many men and horses fell.

That was the finest exploit of the British 'Cavalry, but elsewhere it did splendid work, and everywhere the men were gallant and cool, as when some of the dragoons came under a heavy shrapnel fire near Gentille, and many men had to shoot their wounded horses to put them out of their agony.

Dashing Canadians

Away from Arras and down on the south of the line a certain body of Canadians have been having some of the most astounding adventures in all this battle, and fighting with valor and heroic audacity. They are officers and men of a machine gun detachment organized in the early days of the war by a French Canadian officer.

For ten days these Canadians have fought running fights with the German artillery, have engaged German cavalry and smashed them, have checked enemy columns crossing bridges and pouring onward, have scattered large bodies of men surrounding British troops, and in ten days of crowded life have destroyed many German storm troops and helped to hold up the tide of their advance. Their own losses have not been light, for these Canadians have been filled with a grim passion of determination, and when the supreme test came they fought and died.

Sometimes they fought in long gray open cars, and sometimes they fought dismounted, with machine guns on the ground; but always they fought through the ten days and nights, with less than twenty hours' sleep all that time. These cars near Maricourt gathered together 150 men who had been cut off and held the enemy at bay, covering the withdrawal of some of the British heavy guns and tanks. At that time they fought dismounted, with Vickers guns, in front of the barbed wire. The Canadians had many casualties, and a Captain's arm was torn away by an explosive bullet, and at last only a Sergeant and two men of the battery were[215] left unwounded. One of them mounted a motor cycle and brought back cars and took back the wounded. Two cars found the enemy massing up a road, and their machine guns enfiladed the field-gray men and killed them in large numbers.

Near La Motte they fought heavy bodies of German cavalry, killed a number, and put the rest to flight. They have not been seen since. At Cerisy a battalion of Germans, 600 strong, was encountered at a crossroads by one car, which brought them to a standstill and dispersed them with heavy losses. Everywhere they have been these Canadian armored cars have helped to steady the line and give confidence to the infantry.

British Airmen at Work

Thursday, April 4.—It has been raining hard these two nights past and this morning. For the German gunners trying to drag up field artillery or long-range guns there is now sticky bog and slime to come through. It is hard work for the German field companies, pressed furiously, to lay narrow-gauge lines over these deserts. All that spells delay in their plans and loss of life.

There is terror for the enemy over these fields in daylight and darkness, for the British flying men have gone out in squadrons to scatter death and destruction among them. This work has reached fantastic heights of horror for the German troops under the menace of it. There have been times when, I believe, the British have had as many as 300 airplanes up at one time. One squadron alone on one night dropped six tons of bombs over enemy concentrations, and each man went out six times. Another squadron went out four times in one night, and was bombing for eleven hours.

When the enemy was advancing in masses the British flying men flew as low as 100 feet, dropping bombs among them and firing into them with machine guns. They attacked German patrols of cavalry and scattered them and machine-gunned trenches full of men, batteries in action and transport crowding down narrow roads. They fought German scouts and crushed them, and there are several cases in which they fought German airplanes at night, so that it was like a fight between vampire bats up there where the clouds were touched by moonlight.

North of the Somme

Friday, April 5.—Heavy attacks by the enemy are in progress north of the Somme, from Albert to Aveluy Wood. Further north there is separate fighting in progress round about the village of Ayette—such a wretched little place of brickdust and broken walls when I saw it last on the way from Arras to Bapaume—and the enemy is trying to recapture this, his fire reaching to villages several thousand yards behind the British front.

The British troops in this district are defending their positions resolutely, and the first reports indicate that the German storm troops are suffering under their machine-gun fire, after being shelled in their assembly places by heavy and field artillery.

A Valley of Death

Sunday, April 7.—Since the heavy fights on Friday, when the enemy made a series of vain attacks against the British north of Albert, there has been no battle. The Germans are still struggling hard to get their guns, especially the heavy guns, further forward and to reorganize their divisions.

They have no peace or quiet, for they are under a harassing fire, and along the valley of the Ancre, above Albert, in that stinking ditch between Bouzeincourt and Aveluy and Mesnil and Thiepval, where foul water lies stagnant below rows of dead, lopped trees and frightful smells arise from the relics of battles two weeks ago, their men are very wretched. Here in this valley of death, for it was that, and behind in the old fields of the Somme, the German troops have no cover from storms or shellfire.

Battle of Armentières

Tuesday, April 9.—A heavy and determined attack was begun against us this morning a considerable distance north of our recent battles on about eleven miles of front between Armentières and La Bassée Canal. This new attack was preceded by a long, concentrated bombardment, which had gradually been increasing during the last day or two, until it reached great heights of fury last night and early this morning. The enemy used poison gas in immense quantities; during the night he flung over 60,000 gas shells in order to create a wide zone of this evil vapor and stupefy the gunners, transport, and infantry.

His gunfire reached out to many towns and villages behind the allied lines, like Béthune and Armentières, Vermelles and Philosophe, Merville and Estaires, and this did not cease around Armentières until 11:30 this morning, though further south from Fleurbaix his infantry attack was in progress at an early hour, certainly by 8 o'clock, and his barrage lifted in order to let his troops advance.

Part of the line was held by Portuguese troops, who for a long time have been between Laventie and Neuve Chapelle, holding positions which were subject to severe raids from time to time. They are now in the thick of this battle, most fiercely beset and fighting gallantly.

Formidable New Offensive

Wednesday, April 10.—It is now clear that the attack between Armentières and Givenchy is a new and formidable offensive. It also is made certain by this new thrust that the German high command have decided to throw the full weight of their armies against the British in an endeavor to destroy their forces[216] in Northern France instead of dividing their efforts by striking also at the French. It is a menace which calls for a supreme effort of the armies of Great Britain and her allies.

Yesterday the enemy struck north on the British left, beginning in the flat grounds opposite Neuve Chapelle as the centre of the thrust, with Fleurbaix to the north and Givenchy to the south, and extending this morning further north still above Armentières, and including the ridge of Messines.

An enormous gunfire was directed against the British positions along all this line last night again after yesterday morning's bombardment, and continued without pause through a very unquiet night, when all through the hours this tumult of great guns beat upon one's ears with continued drumfire, and all the sky was full of flame and light.

This morning again when I went up into French Flanders and through the villages which the enemy had been shelling regardless of the women and children there, this frightful, unceasing thunder was as loud as ever and told one without further news that the battle was still going on and that the Germans were extending its zone.

Portuguese Are Hard Hit

It was a tragedy for the Portuguese that the heaviest bombardment in the storm of gunfire, as terrible in its fury as anything of the kind since March 21, was directed against the centre, which they held. It was annihilating to their outposts and smashed their front-line defenses, which were stoutly held. It beat backward and forward in waves of high explosives from the trench line opposite Neuve Chapelle to the second line, opposite Fauquissart and Richebourg St. Vaast. Large numbers of heavy guns also searched behind these defense systems for crossroads, ammunition dumps, railways, villages, and headquarters or units, while the Portuguese batteries were assailed with gas shells and flying steel.

The Portuguese front line was overwhelmed by the intensity of the bombardment, and, although some of their outposts held on, fighting gallantly to the last man, their line had to fall back to the second system. This was attacked by enemy assault troops and between 6 and 7 in the morning they had reached Fauquissart. The barrage lifted at 7 o'clock for a general attack on the second line. Here the strongest body of Portuguese troops fought stubbornly, but by 11 o'clock the Germans forced their way through to Laventie and the position round Fleurbaix was threatened.

The Portuguese field artillery served their guns as long as possible and destroyed the breechblocks whenever it became inevitable that they would have to leave a gun behind. The Portuguese gunners were attached to the British heavy batteries and behaved with special courage.

Bloody Valley of the Lys

Thursday, April 11.—Yesterday afternoon and today the enemy exerted all his strength in men and guns in the battle now raging from the River Lys to Wytschaete. Once again the British are outnumbered, and it is only by the courage and stubborn will of battalions weakened by losses and of individual soldiers animating their comrades by acts of brave example that the enemy has been unable to make rapid progress and, as at Wytschaete and Messines, has been flung back with most bloody losses.

The British had to give ground along the Lys Canal south of Armentières, blowing bridges behind them and the railway bridge at Armentières, and the enemy is now trying to thrust forward south of Merville by bending back the British line from Lestrem and getting his guns across the Lys.

This morning there was a ceaseless tumult of gunfire, loud and terrible, over all this countryside. There were strange and terrible scenes on all the roads leading to the battle zone where British infantry and gunners were going forward to stem the tide. Masses of transport moved and civilians passed them in retreat to villages outside the wide area of shell range, and wounded men came staggering down afoot, if they could walk, or were brought down by ambulances, threading their way through all this surge and swell of war.

Here and there stretcher bearers waited with their burdens on the roadsides. Among them were men of the Black Watch, with the red hackle in their bonnets, calm and grave like statues beside their wounded comrades lying there with white, upturned faces and never a murmur or groan. They were the heroes who yesterday, with gallant hearts, came up at a great pace when the enemy was in Wytschaete and Messines, and in a fierce counterattack drove him off the crest of the ridge and dealt him a deadly blow there on that high ground, which was won in the battle of last June, when English, Irish, and New Zealand troops stormed the ridge and captured thousands of prisoners.

The enemy yesterday fell in great numbers and his dead lie thick, and though he came on wave after wave, after all his day's agony and struggle he had not gained a yard of the crest, but was beaten back.

English in Death Struggle

Friday, April 12.—The enemy is playing a great game in which he is flinging all he has into the hazard of war. He has, of course, a stupendous number of men, and, while holding his lines across the Somme after his drive down from St. Quentin and playing a defensive part against the French on the British right, he has moved up to the north with secrecy and rapidity a large concentration of troops and guns for new and tremendous blows against Haig's forces. This is continuing his now determined policy to crush England[217] before either France or America is able to draw off his divisions by counteroffensives.

So now the British troops in the north are faced by enormous forces. Nearly thirty German divisions are against them from Wytschaete to La Bassée Canal, and with those troops are innumerable machine guns, trench mortars, and massed batteries of field guns, very quick to get forward in support of their infantry.

This northern offensive is as menacing as that which began to the southward on March 21, and the gallant men among these little red brick villages in French Flanders and in the flat fields between Bailleul and Béthune are greatly outnumbered and can hold back the enemy only by fighting with supreme courage.

Horrors Amid Beauty

The scene today along the line of this hostile invasion was most tragic, because all the cruelty of war was surrounded by beauty so intense that the contrast was horrible. The sky was of Summer blue, with sunshine glittering on the red-tiled roofs of the cottages and on their whitewashed walls and little windowpanes. All the hedges were clothed with green and flaked by snow-white thorn blossoms.

In a night, as it seems, all the orchards of France have flowered, and cherry and apple trees are in full splendor of bloom, fields are powdered with close-growing daisies, and the shadows of trees are long across the grass as the sun is setting. But over all this and in the midst of all this is agony and blood. On the roads are fugitives, wounded soldiers, dead horses, guns, and transports.

There are fires burning on the hillsides. I saw their flames and their great, rolling clouds of smoke rise this morning from places where the day before I had seen French peasants plowing as though no war were near, and young girls scattering grain over the fields harrowed by their small brothers, and old women bending to the soil in the small farmsteads where all their life was centred, until suddenly the frightful truth touched them and they had to leave their homes.

Sometimes today I wished to God the sun would not shine like this nor nature mock at me with its thrilling-beauty of life. However, the British are full of confidence. If they were forced back they are glad to know that they made the enemy pay heavy prices and that their line is still unbroken. They are full of faith that against all odds they shall hold their own in the last battle of all.

Men Utterly Weary

Sunday, April 14.—The Commander in Chief's order of the day should reveal to the British people and to the world what is happening out here in France—the enemy's object to seize the Channel ports and destroy the British Army, and the frightful forces he has brought against it to achieve that plan, and the call that has come to the troops to hold every position to the last man. "Many among us now are tired. * * * With our back to the wall each one of us must fight to the end."

Yes, the men are tired, so tired after weeks of fighting, after these last days and nights, that they can hardly stagger up to resist another attack, yet they do so because their spirit wakes again above their bodily fatigue; so tired that they go on fighting like sleep-walkers, and in any respite lie in ditches and under hedges and in open fields under fire in deep slumber until the shouts of their Sergeants stir them again. Some of these men have been fighting since March 21 with only a few days' rest.

To people living in the villages of Flanders, from which one can see the whole sweep of the battleline, Friday night was full of terror, and from the windows they watched the burning of places from which they had escaped and the bonfires of their homes, and these refugees while sleeping with children at their breast wept.

Yesterday it was a drama of noise, beating against one's ears and against one's heart, and it was a strange, terrible thing to stand there, blind, as it were, listening to the infernal tumult of gunfire south of Bailleul, with knockings and sledgehammer strokes, loud and shocking, above the incessant drumfire of field artillery.

The German shells came howling over into fields and villages beyond Bailleul, bursting with gruff coughs, and there was an evil snarl of shrapnel in the mist. It was the noise of the greatest battle in history.

Fall of Neuve Eglise

Monday, April 15.—In the attempt to surround Bailleul two heavy attacks were made—one on the west toward Meteren, and one on the east at Neuve Eglise. Near Meteren the enemy failed utterly and suffered immense losses. There has been fierce fighting around a place called the Steam Mill, near Meteren, the enemy having been ordered to capture the Meteren road and the high ground beyond it at whatever sacrifice. They made the sacrifice, but did not get the ground.

Neuve Eglise, however, is now theirs. Last night the British troops who had held it through three days and nights of intense strife withdrew, unknown to the enemy, to a line a short distance back from the village, in order to avoid remaining a target for unceasing shellfire.

It is now the enemy's soldiers who this morning are in the ruins under the great bombardment. This battle at Neuve Eglise has been filled with grim episodes, for the village changed hands several times. Each side fought most fiercely, with any kind of weapon, small bodies of men attacking and counterattacking among the broken walls and bits of houses and under the stump of the[218] church tower deathtrap, as it now is for them. Without yielding to the direct assaults, the British obeyed orders, stumbled out of the place, silently and unknown to the enemy, and took up a line further back.

On the night before last the British line fell back from near La Chèche and swung around in a loop south of Neuve Eglise toward Ravelsberg Farm. It was then that Neuve Eglise itself became a place of hellish battle.

The enemy broke through into its ruined streets, and small parties of Wiltshires, Worcesters, and others sprang on the Germans or were killed. They fought desperately in backyards, over broken walls, and in shell-pierced houses, wherever they could find Germans or hear the tattoo of machine guns.

Several times the enemy was cleared out of most of the town, and the British held a hollow square containing most of the streets and defended it as a kind of fortress, though with dwindling numbers, under a heavy fire of shells and trench mortars and machine guns.

Capture of Bailleul

Tuesday, April 16.—It seemed inevitable after the British loss of Neuve Eglise that the enemy should make a quick and strong effort to capture Bailleul, and this he did last night by putting into the battle three divisions of fresh assaulting troops not previously used, and thus encircling that city by fierce attacks on ground southeast and east, including the ridge of Le Ravetsberg and Mont de Lille. His troops included his Alpine corps of Jaegers and possibly a Bavarian division and the 117th Division. Among the men defending the city against these heavy forces were the Staffords and Notts and Derbies.

Yesterday when I was in the country around Bailleul the enemy's guns were working up for this new attack, and there was a continual bombardment spreading up to Wytschaete Ridge. Heavy shells were being flung into Bailleul itself, and the smoke of fires was rising like mist from small towns and villages like Meteren and Morbecque down to Merville.

The British guns were also pounding the enemy's positions, and through that the concentrations of Germany—infantry, guns, transport, and cavalry—were moving up the roads in and north of Merville. The enemy must have lost severely again, for the British were stubborn in defense, but their machine-gun fire must have been of a deadly nature owing to their positions along the railway and on the ridge; but the enemy advanced upon them in waves, striking upon both sides of Bailleul, so that after great resistance the line was withdrawn beyond the town.

The capture of this city belongs to the third great attack which has been delivered by the enemy since March 21. Always he has massed his strength opposite the British lines and struck with full weight against their troops. In the first phase down from St. Quentin and the Cambrai salient the French came to their help and relieved them by their gallant aid, but the Germans then edged away from the French to strike the British again, this time at Arras, where they failed.

A third phase has now followed in this northern blow and once again the British have had to sustain the abominable pressure of German divisions constantly relieved and supported by fresh divisions passing through them, while the British troops fight on and on, killing the enemy in large numbers, but having to withdraw to new lines of defense. Under these enormous odds their heroism and their sacrifices are beyond words that may be uttered except in the silence of one's heart.

Wonderful Panorama

Wednesday, April 17.—Yesterday morning the fortune of war seemed again in favor of the enemy by the capture of Wytschaete Ridge down to Spanbroekmolen and by the entry of Meteren, west of Bailleul. The hard-pressed British troops were forced to give ground at both these places, after a grand resistance which cost the enemy many lives, but in the evening counterattacks hurled the enemy back from Wytschaete village, that pile of brick dust above stumps of dead trees which were Wytschaete Wood, and in a separate battle west of Bailluel the British regained, at least for a time, a part of Meteren. This morning renewed counterattacks gave them back all of Meteren and the enemy garrison there was destroyed.

I watched the battle last night and again this morning from the centre of the arc of fire, which was like a loop flung around from Wytschaete to Bailleul and in a sharp curve around to Merris and the country about Merville, so that the great gunfire and whole sweep of battle were close about on three sides.

It was an astounding panorama of open warfare, such as I never dreamed of seeing on this western front, where for so long both sides were hemmed in by trenches. Bailleul was still blazing. In the early evening, after a wet, misty day which filled all this battlefield with a whitish fog, one could only see that city under a cloud, but as the sky darkened and the wind blew some mist away enormous flames burned redly in the poor dead heart of Bailleul, and in their glare there were dark masses of walls and broken roofs outlined jaggedly by fire.

To the left the village of Locre was aflame under a storm of high explosives, and the enemy's guns were putting heavy shells down the roads which lead out to that place.

There were fires of burning farms and hamlets as far southward as Merville behind one, as one stood looking out to Bailleul, and lesser fires of single cottages and haystacks, and the wind drifted all the smoke of them across the sky in long white ribbons.[219]

Drumfire Rocks Earth

It was just before dusk when the counterattacks began northward from Wytschaete and southward from Meteren, and although before then there had been a steady slogging of guns and howling of shells, at that time this volume of dreadful noise increased tremendously, and drumfire broke out in fury, so that the sky and earth trembled with it. It was like the beating of all the drums of the world in muffled tattoo, above which and through which there were enormous clangoring hammer strokes from the British and German heavies.

It went on till evening, with a few pale gleams of sun through storm clouds and the smoke of guns, and for miles all this panorama of battle was boiling and seething with bursting shells and curling wreaths of smoke from the batteries in action.

When darkness came each battery was revealed by its flashes, and all the fields around were filled with red winkings and sharp stabs of flame. There was no real darkness of night, for every second the sky was crossed by rushes of light and burning beacons in many places, and gun flashes etched outlines of trees and cottages.

The general situation today is in our favor for the time being by the recapture of Wytschaete and Meteren and the repulse of many German attacks, but it is with natural regret one hears of the withdrawal from the heights east of Ypres in order to straighten the line and economize men. There was one other regret today, though only sentimental. The enemy knocked down the Albert church tower, the tower of the golden Virgin, who had bent head downward over that ruined city with her babe outstretched. It was a great landmark bound up with all our memories.

How General Carey Saved Amiens

A Pivotal Episode in the Great Battle

One of the most dramatic episodes of the battle of Picardy was the disaster which befell the 5th British Army, under General Gough, and the brilliant way in which it was retrieved by Brig. Gen. Sandeman Carey, who was warmly complimented by Premier Lloyd George in his man-power speech, (Page 263.)

Sir Hubert Gough's army was sent down in January to take over from the French a sector forty to fifty miles long. Clearly such a line as this could be held only if it were strongly located and cunningly constructed, and there is no doubt that it was. Three lines were designed: First, an outpost line, then a "line of resistance," and then a "battleline." The outpost line was designed with special care. It consisted of a number of separate posts so located as to provide for a cross-fire on any enemy that penetrated them. It was intended to be held until the last gasp, and it was presumed that the Germans might pass through it, but that they would be terribly punished by the garrisons of the isolated posts.

In one way the attack was not a surprise. General Gough had known for days that it was imminent, and had moved his men up to their positions and made every preparation possible. But one thing he could not foresee or guard against—the mist and fog. Under cover of the mist, which prevented sight for more than thirty yards, the Germans crept forward, and the outpost line was overrun before the alarm could be given. It was simply swamped, and the cross-fire on which so much depended was never delivered.

Consequently the fight began at the line of resistance instead, and before many hours had passed by sheer weight of numbers the Germans had forced the British back on the battleline. Then the fewness of numbers began to tell, and, as always at points of junction between divisions, the Germans got through between the 7th and 19th, the 19th and 18th, and the 3d and 18th. The whole line was broken up, and it seemed as if the road was open to Amiens.

Meanwhile it was impossible for the French reinforcements to come up as quickly as was necessary, and the retreat began. Bridges were not blown up for the simple reason that the parties of engineers were all killed. Every kind of soldier that could be collected was hastily thrown into action to fill the gap—including a strong contingent of American engineers.

Close to where the gap occurred was a[220] training school for machine gunners. Of course, the men in training had long since been hurried into action, but a large supply of machine guns remained. It is not every soldier, however, who understands how to use these weapons, and the officer found himself with a large supply of them which at all costs he must prevent from being captured, and very few men able to handle them. Those who could were put in charge of squads, and whenever they had a moment's respite from turning them on the Germans they set to work to give hurried instructions.

Orders came to General Carey at 2 A. M., March 26, to hold the gap. He went to work at once to develop the plans that had been hurriedly laid out. He organized a scratch force by telephone, messengers, and flag signals. Every available man—laborer, raw recruit, sapper, engineer—was rounded up. By the middle of the next morning Carey had found a considerable number of men, and by the early part of the afternoon he had organized them into some sort of force and had selected and marked out the position it must hold.

For a time he had some guns, but these were hurried away to another point that was even more seriously threatened. He had fifty cavalrymen to do a little scouting, but in the main he had to depend entirely on the sheer grit of his scratch force, who lay in their shallow trenches, firing almost point blank at the gray hordes of Germans, and at every moment of respite seized their shovels to improve their shelters.

For nearly six days they stuck to it, and, as Lloyd George said, "they held the German Army and closed that gap on the way to Amiens."

After a time they got some artillery behind them and things were easier, but at first it was just a ding-dong fight, with soldiers taking orders from strange officers, officers learning the ground by having to defend it, and every man from enlisted man to Brigadier jumping at each job as it came along and putting it through with all his might.

During all that six days General Carey was the life and inspiration of the entire force. Careless of danger, he rode along the hastily intrenched line, giving an order here and shouting words of encouragement there to his weary and hard-pressed men.

His staff was as hastily recruited as his men. He had no knowledge of how long he must hold out. He was not even certain of getting supplies of ammunition and provisions.

All he had to do was to hang on, and hang on he did against an almost endless series of formidable attacks. He never lost heart or wavered. The gap to Amiens was closed and held.

Three companies of an engineering regiment were caught in the early bombardment and ordered to fall back. To one of the American companies, which had been consolidated with the British Royal Engineers, was delegated the task of guaranteeing the destruction of an engineers' dump, which it had been decided to abandon. This detachment destroyed all the material, made a rapid retreat, caught up with the larger group, and immediately resumed work, laying out trenches. These operations lasted from March 22 to 27. As the German attack became more intense, the engineers were joined by cooks, orderlies, and railway men as a part of General Carey's forces. The commanding officer of an American regiment took charge of an infantry sub-sector and directed the action of his troops for one week, until the emergency passed at that point. To this officer General Rawlinson, commanding the British Army engaged in that sector, sent the following letter:

The army commander wishes to record officially his appreciation of the excellent work your regiment has done in assisting the British Army to resist the enemy's powerful offensive during the last ten days. I fully realize that it has been largely due to your assistance that the enemy has been checked, and I rely on you to assist us still further during the few days which are still to come before I shall be able to relieve you in the line.

I consider your work in the line to be greatly enhanced by the fact that, for six weeks previous to taking your place in the front line, your men had been working at such high pressure erecting heavy bridges on the Somme. My best congratulations and warm thanks to all.



Gen. Sir H. S. Horne
Gen. Sir H. S. Horne
Gen. Sir H. C. O. Plumer (Bain News Service)
Gen. Sir H. C. O. Plumer
(Bain News Service)
Gen. Sir Julian Byng (Underwood)
Gen. Sir Julian Byng
Gen. Sir H. S. Rawlinson
Gen. Sir H. S. Rawlinson


Gen. Ludendorff, Quartermaster General of the Army
Gen. Ludendorff,
Quartermaster General of the Army
Gen. von Kathen
Gen. von Kathen
Gen. Otto von Below (Press Illustrating Service)
Gen. Otto von Below
(Press Illustrating Service)
Gen. von Gallwitz
Gen. von Gallwitz


Battle Viewed From the French Front

By G. H. Perris

Special Correspondent with the French Armies

George H. Perris was with the French Armies in Picardy throughout the German offensive. The aim of the Germans was to drive a wedge between the British and French Armies at the point of juncture near La Fère, and Mr. Perris was admirably situated to obtain not only the story of the fighting on the allied right, but a good general view of the whole great battle and of the strategic methods adopted by the German command. Current History Magazine, through its connection with The New York Times, has full use of these important dispatches, which are copyrighted.

[See Map on Page 198.]

A little before 5 A. M. on March 21, between the Scarpe and the Oise, there began an extremely violent artillery preparation, including barrages largely composed of gas shells, especially near Cambrai, and toward the Oise a strong counterbattery fire and a plentiful bombardment of the allied rear and communications.

At 9:45 A. M. an infantry attack began. Each German division engaged had a front of attack of about a mile and a half, and seems to have been disposed as follows: Two regiments, less a battalion of each, were in the first line, and one regiment was in reserve. Battalions were echeloned in a depth of two companies, each with six light machine guns, constituting the first wave. The second wave of two companies, carrying heavier machine guns, followed at an interval of 100 yards. These were followed at 200 or 300 yards' distance by light bomb-throwers and the battalion staff. Finally there came one-inch and other very light field guns, called "artillery of accompaniment," which deployed as required. The divisional reserves consisted of five infantry battalions. No new gas was used, and although the enemy has tanks they were not brought into action.


The first attack was made by perhaps fifty divisions, or about 750,000 men. Of these at least ten divisions, and perhaps thirteen or fourteen, were thrown into the corner of the field between St. Quentin, La Fère, and Noyon. They were divided into six columns.

The first consisted of a division with three battalions of chasseurs, which, debouching from La Fère, quickly took Tergnier, and on the evening of March 22 came to a stop before Vouel, the next village westward, and a division which came into action on the evening of the 22d passed the first, and on the following day pushed on toward Chauny.

The second column consisted of two divisions. The former advanced from the old line near Moy, on the Oise, through La Fontaine and Remigny and to the southwest. It stopped at Liez, on the Crosat Canal, on the 22d. That night it was passed by the other division, which, on the 23d, captured Villequier-Aumont, on the St. Quentin-Chauny road. To the right of this was the third column, composed of two divisions. The first attacked through Cerizy to Benay and Hinacourt, and was stopped on the evening of the 22d at Lamontagne. It was passed that evening by the other division on the canal, which, after occupying Genlis Wood, closed up to the second column.

The fourth column included the 1st and 10th Divisions, of which the former attacked through Essigny to Jussy, and on the 23d was at the north of Ugny, while the latter on its right passed the canal and reached Ugny and Beaumont.

Of the fifth column, which occupied the region of Villeselve, and the sixth, in the Ham-Noyon sector, my information is slighter, owing to the severity of the trial of the British contingents there before the French took over the front.[222]

One division of the sixth column attacked at Le Plessis, north of Guiscard, on the 24th, and on the following day took Muirancourt, Rimbercourt and Croisilles. Its right was then prolonged by a division at Freniches.


On the evening of the 22d the front of the British Army ran along the Crozat Canal from Tergnier, through Jussy, to the east of St. Simon.

Very well do I remember the bridgehead of Jussy as I saw it after the German retreat a year ago. The town, built almost wholly of brick, was absolutely leveled to the ground, not a single wall standing. I saw it again last Summer, when General X., a fine soldier and an enlightened gentleman, had set up a camp hospital and swimming bath, and the bridge had been decorated to celebrate the entry of America into the war. It was seven miles behind the front, and I confess we never thought to see the boche there again.

At 6 P. M. on the 22d General ——received the news that the British front had been broken between Beauvois and Vaux, nine miles due west of St. Quentin, and that his corps must fall back to Ham and the villages of Sancourt and Matigny, immediately north of it. At 8 or 9 o'clock next morning the news came in that the enemy was just debouching from the south of Ham toward Esmery-Hallon. The British 5th Corps was then in the region of Guiscard-Beaumont-Guivry ready for relief.

On the morning of the 24th two German divisions, the first and second columns, continued their movements in the Oise Valley, while the third and fourth columns took Ugny and Genlis Wood. On the 25th one division reached Croisilles, while another attacked Baroeuf on the north of the Oise, half way between Noyon and Chauny.

On the 26th one division was near Noyon, another at Larbroye, southwest of that town, and a third at Suzoy, two miles west of it. Clemenceau's classic phrase, "Remember that the Germans are at Noyon," had unexpectedly come alive again.


Noyon, unlike Chauny, Ham, and other neighboring places, was not greatly damaged by the Germans before their retreat last year. South of the town rises a conical hill called Mont Rénaud, which is capped with a wood hiding the château built on the site of an ancient abbey. On Thursday, when the Germans were ensconced on Mont Rénaud, a French General expressed in the presence of the English General commanding a cavalry division his intention of retaking it. The British commander at once asked that his own troops should have the honor of making the attack. This was agreed to, and the British cavalry, dismounted, carried the hill by assault in face of a stubborn defense by the enemy.

I am assured that along the line where the French relieved the British troops, or where they have been acting together, the best relations have prevailed, and that the co-operation of the staffs and field officers has been most cordial.

The French, like the British, aviators, by the boldness of their bombing and their machine-gun work on the line of the German advance, have done much to compensate for the allied losses and the unavoidable delay in getting the French batteries into their new positions. Prisoners say the German 88th Division was nearly wiped out, and that the 206th suffered almost as badly.


Details of the first advance from St. Quentin to Noyon illustrate the new method pursued in this offensive in the particular way in which one large unit passes through another in order to carry the movement forward as rapidly as possible.

Another feature is its readiness to change the direction of march when great difficulty is found by the Germans or a marked weakness on the allied side invites such a change. Of the divisions named above, six disappeared from that front in the course of the concentration toward Noyon. They had been diverted[223] westward when it was recognized that the Oise could not be forced, and Amiens became the chief objective.

It is certain that General von Hutier's plans were based upon his experience in the capture of Riga. * * * Western resistance, whether French or British, is a very different thing from that which the Russians put up at Riga. Enormous as are the forces the enemy put into this blow, though for the last week they outnumbered and generally overwhelmed those hurried up to meet them, they had to pay terribly for their success. German war doctrine recognizes this as inevitable in what is intended for a decisive operation against great antagonists. Against soldiers less experienced, disciplined, and inspired than those of the western Allies Hindenburg would have succeeded.

The adaptability of direction of attack which I have indicated is remarkable, but the same adaptability in the attack upon Verdun, where the right and left banks of the Meuse were alternately tried, gave no result. This time the main direction has been thrice changed. It began with the wings at St. Quentin and Croisilles; it then moved to the right centre from Bapaume to Albert; finally it is concentrated on the left centre on both sides of Montdidier.

Because of its methods and speed the battle thus far has been mainly one of artillery. German cavalry has been met in small numbers, but it has not taken a brilliant part. The enemy's aviation service has been notably inferior to that of the Allies. Only light guns with a few four-inch pieces have been able to keep up with the advance, and trench mortars do not seem to have been brought up quickly. On the other hand, groups of allied machine gunners and machine riflemen, taking advantage of the depressions of the ground, have everywhere taken heavy toll of their adversaries. By the time they can transport their heavier guns the Allies will have their former superiority ready to answer them.


March 26.—A full third of the German forces on the western front have been engaged on one-eighth of its extent. It is not impossible that a secondary offensive may be declared, but it may be taken that we now know the worst, and that the utmost possible strength has been put into the first blow.

The choice suggests the need of obtaining a rapid decision and the hope of shaking the will of our people. If it resulted in a break-through it would be justified as good strategy; if not, a number of prisoners and miles of ravaged territory have been taken, with no compensation for the costs.

So far there is nothing like a break-through. The French are holding strongly in the Oise Valley, in safe connection with the British on the Somme.


March 27.—I have been along the French front today, and the news is that, although the battle broke with extraordinary violence, it found the French prepared, and all is well.

As I watched the sun set in a crimson flood yesterday behind the Noyon hills there seemed to be a pause in the struggle. At least, the bombardment had slackened, and at one of the headquarters of the French Army on the Oise there was no news of an attack then proceeding.

The result of this momentary lull was to enhance the impression of calm order and confidence which is one's usual experience in passing from the rear to the front. One goes up in a state of suppressed agitation over the latest reports and rumors, and finds himself suddenly wrapped around by an atmosphere of businesslike quietude that extends nearly to the front trenches. Even in the firing line the stoical silence of the men and their immobility, except in spasmodic crises, seem to dominate the hellish roar of bursting shells.

From this point backward the machine works with a smoothness that rebukes our anxieties. In a circuit of forty miles, ending on the hills overlooking the left bank of the Oise, between Noyon and Chauny, I did not see a single sign of confusion, and there were many signs of satisfaction that the war had entered upon a decisive stage.[224]

This is not strange. Very few soldiers hear as much of the latest news as one does in Paris or London; but all soldiers know more of the strength of their army than civilians can know. They may rarely see their General and understand little of military science; they may be unable to tell you exactly how the battle line stands, but they have a thousand ways of learning the quality of their chiefs and of knowing far in advance of the official bulletins whether things are going well or ill.

So far as my information goes there is good reason for this equitable state of mind. The German advance is remarkable, but it has been adequately paid for. Along the successive lines of heights southwest of St. Quentin the British, and afterward the French, who took this sector, had excellent firing positions, and retired from one to another in good order. The enemy came on wave upon wave, reckless of losses, as though certain points must be reached at any cost at certain hours. The allied troops fired upon them continuously, often exhausting their ammunition before the moment came for falling back. The Crown Prince's troops were at some points literally mown down. One machine gunner with a good target got through 30,000 cartridges, and could have fired twice that number had they been at hand. A Bavarian regiment lost half of its effectives in this drive toward the Oise.


The new method of assault by which the Germans obtained their first successes—new in its intensity, though not in its elements combined—seems to be as follows: After a short but heavy bombardment, in which gas shells play a larger part than ever, masses of troops brought up at the last moment are sent forward, wave after wave. The first wave must reach its objective at any cost, and, leaving the still resisting groups to be dealt with by bodies of grenadiers and flame pumpers, at once begins to throw heavy machine-gun and rifle fire upon the rear of the next line to be attacked, so as to prevent reserves from coming up. It is then passed by a second wave, which installs itself in the next position, engages it, and is in turn passed by a third wave, and so on.

Even when, as in this case, the method has been rehearsed with Teutonic thoroughness, it is one that involves losses which other than German armies could not be asked to bear.


March 29.—On the front of fifty miles, where the enemy had had only sixteen divisions, he commenced his great gamble with about thirty-eight divisions. It was already a heavy superiority, but there had been recognized up to last night a total of about eighty-seven divisions engaged, that is to say over a million men have been poured into this space, which forms only about an eighth of the western front, the greater part of these being new reserves, brought up after the operation was launched. They include many of the best imperial troops, the 1st, 2d, and 5th Guard Divisions, for instance, and two crack Bavarian divisions.

Three of the army commanders are reckoned among the most successful of the German Generals—von Below, who directed the Italian offensive; von der Marwitz, who did so much with his cavalry corps in the battle of the Marne to check pursuit and has done so well since in higher positions, and von Hutier, who tried new infantry tactics in the capture of Riga. The last named represents the army and the prestige of the Imperial Crown Prince. The other two serve the Crown Prince of Bavaria, and the enterprise received a special blessing from the Emperor.

Their whole design points to an intention of making this a singly decisive operation. Consider again the figures given above. Before the offensive the enemy had on this front from the sea to the Alps about 109 divisions in line and seventy-six in reserve. By calling the reserves they have been able (and it has been necessary) by the eighth day of the battle to put about eighty-seven divisions, 1,044,000 men, into the[225] combat. Good observers consider that at the most they can hardly bring up more than forty more divisions.


March 30.—Immediately west of Noyon, Mont Rénaud and some neighboring hills have been recovered and are strongly held. The bridges over the Oise between Point l'Evêque and Chauny have been broken, and the river there is so well covered by artillery and infantry that there is no danger of a passage being forced.

This was the first fruit of the French northward movement on the evening of March 21. Several divisions of the neighboring French Army were rushed up in motor wagons to the aid of the British right wing, which was thus enabled to draw north along the Crozat Canal. Their guns and supply columns followed. On the next day a further force was placed opposite Chauny, and other French troops were ordered to extend their lines northwestward, keeping in touch with the retiring British right. The constant displacement required in this delicate task and the fact that the French were gradually drawing upon themselves an increasing part of the German onset explain the delay in making considerable counterattacks.

On the 24th the French repelled repeated attempts to cross the Oise, and their lines, which already stretched to Evricourt, more than half way from Noyon to Lassigny, were extended to the neighborhood of the latter town.

The difficulties inevitable in so rapid a movement of reserves were met everywhere with splendid cheerfulness and energy. One of the artillery regiments, brought up by motor wagon, had no horses with it, but got its pieces into action, and, having to retreat, dragged them back three miles by hand.

Meanwhile, definitely checked on the south, and feeling all the time for the line of least resistance, the German host was gravitating rapidly westward between Roye and Chaulnes. Now that the danger has completely passed, it may be said that it came very near breaking through the allied front in this region on the 25th. The 26th and 27th saw an accentuation of pressure at the point of junction, but, while the front was pushed back on the first day to l'Echelle-St. Aurin on the Avre, and on the next to Montdidier, other French troops had been brought up to strengthen the British right, and yesterday, after several hard combats, it seemed that the offensive was definitely contained.


April 1.—Montdidier, quaintly seated on a steep hill beside the Amiens-Clermont railway, is an important crossroads. On Friday the enemy had pulled himself together and delivered along twenty-five miles of broken country from Demuin to near Lassigny a new mass attack, supported with a considerable number of field guns. On the French left the British held Demuin, but were driven out of Mézières. The French bore the main shock heroically. Step by step they fell back, leaving masses of German dead and wounded before their lines.

The combat continued throughout Sunday, spreading out a little at both ends, and it is impossible for me to piece together the fragmentary and often incoherent reports from the field so as adequately to represent its wild fluctuations.

Savagely set upon breaking through to Amiens and the Amiens-Paris railway, von Hutier's columns succeeded in reaching the Avre at Moreuil. Between Montdidier and Lassigny, where the front curves to the southeast, the enemy put no less strength into his outward thrust. Hand-to-hand fighting continued for hours in the villages of Orvillers on the west and Plessis de Roye, near Lassigny, and the neighboring hamlet of Plémont, all of which repeatedly changed hands. The German troops which got into Plémont and part of Plessis were driven out by a magnificent charge of the French, some units flying in disorder. The slaughter of yesterday's fighting is said to exceed anything seen in the preceding days of the battle.

On the ninth day a new chapter of the tragic story was opened. The Allies, their lines unbroken, were standing with[226] clenched teeth on good positions and were hourly adding to their strength in men and guns. Amiens appeared to the enemy like a mirage on the western horizon, and the two Crown Princes may have reflected that there would be accounts to pay at home if this time, after sacrifices such as can only be paralleled in rare episodes of military history like the retreat from Moscow, they did not bring back a victorious peace.


A smashing blow at the Franco-British junction was then to be decisive. It was begun with means believed to be adequate to this aim and was directed westward on both sides of Montdidier toward the Beauvais-Amiens railway, with a supporting thrust from the threatened flank west of Lassigny.

Further south, toward Montdidier, which they already held, the Germans crossed the river, again suffering very heavy losses, but were arrested on the hills of the western bank. In the evening the struggle, despite the exhaustion of both sides, attained its fiercest intensity. Moreuil was recaptured on Saturday night by a mixed Canadian and French force, lost again during the night, and once more carried by storm in the old-fashioned way yesterday morning. No Stosstruppen, (shock troops,) no expert grenadiers or flame pumpers this time. Mixed in the same ranks, the British colonials in khaki and the French in light blue went forward irresistibly with the bayonet.

"The Canadians," says one of my informants, "performed prodigies of valor, and when the boches fell back they had lost half their effectives."

Full of their success, our troops turned northward and would not be satisfied till they had been firmly set on the wooded heights near the town. Later in the day several violent enemy attacks were made south of the Somme, but they seem to have been of rather a local and scattered kind, as though, at least for the moment, fresh efforts of the dimensions of those of Friday and Saturday were impossible.

The British have made some progress in the valley of the Luce, and two strong German attacks were repulsed between Marcelcave and the Somme, as were others in the British sphere on the north of the river. On the other hand, the British line was beaten back to the village of Hangard, [Hangard was lost and finally retaken and held by the French,] on the north bank of the Luce, nearly opposite Demuin.

Like the actions of the preceding days, this battle has been in the main a conflict of infantry. On neither side has it been possible to get heavy artillery in position in time, but on the allied side French and British guns, freshly detrained, gave support of moral as well as material importance. When the 75 has a target of masses advancing in close, deep waves, its effects are terrible beyond words. In the open country the air squadrons of the Allies have also worked havoc in the enemy's ranks, besides bursting tons of explosives on his camps and lines of communication.


April 8.—It is evident that the German onslaught has failed to break through. What the Allies have lost in ground they have saved in men; and, on the other hand, the enemy, who wanted not these miles of desolate territory, but a final decision, has paid inordinately without getting any nearer the desired result.

For five days his advance, though somewhat behind his ambitious program, was not seriously interrupted. On March 25 a certain General reached the region of Montdidier and began to build a human barrier. On March 23 began what may be called a four days' battle of arrest. Three French divisions had to meet and did meet the onset of fifteen German divisions. There were smaller units that fought one against ten.

The main German effort was against the Moreuil-Grivesnes-Montchel line, the object being (with 150,000 men in play there could be no less ambitious aim) to break right through to the south of Amiens and completely separate the French and British Armies. It culminated on the 31st with a suicidal assault by the pick of the Prussian Guards and other chosen divisions at Grivesnes, when[227] a certain gallant Colonel, rifle in hand, directed the barricading of the windows of the château, and with not more than 500 men kept off three or four times as many assailants and had strength enough left at last to sweep those who remained out of the park.

I need not measure again the trivial gain for the enemy of this four days' battle. Perhaps the most significant fact about it is that while, overwhelming as was his original force, the enemy had repeatedly to withdraw and renew his units, not one French unit was relieved in that time. At Mesnil St. Georges one infantry battalion, with some groups of chasseurs, drove off five successive attacks by a whole German division. I might multiply such instances, but space would fail me to make them real with detail.

A pause of four days followed this failure. Then, on April 4, twelve divisions were again launched in the northern part of the same narrow field—10,000 men per mile of front. They won at great cost the ruins of two hamlets and a slice of fields beside them.


April 14.—The first phase or act of the offensive, launched with unprecedented masses of troops, completely failed to reach its aim and entailed losses that no lesser success could warrant. Begun on March 21, with three armies—those of von Below, von der Marwitz, and von Hutier—counting nearly fifty divisions, about forty more had to be brought in before the first week was out.

By that time the French armies had been pushed northwestward with admirable rapidity and characteristically splendid spirit, and by the last day of the month the host of the Prussian Crown Prince, including the Guard and others of the best German units, had been fought to a standstill from Noyon and Lassigny to the Avre and the Somme.

Several hard combats in the last fortnight, the latest ending in the French recovering the village of Hangard on Friday and their useful advance yesterday near Arvillers, do but confirm this result. That the German losses are fully commensurate with the ambition of their aims and the prodigal method pursued is shown by another fact unprecedented in the history of war.

At the end of three weeks of the offensive about 1,500,000 men have been cast into the battle, and seventy-five divisions have become so dislocated as to have to be withdrawn for reorganization. It is therefore probable that the total German casualties up to date approach 500,000.


The second phase may be regarded as having opened March 28 with the entry of General von Below's right wing into action east of Arras, and as culminating with the battle of Armentières, involving the army of General von Quest and the left wing of General von Arnim's army at Ypres, while a subsidiary operation by General von Boehm's army threatened the French between the Oise and St. Gobain Forest.

This northern battle began in a much smaller way than the original offensive, with about twenty divisions on a twenty-mile front, and it may have been its initial success that determined its prompt extension.

While it may fairly be said to have constituted a confession of failure in the earlier adventure, its development not only creates a new danger, but strengthens the German position athwart the Somme. The situation, therefore, must be looked at straightforwardly and spoken of without mincing words.

In the middle of March the German armies consisted of 4,000,000 men at the front, 1,300,000 on the lines of communication and in the interior, and others who can be added to the present effectiveness.

From the village of Hangard to Abbéville is about forty miles; from Merville to Calais is the same distance; to Boulogne a little more; from the Ypres front to Dunkirk is about thirty miles; to Nieuport a little less. These are the limits of the allied power of manoeuvre for the defense of the Channel.


Caring for Thousands of Refugees

Long processions of civilian refugees lined the roadsides in the invaded area during the days of battle—the pitiful hosts of those fleeing from the German guns and the terrors of German occupation. Many thousands of villagers and farmers whose little homes had been devastated by the first German occupation and by the battle of the Somme had been trying bravely to restore their ruined houses and cultivate the tortured soil again. With the aid of American friends hundreds of cottages had been built, heaps of shattered masonry cleared away, shops and schools opened, and French, British, and American committees had formed a nucleus around which new life was gradually growing up. No less than 5,500 acres of the devastated land evacuated by the Germans a year ago were again under cultivation—enough to feed 16,000 persons a year.

All this work of the stricken inhabitants, with their replanted fruit trees and scanty stores of new implements, had to be abandoned almost at a moment's notice. Many of the peasants, stunned by the new catastrophe, had to be aroused to flight by the friendly orders of the retreating British officers. The Red Cross workers, the Dames de France, and a group of courageous American women—the Smith College girls—aided the refugees day and night in their retreat from town to town until the German advance was checked a few miles short of Amiens.

The American Red Cross transported thousands from the towns and villages behind the British lines, working thirty automobiles night and day, and carrying 2,000 to friends in Paris in the first few days. These were mostly women, children, and aged persons who had been awakened by the Red Cross workers on the morning of the 25th, taken to the railroad in trucks, and thence transported by rail in special trains. Most of the refugees were able to save only a few of their belongings, which were wrapped up in shawls and bed sheets, or carried in baskets or handbags. One woman, 81 years old, carried only a basket of live chickens, and cried because she had been unable to save two rabbits. Another woman carried a few cooking utensils under her arm. Many women and children were crying because they had been separated from relatives and friends. Children only a month old and people who had reached the age of 90 were alike numbered among the unfortunates.


"I saw the first tide of these poor people when the Germans came near to Ham and Péronne and Roye," wrote Philip Gibbs on March 29. "Some of them had been once in the hands of the Germans, and at this second menace they left their homes and their fields and their shops, and came trekking westward and southward.

"One's heart bleeds to see these refugees, and it is the most tragic aspect of these days. There are many old people among them, old women in black gowns and caps who come hobbling very slowly down the highway of war, and old men with bent backs who lean heavily on their gnarled sticks as the guns go by, and the fighting men.

"I saw one old man near Ham who was trundling along a wheelbarrow, and on this was spread a mattress, and on that was his wife. She looked 90 years of age, with her white, wrinkled face, and she was fast asleep, like a little child. Many children are on the roads, packed tight into farm carts with household furniture and bundles of clothing, and poultry and pigs and new-born lambs. The noise of the gunfire is behind them, and they move faster when it grows louder. They are very brave, these boys and girls and these old people. There is hardly any weeping or any look on their faces of grudge against this unkind turn of fate. They seem to accept it with stoical resignation, with most matter-of-fact courage, and their only answer to pity is a smile and the words, 'C'est la guerre.' Those are words I first heard in the early weeks of the war and hoped never to hear again.

"Many of these people trek in family groups and gatherings of families from[229] one village. Small boys and girls drag tired cows after them. The other day one of these cows leaned against every tree she passed and then sat down, and the girl with her looked around helplessly, not knowing what to do. This morning I saw the girl wearing a veil and dressed in an elegant way, taking the cow with her. She was quite alone on the road. It is queer and touching that most of these fugitives wear their best clothes, as though on a fête day. It is because they are clothes they want to save and can only have by wearing them in their flight.

"In one small town the fear of the German entry came at night, a bright, moonlight night into which there came many German bombing squadrons. The citizens had shut up their shops and stood about talking anxiously. Then fear and rumor spread among them, and all through the night there was an exodus of small families and solitary girls and comrades in misfortune, stealing away like shadows from homes they loved, from little fortunes or their shops, from all their normal life into the open country, where the moonlight lay white and cold on the fields. Behind them bombs were being dropped, and some of their houses were destroyed.

"C'est la guerre!"


The heroic work of the Smith College girls was described by a correspondent at the French front under date of March 29:

"Working unceasingly under a constant shellfire, for days without sleep, the girls demonstrated admirable initiative and ability and the extreme coolness of the tried soldier. They are still in the field today, ministering to old men, women, and children. I have talked to the first persons to come in from the front, who saw them last Saturday, when shells were falling at Grecourt, the tiny Somme village where the unit has been quartered for months, aiding the folks of a dozen surrounding villages.

"When it became evident that the Germans were coming the girls worked frantically with auto trucks, gathering together all the people in their territory. In one village they went three times to try to persuade an aged woman to leave, but she refused to move unless the ancestral bedstead on which she lay could be transported with her. In final desperation the girls brought a big supply wagon and loaded the bedstead and the woman into it, leaving the village fifteen minutes before the first of the Uhlans arrived.

"The girls organized themselves into small units and each unit was charged with the evacuation of a single village. Cavalcades of refugees, generaled by the Smith girls, marched or rode from their abandoned homes to Roye, where a special train was waiting to carry them westward. Even cows, chickens, dogs, and cats helped to form the cavalcade which reached Roye on Saturday morning. Here the refugees vainly tried to crowd the animals into the train.

"The girls of the Smith College unit then proceeded to Montdidier. There, with W. B. Jackson of Washington, a former Red Cross delegate at Ham, assisted by a group of American Quakers and Red Cross workers, they organized a canteen and began giving out blankets and other comforts and making a marvelous bean soup and a special food for babies, the basis of which was condensed milk. As the refugee trains, some containing as many as 1,000 men, women, and children, poured into Montdidier the arriving refugees were fed until the supply of food was exhausted.

"Then Montdidier became too hot under the increasing shellfire and the workers were forced to split, some going to Amiens and others to Beauvais, where they continued their work. Since then practically all the Smith College girls and some other workers have gone to Amiens, where they are weathering the enemy bombardment in cellars, but carrying on their work as usual."


An Associated Press correspondent added this further bit of eyewitness testimony under date of March 27:

"The French refugees of the better class departing from the zones of actual[230] operations are coming out clad in all their finery, which represents the styles of four or five years ago. Then there are sturdy peasants with wooden shoes and clumsily constructed clothes, riding in vehicles drawn by horses or donkeys or in carts pushed by men, and some are even in wheelbarrows. Upon these queer transports are stacked strange assortments of personal belongings.

"There is deep pathos in all this, but none struck the correspondent more forcibly than the appearance of a tiny girl who trudged in her wooden shoes along a hard, dusty road, her eyes fastened anxiously upon a dirty rag doll perched precariously at the top of household effects which were being pushed along by an old man. This child was perhaps representative of all the refugees—she was coming away with her most cherished possession, her baby doll, and was prepared to guard it at all costs; her aching feet were as nothing, so long as the doll was safe.

"These refugees are from the towns within the Somme battlefield and adjoining it. All these villages have been emptied of their inhabitants. So far as possible everything which might be of use to the Germans has been removed. In particular, large numbers of cattle have been taken away by the owners, who patiently drive the beasts on ahead of them along the roads.

"There are few tears or hysterical outbreaks among the refugees, most of whom are of the peasant class. They know they must go, and they seem to be trusting implicitly in the British, but the misery in their eyes as they turn from all they love to a world they do not know is touching. Aged women clinging to the hands of little grandchildren, men stooped with years, youths and maidens—all fall into a picture such as only a catastrophe can produce."

Fifty members of the American Friends' unit of the Red Cross were in the region of the great battle, at Ham, Liancourt, Esmery-Hallon, Golancourt, and Gruny on the Somme and Aisne. These devoted workers, with the aid of many Red Cross trucks that were rushed to them, helped thousands of refugees to safety.

The French Government had several hundred tractor plows at work on the stricken lands. The American relief units also had a few tractor plows and other agricultural materials, all of which had to be abandoned to the enemy. All members of relief units were reported safe.

Castor Oil for Airplanes

How an important agricultural enterprise was initiated to meet one of the requirements of the Aviation Section of the American Army is disclosed in the minority report of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, presented on April 12, 1918. In the course of a description of the initial difficulties encountered in producing battle planes, the report says:

"Remember again that when these combat planes were contracted for the only known lubricating oil adapted to their delicate parts was an oil made from the castor bean. There were not enough beans in this country to make anywhere near the amount of oil required. Neither were there enough seeds with which to grow the needed quantity of beans. The Signal Corps had to search the globe for seeds, and finally secured a shipload from distant India. Then the corps had to contract for the planting of the seeds in this country, and has succeeded in having about 110,000 acres planted. It is now claimed that a form of petroleum has been developed that will answer the same purpose. This, however, is still in the experimental stage, while the oil from the castor bean is known to be entirely adequate and reliable."


Progress of the War

Recording Campaigns on All Fronts and Collateral Events From March 18, 1918, Up to and Including April 17, 1918


The German Government announced on March 18 that American property in Germany would be seized in reprisal for the seizure of German property in the United States.

Drastic restrictions were placed by the War Trade Board upon the importation of many nonessential commodities, the regulations to become effective April 15.

The terms of the Third Liberty Loan were announced by Secretary McAdoo on March 25. The bill authorizing it was completed by Congress and signed by President Wilson on April 4, and on April 6 the drive began.

Secretary Daniels, in a speech in Cleveland on April 6, disclosed the fact that a great fleet of American vessels, including battleships, was operating in the war zone.

Announcement was made in Tokio on March 28 that an agreement had been concluded under which Japan promised to turn over to the United States 450,000 tons of shipping.

President Wilson issued a proclamation on April 11, giving Secretary McAdoo control of the principal coastwise steamship lines.

Charles M. Schwab was appointed Director General of the Emergency Fleet Corporation April 16.


Sir Eric Geddes gave in the House of Commons on March 19 figures of shipping losses which are given in detail elsewhere in this number of Current History Magazine, also figures made public by the British Admiralty on March 21 are given elsewhere.

The Royal Mail steamer Amazon and the Norwegian steamship Stolt-Neilson, commandeered by the British, were sunk March 19.

The steamship Conargo was torpedoed in the Irish Sea March 31, and the lifeboats were shelled.

The armed boarding steamer Tithonus was sunk March 28, and the sinking of the steamship Carlisle Castle was reported April 2.

On April 1 the Celtic was torpedoed off the Irish coast, but reached port in safety.

The American steamer Chattahoochee, formerly the German Sachsen, was sunk off the English coast on March 25.

The Spanish steamers Arpillao and Begona were sunk March 25.

The Italian steamer Alessandra was sunk off the Island of Madeira April 2.

The Ministre de Smet de Naeyer, a Belgian relief ship, was sunk in the North Sea on April 6, and twelve members of the crew were lost.

As a result of the commercial agreement between Spain and the United States, German submarines began a blockade of Spanish ports, April 11.

Because a German submarine had captured a Uruguayan military commission bound for France, the Government of Uruguay on April 11 asked Berlin, through Switzerland, whether it considered that a state of war existed with Uruguay.


March 18—Belgians repulse German raids in the region of Nieuport, Dixmude, and Mercken.

March 19—French penetrate German line near Rheims; British carry out successful raids in the neighborhood of Villers-Guislain, La Vacquerie, and Bois Gienier.

March 20—German airplane drops balls of liquefied mustard gas on American lines northwest of Toul; Americans shell Lahayville, causing a heavy explosion and forcing the Germans to retreat; French repulse violent raids in the Souain sector of Champagne.

March 21—Germans open terrific drive on British lines on a fifty-mile front from southeast of Arras as far as La Fère; French lines bombarded north and southeast of Rheims as well as on the Champagne front; Paris bombarded by long-range guns.

March 22—Germans claim 16,000 prisoners in big drive; General Haig reports them gaining at some points and repulsed at others; American artillery fire destroys German first and second line trenches east of Lunéville; violent gun duels in the Aisne and Champagne sectors; French repulse three German raids near Souain.

March 23—Germans smash British front, win victories near Monchy, Cambrai, St. Quentin, and La Fère, and penetrate into second British positions between Fontaine les Croisilles and Moeuvres; British evacuate positions in the bend southwest of Cambrai; Germans penetrate third British position between the Omignon stream and the Somme; Paris again shelled by gun seventy-five miles away; ten persons killed and fifteen or more wounded; fierce artillery fire on the French front[232] from the Oise River to the Vosges Mountains.

March 24—Germans capture Péronne, Chauny, and Ham, and cross the River Somme at certain points south of Péronne; assaults further north repulsed; Paris again bombarded by gun located in the Forest of St. Gobain.

March 25—Germans take Bapaume, Nesle, Guiscard, Biaches, Barleux, and Etalon; French take over sector of British battlefront south of St. Quentin and around Noyon; General Pershing announces that two regiments of American engineers are on the Somme battlefield; long-range bombardment of Paris continues; one long-range gun explodes, killing ten men; American gunners shell St. Bausant and the billets north of Boquetau.

March 26—Germans take Noyon, Roye, and Lihon, and cross the battleline of 1916 at many points; Americans in the Toul sector drive Germans out of Richecourt.

March 27—British, reinforced, beat back German attacks, capture Morlaincourt and Chipilly, north of the Somme, and to the south of the river advance their lines to the village of Proyart; Germans announce the capture of Albert and the crossing of the Ancre north and south of the city; French forced to yield ground east of Montdidier, but check assaults near Lassigny and Noyon.

March 28—British repulse all-day attacks at Arras; Germans capture Montdidier and push their lines as far as Pierrepont, and regain some ground south of the Somme which they lost in 1914; French advance at Noyon for a mile and a quarter on a six-mile front.

March 29—British line south of the Somme pushed back to a line running west of Hamel, Marcelcave, and Demuin; German drive slackens in the north; French in the Oise Valley retake Monchel; seventy-five persons killed and ninety wounded in church near Paris by shell from long-range gun.

March 30—Paris again bombarded by long-range guns; eight killed, thirty-seven wounded; Germans wrest six villages in the Montdidier sector from the French, and Demuin and Mézières from the British, but are repulsed in the Boiry-Boyelles region.

March 31—Germans lose ground near Feuchy; British advance near Serre; French recapture Ayencourt and Monchel and gain considerable ground near Orvillers; American Army starts for the battlefront; Paris again bombarded; one person killed, six injured.

April 1—French repulse German attacks against Grivesnes; Germans mass troops near Albert for renewed drive; bombardment of Paris resumed.

April 2—British carry on successful minor operations between the Avre and the Luce Rivers and in the neighborhood of Hébuterne; French repulse Germans southwest of La Fère and shell enemy concentrations east of Cantigny.

April 3—British occupy Ayette, check Germans near Moreuil; French extend their lines north of Plémont and take over another sector of the line, extending their holdings northward to Thennes; Americans heavily gassed in a sector other than Toul.

April 4—Germans deliver terrific attack against the French along a front of nearly nine miles, from Grivesnes to north of the Amiens-Royes road, and occupy the villages of Mailly-Raineval and Morisel; British lose ground north of Hamel and in the direction of Vaire Wood.

April 5—French forces, by vigorous counterattacks, improve their positions in the region of Mailly-Raineval and Cantigny; Germans attack British lines from the Somme northward to a point above Bucquoy and reach the Albert-Amiens railway, but are driven back.

April 6—Germans attack at several points along the French front from the region of Montdidier eastward to the east and south of Chauny, but are repulsed everywhere except on the left bank of the Oise in the Chauny sector.

April 7—Germans push on south of the Oise and take Coucy Wood and Pierremande and Folembray; British retake Aveluy Wood and repel attacks opposite Albert and south of Hébuterne.

April 8—British lines around Bucquoy heavily shelled; Germans drive French back to the western bank of the Ailette River and take Verneuil and the heights east of Coucy-le-Château; Americans rout German patrol northwest of Toul; French airmen locate and bombard the gun that fired on Paris.

April 9—Germans force back the British-Portuguese centre on the River Lys between Estaires and Bac St. Maur, and take Richeboucq-St. Vaast and Laventie; British repulse attacks at Givenchy and Fleurbaix.

April 10—Germans cross the River Lys at several points between Armentières and Estaires; British forced back north and south of Armentières; French repulse Germans in the Hangard region; first American troops reach the British front.

April 11—Germans hurl troops at British front from La Bassée to the Ypres-Comines Canal, and force the British to give ground at some points, notably at Estaires and Steenwerck.

April 12—Germans launch heavy attacks against the French in the Hangard-en-Santerre sector, penetrate Hangard, but later lose half of the village to the French; Americans help to repel an attack in the Apremont Forest; British forced back west and northwest of Armentières to Neuve Eglise; Merville lost.[233]

April 13—French advance northwest of Orvilles-Sorel and repulse attack near Noyon; British regain Neuve Eglise, but beat off German attacks southeast of Bailleul; Americans repulse two attacks in force in the Toul sector, winning the first all-day battle in which they have been engaged.

April 14—British hold Neuve Eglise against repeated German assaults; Germans attack near Bailleul and Merris; Americans repulse attacks north of St. Mihiel; bombardment of Paris by long-range gun continues.

April 15—Germans take Neuve Eglise, and hurl huge forces toward Bailleul and Wulverghem; British straighten out their salient around Wytschaete; definite announcement made of the appointment of General Foch as Commander in Chief of the allied armies in France, with enlarged powers.

April 16—Germans take Wytschaete and Spanbroekmolen, after forcing the British out of Bailleul; sixteen killed, forty-five wounded in long-range bombardment of Paris.

April 17—British re-enter Wytschaete and Meteren, but are forced out; Germans occupy Poelcappelle, Langemarck, and Passchendaele.


March 21—British advance in Palestine, taking Beit Rima, Kefrut, and Elowsallabeh.

March 22-23—British advance nine miles on the left bank of the Jordan; Arabs destroy Turkish camel corps company near Jedahah.

March 26—British carry Turkish main positions north of Khan-Baghdadi; entire Turkish force in the Hit area captured or destroyed.

April 1—British advance seventy-three miles beyond Anah and menace Aleppo.

April 4—Armenians recapture Erzerum from the Turks.

April 7—Turks take Ardahan from the Armenians.

April 11—British in Palestine advance their line to a depth of one and a half miles on a front of five miles, and capture the villages of El Kefr and Rafat.

April 17—Turks capture Batum.


March 22—Fighting becomes more active along the entire front; Italians drive back patrols on the Trentino front and eject an Austrian detachment from an advanced post in the Frenzela Valley sector.

March 28—Artillery engagements east of Badeneoche; forty Austrian divisions transferred to the Italian front.


James Ian Macpherson, Parliamentary Secretary of the British War Office, announced in the British Commons on March 19 that 255 flights into Germany, constituting 38 raids, had been made since last October, and that forty-eight tons of bombs had been dropped.

Italians bombed Metz on the nights of March 17 and March 23 and the railway station at Thionville on March 24.

Paris was raided on the night of April 12 and twenty-six were persons killed and seventy-two wounded.

Bombs were dropped on the east coast of England on the night of April 12. Five persons were killed and fifteen injured.


Ostend was bombarded by British monitors on March 21. On the same day two German destroyers and two torpedo boats were sunk off Dunkirk by British and French destroyers.

The Alexander Agassiz, a small boat formerly of American registry, which was outfitted by the Germans at Mazatlan for service as a raider, was captured in the Pacific Ocean by an American cruiser on March 19.

The Belgian relief ship Flandres was sunk by a mine on April 11.

The German transport Frankland struck a mine and sank at Noorland, March 22, and all on board, including Admiral von Meyrer, were drowned.

Ten German trawlers were sunk by the British in the Cattegat on April 15.


Leon Trotzky asked the American military mission for ten American officers to aid as inspectors in organizing and training a new volunteer army, and requested the aid of American railway engineers and transportation experts in the reorganization of the railways, March 20. The same day he addressed the Moscow Soviet, calling for a new army of from 300,000 to 750,000, commanded by trained officers.

Japanese and British marines were landed at Vladivostok on April 5, following the invasion of a Japanese office by five armed Russians, who killed one Japanese and wounded two others. The Siberian Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates protested to the Consular Corps, but the Japanese representatives at Vologda explained that the landing was only a local incident and that Admiral Kato had acted on his own initiative.

The Trans-Caucasian Constituent Assembly, in session at Tiflis on March 21, refused to ratify the peace treaty with Germany, and urged immediate war. On March 29 the Caucasus Diet approved the basis of a separate peace agreement with Turkey, including autonomy for Armenia and the restoration of old frontiers.

The Armenians and Georgians refused to[234] recognize the cession of territory made under the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and on April 3 fierce fighting broke out in the districts of Batum, Kars, and Ardahan, as the Turks began military occupation. The Georgians seized most of the Russian warships in the Harbor of Batum and took them into the Black Sea. On April 4 the Armenians recaptured Erzerum from the Turks, and on April 7 the Turks took Ardahan from the Armenian forces.

Alexander Marghiloman, leader of the Conservatives, was appointed Premier of Rumania March 20. On the same day Germany announced the extension of the armistice until March 22.

On March 21 Germany increased her demands on Rumania, calling for the surrender of all war munitions. Austria demanded the surrender of all territory west of a line extending from a point east of Red Tower Pass to a point on the Danube near Ghilramar, and also a strip of country eighty miles long and ten miles wide in the region of Predeal. On March 23 Germany again extended the armistice because of a delay in the formation of the Rumanian Cabinet. On March 29 Germany demanded that the Rumanian oil wells be turned over to a German-controlled corporation.

German forces continued their advance in Ukraine, taking Kherson on March 21 and burning Poltava on March 31. The Ukrainian Rada protested against the German demand for 85 per cent. of the country's grain supply and practically all of the sugar supply, March 27. On April 5 the Bolshevist Government protested against the invasion by German and Ukrainian troops of Kursk Province.

Finland protested to the German Government, March 29, against the arrest of Major Henry Crosby Emery, representative of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, and his detention on the Aland Islands.

British and French troops were reported on March 31 to be co-operating with the Bolshevist troops in the defense of the Kola and Mourmansk troops against the Finnish White Guards. German troops were landed in Finland April 3, and on the same day the Finnish White Guards captured Tammerfors. The Russian fleet escaped from Helsingfors on April 7. On April 8 Germany sent an ultimatum demanding the removal or disarmament of all Russian warships in Finnish waters by April 12, and on April 11 a German squadron, with several transports, arrived at Lovisa.

On April 14 German troops took Hyving and Finnish White Guards took Bjoerneborg. Helsingfors was occupied by the Germans on April 15.

Abo was evacuated by the Red Guards on April 16.


President Poincaré refused to pardon Bolo Pacha, April 7, and the next day the condemned man made a statement concerning other treason cases, thus gaining a reprieve. He was executed on the morning of April 17.

Holland refused the Allies' terms for the transfer of Dutch ships and demanded guarantees that they would not be used for troops or munitions. On March 20 President Wilson issued a proclamation ordering their seizure. The Netherlands Government protested in a statement which appeared in the Official Gazette March 30. On April 1 President Wilson issued an order authorizing the Navy Department to take possession of all equipment and cargoes. Secretary Lansing replied to the Netherlands Government in a statement issued on April 13.

Premier Lloyd George addressed the British House of Commons on April 9 on the military situation and the man-power problem. He asked that the services of every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 and 50 be placed at the disposal of the Government and advocated conscription in Ireland. Leave to introduce the man-power bill was carried in the House. The next day the second reading was carried, and on April 12 the bill was passed. On the same day Sir Horace Plunkett submitted to Lloyd George his report on the Irish Convention's plan for home rule. The third reading of the man-power bill was passed by the House of Lords April 17.

Mme. Despina Davidovitch Storch, a woman of Turkish birth; Baron Henri de Beville, Mrs. Elizabeth Charlotte Nix, and a man who called himself Count Robert de Clairmont were arrested in New York City on March 18 on suspicion of being members of an international spy system working in the interests of Germany. President Wilson ordered their deportation to France. Mme. Storch died of pneumonia at Ellis Island on March 30.

Lieutenants Calamaras and Hodjopoulos, who landed in Greece from a German submarine to act as agents of ex-King Constantine, and who planned to arrange a spy system and establish a naval base, were executed on March 30.

The Supreme War Council of the Allies issued a statement on March 18 condemning German political crimes against the Russian and Rumanian peoples, refusing to acknowledge Germany's peace treaties with them, and announcing their purpose to establish a reign of organized justice.

General Ferdinand Foch was made Generalissimo of all the allied forces on the western front on March 28. A definite official announcement of his appointment as Commander in Chief, with enlarged powers, was made on April 15.


Russia Under German Domination

Record of a Month's Events

The Russo-German peace treaty, signed by the Bolshevist plenipotentiaries on March 3, 1918, and ratified at a session of the All-Russian Soviet Congress held in Moscow on March 14-16, was approved, after a prolonged discussion, by the Main Committee of the German Reichstag on March 22.

Discussing the situation created in Russia by the Brest-Litovsk pact, a Petrograd daily remarks that, while the rest of the world has secret diplomacy and open war, Russia has open diplomacy and secret war. In fact, the final ratification of the "peace" instrument by both sides did not put an end to the military operations of the Central Powers in Russia. Nor did the Russians cease to make feeble and sporadic attempts at resistance.

In the third week of March the fall of Petrograd seemed imminent, but the transfer of the Government to Moscow and the partial evacuation of the northern capital by the civil population apparently changed the objective of the invading German troops to the ancient Russian metropolis. They began to march on Moscow from northwest, west, and southwest, but stopped within the distance of approximately 150 miles from that city. For the last three weeks practically no fighting has been going on in the north of Russia, except occasional guerrilla skirmishes and punitive expeditions, conducted by the Germans and the propertied classes. On the other hand, in the south the Austro-German invaders have been vigorously pushing on, ostensibly under the pretext of assisting the friendly Ukrainian nation in its struggle against the Soviet power.

By March 20 the Teutons were in possession of the whole of Western Ukraine west of the Dnieper. Among other cities they held Zhitomir, Kiev, Nikolayev, and Odessa. The latter city, the most important commercial seaport in Russia, was reported to have been occupied by four Austro-German regiments without a shot. Kherson was taken March 21. On March 27, the semi-official Russian news agency announced that the Soviet and Ukrainian troops, assisted by naval forces, recaptured Odessa. According to an earlier report, Kherson, Nikolayev, and Znamenka were also recaptured by Red Guards and armed civilians. The retaking of Odessa was officially denied by Vienna, and the city is apparently in the hands of the Teutons at this writing (April 18). They are reported to have seized large stores of war materials at Odessa, and 2,500 ships at Nikolayev, which is a port on the Black Sea, with vast docks for building warships. The Austro-Germans also took Poltava, situated midway between the Dnieper and Donetz, and set it on fire. The capture of Poltava was followed (April 8) by that of Yekaterinoslav and Kharkov, the former seat of the Bolshevist Rada.

On April 11 the invaders occupied the small city of Lgov, 130 miles northwest of Kharkov, and an ultimatum was sent to the City of Kursk, demanding its surrender. Both towns are situated in the province of Kursk, which lies beyond the Russo-Ukrainian border as defined by the Central Powers.

The march of the Teutons, coupled with their requisitions of food products, seemed to arouse a good deal of dissatisfaction among the peasants and workmen in the Ukraine. It is reported that the Rada, which had invited the Germans, requested them to stop the advance of their troops, but their request was not heeded. The behavior of the Teutons in Kiev led to a clash between the Ukrainian authorities and the German commandant. The demand of the Austro-Germans that the Ukraine should furnish them 85 per cent. of its grain and all its sugar except that needed for local consumption was particularly resented. On April 7 the Bolshevist Foreign Minister Chicherin signified[236] to the German Government his willingness to open peace negotiations with the Ukraine. According to some advices the Rada wished to form a federated alliance with the Russian Republic.


Article 4 of the Russo-German treaty provides for the evacuation by the Russian troops of the districts of Erivan, Kars, and Batum, (in the Caucasus,) and the reorganization of these districts in agreement with Turkey. The Transcaucasion Constituent Assembly, meeting in Tiflis, refused to recognize the peace with the Central Powers and pronounced itself in favor of a war against them. On March 29 it was reported that the local Diet declared the independence of the Caucasus and approved the project of a separate peace with Turkey. But when, several days later, the Turks began the military occupation of the Caucasian districts mentioned in the Brest-Litovsk treaty, the Armenians and Georgians rose against the invaders. On April 4 the Armenians were said to have recaptured Erzerum, in Turkish Armenia, which Russia evacuated after the conclusion of peace. Before the Caucasian uprising Turkey officially announced its intention to send troops to restore order in the Crimea. It was reported that massacres of Armenians were resumed by the Turks and that many thousand women and children had been butchered.

On April 14 the Russian Government forwarded to Germany a protest of the Armenian National Council, addressed to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President of the Reichstag. The document reads in part:

Following upon the withdrawal of the Russian troops Turkish troops already have invaded the undefended country and are not only killing every Turkish Armenian, but also every Russian in Armenia.

In spite of the terms of the peace treaty, which recognizes the right of self-determination for these Caucasian regions, the Turkish Army is advancing toward Kars and Ardahan, destroying the country and killing the Christian population. The responsibility for the future destiny of the Armenians lies entirely with Germany because it was Germany's insistence that resulted in the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the Armenian regions, and at the moment it rests with Germany to prevent the habitual excesses of the Turkish troops, increased by revengefulness and anger.


The internal situation in Russia proper remains uncertain, nor have any definite changes taken place in the mood of the people or in the Governmental policies of the Bolsheviki. It is charged that the Bolshevist Government suppressed the full text of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. On April 10 the Commissioner of Commerce of the Bolsheviki announced that under the terms of the peace treaty Russia had suffered the following losses:

Seven hundred and eighty thousand square kilometers (301,000 square miles) of territory.

Fifty-six million inhabitants, constituting 32 per cent, of the entire population of the country.

One-third of Russia's total mileage of railways, amounting to 21,530 kilometers, (13,350 miles.)

Seventy-three per cent. of the total iron production.

Eighty-nine per cent. of the total coal production.

Two hundred and sixty-eight sugar refineries, 918 textile factories, 574 breweries, 133 tobacco factories, 1,685 distilleries, 244 chemical factories, 615 paper mills, 1,073 machine factories.

These territories, which now become German, formerly brought in annual revenue amounting to 845,238 rubles, and had 1,800 savings banks.

The alarming sweep of the Teutonic invasion, together with the growing realization of what the Brest-Litovsk agreement really means to Russia, seemed finally to arouse some spirit of resistance in the Russian masses. Patriarch Tikhon declared that the Russian Church could not recognize a peace dismembering the country and subjecting it to a foreign power. Since the ratification the spokesmen of the Bolshevist Government have not ceased talking of organizing a large army for a new war. The prevalent Bolshevist opinion is that the new revolutionary army should be used, in the words of the semi-official Bolshevist organ Pravda, "not to strengthen, as the imperialists calculate, this or that bourgeois front, but to turn the front of the world war into a front of the workers' and soldiers' revolution."

The United States Congress in wartime, including nearly all the members of the House, on the steps of the Capitol (© Harris & Ewing)
The United States Congress in wartime, including nearly all the members of the House, on the steps of the Capitol
(© Harris & Ewing)

An American first aid station in the trenches in France (© Committee on Public Information)
An American first aid station in the trenches in France
(© Committee on Public Information)


In[237] March it was reported that four of the People's Commissaries had gone south to organize troops for guerrilla warfare. This idea, however, was soon abandoned. Trotzky insisted upon the necessity of having a strictly disciplined army of 300,000 to 750,000 men, under regular officers. "We cannot," he said, "preserve the illusion that European capital will patiently suffer the fact that in Russia the power is in the hands of the working class. * * * We are surrounded by enemies on all sides. If it were proposed to France to return Alsace, the French Bourse would sell Russia tomorrow." On April 2 M. Podvoisky, Assistant Commissary of War, stated that Russia would form an army of 1,500,000 men, and that the Red Army of Volunteers was steadily growing. The army organization has been changed with a view to limiting the application of the elective principle. According to some reports the Bolsheviki are hoping to have an army of 500,000 by the Fall. Some of the leaders went so far as to advocate compulsory military service. On April 10 Leon Trotzky was appointed joint Minister of War and Marine.

On the previous day the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets unanimously passed a resolution ruling that henceforth Russia's national flag would be a red banner bearing the inscription: "Rossiyskaya, Sotzialisticheskaya Federativnaya Sovetskaya Respublika," (Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.) Proposing the measure, the Chairman said: "The Russian flag will have to wave over the embassies in Berlin and Vienna and we cannot have the old tricolor, so I think it most proper to adopt the red flag under which we fought and gained victory."


An important event has taken place in the southwestern corner of the former Russian Empire, in the rich province of Bessarabia, where separatist tendencies have recently made themselves strongly felt. A Berlin dispatch, dated April 11, announced that the Bessarabian Diet had voted, 86 against 5, that Bessarabia should join the Kingdom of Rumania. Thereupon, the Ukrainian Premier filed a protest in Russia against this act, stating that the Ukraine must have her say in the settlement of Bessarabia's fate in view of the fact that this province has a large Ukrainian population and that the Ukraine is controlling an important region on the Black Sea adjacent to Bessarabia.

The Council of the People's Commissaries was notified on April 9 that the Province of Kazan, situated in the east of European Russia and having a population of 2,000,000, had been proclaimed an independent republic by the Congress of Peasants of that region.


The Entente did not acknowledge the Russo-German peace. In a statement issued March 18 through the British Foreign Office the Governments of Great Britain, France, and Italy voiced their protest against "the political crimes which, under the name of a German peace, have been committed against the Russian people." Ambassador David R. Francis, when asked whether he would leave Russia in consequence of the ratification of the peace treaty, gave the following reply:

I shall not leave Russia until compelled by force. The American Government and people are too deeply interested in the prosperity of the Russian people for them to abandon Russia to the Germans. America is sincerely interested in the liberty of the Russian people and will do everything possible to safeguard the real interests of the country.

If the brave and patriotic Russian people will forget political differences for the time being and act resolutely and vigorously, they will be able to drive the enemy from their territory, and by the end of 1918 bring a lasting peace for themselves and the whole world. America still counts itself an ally of the Russian people, and we shall be ready to help any Government which organizes a vigorous resistance to the German invasion.

The French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Serbian, Belgian, Brazilian, Greek, Portuguese, and Siamese representatives, who left Russia when the treaty with Germany was signed, joined the American Ambassador (who did not leave the[238] country) at Vologda, 300 miles northeast of Moscow, late in March. A dispatch dated March 20 says: "There has been a marked change in the attitude of the Allies toward the Soviet Government. * * * There are many signs of renewed co-operation between Russia and the Allies." The dispatch also quotes M. Chicherin, the Bolshevist Foreign Minister, as saying that "Russia's relations with the Entente are unchanged."

At the same time Trotzky approached the American military mission, established in Moscow, asking it to assist Russia in organizing a volunteer army and in improving the country's transportation. On March 27 the Petit Parisien published a statement to the effect that Trotzky had also asked the French to assist him in organizing military resistance to the Germans. A leading article in Premier Clemenceau's L'Homme Libre contained the following statement: "The Entente, as long as the war lasts, will regard Russia, the one and indivisible Russia which signed the pact of London, as an ally."

Russia also reckons on the Allies, especially America, for support in rehabilitating her industries and developing her resources. A large order for agricultural machinery has been placed in the United States, and the shipping of the goods has already begun. According to a London dispatch the Bolsheviki are sending a commission to the United States to settle Russia's accounts with American firms and make arrangements for future trade relations.


After Russia's collapse, and especially after her capitulation, Japan's intervention in Siberia was a subject of lively discussion in the allied countries. Persistent rumors were circulated by the press to the effect that large masses of armed and organized Teuton prisoners, numbering at least 150,000 men, were ready to seize the Trans-Siberian railroad and menace the military stores accumulated in Vladivostok. These rumors were declared by the Bolshevist authorities to be a part of the propaganda to bring disrepute on the Soviet power and encourage Japanese intervention, which Lenine's Government regards as an encroachment of world imperialism upon Socialist Russia.

On Friday, April 5, two companies of Japanese sailors landed at Vladivostok. According to the report of the President of the Vladivostok Soviet, the landing was effected in the presence of the Japanese Consul and Admiral Kato, Japanese Marine Minister, without the consent of the other allied Consuls. Later in the day fifty British armed sailors were landed. There was also an unconfirmed report that American marines, too, were landed. On the next day 250 more Japanese sailors entered the city. In a proclamation issued at Vladivostok Admiral Kato explained that the step was taken because of the murder of a Japanese soldier and in order to protect the life and property of Japanese and allied subjects. The Vladivostok Soviet protested to the Consular Corps. Resolutions of protest were also passed by the Municipal Council and the local Zemstvo.

The news of the landing produced much excitement in the Bolshevist headquarters in Moscow. In spite of the statement of the allied diplomats that the act was a purely local affair of no political importance, the Bolsheviki construed it as the beginning of the rumored Japanese invasion. A statement issued by the Commissaries on April 6 declared that the killing of the Japanese soldier was part of a prearranged scheme, and that "Japan had started a campaign against the Soviet Republic." The following day the Izvestia spoke of the invasion as the continuation of "the crusade against revolutionary Russia" begun by imperialistic Germany. In a speech at Moscow on April 8 Premier Lenine said: "It is possible that after a short time, perhaps even within a few days, we shall have to declare war on Japan." Two days later it was reported that the Russian Government had requested Germany to permit the postponement of the demobilization of the Russian Army in view of the Japanese landing at Vladivostok.

On April 11 the Consular Corps of[239] Vladivostok officially informed the local Zemstvo that the landing of allied sailors had been made necessary by conditions of anarchy in the port, and that the troops would be withdrawn as soon as order had been restored.

On March 16 the American Ambassador, Mr. Francis, made the following statement:

The Soviet Government and the Soviet press are giving too much importance to the landing of these marines, which has no political significance, but merely was a police precaution taken by the Japanese Admiral on his own responsibility for the protection of Japanese life and property in Vladivostok, and the Japanese Admiral, Kato, so informed the American Admiral, Knight, and the American Consul, Caldwell, in Vladivostok. My impression is that the landing of the British marines was pursuant to the request of the British Consul for the protection of the British Consulate and British subjects in Vladivostok, which he anticipated would possibly be jeopardized by the unrest which might result from the Japanese landing.

The American Consul did not ask protection from the American cruiser in Vladivostok Harbor, and consequently no American marines were landed. This, together with the fact that the French Consul at Vladivostok made no request for protection from the British, American, or Japanese cruisers in the harbor, unquestionably demonstrates that the landing of allied troops is not a concerted action between the Allies.

The Czar's Loyalty to the Allies
An Autograph Letter

A letter written by Nicholas II. to President Poincaré in the Spring of 1916 has recently been made public. Its interest lies in its expression of absolute loyalty to the Allies. It is as follows:

Dear and Exalted Friend: At a moment when France and Russia are more closely bound than ever in the unprecedented struggle of which they are supporting the weight with their faithful allies, it has been a great pleasure to me to see the arrival of members of the French Government in Russia. I have had much pleasure in once again meeting M. Viviani, whom I already know, and in recalling the last interview that I had with you. At the time our one idea was to insure the peaceful development of our two countries, while the enemy was already preparing his attack against the peace of Europe in the hope of securing the hegemony of the world. It also gives me great pleasure to meet M. Albert Thomas, the Minister of Munitions, whose talents have rendered such great services to his country and to the cause of the Allies.

Having always attached great importance to an intimate collaboration between the two Governments, I attach even greater importance to this collaboration at the present time, now that we are thoroughly determined only to disarm by common agreement after gaining the final victory. It is therefore more necessary to co-ordinate our effort in order that our common action may be more effective. It is unquestionable that each of the Allies is animated by a single desire—that of placing its fullest effort at the disposal of the common cause.

It is with this desire that my Government and my officers have devotedly studied, in association with members of the French Government, the methods that should be taken to insure that the greatest possible assistance should be given to our various allies. I hope, consequently, that M. Viviani and M. Thomas will leave here with the absolute conviction that so far as it is materially possible Russia will hesitate before no sacrifice to insure the triumph of the allied cause at the earliest possible moment. My warmest wishes are that our united efforts may soon be crowned with the most striking success, and I am anxious to express to you my admiration of France, which has covered itself with fresh glory in the heroic defense of Verdun.


Pershing's Army Under General Foch

American Troops in France Brigaded With French and British Units for the Great Battle in Picardy

General Pershing, in a cablegram to General March, Acting Chief of Staff, announced on March 29, 1918, that the American expeditionary force in France had been placed at the disposal of General Foch, the allied Generalissimo. The message read:

Have made all our resources available, and our divisions will be used if and when needed. French are in fine spirits, and both armies seem confident.

(Signed) PERSHING.

General Pershing had called on General Foch at Headquarters on the previous day, March 28, and made the offer of American troops. His words were reported by the Paris newspaper, L'Information, as follows:

"I come to say to you that the American people would hold it a great honor for our troops were they engaged in the present battle. I ask it of you, in my name and in that of the American people. There is at this moment no other question than that of fighting. Infantry, artillery, aviation—all that we have are yours to dispose of as you will. Others are coming which are as numerous as will be necessary. I have come to say to you that the American people would be proud to be engaged in the greatest battle in history."

In a statement given out at the American Headquarters in France on March 30, Secretary Baker said:

"I am delighted at General Pershing's prompt and effective action in placing all the American troops and facilities at the disposal of the Allies in the present situation. It will meet with hearty approval in the United States, where the people desire their expeditionary forces to be of the utmost service in the common cause. I have visited all the American troops in France, some of them recently, and had an opportunity to observe the enthusiasm with which officers and men received the announcement that they would be used in the present conflict. One regiment to which the announcement was made spontaneously broke into cheers."


General Foch placed General Pershing's offer before the French war council at the front, which included Premier Clemenceau, French Commander Pétain, and Louis Loucheur, Minister of Munitions. An official note, issued in Paris on March 31, dealing with the operation of American troops with the French and British, said:

The French Government has decided to accede to the desire expressed by General Pershing in the name of the United States Government. The American troops will fight side by side with the British and French troops and the Star-Spangled Banner will float beside the French and English flags in the plains of Picardy.

Further information showing that the time had come for the active participation of the American Army in the new campaign was contained in the following British official announcement, issued in London on April 1:

As a result of communications which have passed between the Prime Minister [Lloyd George] and President Wilson; of deliberations between Secretary Baker, who visited London a few days ago, and the Prime Minister, Mr. Balfour, and Lord Derby, and consultations in France, in which General Pershing and General Bliss participated, important decisions have been come to by which large forces of trained men in the American Army can be brought to the assistance of the Allies in the present struggle.

The Government of our great Western ally is not only sending large numbers of American battalions to Europe during[241] the coming critical months, but has agreed to such of its regiments as cannot be used in divisions of their own being brigaded with French and British units so long as the necessity lasts.

By this means troops which are not yet sufficiently trained to fight as divisions and army corps will form part of seasoned divisions until such time as they have completed their training and General Pershing wishes to withdraw them in order to build up the American Army.

Arrangements for the transportation of these additional forces are now being completed.

Throughout these discussions President Wilson has shown the greatest anxiety to do everything possible to assist the Allies and has left nothing undone which could contribute thereto.

This decision, however, of vital importance as it will be to the maintenance of the allied strength in the next few months, will in no way diminish the need for those further measures for raising fresh troops at home, to which reference already has been made. It is announced at once because the Prime Minister feels that the singleness of purpose with which the United States have made this immediate and, indeed, indispensable contribution toward the triumph of the allied cause should be clearly recognized by the British people.

The action of the United States in thus merging its troops with the other armies was hailed with gratitude and praise by the press and official spokesmen of all the Entente nations.

The first mention of Americans in the battle of Picardy was contained in the War Department's weekly review of the war situation, issued on April 7. American transport sections, it said, had taken an active part in the battle, and the American Aviation Section was co-operating with the British.


American engineers also took part in the battle, particularly during the first days of the German offensive. Three companies belonging to two regiments of the American Railway Engineers were reported in the German War Office statement as operating in the areas of Chauny and the Crozat Canal. This statement was confirmed in a report from General Pershing to the Acting Chief of Staff at Washington. The Americans had been working in the rear lines with Canadian engineers, under Canadian command. When the German attack came, they threw down their tools and seized the weapons with which they had been armed for some months, and formed themselves into a fighting unit. The Germans came on, and finally reached the positions where the Americans were waiting. The number of the engineers was comparatively small. They had no intention of retreating, however, and were bent upon killing all the Germans possible.

As the first enemy wave advanced, the American forces let them come until they were within certain range: then opened fire, pouring in a storm of bullets. Gaps appeared in the advancing lines at many places, but the German waves came on, without firing a single shot. The Americans were unable to understand these tactics. By this time their weapons were so hot that they could not be used effectively, and the enemy was close, so that the engineers retired, fighting, took up another position, then turned and began operations again. A British officer who witnessed the engagement is reported to have said: "They held on by their teeth until the last moment, inflicting terrific casualties on the enemy. Then they moved back and waited for the Germans, and repeated the performance." By the time the engineers reached a place somewhere near Noyon they were nearly exhausted and almost without equipment. There they had a chance to rest and re-equip.

On the sectors where American troops had been stationed before the decision to place them at the disposal of General Foch intensive training operations in the front-line trenches, with artillery fire and raiding of the enemy's positions, had been proceeding along much the same lines as during the previous month. A dispatch dated April 3 reported that American troops on a certain sector other than that in the region of Toul had been subjected to an extraordinarily heavy gas attack.

With the acceptance of the American offer to join in the battle of Picardy, troops began to be withdrawn from the sectors thus far occupied and from the American training camps in France, and hurried as rapidly as possible to points[242] where the French and British required reinforcements.

Casualty lists showed that the Rainbow Division, (composed of troops from nearly every State in the Union,) the first of the National Guard divisions to cross the Atlantic, had been engaged in the fighting. The 150th Machine Gun Battalion, made up of guardsmen from the old 2d Wisconsin Infantry, had suffered heavily; of the sixty-eight men named as severely wounded in one list fifty-six were identified as members of the Wisconsin machine-gun unit.


General Pershing approved, according to an announcement on March 19, the awarding of the first American military crosses for extraordinary heroism. The recipients were Lieutenant John O. Green, Sergeant William Norton, and Sergeant Patrick Walsh. The crosses were awarded for "extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy." The exploits of these men were described by the General commanding their division as follows:

I recommend that the Distinguished Service Cross be awarded to the officer and men named hereafter, who distinguished themselves by acts of extraordinary heroism.

Lieutenant Green, while in a dugout, having been wounded by an enemy hand grenade, was summoned to surrender. He refused to do so. Returning the fire of the enemy, he wounded one and pursued the hostile party.

Sergeant Norton, finding himself in a dugout surrounded by the enemy, into which a grenade had just been thrown, refused to surrender, and made a bold dash outside, killing one of his assailants. By so doing he saved the company's log book.

Sergeant Walsh followed his company commander to the first lines in spite of a severe barrage. The Captain being killed, he assumed command of the group and attacked a superior force of the enemy, inflicting severe loss upon them. Though of advanced age he refused to leave the front.

To these recommendations General Pershing appended his approval. Lieutenant Green and Sergeants Norton and Walsh had all previously received the French War Cross, Norton and Walsh being decorated personally by Premier Clemenceau on March 3.

Mr. Baker, Secretary of War, during a visit to the front-line trenches held by American troops, insisted upon going through a sap to a listening post. Peeping over the parapet into No Man's Land, he expressed his sensations in the words: "Now I am on the frontier of freedom." On the return journey from the trenches a German shell burst within less than fifty yards of Mr. Baker's motor car, hit a roadside dugout, and tore out a large crater.


For nearly a week in the beginning of April no casualty lists were issued by the War Department, owing to a cablegram from the Secretary of War prescribing the following rules for handling publicity of matters pertaining to troops and operations:

First—All matters pertaining to events, persons, policies, or operations abroad will only be officially given out from the headquarters, American Expeditionary Force in France.

Second—Similar matters affecting forces at home will be given out from the War Department.

Suppression of the casualty lists aroused criticism throughout the country, and on April 9 the War Department, acting on cabled instructions from Mr. Baker, resumed issuing the daily list. The summarized totals up to April 11 were:

Killed in action228
Killed or prisoner1
Killed by accident181
Died of disease867
Lost at sea237
Died of wounds69
Gas attack, suicide, executed,         
  unknown causes42
   Total deaths1,632
   Total of all casualties3,311


Our War Machine in New Phases

Month Ended April 18, 1918

The outstanding feature of America's part in the war during the past month has been the placing at the disposal of General Foch, the allied Generalissimo, all the men and resources of the United States now available in France. At home preparations were hastened to call up at least another 150,000 men under the draft law to replace those sent from the training camps to France.

The navy is now represented in the war zone by 150 vessels, including battleships, under the command of Admiral Sims.

Drastic changes have been made in various branches of the War Department. The Ordnance Department and Quartermaster Corps have been brought more into line with the requirements of supplying the armies at home and abroad. The Senate Military Affairs Committee has investigated the serious delay in aircraft production, and in a majority report severely criticised the work of the Signal Corps, under which the Aviation Section is organized. The War Industries Board has been reshaped, and its Chairman, Mr. Baruch, has been given very extensive powers.

The crisis which arose out of the shipbuilding program has been passed, and our 150 shipyards are accelerating the rate of production of new ships. Dutch ships in American ports aggregating 500,000 tons have been seized, and 200,000 tons of Japanese shipping has been received by agreement.

The railroads under Government control are becoming more closely adapted to the needs of wartime distribution. Several important coastwise steamship lines have been taken over and placed under the Director General of Railroads.

The food situation still demands strict conservation, and it is recognized that America will have to submit to greater sacrifices in view of the ever-growing world shortage.

Labor questions have been engaging the serious attention of the Government and Congress. The diversion of working people to industries where they are most needed for war purposes, and legislation to prevent strikes have been under consideration. In addition to the different war industries properly so-called, a large amount of labor is now necessary for agriculture, so as to plant the largest possible crop and to harvest it in the Fall.

To finance the war, and incidentally mark the beginning of the nation's second year in the war, subscriptions were opened on April 6 for the Third Liberty Loan of $3,000,000,000 at 4¼ per cent. These bonds are nonconvertible and will mature in ten years.


The experience gained by officers who have been serving with General Pershing's army in France is becoming an influence in every one of the widely ramified branches of the War Department, while Secretary Baker's visit abroad to get first-hand knowledge of the requirements of the American expeditionary force has been fertile in new ideas.

One of the signs of the growth of the War Department is the appointment of a third Assistant Secretary of War. For this position Frederick P. Keppel, Dean of Columbia University, New York, was selected by the President. On April 12 the appointment was unanimously recommended by the Senate Military Committee. The nomination of E. R. Stettinius as an Assistant Secretary had already been confirmed. Dr. Keppel's duties include the supervision of the nonmilitary activities of the soldiers, their personal welfare and comfort, both at home and abroad.

To improve the work of the General Staff at Washington General Pershing, it was announced on April 12, is sending home certain officers who have become familiar with staff work at the front, and also some practical aviation experts to aid in solving the difficulties which have arisen in the production of aircraft. Other officers include representatives[244] of the Quartermaster Corps who have acquired experience under modern war conditions in France. In this way a greater measure of co-ordination with the army in France is being obtained.

An order issued by General March, Acting Chief of Staff, on April 12, consolidated the Division of Storage and Traffic with the Division of Purchases and Supplies, the one division to be known as the Division of Purchase, Storage, and Traffic. The division was placed under Major Gen. Goethals, who continued to serve as Assistant Chief of Staff and Acting Quartermaster General. Brig. Gen. Palmer E. Pierce, who has been a member of the War Industries Board and of the War Council created by Secretary Baker, was made Director of Purchases in January, 1918, but under this scheme of reorganization it was announced that while remaining on duty with the War Industries Board he would give up his post as Director of Purchases and Supplies. His successor, under Major Gen. Goethals, was Colonel Hugh S. Johnston, who has been General Crowder's right-hand man in the office of the Provost Marshal General.


There have also been important changes in the Ordnance Department, it being announced on April 8 that Brig. Gen. Charles B. Wheeler, who recently succeeded Major Gen. William Crozier as head of the Ordnance Department of the Army with the title of Acting Chief of Ordnance, had been succeeded by Brig. Gen. C. C. Williams, Chief Ordnance Officer with the American expeditionary force in France. General Williams was ordered to return to Washington to take up the duties of Active Chief of Ordnance.

A summary of the work of the Gun Division, Bureau of Ordnance, prepared for the Secretary of War, shows that it has been necessary to equip sixteen large plants for the manufacture of mobile artillery and that the total program of the Gun Division calls for an expenditure of approximately $2,000,000,000. At the outbreak of the war the Gun Division was composed of three officers and seven civilians. At the end of 1917 it had approximately 500 officers and 3,500 civilians, since increased to 1,500 officers and more than 10,000 civilians. The Ordnance Department has also established a comprehensive repair service for artillery, motor vehicles, and other equipment.

With the creation of a Construction Division in the War Department on March 16, to handle the largest single building program in history, aggregating $1,084,000,000, a board of eminent experts appointed by Acting Secretary Crowell took over the work of the Cantonment Division, which did the preliminary work of building national army camps. The building program, involving hundreds of thousands of workmen and extensive structures for the army throughout the country, is under the immediate direction of the Chief of Staff. Headed by Professor A. N. Talbot of the University of Illinois, President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the board includes representatives of leading architectural, engineering, business, and labor organizations.


The year of intensive recruiting for the regular army by volunteer enlistment ended on March 30, 1918. A year previously the enlisted strength of the regular army was 121,797 men, and to bring it to full war strength 183,898 additional soldiers were required. These men were obtained some months ago. The recruiting campaign, however, was continued, and on March 30 the regular army was about 501,000 strong, which represented about one-third of all the men serving under the War Department.

Major Gen. Enoch Crowder, the Provost Marshal General, on April 6 sent out a call to all the States for a total of 150,000 men in the second draft. Instructions were given for the movement of these men to begin on April 26, and for their mobilization to be complete five days later. They were selected from Class Al of the registration lists and were to replace the men who have been sent abroad from the training camps.

A resolution providing that all young men who have reached the age of 21 years[245] since June 5, 1917, the first draft registration day, shall be subject to military service was passed by the Senate on March 29. About 58,000 men thus become available each month, and in the year since June 5, 1917, about 700,000 will have been brought under the selective draft law. The Senate rejected a proposal for universal military training for all males between 19 and 21 by a vote of 36 against 26.

The number of colored citizens registered on June 5, 1917, was 737,626. Of these 208,953 have so far been called up, and 133,256 rejected, exempted, or discharged, leaving 75,697 certified for service and inducted into the national army.

Shortage in Aircraft Production

Senate Committee's Report

The shortage of aircraft for the American Army in France has been the subject of investigation by the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate, following the sensational disclosures regarding German control of the air in the sector held by the Americans, [see Current History Magazine, April, 1918, Pp. 12-14.] The Senate Committee was not unanimous, and two reports were presented on April 12, 1918, differing as to the causes of delay in the execution of the airplane program.

The substance of the majority report is contained in the following extracts:

The Signal Corps has established and is now conducting twenty aviation training schools in the United States. Four additional schools are in process of construction and are expected to be finished in June next.

The aggregate capacity of the schools now in operation is something over 3,000 cadets; 1,926 have thus far been graduated from this primary training course and commissioned as reserve military aviators. Very few of these have received their advanced training in this country.

In addition to the above, the Signal Corps, acting upon the invitation of the several Entente Governments, dispatched some 1,200 cadets to England, France, and Italy last year, who were to receive primary and advanced training in aviation schools of those countries. The experience of a great many of these men has been most unfortunate in that at some of the schools a very serious delay has occurred in providing them with the training planes, which it was expected would be manufactured in foreign factories in sufficient numbers. As a result, several hundred of the American cadets have been practically idle and have made no progress. About 450 of them are reported as having completed the primary training, after long delay.

The Signal Corps is giving serious consideration to the advisability of bringing the remainder back to the United States to be trained. With the exception of this severe disappointment, the primary training of our aviators, according to the testimony of the aviation officials, appears to be progressing favorably.

For some time after the inception of the work the output of primary training planes in this country for use in our schools gave ground for grave concern. In recent weeks, however, the output has been greatly increased, and there seems to be no doubt of the Signal Corps having an amply sufficient number in the future. On April 1, 1918, 3,458 primary training planes had been completed. The advanced training planes are being turned out in accordance with the schedule and estimates laid down at the inception of their manufacture. In advanced training planes four types are being made, the total number up to date manufactured being 342. In these planes three types of engines will be used, of which 965 have been completed. The Liberty motor is not suitable for use in these planes.

It is apparent from the evidence that the twelve-cylinder Liberty motor is just emerging from the development or experimental stage. Since the original design and the setting up of the first completed motor in July, 1917, a large number of changes have been found necessary, many of them causing delay in reaching quantity production. Within the last two months changes of considerable importance have been made which, it is hoped, will make the motor serviceable for combat planes of the defensive type and for bombing and observation planes.

Twenty-two thousand five hundred Liberty motors have been ordered, 122 have been completed for the army, and[246] 142 for the navy. Four have been shipped overseas. Some of those already delivered are being altered to overcome the defects ascertained during the last few weeks. It is understood, however, that these alterations will consume but a very short time.

The production of Liberty motors to date is, of course, gravely disappointing. The Government officials having the manufacture of the Liberty motor in charge have made the mistake of leading the public and the allied nations to the belief that many thousands of these motors would be completed in the Spring of 1918.

The production of combat planes in the United States for use in actual warfare has thus far been a substantial failure and constitutes a most serious disappointment in our war preparations. We had no design of our own; neither did we adopt any one of the European designs until months after we entered the war. In all, five types, at one time or another, have been adopted. Two of them have been abandoned after the expenditure of much time and money. The three remaining types still left upon our program are now in the course of manufacture. Of these the largest and most powerful is the Handley-Page heavy bombing machine, designed to carry as many as six men, eight machine guns, and a heavy load of bombs, and to be driven by two Liberty motors. The testimony before your committee shows that the Signal Corps finally decided upon the manufacture of a number of sets of parts of this machine about Jan. 1, 1918. Officials of the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps testify that they do not expect the completion of the first set of parts in this country before June, 1918.

Another type of combat plane, known as the De Haviland, is included in our program. This machine habitually carries two men, four machine guns, a moderate load of bombs and other apparatus and is driven by one Liberty motor. Fifteen have been completed; one has been shipped to France; the remaining fourteen have been very recently completed in this country.

The third type upon the program is known as the Bristol fighter. This machine is lighter and faster than the De Haviland. Its speed is expected to be in the neighborhood of 125 miles per hour. It is what is known as a reconnoissance machine. Another term which might be properly applied to it is "defensive fighter." It carries two men, four machine guns, and is driven by one Liberty motor. The decision to make this type was reached on Nov. 7, 1917. The manufacturers completed the first of these machines during the week ended March 30, 1918. The machine was tested once during that week with a Liberty motor, and, according to the testimony of the aviation officials, met its preliminary test successfully. This machine, a few hours after its flight, caught fire while standing upon the aviation ground and was entirely destroyed. The officials of the Signal Corps assured the committee that another machine would soon be finished by the manufacturer, and that if it met the tests satisfactorily quantity production might be expected within a reasonable period.

In addition to the American production of engines and airplanes as herein set forth, considerable orders for combat airplanes and engines were last Summer placed with European manufacturers by General Pershing, and we have furnished quantities of material and numbers of mechanics to aid in their construction.

Your committee is convinced that much of the delay in producing completed combat airplanes is due to ignorance of the art and to failure to organize the effort in such a way as to centralize authority and bring about quick decision.

Further light is thrown on the production of aircraft for the American Army by the minority report. One passage reads:

Soon after the war began the Signal Corps arranged with the French Government for the making of 6,100 combat planes at a total cost of $127,000,000, the planes to be produced as rapidly as American fliers could be trained to operate them. As the American aero squadrons reach the front ready for duty, battle planes are being supplied them under this arrangement. To aid in this foreign manufacture of planes for American fliers, the Signal Corps has shipped to France 11,000 tons of various materials and has sent 7,000 mechanics to release, for French factories making planes for our American fliers, the French workers on motor transports. The Signal Corps then arranged for the making of about 11,500 combat planes in the United States, the term combat plane being here used to embrace all kinds of planes, both offensive and defensive, except training planes.

Let it be said here that when the war began the United States Government had purchased altogether less than 200 airplanes in its entire history, and that of the few airplane factories in this country probably not one was making over five or six a month. It is hardly possible to grasp the magnitude of the task the factories contracting to make the 11,500 combat planes found before them.


America's First Year of War

An Anniversary Summary April 6, 1918, marked the first anniversary of the participation of the United States in the European War. The period was primarily one of preparation. If America did little actual fighting in the first year, it nevertheless achieved a great deal both in strengthening the cause of the Allies and in getting ready to play its own part on the battlefields of Europe. The increase in the war strength of the army is shown in the following figures:

APRIL, 1917
National Guard    3,73376,713
Reserve Corps 4,000
National Army
APRIL, 1918
National Guard16,893431,583
Reserve Corps96,21077,360
National Army 516,839
 ———    ————

Of these 1,652,725 officers and men, several hundred thousand were already in Europe in April, either in training camps or on the battle front. "Over 100,000" was the figure given by General Pershing when he announced the number of adequately trained, fully equipped American troops that were immediately available for use in the battle of Picardy. The War Department had announced its expectation of having 1,500,000 American soldiers in the war zone before the end of 1918. The progress of training in the camps in the United States was unexpectedly rapid, and at the close of the first twelve months our troops were going across the Atlantic as fast as transportation could be provided.

General Pershing and his staff arrived in France on June 15, 1917, and less than a month later the first division of American troops followed him. Exactly 187 days after the United States declared war the first American soldiers were in the trenches. The first contingents were ordered abroad well in advance of the time intended, or expected, when war was declared.


The preliminary labors in France necessitated by the presence of an ever-increasing army were both diverse and herculean. Docks had to be constructed, railways built and equipped and cantonments, hospitals, and a base constructed. American engineers went into the French forests and there did the work of the pioneers of the American Northwest, cutting down trees to build the permanent camps which were to replace the temporary cities. They built a railroad 600 miles long from the points of disembarkation to the operating base. The rolling stock it carried was all shipped across the ocean from the United States.

All this was accomplished with great rapidity. An army locomotive, for example, was built in twenty-one days and shipped to the expeditionary forces. In a few weeks after the first departures there were urgent calls for other locomotives, for cars, trucks, logging trains, sectional buildings to be assembled on arrival. All these took many ships and appreciably delayed the transport of men. There was sent everything from fabricated ironwork for buildings and trestles to nails and crossties for the railroads. Among the items of construction is an ordnance base costing $25,000,000. Most of this preliminary work was approaching completion as the first year ended. Much of it is finished.

American troops occupy trench sectors of their own in the line northwest of Toul, and in the neighborhood of Verdun. They have taken up positions also in other sectors, and the main body is operating with the Allies in opposing the German advance. Casualties in the first[248] year of war reached a total of 2,368, distributed as follows:

Killed in battle163
Died of disease or accident    957
Lost at sea237
Died of wounds52
Other causes47
Missing and prisoners63


Most remarkable in the preparations for the struggle was the method of raising the new armies, namely, conscription. With comparatively little opposition the selective draft law was passed by Congress barely five weeks after the declaration of war, and three weeks later 9,600,000 young men were registered for military service. By June 30 the 4,000 local draft boards were ready to begin the task of examination and exemption. Sixteen cantonments, small cities in themselves, were already under construction in various parts of the country for the reception of the drafted men. Ninety days after this work began the initial groups of the first national army were on their way to these camps. In a steady stream since then the men have been called up, organized into military formations, and put under intensive training.

The first half million are now ready and are being sent across the ocean, to complete their training within the war zone and take their place on the battle front. As fast as the camps are emptied new men are being summoned to refill them, new battalions formed, and new forces sent forward. Another 800,000 unmarried men without direct dependents are under notice to report for duty.

The cost of raising the army under the selective draft law has been only 54 cents per registrant, $1.69 per man called up, and $4.93 per man accepted for service.

With the national army there have also been made available the 450,000 men of the National Guard, who meantime have been mustered into the Federal service and trained under their own officers. Of these three divisions, the Rainbow, (so called because almost every State in the Union is represented in its composition,) the New England, and the Sunset (Far Western) Divisions have already gone abroad, and the first two have won honorable mention in the battle zone.


The National Guard had its own officers. There was none, however, to spare for the national army. The regular military establishment could provide only a handful. Two classes at West Point were graduated in advance of the usual time, but they were not enough to affect the situation. The new army was, therefore, provided with carefully selected, specially trained officers, chosen by merit rather than on the old system of political appointments, by the general adoption of the Plattsburg training camp system, initiated in 1915. When war was declared there were already in the United States some 20,000 graduates of the Plattsburg, Fort Oglethorpe, and other training camps, who had undergone at least one month's intensive military training, supplemented by military studies when out of camp.

The Plattsburg organization was taken over by the War Department, and a series of sixteen training camps for officers, in which most of the earlier Plattsburg graduates were commissioned as subaltern and company officers, was opened at advantageous points, and continued until the middle of August, 1917. Of 40,203 candidates enrolled in these camps 27,341 qualified for commissions. Sufficient officers were thus at the cantonments to receive and command the national army when the men arrived. A second series of officers' training camps was begun in August, to add to the line and staff. Approximately 23,000 candidates attended, of whom 17,237 obtained commissions. Many who failed have since been enlisted and appointed noncommissioned officers in the national army. A third series was instituted in January, 1918, to create an officers' reserve force. Only enlisted men were admitted, except for a limited number of students who had received military training in schools under army officers during the last ten years. About 18,000 [249] are in attendance, and the problem of officering the new armies has practically been solved.


When war was declared, the Army Ordnance Department had ninety-seven officers. It now has 5,000 in America and abroad, and in the first year of the war had spent $4,756,500,000. To its peace-time task of administering eleven small Government arsenals has been added the problem of getting quick production of shells of all calibres, rifles, ammunition, grenades, and bombs from some 1,400 private manufacturing establishments. It has acquired a total of 2,475,219 square feet of storage space, has 2,701,880 square feet more under construction, and requires 23,000,000 square feet altogether to store its supplies. It has miles of railroad sidings, all inclosed, including 50 miles of track especially built, and it handles 10,000 carloads of explosives a month, with the total steadily increasing. The complexity of the Ordnance Department's task may be seen in the fact that the number of items made and supplied to the troops totals about 100,000, ranging from the small firing pin of a rifle to a complete 16-inch gun and emplacement, or a motor truck or tractor. Reserves of all these spare parts must be maintained and ready for distribution.

The Ordnance Department has had to create organizations, build new plants, finance them and to design as well as to manufacture not only the weapons themselves, but thousands of tools, gauges, and jigs required for their manufacture. For instance, the French Government offered the secret of the recoil mechanism in the carriages of its famous .75 guns. To manufacture these it was necessary to machine steel castings so accurately that they will not be off two-thousandths of an inch in a distance of more than six feet.


Never had machinery been built in the United States to work on so large a scale with such a degree of accuracy. The Ordnance Department had to persuade manufacturers to undertake this difficult work, to assist them financially to build a thirteen-acre plant, to purchase and manufacture $6,000,000 worth of special tools, and develop an organization to do this. The contract was signed on Nov. 1, 1917, and today the plant is completed and is turning out the recoil mechanisms.

The Nitrate Division has under construction two plants for the manufacture of powder, costing $45,000,000 each.

The Ordnance Department itself has provided for the army 1,400,000 rifles, has brought the production of them up to 45,000 a week, or enough to equip three army divisions; has secured deliveries on 17,000 machine guns and brought the rate of production of them from 20,000 to 225,000 a year. It has increased the rate of production of field guns, heavy and light, from 1,500 to 15,000 a year, and is manufacturing 35,000 motor trucks and tractors to haul them and their ammunition. It has remodeled the British Enfield rifle so that it can be produced in quantities to take American ammunition and adopted two new types of machine guns, the Browning, heavy and light.

The United States entered the war resolved to win supremacy in the air. Congress adopted an appropriation of $640,000,000, in addition to $15,000,000 already granted, to provide the best airplane service possible. The best motor engineers in the country combined their talents to provide a motor, and the result of their efforts was the Liberty motor, asserted to be superior to anything used by any army air corps. Delivery of the new motors in quantity has been delayed by various causes. But the initial difficulties have been solved and quantity production of battle planes, as well as of training planes, is expected during the Summer of 1918. While there are more than seventy different types of airplane motors on the western allied front, the United States is relying on a single standardized type, greatly reducing the ratio of forty-seven men required on the ground by foreign service for every man in the air.

Colossal work has been done by the Quartermaster Corps, which supplies almost[250] everything that a soldier needs, except ammunition; which transports those supplies as well as the soldier, feeds him, clothes him, and provides him with shelter. The war found the Quartermaster General's office without funds, Congress having adjourned without voting the Army Appropriation bill. But it tided over the interval until money was forthcoming. It has since spent $2,789,684,778, has clothed the draft armies and fed them, supplied the oversea forces with the million things they need, and there are at present few complaints of its work. The details are seen in columns of figures all running into millions.

In this first year the Quartermaster Corps has spent $60,000,000 for horse-drawn vehicles and harness, more than $50,000,000 for horses, mules, and harness, and now estimates it will need for fuel and forage alone more than half a billion dollars.


In preparation for large numbers of wounded and invalided men, the Medical Corps of the army has enlisted doctors and nurses by the thousand. In addition to the work being done for the Red Cross, which is a separate institution, the Army Medical Corps has enlarged its personnel from 8,000 to 106,000, including orderlies, stretcher bearers, and ambulance drivers. Its 900 doctors before the war are now increased to 18,000. It had 375 army nurses a year ago; now it has 7,000. It had no ambulance service; now it has 6,000 drivers in training. Reconstruction institutions are being provided in the United States on a more comprehensive scale than any other nation at war has attempted. Already a few wounded soldiers are being reconstructed at Medical Corps hospitals so as to be able to support themselves now that they are blind or crippled. Professional men, nurses, and attendants from our most noted civil reconstruction hospitals have been added to the personnel of the Medical Corps for this work.

The hundreds of thousands of men taken from civil life into the army are now showing a death rate from disease below that of men of military age in civil life.


The navy was ready and began to take part in the war even before the formal declaration, for as early as March 12, 1917, in response to the President's order, it began arming American merchantmen and fighting their battles. Meantime, the navy gathered in recruits and set about building ships and getting in supplies ready for the more important work which followed when the nation was actually at war. At present there are 150 warships, including battleships, with 35,000 personnel, in the war zone.

In a year the navy has more than trebled its personnel. As a beginning it called up its own reserves and also the National Naval Volunteers and the Coast Guard. The following figures show the increased personnel:

APRIL, 1917
Regular Navy4,36664,680
*Naval Reserves 10,000
Naval Volunteers 10,069
*Coast Guard 4,500
Marine Corps42613,266
APRIL, 1918
Regular Navy7,798     192,385
*Naval Reserves10,03379,069
Naval Volunteers    80515,000
*Coast Guard6394,250
Marine Corps1,38938,629

On May 4, twenty-eight days after the declaration of war, United States destroyers arrived at a British port to assist in patrolling European waters, and on the following day Admiral Sims attended an allied war conference at Paris. The first of the regular armed forces of the United States to land in France were units of the naval aeronautic corps. They arrived on June 8. The first contingent of the army transported and convoyed by the navy was landed safely at a French port early in July. Night and day since then American warships have convoyed transports and supplies across the Atlantic and brought the ships safely[251] back. Only one empty transport in its care has succumbed to an enemy attack, and only two naval vessels have been sunk by enemy U-boats—the destroyer Jacob Jones, torpedoed Dec. 6, and the patrol vessel Alcedo, a converted yacht, sunk Nov. 5, 1917. The small destroyer Chauncey was sunk in collision with a British transport. The Cassin was torpedoed, but reached port under her own steam, was repaired, and returned to service. Casualties in the navy have been 144 killed or died and 10 wounded; total, 154.


At first there was a shortage of the small vessels required for minor naval duties. Some 800 craft of various kinds have been taken over and converted into the types needed, thus providing the large number of vessels required for transports, patrol service, submarine chasers, mine sweepers, mine layers, tugs, and other auxiliaries. Hundreds of submarine chasers have been built besides the new destroyers put into service. There are now four times as many vessels in the naval service as there were a year ago. The destroyer fleet now building in record time is at least as large a fleet of this type of craft as England is believed to have.

The United States battle fleet has grown to twice the size of the peace-time fleet. As schools in gunnery and engineering they are training thousands of gunners and engineers required for the hundreds of vessels added to the navy and the many merchantmen furnished with arms and gun crews. Target practice in past years had been devoted mainly to practice with the big guns. Special attention during the past year has been devoted to the guns of smaller calibre, effective against submarines.

When war was declared there were under construction, or about to be started, 123 new naval vessels:

Battle cruisers6
Scout cruisers7
Fuel ships2
Supply ship1
Hospital ship1
Ammunition ship     1

Most of these have now been completed and the few remaining are well under way. Meantime contracts have been placed for 949 new vessels, including submarine chasers designed here which have done good service. Altogether there have been added to the navy since April 6, 1917, vessels to the number of 1,275, aggregating 1,055,116 tons.

When the Government seized the 109 German-owned ships lying in American ports, the German engineers believed that their vessels had been damaged beyond repair for a year at least. Within six months the ships were in running order and have since carried numbers of American troops and huge quantities of supplies to the fighting lines in France. The damage was repaired by navy artificers and engineers under the jurisdiction of naval officers.


The vital question of shipping was assigned early in the year to the United States Shipping Board, now headed by E. N. Hurley, while the Emergency Fleet Corporation, since made subordinate to the board, was intrusted with the execution of the building program. Congress appropriated $1,135,000,000 for this purpose, and on March 1, 1918, $353,247,000 of this sum had been spent. Friction and consequent delay, however, at the outset caused vital changes in the composition of the Shipping Board. General Goethals, manager of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, resigned after a controversy with Mr. Denman, the first Chairman of the Shipping Board, over the comparative merits of wooden and steel ships. There have been other causes—labor troubles, lack of material, and of building facilities, of which America had few.

Meantime the seized German ships, with an aggregate of more than 700,000 tons dead weight to manage, have been put in service, vessels under construction in private shipyards have been commandeered and completed, and at least three new ships planned and constructed[252] by the Shipping Board have been finished and are now at sea. The seizure of 150,000 tons of Dutch shipping in American ports has further added to the Government's immediate resources, while an agreement with Japan has made another 200,000 tons of shipping available.

America's shipping industry had run down, until in the year before war was declared the total output of shipyards in the United States was only 250,000 tons. The Shipping Board drew up a program to construct 8,164,508 tons of steel ships, 1,145 ships in all, and 490 wooden ships, with a total tonnage of 1,715,000. Only a small part of this enormous total could be constructed in the first year of the war with the shipyard facilities available, and it has been necessary to build new shipyards on an enormous scale. Volunteer shipworkers have been enlisted from all quarters, and in April, 1918, work was proceeding at 150 shipyards in various parts of the country.

The following figures show the actual number of ships put into the water since the Shipping Board took control of the situation:

Steel ships requisitioned on ways, completed
  by Emergency Fleet Corporation
  and now in service85
Steel ships requisitioned on ways, turned
  back to former owners and now
  completed and in service15
Steel ships requisitioned on ways, hulls
  of which have been launched65
Steel ships contracted for by Emergency
  Fleet Corporation which have
  been completed and put into service3
Steel ships contracted for by Emergency
  Fleet Corporation, hulls of
  which have been launched9
Wooden ships contracted for by Emergency        
  Fleet Corporation, hulls of
  which have been launched11
Steel ships requisitioned which are now
  actually in service100
Steel ships contracted for by Emergency
  Fleet Corporation now actually
  in service3

By April, 1918, the Government has been able to put 2,762,605 tons of shipping into the transatlantic service to carry men and munitions to France.


The United States has been a great financial factor since entering the war. The Government lent to the Allies on the security of their bonds $4,436,329,750. For America's own expenses Congress has already authorized $2,034,000,000, of which one item alone, merchant shipping, accounted for more than $1,000,000,000. The total expenses in the first year were more than $9,800,000,000, but about $800,000,000 of this went for normal activities not connected with the war, so that its total cost has been about $9,000,000,000, of which more than $4,000,000,000 has been in loans to the Allies. Expenditures for aircraft alone have amounted to more than $600,000,000. Naval appropriations, made and pending, are more than $3,000,000,000; the War Department has taken $7,464,771,756. The army's annual payroll now exceeds $500,000,000 and the navy's $125,000,000, and these items are trifling compared with the cost of ships, ordnance, munitions, airplanes, motor trucks, and supplies of every kind, to say nothing of food. Allotments and allowances to soldiers' and sailors' dependents paid by the Government in the month of February alone amounted to $19,976,543.

Bonds, certificates of indebtedness, War Savings Certificates, and Thrift Stamps issued by the Treasury up to March 12 totaled $8,560,802,052.96. To meet expenses the Government has successfully floated two Liberty Loans with total subscriptions of $6,616,532,300, and on April 6, 1918, the first anniversary of America's entrance into the war, a third loan campaign for $3,000,000,000 was begun.


The income tax has been greatly increased and the exemption limit lowered. New taxes have been imposed on corporate and individual profits, all profits arising out of the war have been penalized, and the old levies greatly increased. War taxes, customs duties, and internal revenue collections have brought in nearly $1,500,000,000. While the greater part of the war income and excess profits taxes are not due until June, the Treasury[253] had collected in internal revenue taxes a total of $566,267,000 to March 12, 1918, and had sold $1,255,000,000 in certificates of indebtedness, which are receivable in payment of internal revenue taxes.

The Government has taken possession of and is operating all enemy-owned enterprises. At the same time, through a Federal Farm Loan Bureau, assistance is being given to farmers at reasonable rates of interest in providing the means for raising crops, needed in greater abundance than ever to feed the army and navy and civilian population and the peoples of the allied countries.

One of the first acts of the Administration after the declaration of war was aimed at putting a curb on the rising prices of the necessities of life. Herbert C. Hoover was appointed National Food Administrator, and after long delay his appointment was confirmed by the Senate. It was criticised, but Mr. Hoover has succeeded not only in bringing down the price of such necessaries as wheat, flour, sugar, coffee, meat, and lard, but by various devices and appeals to public sentiment has brought about a voluntary reduction of consumption and a consequent great increase in the amounts of food which America has been able to send abroad.


When the present Food Administration was created in August, 1917, the 1917 crop, in so far as productiveness was concerned, had already been planted and partly harvested. The available foodstuffs it produced were not sufficient, on the basis of normal consumption, to feed the people dependent on it, and the question of conservation became paramount. So far, "wheatless days," "meatless days," and appeals for food conservation have tided the nation over a dangerous period. The fixing of prices under a Presidential proclamation has greatly aided, speculation in wheat has been wholly eliminated, and the prices of flour and bread have been stabilized at a reasonable level.

Hand in hand with food conservation has gone the gradual control of industry of all kinds in order to concentrate the nation's resources for the purposes of war. The prices of metals necessary to war industries have been brought down by negotiation. Coal and fuel oil are controlled by Government agents, and it is not believed that the suffering caused by the fuel scarcity during the Winter of 1917-18 can be repeated.

The Government has taken over control of the railways and a number of coastwise steamship lines. It now operates 260,000 miles of railway, employing 1,000,600 men, and representing investments of $17,500,000,000.

The War Trade Board, created for the purpose of cutting off supplies to Germany through the adjacent neutrals, has developed into a powerful economic weapon in the execution of the nation's war policy.

Five Million Soldiers' Garments Made by American Women

A recent bulletin of the American Red Cross contains a report showing that up to Feb. 1, 1918, this organization had supplied 3,431,067 sweaters, mufflers, wristlets, helmets, and socks to the soldiers and sailors of the United States. Of this total 1,189,469 articles were delivered to the fighting services in January of this year. Though official figures were not available for later months, it was estimated that the total to the end of March was in excess of 5,000,000 garments, all knit by American women for the Red Cross. The same bulletin reported the distribution of 5,000,000 francs contributed by Americans for the relief of those French soldier families which have suffered most from the war.


War Department's Improved System

Summary by Benedict Crowell

Assistant Secretary of War

A year of war has changed the United States War Department from a military group to a closely organized business concern. The vast difference between its methods at the time of our entry into the war and at the beginning of our second year of hostilities is summarized in the appended statement and chart, which were given to The New York Times by Benedict Crowell, the Assistant Secretary of War, in March, 1918. Mr. Crowell is one of the business experts called into the department last Autumn to reorganize it. In describing the changes made he said:

A year ago there were eleven officers, all strictly military men, and about 1,000 privates in the aircraft work. Now in that branch of the war business we have thousands of officers and 100,000 men. But 96 per cent. of those officers are trained business men and engineers from big civil enterprises. Most of them are in military uniform, but that is merely a matter of form that does not go to the substance of the business.

The great military work of America, the work of the soldiers, is being done in France. In this country we have settled down to the purely business undertaking of producing men and material out of which to form the armies.

This chart (here reproduced) shows the latest readjustment of General Staff functions and activities. A very significant change from what used to be is indicated in that line of rectangles under the Chief of Staff, each one representing an Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of a major division of the war work. These divisions, indicated on the chart by the words "storage and traffic," "purchases and supplies," &c., used to be committees, in which every vital question had to be settled by a vote, with lesser officers having as much power in the matter as their chiefs. Now the Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of one of those divisions, which is no longer a committee, has power to act on his own initiative. His subordinates in the division are his expert advisers on the various problems which he must decide, thus eliminating criticisms in the earlier period of the war that too much time was lost in getting decisions.

One of the modifications that may be made in this chart of the General Staff in the near future will have to do with that division now in charge of General Pierce, the Assistant Chief of Staff, who is director of purchases and supplies and has authority over manufacturing priorities, purchases, and production based on estimates and requirements. That division, which now leads direct into the office of the Chief of Staff, may later on be short-circuited around the Chief of Staff direct to the office of a new Assistant Secretary of War in so far as its problems have to do with purchases or industrial facilities.

A bill creating two additional Secretaries of War has been passed by Congress. One of these assistants will have to do with social and welfare activities for the benefit of the troops. The other will deal exclusively with purchases and supplies, and the division of the General Staff now under General Pierce will be made a part of it.

The direct lines of connection on this chart are as interesting and as promising as anything else about it. They indicate smooth-working co-ordination and perfected team work. For example, the line of liaison from the division of purchases and supplies is to all supply bureaus and purchasing agencies of the army, to the War Industries Board, and all related Government agencies.

Further co-operation of the War Department, reorganized on a business basis, with those organizations vital to the movement of all equipment to troops here and abroad, is shown by the liaison line from the Director of Storage and Traffic. That line connects the storage and traffic business of the War Department directly with the Shipping Board, the Director General of Railways, and the Quartermaster General.


Major[256] Gen. Goethals is the Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of storage and traffic, and, as such, has full control over all priority of both storage and traffic at and to inland, embarkation, and overseas points. General Goethals is also still acting as Quartermaster General, a place now not so vital under the reorganization as his office of Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of storage and traffic.

The War Council was created because it was necessary to have a group of experts in the War Department who would have time to study. Up to the time of its organization there had been little time to think about big problems and do nothing else. Everybody was rushed with some form of executive or administrative work.

This council is in session every day and is one of the most effective war agencies that the Government has. There is no man on it who does not bring to its deliberations and conclusions some vital contribution to the welfare of the country and the army. It consists of the Secretary of War, the Assistant Secretary of War, General March, Acting Chief of the General Staff; General Crowder, Judge Advocate General and Provost Marshal General of the Army, one of the nation's great lawyers, who is devoting his life to the military welfare of his country; Generals Crozier, Sharpe, Weaver, and Pierce, and Charles Day, an able engineer drafted from the Shipping Board to render expert counsel to the War Department as a member of its War Council.

The Surgeon General's Great Organization

By Caswell A. Mayo

[This account of the first year's work of the United States War Department in mobilizing the medical talent of the nation was prepared in March, 1918, for The New York Times, publishers of Current History Magazine]

In April, 1917, the executive offices of the Surgeon General of the United States Army occupied four rooms in the great War, State and Navy Building at Washington, and the functions of the office were performed by six officers and twenty clerks. Now there are attached to the Surgeon General's office 165 officers, who employ 545 clerks, and the staff fills five entire buildings and parts of other buildings, exclusive of the Surgeon General's library, the Army Medical Museum, and the Army Medical School. Within a day 6,000 telegrams and 5,000 other communications have been received, replied to, and filed. The latest and most approved systems of filing records and correspondence have been installed under expert supervision, for the Surgeon General has called to his aid specialists in other fields as well as in the field of medicine. He has called chemists and statisticians, bankers and efficiency engineers, sanitarians and electrical experts, architects and engineers, and assigned them to duty in his office.

The Surgeon General himself, Major Gen. W. C. Gorgas, was appointed to the office in recognition of the invaluable services rendered by him as Chief Sanitary Officer of the Panama Canal Zone. The story of his work there in protecting the laborers in the Panama Canal from infectious diseases is one of the most brilliant chapters in the history of American medicine. Without that work the efforts of Goethals would have been as fruitless and as costly in lives and money as those of De Lesseps. The Surgeon General's still greater task now is to provide against every emergency[257] which may affect the health and lives of millions of men taken from the fields, the farms, the factories, and the counting houses of the country, gathered into camps for organization and sent across 3,000 miles of ocean. He must know how many men will be taken sick, and where. He must know how many men will be wounded, and where, and he must have at those points adequate provision of expert surgeons and enlisted men, of medical and of surgical supplies, of food and of clothing, of housing and of transportation, so that at no time will any American soldier be sick without succor, or lie wounded without aid.

In carrying out this gigantic task the Surgeon General has mobilized the medical forces of the country, calling into his office the leaders in every specialty of medicine and of surgery. At their desks as early as 7 o'clock in the morning will be found medical specialists whose professional incomes are written in five and six figures, but who have abandoned these incomes for the modest pay of a Major, who have given up their luxurious homes for a Washington boarding house, and who, instead of enjoying a well-earned leisure, toil ceaselessly from early morning until late at night in their efforts to co-ordinate most effectively the work of the doctors in the war. It is for the purpose of doing justice to the attainments of these men that General Gorgas is advocating scores of new commissions of high rank in the national army.

Every morning at 7:30 the Surgeon General's truck delivers his mail at the Mills Building, at Seventeenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, in which are situated the central executive offices. The mail is distributed and on the desks of the officers for final disposition not later than 9:15. Within twelve working hours practically every communication received will have been acted upon and returned to permanent files. Here, as in every other phase of the work, a specialist has been employed, Captain J. L. Gooch having been called from his position as subscription manager for the Butterick Company to organize the office routine. The most approved mechanical devices, including statistical machines, have been installed under Captain Gooch's direction.

A complete medical history is kept of every soldier and of every officer from the time he enters the service until he retires, resigns, or dies. A special fireproof building is now being erected which will be devoted exclusively to the care of these records, the preservation of which may be a matter of vital importance fifty years hence.

Attached to the Surgeon General's office are three representatives of the Royal Army Medical Corps of Great Britain—Colonel T. H. Goodwin, C. M. G., D. S. O.; Captain John Gilmour of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and Lieut. Col. J. J. Aitken of the Royal Veterinary Corps—and two representatives of the French Army Medical Service—Colonel C. U. Dercle and Major Edouard Rist. These four surgeons act as liaison officers, keeping the Medical Department of the United States Army in touch with the medical services of Great Britain and France. They have made many informing addresses to medical societies all over the United States and have given lectures at the Army Medical School.

The immediate staff of the Surgeon General comprises his personal aid, Major M. C. Furbush, M. R. C., of Philadelphia; Colonel George E. Bushnell, M. C., (Medical Corps of the regular army;) Colonel Deane C. Howard, M. C., and Lieut. Col. James V. Van Dusen, M. C. Colonel Bushnell, besides being chief assistant to the Surgeon General, has devoted his special attention to the field in which he has won a unique reputation, that of the treatment of tuberculosis.

General Gorgas has enlisted the co-operation of the leading surgeons of the United States as members of the "Rotary Surgical Staff." Among those Medical Reserve Corps officers who have already served for a period at the Surgeon General's office and who are still subject to call from time to time as occasion requires are Major William J. Mayo, former President, and his brother, Major Charles H. Mayo, now President of the American Medical Association.[258]

The work of the Surgeon General's office is divided up among seventeen general main divisions. The work of each division is practically independent of the others, though the work of all is co-ordinated. At the head of each of these divisions is an expert in that particular field, usually a medical officer of the regular army, who has around him a group of expert associates, many of whom are drawn from civil life.

On April 1, 1917, there were 700 medical officers and about 10,000 enlisted men in the Medical Department of the United States Army. There are now more than 17,000 medical officers in active service and about 150,000 enlisted men in the Medical Department.

War Work of the American Red Cross

Summary of a Year's Activities

[Data Furnished by Red Cross Headquarters, Washington, D. C.]

President Wilson, as President of the American Red Cross, on May 10, 1917, appointed a War Council of seven members to direct the work of the organization in the extraordinary emergency created by the entrance of the United States into the war. The original appointees were Henry P. Davison, Chairman, of J. P. Morgan & Co., New York; Charles D. Norton, Vice President First National Bank, New York; Major Grayson M. P. Murphy, Vice President Guaranty Company, New York; Cornelius N. Bliss, Jr., of Bliss, Fabyan & Co., New York, and Edward N. Hurley, Chicago.

Mr. Hurley resigned from the War Council when he was appointed Chairman of the Shipping Board, and was succeeded by John D. Ryan, President of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. Major Murphy, after organizing the Red Cross work in Europe, resigned to re-enter the United States Army, and was succeeded on the council by Harvey D. Gibson, President of the Liberty National Bank of New York, who has been the General Manager of the Red Cross since it began its war activities. Mr. Norton resigned in the Spring of 1918, and was succeeded by George B. Case of the law firm of White and Case, New York, who previously had been legal adviser to the War Council.

The first war fund campaign took place the week of June 18, 1917, which was designated "Red Cross Week" by a proclamation of President Wilson. The Finance Committee, which had charge of the campaign, was headed by Cleveland H. Dodge of New York; Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo was the fund Treasurer. One hundred million dollars was the mark set, and the week's contributions ran slightly above that figure.

At the establishment of the Red Cross organization on a war basis its membership was approximately 500,000. Six months later there were, in round numbers, 5,000,000 members, and the number of chapters had increased from 562 to 3,287. The "Christmas Membership Drive," during the week ended with Christmas Eve, 1917, swelled the membership rolls to more than 23,000,000.

In the period between the birthday anniversaries of Lincoln and Washington—Feb. 12-22, 1918—the school children of the country were brought into the Junior Red Cross organization.

Immediately following the war organization and the raising of the first war fund commissions were sent to the various countries in Europe where war was in progress. Major Grayson M. P. Murphy was appointed General Commissioner for Europe and assumed direct charge of the commission to France, where the greater burden of American Red Cross work has fallen. The commission to France reached Paris during June. Eighteen men constituted the original working force. From this nucleus there developed before the end of the year an organization that operated[259] all the way from Sicily up the whole western front and into Great Britain.


Appropriations from the Red Cross war fund to March 1, 1918, including those to cover budgets to April 30, totaled $77,721,918.22. Of this amount sums aggregating $30,936,103.04 were for relief work in France. A chain of warehouses has been established behind the lines all the way across France, from the coast to Switzerland. The greatest motor transport organization there is in the world, outside of those actually operated by the armies, also has been developed. The workers actually engaged in the organization in France number more than 3,000, a large percentage of them being volunteers who are serving without financial compensation, and most of them paying their own expenses as well.

Relief work in France is divided between a Department of Military Affairs and a Department of Civil Affairs. The former department, in addition to maintaining a hospital supply service that provides for 3,800 hospitals, a surgical dressings service that turns out and distributes hundreds of thousands of dressings every week, and three American Red Cross military hospitals, has concentrated a large amount of attention on canteen work, in the interest of both the American and French Armies.

Twelve canteens at the front have been in operation for the French Army, and recently the same service was installed to supply coffee and refreshments to American soldiers in the trenches. It is likely that the twelve canteens will be increased to forty. The record of the front line canteens for a five month period was 700,000 soldiers served. In line of communication canteens, located at railroad junction points, eighty-eight American women workers have served an average of 20,000 soldiers daily. At the metropolitan canteens, in Paris, more than 3,000,000 soldiers have been served since the American Red Cross entered this field of work.

Preliminary to the arrival of the American expeditionary force in France, the American Red Cross did important work in improving the sanitary conditions in the zone which the United States troops were to occupy. This work is constantly kept up to meet the situation as the army abroad increases in size.


Civilian relief work in France has embraced a campaign against tuberculosis, care of refugees and repatriés, care of children, reconstruction and repair work in devastated areas and home service among the families of French soldiers. While much of the work in behalf of refugees has been done in the zones of comparative safety to which people have fled from the war areas, the German offensive launched in March found American Red Cross men in large numbers performing actual rescue work in villages that were under fire of the enemy. With the aid of the motor transport service, hundreds of noncombatants were removed to places of safety.

At Evian, on the Swiss border, a corps of workers has been maintained for several months, together with a children's hospital, disinfecting plant, &c., for the care and relief of the children and aged and infirm persons who have been sent back by the Germans from the occupied portions of France and Belgium at the rate of 1,000 or more a day.

Relief for the families of French soldiers has had for its object the double purpose of providing for the wants of the sick and destitute, and strengthening the morale of men at the front. In respect to the latter objective a success has been achieved which has called forth many expressions of praise from the highest French military and civil authorities. A gift of a lump sum of $1,000,000 for distribution among 50,000 needy families was one of the initial acts in this particular line of relief.


Minor Red Cross activities in France have included assistance in the care of mutilated soldiers, aid in re-educational work and care of the blind, and maintenance of plants for the manufacture of splints, anaesthetic, &c. An important[260] work in connection with the prosecution of medical research has been the carrying on of experiments to ascertain the cause of trench fever, which in point of wastage is responsible for more than any other sickness.

Since air raids on Paris and other French cities have become a regular feature, the American Red Cross has established a day-and-night service to respond to air raid alarms, perform rescue work, and remove the injured to the hospitals. On many occasions the effectiveness of this work has commanded widespread interest.

Among the newer developments is the establishment of a casualty service, for the gathering of detail information regarding American soldiers who are killed in battle, sick or wounded in the hospitals or taken prisoner by the enemy. The information collected is transmitted to relatives at home.

Prisoner relief is administered through a central office at Berne, Switzerland, where ample supplies of food are stored for shipment to German prison camps as the need requires. Recently plans were started to have emergency rations stored in prison camps, so that American prisoners could have the benefit of them on their arrival there. Through the arrangements made all prisoners in enemy camps will receive rations in plenty at frequent intervals, and special rations will be provided for invalids.


Appropriations for relief work in Italy have totaled $3,588,826. Emergency relief work, rendered at a time when no permanent commission had been established in Italy, stands among the most notable of the Red Cross achievements of the first year of the war. When the Teuton hordes swept into the plains of Northern Italy in October, 1917, driving thousands of panic-stricken men, women, and children before them, American Red Cross veterans from France rushed into the breach, helped to stop the rout, relieved the acute distress, and contributed in no small measure to the saving of the country from complete subjugation. What the American Red Cross did for Italy in this crisis was made the subject of official commendation on various occasions, and elicited thanks from the King, Prime Minister, and other dignitaries. A most important result accomplished was the cementing of friendship for America on the part of the Italian people, who previously, largely through German propaganda, had been skeptical of the good faith of the United States in the war.

At the outset the American Consuls throughout Italy were supplied with money to afford emergency relief. Forty-eight carloads of supplies were dispatched to the scene from storehouses in France. Several sections of ambulances also were started from France. Soup kitchens were opened, from which the refugees were given the first food they had received since the flight from their homes. Transportation for the refugees was arranged from the north, warehouses were opened at central points, manufacture of surgical dressings was undertaken on a mammoth scale, hospitals for the concentration of contagious diseases were opened, and then, four days after the United States declared war against Austria, the first Red Cross ambulances left Milan for the Italian front, cheered by thousands of persons there and at all towns through which they passed.

By the time the permanent commission reached Rome, in the early Winter, a complete survey of the whole Italian situation had been made by experts and all the more serious emergencies had been met. The American Red Cross was able to supply great quantities of equipment to replace the stores that were lost when the Teuton drive destroyed upward of a hundred hospitals. The present relief work is being continued along the lines of the work in France.


Belgian relief work has called for appropriations aggregating $2,086,131. There has been a program for improving conditions among the Belgian troops, and to provide recreation and medical service outside the scope of the Belgian war budget. The initial Red Cross gift was half a million francs to the Belgian Red[261] Cross, to be applied for the cost of the military hospital at Wolveringham. Contributions also have been made to the active field service of the army, in the form of surgical and medical equipment.

In civilian relief work in Belgium the American Red Cross placed its resources at the command of organizations already in the field to care for children and feeble persons, and get them away from the places of greatest danger. In order to have supplies ready at hand for emergencies twenty barrack warehouses were contracted for last Fall.

Special aid has been given to the schools and colonies for children. Establishment of health centres and a 250-bed hospital for the Belgian colony at Havre are among the other activities. A gift of 600,000 francs was made for the construction of a temporary village for refugees near Havre.


American Red Cross appropriations on account of work in Great Britain have amounted to $3,078,875. This includes two gifts of $953,000 and $1,193,125, respectively, to the British Red Cross and a gift of $500,000 to the Canadian Red Cross. The gifts to the British Red Cross will be used for relief and comforts to sick and wounded in hospitals, for the maintenance of auxiliary hospitals and convalescent homes in England, and for institutions for orthopedic and facial treatment and for general restorative work for disabled British soldiers. The British orthopedic hospitals serve as training schools for American surgeons. The gift to the Canadian Red Cross was given in recognition of the part Canada has played in the war. The money will be used to alleviate the suffering of wounded and sick Canadian soldiers.

The regular work of the American Red Cross in England includes the maintenance of a hospital at an English port for sick American soldiers and sailors, and support of a hospital at South Devon and of another for officers at Lancaster Gate, London.

Commissions have been maintained in Serbia, Rumania, and Russia, where relief has been administered according to the needs of the situation in each instance. In Rumania the active relief work was abandoned only when the Red Cross representatives were forced to leave the country following the Ukraine peace. At the present writing [April, 1918] a special commission, accompanied by several medical units, is on its way to take up relief work in Palestine.

The appropriations for Serbian relief have totaled $875,180.76; for Rumania, $2,676,368.76, and for Russia $1,243,845.07. All other foreign relief work, miscellaneous in character, has involved appropriations amounting to $3,576,300.


For camp service in the United States there was appropriated, up to March 1, a total of $6,451,150.86. The sweaters, helmets, socks, and other supplies and comforts for distribution to the army and navy had a value of $5,653,435.86.

There had been appropriated for Red Cross convalescent houses at camps and cantonments throughout the United States $512,000, and plans for additional houses and nurses' homes at the various camps will call for aggregate expenditures of about $1,750,000.

More than 19,000 graduate nurses have been supplied to the United States Army for service in this country and abroad by the Red Cross Nursing Service. A total of 25,000 must be supplied before the end of the present year to meet the needs of the growing army and the greater activities of the forces in France.

Fifty base hospital units have been organized, each unit consisting of twenty-two surgeons and dentists, sixty-five nurses, and 152 men of the enlisted reserve corps. Nineteen of these units are now in service in France. The Red Cross has supplied the personnel for ten other units.

Red Cross chapters have organized and are maintaining more than a thousand canteens at railroad stations to serve troops passing to and from camps and to ports of embarkation. In nearly every city, also, women's motor corps service has been established by volunteer workers. Throughout the country plans[262] have been made on an extensive scale to carry on home service in the interest of the families of soldiers who may need assistance, material or otherwise.


Although war activities required its greatest energies, the American Red Cross rendered prompt relief in cases of overwhelming disaster outside the war zones during the year. There were three major disasters, widely separated, in 1917. They were, respectively, the Tientsin flood, which made 1,000,000 people homeless and caused a crop and property loss amounting to $100,000,000; the Halifax explosion, which wrecked a large part of the city and resulted in the killing and maiming of thousands of persons, and the Guatemala earthquake, which caused destitution and disease, in addition to the property damage and the toll of death and injury.

In the case of the flood in China, the Red Cross cabled to the American Minister to draw for sums sufficient to meet emergency needs, and later assisted the Chinese Government in providing labor for 10,000 refugees for a period of several months. The appropriations for relief in connection with this disaster totaled $125,000.

Within a few hours after the extent of the Halifax disaster was known, special Red Cross trains left New York, Providence, and Boston for the scene, carrying tons of bedding, clothing, food, and medical supplies, as well as doctors, nurses, and experts in relief administration. Every anticipated need was provided for, and unlimited resources were pledged to the stricken city.

Urgent relief needs following the earthquake in Guatemala were met through the Guatemala Red Cross chapter, which purchased $100,000 worth of supplies from the Government stores in the Canal Zone. A shipload of medical, food, and other supplies was sent from New Orleans at the earliest possible moment, and a Medical Director was appointed to take charge of work on the ground. Expert workers and sanitary engineers also were dispatched from the United States to look after special phases of the situation.

An Example of U-Boat Brutality

One day in the first week of March, 1918, a small Belgian fishing smack was sighted by a German U-boat and was fired upon without the slightest warning. Her masts and sails were shot away, and the skipper was severely wounded. The smack carried a crew of only four men, three of whom entered their small boat and endeavored to persuade the skipper to come with them; but he was so badly injured that he refused to leave. He, however, urged his men to save their own lives. Meanwhile the submarine had come closer to its prey, and a German officer called to the men in the small boat to convey a couple of German sailors on board the smack, in order that they might sink her with bombs. The Germans proceeded to board the smack, and then, finding the wounded skipper, one of them drew his revolver and shot the helpless man dead through the head. The dastardly act was committed in full view of the Belgian fishermen, one of whom was the unfortunate skipper's son. Having placed their bombs in position, the Germans returned to the submarine and cast the remaining three Belgians adrift in their cockleshell of a boat without food or water, and with no means of reaching land, from the nearest point of which they were twenty miles distant. The unfortunate men suffered severely from cold and hunger before they were picked up by a British patrol boat.


Great Britain Faces a Crisis

Historic Speech by Premier Lloyd George on the Picardy Battle and Its Fateful Consequences

The British Government introduced a bill April 9, 1918, to raise the military age up to 50, and in special cases to 55, and to provide for conscription in Ireland. Premier David Lloyd George, in introducing the measure in the House of Commons, delivered an important address, in which he reviewed the battle of Picardy up to that time and gave interesting details of the conduct of the war in the preceding months. The address opened a new phase in the world conflict as affected by the posture of affairs in Great Britain. The full speech was sent by special cable to The New York Times and is reproduced herewith as a historic document of the war:

We have now entered the most critical phase of this terrible war. There is a lull in the storm, but the hurricane is not over. Doubtless we must expect more fierce outbreaks, and ere it is finally exhausted there will be many more. The fate of the empire, the fate of Europe, and the fate of liberty throughout the world may depend on the success with which the very last of these attacks is resisted and countered.

The Government, therefore, propose to submit to Parliament today certain recommendations, in order to assist this country and the Allies to weather the storm. They will involve, I regret, extreme sacrifices on the part of large classes of the population, and nothing would justify them but the most extreme necessity and the fact that we are fighting for all that is essential and most sacred in our national life.

Before I come to the circumstances which led up to our submitting these proposals to Parliament, I ought to say one word as to why Parliament was not immediately summoned. Since the battle began the Government have been engaged almost every hour in concerting with the Allies the necessary measures to assist the armies to deal with the emergency.

The proposals which we intend submitting to Parliament required very close and careful examination, and I think there is this advantage in our meeting today, rather than immediately after the impact of the German attack, that we shall be considering these proposals under conditions which will be far removed from any suggestion of panic.


I shall now come to the circumstances which have led to the present military position. It is very difficult at this time to present a clear, connected, and reliable narrative of what happened. There has been a great battle on a front of fifty miles—the greatest battle ever fought in the history of the world. Enormous forces have been engaged; there was a considerable retirement on the part of the British forces, and under these conditions it is not always easy for some time to ascertain what actually happened.

The House will recollect the difficulty we experienced with regard to Cambrai. It was difficult to piece together the story of the event for some time, and Cambrai was a very trivial event compared with this gigantic battle.

The Generals and their staffs are, naturally, engaged and have to concentrate their attention upon the operations of the enemy, and until the strain relaxes it would be very difficult to institute the necessary inquiries to find out exactly what happened, and to furnish an adequate explanation of the battle.

However, there are two or three facts which stand out, and in stating them I[264] should like to call attention to two things which I think above all must be avoided. The first is that nothing should be said which could give information to the enemy; nothing should be said which would give encouragement to the enemy, and nothing should be said which would give discouragement to our own troops, who are fighting so gallantly at this very hour. And the second question is that all recrimination at this hour must be shut out.


What was the position at the beginning of the battle? Notwithstanding the heavy casualties in 1917 the army in France was considerably stronger on Jan. 1, 1918, than on Jan. 1, 1917. Up to the end of 1917—up to, say, about October or November—the German combatant strength in France was as two to the Allies' three. Then came the military collapse of Russia, and the Germans hurried up their released divisions from the eastern front and brought them to the west. They had a certain measure of Austrian support, which had been accorded to them.

Owing to the growth of the strength of our armies in 1917 when this battle began the combatant strength of the whole of the German Army on the western front was only approximately, though not quite, equal to the total combatant strength of the Allies in infantry. They were slightly inferior in artillery. They were considerably inferior in cavalry, and, what is very important, they were undoubtedly inferior in aircraft.

The Germans, therefore, organized their troops so as to produce a larger number of divisions out of the slightly smaller number of infantry and slightly smaller number of guns. They had fewer battalions in a division and fewer men in a battalion. That is entirely a question of organization, and it yet remains to be seen that their organization is better than ours. It is necessary to explain that, in order that the House should realize why, with approximately the same number of men, the Germans have a larger number of divisions on that front.

According to all the facts which have come to hand as to the losses of the battle, that roughly represents the relative strength of the combatants on both sides at this moment. The Germans had, however, one or two important advantages. The first, the initial advantage, which is always commanded by the offensive, is that they know where they mean to attack. They choose the ground, they choose the location, they know the width of the attack, they know the dimensions of the attack, they know the time of the attack, they know the method of the attack. All that invariably gives the initial advantage to the offensive.

Concentrated on the British

The defense has a general advantage, as, owing to air observation, concealment is difficult. At the same time, in spite of all that, owing to the power of moving troops at night, which the Germans exercised in a very large extent, there was a large margin for surprise, even in spite of air observation, and of this the enemy took full advantage.

I should like to say one word here as to the difficulty which the allied Generals were confronted with in this respect. Before the battle the greatest German concentration was in front of our troops. That was no proof that the full weight of the attack would fall on us. There was a very large concentration opposite the French lines. There was a very considerable concentration—I am referring now to the German reserves—on the northern part of our line.

After the battle began, or immediately before the battle, the Germans by night brought their divisions from the northern part to the point where the attack took place. They also took several divisions from opposite the French in the same way and brought them to our front. But it would have been equally easy for them, while concentrating troops opposite our front, to manoeuvre them in the same way opposite the French. I am only referring to that in order to show how exceedingly difficult it is for Generals on the defensive to decide exactly where, in their judgment, the attack is coming and where they ought to concentrate their reserves.

General Wilson's Forecast

I may just say a word here. This problem was considered very closely by the military staff at Versailles, and I think it right, in justice to them, to point out that after a very close study of the German position and of the probabilities of the case, they came to the conclusion, and they stated their conclusion to the military representatives and to the Ministers in the month of January, or the beginning of February, that the attack would come south of Arras; that it would be an attack on the widest front ever yet assailed; that the Germans would accumulate ninety-five divisions for the purpose of making that attack; that they would throw the whole of their resources and their strength into breaking the British line at that point, and that their objective would be the capture of Amiens and the severance of the British and French forces.

That was the conclusion which Sir Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial Staff, came to, and which was submitted at that time, two[265] or three months ago, and I think that it was one of the most remarkable forecasts of enemy intentions ever made.

As a matter of fact, the attack was made up, I think, by about ninety-seven divisions. It was an attack on the widest front that had ever been engaged. Its object undoubtedly was the capture of Amiens and the severance of the British and French forces. So that, almost in every detail, that very remarkable forecast has been verified in the event.

Another remarkable prediction was that it might probably succeed in penetrating the British line to the extent of half the distance of the front attacked. They came to the conclusion from a close examination of the offensives of the war.

Advantage of United Command

There was another advantage. There was, first of all, the advantage which the Germans had from having the initiative. There was a further advantage they had, and this undoubtedly was the greatest advantage, from having a united command opposed to a dual one. The Germans undoubtedly relied on this to a very large extent for their success. They owe much of the success of this attack to this.

It was reported to me on good authority that the Kaiser informed ex-King Constantine: "I shall beat them, for they have no united command." Which shows that that was what they were relying in the main upon; that, although their numbers were slightly inferior, they knew the importance that was to be attached to the fact that they had a perfectly united command.

And that is an obvious advantage, for if the risks in one particular part of the line are great, and in another part of the line are great, but substantially less than in the former, with one command there is no hesitation in the mind of the Commander in Chief as to which risk he will make the greatest provision against.

With two separate commands the problem is a different one. It is more difficult to adjust the balance of risk, and the General is always naturally inclined to give himself and his army the benefit of any doubt. That may be because if anything goes wrong there he alone is to be held responsible to his own countrymen for the safety of his army.

Weather Favored Germans

The enemy had another incidental but, as it turned out, very important advantage—that of the weather. Exceptional weather favored his designs. It was both dry and misty. The attack which succeeded was made on that part of the line where under ordinary Spring conditions the ground would have been almost impassable.

A wounded officer told a friend of mine today, a General, that under ordinary conditions no one could walk across the part which was traversed by the Germans at this time of the year. But it just happened to be absolutely dry and firm, and they walked across ground which no one had any right to expect at this time of the year would be in that condition.

Not only that, but the fact that it was warm increased the mist, and the Germans were actually in some parts within a few yards of our front line before any one knew of their approach. It was quite impossible to observe them. This was a special disadvantage to us, inasmuch as our scheme of organization in that particular part of the line depended largely upon the cross-line fire of machine guns and artillery. They had, therefore, a very special advantage, of which they made the fullest use.

Closed Up Gap in Armies

With regard to the battle itself, as I have already stated, it will take some time to ascertain the whole facts. At one time it was undoubtedly very critical. The enemy broke through between our 3d and 5th Armies, and there was a serious gap, and the situation was retrieved owing to the magnificent conduct of our troops. They retired in perfectly good order, re-establishing the junction between the two armies and frustrating the enemy's purpose.

The House can hardly realize, and certainly cannot sufficiently thank—nor can the country—our troops for their superb valor and the grim tenacity with which they faced overwhelming hordes of the enemy and clung to their positions. They retired, but were never routed, and once more the cool pluck of the British soldier, that refuses to acknowledge defeat, saved Europe.

I am referring to the whole army, Generals, officers, and soldiers. I mean the whole army, and I draw no distinction. Their conduct has been one of incredible courage and great coolness under the most trying conditions. I do not think that any distinction can be drawn between officers and men. I am referring to the British Army, and that means all.

Praises General Carey's Feat

And I specially refer to what one Brigadier General did. Some reference has been made in the press already to it, where at one point there was a serious gap, which might have let the enemy into Calais.

[At this point the Prime Minister spoke of the critical situation which developed when the German attack began. He said the gap on the way to Amiens was held by Brig. Gen. Carey, who for six days stood off the enemy with engineers, laborers, signalers, and anybody who could hold a rifle. The Premier continued:]

Until the whole circumstances which led to the retirement of the 5th Army and its failure to hold the line of the Somme, at least till the Germans brought out their guns, and[266] perhaps the failure adequately to destroy the bridges—until all these are explained it would be unfair to censure the General in command of the army, General Gough. But until those circumstances are cleared up it would be equally unfair to the British Army to retain his services in the field. It is necessary to recall him until the facts have been fully ascertained and laid before the Government by their military advisers.

After the retirement of the 5th Army the French reserves came up with remarkable rapidity, when their position before the battle is borne in mind. In fact, the speed with which, when the final decision was taken as to the real designs of the enemy, the French reserves were brought up is one of the most remarkable feats of organization in this war, and between the courage of our troops and the handling of the army—the way the 3d Army held, never giving way a hundred yards to the attack of the enemy—I think it right that it should be said about the army commanded by General Byng—that between the efforts of our soldiers and the loyal assistance given in true spirit of comradeship by the French Army, the position is for the moment stabilized. But it is clear that the Germans, having gained an initial success, are preparing another, and perhaps an even greater, attack on the allied armies.

Teutons Fail in Main Objects

Up to the present the enemy has undoubtedly obtained a great initial success. There is no good in not accepting the facts. It is from that basis we must begin to build. But he has failed so far in his main objects. He failed to capture Amiens. He failed to separate the French and British armies. But we should be guilty of great, it might be fatal, error if we were to underestimate the gravity of the prospect.

The enemy has captured valuable ground, which is too near Amiens for comfort or security, and he has succeeded for the time being in crippling one of our great armies.

I will now tell the House something of the measures adopted by the Cabinet to meet the emergency. I have already explained what was done about the French reserves. The Cabinet took every step to hurry up reinforcements in order to fill up the gap in our armies. No such large numbers of men ever passed across the Channel in so short a time.

As the emergency was great it was impossible to allow those who were summoned to France the usual leave to visit their relatives. It was with the greatest regret that we found it necessary to cancel this permission, and nothing but the gravity of the position would have justified so harsh a proceeding. But the troops accepted the position in a manner which is worthy of the fortitude, courage, and patriotism they have shown throughout.

There was an understanding that boys under 19 years would only be used in case of emergency. We felt that the emergency had arisen, and in so far as those who were over 18 were concerned, those who had already received six months' training, we felt it necessary that they should be sent to France.

As to the guns and machine guns which were lost, the numbers are grossly exaggerated by the enemy. I am assured that they have also exaggerated very considerably the number of prisoners they have taken. The Commander in Chief assured me last week that it was a gross exaggeration.

I am very glad to be able to say that the Ministry of Munitions were able not merely to replace those guns and machine guns, but that they still have got a very substantial reserve. The same thing applies to ammunition. There is an ample reserve of ammunition both in this country and in France.

Our aircraft strength is greater now than before the battle, and we all know what brilliant service our airmen rendered in this battle. Until the whole story of the battle is told it will be almost impossible to estimate the services they rendered in retarding the advance of the enemy, in destroying his machinery, and in making it difficult for him to bring up his guns and ammunition. We feel confident that our armies, Generals, and soldiers will be quite equal to the next encounter whenever it comes.

America's Dramatic Assistance

The next step to which I should like to call the attention of the House is the material and dramatic assistance rendered by President Wilson in this emergency—one of the most important decisions in the war. In fact, the issue of the battle might very well be determined by this decision.

In America there is a very considerable number of men in the course of training, and the Allies looked forward to having a large American army in France in the Spring. It has taken longer than was anticipated to turn those soldiers into the necessary divisional organizations. If America waited to complete these divisional organizations it would not be possible for these fine troops in any large numbers to take part in this battle in this campaign, although it might be very well the decisive battle of the war.

This was, of course, one of the most serious disappointments from which the Allies had suffered. It is no use pretending it was not one of our chief causes of anxiety. We depend upon it largely to make up the defection of Russia.

For many reasons—reasons, perhaps of transport, reasons connected with the time it takes, not merely to train troops and their officers, but to complete the necessary organization—it was quite impossible to put into France the number of divisions every one had confidently expected would be there. Under the circumstances we, therefore, submitted to the President of the United States a definite proposal. We had the advantage[267] of having the Secretary of State for War in this country within two or three days after the battle had commenced. Mr. Balfour and I had a long conversation with him upon the whole situation, and we submitted to him certain recommendations which we had been advised to make to Mr. Baker and the American Government.

Proposal of Earl of Reading

On the strength of the conversation we submitted proposals to President Wilson, with the strong support of Premier Clemenceau, to enable the combatant strength of the American Army to come into action during this battle, inasmuch as there was no hope of it coming in as a strong separate army. By this decision American battalions will be brigaded with those of the Allies.

This proposal was submitted by the Earl of Reading on behalf of the British Government to President Wilson, and President Wilson assented to the proposal without any hesitation, with the result that arrangements are now being made for the fighting strength of the American Army to be immediately brought to bear in this struggle—a struggle which is only now beginning—to this extent, and it is no mere small extent, that the German attack has been held up. It has stirred up the resolution and energy of America beyond anything which has yet occurred.

Another important decision taken by the allied Governments I must also call the attention of the House to. It became more obvious after the battle than ever before that the allied armies were suffering from the fact that they were fighting as two separate armies and had to negotiate support with each other. Valuable time was thus lost. Some of us had been deeply impressed by this peril for some time and had done our best to avert it.

But the inherent difficulties to be overcome are tremendous. There are national prejudices, national interests, professional prejudices and traditions. The inherent difficulties of getting two or three separate armies to fight as one are almost insurmountable, and it can only be done if public opinion in all these countries insists upon it as one condition of success.

The Versailles conference was an effort at a remedy. How were the Versailles decisions carried out, and the extent to which they were not carried out? This is not the time to inquire.

Foch Made Generalissimo

I respectfully suggest to the House that no good would come at this stage in discussing this question. But if any one needed conviction as to the wisdom of that policy, this battle must have supplied it. The peril we passed through, by establishing the conviction without challenge, may, I think, be worth the price we paid for it.

A few days after the battle commenced there were present not merely the Government, but the commanders in the field. We had not merely Field Marshals but army commanders present. We were so convinced—and the same thing applied to the French—of the importance of more complete strategic unity that they agreed to the appointment of General Foch to the supreme direction of the strategy of all the allied armies on the western front.

May I not say just one word about General Foch? It is not merely that he is one of the most brilliant soldiers in Europe, but there is this to be said about him: Foch is the man who, when we were attacked and were in a similar plight at the first battle of Ypres, rushed the French Army there by every conceivable expedient—buses, cabs, lorries, anything he could lay his hands upon. He crowded French divisions through, and undoubtedly helped to win the great battle.

There is no doubt about the loyalty and comradeship of General Foch. I have no doubt that this arrangement will be carried out not merely in the letter but in the spirit. But it is the most important decision that has been taken in reference to the coming battle. This strategic unity is, I submit to the House, the fundamental condition of victory. It can only be maintained by complete co-operation between the Governments and the Generals and by something more than that—the unmistakable public opinion behind it.

Asks Support for Foch

Why do I say that? For this reason: A Generalissimo in the ordinary and full sense of the term may be impracticable. There are three functions which a General wields—strategical, tactical, and administrative. What does administrative mean? It means control of organization, the appointment and dismissal of officers and Generals, and that is a power which it is difficult or almost impossible to give to Generals of another country with a national army.

Therefore, in spite of all the arrangements made, unless there be not merely good-will, but the knowledge that the public of France, Great Britain, and America will assist in co-ordination and in supporting the authority in the supreme strategical plans chosen by the Governments, and in supporting the Governments in any action they may take to assert their authority, any arrangements made will be futile and mischievous. I make no apology for dwelling at some length upon this point. I have always felt that we were losing value and efficiency in the allied armies through lack of co-ordination and concentration.

We have sustained many disasters already through this, and we shall encounter more unless this defect in our machinery is put right. Hitherto, I regret, every effort at amendment led to rather prolonged and very bitter controversy, and these great inherent difficulties were themselves accentuated and[268] aggravated. There were difficulties of carrying out plans and other obstacles, and, what is worse, valuable time is lost.

I entreat the nation as a whole to stand united for the united control of the strategical operations of our armies at the front. We know how much depends upon unity of concentration. We are fighting a very powerful foe, who, in so far as he has triumphed, has triumphed mainly because of superior unity and the concentration of his strategic plans.


There is another matter to which I should like to refer, and it is the suggestion that our forces have been dissipated on a subsidiary enterprise. Not a single division was sent from France to the East. With regard to Italy, had it not been for the fact that there are battalions of French and British divisions there, the Austrian Army would have been free to throw the whole of its strength on the western front. If there were not some there now the Austrian Army would be more powerfully represented than it is on the western front.

With regard to Saloniki, the only thing the present Government did was to reduce the forces there by two divisions. In Mesopotamia there is only one white division in all, and in Egypt and Palestine together there are only two white divisions, and the rest are either Indians or mixed with a very small proportion of British troops. I am referring to infantry divisions.

I want the House really to consider what that means. There is a menace to our Eastern empire through Persia, because through Persia you approach Afghanistan, and through Afghanistan you menace the whole of India. Had it not been for the blows inflicted upon the Turks, what would have happened? Before these attacks there were Turkish divisions helping the Germans in Russia. They would have been there helping the Germans on the west, exactly as they helped them on the east.

Germans Sent to Help Turks

But what has happened? They were attacked in Palestine and Mesopotamia and two Turkish armies were destroyed. If we had remained in Egypt and defended Egypt by remaining there on the canal and allowing the Turks to hold us with a small force while they were putting the whole of their force in Mesopotamia and menacing our position in India by that means, the Turks could now have been assisting the Germans in the west as they did in the east.

What is happening now? German battalions at this moment have been sent to assist the Turks instead of the Turks sending divisions to help the Germans. The Germans now have sent battalions to help the Turks in Palestine. After all, if you have a great empire you must defend it.

There was a great empire which withdrew its legions from the outlying provinces of the empire to defend its heart against the Goths and those legions never went back. The British Empire has not been reduced to that plight yet. We can defend ourselves successfully in France, and we can also hold our empire against any one who assails it in any part of the world at the same time.

May I, before I leave this topic, say how much gratitude we owe to India for the magnificent way in which she has come to the aid of the empire in this emergency?

It is not the fact that we have got three British divisions in Egypt and Palestine and one in Mesopotamia that has enabled us to hold our own, but it is the fact that we have had these splendid troops from India. Many of them volunteered since the war, and they have been more than a match for their Turkish adversaries on many a stricken field.

Great Losses in France

It is too early to state yet with accuracy our losses, because in the case of a battle over such a wide front, fought with such intensity for over a fortnight, with vast numbers of men engaged, the losses sustained must be considerable. The claims of the enemy as to prisoners have been grossly exaggerated, and Field Marshal Haig has assured me that they were quite impossible from the figures at his disposal, and which he showed me, and the enemy's claims seem quite preposterous from the statement he made to me.

But still our losses are very great and our reserves have been called upon to a considerable extent to make up the wastage and refit the units, and if the drain continues on this scale, a drain on the resources of reserves and of man power, it must cause the deepest anxiety, unless we take immediate steps to replenish it.

The immediate necessity is relieved by the splendid and generous way and promptitude with which America has come to our aid, but they are simply lent to receive their training, with a view to their incorporation at the first suitable moment in the American Army in France, and even if they remain with the British right through the battle, the time will come when we shall need large reinforcements, if this battle continues.

I want the House to consider for a moment what the plans of the enemy may be as they are now revealed. It was never certain he would take this plunge, because he knows what it means if it fails. But he has taken it. The battle proves that the enemy has definitely decided to seek a military decision this year, whatever the consequences to himself.

Reasons for German Effort

There is no doubt he has overwhelming reasons. There is the economic condition of his country and the critical economic condition of his allies. He is now at the height of his power, and Russia is at the least, while America has not yet come in in its strength. So this year the enemy may put forth something which approaches his full strength. But soon he will grow feebler and weaker in comparison with the allied forces.

Representatives of the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk (from left to right): Gen. Hoffmann of the German Army; Count Czernin, Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Talaat Pasha, Turkish Grand Vizier, and von Kuehlmann, German Foreign Minister (International Film Service)
Representatives of the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk (from left to right): Gen. Hoffmann of the German Army; Count Czernin, Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Talaat Pasha, Turkish Grand Vizier, and von Kuehlmann, German Foreign Minister
(International Film Service)

Panorama of Venice as seen from an airplane in wartime
Panorama of Venice as seen from an airplane in wartime

Everything,[269] therefore, points to the definite determination of Germany to put the whole of her resources into seeking a military decision this year, and this means a prolonged battle from the North Sea to the Adriatic, with Germany and Austria throwing in the whole of their strength.

There are still seven or eight months within which the fighting can continue, and everything depends upon keeping our strength right to the end, whatever the strain upon our resources may be.

With American aid we can do it. But, even with American help, we cannot feel secure unless we are prepared ourselves to make even greater sacrifices than we have hitherto made. I know what the Government wish. I know also what will happen if the demand which the Government is putting forward is not responded to.

It is idle to imagine, as some people very lightheartedly seem to think, that you have got an unlimited reservoir of man power in this or in any belligerent country. We have already raised in this country for military and naval purposes very nearly six million men. We cannot raise here the same proportion of men per population as you can in other belligerent countries. I have repeatedly emphasized that in the House of Commons.

We have the greatest navy in the world, the command of the seas depends not merely for ourselves, but for our allies, upon the efforts we put forward. That is not only a question of manning the fleet: it is also a question of building, of adding to the numbers of ships, and of repairing the ships. Then you have got a mercantile marine, without which the Allies could not continue the struggle for a single month.

Navy and Shipping First

All that must be borne in mind, and whatever happens and whatever proposals we put forward today, it would be folly to do anything which would interfere with the one fundamental condition of success to the Allies—that the navy and shipping must be first.

We have also got to supply coal largely to our allies, as well as steel. But, owing largely to improved organizations in the various industries, to the way they are adapting themselves from day to day to new conditions, and to the increased numbers and greatly increased efficiency of woman labor, there is a reserve of men which, consistent with the discharge of these obligations, may yet be withdrawn in great emergency for our battle line; not without damage to industry—I do not forget that—and not without, to a certain extent, weakening the economic strength of the country, and not without imposing restrictions and perhaps privations, but without impairment to the striking power of the country for war. Nothing could justify such drastic action except an overwhelming emergency precipitated by a great military crisis.

I want to point out especially why the steps taken now are steps which will be useful in this battle. First of all, it is a battle which may last for months. The decision may be taken not now or next month, but may be months hence. But, beyond that, the Allies at the present moment have the same reserves of man power to reinforce their armies as Germany has, without taking into account those great reserves in America.

The German Age Limit

The Germans, however, are calling up another class, which will produce 550,000 efficient young men. These will be prepared to be thrown into the battle line. This is the 1920 class, aged 18½. These can be thrown into the battle line before this fight is over, and we must be prepared for their advent in this struggle this year.

Therefore, I have to submit to Parliament the totals for increasing, and increasing very materially, the reserves which will be available for reinforcing our armies in the field during this prolonged battle, upon which we are only just entering. I will now give roughly some of the proposals we intend to make in order to increase the number of men available.

We already have raised for armed forces during the first quarter of the year more than the quarter's proportion of the original number of men which it was estimated was the minimum required for the present year. We are also effecting a very strict comb-out of some of the essential industries. Very large levies have been taken from munition works. They will amount, I think, to something like 100,000 grade 1 men.

New Call on the Miners

That has been done already this year, and it will, of course, involve the utilization of other labor to a very large extent in munition works. A call for 500,000 has been made already on the coal industry, and these men have been rapidly recruited. I regret to say that military needs will necessitate the calling up of another 150,000 men from this industry. These men can be spared, we are convinced, after entering into the matter very carefully, without endangering the essential output of coal for national industries.

No one is likely to forget the fine response made by the miners at the beginning of the war, or the splendid part they have taken in hundreds of battles since then. They have been loyal in meeting the present demand of 50,000 men, and I am confident they would meet a further call upon them in the same spirit, in view of this great national emergency[270] under which we are making it. The transport services also have been called upon to release the greatest possible number of fit men.

Combing Out Civil Service Under 25

Further calls are to be made upon the civil service. I do not think it is realized how much the civil service has done already. On one hand, it has had to release a large number of men for the army, and, on the other, it has to meet and is meeting the increased strain of work. But even at the risk of some dislocation we must call upon it to do more, and a clean cut of young, fit men must be made.

It is proposed that no fit men below the age of 25 should be retained. That is the clean-out. We comb out beyond that. I shall explain it later. It is proposed that it should be applied to other industries as well.

When we are adding to the age and when we are extending the military age, it should not be said that there are fit young men of 25 who are employed in the various industries of the country. This will bring the civil service into line, and on a general level, so far as a clean-out is concerned, with the munitions industries.

Under an act passed in January of this year, we are issuing orders canceling all occupational exemptions by age blocks in specified occupations. That is the clean-out. The first of these orders is being laid on the table in the House today and other orders of the same power will follow.

I know that the House will appreciate that it is not merely necessary to have men, but to have them quickly. It is no use raising them unless they are raised in time to take part in the struggle this year, when we shall be short of drafts, if the battle is a prolonged one.

The Government, therefore, has shortened the length of the calling up notice from fourteen days to seven and have authorized the sending of notice by whatever method is the most expeditious and convenient. It may be necessary even to curtail the rights of appeal on medical grounds, but for the moment it is not proposed to do so. We have had a good many frivolous appeals, which have wasted a good deal of time, and if that goes on, it will be absolutely necessary, in the interest of the security of the country, that the rights of appeal should be curtailed in this respect.

Military Age Raised to 50

There is another consideration. The strain upon the medical profession has been great already. We are very short of medical men, and we may be driven to do it by the hard necessities of the case.

I now turn to the new proposal embodied in the bill, which I beg leave to introduce today. Our first proposal is to raise the military age up to 50, and in certain specified cases we ask for powers to raise it to 55, but that only when a man with special qualifications is needed.

For instance, it may be necessary to do it, in the case of medical men, in order to secure their services. It may be necessary in certain special classes, with special training and special experience, to secure their services for the army. When you come to the question of raising the age to 50, it does not mean that men between 42 and 50 are necessarily to be taken in order to put them into the fighting line. It may be that there are men of that age who are just as fit as men of 25, but I am sorry to say that that is the exception, and we cannot, therefore, depend upon men of that age altogether to make the finest fighting material.

There are a good many services in the army which do not require the very best physical material, and it would be very helpful to get men of this age to fill those services, in order to release younger and fitter men to enter the fighting line. There is also to be borne in mind the fact that we have to prepare for our home defense, so as to be able to release men from this country and fill their places by men between 42 and 50, who, I have no doubt, would fight very tenaciously for their own homes if there were an invasion.

The proportion of men from 42 to 50 years of age whom we expect to be available is not very high—something like 7 per cent. That is only 7 per cent. of men from 42 to 50 will be available for the army.

I only want to reassure people between 42 and 50 that all the men of that age are not going to be called up to the fighting line. I gave a sort of rough estimate that it would be only a small percentage of men of this age who would be likely to come under the provisions of the bill.

[The Premier then took up the system of exemptions, which is revised in the bill. He explained that the King, under the provisions of the bill, could cancel former exemptions, and that men would be exempted on medical grounds only, with provisions also for speeding up the procedure of appeal tribunals. He continued:]

We have to choose between either submitting to defeat or taking the necessary measures to avert it. We will never submit to accepting defeat.

I need hardly say that this provision will not be used to set aside the pledges given to discharged soldiers. They will be carefully observed.


I now come to the question of Ireland. When an emergency has arisen which makes it necessary to put men of 50 and boys of 18 into the army in the fight for liberty and independence—[Joseph Devlin here interrupted]—"and small nationalities," the Premier resumed: Especially as I am reminded,[271] to fight for liberty and independence and small nationalities, I am perfectly certain it is not possible to justify any longer the exclusion of Ireland.

John Dillon—You will not get any men from Ireland by compulsion, not a man.

The Premier—What is the position? No home rule proposal ever submitted in this House proposed to deprive the Imperial Parliament of the power of dealing with all questions in relation to the army and navy. These invariably are in every home rule bill I have ever seen and are purely questions for the Imperial Parliament, so that I am claiming no more as a national right than was ever claimed in the House. The Defense of the Realm act also was extended to Ireland.

The character of the quarrel in which we are engaged is just as much Irish as English. May I say it is more so? It is more Irish, Scotch, and Welsh than it is even English. Ireland, through its representatives at the beginning of the war, assented to it.

Mr. Devlin—Because it was a war for small nationalities.

The Prime Minister—Ireland, through its representatives, assented to the war, voted for the war, supported the war. Irish representatives and Ireland, through its representatives, without a dissenting voice committed the empire to this war. They are as responsible for it as any part of the United Kingdom. May I just read the declaration issued by the Irish Party on Dec. 17, 1914, shortly after the war began?

Mr. Byrne—We have had a revolution since then.

The Prime Minister—This is the Declaration of the Irish Party:

A test to search men's souls has arisen. The empire is engaged in the most serious war in history. It is a just war, provoked by the intolerable military despotism of Germany. It is a war for the defense of the sacred rights and liberties of small nations and the respect and enlargement of the great principles of nationality. Involved in it is the fate of France, our kindred country and the chief nation of that powerful Celtic race to which we belong; the fate of Belgium, to whom we are attached by the same great ties of race and by the common desire of small nations to assert their freedom, and the fate of Poland, whose sufferings and struggles bear so marked a resemblance to our own.

It is a war for the high ideals of human government and international relations, and Ireland would be false to her history and to every consideration of honor, good faith, and self-interest did she not willingly bear her share in its burdens and its sacrifices.

It is not merely illogical that Ireland should not help, it is unjust. If it were merely England's battle, the young men of Ireland might regard that fact with indifference, but it is not. They are just as much concerned as the young men of England. Therefore, it is proposed to extend conscription on the same conditions as in Great Britain.

As there is no machinery in existence and no register has as yet been completed in Ireland, it may take some weeks before active enrollments begin. As soon as arrangements are complete the Government will put the act into immediate operation.

Irish Members Raise Uproar

[When Mr. Lloyd George referred to Ireland, Alfred Byrne, Nationalist member from Dublin, shouted: "We won't have conscription in Ireland!" An uproar followed. The Premier said the report of the Irish Convention was adopted by a majority only, and therefore the Government would take the responsibility for such proposals for self-government as were just and could be carried out without violent controversy. It would be some weeks before enrollment in Ireland began, the Premier continued. One Nationalist cried out: "It will never begin." Michael Flavin, Nationalist member from Kerry, said: "You come across and try to take us." Another Nationalist exclaimed: "It is a declaration of war against Ireland."]

When the Premier was referring to Ireland, John Dillon, the successor of the late John Redmond as leader of the Irish Nationalists in Parliament, said: "If Irish liberty were at stake I would not hesitate to support that policy. I never challenged the justice of war. I don't challenge it now."

Mr. Lloyd George began: "I don't want to cause trouble—"

"You will get plenty," interrupted an Irish member.

Resuming, Lloyd George said "While we have one ship afloat we should not accept a German peace. The men being taken now may be the means of a decisive issue."

Mr. Asquith said he would suspend judgment until he saw the bill in print. He invited every one to keep his mind and ears accessible to reasonable argument. At the conclusion of Mr. Asquith's speech, Joseph Devlin moved an adjournment and warned the Government that it was entering upon a course of madness if it endeavored to inforce conscription on Ireland. His motion was defeated later by a vote of 323 to 80.

Mr. Dillon said he hoped for the sake of the war and for the sake of the empire that the methods of the War Cabinet in dealing with the war were different from its methods in dealing with Ireland. A bill applying conscription to Ireland, Mr. Dillon continued, would plunge the country into bloodshed and confusion and would open a new war front in addition to the western front. He urged the War Cabinet to inform itself as to the state of Irish feeling before proposing conscription to Ireland.

Leave to introduce the Government's Man-Power bill was carried after further hot debate by 299 to 80.


Russia and the Allies

The Russian and the French Revolution Compared—The Gloomy Outlook of Russia

By Arthur J. Balfour

British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

[From an Address Delivered in Parliament March 14, 1918]

The inference that Russia would have been kept in the war if we had announced that we proposed to go in for the status quo ante and readjustments is wrong. Pronouncements made by Russian statesmen always included self-determination. Self-determination can never be squared with mere adjustments. It may be that self-determination might conceivably receive a large measure of fulfillment, I agree, up to a certain point, but that Russian statesmen by their declarations have materially limited the scope of the war I believe to be inaccurate. But whether accurate or not, one is entirely misrepresenting the political and social forces of Russia if he thinks that the reason Russia went out of the war was that our war aims were not publicly or semi-publicly reconsidered in concert with the Allies.

I do not profess to have a remedy for the misfortunes that have occurred—as I think to civilization itself—from the fact that the Russian revolution occurred in the middle of a European war. I welcome the change from autocracy to what we hoped and still hope, what we believed and still believe, is going to be a reign of ordered liberty. But the revolution, unfortunately, came at a time when Russia was weary with the sacrifices of a great war, and it was mixed up and almost overshadowed on its political side by the pacifist influences which were allowed to reign uncontrolled in the army and navy and all the other forces which might and should have been co-ordinated to resist the common enemy.

There are resemblances between the Russian revolution and the French Revolution, but from our point of view, and from the point of view of the war and of how we are to secure in the future the freedom of small nationalities, and how we are to save the world from the domination of one overgreedy power, from that point of view no greater misfortune could have occurred than the coincidence between the Russian revolution and the fact that a war was being conducted in which Russia was one of the great Allies. I personally am an optimist about Russia, but I am not an optimist about the immediate future of Russia, because it seems to me that difficulties are thrown in Russia's way by the fact that the war raged before the revolution. Russia is only nominally out of the war at the present time, but is still suffering from the invasion of her enemies. The French Revolution was associated with great military operations. It ended in the production of an army whose fiery efficiency was the wonder of Europe and which overturned all the decrepit monarchies in the Central European States. Contrast that with what has happened in Russia since the revolution. There is not a single fighting instrument possessed by Russia which the Russian revolutionaries have not deliberately but absolutely and completely destroyed.


The Russian Army no longer exists and the Russian Navy no longer exists. The Rumanian Army—that most gallant and most unfortunate body, which might have and would have co-operated to preserve both Russia and Rumania from the tyranny of the Central Powers—had been betrayed by Russia itself. The unhappy results of the revolution from the military point of view are quite plain and[273] obvious to the most casual observer. The actual course pursued by the Bolsheviki has rendered them completely helpless in the face of German aggression. Now they express the desire—I am sure they express it genuinely and earnestly—that they should reconstitute the Russian Army for the purpose of Russian defense, and they would welcome our assistance, doubtless, in carrying out this object. But can you reconstitute it for purposes of national defense? Can you improvise a new instrument when fragments of the old instrument are lying shattered around you? It cannot be done in a day.

Had Russia not been at war I believe it would have taken many years to complete what I hope and believe is to be the beneficent course of the Russian revolution. Autocracy—and it is very difficult to see how the Russia we know could have been created without it—showed itself quite incapable of bringing into existence that frame of mind which makes a great self-conscious nation independent of the particular form which its institutions may have at the moment. Autocracy was destroyed, and immediately Russia fell into chaos.

I am not sure that it was not my honorable friend (Mr. MacCallum Scott) who said exactly the same thing happened in France. The same thing really did not happen in France. I do not say we cannot find in this or that episode parallels to the French Revolution, but the total effect of the Revolution was not the disintegration of France but its integration. The units out of which modern France was constructed were no doubt compacted into a nation under the old monarchy, but the divisions between these units were still obvious; they still remained in the institutions of the country, and it was not until the Revolution that France became homogeneous from end to end and all the old provincial distinctions were swept away.

Precisely the opposite has happened in Russia. The revolution comes and immediately all the old divisions between populations, between different regions, between different creeds, suddenly become marked and prominent. First this body and then that body threatens to fall way, and it must inevitably take time before we see the end of that process and know clearly how much of the old Russia, if any, ought to cease to form part of the new Russia and how the new Russia will be constituted. A very difficult process in time of peace, a very difficult process in time of prosperity, but how are you going to carry it out in time of war when you have at your gates an enemy remorseless, persevering, quite unscrupulous, like that which is dealing at its own sweet will with Russia at the present moment? That is the real difficulty which we have always had to deal with and to think over to the best of our ability when we consider some of the problems raised by the honorable gentleman who initiated this debate.


[The speaker then took up an inquiry regarding a suggestion of Japanese intervention in Siberia. He said the hypothesis that whenever one country sends troops into another country those troops invariably stay where they are sent, and annexation is the result, was false; if such were the case there would be a bad outlook for the north of France. He argued that if the Japanese did intervene it would be as friends of Russia and enemies of Germany, to preserve the country from German domination, and he proceeded thus:]

Russia lies absolutely derelict upon the waters, and now it has no power of resistance at all; there can be a German penetration from end to end of Russia, which, I think, will be absolutely disastrous for Russia itself, and certainly will be very injurious to the future of the Allies. I suspect that at this moment a German officer is much safer traveling at large through Russia than an allied officer. Why? Not because the Russians love the Germans, but because, as a matter of fact, the German penetration has really struck at the root of Russian power. I was informed the other day that only one bank was allowed at Moscow. That bank is a German bank.

The Bolshevist Government, I believe,[274] sincerely desire—I hope not too late, though I fear it may be so—to resist this German penetration. How can they resist it when they themselves or their predecessors have destroyed every instrument which makes resistance possible?

Inevitably Russia's allies have to ask themselves whether, if Russia herself has destroyed every instrument of self-protection which she once possessed, they cannot themselves among themselves supply that which she now lacks. We do that in Russia's own interests and for Russia's own sake, if it is done. It is not done to satisfy the greed of this or that power. That is the Allies' point of view. May I ask the House to consider the question from the Russian point of view? It is impossible to penetrate the future. Russia has always been a country of surprises, and that she remains at the present moment. What are the things which most of us fear for Russia when we look to the future? Frankly, I tell the House what I myself fear for Russia is this: Under the impulse, under the shadow of the great revolution, the cataclysm of social order has been shaken to its foundations, and many disasters, and I fear many crimes, have been committed.


It is Germany's interest, I believe, to foster and continue and promote that condition of disorder. Those who watch her methods throughout the world know that she always wishes to encourage disorder in every other country but her own. If the country is a republic she wishes to introduce absolutism; if it is an absolutist Government then she seeks to encourage republicanism. She counts it her gain that other Governments should be weak, and she knows that there is no better way of making other countries weak than by making them divided—a house divided against itself. Therefore I believe that Germany unchecked will do her best to continue those disorders which have unhappily stained the path of the Russian revolution.

What must be the result? The result must be—especially in a country where the sense of national unity appears, at all events, for the moment to be singularly weak compared with that which prevails in other civilized countries—that men will at last look around and say to themselves, "This disorder is intolerable; it makes life impossible; human effort cannot go on; something must be done, good or bad, to put an end to mere chaos." There will therefore be classes in Russia, some with patriotic motives, but some with personal and selfish motives, who will welcome anything in the world which gives them the semblance of a stable, orderly, and civilized Government.

When that time comes, then I can see Germany will say, Now we will step in; we will, by both the open and subterranean methods which we have developed and cultivated, now exercise our power in the country. We will re-establish, possibly in the same form, possibly in some new form, the autocracy which we in this House hoped had gone forever; and you will have in a Russia shorn of some of its fairest provinces set up again an autocracy far worse than the old autocracy, because it will lean upon a foreign power to continue its existence. Then, indeed, if that prophecy came to pass—and I most earnestly hope I am in this a false prophet—all our dreams of Russian development and Russian liberty would be gone. Russia under this Government would be a mere echo of the Central Powers; she would cease to be a make-weight in any sense to German militarism. She would have lost all that initiative, all that power for self-development that we so earnestly hoped the revolution had given her.


I admit that this picture is dark and sombre. Will anybody have the courage to say he can draw a horoscope for the future more likely to be fulfilled, if Russia remains, as I fear she is at this moment, absolutely helpless in face of the German penetration? It all turns upon that. If Russia could only rouse herself now and offer effective resistance to the German invader, that might give her a national spirit and sense of unity,[275] and make her future far more splendid than her past. Therefore the question will inevitably be asked: Can any of the Allies give to Russia in her extremity that help and that sympathy of which she so sorely stands in need? It is help and sympathy which the Allies desire to give, and not invasion and plunder. I agree that there may be circumstances, prejudices, and feelings which render assistance in the East by the only country which can give it in the East a question of difficulty and doubt—a question which must be weighed in every balance and looked at from every point of view; but that the Allies—America, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan—should do what they can at this moment to help Russia, if she fails to help herself, through the great crisis of her destiny appears to me to be beyond doubt, and I will not reject, a priori, any suggestion which seems to offer the slightest solution of our doing any good in that direction.


I do not think this debate should finish without repudiating the suggestion made that Japan is moved by selfish and dishonorable motives in any course which may have been discussed in Japan, either among her own statesmen or the Allies. Japan has maintained perfect loyalty. She has kept all the promises made to the Allies. I hope I have said enough to indicate the general problems as they present themselves to this Government, and at the same time also to show that we recognize to the full how difficult this problem is, how hard it is to help a nation which is utterly incapable for the moment of helping itself. The House will feel, I think, that the decisions which the Allies may have to give are not without difficulty, and the principles upon which those decisions will be come to are neither ungenerous, unfair, nor hostile to Russia or the Russian revolution; but on the contrary that our one object is to see Russia strong, intact, secure, and free. If these objects can be attained, then, indeed, and then only, will the Russian revolution bring forth all the fruits which Russia's best friends desire to see.

President on the Russian Treaties

Declares Germany Has Repudiated Her Peace Avowals and Will Be Met With "Force to the Utmost"

President Wilson delivered an address at Baltimore on April 6, 1918, in which he denounced the terms which the Central Powers had exacted from Russia and Rumania, and defined the attitude of the United States toward all peace proposals offered on such a basis. The text of his speech in full is as follows:

Fellow-citizens: This is the anniversary of our acceptance of Germany's challenge to fight for our right to live and be free, and for the sacred rights of freemen everywhere. The nation is awake. There is no need to call to it. We know what the war must cost, our utmost sacrifice, the lives of our fittest men, and, if need be, all that we possess.

The loan we are met to discuss is one of the least parts of what we are called upon to give and to do, though in itself imperative. The people of the whole country are alive to the necessity of it and are ready to lend to the utmost, even where it involves a sharp skimping and daily sacrifice to lend out of meagre earnings. They will look with reprobation and contempt upon those who can and will not, upon those who demand a higher rate of interest, upon those who think of it as a mere commercial transaction. I have not come, therefore, to[276] urge the loan. I have come only to give you, if I can, a more vivid conception of what it is for.

The reasons for this great war, the reason why it had to come, the need to fight it through, and the issues that hang upon its outcome, are more clearly disclosed now than ever before. It is easy to see just what this particular loan means, because the cause we are fighting for stands more sharply revealed than at any previous crisis of the momentous struggle. The man who knows least can now see plainly how the cause of justice stands, and what the imperishable thing he is asked to invest in. Men in America may be more sure than they ever were before that the cause is their own, and that, if it should be lost, their own great nation's place and mission in the world would be lost with it.


I call you to witness, my fellow-countrymen, that at no stage of this terrible business have I judged the purposes of Germany intemperately. I should be ashamed in the presence of affairs so grave, so fraught with the destinies of mankind throughout all the world, to speak with truculence, to use the weak language of hatred or vindictive purpose. We must judge as we would be judged. I have sought to learn the objects Germany has in this war from the mouths of her own spokesmen, and to deal as frankly with them as I wished them to deal with me. I have laid bare our own ideals, our own purposes, without reserve or doubtful phrase, and have asked them to say as plainly what it is that they seek.

We have ourselves proposed no injustice, no aggression. We are ready, whenever the final reckoning is made, to be just to the German people, deal fairly with the German power, as with all others. There can be no difference between peoples in the final judgment, if it is indeed to be a righteous judgment. To propose anything but justice, even-handed and dispassionate justice, to Germany at any time, whatever the outcome of the war, would be to renounce and dishonor our own cause, for we ask nothing that we are not willing to accord.

It has been with this thought that I have sought to learn from those who spoke for Germany whether it was justice or dominion and the execution of their own will upon the other nations of the world that the German leaders were seeking. They have answered—answered in unmistakable terms. They have avowed that it was not justice, but dominion and the unhindered execution of their own will.


The avowal has not come from Germany's statesmen. It has come from her military leaders, who are her real rulers. Her statesmen have said that they wished peace, and were ready to discuss its terms whenever their opponents were willing to sit down at the conference table with them. Her present Chancellor has said—in indefinite and uncertain terms, indeed, and in phrases that often seem to deny their own meaning, but with as much plainness as he thought prudent—that he believed that peace should be based upon the principles which we had declared would be our own in the final settlement.

At Brest-Litovsk her civilian delegates spoke in similar terms; professed their desire to conclude a fair peace and accord to the peoples with whose fortunes they were dealing the right to choose their own allegiances. But action accompanied and followed the profession. Their military masters, the men who act for Germany and exhibit her purpose in execution, proclaimed a very different conclusion. We cannot mistake what they have done—in Russia, in Finland, in the Ukraine, in Rumania. The real test of their justice and fair play has come. From this we may judge the rest.

They are enjoying in Russia a cheap triumph in which no brave or gallant nation can long take pride. A great people, helpless by their own act, lies for the time at their mercy. Their fair professions are forgotten. They nowhere set up justice, but everywhere impose their power and exploit everything for their own use and aggrandizement, and the peoples of conquered provinces are invited to be free under their dominion!

Are we not justified in believing that[277] they would do the same things at their western front if they were not there face to face with armies whom even their countless divisions cannot overcome? If, when they have felt their check to be final, they should propose favorable and equitable terms with regard to Belgium and France and Italy, could they blame us if we concluded that they did so only to assure themselves of a free hand in Russia and the East?

Their purpose is, undoubtedly, to make all the Slavic peoples, all the free and ambitious nations of the Baltic Peninsula, all the lands that Turkey has dominated and misruled, subject to their will and ambition, and build upon that dominion an empire of force upon which they fancy that they can then erect an empire of gain and commercial supremacy—an empire as hostile to the Americas as to the Europe which it will overawe—an empire which will ultimately master Persia, India, and the peoples of the Far East.


In such a program our ideals, the ideals of justice and humanity and liberty, the principle of the free self-determination of nations, upon which all the modern world insists, can play no part. They are rejected for the ideals of power, for the principle that the strong must rule the weak, that trade must follow the flag, whether those to whom it is taken welcome it or not, that the peoples of the world are to be made subject to the patronage and overlordship of those who have the power to enforce it.

That program once carried out, America and all who care or dare to stand with her must arm and prepare themselves to contest the mastery of the world—a mastery in which the rights of common men, the rights of women and of all who are weak, must for the time being be trodden underfoot and disregarded and the old, age-long struggle for freedom and right begin again at its beginning. Everything that America has lived for and loved and grown great to vindicate and bring to a glorious realization will have fallen in utter ruin and the gates of mercy once more pitilessly shut upon mankind!

The thing is preposterous and impossible; and yet is not that what the whole course and action of the German armies have meant wherever they have moved? I do not wish, even in this moment of utter disillusionment, to judge harshly or unrighteously. I judge only what the German arms have accomplished with unpitying thoroughness throughout every fair region they have touched.


What, then, are we to do? For myself, I am ready, ready still, ready even now, to discuss a fair and just and honest peace at any time that it is sincerely purposed—a peace in which the strong and the weak shall fare alike. But the answer, when I proposed such a peace, came from the German commanders in Russia, and I cannot mistake the meaning of the answer.

I accept the challenge. I know that you accept it. All the world shall know that you accept it. It shall appear in the utter sacrifice and self-forgetfulness with which we shall give all that we love and all that we have to redeem the world and make it fit for free men like ourselves to live in. This now is the meaning of all that we do. Let everything that we say, my fellow-countrymen, everything that we henceforth plan and accomplish, ring true to this response till the majesty and might of our concerted power shall fill the thought and utterly defeat the force of those who flout and misprize what we honor and hold dear.

Germany has once more said that force, and force alone, shall decide whether justice and peace shall reign in the affairs of men, whether right as America conceives it or dominion as she conceives it shall determine the destinies of mankind. There is, therefore, but one response possible from us: Force, force to the utmost, force without stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant force which shall make right the law of the world and cast every selfish dominion down in the dust.


American Liberty's Crucial Hour

By William E. Borah

United States Senator From Idaho

[Delivered in the Senate, March 18, 1918, at the Climax of a Debate Over the Fixing of Wheat Prices]

Mr. President: The German historian, Professor Meyer, in a book written since the beginning of the war, in which he sums up the issues involved, or rather the issue, because it all resolves itself into one, uses this language: "The truth of the whole matter undoubtedly is that the time has arrived when two distinct forms of State organization must face each other in a life-and-death struggle."

That is undoubtedly the understanding and belief of those who are responsible for this war. It is coming to be the understanding and belief of those who have had the war forced upon them. We have finally put aside the tragedy at the Bosnian capital and the wrongs inflicted upon Belgium as the moving causes of the war. They were but the prologue to the imperial theme. We now see and understand clearly and unmistakably the cause at all times lying back of these things. Upon the one hand are Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the principles of human liberty which they embody and preserve. Upon the other hand is that peculiar form of State organization which, in the language of the Emperor, rests alone upon the strength of the army and whose highest creed finds expression in the words of one of its greatest advocates that war is a part of the eternal order instituted by God. We go back to Runnymede, where fearless men wrenched from the hands of power habeas corpus and the trial by jury. They point us to Breslau and Molwitz, where Frederick the Great, in violation of his plighted word, inaugurated the rule of fraud and force and laid the foundation for that mighty structure whose central and dominating principle is that of power.


It is that power with which we are at war today. Shall men, shall the people, be governed by some remorseless and soulless entity softly called the "State" or shall the instrumentalities of government yield alone and at all times to the wants and necessities, the hopes and aspirations, of the masses? That is now the issue. Nothing should longer conceal it. It is but another and more stupendous phase of the old struggle, a struggle as ancient and as inevitable as[279] the thirst for power and the love of liberty, a struggle in which men have fought and sacrificed all the way from Marathon to Verdun.

It seems strange now, and it will seem more extraordinary to those who come after us, that we did not recognize from the beginning that this was the issue. But, obscured by the débris of European life, confused with the dynastic quarrels and racial bitterness of the Old World, it was difficult to discern, and still more difficult to realize, that the very life of our institutions was at stake, that the scheme of the enemy, amazing and astounding, was not alone to control territory and dominate commerce, but to change the drift of human progress and to readjust the standards of the world's civilization. Perhaps, too, our love of peace, our traditional friendship for all nations, lulled suspicion and discouraged inquiry. Be that as it may, there can be no doubt now.

Whatever the cause, however perverse the fates which bring us to this crisis, we are called upon not to settle questions of territory or establish new spheres of national activity, but to defend the institutions under which we live. Who doubts should we fail that the whole theory and system of government for which we have labored and struggled, our whole conception of civilization, would be discredited utterly? Who but believes that, should we lose, militarism would be the searching test of all Governments and that the world would be an armed camp harried and tortured and decimated by endless wars?

No; we can no longer doubt the issue, and, notwithstanding some discouraging facts, we must not doubt the result. We are simply meeting the test which brave men have met before, for this issue has been fought over and over again for 3,000 years. Islam's fanaticism was grounded in the same design and made of the same stuff, but it broke upon the valor of Charles Martel's men at Tours. But the conflict was not conclusive. The elder Napoleon was obsessed by the same dream of world dominion, the same passion for military glory, that now obsesses those against whom we war. But he, too, saw his universal sceptre depart when chance and fate, which sometimes war on the side of liberty, turned from him on the field of Waterloo. And now the issue is again made up, and again this dream of world dominion, this passion for military glory, torments the souls of our would-be masters. And now again somewhere on the battlefields of Europe the same fate awaits the hosts of irresponsible power. In such a contest and with such an issue we cannot lose; it would not harmonize with the law of human progress.

It has been the proud belief of some that not only would this war result in greater prestige and greater security for free institutions, but that it would effectuate the spread of democracy throughout Europe. We all hope for great things, for we believe in the ultimate triumph of free institutions, but we must not expect these things out of hand. The broken sobs of nations struggling to be independent and free so often heard in that part of the world and then heard no more, the story of Russia just now being written in contention and blood, admonishes anew that the republican road to safety and stability is encompassed by all kinds of trials and beset by countless perils. Democracy is the severest test of character which can be put upon a people, and must be learned and acquired in the rigid school of experience. It cannot be handed whole and complete to any people, though every member of the community were a Socrates.

But what we have determined in this crisis, as I understand it, is that we will keep the road of democracy open. No one shall close it. If any nation shall hereafter rise to the sublime requirement of self-government and choose to go that way, it shall have the right to do so. Above all things we have determined, cost what it may in treasure and blood, that this experiment here upon this Western Continent shall justify the faith of its builders, that there shall remain here in all the integrity of its powers neither wrenched nor marred by the passions of war from within nor humbled nor dishonored by military power from without, the Republic of the fathers; that since[280] the challenge has been thrown down that this is a war unto death between two opposing theories of government we are determined that whatever else happens as a result of this war this form of organization, this theory of state, this last great hope, this fruition of 130 years of struggle and toil, "shall not perish from the earth."

So, Sir, stripped of all incidental and confusing things, the problem which our soldiers will help to solve is whether the theory of government exemplified in the dynasty of the Hohenzollerns or the theory of government exemplified in the faith of Abraham Lincoln shall prevail. It is after all a war of ideals, a clash of systems, a death struggle of ideals.

Amid the sacrilege of war it is our belief that the old order passeth. In such a contest there is little room for compromise. We can no more quit than Washington could have quit at Valley Forge. We can no more compromise than Lincoln could have compromised after Chancellorsville.

We can and should keep the issue clear of all selfish and imperialistic ambitions, but the issue itself cannot be compromised. Cost what it may in treasure and blood, the burden, as if by fate, has been laid upon us, and we must meet it manfully and successfully. To compromise is to acknowledge defeat. The policies of Frederick the Great, which would make of all human souls mere cogs in a vast military machine, and the policies of Washington, which would make government the expression and the instrument of popular power, are contending for supremacy on the battlefield of Europe. Just that single, simple, stupendous issue, beside which all other issues in this war are trivial, must have a settlement as clear and conclusive as the settlement at Runnymede or Yorktown. To lose sight of this fact is to miss the supreme purpose of the war, and to permit it to be embarrassed or belittled by questions of territory is to betray the cause of civilization. And to fail to settle it clearly and conclusively is to fail in the most vital and sublime task ever laid upon a people.

We need not prophesy now when victory will come. Neither is it profitable to speculate how it will come. If it is a real and not a sham peace, we will have no trouble in recognizing it when it does come. Whether it shall come in the bloody and visible triumph of arms or, as we hope, through the overthrow and destruction of militarism by the people of the respective countries, we do not know. But that it will come we confidently believe. Indeed, if the principles of right and the precepts of liberty are not a myth, we know it will come.

It has been said by some one that it was not possible for Napoleon to win at Waterloo, not on account of Wellington, not on account of Blücher, but on account of the unchanging laws of liberty and justice. Let us call something of this faith to our own contest. Let us go forward in the belief that it is not possible in the morning of the twentieth century of the Christian civilization for militarism, for brute force, to triumph. It would be in contravention to every law, human and Divine, upon which rests the happiness and preservation of the human family. It would be to place brute force first in the Divine economy of things. It would be to place might over right, and in the last and final struggle that cannot be done.

No; we cannot lose. We must win. The only question is whether we shall, through efficiency and concerted and united action, win without unnecessary loss of life, unnecessary waste of treasure, or whether we shall, through lack of unity in spirit and purpose, win only after fearful and unnecessary sacrifices.

It has often been said since the war began, Mr. President, that a republic cannot make war. I trample the doctrine under my feet. I scorn the faithless creed as the creed of cowards and traitors. If a republic cannot make war, if it cannot stand the ordeal of conflict, why in the name of the living God are our boys on the western front? Are they there to suffer and die for a miserable craft that can only float in the serene breeze of the Summer seas and must sink or drive for port at the first coming on of the storm? No; they are there to defend a craft which is equal to every conflict and superior to every foe—the triumph[281] and the pride of all the barks that have battled with the ocean of time.

A republic can make war. It can make war successfully and triumphantly and remain a republic every hour of the conflict. The genius who presided over the organization of this Republic, whose impressive force was knit into every fibre of our national organization, was the greatest soldier, save one, of the modern world; and the most far-visioned leader and statesman of all time. He knew that though devoted to peace the time would come when the Republic would have to make war. Over and over again he solemnly warned his countrymen to be ever ready and always prepared. He intended, therefore, that this Republic should make war and make war effectively, and the Republic which Washington framed and baptized with his love can make war. Let these faithless recreants cease to preach their pernicious doctrine.

Sir, this theory, this belief that a self-governing people cannot make war without forfeiting their freedom and their form of government is vicious enough to have been kenneled in some foreign clime. A hundred million people knit together by the ties of a common patriotism, united in spirit and purpose, conscious of the fact that their freedom is imperiled, and exerting their energies and asserting their powers through the avenues and machinery of a representative Republic is the most masterful enginery of war yet devised by man. It has in it a power, an element of strength, which no military power of itself can bring into effect.

The American soldier, a part of the life of his nation, imbued with devotion to his country, has something in him that no system or mere military training and discipline as applied to automatons of an absolute Government can ever give. The most priceless heritage which this war will leave to a war-torn and weary world is the demonstrated fact that a free people of a free Government can make war successfully and triumphantly, can defy and defeat militarism and preserve through it all their independence, their freedom, and the integrity of their institutions.

Defending the World's Right to Democracy

By James Hamilton Lewis

United States Senator from Illinois

[From a Recent Speech in the United States Senate]

No democracy was ever founded in any Government of earth that did not have to fight to continue its existence or maintain its ideals. Hear Goethe proclaim to Prussia, "Those who have liberty must fight to keep it." The test of every free land that tries out its worthiness or unworthiness to exist as a Government of freedom has been its willingness or refusal to fight and die for its faith. No Government that has not exhibited a capacity to sacrifice all it has for the theory for which it was founded, and to prove its ability to protect and perpetuate the institutions it has created, has ever yet existed for a length of time sufficient to be recorded in history as having fostered liberty or transmitted democracy to men. No Government has yet been accorded by civilization a place among the nations of the earth until it had first demonstrated its worthiness to administer justice by doing justice to itself, and then to prove its power in conflict to overcome its natural enemies, whether from within or without. * * *

Our United States, too, must pass under the rod. America's institutions of freedom, inspiring mankind to her example and awakening oppressed lands to follow her course if they would know liberty, inflamed the souls of the royal rulers of Prussia with fear and fired them to war of destruction upon all that America stood for and was living for. * * *[282]


Whatever riches America has amassed from her industry, whatever wealth gathered from her commerce, what harvests garnered from her fields, are all as but the least of offering compared to that which she brings to civilization in the growth of liberty, the perfection of justice, and the expansion of freedom with which she has been able by her example and her power, through her religion and her generosities, to endow mankind. Other nations have risen in triumph of power and lived for a while in the glory of arms, but by selfish achievement—conquest through the slash of swords—they have fallen. As these wrenched victory by strength and success by power, they but showed the way to the rival wherein to multiply and by these same standards prevail. That which was victor yesterday was the conquered of today, and thus one after the other the powerful nations of the world, resting only upon the achievement of riches, the multiplication of wealth, and the power of the sword, have broken and melted away, leaving nothing enduring to which mankind appeals as example to follow or the children of men turn to as gods to be worshipped or praised. Hear Ruskin echoing this truth:

Riches of Tyre, Thebes, and Carthage; yea, I say also the once Rome and great Persia are left for our beholding in the periods of their decline. They are ghosts upon the sands of the sea. Theirs was power, riches, grandeur; much for a country—nothing for man. They rose; they shined, yea glowed, laughed, persecuted, and oppressed, and then they died, and man asks not, where are they? nor cares that they live not among nations. As among men, there is to nations a justice of God and the vengeance of time.

Mr. President, refined civilization as it increases in its purpose of equality among men and justice to all peoples scorns the suggestion of accepting these dead nations of the past as models of national education or guides of personal conduct. The people of the modern world shun them and hold as their boast before earth how they disdain to pattern after them, and turning the face of all those that are new and hopeful to the one standard, approach the United States of America, and bowing in admiration, ask but to follow her past growth, hold her guiding hand, and walk beside her in the light of approving heaven.

Then who are they who misrepresent the purpose of democracy under Wilson that they may defeat all democracy to all men? These charge that America, under Wilson, would continue war to force Governments and people of foreign lands to take our form of government. Let the world know that as George Washington fought for democracy as a right to America and Thomas Jefferson proclaimed it as a necessity to mankind, while Lincoln made it his creed of emancipation for all color and all climes—so, too, Wilson fights for democracy as a right of the whole world. The promise of Wilson to "make the world safe for democracy" is no threat to make the world take democracy. It is but the assurance of the effort to give to the world its chance to take democracy. This war of America is the announcement that we, by our entrance into the conflict, will prevent any despot from depriving any people of the right to exercise their free will in rejecting despotism and choosing democracy. The United States does not fight[283] to force any Government to adopt the theory of our Government, nor does the United States fight to force any foreign people to take our form of government against any form of government they may choose for themselves. But America does fight to prevent any foreign Government from thwarting any land from enjoying democracy if it so wills by the voice of its own people. And this United States fights now and will ever fight to the expenditure of its last dollar and the sacrifice of every son, rather than submit to any monarch wresting our democracy from us, to the death of our liberty and the end of our Republic.

Messenger Dogs in the German Army

How They Are Trained

Through captures made in the battle of the Chemin des Dames the French General Staff has obtained precise information regarding the German Army's use of dogs as war couriers. The training of the animals is divided into two periods—the training at school and that at the front. At school the men receive detailed instructions as to the care and treatment of dogs, after which they begin a rigorous drill, training each dog to run daily over a longer and longer course, accompanied by his masters; then the dogs must run over the same courses alone, while the two trainers are posted one at each end. The longest course is about three miles.

On the battle line there is similar training. On Sept. 1, 1917, for instance, the 52d Meldehundetrupp left the school at Wiegnehies to join the 52d Infantry Division, near the Hurtebise Farm, in Champagne. The troup consisted of one officer, six sub-officers, thirty-six men, and twenty-one dogs. It was divided at once among the units of the division, the level sectors receiving a larger contingent than the hilly sectors, where communications are less difficult. Marshy ground, where human messengers might be mired, and positions heavily pounded by artillery also were favored.

In their respective sectors the dogs are subjected to local training. Little by little they are drilled to run as couriers between the company and the battalion, on the one hand, and the battalion and the regiment on the other. Thus the courier that has to keep up connection between the company and the battalion is sent by one trainer, who stays with the company commander, to the other, who is quartered with the chief of the battalion. In twenty or thirty days, it appears, the dogs are broken to their work as couriers, and have become familiarized with the tunnels, trenches, shelters, and officers' posts, as well as with the roar of cannonade and the rat-tat-tat of machine guns.

As for the practical results of all this training and ingenious organization, the French officers say these are still in doubt. They indicate the nature of the doubt by citing the case of two trained dogs at Pinon. When the French attacked with a heavy bombardment, one dog disappeared in terror and the other was made sick and useless by a French gas bomb. The fact remains, nevertheless, that canine messengers are doing useful work in dangerous places on both sides of No Man's Land, and to some extent conserving human lives.


Full Record of Sinkings by U-Boats

Statement by Sir Eric Geddes

First Lord of the British Admiralty

Sir Eric Geddes in a speech before the House of Commons on March 20, 1918, for the first time revealed the total shipping losses of Great Britain and the other Allies and neutrals from the beginning of the war up to Jan. 1, 1918. His summary was followed next day by a statement from the Admiralty Office giving the figures in fuller detail. This was made public simultaneously at London and Washington. The essential portions of both utterances are presented below. Sir Eric Geddes said:

The world's tonnage from the commencement of the war until Dec. 31, 1917, exclusive of enemy-owned tonnage, has fallen by a net figure of, roughly, 2,500,000 gross tons. This is out of 33,000,000 estimated allied and neutral ocean-going tonnage, which is arrived at after deducting small craft, river and estuary craft, and a considerable amount of lake tonnage, tugs, &c., so that with a net loss of 2,500,000 tons we, the allied and neutral world, have suffered about 8 per cent. reduction in ocean-going tonnage of the world, excluding enemy countries. The total world's tonnage, exclusive of enemy tonnage, is 42,000,000, and the deduction is made after careful consideration and investigation. The percentage of net loss in British tonnage alone is higher than this, and reaches 20 per cent. for British tonnage, the more favorable allied and neutral tonnage percentage being, of course, due largely to a credit brought in by the United States of interned German ships.

The main submarine attack is upon us. It was to starve these islands that the enemy instituted this form of warfare. In 1915-16 the output of new tonnage was very low—it was lowest in 1916. In fact, before the intense submarine warfare commenced we were over 1,300,000 tons to the bad from all causes since the beginning of the war. Then our shipping has been in the war zone to a far greater extent and far longer than has that of some of our allies, and our navigational risks and losses, which are included, are greater, because of the absence of lights in the waters around our coast and elsewhere.

With regard to enemy exaggeration: For the twelve months of unrestricted submarine warfare, from Feb. 1, 1917, to Jan. 31, 1918, the enemy has proclaimed in his public notifications that he has sunk over 9,500,000 tons of British, allied, and neutral shipping. The actual figures of vessels sunk by submarine action, including those damaged and ultimately abandoned, amount roughly to 6,000,000 tons, so that we have an exaggeration of 3,500,000 tons in twelve months, or well over 58 per cent. In January the exaggeration was 113 per cent. It is rather amusing that since I publicly showed up this grossly false declaration of results the usual return of submarine sinkings for February has not been issued by Berlin. It is now overdue. I think, if any proof of the failure of the campaign is needed, this exaggeration and Berlin's reticence would show it.


For the first two years of the war or more the shipyards of the country had lost their men and the work had become dislocated. Hulls had been on the slips for very long periods and there was no material in existence to finish them. Vessels were lying in the yards awaiting engines, but the engines had never been built, because up to 1917 the Admiralty had made use of the engine shops for naval work. There was great confusion in the shipbuilding industry, not due to the fault of the industry, not really due to any one's fault, but due to war conditions. The output had been checked by urgent work being placed in the same works by different departments. With the introduction of the Controller's Department it was immediately[285] realized that this policy was bad for output as a whole. It was accordingly arranged to allocate yards or separate sections of yards, so that one class of tonnage only would be produced. The result is that forty-seven large shipyards, containing 209 berths, are wholly engaged on ocean-going merchant vessels. That is entirely apart from the large private warship building establishments, which are obviously most suited for naval work. But there are in addition eleven—and only eleven—other yards suitable for large merchant tonnage which have at the present time naval craft on the stocks.

HENRY P. DAVISON Chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross Society (© Harris & Ewing)
Chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross Society
(© Harris & Ewing)

The actual surrender of Jerusalem, Dec. 9, 1917, when two British outposts met the Mayor (carrying a cane) and his party with the white flag. The formal surrender took place next day. (© American Colony Photographers)
The actual surrender of Jerusalem, Dec. 9, 1917, when two British outposts met the Mayor (carrying a cane) and his party with the white flag. The formal surrender took place next day.
(© American Colony Photographers)

I now give the figures of output in the yards. In the fourth quarter of 1914 the merchant tonnage produced in the United Kingdom was 420,000. From that date it steadily fell, and it must be noted that the fall was concurrent with our great munitions effort. In the fourth quarter of 1915 it had fallen to 92,000. It then began to rise, and the rise is as follows:

 Tons.         Tons.
1st quarter    95,000 3d quarter    125,000
2d quarter108,000 4th quarter213,000
 Tons.  Tons.
1st quarter246,000 3d quarter248,000
2d quarter249,000 4th quarter420,000

These figures refer to the British Isles alone. In the fourth quarter of 1917 foreign construction was 512,000 tons, giving a total output for the world, exclusive of enemy countries, of 932,000 tons for the last quarter of last year. Against that we have the losses due to enemy action and to maritime risk.


These losses amounted for the last quarter of last year to 1,200,000 tons. That was by far the lowest quarter of sinkings we have had since unrestricted submarine warfare began, and it looks as if this quarter was going to be lower still. So that we have the fact that by increase in output and decrease in sinkings for the last quarter of last year the Allies were within 100,000 tons, on the average per month, of making good the loss due to enemy action and marine risks. Considering British losses and output alone, the proportionate deficiency is somewhat higher. We lost on the average 260,000 tons per month during the last quarter of 1917, and we built 140,000 tons per month, an average deficiency of 120,000 tons per month. We must all regret that the British position has suffered most among the Allies, but we have contributed the greatest naval effort, and have sustained the greatest attacks, and I do not think we, as a nation, will bemoan our stars or our naval efforts in this great war.

The net result of maritime risk and enemy action, whether by surface, air or submarine craft, from the beginning of the war until the end of last year is a reduction of 2,500,000 tons of shipping, and from the last quarter of last year the Allies and neutrals are replacing 75 per cent. of the lost tonnage, or only 100,000 tons a month below the losses from all causes.

It is well within the capacity of the allied yards, or even our own yards, before very long, with a proper supply of material and man power entirely to make good the world losses.


I do not think I am divulging information which should not be made public when I say that the output of guns and ammunition of all calibres in 1917 is not far short of twice the output in 1916. I need not remind the House of the special effort being made in the output of airplanes. These, I understand, are nearly two and a half times the output of 1916, and arrangements for labor and material to secure a still greater output this year were in progress during the later months of 1917. We have been able to accomplish what I think must be admitted as an enormous development in the shipbuilding industry. We have reached in 1917 a total warship and merchant tonnage output practically equal to the biggest shipbuilding year this country has ever known. We have multiplied by ten the number of naval craft repaired and refitted, and in six months we have increased[286] the merchant ship repaired tonnage by 80 per cent.—an increase of 237,000 tons per week. I would ask the House to notice this fact, that, notwithstanding all these great extensions of work in many directions, and notwithstanding all these great extensions of power of the country, we ended 1917 with an output of new merchant tonnage of 420,000 for the last quarter, against 213,000 for the last quarter of 1916. That was done, moreover, with a dislocated industry, with yards only gradually being cleared of unfinished work, and with large numbers of unskilled personnel in the yards.

Admiralty Summary of Shipping Losses

Record of Three Years

The British Board of Admiralty, with the sanction of the War Cabinet and the concurrence of the Allies, on March 21 published a memorandum revealing the world's total shipping losses from the beginning of the war to Jan. 1, 1918. The essential portions are as follows:

In the Spring of 1917 the full menace of the submarine campaign was first disclosed. Since that date we have steadily increased our knowledge and our material resources for this novel warfare. Three statements are attached, showing for the United Kingdom and for the world, for the period August, 1914, to December, 1917:

1. Losses by enemy action and marine risk.

2. Mercantile shipbuilding output.

3. Enemy vessels captured and brought into service.


Diagrams showing in graphic form the losses and shipbuilding output for the United Kingdom and for the world are also attached. The situation should be viewed from the standpoint of the world's tonnage, as in these problems the mercantile navies of the whole world, excluding the enemy, may be regarded as one. It will be noticed that the diagrams record facts, and that nothing has been included in the nature of an estimate.

The results of the last year have shown the ability of our seamen to get upon terms with the submarine menace and gradually to gain the upper hand. This has been achieved in spite of an imperfect knowledge of a new and barbarous method of warfare and of a scarcity of suitable material. Our material resources for this warfare are already improved and are being rapidly augmented, while science is placing at our disposal means of offense and defense of which we have been in need.

With regard to the other factor, a rapid and continuous increase in the output of merchant tonnage will inevitably follow the united efforts of all engaged in merchant shipbuilding in this country. * * * During the critical period that confronts us we must rely to a large extent on our own shipyards and on ourselves. Our partners in the war are making every effort to increase their production of ships, but a considerable time must elapse before the desired output is secured.[287]


To produce in the United Kingdom 1,800,000 tons in 1918, and to reach an ultimate production at the rate of 3,000,000 tons per annum, is well within the present and prospective capacity of our shipyards and our marine engineering shops. But the ranks of the skilled men must be enlarged without delay by the introduction of men and women at present unskilled. The education of these newcomers, upgrading, and interchangeability of work are essential, and must be pressed on with the good-will of employers, foremen, and men.

It is to insure the vigorous co-operation of all concerned that the Admiralty has recommended the publication of the facts.




The following table summarizes the position at the end of 1917:

Losses7,079,492    4,748,080    11,827,572
  New construction3,031,5553,574,7206,606,275
  Enemy tonnage captured    780,0001,809,0002,589,000
  Total gains3,811,5555,383,7209,195,275
  Net loss (world)  2,632,297


The following statement shows United Kingdom and world's merchant tonnage lost through enemy action and marine risks since the outbreak of war:

 United Total for
August and September314,00085,947*399,947
4th Quarter154,728126,688281,416
1st Quarter215,905104,542320,447
2d Quarter223,676156,743380,419
3d Quarter356,659172,822529,481
4th Quarter307,139187,234494,373
1st Quarter325,237198,958524,195
2d Quarter270,690251,599522,289
3d Quarter284,358307,681592,939
4th Quarter617,563541,7801,159,343
1st Quarter911,840707,5331,619,373
2d Quarter1,361,870875,0642,236,934
3d Quarter952,938541,5351,494,473
4th Quarter782,889489,9541,272,843
Totals  7,079,492  4,748,080  11,827,572
* This figure includes 182,839 gross tonnage interned in enemy ports.

The next statement shows output of merchant shipbuilding of the United Kingdom and the world (excluding enemy countries) since the outbreak of war:

 United Total for
August and September    253,290}
4th Quarter422,320}337,3101,012,920
1st Quarter266,267}
2d Quarter146,870}
3d Quarter145,070}551,0811,202,000
4th Quarter92,712}
1st Quarter95,566}
2d Quarter107,693}
3d Quarter124,961}1,146,4481,688,000
4th Quarter213,332}
1st Quarter246,239282,200528,439
2d Quarter249,331377,109626,440
3d Quarter248,283368,170616,453
4th Quarter419,621512,402932,023
Total3,031,555    3,574,720    6,606,275


A further statement shows the enemy tonnage captured and brought into service by United Kingdom and by Allies since the outbreak of war:

 United Total for
August and September    725,500453,0001,178,500
4th Quarter28,0005,00038,000
1st Quarter5,0001,0006,000
2d Quarter5005001,000
3d Quarter3,5006,0009,500
4th Quarter2,500 2,500
1st Quarter 241,000241,000
2d Quarter3,5008,00011,500
3d Quarter 47,50047,500
4th Quarter   
1st Quarter  ...
2d Quarter7,000702,500709,500
3d Quarter4,500266,500271,000
4th Quarter 78,00078,000
Total780,000    1,809,000    2,589,000

The Month's Submarine Record

[289]British merchant ships sunk during the month ended April 7, 1918, were fewer than in the preceding month, the weekly official reports showing a sharp increase followed by an unusually low record, resulting in a considerably decreased total. The British Admiralty figures were:

 1600 Tons.    1600 Tons.    Vessels.
Week ended March 17, 1918     1162
Week ended March 2416121
Week ended March 31675
Week ended April 7422
Total for four weeks372710
Total previous 4 weeks53169

One of the largest vessels sunk was the British steamship Minnetonka, 13,528 gross tons, formerly in the New York-London service of the Atlantic Transport Line. This happened in the Mediterranean in February, 1918, while the Minnetonka was in the service of the British Admiralty. The Minnetonka was the last of the four passenger ships of the line, aggregating 55,099 gross tons, to remain afloat. The others all have been sunk since the war began. The three others were the Minneapolis, sunk March 22, 1916; Minnehaha, sunk Sept. 7, 1917, and the Minnewaska, sunk Nov. 29, 1917.

Incomplete French records show the loss of three vessels of over 1,600 tons and five under 1,600 tons. Italian losses included seven steamships of over 1,500 tons, three sailing vessels of over 100 tons, and fifteen smaller sailing craft.

Official dispatches from Barcelona reported the sinking by German submarines of two Spanish vessels, one in the Mediterranean and the other off the Canary Islands. These reports confirmed the statement that Germany had commenced a blockade of the Spanish coast to prevent the use of Spanish shipping to help the Allies.

A German submarine of the largest seagoing type on April 10 appeared in the port of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, and bombarded the wireless and cable stations there. The submarine threw scores of shells from her deck guns into the wireless station, causing extensive damage. She had just turned her attention to the cable offices when a steamer was sighted passing the harbor mouth. The submarine left in chase and did not return. Liberia declared war on Germany Aug. 4, 1917.

Some indication of the losses sustained by the German U-boat fleet is contained in the following reports:

Nine members of the crew of a German submarine which was sunk by an American liner on March 10, when two days out from a French port, were taken prisoners. The rest of the crew perished, the Captain committing suicide when he saw that his submarine was doomed.

Under a heavy attack from three German submarines and three German destroyers, a British seaplane persisted in its efforts against another enemy U-boat and succeeded in sinking it before being damaged by the fire of the other enemy warships. Seaplanes also accounted for three other submarines.

A German U-boat while laying mines on the British coast struck one of them and was blown in two. The only survivor was the Captain, who was taken prisoner. The remainder of the crew, numbering seventeen, were drowned in the submarine.

The German submarine, it is stated in the report of the British War Cabinet, has a surface speed up to 18 knots and a submerged speed of 10 to 11 knots. She carries from fifteen to twenty torpedoes; she can travel 100 miles completely submerged; and she can remain under water on the bottom for a period up to forty-eight hours. A submarine attacking with a torpedo only shows about three inches of periscope at intervals, with the result that few ships which are torpedoed ever see the submarine which has carried out the attack. The range of the torpedoes fired by a submarine is anything up to five miles, and the speed of the torpedo is as high as 40 knots.


Typical U-Boat Methods

From British Admiralty Records

The British Admiralty on March 17, 1918, permitted publication of the logs of a number of vessels that had been sunk by German submarines. These records reveal many stories of heroism and sacrifice. Some of the incidents recorded are as follows:

In the case of one ship, on which there were forty-seven hands, the boatswain was standing abreast of the mainmast when he saw the wake of a torpedo as it approached, and he had no time to report before the vessel was struck. After the explosion all hands were sent on deck. The ship sank stern first. There was no time to lower the boats, and practically the whole crew had lifebelts on when thrown into the water. When the submarine came to the surface a line was thrown to a raft which the crew had managed to launch, and it was hauled alongside the enemy vessel. A colored man was ordered on board, and as soon as he stepped on the submarine both his wrists were seized, and he was firmly held while being interrogated. The enemy took a photograph of him and also of a man on the raft. When the interrogation was completed the colored sailor dived from the submarine and swam to the raft. As the ship was sinking the master dived off the bridge; he was not seen later. A number of men were rescued after being in the water for four hours.

Robbery was reported in connection with another attack. After the vessel had been shelled many times, the master and crew abandoned the ship, lowered the lifeboat, and rowed toward the submarine. Eight shots were fired at the lifeboat, followed by four revolver shots. It was only then that the crew saw the submarine, which was about 500 yards away. The Captain and his men were taken on board; and the commander of the submarine boarded the vessel, removed the clothes, provisions, and papers, and left bombs on board which afterward blew her up. The master was searched, and £22 5s., with his watch and chain, was taken from him. The commander of the enemy vessel said that there was no food left in the submarine, which had been six weeks out, and he also mentioned that food in Germany was very short. During the night the crew were picked up by a destroyer.

"Torpedoed, and on her beam ends, but not actually seen to sink," is the description given by a Captain of an attack on his vessel. She was struck between the stokehold and No. 2 hold, both of which were blown in. The crew had time to take to the boats. The German Captain, speaking perfect English, asked for the name of the ship and her tonnage, and verified the particulars given to him by reference to Lloyd's Register. The master's boat, with twenty-three men, reached shore the following day, and the mate's boat, with the remainder of the crew, was picked up. It was reported by the master that the officers and men of the submarine were "quite friendly and polite."

One night a vessel was struck by a torpedo. The engines were stopped, and all hands went to the boat stations. The port boat was lowered safely, but within three minutes the ship sank and the davit caught it and capsized it, all hands being thrown into the water. The second officer went down with the ship, but seized hold of the capsized boat and climbed on top of it. The boatswain also was taken down, and he, too, as well as a seaman, got on the boat. After they had been on the upturned boat for some minutes a submarine appeared and hailed them to come on board. They explained that it was impossible. The submarine went ahead, and about a quarter of an hour later returned, and the men were again asked, in a rough voice, to come on board. The same answer was given, whereupon[291] the submarine again went ahead, putting her helm over, and the men were thrown into the water. Those on the submarine must have known that there was a man under the boat, as they could easily have heard him knocking. His comrades, however, pulled out the plug and gave him air, and eventually the boat was righted and he was rescued.

One of a group of other ships was torpedoed and the crew took to the boats, one of which capsized, and seven of the men managed to reach the lifeboat. The submarine came close, flashed her searchlight on the boat and on the men in the water, and, after jeering at them, made off. The survivors were picked up by a French torpedo boat next morning.

Attacked by a U-boat, which fired two shots, the master got out the boats, left the ship, and pulled toward the enemy vessel. The commander took four or five of his own men in the ship's boat and put some bombs on board. As these failed to explode he went back for more explosives, taking with him everything out of the ship that could be carried—food, clothing, compass, and all the metal that the enemy could lay hands on. The vessel was then blown up, the crew in the meantime being on the deck of the submarine. They were treated very badly, their clothes being thrown out of the boat into the sea. Only one oar was left them, five having been flung overboard. The master begged for another, but he could not get any more.

Two submarines were sighted at a distance of about six miles attacking a bark. The master of the observing vessel altered his course and lit a smoke cowl to screen his ship, but it was not very effective. Shortly afterward he was attacked by one of the submarines. Being armed, the vessel opened fire, but the U-boat was not within range, and a shot from the submarine struck the ship. Orders were given to haul down the ensign, and steps were taken to abandon her. The boats were lowered and the ship was abandoned, the enemy still firing. The ship was hit nineteen times before the crew was properly clear. When the submarine came up the vessel was "generally looted," everything the enemy could lay their hands on being taken, including the spirits in the bonded room. Some of the Germans were seen drinking on the bridge. The enemy were alongside for about an hour, and "treated our men quite fairly, even returning some of their personal gear which they had looted." The enemy crew were very particular in getting all the leather they possibly could, even going so far as to take old boots which were long past usage. Soap was also in great request, and a tin of lard was considered a prize.

In another instance a vessel struck on the port side in the engine room went down at once, the crew having only time to launch the boats. About ten minutes before the ship was torpedoed a floating object was sighted, which appeared like a small vessel bottom upward. This was reported by flag code to another vessel close by, but no reply was received before the ship was hit. The master was of opinion that this object must have been placed there as a decoy by the submarine to draw the attention of the lookouts away from herself.

When a motor schooner was struck the ship's boat was rowed to the submarine and the master and one man were taken aboard. The submarine then towed the boat to the disabled ship, and sent two men on her with bombs. An officer asked the master, "What was the cargo? Where from? Where bound? Why did the ship not come with convoy?" The officer spoke very good English, being prompted in German by the Captain of the U-boat. The master and crew were much struck by the pallid appearance of the officers and crew of the submarine and by their nervous and excited manner. The commander was continually urging haste, and the officer who was placing the bombs on board could hardly hold them, owing to his nervous tension. One of the crew of the submarine who had lived long in England, speaking to the ship's crew, cursed the war and said that he wished it was over, exclaiming that it was not their fault, but that they had to do their duty. "You won't believe it in England," he added, "but it's true." The submarine appeared to be of an old type and to have been a long time at sea.


The Story of an Indomitable Captain

Told by Joseph Conrad

The story of a certain British steamship traveling from Lerwick to Iceland and torpedoed on the way has been told in The London Daily Mail by the British novelist, Joseph Conrad, in these words:

The ship went down in less than four minutes. The Captain was the last man on board, going down with her, and was sucked under. On coming up he was caught under an upturned boat to which five hands were clinging.

"One lifeboat," says the chief engineer, "which was floating empty in the distance, was cleverly manoeuvred to our assistance by the steward, who swam off to her pluckily. Our next endeavor was to release the Captain, who was entangled under the boat. As it was impossible to right her, we set to to split her side open with the boat hook, because by awful bad luck the head of the axe we had flew off at the first blow and was lost. The work took thirty minutes, and the extricated Captain was in a pitiable condition, being badly bruised and having swallowed a lot of salt water. He was unconscious. While at that work the submarine came to the surface quite close and made a complete circle round us, the seven men which we counted on the conning tower laughing at our efforts.

"There were eighteen of us saved. I deeply regret the loss of the chief officer, a fine fellow and a kind shipmate showing splendid promise. The other men lost—one A. B., one greaser, and two firemen—were quiet, conscientious good fellows."

With no restoratives in the boat, they endeavored to bring the Captain around by means of massage. Meantime the oars were got out in order to reach the Faroes, which were about thirty miles dead to windward, but after about nine hours' hard work they had to desist, and, putting out the sea anchor, they took shelter under the canvas boat cover from the cold wind and torrential rain. Says the narrator:

"We were all very wet and miserable, and decided to have two biscuits all around. The effects of this and being under the shelter of the canvas warmed us up and made us feel pretty well contented. At about sunrise the Captain showed signs of recovery, and by the time the sun was up he was looking a lot better, much to our relief."

After being informed of what had been done, the revived Captain "dropped a bombshell in our midst" by proposing to make for the Shetlands, which were "only 150 miles off." "The wind is in our favor," he said. "I will take you there. Are you all willing?" This—comments the chief engineer—from a man who but a few hours previously had been hauled back from the grave! The Captain's confident manner inspired them, and they all agreed.

Under the best possible conditions a boat run of 150 miles in the North Atlantic and in Winter weather would have been a feat of no mean merit, but in the circumstances it required a man of uncommon nerve and skill to make such a proposal. With an oar for a mast and the boat cover cut down for a sail, they started on their dangerous journey, with the boat compass and the stars for their guide. The Captain's undaunted serenity buoyed them all up against despondency. He told them what point he was making for. It was Ronas Hill—"and we struck it as straight as a die."

"And there was our captain, just his usual self, as if nothing had happened, as if bringing the boat that hazardous journey and being the means of saving 18 souls was to him an everyday occurrence."


The Naval Defense of Venice

By E. M. B.

[From Information Supplied by Italian Navy Department]

The Italian Navy and the Italian 3d Army divided the honor of holding back the Austro-German forces during the retreat of October, 1917, thus enabling the main army to reorganize for defense on the line of the Piave. The navy's work was particularly difficult, as it had no means at hand to meet the attack of land forces. It was obliged, therefore, to improvise the necessary troops and material in order to hold back the invasion, to make swift and skillful use of the lighter naval craft, and to adapt all available means to the end in view. How the task was achieved is related herewith:

The enemy advance guards met a stubborn resistance from the Italian Navy on the lower Tagliamento line. Here a small body of sailors contested the passage of the lower course of the river. Hydroplanes bombed the bridges which the Austrians were endeavoring to construct near Latisana and the troops which were gathering on the opposite bank from Latisana to the sea. Submarine chasers ascended the Tagliamento several times, as well as the Lemene and the Livenga, in order to engage and disperse the patrols which the enemy was sending out along the coast in the hope of reaching Venice before the Italian Army could construct a solid protecting ring to the north of the city. Detachments of marines opened fire at each stage of the retreat along the interior canals of the Tagliamento to Caorle, and from Caorle to the Venetian lagoons, thus helping to check the oncoming forces of Boroevic and to give time for the necessary clearing of that region. In spite of an exceptionally difficult sea, barred by mine fields and shoals, the Italian torpedo boats were finally able not only to cover the flank of all the moving forces but also to escort and protect the numerous convoys laden with war material which had been forced to go out in the Adriatic to prevent capture by the enemy.


The retreat was accomplished by stages. Each stopping place, where the land and marine forces were gathered and rearranged before carrying out the established plan, had to be protected during the counterattacks of the Italian rear guards, which became more frequent and vigorous with the increasing accuracy of the enemy fire. These attacks were made more difficult by the swampy nature of the ground. This flat and marshy land offers no points of defense and has no traversable and continuous roads. The marines were outnumbered by the regiments confronting them.

Every difficulty was overcome by the valor and self-sacrifice of the Italian sailors. Aviators were seen flying for several consecutive days without resting—attacking the moving enemy columns with machine guns; defending themselves against numerous enemy airplanes, or dropping messages under fire at the points of reunion of the Italian troops in order to insure co-operation between the navy and the army; and continually alternating flights of observation with those of bombardment under the most adverse conditions.

Platoons of marines stood in the mud behind guns corroded by the inundations, holding back entire companies of enemy troops for days and nights without the possibility of obtaining relief or food. Some of the gun crews dragged not only the mounts and the guns by hand across very swampy ground, with the water up to their knees, but also the munition cases, without taking time for sleeping or eating.

Armed submarine chasers threaded their way up winding and narrow canals, in which they could not even have turned around in case of a forced retreat, and[294] hammered a Hungarian battalion for hours, until it had to retire in disorder before the determination of a handful of men with a few cannons and machine guns. Batteries of marines prolonged the defense of Caorle, a few hundred meters from the enemy advance guards, and did not cease firing until every civilian and everything movable had been placed in security. After this they succeeded in reaching the line of the Piave with their efficiency unimpaired.

Some companies of sailors clad in gray-green held off a big group of "Honveds," [Hungarian guards,] forced back the boats which were attempting to cross the river, made prisoners of men who had succeeded in crossing with machine guns, captured their arms, defended their own flank from the continuous encircling movements of other enemy troops who had crossed the Piave further up stream, and finally formed a firm pillar of defense for the right flank of the army where it made its final stand.

This is a short summary of the work carried out by the Italian Navy during the two weeks following the evacuation of Monfalcone and Grado. When the navy was called upon not only to co-operate and to protect but to constitute an important part of the line of resistance on the lower Piave, its duties were multiplied and assumed the character of a direct participation in the land war. Its special mission was to defend the Lagoons of Venice. The work of forming the principal ring of defense around the City of the Doges was confided to the machine gunners of the navy. The duty of defending the approaches along the seacoast was given to the sailors, and that of observing the battlefields on the lagoons to the aviators. The torpedo boats were asked to guarantee the extreme right wing against surprise from the sea.


The artillery employed by the navy in the defense of the lower Piave and of Venice may be divided into three groups: Floating batteries on pontoons, batteries set up on the ground, and armed ships. Most of the floating pontoons came from Monfalcone on the lower Isonzo and from the marine defense of Grado. The crews working these guns had given magnificent proof of their valor during all the battles of the Carso, fighting in the open in almost impossible positions. The sailors suffered great fatigue and difficulties during the retreat in transporting these floating batteries along the waterways to their present position in stormy weather; but still greater were the sacrifices the naval gunners had to undergo in order to transform the intricate canals and muddy ground into solid positions. This life in the midst of swamps is a melancholy one. The officers and men working the guns have to live and sleep inside the pontoons between the depots of powder and projectiles. The tides and currents are continuously displacing the floating batteries, and constant work, day and night, is necessary to maintain the defense.

It is due to the Italian sailors to recognize that this gigantic work, so rapidly undertaken, saved Venice and gave the army, its retreat having been accomplished, a strong support on its right wing. They helped to repel all the Hungarian attacks around Zenson. At the side of these floating batteries the British monitors held the bridges which the Austro-Hungarians were obstinately throwing across the new Piave under the fire of their guns, and destroyed them with surprising accuracy.


When the enemy succeeded in landing troops on the point of the island, which was mostly inundated, between the new and the old Piave, they tried to augment this advance guard by using a bridge of boats at Grisolera. But the float was shattered, the boats sunk. Enemy forces higher up the river then threw a floating bridge across at Ca' Sacco. Italy's naval guns shattered this bridge also. The enemy then ascended higher up the Piave and built three massive bridges at Agenzia Trezze. These were likewise destroyed. The Austrians descended the river and built another bridge at Tombolino; but they were also prevented from crossing here. They then endeavored to establish communication at San Doná, but here also the shells from the big guns on the floats reached them. There is now [April, 1918] a daily struggle between the enemy desiring to force their way across the river and the great guns on the lagoons impeding the passage, defending the approach, and ruining the work they accomplish.[295]


The Italian armed ships sometimes participate in actions against the enemy infantry. Recently one evening the ship Captain Sauro went up the old Piave, wending its way into an artificial canal which divided the Italian first line of defense from the enemy line. The sailors of the Sauro replied steadily to the rifle fire of Hungarian advance posts in the houses along the canals and landed on the shore occupied by the enemy patrols, forcing them to flee and firing the abandoned shelters after taking out the captured munitions. They then returned to the ship and, though harassed by enemy fire, succeeded in returning safely to their point of departure.


Some of the land batteries had equally hard tasks. In the middle of last November many batteries had to withstand continual attacks from the sea by Austrian battleships of the Monarch type, escorted by destroyers, which had been sent to the Venetian shore with the purpose of rendering the Piave untenable. One naval battery of medium-calibre guns, commanded successively by two brothers, fired ceaselessly, without resting, though subjected to the fire of enemy artillery and machine guns, not only from the front and side, but also from the Adriatic in the rear. During the[296] last days of the retreat, while the defense line of the Lagoons of Venice was not yet consolidated, that battery was for a long time isolated from every communication, without food, reinforcements, or support, yet it did not cede one inch, it never slackened fire, and it never asked for help. It was one of the heroic deeds of the Italian defense between Cavazuccherina and the sea. In the afternoon of Nov. 16, though attacked by the Austrian battleships Budapest and Wien, not only did these same batteries protect the return of two Italian submarine chasers which had gone out to attack the Austrian naval division, but they effectively counterattacked the battleships and their twelve destroyers until their return in the direction of Istria. The battleships never attempted this attack again.


The plain extending from Zenson to the sea does not offer any elevated points for observation and the control of artillery fire. Therefore, the task of directing the shellfire had to be confided to the airplanes, and in the lagoons to the seaplanes. But in order that the seaplanes may fulfill their work of observation with safety they must be defended from enemy airplanes and must, therefore, be escorted by chasing machines.

The Italian seaplanes and their escorts did not spare themselves. The aviators of one squadron accomplished seventy-nine bombarding and observation flights in the first twenty days of November during a total of ninety-two hours of flight—not counting practice flights.


Every one now knows, at least by reputation, the M. A. S., [Motoscafi Antisommergibili di Scorta,] the Italian little armored boats that are doing effective work in the Tyrrhenean and the Adriatic, but few understand the great assistance they have given in their support of the army in the marshy Venetian plain covered with watercourses.

The M. A. S. were not built to fight on rivers, but to scour the seas; yet they are frequently seen engaging some enemy advance post. Where the enemy lines border on a river or a canal the menacing prow of an M. A. S. will now and then rise under the barbed wire of the Hungarian trenches. These swift motor boats have become the cavalry of the marshes. They are slaves to their fragility, but they have the advantage of speed and surprise.

The M. A. S. attacked the moving enemy companies across the lagoons with machine guns and their little guns. They were bombarded in turn; but their bravery and their size made them often very fortunate. At Bevazzano a big column of Honveds marching along the shore was put to flight by them. Again they shelled a cyclist corps, killing a large number. They landed a few men on ground already occupied by the enemy and succeeded in destroying or in capturing various machine-gun outposts. Elsewhere they supported isolated companies of sailors, protecting the lagoons, with their small guns. With great daring they pushed up to Porto Gruaro, which had already been invaded from Lemene. Shortly after, while the present line of Intestadure-Capo Sile-Cavazuccherina-Cortelazzo was being organized, the M. A. S. ran up and down for entire days through the Piave, the old Piave, and the Cavetta Canal, undertaking frequent sporadic fights with the machine gunners and the picked shooters of Boroevic.

The armed motor boats by themselves insured the liaison between the lines for several days, and today, when the line of resistance from the lagoons is safe, the tactical use of the M. A. S. in the interior canals is still frequent and efficacious.


These armored motor boats also held the Adriatic coast, especially between the mouth of the Piave and the Venetian estuary. Nor were opportunities lacking for the little craft to fight against superior forces, as was the case on Nov. 16, 1917. The battleships of the Monarch type—Wien and Budapest—escorted by a division of torpedo boats and destroyers, appeared that morning before Cortelazzo and opened a violent bombardment against the Italian lines, attacking them from the flank. Assailed by seaplanes, counterattacked by Italian coast artillery, and threatened by approaching destroyers, they retired, but in the afternoon they returned and reopened fire at the mouth of the Piave.[297]


Thereupon, the M. A. S. appeared from the open sea and plunged into the enemy formation. They intervened where the duel between the coast artillery and the battleships was most intense. When the motor boats had approached within less than a mile, the guns of the Monarch, ceasing to fire on land, turned a violent fire against the audacious newcomers. The enemy destroyers threw themselves on the two Italian chasers, shooting with every gun on board, while the battleships were manoeuvring to retire eastward. The M. A. S. approached the large ships within a few hundred meters, fired their torpedoes, and reversed their course. The Monarchs were able to avoid the torpedoes by rapid evolutions and returned toward the Istrian coast, while even the turret guns continued their fire against the minute Italian chasers.

The battleships having withdrawn, the chasers found themselves surrounded by five adversary torpedo boats, which were attempting to cut off their retreat. They gave a good account of themselves, however, meanwhile gaining the protection of the coast batteries; the enemy destroyers retired, while the M. A. S. returned to their base with insignificant damage and with crews unhurt.


When the news of the Austro-German invasion first spread through the Italian naval bases, the Captains of the battleships saw an unusual procession passing before their cabins, all asking the same thing—to be moved into the infantry and sent to the front. Special orders of the day were necessary to make the rank and file understand that each man could best play his part by remaining at his own post. It was announced, however, that those whose services were not absolutely necessary at their bases would be given full satisfaction. The first naval infantry companies were thus formed in a few days. Sections of the navy belonging to the defense of Monfalcone and Grado were under fire on foot from the first days of the resistance between the Tagliamento and the Livenza, and many others wished to join these gray-green companies.

The first battalion of sailors, perfectly[298] equipped and organized for trench warfare, went into the front line the 1st of November. Most of these men were not experiencing land firing for the first time, as they had participated with small groups in the defense of Monfalcone and Grado, but they had never before been used as real naval infantry. The lower Piave, where it forms a zigzag before flowing into the Adriatic, was assigned to the naval battalion as its line of defense. At dawn on Nov. 13 the battalion underwent a tremendous shock from the advance guard of the left flank of Boroevic's army. The attack was definitely repulsed. However, a few kilometers to the west, where the line of the Piave was held by battalions of territorials, the enemy succeeded in throwing a bridge of boats across the river near Grisolera and getting an armed patrol with machine guns to the opposite shore.

The territorials withdrew to Case Molinato, in the direction of Cavazuccherina, and groups of Honveds crossed the large watery island between the old and new Piave. The naval battalion, therefore, found its left flank suddenly exposed and had to face both front and lateral attacks. The Italians were commanded by an officer of great strength of character, Lieut. Commander Starita, who decided to hold and to counterattack in spite of the difficult position. The enemy was therefore unable to enlarge the breach and was energetically held in the delta of the river.


In the meantime the Hungarian machine gunners who had crossed the Piave fortified themselves in the houses, barricaded the doors and windows with sandbags, and, supported by these machine gunners, other enemy patrols crept over, especially at night, through the dense vegetation of the delta, and with riflefire and bombs tormented the sailors, who had remained without any contact with the army. Lieut. Commander Starita, though having only a few hundred men at his disposal, held a front of several kilometers on three sides and organized a special corps of "braves" to clean out the infested zone. He improvised the "Arditi" of the navy and led them into action. Near Case Allegri a platoon of Hungarians had established themselves in an old guardhouse and had made a small fort with several machine guns. A patrol led by Captain Starita was able to surround them and to penetrate and kill the commanding officer despite the heavy fire of the machine gunners. The twenty surviving Hungarians, as soon as they saw their leader fall, raised their hands and called out "Kamerad!" The marines disarmed them, bound them with their puttees, captured the machine guns, and conducted them to the main battalion.

The same day, near Revedoli, a boat full of enemy soldiers attempted to cross the river and to outflank the marines on the right, aided by a bend in the river. The outlook post discovered what was happening and another Italian patrol came to the rescue and engaged the Honveds. The Hungarians were almost all captured and the boat taken. The following day the Starita battalion, which in the meantime had remained isolated from the rest of the army with a dismounted squadron of cavalry and with a company of Alpine machine gunners, was put under a hard strain, as the left flank of Boroevic's army was renewing the attack with great strength. The enemy was repulsed, and the marine patrols took new prisoners and fresh booty. As these operations had produced appreciable losses, the line of the battalion was withdrawn on the evening of Nov. 14 from Case Allegri to the mouth of the river, without any communication with the rest of the front.

The Italian troops of the lagoon section also had established a definite line on the Sile and the old Piave, covering Cavazuccherina with a bridgehead. The retirement of the naval battalion to the new line of the Cavetta Canal from Cavazuccherina to the sea was then decided upon. Lieut. Commander Starita received orders to reach the final positions on the night of the 15th. It would have been an unnecessary sacrifice to continue an isolated fight on the new Piave, as the sailors wished to do. Therefore, the battalion made an orderly retirement[299] with their booty and all their prisoners to the line of Cavetta.

Between the 16th and 17th the enemy succeeded in sending some chosen fighters with machine guns and hand grenades to the houses of Cortelazza, north of the bend of the river. As the distance between the two banks is only a few yards, the sailors opened a heavy fire on the enemy advance guards, intensifying it at night. The battalion did not have sufficient material to undertake a strong counterattack and to repulse the advance guards beyond Cortelazza. On the 18th the necessary material and hand grenades began to arrive. The counterattack was immediately opened with great energy, the houses were retaken, and so the marines were able to throw a bridgehead beyond the Cavetta Canal and Cortelazza, which, consolidated, represents the extreme point of the land resistance toward the sea.

This first naval company, which did so much to arrest the progress of the Austro-Hungarians toward the Lagoon of St. Mark, now gives a veteran's greeting to every new group of marines that comes to add its strength to the ring around Venice.


Venice Under the Grim Shadow

The City's Wartime Aspects

[A Rotogravure Etching of Venice Appears in This Issue Opposite Page 269]

When the Austro-German armies swept down through the Venetian plain last October and November, leaving ruin in their wake, they were stopped at the Piave River, whose waters flow into the lagoon a few miles east of Venice. Though the Italian Army and Navy made a ring of steel around the City of the Doges, and have held the enemy at bay from that time to the present, the sounds of battle have been constantly in the ears of the inhabitants, and frequent air raids have left jagged scars on many buildings and even in the pavement of the Piazza San Marco.


Throughout the Winter of 1917-18 Venice[300] remained a city without tourists, its population dwindling from 150,000 to about 40,000, its canals silent and almost empty of life, yet full of a new and wistful beauty. The first days of peril had brought the enemy within twelve or thirteen miles of Venice. From the Fondamento Nuovo, at the northern end of the city, the people could see the flash of guns and the bursting of shells. The roar of guns disturbed their work by day and their sleep by night.


The civilian population was a hindrance rather than a help to the defenders, so the Admiral in command (for Venice is under naval, not military authority) thought it well to arrange for the partial evacuation of the city. In conjunction with the Syndic, Count Erimani, he first asked all foreigners to remove themselves to places of safety. Then offices were opened in each of the thirty parishes, and the people were ordered to report within forty-eight hours. This census was taken, so that railway facilities for traveling might be provided for all, and that places of safety might be found for those who were too poor to go away at their own expense, and pay their way afterward.

In a few days nearly half the population, some 70,000, had gone, the majority to Florence, Rome, and other places in Central and Southern Italy, and the others to Genoa and the Riviera. Some were sent by sea to the Ancona coast. After this first rush the exodus went on more leisurely, some 3,000 leaving each day. Institutions of all kinds, offices, shops, restaurants, and cafés, closed their doors, even the Café Florian, which had been open day and night continuously for over 100 years. Banks and offices transferred their businesses to other towns.

There are no cellars in Venice, nor can the inhabitants have any dugouts in which to conceal valuables, for at a depth of two or three feet below the ground floors of all buildings water is reached. Accordingly the authorities at the Municipal Building, at St. Mark's Library, at the Ducal Palace, at the Archives, as well as at banks and insurance offices, had their documents and valuables conveyed to places of security by boat and rail.


When Italy first went into the war precautions had been taken to protect[301] the public monuments of Venice against aerial bombardment. The Doges' Palace and the Church of St. Mark were protected by barricades of sandbags, as were all the more valuable statues throughout the city. St. Mark's gilded copper horses, beaten out by hand, the only example extant of a Roman Quadriga—

The four steeds divine,
That strike the ground resounding with their feet,
And from their nostrils snort ethereal flame—

were removed at that time from their pedestals above the main entrance to the church, and stabled under an archway on the ground floor of the Doges' Palace. When the new peril came with the invasion, however, they were conveyed by a battleship to a safer refuge in Rome. The precious equestrian statue of Colleoni, so much admired by Ruskin, with other treasures familiar to the tourist, also has been removed to a place of security. The bells of St. Mark's campanile and those of every church in the city have been taken away.

By the first weeks of 1918 the population had shrunk to less than 60,000, and at night one could walk through miles and miles of stilled and empty streets, darkened against the peril of air raids, or could travel by gondola along lonely canals rippled only by the Winter wind, with the cold moonlight silvering a deserted fairyland. Two months later the population was further reduced by sending away 20,000 women, children, and old men with a view to eliminating useless mouths to feed and preventing unnecessary slaughter. By that time Austro-German ingenuity had invented a new system of dropping bombs; instead of scattering them over the city the missiles were grouped in large numbers in a very limited space so that the destruction on that area was complete.


An English war correspondent who visited Venice in the Winter drew this word picture:

"Shuttered palaces face each other across silent canals. A footstep ringing down those narrow alleys, which are like deep, dark slits in a close-crowded mass of many-storied houses, starts echoes that die undisturbed away. The black gondola glides through a dead city more beautiful in the silence and stillness of this war trance of hers than ever in the[302] fullness of her vivacious life. At each corner of the narrow water lane the white-haired gondolier raises his mournful cry, but by long habit, for he knows that no answer will ring out from beyond the angle of the dark stone wall, and no tapering prow glide out to be avoided by a turn of his skillful oar.

"The Grand Canal is a green and gleaming vista of desertion. The scream of seagulls, beating its tranquil surface with their wings, is the only sound that disturbs the quiet of its reverie. A pleasing melancholy invests the deserted quays, and in remote corners of little lost canals you can almost hear the whispering of innumerable spirits of the Venice of long ago who have been drawn back to their old home by this strange peace that lies upon the city.

"Venice, without tourists, without guides, without postcard sellers and hotel touts, is a close preserve of beauty for the few who have the fortune to be here. The atmosphere and the dignity of the days when she was a ruling city are here as they have never been before in modern times, nor ever will be again."


The greatest air raid of all the forty-five which Venice had endured since the war's beginning was that of the night of Feb. 26-27, 1918. It lasted eight hours—from 10:20 to 6:15 A. M.—and there was not a single interval of more than half an hour during all that time of brilliant moonlight in which bombs were not falling on the city. There were 300 in all. Thirty-eight houses were smashed, the Royal Palace was struck, one wing of an old people's home was blown to pieces, and three churches were damaged, including that of St. Chrysostom, in which an altar with one of Cellini's last landscapes was wrecked. Fifteen bombs fell near the Doges' Palace, one barely missing the Bridge of Sighs and falling into the narrow canal which it spans. Ten bombs fell around the Rialto Bridge. About fifteen civilians were wounded seriously, including two women. Only one man was killed, thanks to the promptness with which the Venetians now take shelter.

According to the official account at least fifty airplanes took part in the raid, and some of these returned again and again, bringing fresh cargoes of bombs throughout the night. The Austrian lines are so near that the trip to the bomb bases and back again requires only twenty-five minutes, and this was the average length of the intervals between the bombardments. G. Ward Price, a war correspondent, in describing the experiences of that night, wrote:

"Suddenly another crash re-echoed throughout the city, and the din of the bombardment started once more. I followed the quickly vanishing throng through an archway, where a green light marked a place of shelter. For two hours I was part of a close-packed throng in the dark vaulted room. There were women and wide-eyed children there in plenty, tired out with the long standing, which for them lasted until dawn, but none showing alarm, though, in addition to the nerve trying din outside, a constant shower of pieces of shell and flying bits of masonry whirred and pelted and pattered down incessantly outside.


"Toward 2 o'clock I made another move toward the centre of the city. I heard the drone of an attacking airplane drawing nearer over the still lagoon, and a policeman beckoned me into the vestibule of a high palazzo in one of those narrow Venetian alleys between tall black rows of houses which are like a communication trench of masonry. All was cheerfulness in this marble anteroom, a family of young daughters laughing and chattering with their mother while the noisy night crept slowly on. Taking advantage of another lull, I reached my hotel, but not until 6 o'clock, when the dawn was well advanced, did the tumult of this eight-hour-long bombardment cease.

"And yet this morning, as one went about in the warm sunshine seeing the places which the bombs had destroyed, the people seemed untroubled enough. Troops of black-shawled girls went chattering by, and the boys were playing a[303] sort of 'shove-halfpenny' game, using as counters the shell splinters they had found scattered about the city ways."

Since then there have been many other raids, but none so prolonged. The black-shawled women whose laughter defied the nightly peril have gone for the most part, taking with them the alert "bambini," who at that period still shouted at play in the streets. Only armed defenders are left, with those who are absolutely necessary to aid them. The muffled echo of distant guns is heard by day and the crash of bombs by night. Just outside the city is a little cemetery where are gathered the bodies of the Italian and French aviators who have died defending these shores. The marble pavement of the Piazza and Piazzetta is torn in places, and the swarming pigeons of other days have dwindled sadly, for no tourists come to feed them. In the sky over the lagoon, where the gulls once reigned supreme, airplanes now keep watch against the ceaseless threat in the direction of the Piave.

Taking Over the Dutch Ships

The United States Seizes for the War Period 500,000 Tons of Dutch Shipping

The April issue of Current History Magazine contained a brief reference to the intention of the United States and British Governments to seize the Dutch shipping in their ports on account of Holland's refusal to carry food cargoes for fear of offending Germany. The two Governments took action March 20, 1918, when all Dutch shipping in American and British harbors was seized by the naval authorities of the two countries. The total of shipping acquired is estimated at 750,000 tons, 500,000 being in American waters. The largest Dutch steamship, the Nieuw Amsterdam, which was in New York Harbor at the time, was not seized, but was permitted to return to Holland with a cargo of food, as it had been agreed when she made her outward voyage, during the pending of the negotiations, that, whatever the result, she would be immune; moreover, all Dutch shipping outward bound to American waters at the date of the seizure which had not yet reached port were also to be permitted to return to their home ports.

President Wilson's proclamation directing the seizure stated that "the law "and practice of nations accords to a "belligerent power the right in times of "military exigency and for purposes "essential to the prosecution of war, to take over and utilize neutral vessels lying within its jurisdiction." The President also made a formal statement in which he reviewed the negotiations with Holland for the restoration of her merchant marine lying idle in American ports to a normal condition of activity for the transportation of foodstuffs. He had sought to have these Dutch ships carry food for Switzerland, for Belgian relief, and for Holland as well. He stated that on Jan. 25, 1918, the Dutch Minister proposed that

one hundred and fifty thousand tons of Dutch shipping should at the discretion of the United States be employed partly in the service of Belgian relief and partly for Switzerland on safe conduct to Cette, France, and that for each ship sent to Holland in the service of Belgian relief a corresponding vessel should leave Holland for the United States. Two Dutch ships in the United States ports with cargoes of foodstuffs were to proceed to Holland, similar tonnage being sent in exchange from Holland to the United States for charter as in the case of other Dutch ships lying in the United States ports.

The President stated that shortly afterward Holland rejected her own proposals, presumably through fear of German submarines, every suggestion thereafter was postponed, and answers were delayed, until finally, on March 7, it became[304] clear that Holland was prevented by German coercion from fulfilling any agreement to put her ships into service; it was then concluded to exercise the sovereign rights of a belligerent under the international law of "angary," and to place the Dutch ships under American jurisdiction. The President concluded as follows:

We have informed the Dutch Government that her colonial trade will be facilitated and that she may at once send ships from Holland to secure the bread cereals which her people require. These ships will be freely bunkered and will be immune from detention on our part. The liner Nieuw Amsterdam, which came within our jurisdiction under an agreement for her return, will, of course, be permitted at once to return to Holland. Not only so, but she will be authorized to carry back with her the two cargoes of foodstuffs which Holland would have secured under the temporary chartering agreement had not Germany prevented. Ample compensation will be paid to the Dutch owners of the ships which will be put into our service and suitable provision will be made to meet the possibility of ships being lost through enemy action.

It is our earnest desire to safeguard to the fullest extent the interests of Holland and of her nationals. By exercising in this crisis our admitted right to control all property within our territory we do no wrong to Holland. The manner in which we proposed to exercise this right and our proposals made to Holland concurrently therewith, cannot, I believe, fail to evidence to Holland the sincerity of our friendship toward her.

The seizure of the Dutch ships was accomplished without friction on March 20 by manning them with American naval officers, with the co-operation of the United States Shipping Board. The Dutch crews were released, and many of the officers and sailors returned to Holland a few days later.

The action of the American and British authorities produced much agitation in Holland; the Dutch newspapers bitterly denounced the action as unwarranted. A statement appeared in the Official Gazette of the Netherlands Government on March 30 in which the seizure was characterized as an act of violence. The statement asserted that the act was "indefensible from the viewpoint of international law and unjustifiable." Denial was made that an agreement failed through German pressure. The Dutch official statement ended as follows:

The powers in question, owing to the loss of ships, felt constrained to replace the tonnage by obtaining the disposal of a very large number of ships which belonged not to them but to the Netherlands. They became aware that the Netherlands Government could not permit the ships to sail in the interest of the associated Governments except on the conditions imposed by neutrality, but which were, in the judgment of the Governments, not sufficiently in accordance with their interests. Therefore, they decided to seize the Dutch merchant fleet in so far as it lay within their power.

The Netherlands Government deems it its duty, especially in serious times such as the present, to speak with complete candor. It voices the sentiments of the entire Dutch Nation, which sees in the seizure an act of violence which it will oppose with all the energy of its conviction and its wounded national feeling.

According to the Presidential statement, this procedure offers Holland ample opportunity to obtain bread grain. This is so only apparently; for would it not be an irresponsible act, after the experiences of Dutch ships in American and British ports, to permit other ships to sail to these ports without adequate guarantees that these experiences shall not occur?

The American Government has always appealed to right and justice, has always come forward as the champion of small nations. That it now co-operates in an act diametrically opposed to those principles is a proceeding which can find no counterweight in the manifestations of friendship or assurances of lenient application of the wrong committed.

The United States Government proceeded at once to put the commandeered ships into service. On April 12 Secretary Lansing issued a statement answering the Dutch protest in detail. After pointing out that the Netherlands Government had not questioned the legality of the action taken by the United States, Secretary Lansing showed that it had involved no element of unfriendliness and was justified by the evidence in the case. Events had proved that to have granted bunker coal and food cargoes on ordinary terms would have released foodstuffs in Holland for sale to Germany and "would in fact have been an act beneficial to the enemy and having no relation to our friendship to the Netherlands."


Air Raids on Paris and London

A Historical Summary

Paris experienced one of the most disastrous air raids of the war on the night of March 11, 1918, when nine squadrons of German airplanes, aggregating nearly sixty units, took part in an attack on the city and suburbs. Several buildings were demolished and set on fire. The number of persons killed was 34, and there were in addition 79 injured, 88 of these casualties being in Paris.

In addition to the bomb victims, 66 persons were suffocated through crowding in a panic into a Metropolitan (subway) Railway entrance to take refuge from the raiders. These were for the most part women and children.

A fog which had covered the city in the morning settled down again in the early evening. It was thick enough to cause the general belief that there was little chance that the Germans would attempt an air raid. This belief, however, was shattered at 9:10 o'clock, when the warning was sounded of the approach of hostile aircraft. The raid ended shortly after midnight, with a loss to the Germans of four machines, which were brought down by the French anti-aircraft defenses.

Mr. Baker, the United States Secretary of War, was in conference with General Tasker H. Bliss, the American Chief of Staff, in a hotel suite when the air alarm was sounded. Secretary Baker was not disturbed by the noise of the sirens or the barrage of the anti-aircraft guns, but the hotel management, fearing for the safety of himself and his party, persuaded the members to descend to the wine cellar, where later they were joined by Major Gen. William M. Black.

Mr. Baker, in the course of a statement the following day, said: "It was my first experience of the actualities of war and a revelation of the methods inaugurated by an enemy who wages the same war against women and children as against soldiers. If his object is to damage property, the results are trifling when compared with his efforts. If his object is to weaken the people's morale, the reply is given by the superb conduct of the people of Paris. Moreover, aerial raids on towns, which are counterpart of the pitiless submarine war and the attacks against American rights, are the very explanation of the reasons why America entered the war. We are sending our soldiers to Europe to fight until the world is delivered from these horrors."


George Prade, a leading French authority on aircraft, told a newspaper correspondent that the German airplanes used in the attack on Paris were the result of a construction program decided on by the German Staff last Summer to meet in advance what is generally known in France as the American aviation program.

When it was announced that the Americans had decided to construct an enormous air fleet for service on the western front, the German War Staff developed plans for much more powerful machines. In June and July, 1917, they began the construction in series of more than 2,000 engines much higher powered than those in previous use. These consisted of Mercedes engines of 260 horse power with six cylinders and Maybach and Benz, both 250 horse power, and with six cylinders. These engines took the place of heavier but less powerful six and eight cylinder engines, ranging from 225 to 235 horse power. The Germans thus not only gained in power, but definitely adopted a plan for planes with two motors and two independent propellers. Each new machine was built with three chasses, a middle one carrying the crew, and two outside, each carrying an engine and a propeller. Three distinct types were developed, known, respectively, as Gothas, Friedrichshafens, and A. E. G.'s.[306]

The length of wings ranges from 72½ to 86 feet. The propellers in earlier machines were placed at the rear, but now they are on the front of the cars. Machines of all three types carry either three or four men, and are fitted with three appliances for launching bombs. The projectiles vary enormously, ranging from aerial torpedoes, the smallest of which weighs two hundredweight, down to small shrapnel bombs. Each of these machines carries a minimum of 153 gallons of petrol and 15 gallons of oil, sufficient for at least a four hours' flight. Their average speed is between 80 and 90 miles an hour.

Referring to the question of hitting any given target, M. Prade said it was practically impossible to strike any particular objective when a plane was traveling at a rate of thirty-eight to forty yards a second. A bomb must be dropped more or less at random, which is the reason why such form of warfare is simply criminal. It is impossible to tell where the bomb will fall. Three men are generally sufficient to handle a machine, one for each engine and a third to drop bombs. The fourth man carried is generally a pilot, who is able from his knowledge of Paris districts to direct the airplane more or less accurately toward objectives.

Big raiding machines generally are accompanied by a large number of smaller two-seated, single-motor planes of 180 to 260 horse power, such as are generally used for reconnoissance purposes. These planes, of which the Hanover is the newest type, are usually of only thirty-eight to forty feet wing spread, but can get up to 20,000 feet carrying four small bombs.

The raid of March 11 was preceded on March 8 by an almost equally formidable attack on Paris, the casualties being 13 killed and 50 injured. One of the raiding machines, an airplane of the Gotha type, was found in the Forest of Compiègne, where it had fallen while returning from the raid. All four of its occupants were killed. They included Captain Fritz Eckstein, the commander of the raiding squadrons, and an officer of the Kaiser's White Cuirassiers from Potsdam. Three other machines were brought down. Altogether, fifteen trained aviators, mechanics, and pilots were either killed or made prisoner.


Bombardment in 1917 played a more and more important part in aerial operations. The Germans had for some time expended their principal efforts upon aviation on the battlefield; besides, up to 1916 they were averse to night flying. But by the beginning of 1918 they had brought into existence a system of aerial bombardment supplied with powerful machines, and had developed an increasing series of attacks on the French troops, on the camps at the rear, and, alas! on the cities of France. Nancy and Dunkirk are sad examples of their work.

The German squadrons known as Kampfgeschwader, furnished with special trains that transport them to any desired point and placed under the direct authority of the Quartermaster General, make use of great triplanes armed with machine guns and supplied with automatic bomb throwers; the Gothas, which, with their two Mercedes motors of 260 horse power each, can carry 1,200 pounds of explosives and gasoline for five hours, and the Friedrichshafens, whose two Benz motors of 225 horse power each can carry enough gasoline for four hours and twelve bombs totaling half a ton in weight.

It was with these machines—employed in mass formation—that the Germans attempted their great bombing operations in the Autumn of 1917, notably the expedition in November, when in a single night seven groups of airplanes made successive attacks on English cities; also the raid of Dec. 19 on London, when twenty machines took part in the attack on London and caused serious damage, including the work of an incendiary bomb that set fire to a factory and burned it to the ground. It is with these machines which they are still improving, and which they are multiplying by the bold creation of series, that the Germans have vainly sought to hold command of the air during their offensive in Picardy.

The example and threat of the enemy[307] had their effect in France. The French bombarding groups, which, born at the end of 1914, had in 1915 achieved famous flights into the heart of Germany, were compelled, with the advent of aerial combats, to renounce daylight operations, as these had become impossible or too uncertain for their slow and heavy machines, insufficiently armed, and had turned their attention to perilous night expeditions. But, despite successful raids and effective destruction, the French bombing operations remained more or less unsatisfactory.

In the course of 1917 the use of the flying squadrons was finally adapted to the diverse needs of the battle front. In the French offensive at Verdun, while tactical aviation guided the waves of assault, regulated the artillery fire, and furnished information to the General Staff, while the swift airplane chasers, by a vigilant barrage, prevented all observation by enemy machines, the bombarding groups daily took part also in the action by hurling flames and destruction on railway stations, munition depots, storehouses at the rear, and sowing panic among the troops that were preparing to attack.

Equipped at length with machines that combined the indispensable characteristics of speed, power, and armament, enabling them to hold the air in daytime, the French bombardiers attacked arsenals in the interior of Germany, and the British war dispatches of Dec. 25 mentioned a daylight raid of allied air squadrons upon Mannheim, where several fires followed, with heavy explosions at the central railway station and in the factories.

The night groups, which had long made their raids only by moonlight, at length grew accustomed to flying in complete darkness. They multiplied their expeditions against enemy cantonments, railways, aviation fields, factories, and military and industrial centres. The task that remained at the opening of the Spring of 1918 was the fuller co-ordination of the groups of bombardiers.

By that time the French had an excellent daylight airplane as well as successful night machines, and announced the early completion of still better ones. Their projectiles were not inferior to those of the Germans, and their supply was up to the demand. Thus they faced the German offensive fully equipped to hold their own so far as air supremacy was concerned.


London, as well as Paris, received frequent visits from enemy airplanes in February and March, 1918. On the three successive nights of Feb. 16, 17, and 18 German raiders attacked the British metropolis. Twenty-seven persons were killed and forty-one were injured. Many of the German machines failed to reach the city owing to the great improvement which had been effected in the aerial defenses both on the coast and around London itself. Both the anti-aircraft guns and the airmen helped to diminish the casualties. The third night's raid resulted in an entire absence of both casualties and damage to property.

Seven or eight German airplanes made a raid over England on the night of March 7. Two of them reached London and dropped bombs in various districts. Eleven persons were killed and forty-six injured in the metropolitan area. In addition a certain amount of damage was done to dwellings and some people buried under the wreckage.

Zeppelins were again employed by the Germans in a raid on the east coast of England on March 12. One of them dropped bombs on Hull, while the two others wandered for some hours over remote country districts at great altitudes, unloading their bombs in open country before proceeding out to sea again. This was the first Zeppelin raid on England since Oct. 19, 1917. The Germans had sustained such heavy losses in Zeppelins that they had substituted airplanes. [An account of the fate of the Zeppelins is included elsewhere in this issue.]


Reprisals by British aviators have been frequent and drastic. The British Air Ministry, in one of the detailed statements which it issues from time to time, presented the following list of raids into Germany from Dec. 1, 1917, and Feb. 19, 1918, a period of eleven weeks:[308]

1917.   Wt. of b'mbs lbs.
5Rly. sidings.Zweibrucken.14,7001,344
5Works[B]Burbach 1,096
6Works[B]Burbach 2,216
11Boot factoryPirmasens34,0001,594
3-4RailwaysNr. Metz100,000760
4-5RailwaysNr. Metz100,0002,940
5-6Town[A]Courcelles 1,344
5-6Town & rlys.[A]Conflans 2,180
14Munition factory
 & rlys.Karlsruhe140,0002,800
14-15Railways[A]Eringen 280
16-17RailwaysBenadorf 280
16-17TownOrmy 255
16-17SearchlightVigny 26
21-22Rly. sidingsBensdorf 2,210
 Rly. junctionArnaville 1,344
24-25Steelworks, rlys.{Thionville13,0001,120
 and barracks.{Treves48,000809
24-25RailwayOberbilig 280
25Barracks and
27Barracks and
9-10Railway[A]Courcelles 1,844
16-17Rly. station[A]Conflans 1,488
17-18Rly. sidings[A]Conflans 2,240
18Barracks and
18-19Barracks and
18-19Rly. and gas
A See Metz.    B See Saarbrucken.

James I. Macpherson, Parliamentary Secretary of the War Office, stated in the House of Commons on March 19 that British airmen had made 255 flights into German territory since October, 1917. The 255 flights constituted 38 raids, and only 10 machines were lost. The aviators dropped 48 tons of bombs.

According to a dispatch from The Hague dated April 3, the damage caused by raids in the Rhenish cities was much more extensive than had been admitted. Places where bombs actually fell were described as "unrecognizable." Of the bombs dropped at Coblenz in the most recent raid, eight did considerable damage. One fell upon a station, one fell amid a company of soldiers going to get food, and others practically destroyed half of the barracks where French prisoners were confined in 1870. In Cologne a branch factory of the Baden Aniline Works was partly destroyed and a number of people were killed and wounded. Great damage also was done at Mainz. It was also reported that much damage was done at Düsseldorf. After the raids the authorities made every effort to clear up the wreckage as rapidly as possible, and the town was made to resume normal life immediately.

In connection with military operations on the western front, official reports showed that the Allies had gained great successes in destroying enemy airplanes. The enemy losses in January, 1918, were 292; in February, 273, and in the first seventeen days of March 278. For the week ended March 17 the British Royal Flying Corps alone destroyed 99 German airplanes and drove down 42, losing 23 of its own machines.

One of the most surprising air raids was that of March 11 on Naples, in Southern Italy, far from enemy lines, when a dirigible dropped bombs on the city. Private houses, asylums, and churches were damaged or destroyed and 16 persons killed and 40 injured.

Among the most savage attacks on Paris by aircraft was that in the night of April 12, when two hostile machines got through the anti-aircraft barrage and succeeded in killing 26 persons and injuring 72. One of the torpedoes burst a gas main in the street where it fell, but firemen promptly extinguished the fire that ensued. The American Red Cross was first on the scene of the explosion, and in a very short time had the victims safely removed to a hospital.[309]

The Tale of Zeppelin Disasters

What has become of the German airship fleet initiated by the late Count Zeppelin is now known to the Intelligence Department of the French Army, which has given out a complete list of the 100 or more dirigibles constructed since the first one was launched over Lake Constance.

Up to August, 1914, the total of Zeppelin airships built numbered twenty-five, while since the war the two great works at Friedrichshafen and Staaken have produced between seventy-five and eighty. As the mean period for the building of a Zeppelin is known with certainty to be two months, there must always have been four new airships on the stocks at the same time.

Most of the Zeppelins launched into the air before the war came to grief, thus leaving in the service of the German Army and Navy a fleet of less than a dozen when fighting began. Since then nearly all the dirigibles, old and new, have been handed over to the German Navy, which has used them for many kinds of work, such as bombing expeditions, protection of mine layers and small torpedo boats at sea, chasing submarines, searching for mine fields, and, last and most important, reconnoitring for the High Seas Fleet.

Disaster has attended the flight of an overwhelming majority of these air monsters, no fewer than thirty of which are known to have been destroyed in one way or another, as is shown by the following list:

L-1—Destroyed just before the war, when it fell in the North Sea near Heligoland.

L-2—Burned at Buhlsbuettel just before the war.

L-3—Descended at Famoe in Denmark at beginning of the war, and was burned by its crew.

L-4—Descended at Blaavands Huk, Denmark, at beginning of the war, and was burned by its crew.

L-5—Brought down on the Belgian front in 1915; part of crew saved.

L-6—Burned at Buhlsbuettel in its hangar in September, 1916.

L-7—Brought down by British destroyers off Portland, crew being drowned, in 1915.

L-8—Brought down by machine guns in Belgium, part of crew being killed, in 1915.

L-9—Burned at Buhlfriettel in its hangar at same time as L-6.

L-10—Struck by lightning near Cuxhaven during its initial flights, and lost with its crew.

L-12—Destroyed at Ostend in 1915 when returning from a raid on England.

L-15—Brought down in the Thames, England, in 1916.

L-16—Destroyed on Oct. 19, 1917.

L-18—Burned in a hangar at Tondern in 1916.

L-19—Fell in the Baltic while returning from a raid on England.

L-22—Burned accidentally while coming out of its hangar at Tondern.

L-23—Fell on the English coast.

L-25—Destroyed while being employed as a training balloon at Wildpark.

L-31—Fell in London in 1916.

L-32—Brought down in London in 1916, (Sept. 23-24.)

L-33—Brought down in England, Sept. 23, 1916, and crew interned.

L-35—Brought down in England.

L-39—Brought down at Compiègne, France, March, 1917.

L-40—Fell in the woods near Emden.

L-43—Brought down in July, 1917, at Terscheling.

L-44—Brought down afire at Saint-Clement, Oct. 20, 1917.

L-45—Brought down and burned at Silteron, Oct. 20, 1917.

L-48—Brought down in England, June, 1917.

L-49—Brought down at Bourbonne-les-Bains, Oct. 20, 1917.

L-50—Fell at Dommartin, Oct. 20, 1917.

L-57—Broke up on its first voyage.

The last named is the highest number believed to have been in the service. Missing numbers in the list given above are accounted for as follows:

L-11—Put out of service in 1917 and believed to be in shed at Hage.

L-13—In the shed at Hage since May, 1917.

L-14—School airship at Northolz.

L-17—Believed to have been destroyed at sea.


L-21—Dismantled; believed burned at Tondern.


L-26—Planned, but never constructed.

L-27, L-28, L-29, and L-30—Planned, but never constructed.

L-34—Believed destroyed off England.

L-37—Attached to Baltic squadron, but believed destroyed.

L-38—Whereabout unknown.

L-41, L-42, L-46, L-47, L-51, L-52, L-53, L-54, L-55, and L-56—In service in the North Sea.


No information is obtainable as to the fate of the remainder of the Zeppelins, nor as to whether their construction was ever completed, but the few other types of dirigible airships used by the Germans have not been better served by fate than their more renowned sisters.

The Schuette-Lanz dirigible is something like a Zeppelin, but with a framework of bamboo instead of aluminium. There have been eight of these in use since the beginning of the war, and their fate or present condition is shown in the following list:

S L-3—Long since out of service.

S L-4—Struck by lightning in the Baltic.

S L-6—Believed to have fallen into the Baltic.

S L-8—In service in the Baltic.

S L-9—Burned at Stolp.

S L-14—In service in the Baltic.

S L-16—Believed to be still in service.

S L-20—In service.

There was also one Gross semi-rigid dirigible, which was put out of service at the end of February, 1915, and three Parseval non-rigid airships, one of which was destroyed in Russia, the second used as a schoolship, and the third understood to be still in service.

Paris Bombarded by Long-Range Guns

The Disaster on Good Friday

Paris, though accustomed to the perils of German air raids, was amazed on the morning of March 23, 1918, to find itself bombarded by one or more guns of unprecedented range, which were dropping 9-inch shells into the city and its suburbs at intervals of twenty minutes. The nearest German line was more than sixty-two miles away, and the possibility of artillery bombardment at such a range was at first doubted in all the allied countries, but by the following day the fact was established that the shells were actually coming from the region of the Forest of St. Gobain, seven miles back of the French trenches near Laon, and about seventy-five miles from Paris. The French artillery at the front at once took measures to locate and destroy the guns, but without immediate results.

The first day's casualties from the long-distance shells were stated to be ten killed and fifteen wounded. The second day, which was Palm Sunday, was ushered in by loud explosions from the new missiles, but by church time the Parisians had already discounted the new sensation and thronged the streets on their way to the churches. The women who sell palm leaves on that day did their usual thriving business. During the early morning hours the street traffic was partly suspended, but by noon both the subway and the tramway cars were running again.

The shells were found to be doing comparatively little damage in proportion to their size. The municipal authorities announced on the second day that the German bombardment should not be allowed to interrupt the normal life of the city, and that the people would be warned by special signals, differing from those for air raids, and consisting of the beating of drums and blowing of whistles by the policemen. On Monday, when the police began to use the new system of alarm, they were the object of much good-natured chaffing on account of their awkwardness with the drumsticks.

Twenty-four shells reached Paris the first day, twenty-seven the second, fewer the third, and thus the bombardment went on daily, with occasional casualties and little effect on the habitual life of the city. The famous palace of the Tuileries was damaged by one of the shells, and other public buildings were struck. The damage was largely confined to the Montmartre district, the amusement centre of Paris, and nearly all the shells fell within a section about a mile square, indicating that the gun was immovable. One shell dropped in front of the Gare de l'Oest, a railway terminal, killing six men.

The casualties, however, were comparatively[311] few until March 29, when a shell struck the Church of St. Gervais at the hour of the Good Friday service, killing seventy-five persons and wounding ninety, some of whom died later. Fifty-four of those killed were women, five being Americans. The shell had struck the church in such a way as to cause a portion of it to collapse and fall upon the worshippers at the moment of the elevation of the Host.


The intense indignation of all France at this new outrage on noncombatants was voiced at once through the press and in speeches in the Chamber of Deputies. The authorities of the Catholic Church were deeply stirred, and Pope Benedict sent a protest to Berlin against the bombardment of Paris, and especially against the destruction of churches and the wholesale massacre of civilians. Cardinal Amette, Archbishop of Paris, arriving at the scene of the catastrophe a few moments after the explosion, expressed the general feeling when he exclaimed: "The beasts! To have chosen the day of our Lord's death for committing such a crime!" The Vatican sent Cardinal Amette the following dispatch:

The Holy Father, deploring the fact that the bloody conflict, which already has caused everywhere so much suffering, has again, on the very day of the Saviour's Passion, found more innocent victims, who are still dearer to his heart owing to their faith and piety, expresses his deepest sympathy. He sends the apostolic blessing to all the faithful in Paris, and desires to know if it is necessary to send material aid to the families in mourning.

The Cardinal also received the following letter from Grand Rabbi Israel Levi on behalf of those of the Jewish faith:

Your Eminence, I am the interpreter of the feelings of all my French co-religionists in saying that I share in the mourning which has come to so many families devastated by sacrilegious barbarism. We are one in pious indignation at the crime, which seems to have been intended as an insult to what humanity holds most sacred.

Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, voiced the sentiments of New York Catholics in this message to the Archbishop of Paris:

Shocked by the brutal killing of innocent victims gathered at religious services to commemorate the passing of our blessed Saviour on Good Friday, the Catholics of New York join your noble protest against this outrage of the sanctuary on such a day and at such an hour and, expressing their sympathy to the bereaved relatives of the dead and injured, pledge their unfaltering allegiance in support of the common cause that unites our two great republics. May God bless the brave officers and men of the allied armies in their splendid defense of liberty and justice!

Among those killed in this disaster was H. Stroehlin, Secretary of the Swiss Legation. The German Foreign Office later made an indirect expression of regret to Switzerland for this act, but sought to justify the bombardment on the ground that Paris is a fortress. The Kaiser sent a special note of congratulation to the managers of the Krupp works regarding the success of the weapon.


William G. Sharp, the American Ambassador to France, visited the wrecked church shortly after the disaster and sent a detailed report to Secretary Lansing at Washington. The State Department, on April 3, issued the following:

The Secretary of State has received from Ambassador Sharp in Paris a graphic report of his visit to the scene of the horrible tragedy which occurred on the afternoon of Good Friday in a church by the explosion of a German shell projected from far back of the enemy lines a distance of more than seventy miles. The appalling destruction wrought by this shell is, as the Ambassador remarked, probably not equaled by any single discharge of any hostile gun in the cruelty and horrors of its results.

In no other one spot in Paris, even where poverty had gathered on that holy day to worship, could destruction of life have been so great. Nearly a hundred mangled corpses lying in the morgues, with almost as many seriously wounded, attested to the measure of the toll exacted. Far up to the high, vaulted arches, between the flying buttresses well to the front of the church, is a great gap in the wall, from which fell upon the heads of the devoted worshippers many tons of solid masonry. It was this that caused such a great loss of life.

As the Ambassador entered the church, where but a few hours before had been gathered the worshippers, he could easily picture the scene that followed the explosion. The amount of débris, remaining just as it fell on the floor, covered the entire[312] space between the lofty columns supporting the arches at each side. Only a miracle could have saved from death or serious injury those who escaped the falling mass. The scene was that of some horrible shambles, and it was not until well into the night that all the bodies were recovered. Upon the floor in many places could still be seen the blood of the victims, among whom were many prominent and well-to-do people.

The Ambassador called to express his sympathy to his Swiss colleague, whose lifelong friend, the Secretary of the Swiss Legation, was killed while leaving the church. The Minister was deeply affected as he spoke of the great loss to him through the Secretary's death. The Secretary was well known in Washington, where he served with the Swiss Legation from 1902 to 1904, and was very highly esteemed by all who knew him.

In conclusion, Mr. Sharp says that the exceptional circumstances under which this tragedy occurred, both as to the sacred character of the day and the place, have greatly aroused the indignation of the people of Paris toward an enemy who seeks to destroy human life without regard to the immunities prescribed by the laws of civilization and humanity, and, instead of terrorizing the people, shells of the great cannons, as well as the bombs dropped from the German airplanes, only serve to strengthen the resolve of the French to resist, to the last man, if necessary, the invasion of such a foe.


Portions of exploded shells examined in the Municipal Laboratory of Paris indicated that the calibre of the new German gun was a trifle less than nine inches, and that the projectiles, weighing perhaps 200 pounds, contained a comparatively weak charge of high explosives, arranged in two chambers connected by a fuse, often causing two distinct explosions a minute or more apart. It was stated later by German military scientists that it took each shell more than three minutes to travel from the mouth of the gun to Paris, and that on its way it had to rise to a height of more than twenty miles from the earth. Three Paris experts found that at least two of these great guns were being used. According to German prisoners, one of the guns exploded on March 29, killing a German Lieutenant and nine men.

In their jubilation over the new weapon the German newspapers stated that the first bombardment of Paris had been witnessed by the Kaiser and by the builder of the long-range gun, Professor Fritz Rausenberger, who is an artillerist, manager of the Krupp Works, and builder of the famous 42-centimeter (16½-inch) gun used to demolish the Belgian forts at the beginning of the war.

The violence of the concussion of the new weapon was indicated by the statement of American scientists that every shot was found to be recorded by seismographs all over the United States; in other words, the shock of each discharge caused the needles of earthquake detectors three or four thousand miles away to record small dots on the smoked paper used in these instruments.

Paris, though embittered by the new form of attack, refused to be frightened by the long-range shells. The attendance at the churches on Easter Sunday was even larger than usual. The police authorities issued an order on April 4 that theatre matinées and afternoon entertainments of all kinds should be temporarily discontinued; but, owing to numerous protests, this order was modified next day, and the usual daytime performances in the theatres were allowed on condition that the bombardment had not begun at the hour of assembly, and that the place of amusement be evacuated immediately if the shelling began during the performance. In the weeks that followed the bombardment became more and more desultory and ineffectual.

It was recorded on April 9 that French aviators had discovered the location of the new guns at Crepy-en-Laonnais, near the road from La Fère to Laon, and that continual bombardment of the spot was causing the increasingly intermittent nature of the German long-range fire. The French had learned the location to a yard, and from a powerful battery ten miles away they were dropping enormous shells weighing half a ton each into the low hills where the German monsters were hidden. There were three of the supercannon, and a few days later an air photograph showed that two French shells had fallen on the barrel of one of them, putting it out of commission. Tremendous craters had been made around the others, and one French shell had fallen on a main railway line, blocking it[313] a whole day. A correspondent who visited the French battery engaged in this work wrote on April 13:

"It is stated that these German guns are ninety-six feet long. At the moment of firing, other big guns let fly simultaneously, to confuse the French, and a smoke screen is emitted in the vicinity to hide the pieces from aircraft. Up to yesterday there had been no firing at night, lest the flashes show the position of the cannon. How necessary this precaution is may be illustrated by my experience last night, when I saw the whole northern sky constantly lit up by the guns on the eighty-mile front of the German offensive."

After April 13, when the Germans knew that their secret was fully known, they began bombarding Paris by night, though without any increase in effectiveness. Up to the middle of April a total of 150 long-distance shells had fallen in Paris, and the only ones that had caused any notable casualties were those which struck the Church of St. Gervais, an infant asylum, and an old man's bowling green.

The Irish Guards


[Read at a matinée in London in aid of the Irish Guards' War Fund, for which it was written by Mr. Kipling.]

We're not so old in the Army List,
  But we're not so young at our trade,
For we had the honor at Fontenoy
  Of meeting the Guards Brigade.
'Twas Lally, Dillon, Bulkeley, Clare,
  And Lee that led us then,
And after a hundred and seventy years
  We're fighting for France again!
Old Days! The wild geese are flighting,
  Head to the storm as they faced it before!
For where there are Irish there's bound to be fighting,
  And when there's no fighting, it's Ireland no more!

Ireland no more!
The fashion's all for khaki now,
  But once through France we went
Full-dressed in scarlet Army cloth—
  The English—left at Ghent.
They're fighting on our side today,
  But before they changed their clothes
The half of Europe knew our fame
  As all of Ireland knows!
Old days! The wild geese are flying,
  Head to the storm as they faced it before!
For where there are Irish there's memory undying,
  And when we forget, it is Ireland no more!

Ireland no more!
From Barry Wood to Gouzeaucourt,
  From Boyne to Pilkem Ridge,
The ancient days come back no more
  Than water under the bridge.
But the bridge it stands and the water runs
  As red as yesterday,
And the Irish move to the sound of the guns
  Like salmon to the sea!
Old days! The wild geese are ranging,
  Head to the storm as they faced it before!
For where there are Irish their hearts are unchanging,
  And when they are changeful, it is Ireland no more!

Ireland no more!
We're not so old in the Army List,
  But we're not so new in the ring,
For we carried our packs with Marshal Saxe
  When Louis was our King.
But Douglas Haig's our Marshal now
  And we're King George's men,
And after one hundred and seventy years
  We're fighting for France again!
Ah, France! And did we stand by you
  When life was made splendid with gifts and rewards?
Ah, France! And will we deny you
  In the hour of your agony, Mother of Swords?
Old Days! The wild geese are flighting,
  Head to the storm as they faced it before!
For where there are Irish there's loving and fighting,
  And when we stop either, it's Ireland no more!

Ireland no more!


The Guilt of Germany

German Ambassador to Great Britain in 1914 Proves That His Country Forced the War

Prince Lichnowsky, who was the German Ambassador to Great Britain when the war began, is the author of an extremely interesting and important historical document which became public in March, 1918. It is in the form of a private memorandum written by the Prince, in which he frankly and definitely admits that the guilt for starting the world conflict rests upon his own country. The document, through some unrevealed agency, reached the Stockholm newspaper Politiken, the influential mouthpiece of the Swedish Socialists, and was printed in installments.

The publication created a profound sensation throughout Europe. It evoked passionate rebukes of the Prince in the Reichstag and drew forth an important utterance from the former German Foreign Minister, who failed to refute its supremely important revelations. It was reported early in April that the German Government had taken steps to institute proceedings against the Prince on the charges of revealing State secrets and of treason to the State.

The memorandum was written by Prince Lichnowsky about eighteen months ago for the purpose of explaining and justifying his position to his personal friends, and only half a dozen typewritten copies were made. One of these copies, through a betrayal, reached the Wilhelmstrasse, and caused a great scandal, and another was communicated to some members of the Minority Socialist Party. But how it happened that a copy got across the German frontier remains a mystery. Internal evidence, however, leaves no doubt in regard to the authenticity of the document. It is entitled "My London Mission, 1912-1914," and is dated "Kuchelna, (Prince Lichnowsky's country seat,) August, 1916."

Prince Lichnowsky begins with a recital of the circumstances which led to his being appointed to London after many years of retirement from diplomacy, and a description of the European position as he then found it. The moment, he believes,

was undoubtedly favorable for a new attempt to get on a better footing with England. Our enigmatical Moroccan policy had repeatedly shaken confidence in our peaceful disposition and aroused the suspicion that we were not quite sure what we wanted, or that our intention was to keep Europe in suspense, and, when occasion served, to humiliate the French. An Austrian colleague, who was long in Paris, said to me, "If the French begin to forget révanche, you regularly remind them of it by treading heavily on their toes."

After rejecting M. Delcassé's attempt to come to an agreement with us in regard to Morocco, and declaring that we had no political interests there, an attitude which was in full accordance with the traditions of the Bismarckian policy, we suddenly recognized in Abdul Aziz a Kruger No. 2. To him, also, like the Boers, we promised the powerful support of the German Empire—at the same cost and with the same result. For both affairs ended, as they had to end, unless we were already then resolved to undertake a world war—namely, in withdrawal.

Our attitude promoted the Russo-Japanese and the Russo-British rapprochements. In face of the German peril all other conflicts fell into the background. The possibility of a new Franco-German war had become evident.


After describing the futility of Germany's Moroccan policy, Prince Lichnowsky goes on:

When I arrived in London, in November, 1912, public opinion had calmed about the Morocco question. Mr. Haldane's mission had certainly failed, since we had demanded a promise of neutrality instead of satisfying ourselves with a compact which would secure us against a British attack or an attack with British support. Sir Edward Grey, however, had not given up the idea of reaching an agreement with us and, as a[315] beginning, made an attempt in this direction in the economic and colonial spheres. With Herr von Kühlmann as expert intermediary, an exchange of views took place concerning the renewal of the Portuguese Colonial Agreement and the Bagdad Railway, the object of which was to divide the aforesaid colonies, as well as Asia Minor, into spheres of interest. The British statesman desired, since the old disputes with France and Russia were settled, to reach a corresponding agreement with us. His aim was not to isolate us, but to get us to take part in the already established concert. Having succeeded in throwing a bridge across the Franco-British and Russo-British divisions, he wished also, as far as possible, to remove the causes of friction between England and Germany, and, by a network of agreements—to which might well eventually have been added an agreement on the unfortunate naval question—to secure the peace of the world.

This was Sir Edward Grey's program. In his own words "Without prejudice to the existing friendly understandings with France and Russia, which pursued no aggressive aims, and involved in themselves for England no binding obligations, to reach a friendly rapprochement and understanding with Germany." In short, to bring the two groups nearer together.

In this connection two schools of opinion—the optimists, who believed in the possibility of an understanding; the pessimists, who considered that war was sooner or later unavoidable. To the former belonged Mr. Asquith, Sir Edward Grey, Mr. Haldane, and most of the members of the Liberal Cabinet, as well as the leading Liberal organs, like The Westminster, The Chronicle, and The (Manchester) Guardian. To the pessimists belonged, primarily, Conservative politicians like Mr. Balfour, who on repeated occasions allowed me to know his opinion, and leading soldiers like Lord Roberts, who preached the necessity for the introduction of compulsory service; also the Northcliffe press, and the important English journalist, Mr. Garvin. During my time in office, however, this party refrained from all attacks, and maintained, both personally and politically, a friendly attitude. But our naval policy and our conduct in 1905, 1908, and 1911 had created among them the belief that some day it would come to war. The first school, exactly as among us in Germany, are now accused of foolishness and short-sightedness, while the second are regarded as true prophets.

Prince Lichnowsky goes on to describe the situation during the Balkan war. There were two policies, he says, open to Germany—to act as an impartial mediator and seek a stable settlement in accordance with the wishes of the Balkan peoples, or to conduct a strict Triple Alliance policy. He himself recommended the former, but the Wilhelmstrasse determined on the latter. Austria wished to keep Serbia from the Adriatic; Italy wished to prevent the Greeks from reaching Avlona; Russia supported the Serbs, France supported the Greeks. Germany had no motive whatever for supporting her allies, and thus bringing about a bad settlement, except the desire to consolidate what, in Prince Lichnowsky's opinion, was a palpably worthless alliance—worthless because it was obvious that Italy would break from the alliance in the event of war, while Austria was absolutely dependent on Germany in peace and war without an alliance.

The best way to increase Austria's dependence was to cultivate friendly relations between Germany and Russia. The Kaiser, for dynastic reasons, was in favor of the division of Albania between Greece and Serbia, but "when I, in a letter to him, urged this solution, I received from the Chancellor a severe reprimand to the effect that I was supporting Austria's enemies, and should refrain from direct correspondence with the Emperor."

Thus Germany decided to take her stand on the side of the Turkish and Magyar oppressors for the sake of the Triple Alliance—a fatal blunder, which Prince Lichnowsky describes as "all the more striking since a sudden Franco-Russian assault—the only hypothesis which could justify the Triple Alliance policy—could, in fact, be ruled out of our calculations."


It was not only unnecessary, he declares, but dangerous, to pay attention to Austria's wishes, since to look at the Eastern question through Austrian spectacles must lead to a collision with Russia and a world war.

Such a policy, moreover, was bound to alienate sympathy among the young, strong, and aspiring communities of the Balkan Peninsula, who were ready to[316] turn to us and to open their markets to us. The opposition between courts and peoples, between the dynastic and the democratic idea of the State, was clearly defined, and, as usual, we stood on the wrong side. * * * In Serbia, against our own economic interests, we supported the Austrian policy of strangulation. We have always ridden horses whose collapse could be foreseen—Kruger, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Hamid, and William of Wied—and finally we came to grief in Berchtold's stable.

Prince Lichnowsky proceeds to describe the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1913, and the influential and conciliatory part played there by Sir Edward Grey, who always, he says, found a way out of every apparent deadlock.

But we, instead of taking up a position analogous to that of England, invariably espoused the standpoint of Vienna. Count Mensdorff led the Triple Alliance in London; I was his second. My task consisted in supporting his proposals. In Berlin the prudent and experienced Count Szögyény was in control. "Here the casus foederis arises," was his constant refrain, and when I once ventured to question the correctness of this conclusion I was seriously warned for Austrophobia. At all points we accepted and supported the views of Austria and Italy. Sir Edward Grey, on the other hand, practically never sided with Russia or France. Usually, indeed, he took the side of our group, so as not to provide any pretext for conflict. That pretext was supplied later by a dead Archduke.


Lichnowsky states that a few days after the Serajevo murder of June 28, 1914, he was in Berlin, and from interviews with Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg he found that the latter did not share the Prince's belief that peace might be maintained, and complained of Russian armaments. The memorandum continues:

I then went to Dr. Zimmermann, who was representing Herr von Jagow, [Foreign Secretary,] and from him learned that Russia was about to raise 900,000 fresh troops. His words showed an unmistakable animosity toward Russia, which, he said, was everywhere in our way. Of course, I was not told that General von Moltke was pressing for war. I learned, however, that Herr von Tschereschky [the German Ambassador in Vienna] had received a rebuke because he reported that he had advised moderation in Vienna toward Serbia.

Subsequently I learned that at a decisive conversation in Potsdam July 5 an inquiry addressed to us by Vienna found positive assent among all personages in authority. Indeed, they added that there would be no harm if war with Russia were to result. I received instruction that I was to induce the English press to take up a friendly attitude if Austria gave the deathblow to the Great Serbian movement, and as far as possible I was, by my influence, to prevent public opinion opposing Austria.

I gave warning against the whole project, which I described as adventurous and dangerous, and I advised that moderation be recommended to the Austrians because I did not believe in localization of conflict.

Herr von Jagow answered me that Russia was not ready, that there doubtless would be a certain amount of bluster, but that the more firmly we stood by Austria the more would Russia draw back. He said Austria already was accusing us of want of spirit and we must not squeeze her; and that, on the other hand, feeling in Russia was becoming ever more anti-German and so we must simply risk it.

I knew that Sir Edward Grey's influence in Petrograd could be turned to use in favor of peace, so I used my friendly relations with Sir Edward, [British Foreign Secretary,] and in confidence begged him to advise moderation in Russia if Austria demanded satisfaction from Serbia.

At first the attitude of the English press was calm and friendly to the Austrians because the murder was condemned, but gradually more and more voices were heard to insist that, however necessary it was to punish the crime, exploitation of crime for political purposes could not be justified. Austria was strongly urged to show moderation.

When the ultimatum appeared, all the papers, except The Standard, which was always like slow water and apparently was paid by the Austrians, were as one in their condemnation. The whole world, except in Berlin and Vienna, understood that it meant war, and indeed a world war.

The British fleet, which chanced to be assembled for review, was not demobilized.

England and Russia for Peace

At first I pressed for a conciliatory answer as far as possible on the part of Serbia, since the attitude of the Russian Government left no further doubt of the seriousness of the situation. The Serbian reply was in accordance with the British efforts, and everything actually had been accepted except two points, about which a readiness to negotiate had been expressed.

Panoramic view of Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Ky., where the 84th (National Army) Division is in training (© Caulfield & Shook)
Panoramic view of Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Ky., where the 84th (National Army) Division is in training
(© Caulfield & Shook)

Panoramic view of Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, where the 83d (National Army) Division is in training (Photo R. K. Wagner & Co.)
Panoramic view of Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, where the 83d (National Army) Division is in training
(Photo R. K. Wagner & Co.)

If[317] Russia and England had wanted war in order to fall upon us a hint to Belgrade would have been sufficient, and the unheard of [Austrian] note would have remained unanswered. Sir Edward Grey went through the Serbian reply with me and pointed to the conciliatory attitude of the Government at Belgrade. We then discussed his mediation proposal, which was to arrange an interpretation of the two points acceptable to both parties.

Cambon, [French Ambassador in London,] Marquis Imperiali, [Italian Ambassador in London,] and I should have met under Sir Edward Grey's presidency, and it would have been easy to find an acceptable form for the disputed points which, in the main, concerned the participation of Austrian officials in the investigation at Belgrade.

Given good will, everything could have been settled in one or two sittings, and mere acceptance of the British proposal would have relieved the tension and would further have improved our relations to England. I urgently recommended the proposal, saying that otherwise a world war was imminent, in which we had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

In vain! I was told that it was against the dignity of Austria and that we did not want to interfere in the Serbian business but left it to our ally. I was told to work for localization of conflict. Of course, it would only have needed a hint from Berlin to make Count Berchtold, Austrian Foreign Minister, satisfy himself with a diplomatic success and put up with the Serbian reply, but this hint was not given.

Germany Forced the War

On the contrary, we pressed for war. What a fine success it would have been! After our refusal Sir Edward asked us to come forward with a proposal of our own. We insisted upon war. I could get no other answer from Berlin than that it was enormous conciliation on the part of Austria to contemplate no annexation of territory.

Thereupon Sir Edward justly pointed out that even without annexations of territory a country can be humiliated and subjected, and that Russia would regard this as a humiliation which she would not stand. The impression became ever stronger that we desired war in all circumstances, otherwise our attitude on the question, which after all did not directly concern us, was unintelligible.

The urgent appeals and definite declarations of Sazonoff [Russian Foreign Minister] later on the positively humble telegrams of the Czar, the repeated proposals of Sir Edward, the warnings of San Giuliano, [Italian Foreign Minister,] my own urgent advice—all were of no use, for Berlin went on insisting that Serbia must be massacred. The more I pressed the less willing they were to alter their course, if only because I was not to have the success of saving peace in company with Sir Edward Grey.

So Grey on July 29 resolved upon his well-known warning. I replied I had always reported that we should have to reckon upon English hostility if it came to war with France. The Minister said to me repeatedly, "If war breaks out it will be the greatest catastrophe the world has ever seen." After that events moved rapidly.

When Count Berchtold, who hitherto had played strong man on instructions from Berlin, at last decided to change his course, we answered Russian mobilization—after Russia had waited and negotiated in vain for a whole week—with our ultimatum and declaration of war.

Up to the last moment I had hoped for a waiting attitude on the part of England. As late as August the King of England replied evasively to the French President, but in a telegram from Berlin, which announced the threatening danger of war, England already was mentioned as an opponent. In Berlin, therefore, one already reckoned upon war with England.

Before my departure Sir Edward Grey received me on Aug. 5 at his house. I went there at his desire. He was deeply moved. He said to me that he would always be ready to mediate, and "We do not want to crush Germany." Unfortunately this confidential conversation was published, and thereby von Bethmann Hollweg destroyed the last possibility of reaching a peace via England.

Questions of Guilt

As it appears from all official publications without the facts being controverted by our own White Book, which, owing to its poverty and gaps, constitutes a grave self-accusation:

1. We encouraged Count Berchtold to attack Serbia, although no German interest was involved and the danger of a world war must have been known to us; whether we knew the text of the ultimatum is a question of complete indifference.

2. In the days between July 23 and 30, 1914, when Sazonoff emphatically declared that Russia could not tolerate an attack on Serbia, we rejected the British proposals of mediation, although Serbia, under Russian and British pressure, had accepted almost the whole ultimatum, and although an agreement about the two points in question could easily have been reached and Berchtold was even ready to satisfy himself with the Serbian reply.

3. On July 30, when Berchtold wanted to give way, we, without Austria having been attacked, replied to Russia's mere[318] mobilization by sending an ultimatum to St. Petersburg, and on July 31 we declared war on the Russians, although the Czar had pledged his word that as long as negotiations continued not a man should march—so that we deliberately destroyed the possibility of a peaceful settlement.


In view of these indisputable facts, it is not surprising that the whole world outside of Germany attributes to us sole guilt for the world war.


Anglo-German negotiations concerning the Berlin-Bagdad Railway and German naval and commercial jealousy of Great Britain are touched upon in further sections of the personal memorandum.

Prince Lichnowsky says that the Bagdad Railway treaty aimed in fact at a division of Asia Minor into spheres of interest, although this expression was carefully avoided in consideration of the rights of the Sultan of Turkey. Sir Edward Grey asserted repeatedly that there was no agreement between England and France aiming at a division of Asia Minor. The greatest concession that Sir Edward made to Prince Lichnowsky personally was for the continuation of the railway line to Basra.

By this treaty the whole of Mesopotamia up to Basra became a German zone of interest by which all British rights and the question of shipping on the Tigris were left untouched. The British economic territories, the Prince adds, included the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Smyrna-Aden Railway, the French territory was Syria, and the Russian Armenia. Had the treaty been concluded and published, he continues, an agreement would have been reached with Great Britain which would have finally ended all doubt of the possibility of Anglo-German co-operation.


Referring to the difficult question of German naval activity, Prince Lichnowsky says that the creation of a mighty fleet on the other shore of the North Sea and the simultaneous development of the Continent's most important military power into a most important naval power had at least to be recognized by Great Britain as uncomfortable. To preserve the supremacy of the seas which Great Britain must have in order not to go down, the Prince adds, she had to undertake preparations and expenses which weighed heavily on the taxpayers. Nevertheless, the powers become reconciled to the German fleet in its definite strength. Obviously it was not welcome to Great Britain and, the Prince says, constituted one of the motives, but neither the only nor the most important motive, for England to join hands with Russia and France.

On account of the German fleet alone, Prince Lichnowsky says, Great Britain would have drawn the sword as little as on account of German trade, "which, it is pretended, called forth her jealousy and finally brought about war."


During Prince Lichnowsky's term of office Winston Spencer Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, raised the question of the so-called naval holiday, proposing it for financial reasons as much as on account of the pacifist inclinations[319] of his party. Churchill wanted a pause of one year in building ships. Prince Lichnowsky maintains it would have been difficult to support this plan on account of the workmen employed and the technical personnel. The German naval program was settled, and it would have been difficult to alter it. The Prince asserts that it was possible, in spite of the German fleet and without a naval holiday, to come to an understanding. In that spirit he had carried out his mission and had almost succeeded in realizing his program when the war broke out and destroyed everything.

Discussing the question of trade jealousy, Prince Lichnowsky says it rested on a faulty judgment of circumstances. In British commercial circles, he says, he found the greatest good-will and the desire for further economic interests in common. In order to get in touch with the most important business circles he accepted invitations from the Chambers of Commerce in London, Bradford, Newcastle, and Liverpool, and he had a hearty reception everywhere.

In conclusion Prince Lichnowsky gives his impressions of English society. King George he describes as very amiable and well-meaning, with sound understanding and common sense, and invariably well disposed toward the German Ambassador.


The German Vice Chancellor, Friedrich von Payer, announced in the Reichstag late in March that on account of the disclosures Prince Lichnowsky had resigned his rank and expressed regrets. Herr von Payer stated that Prince Lichnowsky himself, on March 15, made a statement to the Imperial Chancellor in which he said:

Your Excellency knows that the purely private notes which I wrote down in the Summer of 1916 found their way into wider circles by an unprecedented breach of confidence. It was mainly a question of subjective considerations about our entire foreign policy since the Berlin Congress. I perceived in the policy hitherto pursued of repelling Russia and in the extension of the policy of alliances to Oriental questions the real roots of the world war. I then submitted our Morocco naval policy to a brief examination. My London mission could at the same time not remain out of consideration, especially as I felt need in regard to the future and with a view to my own justification of noting the details of my experiences and impressions there before they vanished from my memory.

Prince Lichnowsky then described how the memorandum, which he had shown to a few political friends, got into wider circulation owing to an indiscretion, and finally expressed lively regret at such an extremely vexatious incident.


Herr von Payer said that Prince Lichnowsky had meanwhile tendered his resignation of his present rank, which had been accepted, and, as he had doubtless no bad intention, but had simply been guilty of imprudence, no further steps would be taken against him. The Vice Chancellor proceeded:

Some assertions in his document must, however, be contradicted, especially his assertions about political events in the last months preceding the war. Prince Lichnowsky was not of his own knowledge acquainted with these events, but he apparently received from a third and wrongly informed quarter inaccurate information. The key to mistakes and false conclusions may also be the Prince's overestimation of his own services, which are accompanied by hatred against those who do not recognize his achievements as he expected. The entire memorandum is penetrated by a striking veneration for foreign diplomats, especially the British, who are described in a truly affectionate manner, and on the other hand by an equally striking irritation against almost all German statesmen. The result was that the Prince frequently regarded Germany's most zealous enemies as her best friends because they were personally on good terms with him. The fact that, as he admits, he attached at first no great importance to the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne, and was displeased that the situation was judged otherwise in Berlin, makes it plain that the Prince had no clear judgment for the events that followed and their import.


The Vice Chancellor then characterized as false all Prince Lichnowsky's assertions about General von Moltke's urging war at the Potsdam Crown Council of July 5, 1914, and the dispatch of the Austrian protocol by "this alleged Crown Council" to Count Mensdorff with[320] the postscript that it would be no great harm even if war with Russia arose out of it.

Herr von Payer also denied the statement that the then Foreign Secretary was in Vienna in 1914, as well as the statement that Count von Pourtalès, the German Ambassador in Petrograd, had reported that Russia would in no circumstances move. The Sukhomlinoff trial had shown how unfounded were Prince Lichnowsky's reproaches against Germany for replying to the Russian mobilization by an ultimatum and a declaration of war. It was also false to assert that the German Government rejected all Great Britain's mediation proposals. Lord Grey's last mediation proposal was very urgently supported in Vienna by Berlin. The aim of the memorandum was obvious. It was to show the reader how much better and more intelligent Prince Lichnowsky's policy was and how he could have assured the peace of the empire if his advice had been followed. The Vice Chancellor added: "The memorandum will cause enough harm among malevolent and superficial people; it has no historical value whatever."

Dr. Payer then discussed the revelations of Dr. Mühlon, at present in Switzerland. Dr. Mühlon, an ex-Director of Krupps, had made a statement according to which he had a conference with two exalted personages in the latter half of July, 1914, from which it appeared that it was not the intention of the German Government to maintain peace. The Vice Chancellor alleged that Dr. Mühlon was suffering from neurasthenia at the time, and that no importance could be attached to his revelations, since the two gentlemen referred to had denied making the statements attributed to them.


Herr von Stumm, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said that while in London the Prince devoted himself zealously to his task. His views had frequently not agreed with those of the German Foreign Office, especially regarding his strong optimism in reference to Anglo-German relations. When his hopes, aiming at an Anglo-German understanding, were destroyed by the war, the Prince returned to Germany "greatly excited," and even then did not restrain his criticism of German policy. His excitement increased owing to attacks against him in the German press. All these circumstances, said von Stumm, must be taken into consideration when gauging the value of the memorandum.

In the subsequent discussion disapproval of Prince Lichnowsky's attitude was expressed, but some speakers urged the need for the reorganization of Germany's diplomatic service.

According to the report of the debate published by the Neues Wiener Journal, Herr von Payer himself acknowledged that prior to the war German diplomacy had made some bad blunders, and that reform was urgently needed. Herr Müller (Progressive) sharply criticised Herr von Flotow, who was German Ambassador in Rome at the beginning of the war, and charged him with having declared to the Marquis di San Giuliano, then Italian Foreign Minister, that there existed for Italy no casus foederis. Prince Bülow also came in for severe criticism.

The Former Foreign Minister's Reply

The former Foreign Minister of Germany, Herr von Jagow, published a reply to Prince Lichnowsky in the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he virtually confirmed the Prince's main assertions. He applied such phrases as "an unheard-of assertion," "a mass of inaccuracies and perversions," to Lichnowsky's memorandum, but he did not meet the former Ambassador's charges with any new evidence, merely referring his readers to former publications of the German Government.

Von Jagow's reply bears out the assertion that in 1913 England was prepared to enter into friendly agreements with[321] Germany. She was "ready to meet us." A Bagdad railway agreement was almost completed when Germany drew the sword. Negotiations about the future of the African colonies of Portugal in certain contingencies had been resumed, and the German Foreign Secretary looked forward to further agreements in the Far East and elsewhere.

The former Foreign Minister refuses to adopt the Pan-German view that "England laid all the mines which caused the war." On the contrary, he bears witness with former Ambassador Lichnowsky to Sir Edward Grey's "love of peace and his serious wish to reach an agreement with us." He says that it is true that Sir Edward could have prevented war, but he is careful not to indicate how. Presumably he means he could have done it by following Germany's example and treating England's engagements as "scraps of paper."

He agrees that the war was not popular with the British people, and that Belgium had to serve as a battlecry. Germany, on the other hand, had to maintain her prestige. It had been damaged by her political defeat in Morocco. A fresh diminution of it would have been, he remarks, "intolerable for our position in Europe and in the world."

In one point of fact he corrects Prince Lichnowsky. He denies that he himself visited Vienna at any time between the Spring of 1913 and the outbreak of the war. He confirms, as far as he remembers, all the expressions attributed to him by Lichnowsky.

His only reference to the Potsdam Council of July 5, 1914, (when, it is asserted, the Teuton leaders made the final decision for war,) is not a denial that the meeting took place, but a single sentence: "On July 5 I was absent from Berlin."

In regard to Lichnowsky's main charges, Herr von Jagow talks of "unheard-of" assertions and "inaccuracies and perversions," but he does not bring forward any fresh arguments to meet the charges, and merely refers to the publications of the German Government concerning the conversations which took place in June, 1914, between the Kaiser and Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Herr von Jagow says:

At Konopischt no plan was laid down (festgelegt) for an active policy against Serbia. Archduke Francis Ferdinand was not at all an advocate of a policy leading to war, although he was often reckoned as such. During the London conference he advised moderation and avoidance of war.

Herr van Jagow here avoids the issue raised by Lichnowsky, who did not say that a definite scheme was arranged at Konopischt, but that the indication was, not that Archduke Francis Ferdinand was in favor of war, but that his death was a positive relief to the advocates of war.

In the course of his statement Herr von Jagow, who remained Foreign Secretary until late in 1916, says:

When I was appointed State Secretary in January, 1913, it seemed to me that a German-English rapprochement was desirable, and an understanding upon those points where our interests touched and sometimes even crossed, and this I deemed feasible. At least, it was my intention to work on this.

With regard to the Bagdad question Herr von Jagow says:

If England insisted upon excluding us from Mesopotamia, it appeared to me that a conflict would be avoided with difficulty. We were met in a conciliatory manner by the English Government, and an agreement had almost been reached just previous to the outbreak of the world war.

He meets Lichnowsky's assertion that Germany drove Russia "into the arms of France and England by our Oriental and Balkan policy" with the contention that the Pan-Slavism which governed Russian politics was directly anti-German. Upon the London conference on Algeciras he says:

We no more desired war on Albania's account than did Sir Edward Grey. That is why, in spite of our former experiences at Algeciras, we consented to the conference. The merit of a conciliatory attitude at the conference must not be denied to Sir Edward Grey, but it is going a little too far to say that he in nowise took up his stand on the side of the Entente. He certainly often urged St. Petersburg to give way, and found principles of accord (Einigungs Formeln) suitable to this end. But outwardly he represented the Entente, as he could no more leave his associates in the lurch than could we. Nor did he wish to do so. [322]

On the other hand, the assertion that we adopted without exception the standpoint prescribed for us by Vienna is absolutely untrue. We played, as England did, a conciliatory rôle, and urged moderation upon Vienna far more than Lichnowsky seems to be aware of, or at any rate admits. Vienna thereupon made a variety of the most far-reaching concessions, Dibra and Djakowa.


Mentioning the Serajevo murders as the climax of the continued Russian provocations against Austria, von Jagow says:

The prestige and existence of the Danube monarchy were at stake. We could not agree to the English proposal concerning a conference of Ministers, as it would doubtless have led to a serious diplomatic defeat for us.

I do not intend to adopt the theory now widespread among us that England was the originator of all the intrigues leading to the war. On the contrary, I believe in Sir Edward Grey's love of peace and his genuine desire to arrive at an understanding with us, but he had allowed himself to become too hopelessly entangled in the network of Franco-Russian policy. He could find no way out, and therefore failed to do that which had been in his power to prevent the world war. War was not popular among the English people, therefore Belgium had to serve as a battle cry.

At the end of his observations von Jagow restates his policy as follows:

I also pursued a policy which aimed at an agreement with England because I was of the opinion that this was the only road by which we could get out of the unfavorable situation into which the unequal distribution of strength and weakness of the Triple Alliance had brought us. Political marriages "until death us do part" are, as Prince Lichnowsky says, impossible in international relations, but in the existing state of affairs in Europe isolations are equally impossible. The history of Europe is composed of coalitions, some of which have led to avoidance of wars and some to violent conflicts. A loosening and final dissolution of old unions, which no longer satisfy all conditions, cannot be recommended until new constellations are within reach. That was the aim of our policy of rapprochement with England. As long as this policy did not provide trustworthy guarantees we could not abandon the old securities and obligations which they involved.

Our Morocco policy led to political defeat. Happily, this had been avoided in the Bosnian crisis and at the London conference. Fresh diminution of our prestige was intolerable for our position in Europe and in the world. Prosperity of States and their political and economic successes depend upon the prestige which they enjoy in the world.


Captain Persius, the military editor of the Berlin Tageblatt, in discussing the revelations of Prince Lichnowsky and the reply of Herr von Jagow in their relation to a possible peace by agreement, used these words:

"An understanding ought to be easier, now that we have heard from two opposing sources, from von Jagow and Lichnowsky, that England was not responsible for the war, as has been believed hitherto in wide circles in Germany."

Decrease of Birth Rate in Hungary

The following statistics were read by the Karolyist Deputy, Lodovico Hollo, to the Hungarian Chamber of Deputies, at the session of Jan. 16, 1918:

(1) Births.—Before the war 765,000 children a year were born in Hungary. In the first year of the war, 1914, the number of births was reduced by 18,000; in 1915 only 481,000 children were born—that is, 284,000 less than in time of peace. In 1916 the number of births was 333,000—that is, a reduction of 432,000. In 1917 the births amounted to 328,000—that is, the reduction was 438,000. Therefore our losses (in Hungary alone) behind the front reach the number of 1,172,866 individuals.

(2) Deaths.—Whereas in time of peace infant mortality for a period of seven years was 34 per cent., in 1915 the proportion was increased to 48 per cent. and in 1916 to 50 per cent.

These facts prove what sacrifices Hungary is making, to the prejudice of her own people, to continue the war.


Count Czernin on Peace Terms

A Reply to President Wilson and a Survey of Results of the Russian Peace Treaties

Count Czernin, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, delivered an address April 2, 1918, to a deputation of the Vienna City Council, in the nature of a reply to President Wilson's address of Feb. 11 on "Peace Aims," the text of which appeared in the March issue of Current History Magazine. Count Czernin spoke as follows:

Gentlemen: I am quite ready to reply to the questions put by the Burgomaster and thereby to give both you and the wider public a full view of political conditions as I see them at the moment. I had hoped to speak before the competent forum, but the fact that one of our commissions cannot meet at present makes this impossible, so I take this opportunity of affording in brief a review of the international situation.

With the signing of peace with Rumania the war in the east is ended. Three treaties of peace have been signed—with Petrograd, Ukraine, and Rumania. One principal section of the war is thus ended.

Before discussing the separate peaces which have been signed, and before going into details, I wish to return to the statements of the President of the United States wherein he replied to the speech I made before the delegations on Jan. 24. In many parts of the world Mr. Wilson's speech was regarded as an attempt to drive a wedge between Vienna and Berlin. I do not believe that, because I have much too high an opinion of Mr. Wilson's statesmanship to suspect him of such a train of thought.

According to my impressions, Mr. Wilson does not want to separate Vienna from Berlin. He does not desire that, and knows that it is impossible.

He perhaps thinks, however, that Vienna presents more favorable soil for sowing the seeds of a general peace. He has perhaps said to himself that the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy has the good fortune to have a monarch who genuinely and honorably desires a general peace, but that this monarch will never be guilty of a breach of faith; that he will never make a shameful peace, and that behind this monarch stand 55,000,000 souls.

I imagine that Mr. Wilson says to himself that this closely knit mass of people represents a force which is not to be disregarded and that this honorable and firm will to peace with which the monarch is imbued and which binds him to the peoples of both States is capable of carrying a great idea in the service of which Mr. Wilson has also placed himself.

Before I discuss Mr. Wilson's last utterances I would like to clear up one misunderstanding. In my last speech which I delivered before the Austrian delegations I replied to an inquiry in this connection that probably Mr. Wilson was already in possession of my utterances. Later Mr. Wilson corrected this, and pointed out that there must be some mistake. I had prepared my speech beforehand, so as to avoid any possibility of its being incorrectly or incompletely transmitted, and at the moment I made my speech I supposed that it had already reached Washington. Apparently, however, it only arrived there some days later.

This does not affect the matter itself. My object was to assure that the President of the United States should get the exact text of my speech, and this object was attained and the trifling delay of a few days was a matter of indifference.

With regard to Mr. Wilson's reply, I can only say that I consider it very important that the German Chancellor, in his admirable speech of Feb. 25, took the[324] answer out of my mouth and declared that the four points developed by Mr. Wilson in his speech of Feb. 11 are the basis upon which a general peace can be discussed. I entirely agree with him in this.

President Wilson's four points are a suitable basis upon which to begin negotiating about a general peace. The question is whether or not Mr. Wilson will succeed in uniting his allies upon this basis.


God is my witness that we have tried everything possible to avoid a new offensive. The Entente would not have it. A short time before the beginning of the offensive in the west M. Clemenceau inquired of me whether and upon what basis I was prepared to negotiate. I immediately replied, in agreement with Berlin, that I was ready to negotiate, and that as regards France I saw no other obstacle for peace than France's desire for Alsace-Lorraine.

The reply from Paris was that France was willing to negotiate only on that basis. There was then no choice left.

The gigantic struggle in the west has already begun. Austro-Hungarian and German troops are fighting shoulder to shoulder as they did in Russia, Serbia, Rumania, and Italy. We are fighting united for the defense of Austria-Hungary and Germany. Our armies will show the Entente that French and Italian aspirations to portions of our territory are Utopias which will be terribly avenged.

The explanation of this attitude of the Entente Powers, which verges on lunacy, is to a great extent to be sought in certain domestic events here, to which I shall return later. Whatever may happen, we shall not sacrifice German interests any more than Germany will desert us. Loyalty on the Danube is not less than German loyalty. We are not fighting for imperialist or annexationist ends, either for ourselves or for Germany, but we shall act together to the end for our defense, for our political existence and for our future.

The first breach in the determination of our enemies to war has been driven by the peace negotiations with Russia. That was a break-through by the idea of peace.

It is a symptom of childish dilettantism to overlook the close relationship of the various peace signatures with each other. The constellation of enemy powers in the east was like a net. When one mesh was cut through the remaining meshes loosened of their own accord.

We first gave international recognition to the separation of Ukraine from Russia, which had to be accomplished as an internal affair of Russia. Profiting from resultant circumstances which were favorable to our aims, we concluded with the Ukraine the peace sought by that country.

This gave the lead to peace with Petrograd, whereby Rumania was left standing alone, so that she also had to conclude peace. So one peace brought another, and the desired success, namely, the end of the war in the east, was achieved.

The peace concluded with Rumania, it is calculated, will be the starting point of friendly relations. The slight frontier rectifications which we receive are not annexations. Wholly uninhabited regions, they serve solely for military protection. To those who insist that these rectifications fall under the category of annexations and accuse me of inconsistency, I reply that I have publicly protested against holding out a license to our enemies which would assure them against the dangers of further adventures.


From Russia I did not demand a single meter, but Rumania neglected the favorable moment. The protection of mercantile shipping in the lower Danube and the guarding of the Iron Gate are guaranteed by the extension of the frontier to the heights of Turnu-Severin, by leasing for thirty years a valuable wharf near this town, together with a strip along the river bank at an annual rental of 1,000 lei, and, finally, by obtaining the leasing rights to the islands of Ostrovo, Marecorbu, and Simearu, and the transfer of the frontier several kilometers southward in the region of the Petroseny coal[325] mine, which better safeguards our possessions in the Szurdok Pass coal basin.

Nagy-Szeben and Fogaras will receive a new security frontier of an average width of from 15 to 18 kilometers at all passes of importance, as, for instance, Predeal, Bodz, Gyimes, Bekas, and Tolgyes. The new frontier has been so far removed to Rumanian ground as military reasons require.

The rectification east of Czernowitz has protected that city against future attacks.

At the moment when we are successfully endeavoring to renew friendly and neighborly relations with Rumania, it is unlikely that we would open old wounds, but every one knows the history of Rumania's entrance into the war and will admit that it was my duty to protect the monarchy against future surprises of a similar kind.


I consider the safest guarantee for the future, international agreements to prevent war. In such agreements, if they are framed in binding form, I should see much stronger guarantees against surprise attacks by neighbors than in frontier rectifications, but thus far, except in the case of President Wilson, I have been unable to discover among any of our enemies serious inclination to accept this idea. However, despite the small degree of approval this idea receives, I consider that it will be realized.

Calculating the burdens with which the States of the world will emerge from the war, I vainly ask myself how they will cover military expenditures if competition in armaments remains unrestricted. I do not believe that it will be possible for the States after this war adequately to meet the increased requirements due to the war. I think, rather, that financial conditions will compel the States to enter into a compromise regarding the limitation of armaments.

This calculation of mine is neither idealistic nor fantastic, but is based upon reality in politics in the most literal sense of the word. I, for my part, would consider it a great disaster if in the end there should be failure to achieve general agreements regarding the diminution of armaments.

It is obvious that in the peace with Rumania we shall take precautions to have our interests in the questions of grain, food supply, and petroleum fully protected. We shall further take precautions that the Catholic Church and our schools receive the state of protection they need, and we shall solve the Jewish question. The Jew shall henceforth be a citizen with equal rights in Rumania.


The irredentist propaganda, which has produced so much evil in Hungary, will be restrained and, finally, precautions will be taken to obtain indemnification for the injustice innocently suffered by many of our countrymen owing to the war.

We shall strive by means of a new commercial treaty and appropriate settlement of the railway and shipping questions to protect our economic interests in Rumania.

Rumania's future lies in the east. Large portions of Bessarabia are inhabited by Rumanians, and there are many indications that the Rumanian population there desires close union with Rumania. If Rumania will adopt a frank, cordial, friendly attitude toward us we will have no objections to meeting those tendencies in Bessarabia. Rumania can gain much more in Bessarabia than she lost in the war.

[Count Czernin said that he was anxious that the rectifications of the frontier should not leave any embitterment behind, and expressed the opinion that Rumania in her own interest must turn to the Central Powers.]

In concluding peace with Rumania and Ukraine, it has been my first thought to furnish the monarchy with foodstuffs and raw materials. Russia did not come into consideration in this connection owing to the disorganization there.

We agreed with Ukraine that the quantity of grain to be delivered to the Central Powers should be at least 1,000,000 tons. Thirty cars of grain and peas[326] are now en route, 600 cars are ready to be transported, and these transports will be continued until the imports are organized and can begin regularly. Larger transports are rendered possible by the peace with Rumania, which enables goods to be sent from Odessa to Danube ports.

We hope during May to undertake the first large transport from Ukraine. While I admit that the imports from Ukraine are still small and must be increased, nevertheless our food situation would have been considerably worse had this agreement not been concluded.

From Rumania we will obtain a considerable surplus of last year's harvest. Moreover, about 400,000 tons of grain, peas, beans, and fodder must be transported via the Danube. Rumania must also immediately provide us with 800,000 sheep and pigs, which will improve our meat supply slightly.

It is clear from this that everything will be done to obtain from the exploitation of the regions which peace has opened for us in the east whatever is obtainable. The difficulties of obtaining these supplies from Ukraine are still considerable, as no state of order exists there. But with the good-will of the Ukrainian Government and our organization we will succeed in overcoming the difficulties.

An immediate general peace would not give us further advantages, as all Europe today is suffering from lack of foodstuffs. While the lack of cargo space prevents other nations from supplying themselves, the granaries of Ukraine and Rumania remain open to the Central Powers.

[Replying to the annexationists, Count Czernin said:]

The forcible annexation of foreign peoples would place difficulties in the way of a general peace, and such an extension of territories would not strengthen the empire. On the contrary, considering the grouping of the monarchy, they would weaken us. What we require are not territorial annexations, but economic safeguards for the future.

We wish to do everything to create in the Balkans a situation of lasting calm. Not until the collapse of Russia did there cease to exist the factor which hitherto made it impossible for us to bring about a definite state of internal peace in the Balkans.

We know that the desire for peace is very great in Serbia, but Serbia has been prevented by the Entente Powers from concluding it. Bulgaria must receive from Serbia certain districts inhabited by Bulgarians. We, however, have no desire to destroy Serbia. We will enable Serbia to develop, and we would welcome closer economic relations with her.

We do not desire to influence the future relations between the monarchy and Serbia and Montenegro by motives conflicting with friendly, neighborly relations. The best state of egoism is to come to terms with a beaten neighbor, which leads to this: My egoism regarding Austria-Hungary is that after being conquered militarily our enemies must be conquered morally. Only then is victory complete, and in this respect diplomacy must finish the work of the armies.


Since I came into office I have striven only after one aim, namely, to secure an honorable peace for the monarchy and to create a situation which will secure to Austria-Hungary future free development, and, moreover, to do everything possible to insure that this terrible war shall be the last one for time out of mind. I have never spoken differently. I do not intend to go begging for peace, or to obtain it by entreaties or lamentations, but to enforce it by our moral right and physical strength. Any other tactics, I consider, would contribute to the prolongation of the war.

I must say, to my regret, that during the last few weeks and months much has been spoken and done in Austria that prolongs the war. Those who are prolonging the war are divided into various groups, according to their motives and tactics. There are, first, those who continuously beg for peace. They are despicable and foolish. To endeavor to conclude peace at any price is despicable,[327] for it is unmanly, and it is foolish because it continuously feeds the already dying aggressive spirit of the enemy. The desire for peace of the great masses is natural as well as comprehensible, but the leaders of the people must consider that certain utterances produce abroad just the opposite effect from what they desire.

Firmly relying on our strength and the justice of our cause, I have already concluded three moderate but honorable peace treaties. The rest of our enemies also begin to understand that we have no other desire than to secure the future of the monarchy and of our allies, and that we intend to enforce this and can and will enforce it. I shall unswervingly prosecute this course and join issue with any one who opposes me.

The second group of war prolongers are the annexationists. It is a distortion of fact to assert that Germany has made conquests in the east. Lenine's anarchy drove the border people into the arms of Germany. Is Germany to refuse this involuntary choice of foreign border States?

The German Government has as little desire for oppressions as we, and I am perfectly convinced that neither annexationists nor weaklings can prevent forever a moderate and honorable peace. They delay it, but they cannot prevent it.

The hopes of our enemies of final victory are not merely based on military expectations and the blockade. They are based to a great extent on our interior political conditions and on certain political leaders, not forgetting the Czechs. Recently we were almost on the point of entering into negotiations with the Western Powers, when the wind suddenly veered round and, as we know with certainty, the Entente decided it had better wait, as parliamentary and political events in our country justified the hope that the monarchy would soon be defenseless.

[Count Czernin attacked the Czech leaders and Czech troops, who, he declared, "criminally fight against their own country," and appealed to the people to be united against this "high treason." The Government, he said, was quite ready to proceed to the revision of the Constitution, but this would not be helped by those who hoped through the victory of the Entente to gain their ends. "If we expel this poison," he declared, "a general honorable peace is nearer than the public imagines, but no one has the right to remain aside in this last decisive struggle."]

Great Britain's Reply to Count Czernin

Lord Robert Cecil, Parliamentary Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, made the following statement in answer to Count Czernin:

Whatever doubt about Count Czernin might have existed before his latest declaration, there can be no doubt now that he stands for Prussian ideals and Prussian policy. I must confess that I prefer Prussian brutality to Austrian hypocrisy. If you are going to rob and strangle your neighbor it is better not to talk of your moderation.

Count Czernin claims with the greatest audacity that he and his allies have just made proposals that are moderate, and even guided by the principles of self-determination, no annexations, and no indemnities. As far as self-determination is concerned, in every one of the new States they have set up they have done so without the slightest regard to the wishes of the peoples and no serious attempt was made even to follow racial boundaries or racial antecedents.

The province of Dobrudja, (Rumania,) which has been handed over to Bulgaria, has only 18 per cent. Bulgarians and 50 per cent. Rumanians, and Southern Bessarabia, which apparently is offered to Rumania, is the part of Bessarabia having the fewest Rumanians. As for no annexations, Count Czernin claims that all he has done is to carry out slight frontier rectifications. What he really has done is to take an important part of[328] the Danube and all the passes between Austria-Hungary and Rumania. Not only this, he has driven back the Carpathian frontier eight or ten miles.

But the most hypocritical part of Czernin's peace terms, while affecting not to demand a war indemnity for the Central Powers, is the fact that they have imposed one of the heaviest war indemnities ever levied. It is a curious provision which applies to the new States that they are to be under no obligation whatever toward Russia arising from former relations with her. The result is to concentrate on the remainder of Russia the debt which hitherto was spread over the whole of Russia.

No wonder that Count Czernin, in a moment of candor, says that in the conclusion of peace with the Ukraine and Rumania the first thought was to furnish Austria with necessary foodstuffs and material. That has been the object of this peace, and it has been accomplished by giving to Austria-Hungary such economic and strategic advantages as to place these two countries at the mercy of the Central Powers.

From the Ukraine particularly Czernin claims there is to be secured all food obtainable. No doubt this will be not a question of purchase, but of seizure. All the cost of requisitions made by the Central Powers will be written off in Rumania.

It will amount to £50,000,000. Beyond that they claim the exclusive right to exploit the petroleum fields, and any disputes arising from this are to be settled by a tribunal set up in Leipsic.

Austro-French "Peace Initiative" Controversy

Clemenceau Flatly Contradicts Czernin

Count Czernin's assertion in his speech of April 2 that Premier Clemenceau of France had initiated a peace parley with Austria-Hungary was immediately denied by the French Premier with the curt declaration: "The statement is a lie." There followed a somewhat extended controversy on the subject, which Count Czernin sought to utilize for his own purposes of war diplomacy, and which is placed on record here for the side lights it sheds on a hitherto secret chapter of the continuous peace intrigues of the Central Powers.

Premier Clemenceau's curt "démenti" was followed on April 6 by this official statement from the French Government:

Premier Clemenceau, upon assuming the duties of President of the Council, found that conversations had been entered into in Switzerland upon Austria's initiative between the Count Revertata, a personal friend of Emperor Charles, and Commandant Armand of the Second Bureau, French General Staff, designated for that purpose by the French Minister at the time.

M. Clemenceau did not wish to assume the responsibility of interrupting conferences which had yielded no results, but which might furnish useful sources of information. Commandant Armand thus was allowed to continue his journey in Switzerland, upon the request of Count Revertata. Instructions were given M. Armand in the presence of his chief by M. Clemenceau as follows: "Listen and say nothing."

Count Revertata, becoming convinced that his attempt to bring about a German peace was doomed to failure, in order fully to characterize his mission, gave Commandant Armand a letter written in his own hand, dated Feb. 25, 1918, the first sentence of which reads: "During the month of August, 1917, with a view to obtaining from the French Government a proposition to Austria which might lead to future peace and be of such a nature as to be susceptible of being indorsed by Austria and presented to the German Government, conferences have been entered upon."

Count Revertata, being himself the solicitor, acknowledges it in the following terms: "That the purpose was to obtain from the French Government propositions of peace, under cover of Austria, for transmission to Berlin."

Such is the fact established by an authenticated document which Count Czernin has dared to refer to in the following terms: "Clemenceau, shortly before the beginning of the offensive on the western front, had me asked whether I was ready to enter upon negotiations,[329] and upon what basis." In speaking thus he not only did not tell the truth, but told the opposite of truth, which in France is termed "lying."

It is but natural that Premier Clemenceau should be unable to restrain his indignation when Count Czernin, justly anxious as to the final consequences of the western offensive, reversed the roles with such audacity, representing the French Government as begging for peace at the very moment when, with our allies, we were preparing for the infliction of a supreme defeat upon the Central Empires.

It would be too easy to recall to what extent Austria has importuned Rome, Washington, and London with solicitations for an alleged separate peace which had no other aim than to slip upon us the yoke which she professes to find to her taste. Who does not know the story of a recent meeting (in Switzerland, of course) of a former Austrian Ambassador and a figure high in the councils of the Entente Allies? The conferences lasted only a few minutes. Here again it was not our ally who sought the interview. It was the Austrian Government.

Does not Count Czernin remember another attempt of the same sort made in Paris and London only two months before that of Count Revertata by a person of much higher rank? That again, as in the present case, is authentic, but much more significant proof exists.


Professor Paul Painlevé, who preceded M. Clemenceau as Premier, issued the following explanatory statement:

During the year 1917 Austria made several attempts to open semi-official negotiations with the Entente Allies. Notably in June, 1917, I was advised by the Second Bureau that Austria, through the person of Count Revertata, had several times asked, through a Swiss intermediary, for an interview with the officer attached to the Second Bureau, Major Armand, a distant relative.

Alexander Ribot, then Premier, having been consulted, Major Armand and Count Revertata met in August, 1917. The matter stopped there, and no interview took place from August until November, when I left office.

The events which occurred afterward naturally are unknown to me, but I presume, from the statement made by Premier Clemenceau, that Count Revertata returned to the charge.


The following official statement regarding the matter was issued the same day at Vienna by the Imperial Government:

On instructions from the Foreign Minister Count Revertata, Counselor of the Legation in Switzerland, repeatedly had discussions in Switzerland with a confidential agent of M. Clemenceau, Count Armand, attached to the French War Ministry, who was sent to Switzerland to interview Count Revertata. As a result of the interview of these two gentlemen in Freiburg, Switzerland, on Feb. 2, the question was discussed whether and on what basis a discussion concerning the bringing about of a general peace would be possible between the Foreign Ministers of Austria-Hungary and France, or between official representatives of these Ministers.

Thereupon Count Revertata, after obtaining instructions from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, toward the close of February declared on behalf of the Minister to Count Armand, for communication to M. Clemenceau, that Count Czernin was prepared for a discussion with a representative of France, and regarded it as possible to hold a conversation with the prospect of success as soon as France renounced its plan for the conquest of Alsace-Lorraine.

Count Revertata received a reply in the name of M. Clemenceau to the effect that the latter was not in a position to accept the proposed renunciation by France of this disannexation, so that a meeting of the representatives at that time would, in the view of both parties, be useless.


The Paris Matin on April 7 stated that General Smuts, South African representative in the British Cabinet, was the "figure high in the councils of the Entente Allies" referred to by the French Government in the statement of April 5 denying the assertion of Count Czernin that the French Prime Minister had sought to open peace negotiations with Austria-Hungary. The representative of the Dual Monarchy who met General Smuts in Switzerland was Count Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at London when the war broke out. Immediately upon being introduced to Count Mensdorff, says the newspaper, General Smuts, taking the initiative in the conversation, bluntly said:

"Is it true that you wish to make a separate peace?"

This direct query was too much for the trained diplomat, and the Count began a long, evasive reply.[330]

"Yes or no?" reiterated the British representative.

Obtaining no direct reply General Smuts said:


The interview lasted barely three minutes. Vienna was shocked, Le Matin says, at the boorish manner of the "old Transvaal warrior."


Further elaboration of Count Czernin's version of the case was proffered on April 8 in a second official statement issued at Vienna by the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office, as follows:

In contrast to the first brief declaration of Premier Clemenceau, in which he gave the lie to Foreign Minister Czernin, it is observed with satisfaction that M. Clemenceau's statement of April 6 admits that discussions in regard to the question of peace took place between two confidential agents of Austria-Hungary and France. The account given by M. Clemenceau of the initiation and course of these negotiations, and likewise the statement by M. Painlevé on the same subject, however, deviate in many important particulars and to such a degree from the facts that a detailed correction of the French communication appears to be necessary.

In July, 1917, Count Revertata was requested by an intermediary in the name of the French Government to state whether he was in a position to receive a communication from that Government to the Government of Austria-Hungary. When Count Revertata, after having obtained the sanction of the Austro-Hungarian Government, replied in the affirmative to this inquiry, in the same month—July, 1917—Major Armand was charged with such communication by the then French Premier, Ribot. He arrived on Aug. 7, 1917, at Count Revertata's private residence in Freiburg, the Count being distantly related to him.

Major Armand then addressed to Count Revertata a question as to whether discussions between France and Austria-Hungary were possible. Thus the initiative for these discussions was taken from the French side.

Count Revertata reported to the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister that this question had been put on instructions of the French Government, and the Minister thereupon requested Count Revertata to enter into discussions with the French confidential agent, and in the course of these discussions to establish whether by this means a basis for bringing about a general peace could be secured.

On Aug. 22 and 23 Count Revertata entered into discussions with Major Armand, which, however, as Premier Clemenceau quite correctly declares, yielded no result. The negotiations thereupon were broken off.

Parleys Resumed in January

The Clemenceau version that the discussions between Revertata and Armand were proceeding on his entry into office is incorrect. Not until January, 1918, did Armand, this time on instructions from Clemenceau, again get in touch with Revertata. The thread had been broken in August, 1917, and was therefore again taken up by Clemenceau himself in January, 1918.

From this fresh contact there resulted the discussions referred to in the official communiqué of April 4, 1918. It is, however, correct that Count Revertata handed to Major Armand on Feb. 23, 1918, the memorandum regarding which Premier Clemenceau only cites the first sentence and which confirms that in the discussions with Armand, which had taken place in August, 1917, Revertata was charged with the task of finding out whether proposals were obtainable from the French Government, which had addressed to Austria-Hungary an offer of a basis for a general peace, and also whether they would be such as Austria-Hungary could bring to the knowledge of her allies.

It, therefore, entirely corresponded with the facts when Count Czernin in his speech on April 2 last declared that Premier Clemenceau, some time before the beginning of the western offensive, had inquired of me whether I was prepared for negotiations and on what basis.

The accusation of lying brought against Count Czernin by M. Clemenceau cannot therefore be maintained, even in the restricted sense made by the present communiqué of the French Government.

Admits Other Peace Manoeuvres

Nothing is known to the Austro-Hungarian Government of entreaties for an alleged separate peace with which the Austro-Hungarian Government worried the Governments of Rome, Washington, and London. When M. Clemenceau asks the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister whether he remembers that two months before the Revertata affair—that is, about a year ago—an attempt of a like nature was made by a personage of far higher rank, Count Czernin does not hesitate to reply in the affirmative. But for the sake of completeness and entire correctness it should be added that this attempt also led to no result.

So much for the establishment of the facts. For the rest, it need only be remarked that Count Czernin for his part would see no reason to deny it if, in this[331] or any similar case, he had taken the initiative, because, in contrast to M. Clemenceau, he believes that it cannot be a matter for reproach for a Government to make attempts to bring about an honorable peace, which would liberate all peoples from the terrors of the present war.

The dispute raised by M. Clemenceau has, moreover, diverted attention from the real kernel of Count Czernin's statement. The essence of this statement was not so much who suggested the discussions undertaken before the beginning of the western offensive, but who caused their collapse. And M. Clemenceau up to the present has not denied that he refused to enter upon negotiations on the basis of the renunciation of the reacquisition of Alsace-Lorraine.


Premier Clemenceau replied to this Vienna statement on the same day by issuing the following:

A diluted lie is still a lie. Count Czernin told a lie when he said that some time before the German offensive began Premier Clemenceau caused him to be asked "if he was ready to open negotiations and upon what basis."

As to the passage in the manuscript note of Count Revertata, where he says he acted for Austria to obtain peace proposals from France, the solicitant's text is authentic, and Count Czernin has not dared to dispute it.

To hide his confusion he tries to maintain that the conversation was resumed at the request of M. Clemenceau. Unfortunately for him, there is a fact which reduces his allegation to nothing, namely, that Clemenceau was apprised of the matter on Nov. 18, 1917, (that is to say, the day after he took over the Ministry of War,) by communication from the intermediary dated Nov. 10, and intended for his predecessors. For Count Czernin's contention to be true, M. Clemenceau would have had to take the initiative in question before he was Premier. Thus Count Czernin is categorically contradicted by facts.

He is reduced to maintaining that Major Armand was M. Clemenceau's confidential man. Well, until this incident M. Clemenceau had seen this officer of the Intelligence Department only once, for five minutes at a riding school fifteen or twenty years ago.

Finally, Count Czernin, as a last resource, says that what he attributes to M. Clemenceau is unimportant. "What is really important," he affirms, "is not to know who took the initiative for the conversations before the offensive, but who caused them to fail." Then why all this fuss? To demonstrate that every French Government, like France itself, is immovable on the question of Alsace-Lorraine?

Who could have thought it would have been necessary for Count Revertata to elucidate for Count Czernin a question upon which the Emperor of Austria himself has said the last word? It was no other than Emperor Charles who, in a letter dated March, 1917, put on record in his own writing his adhesion to "France's just claim relative to Alsace-Lorraine." A second imperial letter stated that the Emperor was "in agreement with his Minister." It only remained for Czernin to contradict himself.

Ex-Premier Ribot stated on April 9 that during his Premiership "France never directly or through a neutral intermediary took the initiative in any such proceeding as the Austrian official communication asserted."

German Designs on Madeira

Colonel Lord Denbigh, in an address before the Royal Colonial Institute, London, recently told how German designs upon the Island of Madeira were checkmated by Great Britain in 1906. He said it was more or less a piece of secret history outside diplomatic and naval circles. At Madeira, he said, the Germans first took a hotel. Then they wanted a convalescent home, and, finally, desired to establish certain vested interests. They demanded certain concessions from Portugal. The German Ambassador, early in 1906, called on the Portuguese Government, and said that, if the concessions asked for were not granted, the Kaiser would send his navy up the Tagus to Lisbon. The Portuguese Government telegraphed to England, and that night the British Admiralty were on the point of mobilizing the whole resources of the British fleet. They thought of another way of meeting the situation, however, and sent the Atlantic fleet close up against the Portuguese coast. They let the Kaiser know what had happened through an undiplomatic source, with the result that next day the German Ambassador had to call again on the Portuguese Government and explain that he had exceeded his instructions.


I.—Battle of Jutland: First Phase

Battle of Jutland I. By Allan Westcott, U.S. Naval Academy.
Battle of Jutland I.
By Allan Westcott, U.S. Naval Academy.

This diagram indicates the courses and ranges during the first stage of the battle, from the establishment of contact by the battle cruiser squadrons at 3:30 P. M. until the arrival of the German battle fleet about 5 P. M.

The British battle cruisers, and, presumably, those of Hipper also, were formed in bow and quarter line; or line of bearing—the ships on parallel courses but diagonally astern of the leader. During the approach the light cruisers and destroyers on each side—the position of which is not indicated—were spread out ahead of the main squadrons. The British second light cruiser squadron later took station ahead of Beatty and at 4:38 gave warning of the approach of the German battle fleet.

At 4:42 the British battle cruisers turned in succession, (squadron right countermarch,) the rear ships following the course of the leader. According to the diagram published with the official British reports in The London Times, Admiral Hipper's turn at 4:52 was to the left; but the German charts and some later British diagrams indicate the direction as above.

Graves of American soldiers who perished in the sinking of the Tuscania, at Port Charlotte, Island of Islay, Scotland (Times Photo Service)
Graves of American soldiers who perished in the sinking of the Tuscania, at Port Charlotte, Island of Islay, Scotland
(Times Photo Service)

County volunteers of Islay firing a volley at the funeral of Tuscania victims at Kilnaughton, to the accompaniment of bagpipe lament (Times Photo Service)
County volunteers of Islay firing a volley at the funeral of Tuscania victims at Kilnaughton, to the accompaniment of bagpipe lament
(Times Photo Service)

One of the many artistic posters used by the United States Government in the Third Liberty Loan campaign, April 6 to May 4, 1918
One of the many artistic posters used by the United States Government in the Third Liberty Loan campaign, April 6 to May 4, 1918


II.—Battle of Jutland: Main Engagement

Battle of Jutland I. By Allan Westcott, U.S. Naval Academy.
Battle of Jutland II.
By Allan Westcott, U.S. Naval Academy.

This diagram covers the main engagement, from the approach of the German battle fleet about 5 P. M. until the British fleet assumed a southerly course at 9 P. M. At various points in the action German units are reported to have been disabled or driven out of the line. Owing to uncertainty as to exact time and place, these losses are not indicated. During the opening stage of the action (Chart I.) the visibility was at first "good," but after 4:18 "considerably obscured" toward the northeast. On the northward course, between 5 and 6, the British squadrons were "silhouetted against a clear horizon to westward, while the enemy were for the most part obscured by mist." After 6 P. M. visibility, though reduced, was favorable to the British. The sea was calm and the wind light throughout the action.


A Review of the Battle of Jutland

By Thomas G. Frothingham

Member of Military Historical Society of Massachusetts and of the United States Naval Institute

NOTE—The reader of this review will be greatly helped in following the movements of the opposing fleets by the two charts on the preceding pages. These have been ably prepared by Allan Westcott of the United States Naval Academy, and they should be carefully studied.

Sufficient time has now passed since the battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916) to eliminate the early distorted versions of the action and to give a proper perspective of the tactics of the opposing fleets. To understand the battle, it is necessary to realize that it had become the custom of the British fleet to leave its safeguarded bases in the north of the British Isles and make periodical sweeps through the North Sea. At the beginning of his report of the battle Admiral Jellicoe describes this practice:

The ships of the Grand Fleet, in pursuance of the general policy of periodical sweeps through the North Sea, had left its base on the previous day in accordance with instructions issued by me. In the early afternoon of Wednesday, May 31, the first and second battle cruiser squadrons, the first, second, and third light cruiser squadrons, and destroyers from the first, ninth, tenth, and thirteenth flotillas, supported by the fifth battle squadron, were, in accordance with my directions, scouting to the southward of the battle fleet.

With the object of engaging a fleet that had been usually so disposed and so employed, the Germans came out from their bases. For some time after the battle there were tales of other objectives—to cover the escape of raiders, to get ships through the Baltic, &c. But all these theories have been abandoned, and it is now agreed that the Germans planned to fight the superior British fleet under conditions advantageous to themselves. All the German manoeuvres indicate that this was their design, and no other.

The opposing forces in the battle of Jutland were as follows:

1. An advance British force under Vice Admiral Beatty, consisting of six battle cruisers, (four Lions of 28.5 knots speed, each carrying eight 13.5-inch guns, and two Indefatigables of 25 knots speed, each carrying eight 12-inch guns,) supported by the fifth battle squadron, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, (four 25-knot battleships of the Queen Elizabeth class, each carrying eight 15-inch guns.)

The fleet speed of this advance force was 25 knots.

2. The main body of the British Grand Fleet, under Admiral Jellicoe, flying his flag in the Iron Duke—consisting of a fast wing under Rear Admiral Hood, (three 26-knot battle cruisers of Invincible class, each carrying eight 12-inch guns,) a division of four armored cruisers under Rear Admiral Arbuthnot, and twenty-five dreadnoughts in three squadrons commanded by Vice Admirals Burney, Jerram, and Sturdee.

The fleet speed of this main body was 20 knots, and its formidable armament will be found in the table on Page 338.

3. About twenty light cruisers and 160 destroyers, divided between the advance force and the main body.

The German strength comprised:

1. An advance force under Vice Admiral Hipper, consisting of five battle cruisers, (three Derfflingers of probably 27 knots speed, each carrying eight 12-inch guns, and two Moltkes of probably 28 knots speed, each carrying ten 11-inch guns.)

The fleet speed of this advance force was 27 knots.

2. The main body of the German High Seas Fleet, under Admiral Scheer, consisting of sixteen dreadnoughts and six predreadnought battleships.


The fleet speed of this main body was 17 knots, because the German dreadnoughts[335] had been eked out with predreadnought battleships of less speed. Four dreadnoughts carried twelve 11-inch guns each, four twelve 12-inch guns each, the rest ten 12-inch guns each. The six old German battleships were very inferior, carrying only four heavy guns each.

3. About twenty light cruisers and eighty or ninety destroyers, divided between the advance force and the main body.

The above-described makeup of the opposing fleets must be kept in mind when studying the course of the action. The day of the battle was cloudy, but the sun shone through the clouds most of the time. At no time was there anything approaching a sea. Visibility was reported as good in the first stages of the action, but late in the afternoon, there being little wind, mist and smoke hung heavy over the surface of the sea. These conditions must also be remembered.


First of all, it should be said that any criticism of Admiral Jellicoe as to the makeup of the British advance force is not justified. The Queen Elizabeth class of dreadnoughts had been designed with the great speed of 25 knots for the purpose of working with battle cruisers on such service. This gave them a speed that was uniform with the fleet speed of Vice Admiral Beatty's battle cruiser[336] squadrons, although the individual ships of the Lion class were faster. The name ship of this battleship class, the Queen Elizabeth, had been through a long, racking service in the Dardanelles operations, and was not with the fleet. The other four ships of the class made up the fifth battle squadron under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, which was under Vice Admiral Beatty's command.

This disposition of Admiral Jellicoe's fleet, with the advance force flung out ahead, seems sound from every tactical point of view, with the assumption that the advance was to be in touch with the main fleet, or, if out of touch, tactical possibilities had been provided for and plans of action prearranged.

In the sweep through the North Sea, with the main body of the British Grand Fleet some fifty miles astern, Vice Admiral Beatty's advance force was cruising to southward of Admiral Jellicoe May 31, 1916, when, at 2:20 P. M., the presence of enemy ships was reported by a light cruiser. Admiral Beatty altered course "to the eastward and subsequently to northeastward, the enemy being sighted at 3:31 P. M. Their force consisted of five battle cruisers."[2]


It is stated in Vice Admiral Beatty's report that it was over an hour after the first news of the vicinity of enemy ships before he increased speed to 25 knots to engage ("at 3:30 P. M."[2]). Yet Vice Admiral Beatty reports that Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas's fifth battle squadron (the four Queen Elizabeths) was still 10,000 yards away when he made this move to engage the enemy with his battle cruisers. This forces us to the conclusion that Admiral Beatty thought his six battle cruisers would be able to take care of the situation. His confidence is explained by the fact that all previous sorties of the Germans had been made by battle cruisers or small craft.

Both sides threw out screens of light cruisers, which clashed, and at 3:48 "the action commenced at a range of 18,500 yards, both sides opening fire practically simultaneously."[3] The British battle cruisers fought on a course curving to the southeast, and then on a straight south-southeast course, and the five German battle cruisers fought them on a parallel course, instead of edging away from the superior British force. It is now easy to see that the trend of the action was absolutely in the direction of the approaching main body of the German High Seas Fleet, but this very naturally was not apparent at the time to Admiral Beatty.

The first phase of the battle may properly be studied as a fight between the British and German battle cruisers, in consequence of the before-stated gap separating the two parts of Admiral Beatty's command. This interval of 10,000 yards prevented the fifth battle squadron of Queen Elizabeth dreadnoughts from being a factor at the time. Vice Admiral Beatty reports that this squadron "opened fire at a range of 20,000 yards," and he continues: "The fifth battle squadron was engaging the enemy's rear ships, unfortunately at very long range." (It is interesting to note this comment on a range of 20,000 yards, in view of the fantastic distances at which the Queen Elizabeth had been depicted by alarmists as shelling our coast cities.)

In this part of the action came the first of the many upsets of pre-war calculations. Comparing the given strength of the two opposing squadrons in action, it will be seen that the British battle cruisers were greatly superior; in fact, the odds would have been considered prohibitive before this battle. Yet it was the British squadron that suffered, losing one-third of its ships. Ten minutes after the beginning of the action the Indefatigable was sunk, and at 4:30 the Queen Mary met the same fate. In each case it is said that there was a great explosion up through the turrets, suggesting that a weak turret construction is really a conductor of fire to the magazine in case of a heavy hit, and pointing to the need of better separation of the supply of ammunition from the magazine.


At[337] 4:15 there was an attack "simultaneously"[4] by British and German destroyers which resulted in a lively fight, but no damage to any of the capital ships. Yet the possibilities of such torpedo attacks were so evident, here and later in the battle, that the destroyer at once attained a greater value as an auxiliary of the battleship. It should also be noted that German submarines were reported present at this stage, but they accomplished nothing against the screened fighting ships. A British airplane had been sent up from a mother ship just before the engagement, though Admiral Beatty reports that it was forced to fly low on account of the clouds, and had a hard task "to identify four enemy light cruisers." There was apparently no chance of a wide observation that would have warned Admiral Beatty of the approaching German High Seas Fleet. In this short hour were concentrated many new problems of naval warfare.

The advancing German High Seas Fleet was reported at 4:38 by a light cruiser, and sighted at 4:42 by the British battle cruisers. A few minutes later Vice Admiral Beatty's ships turned right about (180 degrees) in succession. The German battle cruisers also turned to a northwesterly course, closely followed up by the van of the German High Seas Fleet, and the action was continued on this course.

The report of Admiral Beatty and his conduct in this part of the action show that he had not suspected the presence of the German High Seas Fleet, but the lavish criticism of his turn in succession is without reason. In the first place, his ships met no disaster at the turn, and the manoeuvre is absolutely justified by the fact that it brought the four Queen Elizabeth battleships into position to fight a rearguard action against the greatly strengthened enemy. Any other disposition of Admiral Beatty's command would have been a mistake.

It also follows that, against the turn made in this way, it would have been an error for Vice Admiral Hipper to try for a capping position, with the object of smothering Admiral Beatty's cruisers in detail at their pivoting point. Such an attempt would have exposed his own battle cruisers to the 15-inch guns of the approaching dreadnoughts of Admiral Evan-Thomas's squadron. Admiral Hipper's conduct in turning to the northwest ahead of the van of the German High Seas Fleet seems the best thing he could have done at the time. The leading German battleships, which were of the König class, fell into line, closely following Admiral Hipper's battle cruisers, and the battle was continued at 14,000 yards on a northwest course.

On the British side the brunt of the action was sustained by Admiral Evan-Thomas's fifth battle squadron, which from this time was in line astern of Admiral Beatty's battle cruisers. The German battle cruisers could not stand up with the same effectiveness against the heavy guns of the fifth battle squadron, and this, with an increase to full speed, enabled Admiral Beatty to draw ahead. He again opened up a gap between his battle cruisers and the fifth battle squadron, taking a course that curved to the north and northeast, in search of Admiral Jellicoe's battle fleet, which was hastening to his assistance. The leading ships of the Grand Fleet were sighted at 5:56, and Admiral Beatty altered his course to the east at extreme speed. The German van also turned to eastward.

In the meantime from the north the British Grand Fleet had been closing at utmost fleet speed on a southeast by south course. Ahead of the battle fleet was the squadron of three battle cruisers under Rear Admiral Hood. This squadron, well in advance of the main body, took position ahead of Admiral Beatty's battle cruisers, which had turned to their southerly course, as shown by the diagram.

In the second phase of the action, which has just been described, there were clashes of light cruisers and isolated torpedo attacks, none of which had any tactical effect on the battle. It is now evident from the conduct of the German command that the German fleet was not[339][338] led into a trap, and that Admiral Scheer deliberately chose to engage the British Grand Fleet, thinking the conditions favorable, although his course necessarily curved away to the southwestward and left the British Grand Fleet between the German fleet and all its bases. It is also evident that the ships of the German van had not been damaged by the fifth British battle squadron to the extent of demoralizing the German gunfire. The immediate damage inflicted on the advance of the British Grand Fleet is proof enough of this.

Make-Up and Armament of British Grand Fleet In addition the Grand Fleet comprised Rear Admiral Hood's squadron of three battle cruisers and Rear Admiral Arbuthnot's squadron of four armored cruisers.
Make-Up and Armament of British Grand Fleet

In addition the Grand Fleet comprised Rear Admiral Hood's squadron of three battle cruisers and Rear Admiral Arbuthnot's squadron of four armored cruisers.


As stated, Rear Admiral Hood took station ahead of Vice Admiral Beatty's battle cruisers, with his advance squadron of battle cruisers (6:21) closing to a range of 8,000 yards, (6:25.) A few minutes later his flagship, the Invincible, was sunk by gunfire. Almost at the same time three of Rear Admiral Arbuthnot's armored cruisers, Black Prince, Warrior, and Defense, "not aware of the approach of the enemy's heavy ships,"[5] were put out of action. (Defense was sunk; Warrior sank while attempt was being made to tow her home; Black Prince was sunk later, probably by gunfire.)

At this stage the British Grand Fleet formed in battle line astern of the battle cruisers, and engaged the enemy on a course to the southwest, the German fleet now being to the westward, as shown on the diagram. The fifth battle squadron then took position astern of Admiral Jellicoe's main body. It was here that the Warspite, a dreadnought of the Queen Elizabeth class, jammed her helm, and was out of control for a time, as described by her Captain after the action. The battleship was, however, extricated from her predicament. The battle cruiser Lützow, the flagship of the German advance force, had become totally disabled, and Vice Admiral Hipper had trans-shipped his flag to another battle cruiser.

By this time smoke and mist hung over the sea, and the Germans took advantage of these conditions, also using smoke screens, to fight the only action possible for their fleet against the overwhelming force now in line against them. The German ships would appear and disappear in the smoke and mist. Admiral Jellicoe reports of this stage of the action:

Owing principally to the mist, but partly to the smoke, it was possible to see only a few ships at a time in the enemy's battle line. Toward the van only some four or five ships were ever visible at once. More could be seen from the rear squadron, but never more than eight to twelve. * * * The action between the battle fleets lasted intermittently from 6:17 P. M. to 8:20 P. M., at ranges between 9,000 yards and 12,000 yards. During this time the British fleet made alterations of course from southeast by east to west (168¾ degrees) in the endeavor to close, but the enemy constantly turned away and opened the range under cover of destroyer attacks and smoke screens. The alterations of course had the effect of bringing the British fleet (which commenced the action in a position of advantage on the bow of the enemy) to a quarterly bearing from the enemy's battle line, but at the same time placed us between the enemy and his bases.


As the darkness came on, it is evident that these tactics on the part of the Germans, with increasing threats of torpedo attacks, became more and more baffling to the British command, and then came the crucial decision which ended the battle. Admiral Jellicoe reports:

At 9 P. M. the enemy was entirely out of sight, and the threat of torpedo boat destroyer attacks during the rapidly approaching darkness made it necessary for me to dispose of the fleet for the night, with a view to its safety from such attacks, while providing for a renewal of action at daylight. I accordingly manoeuvred to remain between the enemy and his bases, placing our flotillas in a position in which they would afford protection to the fleet from destroyer attack and at the same time be favorably situated for attacking the enemy's heavy ships.

Concerning this stage of the action Admiral Jellicoe in his report quotes Vice Admiral Beatty as follows:

In view of the gathering darkness and the fact that our strategical position was such as to make it appear certain that we should locate the enemy at daylight under most favorable circumstances, I did not consider it desirable or proper to close the enemy battle fleet during the dark hours.


Here the British Admiral and his second in command were in accord, but the responsibility for the resultant movement of the British fleet must rest with Admiral Jellicoe as chief in command. By his order the British fleet steamed through the dark hours at moderate speed on southerly courses some ninety miles from the battlefield. Although the British fleet was thus placed in the general direction of Heligoland, this meant that Admiral Jellicoe had relinquished all touch with the German fleet, and this left the German fleet practically free to proceed to its bases, which was done without any interference, bringing in their damaged ships. The Germans even attempted to tow the wreck of the Lützow into port, but she sank on the way in.

This move to the southward by the British fleet ended the battle of Jutland. In the night there were isolated clashes of small fry, the adventures of lame ducks, &c., but there was nothing that affected the tactical results, and nothing that was in any sense a part of a battle of fleets. None of these encounters even indicated the location of the German fleet.


At the early coming of light in these latitudes (about 3 A. M., June 1) the British fleet was to the southward and westward of the Horn Reef, about ninety miles from the battlefield. The British fleet then retraced its course to the battlefield. This return of the British fleet, by the same lane it followed in the night, did not give much opportunity to regain touch with the German fleet. Admiral Jellicoe reports that he remained in the vicinity of the battlefield until 11 A. M. when he was "reluctantly compelled to the conclusion that the High Seas Fleet had returned into port." Soon afterward the British fleet proceeded to its bases.

In the early accounts of the battle there were fanciful tales of pursuit of the German ships through the night, and even after Admiral Jellicoe's report, the British public did not at first realize the situation at the end of the action. But, after a time, when this was better understood, there arose one of the greatest naval controversies that have ever agitated Great Britain, centred around the alleged "defensive" naval policy for maintaining the supremacy of Great Britain on the seas—the pros and cons as to closing the Germans while there was light, and keeping in touch through the dark hours. With that discussion this article has nothing to do, but the tactical situation at the end of the battle should be stated.

At 9 o'clock the German fleet was to the westward. The British fleet was between it and all its bases. The British fleet was superior in speed, and had such an overwhelming superiority in ships and guns that it could afford to discard its damaged ships without impairing this superiority. The British Admiral had plenty of light cruisers and destroyers to throw out a screen and to maintain touch with the German fleet. There undoubtedly was a proportion of damaged ships in the German fleet; and this, with its original inferior fleet speed, would have made it a hard task for the German fleet to attempt to ease around the British fleet and reach its bases. These conditions were in favor of keeping in touch with the German fleet—and it is needless to point out the great results that would have come from a successful action with the German fleet in the morning.

On the other hand, one should state the elements which influenced Admiral Jellicoe's decision, first of all to safeguard his ships, and yet remain at a distance in the direction of a German base. Upon his fleet depended the established British control of the seas. Many of his ships had received hard knocks—and many were short of ammunition and fuel. Above all, there was the ominous threat of torpedo attacks in the night.

These were the conditions of the problem that confronted the British Admiral, brought about by the culminating tactics of the battle. Admiral Jellicoe's decision was that the situation did not justify him in imperiling his fleet and with it the naval supremacy of Great Britain.

In this greatest of all naval actions it is interesting to study the course of[341] the battle in comparison with pre-war calculations. The outstanding feature, the collapse of the three British battle cruisers, was not entirely unexpected by naval opinion. The battle cruiser had found a great vogue, especially in England, but before this battle a reaction had already set in, aided by the fact that the Lion had been put out by weaker gunfire in the Dogger Bank chase. Many naval men had come to believe that the battle cruiser was only a cruiser after all—though a valuable cruiser—and not up to taking a place in a real line of battle.

More surprising was the fact that at no stage of the action did the heavier British guns dominate the German guns. This was evident in the first phase, when Admiral Beatty's six battle cruisers were fighting on parallel courses with Admiral Hipper's five battle cruisers. The British ships carried thirty-two 13.5-inch and sixteen 12-inch guns, against their enemy's twenty-four 12-inch guns and twenty 11-inch guns.

In the second stage of the action on northerly courses, when Admiral Beatty's command was engaging the van of the German fleet, the four Queen Elizabeths, with their thirty-two 15-inch guns, were in position, and there was nothing heavier than a 12-inch gun in the German fleet.

In the third phase, after Vice Admiral Beatty's command had joined the main body of Admiral Jellicoe's fleet, the superiority of the British in heavy guns was enormous, as can be seen from the table on Page 338. It is true that the Germans took advantage of the mist and smoke as described. Yet, from Admiral Jellicoe's report, it is evident that there were many chances to let off salvos at the enemy ships, and he reports the ranges as very moderate, ("between 9,000 and 12,000 yards.")


As to the shooting on both sides, it is evident that there must be a great deal of hard thinking going on in the navies of the world as to improvement in this respect. The weight of metal hurled into the sea was prodigious. "In the first and second phases it is estimated that each of the ships under Vice Admiral Beatty and Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas fired about 600 tons and the Germans quite as much if not more."[6]

The battleships stood up well, and everything in the battle confirmed the judgment of those who had pinned their faith to the battleships as the essential of naval power.

The two most revolutionary elements in naval warfare were present, but they cannot be said to have exerted any tactical effect on the battle. The limited use of the airplane has been told, and a Zeppelin was reported at about 4 A. M. June 1, which may have observed the location of the British fleet. U-boats were reported early in the action, but there is no hint that they took any real part in the battle. Yet this does not mean that they are not to be considered. With the great improvements in the type, it is probable that in many conditions the U-boat will be a factor in battles of fleets, and such contingencies should be safeguarded in advance.

The destroyer came to its own in the battle of Jutland as an auxiliary of the battle fleet, both for offense and defense. The whole course of the action proved that a screen of destroyers was absolutely necessary. For offense, it might be argued truthfully that, of the great number of torpedoes used, very few hit anything. The Marlborough was the only capital ship reported struck in the real action, and she was able afterward to take some part in the battle, and then get back to her base. It is supposed that the damaged Pommern may have been so destroyed later, and torpedoes may have struck other scattered marks. But above all things stands out the fact that it was the threat of night torpedo attacks by destroyers which made the British fleet withdraw from the battlefield.

There is no question of the fact that this withdrawal of the British fleet had a great moral effect on Germany. The announcement to the people and to the Reichstag had a heartening effect on the Germans at[342] just the time they needed some such stimulant. But the actual tactical result of the battle was indecisive. It may be said the Germans had so manoeuvred their fleet that a detached part of the superior British force was cut up, but the damage was not enough to impair the established superiority of the British fleet, and the end of the battle left the British control of the sea absolutely unchanged.

The following is the British statement of losses:

 TonnageBelt. Battery.Sp'd. Men.C'p'd
Queen Mary27,000    9 in.    8 13.5-in.    28    1,000    '13
Indefatigable18,750    8 in.8 12-in.26899'11
Invincible17,250    7 in.8 12-in.26750'08
Defense14,600    6 in.4 9.2-in.23755'08
Black Prince13,550    6 in.6 9.2-in.20.5704'06
Warrior13,550    6 in.6 9.2-in.22.9704'08
Tipperary1,900  31160'14
Fortune920  29.50100'12
Sp'w Hawk950 3 4-in.31.32100'12
Ardent950 3 4-in.31.32100'12
Shark950 3 4-in.31.32100'12

The losses admitted by the German Admiralty are:

 Tonnage.Armament.Sp'd.    Date Completion.
Pommern13,0404 11-in.    191907
  14 6.7-in.
Luetzow28,0008 12-in.    271915
  12 6-in.
Rostock4,82012 4.1-in.    27.31914
Frauenlob2,65610 4.1-in.    21.51903
British   117,150
German   60,720
British   6,105
German   2,414
NOTE BY EDITOR.—No official confirmation of the German losses was published. The British Admiralty maintains that the losses, including only German vessels "seen to sink," aggregated 109,220 tons. Other Admiralty claims were that the Germans lost one dreadnought of the Kronprinz type, 25,480 tons; one of the Heligoland type, 22,440 tons; battleship Pommern, 13,000 tons; battle cruiser Lützow, 28,000 tons; five Rostocks, 24,500 tons; destroyers, 4,000 tons; submarines, 800 tons; total, 117,220 tons.

British Analysis of the Jutland Battle

Expert British Admiralty writers do not concur in all the conclusions of our contributor, Mr. Frothingham, especially where he refers to the withdrawal of the British fleet.

The official report of Admiral Jellicoe states that "German vessels were entirely out of the fight at 9 o'clock," and that "the withdrawal of the British fleet was a 'manoeuvre' so as to remain between the Germans and their bases."

Sir Cyprian Bridge, a British naval expert, in referring to the situation of the German fleet when darkness fell after the battle, writes: "It was a beaten and a broken fleet that escaped from the trap," (referring to the British Battle Fleet at the north and the battle cruisers at the south, acting in strategic harmony.) "Many of its units had been lost. Its gunnery had become demoralized, and no one can blame its discretion in making for home at its top-most speed and leaving the British fleet once more in undisputed command of the North Sea. For this, in a word, was the result of the battle. * * * Whatever their effort signified, it failed to shake our hold upon the sea. * * * We have fought many indecisive actions, * * * few which have more fully freed us of all fear of what the enemy fleet might be able to accomplish. By such standards the battle off Jutland will well hold its own against all but a few of our most famous victories."

John Buchan published a description of the battle of Jutland by authority of the British Government. He, a historical authority, says: "The result of the battle of Jutland was that Britain was more confirmed than ever in her mastery of the sea. * * * From a technical point of view the battle appears as an example of a tactical division of the fleet, undertaken in order to coax a laggard enemy to battle. * * * It defeated, utterly defeated, the German plan. If[343] it was not—as with two hours more daylight it would have been—a complete destruction of Germany's sea power, it was a complete demonstration of Britain's crushing superiority."

Arthur Pollen, an expert naval writer in British periodicals, referred to the results of the battle in these words: "Thus the Germans, who had entered the North Sea, according to their own account, to engage and destroy the British ships that have been systematically sweeping the waters north and east of the Horn Reef, attained the first part of their objective only. They did succeed in engaging. But the consequences were disastrous. The plan of overwhelming the British fast division with superior numbers was defeated by the masterly handling of the British force, combined with the effective use that force made of its artillery. So far from Sir David Beatty having been overwhelmed, he succeeded admirably in his main object, which was to draw the German fleet into a position where Sir John Jellicoe's squadrons could engage it. The enemy was only saved from total destruction by mist and by the approach of night. Not only did his whole plan miscarry, but he was driven ignominiously from the field, and with a very heavy loss in ships and men."


[2] Report of Vice Admiral Beatty.

[3] Report of Vice Admiral Beatty.

[4] Report of Vice Admiral Beatty.

[5] Report of Admiral Jellicoe.

[6] "Naval Power in the War." Lieut. Commander Charles C. Gill, U. S. N.

A Leading German Churchman Defends Poison Gas

The International Committee of the Red Cross at Geneva early in 1918 issued an appeal against the use of poisonous gases. The Rev. Dr. Balan, President of the Consistory for the Prussian Province of Posen and head of the Protestant Church in that province, refused, "after conscientiously examining it before God," to indorse or circulate the appeal, and wrote as follows to the President of the International Committee:

The first question that occurred to me on reading your appeal was, Is it really a more inhumane method of waging war when Germany, in defending herself against an immensely superior force of enemies in a fight for existence forced upon her, makes use also of poisonous gas, than when her enemies pour over our armies, so much weaker in numbers, devastating and disintegrating showers of iron, lasting days and weeks, and to which we cannot reply in such volume because we have not so many human hands at our disposal for the manufacture of munitions as our enemies have? I say, No. I ask further, Is it more humane to set the whole world in motion in order by starving it to prevent a great nation that, with its noble, chivalrous Kaiser at its head, has manifested clearly enough its unbounded love of peace, from taking the place to which it is entitled by the side of other nations than when this nation uses every means of defense that its enlightened scientists have discovered? I say again, No.

Dr. Balan maintains in the further course of his letter that the enemies of Germany cannot expect to be treated humanely in any special manner, for all war is inhumane, because they have from the outset persistently and constantly utterly disregarded the laws of nations and the "sacred sign of the Red Cross." In conclusion this Prussian church dignitary informs the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross that if he and his friends really wish to render the whole suffering population of Europe a truly great service, they should do their utmost to bring home to the French people, who are so deeply to be pitied, the fact that the phantom which, deluded by the lies of their and England's rulers, they still pursue is dragging them every day to deeper and more hopeless misery. At the very moment that France realizes this, Dr. Balan asserts, there will be peace. He explains that the phantom pursued by the French is "the recovery of two provinces that have been German from time immemorial, and of which we were once robbed against all right and justice."


Great Britain's War Work in 1917

War Cabinet's Official Survey of Military Events and Far-Reaching Economic Changes

A report issued by the British War Cabinet on March 18, 1918, in the form of a Blue Book of 200 pages or more, presents a historical review of what Great Britain accomplished in 1917, with a survey of the changes that came over the character of the war in that year, and of the far-reaching Governmental and economic developments that took place in the British Nation. As the introductory chapter is in itself a comprehensive summary, the main portions of it are here presented.

The year 1917 saw two marked developments. On the one hand there was a profound change in the character of the war itself. The inauguration of a general attack upon the sea communications of the Allies through the unrestricted use of the submarine greatly widened the scope of warlike operations and forced the people of the British Isles to expend an immense amount of time and energy on counterpreparations of all kinds. The Russian revolution completely upset the allied plan for a concerted offensive against the Central Powers on all fronts during the Spring and Summer of 1917, and eventually led to such a disintegration of the Russian Army as enabled the German Government to transfer the greater part of its military resources from the eastern to the western theatre of war. Finally, the overthrow of the Russian autocracy, coupled with the entry of the United States into the war and the adhesion of Greece, Brazil, China, and other neutrals to the allied cause, widened the war itself from a battle for the liberty of small nations and the defense of public right in Europe into a world-wide struggle for the triumph of a free civilization and democratic government.

The year brought a gradual growth of inter-ally co-operation and creation of the Imperial War Cabinet. This development and the sessions of the Imperial War Conference were the natural outcome of the spirit of unity and self-sacrifice which has enabled the peoples of the British Commonwealth to produce no less than 7,500,000 men to fight for freedom in addition to vast quantities of munitions and supplies of all kinds. So successful was this experiment in the opinion of its members that it was decided unanimously that there ought to be an annual meeting of the Imperial Cabinet and that the Prime Ministers of the empire or their specially delegated representatives, together with the Ministers in charge of the great imperial offices, should be its ex officio members.

War Cabinet Reorganization

Another sphere in which reorganization and expansion were necessary was that of home affairs. The period began with a reconstruction of the administrative machinery at the centre. It had become increasingly evident that the older system under which the supreme direction of the war rested, with a Cabinet consisting of the departmental chiefs under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, was not sufficiently prompt and elastic for the conduct of a war which involved the mobilization and direction of the resources not only of the United Kingdom but of the British Empire. Even the formation of a smaller Cabinet committee of the departmental Ministers chiefly concerned in the war did not meet the needs of the case. With the advent of the new Government a modification was introduced whereby the supreme direction of the war was intrusted to a small War Cabinet, freed from all administrative duties, and yet in the closest touch with all departmental Ministers, while administrative responsibility was placed in the hands of Ministers who were left free to devote their whole time to this aspect of Governmental work.

By this arrangement the War Cabinet was able to give all its attention to the task of co-ordination and direction, and so make more effective use of the immense resources which the empire had gradually produced[345] during the preceding years. It also made it easier to create a number of much-needed new administrative departments. The most important of these were the Ministry of Shipping, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Food, and the Ministry of Pensions, to which were added at later dates the Ministry of Reconstruction, the Ministry of National Service, and the Ministry of the Air. * * *

The Man-Power Problem

The first problem was that of man power. During the preceding year all sources which could be tapped without trenching upon the essential supplies of the allied armies and the nation had been exhausted, and the question had narrowed itself down to that of finding substitutes for fit men of military age still engaged in industry. An attempt was, therefore, made to enroll a large army of volunteers to take the place of the men called to the army. Partly owing to difficulties in withdrawing labor from the great war industries and partly owing to the limited supply of labor, great obstacles presented themselves in the execution of this scheme. But though the plan of enrolling an army of industrial volunteers had eventually to be abandoned the system of dilution and substitution was steadily carried out, and 820,646 men of all categories were taken for the service of the army during the year.

The needs of the army, however, were not the only drain. A large amount of additional labor was required for agriculture, timber production, and iron ore mining, as well as for industrial purposes. The needs in these respects also were gradually supplied by reducing unessential industries and by organizing supplies of soldier, civilian, and foreign labor. Investigations were carried out as to the use of labor in different trades, and trade committees representing employers and employed were organized to deal with economy of man-power in particular industries. The evidence so obtained, while it demonstrated clearly the complexity and difficulty of a system of compulsory national service in industry, made it clear that in order to effect the best strategic use of the man power of the country, the National Service Department required extension rather than restriction. Accordingly, in August, 1917, the department was reorganized as a Ministry, recruiting was transferred from the War Office, and arrangements were made to insure effective co-operation between the Ministry and the employment exchanges for the period of the war.


Notwithstanding the tremendous calls upon the man power of the country for the ever-increasing needs of the army, the supply of munitions has steadily increased. In addition to large consignments to other fronts of the war, there has been an increase of 30 per cent. in all kinds of guns and howitzers, and of over 100 per cent. in heavy guns and howitzers in the recent offensive in France, as compared with those of last year. The weight of shell filled per month has been more than doubled since 1916. The output of high explosives has been sufficient to meet the increased demands of our armies, to build up stocks, and to supply part of the needs of the Allies. There has been a steady improvement in the detonating value of gun ammunition and a continuous reduction in the number of premature explosions. In addition to guns, shells, and rifles, the demands of the military and naval forces during the year for aircraft, tanks, mechanical transport, railway material, and equipment of every sort and kind have been endless. Despite the immensity of the demand, it has, on the whole, been supplied. The British Army is now probably the best provided of all the armies in the field, not only in technical equipment but in clothing, food, and similar provision.

Fighting the Submarine

The most difficult problems which confronted the Administration in the early part of 1917 were those which arose from the growing inadequacy of the overseas communications of the Allies—problems which were aggravated by the introduction of the unlimited submarine campaign on Feb. 1. The expansion of the armies, the ever-increasing demand for warlike material, the fall in production, especially of foodstuffs in all allied countries through the calling of men to the colors, and the decline in cultivation, coupled with the diversion of a large part of the shipping of the Allies to purely military and naval transportation, had already put a severe strain on the shipping resources of the country. The immediate effect of the new campaign was to double the rate of losses which had been incurred during 1916, and these losses rose rapidly to a climax in March and April.

The countermeasures which were adopted by the navy, however, were successful in reducing the attack to manageable proportions, though they involved a drain upon the national resources both in man power and material which is often not fully recognized, and which is by no means the least important of the contributions of the British Empire to the war. The number of men engaged either in the navy or in supplying naval needs now exceeds a million. Unfortunately it is not possible to set forth in detail the immense scope of the Admiralty operations. But they include a very great addition to the armed craft in the service of the navy from torpedo boat destroyers to mine-sweepers, airships, and airplanes, and the organization of a vast system of patrols and mine-sweepers. As a result of the self-sacrificing devotion on the part of the men of the navy and the auxiliary services, and the steadfast performance[346] in all weathers and seasons of their monotonous and dangerous duties, the enemy never succeeded in interfering to any vital degree with the sea communications of the Allies.

The Shipping Problem

The naval preparations, however, were only part of the measures which were necessary to deal with the shipping situation. The second step was to create the Ministry of Shipping. At the end of 1916 the tonnage requisitioned by the State was less than one-half of the whole, and this was mainly used on purely military and naval services for the British Government or the Allies. During 1917 practically the whole of the remainder of the British ocean-going mercantile marine was brought under requisition at Blue Book rates and organized as a national war service. The Dominion Government also liberated much overseas shipping for war purposes, and neutral shipping was brought as far as possible into allied service. A close scrutiny was then made of the countries from which the necessary imports could be derived, and shipping was concentrated on the shortest routes, thereby multiplying the number of voyages the ships could make in the year. Leading regulations were revised, which increased the carrying capacity from the 1913 figure of 106 to 150 tons per 100 tons net of shipping entering our ports, and arrangements were made for shortening the time occupied in the turn round of ships at the ports. In the latter part of the year the convoy system was introduced, which reduced the shipping losses, though it involved certain delays to individual ships.

In addition to these improvements in the methods of using shipping, a large program of shipbuilding was put into operation, not only in British yards but in all the available yards in neutral countries as well. To insure greater speed in building a large number of the new ships were ordered to a standard design. In spite of the difficulties of all kinds which have confronted the production of ships, notably the shortage in the supply of steel plates and of labor, the output has steadily mounted. During 1917 1,163,500 tons of new ships were built, as against 542,000 tons in 1916, and by the end of 1918 the rate of output of all ships, war and merchant, ought to be double that of any previous year in British history. In order to make possible this increase forty-five new berths have been provided in private shipyards, and the construction of three new national shipyards, containing thirty-four berths, has been begun. Besides this effort at home 175,000 tons of shipping were purchased abroad, an amount which would have been very greatly exceeded if the United States had not taken over the whole program of ships being constructed on British account when they entered the war.

The third step in dealing with the shipping problem was a drastic reduction of imports. In 1916 imports were cut down by 1,600,000 tons. Early in 1917 a committee was appointed which recommended a preliminary program of reductions amounting to 6,000,000 tons. This was approved and came into operation on March 1. The program was shortly afterward increased by further severe restrictions of the imports of timber. The outcome of this policy has been that practically all cargo space is now reserved for goods carried directly or indirectly on Government account, and consists almost entirely of essential foodstuffs, raw materials required for the manufacture of national necessities and military needs or of munitions of war. The chief reductions were in timber, paper, feeding stuffs, and brewing materials. The unfortunate but inevitable consequence of the restriction of imports and of the diversion of shipping from trading to war routes has been a large diminution in exports.

The fourth step was to secure a large increase in the production of food and raw materials at home. There is now good reason to expect that in 1918 the tillage area in the United Kingdom will exceed that of 1916 by over 3,000,000 acres. These satisfactory results have only been possible through the public-spirited activity of large numbers of people throughout the country, including farmers, workers, and organizers, to whom the nation has good reason to be grateful.

Control of Food Consumption

The fifth step in meeting the shipping shortage was to expand Government control over the distribution of all the chief national supplies, partly in order to secure that the best use was made of what was available and partly in order to prevent waste. The most important measure in this sphere was the creation of the Ministry of Food. Its first step was to insure an adequate supply of breadstuffs. This was accomplished by raising the percentage of milling of wheat, by requiring the dilution of wheat with other cereals and by an increased program of imports. At the same time a scale of voluntary rations was announced and an active campaign was started in order to secure observance of them. The use of wheat, oats, barley, and maize for animal food was also restricted or prohibited. As a result, at the beginning of the Winter of 1917 the national reserve of breadstuffs was in a more satisfactory position than any time since the outbreak of war, the wheat stocks alone being 3,000,000 quarters in excess of the stocks in the corresponding period of 1916. A serious shortage, however, in the French and Italian harvests and the needs of our other allies placed a heavy demand upon our supplies of wheat, and toward the end of the year considerable quantities were diverted to their use. During the year the control of the Ministry was extended to cover all imported foodstuffs, practically all of which are now[347] purchased on the national account, and an increasing measure of control has been established over home-grown cereals, meat, and dairy produce. In order to prevent the artificial raising of prices through competition, these purchases are now carried out in concert with our allies through inter-ally committees. As the year progressed the need for greater economy in consumption than was apparently attainable by voluntary means and the difficulties in distributing equitably the restricted supplies compelled the introduction of a system of rationing. The system began with sugar, and at the end of the year was gradually being extended to cover other staple foodstuffs.

Beer and Other Articles

Another large economy was effected early in the year by a reduction of the manufacture of beer from the 1914 total of about 36,000,000 barrels and the 1916 total of 26,000,000 barrels to a total of some 14,000,000 standard barrels. The manufacture of spirits for human consumption has been stopped. Strong measures have also been taken to restrict the consumption of coal, oils, timber, cotton, and other articles. At the beginning of the year the coal mines and iron mines were taken over for the period of the war, and Government control over the available supplies was established. A system of distribution of coal was then brought into operation, which has not only insured all necessary supplies, but has effected economy in railway transportation. It is estimated that this reform will result in an economy of no less than 700,000,000 railway ton miles in the carriage of coal. A Timber Controller was appointed to ration the greatly restricted supplies of wood. The consumption of petrol for private use was gradually curtailed until it was finally forbidden. Much has also been done to economize labor and material through the more active control in the national interest both of railway and canal transportation.

Naval and Military Results

The result of these drastic measures has been that, despite all the enemy efforts to win a victory by the destruction of the merchant shipping of the world, the British people have been able to prosecute the war with the utmost vigor during the whole year. The navy has continued to hold its predominant position at sea, has denied the oceans to the enemy for the purpose of transporting troops or supplies and has exercised an ever-growing pressure upon him through the blockade. At the same time, though the submarine menace has not yet been mastered, the supply both of the military expeditions in all parts of the world and of the civilian population at home has been maintained. It may, indeed, be said with confidence that as the result of the work of the navy, of the merchant marine, and of many civilian sections of the community the German attempt to win the war by the destruction of the merchant shipping of the world has been definitely baffled.

In the military sphere, though no decision has been reached, great results have also been achieved. At the outset of the year the military prospects before the Allies were good. Their plans, however, for a converging attack on the Central Empires on all fronts were upset by the disorganization of the Russian armies which followed the revolution—a disorganization which ended in such complete dissolution that the Germans were enabled to transfer a large part of their eastern forces to the western front by the end of the year. None the less, during the whole of 1917 the German forces have been steadily pressed back from one highly fortified position to another in face of the systematic assaults of the allied armies. The enemy, indeed, has consistently borne tribute to the terrible power of the British attacks and to the heavy losses, both on land and in the air, which they have inflicted upon him. The chief successes have been gained at Arras, Messines, and in Flanders.

Non-European Theatres

On the other hand, there has been a complete transformation of the scene in the non-European theatres of the war. After a long period of comparative stagnation and failure, British arms have once more advanced to victory. The last of the German colonies—German East Africa—has been cleared of the enemy; Mesopotamia, with its capital, Bagdad, has been rescued from the devastating rule of the Turk, and Southern Palestine, including Jerusalem, after many centuries of effort, has been liberated by Christian hands. British prestige, indeed, in the East, which had fallen to a low ebb, has been completely restored; Germanic hopes of southeastern conquest have been rudely shattered through the withdrawal of over 100,000 square miles of territory from German control, and the capacity of Turkey to continue the war has been gravely impaired. The military results of the year are thus very considerable. British armies have fought not in France alone, but in Italy, Macedonia, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and East Africa, and from being a combination of peaceful communities the empire stands forth as the most powerful of all the Commonwealths which are withstanding Prussian aggression. The extent of this effort, the unfailing courage and morale of the British armies, and the clear determination of all the British peoples to accept no peace which does not restore national liberty and public right afford ground for confidence that the Allies will eventually secure the purpose for which they entered the war.

Social and Economic Changes

There is a nonmilitary aspect of the administrative developments of the year which it is important to note. In themselves these developments have been the result of the determination[348] of the people to leave nothing undone which could contribute to the winning of the war. None the less they are bound to produce lasting and far-reaching effects on the social and economic life of the community. No record of the year would be complete which did not point out the changes which have been wrought in the structure of society by the experiences of the war.

In the first place, the organic life of the community has been greatly strengthened. On the one hand, not only have enormous numbers of men, and latterly of women also, been mobilized for military and naval purposes, but the vast majority of the people are now working directly or indirectly on public service. If they are not in the army, the navy, or the civil service, they are growing food, or making munitions, or engaged in the work of organizing, transporting, or distributing the national supplies.

On the other hand the State has taken control for the period of the war over certain national industries, such as the railways, shipping, coal, and iron mines, and the great majority of engineering businesses. It has also made itself responsible for the securing of adequate quantities of certain staple commodities and services, such as food, coal, timber, and other raw materials, railroad and sea transportation, and for distributing the available supplies justly as between individual and individual in the national interest.

Regulating Prices

The Government has further had to regulate prices and prevent profiteering. It has done so partly by controlling freights, fixing maximum prices to the home producer, and regulating wholesale and retail charges, and partly by its monopoly of imported supplies. The information which the Government has obtained as to sources of supply, consumption, and cost of production, and the relations it has entered into with other Governments as to the mutual purchase of essential products which they jointly control, have, for the first time, brought within the sphere of practical politics the possibility of fixing relatively stable world prices for fundamental staples. The State has even taken the drastic step of fixing the price of the four-pound loaf at 9d., at a considerable loss to itself.

Thus the war, and especially the year 1917, has brought about a transformation of the social and administrative structure of the State, much of which is bound to be permanent. Owing to the imperative importance of speed there has perhaps been an undue expansion of the function of the Central Government. But a very large amount of work has been devolved on to local authorities and to new bodies, such as the War Agricultural Executive Committees or the Local Food Control Committees. Taking the year as a whole the Administration has been brought into far closer contact with every aspect of the life of the people, the provinces and the metropolis have been linked more closely together, and the whole community has received an education in the problems of practical democracy such as it has never had before.

The Industrial Problem

In the second place, the war has profoundly altered the conditions of the industrial problem. Since 1914 the community itself has become by far the greatest employer of labor. It has assumed control for the duration of the war over a great number of the larger private undertakings, it has limited profits by imposing an 80 per cent. excess profits tax, and it has intervened to prevent profiteering in the essential requirements of the nation. Further, the regulation of the trade unions have been suspended for the duration of the war, industry has been diluted throughout, new methods and new industries have been introduced, labor-saving machinery has been everywhere installed, and the speed of production and the number and skill of workers has greatly risen. The nation today is far better organized and far more productive than it has ever been before.

With the advent of the new Government at the end of 1916 a Ministry of Labor was created to deal with labor questions. It is still early to speak of the results of its work, but an important step toward the creation of better conditions in the industrial world has been taken in the adoption by the Government of the report of the Whitley Committee, which recommended the development of machinery in the shape of industrial councils, representatives of employers and employed throughout the country, whereby it should be possible to solve the difficulties which will arise by the process of peaceful conference and negotiation in place of the methods of industrial war. Despite all difficulties and the recent increase in industrial unrest, it is probably true to say that as the result of the war there is now a better understanding both by capital and labor of their mutual problems than at any previous time.

1917 in Retrospect

Looked at as a whole, 1917 has been a remarkable year. During it the war has assumed more and more the character of a struggle on the part of all the free nations for the final destruction of militarism and the establishment of an international order which will give real securities for liberty and public right throughout the world. The nations of which the British Commonwealth is composed have been drawn together in their joint effort for the common cause. And within the United Kingdom there has been a growth in the sense of public service and of the power to improve and adapt economic and social and administrative methods which will make it far easier to build up a healthier and more equitably organized society in future.



Full Text of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig's Report of a Victory and Reverse

The battle of Cambrai began on Nov. 20, 1917, with the successful surprise attack of the British Third Army under Sir Julian Byng, and came to an end on the night of Dec. 4-5 with the withdrawal of British troops from Bourlon Wood to "a more compact line on the Flesquières Ridge." A German attack, which began on Nov. 30, had succeeded in wresting away a large portion of the British gains. This reverse was later the subject of British Parliamentary inquiry, but the commission found no serious military errors to censure. Sir Douglas Haig's official report to the Secretary of War is printed below in full. It acquires a fresh interest from the fact that the terrain fought over is in part the same as that across which the Germans have since swept in their Spring offensive of 1918.

General Headquarters,
British Armies in the Field,

Feb. 20, 1918.

My Lord: I have the honor to submit the following report on the operations on the Cambrai front during November and December, 1917:

1. As pointed out in my last dispatch, the object of these operations was to gain a local success by a sudden attack at a point where the enemy did not expect it. Our repeated attacks in Flanders and those of our allies elsewhere had brought about large concentrations of the enemy's forces on the threatened fronts, with a consequent reduction in the garrisons of certain other sectors of his line.

Of these weakened sectors the Cambrai front had been selected as the most suitable for the surprise operation in contemplation. The ground there was, on the whole, favorable for the employment of tanks, which were to play an important part in the enterprise, and facilities existed for the concealment of the necessary preparations for the attack.

If, after breaking through the German defense systems on this front, we could secure Bourlon to the north, and establish a good flank position to the east, in the direction of Cambrai, we should be well placed to exploit the situation locally between Bourlon and the Sensée River and to the northwest. The capture of Cambrai itself was subsidiary to this operation, the object of our advance toward that town being primarily to cover our flank and puzzle the enemy regarding our intentions.

The enemy was laying out fresh lines of defense behind those which he had already completed on the Cambrai front; and it was to be expected that his troops would be redistributed as soon as our pressure in Flanders was relaxed. He had already brought large forces from Russia in exchange for divisions exhausted in the struggle in the western theatre, and it was practically certain that heavy reinforcements would be brought from east to west during the Winter. Moreover, his tired divisions, after a Winter's rest, would recover their efficiency.

For all these reasons, if the existing opportunity for a surprise attack were allowed to lapse, it would probably be many months before an equally favorable one would again offer itself. Furthermore, having regard to the future, it was desirable to show the enemy that he could not with impunity reduce his garrisons beyond a certain point without incurring grave risks.

Against these arguments in favor of immediate action I had to weigh the fact that my own troops had been engaged for[350] many months in heavy fighting, and that, though their efforts had been uniformly successful, the conditions of the struggle had greatly taxed their strength. Only part of the losses in my divisions had been replaced, and many recently arrived drafts, still far from being fully trained, were included in the ranks of the armies. Under these conditions it was a serious matter to make a further heavy call on my troops at the end of such a strenuous year.

On the other hand, from the nature of the operation, the size of the force which could be employed was bound, in any case, to be comparatively small, since success depended so much on secrecy, and it is impossible to keep secret the concentration of very large forces. The demand made upon my resources, therefore, should not be a great one.

While considering these different factors, preparations were quietly carried on, so that all might be ready for the attack if I found it possible to carry it out. The success of the enemy's offensive in Italy subsequently added great force to the arguments in favor of undertaking the operation, although the means at my disposal for the purpose were further reduced as a consequence of the Italian situation.

Eventually I decided that, despite the various limiting factors, I could muster enough force to make a first success sufficiently sure to justify undertaking the attack, but that the degree to which this success could be followed up must depend on circumstances.

It was calculated that, provided secrecy could be maintained to the last moment, no large hostile reinforcements were likely to reach the scene of action for forty-eight hours after the commencement of the attack. I informed General the Hon. Sir Julian Byng, K. C. B., K. C. M. G., M. V. O., to whom the execution of the plans in connection with the Cambrai operations was intrusted, that the advance would be stopped by me after that time, or sooner if necessary, unless the results then gained and the general situation justified its continuance.

Plan of Attack

The general plan of attack was to dispense with previous artillery preparation, and to depend instead on tanks to smash through the enemy's wire, of which there was a great quantity protecting his trenches.

As soon as the advance of the tanks and infantry, working in close co-operation, began, the artillery was to assist with counter battery and barrage work; but no previous registration of guns for this purpose could be permitted, as it would rouse the enemy's suspicions. The artillery of our new armies was therefore necessarily subjected to a severe test in this operation, and proved itself entirely worthy of the confidence placed in it.

The infantry, tanks, and artillery thus working in combination were to endeavor to break through all the enemy's lines of defense on the first day. If this were successfully accomplished and the situation developed favorably, cavalry were then to be passed through to raid the enemy's communications, disorganize his system of command, damage his railways, and interfere as much as possible with the arrival of his reinforcements. It was explained to all commanders that everything depended on secrecy up to the moment of starting, and after that on bold, determined, and rapid action. Unless opposition could be beaten down quickly, no great results could be looked for.

The Commander in Chief of the French Armies, to whom I secretly communicated my plans, most readily agreed to afford me every assistance. In addition to the steps taken by him to engage the enemy's attention elsewhere, he arranged for a strong force of French infantry and cavalry to be in a position whence they could be moved forward rapidly to take part in the exploitation of our success, if the situation should render it possible to bring them into action. On Nov. 20 certain of these French units were actually put in motion. The course of events, however, did not open out the required opportunity for their employment, but the French forces were held in readiness and within easy reach so long as there appeared to be any hope of it. Had the situation on Nov. 20 developed somewhat more favorably in certain directions, the nature of which will become apparent in the course of this report, the presence and co-operation of these French troops would have been of the greatest value.

The Enemy's Defenses

2. The German defenses on this front had been greatly improved and extended since the opening of our offensive in April, and comprised three main systems of resistance.

The first of these three trench systems, constituting part of the Hindenburg line proper, ran in a general northwesterly direction for a distance of six miles from the Canal de l'Escaut at Banteux to Havrincourt. There it turned abruptly north along the line of the Canal du Nord for a distance of four miles to Moeuvres, thus forming a pronounced salient in the German front.

In advance of the Hindenburg line the enemy had constructed a series of strong forward positions, including La Vacquerie and the northeastern corner of Havrincourt Wood. Behind it, and at distances respectively varying from a little less to rather more than a mile, and from three and a half to four and a half miles, lay the second and third main German systems, known as the Hindenburg reserve line, and the Beaurevoir, Masnières, Marquion lines.

The Attack Begun

3. All necessary preparations were completed in time, and with a secrecy reflecting the greatest credit on all concerned. At 6:20 A. M. on Nov 20, without any previous artillery bombardment, tanks and infantry attacked on a front of about six miles from east of Gonnelieu to the Canal du Nord opposite Hermies.


At the same[352] hour demonstrations with gas, smoke, and artillery took place on practically the whole of the British front south of the Scarpe, and subsidiary attacks were launched east of Epéhy and between Bullecourt and Fontaine les Croisilles.

On the principal front of attack the tanks moved forward in advance of the infantry, crushing down the enemy's wire and forming great lanes through which our infantry could pass. Protected by smoke barrages from the view of the enemy's artillery, they rolled on across the German trenches, smashing up the enemy's machine guns and driving his infantry to ground. Close behind our tanks our own infantry followed, and, while the tanks patrolled the line of hostile trenches, cleared the German infantry from their dugouts and shelters.

In this way, both the main system of the Hindenburg line and its outer defenses were rapidly overrun, and tanks and infantry proceeded in accordance with program to the attack upon the Hindenburg reserve line.

In this advance the 12th (Eastern) Division moved along the Bonavis Ridge on the right of our attack, encountered obstinate resistance at Lateau Wood, which sheltered a number of German batteries. Fierce fighting, in which infantry and tank crews displayed the greatest gallantry, continued throughout the morning at this point, and ended in the capture of the position, together with the enemy's guns.

Meanwhile the 20th (Light) Division, which had captured La Vacquerie at the opening of its attack, stormed the powerful defenses of Welsh Ridge. The 6th Division carried the village of Ribecourt, after sharp fighting among the streets and houses, while the 62d (West Riding) Division (T.) stormed Havrincourt, where also parties of the enemy held out for a time.

The capture of these two villages secured the flanks of the 51st (Highland) Division (T.) advancing on the left centre of our attack up the slopes of Flesquières Hill against the German trench lines on the southern side of Flesquières village. Here very heavy fighting took place. The stout brick wall skirting the château grounds opposed a formidable obstacle to our advance, while German machine guns swept the approaches. A number of tanks were knocked out by direct hits from German field batteries in position beyond the crest of the hill. None the less, with the exception of the village itself, our second objectives in this area were gained before midday.

Many of the hits upon our tanks at Flesquières were obtained by a German artillery officer who, remaining alone at his battery, served a field gun single-handed until killed at his gun. The great bravery of this officer aroused the admiration of all ranks.

Capture of Marcoing

On the left of our attack, west of the Canal du Nord, the 36th (Ulster) Division captured a German strong point on the spoil bank of the canal and pushed northward in touch with the West Riding troops, who, as the first stage in a most gallant and remarkably successful advance, had taken Havrincourt. By 10:30 A. M. the general advance beyond the Hindenburg reserve line to our final objectives had begun, and cavalry were moving up behind our infantry.

In this period of the attack tanks and British infantry battalions of the 29th Division entered Masnières and captured Marcoing and Neuf Wood, securing the passages of the Canal de l'Escaut at both villages.

At Marcoing the tanks arrived at the moment when a party of the enemy were in the act of running out an electrical connection to blow up one of the bridges. This party was fired on by a tank and the bridge secured intact. At Masnières, however, the retreating enemy succeeded in destroying partially the bridge carrying the main road. In consequence the first tank which endeavored to cross at this point fell through the bridge, completing its destruction.

The advance of a number of our guns had been unavoidably delayed in the sunken roads which served this part of the battlefield, and though our infantry continued their progress beyond Masnières, without the assistance of tanks and artillery, they were not able at first to clear the enemy entirely from the northern portion of the village. Here parties of Germans held out during the afternoon, and gave the enemy time to occupy Rumilly and the section of the Beaurevoir-Masnières line south of it; while the destruction of the bridge also prevented the cavalry from crossing the canal in sufficient strength to overcome his resistance.

In spite of this difficulty, a squadron of the Fort Garry Horse, Canadian cavalry brigade, succeeded during the afternoon in crossing the canal by a temporary bridge constructed during the day. This squadron passed through the Beaurevoir-Masnières line and charged and captured a German battery in position to the east of it. Continuing its advance, it dispersed a body of about 300 German infantry, and did not cease its progress until the greater part of its horses had been killed or wounded. The squadron thereupon took up a position in a sunken road, where it maintained itself until night fell. It then withdrew to our lines, bringing with it several prisoners taken in the course of a most gallant exploit.

Brilliant Cavalry Work

Meanwhile, west of the canal de l'Escaut patrols of the 6th Division during the afternoon entered Noyelles-sur-l'Escaut, where[353] they were reinforced by cavalry, and other cavalry units pushed out toward Cantaing. West of Flesquières, the 62d Division, operating northward from Havrincourt, made important progress. Having carried the Hindenburg reserve line north of that village, it rapidly continued its attack and captured Graincourt, where two anti-tank guns were destroyed by the tanks accompanying our infantry. Before nightfall infantry and cavalry had entered Anneux, though the enemy's resistance in this village does not appear to have been entirely overcome until the following morning.

This attack of the 62d (West Riding) Division constitutes a brilliant achievement, in which the troops concerned completed an advance of four and a half miles from their original front, overrunning two German systems of defense and gaining possession of three villages.

On the left flank of our attack Ulster battalions pushed northward along the Hindenburg line and its forward defenses, maintaining touch with the West Riding troops, and carried the whole of the German trench systems west of the Canal du Nord as far north as the Bapaume-Cambrai road.

At the end of the first day of the attack, therefore, three German systems of defense had been broken through to a depth of some four and a half miles on a wide front, and over 5,000 prisoners had already been brought in. But for the wrecking of the bridge at Masnières and the check at Flesquières still greater results might have been attained.

Throughout these operations the value of the services rendered by the tanks was very great, and the utmost gallantry, enterprise, and resolution were displayed by both officers and crews. In combination with the other arms, they helped to make possible a remarkable success. Without their aid in opening a way through the German wire, success could only have been attained by methods which would have given the enemy ample warning of our attack and have allowed him time to mass troops to oppose it. As has been pointed out above, to enable me to undertake such an operation with the troops at my disposal secrecy to the last moment was essential. The tanks alone made it possible to dispense with artillery preparation, and so to conceal our intentions from the enemy up to the actual moment of attack.

Great credit is due also to the Royal Flying Corps for very gallant and most valuable work carried out under conditions of the greatest difficulty from low clouds and driving mist.

In the subsidiary attack at Bullecourt battalions of the 3d Division and the 16th (Irish) Division successfully completed the work begun by our operations in this area in May and June, 1917, capturing the remainder of the Hindenburg support trench on their front, with some 700 prisoners. A number of counterattacks against our new positions at Bullecourt on this and the following day were repulsed, with great loss to the enemy.

The Advance Continued

4. On the morning of Nov. 21 the attack on Flesquières was resumed, and by 8 A. M. the village had been turned from the northwest and captured. The obstacle which more than anything else had limited the results of Nov. 20 was thereby removed, and later in the morning the advance once more became general.

Masnières had been cleared of the enemy during the previous evening, and at 11 A. M. our troops attacked the Beaurevoir-Masnières line and established themselves in the portion to the east and north of Masnières. Heavy fighting took place, and a counterattack from the direction of Rumilly was beaten off. At the same hour we attacked and captured Les Rues des Vignes, but later in the morning the enemy counterattacked and compelled our troops to fall back from this position. Progress was also made toward Crèvecoeur; but though the canal was crossed during the afternoon, it was found impossible to force the passage of the river in face of the enemy's machine-gun fire.

That evening orders were issued by the 3d Army to secure the ground already gained in this area of the battle, and to capture Rumilly on the morrow; but in consequence of the exhaustion of the troops engaged it was found necessary later in the night to cancel the orders for this attack.

West of the Canal de l'Escaut infantry of the 29th Division and dismounted regiments of the 1st and 5th Cavalry Divisions, including the Ambala Brigade, were heavily engaged throughout the day in Noyelles, and beat off all attacks in continuous fighting.

Following upon the capture of Flesquières, the 51st and 62d Divisions, in co-operation with a number of tanks and squadrons of the 1st Cavalry Division, attacked at 10:30 A. M. in the direction of Fontaine-notre-Dame and Bourlon.

In this attack the capture of Anneux was completed, and early in the afternoon Cantaing was seized, with some hundreds of prisoners. Progress was made on the outskirts of Bourlon Wood, and late in the afternoon Fontaine-notre-Dame was taken by troops of the 51st Division and tanks. The attack on Bourlon Wood itself was checked by machine-gun fire, though tanks advanced some distance into the wood.

Further west, the 36th Division advanced north of the Bapaume-Cambrai road, and reached the southern outskirts of Moeuvres, where strong opposition was encountered.

Position on Nov. 21

5. On the evening of the second day of the attack, therefore, our troops held a line which ran approximately as follows:

From our old front line east of Gonnelieu the right flank of our new positions lay along the eastern slopes of the Bonavis Ridge, passing east of Lateau Wood and striking the[354] Masnières-Beaurevoir line north of the Canal de l'Escaut at a point about half way between Crèvecoeur and Masnières. From this point our line ran roughly northwest, past and including Masnières, Noyelles, and Cantaing, to Fontaine, also inclusive. Thence it bent back to the south for a short distance, making a sharp salient round the latter village, and ran in a general westerly direction along the southern edge of Bourlon Wood and across the southern face of the spur to the west of the wood, to the Canal du Nord, southeast of the village of Moeuvres. From Moeuvres the line linked up once more with our old front at a point about midway between Bourcies and Pronville.

The forty-eight hours after which it had been calculated that the enemy's reserves would begin to arrive had in effect expired, and the high ground at Bourlon Village and Wood, as well as certain important tactical features to the east and west of the wood, still remained in the enemy's possession. It now became necessary to decide whether to continue the operation offensively or to take up a defensive attitude and rest content with what had been attained.

The Decision to Go On

6. It was not possible, however, to let matters stand as they were. The positions captured by us north of Flesquières were completely commanded by the Bourlon Ridge, and unless this ridge were gained it would be impossible to hold them, except at excessive cost. If I decided not to go on a withdrawal to the Flesquières Ridge would be necessary, and would have to be carried out at once.

On the other hand, the enemy showed certain signs of an intention to withdraw. Craters had been formed at road junctions, and troops could be seen ready to move east. The possession of Bourlon Ridge would enable our troops to obtain observation over the ground to the north, which sloped gently down to the Sensée River. The enemy's defensive lines south of the Scarpe and Sensée Rivers would thereby be turned, his communications exposed to the observed fire of our artillery, and his positions in this sector jeopardized. In short, so great was the importance of the ridge to the enemy that its loss would probably cause the abandonment by the Germans of their carefully prepared defense systems for a considerable distance to the north of it.

The successive days of constant marching and fighting had placed a very severe strain upon the endurance of the troops, and, before a further advance could be undertaken, some time would have to be spent in resting and relieving them. This need for delay was regrettable, as the enemy's forces were increasing, and fresh German divisions were known to be arriving, but, with the limited number of troops at my command, it was unavoidable.

It was to be remembered, however, that the hostile reinforcements coming up at this stage could at first be no more than enough to replace the enemy's losses; and although the right of our advance had definitely been stayed, the enemy had not yet developed such strength about Bourlon as it seemed might not be overcome by the numbers at my disposal. As has already been pointed out, on the Cambrai side of the battlefield I had only aimed at securing a defensive flank to enable the advance to be pushed northward and northwestward, and this part of my task had been to a large extent achieved.

An additional and very important argument in favor of proceeding with my attack was supplied by the situation in Italy, upon which a continuance of pressure on the Cambrai front might reasonably be expected to exercise an important effect, no matter what measure of success attended my efforts. Moreover, two divisions previously under orders for Italy had on this day been placed at my disposal, and with this accession of strength the prospect of securing Bourlon seemed good.

After weighing these various considerations, therefore, I decided to continue the operations to gain the Bourlon position.

Nov. 22 was spent in organizing the captured ground, in carrying out certain reliefs, and in giving other troops the rest they greatly needed. Soon after midday the enemy regained Fontaine-notre-Dame; but with our troops already on the outskirts of Bourlon Wood and Cantaing held by us, it was thought that the recapture of Fontaine should not prove very difficult. The necessary arrangements for renewing the attack were therefore pushed on, and our plans were extended to include the recapture of Fontaine-notre-Dame.

Meanwhile, early in the night of Nov. 22, a battalion of the Queen's Westminsters stormed a commanding tactical point in the Hindenburg line west of Moeuvres known as Tadpole Copse, the possession of which would be of value in connection with the left flank of the Bourlon position when the latter had been secured.

Struggle for Bourlon Ridge

7. On the morning of Nov. 23, the 51st Division, supported by tanks, attacked Fontaine-notre-Dame, but was unable to force an entrance. Early in the afternoon this division repeated its attack from the west, and a number of tanks entered Fontaine, where they remained till dusk, inflicting considerable loss on the enemy. We did not succeed, however, in clearing the village, and at the end of the day no progress had been made on this part of our front.

At 10:30 A. M. the 40th Division attacked Bourlon Wood, and after four and a half hours of hard fighting, in which tanks again rendered valuable assistance to our infantry,[355] captured the whole of the wood and entered Bourlon village. Here hostile counterattacks prevented our further progress, and though the village was at one time reported to have been taken by us, this proved later to be erroneous. A heavy hostile attack upon our positions in the wood, in which all three battalions of the 9th Grenadier Regiment appear to have been employed, was completely repulsed.

Throughout this day, also, the 36th Division and troops of the 56th (London) Division (T.) were engaged in stubborn fighting in the neighborhood of Moeuvres and Tadpole Copse, and made some progress.

This struggle for Bourlon resulted in several days of fiercely contested fighting, in which English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish battalions, together with dismounted cavalry, performed most gallant service and inflicted heavy loss on the enemy.

During the morning of Nov. 24 the enemy twice attacked, and at his second attempt pressed back our troops in the northeastern corner of the wood. An immediate counterattack delivered by the 14th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the 15th Hussars, dismounted, and the remnants of the 119th Infantry Brigade, drove back the enemy in turn, and by noon our line had been re-established. Meanwhile, dismounted cavalry had repulsed an attack on the high ground west of Bourlon Wood, and in the afternoon a third hostile attack upon the wood was stopped by our artillery and rifle fire.

Bourlon Village Captured

On this afternoon our infantry again attacked Bourlon village, and captured the whole of it. Later in the evening a fourth attack upon our positions in the wood was beaten off after fierce fighting. Further progress was made on this day in the Hindenburg line west of Moeuvres, but the enemy's resistance in the whole of this area was very strong. On the evening of Nov. 25 a fresh attack by the enemy regained Bourlon village, though our troops offered vigorous resistance, and parties of the 13th Battalion East Surrey Regiment held out in the southeast corner of the village until touch was re-established with them two days later. The continual fighting and the strength of the enemy's attacks, however, had told heavily on the 40th Division, which had borne the brunt of the struggle. This division was accordingly withdrawn, and on the following day our troops were again pressed back slightly in the northern outskirts of Bourlon Wood.

With the enemy in possession of the shoulder of the ridge above Fontaine-notre-Dame, as well as of part of the high ground west of Bourlon Wood, our position in the wood itself was a difficult one, and much of the ground to the south of it was still exposed to the enemy's observation. It was decided, therefore, to make another effort on Nov. 27 to capture Fontaine-notre-Dame and Bourlon village and to gain possession of the whole of the Bourlon Ridge.

In this attack, in which tanks co-operated, British Guards temporarily regained possession of Fontaine-notre-Dame, taking some hundreds of prisoners, and troops of the 62d Division once more entered Bourlon village. Later in the morning, however, heavy counterattacks developed in both localities, and our troops were unable to maintain the ground they had gained. During the afternoon the enemy also attacked our positions at Tadpole Copse, but was repulsed.

As the result of five days of constant fighting, therefore, we held a strong position on the Bourlon Hill and in the wood, but had not yet succeeded in gaining all the ground required for the security of this important feature. The two following days passed comparatively quietly, while the troops engaged were relieved and steps were undertaken to prepare for a deliberate attack which might give us the tactical points we sought.

Meanwhile, on other parts of the front, the organization of our new positions was proceeding as rapidly as conditions would allow. In particular, troops of the 12th Division had effected some improvement on the right flank of our advance opposite Banteux, and the 16th Division had made further progress in the Hindenburg line northwest of Bullecourt.

At the end of November the number of prisoners taken in our operations southwest of Cambrai exceeded 10,500. We had also captured 142 guns, some 350 machine guns, and 70 trench mortars, with great quantities of ammunition, material, and stores of all kinds.

The German Attack

8. During the last days of November increased registration of hostile artillery, the movements of troops and transport observed behind the German lines, together with other indications of a like nature, pointed to further efforts by the enemy to regain the positions we had wrested from him.

The front affected by this increased activity included that of our advance, as well as the ground to Vendhuille and beyond. The massing of the enemy's infantry, however, his obvious anxiety concerning the security of his defenses south of the Sensée River, the tactical importance of the high ground about Bourlon, and the fact that we were still only in partial possession of it, all pointed to the principal attack being delivered in the Bourlon sector.

9. Measures were accordingly taken, both by the 3d Army and by the lower formations concerned, to prepare for eventualities. Arrangements had been made after our last attack to relieve the troops holding the Bourlon positions by such fresh divisions as were available, and when these reliefs had been satisfactorily completed I felt confident that the defense of this sector could be considered secure.[356]

Covering our right flank from Cantaing to the Banteux Ravine, a distance of about 16,000 yards, five British divisions were disposed, and, though these had been fighting for several days and were consequently tired, I felt confident that they would prove equal to stopping any attack the enemy could make on them.

From the Banteux Ravine southward the divisions in line were weak and held very extended fronts. On the other hand, the line held by us in this southern sector had been in our possession for some months. Its defenses were for this reason more complete and better organized than those of the ground gained by us in our attack. Moreover, the capture of the Bonavis Ridge had added to the security of our position further south.

The reserve divisions immediately available in the area consisted of the Guards and 2d Cavalry Divisions, both of which had been engaged in the recent fighting at Fontaine and Bourlon Wood. These were located behind the La Vacquerie-Villers Guislain front, while another division, the 62d, which had also been recently engaged, was placed further to the northwest in the direction of the Bapaume-Cambrai road. A fresh South Midland Division was assembling further back, two other cavalry divisions were within from two to three hours' march of the battle area, and another cavalry division but a little further distant.

In view of the symptoms of activity observed on the enemy's front, special precautions were taken by local commanders, especially from Villers Guislain to the south. Troops were warned to expect attack, additional machine guns were placed to secure supporting points, and divisional reserves were closed up. Special patrols were also sent out to watch for signs of any hostile advance.

The Battle Reopened

10. Between the hours of 7 and 8 A. M. on the last day of November the enemy attacked, after a short but intense artillery preparation, on the greater part of a front of some ten miles from Vendhuille to Masnières inclusive. From Masnières to Banteux, both inclusive, four German divisions would seem to have been employed against the three British divisions holding this area. Between Banteux exclusive and Vendhuille one German division and portions of two others were employed against the northern half of the British division holding that front.

On the Masnières front the 29th Division, composed of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Guernsey, and Newfoundland battalions, although seriously threatened as the day wore on by the progress made by the enemy further south, where their battery positions had been taken in reverse, most gallantly beat off a succession of powerful assaults and maintained their line intact.

At the northern end of the Bonavis Ridge and in the Gonnelieu sector the swiftness with which the advance of the enemy's infantry followed the opening of his bombardment appears to have overwhelmed our troops, both in line and in immediate support, almost before they had realized that the attack had begun.

The nature of the bombardment, which seems to have been heavy enough to keep our men under cover without at first seriously alarming them, contributed to the success of the enemy's plans. No steadily advancing barrage gave warning of the approach of the German assault columns, whose secret assembly was assisted by the many deep folds and hollows typical of a chalk formation, and shielded from observation from the air by an early morning mist. Only when the attack was upon them great numbers of low-flying German airplanes rained machine-gun fire upon our infantry, while an extensive use of smoke shell and bombs made it extremely difficult for our troops to see what was happening on other parts of the battlefield, or to follow the movements of the enemy. In short, there is little doubt that, although an attack was expected generally, yet in these areas of the battle at the moment of delivery the assault effected a local surprise.

Stubborn British Resistance

None the less, stubborn resistance was offered during the morning by isolated parties of our troops and by machine-gun detachments in the neighborhood of Lateau Wood and southeast of La Vacquerie, as well as at other points. In more than one instance heavy losses are known to have been inflicted on the enemy by machine-gun fire at short range. Northeast of La Vacquerie the 92d Field Artillery Brigade repulsed four attacks, in some of which the enemy's infantry approached to within 200 yards of our guns before the surviving gunners were finally compelled to withdraw, after removing the breechblocks from their pieces. East of Villers-Guislain the troops holding our forward positions on the high ground were still offering a strenuous resistance to the enemy's attack on their front at a time when large forces of German infantry had already advanced up the valley between them and Villers-Guislain. South of this village a single strong point known as Limerick Post, garrisoned by troops of the 1st and 5th Battalions, (King's Own,) Royal Lancaster Regiment, and the 1st and 10th Battalions, Liverpool Regiment, held out with great gallantry throughout the day, though heavily attacked.

The progress made by the enemy, however, across the northern end of the Bonavis Ridge and up the deep gully between Villers-Guislain and Gonnelieu, known as 22 Ravine, turned our positions on the ridge as well as in both villages. Taking in flank and rear, the defenses of Villers-Guislain, Gonnelieu, and Bonavis were rapidly overrun. Gouzeaucourt was captured about 9 A. M., the outer defenses of La Vacquerie were reached,[357] and a number of guns which had been brought up close to the line in order to enable them to cover the battle front about Masnières and Marcoing fell into the hands of the enemy.

At this point the enemy's advance was checked by the action of our local reserves, and meanwhile measures had been taken with all possible speed to bring up additional troops. About midday the Guards came into action west of Gouzeaucourt, while cavalry moved up to close the gap on their right and made progress toward Villers-Guislain from the south and southwest.

The attack of the Guards, which was delivered with the greatest gallantry and resolution, drove the enemy out of Gouzeaucourt and made progress on the high ground known as the St. Quentin Ridge, east of the village. In this operation the Guards were materially assisted by the gallant action of a party of the 29th Division, who, with a company of North Midland Royal Engineers, held on throughout the day to a position in an old trench near Gouzeaucourt. Valuable work was also done by a brigade of field artillery of the 47th Division, which moved direct into action from the line of march.

During the afternoon three battalions of tanks which, when they received news of the attack, were preparing to move away from the battlefield to refit, arrived at Gouzeaucourt and aided the infantry to hold the recaptured ground. Great credit is due to the officers and men of the tank brigade concerned for the speed with which they brought their tanks into action.

Meanwhile, the defense of La Vacquerie had been successfully maintained, and our line had been established to the north of that village, in touch with our troops in Masnières.

The Northern Attack

11. In the northern area, from Fontaine-notre-Dame to Tadpole Copse, the German attack was not launched until some two hours later. This was the enemy's main attack, and was carried out with large forces and great resolution.

After a heavy preliminary bombardment, and covered by an artillery barrage, the enemy's infantry advanced shortly after 9 A. M. in dense waves, in the manner of his attacks in the first battle of Ypres. In the course of the morning and afternoon no less than five principal attacks were made in this area, and on one portion of the attack as many as eleven waves of German infantry advanced successively to the assault. On the whole of this front a resolute endeavor was made to break down by sheer weight of numbers the defense of the London Territorials and other English battalions holding the sector.

In this fighting the 47th (London) Division (T.), the 2d Division, and the 56th (London) Division (T.) greatly distinguished themselves, and there were accomplished many deeds of great heroism.

Under the fury of the enemy's bombardment a company of the 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers were in the course of being withdrawn from an exposed position in a saphead in advance of our line between Bourlon Wood and Moeuvres when the German attack burst upon them. The officer in command sent three of his platoons back, and with a rearguard composed of the remainder of his company held off the enemy's infantry until the main position had been organized. Having faithfully accomplished their task, this rearguard died fighting to the end with their faces to the enemy.

Somewhat later in the morning an attack in force between the Canal du Nord and Moeuvres broke into our foremost positions and isolated a company of the 13th Battalion, Essex Regiment, in a trench just west of the canal. After maintaining a splendid and successful resistance throughout the day, whereby the pressure upon our main line was greatly relieved, at 4 P. M. this company held a council of war, at which the two remaining company officers, the company Sergeant Major, and the platoon Sergeants were present, and unanimously determined to fight to the last and have "no surrender." Two runners who were sent to notify this decision to battalion headquarters succeeded in getting through to our lines and delivered their message. During the remainder of the afternoon and far into the following night this gallant company were heard fighting, and there is little room for doubt that they carried out to a man their heroic resolution.

Enormous German Losses

Early in the afternoon large masses of the enemy again attacked west of Bourlon Wood, and, though beaten off with great loss at most points, succeeded in overwhelming three out of a line of posts held by a company of the 1st Battalion, Royal Berks Regiment, on the right of the 2d Division. Though repeatedly attacked by vastly superior numbers, the remainder of these posts stood firm, and when, two days later, the three posts which had been overpowered were regained, such a heap of German dead lay in and around them that the bodies of our own men were hidden.

All accounts go to show that the enemy's losses in the whole of his constantly repeated attacks on this sector of the battle front were enormous. One battery of eight machine guns fired 70,000 rounds of ammunition into ten successive waves of Germans. Long lines of attacking infantry were caught by our machine-gun fire in enfilade, and were shot down in line as they advanced. Great execution also was done by our field artillery, and in the course of the battle guns were brought up to the crest line and fired direct upon the enemy at short range.

At one point west of Bourlon the momentum of his first advance carried the enemy through our front line and a short way down the southern slopes of the ridge. There,[358] however, the German masses came under direct fire from our field artillery at short range and were broken up. Our local reserves at once counterattacked and succeeded in closing the gap that had been made in our line. Early in the afternoon the enemy again forced his way into our foremost positions in this locality, opening a gap between the 1st and 6th Battalions and the 1st and 15th Battalions, London regiments. Counterattacks led by the two battalion commanders, with all available men, including the personnel of their headquarters, once more restored the situation. All other attacks were beaten off with the heaviest losses to the enemy.

The greatest credit is due to the troops at Masnières, Bourlon, and Moeuvres for the very gallant service performed by them on this day. But for their steady courage and stanchness in defense, the success gained by the enemy on the right of our battle front might have had serious consequences.

I cannot close the account of this day's fighting without recording my obligation to the Commander in Chief of the French Armies for the prompt way in which he placed French troops within reach for employment in case of need at the unfettered discretion of the 3d Army commander. Part of the artillery of this force actually came into action, rendering valuable service, and though the remainder of the troops were not called upon, the knowledge that they were available should occasion arise was a great assistance.

At Gonnelieu and Masnières

12. On Dec. 1 fighting continued fiercely on the whole front.

The Guards completed the capture of the St. Quentin Ridge and entered Gonnelieu, where they captured over 350 prisoners and a large number of machine guns. Tanks took an effective part in the fighting for the ridge. At one point, where our infantry were held up by fire from a hostile trench, a single tank attacked and operated up and down the trench, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy's garrison. Our infantry were then able to advance and secure the trench, which was found full of dead Germans. In it were also found fifteen machine guns that had been silenced by the tank. In the whole of this fighting splendid targets were obtained by all tank crews and the German casualties were seen to be very great.

Further south a number of tanks co-operated with dismounted Indian cavalry of the 5th Cavalry Division and with the Guards in the attacks upon Villers-Guislain and Gauche Wood, and were in great measure responsible for the capture of the wood. Heavy fighting took place for this position, which it is clear that the enemy had decided to hold at all costs. When the infantry and cavalry finally took possession of the wood, great numbers of German dead and smashed machine guns were found. In one spot four German machine guns, with dead crews lying round, were discovered within a radius of twenty yards. Three German field guns, complete with teams, were also captured in this wood.

Other tanks proceeded to Villers-Guislain, and, in spite of heavy direct artillery fire, three reached the outskirts of the village, but the fire of the enemy's machine guns prevented our troops advancing from the south from supporting them, and the tanks ultimately withdrew.

Severe fighting took place, also, at Masnières. During the afternoon and evening at least nine separate attacks were beaten off by the 29th Division on this front, and other hostile attacks were repulsed in the neighborhood of Marcoing, Fontaine-notre-Dame, and Bourlon. With the Bonavis Ridge in the enemy's hands, however, Masnières was exposed to attack on three sides, and on the night of Dec. 1-2 our troops were withdrawn under orders to a line west of the village.

On the afternoon of Dec. 2 a series of heavy attacks developed against Welsh Ridge in the neighborhood of La Vacquerie, and further assaults were made on our positions in the neighborhood of Masnières and Bourlon. These attacks were broken in succession by our machine-gun fire, but the enemy persisted in his attempts against Welsh Ridge, and gradually gained ground. By nightfall our line had been pushed back to a position west and north of Gonnelieu.

Next day the enemy renewed his attacks in great force on the whole front from Gonnelieu to Marcoing, and ultimately gained possession of La Vacquerie. North of La Vacquerie repeated attacks made about Masnières and Marcoing were repulsed in severe fighting, but the positions still retained by us beyond the Canal de l'Escaut were extremely exposed, and during the night our troops were withdrawn under orders to the west bank of the canal.

Withdrawal From Bourlon

13. By this time the enemy had evidently become exhausted by the efforts he had made and the severity of his losses, and Dec. 4 passed comparatively quietly. For some days, however, local fighting continued in the neighborhood of La Vacquerie, and his attitude remained aggressive. Local attacks in this sector were repulsed on Dec. 5, and on this and the following two days further fierce fighting took place, in which the enemy again endeavored without success to drive us from our positions on Welsh Ridge.

The strength which the enemy had shown himself able to develop in his attacks made it evident that only by prolonged and severe fighting could I hope to re-establish my right flank on the Bonavis Ridge. Unless this was done, the situation of my troops in the salient north of Flesquières would be difficult and dangerous, even if our hold on Bourlon Hill were extended.

I had therefore to decide either to embark[359] on another offensive battle on a large scale, or to withdraw to a more compact line on the Flesquières Ridge.

Although this decision involved giving up important positions most gallantly won, I had no doubt as to the correct course under the conditions. Accordingly, on the night of Dec. 4-5 the evacuation of the position held by us north of the Flesquières Ridge was commenced. On the morning of Dec. 7 this withdrawal was completed successfully, without interference from the enemy.

Before withdrawing, the more important of the enemy's field defenses were destroyed, and those of his guns which we had been unable to remove were rendered useless. The enemy did not discover our withdrawal for some time, and when, on the afternoon of Dec. 5, he began to feel his way forward, he did so with great caution. In spite of his care, on more than one occasion bodies of his infantry were caught in the open by our artillery.

Much skill and courage were shown by our covering troops in this withdrawal, and an incident which occurred on the afternoon of Dec. 6 in the neighborhood of Graincourt deserves special notice. A covering party, consisting of two companies of the 1st and 15th Battalions, London Regiment, 47th Division, much reduced in strength by the fighting at Bourlon Wood, found their flank exposed by a hostile attack further east, and were enveloped and practically cut off. These companies successfully cut their way through to our advanced line of resistance, where they arrived in good order, after having inflicted serious casualties on the enemy.

The new line taken up by us corresponded roughly to the old Hindenburg reserve line, and ran from a point about one and a half miles north by east of La Vacquerie, north of Ribecourt and Flesquières to the Canal du Nord, about one and a half miles north of Havrincourt—i. e., between two and two and a half miles in front of the line held by us prior to the attack of Nov. 20. We therefore retained in our possession an important section of the Hindenburg trench system, with its excellent dugouts and other advantages.

Results of the Battle

14. The material results of the three weeks' fighting described above can be stated in general terms very shortly.

We had captured and retained in our possession over 12,000 yards of the former German front line from La Vacquerie to a point opposite Boursies, together with between 10,000 and 11,000 yards of the Hindenburg line and Hindenburg reserve line and the village of Ribecourt, Flesquières, and Havrincourt. A total of 145 German guns were taken or destroyed by us in the course of the operations, and 11,100 German prisoners were captured.

On the other hand, the enemy had occupied an unimportant section of our front line between Vendhuille and Gonnelieu.

There is little doubt that our operations were of considerable indirect assistance to the allied forces in Italy. Large demands were made upon the available German reserves at a time when a great concentration of German divisions was still being maintained in Flanders. There is evidence that German divisions intended for the Italian theatre were diverted to the Cambrai front, and it is probable that the further concentration of German forces against Italy was suspended for at least two weeks at a most critical period, when our allies were making their first stand on the Piave line.

General Review

15. I have already summarized in the opening paragraphs of this dispatch both the reasons which decided me to undertake the Cambrai operations and the limitations to which these operations were subject.

In view of the strength of the German forces on the front of my attack and the success with which secrecy was maintained during our preparations, I had calculated that the enemy's prepared defenses would be captured in the first rush. I had good hope that his resisting power behind these defenses would then be so enfeebled for a period that we should be able on the same day to establish ourselves quickly and completely on the dominating Bourlon Ridge from Fontaine-notre-Dame to Moeuvres and to secure our right flank along a line including the Bonavis Ridge, Crèvecour, and Rumilly to Fontaine-notre-Dame. Even if this did not prove possible within the first twenty-four hours, a second day would be at our disposal before the enemy's reserves could begin to arrive in any formidable numbers.

Meanwhile, with no wire and no prepared defenses to hamper them, it was reasonable to hope that masses of cavalry would find it possible to pass through, whose task would be thoroughly to disorganize the enemy's systems of command and intercommunication in the whole area between the Canal de l'Escaut, the River Sensée, and the Canal du Nord, as well as to the east and northeast of Cambrai.

My intentions as regards subsequent exploitation were to push westward and northwestward, taking the Hindenburg line in reverse from Moeuvres to the River Scarpe, and capturing all the enemy's defenses and probably most of his garrisons lying west of a line from Cambrai northward to the Sensée, and south of that river and the Scarpe.

Time would have been required to enable us to develop and complete the operation; but the prospects of gaining the necessary time, by the use of cavalry in the manner outlined above, were in my opinion good enough to justify the attempt to execute the plan. I am of opinion that on Nov. 20 and 21 we went[360] very near to a success sufficiently complete to bring the realization of our full program within our power.

The reasons for my decision to continue the fight after Nov. 21 have already been explained. Though in the event no advantage was gained thereby, I still consider that, as the problem presented itself at the time, the more cautious course would have been difficult to justify. It must be remembered that it was not a question of remaining where we stood, but of abandoning tactical positions of value, gained with great gallantry, the retention of which seemed not only to be within our power, but likely even yet to lead to further success.

Whatever may be the final decision on this point, as well as on the original decision to undertake the enterprise at all with the forces available, the continuation of our efforts against Fontaine-notre-Dame gave rise to severe fighting, in which our troops more than held their own.

Risks Voluntarily Accepted

On Nov. 30 risks were accepted by us at some points in order to increase our strength at others. Our fresh reserves had been thrown in on the Bourlon front, where the enemy brought against us a total force of seven divisions to three and failed. I do not consider that it would have been justifiable on the indications to have allotted a smaller garrison to this front.

Between Masnières and Vendhuille the enemy's superiority in infantry over our divisions in line was in the proportion of about four to three, and we were sufficiently provided with artillery. That his attack was partially successful may tend to show that the garrison allotted to this front was insufficient, either owing to want of numbers, lack of training, or exhaustion from previous fighting.

Captured maps and orders have made it clear that the enemy aimed at far more considerable results than were actually achieved by him. Three convergent attacks were to be made on the salient formed by our advance; two of them delivered approximately simultaneously about Gonnelieu and Masnières, followed later by a still more powerful attack on the Bourlon front. The objectives of these attacks extended to the high ground at Beaucamp and Trescault, and the enemy's hope was to capture and destroy the whole of the British forces in the Cambrai salient.

This bold and ambitious plan was foiled on the greater part of our front by the splendid defense of the British divisions engaged; and, though the defense broke down for a time in one area, the recovery made by the weak forces still left and those within immediate reach is worthy of the highest praise. Numberless instances of great gallantry, promptitude, and skill were shown, some few which have been recounted.

I desire to acknowledge the skill and resource displayed by General Byng throughout the Cambrai operations and to express my appreciation of the manner in which they were conducted by him as well as by his staff and the subordinate commanders.

In conclusion, I would point out that the sudden breaking through by our troops of an immense system of defense has had a most inspiring moral effect on the armies I command and must have a correspondingly depressing influence upon the enemy. The great value of the tanks in the offensive has been conclusively proved. In view of this experience, the enemy may well hesitate to deplete any portion of his front, as he did last Summer, in order to set free troops to concentrate for decisive action at some other point.

I have the honor to be, my Lord, your obedient servant,

Field Marshal, Commanding in Chief, British
Armies in France

Millions of Horses Used by the Armies

Figures compiled by the Red Star Animal Relief Society show that at the beginning of 1918 there were 4,500,000 horses in use by all the armies in the war, and that the losses on the western front alone averaged 47,000 a month. About 1,500,000 horses had been bought by the Allies in America; 33,000 of these had died before they could be embarked, and 6,000 died in the ships. The value of horses shipped to Europe in 1917 was more than $50,000,000, and the loss in a heavy month of fighting is about $1,500,000. The United States Army in France will need 750,000 horses for draft purposes and mounts, with several hundred thousands more to fill losses. Experience on both sides has proved that a shortage of horses means a corresponding loss of guns in battle and the impossibility of rapid advance. Only well animals can be used, and there are always thousands in the hospitals. Behind the British lines there is a horse hospital within four miles of any point, and eight miles away from each is another. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has hospitals for 10,000 horses and mules, with well-designed buildings, complete operating equipments, ambulances, forage barns, cooking kitchens, quarters for the staff, and every detail for curing the wounded animals. The veterinary surgeons of this society are saving 80 per cent. of the injured horses and sending them back to the batteries.



[American Cartoon] In the Hands of His Friends —From The San Francisco Chronicle.
[American Cartoon]
In the Hands of His Friends
From The San Francisco Chronicle.

[362] [American Cartoons] "Vorwärts Mit Gott!" Sacrificing the Manhood and Youth of a Nation to Save a Throne.
[American Cartoons]
"Vorwärts Mit Gott!"
Sacrificing the Manhood and Youth of a Nation to Save a Throne.

—From The New York Times. "Hold the line! We're coming ten million strong!"
—From The New York Times.
"Hold the line! We're coming ten million strong!"

[Italian Cartoon] In Danger of Shipwreck —From Il 420, Florence. President Wilson's war aims threaten to bring disaster to the Central Powers' peace boat.
[Italian Cartoon]
In Danger of Shipwreck
—From Il 420, Florence.
President Wilson's war aims threaten to bring disaster to the Central Powers' peace boat.

[English Cartoon If They Had Been Rationed —From London Opinion. How certain great historical personages might have looked if they had lived in the days of bread cards.
[English Cartoon]
If They Had Been Rationed
—From London Opinion.
How certain great historical personages might have looked if they had lived in the days of bread cards.

[German Cartoon] Smoking the Peace Pipe —From Der Brummer, Berlin. The Entente: "What a pity we are excluded!"
[German Cartoon]
Smoking the Peace Pipe
—From Der Brummer, Berlin.
The Entente: "What a pity we are excluded!"

[English Cartoon] The Rescuer's Usual Fate! —From London Opinion. Policeman John Bull: "But I only came on the scene because he had started to knock you about!" Mrs. Russia: "Never mind about that. Go on, Bill, teach 'im to interfere—hit me again."
[English Cartoon]
The Rescuer's Usual Fate!
—From London Opinion.
Policeman John Bull: "But I only came on the scene because he had started to knock you about!"
Mrs. Russia: "Never mind about that. Go on, Bill, teach 'im to interfere—hit me again."

[American Cartoon] Proving a Fallacy —From The Chicago Herald. Russia's faith in Socialist pacifism, and what came of it.
[American Cartoon]
Proving a Fallacy
—From The Chicago Herald.
Russia's faith in Socialist pacifism, and what came of it.

[English Cartoon] A Threatened Interruption —From London Opinion. ["Japan will take steps of the most decided and most adequate character to meet the occasion."—Viscount Motono, Minister for Foreign Affairs.]
[English Cartoon]
A Threatened Interruption
—From London Opinion.
["Japan will take steps of the most decided and most adequate character to meet the occasion."—Viscount Motono, Minister for Foreign Affairs.]

[English Cartoon] Russia's Fate —From The Passing Show, London. If he would go fooling around with him what could they do?
[English Cartoon]
Russia's Fate
—From The Passing Show, London.
If he would go fooling around with him what could they do?

[English Cartoon] Futurist Art in Russia —From The National News, London. Sturdy Old Burgess: "And what, Sir, may your picture represent?" Pluperfect Futurist Trotzky: "The mental state of a Bolshevik contemplating 'German capitalists, bankers, and landlords, supported by the silent co-operation of English and French bourgeoisie.'" Sturdy Old Burgess: "Sir, you have produced a priceless masterpiece—and if it is true that you have sold it for £22,000 you have given it away!"
[English Cartoon]
Futurist Art in Russia
—From The National News, London.
Sturdy Old Burgess: "And what, Sir, may your picture represent?"
Pluperfect Futurist Trotzky: "The mental state of a Bolshevik contemplating 'German capitalists, bankers, and landlords, supported by the silent co-operation of English and French bourgeoisie.'"
Sturdy Old Burgess: "Sir, you have produced a priceless masterpiece—and if it is true that you have sold it for £22,000 you have given it away!"

[371] [American Cartoons] The Wurst Is Yet to Come —San Francisco Call-Post.
[American Cartoons]
The Wurst Is Yet to Come
—San Francisco Call-Post.
His New Trousers —San Francisco Call-Post.
His New Trousers
—San Francisco Call-Post.
The Kaiser's God —San Francisco Chronicle.
The Kaiser's God
—San Francisco Chronicle.
Tougher Than Bear Meat —San Francisco Chronicle.
Tougher Than Bear Meat
—San Francisco Chronicle.

[372] [American Cartoons] Judging the Landslide by a Pebble —From Collier's.
[American Cartoons]
Judging the Landslide by a Pebble
—From Collier's.
"That's My Fight Too!" —New York World.
"That's My Fight Too!"
—New York World.
Dealing With Gas Attacks —Dallas News.
Dealing With Gas Attacks
—Dallas News.

[373] [German Cartoon] Italy's Troubles —From Der Brummer, Berlin. Italy: "Hang it all! I have been at this window for nearly three years!"
[German Cartoon]
Italy's Troubles
—From Der Brummer, Berlin.
Italy: "Hang it all! I have been at this window for nearly three years!"

[374] [Dutch Cartoon] Austria and America —From De Amsterdammer, Amsterdam. German Drill Sergeant: "Now, Austrians! Eyes front! Mark time! Keep your eyes on me!"
[Dutch Cartoon]
Austria and America
—From De Amsterdammer, Amsterdam.
German Drill Sergeant: "Now, Austrians! Eyes front! Mark time! Keep your eyes on me!"

[Italian Cartoon] That Dinner in Paris —From Il 420, Florence. Wilhelm: "Now that we have settled Russia, prepare that Paris feast." Chef: "For Paris, Sire? I am afraid the food will turn bad, as it did the other time."
[Italian Cartoon]
That Dinner in Paris
—From Il 420, Florence.
Wilhelm: "Now that we have settled Russia, prepare that Paris feast."
Chef: "For Paris, Sire? I am afraid the food will turn bad, as it did the other time."

[American Cartoon] The Hohenzollern Fingerprints —Macauley in Butterfield Syndicate.
[American Cartoon]
The Hohenzollern Fingerprints
—Macauley in Butterfield Syndicate.

[375] [English Cartoon] "Here's to Dear Old Trotzky!" —Passing Show, London.
[English Cartoon]
"Here's to Dear Old Trotzky!"
—Passing Show, London.
[American Cartoon] In the Lion's Mouth —Knickerbocker Press, Albany.
[American Cartoon]
In the Lion's Mouth
—Knickerbocker Press, Albany.
[French Cartoon] The Russian Campaign "Where are you running?" "To kill our General before he commits suicide." —From La Victoire, Paris.
[French Cartoon]
The Russian Campaign
"Where are you running?"
"To kill our General before he commits suicide."
—From La Victoire, Paris.

[376] [American Cartoon] The Progress of Kultur —From The New York World.
[American Cartoon]
The Progress of Kultur
—From The New York World.

[377] [American Cartoons] Under His New Colonel—R. E. Morse —Bushnell for Central Press Association.]
[American Cartoons]
Under His New Colonel—R. E. Morse
Bushnell for Central Press Association.
A Tail of Camouflage —Bushnell for Central Press Association.
A Tail of Camouflage
—Bushnell for Central Press Association.
Anxious Moments —Bushnell for Central Press Association.
Anxious Moments
—Bushnell for Central Press Association.
But Can He Get Out? —Bushnell for Central Press Association.
But Can He Get Out?
—Bushnell for Central Press Association.

[378] [American Cartoons] "Sire, Ve Haf Located die Sammies!" —Baltimore American.
[American Cartoons]
"Sire, Ve Haf Located die Sammies!"
—Baltimore American.
Putting All Their Punch in One Glove —Baltimore American.
Putting All Their Punch in One Glove
—Baltimore American.
Bringing the War Home to Us —Baltimore American.
Bringing the War Home to Us
—Baltimore American.
Stuck —Baltimore American.
—Baltimore American.

[379] [American Cartoons] Another German Substitute —Dayton Daily News.
[American Cartoons]
Another German Substitute
—Dayton Daily News.
Back to Earth —St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Back to Earth
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It Shoots Further Than He Dreams —Dallas News.
It Shoots Further Than He Dreams
—Dallas News.
"Whither Are We Going?" —Satterfield Syndicate.
"Whither Are We Going?"
—Satterfield Syndicate.

[380] [Russian Cartoons] The Bolsheviki as Art Collectors —From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
[Russian Cartoons]
The Bolsheviki as Art Collectors
—From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
Thus It Was—Thus It Is —From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
Thus It Was—Thus It Is
—From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
The Bolsheviki Even Brought the English to Their Knees [Russian papers state that prayers for Russia were held in England, beginning, "Save Russia from the Bolsheviki."]
The Bolsheviki Even Brought the English to Their Knees
[Russian papers state that prayers for Russia were held in England, beginning, "Save Russia from the Bolsheviki."]
From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
The Feast —From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.
The Feast
—From Novi Satirikon, Petrograd.




Full Text of the Suppressed Document in Which the Former German Ambassador at London Reveals Germany's Guilt in Starting the War

The full text of the memorandum of Prince Lichnowsky, who was German Ambassador in London at the outbreak of the war, was obtained in this country in installments, which had appeared in various European newspapers, chiefly the Politiken of Stockholm, the Vorwaerts of Berlin, and the Muenchener Neueste Nachrichten. The earlier installments to reach America were translated and summarized in the regular pages of this issue of Current History Magazine, beginning on Page 314. After the issue had gone to press the complete text became procurable. In order to give its readers the immediate benefit of this opportunity, Current History Magazine herewith presents the entire document—one of the most important of the war—in the form of a special supplement, despite the fact that some parts of it are duplicated in the abridged version on Page 314.

Prince Lichnowsky's now famous memorandum bears the title "My London Mission, 1912-1914" and is dated "Kuchelna, (his country seat,) 16 August, 1916." It became public in March, 1918, and created a profound sensation in Germany as well as in the Entente countries.

Kuchelna, 16 August, 1916.

Baron Marschall died in September, 1912, having held his post in London for a few months only. His appointment, which was due mainly to his age and the plotting of a younger man to get to London, was one of the many mistakes made by our Foreign Office. In spite of his imposing personality and great reputation, he was too old and tired to be able to adapt himself to a purely foreign and Anglo-Saxon milieu. He was more of a bureaucrat and a lawyer than a diplomat or statesman. He set to work to convince Englishmen of the harmless character of our fleet, and naturally succeeded in strengthening an entirely opposite impression.

To my great surprise I was offered the post in October. After many years' work I had withdrawn to the country, as no suitable post had been found for me, and I spent my time on my farm and in my garden, on horseback and in the fields, but I read industriously and published occasional political articles. Thus eight years passed, and thirteen since I had left Vienna as Ambassador. That was actually my last political employment. I do not know to whom my appointment in London was due. At all events, not to his Majesty, as I did not belong to his immediate set, although he was always gracious to me. I know by experience that his candidates were frequently successfully opposed. As a matter of fact, Herr von Kiderlen-Wächter wanted to send Baron von Stumm to London. He met me at once with undisguised ill-will, and tried to frighten me by rudeness. Herr von Bethmann Hollweg was amiable to me, and had visited me shortly before at Grätz. I am, therefore, inclined to think that they settled on me, as no other candidate was available. Had Baron von Marschall not[ii] died, it is unlikely that I should have been dug out any more than in previous years. The moment was obviously favorable for an attempt to come to a better understanding with England.


Our obscure policy in Morocco had repeatedly caused distrust of our peaceful intention, or, at least, had raised doubts as to whether we knew what we wanted or whether our intention was to keep Europe in a state of suspense and, on occasion, to humiliate the French. An Austrian colleague, who was a long time in Paris, said to me: "The French had begun to forget la révanche. You have regularly reminded them of it by tramping on their toes." After we had declined Delcassé's offer to come to an agreement regarding Morocco, and then solemnly declared that we had no political interest there—an attitude which agreed with Bismarckian political conditions—we suddenly discovered in Abdul Aziz a Kruger Number Two. To him also, as to the Boers, we promised the protection of the mighty German Empire, and with the same result. Both manifestations concluded, as they were bound to conclude, with a retraction, if we were not prepared to start a world war. The pitiable conference of Algeciras could alter nothing, and still less cause Delcassé's fall. Our attitude furthered the Russo-Japanese and Russo-British rapprochement. In face of "the German peril" all other considerations faded into the background. The possibility of another Franco-German war had been patent, and, as had not been the case in 1870, such a war could not leave out Russia or England.


The valuelessness of the Triple Alliance had already been demonstrated at Algeciras, and, immediately afterward, the equal worthlessness of the agreements made there when the Sultanate fell to pieces, which was, of course, unavoidable. Meanwhile, the belief was spreading among the Russian people that our foreign policy was weak and was breaking down under "encirclement," and that cowardly surrender followed on haughty gestures. It is to the credit of von Kiderlen-Wächter, though otherwise overrated as a statesman, that he cleared up the Moroccan situation and adapted himself to circumstances which could not be altered. Whether the world had to be upset by the Agadir coup is a question I do not touch. This event was hailed with joy in Germany, but in England caused all the more uneasiness in that the British Government waited in vain for three weeks for a statement of our intentions. Mr. Lloyd George's Mansion House speech, intended to warn us, was a consequence. Before Delcassé's fall and before the Algeciras conference we could have obtained harbors and bases on the West Coast, but that was no longer possible.

When I came to London in November, 1912, people had become easier about the question of Morocco, especially since an agreement had been reached with France and Berlin. Lord Haldane's mission had failed, it is true, as we demanded promises of neutrality instead of contenting ourselves with a treaty which would insure us against a British attack or any attack with British support. Sir Edward Grey had not, meanwhile, given up the idea of coming to an understanding with us, and made such an attempt first on economic and colonial grounds. Through the agency of that qualified and expert Councilor of Embassy, von Kühlmann, an exchange of opinions had taken place with regard to the renewal of the Portuguese colonial treaty and the Bagdad Railway, which thus carried out the unexpected aim of dividing into spheres of interest both the above-mentioned colonies and Asia Minor. The British statesman, old points in dispute both with France and Russia having been settled, wished to come to a similar agreement with us. His intention was not to isolate us but to make us in so far as possible partners in a working concern. Just as he had succeeded in bridging Franco-British and Russo-British difficulties, so he wished as far as possible to remove German-British difficulties, and by a network of treaties—which would finally include an agreement on the miserable fleet question—to secure the peace of the world,[iii] as our earlier policy had lent itself to a co-operation with the Entente, which contained a mutual assurance against the danger of war.


This was Sir Edward Grey's program in his own words: "Without infringing on the existing friendly relations with France and Russia, which in themselves contained no aggressive elements, and no binding obligations for England; to seek to achieve a more friendly rapprochement with Germany, and to bring the two groups nearer together."

In England, as with us, there were two opinions, that of the optimists, who believed in an understanding, and that of the pessimists, who considered war inevitable sooner or later. Among the former were Mr. Asquith, Sir Edward Grey, Lord Haldane, and most of the Ministers in the Radical Cabinet, as well as leading Liberal organs, such as The Westminster Gazette, The Manchester Guardian, and The Daily Chronicle. To the pessimists belong especially Conservative politicians like Mr. Balfour, who repeatedly made his meaning clear to me; leading soldiers such as Lord Roberts, who insisted on the necessity of conscription, and on "the writing on the wall," and, further, the Northcliffe press, and that leading English journalist, Mr. Garvin of The Observer. During my term of office they abstained from all attacks and took up, personally and politically, a friendly attitude. Our naval policy and our attitude in the years 1905, 1908, and 1911 had, nevertheless, caused them to think that it might one day come to war. Just as with us, the former are now dubbed shortsighted and simple-minded, while the latter are regarded as the true prophets.


The first Balkan war led to the collapse of Turkey and with it the defeat of our policy, which had been identified with Turkey for many years. Since the salvation of Turkey in Europe was no longer feasible, only two possibilities for settling the question remained. Either we declared we had no longer any interest in the definition of boundaries in the Balkan Peninsula, and left the settlement of the question to the Balkan peoples themselves, or we supported our allies and carried out a Triple Alliance policy in the East, thereby giving up the rôle of mediator.

I urged the former course from the beginning, but the German Foreign Office very much preferred the latter. The chief question was Albania. Our allies desired the establishment of an independent State of Albania, as Austria would not allow Serbia to reach the Adriatic, and Italy did not wish the Greeks to reach Valona or even the territory north of Corfu. On the other hand, Russia, as is known, favored Serbian, and France Greek, desires. My advice was now to consider the question as outside the alliance, and to support, neither Austrian nor Italian wishes. Without our support the establishment of Albania, whose incapability of existence might have been foreseen, was an impossibility. Serbia would have pushed forward to the coast; then the present world war would have been avoided. France and Italy would have remained definitely divided as to Greece, and the Italians, had they not wished to fight France, alone, would have been obliged to consent to the expansion of Greece to the district north of Durazzo. The greater part of civilized Albania is Greek. The southern towns are entirely Greek, and, at the time of the conference of Ambassadors, deputations from the larger towns came to London to carry through the annexation to Greece.

In Greece today whole groups are Albanian, and the so-called Greek national dress is of Albanian origin. The amalgamation of the preponderating Orthodox and Islamic Albanians with the Greek State was, therefore, the best solution and the most natural, if one leaves out of account Scutari and the northern part of Serbia and Montenegro. His Majesty was also in favor of this solution on dynastic grounds. When I encouraged the monarch by letter to this effect, I received violent reproaches from the Chancellor for supporting Austria's opponents, and he forbade all such interference in the future, and even direct[iv] correspondence. We had eventually, however, to abandon the tradition of carrying out the Triple Alliance policy in the East and to acknowledge our mistake, which consisted in identifying ourselves with the Turks in the south and the Austro-Magyars in the north; for the continuance of that policy, which we began at the Congress in Berlin and subsequently carried on zealously, was bound in time, should the necessary skill in conducting it fail, to lead to a collision with Russia and a world war.


Instead of uniting with Russia on the basis of the independence of the Sultan, whom the Russians also did not wish to drive out of Constantinople, and confining ourselves to economic interests in the East, while at the same time refraining from all military and political interference and being satisfied with a division of Asia Minor into spheres of interest, the goal of our political ambition was to dominate in the Bosporus. In Russia, therefore, the opinion arose that the way to Constantinople and to the Mediterranean lay through Berlin. Instead of encouraging a powerful development in the Balkan States, which were once free and are very different from the Russians, of which fact we have already had experience, we placed ourselves on the side of the Turkish and Magyar oppressors. The dire mistake of our Triple Alliance and our Eastern policies, which drove Russia—our natural friend and best neighbor—into the arms of France and England, and kept her from her policy of Asiatic expansion, was the more evident, as a Franco-Russian attack, the only hypothesis justifying a Triple Alliance policy, had to be eliminated from our calculations.

As to the value of the alliance with Italy, one word only. Italy needs our money and our tourists after the war, with or without our alliance. That our alliance would go by the board in the event of war was to be foreseen. The alliance, consequently, was worthless.

Austria, however, needed our protection both in war and peace, and had no other point d'appui. This dependence on us is based on political, national, and economic grounds, and is all the greater in proportion to the intimacy of our relations with Russia. This was proved in the Bosnian crisis. Since Count Beust, no Vienna Minister had been so self-conscious with us as Count Aehrenthal was during the last years of his life. Under the influence of a properly conducted German policy which would keep us in touch with Russia, Austria-Hungary is our vassal, and is tied to us even without an alliance and without reciprocal services; under the influence of a misguided policy, however, we are tied to Austria-Hungary. An alliance would therefore be purposeless.

I know Austria far too well not to know that a return to the policy of Count Felix Schwarzenberg or to that of Count Moritz Esterhazy was unthinkable. Little as the Slavs living there love us, they wish just as little for a return to the German Kaiserdom, even with a Hapsburg-Lorraine at its head. They are striving for an internal Austrian federation on a national basis, a condition which is even less likely of realization within the German Empire than under the Double Eagle. Austro-Germans look on Berlin as the centre of German power and Kultur, and they know that Austria can never be a leading power. They desire as close a connection as possible with the empire, but not to the extent of an anti-German policy.


Since the seventies the conditions have changed fundamentally in Austria, and also, perhaps, in Bavaria. Just as here a return to Pan-German particularism and the old Bavarian policy is not to be feared, so there a revival of the policy of Prince Kaunitz and Prince Schwarzenberg is not to be contemplated. But by a constitutional union with Austria, which even without Galicia and Dalmatia is inhabited at least to the extent of one-half by non-Germans, our interests would suffer; while, on the other hand, by the subordination of our policy to the point of view of Vienna and Budapest, we should have to "épouser les querelles de l'Autriche."

We,[v] therefore, had no need to heed the desires of our allies. They were not only unnecessary but dangerous, inasmuch as they would lead to a collision with Russia if we looked at Eastern questions through Austrian eyes. The transformation of our alliance with its single original purpose into a complete alliance, involving a complexity of common interests, was calculated to call forth the very state of things which the constitutional negotiations were designed to prevent, namely, war. Such a policy of alliances would, moreover, entail the loss of the sympathies of the young, strong, and growing communities in the Balkan Peninsula, which were ready to turn to us and open their market to us. The contrast between dynastic and democratic ideas had to be given clear expression, and, as usual, we stood on the wrong side. King Carol told one of our representatives that he had made an alliance with us on condition that we retained control of affairs, but that if that control passed to Austria it would entirely change the basis of affairs, and under those conditions he could no longer participate. Matters stood in the same position in Serbia, where against our own economic interests we were supporting an Austrian policy of strangulation.


We had always backed horses which, it was evident, would lose, such as Kruger, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Hamid, Wilhelm of Wied, and finally—and this was the most miserable mistake of all—Count Berchtold.

Shortly after my arrival in London, in 1912, Sir Edward Grey proposed an informal exchange of views in order to prevent a European war developing out of the Balkan war, since, at the outbreak of that war, we had unfortunately declined the proposal of the French Government to join in a declaration of disinterestedness and impartiality on the part of the powers. The British statesman maintained from the beginning that England had no interest in Albania, and would, therefore, not go to war on the subject. In his rôle of "honest broker" he would confine his efforts to mediation and an attempt to smooth away difficulties between the two groups. He, therefore, by no means placed himself on the side of the Entente Powers, and during the negotiations, which lasted about eight months, he lent his good-will and powerful influence toward the establishment of an understanding. Instead of adopting the English point of view, we accepted that dictated to us by Vienna. Count Mensdorff led the Triple Alliance in London and I was his second.


My duty was to support his proposals. The clever and experienced Count Szogyenyi was at the helm in Berlin. His refrain was "casus foederis," and when once I dared to doubt the justice of this phrase I was seriously warned against Austrophobism. Referring to my father, it was even said that I had inherited it. On every point, including Albania, the Serbian harbors in the Adriatic, Scutari, and in the definition of the Albanian frontiers, we were on the side of Austria and Italy, while Sir Edward Grey hardly ever took the French or Russian point of view. On the contrary, he nearly always took our part in order to give no pretext for war—which was afterward brought about by a dead Archduke. It was with his help that King Nicholas was induced to leave Scutari. Otherwise there would have been war over this matter, as we should never have dared to ask "our allies" to make concessions.

Sir Edward Grey conducted the negotiations with care, calm, and tact. When a question threatened to become involved he proposed a formula which met the case and always secured consent. He acquired the full confidence of all the representatives.


Once again we had successfully withstood one of the many threats against the strength characterizing our policy. Russia had been obliged to give way to us all along the line, as she never got an opportunity to advance Serbian wishes. Albania was set up as an Austrian vassal[vi] State, and Serbia was driven away from the sea. The conference was thus a fresh humiliation for Russia.

As in 1878 and 1908, we had opposed the Russian program without German interests being brought into play. Bismarck had to minimize the mistake of the Congress by a secret treaty, and his attitude in the Battenberg question—the downward incline being taken by us in the Bosnian question—was followed up in London, and was not given up, with the result that it led to the abyss.

The dissatisfaction then prevalent in Russia was given vent to during the London Conference by an attack in the Russian press on my Russian colleague and on Russian diplomacy.

His German origin and Catholic faith, his reputation as a friend of Germany, and the accident that he was related both to Count Mensdorff and to myself were all made use of by dissatisfied parties. Although not a particularly important personality, Count Benckendorff possessed many qualities of a good diplomat—tact, worldly knowledge, experience, an agreeable personality, and a natural eye for men and things. He sought always to avoid provocative attitudes, and was supported by the attitude of England and France.

I once said: "The feeling in Russia is very anti-German." He replied: "There are also many strong influential pro-German circles there. But the people generally are anti-Austrian."

It only remains to be added that our exaggerated Austrophilism is not exactly likely to break up the Entente and turn Russia's attention to her Asiatic interests.


[The next passages, which had formerly been suppressed by the Swedish Government, appeared in the Politiken of Stockholm on March 26:]

At the same time (1913) the Balkan Conference met in London, and I had the opportunity of meeting the leading men of the Balkan States. The most important personage among them was M. Venizelos. He was anything but anti-German, and particularly prized the Order of the Red Eagle, which he even wore at the French Embassy. With his winning amiability and savoir faire he could always win sympathy.

Next to him a great rôle was played by Daneff, the then Bulgarian Prime Minister and Count Berchtold's confidant. He gave the impression of being a capable and energetic man, and even the influence of his friends at Vienna and Budapest, at which he sometimes laughed, was attributable to the fact that he had let himself be drawn into the second Balkan war and had declined Russian intervention.

M. Take Jonescu was often in London, too, and visited me regularly. I had known him since the time when I was Secretary at Bucharest. He was also one of Herr von Kiderlen-Wächter's friends. His aim in London was to secure concessions for Rumania by negotiations with M. Daneff. In this he was supported by the most capable Rumanian Minister, M. Misu. That these negotiations were stranded by the Bulgarian opposition is known. Count Berchtold—and naturally we with him—was entirely on the side of Bulgaria; otherwise we should have succeeded by pressure on M. Daneff in obtaining the desired satisfaction for the Rumanians and have bound Rumania to us, as she was by Austria's attitude in the second Balkan war, while afterward she was estranged from the Central Powers.


Bulgaria's defeat in the second Balkan war and Serbia's victory, as well as the Rumanian advance, naturally constituted a reproach to Austria. The idea of equalizing this by military intervention in Serbia seems to have gained ground rapidly in Vienna. This is proved by the Italian disclosure, and it may be presumed that the Marquis di San Giuliano, who described the plan as a "pericolossissima adventura," (an extremely risky adventure,) saved us from a European war as far back as the Summer of 1912. Intimate as Russo-Italian relations were, the aspiration of Vienna must have been known in St. Petersburg. In any event, M. Take Jonescu told me that M. Sazonoff had said in Constanza that[vii] an attack on Serbia on the part of Austria meant war with Russia.

In the Spring of 1914 one of my Secretaries, on returning from leave in Vienna, said that Herr von Tschirsohky (German Ambassador in Vienna) had declared that war must soon come. But as I was always kept in the dark regarding important things, I considered his pessimism unfounded.

Ever since the peace of Bucharest it seems to have been the opinion in Vienna that the revision of this treaty should be undertaken independently, and only a favorable opportunity was awaited. The statesmen in Vienna and Bucharest could naturally count upon our support. This they knew, for already they had been reproached several times for their slackness. Berlin even insisted on the "rehabilitation" of Austria.


When I returned to London in December, 1913, after a long holiday, the Liman von Sanders question had led to our relations with Russia becoming acute. Sir Edward Grey called my attention with some uneasiness to the consequent unrest in St. Petersburg, saying: "I have never seen them so excited." Berlin instructed me to beg the Minister to urge calm in St. Petersburg and help to solve the difficulty. Sir Edward was quite willing, and his intervention contributed not inconsiderably to smoothing matters over. My good relations with Sir Edward and his great influence in St. Petersburg served in a like manner on several occasions when it was a question of carrying through something of which our representative there was completely incapable.

During the critical days of July, 1914, Sir Edward said to me: "If ever you want something done in St. Petersburg you come to me regularly, but if ever I appeal for your influence in Vienna you refuse your support." The good and dependable relations I was fortunate in making not only in society and among influential people, such as Sir Edward Grey and Mr. Asquith, but also with others at public dinners, had brought about a noticeable improvement in our relations with England. Sir Edward devoted himself honestly to further this rapprochement, and his intentions were especially noticeable in two questions—the Colonial Treaty and the treaty regarding the Bagdad Railway.


[This portion is translated from the Muenchener Neueste Nachrichten.]

In the year 1898 a secret treaty had been signed by Count Hatzfeldt [then German Ambassador in London] and Mr. Balfour, which divided the Portuguese colonies in Africa into economic-political spheres of interest between us and England. As the Portuguese Government possessed neither the power nor the means to open up or adequately to administer its extensive possessions, the Portuguese Government had already at an earlier date thought of selling these possessions and thereby putting their finances in order.

Between us and England an agreement had been reached which defined the interests of the two parties and which was of all the greater value because Portugal, as is well known, is completely dependent upon England. This treaty was no doubt to secure outwardly the integrity and independence of the Portuguese Empire, and it only expressed the intention of giving financial and economic assistance to the Portuguese. Consequently it did not, according to the text, conflict with the old Anglo-Portuguese alliance, dating from the fifteenth century, which was last renewed under Charles II. and which guaranteed the territories of the two parties. Nevertheless, at the instance of the Marquis Soveral, who presumably was not ignorant of the Anglo-German agreement, a new treaty—the so-called Windsor treaty—which confirmed the old agreements, was concluded in 1899 between England and Portugal.


The object of the negotiations between us and England, which had begun before my arrival, was to alter and amend our treaty of 1898, which contained many impossible features—for example, with regard to the geographical delimitation.[viii] Thanks to the conciliatory attitude of the British Government, I succeeded in giving to the new treaty a form which entirely accorded with our wishes and interests. All Angola, as far as the 20th degree of longitude, was allotted to us, so that we reached the Congo territory from the south. Moreover, the valuable islands of San Thomé and Principe, which lie north of the equator, and therefore really belonged to the French sphere of interest, were allotted to us—a fact which caused my French colleague to make lively, although vain, representations. Further, we obtained the northern part of Mozambique; the frontier was formed by the Likungo.

The British Government showed the utmost readiness to meet out interests and wishes. Sir Edward Grey intended to prove his good-will to us, but he also desired to promote our colonial development, because England hoped to divert Germany's development of strength from the North Sea and Western Europe to the world-sea and Africa. "We don't want to grudge Germany her colonial development," a member of the Cabinet said to me.


Originally, at the British suggestion, the Congo State was to be included in the treaty, which would have given us a right of pre-emption and a possibility of economic penetration in the Congo State. But we refused this offer, out of alleged respect for Belgian sensibilities! Perhaps the idea was to economize our successes? With regard also to the practical realization of the real but unexpressed object of the treaty—the actual partition at a later date of the Portuguese colonial possessions—the new formulation showed considerable advantages and progress as compared with the old. Thus the treaty contemplated circumstances which would enable us to enter the territories ascribed to us, for the protection of our interests.

These conditional clauses were so wide that it was really left to us to decide when really "vital" interests were concerned, so that, in view of the complete dependence of Portugal upon England we merely needed to go on cultivating our relations with England in order, later on, with English assent, to realize our mutual intentions.

The sincerity of the English Government in its effort to respect our rights was proved by the fact that Sir Edward Grey, before ever the treaty was completed or signed, called our attention to English men of business who were seeking opportunities to invest capital in the territories allotted to us by the new treaty, and who desired British support. In doing so he remarked that the undertakings in question belonged to our sphere of interest.


The treaty was practically complete at the time of the King's visit to Berlin in May, 1913. A conversation then took place in Berlin under the Presidency of the Imperial Chancellor, (Herr von Bethmann Hollweg,) in which I took part, and at which special wishes were laid down. On my return to London I succeeded, with the help of my Counselor of Embassy, von Kühlmann, who was working upon the details of the treaty with Mr. Parker, in putting through our last proposals also. It was possible for the whole treaty to be initialed by Sir Edward Grey and myself in August, 1913, before I went on leave. Now, however, new difficulties were to arise, which prevented the signature, and it was only a year later, shortly before the outbreak of war, that I was able to obtain authorization for the final settlement. Signature, however, never took place.

Sir Edward Grey was willing to sign only if the treaty was published, together with the two treaties of 1898 and 1899; England has no other secret treaties, and it is contrary to her existing principles that she should conceal binding agreements. He said, however, that he was ready to take account of our wishes concerning the time and manner of publication, provided that publication took place within one year, at latest, after the signature. In the [Berlin] Foreign Office, however, where my London successes aroused increasing dissatisfaction, and where an influential personage, [the[ix] reference is apparently to Herr von Stumm,] who played the part of Herr von Holstein, was claiming the London Embassy for himself, it was stated that the publication would imperil our interests in the colonies, because the Portuguese would show their gratitude by giving us no more concessions. The accuracy of this excuse is illuminated by the fact that the old treaty was most probably just as much long known to the Portuguese as our new agreements must have been, in view of the intimacy of relations between Portugal and England; it was illuminated also by the fact that, in view of the influence which England possesses at Lisbon, the Portuguese Government is completely powerless in face of an Anglo-German understanding.


Consequently, it was necessary to find another excuse for wrecking the treaty. It was said that the publication of the Windsor Treaty, which was concluded in the time of Prince Hohenlohe, and which was merely a renewal of the treaty of Charles II., which had never lapsed, might imperil the position of Herr von Bethmann Hollweg, as being a proof of British hypocrisy and perfidy! On this I pointed out that the preamble to our treaties said exactly the same thing as the Windsor Treaty and other similar treaties—namely, that we desired to protect the sovereign rights of Portugal and the integrity of its possessions!

In spite of repeated conversations with Sir Edward Grey, in which the Minister made ever fresh proposals concerning publication, the [Berlin] Foreign Office remained obstinate, and finally agreed with Sir Edward Goschen [British Ambassador in Berlin] that everything should remain as it was before. So the treaty, which gave us extraordinary advantages, the result of more than one year's work, had collapsed because it would have been a public success for me.

When in the Spring of 1914 I happened, at a dinner in the embassy, at which Mr. Harcourt [then Colonial Secretary] was present, to mention the matter, the Colonial Secretary said that he was embarrassed and did not know how to behave. He said that the present state of affairs was intolerable, because he [Mr. Harcourt] wanted to respect our rights, but, on the other hand, was in doubt as to whether he should follow the old treaty or the new. He said that it was therefore extremely desirable to clear matters up, and to bring to a conclusion an affair which had been hanging on for so long.


When I reported to this effect I received a rude and excited order, telling me to refrain from any further interference in the matter.

I now regret that I did not go to Berlin in order to offer his Majesty my resignation, and that I still did not lose my belief in the possibility of an agreement between me and the leading [German] personages. That was a disastrous mistake, which was to be tragically avenged some months later.

Slight though was the extent to which I then still possessed the good-will of the Imperial Chancellor—because he feared that I was aiming at his office—I must do him the justice to say that at the end of June, 1914, in our last conversation before the outbreak of war, he gave his consent to the signature and publication. Nevertheless, it required further repeated suggestions on my part, which were supported by Dr. Solf, [German Colonial Secretary,] in order at last to obtain official consent at the end of July. Then the Serbian crisis was already threatening the peace of Europe, and so the completion of the treaty had to be postponed. The treaty is now one of the victims of the war.


[This portion is translated from the Stockholm Politiken of March 26.]

At the same time, while the African agreement was under discussion, I was negotiating, with the effective co-operation of Herr von Kühlmann, the so-called Bagdad Railway Treaty. This aimed, in fact, at the division of Asia Minor into spheres of interest, although this expression was carefully avoided in consideration of the Sultan's rights. Sir Edward[x] Grey declared repeatedly that there was no agreement between England and France aiming at a division of Asia Minor.

In the presence of the Turkish representative, Hakki Pasha, all economic questions in connection with the German treaty were settled mainly in accordance with the wishes of the Ottoman Bank. The greatest concession Sir Edward Grey made me personally was the continuation of the line to Basra. We had not insisted on this terminus in order to establish connection with Alexandretta. Hitherto Bagdad had been the terminus of the line. The shipping on the Shatt el Arab was to be in the hands of an international commission. We also obtained a share in the harbor works at Basra, and even acquired shipping rights on the Tigris, hitherto the monopoly of the firm of Lynch.

By this treaty the whole of Mesopotamia up to Basra became our zone of interest, whereby the whole British rights, the question of shipping on the Tigris, and the Wilcox establishments were left untouched, as well as all the district of Bagdad and the Anatolian railways.

The British economic territories included the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Smyrna-Aidin railway, the French Syria, and the Russian Armenia. Had both treaties been concluded and published, an agreement would have been reached with England which would have finally ended all doubt of the possibility of an Anglo-German co-operation.


Most difficult of all, there remained the question of the fleet. It was never quite rightly judged. The creation of a mighty fleet on the other shore of the North Sea and the simultaneous development of the Continent's most important military power into its most important naval power had at least to be recognized by England as uncomfortable. This presumably cannot be doubted. To maintain the necessary lead and not to become dependent, to preserve the supremacy of the sea, which Britain must have in order not to go down, she had to undertake preparations and expenses which weighed heavily on the taxpayer. A threat against the British world position was made in that our policy allowed the possibility of warlike development to appear. This possibility was obviously near during the Morocco crisis and the Bosnian question.

People had become reconciled to our fleet in its definite strength. Obviously it was not welcome to the British and constituted one of the motives, but neither the only nor the most important motive, for England's joining hands with Russia and France. On account of our fleet alone, however, England would have drawn the sword as little as on account of our trade, which it is pretended called forth her jealousy and ultimately brought about war.

From the beginning I adopted the standpoint that in spite of the fleet it would be possible to come to a friendly understanding and reapprochement if we did not propose new votes of credit, and, above all, if we carried out an indisputable peace policy. I also avoided all mention of the fleet, and between me and Sir Edward Grey the word was never uttered. Sir Edward Grey declared on one occasion at a Cabinet meeting: "The present German Ambassador has never mentioned the fleet to me."


During my term of office the then First Lord, Mr. Churchill, raised the question of a so-called naval holiday, and proposed, for financial reasons as much as on account of the pacifist inclinations of his party, a one year's pause in armaments. Officially the suggestion was not supported by Sir Edward Grey. He never spoke of it to me, but Mr. Churchill spoke to me on repeated occasions.

I am convinced that his initiative was honest, cunning in general not being part of the Englishman's constitution. It would have been a great success for Mr. Churchill to secure economies for the country and to lighten the burden of armament, which was weighing heavily on the people.[xi]

I maintain that it would have been difficult to support his intention. How about the workmen employed for this purpose? How about the technical personnel? Our naval program was settled, and it would be difficult to alter it. Nor, on the other hand, did we intend exceeding it. But he pointed out that the means spent on portentous armaments could equally be used for other purposes. I maintain that such expenditure would have benefited home industries.


I also succeeded, in conversation with Sir William Tyrrell, Sir Edward Grey's private secretary, in keeping away that subject without raising suspicion, although it came up in Parliament, and preventing the Government's proposal from being made. But it was Mr. Churchill's and the Government's favorite idea that by supporting his initiative in the matter of large ships we should give proof of our good-will and considerably strengthen and increase the tendency on the part of the Government to get in closer contact with us. But, as I have said, it was possible in spite of our fleet and without naval holidays to come to an understanding.

In that spirit I had carried out my mission from the beginning, and had even succeeded in realizing my program when the war broke out and destroyed everything.

Trade jealousy, so much talked about among us, rests on faulty judgment of circumstances. It is a fact that Germany's progress as a trading country after the war of 1870 and during the following decades threatened the interests of British trade circles, constituting a form of monopoly with its industry and export houses. But the growing interchange of merchandise with Germany, which was first on the list of all European exporting countries, a fact I always referred to in my public speeches, had allowed the desire to mature to preserve good relations with England's best client and business friend, and had gradually suppressed all other thoughts and motives. The Englishman, as a matter of fact, adapts himself to circumstances and does not tilt against windmills. In commercial circles I found the greatest good-will and desire to further our common economic interests.


In other circles I had a most amiable reception, and enjoyed the cordial good-will of the Court, society, and the Government. No one there interested himself in the Russian, Italian, Austrian, or even the French representative, in spite of the imposing personality and political success of the last named. Only the German and American Ambassadors attracted public attention.

In order to get in touch with the most important business circles I accepted invitations from the United Chambers of Commerce, the London and Bradford Chambers, and those of the great cities of Newcastle and Liverpool. I had a hearty reception everywhere. Glasgow and Edinburgh had also invited me, and I promised them visits. People who did not understand English conditions and did not appreciate the value of public dinners, and others who disliked my success, reproached me with having done harm by my speeches. I, on the contrary, believe that my public appearances and my discussion of common economic interests contributed considerably toward the improvement of conditions, apart from the fact that it would have been impolitic and impolite to refuse invitations.

In other circles I had a most amiable reception and enjoyed the cordial good-will of the Court, society, and the Government.


The King, very amiable and well meaning and possessed of sound understanding and common sense, was invariably well disposed toward me and desired honestly to facilitate my mission. In spite of the small amount of power which the British Constitution gives the Crown, the King can, by virtue of his position, greatly influence the tone both of society and the Government. The Crown is the apex of society from which the[xii] tone emanates. Society, which is overwhelmingly Unionist, is largely occupied by ladies connected with politics. It is represented in the Lords and the Commons, consequently also in the Cabinet.

The Englishman either belongs to society or ought to belong to it. His aim is, and always will be, to be a distinguished man and a gentleman, and even men of modest origin, such as Mr. Asquith, prefer to be in society, with its elegant women.

British gentlemen of both parties enjoy the same education, go to the same colleges and university, and engage in the same sports—golf, cricket, lawn tennis, and polo. All have played cricket and football in their youth, all have the same habits, and all spend the week-end in the country. No social cleavage divides the parties, only political cleavage. To some extent of late years the politicians in the two camps have avoided one another in society. Not even on the ground of a neutral mission could the two camps be amalgamated, for since the Home Rule and Veto bills the Unionists have despised the Radicals. A few months after my arrival the King and Queen dined with me, and Lord Londonderry left the house after dinner in order not to be together with Sir Edward Grey. But there is no opposition from difference in caste and education as in France. There are not two worlds, but the same world, and their opinion of a foreigner is common and not without influence on his political standing, whether a Lansdowne or an Asquith is at the helm.


The difference of caste no longer exists in England since the time of the Stuarts and since the Whig oligarchy (in contradistinction to the Tory county families) allowed the bourgeoisie in the towns to rise in society. There is greater difference in political opinions on constitutional or Church questions than on financial or political questions. Aristocrats who have joined the popular party, Radicals such as Grey, Churchill, Harcourt, and Crewe, are most hated by the Unionist aristocracy. None of these gentlemen have I ever met in great aristocratic houses, only in the houses of party friends.

We were received in London with open arms and both parties outdid one another in amiability.

It would be a mistake to undervalue social connections in view of the close connection in England between society and politics, even though the majority of the upper ten thousand are in opposition to the Government. Between an Asquith and a Devonshire there is no such deep cleft as between a Briand and a Duc de Doudeauville, for example. In times of political tension they do not foregather. They belong to two separate social groups, but are part of the same society, if on different levels, the centre of which is the Court. They have friends and habits in common, they are often related or connected. A phenomenon like Lloyd George, a man of the people, a small solicitor and a self-made man, is an exception. Even John Burns, a Socialist Labor leader and a self-taught man, seeks society relations. On the ground of a general striving to be considered gentlemen of social weight and position such men must not be undervalued.

In no place, consequently, is an envoy's social circle of greater consequence than in England. A hospitable house with friendly guests is worth more than the profoundest scientific knowledge, and a learned man of insignificant appearance and too small means would, in spite of all his learning, acquire no influence. The Briton hates a bore and a pedant. He loves a good fellow.


Sir Edward Grey's influence in all questions of foreign policy was almost unlimited. True, he used to say on important occasions: "I must lay that before the Cabinet"; but it is equally true that the latter invariably took his view. Although he did not know foreign countries and, with the exception of one short visit to Paris, had never left England, he was closely informed on all important questions, owing to many years' Parliamentary experience and natural grasp. He understood French without speaking it. Elected at an early age to Parliament,[xiii] he began immediately to occupy himself with foreign affairs. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office under Lord Rosebery, he became in 1906 Secretary of State under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and filled the post for ten years.

Sprung from an old North of England family of landowners, from whom the statesman, Earl Grey, is also descended, he joined the left wing of his party and sympathized with the Socialists and pacifists. He can be called a Socialist in the ideal sense, for he applied his theories even in private life, which is characterized by great simplicity and unpretentiousness, although he is possessed of considerable means. All display is foreign to him. He had a small residence in London and never gave dinners, except officially, at the Foreign Office on the King's birthday.


If, exceptionally, he asked a few guests to his house, it was to a simple dinner or luncheon in a small circle with parlor maids for service. The week-ends he spent regularly in the country, like his colleagues, but not at large country house parties. He lives mostly in his cottage in the New Forest, taking long walks, and is passionately fond of nature and ornithology. Or he journeyed to his property in the north and tamed squirrels. In his youth he was a noted cricket and tennis player. His chief sport is now salmon and trout fishing in the Scotch lakes with Lord Glenconner, Mr. Asquith's brother-in-law. Once, when spending his week-ends with Lord Glenconner, he came thirty miles on a bicycle and returned in the same way. His simple, upright manner insured him the esteem even of his opponents, who were more easily to be found in home than in foreign political circles.

Lies and intrigue were foreign to his nature. His wife, whom he loved and from whom he was never separated, died as the result of an accident to the carriage driven by him. As is known, one brother was killed by a lion.

Wordsworth was his favorite poet, and he could quote him by the hour. His British calm did not lack a sense of humor. When breakfasting with us and the children and he heard their German conversation, he would say, "I cannot help admiring the way they talk German," and laughed at his joke. This is the man who was called "the Liar Grey" and the "originator of the world war."


Asquith is a man of quite different mold. A jovial, sociable fellow, a friend of the ladies, especially young and beautiful ones, he loves cheery surroundings and a good cook, and is supported by a cheery young wife. He was formerly a well-known lawyer, with a large income and many years' Parliamentary experience. Later he was known as a Minister under Gladstone, a pacifist like his friend Grey, and friendly to an understanding with Germany. He treated all questions with an experienced business man's calm and certainty, and enjoyed good health and excellent nerves, steeled by assiduous golf.

His daughters went to a German boarding school and speak fluent German. We quickly became good friends with him and his family, and were guests at his little house on the Thames.

He only rarely occupied himself with foreign affairs. When important questions cropped up, with him lay the ultimate decision. During the critical days of July Asquith often came to warn us, and he was ultimately in despair over the tragic turn of events. On Aug. 2, when I saw Asquith in order to make a final attempt, he was completely broken, and, although quite calm, tears ran down his face.


Sir Arthur Nicolson and Sir William Tyrrell had the greatest influence in the Foreign Office. The former was not our friend, but his attitude toward me was consistently correct and obliging. Our personal relations were of the best. Neither did he wish for war, but when we [moved?] against France he undoubtedly worked for immediate intervention. He was the confidant of my French colleague, and was in constant[xiv] touch with him, and was destined to succeed Lord Bertie in Paris. As is known, Sir Arthur was formerly Ambassador in St. Petersburg, and had concluded the treaty of 1907 which enabled Russia to turn again to the West and the Near East.

Sir Edward Grey's private secretary, Sir William Tyrrell, had far greater influence than the Permanent Under Secretary of State. This unusually intelligent man had been at a school in Germany, and had then entered the Diplomatic Service, but he was abroad only a short time. At first he belonged to the modern anti-German school of young English diplomats, but later he became a determined supporter of an understanding. To this aim and object he even influenced Sir Edward Grey, with whom he was very intimate. After the outbreak of war he left the department, and went to the Home Office, probably in consequence of criticism of him for his Germanophile leanings.


The rage of certain gentlemen over my success in London and the position I had achieved was indescribable. Schemes were set on foot to impede my carrying out my duties, I was left in complete ignorance of most important things, and had to confine myself to sending in unimportant and dull reports. Secret reports from agents about things of which I could know nothing without spies and necessary funds were never available for me, and it was only in the last days of July, 1914, that I heard accidentally from the Naval Attaché of the secret Anglo-French agreement for joint action of the two fleets in case of war. Soon after my arrival I became convinced that in no circumstances need we fear a British attack or British support of a foreign attack, but that under all conditions England would protect France. I advanced this opinion in repeated reports with detailed reasoning and insistence, but without gaining credence, although Lord Haldane's refusing of the formula of neutrality and England's attitude during the Morocco crisis were clear indications. In addition, the above-mentioned secret agreements were known to the department. I repeatedly urged that England, as a commercial State, would suffer greatly in any war between the European great powers, and would therefore prevent such a war by all available means; but, on the other hand, in the interest of the European balance of power, and to prevent Germany's overlordship, would never tolerate the weakening or destruction of France. Lord Haldane told me this shortly after my arrival. All influential people spoke in the same way.


At the end of June I went to Kiel by the royal orders a few weeks after I had received the honorary degree of Doctor at Oxford, an honor no German Ambassador since Herr von Bunsen had received. On board the Meteor we received the news of the death of the Archduke, the heir to the throne. His Majesty complained that his attempts to win the noble Archduke over to his ideas were thereby rendered fruitless. How far plans for an active policy against Serbia had already been made at Konopischt I am not in a position to judge. As I was not informed about intentions and events in Vienna I attached no further importance to the matter. I could only observe that the feeling of relief outweighed the other feelings of the Austrian aristocrats. One of the guests on board the Meteor was the Austrian Count Felix Thun. In spite of glorious weather seasickness had kept him to his cabin. After receiving the news he became well. Shock or joy had cured him.

On reaching Berlin I visited the Chancellor, and said I considered the situation of our foreign policy very satisfactory, as we were on better terms with England than we had been for a long time. In France a pacifist Government was at the helm. Herr von Bethmann Hollweg did not seem to share my optimism, and complained of the Russian armaments. I tried to calm him, and pointed out especially that Russia had absolutely no interest in attacking us, and that such an attack would not receive Anglo-French support, as both countries, England and France, desired[xv] peace. Then I called on Dr. Zimmermann, who represented von Jagow, and learned from him that Russia was about to mobilize 900,000 new troops. From his manner of speaking he was evidently annoyed with Russia, who was everywhere in our way. There was also the question of the difficulties of commercial politics. Of course, I was not told that General von Moltke was working eagerly for war. But I learned that Herr von Tschirschky had received a rebuff for having reported that he had advised moderation in Vienna toward Serbia.


On my return journey from Silesia I only remained a few hours in Berlin, but I heard there that Austria intended to take steps against Serbia to put an end to this intolerable situation. Unfortunately I undervalued the importance of the information. I thought nothing would come of it, and that it would be easy to settle the matter if Russia threatened. I now regret that I did not stop in Berlin, and at once declare that I could not agree to such a policy.

I have since learned that the inquiries and appeals from Vienna won unconditional assent from all the influential men at a decisive consultation at Potsdam on July 5, with the addition that it would not matter if war with Russia resulted. This is what was stated, anyhow, in the Austrian protocol which Count Mensdorff received in London. Shortly afterward Herr von Jagow arrived in Vienna to discuss the whole question with Count Berchtold.

Subsequently, I received instructions to work to obtain a friendly attitude on the part of the English press, if Austria dealt Serbia a deathblow, and by my influence to prevent so far as possible public opinion from becoming opposed to Austria. Remembering England's attitude during the annexation crisis, when public opinion sympathized with Serbian rights to Bosnia and her kindly favoring of national movements in the time of Lord Byron and that of Garibaldi, one thing and another indicated so strongly the improbability of British support of the proposed punitive expedition against the Archduke's murderers, that I felt bound to issue a serious warning. I also sent a warning against the whole project, which I characterized as adventurous and dangerous, and advised moderation being urged on the Austrians, as I did not believe in the localization of the conflict.


Herr von Jagow answered that Russia was not ready, that there would be some fuss, but that the more firmly we held to Austria the sooner would Russia give way. Austria, he said, had already accused us of flabbiness, (flaumacherei,) and so we must not get into a mess. Opinion in Russia, he added, was becoming more and more pro-German, so we must just take the risks. In view of this attitude, which, as I subsequently found out, was the result of Count Pourtalès's reports that Russia would in no circumstances move, and caused us to urge Count Berchtold to the greatest possible energy, I hoped for salvation in English intervention, as I knew Sir Edward Grey's influence with St. Petersburg in the direction of peace could prevail. I availed myself, therefore, of my good relations with the British Foreign Minister to beg him confidentially to advise moderation on the part of Russia in case Austria, as appeared probable, should demand satisfaction from the Serbians.

In the beginning the attitude of the English press toward the Austrians was quiet and friendly, as the murder was condemned. Little by little, however, voices increased in number insisting that, however necessary the punishment of a crime might be, no elaboration of it for a political purpose could be justified. Austria was urgently called upon to act with moderation. The whole world outside Berlin and Vienna understood that it meant war, and world war. The British fleet, which happened to be assembled for review, was not demobilized.


The Serbian answer corresponded with British efforts, for actually M. Pashitch had accepted all but two points, about which he was prepared to negotiate. Had England and Russia wanted war in order[xvi] to fall upon us, a hint to Belgrade would have been given, and the unspeakable note would have remained unanswered. Sir Edward Grey went through the Serbian answer with me, and pointed out the conciliatory attitude of the Belgrade Government. We even discussed his proposal for intervention, which should insure an interpretation of these two points acceptable to both parties. With Sir Edward Grey presiding, M. Cambon, the Marquis Imperiali, and I were to meet, and it would have been easy to find an acceptable form for the points under discussion, which were mainly concerned with the part to be taken by Austrian officials in the inquiries at Belgrade. With good-will all could have been cleared up in two or three sittings, and a simple acknowledgment of the British proposal would have brought about a détente and further improved our relations with England. I therefore urged it forcibly, as otherwise a world war stood at our gates.

In vain. It would be, I was told, wounding to Austria's dignity, nor would we mix ourselves up in that Serbian matter. We left it to our allies. I was to work for the localization of the conflict. It naturally only needed a hint from Berlin to induce Count Berchtold to content himself with a diplomatic success and put up with the Serbian reply. But this hint was not given. On the contrary, we pressed for war. What a fine success it would have been!


After our refusal Sir Edward asked us to come forward with a proposal of our own. We insisted upon war. I could get no other answer [from Berlin] than that it was an enormous "concession" on the part of Austria to contemplate no annexation of territory.

Thereupon Sir Edward justly pointed out that even without annexations of territory a country can be humiliated and subjected, and that Russia would regard this as a humiliation which she would not stand.

The impression became ever stronger that we desired war in all circumstances. Otherwise our attitude in a question which, after all, did not directly concern us was unintelligible. The urgent appeals and definite declarations of M. Sazonoff, [Russian Foreign Minister,] later on the positively humble telegrams of the Czar, the repeated proposals of Sir Edward, the warnings of San Giuliano [Italian Foreign Minister] and of Bollati, [Italian Ambassador in Berlin,] my urgent advice—it was all of no use, for Berlin went on insisting that Serbia must be massacred.

The more I pressed, the less willing they were to alter their course, if only because I was not to have the success of saving peace in the company of Sir Edward Grey.

So Grey on July 29 resolved upon his well-known warning. I replied that I had always reported that we should have to reckon upon English hostility if it came to war with France. The Minister said to me repeatedly: "If war breaks out it will be the greatest catastrophe the world has ever seen."


After that events moved rapidly. When Count Berchtold, who hitherto had played the strong man on instructions from Berlin, at last decided to change his course, we answered the Russian mobilization—after Russia had for a whole week negotiated and waited in vain—with our ultimatum and declaration of war.

Sir Edward Grey still looked for new ways of escape. In the morning of Aug. 1, Sir W. Tyrrell came to me to say that his chief still hoped to find a way out. Should we remain neutral if France did the same? I understood him to mean that we should then be ready to spare France, but his meaning was that we should remain absolutely neutral—neutral therefore even toward Russia. That was the well-known misunderstanding. Sir Edward had given me an appointment for the afternoon, but as he was then at a meeting of the Cabinet, he called me up on the telephone, after Sir W. Tyrrell had hurried straight to him. But in the afternoon he spoke no longer of anything but Belgian neutrality, and of the possibility that we and France[xvii] should face one another armed, without attacking one another.

Thus there was no proposal whatever, but a question without any obligation, because our conversation, as I have already explained, was to take place soon afterward. In Berlin, however—without waiting for the conversation—this news was used as the foundation for a far-reaching act. Then came Poincaré's letter, Bonar Law's letter, and the telegram from the King of the Belgians. The hesitating members of the Cabinet were converted, with the exception of three members, who resigned.


Up to the last moment I had hoped for a waiting attitude on the part of England. My French colleague also felt himself by no means secure, as I learned from a private source. As late as Aug. 1 the King replied evasively to the French President. But in the telegram from Berlin, which announced the threatening danger of war, England was already mentioned as an opponent. In Berlin, therefore, one already reckoned upon war with England.

Before my departure Sir Edward Grey received me on Aug. 5 at his house. I had gone there at his desire. He was deeply moved. He said to me that he would always be ready to mediate, and, "We don't want to crush Germany." Unfortunately, this confidential conversation was published. Thereby Herr von Bethmann Hollweg destroyed the last possibility of reaching peace via England.

Our departure was thoroughly dignified and calm. Before we left, the King had sent his equerry, Sir E. Ponsonby, to me, to express his regret at my departure and that he could not see me personally. Princess Louise wrote to me that the whole family lamented our going. Mrs. Asquith and other friends came to the embassy to say good-bye.

A special train took us to Harwich, where a guard of honor was drawn up for me. I was treated like a departing sovereign. Thus ended my London mission. It was wrecked, not by the perfidy of the British, but by the perfidy of our policy.

At the railway station in London Count Mensdorff [Austrian Ambassador] appeared with his staff. He was cheerful, and gave me to understand that perhaps he would remain in London. But to the English he said that it was not Austria, but we, who had wanted the war.


When now, after two years, I realize everything in retrospect, I say to myself that I realized too late that there was no place for me in a system which for years has lived only on tradition and routine, and which tolerates only representatives who report what one wants to read. Absence of prejudice and an independent judgment are combated, want of ability and of character are extolled and esteemed, but successes arouse hostility and uneasiness.

I had abandoned opposition to our mad Triple Alliance policy, because I saw that it was useless and that my warnings were represented as Austrophobia and an idée fixe. In a policy which is not mere gymnastics, or playing with documents, but the conduct of the business of the firm, there is no such thing as likes and dislikes; there is nothing but the interest of the community; but a policy which is based merely upon Austrians, Magyars, and Turks must end in hostility to Russia, and ultimately lead to a catastrophe.

In spite of former aberrations, everything was still possible in July, 1914. Agreement with England had been reached. We should have had to send to Petersburg a representative who, at any rate, reached the average standard of political ability, and we should have had to give Russia the certainty that we desired neither to dominate the Starits nor to throttle the Serbs. M. Sazonoff was saying to us: "Lâchez l'Autriche et nous lâcherons les Français," and M. Cambon [French Ambassador in Berlin] said to Herr von Jagow: "Vous n'avez [pas] besoin de suivre l'Autriche partout."

We needed neither alliances nor wars, but merely treaties which would protect us and others, and which would guarantee us an economic development for which[xviii] there had been no precedent in history. And if Russia had been relieved of trouble in the west, she would have been able to turn again to the east, and then the Anglo-Russian antagonism would have arisen automatically without our interference—and the Russo-Japanese antagonism no less than the Anglo-Russian.

We could also have approached the question of limitation of armaments, and should have had no further need to bother about the confusions of Austria. Austria-Hungary would then become the vassal of the German Empire—without an alliance, and, above all, without sentimental services on our part, leading ultimately to war for the liberation of Poland and the destruction of Serbia, although German interests demanded exactly the contrary.

I had to support in London a policy which I knew to be fallacious. I was punished for it, for it was a sin against the Holy Ghost.


On my arrival in Berlin I saw at once that I was to be made the scapegoat for the catastrophe of which our Government had made itself guilty in opposition to my advice and my warnings.

The report was persistently circulated by official quarters that I had let myself be deceived by Sir Edward Grey, because if he had not wanted war Russia would not have mobilized. Count Pourtalès, whose reports could be relied upon, was to be spared, if only because of his family connections. He was said to have behaved "splendidly," and he was enthusiastically praised, while I was all the more sharply blamed.

"What has Russia got to do with Serbia?" this statesman said to me after eight years of official activity in Petersburg. It was made out that the whole business was a perfidious British trick which I had not understood. In the Foreign Office I was told that in 1916 it would in any case have come to war. But then Russia would have been "ready," and so it was better now.

As appears from all official publications, without the facts being controverted by our own White Book, which, owing to its poverty and gaps, constitutes a grave self-accusation:

1. We encouraged Count Berchtold to attack Serbia, although no German interest was involved, and the danger of a world war must have been known to us—whether we knew the text of the ultimatum is a question of complete indifference.

2. In the days between July 23 and July 30, 1914, when M. Sazonoff emphatically declared that Russia could not tolerate an attack upon Serbia, we rejected the British proposals of mediation, although Serbia, under Russian and British pressure, had accepted almost the whole ultimatum, and although an agreement about the two points in question could easily have been reached, and Count Berchtold was even ready to satisfy himself with the Serbian reply.

3. On July 30, when Count Berchtold wanted to give way, we, without Austria having been attacked, replied to Russia's mere mobilization by sending an ultimatum to Petersburg, and on July 31 we declared war on the Russians, although the Czar had pledged his word that as long as negotiations continued not a man should march—so that we deliberately destroyed the possibility of a peaceful settlement.

In view of these indisputable facts, it is not surprising that the whole civilized world outside Germany attributes to us the sole guilt for the world war.


Is it not intelligible that our enemies declare that they will not rest until a system is destroyed which constitutes a permanent threatening of our neighbors? Must they not otherwise fear that in a few years they will again have to take up arms, and again see their provinces overrun and their towns and villages destroyed? Were these people not right who prophesied that the spirit of Treitschke and Bernhardi dominated the German people—the spirit which glorifies war as an aim in itself and does not abhor it as an evil; that among us it is still the feudal knights and Junkers and the caste of warriors who rule and who fix our ideals and our values—not[xix] the civilian gentleman; that the love of dueling, which inspires our youth at the universities, lives on in those who guide the fortunes of the people? Had not the events at Zabern and the Parliamentary debates on that case shown foreign countries how civil rights and freedoms are valued among us, when questions of military power are on the other side?

Cramb, a historian who has since died, an admirer of Germany, put the German point of view into the words of Euphorion:

Träumt Ihr den Friedenstag?
Träume, wer träumen mag!
Krieg ist das Losungswort!
Sieg, und so klingt es fort.

Militarism, really a school for the nation and an instrument of policy, makes policy into the instrument of military power, if the patriarchal absolutism of a soldier-kingdom renders possible an attitude which would not be permitted by a democracy which had disengaged itself from military-junker influences.

That is what our enemies think, and that is what they are bound to think, when they see that, in spite of capitalistic industrialization, and in spite of socialistic organization, the living, as Friedrich Nietzsche says, are still governed by the dead. The principal war aim of our enemies, the democratization of Germany, will be achieved.


Today, after two years of the war, there can be no further doubt that we cannot hope for an unconditional victory over Russians, English, French, Italians, Rumanians, and Americans, and that we cannot reckon upon the overthrow of our enemies. But we can reach a compromised peace only upon the basis of the evacuation of the occupied territories, the possession of which in any case signifies for us a burden and weakness and the peril of new wars. Consequently, everything should be avoided which hinders a change of course on the part of those enemy groups which might perhaps still be won over to the idea of compromise—the British Radicals and the Russian Reactionaries. Even from this point of view our Polish project is just as objectionable as any interference with Belgian rights, or the execution of British citizens—to say nothing of the mad submarine war scheme.

Our future lies upon the water. True, but it therefore does not lie in Poland and Belgium, in France and Serbia. That is a reversion to the Holy Roman Empire, to the aberrations of the Hohenstaufens and Hapsburgs. It is the policy of the Plantagenets, not the policy of Drake and Raleigh, Nelson and Rhodes.

Triple Alliance policy is a relapse into the past, a revolt from the future, from imperialism, from world policy. Central Europe is mediaevalism; Berlin-Bagdad is a cul de sac, and not a road into the open, to unlimited possibilities, and to the world mission of the German people.

I am no enemy of Austria, or Hungary, or Italy, or Serbia, or any other State; I am only an enemy of the Triple Alliance policy, which was bound to divert us from our aims, and to bring us on to the sloping plane of Continental policy. It was not German policy, but Austrian dynastic policy. The Austrians had accustomed themselves to regard the alliance as a shield, under whose protection they could make excursions at pleasure into the East.


And what result have we to expect from the struggle of peoples? The United States of Africa will be British, like the United States of America, of Australia, and of Oceania, and the Latin States of Europe, as I said years ago, will fall into the same relationship to the United Kingdom as the Latin sisters of America to the United States. They will be dominated by the Anglo-Saxon; France, exhausted by the war, will link herself still more closely to Great Britain. In the long run, Spain also will not resist.

In Asia, the Russian and Japanese will expand their borders and their customs, and the south will remain to the British.

The world will belong to the Anglo-Saxon, the Russian, and the Japanese, and the German will remain alone with Austria and Hungary. His sphere of power will be that of thought and of[xx] trade, not that of the bureaucrats and the soldiers. The German appeared too late, and the world war has destroyed the last possibility of catching up the lost ground, of founding a colonial empire.

For we shall not supplant the sons of Japheth; the program of the great Rhodes, who saw the salvation of mankind in British expansion and British imperialism, will be realized.

Tu regere imperio populos Romano, memento.
Hae tibi erunt artes: pacisquqe imponere morem,
Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.

Krupp Director Confirms Prince Lichnowsky's Indictment

Coincident with the publication in Germany of the famous memorandum of Prince Lichnowsky squarely putting the blame for the outbreak of the world war upon the Kaiser and the German militarists, there also appeared in circular form in Germany a letter written by a certain Dr. Mühlon, a former member of the Krupp Directorate now living in Switzerland, corroborating the charges made by the Prince. The Mühlon letter was briefly referred to in an official dispatch from Switzerland received in Washington on March 29 as having produced an animated discussion throughout the empire.

A copy of the Leipziger Volkszeitung of March 20 tells how, in a discussion of the Lichnowsky and Mühlon memoranda before the Main Committee of the Reichstag on March 16, Vice Chancellor von Payer tried to minimize the value of Dr. Mühlon's statements by asserting that the former Krupp Director was a sick, nervous man who no doubt did not intend to injure his country's cause, but who was hardly responsible for his actions because of his many nervous breakdowns. Later, the Berliner Tageblatt printed the text of Dr. Mühlon's letter, which was evidently written before the resignation of Dr. Karl Helfferich as Vice Chancellor last November. As translated by The London Times, Dr. Mühlon's memorandum reads:


"In the middle of July, 1914, I had, as I frequently had, a conversation with Dr. Helfferich, then Director of the Deutsche Bank in Berlin, and now Vice Chancellor. The Deutsche Bank had adopted a negative attitude toward certain large transactions in Bulgaria and Turkey, in which the firm of Krupp, for business reasons—delivery of war material—had a lively interest. As one of the reasons to justify the attitude of the Deutsche Bank, Dr. Helfferich finally gave me the following reason:

"The political situation has become very menacing. The Deutsche Bank must in any case wait before entering into any further engagements abroad. The Austrians have just been with the Kaiser. In a week's time Vienna will send a very severe ultimatum to Serbia, with a very short interval for the answer. The ultimatum will contain demands such as punishment of a number of officers, dissolution of political associations, criminal investigation in Serbia by Austrian officials, and, in fact, a whole series of definite satisfactions will be demanded at once; otherwise Austria-Hungary will declare war on Serbia.

"Dr. Helfferich added that the Kaiser had expressed his decided approval of this procedure on the part of Austria-Hungary. He had said that he regarded a conflict with Serbia as an internal affair between these two countries, in which he would permit no other State to interfere. If Russia mobilized, he would mobilize also. But in his case mobilization meant immediate war. This time there would be no oscillation. Helfferich said that the Austrians were extremely well satisfied at this determined attitude on the part of the Kaiser.

"When I thereupon said to Dr. Helfferich that this uncanny communication converted my fears of a world war, which were already strong, into absolute[xxi] certainty, he replied that it certainly looked like that. But perhaps France and Russia would reconsider the matter. In any case, the Serbs deserved a lesson which they would remember. This was the first intimation that I had received about the Kaiser's discussions with our allies. I knew Dr. Helfferich's particularly intimate relations with the personages who were sure to be initiated, and I knew that his communication was trustworthy.


"After my return from Berlin I informed Herr Krupp von Böhlen and Halbach, one of whose Directors I then was at Essen. Dr. Helfferich had given me permission and at that time the intention was to make him a Director of Krupps. Herr von Böhlen seemed disturbed that Dr. Helfferich was in possession of such information, and he made a remark to the effect that the Government people can never keep their mouths shut. He then told me the following. He said that he had himself been with the Kaiser in the last few days. The Kaiser had spoken to him also of his conversation with the Austrians, and of its result; but he had described the matter as so secret that he [Krupp] would not even have dared to inform his own Directors. As, however, I already knew, he could tell me that Helfferich's statements were accurate. Indeed, Helfferich seemed to know more details than he did. He said that the situation was really very serious. The Kaiser had told him that he would declare war immediately if Russia mobilized, and that this time people would see that he did not turn about. The Kaiser's repeated insistence that this time nobody would be able to accuse him of indecision had, he said, been almost comic in its effect.


"On the very day indicated to me by Helfferich the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia appeared. At this time I was again in Berlin, and I told Helfferich that I regarded the tone and contents of the ultimatum as simply monstrous. Dr. Helfferich, however, said that the note only had that ring in the German translation. He had seen the ultimatum in French, and in French it really could not be regarded as overdone. On this occasion Helfferich also said to me that the Kaiser had gone on his northern cruise only as a 'blind'; he had not arranged the cruise on the usual extensive scale, but was remaining close at hand and keeping in constant touch. Now one must simply wait and see what would happen. The Austrians, who, of course, did not expect the ultimatum to be accepted, were really acting rapidly before the other powers could find time to interfere. The Deutsche Bank had already made its arrangements, so as to be prepared for all eventualities. For example, it was no longer paying out the gold which came in. That could easily be done without attracting notice, and the amount day by day reached considerable sums.

"Immediately after the Vienna ultimatum to Serbia the German Government issued declarations to the effect that Austria-Hungary had acted all alone, without Germany's previous knowledge. When one attempted to reconcile these declarations with the events mentioned above, the only possible explanation was that the Kaiser had tied himself down without inviting the co-operation of his Government, and that, in the conversations with the Austrians, the Germans took care not to agree upon the text of the ultimatum. For I have already shown that the contents of the ultimatum were pretty accurately known in Germany.

"Herr Krupp von Böhlen, with whom I spoke about these German declarations—which, at any rate in their effect, were lies—was also by no means edified. For, as he said, Germany ought not, in such a tremendous affair, to have given a blank check to a State like Austria; and it was the duty of the leading statesmen to demand, both of the Kaiser and of our allies, that the Austrian claims and the ultimatum to Serbia should be discussed in minute detail and definitely decided upon, and also that we should decide upon the precise program of our further proceedings. He said that, whatever point of view one took, we ought not to give ourselves[xxii] into the hands of the Austrians and expose ourselves to eventualities which had not been reckoned out in advance. One ought to have connected appropriate conditions with our obligations. In short, Herr von Böhlen regarded the German denial of previous knowledge, if there was any trace of truth in it, as an offense against the elementary principles of diplomacy; and he told me that he intended to speak in this sense to Herr von Jagow, then Foreign Secretary, who was a special friend of his.


"As a result of this conversation Herr von Böhlen told me that Herr von Jagow stuck firmly to his assertion that he had had nothing to do with the text of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, and that Germany had never made any such demands. In reply to the objection that this was inconceivable, Herr von Jagow replied that he, as a diplomatist, had naturally thought of making such a demand. When, however, Herr von Jagow was occupying himself with the matter and was called in, the Kaiser had so committed himself that it was too late for any procedure according to diplomatic custom, and there was nothing more to be done. The situation was such that it would have been impossible to intervene with drafting proposals. In the end, he [Jagow] had thought that non-interference would have its advantages—namely, the good impression which could be made in Petersburg and Paris with the German declaration that Germany had not co-operated in the preparation of the Vienna ultimatum."


Herr Mühlon authorized the Humanité, a Paris Socialist paper, through its Swiss correspondent, to publish the following remarkable letter which he addressed from Berne, on May 7, 1917, to Herr von Bethmann Hollweg, then Imperial Chancellor:

"However great the number and weight of the mistakes accumulated on the German side since the beginning of the war, I nevertheless persisted for a long time in the belief that a belated foresight would at last dawn upon the minds of our Directors. It was with this hope that I put myself to a certain extent at your disposal, in order to collaborate with you in Rumania, and that I indicated to you that I was disposed to help in Switzerland, where I am living at present, if the object of our efforts was to be rapprochement of the enemy parties. That I was, and that I remain, hostile to any activity other than reconciliation and restoration I proved soon after the opening of hostilities by the definite resignation of my Directorship of Krupps' works.

"But since the first days of 1917 I have abandoned all hope as regards the present Directors of Germany. Our offer of peace without indication of our war aims, the accentuation of the submarine war, the deportations of Belgians, the systematic destruction in France, and the torpedoing of English hospital ships have so degraded the Governors of the German Empire that I am profoundly convinced that they are disqualified forever for the elaboration and conclusion of a sincere and just agreement. The personalities may change, but they cannot remain the representatives of the German cause.

"The German people will not be able to repair the grievous crimes committed against its own present and future, and against that of Europe and the whole human race until it is represented by different men with a different mentality. To tell the truth, it is mere justice that its reputation throughout the whole world is as bad as it is. The triumph of its methods—the methods by which it has hitherto conducted the war both militarily and politically—would constitute a defeat for the ideas and the supreme hopes of mankind. One has only to imagine that a people exhausted, demoralized, or hating violence, should consent to a peace with a Government which has conducted such a war, in order to understand how the general level and the chances of life of the peoples would remain black and deceptive.

"As a man and as a German who desires nothing but the welfare of the[xxiii] deceived and tortured German people, I turn away definitely from the present representatives of the German régime. And I have only one wish—that all independent men may do the same and that many Germans may understand and act.

"In view of the fact that it is impossible for me at present to make any manifestation before German public opinion, I have thought it to be my absolute duty to inform your Excellency of my point of view."

Reichstag Debate on Lichnowsky

The Main Committee of the Reichstag dealt with Prince Lichnowsky's memorandum on March 16. Herr von Payer, Vice Chancellor, stated that Prince Lichnowsky himself on March 15 made a statement to the Imperial Chancellor, in which he said:

"Your Excellency knows that the purely private notes which I wrote down in the Summer of 1916 found their way into wider circles by an unprecedented breach of confidence. It was mainly a question of subjective considerations about our entire foreign policy since the Berlin Congress. I perceived in the policy hitherto pursued of repelling (in der seitherigen Abkehr) Russia and in the extension of the policy of alliances to Oriental questions the real roots of the world war. I then submitted our Morocco naval policy to a brief examination. My London mission could at the same time not remain out of consideration, especially as I felt the need in regard to the future and with a view to my own justification of noting the details of my experiences and impressions there before they vanished from my memory. These notes were intended in a certain degree only for family archives, and I wrote them down without documentary material or notes from the period of my official activity. I considered I might show them, on the assurance of absolute secrecy, to a very few political friends in whose judgment as well as trustworthiness I had equal confidence."


Prince Lichnowsky then described in his letter how the memorandum, owing to an indiscretion, got into circulation, and finally expressed lively regret at such an extremely vexatious incident.

Herr von Payer said that Prince Lichnowsky had meanwhile tendered his resignation of his present rank, which had been accepted, and as he had doubtless no bad intention, but had simply been guilty of imprudence, no further steps would be taken against him. The Vice Chancellor proceeded:

"Some assertions in his documents must, however, be contradicted, especially his assertions about political events in the last months preceding the war. Prince Lichnowsky was not of his own knowledge acquainted with these events, but he apparently received from a third, and wrongly informed quarter, inaccurate information. The key to the mistakes and false conclusions may also be the Prince's overestimation of his own services, which are accompanied by hatred against those who do not recognize his achievements as he expected. The entire memorandum is penetrated by a striking veneration for foreign diplomats, especially the British, who are described in a truly affectionate manner, and, on the other hand, by an equally striking irritation against almost all German statesmen. The result was that the Prince frequently regarded Germany's most zealous enemy as her best friend because they were personally on good terms with him.

"The fact that, as he admits, he attached at first no great importance to the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne, and was displeased that the situation was judged otherwise in Berlin, makes it plain that the Prince had no clear judgment for the events that followed and their import."

The Vice Chancellor then characterized as false all Prince Lichnowsky's assertions about General von Moltke's urging[xxiv] war at the Potsdam Crown Council of June 5, 1914, and the dispatch of the Austrian protocol on "this alleged Crown Council" to Count Mensdorff, containing the postscript that it would be no great harm even if war with Russia arose out of it.


Herr von Payer also denied the statement that the then Foreign Secretary was in Vienna in 1914, as well as the statement that Count von Pourtalès, the German Ambassador in Petrograd, had reported that Russia would in no circumstances move. The Sukhomlinoff trial had shown how unfounded were Prince Lichnowsky's reproaches against Germany for replying to the Russian mobilization by an ultimatum and a declaration of war. It was also false to assert that the German Government rejected all Great Britain's mediation proposals. Lord Grey's last mediation proposal was very urgently supported in Vienna by Berlin. The aim of the memorandum was obvious. It was to show the reader how much better and more intelligent Prince Lichnowsky's policy was, and how he could have assured the peace of the empire if his advice had been followed.

The Vice Chancellor continued:

"Nobody will reproach the Prince with this belief in himself. He was also free to make notes about events, and his attitude toward them, but he should then have considered it a duty that his views should not have become known to the public, and, no matter how small his circle of readers was, it was his duty to state nothing contradicting facts which he knew. As things now are, the memorandum will cause enough harm among malevolent and superficial people. The memorandum has no historical value whatever."

Referring to a manifolded copy of a letter from Dr. Mühlon, who is at present in Switzerland, and at the outbreak of war was on Krupps' Board of Directors, Herr von Payer said that the letter related to the utterances of two highly placed gentlemen from which he drew the conclusion that the German Government in July, 1914, lacked a desire for peace. Both these gentlemen had stated in writing that Dr. Mühlon had suffered from nerves, and he (Herr von Payer) also took the view that his statements were those of a man of diseased mind.

In the discussion that followed, Herr Scheidemann said that the Socialist Party regarded imperialism as the fundamental cause of the war. Prince Lichnowsky's memorandum, in which he attempted to put the blame for the war on Germany, could, in his opinion, only make an impression on so-called out-and-out pacifists.

Herr Müller-Meiningen said that, notwithstanding what Dr. Mühlon and Prince Lichnowsky had said, he was absolutely convinced that the overwhelming majority of the German people, the Chancellor, and the representatives of the Foreign Office, and, above all, the German Emperor, always desired peace.

Herr Stresemann expressed a desire to see the last White Book supplemented. Prince Lichnowsky's memorandum could not be taken seriously.

Herr von Payer, intervening, said that the question as to whether criminal or disciplinary action might be taken against Prince Lichnowsky was considered by the Imperial Department of Justice. The result was that, on various legal grounds, neither a prosecution of the Prince for diplomatic high treason in the sense of Paragraph 92 of the Penal Code, nor proceedings under Paragraph 89 or Paragraph 353, the so-called Arnim paragraph, would have offered any chance of success. After the Prince's retirement, there was no longer any question of disciplinary proceedings against him. The Prince has been prohibited by the Foreign Office from publishing articles in the press.


Herr von Stumm, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, replying to a question as to who was responsible for Prince Lichnowsky's appointment in London, said that the appointment was made by the Kaiser, in agreement with the responsible Imperial Chancellor. While in London the Prince had devoted himself[xxv] zealously to his task. His views, it was true, had frequently not agreed with those of the German Foreign Office. That was especially the case regarding his strong optimism in reference to German-English relations. When his hopes aiming at a German-English understanding were destroyed by the war, the Prince returned to Germany greatly excited, and even then did not restrain his criticism of Germany's policy.

Herr von Stumm continued:

"His excitement increased owing to attacks against him in the German press. All these circumstances must be taken into consideration when gauging the value of his memorandum. It was unjustifiable to draw conclusions from it regarding the Ambassador's activity in London and blame the Government for it. Regarding the German White Book, the Under Secretary admitted that it was not very voluminous, but it had to be compiled quickly, so as to present to the Reichstag at the opening a clear picture of the question of guilt. The Blue Books of other States, it was true, were much more voluminous. The German White Book, however, differed from them in so far to its advantage as it contained no falsification. A new edition of the German White Book is in preparation."

Dr. Payer then discussed the revelations of Dr. Mühlon, at present in Switzerland. Dr. Mühlon, an ex-Director of Krupps, had made a statement according to which he had a conference with two exalted personages in the latter half of July, 1914, from which it appeared that it was not the intention of the German Government to maintain peace. The Vice Chancellor alleged that Dr. Mühlon was suffering from neurasthenia at the time, and that no importance could be attached to his revelations, since the two gentlemen referred to had denied making the statements attributed to them.

In the subsequent discussion disapproval of Prince Lichnowsky's attitude was expressed, but some speakers urged the need for the reorganization of Germany's diplomatic service.

According to the report of the debate published by the Neues Wiener Journal, Herr von Payer himself acknowledged that prior to the war German diplomacy had made some bad blunders, and that reform was urgently needed. Herr Müller (Progressive) sharply criticised Herr von Flotow, who was German Ambassador in Rome at the beginning of the war, and charged him with having declared to the Marquis di San Giuliano, then Italian Foreign Minister, that there existed for Italy no casus foederis. Prince Bülow also came in for severe criticism.

A bill indicting Prince Lichnowsky for treason has been introduced into the Reichstag and is still pending at this writing. A dispatch from Geneva on April 21 stated that he was virtually a prisoner in his château in Silesia. According to the Düsseldorfer Tageblatt the Prince was under police surveillance because of the discovery of a plan for his escape to Switzerland.

Comments of German Publicists

Immediately following the sending out by the semi-official Wolff Telegraph Bureau on March 19 of an account of the discussion in the Main Committee of the Reichstag on March 16 of the Lichnowsky memorandum, together with excerpts from that document, the editorial writers of the German newspapers began emptying vials of wrath upon the head of the former Ambassador in London. With the exception of the Socialist and a few Liberal newspapers, the press was practically a unit in condemning the Prince for his "treasonable and indiscreet acts" and in asserting that, although his "revelations" might be welcomed with shouts of joy in the allied countries, they would have no serious effect upon the fighting spirit of the German Nation.

In trying to explain what prompted Prince Lichnowsky to write his memorandum for "the family archives," nearly all the German editors lay great[xxvi] stress upon his alleged personal vanity and his resentment at seeing his efforts toward strengthening the bonds between England and Germany made a grim joke by the outbreak of the world war. The Prince is also called a simple-minded person, completely taken in by the deceptive courtesy of the British diplomats and possessing none of the qualifications necessary to make him a profitable representative of the Kaiser at the Court of St. James's. All through the comments, from extreme Pan-German to socialistic, runs a vein of sarcastic criticism of the peculiar "ability" shown by the German Foreign Office in picking its Ambassadors.

All the Pan-German and annexationist papers take occasion to link up Prince Lichnowsky with Dr. von Bethmann Hollweg, the former Imperial Chancellor, and make the latter responsible for the appointment of the "pacifist" Prince. In doing this they renew all their old charges of weakness and pacifism against the ex-Chancellor, and intimate that he may be the next German formerly occupying a high place in the Government to write memoranda for his family archives. Some of the papers did not wait to write regular editorials about the memorandum, but interlarded their reports of the meeting of the Reichstag Committee with sarcastic comment and explanations. This was notably the case with the Vossische Zeitung, the leading exponent of reconciliation with Russia at the expense of Great Britain.


Although it has since been cabled that the Imperial Government was considering taking action against Prince Lichnowsky, and that Captain Beerfelde, a member of the German General Staff, was under arrest for having aided in the distribution of manifolded copies of the memorandum, there was no general demand in the German press for the trial of the Prince on a charge of high treason. The exceptions were a few extreme Pan-German organs, led by Count zu Reventlow's Deutsche Tageszeitung. On the other hand, a few of the Socialist and Liberal papers cautiously remarked that, after all, although what the Prince said about the responsibility for the war was altogether too pro-Entente, it might help the movement in Germany for a negotiated peace.

Count zu Reventlow's article in the Deutsche Tageszeitung read, in part, as follows:

"When a former Ambassador, and an experienced diplomat and official besides, writes an article and gives it to some one else in these times, there is, in our opinion, no excuse. It is a case of high treason and it makes little difference if here one might perhaps admit the view of its being high treason through negligence, because certainly no former diplomat and official ought to allow himself to be so negligent, and furthermore he must have known the great danger of his action, which, as has been said, was exclusively meant to be to his personal interest. Therefore, we cannot very well understand for what reasons the proper steps have not been taken already against Prince Lichnowsky. We use the characterization 'high treason' after due deliberation.

"Prince Lichnowsky should not have allowed a single piece of his article to have left his hands, for he was very well able to judge that its publication outside of the German Empire was bound to have the effect of a treasonable act. The German cause will not be made any worse because a former diplomat, completely enchanted by English ways and never in touch with the essence of the English policy, places himself on the side of the enemies of the German Empire."

The Kölnische Volkszeitung, the organ of the annexationist faction of the Centre Party, concluded its editorial thus:

"One thing must be emphasized, Liebknecht, Dittmann, and other traitors have been jailed because of their high treason. Lichnowsky wanted to show to the whole world with his memorandum that Germany had sought, wanted, and begun the war because some persons did not wish to have him, Prince Lichnowsky, enjoy the success of the Anglo-German friendship. And, in so doing, Lichnowsky furnished our enemies with weapons, worked[xxvii] to our enemies' advantage. In time of war this is treason. The excuse that the fourteen copies that he had prepared were only written for his friends is ridiculous. Theodore Wolff of the Berliner Tageblatt is known to be one of Lichnowsky's most intimate friends. Who knows who the others may be! If a Social Democrat or an anarchist writes an inciting pamphlet in the form of a memorandum and doesn't distribute it himself, but has his friends do it, is he then exempt from punishment? If a person commits high treason and does not circulate the document himself, but lets others do it, or at least does not take precautions to see that it is not distributed, does he go free? The German people will hardly understand the decision of the Imperial Department of Justice as just rendered in favor of Lichnowsky. Even at the last session of the Prussian House of Lords Prince Lichnowsky sat beside his friend Dernberg. Will he appear in the House of Lords again?"


Germania, speaking for the so-called moderate section of the Centre Party, called the Lichnowsky case "one of the most disturbing political events that we have experienced in the course of the war," and hoped that the courts would still have a chance to decide as to the Prince's guilt. The newspaper comment was in general spiced with much sarcastic comparison of the Lichnowsky case with the cases of Dr. Karl Liebknecht and Deputy Wilhelm Dittmann, and many remarks were passed regarding the difference between the treatment accorded to a member of the Prussian nobility and that suffered by commoners and representatives of the German working class. The Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, in ending its comment as to the paeans of joy with which the enemy press would be sure to welcome the publication of the Lichnowsky indictment, added the following item of news:

"We learn on good authority, in the matter of the distribution of the Lichnowsky pamphlet, that in the beginning of February the police succeeded in seizing 2,000 copies of this pamphlet which the Neues Vaterland Society had had sent to it from South Germany through its business manager, Else Bruck. She, together with Henke, a bookseller, was placed under charges, but was acquitted by the court-martial, presumably because the court was not able to foresee the far-reaching result of the document."

Under the heading "The Blind Argus" the Bremer Nachrichten opined that the man who should have been using a thousand eyes in London in the interest of Germany was blind, and it referred to the Lichnowsky case as "the most gloomy chapter in the history of German diplomacy."


Prince Lichnowsky's aversion to the old Triple Alliance drew much caustic criticism, especially from the Pan-German press, and excerpts from the semi-official Vienna Fremdenblatt and other Austrian papers, indignantly repudiating the Prince's charge that the Dual Monarchy had always regarded Germany as a shield under which it could make raids upon the Near East and otherwise stir up trouble, were eagerly reprinted in Germany.

The Berlin Vorwärts, speaking for the pro-Government Socialists, said:

"The Ambassador returned with the feeling of a man who had seen his life work knocked to pieces. No doubt he felt at that time not very different from us German Socialists who had also worked for reconciliation with France and England and now, in the face of the unchained elemental forces, had to recognize our impotence with gnashing of teeth. In Germany, Prince Lichnowsky, who had believed in the possibility of agreement as every toiler must believe in his work, was greeted with the scorn of the Pan-Germans, who asserted that he had allowed himself to be softsoaped by the English and had never recognized their real intentions. * * *

"And who can deny that this pamphlet casts a deep shadow upon the German foreign policy before the war? They can say that everything that Lichnowsky writes is the result of a diseased imagination[xxviii] and that all is distorted and badly drawn. But this would merely mean that the most important Ambassadorial post that Germany had at her disposal was occupied by a fool and a blockhead. So, if one wishes to spare the German policy this compromising implication, the only thing to do is to take the memorandum and its author seriously and argue the points with him in an expert manner."

The Vorwärts concluded its comment by saying that, no matter how the war started, the German people were now determined to see that Germany was not defeated, but if Prince Lichnowsky's article would help the people of Germany to adopt a more conciliatory attitude toward England and thus hasten a negotiated peace, it was worth reading. Comment of other Socialist papers was along the same lines.

Comment of an English Editor

Valentine Chirol, former foreign editor of The London Times, published the following in that newspaper on March 26, 1918:

The publication of Prince Lichnowsky's memorandum furnishes evidence which even the most skeptical Englishman can hardly question of the peculiar system of dualism practiced by the German Foreign Office in the conduct of its diplomacy abroad. To those who had opportunities of observing its methods at close quarters this is no new revelation. The German Foreign Office has almost invariably conducted its diplomatic work abroad through two or more different channels, for it was always too tortuous and complicated to be intrusted to any single agent. There was the public policy directed toward more or less avowable ends to be propounded in official dispatches and conversations, and there was "the higher policy" to be promoted by means of discreet propaganda in the press and in society, and especially by appropriate appeals to the prejudices or interests of political and financial and commercial circles. Hence in the more important posts abroad it was the habit of the Wilhelmstrasse to rely mainly upon the Councilor of Embassy both to check the proceedings of the Ambassador and to manipulate all the complicated threads of its diplomatic network in which, for various reasons, it was deemed inexpedient for the Ambassador to get himself entangled, sometimes lest inconvenient disclosures might impair his influence with the Government to which he was accredited, and sometimes—as in the case of Prince Lichnowsky in London, and of the late Prince Radolin in Paris—because the Ambassador's personal sense of honor or his belief in the superiority of honorable statesmanship recoiled from the duplicity of "the higher policy." * * *

I gained an insight into this complex machinery when I went to Berlin as correspondent of The Times, in the early years of the present Emperor's reign, through Baron Holstein, who was then known as the "eminence Grise" of the German Foreign Office from the commanding influence he wielded without the slightest ostentation of power. Owing to accidental circumstances, I came into much closer intimacy with him than he was wont to allow, not merely to journalists, but even to the chief foreign diplomatists in Berlin; and, subject to occasional intermittences when he resented somewhat ferociously my expositions of German policy, I maintained friendly relations with him long after I had ceased to reside in Berlin and he had himself outlived the Emperor's favor, for which he lacked the courtier's obsequiousness. He had been bred in the Bismarckian tradition; he had been a member of the old Chancellor's staff throughout the Franco-Prussian war, and had acted as his confidential agent when he was Councilor of Embassy in Paris under Count Harry von Arnim, whose sensational downfall he helped to bring about at Bismarck's behest. Although in other respects a man of great[xxix] integrity and with many admirable qualities, including, besides a certain rather cynical frankness, a thoroughly un-Prussian contempt for the gewgaws of official life, he was so saturated with the Wilhelmstrasse tradition that he was rather proud than otherwise of the unsavory part he had played toward his Paris chief, and had, therefore, the less hesitation in disclosing to me, when he thought it served his purpose, the existence of equally peculiar relations between Count Wolf-Metternich, then Councilor of Embassy in London, and the then Ambassador, Count Hatzfeld.

In the face of such a confession as Prince Lichnowsky's, it would be amusing, were it not so pitiful, to see the same British politicians who were so egregiously duped by Germany's "secret" diplomacy before the war still venting their chagrin in the House of Commons, not on their German "friends," by whom they were constantly fooled, and are apparently quite prepared to be fooled again tomorrow, but upon the British Foreign Office, whose timely appreciation of the German menace they invariably derided and whose endeavors to forearm the country against it they did their utmost to defeat.

Dr. Liebknecht's Indictment of Germany

A copy has been received of an open letter by Dr. Karl Liebknecht, the German Socialist, which proved an important factor in his imprisonment—which still continues. It bears date May 3, 1916, and was addressed to the Berlin District Court-Martial. The German authorities suppressed it, and made it a criminal offense for any one to be found in possession of it.

After stating his view of the war as a struggle of the masses against the classes throughout the world, Dr. Liebknecht wrote:

"The German Government is in its very social and political being an instrument for the exploitation and suppression of the laboring masses. It serves at home and abroad the interests of Junkerdom, capitalism, and militarism. It is the reckless representative of world political expansion, the strongest driver of competition in armaments, and therewith one of the weightiest exponents in the creation of the causes for the present war. It plotted this war in conjunction with the Austrian Government, and so burdened itself with the chief responsibility for its outbreak. It arranged this war while misleading the masses of the people and even the Reichstag.

"Compare, for instance, the keeping silent about the ultimatum to Belgium, the making up of the German White Book, the alteration of the Czar's telegram of July 29, 1914, &c. It seeks to maintain the war feeling in the nation by the most blameworthy means. It carries on the war by methods which, even regarded from the hitherto customary level, are monstrous. Such, for instance, are the invasion of Belgium and Luxemburg, poison gases, the Zeppelins, which are designed to destroy everything living, combatant or noncombatant, in a wide circle below them; the submarine trade war; the torpedoing of the Lusitania; the system of hostages and contributions, especially in the beginning, in Belgium; the systematic trapping of Ukrainian, Polish, Irish, Mohammedan, and other war prisoners in German prison camps for purposes of a traitorous war service and traitorous espionage in the interests of the Central Powers; the treaty of Under Secretary Zimmermann with Sir Roger Casement of December, 1914, as to the formation, equipment, and training of British soldiers from among the prisoners to form an Irish brigade in the German prison camps; the attempts to use civilian subjects of hostile States who were in Germany, by threatening them with forced internment, for war services of a treacherous character against their country; the dictum necessity knows no law, [xxx]&c.

"The German Government has tremendously increased the want of political rights and the exploitation of the masses of the people by the conditions it imposed under a state of siege. It refuses all serious political and social reforms, while by phrases about the supposed equality of all parties, about the supposed reform of political and social treatment, about the supposed 'neuorientierung,' &c., it tries to maintain its hold on the masses of the people for the purposes of its imperialistic war policy. Because of its regard for the agragrians and the capitalists it has entirely failed in the economic provisioning of the population during the war, and it has prepared the road for making usury out of the people and their very needs. Today still it holds fast to its war objects of conquest, and therewith forms the chief hindrance to immediate peace negotiations on the ground of no annexations and no force of any kind. By the maintenance of the illegal state of siege, censorship, and so on, it smothers public knowledge of uncomfortable facts and criticism of its methods.

"The present war is not a war for the defense of the national inviolability or for the liberty of small nations. From the standpoint of the proletariat it signifies only the most extreme concentration and increase of the political suppression, their economic draining, and militaristic slaughter of the life of the working classes for capitalistic and absolutist advantage. To this there is only one answer of the laboring classes of all countries, namely, a sharpened international class fight against the capitalistic Governments and dominating classes of all countries, for the removal of every form of suppression and exploitation, and for ending the war by a peace in the Socialistic sense. As a Socialist I am on principle an opponent of this war, as of the existing military system. The fight against militarism is a life question for the working classes. The war demands that the anti-militarism struggle shall be carried on with redoubled energy."

Why the German Strike Failed

The attempt of the German workingmen last Winter to force a genuine peace movement by means of a general strike was promptly suppressed by the Government, which proclaimed a state of siege and threatened to force the strikers into military service. The underlying causes of this failure were explained in an instructive article in the Arbeiter Zeitung, the leading Austrian labor organ, from which the following is taken:

The most important reason is undoubtedly the lack of unity among the German working classes. Even in Berlin the strike was not general; in many factories only part of the men went out, while the rest continued their work. In many cities, such as Munich, the workmen divided according to party; the Independent Socialists struck, members of the old party went on with their work. The most important industrial districts were only slightly affected. On the Rhine, in Westphalia, in Upper Silesia, even in Saxony, where lie the chief fortresses of independent socialism, only a small section struck. And even where they struck there was no kind of uniform action; in many towns, like Nürnberg, for instance, only a demonstrative strike of limited duration was decided upon, while elsewhere the intention was to hold out until the demands were obtained. In Berlin the pressmen struck, but not the compositors; one newspaper could appear, another not.

It was always the weakness of German Social Democracy that it had least influence on the very sections of the working class whose strike would involve the greatest economic danger. The railway men now take the first place in the movement in England, America, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and now in Russia, too; only in Germany have they always stood outside the ranks of the class-conscious workmen. Of the miners and iron founders, too, only part is Socialist; a very considerable part follows the Centre and the Polish Nationalists. These facts explain the weakness of the movement, and also the energy of the Prussian authorities. The German Government would have hesitated to take violent measures if it had had reason to fear that such measures would provoke an extension of the movement to the railways, mines, and[xxxi] foundries. The weakness of the movement is not a result of the energy of the authorities; on the contrary, only its weakness made that energy possible.

How is it, then, that the German working classes, after three and a half years of unheard-of sacrifice and deprivation, are not capable of carrying through a struggle for peace with the same unanimity and clearness of aim as in many former struggles? This is, at least, partially due to the unfortunate development of German Social Democracy during the war. It has united with the Centre and the Liberals in the Reichstag bloc. It has thus scored various successes—the inclusion of progressive parliamentarians in the Government; the Reichstag resolution in favor of peace by understanding; the Reform bill in the Prussian Parliament. But this policy, which made Social Democracy the ally of bourgeois parties and the support of the Government, was fiercely attacked by the Opposition, which finally constituted itself as a separate party. * * * The bloc policy and action of the masses are mutually exclusive policies; those who themselves belong in the Reichstag to the majority which supports the Government cannot create the atmosphere in which alone a united action of the masses is possible. Nor, indeed, was that the intention of the German Social Democratic majority; the mass-strike came without any act on its part and against its will. When the strike was there, the leaders (of the majority) none the less placed themselves at its head; but the masses, having been educated for three and a half years to trust the Government's intentions, were naturally not willing to make heavy sacrifices in a struggle against this very Government.

In other democratic lands such a situation can hardly arise. There the parliamentary majority decides the policy of the Government, and if the Socialists form part of that majority, they can effectively influence policy, and so there can be no idea of the working classes having to conduct a political mass-strike against this Government. In Germany it is different. Here the voting of the imperial budget and of the war credits is not much more than a theoretical confession of faith in the Fatherland; to belong to the Reichstag majority is not a guarantee of real political power. A few Generals, a few influential bank directors and big manufacturers can, under given circumstances, influence policy more effectually than the whole Reichstag majority. Thus, indeed, it can happen that the Government's policy seems very little influenced by socialism, though this latter supports the Government; that, consequently, a considerable part of the working classes decides upon a political strike against the Government which for three and a half years has enjoyed the support of the majority of working class Deputies in the Reichstag. And only thus can we explain the strange spectacle, inexplicable to any other country, that a Government in whose formation Social Democracy has had a share, and which at every division is supported by the Socialists, knows no other means of meeting a strike save by forbidding meetings, introducing a state of siege and militarizing! The bloc policy is dangerous everywhere; but these dangers are incomparably greater in the classic land of Government by authority (Obrigkeitsregierung) than in the democratic countries. The unedifying picture which German Social Democracy presents today is at bottom the result of German sham democracy, of the poverty and backwardness of German political life.

But, in spite of all, we hope that even the German strike will not have an unfavorable effect on future development. Many a struggle which had to end without tangible success has, later on, proved fruitful after all! So it will be this time. The German Government did not have to give the workmen any definite assurances; but it had learned that every extension of the war provokes the gravest social dangers; and if this time it still found it easy to dispose of the strike, because a large section of the working classes still trusts in it, all its force (Machtmittel) would avail it nothing, if the whole German working class once acquired the conviction that the Government is prolonging the war for the sake of Pan-German lust of conquest.


Last Fight of the Mary Rose

A British Naval Episode

The following story of how the little Mary Rose, a British destroyer, went down with colors flying, when, in October, 1917, she fought against overwhelming enemy forces, has been compiled from official sources:

The Mary Rose left a Norwegian port in charge of a westbound convoy of merchant ships in the afternoon of Oct. 16, 1917. At dawn on the 17th flashes of gunfire were sighted astern. The Captain of the Mary Rose, Lieut. Commander Charles Fox, who was on the bridge at the time, remarked that he supposed it was a submarine shelling the convoy, and promptly turned his ship to investigate. All hands were called to action stations. The Mary Rose had increased to full speed, and in a short time three light cruisers were sighted coming toward them at high speed out of the morning mist. The Mary Rose promptly challenged, and, receiving no reply, opened fire with every gun that would bear at a range of about four miles. The German light cruisers appeared to be nonplused by this determined single-handed onslaught, as they did not return the fire until the range had closed to three miles.

They then opened fire, and the Mary Rose held gallantly on through a barrage of bursting shell until only a mile separated her from the enemy. Up to this point the German marksmanship was poor, but as the British destroyer turned to bring her torpedo tubes to bear a salvo struck her, bursting in the engine room and leaving her disabled, a log on the water. All guns, with the exception of the after one, were out of action and their crews killed or wounded, but the after gun continued in action, under the direction of Sub-Lieutenant Marsh, R. N. V. R., as long as it would bear. The Captain came down from the wrecked bridge and passed aft, encouraging and cheering his defeated men. He stopped beside the wrecked remains of the midship gun and shouted to the survivors of its crew: "God bless my heart, lads, get her going again; we're not done yet!" The enemy was now pouring a concentrated fire into the motionless vessel. One of the boilers, struck by a shell, exploded, and through the inferno of escaping steam, smoke, and the vapor of bursting shell came that familiar, cheery voice: "We're not done yet."

As the German light cruisers sped past, two able seamen, (French and Bailey,) who alone had survived among the torpedo tubes' crews, on their own initiative laid and fired the remaining torpedo. French was killed immediately and Bailey badly wounded. Realizing that the enemy had passed ahead, and that the four-inch gun could no longer be brought to bear on them, the Captain went below and set about destroying his ciphers. The First Lieutenant, (Lieutenant Bavin,) seeing one of the light cruisers returning toward them, called the gunner (Mr. Handcock) and bade him sink the ship. The Captain then came on deck and gave the order "Abandon ship." All the boats had been shattered by shellfire at their davits, but the survivors launched a Carley raft and paddled clear of the ship. The German light cruiser detailed to administer the coup de grace then approached to within 300 yards and poured a succession of salvos into the already riddled hull.

The Mary Rose sank at 7:15 A. M. with colors flying. The Captain, First Lieutenant, and gunner were lost with the ship, but the handful of survivors, in charge of Sub-Lieutenant J. R. D. Freeman, on the Carley raft, fell in some hours later with a lifeboat belonging to one of the ships of the convoy. Sailing and rowing, they made the Norwegian coast some forty-eight hours later, and were tended with the utmost kindness by the Norwegian authorities.

Transcriber's Notes:

The images are small "thumbnails". Click on an image to see a large, high-resolution version.

Obvious errors of punctuation and diacritics repaired.

Hyphen removed: breech[-]blocks (p. 356).

Hyphen added: ocean[-]going (p. 346).


p. 200: "hyopthetical" changed to "hypothetical" (a hypothetical straight line of fifty miles).

p. 201: "Grivenes" changed to "Grivesnes" (two villages near Grivesnes, driving out the French).

p. 205: "Friedrichafen" changed to "Friedrichshafen" (airdrome at Friedrichshafen on April 15).

p. 207: "self-sacrifce" changed to "self-sacrifice" (self-sacrifice of our troops).

p. 227: "Mauvitz" changed to "Marvitz" (von Below, von der Marwitz, and von Hutier).

p. 229: "wringled" changed to "wrinkled" (of age, with her white, wrinkled face).

p. 233: "inititative" changed to "initiative" (on his own initiative).

p. 234: "Conmmander" changed to "Commander" (his appointment as Commander in Chief).

p. 242: "asumed" changed to "assumed" (he assumed command of the group).

p. 256: "Sugeon" changed to "Surgeon" (Surgeon General's office).

p. 263: "inportant" changed to "important" (delivered an important address).

p. 266: "reinforecements" changed to "reinforcements" (to hurry up reinforcements).

p. 273: "indepedent" changed to "independent" (a great self-conscious nation independent).

p. 279: "writen" changed to "written" (a book written since the beginning of the war).

p. 279: "goverment" changed to "government" (system of government).

p. 280: "determinined" changed to "determined" (we are determined).

p. 280: "consclusive" changed to "conclusive" (as clear and conclusive).

p. 291: "thown" changed to "thrown" (a line was thrown to a raft).

p. 307: "centrail" changed to "central" (the central railway station).

p. 315: Duplicate line removed: (In his own words, "Without prejudice to").

p. 316: "forseen" changed to "foreseen" (whose collapse could be foreseen).

p. 330: "worrried" changed to "worried" (worried the Governments).

p. 334: "carrrying" changed to "carrying" (carrying only four heavy guns each).

p. 346: "thee" changed to "three" (the construction of three new national shipyards).

p. 348: "114" changed to "1914" (Since 1914 the community).

p. 353: "essentual" changed to "essential" (to the last moment was essential).

p. 354: "threfore" changed to "therefore" (therefore, I decided to continue the operations).

p. 354: "Burlon" changed to "Bourlon" (on the outskirts of Bourlon Wood).

p. 354: "Fontaine-notre-Dane" changed to "Fontaine-notre-Dame" (to include the recapture of Fontaine-notre-Dame).

p. 354: "know" changed to "known" (known as Tadpole Copse).

p. i: "Her" changed to "Herr" (Herr von Bethmann Hollweg).

p. v: Lines rearranged in the last paragraph of the section "BACKED WRONG HORSES".

p. vii: "by" changed to "my" (begun before my arrival).

p. viii: "or" changed to "of" (the valuable islands of San Thomé and Principe).

p. x: "burder" changed to "burden" (lighten the burden of armament).

p. xi: "Eir" changed to "Sir" (Sir Edward Grey's).

p. xiii: The brackets and question mark are in the original: "when we [moved?] against France".

p. xv: "protocal" changed to "protocol" (in the Austrian protocol).

p. xvi: "me" changed to "we" (would we mix ourselves up).

p. xxv: "Her" changed to "Herr" (Herr von Payer).

p. xxv: "nwspapers" changed to "newspapers" (a few Liberal newspapers).

p. xxvii: "anrachist" changed to "anarchist" (If a Social Democrat or an anarchist).

p. xxx: "oconomic" changed to "economic" (in the economic provisioning).