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Title: World's War Events, Vol. II
Author: Reynolds, Francis J. (Francis Joseph), 1867-1937 [Editor], Churchill, Allen L. (Allen Leon), 1873- [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "World's War Events, Vol. II" ***

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APRIL 2, 1917]








        NEW YORK

Copyright 1919 BY P. F. COLLIER & SON COMPANY



        THE CLOSE OF


    ARTICLE                                                          PAGE

      I. THE BATTLE OF VERDUN                                          7
            _Raoul Blanchard_

     II. THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND BANK                                   30
            _Admiral Sir John Jellicoe's Official Despatch_

    III. TAKING THE COL DI LANA                                       55
            _Lewis R. Freeman_

     IV. THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME                                      67
            _Sir Douglas Haig_

      V. RUSSIA'S REFUGEES                                           114
            _Gregory Mason_

     VI. THE TRAGEDY OF RUMANIA                                      124
            _Stanley Washburn_

    VII. SIXTEEN MONTHS A WAR PRISONER                               142
            _Private "Jack" Evans_

            _J. P. Whitaker_

     IX. THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN IN TURKEY                        174
            _James B. MacDonald_

      X. KITCHENER                                                   188
            _Lady St. Helier_

     XI. WHY AMERICA BROKE WITH GERMANY                              194
            _President Woodrow Wilson_

    XII. HOW THE WAR CAME TO AMERICA                                 205
            _Official Account_

   XIII. THE WAR MESSAGE                                             226
            _President Woodrow Wilson_

    XIV. BRITISH OPERATIONS AT SALONIKI                              244
            _Official Report of General Milne_

     XV. IN PETROGRAD DURING THE SEVEN DAYS                          253
            _Arno Dosch-Fleurot_

    XVI. AMERICA'S FIRST SHOT                                        271
            _J.R. Keen_

            _House Committee on Foreign Affairs_

  XVIII. PREPARING FOR WAR                                           298
            _Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War_

    XIX. THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM                                    344
            _General E. H. H. Allenby_

     XX. AMERICAN SHIPS AND GERMAN SUBMARINES                        369
            _From Official Reports_



Copyright, Atlantic Monthly, June, 1917.

[Sidenote: Greatest drama of the war.]

The Battle of Verdun, which continued through from February 21, 1916, to
the 16th of December, ranks next to the Battle of the Marne as the
greatest drama of the world war. Like the Marne, it represents the
checkmate of a supreme effort on the part of the Germans to end the war
swiftly by a thunderstroke. It surpasses the Battle of the Marne by the
length of the struggle, the fury with which it was carried on, the huge
scale of the operations. No complete analysis of it, however, has yet
been published--only fragmentary accounts, dealing with the beginning or
with mere episodes. Neither in France nor in Germany, up to the present
moment, has the whole story of the battle been told, describing its
vicissitudes, and following step by step the development of the stirring
drama. That is the task I have set myself here.

[Sidenote: German successes in France.]

[Sidenote: Preparations for a great offensive.]

The year 1915 was rich in successes for the Germans. In the West, thanks
to an energetic defensive, they had held firm against the Allies'
onslaughts in Artois and in Champagne. Their offensive in the East was
most fruitful. Galicia had been almost completely recovered, the kingdom
of Poland occupied, Courland, Lithuania, and Volhynia invaded. To the
South they had crushed Serbia's opposition, saved Turkey, and won over
Bulgaria. These triumphs, however, had not brought them peace, for the
heart and soul of the Allies lay, after all, in the West--in England and
France. The submarine campaign was counted on to keep England's hands
tied; it remained, therefore, to attack and annihilate the French army.
And so, in the autumn of 1915, preparations were begun on a huge scale
for delivering a terrible blow in the West and dealing France the _coup
de grâce_.

The determination with which the Germans followed out this plan and the
reckless way in which they drew on their resources leave no doubt as to
the importance the operation held for them. They staked everything on
putting their adversaries out of the running by breaking through their
lines, marching on Paris, and shattering the confidence of the French
people. This much they themselves admitted. The German press, at the
beginning of the battle, treated it as a matter of secondary import,
whose object was to open up free communications between Metz and the
troops in the Argonne; but the proportions of the combat soon gave the
lie to such modest estimates, and in the excitement of the first days
official utterances betrayed how great were the expectations.

[Sidenote: Troops urged to take Verdun.]

[Sidenote: Objects of the campaign.]

On March 4 the Crown Prince urged his already over-taxed troops to make
one supreme effort to "capture Verdun, the heart of France"; and General
von Deimling announced to the 15th Army Corps that this would be the
last battle of the war. At Berlin, travelers from neutral countries
leaving for Paris by way of Switzerland were told that the Germans would
get there first. The Kaiser himself, replying toward the end of February
to the good wishes of his faithful province of Brandenburg,
congratulated himself publicly on seeing his warriors of the 3d Army
Corps about to carry "the most important stronghold of our principal
enemy." It is plain, then, that the object was to take Verdun, win a
decisive victory, and start a tremendous onslaught which would bring
the war to a triumphant close.

We should next examine the reasons prompting the Germans to select
Verdun as the vital point, the nature of the scene of operations, and
the manner in which the preparation was made.

[Sidenote: Strategic advantages to be gained.]

[Sidenote: Verdun railways dominated by Germans.]

Why did the Germans make their drive at Verdun, a powerful fortress
defended by a complete system of detached outworks? Several reasons may
be found for this. First of all, there were the strategic advantages of
the operation. Ever since the Battle of the Marne and the German
offensive against St. Mihiel, Verdun had formed a salient in the French
front which was surrounded by the Germans on three sides,--northwest,
east, and south,--and was consequently in greater peril than the rest of
the French lines. Besides, Verdun was not far distant from Metz, the
great German arsenal, the fountain-head for arms, food, and munitions.
For the same reasons, the French defense of Verdun was made much harder
because access to the city was commanded by the enemy. Of the two main
railroads linking Verdun with France, the Lérouville line was cut off by
the enemy at St. Mihiel; the second (leading through Châlons) was under
ceaseless fire from the German artillery. There remained only a
narrow-gauge road connecting Verdun and Bar-le-Duc. The fortress, then,
was almost isolated.

[Sidenote: Iron mines of Lorraine.]

[Sidenote: Extent of Lotharingia.]

For another reason, Verdun was too near, for the comfort of the Germans,
to those immense deposits of iron ore in Lorraine which they have every
intention of retaining after the war. The moral factor involved in the
fall of Verdun was also immense. If the stronghold were captured, the
French, who look on it as their chief bulwark in the East, would be
greatly disheartened, whereas it would delight the souls of the
Germans, who had been counting on its seizure since the beginning of the
war. They have not forgotten that the ancient Lotharingia, created by a
treaty signed eleven centuries ago at Verdun, extended as far as the
Meuse. Finally, it is probable that the German General Staff intended to
profit by a certain slackness on the part of the French, who, placing
too much confidence in the strength of the position and the favorable
nature of the surrounding countryside, had made little effort to augment
their defensive value.

[Sidenote: Serious obstacles to an offensive.]

This value, as a matter of fact, was great. The theatre of operations at
Verdun offers far fewer inducements to an offensive than the plains of
Artois, Picardy, or Champagne. The rolling ground, the vegetation, the
distribution of the population, all present serious obstacles.

[Sidenote: The plateaus of the Meuse.]

[Sidenote: Hills and ravines.]

The relief-map of the region about Verdun shows the sharply marked
division of two plateaus situated on either side of the river Meuse. The
plateau which rises on the left bank, toward the Argonne, falls away on
the side toward the Meuse in a deeply indented line of high but gently
sloping bluffs, which include the Butte de Montfaucon, Hill 304, and the
heights of Esnes and Montzéville. Fragments of this plateau, separated
from the main mass by the action of watercourses, are scattered in long
ridges over the space included between the line of bluffs and the Meuse:
the two hills of Le Mont Homme (295 metres), the Côte de l'Oie, and,
farther to the South, the ridge of Bois Bourrus and Marre. To the east
of the river, the country is still more rugged. The plateau on this bank
rises abruptly, and terminates at the plain of the Woëvre in the cliffs
of the Côtes-de-Meuse, which tower 100 metres over the plain. The brooks
which flow down to the Woëvre or to the Meuse have worn the cliffs and
the plateau into a great number of hillocks called _côtes_: the Côte du
Talon, Côte du Poivre, Côte de Froideterre, and the rest. The ravines
separating these _côtes_ are deep and long: those of Vaux, Haudromont,
and Fleury cut into the very heart of the plateau, leaving between them
merely narrow ridges of land, easily to be defended.

[Sidenote: Stretches of forest.]

[Sidenote: Villages well placed for defense.]

These natural defenses of the country are strengthened by the nature of
the vegetation. On the rather sterile calcareous soil of the two
plateaus the woods are thick and numerous. To the west, the approaches
of Hill 304 are covered by the forest of Avocourt. On the east, long
wooded stretches--the woods of Haumont, Caures, Wavrille, Herbebois, la
Vauche, Haudromont, Hardaumont, la Caillette, and others--cover the
narrow ridges of land and dominate the upper slopes of the ravines. The
villages, often perched on the highest points of land, as their names
ending in _mont_ indicate, are easily transformed into small fortresses;
such are Haumont, Beaumont, Louvemont, Douaumont. Others follow the
watercourses, making it easier to defend them--Malancourt, Béthincourt
and Cumières, to the west of the Meuse; Vaux to the east.

These hills, then, as well as the ravines, the woods, and the favorably
placed villages, all facilitated the defense of the countryside. On the
other hand, the assailants had one great advantage: the French positions
were cut in two by the valley of the Meuse, one kilometre wide and quite
deep, which, owing to swampy bottom-lands, could not be crossed except
by the bridges of Verdun. The French troops on the right bank had
therefore to fight with a river at their backs, thus imperiling their
retreat. A grave danger, this, in the face of an enemy determined to
take full advantage of the circumstance by attacking with undreamed-of

[Sidenote: Troops selected in October.]

The German preparation was, from the start, formidable and painstaking.
It was probably under way by the end of October, 1915, for at that time
the troops selected to deliver the first crushing attack were withdrawn
from the front and sent into training. Four months were thus set aside
for this purpose. To make the decisive attack, the Germans made
selection from four of their crack army corps, the 18th active, the 7th
reserve, the 15th active (the Mühlhausen corps), and the 3d active,
composed of Brandenburgers.

[Sidenote: Artillery and munitions made ready.]

These troops were sent to the interior to undergo special preparation.
In addition to these 80,000 or 100,000 men, who were appointed to bear
the brunt of the assault, the operation was to be supported by the Crown
Prince's army on the right and by that of General von Strautz on the
left--300,000 men more. Immense masses of artillery were gathered
together to blast open the way; fourteen lines of railroad brought
together from every direction the streams of arms and munitions. Heavy
artillery was transported from the Russian and Serbian fronts. No light
pieces were used in this operation--in the beginning, at any rate; only
guns of large calibre, exceeding 200 millimetres, many of 370 and 420

[Sidenote: Reliance on heavy artillery.]

The battle plans were based on the offensive power of the heavy
artillery. The new formula was to run, "The artillery attacks, the
infantry takes possession." In other words, a terrible bombardment was
to play over every square yard of the terrain to be captured; when it
was decided that the pulverization had been sufficient, a scouting-party
of infantry would be sent out to look the situation over; behind them
would come the pioneers, and then the first wave of the assault. In case
the enemy still resisted, the infantry would retire and leave the field
once more to the artillery.

[Sidenote: The point selected for attack.]

The point chosen for the attack was the plateau on the right bank of the
Meuse. The Germans would thus avoid the obstacle of the cliffs of Côtes
de Meuse, and, by seizing the ridges and passing around the ravines,
they could drive down on Douaumont, which dominates the entire region,
and from there fall on Verdun and capture the bridges. At the same time,
the German right wing would assault the French positions on the left
bank of the Meuse; the left wing would complete the encircling movement,
and the entire French army of Verdun, driven back to the river and
attacked from the rear, would be captured or destroyed.

[Sidenote: A ten months' battle.]

[Sidenote: The formidable German attack.]

[Sidenote: Periods of fixation.]

The Battle of Verdun lasted no less than ten months--from February 21 to
December 16. First of all, came the formidable _German attack_, with its
harvest of success during the first few days of the frontal drive, which
was soon checked and forced to wear itself out in fruitless flank
attacks, kept up until April 9. After this date the German programme
became more modest: they merely wished to hold at Verdun sufficient
French troops to forestall an offensive at some other point. This was
the _period of German "fixation,"_ lasting from April to the middle of
July. It then became the object of the French to hold the German forces
and prevent transfer to the Somme. _French "fixation,"_ ended in the
successes of October and December.

[Sidenote: Lack of foresight on the part of French.]

The first German onslaught was the most intense and critical moment of
the battle. The violent frontal attack on the plateau east of the Meuse,
magnificently executed, at first carried all before it. The commanders
at Verdun had shown a lack of foresight. There were too few trenches,
too few cannon, too few troops. The soldiers had had too little
experience in the field, and it was their task to face the most
terrific attack ever known.

[Sidenote: The battle begins.]

[Sidenote: French left driven backwards.]

On the morning of February 21 the German artillery opened up a fire of
infernal intensity. This artillery had been brought up in undreamed-of
quantities. French aviators who flew over the enemy positions located so
many batteries that they gave up marking them on their maps; the number
was too great. The forest of Grémilly, northeast of the point of attack,
was just a great cloud shot through with lightning-flashes. A deluge of
shells fell on the French positions, annihilating the first line,
attacking the batteries and finding their mark as far back as the city
of Verdun. At five o'clock in the afternoon the first waves of infantry
assaulted and carried the advanced French positions in the woods of
Haumont and Caures. On the 22d the French left was driven back about
four kilometres.

[Sidenote: Fall of Herbebois.]

The following day a terrible engagement took place along the entire line
of attack, resulting toward evening in the retreat of both French wings;
on the left Samognieux was taken by the Germans; on the right they
occupied the strong position of Herbebois.

[Sidenote: Germans enter Douaumont.]

The situation developed rapidly on the 24th. The Germans enveloped the
French centre, which formed a salient; at two in the afternoon they
captured the important central position of Beaumont, and by nightfall
had reached Louvemont and La Vauche forest, gathering in many prisoners.
On the morning of the 25th the enemy stormed Bezonvaux, and entered the
fort of Douaumont, already evacuated.


[Sidenote: Germans advance eight kilometres.]

[Sidenote: General de Castelnau and General Pétain.]

[Sidenote: Hand-to-hand fighting.]

In less than five days the assaulting troops sent forward over the
plateau had penetrated the French positions to a depth of eight
kilometres, and were masters of the most important elements of the
defense of the fortress. Verdun and its bridges were only seven
kilometres distant. The commander of the fortified region himself
proposed to evacuate the whole right bank of the Meuse; the troops
established in the Woëvre were already falling back toward the bluffs of
Côtes de Meuse. Most luckily, on this same day there arrived at Verdun
some men of resource, together with substantial reinforcements. General
de Castelnau, Chief of the General Staff, ordered the troops on the
right bank to hold out at all costs. And on the evening of the 25th
General Pétain took over the command of the entire sector. The Zouaves,
on the left bank, were standing firm as rocks on the Côtes du Poivre,
which cuts off access from the valley to Verdun. During this time the
Germans, pouring forward from Douaumont, had already reached the Côte de
Froideterre, and the French artillerymen, out-flanked, poured their fire
into the gray masses as though with rifles. It was at this moment that
the 39th division of the famous 20th French Army Corps of Nancy met the
enemy in the open, and, after furious hand-to-hand fighting, broke the
backbone of the attack.

[Sidenote: The German frontal drive checked.]

That was the end of it. The German tidal wave could go no farther. There
were fierce struggles for several days longer, but all in vain. Starting
on the 26th, five French counter-attacks drove back the enemy to a point
just north of the fort of Douaumont, and recaptured the village of the
same name. For three days the German attacking forces tried
unsuccessfully to force these positions; their losses were terrible, and
already they had to call in a division of reinforcements. After two days
of quiet the contest began again at Douaumont, which was attacked by an
entire army corps; the 4th of March found the village again in German
hands. The impetus of the great blow had been broken, however, after
five days of success, the attack had fallen flat.

[Sidenote: German flank attacks.]

Were the Germans then to renounce Verdun? After such vast preparations,
after such great losses, after having roused such high hopes, this
seemed impossible to the leaders of the German army. The frontal drive
was to have been followed up by the attack of the wings, and it was now
planned to carrying this out with the assistance of the Crown Prince's
army, which was still intact. In this way the scheme so judiciously
arranged would be accomplished in the appointed manner. Instead of
adding the finishing touch to the victory, however, these wings now had
the task of winning it completely--and the difference is no small one.

[Sidenote: Genius of Pétain and Nivelle.]

These flank attacks were delivered for over a month (March 6-April 9) on
both sides of the river simultaneously, with an intensity and power
which recalled the first days of the battle. But the French were now on
their guard. They had received great reinforcements of artillery, and
the nimble "75's," thanks to their speed and accuracy, barred off the
positions under attack by a terrible curtain of fire. Moreover, their
infantry contrived to pass through the enemy's barrage-fire, wait calmly
until the assaulting infantry were within 30 metres of them, and then
let loose the rapid-fire guns. They were also commanded by energetic and
brilliant chiefs: General Pétain, who offset the insufficient railroad
communications with the rear by putting in motion a great stream of more
than 40,000 motor trucks, all traveling on strict schedule time; and
General Nivelle, who directed operations on the right bank of the river,
before taking command of the Army of Verdun. The German successes of the
first days were not duplicated.

[Sidenote: On the left of the Meuse.]

[Sidenote: Le Mort Homme.]

[Sidenote: Hill 304.]

These new attacks began on the left of the Meuse. The Germans tried to
turn the first line of the French defense by working down along the
river, and then capture the second line. On March 6 two divisions
stormed the villages of Forges and Regnéville, and attacked the woods of
Corbeaux on the Côte de l'Oie, which they captured on the 10th. After
several days of preparation, they fell suddenly upon one of the
important elements of the second line, the hill of Le Mort Homme, but
failed to carry it (March 14-16). Repulsed on the right, they tried the
left. On March 20 a body of picked troops just back from the Russian
front--the 11th Bavarian Division--stormed the French positions in the
wood of Avocourt and moved on to Hill 304, where they obtained foothold
for a short time before being driven back with losses of from 50 to 60
per cent of their effectives.

[Sidenote: Crown Prince brings up reserves.]

[Sidenote: Village and fort of Vaux.]

At the same time the Germans were furiously assaulting the positions of
the French right wing east of the Meuse. From the 8th to the 10th of
March the Crown Prince brought forward again the troops which had
survived the ordeal of the first days, and added to them the fresh
forces of the 5th Reserve Corps. The action developed along the Côte du
Poivre, especially east of Douaumont, where it was directed against the
village and fort of Vaux. The results were negative, except for a slight
gain in the woods of Hardaumont. The 3d Corps had lost 22,000 men since
the 21st of February--that is, almost its entire original strength. The
5th Corps was simply massacred on the slopes of Vaux, without being able
to reach the fort. New attempts against this position, on March 16 and
18, were no more fruitful. The battle of the right wing, then, was also

[Sidenote: Fighting on both sides the Meuse.]

The Germans hung on grimly. One last effort remained to be made. After a
lull of six days (March 22-28) savage fighting started again on both
sides of the river. On the right bank, from March 31 to April 2, the
Germans got a foothold in the ravine of Vaux and along its slopes; but
the French dislodged them the next day, inflicting great damage, and
drove them back to Douaumont.

[Sidenote: Avocourt retaken.]

[Sidenote: Le Mort Homme like a volcano.]

Their greatest effort was made on the left bank. Here the French took
back the woods of Avocourt; from March 30 to the 8th of April, however,
the Germans succeeded in breaking into their adversaries' first line,
and on April 9, a sunny Sabbath-day, they delivered an attack against
the entire second line, along a front of 11 kilometres, from Avocourt to
the Meuse. There was terrific fighting, the heaviest that had taken
place since February 26, and a worthy sequel to the original frontal
attack. The artillery preparation was long and searching. The hill of Le
Mort Homme, said an eye-witness, smoked like a volcano with innumerable
craters. The assault was launched at noon, with five divisions, and in
two hours it had been shattered. New attacks followed, but less orderly,
less numerous, and more listless, until sundown. The checkmate was
complete. "The 9th of April," said General Pétain to his troops, "is a
day full of glory for your arms. The fierce assaults of the Crown
Prince's soldiers have everywhere been thrown back. Infantry, artillery,
sappers, and aviators of the Second Army have vied with one another in
heroism. Courage, men: _on les aura_!"

[Sidenote: German plans ruined.]

And, indeed, this great attack of April 9, was the last general effort
made by the German troops to carry out the programme of February--to
capture Verdun and wipe out the French army which defended it. They had
to give in. The French were on their guard now; they had artillery,
munitions, and men. The defenders began to act as vigorously as the
attackers; they took the offensive, recaptured the woods of La
Caillette, and occupied the trenches before Le Mort Homme. The German
plans were ruined. Some other scheme had to be thought out.

[Sidenote: Verdun to be kept a battlefield.]

[Sidenote: A battle of attrition.]

Instead of employing only eight divisions of excellent troops, as
originally planned, the Germans had little by little cast into the fiery
furnace thirty divisions. This enormous sacrifice could not be allowed
to count for nothing. The German High Command therefore decided to
assign a less pretentious object to the abortive enterprise. The Crown
Prince's offensive had fallen flat; but, at all events, it might succeed
in preventing a French offensive. For this reason it was necessary that
Verdun should remain a sore spot, a continually menaced sector, where
the French would be obliged to send a steady stream of men, material,
and munitions. It was hinted then in all the German papers that the
struggle at Verdun was a battle of attrition, which would wear down the
strength of the French by slow degrees. There was no talk now of
thunderstrokes; it was all "the siege of Verdun." This time they
expressed the true purpose of the German General Staff; the struggle
which followed the fight of April 9, now took the character of a battle
of fixation, in which the Germans tried to hold their adversaries'
strongest units at Verdun and prevent their being transferred elsewhere.
This state of affairs lasted from mid-April to well into July, when the
progress of the Somme offensive showed the Germans that their efforts
had been unavailing.

[Sidenote: Germans still formidable.]

It is true that during this new phase of the battle the offensive vigor
of the Germans and their procedure in attacking were still formidable.

Their artillery continued to perform prodigies. The medium-calibre
pieces had now come into action, particularly the 150 mm. guns, with
their amazing mobility of fire, which shelled the French first line, as
well as their communications and batteries, with lightning speed. This
storm of artillery continued night and day; it was the relentless,
crushing continuity of the fire which exhausted the adversary and made
the Battle of Verdun a hell on earth. There was one important
difference, however: the infantry attacks now took place over restricted
areas, which were rarely more than two kilometres in extent. The
struggle was continual, but disconnected. Besides, it was rarely in
progress on both sides of the river at once. Until the end of May the
Germans did their worst on the left; then the French activities brought
them back to the right side, and there they attacked with fury until

[Sidenote: A period of recuperation.]

The end of April was a period of recuperation for the Germans. They were
still suffering from the confusion caused by their set-backs of March,
and especially of April 9. Only two attempts at an offensive were
made--one on the Côte du Poivre (April 18) and one on the front south of
Douaumont. Both were repulsed with great losses. The French, in turn,
attacked on the 15th of April near Douaumont, on the 28th north of Le
Mort Homme. It was not until May that the new German tactics were
revealed: vigorous, but partial, attacks, directed now against one
point, now against another.

[Sidenote: Artillery directed against Hill 304.]

[Sidenote: Cumières and Le Mort Homme.]

On May 4 there began a terrible artillery preparation, directed against
Hill 304. This was followed by attacks of infantry, which surged up the
shell-blasted slopes, first to the northwest, then north, and finally
northeast. The attack of the 7th was made by three divisions of fresh
troops which had not previously been in action before Verdun. No gains
were secured. Every foot of ground taken in the first rush was
recaptured by French counter-attacks. During the night of the 18th a
savage onslaught was made against the woods of Avocourt, without the
least success. On the 20th and 21st, three divisions were hurled against
Le Mort Homme, which they finally took; but they could go no farther.
The 23d and 24th were terrible days. The Germans stormed the village of
Cumières; their advance guard penetrated as far as Chattancourt. On the
26th, however, the French were again in possession of Cumières and the
slopes of Le Mort Homme; and if the Germans, by means of violent
counter-attacks, were able to get a fresh foothold in the ruins of
Cumières, they made no attempt to progress farther. The battles of the
left river-bank were now over; on this side of the Meuse there were to
be only unimportant local engagements and the usual artillery fire.

[Sidenote: Battles on right of Meuse.]

[Sidenote: Mangin's division attacks.]

This shift of the German offensive activity from the left side of the
Meuse to the right is explained by the activity shown at the same time
in this sector by the French. The French command was not deceived by the
German tactics; they intended to husband their strength for the future
Somme offensive. For them Verdun was a sacrificial sector to which they
sent, from now on, few men, scant munitions, and only artillery of the
older type. Their object was only to hold firm, at all costs. However,
the generals in charge of this thankless task, Pétain and Nivelle,
decided that the best defensive plan consisted in attacking the enemy.
To carry this out, they selected a soldier bronzed on the battlefields
of Central Africa, the Soudan, and Morocco, General Mangin, who
commanded the 5th Division and had already played a distinguished part
in the struggle for Vaux, in March. On May 21 Mangin's division attacked
on the right bank of the Meuse and occupied the quarries of Haudromont;
on the 22d it stormed the German lines for a length of two kilometres,
and took the fort of Douaumont with the exception of one salient.

The Germans replied to this with the greatest energy; for two days and
nights the battle raged round the ruins of the fort. Finally, on the
night of the 24th, two new Bavarian divisions succeeded in getting a
footing in this position, to which the immediate approaches were held by
the French. This vigorous effort alarmed the enemy, and from now on,
until the middle of July, all their strength was focused on the right
bank of the river.

[Sidenote: The bloodiest chapter of the battle.]

[Sidenote: Intense barrage-fire.]

This contest of the right bank began on May 31. It is, perhaps the
bloodiest, the most terrible, chapter of all the operations before
Verdun; for the Germans had determined to capture methodically, one by
one, all the French positions, and get to the city. The first stake of
this game was the possession of the fort of Vaux. Access to it was cut
off from the French by a barrage-fire of unprecedented intensity; at the
same time an assault was made against the trenches flanking the fort,
and also against the defenses of the Fumin woods. On June 4 the enemy
reached the superstructure of the fort and took possession, showering
down hand-grenades and asphyxiating gas on the garrison, which was shut
up in the casemates. After a heroic resistance the defenders succumbed
to thirst and surrendered on June 7.

[Sidenote: Thiaumont changes hands repeatedly.]

Now that Vaux was captured, the German activity was directed against the
ruins of the small fort of Thiaumont, which blocks the way to the Côte
de Froideterre, and against the village of Fleury, dominating the mouth
of a ravine leading to the Meuse. From June 8 to 20, terrible fighting
won for the Germans the possession of Thiaumont; on the 23d, six
divisions, representing a total of at least 70,000 men, were hurled
against Fleury, which they held from the 23d to the 26th. The French,
undaunted, returned to the charge. On August 30 they reoccupied
Thiaumont, lost it at half-past three of the same day, recaptured it at
half-past four, and were again driven out two days later. However, they
remained close to the redoubt and the village.

[Sidenote: Battles in July.]

The Germans then turned south, against the fortifications which
dominated the ridges and ravines. There, on a hillock, stands the fort
of Souville, at approximately the same elevation as Douaumont. On July
3, they captured the battery of Damloup, to the east; on the 12th, after
insignificant fighting, they sent forward a huge mass of troops which
got as far as the fort and battery of L'Hôpital. A counterattack drove
them away again, but they dug themselves in about 800 metres away.

[Sidenote: Germans cannot win Verdun.]

After all, what had they accomplished? For twelve days they had been
confronted with the uselessness of these bloody sacrifices. Verdun was
out of reach; the offensive of the Somme was under way, and the French
stood before the gates of Péronne. Decidedly, the Battle of Verdun was
lost. Neither the onslaught of the first period nor the battles of
fixation had brought about the desired end. It now became impossible to
squander on this field of death the munitions and troops which the
German army needed desperately at Péronne and Bapaume. The leaders of
the German General Staff accepted the situation. Verdun held no further
interest for them.

[Sidenote: French take the initiative.]

[Sidenote: General Nivelle's blows.]

Verdun, however, continued to be of great interest to the French. In the
first place, they could not endure seeing the enemy intrenched five
kilometres away from the coveted city. Moreover, it was most important
for them to prevent the Germans from weakening the Verdun front and
transferring their men and guns to the Somme. The French troops,
therefore, were to take the initiative out of the hands of the Germans
and inaugurate, in their turn, a battle of fixation. This new situation
presented two phases: in July and August the French were satisfied to
worry the enemy with small forces and to oblige them to fight; in
October and December General Nivelle, well supplied with troops and
material, was able to strike two vigorous blows which took back from the
Germans the larger part of all the territory they had won since February

From July 15 to September 15, furious fighting was in progress on the
slopes of the plateau stretching from Thiaumont to Damloup. This time,
however, it was the French who attacked savagely, who captured ground,
and who took prisoners. So impetuous were they that their adversaries,
who asked for nothing but quiet, were obliged to be constantly on their
guard and deliver costly counter-attacks.

[Sidenote: Contest again around Thiaumont.]

[Sidenote: French colonials take Fleury.]

The contest raged most bitterly over the ruins of Thiaumont and Fleury.
On the 15th of July the Zouaves broke into the southern part of the
village, only to be driven out again. However, on the 19th and 20th the
French freed Souville, and drew near to Fleury; from the 20th to the
26th they forged ahead step by step, taking 800 prisoners. A general
attack, delivered on August 3, carried the fort of Thiaumont and the
village of Fleury, with 1500 prisoners. The Germans reacted violently;
the 4th of August they reoccupied Fleury, a part of which was taken back
by the French that same evening. From the 5th to the 9th the struggle
went on ceaselessly, night and day, in the ruins of the village. During
this time the adversaries took and retook Thiaumont, which the Germans
held after the 8th. But on the 10th the Colonial regiment from Morocco
reached Fleury, carefully prepared the assault, delivered it on the
17th, and captured the northern and southern portions of the village,
encircling the central part, which they occupied on the 18th. From this
day Fleury remained in French hands. The German counter-assaults of the
18th, 19th, and 20th of August were fruitless; the Moroccan Colonials
held their conquest firmly.

[Sidenote: The French advance.]

On the 24th the French began to advance east of Fleury, in spite of
incessant attacks which grew more intense on the 28th. Three hundred
prisoners were taken between Fleury and Thiaumont on September 3, and
300 more fell into their hands in the woods of Vaux-Chapître. On the 9th
they took 300 more before Fleury.

[Sidenote: French programme carried out.]

It may be seen that the French troops had thoroughly carried out the
programme assigned to them of attacking the enemy relentlessly, obliging
him to counter-attack, and _holding_ him at Verdun. But the High Command
was to surpass itself. By means of sharp attacks, it proposed to carry
the strong positions which the Germans had dearly bought, from February
to July, at the price of five months of terrible effort. This new plan
was destined to be accomplished on October 24 and December 15.

[Sidenote: Four hundred millimeter guns.]

[Sidenote: Excellent troops.]

Verdun was no longer looked on by the French as a "sacrificial sector."
To this attack of October 24, destined to establish once for all the
superiority of the soldier of France, it was determined to consecrate
all the time and all the energy that were found necessary. A force of
artillery which General Nivelle himself declared to be of exceptional
strength was brought into position--no old-fashioned ordnance this time,
but magnificent new pieces, among them long-range guns of 400
millimetres calibre. The Germans had fifteen divisions on the Verdun
front, but the French command judged it sufficient to make the attack
with three divisions, which advanced along a front of seven kilometres.
These, however, were made up of excellent troops, withdrawn from
service in the first lines and trained for several weeks, who knew every
inch of the ground. General Mangin was their commander.

[Sidenote: French offensive in October.]

[Sidenote: Germans evacuate Ft. Vaux.]

The French artillery opened fire on October 21, by hammering away at the
enemy's positions. A feint attack forced the Germans to reveal the
location of their batteries, more than 130 of which were discovered and
silenced. At 11.40 a.m., October 24, the assault started in the fog. The
troops advanced on the run, preceded by a barrage-fire. On the left, the
objective points were reached at 2.45 p.m., and the village of Douaumont
captured. The fort was stormed at 3 o'clock by the Moroccan Colonials,
and the few Germans who held out there surrendered when night came on.
On the right, the woods surrounding Vaux were rushed with lightning
speed. The battery of Damloup was taken by assault. Vaux alone resisted.
In order to reduce it, the artillery preparation was renewed from
October 28 to November 2, and the Germans evacuated the fort without
fighting on the morning of the 2d. As they retreated, the French
occupied the villages of Vaux and Damloup, at the foot of the _côtes_.

Thus the attack on Douaumont and Vaux resulted in a real victory,
attested to by the reoccupation of all the ground lost since the 25th of
February, the capture of 15 cannon and more than 6000 prisoners. This,
too, despite the orders found on German prisoners bidding them to "hold
out at all cost" (25th Division), and to "make a desperate defense" (von
Lochow). The French command, encouraged by this success, decided to do
still better and to push on farther to the northeast.

[Sidenote: Operations in December.]

[Sidenote: Roads and railways constructed.]

The operations of December 15 were more difficult. They were directed
against a zone occupied by the enemy for more than nine months, during
which time he had constructed a great network of communication trenches,
field-railways, dug-outs built into the hillsides, forts, and redoubts.
Moreover, the French attacks had to start from unfavorable ground, where
ceaseless fighting had been in progress since the end of February, where
the soil, pounded by millions of projectiles, had been reduced to a sort
of volcanic ash, transformed by the rain into a mass of sticky mud in
which men had been swallowed up bodily. Two whole divisions were needed
to construct twenty-five kilometres of roads and ten kilometres of
railway, make dug-outs and trenches, and bring the artillery up into
position. All was ready in five weeks; but the Germans, finding out what
was in preparation, had provided formidable means of defense.

[Sidenote: Battle of Verdun ends in victory for the French.]

The front to be attacked was held by five German divisions. Four others
were held in reserve at the rear. On the French side, General Mangin had
four divisions, three of which were composed of picked men, veterans of
Verdun. The artillery preparation, made chiefly by pieces of 220, 274,
and 370 mm., lasted for three full days. The assault was let loose on
December 15, at 10 a.m.; on the left the French objectives were reached
by noon; the whole spur of Hardaumont on the right was swiftly captured,
and only a part of the German centre still resisted, east of Bezonvaux.
This was reduced the next day. The Côte du Poivre was taken entire;
Vacherauville, Louvemont, Bezonvaux as well. The front was now three
kilometres from the fort of Douaumont. Over 11,000 prisoners were taken
by the French, and 115 cannon. For a whole day their reconnoitring
parties were able to advance in front of the new lines, destroying
batteries and bringing in prisoners, without encountering any serious

The success was undeniable. As a reply to the German peace proposals of
December 12, the Battle of Verdun ended as a real victory; and this
magnificent operation, in which the French had shown such superiority in
infantry and artillery, seemed to be a pledge of future triumphs.

[Sidenote: German plans and their outcome.]

The conclusion is easily reached. In February and March Germany wished
to end the war by crushing the French army at Verdun. She failed
utterly. Then, from April to July, she wished to exhaust French military
resources by a battle of fixation. Again she failed. The Somme offensive
was the offspring of Verdun. Later on, from July to December, she was
not able to elude the grasp of the French, and the last engagements,
together with the vain struggles of the Germans for six months, showed
to what extent General Nivelle's men had won the upper hand.

The Battle of Verdun, beginning as a brilliant German offensive, ended
as an offensive victory for the French. And so this terrible drama is an
epitome of the whole great war: a brief term of success for the Germans
at the start, due to a tremendous preparation which took careless
adversaries by surprise--terrible and agonizing first moments, soon
offset by energy, heroism, and the spirit of sacrifice; and finally,
victory for the Soldiers of Right.

       *       *       *       *       *

On May 31st, 1916, there was fought in the North Sea off Jutland, the
most important naval battle of the Great War. While the battle was
undecisive in some of the results attained, it was an English victory,
in that the Germans suffered greater losses and were forced to flee. The
narrative of this battle which follows is by the Admiral of the British



The German High Sea Fleet was brought to action on 31st May, 1916, to
the westward of the Jutland Bank, off the coast of Denmark.

[Sidenote: The Grand Fleet sweeping the sea.]

The ships of the Grand Fleet, in pursuance of the general policy of
periodical sweeps through the North Sea, had left its bases on the
previous day, in accordance with instructions issued by me.

[Sidenote: The British scouting force.]

In the early afternoon of Wednesday, 31st May, the 1st and 2nd
Battle-cruiser Squadrons, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Light-cruiser Squadrons, and
destroyers from the 1st, 9th, 10th, and 13th Flotillas, supported by the
5th Battle Squadron, were, in accordance with my directions, scouting to
the southward of the Battle Fleet, which was accompanied by the 3rd
Battle-cruiser Squadron, 1st and 2nd Cruiser Squadrons, 4th
Light-cruiser Squadron, 4th, 11th, and 12th Flotillas.

The junction of the Battle Fleet with the scouting force after the enemy
had been sighted was delayed owing to the southerly course steered by
our advanced force during the first hour after commencing their action
with the enemy battle-cruisers. This was, of course, unavoidable, as had
our battle-cruisers not followed the enemy to the southward the main
fleets would never have been in contact.

[Sidenote: Vice Admiral Beatty commands battle cruisers.]

The Battle-cruiser Fleet, gallantly led by Vice-Admiral Sir David
Beatty, K.C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., and admirably supported by the ships of
the Fifth Battle Squadron under Rear-Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas, M.V.O.,
fought an action under, at times, disadvantageous conditions, especially
in regard to light, in a manner that was in keeping with the best
traditions of the service.

The following extracts from the report of Sir David Beatty give the
course of events before the Battle Fleet came upon the scene:

[Sidenote: Enemy ships sighted.]

"At 2.20 p.m. reports were received from _Galatea_ (Commodore Edwyn S.
Alexander-Sinclair, M.V.O., A.D.C.), indicating the presence of enemy
vessels. The direction of advance was immediately altered to SSE., the
course for Horn Reef, so as to place my force between the enemy and his

[Sidenote: The German force.]

"At 2.35 p.m. a considerable amount of smoke was sighted to the
eastward. This made it clear that the enemy was to the northward and
eastward, and that it would be impossible for him to round the Horn Reef
without being brought to action. Course was accordingly altered to the
eastward and subsequently to north-eastward, the enemy being sighted at
3.31 p.m. Their force consisted of five battle-cruisers.

[Sidenote: Battle begins at long range.]

"After the first report of the enemy, the 1st and 3rd Light-cruiser
Squadrons changed their direction, and, without waiting for orders,
spread to the east, thereby forming a screen in advance of the
Battle-cruiser Squadrons and 5th Battle Squadron by the time we had
hauled up to the course of approach. They engaged enemy light-cruisers
at long range. In the meantime the 2nd Light-cruiser Squadron had come
in at high speed, and was able to take station ahead of the
battle-cruisers by the time we turned to ESE., the course on which we
first engaged the enemy. In this respect the work of the Light-cruiser
Squadrons was excellent, and of great value.

[Sidenote: Scout reports enemy force considerable.]

"From a report from _Galatea_ at 2.25 p.m. it was evident that the enemy
force was considerable, and not merely an isolated unit of
light-cruisers, so at 2.45 p.m. I ordered _Engadine_ to send up a
seaplane and scout to NNE. This order was carried out very quickly, and
by 3.8 p.m. a seaplane was well under way; her first reports of the
enemy were received in _Engadine_ about 3.30 p.m. Owing to clouds it was
necessary to fly very low, and in order to identify four enemy
light-cruisers the seaplane had to fly at a height of 900 feet within
3,000 yards of them, the light-cruisers opening fire on her with every
gun that would bear.

[Sidenote: Line of battle formed.]

"At 3.30 p.m. I increased speed to 25 knots, and formed line of battle,
the 2nd Battle-cruiser Squadron forming astern of the 1st Battle-cruiser
Squadron, with destroyers of the 13th and 9th Flotillas taking station
ahead. I turned to ESE., slightly converging on the enemy, who were now
at a range of 23,000 yards, and formed the ships on a line of bearing to
clear the smoke. The 5th Battle Squadron, who had conformed to our
movements, were now bearing NNW., 10,000 yards. The visibility at this
time was good, the sun behind us and the wind SE. Being between the
enemy and his base, our situation was both tactically and strategically

[Sidenote: Running fight to southward.]

"At 3.48 p.m. the action commenced at a range of 18,500 yards, both
forces opening fire practically simultaneously. Course was altered to
the southward, and subsequently the mean direction was SSE., the enemy
steering a parallel course distant about 18,000 to 14,500 yards.

"At 4.8 p.m. the 5th Battle Squadron came into action and opened fire at
a range of 20,000 yards. The enemy's fire now seemed to slacken. The
destroyer _Landrail_, of 9th Flotilla, who was on our port beam, trying
to take station ahead, sighted the periscope of a submarine on her port
quarter. Though causing considerable inconvenience from smoke, the
presence of _Lydiard_ and _Landrail_ undoubtedly preserved the
battle-cruisers from closer submarine attack. _Nottingham_ also reported
a submarine on the starboard beam.

[Sidenote: Destroyers in action.]

[Sidenote: Enemy torpedo attack frustrated.]

"Eight destroyers of the 13th Flotilla, _Nestor_, _Nomad_, _Nicator_,
_Narborough_, _Pelican_, _Petard_, _Obdurate_, _Nerissa_, with _Moorsom_
and _Morris_, of 10th Flotilla, _Turbulent_ and _Termagant_, of the 9th
Flotilla, having been ordered to attack the enemy with torpedoes when
opportunity offered, moved out at 4.15 p.m., simultaneously with a
similar movement on the part of the enemy Destroyers. The attack was
carried out in the most gallant manner, and with great determination.
Before arriving at a favorable position to fire torpedoes, they
intercepted an enemy force consisting of a light-cruiser and fifteen
destroyers. A fierce engagement ensued at close quarters, with the
result that the enemy were forced to retire on their battle-cruisers,
having lost two destroyers sunk, and having their torpedo attack
frustrated. Our destroyers sustained no loss in this engagement, but
their attack on the enemy battle-cruisers was rendered less effective,
owing to some of the destroyers having dropped astern during the fight.
Their position was therefore unfavorable for torpedo attack.

[Sidenote: Destroyers attack battleships.]

"_Nestor_, _Nomad_, and _Nicator_ pressed home their attack on the
battle-cruisers and fired two torpedoes at them, being subjected to a
heavy fire from the enemy's secondary armament. _Nomad_ was badly hit,
and apparently remained stopped between the lines. Subsequently _Nestor_
and _Nicator_ altered course to the SE., and in a short time, the
opposing battle-cruisers having turned 16 points, found themselves
within close range of a number of enemy battleships. Nothing daunted,
though under a terrific fire, they stood on, and their position being
favorable for torpedo attack fired a torpedo at the second ship of the
enemy line at a range of 3,000 yards. Before they could fire their
fourth torpedo, _Nestor_ was badly hit and swung to starboard, _Nicator_
altering course inside her to avoid collision, and thereby being
prevented from firing the last torpedo. _Nicator_ made good her escape.
_Nestor_ remained stopped, but was afloat when last seen. _Moorsom_ also
carried out an attack on the enemy's battle fleet.

[Sidenote: Officers of destroyers commended for gallantry.]

"_Petard_, _Nerissa_, _Turbulent_, and _Termagant_ also pressed home
their attack on the enemy battle cruisers, firing torpedoes after the
engagement with enemy destroyers. _Petard_ reports that all her
torpedoes must have crossed the enemy's line, while _Nerissa_ states
that one torpedo appeared to strike the rear ship. These destroyer
attacks were indicative of the spirit pervading His Majesty's Navy, and
were worthy of its highest traditions. I propose to bring to your notice
a recommendation of Commander Bingham and other Officers for some
recognition of their conspicuous gallantry.

[Sidenote: Visibility reduced.]

"From 4.15 to 4.43 p.m. the conflict between the opposing
battle-cruisers was of a very fierce and resolute character. The 5th
Battle Squadron was engaging the enemy's rear ships, unfortunately at
very long range. Our fire began to tell, the accuracy and rapidity of
that of the enemy depreciating considerably. At 4.18 p.m. the third
enemy ship was seen to be on fire. The visibility to the north-eastward
had become considerably reduced, and the outline of the ships very

[Sidenote: Closing with the enemy's Battle Fleet.]

"At 4.38 p.m. _Southampton_ reported the enemy's Battle Fleet ahead. The
destroyers were recalled, and at 4.42 p.m. the enemy's Battle Fleet was
sighted SE. Course was altered 16 points in succession to starboard, and
I proceeded on a northerly course to lead them towards the Battle Fleet.
The enemy battle-cruisers altered course shortly afterwards, and the
action continued. _Southampton_, with the 2nd Light-cruiser Squadron,
held on to the southward to observe. They closed to within 13,000 yards
of the enemy Battle Fleet, and came under a very heavy but ineffective
fire. _Southampton's_ reports were most valuable. The 5th Battle
Squadron were now closing on an opposite course and engaging the enemy
battle-cruisers with all guns. The position of the enemy Battle Fleet
was communicated to them, and I ordered them to alter course 16 points.
Led by Rear-Admiral Evan-Thomas, in _Barham_, this squadron supported us
brilliantly and effectively.

"At 4.57 p.m. the 5th Battle Squadron turned up astern of me and came
under the fire of the leading ships of the enemy Battle Fleet.
_Fearless_, with the destroyers of 1st Flotilla, joined the
battle-cruisers, and, when speed admitted, took station ahead.
_Champion_, with 13th Flotilla, took station on the 5th Battle Squadron.
At 5 p.m. the 1st and 3rd Light-cruiser Squadrons, which had been
following me on the southerly course, took station on my starboard bow;
the 2nd Light-cruiser Squadron took station on my port quarter.

[Sidenote: Weather conditions unfavorable.]

[Sidenote: Following a northerly course.]

[Sidenote: An enemy ship on fire.]

"The weather conditions now became unfavorable, our ships being
silhouetted against a clear horizon to the westward, while the enemy
were for the most part obscured by mist, only showing up clearly at
intervals. These conditions prevailed until we had turned their van at
about 6 p.m. Between 5 and 6 p.m. the action continued on a northerly
course, the range being about 14,000 yards. During this time the enemy
received very severe punishment, and one of their battle-cruisers
quitted the line in a considerably damaged condition. This came under my
personal observation, and was corroborated by _Princess Royal_ and
_Tiger_. Other enemy ships also showed signs of increasing injury. At
5.5 p.m. _Onslow_ and _Moresby_, who had been detached to assist
_Engadine_ with the seaplane, rejoined the battle-cruiser squadrons and
took station on the starboard (engaged) bow of _Lion_. At 5.10 p.m.
_Moresby_, being 2 points before the beam of the leading enemy ship,
fired a torpedo at a ship in their line. Eight minutes later she
observed a hit with a torpedo on what was judged to be the sixth ship in
the line. _Moresby_ then passed between the lines to clear the range of
smoke, and rejoined _Champion_. In corroboration of this, _Fearless_
reports having seen an enemy heavy ship heavily on fire at about 5.10
p.m., and shortly afterwards a huge cloud of smoke and steam.

[Sidenote: Range of 14,000 yards.]

"At 5.35 p.m. our course was NNE., and the estimated position of the
Battle Fleet was N. 16 W., so we gradually hauled to the north-eastward,
keeping the range of the enemy at 14,000 yards. He was gradually hauling
to the eastward, receiving severe punishment at the head of his line,
and probably acting on information received from his light-cruisers
which had sighted and were engaged with the Third Battle-cruiser
Squadron. Possibly Zeppelins were present also.

[Sidenote: British Battle Fleet sighted.]

"At 5.50 p.m. British cruisers were sighted on the port bow, and at 5.56
p.m. the leading battleships of the Battle Fleet, bearing north 5 miles.
I thereupon altered course to east, and proceeded at utmost speed. This
brought the range of the enemy down to 12,000 yards. I made a report to
you that the enemy battle-cruisers bore south-east. At this time only
three of the enemy battle-cruisers were visible, closely followed by
battleships of the _Koenig_ class.

[Sidenote: Torpedo attack on enemy Battle Fleet.]

"At about 6.5 p.m. _Onslow_, being on the engaged bow of _Lion_, sighted
an enemy light-cruiser at a distance of 6,000 yards from us, apparently
endeavoring to attack with torpedoes. _Onslow_ at once closed and
engaged her, firing 58 rounds at a range of from 4,000 to 2,000 yards,
scoring a number of hits. _Onslow_ then closed the enemy
battle-cruisers, and orders were given for all torpedoes to be fired. At
this moment she was struck amidships by a heavy shell, with the result
that only one torpedo was fired. Thinking that all his torpedoes had
gone, the Commanding Officer proceeded to retire at slow speed. Being
informed that he still had three torpedoes, he closed with the
light-cruiser previously engaged and torpedoed her. The enemy's Battle
Fleet was then sighted, and the remaining torpedoes were fired at them
and must have crossed the enemy's track. Damage then caused _Onslow_ to

        "At 7.15 p.m. _Defender_, whose speed had been
        reduced to 10 knots, while on the disengaged
        side of the battle-cruisers, by a shell which
        damaged her foremost boiler, closed _Onslow_
        and took her in tow. Shells were falling all
        round them during this operation, which,
        however, was successfully accomplished. During
        the heavy weather of the ensuing night the tow
        parted twice, but was re-secured. The two
        struggled on together until 1 p.m., 1st June,
        when _Onslow_ was transferred to tugs."

[Sidenote: Course of the British Battle Fleet.]

On receipt of the information that the enemy had been sighted, the
British Battle Fleet, with its accompanying cruiser and destroyer force,
proceeded at full speed on a SE. by S. course to close the
Battle-cruiser Fleet. During the two hours that elapsed before the
arrival of the Battle Fleet on the scene the steaming qualities of the
older battleships were severely tested. Great credit is due to the
engine-room departments for the manner in which they, as always,
responded to the call, the whole Fleet maintaining a speed in excess of
the trial speeds of some of the older vessels.

[Sidenote: The Third Battle-cruiser Squadron.]

The Third Battle-cruiser Squadron, commanded by Rear-Admiral the Hon.
Horace L.A. Hood, C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., which was in advance of the
Battle Fleet, was ordered to reinforce Sir David Beatty. At 5.30 p.m.
this squadron observed flashes of gunfire and heard the sound of guns to
the south-westward. Rear-Admiral Hood sent the _Chester_ to investigate,
and this ship engaged three or four enemy light-cruisers at about 5.45
p.m. The engagement lasted for about twenty minutes, during which period
Captain Lawson handled his vessel with great skill against heavy odds,
and, although the ship suffered considerably in casualties, her fighting
and steaming qualities were unimpaired, and at about 6.5 p.m. she
rejoined the Third Battle-cruiser Squadron.

The Third Battle-cruiser Squadron had turned to the north-westward, and
at 6.10 p.m. sighted our battle-cruisers, the squadron taking station
ahead of the _Lion_ at 6.21 p.m. in accordance with the orders of the
Vice-Admiral Commanding Battle-cruiser Fleet. He reports as follows:

[Sidenote: Hood's squadron takes station ahead.]

"I ordered them to take station ahead, which was carried out
magnificently, Rear-Admiral Hood bringing his squadron into action ahead
in a most inspiring manner, worthy of his great naval ancestors. At 6.25
p.m. I altered course to the ESE. in support of the Third Battle-cruiser
Squadron, who were at this time only 8,000 yards from the enemy's
leading ship. They were pouring a hot fire into her and caused her to
turn to the westward of south. At the same time I made a report to you
of the bearing and distance of the enemy battle-fleet.

[Sidenote: Low visibility hinders both fleets.]

"By 6.50 p.m. the battle-cruisers were clear of our leading battle
squadron then bearing about NNW. 3 miles, and I ordered the Third
Battle-cruiser Squadron to prolong the line astern and reduced to 18
knots. The visibility at this time was very indifferent, not more than 4
miles, and the enemy ships were temporarily lost sight of. It is
interesting to note that after 6 p.m., although the visibility became
reduced, it was undoubtedly more favorable to us than to the enemy. At
intervals their ships showed up clearly, enabling us to punish them very
severely and establish a definite superiority over them. From the report
of other ships and my own observation it was clear that the enemy
suffered considerable damage, battle-cruisers and battleships alike. The
head of their line was crumpled up, leaving battleships as targets for
the majority of our battle-cruisers. Before leaving us the Fifth Battle
Squadron was also engaging battleships. The report of Rear-Admiral
Evan-Thomas shows that excellent results were obtained, and it can be
safely said that his magnificent squadron wrought great execution.

[Sidenote: Light cruisers attack heavy enemy ships.]

"From the report of Rear-Admiral T. D. W. Napier, M.V.O., the Third
Light-cruiser Squadron, which had maintained its station on our
starboard bow well ahead of the enemy, at 6.25 p.m. attacked with the
torpedo. _Falmouth_ and _Yarmouth_ both fired torpedoes at the leading
enemy battle-cruiser, and it is believed that one torpedo hit, as a
heavy underwater explosion was observed. The Third Light-cruiser
Squadron then gallantly attacked the heavy ships with gunfire, with
impunity to themselves, thereby demonstrating that the fighting
efficiency of the enemy had been seriously impaired. Rear-Admiral Napier
deserves great credit for his determined and effective attack.
_Indomitable_ reports that about this time one of the _Derfflinger_
class fell out of the enemy's line."

[Sidenote: Ships hard to distinguish in the mist.]

Meanwhile, at 5.45 p.m., the report of guns had become audible to me,
and at 5.55 p.m. flashes were visible from ahead round to the starboard
beam, although in the mist no ships could be distinguished, and the
position of the enemy's battle fleet could not be determined. The
difference in estimated position by "reckoning" between _Iron Duke_ and
_Lion_, which was inevitable under the circumstances, added to the
uncertainty of the general situation.

Shortly after 5.55 p.m. some of the cruisers ahead, under Rear-Admirals
Herbert L. Heath, M.V.O., and Sir Robert Arbuthnot, Bt., M.V.O., were
seen to be in action, and reports received show that _Defence_,
flagship, and _Warrior_, of the First Cruiser Squadron, engaged an enemy
light-cruiser at this time. She was subsequently observed to sink.

At 6 p.m. _Canterbury_, which ship was in company with the Third
Battle-cruiser Squadron, had engaged enemy light-cruisers which were
firing heavily on the torpedo-boat destroyer _Shark_, _Acasta_, and
_Christopher_; as a result of this engagement the _Shark_ was sunk.

At 6 p.m. vessels, afterwards seen to be our battle-cruisers, were
sighted by _Marlborough_ bearing before the starboard beam of the battle

At the same time the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Battle-cruiser Fleet,
reported to me the position of the enemy battle-cruisers, and at 6.14
p.m. reported the position of the enemy battle fleet.

At this period, when the battle fleet was meeting the battle-cruisers
and the Fifth Battle Squadron, great care was necessary to ensure that
our own ships were not mistaken for enemy vessels.

[Sidenote: Battle Fleet in line of battle.]

I formed the battle fleet in line of battle on receipt of Sir David
Beatty's report, and during deployment the fleets became engaged. Sir
David Beatty had meanwhile formed the battle-cruisers ahead of the

[Sidenote: Commanders of the divisions of the Battle Fleet.] The
divisions of the battle fleet were led by:

    The Commander-in-Chief.
    Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
    Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Jerram, K.C.B.
    Vice-Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee, Bt., K.C.B., C.V.O., C.M.G.
    Rear-Admiral Alexander L. Duff, C.B.
    Rear-Admiral Arthur C. Leveson, C.B.
    Rear-Admiral Ernest F. A. Gaunt, C.M.G.

At 6.16 p.m. _Defence_ and _Warrior_ were observed passing down between
the British and German Battle Fleets under a very heavy fire. _Defence_
disappeared, and _Warrior_ passed to rear disabled.

[Sidenote: Arbuthnot's ships disabled.]

It is probable that Sir Robert Arbuthnot, during his engagement with the
enemy's light-cruisers and in his desire to complete their destruction,
was not aware of the approach of the enemy's heavy ships, owing to the
mist, until he found himself in close proximity to the main fleet, and
before he could withdraw his ships they were caught under a heavy fire
and disabled. It is not known when _Black Prince_ of the same squadron,
was sunk, but a wireless signal was received from her between 8 and 9

The First Battle Squadron became engaged during deployment, the
Vice-Admiral opening fire at 6.17 p.m. on a battleship of the _Kaiser_
class. The other Battle Squadrons, which had previously been firing at
an enemy light cruiser, opened fire at 6.30 p.m. on battleships of the
_Koenig_ class.

[Sidenote: Accident to the _Warspite_.]

At 6.6 p.m. the Rear-Admiral Commanding Fifth Battle Squadron, then in
company with the battle-cruisers, had sighted the starboard
wing-division of the battle-fleet on the port bow of _Barham_, and the
first intention of Rear-Admiral Evan-Thomas was to form ahead of the
remainder of the battle-fleet, but on realizing the direction of
deployment he was compelled to form astern, a man[oe]uvre which was well
executed by the squadron under a heavy fire from the enemy battle-fleet.
An accident to _Warspite's_ steering gear caused her helm to become
jammed temporarily and took the ship in the direction of the enemy's
line, during which time she was hit several times. Clever handling
enabled Captain Edward M. Phillpotts to extricate his ship from a
somewhat awkward situation.

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. Towards
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

[Sidenote: Action at shorter ranges.]

The action between the battle-fleets lasted intermittently from 6.17
p.m. to 8.20 p.m. at ranges between 9,000 and 12,000 yards, during which
time the British Fleet made alterations of course from SE. by E. by W.
in the endeavour to close. The enemy constantly turned away and opened
the range under cover of destroyer attacks and smoke screens as the
effect of the British fire was felt, and 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 battle line, but at the same time placed us between the
enemy and his bases.

[Sidenote: Wreck of the _Invincible_.]

At 6.55 p.m. _Iron Duke_ passed the wreck of _Invincible_, with Badger
standing by.

During the somewhat brief periods that the ships of the High Sea Fleet
were visible through the mist, the heavy and effective fire kept up by
the battleships and battle-cruisers of the Grand Fleet caused me much
satisfaction, and the enemy vessels were seen to be constantly hit, some
being observed to haul out of the line and at least one to sink. The
enemy's return fire at this period was not effective, and the damage
caused to our ships was insignificant.

[Sidenote: Course of the Battle Fleet.]

Regarding the battle-cruisers, Sir David Beatty reports:--

"At 7.6 p.m. I received a signal from you that the course of the Fleet
was south. Subsequently signals were received up to 8.46 p.m. showing
that the course of the Battle Fleet was to the southwestward.

[Sidenote: Visibility improves.]

[Sidenote: Enemy destroyers make smoke screen.]

"Between 7 and 7.12 p.m. we hauled round gradually to SW. by S. to
regain touch with the enemy, and at 7.14 p.m. again sighted them at a
range of about 15,000 yards. The ships sighted at this time were two
battle-cruisers and two battleships, apparently of the _Koenig_ class.
No doubt more continued the line to the northward, but that was all that
could be seen. The visibility having improved considerably as the sun
descended below the clouds, we re-engaged at 7.17 p.m. and increased
speed to 22 knots. At 7.32 p.m. my course was SW., speed 18 knots, the
leading enemy battleship bearing NW. by W. Again, after a very short
time, the enemy showed signs of punishment, one ship being on fire,
while another appeared to drop right astern. The destroyers at the head
of the enemy's line emitted volumes of grey smoke, covering their
capital ships as with a pall, under cover of which they turned away, and
at 7.45 p.m. we lost sight of them.

[Sidenote: Enemy steams to westward.]

"At 7.58 p.m. I ordered the First and Third Light-cruiser Squadrons to
sweep to the westward and locate the head of the enemy's line, and at
8.20 p.m. we altered course to west in support. We soon located two
battle-cruisers and battleships, and were heavily engaged at a short
range of about 10,000 yards. The leading ship was hit repeatedly by
_Lion_, and turned away eight points, emitting very high flames and with
a heavy list to port. _Princess Royal_ set fire to a three-funnelled
battleship. _New Zealand_ and _Indomitable_ report that the third ship,
which they both engaged, hauled out of the line, heeling over and on
fire. The mist which now came down enveloped them, and _Falmouth_
reported they were last seen at 8.38 p.m. steaming to the westward.

[Sidenote: Shock felt.]

"At 8.40 p.m. all our battle-cruisers felt a heavy shock as if struck by
a mine or torpedo, or possibly sunken wreckage. As however, examination
of the bottoms reveals no sign of such an occurrence, it is assumed that
it indicated the blowing up of a great vessel.

"I continued on a south-westerly course with my light cruisers spread
until 9.24 p.m. Nothing further being sighted, I assumed that the enemy
were to the north-westward, and that we had established ourselves well
between him and his base. _Minotaur_ (Captain Arthur C. S. H. D'Aeth)
was at this time bearing north 5 miles, and I asked her the position of
the leading battle squadron of the Battle Fleet. Her reply was that it
was in sight, but was last seen bearing NNE. I kept you informed of my
position, course, and speed, also of the bearing of the enemy.

[Sidenote: Expectation of locating enemy at daybreak.]

"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. I therefore concluded that I should be carrying out your wishes
by turning to the course of the Fleet, reporting to you that I had done

[Sidenote: German torpedo attacks ineffective.]

As was anticipated, the German Fleet appeared to rely very much on
torpedo attacks, which were favored by the low visibility and by the
fact that we had arrived in the position of a "following" or "chasing"
fleet. A large number of torpedoes were apparently fired, but only one
took effect (on _Marlborough_), and even in this case the ship was able
to remain in the line and to continue the action. The enemy's efforts to
keep out of effective gun range were aided by the weather conditions,
which were ideal for the purpose. Two separate destroyer attacks were
made by the enemy.

[Sidenote: _Marlborough_ hit by a torpedo.]

[Sidenote: Hits on enemy ships.]

The First Battle Squadron, under Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney, came
into action at 6.17 p.m. with the enemy's Third Battle Squadron, at a
range of about 11,000 yards, and administered severe punishment, both to
the battleships and to the battle-cruisers and light-cruisers, which
were also engaged. The fire of _Marlborough_ was particularly rapid and
effective. This ship commenced at 6.17 p.m. by firing seven salvoes at a
ship of the _Kaiser_ class, then engaged a cruiser, and again a
battleship, and at 6.54 she was hit by a torpedo and took up a
considerable list to starboard, but we opened at 7.3 p.m. at a cruiser
and at 7.12 p.m. fired fourteen rapid salvoes at a ship of the _Koenig_
class, hitting her frequently until she turned out of the line. The
manner in which this effective fire was kept up in spite of the
disadvantages due to the injury caused by the torpedo was most
creditable to the ship and a very fine example to the squadron.

The range decreased during the course of the action to 9,000 yards. The
First Battle Squadron received more of the enemy's return fire than the
remainder of the battle-fleet, with the exception of the Fifth Battle
Squadron. _Colossus_ was hit, but was not seriously damaged, and other
ships were straddled with fair frequency.

[Sidenote: Range-taking difficult.]

In the Fourth Battle Squadron--in which squadron my flagship _Iron Duke_
was placed--Vice-Admiral Sir Doveton Sturdee leading one of the
divisions--the enemy engaged was the squadron consisting of the _Koenig_
and _Kaiser_ class and some of the battle-cruisers, as well as disabled
cruisers and light-cruisers. The mist rendered range-taking a difficult
matter, but the fire of the squadron was effective. _Iron Duke_, having
previously fired at a light-cruiser between the lines, opened fire at
6.30 p.m. on a battleship of the _Koenig_ class at a range of 12,000
yards. The latter was very quickly straddled, and hitting commenced at
the second salvo and only ceased when the target ship turned away.

[Sidenote: Firing at enemy battle cruisers.] The fire of other ships of
the squadron was principally directed at enemy battle-cruisers and
cruisers as they appeared out of the mist. Hits were observed to take
effect on several ships.

The ships of the Second Battle Squadron, under Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas
Jerram, were in action with vessels of the _Kaiser_ or _Koenig_ classes
between 6.30 and 7.20 p.m., and fired also at an enemy battle-cruiser
which had dropped back apparently severely damaged.

During the action between the battle fleets the Second Cruiser Squadron,
ably commanded by Rear-Admiral Herbert L. Heath, M.V.O., with the
addition of _Duke of Edinburgh_ of the First Cruiser Squadron, occupied
a position at the van, and acted as a connecting link between the battle
fleet and the battle-cruiser fleet. This squadron, although it carried
out useful work, did not have an opportunity of coming into action.

The attached cruisers _Boadicea_, _Active_, _Blanche_ and _Bellona_
carried out their duties as repeating-ships with remarkable rapidity and
accuracy under difficult conditions.

[Sidenote: Light cruisers attack with torpedoes.]

The Fourth Light-cruiser Squadron, under Commodore Charles E. Le
Mesurier, occupied a position in the van until ordered to attack enemy
destroyers at 7.20 p.m., and again at 8.18 p.m., when they supported the
Eleventh Flotilla, which had moved out under Commodore James R. P.
Hawksley, M.V.O., to attack. On each occasion the Fourth Light-cruiser
Squadron was very well handled by Commodore Le Mesurier, his captains
giving him excellent support, and their object was attained, although
with some loss in the second attack, when the ships came under the heavy
fire of the enemy battle fleet at between 6,500 and 8,000 yards. The
_Calliope_ was hit several times, but did not sustain serious damage,
although I regret to say she had several casualties. The light-cruisers
attacked the enemy's battleships with torpedoes at this time, and an
explosion on board a ship of the _Kaiser_ class was seen at 8.40 p.m.

During these destroyer attacks four enemy torpedo-boat destroyers were
sunk by the gunfire of battleships, light-cruisers, and destroyers.

After the arrival of the British Battle Fleet the enemy's tactics were
of a nature generally to avoid further action, in which they were
favored by the conditions of visibility.

[Sidenote: Enemy entirely out of sight.]

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 the fleet for the night, with a view
to its safety from such attacks, whilst providing for a renewal of
action at daylight. I accordingly man[oe]uvred 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.

During the night the British heavy ships were not attacked, but the
Fourth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Flotillas, under Commodore Hawksley and
Captains Charles J. Wintour and Anselan J. B. Stirling, delivered a
series of very gallant and successful attacks on the enemy, causing him
heavy losses.

[Sidenote: Severe losses in the Fourth Flotilla.]

It was during these attacks that severe losses in the Fourth Flotilla
occurred, including that of _Tipperary_, with the gallant leader of the
Flotilla, Captain Wintour. He had brought his flotilla to a high pitch
of perfection, and although suffering severely from the fire of the
enemy, a heavy toll of enemy vessels was taken, and many gallant actions
were performed by the flotilla.

Two torpedoes were seen to take effect on enemy vessels as the result of
the attacks of the Fourth Flotilla, one being from _Spitfire_, and the
other from either _Ardent_, _Ambuscade_, or _Garland_.

[Sidenote: An enemy ship torpedoed.]

The attack carried out by the Twelfth Flotilla was admirably executed.
The squadron attacked, which consisted of six large vessels, besides
light-cruisers, and comprised vessels of the _Kaiser_ class, was taken
by surprise. A large number of torpedoes was fired, including some at
the second and third ships in the line; those fired at the third ship
took effect, and she was observed to blow up. A second attack, made
twenty minutes later by _Mænad_ on the five vessels still remaining,
resulted in the fourth ship in the line being also hit.

The destroyers were under a heavy fire from the light-cruisers on
reaching the rear of the line, but the _Onslaught_ was the only vessel
which received any material injuries. In the _Onslaught_ Sub-Lieutenant
Harry W. A. Kemmis, assisted by Midshipman Reginald G. Arnot, R.N.R.,
the only executive officers not disabled, brought the ship successfully
out of action and reached her home port.

During the attack carried out by the Eleventh Flotilla, _Castor_ leading
the flotilla, engaged and sank an enemy torpedo-boat-destroyer at
point-blank range.

Sir David Beatty reports:--

[Sidenote: Engaging enemy destroyers.]

"The Thirteenth Flotilla, under the command of Captain James U. Farie,
in _Champion_, took station astern of the battle fleet for the night. At
0.30 a.m. on Thursday, 1st June, a large vessel crossed the rear of the
flotilla at high speed. She passed close to _Petard_ and _Turbulent_,
switched on searchlights and opened a heavy fire, which disabled
_Turbulent_. At 3.30 a.m. _Champion_ was engaged for a few minutes with
four enemy destroyers. _Moresby_ reports four ships of _Deutschland_
class sighted at 2.35 a.m., at whom she fired one torpedo. Two minutes
later an explosion was felt by _Moresby_ and _Obdurate_.

[Sidenote: Battleship of the _Kaiser_ class alone.]

"_Fearless_ and the 1st Flotilla were very usefully employed as a
submarine screen during the earlier part of the 31st May. At 6.10 p.m.,
when joining the Battle Fleet, _Fearless_ was unable to follow the
battle cruisers without fouling the battleships, and therefore took
station at the rear of the line. She sighted during the night a
battleship of the _Kaiser_ class steaming fast and entirely alone. She
was not able to engage her, but believes she was attacked by destroyers
further astern. A heavy explosion was observed astern not long after."

[Sidenote: Deeds of the destroyers.]

There were many gallant deeds performed by the destroyer flotillas; they
surpassed the very highest expectations that I had formed of them.

Apart from the proceedings of the flotillas, the Second Light-cruiser
Squadron in the rear of the battle fleet was in close action for about
15 minutes at 10.20 p.m. with a squadron comprising one enemy cruiser
and four light-cruisers, during which period _Southampton_ and _Dublin_
suffered rather heavy casualties, although their steaming and fighting
qualities were not impaired. The return fire of the squadron appeared to
be very effective.

_Abdiel_, ably commanded by Commander Berwick Curtis, carried out her
duties with the success which has always characterized her work.

[Sidenote: The Battle Fleet searches for enemy vessels.]

[Sidenote: _Marlborough_ sent to a base.]

[Sidenote: The enemy had returned into port.]

At daylight, 1st June, the battle fleet, being then to the southward and
westward of the Horn Reef, turned to the northward in search of enemy
vessels and for the purpose of collecting our own cruisers and
torpedo-boat destroyers. At 2.30 a.m. Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney
transferred his flag from _Marlborough_ to _Revenge_, as the former ship
had some difficulty in keeping up the speed of the squadron.
_Marlborough_ was detached by my direction to a base, successfully
driving off an enemy submarine attack en route. The visibility early on
1st June (three to four miles) was less than on 31st May, and the
torpedo-boat destroyers, being out of visual touch, did not rejoin until
9 a.m. The British Fleet remained in the proximity of the battle-field
and near the line of approach to German ports until 11 a.m. on 1st June,
in spite of the disadvantage of long distances from fleet bases and the
danger incurred in waters adjacent to enemy coasts from submarines and
torpedo craft. The enemy, however, made no sign, and I was reluctantly
compelled to the conclusion that the High Sea Fleet had returned into
port. Subsequent events proved this assumption to have been correct. Our
position must have been known to the enemy, as at 4 a.m. the Fleet
engaged a Zeppelin for about five minutes, during which time she had
ample opportunity to note and subsequently report the position and
course of the British Fleet.

[Sidenote: Large amount of wreckage.]

[Sidenote: _Warrior_ evidently foundered.]

The waters from the latitude of the Horn Reef to the scene of the action
were thoroughly searched, and some survivors from the destroyers
_Ardent_, _Fortune_, and _Tipperary_ were picked up, and the
_Sparrowhawk_, which had been in collision and was no longer seaworthy,
was sunk after her crew had been taken off. A large amount of wreckage
was seen, but no enemy ships, and at 1.15 p.m., it being evident that
the German Fleet had succeeded in returning to port, course was shaped
for our bases, which were reached without further incident on Friday,
2nd June. A cruiser squadron was detached to search for _Warrior_, which
vessel had been abandoned whilst in tow of _Engadine_ on her way to the
base owing to bad weather setting in and the vessel becoming
unseaworthy, but no trace of her was discovered, and a further
subsequent search by a light-cruiser squadron having failed to locate
her, it is evident that she foundered.

[Sidenote: Low visibility hinders accurate report of damage.]

The conditions of low visibility under which the day action took place
and the approach of darkness enhance the difficulty of giving an
accurate report of the damage inflicted or the names of the ships sunk
by our forces, but after a most careful examination of the evidence of
all officers, who testified to seeing enemy vessels actually sink, and
personal interviews with a large number of these officers, I am of
opinion that the list shown in the enclosure gives the minimum in regard
to numbers, though it is possibly not entirely accurate as regards the
particular class of vessel, especially those which were sunk during the
night attacks. In addition to the vessels sunk, it is unquestionable
that many other ships were very seriously damaged by gunfire and by
torpedo attack.

[Sidenote: British ships lost in the battle.]

I deeply regret to report the loss of H.M. ships:

    1. _Queen Mary_, Battle-cruiser, 27,000 tons.
    2. _Indefatigable_, Battle-cruiser, 18,750 tons.
    3. _Invincible_, Battle-cruiser, 17,250 tons.
    4. _Defence_, Armored cruiser, 14,600 tons.
    5. _Black Prince_, Armored cruiser, 13,550 tons.
    6. _Warrior_, Armored cruiser, 13,550 tons.
    7. _Tipperary_, Destroyer, 1,430 tons.
    8. _Ardent_, Destroyer, 935 tons.
    9. _Fortune_, Destroyer, 935 tons.
    10. _Shark_, Destroyer, 935 tons.
    11. _Sparrowhawk_, Destroyer, 935 tons.
    12. _Nestor_, Destroyer, 1,000 tons.
    13. _Nomad_, Destroyer, 1,000 tons.
    14. _Turbulent_, Destroyer, 1,430 tons.
    Total, 113,300 tons;

[Sidenote: Distinguished officers who went down.]

[Sidenote: Gallantry of officers and men.]

and still more do I regret the resultant heavy loss of life. The death
of such gallant and distinguished officers as Rear-Admiral Sir Robert
Arbuthnot, Bart., Rear-Admiral the Hon. Horace Hood, Captain Charles F.
Sowerby, Captain Cecil I. Prowse, Captain Arthur L. Cay, Captain Thomas
P. Bonham, Captain Charles J. Wintour, and Captain Stanley V. Ellis, and
those who perished with them, is a serious loss to the navy and to the
country. They led officers and men who were equally gallant, and whose
death is mourned by their comrades in the Grand Fleet. They fell doing
their duty nobly, a death which they would have been the first to

[Sidenote: Fighting qualities of the enemy.]

The enemy fought with the gallantry that was expected of him. We
particularly admired the conduct of those on board a disabled German
light-cruiser which passed down the British line shortly after
deployment, under a heavy fire, which was returned by the only gun left
in action.

[Sidenote: Heroism of the wounded.]

The conduct of officers and men throughout the day and night actions was
entirely beyond praise. No words of mine could do them justice. On all
sides it is reported to me that the glorious traditions of the past were
most worthily upheld--whether in heavy ships, cruisers, light-cruisers,
or destroyers--the same admirable spirit prevailed. Officers and men
were cool and determined, with a cheeriness that would have carried them
through anything. The heroism of the wounded was the admiration of all.

I cannot adequately express the pride with which the spirit of the Fleet
filled me.

[Sidenote: Work of the engine room department.]

[Sidenote: No failures in material.]

Details of the work of the various ships during action have now been
given. It must never be forgotten, however, that the prelude to action
is the work of the engine-room department, and that during action the
officers and men of that department perform their most important duties
without the incentive which a knowledge of the course of the action
gives to those on deck. The qualities of discipline and endurance are
taxed to the utmost under these conditions, and they were, as always,
most fully maintained throughout the operations under review. Several
ships attained speeds that had never before been reached, thus showing
very clearly their high state of steaming efficiency. Failures in
material were conspicuous by their absence, and several instances are
reported of magnificent work on the part of the engine-room departments
of injured ships.

[Sidenote: Valuable work of artisans.]

The artisan ratings also carried out much valuable work during and after
the action; they could not have done better.

[Sidenote: Success of the medical officers.]

The work of the medical officers of the Fleet, carried out very largely
under the most difficult conditions, was entirely admirable and
invaluable. Lacking in many cases all the essentials for performing
critical operations, and with their staff seriously depleted by
casualties, they worked untiringly and with the greatest success. To
them we owe a deep debt of gratitude.

[Sidenote: Ships that sustained hardest fighting.]

It will be seen that the hardest fighting fell to the lot of the
Battle-cruiser Fleet (the units of which were less heavily armored than
their opponents), the Fifth Battle Squadron, the First Cruiser Squadron,
Fourth Light-cruiser Squadron, and the Flotillas. This was inevitable
under the conditions and the squadrons and Flotillas mentioned, as well
as the individual vessels composing them, were handled with conspicuous
ability, as were also the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Squadrons of the Battle
Fleet and the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.

I desire to place on record my high appreciation of the manner in which
all the vessels were handled. The conditions were such as to call for
great skill and ability, quick judgment and decisions, and this was
conspicuous throughout the day.

       *       *       *       *       *

The campaigns carried on by Italy against Austria were, as had been
noted in a former chapter, among the most difficult of the war. The
Italian troops fighting with the greatest gallantry in a mountainous
and, in places, an impassable country, continued to capture Austrian
fortified places, along the entire Isonzo front. One of the most daring
and most brilliant of their exploits is told in the following pages.



Copyright, World's Work, June, 1917.

[Sidenote: A hot wind from the Mediterranean.]

[Sidenote: Thaw and avalanches in the Alps.]

Once or twice in every winter a thick, sticky, hot wind from somewhere
on the other side of the Mediterranean breathes upon the snow and
ice-locked Alpine valleys the breath of a false springtime. The Swiss
guides, if I remember correctly, call it by a name which is pronounced
as we do the word _fun_; but the incidence of such a wind means to them
anything but what that signifies in English. To them--to all in the
Alps, indeed--a spell of _fun_ weather means thaw, and thaw means
avalanches; avalanches, too, at a time of the year when there is so much
snow that the slides are under constant temptation to abandon their
beaten tracks and gouge out new and unexpected channels for themselves.
It is only the first-time visitor to the Alps who bridles under the
Judas kiss of the wind called _fun_.

[Sidenote: A hot wind in January.]

It was on an early January day of one of these treacherous hot winds
that I was motored up from the plain of Venezia to a certain sector of
the Italian Alpine front, a sector almost as important strategically as
it is beautiful scenically. What twelve hours previously had been a
flint-hard, ice-paved road had dissolved to a river of soft slush, and
one could sense rather than see the ominous premonitory twitchings in
the lowering snow-banks as the lapping of the hot moist air relaxed the
brake of the frost which had held them on the precipitous mountain
sides. Every stretch where the road curved to the embrace of cliff or
shelving valley wall was a possible ambush, and we slipped by them with
muffled engine and hushed voices.

[Sidenote: Skirting a lake.]

Toward the middle of the short winter afternoon the gorge we had been
following opened out into a narrow valley, and straight over across the
little lake which the road skirted, reflected in the shimmering sheet of
steaming water that the thaw was throwing out across the ice, was a
vivid white triangle of towering mountain. A true granite Alp among the
splintered Dolomites--a fortress among cathedrals--it was the
outstanding, the dominating feature in a panorama which I knew from my
map was made up of the mountain chain along which wriggled the
interlocked lines of the Austro-Italian battle front.

"Plainly a peak with a personality," I said to the officer at my side.
"What is it called?"

[Sidenote: The Col di Lana an important position.]

"It's the Col di Lana," was the reply; "the mountain Colonel 'Peppino'
Garibaldi took in a first attempt and Gelasio Caetani, the
Italo-American mining engineer, afterward blew up and captured
completely. It is one of the most important positions on our whole
front, for whichever side holds it not only effectually blocks the
enemy's advance, but has also an invaluable sally-port from which to
launch his own. We simply _had_ to have it, and it was taken in what was
probably the only way humanly possible. It's Colonel Garibaldi's
headquarters, by the way, where we put up to-night and to-morrow;
perhaps you can get him to tell you the story." . . .

[Sidenote: The story of the Col di Lana.]

By the light of a little spirit lamp and to the accompaniment of a
steady drip of eaves and the rumble of distant avalanches of falling
snow, Colonel Garibaldi, that evening, told me "the story:"

[Sidenote: _Légion Italienne_ withdrawn]

"The fighting that fell to the lot of the _Légion Italienne_ in January,
1915, reduced its numbers to such an extent that it had to be withdrawn
to rest and reform. Before it was in condition to take the field again,
our country had taken the great decision and we were disbanded to go
home and fight for Italy. Here--principally because it was thought best
to incorporate the men in the units to which they (by training or
residence) really belonged--it was found impracticable to maintain the
integrity of the fourteen battalions--about 14,000 men in all--we had
formed in France, and, as a consequence, the _Légion Italienne_ ceased
to exist except as a glorious memory. We five surviving Garibaldi were
given commissions in a brigade of Alpini that is a 'lineal descendant'
of the famous _Cacciatore_ formed by my grandfather in 1859, and led by
him against the Austrians in the war in which, with the aid of the
French, we redeemed Lombardy for Italy.

[Sidenote: Defensive and offensive advantages of the peak.]

[Sidenote: Bitter struggle for the Col di Lana.]

"In July I was given command of a battalion occupying a position at the
foot of the Col di Lana. Perhaps you saw from the lake, as you came up,
the commanding position of this mountain. If so, you will understand its
supreme importance to us, whether for defensive or offensive purposes.
Looking straight down the Cordevole Valley toward the plains of Italy,
it not only furnished the Austrians an incomparable observation post,
but also stood as an effectual barrier against any advance of our own
toward the Livinallongo Valley and the important Pordoi Pass. We needed
it imperatively for the safety of any line we established in this
region; and just as imperatively would we need it when we were ready to
push the Austrians back. Since it was just as important for the
Austrians to maintain possession of this great natural fortress as it
was for us to take it away from them, you will understand how it came
about that the struggle for the Col di Lana was perhaps the bitterest
that has yet been waged for any one point on the Alpine front.

[Sidenote: The Alpini get a foothold.]

[Sidenote: Col. Garibaldi takes command.]

"Early in July, under cover of our guns to the south and east, the
Alpini streamed down from the Cima di Falzarego and Sasso di Stria,
which they had occupied shortly before, and secured what was at first
but a precarious foothold on the stony lower eastern slope of the Col di
Lana. Indeed, it was little more than a toe-hold at first; but the
never-resting Alpini soon dug themselves in and became firmly
established. It was to the command of this battalion of Alpini that I
came on the 12th of July, after being given to understand that my work
was to be the taking of the Col di Lana regardless of cost.

[Sidenote: Scientific man-saving needed.]

"This was the first time that I--or any other Garibaldi, for that matter
(my grandfather, with his 'Thousand,' took Sicily from fifty times that
number of Bourbon soldiers) had ever had enough, or even the promise of
enough, men to make that 'regardless of cost' formula much more than a
hollow mockery. But it is not in a Garibaldi to sacrifice men for any
object whatever if there is any possible way of avoiding it. The period
of indiscriminate frontal attacks had passed even before I left France,
and ways were already being devised--mostly mining and better artillery
protection--to make assaults less costly. Scientific 'man-saving,' in
which my country has since made so much progress, was then in its
infancy on the Italian front.

[Sidenote: Out-gunned by the Austrians.]

[Sidenote: First time of gallery-barracks.]

"I found many difficulties in the way of putting into practice on the
Col di Lana the man-saving theories I had seen in process of development
in the Argonne. At that time the Austrians--who had appreciated the
great importance of that mountain from the outset--had us heavily
out-gunned while mining in the hard rock was too slow to make it worth
while until some single position of crucial value hung in the balance.
So--well, I simply did the best I could under the circumstances. The
most I could do was to give my men as complete protection as possible
while they were not fighting, and this end was accomplished by
establishing them in galleries cut out of the solid rock. This was, I
believe, the first time the 'gallery-barracks'--now quite the rule at
all exposed points--were used on the Italian front.

[Sidenote: Working under heavy fire.]

"There was no other way in the beginning but to drive the enemy off the
Col di Lana trench by trench, and this was the task I set myself to
toward the end of July. What made the task an almost prohibitive one was
the fact that the Austrian guns from Corte and Cherz--which we were in
no position to reduce to silence--were able to rake us unmercifully.
Every move we made during the next nine months was carried out under
their fire, and there is no use in denying that we suffered heavily. I
used no more men than I could possibly help using, and the Higher
Command was very generous in the matter of reserves, and even in
increasing the strength of the force at my disposal as we gradually got
more room to work in. By the end of October my original command of a
battalion had been increased largely.

[Sidenote: Austrians hold one side and summit.]

[Sidenote: Austrian position seems impregnable.]

"The Austrians made a brave and skilful defense, but the steady pressure
we were bringing to bear on them gradually forced them back up the
mountain. By the first week in November we were in possession of three
sides of the mountain, while the Austrians held the fourth side and--but
most important of all--the summit. The latter presented a sheer wall of
rock, more than 200 metres high, to us from any direction we were able
to approach it, and on the crest of this cliff--the only point exposed
to our artillery fire--the enemy had a cunningly concealed machine-gun
post served by fourteen men. Back and behind, under shelter in a rock
gallery, was a reserve of 200 men, who were expected to remain safely
under cover during a bombardment and then sally forth to any infantry
attack that might follow it. The handful in the machine-gun post, it was
calculated, would be sufficient, and more than sufficient, to keep us
from scaling the cliff before their reserves came up to support them;
and so they would have been if there had been _only_ an infantry attack
to reckon with. It failed to allow sufficiently, however, for the weight
of the artillery we were bringing up, and the skill of our gunners. The
apparent impregnability of the position was really its undoing.

[Sidenote: Machine-gun post key position.]

"This cunningly conceived plan of defense I had managed to get a pretty
accurate idea of--no matter how--and I laid my own plans accordingly.
All the guns I could get hold of I had emplaced in positions most
favorable for concentrating on the real key to the summit--the exposed
machine-gun post on the crown of the cliff--with the idea, if possible,
of destroying men and guns completely, or, failing in that, at least to
render it untenable for the reserves who would try to rally to its

[Sidenote: The Alpino thoroughly dependable.]

"We had the position ranged to an inch, and so, fortunately, lost no
time in 'feeling' for it. This, with the surprise incident to it, was
perhaps the principal element in our success; for the plan--at least so
far as _taking_ the summit was concerned--worked out quite as perfectly
in action as upon paper. That is the great satisfaction of working with
the Alpino, by the way: he is so sure, so dependable, that the 'human
fallibility' element in a plan (always the most uncertain quantity) is
practically eliminated.

[Sidenote: Alpini scale the cliff.]

"It is almost certain that our sudden gust of concentrated gunfire
snuffed out the lives of all the men in the machine-gun post before
they had time to send word of our developing infantry attack to the
reserves in the gallery below. At any rate, these latter made no attempt
whatever to swarm up to the defense of the crest, even after our
artillery fire ceased. The consequence was that the 120 Alpini I sent to
scale the cliff reached the top with only three casualties, these
probably caused by rolling rocks or flying rock fragments. The Austrians
in their big 'funk-hole' were taken completely by surprise, and 130 of
them fell prisoners to considerably less than that number of Italians.
The rest of the 200 escaped or were killed in their flight.

[Sidenote: Difficulties of holding the summit.]

[Sidenote: An Austrian counter-attack.]

"So far it was so good; but, unfortunately, taking the summit and
holding it were two entirely different matters. No sooner did the
Austrians discover what had happened than they opened on the summit with
all their available artillery. We have since ascertained that the fire
of 120 guns was concentrated upon a space of 100 by 150 metres which
offered the only approach to cover that the barren summit afforded.
Fifty of my men, finding shelter in the lee of rocky ledges, remained
right out on the summit; the others crept over the edge of the cliff and
held on by their fingers and toes. Not a man of them sought safety by
flight, though a retirement would have been quite justified, considering
what a hell the Austrians' guns were making of the summit. The enemy
counter-attacked at nightfall, but despite superior numbers and the
almost complete exhaustion of that little band of Alpini heroes, they
were able to retake only a half of the summit. Here, at a
ten-metres-high ridge which roughly bisects the _cima_, the Alpini held
the Austrians, and here, in turn, the latter held the reinforcements
which I was finally able to send to the Alpini's aid. There, exposed to
the fire of the guns of either side (and so comparatively safe from
both), a line was established from which there seemed little probability
that one combatant could drive the other, at least without a radical
change from the methods so far employed.

[Sidenote: Idea of blowing up positions.]

"The idea of blowing up positions that cannot be taken otherwise is by
no means a new one. Probably it dates back almost as far as the
invention of gunpowder itself. Doubtless, if we only knew of them, there
have been attempts to mine the Great Wall of China. It was, therefore,
only natural that, when the Austrians had us held up before a position
it was vitally necessary we should have, we should begin to consider the
possibility of mining it as the only alternative. The conception of the
plan did not necessarily originate in the mind of any one individual,
however many have laid claim to it. It was the inevitable thing if we
were not going to abandon striving for our objective.

[Sidenote: Engineering operation of great magnitude.]

"But while there was nothing new in the idea of the mine itself, in
carrying out an engineering operation of such magnitude at so great an
altitude and from a position constantly exposed to intense artillery
fire there were presented many problems quite without precedent. It was
these problems which gave us pause; but finally, despite the prospect of
difficulties which we fully realized might at any time become
prohibitive, it was decided to make the attempt to blow up that portion
of the summit of the Col di Lana still held by the enemy.

[Sidenote: Gelasio Caetani the engineer.]

"The choice of the engineer for the work was a singularly fortunate one.
Gelasio Caetani--he is a son of the Duke of Sermoneta--had operated as a
mining engineer in the American West for a number of years previous to
the war, and the practical experience gained in California and Alaska
was invaluable preparation for the great task now set for him. His
ready resource and great personal courage were also incalculable assets.

[Sidenote: Miners from North America.]

"Well, the tunnel was started about the middle of January, 1916. Some of
my men--Italians who had hurried home to fight for their country when
the war started--had had some previous experience with hand and machine
drills in the mines of Colorado and British Columbia, but the most of
our labor had to gain its experience as the work progressed. Considering
this, as well as the difficulty of bringing up material (to say nothing
of food and munitions), we made very good progress.

[Sidenote: Mining under constant fire.]

[Sidenote: Thirty-eight shells a minute.]

"The worst thing about it all was the fact that it had to be done under
the incessant fire of the Austrian artillery. I provided for the men as
best as I could by putting them in galleries, where they were at least
able to get their rest. When the enemy finally found out what we were up
to they celebrated their discovery by a steady bombardment which lasted
for fourteen days without interruption. During a certain forty-two hours
of that fortnight there was, by actual count, an average of thirty-eight
shells a minute exploding on our little position.

[Sidenote: Silencing an Austrian battery.]

"We were constantly confronted with new and perplexing problems--things
which no one had ever been called upon to solve before--most of them in
connection with transportation. How we contrived to surmount one of
these I shall never forget. The Austrians had performed a brave and
audacious feat in emplacing one of their batteries at a certain point,
the fire from which threatened to make our position absolutely
untenable. The location of this battery was so cunningly chosen that not
one of our guns could reach it; and yet we _had_ to silence it--and for
good--if we were going to go on with our work. The only point from
which we could fire upon these destructive guns was so exposed that any
artillery we might be able to mount there could only count on the
shortest shrift under the fire of the hundred or more 'heavies' that the
Austrians would be able to concentrate upon it. And yet (I figured),
well employed, these few minutes might prove enough to do the work in.

[Sidenote: A young giant endeavors to climb with a gun.]

"And then there arose another difficulty. The smallest gun that would
stand a chance of doing the job cut out for it weighed 120 kilos--about
265 pounds; this just for the gun alone, with all detachable parts
removed. But the point where the gun was to be mounted was so exposed
that there was no chance of rigging up a cable-way, while the incline
was so steep and rough that it was out of the question to try to drag it
up with ropes. Just as we were on the verge of giving up in despair, one
of the Alpini--a man of Herculean frame who had made his living in
peace-time by breaking chains on his chest and performing other feats of
strength--came and suggested that he be allowed to carry the gun up on
his shoulders. Grasping at a straw, I let him indulge in a few 'practice
man[oe]uvres'; but these only showed that, while the young Samson could
shoulder and trot off with the gun without great effort, the task of
lifting himself and his burden from foothold to foothold in the
crumbling rock of the seventy-degree slope was too much for him.

[Sidenote: Men pull man and gun to position.]

"But out of this failure there came a new idea. Why not let my strong
man simply support the weight of the gun on his shoulder--acting as a
sort of ambulant gun-carriage, so to speak--while a line of men pulled
him along with a rope?

We rigged up a harness to equalize the pull on the broad back, and, with
the aid of sixteen ordinary men, the feat was accomplished without a
hitch. I am sorry to say, however, that poor Samson was laid up for a
spell with racked muscles.

"The gun--with the necessary parts and munition--was taken up in the
night, and at daybreak it was set up and ready for action. It fired just
forty shots before the Austrian 'heavies' blew it--and all but one or
two of its brave crew--to pieces with a rain of high-explosive. But the
troublesome Austrian battery was put so completely out of action that
the enemy never thought it worth while to re-emplace it.

[Sidenote: Italians mine and Austrians countermine.]

[Sidenote: The final explosion.]

"That is just a sample of the fantastic things we were doing all of the
three months that we drove the tunnel under the summit of the Col di
Lana. The last few weeks were further enlivened by the knowledge that
the Austrians were countermining against us. Once they drove so near
that we could feel the jar of their drills, but they exploded their mine
just a few metres short of where it would have upset us for good and for
all. All the time work went on until, on the 17th of April, the mine was
finished, charged, and 'tamped.' That night, while every gun we could
bring to bear rained shell upon the Austrian position, it was exploded.
A crater 150 feet in diameter and sixty feet deep engulfed the ridge the
enemy had occupied, and this our waiting Alpini rushed and firmly held.
Austrian counterattacks were easily repulsed, and the Col di Lana was at
last completely in Italian hands."

       *       *       *       *       *

During the late spring and summer of 1916, there was waged in France
that great series of battles participated in by both British and French
armies known as the battles of the Somme. Next to the defense of Verdun,
they formed the most important military operations on the western front
during that year. These battles are described in the narrative which

[Illustration: WESTERN BATTLE FRONT, AUGUST, 1916]



[Sidenote: An offensive summer campaign planned.]

The principle of an offensive campaign during the Summer of 1916 had
already been decided on by all the Allies. The various possible
alternatives on the western front had been studied and discussed by
General Joffre and myself, and we were in complete agreement as to the
front to be attacked by the combined French and British armies.
Preparations for our offensive had made considerable progress; but as
the date on which the attack should begin was dependent on many doubtful
factors, a final decision on that point was deferred until the general
situation should become clearer.

[Sidenote: British armies and supplies increasing.]

Subject to the necessity of commencing operations before the Summer was
too far advanced, and with due regard to the general situation, I
desired to postpone my attack as long as possible. The British armies
were growing in numbers and the supply of munitions was steadily
increasing. Moreover, a very large proportion of the officers and men
under my command were still far from being fully trained, and the longer
the attack could be deferred the more efficient they would become. On
the other hand, the Germans were continuing to press their attacks at
Verdun, and both there and on the Italian front, where the Austrian
offensive was gaining ground, it was evident that the strain might
become too great to be borne unless timely action were taken to relieve
it. Accordingly, while maintaining constant touch with General Joffre
in regard to all these considerations, my preparations were pushed on,
and I agreed, with the consent of his Majesty's Government, that my
attack should be launched, whenever the general situation required it,
with as great a force as I might then be able to make available.

[Sidenote: Pressure on Italian front.]

[Sidenote: Heroic French defense at Verdun.]

By the end of May, 1916, the pressure of the enemy on the Italian front
had assumed such serious proportions that the Russian campaign was
opened early in June, and the brilliant successes gained by our allies
against the Austrians at once caused a movement of German troops from
the western to the eastern front. This, however, did not lessen the
pressure on Verdun. The heroic defense of our French allies had already
gained many weeks of inestimable value and had caused the enemy very
heavy losses; but the strain continued to increase. In view, therefore,
of the situation in the various theatres of war, it was eventually
agreed between General Joffre and myself that the combined French and
British offensive should not be postponed beyond the end of June.

[Sidenote: Objects of new offensive.]

The object of that offensive was threefold:

(i.) To relieve the pressure on Verdun.

(ii.) To assist our allies in the other theatres of war by stopping any
further transfer of German troops from the western front.

(iii.) To wear down the strength of the forces opposed to us.

[Sidenote: Enemy attempts at interference.]

While my final preparations were in progress the enemy made two
unsuccessful attempts to interfere with my arrangements. The first,
directed on May 21, 1916, against our positions on the Vimy Ridge, south
and southeast of Souchez, resulted in a small enemy gain of no strategic
or tactical importance; and rather than weaken my offensive by involving
additional troops in the task of recovering the lost ground, I decided
to consolidate a position in rear of our original line.

[Sidenote: A position lost and retaken.]

The second enemy attack was delivered on June 2, 1916, on a front of
over one and a half miles from Mount Sorrell to Hooge, and succeeded in
penetrating to a maximum depth of 700 yards. As the southern part of the
lost position commanded our trenches, I judged it necessary to recover
it, and by an attack launched on June 13, 1916, carefully prepared and
well executed, this was successfully accomplished by the troops on the

Neither of these enemy attacks succeeded in delaying the preparations
for the major operations which I had in view.

These preparations were necessarily very elaborate and took considerable

[Sidenote: Vast stores accumulated.]

[Sidenote: Shelter and communication facilities prepared.]

Vast stocks of ammunition and stores of all kinds had to be accumulated
beforehand within a convenient distance of our front. To deal with these
many miles of new railways--both standard and narrow gauge--and trench
tramways were laid. All available roads were improved, many others were
made, and long causeways were built over marshy valleys. Many additional
dugouts had to be provided as shelter for the troops, for use as
dressing stations for the wounded, and as magazines for storing
ammunition, food, water, and engineering material. Scores of miles of
deep communication trenches had to be dug, as well as trenches for
telephone wires, assembly and assault trenches, and numerous gun
emplacements and observation posts.

[Sidenote: Mining operations.]

Important mining operations were undertaken, and charges were laid at
various points beneath the enemy's lines.

[Sidenote: Water supply insured.]

Except in the river valleys, the existing supplies of water were
hopelessly insufficient to meet the requirements of the numbers of men
and horses to be concentrated in this area as the preparations for our
offensive proceeded. To meet this difficulty many wells and borings were
sunk, and over one hundred pumping plants were installed. More than one
hundred and twenty miles of water mains were laid, and everything was
got ready to insure an adequate water supply as our troops advanced.

[Sidenote: Spirit of the troops.]

Much of this preparatory work had to be done under very trying
conditions, and was liable to constant interruption from the enemy's
fire. The weather, on the whole, was bad, and the local accommodations
totally insufficient for housing the troops employed, who consequently
had to content themselves with such rough shelter as could be provided
in the circumstances. All this labor, too, had to be carried out in
addition to fighting and to the everyday work of maintaining existing
defenses. It threw a very heavy strain on the troops, which was borne by
them with a cheerfulness beyond all praise.

[Sidenote: Formidable enemy position on the Somme and the Ancre.]

The enemy's position to be attacked was of a very formidable character,
situated on a high, undulating tract of ground, which rises to more than
500 feet above sea level, and forms the watershed between the Somme on
the one side and the rivers of Southwestern Belgium on the other. On the
southern face of this watershed, the general trend of which is from
east-southeast to west-northwest, the ground falls in a series of long
irregular spurs and deep depressions to the valley of the Somme. Well
down the forward slopes of this face the enemy's first system of
defense, starting from the Somme near Curlu, ran at first northward for
3,000 yards, then westward for 7,000 yards to near Fricourt, where it
turned nearly due north, forming a great salient angle in the enemy's

Some 10,000 yards north of Fricourt the trenches crossed the River
Ancre, a tributary of the Somme, and, still running northward, passed
over the summit of the watershed, about Hébuterne and Gommecourt, and
then down its northern spurs to Arras.

On the 20,000-yard front between the Somme and the Ancre the enemy had a
strong second system of defense, sited generally on or near the southern
crest of the highest part of the watershed, at an average distance of
from 3,000 to 5,000 yards behind his first system of trenches.

[Sidenote: German methods of making position impregnable.]

During nearly two years' preparation he had spared no pains to render
these defenses impregnable. The first and second systems each consisted
of several lines of deep trenches, well provided with bomb-proof
shelters and with numerous communication trenches connecting them. The
front of the trenches in each system was protected by wire
entanglements, many of them in two belts forty yards broad, built of
iron stakes interlaced with barbed wire, often almost as thick as a
man's finger.

[Sidenote: Veritable fortresses.]

[Sidenote: Machine-gun emplacements.]

The numerous woods and villages in and between these systems of defense
had been turned into veritable fortresses. The deep cellars, usually to
be found in the villages, and the numerous pits and quarries common to a
chalk country were used to provide cover for machine guns and trench
mortars. The existing cellars were supplemented by elaborate dugouts,
sometimes in two stories, and these were connected up by passages as
much as thirty feet below the surface of the ground. The salients in the
enemy's lines, from which he could bring enfilade fire across his front,
were made into self-contained forts, and often protected by mine fields,
while strong redoubts and concrete machine-gun emplacements had been
constructed in positions from which he could sweep his own trenches
should these be taken. The ground lent itself to good artillery
observation on the enemy's part, and he had skillfully arranged for
cross-fire by his guns.

[Sidenote: A composite system of great strength.]

These various systems of defense, with the fortified localities and
other supporting points between them, were cunningly sited to afford
each other mutual assistance and to admit of the utmost possible
development of enfilade and flanking fire by machine guns and artillery.
They formed, in short, not merely a series of successive lines, but one
composite system of enormous depth and strength.

[Sidenote: Many lines prepared in the rear.]

Behind this second system of trenches, in addition to woods, villages,
and other strong points prepared for defense, the enemy had several
other lines already completed; and we had learned from aeroplane
reconnoisance that he was hard at work improving and strengthening these
and digging fresh ones between them and still further back.

In the area above described, between the Somme and the Ancre, our
front-line trenches ran parallel and close to those of the enemy, but
below them. We had good direct observation on his front system of
trenches and on the various defenses sited on the slopes above us
between his first and second systems; but the second system itself, in
many places, could not be observed from the ground in our possession,
while, except from the air, nothing could be seen of his more distant

[Sidenote: The lines of the Allies.]

North of the Ancre, where the opposing trenches ran transversely across
the main ridge, the enemy's defenses were equally elaborate and
formidable. So far as command of ground was concerned we were here
practically on level terms, but, partly as a result of this, our direct
observation over the ground held by the enemy was not so good as it was
further south. On portions of this front the opposing first-line
trenches were more widely separated from each other, while in the
valleys to the north were many hidden gun positions from which the enemy
could develop flanking fire on our troops as they advanced across the

[Sidenote: Period of active operations.]

The period of active operations dealt with in this dispatch divides
itself roughly into three phases. The first phase opened with the attack
of July 1, 1916, the success of which evidently came as a surprise to
the enemy and caused considerable confusion and disorganization in his

The advantages gained on that date and developed during the first half
of July may be regarded as having been rounded off by the operations of
July 14, 1916, and three following days, which gave us possession of the
southern crest of the main plateau between Delville Wood and

[Sidenote: The enemy's efforts to hold the ridge.]

We then entered upon a contest lasting for many weeks, during which the
enemy, having found his strongest defenses unavailing, and now fully
alive to his danger, put forth his utmost efforts to keep his hold of
the main ridge. This stage of the battle constituted a prolonged and
severe struggle for mastery between the contending armies, in which,
although progress was slow and difficult, the confidence of our troops
in their ability to win was never shaken. Their tenacity and
determination proved more than equal to their task, and by the first
week in September they had established a fighting superiority that has
left its mark on the enemy, of which possession of the ridge was merely
the visible proof.

[Sidenote: The plateau gained.]

[Sidenote: Successes of the French south of the Somme]

The way was then opened for the third phase, in which our advance was
pushed down the forward slopes of the ridge and further extended on
both flanks until, from Morval to Thiepval, the whole plateau and a good
deal of ground beyond were in our possession. Meanwhile our gallant
allies, in addition to great successes south of the Somme, had pushed
their advance, against equally determined opposition and under most
difficult tactical conditions, up the long slopes on our immediate
right, and were now preparing to drive the enemy from the summit of the
narrow and difficult portion of the main ridge which lies between the
Combles Valley and the River Tortille, a stream flowing from the north
into the Somme just below Péronne.

[Sidenote: Careful artillery preparation.]

Defenses of the nature described could only be attacked with any
prospect of success after careful artillery preparation. It was
accordingly decided that our bombardment should begin on June 24, 1916
and a large force of artillery was brought into action for the purpose.

[Sidenote: Gas discharges.]

Artillery bombardments were also carried out daily at different points
on the rest of our front, and during the period from June 24 to July 1,
1916, gas was discharged with good effect at more than forty places
along our line upon a frontage which in total amounted to over fifteen
miles. Some seventy raids, too, were undertaken by our infantry between
Gommecourt and our extreme left north of Ypres during the week preceding
the attack, and these kept me well informed as to the enemy's
dispositions, besides serving other useful purposes.

[Sidenote: Attack by the Royal Flying Corps.]

On June 25, 1916, the Royal Flying Corps carried out a general attack on
the enemy's observation balloons, destroying nine of them, and depriving
the enemy for the time being of this form of observation.

[Sidenote: British and French co-operate in attack.]

On July 1, 1916, at 7.30 a. m., after a final hour of exceptionally
violent bombardment, our infantry assault was launched. Simultaneously
the French attacked on both sides of the Somme, co-operating closely
with us.

The British main front of attack extended from Maricourt on our right,
round the salient at Fricourt, to the Ancre in front of St. Pierre
Divion. To assist this main attack by holding the enemy's reserves and
occupying his artillery, the enemy's trenches north of the Ancre, as far
as Serre, inclusive, were to be assaulted simultaneously, while further
north a subsidiary attack was to be made on both sides of the salient at

[Sidenote: Rawlinson and Allenby.]

I had intrusted the attack on the front from Maricourt to Serre to the
Fourth Army, under the command of General Sir Henry S. Rawlinson, Bart.,
K. C. B., K. C. V. O., with five army corps at his disposal. The
subsidiary attack at Gommecourt was carried out by troops from the army
commanded by General Sir E. H. H. Allenby, K. C. B.

[Sidenote: Mines exploded under enemy lines.]

[Sidenote: Advance over open ground.]

[Sidenote: Trenches taken near Fricourt.]

Just prior to the attack the mines which had been prepared under the
enemy's lines were exploded, and smoke was discharged at many places
along our front. Through this smoke our infantry advanced to the attack
with the utmost steadiness in spite of the very heavy barrage of the
enemy's guns. On our right our troops met with immediate success, and
rapid progress was made. Before midday Montauban had been carried, and
shortly afterward the Briqueterie, to the east, and the whole of the
ridge to the west of the village were in our hands. Opposite Mametz part
of our assembly trenches had been practically leveled by the enemy
artillery, making it necessary for our infantry to advance to the attack
across 400 yards of open ground. None the less they forced their way
into Mametz, and reached their objective in the valley beyond, first
throwing out a defensive flank toward Fricourt on their left. At the
same time the enemy's trenches were entered north of Fricourt, so that
the enemy's garrison in that village was pressed on three sides. Further
north, though the village of La Boisselle and Ovillers for the time
being resisted our attack, our troops drove deeply into the German lines
on the flanks of these strongholds, and so paved the way for their
capture later.

[Sidenote: Fight for the Leipsic Salient.]

On the spur running south from Thiepval the work known as the Leipsic
Salient was stormed, and severe fighting took place for the possession
of the village and its defenses. Here and north of the valley of the
Ancre, as far as Serre, on the left flank of our attack, our initial
successes were not sustained. Striking progress was made at many points,
and parties of troops penetrated the enemy's positions to the outer
defenses of Grandcourt, and also to Pendant Copse and Serre; but the
enemy's continued resistance at Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel made it
impossible to forward reinforcements and ammunition, and in spite of
their gallant efforts our troops were forced to withdraw during the
night to their own lines.

[Sidenote: The attack at Gommecourt.]

The subsidiary attack at Gommecourt also forced its way into the enemy's
positions, but there met with such vigorous opposition that as soon as
it was considered that the attack had fulfilled its object our troops
were withdrawn.

[Sidenote: Instructions to General Gough.]

In view of the general situation at the end of the first day's
operations I decided that the best course was to press forward on a
front extending from our junction with the French to a point half way
between La Boisselle and Contalmaison, and to limit the offensive on our
left for the present to a slow and methodical advance. North of the
Ancre such preparations were to be made as would hold the enemy to his
positions and enable the attack to be resumed there later if desirable.
In order that General Sir Henry Rawlinson might be left free to
concentrate his attention on the portion of the front where the attack
was to be pushed home, I also decided to place the operations against
the front, La Boisselle to Serre, under the command of General Sir
Hubert de la P. Gough, K. C. B., to whom I accordingly allotted the two
northern corps of Sir Henry Rawlinson's army. My instructions to Sir
Hubert Gough were that his army was to maintain a steady pressure on the
front from La Boisselle to the Serre road and to act as a pivot on which
our line could swing as our attacks on his right made progress toward
the north.

[Sidenote: Fricourt to Contalmaison.]

During the succeeding days the attack was continued on these lines. In
spite of strong counter-attacks on the Briqueterie and Montauban, by
midday on July 2 our troops had captured Fricourt, and in the afternoon
and evening stormed Fricourt Wood and the farm to the north. During July
3 and 4 Bernajay and Caterpillar woods were also captured, and our
troops pushed forward to the railway north of Mametz. On these days the
reduction of La Boisselle was completed after hard fighting, while the
outskirts of Contalmaison were reached on July 5. North of La Boisselle
also the enemy's forces opposite us were kept constantly engaged, and
our holding in the Leipsic Salient was gradually increased.

[Sidenote: Result of five days' fighting.]

[Sidenote: Prisoners taken.]

To sum up the results of the fighting of these five days, on a front of
over six miles, from the Briqueterie to La Boisselle, our troops had
swept over the whole of the enemy's first and strongest system of
defense, which he had done his utmost to render impregnable. They had
driven him back over a distance of more than a mile, and had carried
four elaborately fortified villages. The number of prisoners passed back
at the close of July 5, 1916, had already reached the total of
ninety-four officers and 5,724 other ranks.

[Sidenote: Readjustments and reliefs.]

[Sidenote: Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.]

After the five days' heavy and continuous fighting just described it was
essential to carry out certain readjustments and reliefs of the forces
engaged. In normal conditions of enemy resistance the amount of progress
that can be made at any time without a pause in the general advance is
necessarily limited. Apart from the physical exhaustion of the attacking
troops and the considerable distance separating the enemy's successive
main systems of defense, special artillery preparation was required
before a successful assault could be delivered. Meanwhile, however,
local operations were continued in spite of much unfavorable weather.
The attack on Contalmaison and Mametz Wood was undertaken on July 7,
1916, and after three days' obstinate fighting, in the course of which
the enemy delivered several powerful counterattacks, the village and the
whole of the wood, except its northern border, were finally secured. On
July 7 also a footing was gained in the other defenses of Ovillers,
while on July 9, 1916, on our extreme right, Maltz Horn Farm--an
important point on the spur north of Hardecourt--was secured.

[Sidenote: British troops in Trones Wood.]

A thousand yards north of this farm our troops had succeeded at the
second attempt in establishing themselves on July 8, 1916, in the
southern end of Trones Wood. The enemy's positions in the northern and
eastern parts of this wood were very strong, and no less than eight
powerful German counterattacks were made here during the next five days.
In the course of this struggle portions of the wood changed hands
several times; but we were left eventually, on July 13, 1916, in
possession of the southern part of it.

[Sidenote: Assault on the German second system of defense.]

Meanwhile Mametz Wood had been entirely cleared of the enemy, and with
Trones Wood also practically in our possession we were in a position to
undertake an assault upon the enemy's second system of defense.
Arrangements were accordingly made for an attack to be delivered at
daybreak on the morning of July 14, 1916, against a front extending from
Longueval to Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, both inclusive. Contalmaison Villa,
on a spur 1,000 yards west of Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, had already been
captured to secure the left flank of the attack, and advantage had been
taken of the progress made by our infantry to move our artillery forward
into new positions. The preliminary bombardment had opened on July 11,
1916. The opportunities offered by the ground for enfilading the enemy's
lines were fully utilized, and did much to secure the success of our

[Sidenote: A night operation of magnitude.]

In the early hours of July 4, 1916, the attacking troops moved out over
the open for a distance of from about 1,000 to 1,400 yards, and lined up
in the darkness just below the crest and some 300 to 500 yards from the
enemy's trenches. Their advance was covered by strong patrols, and their
correct deployment had been insured by careful previous preparations.
The whole movement was carried out unobserved and without touch being
lost in any case. The decision to attempt a night operation of this
magnitude with an army, the bulk of which had been raised since the
beginning of the war, was perhaps the highest tribute that could be paid
to the quality of our troops. It would not have been possible but for
the most careful preparation and forethought, as well as thorough
reconnoissance of the ground, which was, in many cases, made personally
by divisional, brigade, and battalion commanders and their staffs before
framing their detailed orders for the advance.

[Sidenote: The assault on July 14.]

The actual assault was delivered at 3.25 a.m. on July 14, 1916, when
there was just sufficient light to be able to distinguish friend from
foe at short ranges, and along the whole front attacked our troops,
preceded by a very effective artillery barrage, swept over the enemy's
first trenches and on into the defenses beyond.

[Sidenote: Trones Wood cleared of the enemy.]

[Sidenote: Longueval occupied.]

On our right the enemy was driven from his last foothold in Trones Wood,
and by 8 a.m. we had cleared the whole of it, relieving a body of 170
men who had maintained themselves all night in the northern corner of
the wood, although completely surrounded by the enemy. Our position in
the wood was finally consolidated, and strong patrols were sent out from
it in the direction of Guillemont and Longueval. The southern half of
this latter village was already in the hands of the troops who had
advanced west of Trones Wood. The northern half, with the exception of
two strong points, was captured by 4 p.m. after a severe struggle.

[Sidenote: The enemy counterattacks.]

In the centre of our attack Bazentin-le-Grand village and wood were also
gained, and our troops pushing northward captured Bazentin-le-Petit
village and the cemetery to the east. Here the enemy counterattacked
twice about midday without success, and again in the afternoon, on the
latter occasion momentarily reoccupying the northern half of the village
as far as the church. Our troops immediately returned to the attack and
drove him out again with heavy losses. To the left of the village
Bazentin-le-Petit Wood was cleared, in spite of the considerable
resistance of the enemy along its western edge, where we successfully
repulsed a counterattack. In the afternoon further ground was gained to
the west of the wood, and posts were established immediately south of

[Sidenote: General Rawlinson employs cavalry.]

The enemy's troops, who had been severely handled in these attacks and
counterattacks, began to show signs of disorganization, and it was
reported early in the afternoon that it was possible to advance to High
Wood. General Rawlinson, who had held a force of cavalry in readiness
for such an eventuality, decided to employ a part of it. As the fight
progressed small bodies of this force had pushed forward gradually,
keeping in close touch with the development of the action, and prepared
to seize quickly any opportunity that might occur. A squadron now came
up on the flanks of our infantry, who entered High Wood at about 8 p.m.,
and, after some hand-to-hand fighting, cleared the whole of the wood
with the exception of the northern apex. Acting mounted in co-operation
with the infantry, the cavalry came into action with good effect,
killing several of the enemy and capturing some prisoners.

[Sidenote: British withdrawn from High Wood.]

On July 15, 1916, the battle still continued, though on a reduced scale.
Arrow Head Copse, between the southern edge of Trones Wood and
Guillemont, and Waterlot Farm on the Longueval-Guillemont road, were
seized, and Delville Wood was captured and held against several hostile
counterattacks. In Longueval fierce fighting continued until dusk for
the possession of the two strong points and the orchards to the north of
the village. The situation in this area made the position of our troops
in High Wood somewhat precarious, and they now began to suffer numerous
casualties from the enemy's heavy shelling. Accordingly orders were
given for their withdrawal, and this was effected during the night of
July 15-16, 1916, without interference by the enemy. All the wounded
were brought in.

[Sidenote: Progress toward Pozières.]

In spite of repeated enemy counterattacks further progress was made on
the night of July 16, 1916, along the enemy's main second-line trenches
northwest of Bazentin-le-Petit Wood to within 500 yards of the northeast
corner of the village of Pozières, which our troops were already
approaching from the south.

[Sidenote: Ovillers captured.]

Meanwhile the operations further north had also made progress. Since the
attack of July 7, 1916, the enemy in and about Ovillers had been pressed
relentlessly and gradually driven back by incessant bombing attacks and
local assaults, in accordance with the general instructions I had given
to General Sir Hubert Gough. On July 16, 1916, a large body of the
garrison of Ovillers surrendered, and that night and during the
following day, by a direct advance from the west across No Man's Land,
our troops carried the remainder of the village and pushed out along the
spur to the north and eastward toward Pozières.

[Sidenote: A new line definitely established.]

The results of the operations of July 4, 1916, and subsequent days were
of considerable importance. The enemy's second main system of defense
had been captured on a front of over three miles. We had again forced
him back more than a mile, and had gained possession of the southern
crest of the main ridge on a front of 6,000 yards. Four more of his
fortified villages and three woods had been wrested from him by
determined fighting, and our advanced troops had penetrated as far as
his third line of defense. In spite of a resolute resistance and many
counterattacks, in which the enemy had suffered severely, our line was
definitely established from Maltz Horn Farm, where we met the French
left, northward along the eastern edge of Trones Wood to Longueval,
then westward past Bazentin-le-Grand to the northern corner of
Bazentin-le-Petit and Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, and then westward again
past the southern face of Pozières to the north of Ovillers. Posts were
established at Arrow Head Copse and Waterlot Farm, while we had troops
thrown forward in Delville Wood and toward High Wood, though their
position was not yet secure.

[Sidenote: Sir Henry Rawlinson commended.]

I cannot speak too highly of the skill, daring endurance, and
determination by which these results had been achieved. Great credit is
due to Sir Henry Rawlinson for the thoroughness and care with which this
difficult undertaking was planned; while the advance and deployment made
by night without confusion, and the complete success of the subsequent
attack, constitute a striking tribute to the discipline and spirit of
the troops engaged, as well as to the powers of leadership and
organization of their commanders and staffs.

[Sidenote: Guns and prisoners taken.]

During these operations and their development on the 15th a number of
enemy guns were taken, making a total capture since July 1, 1916, of
eight heavy howitzers, four heavy guns, forty-two field and light guns
and field howitzers, thirty trench mortars, and fifty-two machine guns.
Very considerable losses had been inflicted on the enemy, and the
prisoners captured amounted to over 2,000, bringing the total since July
1, 1916, to over 10,000.

[Sidenote: Enemy able to bring up fresh troops.]

There was strong evidence that the enemy forces engaged on the battle
front had been severely shaken by the repeated successes gained by
ourselves and our allies; but the great strength and depth of his
defenses had secured for him sufficient time to bring up fresh troops,
and he had still many powerful fortifications, both trenches, villages,
and woods, to which he could cling in our front and on our flanks.

We had, indeed, secured a footing on the main ridge, but only on a front
of 6,000 yards, and desirous though I was to follow up quickly the
successes we had won, it was necessary first to widen this front.

[Sidenote: Pozières and Thiepval still to be carried.]

West of Bazentin-le-Petit the villages of Pozières and Thiepval,
together with the whole elaborate system of trenches around, between and
on the main ridge behind them, had still to be carried. An advance
further east would, however, eventually turn these defenses, and all
that was for the present required on the left flank of our attack was a
steady, methodical, step by step advance as already ordered.

[Sidenote: Salient at Delville, Wood and Longueval.]

On our right flank the situation called for stronger measures. At
Delville Wood and Longueval our lines formed a sharp salient, from which
our front ran on the one side westward to Pozières, and on the other
southward to Maltz Horn Farm. At Maltz Horn Farm our lines joined the
French, and the allied front continued still southward to the village of
Hem, on the Somme.

[Sidenote: Enemy's advantages.]

This pronounced salient invited counterattacks by the enemy. He
possessed direct observation on it all around from Guillemont on the
southeast to High Wood on the northwest. He could bring a concentric
fire of artillery, to bear not only on the wood and village, but also on
the confined space behind, through which ran the French communications
as well as ours, where great numbers of guns, besides ammunition and
impediments of all sorts, had necessarily to be crowded together. Having
been in occupation of this ground for nearly two years, he knew every
foot of it, and could not fail to appreciate the possibilities of
causing us heavy loss there by indirect artillery fire; while it was
evident that, if he could drive in the salient in our line and so gain
direct observation on the ground behind, our position in that area would
become very uncomfortable.

[Sidenote: Confidence in the troops]

If there had not been good grounds for confidence that the enemy was not
capable of driving from this position troops who had shown themselves
able to wrest it from him, the situation would have been an anxious one.
In any case it was clear that the first requirement at the moment was
that our right flank, and the French troops in extension of it, should
swing up into line with our centre. To effect this, however, strong
enemy positions had to be captured both by ourselves and by our allies.

[Sidenote: Plateau from Delville Wood to Morval]

[Sidenote: New enemy defenses.]

From Delville Wood the main plateau extends for 4,000 yards
east-northeast to Les Boeufs and Morval, and for about the same distance
southeastward to Leuze and Bouleau Woods, which stand above and about
1,000 yards to the west of Combles. To bring my right up into line with
the rest of my front it was necessary to capture Guillemont, Falfemont
Farm, and Leuze Wood, and then Ginchy and Bouleau Woods. These
localities were naturally very strong, and they had been elaborately
fortified. The enemy's main second-line system of defense ran in front
of them from Waterlot Farm, which was already in our hands,
southeastward to Falfemont Farm, and thence southward to the Somme. The
importance of holding us back in this area could not escape the enemy's
notice, and he had dug and wired many new trenches, both in front of and
behind his original lines. He had also brought up fresh troops, and
there was no possibility of taking him by surprise.

[Sidenote: Rain and unfavorable ground.]

[Sidenote: Constant haze.]

The task before us was, therefore, a very difficult one and entailed a
real trial of strength between the opposing forces. At this juncture its
difficulties were increased by unfavorable weather. The nature of the
ground limited the possibility of direct observation of our artillery
fire, and we were consequently much dependent on observation from the
air. As in that element we had attained almost complete superiority, all
that we required was a clear atmosphere; but with this we were not
favored for several weeks. We had rather more rain than is usual in July
and August, and even when no rain fell there was an almost constant haze
and frequent low clouds.

[Sidenote: British and French must advance together.]

[Sidenote: Positions the French must capture.]

In swinging up my own right it was very important that the French line
north of the Somme should be advanced at the same time in close
combination with the movement of the British troops. The line of
demarkation agreed on between the French commander and myself ran from
Maltz Horn Farm due eastward to the Combles Valley and then
northeastward up that valley to a point midway between Sailly-Saillisel
and Morval. These two villages had been fixed upon as objectives,
respectively, of the French left and of my right. In order to advance in
co-operation with my right, and eventually to reach Sailly-Saillisel,
our allies had still to fight their way up that portion of the main
ridge which lies between the Combles Valley on the west and the River
Tortille on the east. To do so they had to capture, in the first place,
the strongly fortified villages of Maurepas, Le Forest, Rancourt, and
Frégicourt, besides many woods and strong systems of trenches. As the
high ground on each side of the Combles Valley commands the slopes of
the ridge on the opposite side, it was essential that the advance of the
two armies should be simultaneous and made in the closest co-operation.
This was fully recognized by both armies, and our plans were made

[Sidenote: A pause necessary.]

To carry out the necessary preparations to deal with the difficult
situation outlined above a short pause was necessary, to enable tired
troops to be relieved and guns to be moved forward; while at the same
time old communications had to be improved and new ones made.
Intrenchments against probable counterattacks could not be neglected,
and fresh dispositions of troops were required for the new attacks to be
directed eastward.

[Sidenote: Pressure on whole front.]

It was also necessary to continue such pressure on the rest of our
front, not only on the Ancre, but further south, as would make it
impossible for the enemy to devote himself entirely to resisting the
advance between Delville Wood and the Somme. In addition, it was
desirable further to secure our hold on the main ridge west of Delville
Wood by gaining more ground to our front in that direction. Orders were
therefore issued in accordance with the general considerations explained
above, and, without relaxing pressure along the enemy's front from
Delville Wood to the west, preparations for an attack on Guillemont were
pushed on.

[Sidenote: Enemy counterattack on Delville Wood.]

During the afternoon of July 18, 1916, the enemy developed his expected
counterattack against Delville Wood, after heavy preliminary shelling.
By sheer weight of numbers, and at very heavy cost, he forced his way
through the northern and northeastern portion of the wood and into the
northern half of Longueval, which our troops had cleared only that
morning. In the southeast corner of the wood he was held up by a gallant
defense, and further south three attacks on our positions in Waterlot
Farm failed.

[Sidenote: Progress bought by hard fighting.]

[Sidenote: Enemy in great strength.]

This enemy attack on Delville Wood marked the commencement of the long,
closely contested struggle which was not finally decided in our favor
till the fall of Guillemont on September 3, 1916, a decision which was
confirmed by the capture of Ginchy six days later. Considerable gains
were indeed made during this period, but progress was slow, and bought
only by hard fighting. A footing was established in High Wood on July
20, 1916, and our line linked up thence with Longueval. A subsequent
advance by the Fourth Army on July 23, 1916, on a wide front from
Guillemont to Pozières found the enemy in great strength all along the
line, with machine guns and forward troops in shell holes and newly
constructed trenches well in front of his main defenses. Although ground
was won, the strength of the resistance experienced showed that the
hostile troops had recovered from their previous confusion sufficiently
to necessitate long and careful preparation before further successes on
any great scale could be secured.

[Sidenote: Two powerful counterattacks.]

An assault delivered simultaneously on this date by General Gough's army
against Pozières gained considerable results, and by the morning of July
25, 1916, the whole of that village was carried, including the cemetery,
and important progress was made along the enemy's trenches to the
northeast. That evening, after heavy artillery preparation, the enemy
launched two more powerful counterattacks, the one directed against our
new position in and around High Wood and the other delivered from the
northwest of Delville Wood. Both attacks were completely broken up with
very heavy losses to the enemy.

[Sidenote: Delville Wood recovered.]

On July 27, 1916, the remainder of Delville Wood was recovered, and two
days later the northern portion of Longueval and the orchards were
cleared of the enemy, after severe fighting, in which our own and the
enemy's artillery were very active.

[Sidenote: Fighting at Guillemont.]

On July 30, 1916, the village of Guillemont and Falfemont Farm to the
southeast were attacked, in conjunction with a French attack north of
the Somme. A battalion entered Guillemont, and part of it passed
through to the far side; but as the battalions on either flank did not
reach their objectives, it was obliged to fall back, after holding out
for some hours on the western edge of the village. In a subsequent local
attack on August 7, 1916, our troops again entered Guillemont, but were
again compelled to fall back owing to the failure of a simultaneous
effort against the enemy's trenches on the flanks of the village.

[Sidenote: Dominating enemy positions.]

[Sidenote: Series of French and British attacks.]

The ground to the south of Guillemont was dominated by the enemy's
positions in and about that village. It was therefore hoped that these
positions might be captured first, before an advance to the south of
them in the direction of Falfemont Farm was pushed further forward. It
had now become evident, however, that Guillemont could not be captured
as an isolated enterprise without very heavy loss, and, accordingly,
arrangements were made with the French Army on our immediate right for a
series of combined attacks, to be delivered in progressive stages, which
should embrace Maurepas, Falfemont Farm, Guillemont, Leuze Wood, and

[Sidenote: Attacks and counterattacks.]

An attempt on August 16, 1916, to carry out the first stage of the
prearranged scheme met with only partial success, and two days later,
after a preliminary bombardment lasting thirty-six hours, a larger
combined attack was undertaken. In spite of a number of enemy
counterattacks the most violent of which leveled at the point of
junction of the British with the French, succeeded in forcing our allies
and ourselves back from a part of the ground won--very valuable progress
was made, and our troops established themselves in the outskirts of
Guillemont village and occupied Guillemont Station. A violent
counterattack on Guillemont Station was repulsed on August 23, 1916, and
next day further important progress was made on a wide front north and
east of Delville Wood.

[Sidenote: Advance by bombing and sapping.]

[Sidenote: Progress near Thiepval.]

Apart from the operations already described, others of a minor
character, yet involving much fierce and obstinate fighting, continued
during this period on the fronts of both the British armies. Our lines
were pushed forward wherever possible by means of local attacks and by
bombing and sapping, and the enemy was driven out of various forward
positions from which he might hamper our progress. By these means many
gains were made which, though small in themselves, in the aggregate
represented very considerable advances. In this way our line was brought
to the crest of the ridge above Martinpuich, and Pozières Windmill and
the high ground north of the village were secured, and with them
observation over Martinpuich and Courcelette and the enemy's gun
positions in their neighborhood and around Le Sars. At a later date our
troops reached the defenses of Mouquet Farm, northwest of Pozières, and
made progress in the enemy's trenches south of Thiepval. The enemy's
counter-attacks were incessant and frequently of great violence, but
they were made in vain and at heavy cost to him. The fierceness of the
fighting can be gathered from the fact that one regiment of the German
Guards Reserve Corps which had been in the Thiepval salient opposite
Mouquet Farm is known to have lost 1,400 men in fifteen days.

[Sidenote: A general attack.]

The first two days of September, 1916, on both army fronts were spent in
preparation for a more general attack, which the gradual progress made
during the preceding month had placed us in a position to undertake. Our
assault was delivered at 12 noon on September 3, 1916, on a front
extending from our extreme right to the third enemy trenches on the
right bank of the Ancre, north of Hamel. Our allies attacked
simultaneously on our right.

[Sidenote: Guillemont stormed.]

[Sidenote: Counterattacks on Guillemont.]

Guillemont was stormed and at once consolidated, and our troops pushed
on unchecked to Ginchy and the line of the road running south to Wedge
Wood. Ginchy was also seized, but here, in the afternoon, we were very
strongly counterattacked. For three days the tide of attack and
counterattack swayed backward and forward among the ruined houses of the
village, till, in the end, for three days more the greater part of it
remained in the enemy's possession. Three counterattacks made on the
evening of September 3, 1916, against our troops in Guillemont all
failed, with considerable loss to the enemy. We also gained ground north
of Delville Wood and in High Wood, though here an enemy counterattack
recovered part of the ground won.

On the front of General Gough's army, though the enemy suffered heavy
losses in personnel, our gain in ground was slight.

[Sidenote: British assault on Falfemont Farm.]

In order to keep touch with the French who were attacking on our right
the assault on Falfemont Farm on September 3, 1916, was delivered three
hours before the opening of the main assault. In the impetus of their
first rush our troops reached the farm, but could not hold it.
Nevertheless, they pushed on to the north of it, and on September 4,
1916, delivered a series of fresh assaults upon it from the west and

[Sidenote: Leuze Wood cleared.]

Ultimately this strongly fortified position was occupied piece by piece,
and by the morning of September 5, 1916, the whole of it was in our
possession. Meanwhile further progress had been made to the northeast of
the farm, where considerable initiative was shown by the local
commanders. By the evening of the same day our troops were established
strongly in Leuze Wood, which on the following day was finally cleared
of the enemy.

[Sidenote: Advance on the right.]

[Sidenote: Enemy's barrier broken.]

In spite of the fact that most of Ginchy and of High Wood remained in
the enemy's hands, very noteworthy progress had been made in the course
of these four days' operations, exceeding anything that had been
achieved since July 14, 1916. Our right was advanced on a front of
nearly two miles to an average depth of nearly one mile, penetrating the
enemy's original second line of defense on this front, and capturing
strongly fortified positions at Falfemont Farm, Leuze Wood, Guillemont,
and southeast of Delville Wood, where reached the western outskirts of
Ginchy. More important than this gain in territory was the fact that the
barrier which for seven weeks the enemy had maintained against our
further advance had at last been broken. Over 1,000 prisoners were taken
and many machine guns captured or destroyed in the course of the

Preparations for a further attack upon Ginchy continued without
intermission, and at 4.45 p.m. on September 9, 1916, the attack was
reopened on the whole of the Fourth Army front. At Ginchy and to the
north of Leuze Wood it met with almost immediate success. On the right
the enemy's line was seized over a front of more than 1,000 yards from
the southwest corner of Bouleau Woods, in a northwesterly direction, to
a point just south of the Guillemont-Morval tramway. Our troops again
forced their way into Ginchy, and passing beyond it carried the line of
enemy trenches to the east. Further progress was made east of Delville
Wood and south and east of High Wood.

[Sidenote: German prisoners taken.]

Over 500 prisoners were taken in the operations of September 9, 1916,
and following days, making the total since July 1, 1916, over 17,000.

[Sidenote: French progress.]

Meanwhile the French had made great progress on our right, bringing
their line forward to Louage Wood (just south of Combles)--Le
Forest-Clery-sur-Somme, all three inclusive. The weak salient in the
allied line had therefore disappeared and we had gained the front
required for further operations.

[Sidenote: Ability of new armies.]

[Sidenote: Depth of enemy fortifications.]

[Sidenote: Failure of counterattacks.]

Still more importance, however, lay in the proof afforded by the results
described of the ability of our new armies, not only to rush the enemy's
strongest defenses, as had been accomplished on July 1 and 14, 1916, but
also to wear down and break his power of resistance by a steady,
relentless pressure, as they had done during the weeks of this fierce
and protracted struggle. As has already been recounted, the preparations
made for our assault on July 1, 1916, had been long and elaborate; but
though the enemy knew that an attack was coming, it would seem that he
considered the troops already on the spot, secure in their apparently
impregnable defenses, would suffice to deal with it. The success of that
assault, combined with the vigor and determination with which our troops
pressed their advantage, and followed by the successful night attack of
July 14, 1916, all served to awaken him to a fuller realization of his
danger. The great depth of his system of fortification, to which
reference has been made, gave him time to reorganize his defeated
troops, and to hurry up numerous fresh divisions and more guns. Yet in
spite of this, he was still pushed back, steadily and continuously.
Trench after trench and strong point after strong point were wrested
from him. The great majority of his frequent counterattacks failed
completely, with heavy loss; while the few that achieved temporary local
success purchased it dearly, and were soon thrown back from the ground
they had for the moment regained.

The enemy had, it is true, delayed our advance considerably, but the
effort had cost him dear; and the comparative collapse of his resistance
during the last few days of the struggle justified the belief that in
the long run decisive victory would lie with our troops, who had
displayed such fine fighting qualities and such indomitable endurance
and resolution.

[Sidenote: Mouquet Farm in hands of British.]

Practically the whole of the forward crest of the main ridge on a front
of some 9,000 yards, from Delville Wood to the road above Mouquet Farm,
was now in our hands, and with it the advantage of observation over the
slopes beyond. East of Delville Wood, for a further 3,000 yards to Leuze
Wood, we were firmly established on the main ridge, while further east,
across the Combles Valley, the French were advancing victoriously on our
right. But though the centre of our line was well placed, on our flanks
there was still difficult ground to be won.

[Sidenote: High ground from Ginchy to Morval.]

From Ginchy the crest of the high ground runs northward for 2,000 yards,
and then eastward, in a long spur, for nearly 4,000 yards. Near the
eastern extremity of this spur stands the village of Morval commanding a
wide field of view and fire in every direction. At Leuze Wood my right
was still 2,000 yards from its objective at this village, and between
lay a broad and deep branch of the main Combles Valley, completely
commanded by the Morval spur, and flanked, not only from its head
northeast of Ginchy, but also from the high ground east of the Combles
Valley, which looks directly into it.

[Sidenote: The French near Combles.]

Up this high ground beyond the Combles Valley the French were working
their way toward their objective at Sailly-Saillisel, situated due east
of Morval, and standing at the same level. Between these two villages
the ground falls away to the head of the Combles Valley, which runs
thence in a southwesterly direction. In the bottom of this valley lies
the small town of Combles, then well fortified and strongly held, though
dominated by my right at Leuze Wood and by the French left on the
opposite heights. It had been agreed between the French and myself that
an assault on Combles would not be necessary, as the place could be
rendered untenable by pressing forward along the ridges above it on
either side.

[Sidenote: Difficulties in way of French advance.]

The capture of Morval from the south presented a very difficult problem,
while the capture of Sailly-Saillisel, at that time some 3,000 yards to
the north of the French left, was in some respects even more difficult.
The line of the French advance was narrowed almost to a defile by the
extensive and strongly fortified Wood of St. Pierre Vaast on the one
side, and on the other by the Combles Valley, which, with the branches
running out from it and the slopes each side, is completely commanded,
as has been pointed out, by the heights bounding the valley on the east
and west.

[Sidenote: Close cooperation necessary on right.]

On my right flank, therefore, the progress of the French and British
forces was still interdependent, and the closest cooperation continued
to be necessary in order to gain the further ground required to enable
my centre to advance on a sufficiently wide front. To cope with such a
situation unity of command is usually essential, but in this case the
cordial good feeling between the allied armies, and the earnest desire
of each to assist the other, proved equally effective, and removed all

[Sidenote: Enemy defense on main ridge over Thiepval.]

On my left flank the front of General Gough's army bent back from the
main ridge near Mouquet Farm down a spur descending southwestward, and
then crossed a broad valley to the Wonderwork, a strong point situated
in the enemy's front-line system near the southern end of the spur on
the higher slopes of which Thiepval stands. Opposite this part of our
line we had still to carry the enemy's original defenses on the main
ridge above Thiepval, and in the village itself, defenses which may
fairly be described as being as nearly impregnable as nature, art, and
the unstinted labor of nearly two years could make them.

[Sidenote: British advance on Thiepval defenses.]

[Sidenote: Positions might be rushed.]

Our advance on Thiepval and on the defenses above it had been carried
out up to this date, in accordance with my instructions given on July 3,
1916, by a slow and methodical progression, in which great skill and
much patience and endurance had been displayed with entirely
satisfactory results. General Gough's army had, in fact, acted most
successfully in the required manner as a pivot to the remainder of the
attack. The Thiepval defenses were known to be exceptionally strong, and
as immediate possession of them was not necessary to the development of
my plans after July 1, 1916, there had been no need to incur the heavy
casualties to be expected in an attempt to rush them. The time was now
approaching, although it had not yet arrived, when their capture would
become necessary; but from the positions we had now reached and those
which we expected shortly to obtain, I had no doubt that they could be
rushed when required without undue loss. An important part of the
remaining positions required for my assault on them was now won by a
highly successful enterprise carried out on the evening of September 14,
1916, by which the Wonderwork was stormed.

[Sidenote: Plan of combined attack.]

[Sidenote: Main effort against Rancourt and Frégicourt.]

The general plan of the combined allied attack which was opened on
September 15 was to pivot on the high ground south of the Ancre and
north of the Albert-Bapaume road, while the Fourth Army devoted its
whole effort to the rearmost of the enemy's original systems of defense
between Morval and Le Sars. Should our success in this direction warrant
it I made arrangements to enable me to extend the left of the attack to
embrace the villages of Martinpuich and Courcelette. As soon as our
advance on this front had reached the Morval line, the time would have
arrived to bring forward my left across the Thiepval Ridge. Meanwhile on
my right our allies arranged to continue the line of advance in close
co-operation with me from the Somme to the slopes above Combles, but
directing their main effort northward against the villages of Rancourt
and Frégicourt, so as to complete the isolation of Combles and open the
way for their attack upon Sailly-Saillisel.

A methodical bombardment was commenced at 6 a.m. on September 12, 1916,
and was continued steadily and uninterruptedly till the moment of

[Sidenote: Bombardment and infantry assault.]

At 6.20 a.m. on September 15, 1916 the infantry assault commenced, and
at the same moment the bombardment became intense. Our new heavily
armored cars, known as "tanks," now brought into action for the first
time, successfully co-operated with the infantry, and, coming as a
surprise to the enemy rank and file, gave valuable help in breaking down
their resistance.

[Sidenote: Tanks enter Flers.]

[Sidenote: High Wood carried.]

[Sidenote: Capture of the Quadrilateral.]

The advance met with immediate success on almost the whole of the front
attacked. At 8.40 a.m. "tanks" were seen to be entering Flers, followed
by large numbers of troops. Fighting continued in Flers for some time,
but by 10 a.m. our troops had reached the north side of the village, and
by midday had occupied the enemy's trenches for some distance beyond. On
our right our line was advanced to within assaulting distance of the
strong line of defense running before Morval, Les Boeufs, and
Gueudecourt, and on our left High Wood was at last carried after many
hours of very severe fighting, reflecting great credit on the attacking
battalions. Our success made it possible to carry out during the
afternoon that part of the plan which provided for the capture of
Martinpuich and Courcelette, and by the end of the day both these
villages were in our hands. On September 18, 1916, the work of this day
was completed by the capture of the Quadrilateral, an enemy stronghold
which had hitherto blocked the progress of our right toward Morval.
Further progress was also made between Flers and Martinpuich.

[Sidenote: Results of four days' fighting.]

The result of the fighting of September 15, 1916, and following days was
a gain more considerable than any which had attended our arms in the
course of a single operation since the commencement of the offensive. In
the course of one day's fighting we had broken through two of the
enemy's main defensive systems and had advanced on a front of over six
miles to an average depth of a mile. In the course of this advance we
had taken three large villages, each powerfully organized for prolonged
resistance. Two of these villages had been carried by assault with short
preparation in the course of a few hours' fighting. All this had been
accomplished with a small number of casualties in comparison with the
troops employed, and in spite of the fact that, as was afterward
discovered, the attack did not come as a complete surprise to the enemy.

[Sidenote: Prisoners taken.]

The total number of prisoners taken by us in these operations since
their commencement on the evening of September 14, 1916, amounted at
this date to over 4,000, including 127 officers.

[Sidenote: General attack launched.]

[Sidenote: Objectives taken.]

Preparations for our further advance were again hindered by bad weather,
but at 12.35 p.m. on September 25, 1916, after a bombardment commenced
early in the morning of the 24th, a general attack by the Allies was
launched on the whole front between the Somme and Martinpuich. The
objectives on the British front included the villages of Morval, Les
Boeufs, and Gueudecourt, and a belt of country about 1,000 yards deep
curving round the north of Flers to a point midway between that village
and Martinpuich. By nightfall the whole of these objectives were in our
hands, with the exception of the village of Gueudecourt, before which
our troops met with very serious resistance from a party of the enemy in
a section of his fourth main system of defense.

[Sidenote: French take Rancourt.]

[Sidenote: Combles occupied.]

On our right our allies carried the village of Rancourt, and advanced
their line to the outskirts of Frégicourt, capturing that village also
during the night and early morning. Combles was therefore nearly
surrounded by the allied forces, and in the early morning of September
26, 1916, the village was occupied simultaneously by the allied forces,
the British to the north and the French to the south of the railway. The
capture of Combles in this inexpensive fashion represented a not
inconsiderable tactical success. Though lying in a hollow, the village
was very strongly fortified, and possessed, in addition to the works
which the enemy had constructed, exceptionally large cellars and
galleries, at a great depth under ground, sufficient to give effectual
shelter to troops and material under the heaviest bombardment. Great
quantities of stores and ammunition of all sorts were found in these
cellars when the village was taken.

[Sidenote: Gueudecourt carried.]

[Sidenote: Few casualties.]

On the same day Gueudecourt was carried, after the protecting trench to
the west had been captured in a somewhat interesting fashion. In the
early morning a "tank" started down the portion of the trench held by
the enemy from the northwest, firing its machine guns and followed by
bombers. The enemy could not escape, as we held the trench at the
southern end. At the same time an aeroplane flew down the length of the
trench, also firing a machine gun at the enemy holding it. These then
waved white handkerchiefs in token of surrender, and when this was
reported by the aeroplane the infantry accepted the surrender of the
garrison. By 8.30 a.m. the whole trench had been cleared, great numbers
of the enemy had been killed, and 8 officers and 362 of the ranks made
prisoners. Our total casualties amounted to five.

[Sidenote: Tactical value of the main ridge.]

The success of the Fourth Army had now brought our advance to the stage
at which I judged it advisable that Thiepval should be taken, in order
to bring our left flank into line and establish it on the main ridge
above that village, the possession of which would be of considerable
tactical value in future operations.

[Sidenote: New attack on Thiepval.]

Accordingly at 12.25 p.m. on September 26, 1916, before the enemy had
been given time to recover from the blow struck by the Fourth Army, a
general attack was launched against Thiepval and the Thiepval Ridge. The
objective consisted of the whole of the high ground still remaining in
enemy hands extending over a front of some 3,000 yards north and east of
Thiepval, and including, in addition to that fortress, the Zollern
Redoubt, the Stuff Redoubt, and the Schwaben Redoubt, with the
connecting lines of trenches.

[Sidenote: Strong enemy resistance.]

The attack was a brilliant success. On the right our troops reached the
system of enemy trenches which formed their objectives without great
difficulty. In Thiepval and the strong works to the north of it the
enemy's resistance was more desperate. Three waves of our attacking
troops carried the outer defenses of Mouquet Farm, and, pushing on,
entered Zollern Redoubt, which they stormed and consolidated. In the
strong point formed by the buildings of the farm itself, the enemy
garrison, securely posted in deep cellars, held out until 6 p.m., when
their last defenses were forced by a working party of a pioneer
battalion acting on its own initiative.

[Sidenote: Thiepval taken.]

On the left of the attack fierce fighting, in which "tanks" again gave
valuable assistance to our troops, continued in Thiepval during that day
and the following night, but by 8.30 a.m. on September 27, 1916 the
whole of the village of Thiepval was in our hands.

[Sidenote: Prisoners.]

Some 2,300 prisoners were taken in the course of the fighting on the
Thiepval Ridge on these and the subsequent days, bringing the total
number of prisoners taken in the battle area in the operations of
September 14-30, 1916, to nearly 10,000. In the same period we had
captured 27 guns, over 200 machine guns, and some 40 trench mortars.

[Sidenote: Stuff and Schwaben Redoubts.]

On the same date the south and west sides of Stuff Redoubt were carried
by our troops, together with the length of trench connecting that strong
point with Schwaben Redoubt to the west and also the greater part of the
enemy's defensive line eastward along the northern slopes of the ridge.
Schwaben Redoubt was assaulted during the afternoon, and in spite of
counterattacks, delivered by strong enemy reenforcements, we captured
the whole of the southern face of the redoubt and pushed out patrols to
the northern face and toward St. Pierre Divion.

Our line was also advanced north of Courcelette, while on the Fourth
Army front a further portion of the enemy's fourth-system of defense
northwest of Gueudecourt was carried on a front of a mile. Between these
two points the enemy fell back upon his defenses running in front of
Eaucourt l'Abbaye and Le Sars, and on the afternoon and evening of
September 27, 1916, our troops were able to make a very considerable
advance in this area without encountering serious opposition until
within a few hundred yards of this line. The ground thus occupied
extended to a depth of from 500 to 600 yards on a front of nearly two
miles between the Bazentin-le-Petit, Lingy, Thilloy, and Albert-Bapaume

[Sidenote: Destremont Farm carried.]

Destremont Farm, southwest of Le Sars, was carried by a single company
on September 29, 1916, and on the afternoon of October 1, 1916, a
successful attack was launched against Eaucourt l'Abbaye and the enemy
defenses to the east and west of it, comprising a total front of about
3,000 yards. Our artillery barrage was extremely accurate, and
contributed greatly to the success of the attack. Bomb fighting
continued among the buildings during the next two days, but by the
evening of October 3 the whole of Eaucourt l'Abbaye was in our hands.

[Sidenote: Fourth Army attacks.]

At the end of September, 1916, I had handed over Morval to the French,
in order to facilitate their attacks on Sailly-Saillisel, and on October
7, 1916, after a postponement rendered necessary by three days'
continuous rain, our allies made a considerable advance in the direction
of the latter village. On the same day the Fourth Army attacked along
the whole front from Les Boeufs to Destremont Farm in support of the
operations of our allies.

[Sidenote: Enemy's trenches east of Gueudecourt taken.]

The village of Le Sars was captured, together with the quarry to the
northwest, while considerable progress was made at other points along
the front attacked. In particular, to the east of Gueudecourt, the
enemy's trenches were carried on a breadth of some 2,000 yards, and a
footing gained on the crest of the long spur which screens the defenses
of Le Transloy from the southwest. Nearly 1,000 prisoners were secured
by the Fourth Army in the course of these operations.

With the exception of his positions in the neighborhood of
Sailly-Saillisel, and his scanty foothold on the northern crest of the
high ground above Thiepval, the enemy had now been driven from the whole
of the ridge lying between the Tortille and the Ancre.

[Sidenote: Germans make repeated counterattacks.]

[Sidenote: British situation satisfactory.]

Possession of the northwestern portion of the ridge north of the latter
village carried with it observation over the valley of the Ancre between
Miraumont and Hamel and the spurs and valleys held by the enemy on the
right bank of the river. The Germans, therefore, made desperate efforts
to cling to their last remaining trenches in this area, and in the
course of the three weeks following our advance made repeated
counterattacks at heavy cost in the vain hope of recovering the ground
they had lost. During this period our gains in the neighborhood of Stuff
and Schwaben Redoubts were gradually increased and secured in readiness
for future operations; and I was quite confident of the ability of our
troops, not only to repulse the enemy's attacks, but to clear him
entirely from his last positions on the ridge whenever it should suit my
plans to do so. I was, therefore, well content with the situation on
this flank.

Along the centre of our line from Gueudecourt to the west of Le Sars
similar considerations applied. As we were already well down the forward
slopes of the ridge on his front, it was for the time being inadvisable
to make any serious advance. Pending developments elsewhere all that was
necessary or indeed desirable was to carry on local operations to
improve our positions and to keep the enemy fully employed.

[Sidenote: Strong enemy positions in eastern flank.]

[Sidenote: Enemy resistance weakens.]

On our eastern flank, on the other hand, it was important to gain
ground. Here the enemy still possessed a strong system of trenches
covering the villages of Le Transloy and Beaulencourt and the town of
Bapaume; but, although he was digging with feverish haste, he had not
yet been able to create any very formidable defenses behind this line.
In this direction, in fact, we had at last reached a stage at which a
successful attack might reasonably be expected to yield much greater
results than anything we had yet attained. The resistance of the troops
opposed to us had seriously weakened in the course of our recent
operations, and there was no reason to suppose that the effort required
would not be within our powers.

[Sidenote: Necessity to gain spur and heights.]

The last completed system of defense, before Le Transloy, was flanked to
the south by the enemy's positions at Sailly-Saillisel, and screened to
the west by the spur lying between Le Transloy and Les Boeufs. A
necessary preliminary, therefore, to an assault upon it was to secure
the spur and the Sailly-Saillisel heights. Possession of the high ground
at this latter village would at once give a far better command over the
ground to the north and northwest, secure the flank of our operations
toward Le Transloy, and deprive the enemy of observation over the allied
communications in the Combles Valley. In view of the enemy's efforts to
construct new systems of defense behind the Le Transloy spur, was
extended and secured time in dealing with the situation.

[Sidenote: Rain and fog a hindrance.]

Unfortunately, at this juncture, very unfavorable weather set in and
continued with scarcely a break during the remainder of October and the
early part of November. Poor visibility seriously interfered with the
work of our artillery, and constant rain turned the mass of hastily dug
trenches for which we were fighting into channels of deep mud. The
country roads, broken by countless shell craters, that cross the deep
stretch of ground we had lately won, rapidly became almost impassable,
making the supply of food, stores, and ammunition a serious problem.
These conditions multiplied the difficulties of attack to such an extent
that it was found impossible to exploit the situation with the rapidity
necessary to enable us to reap the full benefits of the advantages we
had gained.

[Sidenote: Enemy has time to reorganize.]

None the less, my right flank continued to assist the operations of our
allies against Saillisel, and attacks were made to this end, whenever a
slight improvement in the weather made the co-operation of artillery and
infantry at all possible. The delay in our advance, however, though
unavoidable, had given the enemy time to reorganize and rally his
troops. His resistance again became stubborn and he seized every
favorable opportunity for counterattacks. Trenches changed hands with
great frequency, the conditions of ground making it difficult to renew
exhausted supplies of bombs and ammunition, or to consolidate the ground
won, and so rendering it an easier matter to take a battered trench than
to hold it.

[Sidenote: French take Sailly-Saillisel.]

On September 12 and 18, 1916, further gains were made to the east of the
Les Boeufs-Gueudecourt line and east of Le Sars, and some hundreds of
prisoners were taken. On these dates, despite all the difficulties of
ground, the French first reached and then captured the villages of
Sailly-Saillisel, but the moment for decisive action was rapidly passing
away, while the weather showed no signs of improvement. By this time,
too, the ground had already become so bad that nothing less than a
prolonged period of drying weather, which at that season of the year was
most unlikely to occur, would suit our purpose.

[Sidenote: New line established.]

In these circumstances, while continuing to do all that was possible to
improve my position on my right flank, I determined to press on with
preparations for the exploitation of the favorable local situation on my
left flank. At midday on October 21, 1916, during a short spell of fine,
cold weather, the line of Regina Trench and Stuff Trench, from the west
Courcelette-Pys road westward to Schwaben Redoubt, was attacked with
complete success. Assisted by an excellent artillery preparation and
barrage, our infantry carried the whole of their objectives very quickly
and with remarkably little loss, and our new line was firmly established
in spite of the enemy's shell fire. Over one thousand prisoners were
taken in the course of the day's fighting, a figure only slightly
exceeded by our casualties.

[Sidenote: Part of Regina trench carried.]

On October 23, 1916, and again on November 5, 1916, while awaiting
better weather for further operations on the Ancre, our attacks on the
enemy's positions to the east of Les Boeufs and Gueudecourt were
renewed, in conjunction with French operations against the
Sailly-Saillisel heights and St. Pierre Vaast Wood. Considerable further
progress was achieved. Our footing at the crest of Le Transloy Spur was
extended and secured, and the much-contested tangle of trenches at our
junction with the French left at last passed definitely into our
possession. Many smaller gains were made in this neighborhood by local
assaults during these days, in spite of the difficult conditions of the
ground. In particular, on November 10, 1916, after a day of improved
weather, the portion of Regina Trench lying to the east of the
Courcelette-Pys road was carried on a front of about one thousand yards.

[Sidenote: Enemy losses.]

Throughout these operations the enemy's counterattacks were very
numerous and determined, succeeding indeed in the evening of October 23,
1916, in regaining a portion of the ground east of Le Sars taken from
him by our attack on that day. On all other occasions his attacks were
broken by our artillery or infantry and the losses incurred by him in
these attempts, made frequently with considerable effectives, were
undoubtedly very severe.

[Sidenote: Preparations for attack on the Ancre.]

On November 9, 1916, the long-continued bad weather took a turn for the
better, and thereafter remained dry and cold, with frosty nights and
misty mornings, for some days. Final preparations were therefore pushed
on for the attack on the Ancre, though, as the ground was still very bad
in places, it was necessary to limit the operations to what it would be
reasonably possible to consolidate and hold under the existing

[Sidenote: Permanent line of enemy fortifications.]

The enemy's defenses in this area were already extremely formidable when
they resisted our assault on July 1, 1916, and the succeeding period of
four months had been spent in improving and adding to them in the light
of the experience he had gained in the course of our attacks further
south. The hamlet of St. Pierre Divion and the villages of
Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and Beaumont Hamel, like the rest of the villages
forming part of the enemy's original front in this district, were
evidently intended by him to form a permanent line of fortifications,
while he developed his offensive elsewhere. Realizing that his position
in them had become a dangerous one, the enemy had multiplied the number
of his guns covering this part of his line, and at the end of October
introduced an additional division on his front between Grandcourt and

[Sidenote: Barrage to cover infantry.]

At 5 o'clock on the morning of November 11, 1916, the special
bombardment preliminary to the attack was commenced. It continued with
bursts of great intensity until 5.45 o'clock on the morning of November
13, 1916, when it developed into a very effective barrage covering the
assaulting infantry.

[Sidenote: St. Pierre Divion taken.]

At that hour our troops advanced on the enemy's position through dense
fog, and rapidly entered his first-line trenches on almost the whole
front attacked, from east of Schwaben Redoubt to the north of Serre.
South of the Ancre, where our assault was directed northward against the
enemy's trenches on the northern slopes of the Thiepval Ridge, it met
with a success altogether remarkable for rapidity of execution and
lightness of cost. By 7.20 a.m. our objectives east of St. Pierre Divion
had been captured, and the Germans in and about that hamlet were hemmed
in between our troops and the river. Many of the enemy were driven into
their dugouts and surrendered, and at 9 a.m. the number of prisoners was
actually greater than the attacking force. St. Pierre Divion soon fell,
and in this area nearly 1,400 prisoners were taken by a single division
at the expense of less than 600 casualties. The rest of our forces
operating south of the Ancre attained their objectives with equal
completeness and success.

[Sidenote: Objectives reached on right bank of Ancre.]

North of the river the struggle was more severe, but very satisfactory
results were achieved. Though parties of the enemy held out for some
hours during the day in strong points at various places along his first
line and in Beaumont Hamel, the main attack pushed on. The troops
attacking close to the right bank of the Ancre reached their second
objectives to the west and northwest of Beaucourt during the morning,
and held on there for the remainder of the day and night, though
practically isolated from the rest of our attacking troops. Their
tenacity was of the utmost value, and contributed very largely to the
success of the operations. At nightfall our troops were established on
the western outskirts of Beaucourt, in touch with our forces south of
the river, and held a line along the station road from the Ancre toward
Beaumont Hamel, where we occupied the village. Further north the
enemy's first-line system for a distance of about half a mile beyond
Beaumont Hamel was also in our hands. Still further north--opposite
Serre--the ground was so heavy that it became necessary to abandon the
attack at an early stage, although, despite all difficulties, our troops
had in places reached the enemy's trenches in the course of their

[Sidenote: Beaumont carried.]

Next morning, at an early hour, the attack was renewed between Beaucourt
and the top of the spur just north of Beaumont Hamel. The whole of
Beaumont was carried, and our line extended to the northwest along the
Beaucourt road across the southern end of the Beaumont Hamel spur. The
number of our prisoners steadily rose, and during this and the
succeeding days our front was carried forward eastward and northward up
the slopes of the Beaumont Hamel spur.

[Sidenote: Allies command Ancre Valley.]

The results of this attack were very satisfactory, especially as before
its completion bad weather had set in again. We had secured the command
of the Ancre Valley on both banks of the river at the point where it
entered the enemy's lines, and, without great cost to ourselves, losses
had been inflicted on the enemy which he himself admitted to be
considerable. Our final total of prisoners taken in these operations,
and their development during the subsequent days, exceeded 7,200,
including 149 officers.

[Sidenote: Enemy kept on alert.]

Throughout the period dealt with in this dispatch the rôle of the other
armies holding our defensive line from the northern limits of the battle
front to beyond Ypres was necessarily a secondary one, but their task
was neither light nor unimportant. While required to give precedence in
all respects to the needs of the Somme battle, they were responsible for
the security of the line held by them and for keeping the enemy on
their front constantly on the alert. Their rôle was a very trying one,
entailing heavy work on the troops and constant vigilance on the part of
commanders and staffs. It was carried out to my entire satisfaction, and
in an unfailing spirit of unselfish and broad-minded devotion to the
general good, which is deserving of the highest commendation.

[Sidenote: Great number of raids.]

Some idea of the thoroughness with which their duties were performed can
be gathered from the fact that in the period of four and a half months
from July 1, 1916, some 360 raids were carried out, in the course of
which the enemy suffered many casualties and some hundreds of prisoners
were taken by us. The largest of these operations was undertaken on July
19, 1916, in the neighborhood of Armentières. Our troops penetrated
deeply into the enemy's defenses, doing much damage to his works and
inflicting severe losses upon him.

[Sidenote: Main objects of offensive achieved.]

The three main objects with which we had commenced our offensive in July
had already been achieved at the date when this account closes, in spite
of the fact that the heavy Autumn rains had prevented full advantage
from being taken of the favorable situation created by our advance, at a
time when we had good grounds for hoping to achieve yet more important

Verdun had been relieved, the main German forces had been held on the
western front, and the enemy's strength had been very considerably worn

[Sidenote: Ample compensation for sacrifices.]

Any one of these three results is in itself sufficient to justify the
Somme battle. The attainment of all three of them affords ample
compensation for the splendid efforts of our troops and for the
sacrifices made by ourselves and our allies. They have brought us a long
step forward toward the final victory of the allied cause.

[Sidenote: German failure at Verdun.]

The desperate struggle for the possession of Verdun had invested that
place with a moral and political importance out of all proportion to its
military value. Its fall would undoubtedly have been proclaimed as a
great victory for our enemies, and would have shaken the faith of many
in our ultimate success. The failure of the enemy to capture it, despite
great efforts and very heavy losses, was a severe blow to his prestige,
especially in view of the confidence he had openly expressed as to the
results of the struggle.

[Sidenote: Eastward movement of German troops checked.]

Information obtained both during the progress of the Somme battle and
since the suspension of active operations has fully established the
effect of our offensive in keeping the enemy's main forces tied to the
western front. A movement of German troops eastward, which had commenced
in June as a result of the Russian successes, continued for a short time
only after the opening of the allied attack. Thereafter the enemy forces
that moved east consisted, with one exception, of divisions that had
been exhausted in the Somme battle, and these troops were already
replaced on the western front by fresh divisions. In November the
strength of the enemy in the western theatre of war was greater than in
July, notwithstanding the abandonment of his offensive at Verdun.

[Sidenote: Somme offensive relieved Verdun.]

It is possible that if Verdun had fallen large forces might still have
been employed in an endeavor further to exploit that success. It is,
however, far more probable, in view of developments in the eastern
theatre, that a considerable transfer of troops in that direction would
have followed. It is therefore justifiable to conclude that the Somme
offensive not only relieved Verdun but held large forces which would
otherwise have been employed against our allies in the east.

The third great object of the allied operations on the Somme was the
wearing down of the enemy's powers of resistance. Any statement of the
extent to which this has been attained must depend in some degree on

There is, nevertheless, sufficient evidence to place it beyond doubt
that the enemy's losses in men and material have been very considerably
higher than those of the Allies, while morally the balance of advantage
on our side is still greater.

[Sidenote: Enemy resistance feebler.]

During the period under review a steady deterioration took place in the
morale of large numbers of the enemy's troops. Many of them, it is true,
fought with the greatest determination, even in the latest encounters,
but the resistance of still larger numbers became latterly decidedly
feebler than it had been in the earlier stages of the battle. Aided by
the great depth of his defenses and by the frequent reliefs which his
resources in men enabled him to effect, discipline and training held the
machine together sufficiently to enable the enemy to rally and
reorganize his troops after each fresh defeat. As our advance
progressed, four-fifths of the total number of divisions engaged on the
western front were thrown one after another into the Somme battle, some
of them twice, and some three times; and toward the end of the
operations, when the weather unfortunately broke, there can be no doubt
that his power of resistance had been very seriously diminished.

[Sidenote: Prisoners and guns taken.]

The number of prisoners taken by us in the Somme battle between July 1
and November 18, 1916, is just over 38,000, including over 800 officers.
During the same period we captured 29 heavy guns, 96 field guns and
field howitzers, 136 trench mortars, and 514 machine guns.

       *       *       *       *       *

The war fell with special severity upon the people of the poorer classes
in Russia, many of whom, upon the advance of the German and Austrian
armies, were compelled to flee from their homes in a practically
destitute condition. A graphic description of the pitiable plight of
these unfortunate people is given in the following pages.



Copyright, Outlook, January 19, 1916.

[Sidenote: A Russian freight train with passengers.]

Near Moscow, on a siding of the railway that runs from Moscow to Warsaw
through Smolensk, was a string of thirteen freight cars, the short,
chunky Russian kind--barely half as long as the American--looking as
flimsy, top-heavy, and unwieldy as houseboats on wheels. No locomotive
was tied to the string, and from the windward side, where the cars were
whitewashed by the biting blizzard that had already stopped all traffic
with its drifted barricades, they had the desolate look of stranded
empties. But the leeward door of each car was open a few inches,
permitting the egress of odors that told any one who chanced to pass
that the big rolling boxes were loaded with human freight, closely
packed and long on the journey.

[Sidenote: Old women at work.]

I pushed the door of one car back and looked in. At first in the
semi-gloom nothing was visible, but gradually, against a crack in the
opposite car wall that let through a streak of gray light with a ribbon
of snow that rustled as it fell on the straw-covered floor, there grew
the dull silhouette of two old women, who sat facing each other in the
straw, laboriously pounding corn into flour in a big earthen bowl
between them.

[Sidenote: Emaciated children and dead babies.]

The young Pole who was with me climbed into the car and probed its
recesses with a spear of light from a pocket flash-lamp. The old women
stopped pounding to lift toward us wrinkled faces that expressed fear
and hate when the tiny searchlight was turned on their dim, blinking
eyes. Another pair of hags in a far corner, propped against a bale of
hay and bound together like Siamese twins in a brown horse-blanket,
moved their eyes feebly, but nothing more. They were paralyzed. A score
of children that had been huddled here and there in the straw in twos
and threes for warmth's sake came slowly to life and crowded around us,
lifting a ring of wan, emaciated little faces. Three, too feeble to
stand, sat up and stared at the strange light. The bodies of four small
babies moved not at all--were, in fact, lifeless.

[Sidenote: Refugees from Poland.]

[Sidenote: Herded like cattle by soldiers.]

These people were refugees from a rural part of Poland, made homeless by
the Russian military decree which ordered the destruction of all
buildings and the removal of all civilians from the rearward path of the
Muscovite army as it fell back before the battering attacks of the
Germans from Warsaw to Dwinsk. For ten days these four old women and
twenty-seven children had been in that car, with no fire, few warm
clothes, and only a little dried meat, corn flour, and water to sustain
life in them. This the meager fare had failed to do in the case of the
four youngest. Since they had been herded into that cold box like cattle
by soldiers at the station to which they had driven or walked from their
blazing homes, they had been moved eastward daily in the joggling car,
which traveled slowly and by fits and starts, unvisited by any one, not
knowing their destination, and now too low in mind and body to care.

[Sidenote: Children forget their families.]

The two old creatures who were paralyzed when they had been dumped into
the car were now apparently dying; several of the children swayed with
weakness as they stood, clutching at the biscuits and sweet chocolate
which we drew from our pockets. Five of them were grandchildren of one
of the paralytics, three designated one of the wrinkled flour-makers by
the Polish equivalent of "granny," but none of the others knew where
their parents were, and six of them had forgotten their own family names
or had never known them.

[Sidenote: Moscow and Petrograd overcrowded.]

The other twelve cars were like this one except that all of them had at
least two or three--and usually six or seven--feeble, crackly-voiced old
men with their complement of women and children, and one contained three
young fellows of twenty who had probably smuggled themselves into the
car and who cringed when my Polish interpreter lunged on them with his
rapier of light and retreated into a corner where two cows stood with
necks crossed in affection. These youths knew they had no business in
that car, for even in the chaos of retreat the word had been passed
among the civilian refugees: "Women, children, and old men first in the
cars; young men can walk." But there have not been enough cars even for
the weak, the very young, and the very aged, and thousands, perhaps tens
of thousands, have found their graves along the slushy, muddy roads they
were following toward Petrograd and Moscow from the occupied provinces
of Poland and the Baltic. These people in the freight cars at least had
had transportation and a crude kind of shelter. But of the two million
refugees who are overcrowding Moscow and Petrograd, to the great
detriment of the health average of the two Russian capitals, many
thousands came there several hundred weary miles on foot. And others,
less determined or weaker, are still straggling in or are lingering by
the way, some of the latter dying and some finding shelter in small
towns between the twin big cities and the front.

[Sidenote: Millions of refugees.]

[Sidenote: People of all ranks and stations.]

Some estimates place the number of Russian refugees at from ten to
fifteen million; thirteen million is the estimate of the Tatiana
Committee, one of the most influential relief organizations in Russia,
named after the second daughter of the Czar, who is its honorary head.
By race the refugees are principally Poles, Jews, Letts, and
Lithuanians, but they come from all ranks and stations of life, rich and
poor alike, now all poor, thrown from their homes with nothing but the
clothes on their bodies by the grim chances of war.

[Sidenote: Thousands must starve and freeze.]

In times of peace and prosperity the sudden impoverishment of such a
large mass of people would tax the relief and charity of Russia to the
limit; but now, when all food prices are from one hundred to three
hundred per cent higher than before the war--when even the well-to-do
have difficulty to get enough bread, sugar, and coal--it is inevitable
that thousands of these homeless ones should starve and freeze to death.
Thousands have already suffered this fate, but hundreds of thousands,
perhaps a million or more, will die this way before spring unless relief
comes quickly and bountifully from abroad, for Russia cannot cope with
the emergency alone. Unless Russia's allies or neutrals begin at once to
pour into Russia a stream of food to fill the stomachs of these hungry,
homeless ones, this will be the bitterest winter in Russian history, a
winter whose horrors will far transcend the terrible winter of 1812,
when Napoleon ravaged Poland and sacked Moscow.

[Sidenote: Great Britain must bolster weaker allies.]

Great Britain, who is holding up some of her weaker allies in many ways,
sweeping mines from the White Sea for Russia, and with France bolstering
the remnant of the Belgian army in Flanders, is doing much to alleviate
the suffering of Russia's refugees by unofficial action. The Great
Britain to Poland Fund, organized and supported by such prominent
Britons as Lady Byron, Viscount Bryce, the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl
of Rosebery, and the Lord Mayor of London, at the instance of Princess
Bariatinsky, who is better known as the famous Russian actress, Madame
Yavorska, is feeding between 4,000 and 7,000 refugees daily at
Petrograd, Moscow, Minsk, and at several small towns close to the front.

[Sidenote: The Petrograd "Feeding Point."]

[Sidenote: Sheds for shelter.]

The Petrograd "Feeding Point" is a long, hastily built shed of
unfinished lumber a stone's-throw from the Warsaw station. This site was
well selected, for the long stone railway station, open at both ends
like an aviation hangar, is the center of refugee population in the
Czar's city. Not only were several hundred homeless men, women, and
children sleeping on the cold stone floors of the draughty station, but
other hundreds were lying about in odd corners here and there, in empty
trucks and freight cars, lying within a few feet of where the crowded
refugee train had left them, with no hope or ambition to make them move
on. Still other hundreds, more fortunate than these, were sheltered in
three sheds, similar to the "Refugees' Restaurant" in their unfinished
board construction, which had been built by the Government. Each of
these sheds, about thirty by sixty feet in dimensions, housed between
two and three hundred persons. This crowding was made possible by the
presence of platforms built one above another in triple or quadruple
deck "nests" about the room, where people of both sexes and of all ages
slept, cooked and ate such food as they could beg, and lay all day long
with expressionless, bulging eyes, half stupefied in the stifling stench
of the place.

[Sidenote: Lines before the feeding stations.]

Twice a day a line formed before the door of the feeding station of such
persons as were known to have no private food supply, and when the door
opened they surged in, getting brass tickets at the threshold which each
one exchanged in the far end of the room for a large square piece of
Russian _chorny khleb_--black bread--and a steaming bowl of good old
English porridge served to them by the bustling ladies of the British
Colony. Only enough were admitted at a time to fill the double row of
board tables, yet every day from 1,000 to 1,400 were fed.

[Sidenote: The gayety of hungry youth.]

It was interesting to stand at the elbow of the buxom, indefatigably
good-natured English lady who wielded the porridge spoon and watch the
long, hungry file which melted away toward the tables when it reached
the tall, bottomless urn that held the fragrant, steaming cereal. First
came a dozen boys and girls who had lost their parents but not the
irresistible gayety of hungry youth in the presence of food.

[Sidenote: A one-time rich man.]

[Sidenote: Bitterness toward the Government.]

They took their bread and porridge without even a mumbled
"_Spassiba_"--thanks--and shouldered each other for seats at the tables.
Then came a blind old man led by his two grandsons. His thanks were
pathetically profuse. Next another graybeard, carrying an ivory cane and
wearing a handsome fur coat, the only indications of his recent high
station in provincial society except the unmistakable reserve and
dignity of gentility. After him was a handsome Lett, who had been a
station agent in Courland till his station was dynamited in the Russian
retreat. None of the children gave any thanks for the food; in fact,
hardly any one did except the very old. The attitude of the others
seemed to be that of people who were getting only a small part of their
just due. Perhaps that was because they may not have realized that they
were being fed by England, not by Russia, and toward Russia all of them
were bitter even those who lived in the shelters the Government had
built. This bitterness was indicated by the refusal of most of them to
accept work proffered them by provincial or municipal officials.

[Sidenote: No wish to begin over.]

Their attitude is that, inasmuch as the Government has deliberately
wiped out their homes and destroyed their means of livelihood, it is the
Government's duty to support them in comfortable idleness. They seem to
feel that it is adding insult to injury to ask them to begin over again
in a new environment and work for their living. I asked a young Lettish
railway man, living in one of the board barracks near the Warsaw
station, why he had refused an offer of employment in the railway yards
hard by.

"Why should I work for Russia?" he asked, bitterly. "Russia has taken
from me my pretty home, my good job, and my wife and two children, who
died on the road in that awful blizzard recently. Why should I work for

"But you will starve if you do not," I suggested.

[Sidenote: Gloomy resignation.]

"_Nichevo!_"--it doesn't matter--he muttered, in gloomy resignation.

[Sidenote: A great mistake.]

[Sidenote: Everything destroyed.]

The majority of the refugees feel the way this man does. I do not refer
to the refugees who left their homes voluntarily through fear of the
advancing Germans, but to that greater number who were forced to leave
by the compulsion of their own Government, which deliberately destroyed
their homes as a military measure. Every Russian, even the military
officers who were responsible for this policy of destruction, now
realize that the adoption of that policy was one of the greatest
mistakes Russia has made during the war. For it has cost her the support
of a large and important body of Letts, Poles, Jews, and Lithuanians.
The theory was that to leave large masses of civilians behind the
forward-pushing German lines would provide Germany with a large number
of spies, as well as with sustenance for its armies. To some extent,
too, it was believed that buildings left standing in the Russian retreat
might serve as protection and cover for German artillery. So everything
was destroyed--farm-houses, barns, churches, schools, orchards, even
haystacks. Whenever the Russian lines retracted before the unbearable
pounding of the terrible German guns, they left only a desert for the
Kaiser's men to cross.

[Sidenote: Loss too great to be compensated by gain.]

War is not a parlor game. A great deal of destruction is inevitable in
the nature of war, and sometimes in wars of the past commanders have
deliberately laid waste large sections of beautiful country to handicap
the enemy, and the results have justified this destruction. A ten per
cent social and economic loss is gladly borne by a nation at war for a
ninety per cent military gain. Perhaps a commander is even justified in
inflicting a forty-nine per cent social and economic loss on his country
for a fifty-one per cent military gain. But the deliberate ravaging of
Poland and the Baltic provinces was a ninety per cent social and
economic loss for a ten per cent military gain--something that is never

[Sidenote: Relief should meet refugees.]

It is very difficult for a general to remember that there are other
factors in war besides the military factors, and we must not be too
severe in our criticism of the Russian General Staff because it saw only
the ten per cent military gain and overlooked the ninety per cent
political and economic loss. The order which made a desert of thousands
of square miles of the best territory in Russia was countermanded,
anyway, but not until the harm had been done. But now the only concern
of Russia and of the friends of Russia should be to confine the damage
to the irremediable minimum. To that end it is necessary to handle the
great streams of refugees intelligently. The influx into Petrograd and
Moscow should be stopped. Relief organization should go out from these
cities toward the front, stop the refugees where they meet them, and
there make provision for them to spend the winter. To this purpose
hundreds and thousands of sleeping barracks and soup kitchens like those
in Petrograd must be built along the provincial highways. Thousands of
these people will never again see the familiar environment where they
have lived all their lives, even if Russia regains her lost provinces.
But more of them will be able to return eventually, and there will be
less suffering among them this winter, if they are stopped where they
are and are not allowed to flow into the two Russian capitals, so
terribly overcrowded already, and into the colder country north and east
of Petrograd and Moscow.

[Sidenote: Russia unable to handle situation.]

I understand that this policy has been adopted by the Tatiana Committee.
But Russia alone cannot handle the situation; she must have generous aid
from outside.

[Sidenote: America a synonym for service.]

A young American, Mr. Thomas Whittemore, who was in Sofia when Bulgaria
went to war, left there declining an invitation of the Queen of Bulgaria
to head a branch of the Red Cross, because his sympathies were with the
Allies, and is now in Russia working out a programme for the relief of
Russia's refugees under the auspices of the Tatiana Committee. He is out
on the roads in an automobile constantly, meeting the incoming human
flotsam and jetsam of war, and his recommendations will have the weight
of authority. America has become a synonym for service in France,
Belgium, and Servia, but thus far America has done next to nothing for
Russia. Shall America, who responded so splendidly to the appeal of
Belgium and Servia, ignore the needs of the stricken people of Poland
and the Baltic provinces, whose sufferings are greater than the
sufferings of the Belgians, certainly as great as the sufferings of the

[Sidenote: War's most moving sight.]

There are many pathetic things in war--soldiers wasted with disease,
blasted in arm and leg with explosive shell, withered in eye and lung by
the terrible gas; but none of these things is so moving as the sight of
little children, homeless, parentless, and with clothing worn and torn
by travel, sleeping in empty freight cars, cold railway stations, or on
the very blizzard-swept sidewalks of Russian cities, and slowly dying
because they have no food.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rumania hesitated long before entering the war. The sympathies of her
people were strongly with the Allies, for military and economic reasons
connected with German domination of her resources made her actual
military participation with the Allied Armies difficult and dangerous.
The decision, however, was made in the late summer of 1916, and an
attack was made by the Rumanian army against Austrian forces. This was
followed by successes which continued until Bulgaria began hostilities
against the Rumanian army. Shortly after, a German army under General
Mackensen against Rumania was started which ended in the capture of
Bucharest in December, 1916.



Copyright, Atlantic Monthly, December, 1917.

[Sidenote: What it meant for Rumania to fight.]

More than a year has now elapsed since Rumania entered the war. What is
meant for this little country to abandon neutrality is not generally
realized. Here in America we know that so long as the British fleet
dominated the seas we were safe, and that we should have ample
opportunity to prepare ourselves for the vicissitudes of war and to make
the preparations that are now being undertaken and carried out by the
administration of President Wilson. Canada and Australia likewise knew
that they were in no danger of attack.

[Sidenote: War's terrible cost.]

But the case of Rumania was far different. She knew with a terrible
certainty that the moment she entered the war she would be the target
for attack on a frontier over twelve hundred kilometres long. The world
criticized her for remaining neutral, and yet one wonders how many
countries would have staked their national future as Rumania did when
she entered the war. In a short fourteen months she has seen more than
one half of her army destroyed, her fertile plains pass into the hands
of her enemies, and her great oil industry almost wiped out. To-day her
army, supported by Russians, is holding with difficulty hardly twenty
per cent of what, before the war, was one of the most fertile and
prosperous small kingdoms of Europe.

[Sidenote: Why nations went to war.]

[Sidenote: America's reasons.]

When America entered the war she assumed, in a large measure, the
obligations to which the Allies were already committed. It seems of
paramount importance under these circumstances that the case and the
cause of Rumania be more thoroughly understood in this country. Other
countries entered the war through necessities of various sorts. America
committed herself to the conflict for a cause which even the cynical
German propaganda, hard as it has tried, has been unable to distort into
a selfish or commercial one. We are preparing to share in every way the
sacrifices, both in blood and wealth, which our allies have been making
these past three years. And as our reward we ask for no selfish or
commercial rights, nor do we seek to acquire extension of territory or
acquisition of privilege in any part of the world. We have entered the
war solely, because of wrongs committed in the past, and with the just
determination that similar wrongs shall never again be perpetrated. No
country and no people on this globe are more responsive to an
obligation, and more determined to fulfill such an obligation when
recognized, than are the American people.

[Sidenote: The author in Rumania.]

For nearly two years prior to the entrance of Rumania into the war I had
been attached to the Russian Imperial Staff in the field, as special
correspondent of the London "Times." I went to Rumania in September,
1916, directly from the staff of the then Tsar, with a request from the
highest authority in Russia to the highest command in Rumania that every
opportunity for studying the situation be given me. These letters gave
me instant access to the King and Queen of Rumania, to the Rumanian
General Staff, and to other persons of importance in the Rumanian
administration. I remained in that country until late in the autumn,
motoring more than five thousand kilometres, and touching the Rumanian
front at many places. My opinion, then, of the Rumanian cause is based
on first-hand evidence obtained at the time.

[Sidenote: An interview with the King.]

When I arrived in Rumania, in September, the army was still at the high
tide of its advance in Transylvania and the world was lauding without
stint the bravery and efficiency of Rumanian troops. Two days after my
arrival I lunched with the King, and had the first of a series of
interviews with him on the status of the case of Rumania. Inasmuch as
without the consent of its sovereign the entrance of Rumania into the
war would have been impossible, I should first present the King's view
of her case as His Majesty, after several conversations, authorized me
to present it.

[Sidenote: The King of Rumania decides for war.]

The King himself, as all the world knows, is a Hohenzollern. His
personal feelings must, therefore, in a measure, be affected by the fact
that most of his relatives and friends are fighting on the German side.
There is, however, not the slightest evidence to indicate that he has
ever allowed the fact of his German blood to weigh against the true
interests of Rumania. A conversation which illustrates the attitude of
the King at this time is one which the Princess ----, one of the most
clever and best-informed women in Rumania, related to me in Bucharest.
The day before the declaration of war the most pro-German of the
Rumanian ministers, who had the name of being the leader of the
pro-German party in the capital, spent several hours putting forth every
effort to prevent the declaration of war by the King. The minister,
making no headway, finally said, "The Germans are sure to win. Your
Majesty must realize that it is impossible to beat a Hohenzollern." The
King replied, "I think it can be done, nevertheless." To this the
defender of the German cause answered, "Can you show me a single case
where a Hohenzollern has been beaten?" The King replied, "I can. I am a
Hohenzollern, and I have beaten my own blood instincts for the sake of

[Sidenote: Personality of the King of Rumania.]

One beautiful autumn afternoon, at the royal shooting-box outside of
Bucharest, the King talked freely about his motives and the cause of his
people. We had finished luncheon and he had dismissed his suite. He and
the Crown Prince and myself were left in the unpretentious study. Here,
over a map-strewn table, it was the custom of the King to study the
problems of the campaign. A tired, harassed-looking man of about sixty,
clad in the blue uniform of the Hussars of his Guard, he paced the
floor, and with deep emotion emphasized the case of his country and the
motives which had induced Rumania to enter the war.

This earnest presentation of his opinion I placed in writing at that
time, and the sentences quoted here were a part of the statement
published in the London "Times." So far as I know, this is the only
occasion on which the King outlined in a definite way his personal view
of the Rumania case.

His Majesty began by laying stress on the necessity for interpreting
Rumania truthfully to the world, now that her enemies were doing their
utmost to misrepresent her; the necessity for understanding the genius
of the people and the sacrifices and dangers which the country faced. He
urged that Rumania had not been moved by mere policy or expediency, but
that her action was based on the highest principles of nationality and
national ideals.

[Sidenote: The nation moved by ties of race and blood.]

[Sidenote: The Bulgar a menace.]

"In Rumania as in Russia," said the King, "the tie of race and blood
underlies all other considerations, and the appeal of our purest
Rumanian blood which lies beyond the Transylvanian Alps has ever been
the strongest influence in the public opinion of all Rumania, from the
throne to the lowest peasant. Inasmuch as Hungary was the master that
held millions of our blood in perpetual bondage, Hungary has been our
traditional enemy. The Bulgar, with his efficient and unquestionably
courageous army, on a frontier difficult to defend, has logically become
our southern menace, and as a latent threat has been accepted
secondarily as a potential enemy."

[Sidenote: German friendship an asset.]

[Sidenote: Rumania's long frontier.]

After stating that, although at the beginning of the war Rumanian
sympathy had leaped instantly to France and England, the Rumanians had
realized that, economically, the friendship of Germany was an asset in
the development of Rumanian industries, the King added that,
nevertheless, as the Great War progressed, there had developed in
Rumania a moral issue in regard to the war. The frightfulness and
lawlessness practiced by the Central Powers had a profound effect upon
the Rumanian people, and the country began to feel the subtle force of
enemy intrigue endeavoring to force her into war against her own real
interests. Let us remember, when we would criticize Rumania for her
early inactivity, that she was, in the words of her King, "a small power
with a small army surrounded by giants"; that she had a western frontier
1,000 kilometres long--greater than the English and French fronts
combined--and a Bulgarian frontier, almost undefended and near her
capital, stretching for other hundreds of kilometres on the south. With
Russia in retreat, Rumania would have been instantly annihilated if she
had acted. She had to wait till she could be reasonably sure of
protecting herself and of being supported by her allies. She waited not
a moment longer.

[Sidenote: Prisoners and noncombatants well-treated.]

After pointing out the great risks which Rumania had run, as a small
country, and the deterring effect of the fate of Serbia and Belgium,
the King continued, "Notwithstanding the savagery with which the enemy
is attacking us and the cruelty with which our defenseless women and
children are being massacred, this government will endeavor to prevent
bitterness from dominating its actions in the way of reprisals on
prisoners or defenseless noncombatants; and to this end orders have been
issued to our troops that, regardless of previous provocation, those who
fall into our hands shall be treated with kindness; for it is not the
common soldiers or the innocent people who must be held responsible for
the policy adopted by the enemy governments."

The interview ended with the King's assurance that Rumanians would not
falter in their allegiance to England the just, to France, their brother
in Latin blood, and to Russia, their immediate neighbor.

"With confidence in the justice of our cause, with faith in our allies,
and with the knowledge that our people are capable of every fortitude,
heroism, sacrifice, which may be demanded of them, we look forward
soberly and seriously to the problems that confront us, but with the
certainty that our sacrifices will not be in vain, and that ultimate
victory must and will be the inevitable outcome. In the achievement of
this result the people of Rumania, from the throne to the lowliest
peasant, are willing to pay the price."

[Sidenote: Rumanians realized their danger.]

When it is realized that these conversations took place in September and
the first days of October, it must be clear, I think, that neither the
King nor the Queen had ever felt that Rumania entered the war in
absolute security, but that they always realized the danger of their
situation and moved only because their faith in the Allies was such as
to lead them to believe that they had at least a fair chance to
cooperate with them without the certainty of destruction.

To emphasize further the fact that both realized this danger even before
the war started, I would mention one occasion some weeks later, when the
fear of the German invasion of Rumania was becoming a tangible one.
During a conversation with the King and the Queen together, in regard to
this menace, the Queen turned impulsively to the King and said, "This is
exactly what we have feared. We, at least, never imagined that Rumania
was going to have an easy victory, and we have always felt the danger of
our coming into the war."

The King looked very tired and nervous, having spent all that day with
the General Staff weighing news from the front which was increasingly
adverse. "Yes," he said, as he pulled his beard, "we were never misled
as to what might happen."

So much then for the psychology of the sovereigns of Rumania as I
received it from their own lips.

[Sidenote: Russian efforts to aid Rumania.]

Ever since the loss of Bucharest the world has been asking why Rumania
entered the war. It seems to be the general opinion that her action at
that time was unwarranted and that she had been betrayed. There has even
been a widely circulated report that Germany, through the King, has
intrigued to bring about this disaster. Again, I have heard that the
Russian High Command had purposely sacrificed Rumania. At this time,
when much of the evidence is still unattainable, it is impossible for me
to make absolutely authoritative statements, but immediately after
leaving Rumania I spent three hours with General Brussiloff discussing
the situation. A few days later I had the privilege of meeting the
former Tsar at Kieff (to whom the Queen had given me a letter), and I
know from his own lips his feelings in regard to Rumania. Subsequently,
I was at the headquarters of the Russian High Command and there learned
at first hand the extraordinary efforts that Alexieff was making to
support Rumania. The British efforts to cooperate with Rumania and
prevent disaster I knew thoroughly at that time.

[Sidenote: Lack of vision and foresight.]

I never saw the slightest evidence that either Russia or her allies had
any intention whatever of disregarding their duties or their
responsibilities to this little country. That there was lack of vision
and foresight on all sides is quite apparent. But that there was bad
faith on the part of any of the contracting parties I do not believe. It
is probably true that the reactionary government in Petrograd was glad
to see the Rumanian disaster, but it must be realized that this was a
military situation primarily, and that ninety per cent of it in the
first three months was in the hands, not of the Petrograd politicians
but of the military authorities at the front. Brussiloff and Alexieff
are men incapable of intrigue or bad faith. The Emperor, with whom I
talked at Kieff, and the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlowna nearly wept at the
misfortune of Rumania, and I am certain that the former Tsar was in no
way a party to any breach of faith with this little ally.

[Sidenote: Military conditions prior to Rumania's venture.]

[Sidenote: Failure of Germans at Verdun.]

I have said that there was not bad faith toward Rumania on the part of
the Allies when they induced her to enter the war, and that there was
not lack of intelligence on the part of Rumania when she followed their
advice. In order to understand the point of view of the Allies it is
necessary to have clearly in mind the military conditions existing in
the whole theatre of operations during the six months prior to Rumania's
fatal venture. In February the Germans had assembled a large portion of
their mobile reserves for their effort against Verdun. The constant
wastage of German human material continued almost without intermission
into May, with spasmodic recurrences up to the present time. Hundreds of
thousands of Germans were drawn from the visible supply of enemy manhood
by these offensives. By early May the failure of the Verdun venture had
probably become manifest to the German High Command, and there is
evidence that they were commencing to conserve their troops for other

[Sidenote: General Brussiloff's offensive.]

On the 5th of June there began in Galicia and Volhynia the great
offensive of General Brussiloff which lasted, almost without
intermission, on one or another part of his front, until October. By the
middle of June this drive of the Russians began to divert German troops
for the defense of Kovel. In July started the British-French offensive
in the West.

[Sidenote: German troops diverted to Eastern front.]

With their reservoirs of men already greatly reduced by the Verdun
attacks, the Germans, by the middle of July, were compelled to find
supports to meet the continuous offensives on both the Eastern and
Western fronts. I cannot estimate the number of troops required by them
against the French and British, but I do know that between the 5th of
June and the 30th of August a total of thirty divisions of enemy troops
were diverted from other fronts against Brussiloff alone. This heavy
diversion was the only thing that prevented the Russians from taking
Kovel in July and forcing the entire German line in the East. So
continuous and pressing were the Russian attacks that more than two
months elapsed before the enemy could bring this offensive to a final
stop on the Kovel sector. Enemy formations arriving were ground up in
detail as fast as they came, and by the middle of July it was clear to
us, who were on the fighting line in Volhynia, that the Germans were
having extraordinary difficulties in filling their losses from day to
day. In June their first supports came by army corps; in July they were
coming by divisions; and early in August we checked the arrival of
single regiments, while the Austrians were often so hard pressed that
they sent isolated battalions to fill the holes in their lines.

[Sidenote: Teuton losses.]

In the meantime the Russians had cleared the Bukovina of the enemy. It
was believed that Rumania could put in the field twenty-two divisions of
excellent troops. The enemy losses in prisoners alone, up to the first
of September, from Brussiloff's offensive, were above four hundred
thousand and over four hundred guns. It seemed then that these extra
twenty-two divisions thrown in by Rumania could meet but little

[Sidenote: The Allied plan of operation.]

[Sidenote: Munitions to come daily from Russia.]

In order that the Rumanian attempt to cooperate might be safeguarded in
the highest degree, a coordinated plan of operations on the part of the
Allies was agreed upon with Rumania. The allied force in Saloniki under
General Sarrail was to commence a heavy offensive intended to pin down
the Bulgarian and Turkish forces to the southern line, thus protecting
the Rumanian line of the Danube. Brussiloff's left flank in Galicia was
to start a drive through the Bukovina toward the Hungarian plain, thus
relieving the Rumanians from any pressure on the south. A Russian force
of fifty thousand men in the Dobrudja was to protect the Rumanian left.
This, in view of the apparent shortage of enemy reserves, seemed to
protect the army of Rumania on both flanks in its advance into
Transylvania. In addition Rumania was to receive certain shipments of
munitions of war daily from Russia. It was the opinion of the military
advisers in Rumania that under no circumstances could the Germans divert
against her within three months more than sixteen divisions, while some
of the experts advising her placed the number as low as ten.

[Sidenote: Bulgar and Austrian attack.]

[Sidenote: Rumanians on defensive.]

Now let us see what happened. For some reason, which I do not know, the
offensive on the south was delayed, and when it did start it attained no
important results nor did it detain sufficient enemy troops in that
vicinity to relieve Rumania. On the contrary, heavy forces of Bulgars
and Austrians immediately attacked the line of the Danube, taking the
Rumanian stronghold of Turtekaia, with the bulk of the Rumanian heavy
guns. In order to safeguard Bucharest, then threatened, the Rumanians
were obliged to withdraw troops from their Transylvania advance, which
up to this time had been highly successful. These withdrawals
represented the difference between an offensive and a defensive, and the
Transylvania campaign potentially failed when Bucharest was threatened
from the south.

[Sidenote: Defense in Dobrudja falls.]

The Russian expedition in the Dobrudja, which was supported by a
Rumanian division and a mixed division of Serbs and Slavs, partially
recruited from prisoners captured by the Russians, failed to work in
harmony, and the protection of the Rumanian left became, after the
capture of Turtekaia, a negligible factor which ultimately collapsed
entirely. Thus we see in the beginning that through no bad faith the
southern assets on which Rumania depended proved to be of little or no
value to her.

[Sidenote: The case with Brussiloff's army.]

There still remained the Russian agreement to cooperate in Galicia and
the Bukovina. I can speak of this situation with authority because I had
been on the southwestern front almost without intermission since June,
and know that there was every intent on the part of Brussiloff to carry
out to the limit of his capacity his end of the programme. The success
of this, however, was impaired by a situation, over which he had no
control, which developed in Galicia in September. It must not be
forgotten that all the Russian troops on the southwestern front had been
fighting constantly for nearly three months. When I came through Galicia
on my way to Rumania I found Brussiloff's four southern armies engaged
in a tremendous action. Early in September they had made substantial
advances in the direction of Lemberg, and were in sight of Halicz on the
Dniester when they began to encounter terrific and sustained

[Sidenote: Efforts to coöperate with Rumania.]

That the force of this may be understood I would mention the case of the
army attacking Halicz. When I first went to the southwestern front in
June, there were facing this army three Austrian divisions, three
Austrian cavalry divisions, and one German division. In September, at
the very moment when Brussiloff was supposed to be heavily supporting
Rumania, there were sent against this same army--on a slightly extended
front--three Austrian divisions, two Austrian cavalry divisions, two
Turkish divisions, and nine German divisions. The army on the extreme
Russian left, whose duty it was to participate in the offensive in the
Bukovina, had made important advances toward Lemberg from the south, and
just at the time that Rumania entered the war it also was subjected to
tremendous enemy counter-attacks. For several weeks it held its position
only with the greatest difficulty and by diverting to itself most of the
available reserves. Something more than one army corps did endeavor to
coöperate with Rumania, but the situation I have described in Galicia
made it impossible for sufficient supports to reach the Bukovina
offensive to enable it to fulfill its mission.

[Sidenote: Reasons for delay in munitions.]

Thus we see that after the first month of the campaign the coöperative
factors which alone had justified Rumania's entering into the war had
proved to be failures. The arrival of material from Russia was delayed
because, after Turtekaia was taken, a new Russian corps was sent to the
Dobrudja to stiffen up that front. The railroad communications were bad
and immediately became congested by the movements of troops, thus
interfering with the shipping of badly needed material. I have since
heard the Russian reactionary government charged with purposely holding
up these shipments; but I am inclined to believe that my explanation of
the cause of the delays in the arrival of material is the correct one.

[Sidenote: Allies underestimated German force.]

The greatest mistake on the part of the Allies was their estimate of the
number of troops that the Germans could send to Rumania during the fall
of 1916. As I have said, experts placed this number at from ten to
sixteen divisions, but, to the best of my judgment, they sent, between
the 1st of September and the 1st of January, not less than thirty. The
German commitments to the Rumanian front came by express, and the
Russian supports, because of the paucity of lines of communication, came
by freight. The moment that it became evident what the Germans could do
in the way of sending troops, Rumania was doomed.

[Sidenote: Russians too late to save Bucharest.]

The move of Alexieff and the Russian High Command in the middle of
October, which is one of tangible record and not of opinion, should
absolutely eliminate the charges of bad faith on the part of Russia, for
he immediately appropriated for the support of Rumania between eight and
ten army corps, which were instantly placed in motion, regardless of the
adverse condition their absence caused on his own front. It is quite
true that these troops arrived too late to save Bucharest; but that they
came as quickly as possible, I can assert without reservation, for I was
on the various lines of communication for nearly a month and found them
blocked with these corps, which represented the cream of the Russian
army, to make good the moral obligations of Russia to Rumania. In
November I had a talk with Brussiloff, who authorized me to quote him as
follows on the Rumanian situation:

[Sidenote: Rumania feels bitterness of defeat.]

                                 H.Q.--S.W.F.--Nov. 7.

        Rumania is now feeling for the first time the
        pressure of war and the bitterness of defeat;
        but Rumania must realize that her defeats are
        but incidents in the greater campaign; for
        behind her stands great Russia, who will see to
        it that her brave little ally, who has come
        into the war for a just cause, does not
        ultimately suffer for daring to espouse this
        cause for which we are all fighting. I can
        speak with authority when I state that, from
        the Emperor down to the common soldier, there
        is a united sentiment in Russia that Rumania
        shall be protected, helped, and supported in
        every way possible. Rumanians must feel faith
        in Russia and the Russian people, and must also
        know that in the efforts we are making to save
        them sentiment is the dominant factor, and we
        are not doing it merely as a question of
        protecting our own selfish interest and our
        left flank.

[Sidenote: No wanton breach of faith.]

It seems to me that the evidence I have submitted above clears the
Allies, including Russia, of any wanton breach of faith toward Rumania,
though the failure of their intention to relieve her certainly does not
diminish their responsibility toward her in the future.

[Sidenote: Germans on defensive in the north.]

In the final analysis the determining factor in the ruin of Rumania was
the failure of the Allies to foresee the number of troops the Germans
could send against them. Their reasoning up to a certain point was
accurate. In July, August, and for part of September it was, I believe,
almost impossible for the Germans to send troops to Transylvania, which
accounts for the rapidity of the Rumanian advance at the beginning of
their operations. The fallacy in the Allied reasoning seems to me to
have been that every one overlooked certain vital factors in the German
situation. First, that she would ultimately support any threat against
Hungary to the limit of her capacity, even if she had to evacuate
Belgium to get troops for this purpose. For with Hungary out of the war
it is a mate in five moves for the Central Empires. Second: the Allies
failed to analyze correctly the troop situation on the eastern front,
apparently failing to grasp one vital point. An army can defend itself
in winter, with the heavy cold and snows of Russia sweeping the barren
spaces, with perhaps sixty per cent of the number of troops required to
hold those identical lines in summer. It should have been obvious that,
when the cold weather set in in the north, the Germans would take
advantage of this situation, and by going on the defensive in the north
release the margin representing the difference in men required to hold
their lines in summer and in winter. Possibly the same condition applies
to the west, though I cannot speak with any authority on that subject.
Apparently this obvious action of the Germans is exactly what happened.
When their northern front had been combed, we find forces subtracted
piecemeal from the north, reaching an aggregate of thirty divisions, or
at least nearly fifteen divisions more than had been anticipated. The
doom of Rumania was sealed.

[Sidenote: Retreating armies must reach defenses.]

What happened in the Russian effort to support Rumania is exactly what
has occurred in nearly all the drives that I have been in during this
war. An army once started in retreat in the face of superior forces can
hold only when supported _en bloc_ or when it reaches a fortified line.
The Germans with all their cleverness and efficiency were not able to
stop the Russian offensive of 1916 until they had fallen back on the
fortified lines of the Stokhod in front of Kovel. In the Galician drive
against the Russians in 1915, the armies of the Tsar were not able to
hold until they reached the San River, on which they fought a series of
rear-guard actions.

[Sidenote: Russian corps on Sereth line.]

So it was in Rumania. The Russian corps arriving on the installment plan
were swept away by the momentum of the advancing enemy, who could not be
halted until the fortified line of the Sereth was reached.

[Sidenote: Rumanians played the game.]

[Sidenote: Russia in chaos.]

Whether one blames the Allies for lack of vision or not, I think one
must at least acquit Rumania of any responsibility for her own undoing.
Her case as represented by the King seems a just and sufficient reason
for her having entered the war. Her action during the war has been
straightforward and direct, and I have never heard of any reason to
believe that the King or the Rumanian High Command has ever looked back
in the furrow since they made the decision to fight on the side of the
Allies. They followed the advice given them as to their participation in
the war. They have played the game to the limit of their resources and
to-day stand in a position almost unparalleled in its pathos and
acuteness. In front of them, as they struggle with courage and
desperation for the small fragment of their kingdom that remains, are
the formations of the Turks, Bulgars, Austrians, Hungarians, and
Germans, with Mackensen striving to give them a death-blow. Behind them
is Russia in chaos. German agitators and irresponsible revolutionists
have striven in vain to destroy the morale of their army and shake their
faith in their government and their sovereign. It is estimated that
three million Rumanian refugees have taken shelter behind their lines.
Their civil population, or that portion of it which remains, will this
winter be destitute of almost every necessity of life.

[Sidenote: Obligation of Allies to Rumania.]

This, then, is the case of Rumania, and if we and the other Allies have
not a moral obligation to the King and Queen and the government of that
little country, to support them in every way possible, then surely we
have no obligation to any one.

Sentiment, however, is not the only factor in the Rumanian case. There
is also the problem of sound policy. In spite of all her distress and
her discouragements Rumania has been able to save from the wreckage, and
to reconstruct, an army which it is said can muster between three and
four hundred thousand men.

[Sidenote: Rumanian army well drilled.]

These soldiers are well drilled by French officers, filled with
enthusiasm and fighting daily, and are even now diverting enemy troops
toward Rumania which would otherwise be available for fighting British,
French, and American troops in the west.

The Rumanians are the matrix of the Russian left flank, and if, through
lack of support and the necessities of life, they go out of the war, the
solidity of the Russian left is destroyed and the capture of Odessa
probably foreordained.

A few hundred million dollars would probably keep Rumania fighting for
another year. It is a conservative estimate to state that it will take
ten times that amount, and at least six months' delay, to place the
equivalent number of trained American troops on any fighting front.

[Sidenote: Every assistance should be given.]

It is, I think, obvious that from the point of view of sound military
policy, as well as moral and ethical obligation, every American whose
heart is in this war should be behind the President of the United States
without reserve, in any effort he may make or recommend, in extending
assistance to Rumania in this the hour of her greatest peril.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Germany's treatment of prisoners of war.]

Prisoners taken by the Germans were overworked and disciplined with much
insolence and cruelty. For infractions of their iron rules the Germans
inflicted the severest penalties. The food supplied was insufficient and
of very poor quality, so that men might actually have starved had it not
been for boxes sent from home through the Red Cross. In the following
chapter, a Canadian soldier, who finally escaped after three
unsuccessful attempts, describes the life of prisoners and other workers
in the Westphalian coal mines.



Copyright, Forum, May 1918.

I was in Germany as prisoner of war from June, 1916, to September, 1917.

[Sidenote: Captured at third battle of Ypres.]

[Sidenote: A giant shell blows up the dugout.]

My story starts with my capture at the third battle of Ypres. The Fourth
Canadian Mounted Rifles were in the front line at Zillebeke. We had been
terribly pounded by German artillery, in fact, almost annihilated. After
a hideous night, morning, June 2, 1916, dawned beautiful and clear. At
5.30 I turned in for a little sleep with four other fellows who made up
the machine-gun crew with me. Lance Corporal Wedgewood, in charge of the
gun, remained awake to clean it. I had just got into a sound sleep when
it seemed as if the whole crust of the earth were torn asunder in one
mammoth explosion, and I found myself buried beneath sandbags and loose
earth. I escaped death only by a miracle and managed to dig my way out.
A giant shell had blown up our dugout. Two of the boys were killed.

"We're in for it," said Wedgewood. "They'll keep this up for a while and
they'll come over. We must get the gun out."

[Sidenote: German barrage almost wipes out the Fourth.]

The gun had been buried by the explosion, but we managed to get it out
and were cleaning it up again when another trench mortar shell came
over. It destroyed all but 300 rounds of ammunition. Then the
bombardment started in earnest. Shells rained on us like hailstones. The
German artillery started a barrage behind us that looked almost like a
wall of flame; so we knew that there was no hope whatever of help
reaching us.

Our men dropped off one by one. The walls of our trench were battered to
greasy sand heaps. The dead lay everywhere. Soon only Wedgewood, another
chap, and myself were left.

"They've cleaned us out now. The whole battalion's gone," he said.

As far as we could see along the line there was nothing left, not even
trenches--just churned-up earth and mutilated bodies. The gallant Fourth
had stood its ground in the face of probably the worst hell that had yet
visited the Canadian lines and had been wiped out!

It was not long before the other fellow was finished by a piece of
shrapnel. I was wounded in the back with a splinter from a shell which
broke overhead and then another got me in the knee. I bled freely, but
luckily neither wound was serious. About 1.30 we saw a star shell go up
over the German lines.

"They're coming!" cried Wedgewood, and we jumped to the gun.

[Sidenote: The two men remaining fire the machine gun.]

The Germans were about seventy-five yards off when we got the gun
trained on them. We gave them our 300 rounds and did great damage; the
oncoming troops wavered and the front line crumpled up, but the rest
came on.

[Sidenote: Captured by Germans.]

What followed does not remain very clearly in my mind. We tried to
retreat. Every move was agony for me. We did not go far, however. Some
of the Germans had got around us and we ran right into four of them. We
doubled back and found ourselves completely surrounded. A ring of steel
and fierce, pitiless eyes! I expected they would butcher us there and
then. The worst we got, however, was a series of kicks as we were
marching through the lines in the German communication trenches.

[Sidenote: The night in a stable at Menin.]

We were given quick treatment at a dressing station and escorted with
other prisoners back to Menin by Uhlans. The wounded were made to get
along as best they could. We passed through several small towns where
the Belgian people tried to give us food. The Uhlans rode along and
thrust them back with their lances in the most cold-blooded way. We
reached Menin about 10 o'clock that night and were given black bread and
coffee--or something that passed by that name. The night was spent in a
horse stable with guards all around us with fixed bayonets. The next day
we were lined up before a group of German officers, who asked us
questions about the numbers and disposition of the British forces, and
we lied extravagantly. They knew we were lying, and finally gave it up.

[Sidenote: In cattle trucks to Dülmen camp.]

During the next day and a half, traveling in cattle trucks, we had one
meal, a bowl of soup. It was weak and nauseating. We took it gratefully,
however, for we were nearly starved.

[Sidenote: Food bad and insufficient.]

Finally we arrived at Dülmen camp, where I was kept two months. The food
was bad, and very, very scanty. For breakfast we had black bread and
coffee; for dinner, soup (I still shudder at the thought of turnip
soup), and sometimes a bit of dog meat for supper, a gritty, tasteless
porridge, which we called "sand storm." We used to sit around with our
bowls of this concoction and extract a grim comfort from the hope that
some day Kaiser Bill would be in captivity and we might be allowed to
feed him on "sand storm."

[Sidenote: The American Ambassador's visit.]

While I was at Dülmen we had quite a number of visitors. One day Mr.
Gerard, the American Ambassador, appeared. He looked us over with great
concern and asked us a number of questions. "Is there anything I can do
for you?" he asked as he was leaving.

"See if you can get them to give us more food," one of us begged.

"I shall speak to the camp commander about it," promised Mr. Gerard.

I do not doubt that he did so--but there was no change in the menu and
no increase in the quantities served.

[Sidenote: Arrival at the coal mine.]

After two months at Dülmen prison camp we got word that we were to be
sent to work on a farm. We conjured up visions of open fields and fresh
air and clean straw to sleep in and perhaps even real food to eat. They
loaded fifty of us into one car and sent us off, and when we reached our
farm we found it was a coal mine!

As we tumbled off the train, stiff, weary, and disappointed, we were
regarded curiously by a small group of people who worked in the mines.
They were a heavy looking lot--oldish men with beards, and dull, stolid
women. They regarded us with sullen hostility, but there was no fire in
their antagonism. Some of the men spat and muttered "Schweinhunds!" That
was all.

[Sidenote: The prison camp.]

We were marched off to the "Black Hole." It was a large camp with large
frame buildings, which had been erected especially for the purpose.
There was one building for the French prisoners, one for the Russians,
and one for the British and Canadian contingent. Barbed wire
entanglements surrounded the camp and there were sentries with drawn
bayonets everywhere.

[Sidenote: Heavy work and slender rations.]

We were greeted with considerable interest by the other prisoners. There
were about two hundred of our men there and all of them seemed in bad
shape. They had been subjected to the heaviest kind of work on the
slenderest rations and were pretty well worn out.

[Sidenote: A strike for safeguards.]

Some of us were selected for the mine and some were told off for coke
making, which, as we soon learned, was sheer unadulterated hell. I was
selected for the coke mine and put in three days at it--three days of
smarting eyes and burning lungs, of aching and weary muscles. Then my
chum, Billy Flanagan, was buried under an avalanche of falling coal and
killed. There were no safeguards in the mine and the same accident might
occur again at any time. So we struck.

[Sidenote: Kept at "attention" thirty-six hours.]

The officers took it as a matter of course. We were lined up and ordered
to stand rigidly at "attention." No food was served, not even a glass of
water was allowed us. We stood there for thirty-six hours. Man after man
fainted from sheer exhaustion. When one of us dropped he was dragged out
of the ranks to a corner, where a bucket of water was thrown over him,
and, as soon as consciousness returned, he was yanked to his feet and
forced to return to the line. All this time sentries marched up and down
and if one of us moved he got a jab with the butt end of the gun. Every
half hour an officer would come along and bark out at us:

"Are you for work ready now?"

Finally, when some of our fellows were on the verge of insanity, we gave
in in a body.

[Sidenote: Awakened at 4 a. m.]

[Sidenote: Turnip soup the chief article of diet.]

After that things settled down into a steady and dull routine. We were
routed out at 4 o'clock in the morning. The sentries would come in and
beat the butts of their rifles on the wooden floor and roar "Raus!" at
the top of their voices. If any sleep-sodden prisoners lingered a
second, they were roughly hauled out and kicked into active obedience.
Then a cup of black coffee was served out to us and at 5 o'clock we were
marched to the mines. There was a dressing room at the mine where we
stripped off our prisoners' garb and donned working clothes. We stayed
in the mines until 3.30 in the afternoon and the "staggers"--our pet
name for the foremen--saw to it that we had a busy time of it. Then we
changed back into our prison clothes and marched to barracks, where a
bowl of turnip soup was given us and a half pound of bread. We were
supposed to save some of the bread to eat with our coffee in the
morning. Our hunger was so great, however, that there was rarely any of
the bread left in the morning. At 7 o'clock we received another bowl of
turnip soup and were then supposed to go to bed.

If it had not been for the parcels of food that we received from friends
at home and from the Red Cross we would certainly have starved. We were
able to eke out our prison fare by carefully husbanding the food that
came from the outside.

[Sidenote: Citizen miners also complain about food.]

The citizens working in the mines when I first arrived were mostly
middle-aged. Many were quite venerable in appearance and of little
actual use. They were willing enough to work and work hard; but they
complained continually about the lack of food.

That was the burden of their conversation, always, food--bread, butter,
potatoes, schinken (ham)! They were living on meager rations and the
situation grew steadily worse. The people that I worked with were in
almost as bad a plight as we prisoners of war. In the course of a few
months I could detect sad changes in them.

[Sidenote: German miners also severely disciplined.]

The German miners were quite as much at the mercy of the officers as we
were. Discipline was rigid and they were "strafed" for any infraction of
rules; that is, they were subjected to cuts in pay. Lateness, laziness,
or insubordination were punished by the deduction of so many marks from
their weekly earnings, and all on the say-so of the "stagger" in charge
of the squad. At a certain hour each day an official would come around
and hand each civilian a slip of paper. I asked one of my companions
what it was all about.

[Sidenote: No bread tickets for those who do not work.]

"Bread tickets," he explained. "If they don't turn up for work, they
don't get their bread tickets and have to go hungry."

The same rule applied to the women who worked around the head of the
mine, pushing carts and loading the coal. If they came to work, they
received their bread tickets; if they failed to turn up, the little
mouths at home would go unfed for a day.

[Sidenote: German women at the mines.]

I often used to stop for a moment or so on my way to or from the pit
head and watch these poor women at work. Some of them went barefoot, but
the most of them wore wooden shoes. They appeared to be pretty much of
one class, uneducated, dull, and just about as ruggedly built as their
men. They seemed quite capable of handling the heavy work given them.
There were exceptions, however. Here and there among the gray-clad
groups I could pick out women of a slenderer mold. These were women of
refinement and good education who had been compelled to turn to any
class of work to feed their children. Their husbands and sons were at
the front or already killed.

The food restrictions caused bitterness among all the mine workers.
There were angry discussions whenever a group of them got together. For
several days this became very marked.

"There's going to be trouble here," my friend, the English Tommy, told
me. "These people say their families are starving. They will strike one
of these days."

The very next day, as we marched up to work in the dull gray of the
early morning, we found noisy crowds of men and women around the
buildings at the mine. A ring of sentries had been placed all around.

[Sidenote: Bread strike of the citizen miners.]

"Strike's on! There's a bread strike all through the mining country!"
was the whispered news that ran down the line of prisoners. We were
delighted, because it meant that we would have a holiday. The
authorities did not dare let us go into the mines with the civilians
out; they were afraid we might wreck it. So we were marched back to camp
and stayed there until the strike was over.

[Sidenote: The strikers win and new rules are formulated.]

The strike ended finally and the people came back to work, jubilant. The
authorities had given in for two reasons, as far as we could judge. The
first was the dire need of coal, which made any interruption of work at
the mines a calamity. The second was the fact that food riots were
occurring in many parts and it was deemed wise to placate the people.

But the triumph of the workers was not complete. The very next day we
noticed signs plastered up in conspicuous places with the familiar word
"Verboten" in bold type at the top. One of our fellows who could read
German edged up close enough to see one of the placards.

"There won't be any more strikes," he informed us. "The authorities have
made it illegal for more than four civilians to stand together at any
time or talk together. Any infringement of the rule will be jail for
them. That means no more meetings."

There was much muttering in the mine that day, but it was done in groups
of four or less. I learned afterward, when I became sufficiently
familiar with the language and with the miners themselves to talk with
them, that they bitterly resented this order.

[Sidenote: Strike leaders disappear from the mine.]

I found that the active leaders in the strike shortly afterward
disappeared from the mine. Those who could possibly be passed for
military service were drafted into the army. This was intended as an
intimation to the rest that they must "be good" in future. The fear of
being drafted for the army hung over them all like a thunder cloud. They
knew what it meant and they feared it above everything.

When I first arrived at the mine there were quite a few able-bodied men
and boys around sixteen and seventeen years of age at work there.
Gradually they were weeded out for the army. When I left none were there
but the oldest men and those who could not possibly qualify for any
branch of the service.

[Sidenote: Talks with the German miner.]

In the latter stages of my experience at the mine I was able to talk
more or less freely with my fellow workers. A few of the Germans had
picked up a little English. There was one fellow who had a son in the
United States and who knew about as much English as I knew German, and
we were able to converse. If I did not know the "Deutsch" for what I
wanted to say, he generally could understand it in English. He was
continually making terrific indictments of the German Government, yet he
hated England to such a degree that he would splutter and get purple in
the face whenever he mentioned the word. However, he could find it in
his heart to be decent to isolated specimens of Englishmen.

I first got talking with Fritz one day when the papers had announced the
repulse of a British attack on the western front.

[Sidenote: Fritz's view of British attacks.]

"It's always the same. They are always attacking us," he cursed. "Of
course, it's true that we repulse them. They are but English and they
can't break the German army. But how are we to win the war if it is
always the English who attack?"

"Do you still think Germany can win?" I asked.

"No!" He fairly spat at me. "We can't beat you now. But you can't beat
us! This war will go on until your pig-headed Lloyd George gives in."

"Or," I suggested gently, "until your pig-headed Junker Government gives

"They never will!" he said, a little proudly, but sadly too. "Every man
will be killed in the army--my two sons, all--and we will starve before
it is all over!"

[Sidenote: The Germans no longer hope for a big victory.]

The German citizens, in that section at least, had given up hope of
being able to score the big victory that was in every mind when the war
started. What the outcome would be did not seem to be clear to them. All
they knew was that the work meant misery for them, and that, as far as
they could see, this misery would continue on and on indefinitely. They
had lost confidence in the newspapers. It was plain to be seen that the
stereotyped rubber-stamped kind of official news that got into the
papers did not satisfy them. Many's the time I heard bitter curses
heaped upon the Hobenzollerns by lips that were flabby and colorless
from starvation.

[Sidenote: News of unrestricted submarine warfare.]

There was much excitement among them when, early in 1917, the news
spread that unrestricted submarine warfare was to be resumed. Old Fritz
came over to me with a newspaper in his hand and his eyes fairly popping
with excitement.

"This will end it!" he declared. "We are going to starve you out, you

"You'll bring America in," I told him.

"No, no!" he said, quite confidently. "The Yankees won't come in. They
are making too much money as it is. They won't fight. See, here it is in
the paper. It is stated clearly here that the United States will not
fight. It doesn't dare to fight!"

But when the news came that the United States had actually declared war
they were a sad lot. I took the first opportunity to pump old Fritz
about the views of his companions.

"It's bad, bad," he said, shaking his head dolefully.

"Then you are afraid of the Americans, after all?" I said.

[Sidenote: Why Fritz was sorry to have America in the war.]

Fritz laughed, with a short, contemptuous note. "No, it is not that," he
said. "England will be starved out before the Americans can come in and
then it will all be over. But--just between us, you and me--most of us
here were intending to go to America, after the war, where we would be
free from all this. But--now the United States won't let us in after the

I shall never forget the day that the papers announced the refusal of
the English labor delegates to go to Stockholm. One excited miner struck
me across the face with the open newspaper in his hand.

[Sidenote: Hatred of the English.]

"Always, always the same!" he almost screamed. "The English block
everything. They will not join and what good can come now of the
conference? They will not be content and the war must go on!"

[Sidenote: Shortage in necessities of life.]

The food shortage reached a crisis about the time that I managed, after
three futile attempts, to escape. Frequently, when the people took their
bread tickets to the stores they found that supplies had been exhausted
and that there was nothing to be obtained. Prices had gone sky-high.
Bacon, for instance, $2.50 and more a pound. A cake of soap cost 85
cents. Cleanliness became a luxury. These prices are indicative of the
whole range and it is not hard to see the struggle these poor mine
people were having to keep alive at all.

[Sidenote: Prisoners receive food from England.]

[Sidenote: Germans wonder at food of starving England.]

At this time our parcels from England were coming along fairly regularly
and we were better off for food than the Germans themselves. Owing to
the long shift we were compelled to do in the mines we fell into the
habit of "hoarding" our food parcels and carrying a small lunch to the
mines each day. These lunches had to be carefully secreted or the
Germans would steal them. They could not understand how it was that
starving England could send food abroad to us. The sight of these
lunches helped to undermine their faith in the truth of the official
information they read in the newspapers.

[Sidenote: Wages spent for soap.]

Our lot at the mines was almost unendurable. We were supposed to receive
four and a half marks (90 cents) a week for our labor, but there was
continual "strafing" to reduce the amount. If we looked sideways at a
"stagger," we were likely to receive a welt with a pick handle and a
strafe of several marks. Sometimes we only received a mark or two for a
week's work. Most of this we spent for soap. It was impossible to work
in the mine and not become indescribably dirty, and soap became an
absolute necessity.

[Sidenote: Uncomfortable quarters.]

We lived under conditions of great discomfort in the camp, 250 of us in
30 x 30 quarters. There were two stoves in the building in which coke
was burned, but the place was terribly cold. The walls at all seasons
were so damp that pictures tacked up on them mildewed in a short time.
Our bunks contained straw which was never replenished and we all became
infested with fleas. Some nights it was impossible to sleep on account
of the activity of these pests. On account of the dampness and cold we
always slept in our clothes.

[Sidenote: Cruelty of discipline.]

[Sidenote: Seven plan to escape.]

Discipline was rigorous and cruel. We were knocked around and given
terms of solitary confinement and made to stand at attention for hours
at the least provocation. Many of the prisoners were killed--murdered by
the cruelty. It became more than flesh and blood could stand. One day
seven of us got together and made a solemn compact to escape. We would
keep at it, we decided, no matter what happened, until we got away. Six
of us are now safely at home. The seventh, my chum, J. W. Nicholson, is
still a prisoner.

I made four attempts to escape before I finally succeeded. The first
time a group of us made a tunnel out under the barricade, starting
beneath the flooring of the barracks. We crawled out at night and had
put fifteen miles between us and the camp before we were finally caught.
I got seven days' "black" that time, solitary confinement in a narrow
stone cell, without a ray of light, on black bread and water.

[Sidenote: Two attempts to escape fail and are punished.]

The second attempt was again by means of a tunnel. A chum of mine,
William Raesides, who had come over with the 8th C. M. R.'s, was my
companion that time. We were caught by bloodhounds after twenty miles
and they gave us ten days' "black."

[Sidenote: The third attempt.]

The third attempt was made in company with my chum Nicholson, and we
planned it out very carefully. Friends in England sent through suits of
civilian clothes to us.

The next day we dressed up for the attempt by putting on our "civies"
first and then drawing our prisoner's uniform over them. When we got to
the mine we took off the uniform and slipped the mining clothes on over
the others. We worked all day. Coming up from work in the late
afternoon, Nick and I held back until everyone else had gone. We went up
alone in the hoist and tore off our mining clothes as we ascended,
dropping each piece back into the pit as we discarded it.

It was fairly dark when we got out of the hoist and the guards did not
pay much attention to us. There was a small building at the mine head
where we prisoners washed and dressed after work and a separate exit for
the civilians. Nick and I took the civilian exit and walked out into
the street without any interference.

[Sidenote: Near the Dutch border.]

We could both speak enough German to pass, so we boldly struck out for
the Dutch border, which was about 85 miles away, traveling only during
the night. We had a map that a miner had sold to us for a cake of soap
and we guided our course by that. We got to the border line without any
trouble whatever, but were caught through overconfidence, due to a
mistake in the map. Close to the line was a milepost indicating that a
certain Dutch town was two miles west. The map indicated that this town
was four miles within the Dutch border.

[Sidenote: Captured and punished again.]

"We're over!" we shouted when we saw that welcome milepost. Throwing
caution aside, we marched boldly forward, right into a couple of
sentries with fixed bayonets!

It was two weeks' "black" they meted out to us that time. The
Kommandant's eyes snapped as he passed sentence. I knew he would have
been much more strict on me as the three-time offender had it not been
that the need for coal was so dire that labor, even the labor of a
recalcitrant prisoner, was valuable.

"No prisoner has yet escaped from this Kommando!" he shouted, "and none
shall. Any further attempts will be punished with the utmost severity."

[Sidenote: A new method of getaway planned.]

Nevertheless they took the precaution to break up my partnership with
Nicholson, putting him on the night shift. I immediately went into
partnership with Private W. M. Masters, of Toronto, and we planned to
make our getaway by an entirely new method.

The building at the mine where we changed clothes before and after work
was equipped with a bathroom in one corner, with a window with one iron
bar intersecting. Outside the window was a bush and beyond that open
country. A sentry was always posted outside the building, but he had
three sides to watch and we knew that, if we could only move that bar,
we could manage to elude the sentry. So we started to work on the bar.

[Sidenote: Four months' steady work.]

I had found a bit of wire which I kept secreted about me and every
night, after washing up, we would dig for a few minutes at the brickwork
around the bar. It was slow, tedious and disappointing work. Gradually,
however, we scooped the brick out around the bar and after nearly four
months' application we had it so loosened that a tug would pull it out.

[Sidenote: Night in a bog.]

The next day Masters and I were the last in the bathroom, and when the
sentry's round had taken him to the other side of the building, we
wrenched out the bar, raised the window and wriggled through head first,
breaking our fall in the bush outside. We got through without attracting
attention and ran across the country into a swamp, where we soon lost
our way and wallowed around all night up to our knees in the bog,
suffering severely from the cold and damp. Early in our flight the
report of a gun from the camp warned us that our absence had been
discovered. Our adventure in the swamp saved us from capture, for the
roads were patrolled by cavalry that night.

We found our way out of the swamp near morning, emerging on the western
side. By the sale of more soap to miners we had acquired another map and
a compass, so we had little difficulty in determining our whereabouts
and settling our course for the border. For food we had each brought
along ten biscuits, the result of several weeks' hoarding.

That day we stayed on the edge of the swamp, never stirring for a moment
from the shelter of a clump of bushes. One slept while the other
watched. No one came near us and we heard no signs of our pursuers.
Night came on most mercifully dark and we struck out along the roads at
a smart clip.

We traveled all night, making probably twenty-five miles. It was
necessary, we knew, to make the most of our strength in the earlier
stages of the dash. As our food gave out we would be less capable of
covering the ground. So we spurred ourselves on to renewed effort and
ate the miles up in a sort of frenzy.

This kept up for four days and nights. We kept going as hard as our
waning strength would permit and we were cautious in the extreme. Even
at that we had many narrow escapes.

[Sidenote: Crossing the Lippe River.]

Our greatest difficulty was when we struck the Lippe River. Our first
plan was to swim across, but we found that we had not the strength left
for this feat. We lost a day as a result. The second night we found a
scow tied up along the bank and got across that way.

[Sidenote: Rapid progress, though starving.]

By this time we were slowly starving on our feet, we were wet through
continuously, and such sleep as we got was broken and fitful. Before we
had been four days out we were reduced to gaunt, tattered, dirty
scarecrows. We staggered as we walked and sometimes one of us would drop
on the road through sheer weakness. Through it all we kept up our frenzy
for speed and it was surprising how much ground we forced ourselves to
cover in a night. And, no matter how much the pangs of hunger gnawed at
us, we conserved our fast dwindling supply of biscuit. Less than two
biscuits a day was our limit!

Finally we reached a point that I recognized from my previous attempt to
escape. It was about four miles from the border. We had two biscuits
left between us. The next day we feasted royally and extravagantly on
those two biscuits. No longer did we need to hoard our supplies, for the
next night would tell the tale.

[Sidenote: Safe past the German sentries.]

By the greatest good fortune night came on dark and cloudy. Not a star
showed in the sky. We crawled cautiously and painfully toward the
border. At every sound we stopped and flattened out. Twice we saw
sentries close at hand, but both times we got by safely. Finally we
reached what we judged must be the last line of sentries. We had crawled
across a ploughed field and reached a road lined on both sides with
trees where sentries were passing up and down.

"It's the border!" we whispered.

When the nearest sentry had reached the far end of his beat we doubled
up like jack-knives and dashed across that road, plunging through the
trees on the other side. Not a sound came from the sentries. We struck
across fields with delirious speed, we reeled along like drunken men,
laughing and gasping and sometimes reaching out for a mutual handshake.

[Sidenote: Across the border in Holland.]

Then we got a final scare. Marching up the road toward us was what
looked like a white sheet. Our nerves were badly shattered, and that
moving thing froze my blood, but it was a scare of brief duration. The
sheet soon resolved itself into two girls in white dresses, walking up
the road with a man. We scurried to the side of the road as soon as we
made them out. Then I decided to test the matter of our whereabouts and
stepped out to accost them.

"Have you a match?" I asked in German.

The man did not understand me!

We were in Holland--_and free_!

       *       *       *       *       *

Little was heard from the Belgians themselves of the hardships and
suffering endured by them under the rule of the Germans. Occasionally,
however, an eye-witness from the outside was able to present some
aspects of the terrible picture. The narrative of such an eye-witness is
given in the following pages.



[Sidenote: The German iron heel on Roubaix.]

Toward the end of March, 1915, a distinct change became noticeable in
the policy of the German military authorities, and for the first time
the people of Roubaix began to feel the iron heel. The allied
Governments had formally declared their intention of blockading Germany
and the German Army had been given a sharp lesson at Neuve Chapelle.
Whether these two events had anything to do with the change, or whether
it was merely a coincidence, I do not know; the fact remains that our
German governors who had hitherto treated us with tolerable leniency
chose about this time to initiate a régime of stringent regulation and

[Sidenote: Identification papers.]

The first sign of the new policy was the issue of posters calling on all
men, women, and children over the age of 14 to go to the Town Hall and
take out identification papers, while all men between 17 and 50 were
required also to obtain a control card.

Up to this time I had escaped any interference from the Germans, perhaps
because I scarcely ventured into the streets for the first two months of
the German occupation, and possibly also because, from a previous long
residence in Roubaix, I spoke French fluently. Strangely enough, though
I went to the Town Hall with the rest and supplied true particulars of
my age and nationality, papers were issued to me as a matter of course,
and never during the whole two years and more of my presence in their
midst did the enemy molest me in any way.

[Sidenote: Control cards for men of military age.]

The only incident which throws any light on this curious immunity
occurred about the middle of 1915. Like all other men of military age, I
was required to present myself once a month at a public hall, in order
to have my control card, which was divided into squares for the months
of the year, marked in the proper space with an official stamp "Kontrol,
July," or "August," or whatever the month might be. We were summoned for
this process by groups, first those from 17 to 25, then those from 25 to
35, and so on. Hundreds of young fellows would gather in a room, and one
by one, as their names were called, would take their cards to be stamped
by a noncommissioned officer sitting at a table on the far side of the
room. On the occasion I have in mind, the noncommissioned officer said
to me, "You are French, aren't you?" I answered, "No." "Are you
Belgian?" "No," again. "You are Dutch, then?" A third time I replied

At this stage an officer who had been sauntering up and down the room
smoking a cigarette came to the table, took up my card, and turning to
the man behind the table, remarked, "It's all right. He's an American."
I did not trouble to enlighten him. That is probably why I enjoyed
comparative liberty.

[Sidenote: The German policy of enslavement.]

Enslavement is part of the deliberate policy of the Germans in France.
It began by the taking of hostages at the very outset of their
possession of Roubaix. A number of the leading men in the civic and
business life of the town were marked out and compelled to attend by
turns at the Town Hall, to be shot on the spot at the least sign of
revolt among the townspeople.

[Sidenote: Treatment of girl mill operatives who refuse to work.]

Not a few of the mill owners were ordered to weave cloth for the
invaders, and on their refusal were sent to Germany and held to ransom.
Many of the mill operatives, quite young girls, were directed to sew
sandbags for the German trenches. They, too, refused, but the Germans
had their own ways of dealing with what they regarded as juvenile
obstinacy. They dragged the girls to a disused cinema hall, and kept
them there without food or water until their will was broken.

Barbarity reached its climax in the so-called "deportations." They were
just slave raids, brutal and undisguised.

[Sidenote: The deportations or slave raids.]

[Sidenote: Taken to an unknown fate.]

The procedure was this: The town was divided into districts. At 3
o'clock in the morning a cordon of troops would be drawn round a
district--the Prussian Guard and especially, I believe, the Sixty-ninth
Regiment, played a great part in this diabolical crime--and officers and
noncommissioned officers would knock at every door until the household
was roused. A handbill, about octavo size, was handed in, and the
officer passed on to the next house. The handbill contained printed
orders that every member of the household must rise and dress
immediately, pack up a couple of blankets, a change of linen, a pair of
stout boots, a spoon and fork, and a few other small articles, and be
ready for the second visit in half an hour. When the officer returned,
the family were marshaled before him, and he picked out those whom he
wanted with a curt "You will come," "And you," "And you." Without even
time for leave-taking, the selected victims were paraded in the street
and marched to a mill on the outskirts of the town. There they were
imprisoned for three days, without any means of communication with
friends or relatives, all herded together indiscriminately and given but
the barest modicum of food. Then, like so many cattle, they were sent
away to an unknown fate.

[Sidenote: Girls put to farm labor.]

Months afterward some of them came back, emaciated and utterly worn out,
ragged and verminous, broken in all but spirit. I spoke with numbers of
the men. They had been told by the Germans, they said, that they were
going to work on the land. They found that only the women and girls were
put to farm labor.

[Sidenote: Men do construction work in Ardennes.]

[Sidenote: Very little food.]

[Sidenote: No complaints permitted.]

The men were taken to the French Ardennes and compelled to mend roads,
man sawmills and forges, build masonry, and toil at other manual tasks.
Rough hutments formed their barracks. They were under constant guard
both there and at their work, and they were marched under escort from
the huts to work and from work to the huts. For food each man was given
a two-pound loaf of German bread every five days, a little boiled rice,
and a pint of coffee a day. At 8 o'clock in the morning, after a
breakfast consisting of a slice of bread and a cup of coffee, they went
to work. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon they returned for the night and
took their second meal--dinner, tea, and supper all in one. Often they
were buffeted and generally ill-used by their taskmasters. If they fell
ill, cold water, internally or externally, was the invariable remedy.
Once a commission came to see them at work, but they had been warned
beforehand that any man who complained of his treatment would suffer for
it. One of them was bold enough to protest to the visitors against a
particularly flagrant case of ill-usage. That man disappeared a few days

[Sidenote: The Belgian frontier is closed.]

Long before this the food problem had become acute in Roubaix.
Simultaneously with the establishment of the system of personal control
over the inhabitants the Germans closed the frontier between France and
Belgium and forbade us to approach within half a mile of the border
line. The immediate effect of this isolation was to reduce to an
insignificant trickle the copious stream of foodstuffs which until then
poured in from Belgium--not the starving Belgium of fiction, but the
well supplied Belgium of fact.

[Sidenote: Fabulous prices for meat.]

Butchers and bakers and provision dealers had to shut their shops, and
the town became almost wholly dependent on supplies brought in by the
American Relief Commission. Fresh meat was soon unobtainable, except by
those few people who could afford to pay fabulous prices for joints
smuggled across the frontier. Months ago meat cost 32 francs a kilogram
(about 13 shillings a pound) and an egg cost 1 franc 25 (a shilling).
Obviously such things were beyond the reach of the bulk of the people,
and had it not been for the efforts of the Relief Commission we should
all have starved.

[Sidenote: Foodstuffs supplied by the Relief Commission.]

The commission opened a food depot, a local committee issued tickets for
the various articles, and rich and poor alike had to wait their turn at
the depot to procure the allotted rations. The chief foodstuffs supplied
were: Rice, flaked maize, bacon, lard, coffee, bread, condensed milk
(occasionally), haricot beans, lentils, and a very small allowance of
sugar. Potatoes could not be bought at any price.

[Sidenote: The Germans intercept mine food.]

Unfortunately, though I regret that I should have to record it, there is
evidence that by some means or other the German Army contrived to
intercept for itself a part of the food sent by the American Commission.
One who had good reason to know told me that more than once trainloads
which, according to a notification sent to him, had left Brussels for
Roubaix failed to arrive. I know also that analysis of the bread showed
that in some cases German rye flour, including 30 per cent of sawdust,
had been substituted for the white American flour, producing an
indigestible putty-like substance which brought illness and death to
many. Indeed, the mortality from this cause was so heavy at one period
that all the grave diggers in the town could not keep pace with it.

[Sidenote: Germans eager to buy food.]

One could easily understand how great must have been the temptation to
the Germans to tap for themselves the food which friends abroad had sent
for their victims. It is a significant fact that soldiers in Roubaix
were eager to buy rice from those who had obtained it at the depot at
four francs (3s 4d) the pound in order, as they said, "to send it home."
I shall describe later how utterly different were the conditions in
Belgium as I saw them.

Meagre as were the food supplies for the civilians in Roubaix, those
issued to the German soldiers toward the end of my stay were little

At first the householders, on whom the soldiers were billeted, were
required to feed them and to recover the cost from the municipal

[Sidenote: Change of demeanor of soldiery.]

Of all the things I saw and heard in Roubaix and Lille none impressed me
more than the wonderful change which came over the outlook and demeanor
of the German soldiery between October, 1914, and October, 1915.

I had many opportunities of mingling with them, more, in fact, than I
cared to have, for now and again during this period two or three of them
were actually billeted on the good folk with whom I lodged.

[Sidenote: Already tired of war.]

I knew just sufficient of the German language to be able to chat with
them, and they made no attempt to conceal from me their real feelings. I
am merely repeating the statement made to me over and over again by many
German soldiers when I say that the men in the ranks are thoroughly
tired of the war, that they have abandoned all thought of conquest, and
that they fight on only because they believe that their homes and
families are at stake.

On that Autumn morning when the first German troops came into Roubaix
they came flushed with victory, full of confidence in their strength,
marching with their eyes fixed on Paris and London. They sang aloud as
they swung through our streets. They sing no more. Instead, as I saw
with my own eyes, many of them show in their faces the abject misery
which is in their hearts.

[Sidenote: Expect end of war in November, 1916.]

Last year scores of them told me, quite independently, that the war
would come to an end on November 17, 1916. How that date came to be
fixed by the prophets nobody knew, but the belief in the prophecy was
universal among the soldiers.

[Sidenote: Soldiers more courteous than officers.]

As a rule, the soldiers did not maltreat the civilians in Roubaix,
except when they were acting under the orders of their officers; when,
for example, they were tearing people from their homes to work as
slaves. They had, however, the right of traveling without payment on the
tramcars, and they frequently exercised this right to such an extent as
to preclude the townsfolk from the use of the cars.

[Sidenote: Officers requisition supplies.]

Apart from that annoyance, there was little ground for complaint of the
general behavior of the soldiers. The conduct of the officers was very
different. For a long time they made a habit of requisitioning from
shopkeepers and others supplies of food for which they had no intention
of paying. One day an officer drove up in a trap to a shop kept by an
acquaintance of mine and "bought" sardines, chocolate, bread, and fancy
cakes to the value of about 200 francs (about $40). He produced a piece
of paper and borrowed a pair of scissors with which to cut off a slip.
On this slip he wrote a few words in German, and then, handing it to
the shopkeeper, he went off with his purchases. The shopkeeper, on
presenting the paper at the Kommandantur, was informed that the
inscription ran, "For the loan of scissors, 200 francs," and that the
signature was unknown. Payment was therefore refused. This case, I
believe, was by no means an isolated one.

When an officer was billeted on a house, he would insist on turning the
family out of the dining room and drawing room and sleeping in the best
bedroom; sometimes he would eject people entirely from their home.

[Sidenote: A docile private soldier.]

By contrast the docile private soldier was almost a welcome guest. I
remember well one quite friendly fellow who was lodged for some time in
the same house as myself and some English over military age in the
suburb of Croix. He came to me in great glee one day with a letter from
his wife in which she warned him to beware of "the English cutthroats."
She went on to give him a long series of instructions for his safety. He
was to barricade his bedroom door every night, to sleep always with his
knife under his pillow, and never to take anything we offered him to eat
or drink.

[Sidenote: Few civilian offenses.]

Despite the temptations to crime and insubordination which naturally
attend an idle manufacturing population of some 125,000 people, there
were very few civilian offenses against the law, German or French, among
the inhabitants of Roubaix.

[Sidenote: Time hangs heavily.]

Time hung heavily on our hands. Cut off from the outer world except by
the occasional arrival of smuggled French and English newspapers, we
spent our time reading and playing cards, and at the last I hoped I
might never be reduced to this form of amusement again. In the two and a
half years cut out of my life and completely wasted I played as many
games of cards as will satisfy me for the rest of my existence.

[Sidenote: The gendarmerie called "Green devils."]

But even if the inhabitants, in their enforced idleness, had any
temptation to be insubordinate, they had a far greater inducement to
keep the law in the bridled savagery of the German gendarmerie. These
creatures, who from the color of their uniform and the brutality of
their conduct were known as the "green devils," seemed to revel in sheer
cruelty. They scour the towns on bicycles and the outlying districts on
horseback, always accompanied by a dog as savage as his master, and at
the slightest provocation or without even the slenderest pretext they
fall upon civilians with brutish violence.

[Sidenote: Women badly treated.]

It was not uncommon for one of these men to chase a woman on his
bicycle, and when he had caught her, batter her head and body with the
machine. Many times they would strike women with the flat of their
sabres. One of them was seen to unleash his dog against an old woman,
and laugh when the savage beast tore open the woman's flesh from thigh
to knee.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Crossing Belgium.]

In January Mr. Whitaker crossed the line into Belgium with the aid of
smuggler friends, traversed that country, chiefly on foot, and two
months later escaped into Holland and so to England. In Belgium he was
astonished to find what looked like prosperity when compared with
conditions in the occupied provinces of France. After expressing
gratitude to Belgian friends and a desire to tell only what is truth, he

[Sidenote: No sign of privations.]

The first fact I have to declare is that nowhere in my wanderings did I
see any sign of starvation. Nowhere did I notice such privation of food
as I had known in Northern France. Near the French frontier, it is true,
the meals I took in inns and private cottages were far from sumptuous,
but as I drew nearer to the Dutch frontier the amount and variety of the
food to be obtained changed in an ascending scale, until at Antwerp one
could almost forget, so far as the table was concerned, that the world
was at war.

[Sidenote: The diet at Roubaix, France.]

Let me give a few comparisons. At Roubaix, in France, at the time when I
left in the first week of this year, my daily diet was as follows:
Breakfast--coffee, bread and butter (butter was a luxury beyond the
reach of the working people, who had to be content with lard); midday
meal--vegetable soup, bread, boiled rice, and at rare intervals an egg
or a tiny piece of fresh meat; supper--boiled rice and bread. Just over
the border, in Belgium, the food conditions were a little better. The
ticket system prevailed, and the villagers were dependent on the depots
of the American Relief Commission, supplemented by local produce.

A little further, and one passed the line of demarkation between the
étape--the part of Belgium which is governed by General von Denk,
formerly commanding the troops at Valenciennes--and the governement
général, under the command of General von Bissing.

[Sidenote: The first fresh meat in weeks.]

Here a distinct change was noticeable. My first meal in this area
included fillet of beef, the first fresh meat I had tasted for weeks.
Tickets were still needed to buy bread and other things supplied by the
Relief Commission, but other foodstuffs could be bought without

[Sidenote: A dinner at Brussels.]

At Brussels the food supply seems to be nearly normal. My Sunday dinner
there consisted of excellent soup, a generous helping of roast leg of
mutton, potatoes, haricot beans, white bread, cheese, and jam, and wine
or beer, as preferred; while for supper I had cold meat, fried potatoes,
and bread.

[Sidenote: Food conditions at Antwerp.]

At Antwerp, with two French friends who accompanied me on my journey
through Belgium, I walked into a middle-class café at midday. I ordered
a steak with fried potatoes and my friends ordered pork chops. Without
any question about tickets we were served. We added bread, cheese, and
butter to complete the meal and washed it down with draft light beer.
Later in the day we took supper in the same café--an egg omelette, fried
potatoes, bread, cheese, and butter. And the cost of both meals together
was less than the cost of the steak alone in Roubaix.

[Sidenote: Appearance of Brussels.]

The policy of the Germans appears to be to interfere as little as
possible with the everyday life of the country. The fruits of this
policy are seen in a remarkable degree in Brussels. All day long the
main streets of the city are full of bustle and all the outward
manifestations of prosperity.

[Sidenote: Business going on.]

Women in short, fashionable skirts, with high-topped fancy boots, stroll
completely at their ease along the pavement, studying the smart things
with which the drapers' shop windows are dressed. Jewelers' shops,
provision stores, tobacconists, and the rest show every sign of
"business as usual." I bought at quite a reasonable price a packet of
Egyptian cigarettes, bearing the name of a well-known brand of English
manufacture, and I recalled how, not many miles away in harassed France,
I had seen rhubarb leaves hanging from upper windows to dry, so that the
French smoker might use them instead of the tobacco which he could not
buy. Even the sweetstuff shops had well-stocked windows.

[Sidenote: Theaters and cinema palaces open.]

The theaters, music halls, cinema palaces, and cafés of Brussels were
open and crowded. On the second night of my visit I went with my two
French companions to the Théâtre Molière and heard a Belgian company in
Paul Hervieu's play, "La Course du Flambeau." The whole building was
packed with Belgians, thoroughly enjoying the performance. So far as I
could tell, the only reminder that we were in the fallen capital of an
occupied country was the presence in the front row of the stalls of two
German soldiers, whose business, so I learned, was to see that nothing
disrespectful to Germany and her armies was allowed to creep into the

[Sidenote: An ordinary cinema performance.]

At another theater, according to the posters, "Véronique" was produced,
and a third bill announced "The Merry Widow." At the Théâtre de la
Monnaie, which has been taken over by the Germans, operas and plays are
given for the benefit of the soldiers and German civilians. One
afternoon I spent a couple of hours in a cinema hall. A continuous
performance was provided, and people came and went as they chose, but
throughout the program the place was well filled. The films shown had no
relation to the war. They were of the ordinary dramatic or comic types,
and I fancy they were of pre-war manufacture. Nothing of topical
interest was exhibited.

[Sidenote: Scenes in Antwerp like those in Brussels.]

All the scenes which I have described in Brussels were reproduced in
Antwerp. There was a slightly closer supervision over the comings and
goings of the inhabitants, but there was the same unreal atmosphere of
contentment and real appearance of plenty. Though a good number of
officers were in evidence, the military arm of Germany was not
sufficiently displayed to produce any intimidation. Perhaps the most
obvious mark, here and in the capital, that all was not normal was the
complete absence of private motor cars and cabs from the streets.

[Sidenote: Belgium still has cattle.]

In the country districts two things struck me as unfamiliar after my
long months in France. About Roubaix not a single head of cattle was to
be seen; in Belgium every farm had its cows. In Belgium the mounted
gendarmerie--the "green devils" whose infamous conduct in the Roubaix
district I have described--were unknown. Their place was filled by
military police, who, by comparison with the gendarmes, were gentleness

I do not profess to know the state of affairs in parts of Belgium which
I did not visit, but I do know that my narrative of the conditions of
life that came under my personal inspection has come as a great surprise
to many people who imagine the whole of Belgium is starving.

[Sidenote: Belgium better fed than occupied France.]

We in hungry Roubaix looked out on Belgium as the land of promise. The
Flemish workers who came into the town from time to time from Belgium
were well fed and prosperous looking, a great contrast to the French of
Roubaix and Lille. The Belgian children that I saw were healthy and of
good appearance, quite unlike the wasted little ones of France, with
hollow blue rings round their eyes.

[Sidenote: Germany desires a state in Belgium.]

The people of Roubaix, knowing these facts, are convinced that the
Germans are endeavoring to lay the foundations of a vassal State in
Belgium. Foiled in their attempts to capture Calais, the Germans believe
that Zeebrugge and Ostend are capable of development as harbors for
aggressive action against England. The French do not doubt that the
enemy will make a desperate struggle before giving up Antwerp.

The picture I have presented of Belgium as I saw it is, of course,
vastly different from the outraged Belgium of the first stage of the

[Sidenote: The people not to be seduced.]

Lest there should arise any misunderstanding, I complete the picture by
stating my conviction, based on intimate talks with Belgian men and
women, that the population as a whole are keeping a firm upper lip, and
that attempts by the Germans to seduce them from their allegiance by
blandishment and bribery will fail as surely as the efforts of

Mr. Whitaker's account of his escape into Holland closes thus:

[Sidenote: Nearing Holland.]

When we drew near to the wires, just before midnight, we lay on the
ground and wriggled along until we were within fifty yards of Holland.
There we lay for what seemed to be an interminable time. We saw patrols
passing. An officer came along and inspected the sentries. Everything
was oppressively quiet.

[Sidenote: Through the electrified barbed wire.]

Each sentry moved to and fro over a distance of a couple of hundred
yards. Opposite the place where we lay two of them met. Choosing his
opportunity, one of my comrades, who had provided himself with rubber
gloves some weeks before for this critical moment, rushed forward to the
spot where the two sentries had just met. Scrambling through barbed wire
and over an unelectrified wire, he grasped the electrified wires and
wriggled between them. We came close on his heels. He held the deadly
electrified wires apart with lengths of thick plate glass with which he
had come provided while first my other companions and then I crawled
through. Before the sentries returned we had run some hundreds of yards
into No Man's Land between the electrified wires and the real Dutch

[Sidenote: Arrival at Rotterdam.]

Only one danger remained. We had no certainty that the Dutch frontier
guards would not hand us back to the Germans. We took no risks, though
it meant wading through a stream waist deep. Our troubles were now
practically over. By rapid stages we proceeded to Rotterdam.

I was without money. My watch I had given to the Belgian villager in
whose cottage I had found refuge. My clothes were shabby from frequent
soakings and hard wear. I had shaved only once in Belgium, and a stubby
growth of beard did not improve my general appearance.

[Sidenote: Sent on to London.]

At Rotterdam I reported myself to the British Consul. I was treated with
the utmost kindness. My expenses during the next four or five days,
while I waited for a boat, were paid and I was given my fare to Hull.
There I was searched by two military police and questioned closely by an
examining board. My papers were taken and I was told to go to London and
apply for them at the Home Office. As I was again practically without
means I was given permission to go to my home in Bradford before
proceeding to London.

       *       *       *       *       *

In cooperation with the British forces, a Russian army took part in
movements against Bagdad and Turkish cities in Armenia and Persia. These
military movements were marked by varying success on the part of the
Russian and Turkish forces. Certain phases of this campaign are
described in the following chapter.



Copyright, American Review of Reviews, April, 1916.

[Sidenote: Mesopotamia important to Great Britain.]

It is perhaps not generally realized how important the future of
Mesopotamia is to the British, or why they originally sent an expedition
there which has since developed into a more ambitious campaign. Ever
since the Napoleonic period British influence and interests have been
supreme from Bagdad to the Persian Gulf, and this was the one quarter of
the globe where they successfully held off the German trader with his
political backing.

[Sidenote: Great Britain's war with Persia.]

[Sidenote: British steamer on the Tigris.]

It will be recalled that early in Queen Victoria's reign Great Britain
engaged in a war with Persia, and landed troops at Bushire in assertion
of their rights. Ever since they have policed the Persian Gulf, put down
piracy, slave and gun-running, and lighted the places dangerous to
navigation. These interests having been entrusted to the Government of
India, news affecting them seldom finds its way into Western papers.
Previous to the war a line of British steamers plied regularly up the
River Tigris to Bagdad, the center of the caravan trade with Persia. The
foreign trade of this town alone in 1912 amounted to $19,000,000, and it
was nearly all in the hands of merchants in Great Britain or India.
Germany exported $500,000 worth of goods there annually. Basra, farther
down the river, exports annually about 75,000 tons of dates, valued at
$2,900,000. It also does a large export trade in wheat.

[Sidenote: An irrigation scheme.]

[Sidenote: The Persian oil fields controlled by Great Britain.]

[Sidenote: Native tribes subsidized.]

A large irrigation scheme was partly completed before the war, near the
ancient town of Babylon, under the direction of a famous Anglo-Indian
engineer, Sir William Willcocks. When finished it was to cost
$105,000,000, and was expected to reclaim some 2,800,000 acres of land
of great productibility. It will, therefore, be seen that Britain had
some considerable stake in the country. In addition to this, the British
Government, shortly before the war, invested $10,000,000 in acquiring
control of the Anglo-Persian oil fields, which is the principal source
of supply for oil fuel for their navy. By this means they avoided the
risk of great American corporations cornering the supply of oil fuel and
holding up their navy. John Bull upon occasion shows some gleamings of
shrewdness. This deal is on a par with their purchase of sufficient
shares to control the Suez Canal. The Anglo-Persian oil fields are
situated across the border in Persia, and the oil is led in pipes down
the Karam River valley, a tributary of the combined Tigris and Euphrates
rivers. The native tribes in the neighborhood were subsidized to protect
the pipe-line, or, rather, to leave it alone.

[Sidenote: Russia and Great Britain in Persia.]

[Sidenote: German railways must end at Bagdad.]

During recent years Persia has fallen into decay. Politically she is
more sick than "the sick man of the East." The people have a religion of
their own and worship the sun, although quite a number of Moslems have
settled in their midst. Being cognizant of German designs to create a
great Eastern empire in Mesopotamia and Persia, which would threaten
India, Egypt, and the Russian East, Britain and Russia came together and
formed a kind of Monroe Doctrine of their own. They said, in effect,
northern Persia shall be Russia's sphere of influence, and southern
Persia shall be Britain's sphere of influence. They both recognized that
a great military power, like Germany, permanently established at
Bagdad, with aggressive tendencies, would imperil their Eastern
dominions, and both were prepared to make it a _casus belli_--Britain,
further, a few years ago informed Germany that the area from Bagdad to
the head of the Gulf was her "Garden of Eden," and any attempt to carry
German railways south of Bagdad would bring on war. The Emperor William
apparently did not mind this opposition by Britain and Russia to his
Oriental ambition, provided he could find a passage through the Balkans.

[Sidenote: Persian gendarmes officered by Swedes.]

[Sidenote: Fairy-tales of Turkish conquest.]

At the time Britain and Russia came to an agreement regarding Persia
they were not on so good a footing with each other as they are to-day.
In order that neither should get an advantage over the other, it was
decided that the Persian gendarmes--about 6,000 in number--should be
officered by neutrals, and, unfortunately as it turned out for the
Allies, they mutually chose Swedes. On the outbreak of war neither
Britain nor Russia desired that Persia should be brought into it. The
German ambassador in Persia, however, had other views, and suborned
Swedish officers in command of the Persian gendarmes. Partly by this
means, and partly by Turkish agents, a rebellion was brought about
within the Russian sphere. Religion had nothing to do with the trouble
in Persia. Turkish forces entered Persian Kurdistan and announced that
they were on their way to conquer India and the Russian East, while
their compatriots would overrun Egypt. These were the fairy-tales with
which the Germans had originally enticed the Turks into the war. The
Turks were willing to believe them, and apparently did believe them. The
responsible Germans had no such illusions, but hoped to attain their
ends by causing internal disturbances within India and Egypt. These
German canards, put about in war time, have been adopted by some
writers in this country as the foundation from which to write
contemporary history. It may interest them to know that India possesses
the strongest natural frontiers in the world.

[Sidenote: Strategy depends on geography.]

Strategy nowadays is very largely a matter of geography. Modern armies
are circumscribed in their movements by the available means of
transportation, whether these be by railroad, river, or roadway, and
this means geography applied in giving direction to troop movements.

[Sidenote: Geographies of the war area.]

Before entering into a review of the combined Anglo-Russian campaign a
preliminary survey of the strategical geography of the war area will
make the position more clear.

[Sidenote: Constantinople once the world clearing-house.]

[Sidenote: Still the easiest route.]

In ancient times the only practical way by road and ferry from Europe
to Asia or Africa was by way of the Balkan valleys and across the
Bosphorus or Dardanelles. Hence arose the importance of the
ferryhouse--Constantinople. That city in those days was the center of
the known world and the clearing-house for the merchandise of Asia,
Africa, and Europe. From Scutari, on the opposite shore, the overland
route meandered across Asia Minor to Aleppo in Syria. Here the sign-post
to India pointed down the Euphrates Valley, by way of Bagdad, while that
to Egypt and Arabia followed the Levant or eastern shore of the
Mediterranean. Between each fork lay the Syrian desert. A glance at the
map shows the reason why in those days this was the only practical
route, as to-day it is the easiest. The wall of the Ural Mountains, the
Caspian Sea, the Caucasian Mountains, and the Black Sea shut out direct
communication from Europe to Asia, or _vice versa_, except by the
Constantinople ferry or a sea voyage.

[Sidenote: Another practical route.]

[Sidenote: The road for invasion of Egypt or India.]

[Sidenote: The Taurus range is the natural frontier of Egypt.]

In Asia Minor progress was further barred by the watershed of the
Euphrates and Tigris rivers to the south, and the Caucasian Mountains
to the east. A practical way was found at the lower elevations of the
Taurus and Amanus mountains--two parallel spurs which strike the sea at
the Gulf of Alexandretta. This narrow neck of the bottle, as it were, is
of enormous military importance alike to the Turks and to the British.
Through it must pass any army of invasion by land from Europe or Asia
Minor to Egypt or India; and, conversely, through it must pass any
invading army from Mesopotamia into Asia Minor. If the British should
conquer Mesopotamia and should intend to hold it--as they undoubtedly
would--they will have no strategical frontiers until they secure the
watershed of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the Taurus passage. If
they secure the latter, Syria, Palestine, and Arabia will fall to them
like apples off a tree. It would then be no longer necessary to defend
the Suez Canal. The natural frontier of Egypt is the Taurus mountain
range. Asia Minor is the real Turkey; the other portions of the
empire--Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Turkey in Europe--are
only appendages. The eastern door into Asia Minor is Erzerum, and the
southern door is the Taurus passage. Turkey can only part with these at
the cost of her life. Russia has already captured Erzerum, and the
British possess the Island of Cyprus, which commands the head of the
Gulf of Alexandretta--twenty miles from the Taurus passage. That is,
broadly, the situation.

[Sidenote: Aleppo is the starting point of caravan routes.]

Near the crossing of the Taurus and Amanus mountains lies the city of
Aleppo, the starting-point for the overland caravan routes to Bagdad and
India, and also to Damascus, Mecca, and Egypt. Just as surely as pioneer
travelers always chose the easiest route, so the railways of to-day
follow in their footsteps. The physical features of nature constrained
both modern as well as ancient armies to travel the same way. Hence a
railway map of the Balkans and of Asiatic Turkey is a first
consideration in appreciating the strategical bearings of the
Anglo-Russian campaign in Turkey-in-Asia, or the alleged rival
Germanic-Turkish schemes for the invasion of Egypt, Persia, and India.
Of no less importance is a knowledge of the available sea routes and
inland rivers.

[Sidenote: Bulgaria and Turkey depend on aid from Germany.]

The ability of Bulgaria and Turkey to carry on the war depends on aid
from Germany in men, munitions, and money. These allies are the weakest
members of the Central Group, and may be the first to give in if
circumstances are adverse to their adventure.

[Sidenote: The importance of the Balkan railway.]

Their sole communication with the Central Powers is by the Balkan
railway from the Danube to Constantinople by way of Sofia. If this line
is severed, then these nations are out of the game. The Allies have all
winter been organizing the defenses of Salonica as a _pied-à-terre_ for
such an attack. Should Rumania join the Allies in the spring, then a
further attack may be expected from the north, in which Russian troops
would join. Turkey is now too preoccupied with her own troubles to be
able to assist Bulgaria.

[Sidenote: Asia Minor's only important line.]

[Sidenote: Railway planned from Aleppo to Bagdad.]

In Asia Minor the only railway of importance is the trunk line from
Scutari, on the Bosphorus, to the Taurus Tunnel, in course of completion
near Adana. One branch runs west to Smyrna, and another east to Angora.
Beyond the Taurus Tunnel is another in course of completion through the
Amanus Mountains. Every person and everything destined for the Bagdad
front or for the invasion of Egypt has to be transported over these
mountains. So also have rails for the completion of the Aleppo-to-Bagdad
railway. These tunnels are expected to be finished this year--when it
will be too late. From Aleppo the Syrian railway runs south through
Damascus to Medina and Mecca in Arabia. Branches reach the Levant
seaports of Tripoli, Beirut, and Haifa. Another railway was started from
Aleppo to Bagdad shortly before the war, and construction begun at both
ends. We have no reliable information as to how far it has progressed,
but the presumption is that there is a large gap between Ras-el-ain and
Mosul and between the latter place and Samara.

[Sidenote: The city of Aleppo key of railways as once of caravan

It is at once apparent how important the city of Aleppo is as the
junction for the three main railways of Asiatic Turkey. Napoleon
considered that it was the key to India, because it commanded the
caravan routes. To-day it would be more correct to say that Aleppo is
the key to the outer _approaches_ to India and Egypt, the inner defenses
of which are impregnable.

[Sidenote: Reasons for a British army in Egypt.]

[Sidenote: Vantage points held by Great Britain.]

The British maintain a large army in Egypt not so much because it is
required there as because it is a most convenient central camp within
striking distance of all the battle-fronts in the East. This permits of
throwing a large army secretly and unexpectedly where it can be most
effective. Similar camps are available at Malta and Cyprus. Any attack
on Egypt on a formidable scale would be a veritable trap for the
invaders. It will be recalled that when Britain held up the Russian
advance on Constantinople, in 1878, she entered into a treaty with
Turkey guaranteeing the latter in the possession of Asia Minor (only)
against all enemies. The consideration was the lease of the Island of
Cyprus, which dominates the Taurus passage. In other words, Britain
holds the cork with which she can close the Syrian tube and put the
closure on any invasion of India or Egypt from this side. This treaty
was abrogated some eighteen months ago, when Turkey declared war on the
British Empire. Britain, in consequence, annexed Egypt and Cyprus.

At the outbreak of the war the Indian Government, apparently off their
own bat, despatched a small force to the Persian oil fields to seize and
hold the pipe-line, which had been tampered with and the supply cut off
for a time.

[Sidenote: The Turks threaten Basra.]

[Sidenote: British advance up the Tigris to Kut-el-Amara.]

It became necessary to hold in force three triangular points--Basra,
Muhammereh, and Awaz. A strong Turkish force, with headquarters at
Amara, was equidistant about 100 miles from both Basra and Awaz, and
could elect to strike the divided British forces either by coming down
the Tigris River to Basra, or by going overland to Awaz. Reinforcements
were sent from India, and Amara occupied. The oil fields seemed secure.
Then the unexpected happened. A Turkish army came down the
Shat-el-Hai--an ancient canal or waterway connecting the Tigris River at
Kut-el-Amara with the Euphrates at Nasiriyeh (or Nasdi)--about 100 miles
to the west of Basra--and threatened the latter place. (Shat-el-Hai
means the river which flows by the village of Hai. Kut-el-Amara means
the fort of Amara and is not to be confused with the town of Amara lower
down the Tigris River.) This led to the British driving the Turks out of
Nasiriyeh and also advancing up the Tigris River from Amara to occupy
Kut-el-Amara, where a battle was fought. The Turks were strongly
entrenched and expected to hold up the Anglo-Indian troops here, but a
turning movement made them retire on Bagdad--about 100 miles to the
northwest. It was known that large Turkish reinforcements were on the
way to Bagdad and an attempt was made to anticipate them.

[Sidenote: General Townshend's attempt to take Bagdad.]

General Townshend advanced on Bagdad with less than a division of mixed
Anglo-Indian troops--some 16,000 to 20,000 strong. At Ctesiphon he found
a Turkish army of four divisions, with two others in reserve, awaiting
him. After a two days' indecisive battle, Townshend, recognizing he had
insufficient forces, retired on his forward base at Kut-el-Amara. The
Arabs in the neighborhood awaited the issue of the battle, ready to take
sides, for the time being, with the winner.

[Sidenote: The Turks much stronger in numbers.]

[Sidenote: Secret of European success in Asia.]

It says much for the stamina of this composite division that, although
opposed throughout by five or six times their number of Turks and
Turkish irregulars, the latter were unable to overwhelm them. To the
Western mind, unacquainted with the mentality and moral weakness of the
Moslem under certain circumstances, this may appear a most foolhardy
adventure. To the Anglo-Indian the most obvious thing to do when in a
tight corner is to go for the enemy no matter what their numbers. All
Europeans in India develop an extraordinary pride in race, and an
inherent contempt for numbers. It is the secret of their success there.
Most Moslems fight well when posted behind strong natural defenses. In
open country, such as Mesopotamia, they do not show to so much
advantage. Another trait is that when their line of retreat is
threatened they are more timorous than European troops. This weakness
will have important bearings on the future of the campaign on the Tigris
Valley, because the communications of the Turks are threatened by the
Russians far in their rear and in more than one place.

[Sidenote: Kut-el-Amara of great strategical importance.]

Townshend's camp at Kut-el-Amara is well supplied with stores and
munitions, and will soon be relieved. When his retreat was cut off at
the bend of the Tigris River he could still have retired safely by
following the Shat-el-Hai to Nasiriyeh. There was no thought, however,
of retreat, Kut-el-Amara is geographically of great strategical
importance, and the British garrison there has served the useful purpose
of detaining large forces of the enemy where it was desired they should
remain while important Allied developments were taking place in their
flank and rear. Most of these Turkish reinforcements were withdrawn from
Armenia when the depth of winter appeared to make it impossible for the
Russians to break through the lofty hills of Caucasia.

[Sidenote: Turks deceived by rumor about Grand Duke Nicholas.]

[Sidenote: The Grand Duke's strategy.]

The rumor, so diligently put about, that the Grand Duke Nicholas had
been retired in disgrace, after so ably extricating the Russian armies
in Poland, and that he had been sent to Caucasia, served its purpose.
The Turks were deceived by it, and sent part of their forces from
Armenia to oppose the Anglo-Indian advance on Bagdad and arrived in time
to turn the scale after the battle of Ctesiphon. When the Grand Duke
fell on the unwary Turks their defeat was complete. Flying from Erzerum,
one army made for Trebizond, another for the Lake Van district, and the
rest went due west towards Sivas. The Grand Duke's right wing, center,
and left are following in the same directions. He has two flying wings
further south--one in the Lake Urumia district and the other advancing
along the main caravan route from Kermanshah to Bagdad, while the
British are furthest south at Kut-el-Amara. It will be observed that the
whole of the Allied armies from the Black Sea to Kut-el-Amara are in
perfect echelon formation, and it would be a strange coincidence if this
just happened--say, by accident. Like the Syrian and Arabian littoral,
Mesopotamia is another tube confined within the Syrian desert on the one
side and the mountains of Armenia and Persia on the ether. All egress is
stopped by the Allies' echelon formation, except by Aleppo.

[Sidenote: Possible to cut Turkish Empire in two.]

Petrograd advices at the time of writing (March 9th) state that the
Grand Duke's main army is making for the Gulf of Alexandretta with
intent to cut the Turkish Empire in two. This is not only possible, but
highly probable, and the echelon formation of the Allies, together with
the configuration of the country, lends itself to such an operation. The
British army in Egypt and the British fleet could in such an eventuality
coöperate to advantage.

[Sidenote: Russians must take Trebizond.]

[Sidenote: Turks will endeavor to hold Armenian Taurus.]

[Sidenote: The road that Xenophon traveled.]

As a preliminary the Russians must clear their right wing by capturing
Trebizond and utilizing it as a sea base. Asia Minor is a high
tableland, in shape like the sole of a boot turned upside down, with the
highlands of Armenia representing the heel. The Turks, having lost their
only base and headquarters at Erzerum, have now to rush troops, guns,
and stores from Constantinople to the railhead at Angora and endeavor to
rally their defeated forces to the east of Sivas. In the meantime, the
Russians will have overrun some 250 miles of Turkish territory before
they are held up even temporarily. The Turkish army in Syria will be
rushed to Diarbekr to rally their defeated right wing and endeavor to
hold the Armenian Taurus Mountains against the Grand Duke's left wing.
If the Russians break through here, then all is lost to the Turks in the
south. They, however, have a most difficult task before them, because
the hills here reach their highest. There is a road of sorts, because we
know that Xenophon in ancient times traveled it with his 10,000 Greeks,
and the Turks did the same recently, when they sent reinforcements to
Bagdad. Both must have traveled light, and the Russians will have to do
the same. This means that the Turks on the south will be better supplied
with guns than their opponents, who will have to rely once more on
their bayonets.

[Sidenote: British forces in the south ample.]

[Sidenote: The Tigris and other available routes.]

[Sidenote: Plans of the British army.]

[Sidenote: Russian and British forces would join.]

In the extreme south the British have ample force now to carry out their
part of the contract. We know that some 80,000 veteran Indian troops
have arrived from France, as well as other large reinforcements from
India. It is unlikely that these will all proceed up the Tigris River,
because sufficient troops are already there who are restricted to a
narrow front, owing to the salt marshes between the bend of the river
and the Persian mountains. Two other routes are available, the
Shat-el-Hai from Nasiriyeh to relieve the garrison at Kut-el-Amara from
the south, and the Euphrates River, to attack Bagdad from the southwest,
while the Russian flying wing at Kermanshah threatens it from the
northeast. The Turkish report of heavy fighting at Nasiriyeh would
indicate that one or both of these routes were being taken. Athens
reports that Bagdad is about to fall. As it falls, a British flotilla
will ascend the Euphrates and make direct for Aleppo. The British army
from Kut-el-Amara and the Russians from Kermanshah will, after the fall
of Bagdad--which is a foregone conclusion--ascend the Tigris River to
Mosul, where they may be expected to get in touch with the other Russian
flying wing from the Lake Urumia district. The combined force will then
be in a position to force a junction with the Grand Duke's left wing,
and then continue their advance on Aleppo.

[Sidenote: Turkish army might retire to defend the Taurus passage.]

Should the main army of the Grand Duke, as reported, converge on the
Gulf of Alexandretta with intent to destroy the Turkish southern army,
then the latter would be in a very dangerous position, because their
northern army being, as yet, without a base or organization, is not in a
position to take the offensive to assist them. If, on the other hand,
the Turkish army of the south declines battle at Aleppo and retires to
defend the Taurus passage, after abandoning half their Empire to the
Allies, the latter will, if they have not previously anticipated it,
have a difficult problem to solve as to how they are going to get their
large forces in the south over the Taurus range to assist the Grand Duke
in the final struggle. The forcing of the Taurus passage will mean
fighting on a narrow front and will take time.

So far this campaign had been conducted as one of India's little wars,
which come as regularly as intermittent fever.

[Sidenote: The Russians enter Armenia and later withdraw.]

When Turkey entered the war she reckoned that Russia was so busy on the
German and Austrian frontiers as to be unable to meet an attack in her
rear. Turkey thereupon concentrated her main armies at Erzerum and
invaded Caucasia. The Russians beat them back and entered Armenia, where
the inhabitants assisted them. The same cause which led to the
retirement from Poland--shortage of ammunition--compelled the Russians
also to withdraw from Armenia.

[Sidenote: Britain's reverse at Gallipoli.]

Contemporary with these events, Britain met with a severe reverse on the
Gallipoli peninsula, which likewise injured her prestige in the East.

[Sidenote: An Anglo-Russian campaign from Kurna to the Black Sea.]

It became a matter of first importance with both Britain and Russia that
they should not only reinstate their prestige in the East in striking
fashion, but that they should end once and for all time German intrigue
and Turkish weakness in the East. These considerations were contributing
factors in bringing about a joint war council and an Allied Grand Staff.
The latter immediately took hold of the military situation in Asiatic
Turkey, and the isolated operations of Britain and Russia in these parts
now changed into a great Anglo-Russian campaign stretching from the
junction of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers to the Black Sea.

The drama unfolding before us promises to be one of the most sensational
in the great world war. The end of the Ottoman Empire appears in sight.
Its heirs and successors may be the other great Moslem powers--Britain,
Russia, France, and Italy. The last two have yet to be heard from on the
western shores of Asia Minor.

[Sidenote: The possible future.]

The future may see the British in possession of Turkey's first capital,
Mosul; the French in possession of their second capital, Konia; the
Russians in possession of their third and last capital, Constantinople,
and the Italians occupying Smyrna. Each of these powers is a Mohammedan
empire in itself; and the greatest Moslem country in the world is the
British Empire.

[Sidenote: Britain may be stronger than ever in the East.]

The Moslems in India not only approve of the idea of removing the
Sheik-Ul-Islam, head of the Mohammedan creed, from Constantinople to
Delhi or Cairo, under British protection, but the head of their church
in India volunteered as a private soldier to fight in France, and is now
with the Anglo-Indian army in Mesopotamia. It would seem as if Britain
and Russia, at the end of this war, would find themselves stronger than
ever in the East.

       *       *       *       *       *

Great Britain suffered one of her greatest losses during the war on June
7, 1916, when the cruiser _Hampshire_, on board of which was Earl
Kitchener on his way to Russia, was sunk by a German mine or torpedo.
Over 300 lives were lost in this disaster. Earl Kitchener had been
throughout the war the chief force in raising and training the British
army, and to his ability and zeal was due largely the great feats of
landing large numbers of British troops in France within a time which in
the period of peace would have been considered impossible.



Copyright, Harper's Magazine, October, 1916.

[Sidenote: Lord Kitchener a mystery to the outside world.]

[Sidenote: Fond of old friends.]

To the outside world Lord Kitchener was something of a mystery; they
knew little of him personally, he shunned publicity, he was not a seeker
after popularity. Though he had few personal friends, he was endeared to
that chosen few in a way unique and rare. He was shy and reserved about
the deep things of life, but a charming companion in ordinary ways--very
amusing and agreeable. He had a great sense of humor, and his rapid
intuition gave him a wonderful insight into character, and he soon
arrived at a just estimate of people, and of the motives of those with
whom he came into contact. He did not make many new friends, and the
people who knew him well, and with whom his holidays or hours of
relaxation were passed, were confined to those he had known for many
years. He always impressed one with a deep sense of decency in
conversation and conduct; one felt in talking to him how impossible it
would be to drift into the easy-going discussion of questions and
problems of our modern life, and it seemed impossible to imagine his
taking a silent acquiescence in the jokes and insinuations which are not
considered now extraordinary or unpleasant.

[Sidenote: Economy in expenditure in Egypt.]

[Sidenote: Kitchener's unsparing activity in South Africa.]

Lord Kitchener's strength lay in the fact that his views broadened as he
went on in life. As long as he was confined to Egypt and had to carry
out his task with the minimum of force and expenditure, he was careful
even to penuriousness, and his subordinates groaned under his exacting
economy; but he was justified in his care by the wonderful development
of the country devolving from his unsparing activity. When he went to
South Africa with a great staff and unlimited funds, he took a new
departure. He worked himself unceasingly, and exacted the same from
those around him, but he recognized inevitable limitations and was most

[Sidenote: Medical aid for Egyptian women organized.]

[Sidenote: Trained English nurses sent to Egypt.]

[Sidenote: Lives of babies saved.]

[Sidenote: Expected to return to Egypt.]

Ceaseless activity characterized his work in Egypt, when he went there
after failing to be appointed Viceroy of India, which most of his
friends anticipated, and which he would have accepted. Perhaps Egypt was
a disappointment after the wider sphere India presented, but nothing
ever prevented him from doing what came to him to do and giving his best
to it. When he returned there, the question of infant mortality and the
unhygienic condition of Egyptian women during child-bearing, from the
neglect and ignorance of the most elementary measures, came under his
observation, and he was deeply interested in devising means of providing
medical treatment for them, and of training native women in midwifery
and all that would conduce to improving the conditions under which they
lived. He enlisted the sympathy and interest of the wives of officials,
and of Englishwomen in Egypt, and carried out a scheme which in itself
was a wonderful example of what his interest and driving power could
accomplish. These women whose help he enlisted could tell endless
stories of the task he set them to do and his tacit refusal to listen to
any difficulties that arose in carrying it out. A number of trained
English nurses were despatched to Egypt and sent to different
localities, where they gave training to a large number of native women
in midwifery and kindred subjects. The scheme was a great success, and
the benefit it has been to thousands of native women is indescribable,
as regards both their general treatment and the care of themselves and
their children at birth. Little was known about the subject in England,
and much less about all that was done to mitigate the evil; but it was a
wonderful piece of administration, though perhaps not one that appealed
specially to him; and when some one, knowing what had been achieved,
congratulated him on his success and the boon it was to the women in
Egypt, his characteristic reply was: "I am told I have saved the lives
of ten thousand babies. I suppose that is something to have done." At
that time, only a fortnight before the prospect of war seemed possible,
he was talking with the keenest interest of his return to Egypt and of
what he had still to do there.

[Sidenote: The dinner at Lord French's.]

There are incidents in life which leave lasting impressions, and one of
a large dinner at Lord French's about the same time, at which Lord K.,
Lord Haldane, and others were present, comes to my mind; probably no one
there but those three men had an idea of the threatening cloud which
broke in so short a time over England, and the important part two of
them would take in it. Lord K., as the world knows, was on the point of
returning to Egypt; in fact, he had started when he was recalled, almost
on board the steamer at Dover.

[Sidenote: The country expects Lord Kitchener to head the War Office.]

The two questions which moved the soul of the English people to its
deepest depth were, undoubtedly, what part the country was going to take
when it was realized that war was inevitable, and, after that, who was
to preside at the War Office. There might have been hesitation on the
one point; on the other there was none, and the silent, deep
determination with which the people waited to be told that Lord
Kitchener was to be Secretary of State for War can only be realized by
those who went through those anxious days. There was never a doubt or
hesitation in the mind of the country that Lord K. was the only person
who could satisfy its requirements, and the acclamation with which the
news flashed through the country when he was appointed Secretary of
State for War was overwhelming, while those who were thrown into contact
with him give a marvelous account of the cool, rapid, and soldier-like
way in which he accepted the great position. He quickly installed
himself at the War Office, even to sleeping there, so that he was ever
at the call of his office, and lived there till Lady Wantage placed her
house in Carlton Gardens, close by, at his disposal. Later on the King
offered him St. James's Palace, and those neighbors who rose early
enough saw him daily start off on his morning walk to his office, where
he remained all day.

[Sidenote: Lord Kitchener's arduous two years.]

The last two crowded years of Lord Kitchener's life, full of their
anxieties and responsibilities, had not changed him; but though he had
aged, and the constant strain had told on him, he had altered outwardly
but little. The office life was irksome, and the want of exercise to a
man of his active habits very trying, for he hardly ever left London
except for an occasional week-end at Broome. His intended visit to
Russia was not known, and, like so many of his visits to France and the
army at the front, were only made public after his return. Those who saw
him that last week and knew of his going, tell how he longed for the
change and how eagerly he looked forward to his holiday.

[Sidenote: The great task completed.]

[Sidenote: The farewell visit to the King and to the Grand Fleet.]

The last few months, with the controversies over conscription, had
harassed him. He was not a keen believer in the conscript principle; he
was more than justified in his preference for a voluntary army by the
response he had received on his appeal to the manhood of England. There
was a wonderful completion of the task he had undertaken in those last
few days. He had raised his millions, and the country had accepted the
inevitable imposition of compulsion, and with it that chapter of his
life was finished. He had met the House of Commons, and, uncertain as
the result of that conference was, like all he did, it was one of his
greatest successes. He had no indecision when it was proposed to him
that he should meet the Commons, and, as was always the case, the result
was never in doubt. What passed has never been divulged, but he left an
impression on the two hundred members who were present which was perhaps
one of the best tributes ever paid him. After his farewell to the King,
his last visit to Broome and to Sir John Jellicoe and the Grand Fleet,
he set sail for the shore he never reached, and the end had come. It was
perhaps the most perfect end of such a life--a life full of high
endeavor and completion. The service he had rendered his country by
raising her armies and foreseeing the probable duration of the war could
not have been performed by any other living man. If, as his critics say,
he depended too much on his own individual endeavors, he was not to be
blamed when we read day by day of the glorious deeds of the armies he
had created.

The country staggered under the blow of his death, and one can never
forget the silent grief and dismay of that dreadful day with its
horrible tragedy. The grief was universal and personal, and the tributes
to his work and memory were spoken from the heart by the great leaders
of both parties. No more touching and pathetic tribute was ever said
than the speech made by Lord Derby in the House of Lords on the
resolution in reference to his death. There is not one word to be
altered from beginning to end, but the concluding words must go to
every heart and find an echo:

[Sidenote: The whole machinery of the new armies in running order.]

Lord Kitchener said good-by to the nation at a moment when he left the
whole of the machinery of the great armies that he had created in
running order, and when it only required skilled engineers to keep going
his work. It was really as if Providence in its wisdom had given him the
rest he never would have given to himself.

With the memory of a great naval battle fresh in our minds we must all
realize how rich a harvest of death the sea has reaped. We in these
islands from time immemorial had paid a heavy toll to the sea for our
insular security, but, speaking as the friend of a friend, I can say
that the sea never executed a heavier toll than when Lord Kitchener,
coffined in a British man-of-war, passed to the Great Beyond.

       *       *       *       *       *

How and why America joined with the Allies against Germany in April,
1917, is told in the three articles following. The summaries contained
therein are official, and the war message of President Wilson condenses
the reasons which impelled the United States, after long delay, to throw
the force of its strength and resources against the German Empire.



[Sidenote: Germany proclaims ruthless submarine warfare.]

The Imperial German Government on the 31st day of January announced to
this Government and to the Governments of the other neutral nations that
on and after the 1st day of February, the present month, it would adopt
a policy with regard to the use of submarines against all shipping
seeking to pass through certain designated areas of the high seas, to
which it is clearly my duty to call your attention.

[Sidenote: The _Sussex_ case.]

Let me remind the Congress that on the 18th of April last, in view of
the sinking on the 24th of March of the cross-channel steamship _Sussex_
by a German submarine without summons or warning, and the consequent
loss of lives of several citizens of the United States who were
passengers aboard her, this Government addressed a note to the Imperial
German Government, in which it made the following statement:

[Sidenote: The note to the Imperial German Government.]

"If it is still the purpose of the Imperial German Government to
prosecute relentless and indiscriminate warfare against vessels of
commerce by the use of submarines without regard to what the Government
of the United States must consider the sacred and indisputable rules of
international law and the universally recognized dictates of humanity,
the Government of the United States is at last forced to the conclusion
that there is but one course it can pursue. Unless the Imperial
Government should now immediately declare and effect an abandonment of
its present methods of submarine warfare against passenger and freight
carrying vessels, the Government of the United States can have no choice
but to sever diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."

In reply to this declaration the Imperial German Government gave this
Government the following assurance:

[Sidenote: Germany's assurances to the United States.]

"The German Government is prepared to do its utmost to confine the
operations of war for the rest of its duration to the fighting forces of
the belligerents, thereby also insuring the freedom of the seas, a
principle upon which the German Government believes now, as before, to
be in agreement with the Government of the United States.

[Sidenote: Promises that merchant vessels shall not be sunk without

"The German Government, guided by this idea, notifies the Government of
the United States that the German naval forces have received the
following orders: In accordance with the general principles of visit and
search and destruction of merchant vessels recognized by international
law, such vessels, both within and without the area declared a naval war
zone, shall not be sunk without warning and without saving human lives,
unless these ships attempt to escape or offer resistance.

"But," it added, "neutrals cannot expect that Germany, forced to fight
for her existence, shall, for the sake of neutral interest, restrict the
use of an effective weapon if her enemy is permitted to continue to
apply at will methods of warfare violating the rules of international
law. Such a demand would be incompatible with the character of
neutrality, and the German Government is convinced that the Government
of the United States does not think of making such a demand, knowing
that the Government of the United States has repeatedly declared that
it is determined to restore the principle of the freedom of the seas,
from whatever quarter it has been violated."

To this the Government of the United States replied on the 8th of May,
accepting, of course, the assurance given, but adding:

[Sidenote: The reply of the United States.]

[Sidenote: Rights of American citizens do not depend on conduct of
another government.]

"The Government of the United States feels it necessary to state that it
takes it for granted that the Imperial German Government does not intend
to imply that the maintenance of its newly announced policy is in any
way contingent upon the course or result of diplomatic negotiations
between the Government of the United States and any other belligerent
Government, notwithstanding the fact that certain passages in the
Imperial Government's note of the 4th inst. might appear to be
susceptible of that construction. In order, however, to avoid any
misunderstanding, the Government of the United States notifies the
Imperial Government that it cannot for a moment entertain, much less
discuss, a suggestion that respect by German naval authorities for the
rights of citizens of the United States upon the high seas should in any
way or in the slightest degree be made contingent upon the conduct of
any other Government, affecting the rights of neutrals and
noncombatants. Responsibility in such matters is single, not joint,
absolute, not relative."

To this note of the 8th of May the Imperial German Government made no

On the 31st of January, the Wednesday of the present week, the German
Ambassador handed to the Secretary of State, along with a formal note, a
memorandum which contained the following statement:

"The Imperial Government therefore does not doubt that the Government of
the United States will understand the situation thus forced upon Germany
by the Entente Allies' brutal methods of war and by their determination
to destroy the Central Powers, and that the Government of the United
States will further realize that the now openly disclosed intention of
the Entente Allies gives back to Germany the freedom of action which she
reserved in her note addressed to the Government of the United States on
May 4, 1916.

[Sidenote: Germany will sink all ships within zone proclaimed.]

"Under these circumstances, Germany will meet the illegal measures of
her enemies by forcibly preventing, after February 1, 1917, in a zone
around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the Eastern Mediterranean,
all navigation, that of neutrals included, from and to England and from
and to France, &c. All ships met within the zone will be sunk."

I think that you will agree with me that, in view of this declaration,
which suddenly and without prior intimation of any kind deliberately
withdraws the solemn assurance given in the Imperial Government's note
of the 4th of May, 1916, this Government has no alternative consistent
with the dignity and honor of the United States but to take the course
which, in its note of the 18th of April, 1916, it announced that it
would take in the event that the German Government did not declare and
effect an abandonment of the methods of submarine warfare which it was
then employing and to which it now purposes again to resort.

[Sidenote: Diplomatic relations with Germany are severed.]

I have therefore directed the Secretary of State to announce to his
Excellency the German Ambassador that all diplomatic relations between
the United States and the German Empire are severed and that the
American Ambassador to Berlin will immediately be withdrawn; and, in
accordance with this decision, to hand to his Excellency his passports.

[Sidenote: Hard to believe Germany will carry out threats.]

Notwithstanding this unexpected action of the German Government, this
sudden and deplorable renunciation of its assurances, given this
Government at one of the most critical moments of tension in the
relations of the two Governments, I refuse to believe that it is the
intention of the German authorities to do in fact what they have warned
us they will feel at liberty to do. I cannot bring myself to believe
that they will indeed pay no regard to the ancient friendship between
their people and our own or to the solemn obligations which have been
exchanged between them, and destroy American ships and take the lives of
American citizens in the willful prosecution of the ruthless naval
program they have announced their intention to adopt. Only actual overt
acts on their part can make me believe it even now.

If this inveterate confidence on my part in the sobriety and prudent
foresight of their purpose should unhappily prove unfounded; if American
ships and American lives should in fact be sacrificed by their naval
commanders in heedless contravention on the just and reasonable
understandings of international law and the obvious dictates of
humanity, I shall take the liberty of coming again before the Congress
to ask that authority be given me to use any means that may be necessary
for the protection of our seamen and our people in the prosecution of
their peaceful and legitimate errands on the high seas. I can do nothing
less. I take it for granted that all neutral Governments will take the
same course.

[Sidenote: America does not desire war with Germany.]

We do not desire any hostile conflict with the Imperial German
Government. We are the sincere friends of the German people, and
earnestly desire to remain at peace with the Government which speaks for
them. We shall not believe that they are hostile to us unless and until
we are obliged to believe it; and we purpose nothing more than the
reasonable defense of the undoubted rights of our people. We wish to
serve no selfish ends. We seek merely to stand true alike in thought and
in action to the immemorial principles of our people, which I have
sought to express in my address to the Senate only two weeks ago--seek
merely to vindicate our rights to liberty and justice and an unmolested
life. These are the bases of peace, not war. God grant that we may not
be challenged to defend them by acts of willful injustice on the part of
the Government of Germany!

[Sidenote: Reasons for addressing Congress.]

I have again asked the privilege of addressing you because we are moving
through critical times during which it seems to me to be my duty to keep
in close touch with the houses of Congress, so that neither counsel nor
action shall run at cross-purposes between us.

On the 3rd of February I officially informed you of the sudden and
unexpected action of the Imperial German Government in declaring its
intention to disregard the promises it had made to this Government in
April last and undertake immediate submarine operations against all
commerce, whether of belligerents or of neutrals, that should seek to
approach Great Britain and Ireland, the Atlantic coasts of Europe, or
the harbors of the Eastern Mediterranean and to conduct those operations
without regard to the established restrictions of international
practice, without regard to any considerations of humanity even which
might interfere with their object.

[Sidenote: The German ruthless policy in practice.]

That policy was forthwith put into practice. It has now been in active
exhibition for nearly four weeks. Its practical results are not fully
disclosed. The commerce of other neutral nations is suffering severely,
but not, perhaps, very much more severely than it was already suffering
before the 1st of February, when the new policy of the Imperial
Government was put into operation.

[Sidenote: American commerce suffers.]

We have asked the cooperation of the other neutral Governments to
prevent these depredations, but I fear none of them has thought it wise
to join us in any common course of action. Our own commerce has
suffered, is suffering, rather in apprehension than in fact, rather
because so many of our ships are timidly keeping to their home ports
than because American ships have been sunk.

[Sidenote: American vessels sunk.]

Two American vessels have been sunk, the _Housatonic_ and the _Lyman M.
Law_. The case of the _Housatonic_, which was carrying foodstuffs
consigned to a London firm, was essentially like the case of the _Frye_,
in which, it will be recalled, the German Government admitted its
liability for damages, and the lives of the crew, as in the case of the
_Frye_, were safeguarded with reasonable care.

The case of the _Law_, which was carrying lemon-box staves to Palermo,
discloses a ruthlessness of method which deserves grave condemnation,
but was accompanied by no circumstances which might not have been
expected at any time in connection with the use of the submarine against
merchantmen as the German Government has used it.

[Sidenote: Congestion of shipping in American ports.]

In sum, therefore, the situation we find ourselves in with regard to the
actual conduct of the German submarine warfare against commerce and its
effects upon our own ships and people is substantially the same that it
was when I addressed you on the 3rd of February, except for the tying up
of our shipping in our own ports because of the unwillingness of our
ship owners to risk their vessels at sea without insurance or adequate
protection, and the very serious congestion of our commerce which has
resulted--a congestion which is growing rapidly more and more serious
every day.

This, in itself, might presently accomplish, in effect, what the new
German submarine orders were meant to accomplish, so far as we are
concerned. We can only say, therefore, that the overt act which I have
ventured to hope the German commanders would in fact avoid has not

[Sidenote: Indications that German ruthlessness will continue.]

But while this is happily true, it must be admitted that there have been
certain additional indications and expressions of purpose on the part of
the German press and the German authorities which have increased rather
than lessened the impression that, if our ships and our people are
spared, it will be because of fortunate circumstances or because the
commanders of the German submarines which they may happen to encounter
exercise an unexpected discretion and restraint, rather than because of
the instructions under which those commanders are acting.

[Sidenote: Situation full of danger.]

It would be foolish to deny that the situation is fraught with the
gravest possibilities and dangers. No thoughtful man can fail to see
that the necessity for definite action may come at any time if we are,
in fact and not in word merely, to defend our elementary rights as a
neutral nation. It would be most imprudent to be unprepared.

I cannot in such circumstances be unmindful of the fact that the
expiration of the term of the present Congress is immediately at hand by
constitutional limitation and that it would in all likelihood require an
unusual length of time to assemble and organize the Congress which is to
succeed it.

[Sidenote: The President asks for authority.]

I feel that I ought, in view of that fact, to obtain from you full and
immediate assurance of the authority which I may need at any moment to
exercise. No doubt I already possess that authority without special
warrant of law, by the plain implication of my constitutional duties and
powers; but I prefer in the present circumstances not to act upon
general implication. I wish to feel that the authority and the power of
the Congress are behind me in whatever it may become necessary for me to
do. We are jointly the servants of the people and must act together and
in their spirit, so far as we can divine and interpret it.

[Sidenote: Necessary to defend commerce and lives.]

No one doubts what it is our duty to do. We must defend our commerce and
the lives of our people in the midst of the present trying circumstances
with discretion but with clear and steadfast purpose. Only the method
and the extent remain to be chosen, upon the occasion, if occasion
should indeed arise.

[Sidenote: Diplomatic means fail.]

Since it has unhappily proved impossible to safeguard our neutral rights
by diplomatic means against the unwarranted infringements they are
suffering at the hands of Germany, there may be no recourse but to armed
neutrality, which we shall know how to maintain and for which there is
abundant American precedent.

It is devoutly to be hoped that it will not be necessary to put armed
forces anywhere into action. The American people do not desire it, and
our desire is not different from theirs. I am sure that they will
understand the spirit in which I am now acting, the purpose I hold
nearest my heart and would wish to exhibit in everything I do.

[Sidenote: Mr. Wilson the friend of peace.]

I am anxious that the people of the nations at war also should
understand and not mistrust us. I hope that I need give no further
proofs and assurances than I have already given throughout nearly three
years of anxious patience that I am the friend of peace and mean to
preserve it for America so long as I am able. I am not now proposing or
contemplating war or any steps that need lead to it. I merely request
that you will accord me by your own vote and definite bestowal the
means and the authority to safeguard in practice the right of a great
people, who are at peace and who are desirous of exercising none but the
rights of peace, to follow the pursuit of peace in quietness and
good-will--rights recognized time out of mind by all the civilized
nations of the world.

[Sidenote: America not seeking war.]

No course of my choosing or of theirs will lead to war. War can come
only by the willful acts and aggressions of others.

You will understand why I can make no definite proposals or forecasts of
action now and must ask for your supporting authority in the most
general terms. The form in which action may become necessary cannot yet
be foreseen.

[Sidenote: Merchant ships should be supplied with defensive arms.]

I believe that the people will be willing to trust me to act with
restraint, with prudence, and in the true spirit of amity and good faith
that they have themselves displayed throughout these trying months; and
it is in that belief that I request that you will authorize me to supply
our merchant ships with defensive arms should that become necessary, and
with the means of using them, and to employ any other instrumentalities
or methods that may be necessary and adequate to protect our ships and
our people in their legitimate and peaceful pursuits on the seas. I
request also that you will grant me at the same time, along with the
powers I ask, a sufficient credit to enable me to provide adequate means
of protection where they are lacking, including adequate insurance
against the present war risks.

I have spoken of our commerce and of the legitimate errands of our
people on the seas, but you will not be misled as to my main
thought--the thought that lies beneath these phrases and gives them
dignity and weight. It is not of material interest merely that we are
thinking. It is, rather, of fundamental human rights, chief of all the
rights of life itself.

[Sidenote: To protect the lives of noncombatants.]

I am thinking not only of the right of Americans to go and come about
their proper business by way of the sea, but also of something much
deeper, much more fundamental than that. I am thinking of those rights
of humanity without which there is no civilization. My theme is of those
great principles of compassion and of protection which mankind has
sought to throw about human lives, the lives of noncombatants, the lives
of men who are peacefully at work keeping the industrial processes of
the world quick and vital, the lives of women and children and of those
who supply the labor which ministers to their sustenance. We are
speaking of no selfish material rights, but of rights which our hearts
support and whose foundation is that righteous passion for justice upon
which all law, all structures alike of family, of State, and of mankind
must rest, as upon the ultimate base of our existence and our liberty.

I cannot imagine any man with American principles at his heart
hesitating to defend these things.



[Sidenote: The Monroe Doctrine a warning to the old world.]

In the years when the Republic was still struggling for existence, in
the face of threatened encroachments by hostile monarchies over the sea,
in order to make the New World safe for democracy our forefathers
established here the policy that soon came to be known as the Monroe
Doctrine. Warning the Old World not to interfere in the political life
of the New, our Government pledged itself in return to abstain from
interference in the political conflicts of Europe; and history has
vindicated the wisdom of this course. We were then too weak to influence
the destinies of Europe, and it was vital to mankind that this first
great experiment in government of and by the people should not be
disturbed by foreign attack.

[Sidenote: Our isolation fast becoming imaginary.]

Reenforced by the experience of our expanding national life, this
doctrine has been ever since the dominating element in the growth of our
foreign policy. Whether or not we could have maintained it in case of
concerted attack from abroad, it has seemed of such importance to us
that we were at all times ready to go to war in its defense. And though
since it was first enunciated our strength has grown by leaps and
bounds, although in that time the vast increase in our foreign trade and
of travel abroad, modern transport, modern mails, the cables, and the
wireless have brought us close to Europe and have made our isolation
more and more imaginary, there has been until the outbreak of the
present conflict small desire on our part to abrogate, or even amend,
the old familiar tradition which has for so long given us peace.

[Sidenote: American statement in the minutes of The Hague.]

In both conferences at The Hague, in 1899 and 1907, we reaffirmed this
policy. As our delegates signed the First Convention in regard to
arbitration, they read into the minutes this statement:

"Nothing contained in this convention shall be so construed as to
require the United States of America to depart from its traditional
policy of not intruding upon, interfering with, or entangling itself in
the political questions or policy or internal administration of any
foreign State; nor shall anything contained in the said convention be
construed to imply a relinquishment by the United States of America of
its traditional attitude toward purely American questions."

On the eve of the war our position toward other nations might have been
summarized under three heads:

[Sidenote: The Monroe Doctrine.]

I. The Monroe Doctrine.--We had pledged ourselves to defend the New
World from European aggression, and we had by word and deed made it
clear that we would not intervene in any European dispute.

[Sidenote: The Freedom of the Seas.]

II. The Freedom of the Seas.--In every naval conference our influence
had been given in support of the principle that sea law to be just and
worthy of general respect must be based on the consent of the governed.

[Sidenote: Settlement of disputes by arbitration.]

III. Arbitration.--As we had secured peace at home by referring
interstate disputes to a Federal tribunal, we urged a similar settlement
of international controversies. Our ideal was a permanent world court.
We had already signed arbitration treaties not only with great powers
which might conceivably attack us, but even more freely with weaker
neighbors in order to show our good faith in recognizing the equality of
all nations both great and small. We had made plain to the nations our
purpose to forestall by every means in our power the recurrence of wars
in the world.

The outbreak of war in 1914 caught this nation by surprise. The peoples
of Europe had had at least some warnings of the coming storm, but to us
such a blind, savage onslaught on the ideals of civilization had
appeared impossible.

[Sidenote: The war incomprehensible.]

The war was incomprehensible. Either side was championed here by
millions living among us who were of European birth. Their contradictory
accusations threw our thought into disarray, and in the first chaotic
days we could see no clear issue that affected our national policy.
There was not direct assault on our rights. It seemed at first to most
of us a purely European dispute, and our minds were not prepared to take
sides in such a conflict. The President's proclamation of neutrality was
received by us as natural and inevitable. It was quickly followed by his
appeal to "the citizens of the Republic."

[Sidenote: American neutrality natural.]

"Every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true
spirit of neutrality," he said, "which is the spirit of impartiality and
fairness and friendliness to all concerned. * * * It will be easy to
excite passion and difficult to allay it." He expressed the fear that
our nation might become divided in camps of hostile opinion. "Such
divisions among us * * * might seriously stand in the way of the proper
performance of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one people
holding itself ready to play a part of impartial mediation and speak
counsels of peace and accommodation, not as a partisan, but as a

[Sidenote: The United States must be the mediator.]

This purpose--the preservation of a strict neutrality in order that
later we might be of use in the great task of mediation--dominated all
the President's early speeches.

[Sidenote: Invasion of Belgium stirs American opinion.]

The spirit of neutrality was not easy to maintain. Public opinion was
deeply stirred by the German invasion of Belgium and by reports of
atrocities there. The Royal Belgian Commission, which came in September,
1914, to lay their country's cause for complaint before our National
Government, was received with sympathy and respect. The President in his
reply reserved our decision in the affair. It was the only course he
could take without an abrupt departure from our most treasured
traditions of non-interference in Old World disputes. But the sympathy
of America went out to the Belgians in the heroic tragedy, and from
every section of our land money contributions and supplies of food and
clothing poured over to the Commission for Relief in Belgium, which was
under the able management of our fellow-countrymen abroad.

Still, the thought of taking an active part in this European war was
very far from most of our minds. The nation shared with the President
the belief that by maintaining a strict neutrality we could best serve
Europe at the end as impartial mediators.

[Sidenote: Complication on the seas imperils American neutrality.]

But in the very first days of the war our Government foresaw that
complications on the seas might put us in grave risk of being drawn into
the conflict. No neutral nation could foretell what violations of its
vital interests at sea might be attempted by the belligerents. And so,
on August 6, 1914, our Secretary of State dispatched an identical note
to all the powers then at war, calling attention to the risk of serious
trouble arising out of this uncertainty of neutrals as to their maritime
rights, and proposing that the Declaration of London be accepted by all
nations for the duration of the war.

[Sidenote: German Government stirs opinion hostile to United States.]

[Sidenote: American policy not inconsistent with American traditions.]

In the first year of the war the Government of Germany stirred up among
its people a feeling of resentment against the United States on account
of our insistence upon our right as a neutral nation to trade in
munitions with the belligerent powers. Our legal right in the matter was
not seriously questioned by Germany. She could not have done so
consistently, for as recently as the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 both
Germany and Austria sold munitions to the belligerents. Their appeals to
us in the present war were not to observe international law, but to
revise it in their interest. And these appeals they tried to make on
moral and humanitarian grounds. But upon "the moral issue" involved, the
stand taken by the United States was consistent with its traditional
policy and with obvious common sense.

For, if, with all other neutrals, we refused to sell munitions to
belligerents, we could never in time of a war of our own obtain
munitions from neutrals, and the nation which had accumulated the
largest reserves of war supplies in time of peace would be assured of

The militarist State that invested its money in arsenals would be at a
fatal advantage over the free people who invested their wealth in
schools. To write into international law that neutrals should not trade
in munitions would be to hand over the world to the rule of the nation
with the largest armament factories. Such a policy the United States of
America could not accept.

[Sidenote: Controversy about German submarine war zone.]

[Sidenote: The sinking of the _Lusitania_.]

But our principal controversy with the German Government, and the one
which rendered the situation at once acute, rose out of their
announcement of a sea zone where their submarines would operate in
violation of all accepted principles of international law. Our
indignation at such a threat was soon rendered passionate by the sinking
of the _Lusitania_. This attack upon our rights was not only grossly
illegal; it defied the fundamental concepts of humanity.

[Sidenote: Murder of noncombatants not to be settled by litigation.]

Aggravating restraints on our trade were grievances which could be
settled by litigation after the war, but the wanton murder of peaceable
men and of innocent women and children, citizens of a nation with which
Germany was at peace, was a crime against the civilized world which
could never be settled in any court.

Our Government, however, inspired still by a desire to preserve peace if
possible, used every resource of diplomacy to force the German
Government to abandon such attacks. This diplomatic correspondence,
which has already been published, proves beyond doubt that our
Government sought by every honorable means to preserve faith in that
mutual sincerity between nations which is the only basis of sound
diplomatic interchange.

[Sidenote: Bad faith of the Imperial German Government.]

But evidence of the bad faith of the Imperial German Government soon
piled up on every hand. Honest efforts on our part to establish a firm
basis of good neighborliness with the German people were met by their
Government with quibbles, misrepresentations, and counter-accusations
against their enemies abroad.

And meanwhile in this country official agents of the Central
Powers--protected from criminal prosecution by diplomatic
immunity--conspired against our internal peace and placed spies and
agents provocateurs throughout the length and breadth of our land, and
even in high positions of trust in departments of our Government.

[Sidenote: German agents in Latin America, in Japan and the West

While expressing a cordial friendship for the people of the United
States, the Government of Germany had its agents at work both in Latin
America and Japan. They bought or subsidized papers and supported
speakers there to rouse feelings of bitterness and distrust against us
in those friendly nations, in order to embroil us in war. They were
inciting to insurrection in Cuba, in Haiti, and in Santo Domingo; their
hostile hand was stretched out to take the Danish Islands; and
everywhere in South America they were abroad sowing the seeds of
dissension, trying to stir up one nation against another and all against
the United States.

[Sidenote: Assaults on the Monroe Doctrine.]

In their sum these various operations amounted to direct assault upon
the Monroe Doctrine. And even if we had given up our right to travel on
the sea, even if we had surrendered to German threats and abandoned our
legitimate trade in munitions, the German offensive in the New World, in
our own land and among our neighbors, was becoming too serious to be

[Sidenote: Recall of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador.]

So long as it was possible, the Government of the United States tried to
believe that such activities, the evidence of which was already in a
large measure at hand, were the work of irresponsible and misguided
individuals. It was only reluctantly, in the face of overwhelming proof,
that the recall of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador and of the German
Military and Naval Attachés was demanded.

Proof of their criminal violations of our hospitality was presented to
their Governments. But these Governments in reply offered no apologies
nor did they issue reprimands. It became clear that such intrigue was
their settled policy.

In the meantime the attacks of the German submarines upon the lives and
property of American citizens had gone on; the protests of our
Government were now sharp and ominous, and this nation was rapidly
being drawn into a state of war.

The break would have come sooner if our Government had not been
restrained by the vain hope that saner counsels might still prevail in
Germany. For it was well known to us that the German people had to a
very large extent been kept in ignorance of many of the secret crimes of
their Government against us.

[Sidenote: Tension relieved by _Sussex_ agreement.]

And the presence of a faction of German public opinion less hostile to
this country was shown when their Government acquiesced to some degree
in our demands at the time of the _Sussex_ outrage, and for nearly a
year maintained at least a pretense of observing the pledge they had
made to us. The tension was abated.

While the war spirit was growing in some sections of our nation, there
was still no widespread desire to take part in the conflict abroad; for
the tradition of non-interference in Europe's political affairs was too
deeply rooted in our national life to be easily overthrown.

Moreover, two other considerations strengthened our Government in its
efforts to remain neutral in this war. The first was our traditional
sense of responsibility toward all the republics of the New World.
Throughout the crisis our Government was in constant communication with
the countries of Central and South America.

[Sidenote: Opinion in Central and South America.]

They, too, preferred the ways of peace. And there was a very obvious
obligation upon us to safeguard their interests with our own.

The second consideration, which had been so often developed in the
President's speeches, was the hope that by keeping aloof from the bitter
passions abroad, by preserving untroubled here the holy ideals of
civilized intercourse between nations, we might be free at the end of
this war to bind up the wounds of the conflict, to be the restorers and
rebuilders of the wrecked structure of the world.

[Sidenote: German compliance not in good faith.]

All these motives held us back, but it was not long until we were beset
by further complications. We soon had reason to believe that the recent
compliance of the German Government had not been made to us in good
faith, and was only temporary, and by the end of 1916 it was plain that
our neutral status had again been made unsafe through the
ever-increasing aggressiveness of the German autocracy. There was a
general agreement here with the statement of our President on October
26, 1916, that this conflict was the last great war involving the world
in which we would remain neutral.

[Sidenote: Peace move on behalf of the Central powers.]

It was in this frame of mind, fearing we might be drawn into the war if
it did not soon come to an end, that the President began the preparation
of his note, asking the belligerent powers to define their war aims. But
before he had completed it the world was surprised by the peace move of
the German Government--an identical note on behalf of the German Empire,
Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, sent through neutral powers on
December 12, 1916, to the Governments of the Allies proposing
negotiations for peace.

While expressing the wish to end this war--"a catastrophe which
thousands of years of common civilization was unable to prevent and
which injures the most precious achievements of humanity"--the greater
portion of the note was couched in terms that gave small hope of a
lasting peace.

Boasting of German conquests, "the glorious deeds of our armies," the
note implanted in neutral minds the belief that it was the purpose of
the Imperial German Government to insist upon such conditions as would
leave all Central Europe under German dominance and so build up an
empire which would menace the whole liberal world.

[Sidenote: A veiled threat to neutral nations.]

Moreover, the German proposal was accompanied by a thinly veiled threat
to all neutral nations; and from a thousand sources, official and
unofficial, the word came to Washington that unless the neutrals use
their influence to bring the war to an end on terms dictated from
Berlin, Germany and her allies would consider themselves henceforth free
from any obligations to respect the rights of neutrals.

The Kaiser ordered the neutrals to exert pressure on the Entente to
bring the war to an abrupt end, or to beware of the consequences. Clear
warnings were brought to our Government that if the German peace move
should not be successful, the submarines would be unleashed for a more
intense and ruthless war upon all commerce.

[Sidenote: The President's note to the belligerents.]

On the 18th of December the President dispatched his note to all the
belligerent powers, asking them to define their war aims. There was
still hope in our minds that the mutual suspicions between the warring
powers might be decreased, and the menace of future German aggression
and dominance be removed, by finding a guaranty of good faith in a
league of nations.

There was a chance that by the creation of such a league as part of the
peace negotiations the war could now be brought to an end before our
nation was involved. Two statements issued to the press by our Secretary
of State, upon the day the note was dispatched, threw a clear light on
the seriousness with which our Government viewed the crisis.

From this point events moved rapidly. The powers of the Entente replied
to the German peace note. Neutral nations took action on the note of
the President, and from both belligerents replies to this note were soon
in our hands.

[Sidenote: The German reply evasive.]

The German reply was evasive--in accord with their traditional
preference for diplomacy behind closed doors. Refusing to state to the
world their terms, Germany and her allies merely proposed a conference.
They adjourned all discussion of any plan for a league of peace until
after hostilities should end.

[Sidenote: Our concern the lasting restoration of peace.]

The response of the Entente Powers was frank and in harmony with our
principal purpose. Many questions raised in the statement of their aims
were so purely European in character as to have small interest for us;
but our great concern in Europe was the lasting restoration of peace,
and it was clear that this was also the chief interest of the Entente

As to the wisdom of some of the measures they proposed toward this end,
we might differ in opinion, but the trend of their proposals was the
establishment of just frontiers based on the rights of all nations, the
small as well as the great, to decide their own destinies.

The aims of the belligerents were now becoming clear. From the outbreak
of hostilities the German Government had claimed that it was fighting a
war of defense. But the tone of its recent proposals had been that of a
conqueror. It sought a peace based on victory.

[Sidenote: Central Empires desire domination over other races.]

The Central Empires aspired to extend their domination over other races.
They were willing to make liberal terms to any one of their enemies, in
a separate peace which would free their hands to crush other opponents.
But they were not willing to accept any peace which did not, all fronts
considered, leave them victors and the dominating imperial power of

The war aims of the Entente showed a determination to thwart this
ambition of the Imperial German Government. Against the German peace to
further German growth and aggression the Entente Powers offered a plan
for a European peace that should make the whole Continent secure.

[Sidenote: The kind of peace America desires.]

At this juncture the President read his address to the Senate, on
January 22, 1917, in which he outlined the kind of peace the United
States of America could join in guaranteeing. His words were addressed
not only to the Senate and this nation, but to people of all countries:

"May I not add that I hope and believe that I am in effect speaking for
liberals and friends of humanity in every nation and of every program of
liberty? I would fain believe that I am speaking for the silent mass of
mankind everywhere who have as yet had no place or opportunity to speak
their real hearts out concerning the death and ruin they see to have
come already upon the persons and the homes they hold most dear."

[Sidenote: The peace of the people.]

The address was a rebuke to those who still cherished dreams of a world
dominated by one nation. For the peace he outlined was not that of a
victorious Emperor, it was not the peace of Cæsar. It was in behalf of
all the world, and it was a peace of the people:

"No peace can last, or ought to last, which does not recognize and
accept the principle that Governments derive all their just powers from
the consent of the governed, and that no right anywhere exists to hand
people about from sovereignty to sovereignty as if they were property.

[Sidenote: Each people should determine its own polity.]

"I am proposing, as it were, that the nations should with one accord
adopt the doctrine of President Monroe as the doctrine of the world;
that no nation should seek to extend its policy over any other nation or
people, but that every people should be left free to determine its own
polity, its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid,
the little along with the great and powerful.

"I am proposing that all nations henceforth avoid entangling alliances
which would draw them into competitions of power, catch them in a net of
intrigue and selfish rivalry and disturb their own affairs with
influences intruded from without. There is no entangling alliance in a
concert of power. When all unite to act in the same sense and with the
same purpose, all act in the common interest and are free to live their
own lives under a common protection.

[Sidenote: Seas must be free.]

"I am proposing government by the consent of the governed; that freedom
of the seas which in international conference after conference
representatives of the United States have urged with the eloquence of
those who are convinced disciples of liberty, and that moderation of
armaments which makes of armies and navies a power for order merely, not
an instrument of aggression or of selfish violence.

"And the paths of the sea must, alike in law and in fact, be free. The
freedom of the seas is the sine qua non of peace, equality, and

[Sidenote: Question of limiting armaments.]

"It is a problem closely connected with the limitation of naval armament
and the co-operation of the navies of the world in keeping the seas at
once free and safe. And the question of limiting naval armaments opens
the wider and perhaps more difficult question of the limitation of
armies and of all programs of military preparation. * * * There can be
no sense of safety and equality among the nations if great
preponderating armaments are henceforth to continue here and there to be
built up and maintained.

[Sidenote: How peace must be made secure.]

"Mere agreements may not make peace secure. It will be absolutely
necessary that a force be created as a guarantor of the permanency of
the settlement so much greater than the force of any nation now engaged
or any alliance hitherto formed or projected that no nation, no probable
combination of nations, could face or withstand it. If the peace
presently to be made is to endure, it must be a peace made secure by the
organized major force of mankind."

[Sidenote: Entente peoples welcome President Wilson's views.]

[Sidenote: The German note to Mexico.]

If there were any doubt in our minds as to which of the great alliances
was the more in sympathy with these ideals, it was removed by the
popular response abroad to this address of the President. For, while
exception was taken to some parts of it in Britain and France, it was
plain that so far as the peoples of the Entente were concerned the
President had been amply justified in stating that he spoke for all
forward-looking, liberal-minded men and women. It was not so in Germany.
The people there who could be reached, and whose hearts were stirred by
this enunciation of the principles of a people's peace, were too few or
too oppressed to make their voices heard in the councils of their
nation. Already, on January 16, 1917, unknown to the people of Germany,
Herr Zimmermann, their Secretary of Foreign Affairs, had secretly
dispatched a note to their Minister in Mexico, informing him of the
German intention to repudiate the _Sussex_ pledge and instructing him to
offer to the Mexican Government New Mexico and Arizona if Mexico would
join with Japan in attacking the United States.

[Sidenote: Sinister German intrigues in the New World.]

In the new year of 1917, as through our acceptance of world
responsibilities so plainly indicated in the President's utterances in
regard to a league of nations we felt ourselves now drawing nearer to a
full accord with the Powers of the Entente; and, as on the other hand,
we found ourselves more and more outraged at the German Government's
methods of conducting warfare and their brutal treatment of people in
their conquered lands; as we more and more uncovered their hostile
intrigues against the peace of the New World; and, above all, as the
sinister and anti-democratic ideals of their ruling class became
manifest in their manoeuvres for a peace of conquest--the Imperial
German Government abruptly threw aside the mask.

[Sidenote: The new submarine war zone proclaimed.]

On the last day of January, 1917, Count Bernstorff handed to Mr. Lansing
a note, in which his Government announced its purpose to intensify and
render more ruthless the operations of their submarines at sea, in a
manner against which our Government had protested from the beginning.
The German Chancellor also stated before the Imperial Diet that the
reason this ruthless policy had not been earlier employed was simply
because the Imperial Government had not then been ready to act. In
brief, under the guise of friendship and the cloak of false promises, it
had been preparing this attack.

[Sidenote: Count Bernstorff receives his passports.]

This was the direct challenge. There was no possible answer except to
hand their Ambassador his passports and so have done with a diplomatic
correspondence which had been vitiated from the start by the often
proved bad faith of the Imperial Government.

On the same day, February 3, 1917, the President addressed both houses
of our Congress and announced the complete severance of our relations
with Germany. The reluctance with which he took this step was evident in
every word. But diplomacy had failed, and it would have been the
hollowest pretense to maintain relations. At the same time, however, he
made it plain that he did not regard this act as tantamount to a
declaration of war. Here for the first time the President made his sharp
distinction between government and people in undemocratic lands:

[Sidenote: American attitude toward the German people.]

"We are the sincere friends of the German people," he said, "and
earnestly desire to remain at peace with the Government which speaks for
them. * * * God grant we may not be challenged by acts of willful
injustice on the part of the Government of Germany."

[Sidenote: Submarine order must be withdrawn.]

In this address of the President, and in its indorsement by the Senate,
there was a solemn warning; for we still had hope that the German
Government might hesitate to drive us to war. But it was soon evident
that our warning had fallen on deaf ears. The tortuous ways and means of
German official diplomacy were clearly shown in the negotiations opened
by them through the Swiss Legation on the 10th of February. In no word
of their proposals did the German Government meet the real issue between
us. And our State Department replied that no minor negotiations could be
entertained until the main issue had been met by the withdrawal of the
submarine order.

[Sidenote: President Wilson advises armed neutrality.]

By the 1st of March it had become plain that the Imperial Government,
unrestrained by the warning in the President's address to Congress on
February 3, was determined to make good its threat. The President then
again appeared before Congress to report the development of the crisis
and to ask the approval of the representatives of the nation for the
course of armed neutrality upon which, under his constitutional
authority, he had now determined. More than 500 of the 531 members of
the two houses of Congress showed themselves ready and anxious to act;
and the armed neutrality declaration would have been accepted if it had
not been for the legal death of the Sixty-fourth Congress on March 4.

No "overt" act, however, was ordered by our Government until Count
Bernstorff had reached Berlin and Mr. Gerard was in Washington. For the
German Ambassador on his departure had begged that no irrevocable
decision should be taken until he had had the chance to make one final
plea for peace to his sovereign. We do not know the nature of his report
to the Kaiser; we know only that, even if he kept his pledge and urged
an eleventh-hour revocation of the submarine order, he was unable to
sway the policy of the Imperial Government.

[Sidenote: Armed guards on American merchant ships.]

And so, having exhausted every resource of patience, our Government on
the 12th of March finally issued orders to place armed guards on our
merchant ships.

With the definite break in diplomatic relations there vanished the last
vestige of cordiality toward the Government of Germany. Our attitude was
now to change. So long as we had maintained a strict neutrality in the
war, for the reason that circumstances might arise in which Europe would
have need of an impartial mediator, for us to have given official heed
to the accusations of either party would have been to prejudge the case
before all the evidence was in.

[Sidenote: Germany is forcing the United States into war.]

But now at last, with the breaking of friendly relations with the German
Government, we were relieved of the oppressive duty of endeavoring to
maintain a judicial detachment from the rights and wrongs involved in
the war. We were no longer the outside observers striving to hold an
even balance of judgment between disputants. One party by direct attack
upon our rights and liberties was forcing us into the conflict. And,
much as we had hoped to keep out of the fray, it was no little relief to
be free at last from that reserve which is expected of a judge.

[Sidenote: Perfidy of the German Government.]

Much evidence had been presented to us of things so abhorrent to our
ideas of humanity that they had seemed incredible, things we had been
loath to believe, and with heavy hearts we had sought to reserve our
judgment. But with the breaking of relations with the Government of
Germany that duty at last was ended. The perfidy of that Government in
its dealings with this nation relieved us of the necessity of striving
to give them the benefit of the doubt in regard to their crimes abroad.
The Government which under cover of profuse professions of friendship
had tried to embroil us in war with Mexico and Japan could not expect us
to believe in its good faith in other matters. The men whose paid agents
dynamited our factories here were capable of the infamies reported
against them over the sea. Their Government's protestations, that their
purpose was self-defense and the freeing of small nations, fell like a
house of cards before the revelation of their "peace terms."

[Sidenote: The German record.]

[Sidenote: Arrogant intolerance of the Prussians.]

And judging the German Government now in the light of our own experience
through the long and patient years of our honest attempt to keep the
peace, we could see the great autocracy and read her record through the
war. And we found that record damnable. Beginning long before the war in
Prussian opposition to every effort that was made by other nations and
our own to do away with warfare, the story of the autocracy has been one
of vast preparations for war combined with an attitude of arrogant
intolerance toward all other points of view, all other systems of
governments, all other hopes and dreams of men.

With a fanatical faith in the destiny of German Kultur as the system
that must rule the world, the Imperial Government's actions have through
years of boasting, double dealing, and deceit tended toward aggression
upon the rights of others. And, if there still be any doubt as to which
nation began this war, there can be no uncertainty as to which one was
most prepared, most exultant at the chance, and ready instantly to march
upon other nations--even those who had given no offense.

[Sidenote: Atrocities in Belgium and Servia.]

The wholesale depredations and hideous atrocities in Belgium and in
Serbia were doubtless part and parcel with the Imperial Government's
purpose to terrorize small nations into abject submission for
generations to come. But in this the autocracy has been blind. For its
record in those countries, and in Poland and in Northern France, has
given not only to the Allies but to liberal peoples throughout the world
the conviction that this menace to human liberties everywhere must be
utterly shorn of its power for harm.

[Sidenote: German defiance of law and humanity.]

For the evil it has effected has ranged far out of Europe--out upon the
open seas, where its submarines, in defiance of law and the concepts of
humanity, have blown up neutral vessels and covered the waves with the
dead and the dying, men and women and children alike. Its agents have
conspired against the peace of neutral nations everywhere, sowing the
seeds of dissension, ceaselessly endeavoring by tortuous methods of
deceit, of bribery, false promises, and intimidation to stir up brother
nations one against the other, in order that the liberal world might not
be able to unite, in order that the autocracy might emerge triumphant
from the war.

[Sidenote: The rulers of Germany must go.]

All this we know from our own experience with the Imperial Government.
As they have dealt with Europe, so they have dealt with us and with all
mankind. And so out of these years the conviction has grown that until
the German Nation is divested of such rulers democracy cannot be safe.

[Sidenote: German relation with the Russian autocracy.]

There remained but one element to confuse the issue. One other great
autocracy, the Government of the Russian Czar, had long been hostile to
free institutions; it had been a stronghold of tyrannies reaching far
back into the past, and its presence among the Allies had seemed to be
in disaccord with the great liberal principles they were upholding in
this war. Russia had been a source of doubt. Repeatedly during the
conflict liberal Europe had been startled by the news of secret accord
between the Kaiser and the Czar.

[Sidenote: The people of Russia overthrow the Czar's Government.]

But now at this crucial time for our nation, on the eve of our entrance
into the war, the free men of all the world were thrilled and heartened
by the news that the people of Russia had risen to throw off their
Government and found a new democracy; and the torch of freedom in Russia
lit up the last dark phases of the situation abroad. Here, indeed, was a
fit partner for the League of Honor. The conviction was finally
crystallized in American minds and hearts that this war across the sea
was no mere conflict between dynasties, but a stupendous civil war of
all the world; a new campaign in the age-old war, the prize of which is
liberty. Here, at last, was a struggle in which all who love freedom
have a stake. Further neutrality on our part would have been a crime
against our ancestors, who had given their lives that we might be free.

"The world must be made safe for democracy."

[Sidenote: The President's message to Congress.]

On the 2d of April, 1917, the President read to the new Congress his
message, in which he asked the Representatives of the nation to declare
the existence of a state of war, and in the early hours of the 6th of
April the House by an overwhelming vote accepted the joint resolution
which had already passed the Senate.

"_Whereas_, The Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts
of war against the Government and the people of the United States of
America: Therefore be it

[Sidenote: The declaration of the existence of a state of war.]

"_Resolved_ by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between
the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been
thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and that the
President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the
entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources
of the Government to carry on the war against the Imperial German
Government, and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all
the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the
United States."

Neutrality was a thing of the past. The time had come when the
President's proud prophecy was fulfilled:

[Sidenote: America guided by moral force.]

"There will come that day when the world will say, 'This America that we
thought was full of a multitude of contrary counsels now speaks with the
great volume of the heart's accord, and that great heart of America has
behind it the supreme moral force of righteousness and hope and the
liberty of mankind.'"



[Sidenote: Why Congress was called in extraordinary session.]

I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are
serious, very serious, choices of policy to be made, and made
immediately, which it was neither right nor constitutionally permissible
that I should assume the responsibility of making.

On the 3d of February last I officially laid before you the
extraordinary announcement of the Imperial German Government that on and
after the first day of February it was its purpose to put aside all
restraints of law or of humanity and use its submarines to sink every
vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain and
Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or any of the ports controlled
by the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.

[Sidenote: The question of submarine warfare.]

[Sidenote: A cruel and unmanly business.]

That had seemed to be the object of the German submarine warfare earlier
in the war, but since April of last year the Imperial Government had
somewhat restrained the commanders of its undersea craft, in conformity
with its promise, then given to us, that passenger boats should not be
sunk and that due warning would be given to all other vessels which its
submarines might seek to destroy, when no resistance was offered or
escape attempted, and care taken that their crews were given at least a
fair chance to save their lives in their open boats. The precautions
taken were meagre and haphazard enough, as was proved in distressing
instance after instance in the progress of the cruel and unmanly
business, but a certain degree of restraint was observed.

[Sidenote: Germany sweeps all restriction away.]

The new policy has swept every restriction aside. Vessels of every kind,
whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination,
their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning
and without thought of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of
friendly neutrals along with those of belligerents. Even hospital ships
and ships carrying relief to the sorely bereaved and stricken people of
Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe conduct through the
proscribed areas by the German Government itself and were distinguished
by unmistakable marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless
lack of compassion or of principle.

[Sidenote: International law on the seas.]

I was for a little while unable to believe that such things would in
fact be done by any Government that had hitherto subscribed to humane
practices of civilized nations. International law had its origin in the
attempt to set up some law which would be respected and observed upon
the seas, where no nation had right of dominion and where lay the free
highways of the world. By painful stage after stage has that law been
built up, with meagre enough results, indeed, after all was accomplished
that could be accomplished, but always with a clear view, at least, of
what the heart and conscience of mankind demanded.

[Sidenote: Germany shows no scruples of humanity.]

This minimum of right the German Government has swept aside, under the
plea of retaliation and necessity and because it had no weapons which it
could use at sea except these, which it is impossible to employ, as it
is employing them, without throwing to the wind all scruples of humanity
or of respect for the understandings that were supposed to underlie the
intercourse of the world.

[Sidenote: Lives cannot be paid for.]

I am not now thinking of the loss of property involved, immense and
serious as that is, but only of the wanton and wholesale destruction of
the lives of noncombatants, men, women, and children, engaged in
pursuits which have always, even in the darkest periods of modern
history, been deemed innocent and legitimate. Property can be paid for;
the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German
submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.

[Sidenote: American lives taken at at sea.]

It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American
lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of,
but the ships and people of other neutral and friendly nations have been
sunk and overwhelmed in the waters in the same way. There has been no

[Sidenote: Our motive vindication of human right.]

The challenge is to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how
it will meet it. The choice we make for ourselves must be made with a
moderation of counsel and a temperateness of judgment befitting our
character and our motives as a nation. We must put excited feeling away.
Our motive will not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the
physical might of the nation, but only the vindication of right, of
human right, of which we are only a single champion.

[Sidenote: Submarines are in effect outlaws.]

[Sidenote: Must be dealt with on sight.]

When I addressed the Congress on the 26th of February last I thought
that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights with arms, our right
to use the seas against unlawful interference, our right to keep our
people safe against unlawful violence. But armed neutrality, it now
appears, is impracticable. Because submarines are in effect outlaws,
when used as the German submarines have been used against merchant
shipping, it is impossible to defend ships against their attacks, as
the law of nations has assumed that merchantmen would defend themselves
against privateers or cruisers, visible craft giving chase upon the open
sea. It is common prudence in such circumstances, grim necessity indeed,
to endeavor to destroy them before they have shown their own intention.
They must be dealt with upon sight, if dealt with at all.

[Sidenote: Armed neutrality ineffectual]

The German Government denies the right of neutrals to use arms at all
within the areas of the sea which it has proscribed, even in the defense
of rights which no modern publicist has ever before questioned their
right to defend. The intimation is conveyed that the armed guards which
we have placed on our merchant ships will be treated as beyond the pale
of law and subject to be dealt with as pirates would be. Armed
neutrality is ineffectual enough at best; in such circumstances and in
the face of such pretensions it is worse than ineffectual; it is likely
only to produce what it was meant to prevent; it is practically certain
to draw us into the war without either the rights or the effectiveness
of belligerents. There is one choice we cannot make, we are incapable of
making; we will not choose the path of submission and suffer the most
sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored or violated.
The wrongs against which we now array ourselves are no common wrongs;
they cut to the very roots of human life.

[Sidenote: Course of Germany actually war on the United States.]

With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the
step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves,
but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I
advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial
German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the
Government and people of the United States; that it formally accept the
status of belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it; and that it
take immediate steps not only to put the country in a more thorough
state of defense, but also to exert all its power and employ all its
resources to bring the Government of the German Empire to terms and end
the war.

[Sidenote: Necessary to co-operate with Ententes.]

What this will involve is clear. It will involve the utmost practicable
co-operation in counsel and action with the Governments now at war with
Germany, and, as incident to that, the extension to those Governments of
the most liberal financial credits, in order that our resources may so
far as possible be added to theirs.

[Sidenote: Resources must be organized.]

It will involve the organization and mobilization of all the material
resources of the country to supply the materials of war and serve the
incidental needs of the nation in the most abundant and yet the most
economical and efficient way possible.

It will involve the immediate full equipment of the navy in all
respects, but particularly in supplying it with the best means of
dealing with the enemy's submarines.

[Sidenote: A great army must be raised.]

It will involve the immediate addition to the armed forces of the United
States, already provided for by law in case of war, of at least 500,000
men, who should, in my opinion, be chosen upon the principle of
universal liability to service, and also the authorization of subsequent
additional increments of equal force so soon as they may be needed and
can be handled in training.

[Sidenote: The Government will need adequate credits.]

It will involve also, of course, the granting of adequate credits to the
Government, sustained, I hope, so far as they can equitably be sustained
by the present generation, by well-conceived taxation.

I say sustained so far as may be equitable by taxation, because it seems
to me that it would be most unwise to base the credits, which will now
be necessary, entirely on money borrowed. It is our duty, I most
respectfully urge, to protect our people, so far as we may, against the
very serious hardships and evils which would be likely to arise out of
the inflation which would be produced by vast loans.

[Sidenote: Nations must obtain supplies from us.]

In carrying out the measures by which these things are to be
accomplished we should keep constantly in mind the wisdom of interfering
as little as possible in our own preparation and in the equipment of our
own military forces with the duty--for it will be a very practical
duty--of supplying the nations already at war with Germany with the
materials which they can obtain only from us or by our assistance. They
are in the field, and we should help them in every way to be effective

[Sidenote: Measure suggested to accomplish nation's ends.]

I shall take the liberty of suggesting, through the several executive
departments of the Government, for the consideration of your committees,
measures for the accomplishment of the several objects I have mentioned.
I hope that it will be your pleasure to deal with them as having been
framed after very careful thought by the branch of the Government upon
whom the responsibility of conducting the war and safeguarding the
nation will most directly fall.

[Sidenote: Concert of purpose and action among free peoples.]

While we do these things, these deeply momentous things, let us be very
clear, and make very clear to all the world, what our motives and our
objects are. My own thought has not been driven from its habitual and
normal course by the unhappy events of the last two months, and I do not
believe that the thought of the nation has been altered or clouded by
them. I have exactly the same things in mind now that I had in mind when
I addressed the Senate on the 22d of January last; the same that I had
in mind when I addressed the Congress on the 3d of February and on the
26th of February. Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the
principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against
selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and
self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of
action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.

[Sidenote: Standards of conduct for nations.]

Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the
world is involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that
peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic Governments,
backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their will, not
by the will of their people. We have seen the last of neutrality in such
circumstances. We are at the beginning of an age in which it will be
insisted that the same standards of conduct and of responsibility for
wrong done shall be observed among nations and their Governments that
are observed among the individual citizens of civilized States.

[Sidenote: A war determined upon by rulers.]

We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling toward
them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse
that their Government acted in entering this war. It was not with their
previous knowledge or approval. It was a war determined upon as wars
used to be determined upon in the old, unhappy days, when peoples were
nowhere consulted by their rulers and wars were provoked and waged in
the interest of dynasties or of little groups of ambitious men who were
accustomed to use their fellow-men as pawns and tools.

[Sidenote: Such aggression impossible where people rule.]

Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor States with spies or
set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of
affairs which will give them an opportunity to strike and make conquest.
Such designs can be successfully worked out only under cover and where
no one has the right to ask questions. Cunningly contrived plans of
deception or aggression, carried, it may be, from generation to
generation, can be worked out and kept from the light only within the
privacy of courts or behind the carefully guarded confidences of a
narrow and privileged class. They are happily impossible where public
opinion commands and insists upon full information concerning all of the
nation's affairs.

[Sidenote: Only a partnership of democratic nations can maintain peace.]

A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a
partnership of democratic nations. No autocratic Government could be
trusted to keep faith within it or observe its covenants. It must be a
league of honor, a partnership of opinion. Intrigue would eat its vitals
away; the plottings of inner circles who could plan what they would and
render account to no one would be a corruption seated at its very heart.
Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a
common end and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of
their own.

[Sidenote: What is happening in Russia.]

Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope
for the future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things
that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia? Russia was
known by those who knew her best to have been always in fact democratic
at heart in all the vital habits of her thought, in all the intimate
relationships of her people that spoke their natural instinct, their
habitual attitude toward life. The autocracy that crowned the summit of
her political structure, long as it had stood and terrible as was the
reality of its power, was not in fact Russian in origin, character, or
purpose; and now it has been shaken off and the great, generous Russian
people have been added, in all their naive majesty and might, to the
forces that are fighting for freedom in the world, for justice, and for
peace. Here is a fit partner for a League of Honor.

[Sidenote: Prussia has filled America with spies.]

One of the things that have served to convince us that the Prussian
autocracy was not and could never be our friend is that from the very
outset of the present war it has filled our unsuspecting communities,
and even our offices of government, with spies and set criminal
intrigues everywhere afoot against our national unity of counsel, our
peace within and without, our industries and our commerce. Indeed, it is
now evident that its spies were here even before the war began; and it
is unhappily not a matter of conjecture, but a fact proved in our courts
of justice, that the intrigues which have more than once come perilously
near to disturbing the peace and dislocating the industries of the
country, have been carried on at the instigation, with the support, and
even under the personal direction of official agents of the Imperial
Government accredited to the Government of the United States.

[Sidenote: The United States has been generous.]

Even in checking these things and trying to extirpate them we have
sought to put the most generous interpretation possible upon them
because we knew that their source lay, not in any hostile feeling or
purpose of the German people toward us, (who were, no doubt, as ignorant
of them as we ourselves were,) but only in the selfish designs of a
Government that did what it pleased and told its people nothing. But
they have played their part in serving to convince us at last that that
Government entertains no real friendship for us, and means to act
against our peace and security at its convenience. That it means to stir
up enemies against us at our very doors the intercepted note to the
German Minister at Mexico City is eloquent evidence.

[Sidenote: Why we accept the challenge.]

We are accepting this challenge of hostile purpose because we know that
in such a Government, following such methods, we can never have a
friend; and that in the presence of its organized power, always lying in
wait to accomplish we know not what purpose, there can be no assured
security for the democratic Governments of the world. We are now about
to accept the gage of battle with this natural foe to liberty and shall,
if necessary, spend the whole force of the nation to check and nullify
its pretensions and its power. We are glad, now that we see the facts
with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the
ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the
German peoples included; for the rights of nations, great and small, and
the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of

[Sidenote: America has no selfish ends to serve.]

The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted
upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish
ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no
indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices
we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of
mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as
secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.

[Sidenote: America will observe principles of right.]

Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking
nothing for ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free
peoples, we shall, I feel confident, conduct our operations as
belligerents without passion and ourselves observe with proud punctilio
the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for.

[Sidenote: Germany only has actually made war on America.]

I have said nothing of the Governments allied with the Imperial
Government of Germany because they have not made war upon us or
challenged us to defend our right and our honor. The Austro-Hungarian
Government has, indeed, avowed its unqualified indorsement and
acceptance of the reckless and lawless submarine warfare, adopted now
without disguise by the Imperial German Government, and it has therefore
not been possible for this Government to receive Count Tarnowski, the
Ambassador recently accredited to this Government by the Imperial and
Royal Government of Austria-Hungary; but that Government has not
actually engaged in warfare against citizens of the United States on the
seas, and I take the liberty, for the present at least, of postponing a
discussion of our relations with the authorities at Vienna. We enter
this war only where we are clearly forced into it because there are no
other means of defending our rights.

[Sidenote: America fights the irresponsible Government of Germany.]

It will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as belligerents in
a high spirit of right and fairness because we act without animus, not
with enmity toward a people or with the desire to bring any injury or
disadvantage upon them, but only in armed opposition to an irresponsible
Government which has thrown aside all considerations of humanity and of
right and is running amuck.

We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the German people, and
shall desire nothing so much as the early re-establishment of intimate
relations of mutual advantage between us, however hard it may be for
them for the time being to believe that this is spoken from our hearts.
We have borne with their present Government through all these bitter
months because of that friendship, exercising a patience and forbearance
which would otherwise have been impossible.

[Sidenote: Most Americans of German birth are loyal to the United

We shall happily still have an opportunity to prove that friendship in
our daily attitude and actions toward the millions of men and women of
German birth and native sympathy who live among us and share our life,
and we shall be proud to prove it toward all who are in fact loyal to
their neighbors and to the Government in the hour of test. They are most
of them as true and loyal Americans as if they had never known any other
fealty or allegiance. They will be prompt to stand with us in rebuking
and restraining the few who may be of a different mind and purpose. If
there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with with a firm hand of
stern repression; but, if it lifts its head at all, it will lift it only
here and there and without countenance except from a lawless and
malignant few.

[Sidenote: Trial and sacrifice ahead.]

It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress,
which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be,
many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful
thing to lead this great, peaceful people into war, into the most
terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be
in the balance.

[Sidenote: America will fight for democracy.]

But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the
things which we have always carried nearest our hearts--for democracy,
for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their
own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a
universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall
bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last

To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything
that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who
know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood
and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and
the peace which she has treasured.

God helping her, she can do no other.


[Sidenote: Germany has made war on the United States.]

_Whereas_, The Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of
war against the Government and the people of the United States of
America; therefore, be it

[Sidenote: War is formally declared.]

_Resolved_, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled. That the state of war between
the United States and the Imperial German Government, which has thus
been thrust upon the United States, is hereby formally declared; and

[Sidenote: The President is given full authority.]

That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to
employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the
resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German
Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all
the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the
United States.



[Sidenote: Congress has declared war.]

_Whereas_, The Congress of the United States, in the exercise of the
constitutional authority vested in them, have resolved by joint
resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives, bearing date this
day, "that a state of war between the United States and the Imperial
German Government which has been thrust upon the United States is hereby
formally declared";

_Whereas_, It is provided by Section 4,067 of the Revised Statutes as

[Sidenote: Proclamation regarding alien enemies.]

"Whenever there is declared a war between the United States and any
foreign nation or Government or any invasion or predatory incursion is
perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the
United States by any foreign nation or Government, and the President
makes public proclamation of the event, all native citizens, denizens,
or subjects of a hostile nation or Government being male of the age of
14 years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not
actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained,
secured, and removed as alien enemies. The President is authorized in
any such event by his proclamation thereof, or other public acts, to
direct the conduct to be observed on the part of the United States
toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the
restraint to which they shall be subject and in what cases and upon what
security their residence shall be permitted, and to provide for the
removal of those who, not being permitted to reside within the United
States, refuse or neglect to depart therefrom; and to establish any such
regulations which are found necessary in the premises and for the public

_Whereas_, By Sections 4,068, 4,069, and 4,070 of the Revised Statutes,
further provision is made relative to alien enemies;

[Sidenote: All officers of the United States are warned to be vigilant.]

_Now, therefore_, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of
America, do hereby proclaim, to all whom it may concern, that a state of
war exists between the United States and the Imperial German Government,
and I do specially direct all officers, civil or military, of the United
States that they exercise vigilance and zeal in the discharge of the
duties incident to such a state of war, and I do, moreover, earnestly
appeal to all American citizens that they, in loyal devotion to their
country, dedicated from its foundation to the principles of liberty and
justice, uphold the laws of the land, and give undivided and willing
support to those measures which may be adopted by the constitutional
authorities in prosecuting the war to a successful issue and in
obtaining a secure and just peace;

And, acting under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution of the United States and the said sections of the Revised

[Sidenote: Conduct to be observed toward alien enemies.]

I do hereby further proclaim and direct that the conduct to be observed
on the part of the United States toward all natives, citizens, denizens,
or subjects of Germany, being male of the age of 14 years and upward,
who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, who
for the purpose of this proclamation and under such sections of the
Revised Statutes are termed alien enemies, shall be as follows:

[Sidenote: Alien enemies must preserve the peace.]

All alien enemies are enjoined to preserve the peace toward the United
States and to refrain from crime against the public safety and from
violating the laws of the United States and of the States and
Territories thereof, and to refrain from actual hostility or giving
information, aid, or comfort to the enemies of the United States and to
comply strictly with the regulations which are hereby, or which may be
from time to time promulgated by the President, and so long as they
shall conduct themselves in accordance with law they shall be
undisturbed in the peaceful pursuit of their lives and occupations, and
be accorded the consideration due to all peaceful and law-abiding
persons, except so far as restrictions may be necessary for their own
protection and for the safety of the United States, and toward such
alien enemies as conduct themselves in accordance with law all citizens
of the United States are enjoined to preserve the peace and to treat
them with all such friendliness as may be compatible with loyalty and
allegiance to the United States.

[Sidenote: Penalties added to those prescribed by law.]

And all alien enemies who fail to conduct themselves as so enjoined, in
addition to all other penalties prescribed by law, shall be liable to
restraint or to give security or to remove and depart from the United
States, in the manner prescribed by Sections 4,069 and 4,070 of the
Revised Statutes and as prescribed in the regulations duly promulgated
by the President.

[Sidenote: The necessary regulations.]

And pursuant to the authority vested in me, I hereby declare and
establish the following regulations, which I find necessary in the
premises and for the public safety:

[Sidenote: Cannot possess weapons.]

1. An alien enemy shall not have in his possession at any time or place
any firearms, weapons, or implements of war, or component parts thereof,
ammunition, Maxim or other silencer, arms, or explosives or material
used in the manufacture of explosives;

[Sidenote: No signaling devices or cipher codes.]

2. An alien enemy shall not have in his possession at any time or place,
or use or operate, any aircraft or wireless apparatus, or any form of
signaling device or any form of cipher code or any paper, document, or
book written or printed in cipher or in which there may be invisible

[Sidenote: Property may be seized.]

3. All property found in the possession of an alien enemy in violation
of the foregoing regulations shall be subject to seizure by the United

[Sidenote: Must not approach forts or munition works.]

4. An alien enemy shall not approach or be found within one-half of a
mile of any Federal or State fort, camp, arsenal, aircraft station,
Government or naval vessel, navy yard, factory, or workshop for the
manufacture of munitions of war or of any products for the use of the
army or navy;

[Sidenote: Must not speak or write against the United States.]

5. An alien enemy shall not write, print, or publish any attack or
threat against the Government or Congress of the United States, or
either branch thereof, or against the measures or policy of the United
States, or against the persons or property of any person in the
military, naval, or civil service of the United States, or of the States
or Territories, or of the District of Columbia, or of the municipal
governments therein;

[Sidenote: Must not commit any hostile act.]

6. An alien enemy shall not commit or abet any hostile acts against the
United States or give information, aid, or comfort to its enemies;

[Sidenote: Must not enter prohibited areas.]

7. An alien enemy shall not reside in or continue to reside in, to
remain in, or enter any locality which the President may from time to
time designate by an Executive order as a prohibitive area, in which
residence by an alien enemy shall be found by him to constitute a danger
to the public peace and safety of the United States, except by permit
from the President and except under such limitations or restrictions as
the President may prescribe;

[Sidenote: May be made to remove by executive order.]

8. An alien enemy whom the President shall have reasonable cause to
believe to be aiding or about to aid the enemy or to be at large to the
danger of the public peace or safety of the United States, or to have
violated or to be about to violate any of these regulations, shall
remove to any location designated by the President by Executive order,
and shall not remove therefrom without permit, or shall depart from the
United States if so required by the President;

[Sidenote: Cannot leave country without permission.]

9. No alien enemy shall depart from the United States until he shall
have received such permit as the President shall prescribe, or except
under order of a court, Judge, or Justice, under Sections 4,069 and
4,070 of the Revised Statutes;

[Sidenote: Entering United States regulated.]

10. No alien enemy shall land in or enter the United States except under
such restrictions and at such places as the President may prescribe;

[Sidenote: May be obliged to register.]

11. If necessary to prevent violation of the regulations, all alien
enemies will be obliged to register;

[Sidenote: Alien enemies who violate rules to be arrested.]

12. An alien enemy whom there may be reasonable cause to believe to be
aiding or about to aid the enemy, or who may be at large to the danger
of the public peace or safety, or who violates or who attempts to
violate or of whom there is reasonable grounds to believe that he is
about to violate, any regulation to be promulgated by the President or
any criminal law of the United States, or of the States or Territories
thereof, will be subject to summary arrest by the United States Marshal,
or his Deputy, or such other officers as the President shall designate,
and to confinement in such penitentiary, prison, jail, military camp, or
other place of detention as may be directed by the President.

This proclamation and the regulations herein contained shall extend and
apply to all land and water, continental or insular, in any way within
the jurisdiction of the United States.

       *       *       *       *       *

Saloniki was one of the mysteries of the war. News from that city was
brief and unsatisfying in the main. Great things, however, were done
there, and none greater than those accomplished by the British. Some of
these accomplishments are told in the pages that follow.



[Sidenote: Reinforcements needed north of Saloniki.]

[Sidenote: Italy to send 300,000.]

Since the conference at Rome the situation in Macedonia has been
radically changed. The weakness of General Sarrail's position lay in the
fact that neither England nor France felt free to send from the critical
western front the large reinforcements of men which the situation north
of Saloniki called for. Italy had the men, but was unwilling to send
them and to incur the heavy additional expense of maintaining them in
Macedonia. The conference at Rome, in which Premier Lloyd George was the
dominant figure, overcame that reluctance, probably promising Italy
parts of the Turkish Empire that had been earlier assigned tentatively
to Greece and guaranteeing the cost of the new expedition. The result
has been immediate and of the highest importance. Rome dispatches
indicate that Italy has sent, or is sending, a force of not less than
300,000 men; that these troops, to avoid the danger of submarines, are
being dispatched, not to Saloniki, but to Avlona, which is within forty
miles of the Italian coast; and, finally, these Italian forces have not
only built an excellent highway through the Albanian mountains but have
already joined forces with General Sarrail's right wing at Monastir. All
these facts indicate early activity in the Macedonian sector.

[Sidenote: General G. F. Milne's report.]

This glimpse of present conditions will serve to introduce the following
report of General G. F. Milne, commanding the British Saloniki Army in
Macedonia, on last Summer's operations in that sector. His report,
submitted to the British War Office early in December, 1916, covered the
army's operations from May 9, 1916, to October 8, 1916. The official
text of the report is here reproduced, with a few minor omissions:

[Sidenote: Found army concentrated near Saloniki.]

[Sidenote: British forces responsible for front on east and northeast.]

[Sidenote: Construction of defenses.]

"On May 9, 1916, the greater part of the army was concentrated within
the fortified lines of Saloniki, extending from Stavros on the east to
near the Galiko River on the west; a mixed force, consisting of a
mounted brigade and a division, had been pushed forward to the north of
Kukush in order to support the French Army which had advanced and was
watching the right bank of the Struma River and the northern frontier of
Greece. Further moves in this direction were contemplated, but, in order
to keep the army concentrated, I entered into an agreement with General
Sarrail by which the British forces should become responsible for that
portion of the allied front which covered Saloniki from the east and
northeast. By this arrangement a definite and independent area was
allotted to the army under my command. On June 8, 1916, the troops
commenced to occupy advanced positions along the right bank of the River
Struma and its tributary, the River Butkova, from Lake Tachinos to
Lozista village. By the end of July, on the demobilization of the Greek
Army, this occupation had extended to the sea at Chai Aghizi. Along the
whole front the construction of a line of resistance was begun; work on
trenches, entanglements, bridgeheads, and supporting points was
commenced; for administrative purposes the reconstruction of the
Saloniki-Seres road was undertaken and the cutting of wagon tracks
through the mountainous country was pushed forward.

[Sidenote: British take over line near Doiran.]

[Sidenote: Capture of Horseshoe Hill.]

"On July 20, 1916, in accordance with the policy laid down in my
instructions, and in order to release French troops for employment
elsewhere, I began to take over the line south and west of Lake Doiran,
and commenced preparations for a joint offensive on this front. This
move was completed by August 2, 1916, and on the 10th of that month an
offensive was commenced against the Bulgarian defenses south of the line
Doiran-Hill 535. The French captured Hills 227 and La Tortue, while the
British occupied in succession those features of the main 535 ridge now
known as Kidney Hill and Horseshoe Hill, and, pushing forward,
established a series of advanced posts on the line Doldzeli-Reselli. The
capture of Horseshoe Hill was successfully carried out on the night of
August 17-18, 1916, by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light
Infantry at the point of the bayonet in the face of stubborn opposition.
The enemy's counterattacks were repulsed with heavy loss.

[Sidenote: The Bulgarian advance.]

[Sidenote: British and French attack.]

"On August 17, 1916, the Bulgarians, who, at the end of May, had entered
Greek territory by the Struma Valley and moved down as far as Demir
Hissar, continued their advance into Greek Macedonia. Columns of all
arms advanced from seven different points, between Sarisaban, on the
Mesta, and Demir Hissar. The four eastern columns converged on the
country about Drama and Kavala, while the remainder moved southward on
to the line of the Struma from Demir Hissar toward Orfano. On August 19,
1916, a mounted brigade with one battery carried out a strong
reconnoissance, and found the enemy in some force on the line
Prosenik-Barakli Djuma; on the following day, after being reinforced by
a battalion, this brigade again advanced in conjunction with the French
detachment. These attacking troops, after encountering the enemy in
force on the line Kalendra-Prosenik-Haznatar, withdrew after dark to
the right bank of the Struma. The French detachment was subsequently
placed under the orders of the General Officer Commanding British troops
on this front, and received instructions to cooperate in the defense of
the river line.

[Sidenote: Bridges over Angista River destroyed.]

"On August 21, 1916, the railway bridge near Angista Station was
demolished by a detachment from the Neohori garrison, and three days
later two road bridges over the Angista River were destroyed. Both these
operations were well carried out by yeomanry, engineers, and cyclists in
the face of hostile opposition.

[Sidenote: Bulgarians in Eastern Macedonia.]

"The Bulgarians continued their advance into Eastern Macedonia unopposed
by the Greek garrison, and it was estimated that by the end of August
the enemy's forces, extending from Demir Hissar southward in the Seres
sector of the Struma front, comprised the complete Seventh Bulgarian
Division, with two or three regiments of the Eleventh Macedonian
Division, which had moved eastward from their positions on the Beles
Mountain to act as a reserve to the Seventh Division, and at the same
time to occupy the defenses from Vetrina-Pujovo northward. Opposite the
Lower Struma was a brigade of the Second Division, with a brigade of the
Tenth Division, in occupation of the coast and the zone of country
between Orfano and the Drama-Kavala road. This brigade of the Tenth
Division was supported by another brigade in the Drama Kavala area. As a
result of this advance and of a similar move in the west General Sarrail
decided to intrust to the British Army the task of maintaining the
greater portion of the right and center of the allied line.

[Sidenote: Northumberland Fusiliers capture Nevolien.]

"On September 10, 1916, detachments crossed the river above Lake
Tachinos at five places between Bajraktar Mah and Dragos, while a sixth
detachment crossed lower down at Neohori. The villages of Oraoman and
Kato Gudeli were occupied, and Northumberland Fusiliers gallantly
captured Nevolien, taking thirty prisoners and driving the enemy out of
the village. The latter lost heavily during their retirement and in
their subsequent counterattack. They also suffered severely from our
artillery fire in attempting to follow our prearranged movements to
regain the right bank of the river.

[Sidenote: Rise in the Struma River hinders operations.]

"On the 15th similar operations were undertaken, six small columns
crossing the river between Lake Tachinos and Orljak bridge. The villages
of Kato Gudeli, Dzami Mah, Agomah, and Komarjan were burned and
twenty-seven prisoners were taken. The enemy's counterattacks completely
broke down under the accurate fire of our guns on the right bank of the
river. On the 23d a similar scheme was put into action, but a sudden
rise of three feet in the Struma interfered with the bridging
operations. Nevertheless, the enemy's trenches at Yenimah were captured,
fourteen prisoners taken, and three other villages raided. Considerable
help was given on each occasion by the French detachment under Colonel
Bescoins, and much information was obtained which proved to be of
considerable value during subsequent operations.

[Sidenote: British attack Matzikovo salient.]

[Sidenote: Heavy artillery fire from the enemy.]

[Sidenote: British carry out bombing raids.]

"On the Doiran-River Vardar front there remained as before the whole of
the Bulgarian Ninth Division, less one regiment; a brigade of the Second
Division and at least two-thirds of the German 101st Division, which had
intrenched the salient north of Matzikovo on the usual German system. To
assist the general offensive by the Allies I ordered this salient to be
attacked at the same time as the allied operations in the Florina area
commenced. With this object in view the whole of the enemy's intrenched
position was subjected to a heavy bombardment from Septem. 11 to 13,
1916, the southwest corner of the salient known as the Piton des
Mitrailleuses being specially selected for destruction. The enemy's
position was occupied during the night 13th-14th, after a skillfully
planned and gallant assault, in which the King's Liverpool Regiment and
Lancashire Fusiliers specially distinguished themselves. Over 200
Germans were killed in the work, chiefly by bombing, and seventy-one
prisoners were brought in. During the 14th the enemy concentrated from
three directions a very heavy artillery fire, and delivered several
counterattacks, which were for the most part broken up under the fire of
our guns. Some of the enemy, however, succeeded in forcing an entrance
into the work, and severe fighting followed. As hostile reinforcements
were increasing in numbers, and as the rocky nature of the ground
rendered rapid consolidation difficult, the troops were withdrawn in the
evening to their original line, the object of the attack having been
accomplished. This withdrawal was conducted with little loss, thanks to
the very effective fire of the artillery. During the bombardment and
subsequent counterattack the enemy's losses must have been considerable.
On the same front on the night of the 20th-21st, after bombarding the
hostile positions on the Crête des Tentes, a strong detachment raided
and bombed the trenches and dugouts, retiring quickly with little loss.
A similar raid was carried out northeast of Doldzeli.

"In addition to these operations and raids, constant combats took place
between patrols, many prisoners being captured, and several bombing
raids were carried out by the Royal Flying Corps.

[Sidenote: Operations on a more extensive scale.]

[Sidenote: Bridging the Struma River.]

"In order further to assist the progress of our allies toward Monastir
by maintaining such a continuous offensive as would insure no
transference of Bulgarian troops from the Struma front to the west, I
now issued instructions for operations on a more extensive scale than
those already reported. In accordance with these the General Officer
Commanding on that front commenced operations by seizing and holding
certain villages on the left bank of the river with a view to enlarging
the bridgehead opposite Orljak, whence he would be in a position to
threaten a further movement either on Seres or on Demir Hissar. The high
ground on the right bank of the river enabled full use to be made of our
superiority in artillery, which contributed greatly to the success of
these operations. The river itself formed a potential danger, owing to
the rapidity with which its waters rise after heavy rain in the
mountains, but on the night of September 29, 1916, sufficient bridges
had been constructed by the Royal Engineers for the passage of all arms.
During the night of September 29-30 the attacking infantry crossed below
Orljak bridge and formed up on the left bank.

[Sidenote: Scotch troops take several villages.]

"At dawn on the following morning the Gloucesters and the Cameron
Highlanders advanced under cover of an artillery bombardment, and by 8
a.m. had seized the village of Karadjakoi Bala. Shortly after the
occupation of the village the enemy opened a heavy and accurate
artillery fire, but the remaining two battalions of the brigade, the
Royal Scots and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, though suffering
severely from enfilade fire, pushed on against Karadjakoi Zir. By 5.30
p. m. that village also was occupied, in spite of the stubborn
resistance of the enemy. Attempts to bring forward hostile
reinforcements were frustrated during the day by our artillery, but
during the night the Bulgarians launched several strong counterattacks,
which were repulsed with heavy loss.

[Sidenote: Capture of Yenikoi.]

[Sidenote: Enemy counterattacks.]

[Sidenote: British consolidate new line.]

[Sidenote: Enemy casualties heavy.]

"During the following night determined counterattacks of the enemy were
again repulsed, and by the evening of October 2, 1916, the position had
been fully consolidated. Preparations were at once made to extend the
position by the capture of Yenikoi, an important village on the main
Seres road. This operation was successfully carried out by an infantry
brigade, composed of the Royal Munster and Royal Dublin Fusiliers, on
the morning of October 3, 1916, after bombardment by our artillery. By 7
a. m. the village was in our hands. During the day the enemy launched
three heavy counterattacks. The first two were stopped by artillery
fire, which caused severe loss. At 4 p. m. the village, the ground in
the rear, and the bridges were subjected to an unexpectedly heavy
bombardment from several heavy batteries which had hitherto not
disclosed their positions. Following on the bombardment was the heaviest
counterattack of the day, six or seven battalions advancing from the
direction of Homondos, Kalendra, and Topalova with a view to enveloping
our positions. This attack was carried forward with great determination,
and some detachments succeeded in entering the northern portion of
Yenikoi, where hard fighting continued all night, until fresh
reinforcements succeeded in clearing out such enemy as survived. During
the following day the consolidation of our new line was continued under
artillery fire. On the 5th, after a bombardment, the village of Nevolien
was occupied, the Bulgarian garrison retiring on the approach of our
infantry. By the following evening the front extended from Komarjan on
the right via Yenikoi to Elisan on the left. On the 7th a strong
reconnoissance by mounted troops located the enemy on the Demir
Hissar-Seres railway, with advanced posts approximately on the line of
the Belica stream and a strong garrison in Barakli Djuma. On October 8,
1916, our troops had reached the line Agomah-Homondos-Elisan-Ormanli,
with the mounted troops on the line Kispeki-Kalendra. The enemy's
casualties during these few days were heavy.

[Sidenote: Assistance of the Royal Flying Corps.]

"I consider that the success of these operations was due to the skill
and decision with which they were conducted by Lieutenant General C. J.
Briggs, C. B., and to the excellent cooperation of all arms, which was
greatly assisted by the exceptional facilities for observation of
artillery fire. The Royal Flying Corps, in spite of the difficulties
which they had to overcome and the great strain on their resources,
rendered valuable assistance. Armored motor cars were used with effect.
* * *

"On the enforcement of martial law the management of the three lines of
railway radiating from Saloniki had to be undertaken by the Allies; one
line, the Junction-Saloniki-Constantinople, is now entirely administered
by the British Army; this, together with the additional railway traffic
involved by the arrival of the Serbian Army, as well as the Russian and
Italian troops, has thrown a considerable strain on the railway

       *       *       *       *       *

Russia, after three years of warfare against Austria and Germany, during
which millions of her soldiers were killed and wounded, startled the
world suddenly, in February, 1917, by casting out the Czar and
establishing a provisional government, which purported to be a
government by the people and not by the bureaucracy. The dramatic events
of the first days of the revolution are described in the following



Copyright, World's Work, July, 1917.

[Sidenote: Cossacks trotting through the Nevsky in Petrograd.]

A crowd of ordinary citizens were passing in front of the Singer
Building on the Nevsky in Petrograd at noon February 25th, Russian time
(March 10th), stopping occasionally to watch a company of Cossacks
amiably roughing some students with a miscellaneous following who
insisted on assembling across the street before the wide, sweeping
colonnades of Kasan Cathedral. As the Cossacks trotted through, hands
empty, rifles slung on shoulders, the crowds cheered, the Cossacks

A few trolley cars had stopped, though not stalled, and groups of
curious on-lookers had crowded in for a grandstand view. The only people
who did not seem interested in the spectacle were hundreds of women with
shawls over their heads who had been standing in line for many hours
before the bread-shops along the Catherine Canal.

[Sidenote: Some Cossacks and infantry in side streets.]

[Sidenote: People charged by police.]

People were going about their affairs up and down the Nevsky without
being stopped, and sleighs were passing constantly. Cossacks and a few
companies of infantrymen were beginning to appear on the side streets in
considerable numbers, but, as a demonstration over the lack of bread in
the Russian capital had been going on at intervals for two days with
very little violence, people were beginning to get used to it. I arrived
from the direction of the Moika Canal just as the cannon boomed midday
and I felt sufficiently unhurried to correct my watch. Then I hailed a
British general in uniform who had arrived, also unimpeded, from the
opposite direction, and we had just stopped to comment on the unusual
attitude of populace and Cossacks, when there was a sudden rush of
people around the corner from the Catherine Canal and before we could
even reach the doubtful protection of a doorway a company of mounted
police charged around the corner and started up the Nevsky on the
sidewalk. We were obviously harmless onlookers, fur-clad bourgeois, but
the police plunged through at a hard trot, bare sabres flashing in the
cold sunshine. The British general and I were knocked down together and
escaped trampling only because the police were splendidly mounted, and a
well-bred horse will not step on a man if he can help it.

[Sidenote: Display of stupid physical force.]

This was a display of that well-known stupid physical force which used
to be the basis of strength of the Russian Empire. Its ruthlessness, its
carelessness of life, however innocent, terrorized, and, we used to
think, won respect. We know better now, especially those of us who were
eye-witnesses of the Russian revolution, and saw how the police provoked
a quarrel they could not handle.

[Sidenote: Crowds begin to be dangerously large.]

I watched the growth of the revolt with wonder. Knowing something of the
dissatisfaction in the country, I marveled at the stupidity of the
Government in permitting the police to handle its inception as they did.
Any hundred New York or London policemen, or any hundred Petrograd
policemen, could have prevented the demonstrations by the simple process
of closing the streets. But they let people crowd in from the side
streets to see what was going on even when the crowds were beginning to
be dangerously large, and, having permitted them to come, charged among
them at random as if expressly making them angry.

[Sidenote: Ease with which Czar was overthrown.]

I look back now at the time before the Revolution. The life of Petrograd
is much as it was to outward appearances except that the new republican
soldiers are now policing the streets, occasional citizens are wearing
brassarts showing they are deputies of some sort or members of
law-and-order committees, and there is a certain joyous freedom in the
walk of every one. Here, in one corner of this vast empire, a revolt
lacking all signs of terrorism, growing out of nothing into a sudden
burst of indignation, knocked over the most absolute of autocracies.
Just to look, it is hard to believe it true. As a Socialist said to me
to-day: "The empire was rotten ready. One kick of a soldier's boot, and
the throne with all its panoplies disappeared, leaving nothing but

I asked President Rodzianko of the Duma the other day:

[Sidenote: Revolution inevitable after Duma was dissolved.]

"From what date was the revolution inevitable?"

I expected him to name one of the days immediately before the revolt,
but he replied:

"When the Duma was dissolved in December without being granted a
responsible ministry."

"How late might the Emperor have saved his throne?"

"New Year's. If he had granted a responsible ministry then, it would not
have been too late."

[Sidenote: The Government brought Cossacks to Petrograd.]

The Government was either blind or too arrogant to take precautions. It
had fears of an uprising at the reconvening of the Duma and brought
13,000 Cossacks to Petrograd to put fear into the hearts of the people,
but it permitted a shortage of flour which had been noticeable for
several weeks to become really serious just at this moment. There were
large districts of working people practically without bread from the
time the Duma reconvened up to the moment of the revolution.

[Sidenote: Situation needed a great ruler.]

In the palace at Tsarskoe-Selo the seriousness of the situation was not
ignored, but the preventive measures were lamentable. The Emperor, also,
went to the front. If he had been a big enough man to be an emperor he
would certainly never have done so. That left the neurasthenic Empress
and the crafty, small-minded Protopopoff to handle a problem that needed
a real man as great as Emperor Peter or Alexander III.

[Sidenote: The author on the point of leaving Russia.]

[Sidenote: The appearance of Cossacks.]

When the Duma reconvened without disorders it never occurred to me that
the Government would be foolish enough to let the flour situation get
worse. I was so used by this time to see the Duma keep a calm front in
the face of imperial rebuffs that I thought Russia was going to continue
to muddle on to the end of the war and, though I thought I was rather
well-posted, I confess I was on the point of leaving Russia to return to
the western front, where the spring campaign was about to begin with
vigor. As late as the Wednesday before the revolution I was preparing to
leave. That day I learned that several small strikes which had occurred
in scattered factories could not be settled and that several other
factories were forced to close because workmen, having no bread, refused
to report. Still I remember I was not too preoccupied by these reports
to discuss the possibility of a German offensive against Italy with our
military attaché, Lieutenant Francis B. Riggs, as we strolled down the
Nevsky in the middle of the afternoon. We had reached the Fontanka Canal
when we passed three Cossacks riding abreast at a walk up the street.
They were the first Cossacks to make a public appearance, and they
brought to the mind of every Petrograd citizen the recollection of the
barbarities of the revolution of 1905. Their appearance was a challenge
to the people of Petrograd. They seemed to say, "Yes, we are here." If
any one had said to me that afternoon, "These Cossacks are going to
start a revolution which will set Russia free within a week," I should
have regarded him as a lunatic with an original twist.

[Sidenote: Petrograd life normal.]

The life of Petrograd was still normal as late as Thursday morning
February 23d, Russian style (March 8th). The bread lines were very long,
but Russians are patient and would have submitted to standing four or
five hours in the cold if in the end they had always been rewarded, but
shops were being closed with long lines still before them, and the
disappointed were turning away with bitter remarks.

[Sidenote: The historic spot for protests.]

[Sidenote: Cossacks merely keep the crowd on sidewalks.]

The open ground before Kasan Cathedral is the historic spot for protests
and, true to tradition, the first demonstration against the bread
shortage began there Thursday morning toward noon. There were not more
than a dozen men speaking to groups of passing citizens. Each gathered a
constantly changing audience, like an orator in Union Square, New York.
But the Nevsky is always a busy street and it does not take much to give
the appearance of a crowd. Examining that crowd, I could see it had not
more than a hundred or two intent listeners. A company of Cossacks
appeared to disperse it, but they confined themselves to riding up and
down the curbs keeping the people on the sidewalks. The wide street was,
as usual, full of passing sleighs and automobiles. Even then, at the
beginning, it must have occurred to the military commander, General
Khabaloff, that the Cossacks were taking it easy, or perhaps the police
acted on their own initiative; at any rate the scene did not become
exciting until mounted police arrived, riding on the sidewalk and
scattering the curious onlookers pell-mell. By one o'clock the Nevsky
was calm again, and the street cars, which had been blocked for an hour,
started once more.

[Sidenote: Duma discusses food situation.]

[Sidenote: The first snarl of the mob.]

That afternoon I went to the Duma, where the mismanagement of the food
situation throughout Russia was being discussed. I had a glass of tea
with a member of the liberal Cadet Party, and he seemed more concerned
with the victualing of the country than with the particular situation in
Petrograd. Toward evening I drove back along the Nevsky and my
'ishvoshik was blocked for a few minutes while a wave of working people,
in unusual numbers for that part of town, passed. They were being urged
on by Cossacks, but they were mostly smiling, women were hanging to
their husbands' arms, and they were decidedly unhurried. It was not a
crowd that could be in any sense called a mob, and was perfectly
orderly, but it did not go fast enough to suit the police and a dozen of
them came trotting up. Their appearance wiped the smile away, and when
they began really roughing I heard the first murmurings of the snarl
which only an infuriated mob can produce. I wondered what the police
were up to. They were obviously provoking trouble. I felt then we might
be in for serious difficulties--and the attitude of the police gave me
the fear.

[Sidenote: Watching for the Cossacks to act.]

[Sidenote: A red flag.]

Friday morning only a few street cars were running, but the city was
quiet enough until after ten in the morning. Then the agitators, their
small following, and the onlookers, sure now of having a spectacle,
began gathering in considerable numbers. I was still expecting the rough
work to commence with the Cossacks, but after watching them from the
colonnades of the cathedral for half an hour I walked out through the
crowd and, shifted but slightly out of my route by the sway of the crowd
as Cossacks trotted up and down the street, crossed the thick of it.
Green student caps were conspicuous, and one of the students told me
the universities had gone on strike in sympathy with the bread
demonstration. As a company of Cossacks swung by, lances in rest, rifles
slung on their shoulders, I scanned their faces without finding anything
ferocious there. Some one waved a red flag, the first I had seen, before
them, but they passed, unnoticing.

[Sidenote: Crowd not yet dangerous.]

This time the crowd did not break up but began to bunch here and there
as far as the Fontanka Canal. All afternoon the Cossacks kept them
stirring, and occasionally the police gave them a real roughing. Each
time the police appeared, I heard that menacing murmur, but by Friday
evening, when the day's crowd disappeared, the increase in discontent
and anger had not developed sufficiently in twenty-four hours to be
really dangerous. I felt the Government still had plenty of time to
remove the discontent, and an announcement pasted up conspicuously
everywhere saying there would be no lack of bread seemed like an
assurance that the Government would somehow overnight provide all bakers
with sufficient flour. That was the one obvious thing to do.

[Sidenote: A tour of the Wiborg factory district.]

During the afternoon I made a long tour through the Wiborg factory
district, which was thickly policed by infantrymen. Occasional street
cars were still running, but otherwise the district was ominously
silent. The bread-lines were very long here, and on the corners were
groups of workmen. Their silent gravity struck me as being something to
reckon with. Still the lack of real trouble on the Nevsky as I came back
in a measure reassured me.

[Sidenote: Crowd friendly with Cossacks.]

Saturday morning the crowd on the Nevsky gathered at the early Petrograd
hour of ten, but they seemed to be there to encourage the Cossacks.
Wherever the Cossacks passed, individuals called out to them cheerfully
and, even though they crowded in so close to the trotting horsemen as to
be occasionally knocked about, they took it good-humoredly and went on
cheering. I went away for an hour or so and when I returned the
fraternizing of the crowd and the Cossacks was increasingly evident. By
this time all sorts of ordinary citizens, catching the sense of events,
were joining in the general acclamation. I was just beginning to get a
glimmering of the meaning of all this when I was bowled over by the
mounted police in front of the Singer Building.

[Sidenote: Crowd beginning to challenge police.]

[Sidenote: Soldiers fire but wound few.]

[Sidenote: Police inviting quarrel.]

The more timorous average citizens began to lose interest, but the
workmen and students who were in the Nevsky now in considerable numbers,
and arriving hourly, accepted the challenge of the police. They began
throwing bottles, the police charged afresh, and by the early part of
Saturday afternoon there was really a mob on the Nevsky. Liberally mixed
through the whole, though, were the ordinary onlookers, many of them
young girls. The Nevsky widens for a space before the Gastenidwor (the
Russian adaptation of the oriental bazaar), and infantrymen were now
detailed to hold the people back at the point of the bayonet. Meanwhile,
all the side streets were wide open and the appearance of a large, angry
mob was kept up by constant arrivals. The crowd becoming unwieldy, the
soldiers fired into it several times, but they did not wound many,
indicating that they were extracting many bullets before they fired. The
shooting only augmented the crowd, as Russians do not frighten very
easily, and though at a few points it was necessary to turn the corner,
I found no difficulty in going back and forth all afternoon between
Kasan Cathedral and the Nicola Station--the main stretch of the Nevsky.
There was general roughing along this mile and a half of street which
could have been stopped at any time in fifteen minutes by closing the
streets. Instead, the police charged with increasing violence without
doing anything to prevent the people coming from other parts of town.
The idea was now unescapable that the police were inviting the people to
a quarrel.

[Sidenote: Rioting at the Nicola Station.]

[Sidenote: Evident Cossacks are with people.]

The Cossacks were sometimes riding pretty fast themselves, but never
with the violence of the police, and the cheering was continuous. At any
point I could tell by the quality of the howl that went up from the mob
whether it was being stirred by Cossacks or police. At the Nicola
Station the rioting was the roughest, the police freely using their
sabres. The crowd, though unarmed, stood its ground and howled back, and
when possible caught an isolated mounted policeman and disarmed him. In
one case the mob had already disarmed and was unseating a policeman, and
other sections of the mob were rushing up to have a turn at manhandling
him, when a single Cossack, with nothing in his hands, forced his way
through and rescued the policeman, amid the cheers of the same people
who were harassing him. It was quite evident that the people and the
Cossacks were on the same side, and only the unbelievable stupid old
Russian Government could have ignored it.

[Sidenote: Machine guns installed.]

At nightfall the crowd had had its fill of roughing, but Sunday was
evidently to be the real day. There would have been, of course, nothing
on the Nevsky, if properly policed, and I have been unable to understand
how the old Government, unless overconfident of its autocratic power and
disdainful of the people, could have let things go on. But though half
the regiments in Petrograd were on the point of revolt and their
sympathy with the people was evident even to a foreigner, Sunday was
mismanaged like the days before. It was even worse. The powers that
were had, as early as Friday, been so silly as to send armored motor
cars screeching up and down the Nevsky. Now they began installing
machine guns where they could play on the crowd. Up to this time I had
been a neutral, if disgusted, spectator, but now I hoped the police and
the whole imperial régime would pay bitterly for their insolence and
stupidity. The few corpses I encountered during the day on the Nevsky
could not even add to the feeling. They were the mere casualties of a
movement that was beginning to attain large proportions.

[Sidenote: Many soldiers firing blanks.]

[Sidenote: At the French theatre.]

The late afternoon and evening of Sunday were bloody. The Nevsky was
finally closed except for cross traffic, and at the corner of the
Sadovia and the Nevsky by the national library there was a machine gun
going steadily. But it was in the hands of soldiers and they were firing
blanks. The soldiers everywhere seemed to be firing blanks, but there
was carnage enough. The way the crowds persisted showed their capacity
for revolution. The talk was for the first time seriously revolutionary,
and the red flags remained flying by the hour. That evening the air was
for the first time electric with danger, but the possibilities of the
next morning were not sufficiently evident to prevent me from going to
the French theatre. There were a sufficient number of other people, of
the same mind, including many officers, to fill half the seats.

[Sidenote: Imperial box saluted for the last time.]

As usual, between the acts, the officers stood up, facing the imperial
box, which neither the Emperor nor any one else ever occupied. This act
of empty homage, which always grated on my democratic nerves in a
Russian theatre, was being performed by these officers--though they did
not even seem to suspect it--for the last time.

[Sidenote: Lively rifle fire Sunday night.]

On my way home at midnight I picked up from wayfarers rumors of soldiers
attacking the police, soldiers fighting among themselves and rioting in
barracks. But outwardly there was calm until three in the morning, when
I heard in my room on the Moika Canal side of the Hotel de France some
very lively rifle fire from the direction of the Catherine Canal. This
sounded more like the real thing than anything so far, so I dressed and
tried to get near enough to learn what was going on. But for the first
time the streets were really closed. The firing kept up steadily until
four. Farther on in the great barracks along the Neva beyond the Litenie
it kept up until the revolting soldiers had command.

[Sidenote: Revolt spreads like a prairie fire.]

I regret not having seen the revolt getting under way in that quarter. I
regret missing the small incidents, the moments when the revolt hung in
the balance, when it was the question of whether a certain company would
join, for when I reached there it was still in its inception and the
most interesting thing about it was to watch it spread like a prairie

[Sidenote: The Duma dissolved.]

Still not realizing, like most people in Petrograd, that we were within
a few hours of a sweeping revolt, I wasted some precious hours that
morning trying to learn what could be done with the censor. But toward
noon I heard the Duma had been dissolved, and, as there had not been
since Sunday any street cars, 'ishvoshiks, or other means of conveyance,
I started out afoot with Roger Lewis of the Associated Press to walk the
three miles to the Duma.

[Sidenote: A silence like that of Louvain.]

The hush of impending events hung over the entire city. I remember
nothing like that silence since the day the Germans entered Louvain. On
every street were the bread lines longer than ever. All along the
Catherine Canal, the snow was pounded by many feet and spotted with
blood. But there were no soldiers and few police. We hurried along the
Nevsky, gathering rumors of the fight that was actually going on down by
the arsenal on the Litenie. But many shops were open and there was a
semblance of business. All was so quiet we could not make out the
meaning of a company of infantry drawn up in a hollow square commanding
the four points at the junction of the Litenie and Nevsky, ordinarily
one of the busiest corners in the world.

[Sidenote: Cavalry commands arrive.]

[Sidenote: The barricade on the Litenie.]

[Sidenote: Haphazard rifle-fire.]

But as soon as we turned down the Litenie we could hear shots farther
down, and the pedestrians were mostly knotted in doorways. Scattered
cavalry commands were arriving from the side streets, and the Litenie
began looking a little too hot. So we chose a parallel street for
several blocks until we were within three blocks of the Neva, where we
had to cross the Litenie in front of a company drawn up across the
street ready to fire toward the arsenal, where there was sporadic rifle
fire. Here there were bigger knots of curious citizens projecting
themselves farther and farther toward the middle of the street, hoping
for a better view, until a nearer shot frightened them closer to the
walls. The barricade on the Litenie by the arsenal, the one barricade
the revolution produced, was just beginning to be built two hundred feet
away as Lewis and I reached the shelter of the Fourshtatzkaya, on the
same street as the American Embassy. By crossing the Litenie we had
entered the zone of the revolutionists. We did not realize this,
however, and were puzzled by the sight of a soldier carrying simply a
bayonet, and another with a bare officer's sword. A fourteen-year-old
boy stood in the middle of the street with a rifle in his hand, trifling
with it. It exploded in his hand, and when he saw the ruin of the
breech block he unfixed the bayonet, threw down the gun, and ran around
the corner. A student came up the street examining the mechanism of a
revolver. There seemed to be rifle-fire in every direction, even in the
same street, but haphazard.

[Sidenote: An officer recruiting for the revolution.]

If we had not been living in a troubled atmosphere these small
indications would have impressed us deeply, but neither of us gathered
immediately the significance of events. Before we reached the next
corner we passed troops who evidently did not know yet whether or not
they were still on the side of the Government. An automobile appeared
full of soldiers, an officer standing on the seat. He waved toward him
all the soldiers in sight and began haranguing them. There was no red
flag in sight, and, until we caught his words, we thought he was urging
them to remain loyal. He was really recruiting for the revolution.

[Sidenote: Automobiles and motor trucks.]

As we kept on toward the Duma we encountered other automobiles, many of
them, and motor trucks, literally bristling with guns and sabres. Half
the men were civilians and the number of young boys with revolvers who
looked me over made me feel it was a very easy time in which to be
killed. I was wearing an English trench coat and a fur cap, so to
prevent any mistake of identity I stopped and presented a full view to
each passing motor. Still I knew my continued existence depended on the
sanity of any one of thirty or forty very excited men and boys on each
truck, and when I reached the protection of the enormous crowd that was
storming the entrance to the Duma I felt more comfortable.

[Sidenote: The Duma waits, but finally takes command.]

The Duma had just been dismissed by imperial decree, an ironical
circumstance in view of the thousands of soldiers and civilians massed
before its doors under the red flag. Their leaders were within, asking
the Duma to form a provisional government. The Duma was not yet
convinced, and the mental confusion within was more bewildering than the
revolution without. This was early in the afternoon, and the Duma held
off for hours. Even when it was known that the Preobarzhenski regiment,
which began its career with Peter the Great, had turned revolutionary,
the Duma insisted on waiting. But at nine o'clock in the evening, when
every police station, every court, was on fire and the revolutionists
completely controlled the city, President Rodzianko decided that the
Duma must take command.

[Sidenote: Automobiles dart boldly everywhere.]

It is interesting to watch a revolution grow, and even at this time,
early Monday afternoon, the revolutionists controlled only a corner of
Petrograd. They were working up excitement, and, as often before in the
war, the motor trucks played an important part. They thundered back and
forth through doubtful streets, students, soldiers, and workmen standing
tight and bristling with bayonets like porcupines. They carried
conviction of force, and, as each foray met with less resistance, it was
not long before they were dashing boldly everywhere. That accounts for
the rapid control of the city. It could not have been done afoot.

[Sidenote: The revolutionists take the arsenal.]

All day, from the time the arsenal fell into their hands, the
revolutionists felt their strength growing, and from noon on no attack
was led against them. At first the soldiers simply gave up their guns
and mixed in the crowd, but they grew bolder, too, when they saw the
workmen forming into regiments and marching up the Fourshtatzkaya, still
fumbling with the triggers of their rifles to see how they met the enemy
at the next corner. The coolness of these revolutionists, their
willingness to die for their cause, won the respect of a small group of
us who were standing before the American Embassy. The group was
composed chiefly of Embassy attachés who wanted to go over to the old
Austrian Embassy, used by us as the headquarters for the relief of
German and Austrian prisoners in Russia; but though it was only a five
minutes' walk, the hottest corner in the revolution lay between.

[Sidenote: Soldiers ground arms and become revolutionists.]

When we left the Embassy, Captain McCulley, the American Naval Attaché,
said he knew a way to get out of the revolutionary quarter without
passing a line of fire. So he edged us off toward the distant Nevsky
along several blood-blotched streets in which there were occasional
groups of soldiers who did not know which way to turn. Then, as the
Bycenie, beyond, suddenly filled with revolutionists coming from some
other quarter, we turned to cross the Litenie. Twenty minutes earlier
Captain McCulley had passed there and the Government troops controlled
for another quarter mile. Now we passed a machine-gun company commanding
the street, which dared not fire because there was a line of soldiers
between it and a vast crowd pouring through the street toward us. The
crowd had already overwhelmed and made revolutionists out of hundreds of
soldiers, and the situation for a moment was dramatically tense.

Down the bisecting Litenie another crowd was advancing, filling the wide
street. Before it there was also a company of soldiers, and it did not
know whether to face the Bycenie or the river. Three immense mobs were
overwhelming it, though it knew of but two. Suddenly, just at the moment
when we expected a shower of bullets, and flattened ourselves against a
doorway, the company grounded arms and in three seconds was in the arms
of the revolution.

[Sidenote: Company after company joins.]

As we retreated to the Nevsky ahead of the victorious crowd we could see
company after company turn, as if suddenly deciding not to shoot, and

[Sidenote: Thunder of motor trucks.]

I walked rapidly back to the Morskaya and down to the cable office,
which I found closed, not encountering on the whole two miles a single
soldier or policeman until I reached St. Isaac's Cathedral, where a
regiment of marines turned up the Morskaya toward the Nevsky, swinging
along behind a band. Five minutes later I followed them up the Morskaya,
but before I reached the Gorokawaya, half the distance, I could hear the
thunder of the revolutionary motor trucks and the glad howls of the
revolutionists. They had run the length of the Nevsky, and the city,
except this little corner, was theirs. The shooting began at once, and
for the next three hours on both the Morskaya and the Moika there was
steady firing. This was still going on when, at nine in the evening, I
passed around the edge of the fight, crossed Winter Palace Square,
deserted except for a company of Cossacks dimly outlined against the
Winter Palace across the square. By passing under the arch into the head
of Morskaya again I was once more with the revolutionists.

I have since asked Mr. Milukoff, now Minister of Foreign Affairs, at
that moment a member of the Duma's Committee of Safety, how much of an
organization there was behind the events of that day.

[Sidenote: The organization a spontaneous growth.]

"There was some incipient organization certainly," he replied, "though
even now I could not be more definite. But for the most part it was
spontaneous growth. The Duma was not revolutionary, and we held off
until it became necessary for us to take hold. We were the only
government left."

[Sidenote: Duma is forced to adopt democratic programme.]

The rapid work was done by the Socialists, who quickly formed the
Council of Workmen and Soldiers' Deputies and formulated the programme
which has come to be the Russian Declaration of Independence. They
consented to support the Duma if it adopted their democratic programme.
There was nothing else for the Duma to do, and the main issues of the
new Government were worked out before Tuesday morning, within
twenty-four hours of the beginning of the revolution. Since then I have
been repeatedly impressed with the organizing ability of the men in
control, and their ability to take matters rapidly in hand.

[Sidenote: The crowd feels its power.]

[Sidenote: Not much terrorism.]

Monday night the city was in the hands of the mob. Anybody could have a
gun. Public safety lay in the released spirits of the Russian workmen
who saw the vision of liberty before them. Tuesday was the most
dangerous day, as the crowd was beginning to feel its power, and the
amount of shooting going on everywhere must have been out of all
proportion to the sniping on the part of cornered police. But the
searching of apartments for arms was carried on with some semblance of
order, and usually there was a student in command. The individual
stories of officers who refused to surrender and fought to the end in
their apartments are endless, but these individual fights were lost in
the victorious sweep of the day. Tuesday evening the real business of
burning police stations and prisons and destroying records went on
throughout the city, but the actual burnings, while picturesque, lacked
the terrorism one might expect. Still I felt that the large number of
irresponsible civilians carrying arms might do what they pleased.

The same idea evidently occurred to the Committee of Safety, as it began
at once disarming the irresponsible, and its work was so quick and
effective that there were very few civilians not registered as
responsible police who still had fire-arms on Wednesday morning.

[Sidenote: Regiments sent to Petrograd join revolutionists.]

As late as Wednesday there was a possibility of troops being sent
against Petrograd, but all the regiments for miles around joined the
revolution before they entered the city. There was obviously no one who
wanted to uphold the old monarchy, and it fell without even dramatic
incident to mark its end. To us in Petrograd the abdication of the
Emperor had just one significance. It brought the army over at a stroke.
The country, long saturated with democratic principles, accepted the new
Government as naturally as if it had been chosen by a national vote.

       *       *       *       *       *

The credit of the first shot fired on the American side in the Great War
fell to the crew of the American ship, _Mongolia_. A narrative of this
dramatic event is given in the chapter following.



Copyright, New York Times, April 27, 1919.

[Sidenote: Gunners of the _Mongolia_ hit a submarine.]

April 19 has long been celebrated in Massachusetts because of the battle
of Lexington, but henceforth the Bay State can keep with added pride a
day which has acquired national interest in this war, for on that date
the S. S. _Mongolia_, bound from New York to London, under command of
Captain Emery Rice, while proceeding up the English Channel, fired on an
attacking submarine at 5.24 in the morning, smashing its periscope and
causing the U-boat to disappear.

[Sidenote: Officers from Massachusetts.]

The gun crew who made this clean hit at 1,000 yards were under command
of Lieutenant Bruce R. Ware, United States Navy, and the fact of special
interest in Massachusetts is that both Rice and Ware were born in that
State, the Captain receiving his training for the sea in the
Massachusetts Nautical School and the Lieutenant being a graduate of

[Sidenote: Dangerous voyages and cargoes.]

The _Mongolia_, a merchantman of 13,638 tons, had been carrying
munitions to Great Britain since January, 1916, when she reached New
York Harbor from San Francisco, coming by way of Cape Horn, and she had
already made nine voyages to England. In those voyages her officers and
men had faced many of the greatest perils of the war. Her cargoes had
consisted of TNT, of ammunition, of powder, of fuses, and of shells. At
one time while carrying this dangerous freight Captain Rice saw, as he
stood on the bridge during a storm, a lightning bolt strike the ship
forward just where a great quantity of powder was stored, and held his
breath as he waited to see "whether he was going up or going down."

[Sidenote: Warnings of U-boats.]

Captain Rice has since died, and among his papers now in my possession
are many of the warnings of the presence of U-boats sent to his ship by
the British Admiralty during 1916, when every vessel approaching the
British coast was in danger from those assassins of the sea.

[Sidenote: _Mongolia_ sails in spite of German edict.]

After February 1, 1917, when the Huns made their "war zone" declaration,
the question with us at home whether the _Mongolia_ would continue to
sail in defiance of that edict of ruthless warfare became a matter of
acute anxiety. The ship completed her eighth voyage on February 7, when
she reached New York and found the whole country discussing the burning
question, "Would the United States allow the Imperial German Government
to dictate how and where our ships should go?" There was never but one
answer in the mind of Captain Rice. At home he simply said, "I shall
sail on schedule, armed or unarmed. Does any one suppose I would let
those damned Prussians drive me off the ocean?"

In the office of the International Mercantile Marine he expressed
himself more politely, but with equal determination, to the President of
the company, P. A. S. Franklin, to whom he said, "I am prepared, so are
my officers, to sail with or without arms, but of course I would rather
have arms."

[Sidenote: Arms slow to get.]

But the arms were slow to get, and the _Mongolia_, loaded with her
super-dangerous cargo, cleared from New York on February 20, the first
one of our boats to reach England after the "war zone" declaration, I
believe. Captain Rice arrived in London about the time when Captain
Tucker of the S. S. _Orleans_ reached Bordeaux, the latter being the
first American to reach France in safety after the same declaration.

[Sidenote: Spies try to learn sailing dates.]

Early in February of 1917 we became aware that German spies were making
a persistent attempt to get into our home to find out when the
_Mongolia_ was sailing, and if the ship was to be armed. The first spy
came up the back stairs in the guise of an employe engaged in delivering
household supplies. He accomplished nothing, and the incident was
dismissed from our minds, but the second spy came up the front stairs
and effected an entrance, and this event roused us to the dangers around
Captain Rice even in his own country and showed the intense
determination of the Germans to prevent, if they could, any more big
cargoes of munitions reaching England on the _Mongolia_. Our second
visitor was a man who had been an officer in the German Army years
before. After leaving Germany he came to the United States and became a

[Sidenote: A German-American turns German spy.]

In August, 1914, when the Huns invaded Belgium, he became all German
again and returned to Europe to serve with the German Army on the French
front, from which region he was ordered by the German Government back to
the United States, where his command of English and knowledge of the
country made him valuable to the propaganda and spy groups here. All
this and much more I found out shortly after his visit, but the
afternoon he called I (I was alone at the time) received him without
suspicion, since he said he came to pay his respects to Captain Rice,
whom he had known in China.

[Sidenote: Deceiving the spy.]

It was not until his apparently casual questions about the time of the
_Mongolia's_ sailing and whether she was to be armed became annoying
that "I woke up," and looking attentively at this over-curious visitor,
I encountered a look of such cold hostility that with a shock I
realized I was dealing with a spy, one who was probably armed, and who
appeared determined to get the information he sought. In a few seconds
of swift thinking I decided the best thing to do was to make him believe
that Captain Rice himself did not know whether his ship was going out
again, and that no one could tell what course of action the ship owners
would take. After forty minutes of probing for information he departed,
convinced there was no information to be had from me.

[Sidenote: How signals could be sent by German agents.]

It was ascertained that his New York home was in an apartment house on
the highest point of land in Manhattan. In this same house there lived
another German, who received many young men, all Teutons, as visitors,
some of whom spent much time with him on the roof. The possibility of
their signaling out to sea from this elevation is too obvious to be
dwelt on, and it is beyond doubt that some of the submarines' most
effective work at this time and later was due to the activities of these
German agents allowed at large by our too-trustful laws of citizenship.
So exact and timely was much of the information these spies secured that
the _Mongolia_ on one of her voyages to England picked up a wireless
message sent in the _Mongolia's_ own secret code, saying that the
_Montana_ was sinking, giving her position, and asking the _Mongolia_ to
come to her rescue, but it had happened that when the _Mongolia_ left
New York Harbor at the beginning of this very voyage one of her officers
had noticed the _Montana_ lying in the harbor.

[Sidenote: _Mongolia_ is armed with three 6-inch guns.]

When the _Mongolia_ returned on March 30, 1917, from this unarmed voyage
she was given three six-inch guns, two forward and one aft, and a gun
crew from the U. S. S. _Texas_, under Lieutenant Bruce R. Ware, who had
already made his mark in gunnery.

The _Mongolia_ left New York on her tenth voyage April 7 with the
following officers:

[Sidenote: The officers on the voyage.]

Commander, Emery Rice; in command of armed guard, Lieutenant Bruce R.
Ware; Chief officer, Thomas Blau; First Officer, W. E. Wollaston; Second
Officer, Charles W. Krieg; Third Officer, Joseph C. Lutz; Fourth
Officer, Carroll D. Riley; Cadets, Fred Earl Wilcox and Theodore
Forsell; Doctor, Charles Rendell; Assistant Purser, J. T. Wylie; Chief
Steward, W. T. Heath; Chief Engineer, James W. Condon; First Assistant
Engineer, Clarence Irwin; Second Assistant Engineer, William Hodgkiss;
Third Assistant Engineer, L. R. Tinto. Six junior engineers--William
Hasenfus, E. Larkin, Perry McComb, Sidney Murray, J. R. Fletcher,
Lawrence Paterson, Refrigerator Engineer, H. Johnson, Electrician, E.
Powers; Dock Engineer, V. Hansen.

[Sidenote: Entries from the ship's log.]

The log of the ship for that voyage contains these entries:

    Sailed from New York April 7, 1917.
    Arrived Falmouth, England, April 18, 1917.
    Left Falmouth, England, April 18, 1917, p. m.
    On April 19, 5.24 a. m., fired on submarine.
    Arrived Tilbury, London, April 21.
    Left Tilbury, London, May 2.
    Arrived New York, May 13.

The Captain's report to the London office of the International
Mercantile Marine is dated April 21, 1917, and says:

"I beg to report that the S. S. _Mongolia_ under my command, while
proceeding up Channel on April 19 at 5.24 a. m. encountered a submarine,
presumably German, in Latitude 50·30 degrees North, Longitude 32 degrees
West; 9 miles South 37 degrees East true from the Overs Light vessel.

"The weather at the time: calm to light airs, sea smooth, hazy with
visibility about 3 miles; speed of the ship fifteen knots, course North
74 degrees East true, to pass close to the Royal Sovereign Light vessel.

[Sidenote: A periscope sighted.]

"The periscope was first sighted broad on the port bow, distant about
one-half mile, by Chief Officer Blau in charge of the bridge watch at
the time. His shout of 'submarine on the port bow' brought Lieutenant
Ware and myself quickly out of the chart room on to the bridge, where we
immediately saw the swirling wake left by the submarine as it submerged.

[Sidenote: Lieutenant Ware gives the range.]

"The armed guard under Lieutenant Ware, United States Navy, were
standing by all guns at the time, which were fully loaded, and while
Lieutenant Ware gave the range to the guns I ordered the helm put
hard-a-starboard with the object of lessening the broadside angle of the
ship to an approaching torpedo.

[Sidenote: The shot goes home.]

[Sidenote: Efficiency of the gunners.]

"Lieutenant Ware's order of 'train on the starboard quarter and report
when you bear on a submarine's periscope' was answered almost
immediately by the after gun's crew, who were then ordered to commence
firing. One shot was fired from the after gun which struck in the centre
of the swirl created by the submarine, causing a quantity of light blue
smoke to hang over the spot where the submarine disappeared for some
time. This was the only shot fired, and the submarine was not seen
again, and after zigzagging until the weather became very thick the ship
was again put on her course. Passed through the Gateway off Folkestone
at 10.45 a. m. and anchored at 11.01 a. m., as I considered the weather
too thick to proceed. I feel that the _Mongolia's_ safe arrival at
London is due to a large extent to the zeal and ability in the execution
of his duties displayed by Lieutenant B. R. Ware, United States Navy,
who has been untiring in his efforts to bring the men under his command
to a high state of efficiency, and who has kept a continuous watch for
the past five days. His co-operation with the ship's officers has been
of the closest, and his men and guns were always ready. Also to Mr.
Blau, the chief officer, a large measure of credit is due, for had he
not seen the periscope at the exact moment of its appearance it is
possible that all our precautions would have been useless.

                          Signed. EMERY RICE,
                                      "Commander S. S. _Mongolia_."

[Sidenote: _Mongolia's_ officers marked men.]

The fame of the first engagement made the _Mongolia's_ officers marked
men. When Captain Rice returned home he reported that Consul General
Skinner in London had told him that the Germans had set a price of
50,000 marks on his head, and letters expressing hatred and revenge
reached us in New York from points as far away as Kansas City. On the
other hand, the pride felt in the great ship's exploit brought scores of
letters from officers and men who applied for service on her.

       *       *       *       *       *

German agents were industrious throughout the United States, long before
the American Government broke with Germany. Her activities were carried
on in the form of propaganda and by more violent deeds. A complete
account of these activities as revealed in a congressional investigation



[Sidenote: Momentous results must follow.]

It is with the deepest sense of responsibility of the momentous results
which will follow the passage of this resolution that your committee
reports it to the House, with the recommendation that it be passed.

The conduct of the Imperial German Government toward this Government,
its citizens, and its interests has been so discourteous, unjust, cruel,
barbarous, and so lacking in honesty and fair dealing that it has
constituted a violation of the course of conduct which should obtain
between friendly nations.

In addition to this, the German Government is actually making war upon
the people and the commerce of this country, and leaves no course open
to this Government but to accept its gage of battle, declare that a
state of war exists, and wage that war vigorously.

[Sidenote: The announcement of the submarine war zone.]

On the 31st day of January, 1917, notice was given by the Imperial
German Government to this Government that after the following
day--"Germany will meet the illegal measures of her enemies by forcibly
preventing, in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the
Eastern Mediterranean, all navigation, that of neutrals included, from
and to England and from and to France, &c. All ships met within that
zone will be sunk."

[Sidenote: American ships sunk.]

Since that day seven American ships flying the American flag have been
sunk and between twenty-five and thirty American lives have been lost
as a result of the prosecution of the submarine warfare in accordance
with the above declaration. This is war. War waged by the Imperial
German Government upon this country and its people.

[Sidenote: Review of Germany's hostile acts.]

A brief review of some of the hostile and illegal acts of the German
Government toward this Government and its officers and its people is
herewith given.

[Sidenote: German note of February, 1915.]

In the memorial of the Imperial German Government accompanying its
proclamation of February 4, 1915, in regard to submarine warfare, that
Government declared: "The German Navy has received instructions to
abstain from all violence against neutral vessels recognizable as such."
In the note of the German Government dated February 16, 1915, in reply
to the American note of February 10, it was declared that "It is very
far indeed from the intention of the German Government * * * ever to
destroy neutral lives and neutral property. * * * The commanders of
German submarines have been instructed, as was already stated in the
note of the 4th instant, to abstain from violence to American merchant
ships when they are recognizable as such."

[Sidenote: American lives lost on many torpedoed ships.]

Nevertheless, the German Government proceeded to carry out its plans of
submarine warfare and torpedoed the British passenger steamer _Falaba_
on March 27, 1915, when one American life was lost, attacked the
American steamer _Cushing_ April 28 by airship, and made submarine
attacks upon the American tank steamer _Gulflight_ May 1, the British
passenger steamer _Lusitania_ May 7, when 114 American lives were lost,
and the American steamer _Nebraskan_ on May 25, in all of which over 125
citizens of the United States lost their lives, not to mention hundreds
of noncombatants who were lost and hundreds of Americans and
noncombatants whose lives were put in jeopardy.

The British mule boat _Armenian_ was torpedoed on June 28, as a result
of which twenty Americans are reported missing.

On July 8, 1915, in a note to Ambassador Gerard, arguing in defense of
its method of warfare and particularly of its submarine commander in the
_Lusitania_ case, it is stated:

[Sidenote: German defense of German submarine warfare.]

"The Imperial Government therefore repeats the assurances that American
ships will not be hindered in the prosecution of legitimate shipping and
the lives of American citizens on neutral vessels shall not be placed in

"In order to exclude any unforeseen dangers to American passenger
steamers * * * the German submarines will be instructed to permit the
free and safe passage of such passenger steamers when made recognizable
by special markings and notified a reasonable time in advance."

[Sidenote: American ships attacked later.]

Subsequently the following vessels carrying American citizens were
attacked by submarines: British liner _Orduna_, July 9; Russian steamer
_Leo_, July 9; American steamer _Leelanaw_, July 25; British passenger
liner _Arabic_, August 19; British mule ship _Nicosian_, August 19;
British steamer _Hesperian_, September 4. In these attacks twenty-three
Americans lost their lives, not to mention the large number whose lives
were placed in jeopardy.

Following these events, conspicuous by their wantonness and violation of
every rule of humanity and maritime warfare, the German Ambassador, by
instructions from his Government, on September 1 gave the following
assurances to the Government of the United States:

"Liners will not be sunk by our submarines without warning and without
safety of the lives of noncombatants, provided that the liners do not
try to escape or offer resistance."

[Sidenote: Germany gives assurance of regard for lives of

On September 9, in a reply as to the submarine attack on the _Orduna_,
the German Government renewed these assurances in the following

[Sidenote: The _Orduna_ case.]

"The first attack on the _Orduna_ by a torpedo was not in accordance
with the existing instructions, which provide that large passenger
steamers are to be torpedoed only after previous warning and after the
rescuing of passengers and crew. The failure to observe the instructions
was based on an error which is at any rate comprehensible and the
repetition of which appears to be out of the question, in view of the
more explicit instructions issued in the meantime. Moreover, the
commanders of the submarines have been reminded that it is their duty to
exercise greater care and to observe carefully the orders issued."

The German Government could not more clearly have stated that liners or
large passenger steamers would not be torpedoed except upon previous
warning and after the passengers and crew had been put in places of

[Sidenote: Statement about the _William P. Frye_.]

On November 29 the German Government states, in connection with the case
of the American vessel _William P. Frye_:

[Sidenote: Germany promises to protect passengers.]

"The German naval forces will sink only such American vessels as are
loaded with absolute contraband, when the preconditions provided by the
Declaration of London are present. In this the German Government quite
shares the view of the American Government that all possible care must
be taken for the security of the crew and passengers of a vessel to be
sunk. Consequently the persons found on board of a vessel may not be
ordered into her lifeboats except when the general conditions--that is
to say, the weather, the condition of the sea, and the neighborhood of
the coasts--afford absolute certainty that the boats will reach the
nearest port."

[Sidenote: An American Consul drowned.]

Following this accumulative series of assurances, however, there seems
to have been no abatement in the rigor of submarine warfare, for attacks
were made in the Mediterranean upon the American steamer _Communipaw_ on
December 3, the American steamer _Petrolite_ December 5, the Japanese
liner _Yasaka Maru_ December 21, and the passenger liner _Persia_
December 30. In the sinking of the _Persia_ out of a total of some 500
passengers and crew only 165 were saved. Among those lost was an
American Consul traveling to his post.

On January 7, eight days after the sinking of the _Persia_, the German
Government notified the Government of the United States through its
Ambassador in Washington as follows:

[Sidenote: Submarines in Mediterranean ordered to respect international

"1. German submarines in the Mediterranean had, from the beginning,
orders to conduct cruiser warfare against enemy merchant vessels only in
accordance with the general principles of international law, and in
particular measures of reprisal, as applied in the war zone around the
British Isles, were to be excluded.

"2. German submarines are therefore permitted to destroy enemy merchant
vessels in the Mediterranean, _i. e._, passenger as well as freight
ships as far as they do not try to escape or offer resistance--only
after passengers and crews have been accorded safety."

Clearly the assurances of the German Government that neutral and enemy
merchant vessels, passenger as well as freight ships, should not be
destroyed except upon the passengers and crew being accorded safety
stood as the official position of the Imperial German Government.

[Sidenote: Germany offers indemnity for Americans lost on _Lusitania_.]

On February 16, 1916, the German Ambassador communicated to the
Department of State an expression of regret for the loss of American
lives on the _Lusitania_, and proposed to pay a suitable indemnity. In
the course of this note he said:

"Germany has * * * limited her submarine warfare because of her
long-standing friendship with the United States and because by the
sinking of the _Lusitania_, which caused the death of citizens of the
United States, the German retaliation affected neutrals, which was not
the intention, as retaliation should be confined to enemy subjects."

[Sidenote: French unarmed _Patria_ attacked.]

[Sidenote: The _Sussex_ torpedoed without warning.]

On March 1, 1916, the unarmed French passenger steamer _Patria_,
carrying a number of American citizens, was attacked without warning. On
March 9 the Norwegian bark _Silius_, riding at anchor in Havre Roads,
was torpedoed by an unseen submarine and one of the seven Americans on
board was injured. On March 16 the Dutch passenger steamer _Tubantia_
was sunk in the North Sea by a torpedo. On March 16 the British steamer
_Berwindale_ was torpedoed without warning off Bantry Island with four
Americans on board. On March 24 the British unarmed steamer _Englishman_
was, after a chase, torpedoed and sunk by the submarine _U-19_, as a
result of which one American on board perished. On March 24 the unarmed
French cross-Channel steamer _Sussex_ was torpedoed without warning,
several of the twenty-four American passengers being injured. On March
27 the unarmed British liner _Manchester Engineer_ was sunk by an
explosion without prior warning, with Americans on board, and on March
28 the British steamer _Eagle Point_, carrying a Hotchkiss gun, which
she did not use, was chased, overtaken, and sunk by a torpedo after the
persons on board had taken to the boats.

[Sidenote: America will hold Germany responsible.]

The American note of February 10, 1915, stated that should German
vessels of war "destroy on the high seas an American vessel or the
lives of American citizens it would be difficult for the Government of
the United States to view the act in any other light than an
indefensible violation of neutral rights which it would be very hard,
indeed, to reconcile with the friendly relations so happily subsisting
between the two Governments," and that if such a deplorable situation
should arise, "the Government of the United States would be constrained
to hold the Imperial Government to a strict accountability for such acts
of their naval authorities."

In the American note of May 13, 1915, the Government stated:

"The imperial Government will not expect the Government of the United
States to omit any word or act necessary to the performance of its
sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and its
citizens and in safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment."

In the note of July 21, 1915, the United States Government said that--

"Repetition by the commanders of German naval vessels of acts in
contravention of those rights must be regarded by the Government of the
United States, when they affect American citizens, as deliberately

In a communication of April 18, 1916, the American Government said:

[Sidenote: The United States insists on regard for international law.]

"If it is still the purpose of the Imperial Government to prosecute
relentless and indiscriminate warfare against vessels of commerce by the
use of submarines without regard to what the Government of the United
States must consider the sacred and indisputable rules of international
law and the universally recognized dictates of humanity, the Government
of the United States is at last forced to the conclusion that there is
but one course it can pursue. Unless the Imperial Government should not
immediately declare and effect an abandonment of its present methods of
submarine warfare against passenger and freight carrying vessels the
Government of the United States can have no choice but to sever
diplomatic relations with the German Empire altogether."

[Sidenote: Germany gives definite assurances.]

The German Government replied to this communication on May 4, 1916,
giving definite assurances that new orders had been issued to the German
naval forces "in accordance with the general principles of visit and
search and the destruction of merchant vessels recognized by
international law." And this agreement was substantially complied with
for many months, but finally, on January 31, 1917, notice was given that
after the following day--

[Sidenote: The notice of January 31, 1917.]

"Germany will meet the illegal measures of her enemies by forcibly
preventing in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the
Eastern Mediterranean all navigation, that of neutrals included, from
and to England and from and to France, &c. All ships met within that
zone will be sunk."

In view of this Government's warning of April 18, 1916, and the Imperial
German Government's pledge of May 4 of the same year, the Government of
the United States, on February 3, 1917, stated to the Imperial German
Government that--

[Sidenote: The course of the United States.]

"In view of this declaration, which withdraws suddenly and without prior
intimation the solemn assurance given in the Imperial Government's note
of May 4, 1916, this Government has no alternative consistent with the
dignity and honor of the United States but to take the course which it
explicitly announced in its note of April 18, 1916, it would take in the
event that the Imperial Government did not declare and effect an
abandonment of the methods of submarine warfare then employed and to
which the Imperial Government now purposes again to resort.

[Sidenote: Diplomatic relations with Germany severed.]

"The President has, therefore, directed me to announce to your
Excellency that all diplomatic relation between the United States and
the German Empire are severed, and that the American Ambassador at
Berlin will be immediately withdrawn, and, in accordance with such
announcement, to deliver to your Excellency your passports."

[Sidenote: American ships torpedoed.]

On February 3 one American ship was sunk, and since that date six
American ships flying the American flag have been torpedoed, with a loss
of about thirteen American citizens. In addition, fifty or more foreign
vessels of both belligerent and neutral nationality with Americans on
board have been torpedoed, in most cases without warning, with a
consequent loss of several American citizens.

[Sidenote: German officials violate laws of United States.]

Since the beginning of the war German officials in the United States
have engaged in many improper activities in violation of the laws of the
United States and of their obligations as officials in a neutral
country. Count von Bernstorff, the German Ambassador, Captain von Papen,
Military Attaché of the embassy, Captain Boy-Ed, Naval Attaché, as well
as various Consular officers and other officials, were involved in these
activities, which were very widespread.

The following instances are chosen at random from the cases which have
come to the knowledge of the Government:

[Sidenote: The German Embassy furnishes funds to be used illegally.]

I. By direct instruction received from the Foreign Office in Berlin the
German Embassy in this country furnished funds and issued orders to the
Indian Independence Committee of the Indian Nationalist Party in the
United States. These instructions were usually conveyed to the committee
by the military information bureau in New York (von Igel), or by the
German Consulates in New York and San Francisco.

[Sidenote 1: Indian revolutionary propaganda.]

Dr. Chakrabarty, recently arrested in New York City, received, all in
all, according to his own admission, some $60,000 from von Igel. He
claims that the greater portion of this money was used for defraying the
expenses of the Indian revolutionary propaganda in this country and, as
he says, for educational purposes. While this is in itself true, it is
not all that was done by the revolutionists. They have sent
representatives to the Far East to stir up trouble in India, and they
have attempted to ship arms and ammunition to India. These expeditions
have failed. The German Embassy also employed Ernest T. Euphrat to carry
instructions and information between Berlin and Washington under an
American passport.

[Sidenote 2: Germans on parole escaped.]

II. Officers of interned German warships have violated their word of
honor and escaped. In one instance the German Consul at Richmond
furnished the money to purchase a boat to enable six warrant officers of
the steamer Kronprinz Wilhelm to escape after breaking their parole.

[Sidenote 3: Fraudulent passports secured.]

III. Under the supervision of Captain von Papen and Wolf von Igel, Hans
von Wedell and, subsequently, Carl Ruroede maintained a regular office
for the procurement of fraudulent passports for German reservists. These
operations were directed and financed in part by Captain von Papen and
Wolf von Igel. Indictments were returned, Carl Ruroede sentenced to the
penitentiary, and a number of German officers fined. Von Wedell escaped
and has apparently been drowned at sea. Von Wedell's operations were
also known to high officials in Germany. When von Wedell became
suspicious that forgeries committed by him on a passport application
had become known, he conferred with Captain von Papen and obtained money
from him wherewith to make his escape.

[Sidenote: American passport covers unneutral activities.]

IV. James J. F. Archibald, under cover of an American passport and in
the pay of the German Government through Ambassador Bernstorff, carried
dispatches for Ambassador Dumba and otherwise engaged in unneutral

[Sidenote: Spies sent to England.]

V. Albert O. Sander, Charles Wunnenberg, and others, German agents in
this country, were engaged, among other activities, in sending spies to
England, equipped with American passports, for the purpose of securing
military information. Several such men have been sent. Sander and
Wunnenberg have pleaded guilty to indictments brought against them in
New York City, as has George Voux Bacon, one of the men sent abroad by

[Sidenote: American passports counterfeited.]

VI. American passports have been counterfeited and counterfeits found on
German agents. Baron von Cupenberg, a German agent, when arrested
abroad, bore a counterfeit of an American passport issued to Gustav C.
Roeder; Irving Guy Ries received an American passport, went to Germany,
where the police retained his passports for twenty-four hours. Later a
German spy named Carl Paul Julius Hensel was arrested in London with a
counterfeit of the Ries passport in his possession.

[Sidenote: Coaling German warships.]

VII. Prominent officials of the Hamburg-American Line, who, under the
direction of Captain Boy-Ed, endeavored to provide German warships at
sea with coal and other supplies in violation of the statutes of the
United States, have been tried and convicted and sentenced to the
penitentiary. Some twelve or more vessels were involved in this plan.

[Sidenote: Indictments returned.]

VIII. Under the direction of Captain Boy-Ed and the German Consulate at
San Francisco, and in violation of our law, the steamships _Sacramento_
and _Mazatlan_ carried supplies from San Francisco to German war
vessels. The _Olsen_ and _Mahoney_, which were engaged in a similar
enterprise, were detained. The money for these ventures was furnished by
Captain Boy-Ed. Indictments have been returned in connection with these
matters against a large number of persons.

[Sidenote: The case of Werner Horn.]

IX. Werner Horn, a Lieutenant in the German reserve, was furnished funds
by Captain Franz von Papen and sent, with dynamite, under orders to blow
up the International Bridge at Vanceboro, Maine. He was partially
successful. He is now under indictment for the unlawful transportation
of dynamite on passenger trains and is in jail awaiting trial following
the dismissal of his appeal by the Supreme Court.

[Sidenote: Plot to blow up factory.]

X. Captain von Papen furnished funds to Albert Kaltschmidt of Detroit,
who is involved in a plot to blow up a factory at Walkerville, Canada,
and the armory at Windsor, Canada.

[Sidenote: Bombs on ships.]

XI. Robert Fay, Walter Scholtz, and Paul Doeche have been convicted and
sentenced to the penitentiary and three others are under indictment for
conspiracy to prepare bombs and attach them to allied ships leaving New
York Harbor. Fay, who was the principal in this scheme, was a German
soldier. He testified that he received finances from a German secret
agent in Brussels, and told Von Papen of his plans, who advised him that
his device was not practicable, but that he should go ahead with it, and
if he could make it work he would consider it.

[Sidenote: Incendiary bombs on allied vessels.]

XII. Under the direction of Captain von Papen and Wolf von Igel, Dr.
Walter T. Scheele, Captain von Kleist, Captain Wolpert of the Atlas
Steamship Company, and Captain Rode of the Hamburg-American Line
manufactured incendiary bombs and placed them on board allied vessels.
The shells in which the chemicals were placed were made on board the
steamship _Friedrich der Grosse_. Scheele was furnished $1,000 by von
Igel wherewith to become a fugitive from justice.

[Sidenote: Rintelen's plots.]

XIII. Captain Franz Rintelen, a reserve officer in the German Navy, came
to this country secretly for the purpose of preventing the exportation
of munitions of war to the Allies and of getting to Germany needed
supplies. He organized and financed Labor's National Peace Council in an
effort to bring about an embargo on the shipment of munitions of war,
tried to bring about strikes, &c.

[Sidenote: Conspiracy to wreck vessels and blow up railroad tunnels.]

XIV. Consul General Bopp, at San Francisco, Vice Consul General von
Schaick, Baron George Wilhelm von Brincken (an employe of the
consulate), Charles C. Crowley, and Mrs. Margaret W. Cornell (secret
agents of the German Consulate at San Francisco) have been convicted of
conspiracy to send agents into Canada to blow up railroad tunnels and
bridges, and to wreck vessels sailing from Pacific Coast ports with war
material for Russia and Japan.

[Sidenote: Spies sent to Canada.]

XV. Paul Koenig, head of the secret service work of the Hamburg-American
Line, by direction of his superior officers, largely augmented his
organization and under the direction of von Papen, Boy-Ed, and Albert
carried on secret work for the German Government. He secured and sent
spies to Canada to gather information concerning the Welland Canal, the
movements of Canadian troops to England, bribed an employe of a bank for
information concerning shipments to the Allies, sent spies to Europe on
American passports to secure military information, and was involved with
Captain von Papen in plans to place bombs on ships of the Allies
leaving New York Harbor, &c. Von Papen, Boy-Ed, and Albert had frequent
conferences with Koenig in his office, at theirs, and at outside places.
Koenig and certain of his associates are under indictment.

[Sidenote: Attempt on Welland Canal.]

XVI. Captain von Papen, Captain Hans Tauscher, Wolf von Igel, and a
number of German reservists organized an expedition to go into Canada,
destroy the Welland Canal, and endeavor to terrorize Canadians in order
to delay the sending of troops from Canada to Europe. Indictments have
been returned against these persons. Wolf von Igel furnished Fritzen,
one of the conspirators in this case, money on which to flee from New
York City, Fritzen is now in jail in New York City.

[Sidenote: Revolt in India plotted.]

XVII. With money furnished by official German representatives in this
country, a cargo of arms and ammunition was purchased and shipped on
board the schooner _Annie Larsen_. Through the activities of German
official representatives in this country and other Germans a number of
Indians were procured to form an expedition to go on the steamship
_Maverick_, meet the _Annie Larsen_, take over her cargo, and endeavor
to bring about a revolution in India. This plan involved the sending of
a German officer to drill Indian recruits and the entire plan was
managed and directed by Captain von Papen, Captain Hans Tauscher, and
other official German representatives in this country.

[Sidenote: False affidavit about the _Lusitania_.]

XVIII. Gustav Stahl, a German reservist, made an affidavit which he
admitted was false, regarding the armament of the _Lusitania_, which
affidavit was forwarded to the State Department by Ambassador von
Bernstorff. He plead guilty to an indictment charging perjury, and was
sentenced to the penitentiary. Koenig, herein mentioned, was active in
securing this affidavit.

[Sidenote: Interference with manufacturers.]

XIX. The German Embassy organized, directed, and financed the Hans Libau
Employment Agency, through which extended efforts were made to induce
employes of manufacturers engaged in supplying various kinds of material
to the Allies to give up their positions in an effort to interfere with
the output of such manufacturers. Von Papen indorsed this organization
as a military measure, and it was hoped through its propaganda to
cripple munition factories.

[Sidenote: Newspapers financed.]

XX. The German Government has assisted financially a number of
newspapers in this country in return for pro-German propaganda.

[Sidenote: Mexican difficulties increased.]

XXI. Many facts have been secured indicating that Germans have aided and
encouraged financially and otherwise the activities of one or the other
faction in Mexico, the purpose being to keep the United States occupied
along its borders and to prevent the exportation of munitions of war to
the Allies; see, in this connection, the activities of Rintelen,
Stallforth, Kopf, the German Consul at Chihuahua; Krum-Hellen, Felix
Somerfeld (Villa's representative at New York), Carl Heynen, Gustav
Steinberg, and many others.

[Sidenote: Relief ships plainly marked.]

When the Commission for Relief in Belgium began its work in October,
1914, it received from the German authorities, through the various
Governments concerned, definite written assurances that ships engaged in
carrying cargoes for the relief of the civil population of Belgium and
Northern France should be immune from attack. In order that there may be
no room for attacks upon these ships through misunderstanding, each ship
is given a safe conduct by the German diplomatic representative in the
country from which it sails, and, in addition, bears conspicuously upon
its sides markings which have been agreed upon with the German
authorities; furthermore, similar markings are painted upon the decks
of the ships in order that they may be readily recognized by airplanes.

Upon the rupture of relations with Germany the commission was definitely
assured by the German Government that its ships would be immune from
attack by following certain prescribed courses and conforming to the
arrangements previously made.

[Sidenote: Unwarranted attacks.]

Despite these solemn assurances there have been several unwarranted
attacks upon ships under charter to the commission.

On March 7 or 8 the Norwegian ship _Storstad_, carrying 10,000 tons of
corn from Buenos Aires to Rotterdam for the commission was sunk in broad
daylight by a German submarine despite the conspicuous markings of the
commission which the submarine could not help observing. The _Storstad_
was repeatedly shelled without warning and finally torpedoed.

[Sidenote: Men killed on torpedoed relief ships.]

On March 19 the steamships _Tunisie_ and _Haelen_, under charter to the
commission, proceeding to the United States under safe conducts and
guarantees from the German Minister at The Hague and bearing conspicuous
marking of the commission, were attacked without warning by a German
submarine outside the danger zone (56 degrees 15 minutes north, 5
degrees 32 minutes east). The ships were not sunk, but on the _Haelen_
seven men were killed, including the first and third officers; a port
boat was sunk; a hole was made in the port bunker above the water line;
and the ships sustained sundry damages to decks and engines.

[Sidenote: Consular officers suffer indignities.]

Various Consular officers have suffered indignities and humiliation at
the hands of German frontier authorities. The following are

Mr. Pike, Consul at St. Gall, Switzerland, on proceeding to his post
with a passport duly indorsed by German officials in New York and
Copenhagen, was on November 26, 1916, subjected to great indignities at
Warnemünde on the German frontier. Mr. Pike refused to submit to search
of his person, the removal of his clothing, or the seizure of his
official reports and papers of a private and confidential nature. He was
therefore obliged to return to Copenhagen.

Mr. Murphy, the Consul General at Sofia, and his wife, provided with
passports from the German legations at The Hague and Copenhagen, were on
two occasions stripped and searched and subjected to great humiliation
at the same frontier station. No consideration was given them because of
their official position.

[Sidenote: Outrageous behavior of German officials.]

Such has been the behavior on the part of German officials
notwithstanding that Consular officials hold positions of dignity and
responsibility under their Government and that during the present war
Germany has been placed under deep obligation to American Consular
officers by their efforts in the protection of German interests.

[Sidenote: Neutrals on the _Yarrowdale_ held as prisoners.]

On January 19, Mr. Gerard telegraphed that the evening papers contained
a report that the English steamer _Yarrowdale_ had been brought to
Swinemünde as prize with 469 prisoners on board taken from ships
captured by German auxiliary cruisers; that among these prisoners were
103 neutrals.

After repeated inquiries Mr. Gerard learned that there were among the
_Yarrowdale_ prisoners seventy-two men claiming American citizenship.

On February 4 Mr. Gerard was informed by Count Montgelas of the Foreign
Office that the Americans taken on the _Yarrowdale_ would be released
immediately on the ground that they could not have known at the time of
sailing that it was Germany's intention to treat armed merchantmen as
ships of war.

Despite this assurance, the prisoners were not released, but some time
prior to February 17 the German Minister for Foreign Affairs told the
Spanish Ambassador that the American prisoners from the _Yarrowdale_
would be liberated "in a very short time."

[Sidenote: A formal demand for release of _Yarrowdale_ prisoners.]

Upon receipt of this information a formal demand was made through the
Spanish Ambassador at Berlin for the immediate release of these men. The
message sent the Spanish Ambassador was as follows:

[Sidenote: American prisoners must be released.]

"If _Yarrowdale_ prisoners have not been released, please make formal
demand in the name of the United States for their immediate release. If
they are not promptly released and allowed to cross the frontier without
further delay, please state to the Foreign Minister that this policy of
the Imperial Government, if continued, apparently without the slightest
justification, will oblige the Government of the United States to
consider what measures it may be necessary to take in order to obtain
satisfaction for the continued detention of these innocent American

[Sidenote: _Yarrowdale_ men reach Switzerland.]

On February 25 the American Ambassador at Madrid was informed by the
Spanish Foreign Office that the _Yarrowdale_ prisoners had been released
on the 16th inst. The foregoing statement appears to have been based on
erroneous information. The men finally reached Zurich, Switzerland, on
the afternoon of March 11.

[Sidenote: Treatment cruel and heartless.]

Official reports now in the possession of the Department of State
indicate that these American sailors were from the moment of their
arrival in Germany, on January 3, subjected to the most cruel and
heartless treatment. Although the weather was very cold, they were given
no suitable clothes, and many of them stood about for hours barefoot in
the snow. The food supplied them was utterly inadequate. After one cup
of coffee in the morning almost the only article of food given them was
boiled frosted cabbage, with mush once a week and beans once a week. One
member of the crew states that, without provocation, he was severely
kicked in the abdomen by a German officer. He appears still to be
suffering severely from this assault. Another sailor is still suffering
from a wound caused by shrapnel fired by the Germans at an open boat in
which he and his companions had taken refuge after the sinking of the

[Sidenote: Drowning preferred to German prison.]

All of the men stated that their treatment had been so inhuman that
should a submarine be sighted in the course of their voyage home they
would prefer to be drowned rather than have any further experience in
German prison camps.

It is significant that the inhuman treatment accorded these American
sailors occurred a month before the break in relations and while Germany
was on every occasion professing the most cordial friendship for the
United States.

[Sidenote: Mr. Gerard is deprived of means of communication.]

After the suspension of diplomatic relations the German authorities cut
off the telephone at the embassy at Berlin and suppressed Mr. Gerard's
communication by telegraph and post. Mr. Gerard was not even permitted
to send to American Consular officers in Germany the instructions he had
received for them from the Department of State. Neither was he allowed
to receive his mail. Just before he left Berlin the telephonic
communication at the embassy was restored and some telegrams and letters
were delivered. No apologies were offered, however.

[Sidenote: The German note to Mexico.]

The Government of the United States is in possession of instructions
addressed by the German Minister for Foreign Affairs to the German
Minister to Mexico concerning a proposed alliance of Germany, Japan, and
Mexico to make war on the United States. The text of this document is as

                                            "BERLIN, January 19, 1917.

"On the 1st of February we intend to begin submarine warfare
unrestricted. In spite of this it is our intention to endeavor to keep
neutral the United States of America.

[Sidenote: Basis of alliance proposed to Mexico.]

"If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the
following basis with Mexico: That we shall make war together and
together make peace. We shall give general financial support, and it is
understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico,
Texas, and Arizona. The details are left to you for settlement.

[Sidenote: Japan to be included.]

"You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in
the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain there will be an
outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President
of Mexico on his own initiative should communicate with Japan suggesting
adherence at once to this plan; at the same time offer to mediate
between Germany and Japan.

"Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the
employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England
to make peace in a few months.

                                                "(Signed) ZIMMERMANN."

       *       *       *       *       *

The United States was, to a large extent, unprepared for war on the
outbreak of hostilities with Germany. But when the step finally was
taken, all the industrial, economic, and military resources, of the
country, were mobilized. An account of how this was accomplished and the
results of these efforts are described in the pages following.




[Sidenote: State of war formally declared.]

[Sidenote: Neutrality had delayed military preparations.]

[Sidenote: Great armies necessary.]

[Sidenote: Organization of finance, agriculture and industry.]

On the 6th day of April Congress declared "That the state of war between
the United States and the Imperial German Government which had been
thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared." By this
declaration and the proclamation of the President pursuant thereto, the
United States entered the great conflict which had raged in Europe from
August, 1914, as a belligerent power, and began immediately to prepare
to defend the rights of the Nation, which for months had been endangered
and denied by high-handed and inhuman acts of the German Government both
on land and sea. The peaceful ambitions of our people had long postponed
our entrance into the conflict; and adherence to a strict neutrality
through long months of delicate situations delayed the beginning of
active military preparation. At once, however, upon a declaration of a
state of war, Congress began the consideration of the measures necessary
for the enlargement of the military forces and the coordination of the
industrial strength of the Nation. It was understood at the outset that
war under modern conditions involved not only larger armies than the
United States had ever assembled, but also more far-reaching
modifications of our ordinary industrial processes and wider departures
from the peace-time activities of the people. The task of the United
States was not only immediately to increase its naval and military
forces, not only to order the agricultural and industrial life of the
Nation to support these enlarged military establishments, but also to
bear an increasing financial, industrial, and agricultural burden for
the support of those nations which, since 1914, have been in arms
against the Imperial German Government and have borne not only the full
force of the attack of its great military machine, but also the
continuing drain upon their economic resources and their capacity for
production which so titanic and long-continued a struggle necessarily

[Sidenote: The whole people wish to help.]

[Sidenote: Benevolent and philanthropic societies.]

The first response from the country to the act of Congress in declaring
a state of war came in the form of offers of services from the people,
and for weeks there poured into the War Department an almost bewildering
stream of letters and visitors offering service of every kind. Without
distinction of age, sex, or occupation, without distinction of
geographical location or sectional difference, the people arose with but
one thought in their mind, that of tendering themselves, their talents,
and their substance for the best use the country could make of them in
the emergency. Organizations and associations sprang up over night in
thousands of places, inspired by the hope that collective offers and
aggregations of strength and facilities might be more readily
assimilated by the Government; and benevolent and philanthropic
societies began to form for the purpose of taking up as far as might be
the vicarious griefs which follow in the train of military operations.
There was at the outset some inevitable crossing of purposes and
duplication of effort, and perhaps there may have been some
disappointment that a more instantaneous use could not be made of all
this wealth of willingness and patriotic spirit; but it was a superb and
inspiring spectacle. Out of the body of a nation devoted to productive
and peaceful pursuits, and evidencing its collective spirit only upon
occasions for the settlement of domestic and institutional questions,
there arose the figure of a national spirit which had lain dormant until
summoned by a national emergency; but which, when it emerged, was seen
to embody loyalty to our institutions, unity of purpose, and willingness
to sacrifice on the part of our entire people as their underlying and
dominant character.

[Sidenote: Great national strength in a free people.]

Those who believed that the obvious and daily exhibition of power which
takes place in an autocracy is necessary for national strength,
discovered that a finer, and freer, and greater national strength
subsists in a free people, and that the silent processes of democracy,
with their normal accent on the freedom of individuals, nevertheless
afford springs of collective action and inspiration for self-sacrifice
as wide and effective as they are spontaneous. The several Government
departments, the Council of National Defense, and other agencies of a
more or less formal character subdivided the work of organization.
Congress rapidly perfected its legislative program, and in a few weeks
very definite direction began to appear in the work of preparation.

[Sidenote: Act to increase Military Establishment.]

The act of May 18, 1917, entitled "An act to authorize the President to
increase temporarily the Military Establishment of the United States,"
looked to three sources for the Army which it created:

[Sidenote: Regular Army to be increased.]

1. The regular Army, of which the actual strength on June 30, 1917, was
250,157 men and officers. The provisions of the act, however,
contemplated an increase of the Regular Army to 18,033 officers and
470,185 enlisted men, the increase being effected by the immediate call
of the increments provided in the National Defense Act of 1916, and the
raising of all branches of the service to war strength.

[Sidenote: National Guard to be reorganized.]

2. The National Guard, reorganized under the National Defense Act, and
containing on the 30th of June, 1917, approximately 3,803 officers and
107,320 enlisted men. The National Guard, however, by recruiting of its
numbers and the raising of all arms to war strength, contemplated a
total of 13,377 officers and 456,800 enlisted men.

[Sidenote: National Army to be raised by Selective Draft.]

3. In addition to this, the act provided for a National Army, raised by
the process of selective conscription or draft, of which the President
was empowered to summon two units of 500,000 men each at such time as he
should determine wise.

[Sidenote: National Guard training camps.]

On the 3d day of July, 1917, the President by proclamation called into
the Federal service and drafted the National Guard of the several States
and the District of Columbia. And 16 divisional camps were established
for their mobilization and training, as follows:

Charlotte, N. C.; Spartanburg, S. C.; Augusta, Ga.; Anniston, Ala.;
Greenville, S. C.; Macon, Ga.; Waco, Tex.; Houston, Tex.; Deming, N.
Mex.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Forth Worth, Tex.; Montgomery, Ala.;
Hattiesburg, Miss.; Alexandria, La.; Buena Vista, Cal.; Palo Alto, Cal.

[Sidenote: Voluntary enlistment in the Regular Army and National Guard.]

[Sidenote: A spirit of cooperation.]

The principle of voluntary enlistment to fill up the ranks of the
Regular Army and the National Guard, and to raise them to war strength
was preserved in the act of May 18, 1917, the maximum age for enlistment
in both services being fixed at 40 years. Even before the passage of the
act, however, very great recruiting activity was shown throughout the
country, the total number of enlistments in the Regular Army for the
fiscal year 1917 being 160,084. The record of National Guard enlistments
has not yet been completely compiled, but the act authorizing a
temporary increase in the military establishment provided that any
deficiency remaining in either the Regular Army or the National Guard
should be made up by selective conscription. The introduction of this
new method of enlistment so far affected the whole question of selection
for military service that any deductions, either favorable or
unfavorable, from the number of voluntary enlistments, would be
unwarranted. It is entirely just to say that the States generally showed
a most sympathetic spirit of cooperation with the National Government,
and the National Guard responded with zeal and enthusiasm to the
President's call.

[Sidenote: No exact precedent to follow.]

[Sidenote: England finally resorted to draft.]

[Sidenote: Organized industry back of armies.]

In the preparation of the act providing for the temporary increase in
the Military Establishment, very earnest consideration was given by the
committees of the two Houses of Congress and by the Department to the
principles which would be followed in creating a military establishment
under modern conditions adequate for the tremendous emergency facing the
Nation. Our own history and experience with the volunteer system
afforded little precedent because of the new conditions, and the
experience of European nations was neither uniform nor wholly adequate.
Our adversary, the German Empire, had for many years followed the
practice of universal compulsory military training and service, so that
it was a nation of trained soldiers. In France the same situation had
existed. In England, on the other hand, the volunteer system had
continued, and the British army was relatively a small body. The
urgency, however, of the British need at the outbreak of the war, and
the unbroken traditions of England, were against even the delay
necessary to consider the principle upon which action might best be
taken, so that England's first effort was reduced to that volunteer
system, and her subsequent resort to the draft was made after a long
experience in raising vast numbers of men by volunteer enlistment as a
result of campaigns of agitation and patriotic appeal. The war in
Europe, however, had lasted long enough to make quite clear the
character of the contest. It was obviously no such war as had ever
before occurred, both in the vast numbers of men necessary to be engaged
in strictly military occupations and in the elaborate and far-reaching
organization of industrial and civil society of the Nation back of the

Our military legislation was drafted after very earnest consideration,
to accomplish the following objects:

1. To provide in successive bodies adequate numbers of men to be trained
and used as combatant forces.

2. To select for these armies men of suitable age and strength.

[Sidenote: Universal obligation to service.]

3. To distribute the burden of the military defense of the Nation in the
most equitable and democratic manner, and to that end to recognize the
universality of the obligation of service.

[Sidenote: Necessary men to be kept in industry.]

4. To reserve to the public authorities power so to control the
selection of soldiers as to prevent the absorption of men indispensable
to agriculture and industry, and to prevent the loss of national
strength involved by the acceptance into military service of men whose
greatest usefulness is in scientific pursuits or in production.

5. To select, so far as may be, those men for military service whose
families and domestic obligations could best bear their separation from
home and dependents, and thus to cause the least possible distress among
the families of the Nation which are dependent upon the daily earnings
of husbands and fathers for their support.

These considerations, shortly stated, amount to a policy which,
recognizing the life of the nation as a whole, and assuming both the
obligation and the willingness of the citizen to give the maximum of
service, institutes a national process for the expression of our
military, industrial, and financial strength, all at their highest, and
with the least waste, loss, and distress.

[Sidenote: Regular Army and National Guard increased.]

The act of Congress authorizing the President to increase temporarily
the Military Establishment of the United States, approved May 18, 1917,
provided for the raising and maintaining by selective draft of
increments (in addition to the Regular Army and National Guard) of
500,000 men each, together with recruit training units for the
maintenance of such increments at the maximum strength, and the raising,
organizing, and maintaining of additional auxiliary forces, and also for
raising and maintaining at their maximum strength, by selective draft
when necessary, the Regular Army and the National Guard drafted into the
service of the United States.

[Sidenote: Male citizens between 21 and 30 years liable to military

It also provided that such draft "shall be based upon liability to
military service of all male citizens, or male persons not alien
enemies, who have declared their intention to become citizens, between
the ages of 21 and 30 years, both inclusive"; that the several States,
Territories, and the District of Columbia should furnish their
proportionate shares or quotas of the citizen soldiery determined in
proportion to the population thereof, with certain credits allowed for
volunteer enlistments in branches of the service then organized and

The Nation was confronted with the task of constructing, without delay,
an organization by which the selection might be made for the entire
country by means of a uniform and regulated system.

[Sidenote: The Provost Marshal General begins registration.]

A suggestion of administration, incomplete because of entirely different
conditions, arose from the precedent of the Civil War draft; and on May
22, 1917, the Judge Advocate General was detailed as "Provost Marshal
General" and charged with the execution, under the Secretary of War, of
so much of the act of May 18 "as relates to the registration and the
selective draft." Plans had already been formulated for the operation of
the selective draft, and with the formal designation of the Provost
Marshal General the work of organization began.

[Sidenote: State organization utilized.]

It was obvious that to build up a new Federal organization would require
a greater period of time than was afforded by the military necessity.
The existing governmental organizations of the several States presented
an available substitute, and the statute authorized their use. This
expedient was unprecedented, but its practice has abundantly justified
its adoption.

[Sidenote: State registration boards.]

The immediate need was for a comprehensive registration of every male of
draft age. To effect this registration each State was divided into
districts containing a population of approximately 30,000, in each of
which a registration board was appointed by the governor. Usually this
board consisted of the sheriff, the county health officer, and the
county clerk; and where the county's population, exclusive of cities of
more than 30,000 inhabitants, exceeded that number, additional
registration boards were appointed. Cities of over 30,000 were treated
as separate units. The election district was established as the actual
unit for registration in order that the normal election machinery might
be utilized, and a registrar for every 800 of population in each voting
or election precinct was appointed by the registration board. In cities
approximating 30,000 of population, the registration board was made up
of city officials, and where the population exceeded the unit number
additional registration boards of three members were appointed, one a
licensed physician.

[Sidenote: The scheme of organization.]

Governors and mayors were given considerable latitude in making
geographical divisions of the States and cities for the purpose of
defining registration jurisdictions; the only limitation being that
approximately 30,000 inhabitants should be included within the confines
of a district. The general scheme was that the board of three should
exercise supervision over the precinct registrars, the governors
supervising the work of the registration boards, while the mayors of
cities containing 30,000 or more inhabitants acted as intermediaries
between governors and registration boards. Each State was constituted a
separate unit and each governor was charged with the execution of the
law in his State.

[Sidenote: Ten million young men register.]

By proclamation of the President, dated May 18, 1917, Tuesday, June 5,
1917, was designated as registration day throughout the United States,
with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico; and, due to the
fact that registration organization of the States had been so quickly
and thoroughly completed, about 10,000,000 male citizens of the
designated ages were registered on the day set, and the first step in
the operation of the selective service law was accomplished.

Registration consisted in entering on a card essential facts necessary
to a complete identification of the registrant and a preliminary survey
of his domestic and economic circumstances.

[Sidenote: Citizens carry out registration.]

It is noteworthy that this registration throughout the entire country
was carried out in the main by the voluntary and energetic efforts of
citizens, and the Government was thereby saved a very great expense
through the efficient organization which had been constructed and
furnished with all necessary materials during the short period of
sixteen days.

[Sidenote: Examination, selection, and mobilization.]

[Sidenote: Representative citizens of each community employed.]

With registration completed there followed the operation of examination,
selection, and mobilization. The unit jurisdiction of approximately
30,000 of population was maintained as far as possible, and for each
district or division a local board of three members was appointed by the
President upon the recommendation of the governor. The board members
were residents of the districts they served, and the personnel comprised
representative and responsible citizens of the community, including
usually a licensed physician. In many cases registration boards were
reappointed local boards. Such boards exercised original jurisdiction in
all cases except claims for discharge on account of engagement in
industry or agriculture.

In every Federal judicial district one or more district boards were
organized, consisting usually of five but in some cases of a larger
number of members, comprising leading citizens of the community and
appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the governor.
District boards exercised appellate jurisdiction over local boards and
original jurisdiction in industrial and agricultural claims.

[Sidenote: The order of liability of registrants.]

[Sidenote: Numbered cards.]

[Sidenote: The drawing in Washington on July 20, 1917.]

The initial step in the process of examination and selection was to
establish the order of liability of each of the 10,000,000 registrants
to be called for service. The cards within the jurisdiction of each
local board, taken as a unit, had been serially numbered when completed
and filed; and duplicates of the cards so numbered were deposited with
the governor and with the district boards. The average number of
registrants within the jurisdiction of a local board was about 2,500,
the highest being 10,319. In order to establish the order of liability
of each registrant in relation to the other registrants within the
jurisdiction of the same local board, a drawing was held July 20, 1917,
in the Public Hearing Room of the Senate Office Building in Washington,
as a result of which every registrant was given an order number and his
liability to be called for examination and selection determined by the
order number.

The official lists of the numbers drawn by lot were furnished to every
local board and from these lists the boards made up the availability
order list of all registrants within their respective jurisdictions.

[Sidenote: Physical examination and elimination.]

The determination of the order of availability left only the process of
physical examination and elimination. The War Department, through the
Provost Marshal General's Office, had already determined and given
notice of the number of men to be furnished by each State, and at the
date of the drawing practically every State had ascertained and notified
its local boards of the number required to complete their respective
quotas for the first draft. The calculations of the War Department and
of the States for the quotas were based upon section 2 of the act of May

Immediately upon the completion of the order of call lists, the local
boards began to summon for physical examination, beginning with the man
who was No. 1 on the list, and continuing in numerical sequence, a
sufficient number of registrants to fill their quotas. The average
number summoned for the first examination was about twice the number
required--i. e., if a board's quota was 105, the first 210 registrants
of that jurisdiction were called for physical examination.

[Sidenote: Certain officials and classes exempted.]

The Selective Service Law required certain persons to be exempted from
military service, including Federal and State legislative, executive,
and judicial officers, ministers of religion, students of divinity,
persons in the military or naval service of the United States, and
certain aliens. The law further authorized the discharge from draft,
under such regulations as the President might prescribe, of county and
municipal officers, customhouse clerks and other persons employed by the
United States in certain classes of work, pilots and mariners, and,
within prescribed limitations, registrants in a status with respect to
persons dependent upon them for support, and persons found physically or
morally unfit. Exemption from combatant service only was authorized in
the case of persons found to be members of any well-recognized religious
sect or organization whose existing creed or principles forbid its
members to participate in war in any form, and whose religious
convictions are against war or participation therein.

[Sidenote: Rules governing discharges.]

On June 30, 1917, the President promulgated rules and regulations as
authorized by the law prescribing the reasons for and manner of granting
discharges, and the procedure of local and district boards.

The selective service system required the 4,557 local boards to conduct
the physical examination of registrants within their jurisdictions, and
to determine and dispose of claims of exemption and discharge in the
first instance, excepting industrial and agricultural claims.

[Sidenote: The power of the district boards.]

The 156 district boards which were established as above stated, proved
to be the fulcrum of balance between the local boards and the
registrants. In practically every instance their members have been
chosen from among the most able and conspicuous representatives of the
legal and medical professions, and from the fields of industry,
commerce, and labor.

[Sidenote: Appeal agents appointed.]

By regulation the case of every person discharged from the operation of
the selective service law by a local board on the ground of dependency
was automatically taken to the district board for review, the appeal
being noted by Government appeal agents appointed by the Provost Marshal

[Sidenote: Dependency cases the most difficult.]

Registrants whose claims were disallowed by local boards appealed in
large numbers to district boards. Thus was obtained a high degree of
uniformity of decisions in dependency cases, which were by far the most
difficult of determination and disposition, as well as the most
numerous, of the classes of cases throughout the first draft.

Cases involving claims for discharge on agricultural and industrial
grounds, of which district boards have original jurisdiction, are
appealable to the President, and to date approximately 20,000 of these
have been received and indexed, of which about 80 per cent are claims
for discharge based on agricultural grounds and 20 per cent on
industrial grounds. Of cases already disposed of on appeal from the
district boards less than 7 per cent have been reversed. The pending of
an appeal to the President does not operate as a stay of induction into
military service except where the district board has expressly so
directed, and the number of such stays is negligible.

[Sidenote: The total cost of the draft.]

The total cost of the draft can not be estimated accurately at this
time, but, based upon the data at hand, the total registration and
selection of the first 687,000 men has amounted to an approximate
expenditure of $5,600,000, or about $8.11 unit cost.

[Sidenote: Universal willingness to serve.]

[Sidenote: High quality of men obtained.]

The unprecedented character of this undertaking is a matter of common
knowledge. Congress, in the consideration of the act which authorized
it, entertained grave doubts as to whether a plan could be devised which
would apply so new a principle of selection for national service without
much misunderstanding and unhappiness. But the results have been of a
most inspiring kind and have demonstrated the universal willingness of
our people to serve in the defense of our liberties and to commit the
selection of the Nation's defenders to the Nation itself. The men
selected have reported to the camps and are in course of training. They
constitute as fine a body of raw material as were ever trained in
military science. They are already acquiring the smartness and soldierly
bearing characteristic of American troops, and those who once thought
that the volunteer spirit was necessary to insure contentment and zeal
in soldiers now freely admit that the men selected under this act have
these qualities in high degree and that it proceeds out of a patriotic
willingness on the part of the men to bear their part of the national
burden and to do their duty at the Nation's call.

[Sidenote: Ability of Provost Marshal General.]

[Sidenote: This mode of selection made necessary by conditions of modern

[Sidenote: The democratic fairness of the plan.]

The success of this great undertaking is, of course, primarily due to
the painstaking forethought and the statesmanlike breadth of view with
which the Provost Marshal General and his associates organized the
machinery for its execution. But other elements have contributed to its
success, and first among these was the determination to rely upon the
cooperation of the governors of States and State agencies in the
assembling of the registration and exemption boards. By reason of this
association of State and local agencies with the National Government the
law came as no outside mandate enforced by soldiers, but as a working
of the home institutions in the hands of neighbors and acquaintances
pursuing a clear process of selection, and resulting in a gift by the
States to the Nation of a body of men to be trained. The press of the
country cooperated in a most helpful way, drawing the obvious
distinctions between this mode of selection and those punitive drafts
which have sometimes been resorted to after the failure of volunteering,
and pointing out the young men of the country that the changed
conditions of warfare made necessary a mode of selection which would
preserve the industrial life of the Nation as a foundation for
successful military operations. Indeed, the country seemed generally to
have caught enough of the lessons of the European war to have realized
the necessity of this procedure, and from the very beginning criticism
was silenced and doubt answered by the obvious wisdom of the law.
Moreover, the unquestioned fairness of the arrangements, the absence of
all power of substitution, the fact that the processes of the law were
worked out publicly, all cooperated to surround the draft with
assurances of fairness and equality, so that throughout the whole
country the attitude of the people toward the law was one of approval
and confidence, and I feel very sure that those who at the beginning had
any doubts would now with one accord agree that the selective service
act provides not only a necessary mode of selecting the great armies
needed under modern conditions, but that it provides a better and more
democratic and a fairer method of distributing the burden of national
defense than any other system as yet suggested.

[Sidenote: Fundamental questions settled.]

[Sidenote: Unity of spirit of American people.]

This does not mean, of course, that the law is perfect either in its
language or in its execution, nor does it mean that improvements may not
be made as our experience grows and as the need for more intense
national efforts increases; but such amendments as may hereafter be
required will proceed with the fundamental questions settled and we have
now only to consider changes which may be required to a better ordering
of our military strength and a more efficient maintenance of our
industrial and agricultural life during the stress of war. The passage
and execution of this law may be regarded as a milestone in our progress
toward self-consciousness and national strength. Its acceptance shows
the unity of spirit of our people, and its operation shows that a
democracy has in its institutions the concentrated energy necessary to
great national activities however much they may be scattered and
dispersed, in the interest of the preservation of individual liberty, in
time of peace.

[Sidenote: The Officer's Reserve Corps.]

[Sidenote: Physicians commissioned in the Medical Department.]

[Sidenote: Men from the Plattsburg training camps.]

The problem presented involved not merely the selection of forces to be
trained into armies but officers to do the training. By the provisions
of the national defense act of June 3, 1916, Officers' Reserve Corps had
been authorized. Rules and regulations for their organization were
promulgated in July, 1916, and amended in March, 1917. Immediately upon
the passage of the act, the building up of lists of reserve officers in
the various sections of the Military Establishment was undertaken, with
the result that at the end of the fiscal year some of the branches of
the service had substantial lists of men available for duty in the event
of call. The largest number of commissions were issued in the technical
services, for which professional nonmilitary training was the principal
requisite. The largest reserve corps was that in the Medical Department,
in which more than 12,000 physicians were commissioned. The expansion of
these technical services proceeded easily upon the basis of the reserve
corps beginning, but the number of applicants for commissions in the
strictly military or combatant branches of the service was relatively
small. They consisted of men who had had military experience either in
the Regular Army or the National Guard, and men who were graduates of
schools and colleges affording military training, and of the training
camps which for several years had been maintained at Plattsburg and
throughout the country. Their number, however, was wholly inadequate,
and their experience, while it had afforded the elements of military
discipline, had not been such as was plainly required to train men for
participation in the European war with its changed methods and
conditions. The virtue of the law authorizing the Officers' Reserve
Corps, however, became instantly apparent upon the declaration of war,
as it enabled the department to establish officers' training camps for
the rapid production of officers.

[Sidenote: A series of officers training camps.]

[Sidenote: Officers commissioned.]

Accepting the Plattsburg experiment as the basis and using funds
appropriated by Congress for an enlargement of the Plattsburg system of
training, the department established a series of training camps, sixteen
in number, which were opened on the 15th of May, 1917. The camps were
scattered throughout the United States so as to afford the opportunity
of entrance and training with the least inconvenience and expense of
travel to prepare throughout the entire country. Officers previously
commissioned in the reserve corps were required to attend the camps,
and, in addition, approximately 30,000 selected candidates were accepted
from among the much greater number who applied for admission. These
camps were organized and conducted under the supervision of department
commanders; applicants were required to state their qualifications and a
rough apportionment was attempted among the candidates to the several
States. At the conclusion of the camp, 27,341 officers were
commissioned and directed to report at the places selected for the
training of the new army. By this process, we supplied not only the
officers needed for the National Army but filled the roster of the
Regular Army, to which substantial additions were necessary by reason of
the addition of the full number of increments provided by the National
Defense Act of 1916.

[Sidenote: The second series of officers' training camps.]

[Sidenote: Officers needed also for staff duties.]

[Sidenote: Constant experimentation necessary.]

[Sidenote: Victory rests on science as much as on soldiers.]

The results of the first series of camps were most satisfactory and,
anticipating the calling of further increments of the National Army, a
second series of camps was authorized, to begin August 27, 1917, under
rules for the selection of candidates and their apportionment throughout
the country which were much more searching and embodied those
improvements which are always possible in the light of experience.
Approximately 20,000 candidates are now attending this second series of
camps, and those found qualified will shortly be commissioned and
absorbed into the Army for the performance of the expanding volume of
duties which the progress of preparation daily brings about. It is to be
remembered that the need for officers exists not only in connection with
the actual training of troops in camp and the leadership of troops in
the field, but a vast number of officers must constantly be employed in
staff duties, and great numbers must as constantly be engaged in
military research and in specialized forms of training associated with
the use of newly developed arms and appliances. In other words, we must
maintain not merely the special-service schools which are required to
perfect the training of officers in the special arms of the service, but
we must constantly experiment with new devices and reduce to practical
use the discoveries of science and the new applications of mechanical
and scientific arts, both for offensive and defensive purposes. It
would be out of place here to enumerate or describe in any detail the
service of science in this war, but when the history of the struggle
comes to be written it will be found that the masters of the chemical
and physical sciences have thrown their talents and their ingenuity into
the service, that their researches have been at the very basis of
military progress, and that the victory rests as much upon a nation's
supremacy in the researches and adaptations of science as it does upon
the number and valor of its soldiers. Indeed, this is but one of the
many evidences of the fact that modern war engages all of the resources
of nations and that that nation will emerge victorious which has most
completely used and coordinated all the intellectual, moral, and
physical forces of its people.

[Sidenote: Fundamentals of military discipline do not change.]

[Sidenote: Professional soldiers still needed.]

It would be a national loss for me to fail to record in this place a
just estimate of the value to the Nation of these training camps for
officers. They disclosed an unsuspected source of military strength.
Nobody will suppose that, with the growing intricacy of military science
and the industrial arts related to it, a country can dispense with
trained professional soldiers. The fundamentals of military discipline
remain substantially unchanged and, in order that we may assemble
rapidly and effectively adequate military forces, there must always be
in the country a body of men to whom the life of a soldier is a career
and who have acquired from their youth those qualities which have, from
the beginning, distinguished the graduates of the Military Academy at
West Point: the disciplined honor, the unfaltering courage, the
comprehension of sacrifice, and that knowing obedience which proceeds
from constant demonstrations of the fact that effective cooperation in
war requires instant compliance with the command of authority, the sort
of obedience which knows that a battle field is no place for a
parliament. Added to these mental and moral qualities, the body of
professional soldiers must devote themselves unremittingly to the
development of the arts of war, and when the emergency arises must be
familiar with the uses of science and the applications of industry in
military enterprise. But these training camps have taught us that, given
this relatively small body of professional soldiers, the Nation has at
hand an apparently inexhaustible body of splendid material which can be
rapidly made to supplement the professional soldier.

[Sidenote: Athletes from the colleges.]

[Sidenote: Adaptability of American youth.]

[Sidenote: Atmosphere of industrial and commercial democracy.]

[Sidenote: Many officers assigned to training of troops from their

When the first camp was opened, the colleges, military schools, and high
schools of the country poured out a stream of young men whose minds had
been trained in the classroom and whose bodies had been made supple and
virile on the athletic field. They came with intelligence, energy, and
enthusiasm and, under a course of intensive training, rapidly took on
the added discipline and capacities necessary to equip them for the
duties of officers. They have taken their places in the training camps
and are daily demonstrating the value of their education and the
adaptability of the spirit of American youth. A more salutary result
would be impossible to imagine. The trained professional soldiers of the
Army received this great body of youthful enthusiasm and capacity with
hospitality and quickly impressed upon it a soldierly character. The
young men brought to their training habits which they had formed for
success as civilians, but which their patriotic enthusiasm rendered
easily available in new lines of endeavor for the service of the
country. They brought, too, another element of great value. They were
assembled from all parts of the country; they were accustomed to the
democracy of the college and high school; they recognized themselves as
new and temporary adventurers in a military life; and they, therefore,
reflected into our military preparation the fresh and invigorating
atmosphere of our industrial and commercial democracy. This has
undoubtedly contributed to the establishment of a happy spirit which
prevails throughout the Army and has made it easy for the young men
chosen under the selective service act to fall in with the training and
mode of life which the military training camp requires. An effort was
made by the department as far as possible to assign these young officers
to the training of troops assembled from their own homes. By this means,
a preexisting sympathy was used, and admiration and respect between
officer and man was transferred from the home to the camp.

[Sidenote: The three divisions of the Army.]

[Sidenote: Enlistments may be for the period of the war.]

[Sidenote: Men anxious to get to France soon.]

[Sidenote: Traditions of military organizations preserved.]

The three divisions of the Army, namely, the Regular Army, the National
Guard, and the National Army, were very different organizations as we
contemplated them at the time of the passage of the act for the
temporary increase of the Military Establishment. The Regular Army was a
veteran establishment of professional soldiers; the National Guard a
volunteer organization of local origin maintained primarily for the
preservation of domestic order in the several States, with an emergency
duty toward the national defense; the National Army an unknown quantity,
made up of men to be selected arbitrarily by tests and rules as yet to
be formulated, unorganized, untrained, existing only in theory and,
therefore, problematical as to its spirit and the length of time
necessary to fit it for use. Congress, however, most wisely provided as
far as possible for an elimination of these differences. Enlistments in
the Regular Army and National Guard were authorized to be made for the
period of the war rather than for fixed terms; the maximum and minimum
ages of enlistment in the Regular Army and National Guard were
assimilated; the rights and privileges of members of the three forces
were made largely identical. Indeed, the act created but one army,
selected by three processes. The wisdom of Congress in this course
became instantly apparent. Spirited young men throughout the country
began at once to enlist in the Regular Army and National Guard who might
have been deterred from such enlistment had their obligation been for a
fixed period rather than for the duration of the war. Many men asked
themselves but one question: "By which avenue of service will I earliest
get to France?" The men in the National Army soon caught this spirit
and, while the department is endeavoring to preserve as far as possible
in the National Guard and the National Army those intimacies which
belong to men who come from the same city or town, and to preserve the
honorable traditions of military organizations which have histories of
service to the country in other wars, the fact still remains that the
army is rapidly becoming the army of the United States, with the sense
of origin from a particular State, or association with a particular
neighborhood, more and more submerged by the rising sense of national
service and national identity.

[Sidenote: Sites selected for cantonments.]

[Sidenote: Sixteen divisional cantonments.]

[Sidenote: Emergency construction division established.]

I have described above the process of the execution of the selective
service law. The preparation of places for the training of the recruits
thus brought into the service was a task of unparalleled magnitude. On
the 7th of May, 1917, the commanding generals of the several departments
were directed to select sites for the construction of cantonments for
the training of the mobilized National Guard and the National Army. The
original intention was the construction of 32 cantonments. The
appropriations made by Congress for this purpose were soon seen to be
insufficient, and further study of the problem seemed to show that it
would be unwise so seriously to engage the resources of the country,
particularly in view of the fact that the National Guard was ready to be
mobilized, that its training by reason of service on the Mexican border
was substantial, and that its early use abroad in conjunction with the
Regular Army would render permanent camps less important. The number
was, therefore, cut to 16 divisional cantonments, and the National Guard
was mobilized in camps for the most part under canvas, with only certain
divisional storehouses and quarters for special uses constructed of
wood. Because of the open weather during the winter months, the National
Guard camps were located in the southern States. The National Army
cantonments were located within the lines of the military division. A
special division of the Quartermaster General's Department was
established, known as the emergency construction division, and to it was
given the task of erecting the cantonment buildings and such buildings
as should be necessary for the National Guard.

On May 17, 1917, Col. I. W. Littell, of the Regular Army, was detailed
to assemble and direct an organization to be known as the cantonment
division of the Quartermaster Corps, whose duties were to consist of
providing quarters and camps for the training and housing of the New
National Army, which was to be selected by conscription as provided in
the act of Congress dated May 18, 1917.

Able assistance was rendered by the following members of the committee
on emergency construction and contracts, a subcommittee of the
Munitions Board of the Council of National Defense:

Major W. A. Starrett, chairman; Major William Kelly; C. M. Lundoff; M.
C. Tuttle; F. L. Olmsted; J. B. Talmadge, secretary.

[Sidenote: Specialists in purchasing and constructing secured.]

Inquiries were immediately made and all available means used by
telegraph, correspondence, and consultation to get in touch with the
ablest constructors, engineers, draftsmen, purchasing agents, and other
specialists of broad experience in their respective vocations from which
an efficient and experienced organization could be selected.

All of those selected who became attached to the organization in an
official capacity gave up responsible and remunerative positions to give
the Government the benefit of their services. They all being over the
draft-age limit and representative technical men of repute and standing
in their community, a splendid precedent of patriotism was established.

The assembling of an organization and the planning and execution of the
work was undertaken with a view of accomplishing all that human
ingenuity, engineering, and constructing skill could devise in the brief
time available.

[Sidenote: The plans formulated.]

[Sidenote: Magnitude of the task.]

Plans were formulated by engineers, architects, and town planners who
had given much thought to the particular problems involved. Camp sites
comprising from 2,000 to 11,000 acres each were selected by a board of
Army officers under the direction of the department commanders. Names of
responsible contracting firms were secured and every effort made to
perfect an organization competent to carry out the work of completing
the camps at the earliest possible moment. The magnitude of assembling
an organization for carrying on the work and securing the labor and
materials therefor can in some measure be realized by reference to the
following table, showing quantities of the principal materials
estimated to be used in the construction of the National Army

[Sidenote: Approximate quantities of materials.]

The approximate quantities of principal materials used in the
construction of the various National Army camps are shown in the
following tables. This does not include National Guard, embarkation, or
training camps.

        Lumber (feet b. m.)             450,000,000
        Roofing paper (square feet)      76,000,000
        Doors                               140,000
        Window sash                         700,000
        Wall board (square feet)         29,500,000
        Shower heads                         40,000
        Water-closet bowls                   54,000
        Tank heaters and tanks               11,000
        Heating boilers                       1,800
        Radiation (square feet)           4,200,000
        Cannon stoves                        20,000
        Room heaters                         20,000
        Kitchen stoves and ranges            10,000
        Wood pipe for water supply (feet) 1,000,000
        Cast-iron supply pipe (feet)        470,000
        Wire, all kinds and sizes (miles)     5,500
        Wood tanks (aggregate capacity)   8,300,000
        Hose carts                              600
        Fire engines                             90
        Fire extinguishers                    4,700
        Fire hose (feet)                    392,500
        Fire hydrants                         3,600
        Hand-pump tanks                      12,700
        Fire pails                          163,000
        Cots                                721,000

Sixteen National Army camps were constructed in various parts of the
United States at points selected by the War Department. The camps were
carefully laid out by experienced town planners and engineers to give
best results considering all viewpoints.

[Sidenote: Extent of a typical National Army cantonment.]

[Sidenote: Roads constructed and improvements installed.]

A typical cantonment city will house 40,000 men. Each barrack building
will house 150 men and provide 500 cubic feet of air space per man. Such
a cantonment complete contains between 1,000 and 1,200 buildings and
covers about 2,000 acres. In addition, each cantonment has a rifle
range, drill, parade, and maneuver grounds of about 2,000 acres. In many
cases all or a large part of the entire site had to be cleared of woods
and stumps. The various military units were located on principal or
primary roads--a regiment being treated as a primary unit. About 25
miles of roads were constructed at each cantonment, and sewers, water
supply, lighting facilities, and other improvements installed.

[Sidenote: The special buildings required.]

An infantry regiment requires 22 barrack buildings, 6 for officers'
quarters, 2 storehouses, 1 infirmary building, 28 lavatories, with hot
and cold shower baths, or a total of 59 buildings. In addition to the
buildings necessary for the regimental units, each cantonment has
buildings for divisional headquarters, quartermaster depots, laundry
receiving and distributing stations, base hospitals having 1,000 beds,
post exchanges, and other buildings for general use.

[Sidenote: Remount stations.]

At several of the cantonments remount stations have been provided, some
of them having a capacity to maintain 12,000 horses.

[Sidenote: Other necessary camps.]

In addition to the National Army camps, plans were made for the
construction of 16 National Guard, two embarkation and one quartermaster
training camp, but the construction of these items did not involve so
large an expenditure as the National Army camps, as provision was made
for fewer units and only tentage quarters for the men in the National
Guard camps was provided. Modern storehouses, kitchens, mess shelters,
lavatories, shower baths, base hospitals, and remount depots were
built, and water, sewerage, heating, and light systems installed at an
expenditure of about $1,900,000 for each camp.

[Sidenote: The demand for construction and supplies.]

[Sidenote: Savings effected by standardization.]

With the advent of the United States into the war, there has appeared
not only one of the world's greatest builders, but the world's greatest
customer for supplies and human necessaries. We have not only to equip,
house, and supply our own army, but meet the demands arising from the
drainage of the resources of the entente allies. Small shopping and
bargaining are out of the question. Enormous savings were, however,
effected, due to the fact that materials were purchased in large
quantities and consequently at a much reduced price. Standardization of
sizes saved from $5 to $6 per thousand feet b. m. on lumber, and a
further saving of from $3 to $11 over prevailing prices was effected by
the lumber subcommittee of the Council of National Defense. The Raw
Materials Committee effected similar savings in prepared roofing, nails,
and other construction materials. The lead subcommittee procured 500
tons of lead for caulking pipe at 3 cents less than market price. When
it is considered that this construction work is, next to the Panama
Canal, the largest ever undertaken by the United States, the country is
to be congratulated on having available the men and materials to
accomplish the feat of providing for the maintenance of the newly
organized army in so short a period.

[Sidenote: Extensive construction work for National Army.]

I have described at length the work of building necessary for the
National Army camps, but at the same time extensive building was
necessary at the 16 sites selected for the mobilization and training of
the National Guard. While the National Guard troops were themselves
quartered under canvas, many wooden buildings and storehouses had to be
constructed for their use and, of course, the important problems of
water supply, sewage, and hospital accommodations required substantially
as much provision upon these subjects as upon those selected for the
National Army.

[Sidenote: Labor assembled from great distances.]

[Sidenote: The assistance rendered by Mr. Gompers.]

At the very outset of this hurried and vast program, it became apparent
that labor would have to be assembled from great distances, and in
wholly unaccustomed numbers, that the laboring men would be required to
separate themselves from home and family and to live under unusual and
less comfortable circumstances than was their habit. It was also clear
that no interruption or stoppage of the work could be permitted. I
therefore took up with Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American
Federation of Labor, the question of a general agreement which would
cover all trades to be employed in assuring continuity of work, provide
just conditions of pay, recognize the inequalities which exist
throughout the country, and yet avoid controversy as between the
contractor and his employees, which, wherever the justice of the dispute
might lie, could have only a prejudicial effect upon the interests of
the Government, by delaying the progress necessary to be made. Mr.
Gompers and those associated with him in the building trades promptly
and loyally entered into a consideration of the whole subject, with the
result that the following agreement was made:

[Sidenote: Commission for labor adjustment.]

                                     "WASHINGTON, D. C., June 19, 1917.

"For the adjustment and control of wages, hours, and conditions of labor
in the construction of cantonments, there shall be created an adjustment
commission of three persons, appointed by the Secretary of War; one to
represent the Army, one the public, and one labor; the last to be
nominated by Samuel Gompers, member of the Advisory Commission of the
Council of National Defense, and President of the American Federation of

[Sidenote: Consideration given to scales in locality.]

"As basic standards with reference to each cantonment, such commission
shall use the main scales of wages, hours, and conditions in force on
June 1, 1917, in the locality where such cantonment is situated.
Consideration shall be given to special circumstances, if any arising
after said date which may require particular advances in wages or
changes in other standards. Adjustments of wages, hours, or conditions
made by such board are to be treated as binding by all parties."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Labor difficulties easily adjusted.]

[Sidenote: Early completion of cantonments.]

The contractors throughout the country were notified of the existence of
this agreement and of the determination of the Government to carry it
out faithfully. The scope of the agreement was subsequently enlarged so
as to include other emergency construction done by the War Department,
and a board of adjustment was appointed which, at the beginning,
consisted of General E. A. Garlington, formerly General Inspector of the
Army, Mr. Walter Lippmann, and Mr. John R. Alpine, to whom all
complaints were referred, and by whom all investigations and
determinations in enforcement of the agreement were made. The personnel
of this board was subsequently changed, and its activities associated
with a similar board appointed by the concurrent action of the Secretary
of the Navy and Mr. Gompers, but I need here refer only to the fact
that, by the device of this agreement, and through the instrumentality
of this board, labor difficulties and disputes were easily adjusted, and
the program of building has gone rapidly forward, with here and there
incidental delays due sometimes to delay in material, sometimes to
difficulties of the site, and doubtless to other incidental failures of
coordination, but in the main, the work has been thoroughly successful.
When its magnitude is appreciated, the draft it made upon the labor
market of the country, the speed with which it was accomplished, and the
necessity of assembling not only materials but men from practically all
over the country, it seems not too much to say that the work is out of
all proportion larger than any similar work ever undertaken in the
country, and that its completion substantially on time, is an evidence
of efficiency both on the part of those officers of the Government
charged with responsibility for the task and the contractors and men of
the trades and crafts employed to carry on the work.

[Sidenote: Camps for training military engineers.]

This great division of the War Department in times of peace devotes the
major part of its energy to works of internal improvements and to the
supervision of, improvement, and maintenance of navigable waters; but in
time of war it immediately becomes a fundamental part of the Military
Establishment. It was, therefore, called upon not only to render
assistance of an engineering kind in the establishment of training
camps, but had to establish camps for the rapid training in military
engineering of large additions to its own personnel, and to undertake
the rapid mobilization and training of additional engineer troops, of
which at the beginning of the war there were but two regiments.

[Sidenote: Importance of railroad transportation in war.]

[Sidenote: Regiments of engineers sent to France.]

One of the earliest opportunities for actual assistance to the countries
associated with us in this war was presented to this department. In the
war against Germany transportation, and particularly railroad
transportation, is of the utmost importance. It was easily foreseen that
our own army in France would require large railroad facilities both in
the operation of permanent railroads for the handling of our equipment
and supplies and in the construction and operation of temporary roads
behind our Army. In the meantime regiments of engineer troops, if
speedily organized and dispatched to Europe, could both render valuable
assistance to the British and French Armies and acquire the training and
experience which would make them valuable at a later stage to us.
Accordingly nine such regiments were organized and have for some months
been rendering active and important service along the actual battle
front. In addition to these, a tenth regiment, composed of men skilled
in forestry and lumbering, was organized and sent abroad, and is now
operating in a foreign forest cutting out lumber supplies for the use of
our associates and ourselves.

[Sidenote: Arrangements to operate our own railways in France.]

[Sidenote: Creation of entire transportation system.]

Concurrently with the formation of these special engineer troops the
department undertook the collection of material for the establishment
and operation of our own lines of supply abroad. The railways of France
have been maintained in a state of high efficiency by the French people,
and they are performing the tremendous transportation task imposed upon
them by the French and English military operations with complete
success; but in order not to impose a burden which they were not
designed to meet, by asking them to expand to the accommodation of our
services, it has been found necessary for us ourselves to undertake the
accumulation of railroad material for our own use in the theater of war.
This work is on a large and comprehensive scale. Any detailed
description of it would be inappropriate at this time, but it involves
the creation of entire transportation systems and the actual
construction and operation of railroads with the elaborate terminal
facilities needed for the rapid unloading and dispatch of supplies,
equipment, and troops.

[Sidenote: The Quartermaster General's problem.]

[Sidenote: Vast equipment needed.]

[Sidenote: Intensive production of food and clothing.]

[Sidenote: Associated nations must be supplied.]

[Sidenote: Emergency appropriation.]

[Sidenote: Great extent of purchases.]

The problem facing the Quartermaster General has been serious. For the
small Regular Army of the United States a well-defined and adequate
supply system had been created. It was large enough and flexible enough
to permit us to make gradual accumulations of reserve as Congress from
time to time provided the necessary money; but when the mobilization of
the National Guard on the Mexican frontier took place, such reserves as
we had were rapidly consumed, and the maintenance of the military
establishment on the border required an increase which quite equaled the
entire capacity of those industries ordinarily devoting themselves to
the production of military supplies. When the present enlarged military
establishment was authorized it involved an enlarged Regular Army, an
enlarged National Guard and the new National Army, thus bringing upon us
the problem of immediate supply with adequate reserves for an Army of
2,000,000 men; and these men were not to be stationed about in Army
posts, but mobilized into great camps under conditions which necessarily
increased the wear and tear upon clothing and equipment, and
correspondingly increased the reserves needed to keep up the supply. In
addition to this these troops were assembled for overseas use, and it
therefore became necessary to accumulate in France vast stores of
clothing and equipment in order to have the Army free from dependence,
by too narrow a margin, upon ocean transportation with its inevitable
delays. As a consequence the supply needs of the department were vastly
greater than the capacity of the industrial organization and facilities
normally devoted to their production, and the problem presented was to
divert workshops and factories from their peace-time output into the
intensive production of clothing and equipment for the Army. Due
consideration had to be given to the maintenance of the industrial
balance of the country. Industries already devoted to the manufacture of
supplies for the nations associated with us in the war had to be
conserved to that useful purpose. Perhaps some aid to the imagination
can be gotten from the fact that 2,000,000 men constitute about
one-fiftieth of the entire population of the United States. Supply
departments were, therefore, called upon to provide clothing, equipment,
and maintenance for about one-fiftieth of our entire people, and this in
articles of uniform and of standardized kinds. The great appropriations
made by Congress tell the story from the financial point of view. In
1917 the normal appropriation for the Quartermaster Department was
$186,305,000. The emergency appropriation for this department for the
year 1918 was $3,000,000,000; a sum greater than the normal annual
appropriation for the entire expenses of the Federal Government on all
accounts. Another illustration can be drawn from the mere numbers of
some familiar articles. Thus of shoes more than 20,000,000 pairs have
already been purchased and are in process of delivery; of blankets,
17,000,000; of flannel shirting, more than 33,000,000 yards; of melton
cloth, more than 50,000,000 yards; of various kinds of duck for shelter
tents and other necessary uses, more than 125,000,000 yards; and other
staple and useful articles of Army equipment have been needed in

[Sidenote: Resources, industry and transportation mobilized.]

To all of this it has been necessary to add supplies not usual in our
Army which, in many cases, had to be devised to meet needs growing out
of the nature of the present warfare. It was necessary, therefore, to
mobilize the resources and industry, first to produce with the greatest
rapidity the initial equipment, and to follow that with a steady stream
of production for replacement and reserve; second, to organize adequate
transportation and storage for these great accumulations, and their
distribution throughout the country, and then to establish ports of
embarkation for men and supplies, assemble there in orderly fashion for
prompt ship-loading the tonnage for overseas; and to set up in France
facilities necessary to receive and distribute these efficiently.

[Sidenote: Civilian agencies cooperate with government.]

The Quartermaster General's Department was called upon to set up rapidly
a business greater than that carried on by the most thoroughly organized
and efficiently managed industrial organization in the country. It had
to consider the supply of raw materials, the diversion of industry, and
speed of production, and with its problem pressing for instant solution
it had to expand the slender peace-time organization of the
Quartermaster Department by the rapid addition of personnel and by the
employment and coordination of great civilian agencies which could be

[Sidenote: The Council of National Defense is aided by men of great

The Council of National Defense, through the supply committees organized
by it, afforded the immediate contact necessary with the world of
commerce and industry, while men of various branches of business and
production engineers brought their services freely to the assistance of
the Department. The dollar-a-year man has been a powerful aid, and when
this struggle is over, and the country undertakes to take stock of the
assets which it found ready to be used in the mobilization of its
powers, a large place will justly be given to these men who, without the
distinction of title or rank, and with no thought of compensation,
brought experience, knowledge, and trained ability to Washington in
order that they might serve with patriotic fervor in an inconspicuous
and self-sacrificing, but indispensably helpful way.

[Sidenote: Sound beginnings made.]

The problems of supply are not yet solved; but they are in the course of
solution. Sound beginnings have been made, and as the military effort of
the country grows the arrangements perfected and organizations created
will expand to meet it.

[Sidenote: The American Railway Association's special committee.]

In this general connection it seems appropriate to refer to the
effective cooperation between the department and the transportation
agencies of the country. For a number of years the Quartermaster
General's Department has maintained close relations with the executives
of the great railway systems of the country. In February, 1917, a
special committee of the American Railway Association was appointed to
deal with questions of national defense, and the cooperation between
this committee and the department has been most cordial and effective,
and but for some such arrangement the great transportation problem would
have been insoluble. I am happy, therefore, to join the Quartermaster
General in pointing out the extraordinary service rendered by the
transportation agencies of the country, and I concur also in his
statement that "of those who are now serving the Nation in this time of
stress, there are none who are doing so more whole-heartedly,
unselfishly, and efficiently than the railroad officials who are engaged
in this patriotic work."

[Sidenote: Codes established for the garment industry.]

One other aspect of the work of the Quartermaster General's Office has
engaged my particular attention, and seems to me to have been fruitful
of most excellent results. The garment working trades of the United
States are largely composed of women and children, and of men of foreign
extraction. More than any other industry in the United States it has
been menaced by the sweatshop system. The States have enacted codes and
established inspection agencies to enforce sanitary conditions for
these workers, and to relieve the evils which seem everywhere to spring
up about them. To some extent the factory system operated under rigid
inspection has replaced home work, and has improved conditions; but
garment making is an industry midway in its course of being removed from
the home to the factory, and under pressure of intensive production,
home work in congested tenements has been difficult to eradicate.

[Sidenote: Dangers in home work system.]

The vice of this system is not merely the invasion of the home of the
worker, and the consequent enfeeblement of the family and family life.
Work done under such circumstances escapes the inspector, and the
crowded workers in the tenement are helpless in their struggle for
subsistence under conditions which are unrelieved by an assertion of the
Government's interest in the condition under which these workers live.
Moreover, wide distribution of garments made under such conditions tends
to spread disease, and adds another menace from the public point of

[Sidenote: Standards inserted in contracts.]

The department determined, therefore, to establish minimum standards as
to wages, inspection, hours, and sanitation. These standards were
inserted in the contracts made for garment production, and a board was
appointed to enforce an observance of these standards. The effect of
this has been that it is now possible to say that no uniform worn by an
American soldier is the product of sweatshop toil, and that so far as
the Government is concerned in its purchases of garments it is a model

[Sidenote: The worker feels a national interest.]

This action has not delayed the accumulation of necessary supplies, and
it has added to our national self-respect. It has distributed national
interest between the soldier who wears and the worker who makes the
garment, regarding them each as assets, each as elements in our
aggregated national strength.

[Sidenote: The Ordnance Department.]

On the 1st day of July, 1916, there was a total of 96 officers in the
Ordnance Department. The commissioned strength of this department
increased substantially 2,700 per cent, and is still expanding. The
appropriations for ordnance in 1917 were $89,697,000; for 1918, in view
of the war emergency, the appropriations for that department aggregate

[Sidenote: Most difficult problems of the war.]

This division of the War Department has had, in some respects, the most
difficult of the problems presented by the transition from peace to war.
Like the Department of the Quartermaster General, the Ordnance
Department has had to deal with various increases of supply, increases
far exceeding the organization and available capacity of the country for
production. The products needed take longer to produce; for the most
part they involved intricate machinery, and highly refined processes of
manufacture. In addition to this the industrial agencies of the country
have been devoting a large part of their capacity to foreign production
which, in the new set of circumstances, it is unwise to interrupt.

[Sidenote: Organization of the Council of National Defense.]

[Sidenote: An advisory body.]

[Sidenote: Advisory function should not be impaired.]

[Sidenote: The council supplements the Cabinet.]

Legislation enacted on August 29, 1916, as a part of the National
Defense Act provided for the creation of a Council of National Defense.
Shortly thereafter the council was organized, its advisory commission
appointed, a director chosen, and its activities planned. It
appropriately directed its first attention to the industrial situation
of the country and, by the creation of committees representative of the
principal industries, brought together a great store of information both
as to our capacity for manufacture and as to the re-adaptations possible
in an emergency for rapid production of supplies of military value.
Under the law of its creation, the Council of National Defense is not an
executive body, its principal function being to supervise and direct
investigations and make recommendations to the President and the heads
of the executive departments with regard to a large variety of subjects.
The advisory commission is thus advisory to a body which is itself
advisory, and the subordinate bodies authorized to be created are
collectors of data upon which advice can be formulated. There was no
intention on the part of Congress to subdivide the executive function,
but rather to strengthen it by equipping it with carefully matured
recommendations based upon adequate surveys of conditions. The extent of
the council's powers has been sometimes misunderstood, with the result
that it has been deemed an inapt instrument, and from time to time
suggestions have been made looking to the donation to it of power to
execute its conclusions. Whatever determination Congress may hereafter
reach with regard to the bestowal of additional executive power and the
creation of agencies for its exercise, the advisory function of the
Council of National Defense ought not to be impaired, nor ought its
usefulness to be left unrecognized. In the first place, the council
brings together the heads of the departments ordinarily concerned in the
industrial and commercial problems which affect the national defense and
undoubtedly prevents duplications of work and overlappings of
jurisdiction. It also makes available for the special problems of
individual departments the results attained in other departments which
have been called upon to examine the same problem from other points of
view. In the second place, the council supplements the activities of the
Cabinet under the direction of the President by bringing together in a
committee, as it were, members of the Cabinet for the consideration of
problems which, when maturely studied, can be presented for the
President's judgment.

[Sidenote: The council directs the aroused spirit of the nation.]

[Sidenote: The General Munitions Board.]

[Sidenote: Field of priorities in transportation and supplies.]

With the declaration of a state of war, however, the usefulness of the
Council of National Defense became instantly more obvious. The
peace-time activities and interests of our people throughout the country
surged toward Washington in an effort to assimilate themselves into the
new scheme of things which, it was recognized, would call for widespread
changes of occupation and interest. The Council of National Defense was
the only national agency at all equipped to receive and direct this
aroused spirit seeking appropriate modes of action, and it was admirably
adapted to the task because among the members of the council were those
Cabinet officers whose normal activities brought them into constant
contact with all the varied peace-time activities of the people and who
were, therefore, best qualified to judge the most useful opportunities
in the new state of things for men and interests of which they
respectively knew the normal relations. For the more specialized
problems of the national defense, notably those dealing with the
production of war materials, the council authorized the organization of
subordinate bodies of experts, and the General Munitions Board grew
naturally out of the necessities of the War and Navy Departments, which
required not only the maximum production of existing munition-making
industries in the country, but the creation of new capacity for
production and its correlation with similar needs on the part of the
foreign governments. The work done by the General Munitions Board was
highly effective, but it was soon seen that its problem carried over
into the field of transportation, that it was bound up with the question
of priorities, and that it was itself divisible into the great and
separate fields of raw material supply and the production of finished
goods. With the growth of its necessary interests and the constant
discovery of new relations it became necessary so to reorganize the
General Munitions Board as both to enlarge its view and more definitely
recognize its widespread relations.

[Sidenote: The War Industries Board.]

[Sidenote: Knowledge of war needs of the United States and Allies.]

[Sidenote: The Council of National Defense a natural center.]

Upon the advice of the Council of National Defense, the General
Munitions Board was replaced by the War Industries Board, which consists
of a chairman, a representative of the Army, a representative of the
Navy, a representative of labor and the three members of the Allied
Purchasing Commission through whom, under arrangements made with foreign
Governments by the Secretary of the Treasury, the purchasing of allied
goods in the United States is effected. This purchasing commission
consists of three chairmen--one of priorities, one of raw materials, and
one of finished products. By the presence of Army and Navy
representatives, the needs of our own Government are brought to the
common council table of the War Industries Board. The board is thus
enabled to know all the war needs of our Government and the nations
associated with us in war, to measure their effect upon the industry of
the country, to assign relative priorities in the order of
serviceableness to the common cause, and to forecast both the supply of
raw material and our capacity for completing its manufacture in such a
way as to coordinate our entire industrial capacity, both with a view to
its maximum efficiency and to its permanent effect upon the industrial
condition of the country. Under legislation enacted by Congress, the
President has committed certain definite problems to special agencies.
The food administration, the fuel administration, and the shipping
problem being each in the hands of experts specially selected under
appropriate enactments. In large part, these activities are separable
from the general questions considered by the Council of National Defense
and the War Industries Board, but there are necessary relations between
them which it has been found quite simple to arrange by conference and
consultation, and the Council of National Defense, with the Secretary of
the Treasury added as an important councilor, has seemed the natural
center around which to group these agencies so far as any common
activity among them is desirable.

[Sidenote: The War Department indebted to the council.]

[Sidenote: Unremunerated service of able citizens.]

[Sidenote: Business confidence in the Government.]

In the meantime the Advisory Commission of the Council of National
Defense and the council itself have continued to perform the original
advisory functions committed to them by the National Defense Act. The
War Department is glad to acknowledge its debt to the council and the
commission. I refrain from specific enumeration of the services which
the department has received through these agencies only because their
number is infinite and their value obvious. The various supply
committees created by the Supply Commission, the scientific resources
placed at the disposal of the department, the organization of the
medical profession, the cooperation of the transportation interests of
the country, the splendid harmony which has been established in the
field of labor, are all fruits of the actions of these bodies and
notably of the Advisory Commission. It has been especially in connection
with the activities of the council and the commission that we have been
helped by the unremunerated service of citizens who bore no official
relation to the Government but had expert knowledge of and experience
with the industries of the country which it was necessary rapidly to
summon into new uses. Through their influence, the trade rivalries and
commercial competitions, stimulating and helpful in times of peace,
have been subordinated to the paramount purpose of national service and
the common good. They have not only created helpful relations for the
present emergency but have established a new confidence in the
Government on the part of business and perhaps have led to clearer
judgments on the part of the Government in its dealings with the great
organizations, both of labor and of capital, which form the industrial
and commercial fabric of our society. The large temporary gain thus
manifest is supplemented by permanent good; and in the reorganizations
which take place when the war is over there will doubtless be a more
conscious national purpose in business and a more conscious helpfulness
toward business on the part of the Government.

[Sidenote: General Pershing goes to France.]

[Sidenote: The Navy transports troops without any loss.]

[Sidenote: Terminal facilities organized.]

[Sidenote: Cooperation of the Shipping Board.]

[Sidenote: Reserve equipment and food.]

As a result of the exchanges of views which took place between the
military missions to the United States and our own Government, it was
determined to begin at once the dispatch of an expeditionary force of
the American Army to France. This has been done. General John J.
Pershing was selected as commander in chief and with his staff departed
for France, to be followed shortly by the full division, consisting
entirely of Regular Army troops. Immediately thereafter there was formed
the so-called Rainbow Division, made up of National Guard units of many
States scattered widely throughout the country. The purpose of its
organization was to distribute the honor of early participation in the
war over a wide area and thus to satisfy in some part the eagerness of
these State forces to be permitted to serve in Europe. The Marines, with
their fine traditions and honorable history, were likewise recognized,
and regiments of Marines were added to the first forces dispatched. It
would, of course, be unwise to attempt any enumeration of the forces at
this time overseas, but the Army and the country would not have me do
less than express their admiration and appreciation of the splendid
cooperation of the Navy, by means of which these expeditionary forces
have been safely transported and have been enabled to traverse without
loss the so-called danger zone infested by the stealthy and destructive
submarine navy of the enemy. The organization and dispatch of the
expeditionary force required the preparation of an elaborate transport
system, involving not only the procurement of ships and their refitting
for service as troop and cargo transports, but also extensive
organizations of terminal facilities both in this country and France;
and in order to surround the expeditionary force with every safeguard, a
large surplus of supplies of every kind were immediately placed at their
disposal in France. This placed an added burden upon the supply
divisions of the department and explains in part some of the shortages,
notably those of clothing, which have temporarily embarrassed
mobilization of troops at home, embarrassments now happily passed. In
the organization of this transport the constant and helpful cooperation
of the Shipping Board, the railroads, and those in control of
warehousing, wharfing, lighterage, and other terminal facilities has
been invaluable. Our activities in this regard have resulted in the
transporting of an army to France fully equipped, with adequate reserves
of equipment and subsistence, and with those large quantities of
transportation appliances, motor vehicles, railroad construction
supplies, and animals, all of which are necessary for the maintenance
and effective operations of the force.

[Sidenote: Technical troops cooperate with British and French.]

The act authorizing the temporary increase of the military establishment
empowered the department to create special organizations of technical
troops. Under this provision railroad and stevedore regiments have been
formed and special organizations of repair men and mechanics, some of
which have proceeded to France and rendered service back of the British
and French line in anticipation of and training for their later service
with the American Army. No complete descriptions of these activities can
be permitted at this time, but the purpose of the department has been to
provide from the first for the maintenance of our own military
operations without adding to the burdens already borne by the British
and French, and to render, incidentally, such assistance to the British
and French Armies as could be rendered by technical troops in training
in the theater of operations. By this means the United States has
already rendered service of great value to the common cause, these
technical troops having actually carried on operations for which they
are designed in effective cooperation with the British and French Armies
behind hotly contested battle fronts.

[Sidenote: The Red Cross organizes base hospital units.]

[Sidenote: Doctors and nurses aid British and French armies.]

[Sidenote: The medical profession rallies around the service.]

[Sidenote: Convalescent and reconstruction hospitals.]

[Sidenote: Physical fitness necessary for military service.]

Working in close association with the medical committee of the Council
of National Defense and the Red Cross and in constant and helpful
contact with the medical activities of the British, French, and other
belligerents, the Surgeon General has built up the personnel of his
department and taken over from the Red Cross completely organized
base-hospital units and ambulance units, supplemented them by fresh
organizations, procured great quantities of medical supplies and
prepared on a generous scale to meet any demands of our Army in action.
Incidentally and in the course of this preparation, great numbers of
base hospital organizations, ambulance units, and additional doctors and
nurses have been placed at the disposal of the British and French
armies, and are now in the field of actual war, ministering to the
needs of our Allies. Indeed, the honor of first participation by
Americans in this war belongs to the Medical Department. In addition to
all this preparation and activity, the Surgeon General's department has
been charged with the responsibility for the study of defense against
gas attack and the preparation of such gas masks and other appliances as
can be devised to minimize its effects. The medical profession of the
country has rallied around this service. The special laboratories of the
great medical institutions have devoted themselves to the study of
problems of military medicine. New, effective, and expeditious surgical
and medical procedures have been devised and the latest defensive and
curative discoveries of medical science have been made available for the
protection and restoration of our soldiers. Far-reaching activities have
been conducted by the Medical Department here in America, involving the
supervision of plans for great base hospitals in the camps and
cantonments, the planning of convalescent and reconstruction hospitals
for invalided soldiers and anticipatory organization wherever possible
to supply relief to distress and sickness as it may arise. Moreover, the
task of the Medical Department in connection with the new Army has been
exacting. Rigid examinations have been conducted, in the first instance
by the physicians connected with the exemption boards, but later at the
camps, in order to eliminate from the ranks men whose physical condition
did not justify their retention in the military service. Many of the
rejections by the Medical Department have caused grief to high-spirited
young men not conscious of physical weakness or defect, and perhaps
having no weakness or defect which embarrassed their usefulness in
civilian occupation; but both the strength of the Army and justice to
the men involved require that the test of fitness for military service
should be the sole guide, and the judgments of the most expert
physicians have been relied upon to give us an army composed of men of
the highest possible physical efficiency.

       *       *       *       *       *

The capture of Jerusalem by the British under Allenby on December 8th,
1917, sent a thrill throughout the civilized world. The deliverance of
the Holy City from the Turks marked another great epoch in its history,
which includes possession by Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans,
Arabs, and Turks. The entrance of the British troops into Jerusalem is
described in the following narrative.



[Sidenote: General Allenby's instructions.]

When I took over the command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force at the
end of June, 1917, I had received instructions to report on the
conditions in which offensive operations against the Turkish Army on the
Palestine front might be undertaken in the autumn or winter of 1917.

After visiting the front and consulting with the Commander of the
Eastern Force, I submitted my appreciation and proposals in a telegram
dispatched in the second week of July.

[Sidenote: Situation on the Palestine front.]

The main features of the situation on the Palestine front were then as

The Turkish Army in Southern Palestine held a strong position extending
from the sea at Gaza, roughly along the main Gaza-Beersheba Road to
Beersheba. Gaza had been made into a strong modern fortress, heavily
entrenched and wired, offering every facility for protracted defence.
The remainder of the enemy's line consisted of a series of strong
localities, viz.: the Sihan group of works, the Atawineh group, the Baha
group, the Abu Hareira-Arab el Teeaha trench system, and, finally, the
works covering Beersheba. These groups of works were generally from
1,500 to 2,000 yards apart, except that the distance from the Hareira
group to Beersheba was about 4 1/2 miles.

[Sidenote: Turks have good communications.]

The enemy's force was on a wide front, the distance from Gaza to
Beersheba being about 30 miles; but his lateral communications were
good, and any threatened point of the line could be very quickly

My force was extended on a front of 22 miles, from the sea, opposite
Gaza, to Gamli.

[Sidenote: Lack of water on the British front.]

Owing to lack of water I was unable, without preparations which would
require some considerable time, to approach within striking distance of
the enemy, except in the small sector near the sea coast opposite Gaza.

My proposals received the approval of the War Cabinet, and preparations
were undertaken to enable the plan I had formed to be put into

[Sidenote: To strike on Turk's left flank.]

I had decided to strike the main blow against the left flank of the main
Turkish position, Hareira and Sheria. The capture of Beersheba was a
necessary preliminary to this operation, in order to secure the water
supplies at that place and to give room for the deployment of the
attacking force on the high ground to the north and north-west of
Beersheba, from which direction I intended to attack the Hareira-Sheria

[Sidenote: Necessary to take Beersheba.]

This front of attack was chosen for the following reasons. The enemy's
works in this sector were less formidable than elsewhere, and they were
easier of approach than other parts of the enemy's defences. When
Beersheba was in our hands we should have an open flank against which to
operate, and I could make full use of our superiority in mounted troops,
and a success here offered prospects of pursuing our advantage and
forcing the enemy to abandon the rest of his fortified positions, which
no other line of attack would afford.

[Sidenote: Attacked Gaza to deceive enemy.]

[Sidenote: Assurance of naval cooperation at Gaza.]

It was important, in order to keep the enemy in doubt up to the last
moment as to the real point of attack, that an attack should also be
made on the enemy's right at Gaza in conjunction with the main
operations. One of my Commanders was therefore ordered to prepare a
scheme for operations against Gaza on as large a scale as the force at
his disposal would permit. I also asked the Senior Naval Officer of
Egypt, Rear-Admiral T. Jackson, C.B., M.V.O., to afford me naval
cooperation by bombarding the Gaza defences and the enemy's railway
stations and depôts north of Gaza. Rear-Admiral Jackson afforded me
cordial assistance, and during the period of preparation Naval Officers
worked in the closest cooperation with my staff at General Headquarters
and the staff of the G.O.C. troops operating in that region.

[Sidenote: Difficulties regarding water and transport.]

The difficulties to be overcome in the operations against Beersheba and
the Sheria-Hareira line were considerable, and careful preparations and
training were necessary. The chief difficulties were those of water and
transport, and arrangements had to be made to ensure that the troops
could be kept supplied with water while operating at considerable
distances from their original water base for a period which might amount
to a week or more; for, though it was known that an ample supply of
water existed at Beersheba, it was uncertain how quickly it could be
developed or to what extent the enemy would have damaged the wells
before we succeeded in occupying the town. Except at Beersheba, no large
supply of water would be found till Sheria and Hareira had been

[Sidenote: No good roads south of Gaza-Beersheba line.]

[Sidenote: Railway lines to be laid.]

The transport problem was no less difficult; there were no good roads
south of the line Gaza-Beersheba, and no reliance could therefore be
placed on the use of motor transport. Owing to the steep banks of many
of the wadis which intersected the area of operations, the routes
passable by wheeled transport were limited, and the going was heavy and
difficult in many places. Practically the whole of the transport
available in the force, including 30,000 pack camels, had to be allotted
to one portion of the eastern force to enable it to be kept supplied
with food, water, and ammunition at a distance of 15 to 20 miles in
advance of railhead. Arrangements were also made for railhead to be
pushed forward as rapidly as possible towards Karm, and for a line to be
laid from Gamli toward Beersheba for the transport of ammunition.

A railway line was also laid from Deir el Belah to the Wadi Ghuzze,
close behind the sector held by another portion of the eastern force.

[Sidenote: Rushing up artillery and supplies.]

Considerable strain was thrown on the military railway from Kantara to
the front during the period of preparation. In addition to the normal
requirements of the force, a number of siege and heavy batteries,
besides other artillery and units, had to be moved to the front, and
large depôts of supplies, ammunition, and other stores accumulated at
the various railheads. Preparations had also to be made and the
necessary material accumulated to push forward the lines from Deir el
Belah and Shellal.

[Sidenote: The enemy determined to maintain Gaza to Beersheba line.]

During the period from July to October, 1917, the enemy's force on the
Palestine front had been increased. It was evident, from the arrival of
these reinforcements and the construction of railway extensions from El
Tine, on the Ramleh-Beersheba railway, to Deir Sineid and Belt Hanun,
north of Gaza, and from Deir Sineid to Huj, and from reports of the
transport of large supplies of ammunition and other stores to the
Palestine front, that the enemy was determined to make every effort to
maintain his position on the Gaza-Beersheba line. He had considerably
strengthened his defences on this line; and the strong localities
mentioned had, by the end of October, been joined up to form a
practically continuous line from the sea to a point south of Sheria,
except for a gap between Ali Muntar and the Sihan Group. The defensive
works round Beersheba remained a detached system, but had been improved
and extended.

[Sidenote: Date of attack on Beersheba.]

The date of the attack on Beersheba, which was to commence the
operations, was fixed as October 31, 1917. Work had been begun on the
railway from Shellal towards Karm, and on the line from Gamli to El
Buggar. The development of water at Ecani, Khalasa, and Asluj proceeded
satisfactorily. These last two places were to be the starting point for
the mounted force detailed to make a wide flanking movement and attack
Beersheba from the east and north-east.

[Sidenote: The Turks make a strong reconnaissance.]

On the morning of October 27 the Turks made a strong reconnaissance
towards Karm from the direction of Kauwukah, two regiments of cavalry
and two or three thousand infantry, with guns, being employed. They
attacked a line of outposts near El Girheir, held by some Yeomanry,
covering railway construction. One small post was rushed and cut up, but
not before inflicting heavy loss on the enemy; another post, though
surrounded, held out all day, and also caused the enemy heavy loss. The
gallant resistance made by the Yeomanry enabled the 53rd (Welsh)
Division to come up in time, and on their advance the Turks withdrew.

[Sidenote: Bombardment of Gaza defenses.]

The bombardment of the Gaza defences commenced on October 27, and on
October 30 warships of the Royal Navy, assisted by a French battleship,
began cooperating in this bombardment.

On the evening of October 30 the portion of the eastern force, which was
to make the attack on Beersheba, was concentrated in positions of
readiness for the night march to its positions of deployment.

[Sidenote: Imperial Camel Corps, Infantry and Cavalry.]

The night march to the positions of deployment was successfully carried
out, all units reaching their appointed positions up to time. The plan
was to attack the hostile works between the Khalasa road and the Wadi
Saba with two divisions, masking the works north of the Wadi Saba with
the Imperial Camel Corps and some infantry, while a portion of the 53rd
(Welsh) Division further north covered the left of the corps. The right
of the attack was covered by a cavalry regiment. Further east, mounted
troops took up a line opposite the southern defences of Beersheba.

[Sidenote: Enemy's advanced works taken.]

As a preliminary to the main attack, in order to enable field guns to be
brought within effective range for wire-cutting, the enemy's advanced
works at 1,070 were to be taken. This was successfully accomplished at
8.45 a.m., after a short preliminary bombardment, by London troops, with
small loss, 90 prisoners being taken. The cutting of the wire on the
main line then proceeded satisfactorily, though pauses had to be made to
allow the dust to clear; and the final assault was ordered for 12.15
p.m. It was successful all along the front attacked, and by about 1 p.m.
the whole of the works between the Khalasa road and the Wadi Saba were
in our hands.

Some delay occurred in ascertaining whether the enemy still occupied the
works north of the road; it was decided, as they were still held by
small parties, to attack them from the south. After a preliminary
bombardment the works were occupied with little opposition by about 7.30

[Sidenote: British casualties light.]

The casualties were light, considering the strength of the works
attacked; a large proportion occurred during the advance towards the
positions previous to the assault, the hostile guns being very accurate
and very difficult to locate.

[Sidenote: The road toward Beersheba.]

Meanwhile, the mounted troops, after a night march, for part of the
force of 25 and for the remainder of 35 miles, arrived early in the
morning of the 31st about Khasim Zanna, in the hills some five miles
east of Beersheba. From the hills the advance into Beersheba from the
east and north-east lies over an open and almost flat plain, commanded
by the rising ground north of the town and flanked by an underfeature in
the Wadi Saba called Tel el Saba.

A force was sent north to secure Bir es Sakaty, on the Hebron road, and
protect the right flank, this force met with some opposition and was
engaged with hostile cavalry at Bir es Sakaty and to the north during
the day. Tel el Saba was found strongly held by the enemy, and was not
captured till late in the afternoon.

[Sidenote: Rapid advance of Australian Light Horse.]

Meanwhile, attempts to advance in small parties across the plain towards
the town made slow progress. In the evening, however, a mounted attack
by Australian Light Horse, who rode straight at the town from the east,
proved completely successful. They galloped over two deep trenches held
by the enemy just outside the town, and entered the town at about 7 p.
m., capturing numerous prisoners.

The Turks at Beersheba were undoubtedly taken completely by surprise, a
surprise from which the dash of London troops and Yeomanry, finely
supported by their artillery, never gave them time to recover. The
charge of the Australian Light Horse completed their defeat.

[Sidenote: Prisoners and guns taken.]

A very strong position was thus taken with slight loss, and the Turkish
detachment at Beersheba almost completely put out of action. About 2,000
prisoners and 13 guns were taken, and some 500 Turkish corpses were
buried on the battlefield. This success laid open the left flank of the
main Turkish position for a decisive blow.

[Sidenote: Complete success of Beersheba operations.]

[Sidenote: The attack on Gaza.]

The actual date of the attack at Gaza had been left open till the result
of the attack at Beersheba was known, as it was intended that the former
attack, which was designed to draw hostile reserves towards the Gaza
sector, should take place twenty-four to forty-eight hours previous to
the attack on the Sheria position. After the complete success of the
Beersheba operations, and as the early reports indicated that an ample
supply of water would be available at that place, it was hoped that it
would be possible to attack Sheria by November 3 or 4. The attack on
Gaza was accordingly ordered to take place on the morning of November 2.
Later reports showed that the water situation was less favorable than
had been hoped, but it was decided not to postpone the attack.

[Sidenote: The works on Umbrella Hill principal objectives.]

The objective of this attack were the hostile works from Umbrella Hill
(2,000 yards south-west of the town) to Sheikh Hasan, on the sea (about
2,500 yards north-west of the town). The front of the attack was about
6,000 yards, and Sheikh Hasan, the furthest objective, was over 3,000
yards from our front line. The ground over which the attack took place
consisted of sand dunes, rising in places up to 150 feet in height. This
sand is very deep and heavy going. The enemy's defences consisted of
several lines of strongly built trenches and redoubts.

As Umbrella Hill flanked the advance against the Turkish works further
west, it was decided to capture it by a preliminary operation, to take
place four hours previous to the main attack. It was accordingly
attacked, and captured at 11 p. m. on November 1 by a portion of the
52nd (Lowland) Division. This attack drew a heavy bombardment of
Umbrella Hill itself and our front lines, which lasted for two hours,
but ceased in time to allow the main attack, which was timed for 3 a.
m., to form up without interference.

It had been decided to make the attack before daylight owing to the
distance to be covered between our front trenches and the enemy's

[Sidenote: Success of the attack on Umbrella Hill.]

[Sidenote: Capture of the south-western defenses.]

The attack was successful in reaching all objectives, except for a
section of trench on the left and some of the final objectives in the
centre. Four hundred and fifty prisoners were taken and many Turks
killed. The enemy also suffered heavily from the preliminary
bombardment, and subsequent reports from prisoners stated that one of
the divisions holding the Gaza sector was withdrawn after losing 33 per
cent of its effectives, one of the divisions in general reserve being
drawn into the Gaza sector to replace it. The attack thus succeeded in
its primary object, which was to prevent any units being drawn from the
Gaza defences to meet the threat to the Turkish left flank, and to draw
into Gaza as large a proportion as possible of the available Turkish
reserves. Further, the capture of Sheikh Hasan and the south-western
defences constituted a very distinct threat to the whole of the Gaza
position, which could be developed on any sign of a withdrawal on the
part of the enemy.

Our losses, though considerable, were not in any way disproportionate to
the results obtained.

[Sidenote: Water and transport difficulties.]

Meanwhile on our right flank the water and transport difficulties were
found to be greater than anticipated, and the preparations for the
second phase of the attack were somewhat delayed in consequence.

On the early morning of November 1 the 53rd (Welsh) Division, with the
Imperial Camel Corps on its right, had moved out into the hills north of
Beersheba, with the object of securing the flank of the attack on
Sheria. Mounted troops were also sent north along the Hebron Road to
secure Dhaheriyeh if possible, as it was hoped that a good supply of
water would be found in this area, and that a motor road which the Turks
were reported to have constructed from Dhaheriyeh to Sheria could be
secured for our use.

The 53rd (Welsh) Division, after a long march, took up a position from
Towal Abu Jerwal (six miles north of Beersheba) to Muweileh (four miles
north-east of Abu Irgeig). Irish troops occupied Abu Irgeig the same

[Sidenote: Advance on Kohleh and Khuweilfeh.]

On November 3 we advanced north on Ain Kohleh and Tel Khuweilfeh, near
which place the mounted troops had engaged considerable enemy forces on
the previous day. This advance was strongly opposed, but was pushed on
through difficult hill country to within a short distance of Ain Kohleh
and Khuweilfeh. At these places the enemy was found holding a strong
position with considerable and increasing forces. He was obviously
determined not only to bar any further progress in this direction, but,
if possible, to drive our flankguard back on Beersheba. During the 4th
and 5th he made several determined attacks on the mounted troops. These
attacks were repulsed.

[Sidenote: Hostile cavalry between Khuweilfeh and Hebron Road.]

By the evening of November 5 the 19th Turkish Division, the remains of
the 27th and certain units of the 16th Division had been identified in
the fighting round Tel el Khuweilfeh, and it was also fairly clear that
the greater part of the hostile cavalry, supported apparently by some
infantry ("depôt" troops) from Hebron, were engaged between Khuweilfeh
and the Hebron Road.

[Sidenote: Enemy tries to draw forces north of Beersheba.]

The action of the enemy in thus employing the whole of his available
reserves in an immediate counter-stroke so far to the east was
apparently a bold effort to induce me to make essential alterations in
my offensive plan, thereby gaining time and disorganizing my
arrangements. The country north of Beersheba was exceedingly rough and
hilly, and very little water was to be found there. Had the enemy
succeeded in drawing considerable forces against him in that area the
result might easily have been an indecisive fight (for the terrain was
very suitable to his methods of defence) and my own main striking force
would probably have been made too weak effectively to break the enemy's
centre in the neighborhood of Sheria Hareira. This might have resulted
in our gaining Beersheba, but failing to do more--in which case
Beersheba would only have been an incubus of a most inconvenient kind.
However, the enemy's action was not allowed to make any essential
modification to the original plan, which it had been decided to carry
out at dawn on November 6.

[Sidenote: Effort to reach Sheria.]

By the evening of November 5, all preparations had been made to attack
in the Kauwukah and Rushdi systems and to make every effort to reach
Sheria before nightfall.

The mounted troops were to be prepared in the event of a success by the
main force to collect, as they were somewhat widely scattered owing to
water difficulties, and push north in pursuit of the enemy. Tel el
Khuweilfeh was to be attacked at dawn on the 6th, and the troops were to
endeavor to reach line Tel el Khuweilfeh-Rijm el Dhib.

[Sidenote: The plan of attack.]

At dawn on the 6th the attacking force had taken up positions of
readiness to the S.E. of the Kauwukah system of trenches. The attack was
to be commenced by an assault on the group of works forming the extreme
left of the enemy's defensive system, followed by an advance due west up
the railway, capturing the line of detached works which lay east of the
railway. During this attack London and Irish troops were to advance
towards the Kauwukah system, bringing forward their guns to within
wire-cutting range. They were to assault the southeastern face of the
Kauwukah system as soon as the bombardment had proved effective, and
thence take the remainder of the system in enfilade.

[Sidenote: All objectives of the attack captured.]

The attack progressed rapidly, the Yeomanry storming the works on the
enemy's extreme left with great dash; and soon after noon the London and
Irish troops commenced their attack. It was completely successful in
capturing all its objectives, and the whole of the Rushdi system in
addition. Sheria Station was also captured before dark. The Yeomanry
reached the line of the Wadi Sheria to Wadi Union; and the troops on the
left were close to Hareira Redoubt, which was still occupied by the
enemy. This attack was a fine performance, the troops advancing 8 or 9
miles during the day and capturing a series of very strong works
covering a front of about 7 miles, the greater part of which had been
had and strengthened by the enemy for over six months. Some 600
prisoners were taken and some guns and machine-guns captured. Our
casualties were comparatively slight. The greatest opposition was
encountered by the Yeomanry in the early morning, the works covering the
left of the enemy's line being strong and stubbornly defended.

[Sidenote: Mounted troops are ordered to take up the pursuit.]

During the afternoon, as soon as it was seen that the attack had
succeeded, mounted troops were ordered to take up the pursuit and to
occupy Huj and Jemmamah.

The 53rd (Welsh) Division had again had very severe fighting on the 6th.
Their attack at dawn on Tel el Khuweilfeh was successful, and, though
they were driven off a hill by a counterattack, they retook it and
captured another hill, which much improved their position. The Turkish
losses in this area were very heavy indeed, and the stubborn fighting
of the 53rd (Welsh) Division, Imperial Camel Corps, and part of the
mounted troops during November 2 to 6 drew in and exhausted the Turkish
reserves and paved the way for the success of the attack on Sheria. The
53rd (Welsh) Division took several hundred prisoners and some guns
during this fighting.

[Sidenote: Bombardment of Gaza continues.]

The bombardment of Gaza had meanwhile continued, and another attack was
ordered to take place on the night of the 6th-7th.

The objectives were, on the right, Outpost Hill and Middlesex Hill (to
be attacked at 11.30 p. m. on the 6th), and on the left the line Belah
Trench-Turtle Hill (to be attacked at dawn on the 7th).

[Sidenote: Airmen observe enemy movements.]

During the 6th a certain amount of movement on the roads north of Gaza
was observed by our airmen and fired on by our heavy artillery, but
nothing indicating a general retirement from Gaza.

The attack on Outpost Hill and Middlesex Hill met with little
opposition, and as soon, after they had been taken, as patrols could be
pushed forward, the enemy was found to be gone. East Anglian troops on
the left also found at dawn that the enemy had retired during the night,
and early in the morning the main force occupied the northern and
eastern defences of Gaza. Rearguards were still occupying Beit Hanun and
the Atawineh and Tank systems, from whence Turkish artillery continued
to fire on Gaza and Ali Muntar till dusk.

[Sidenote: The Turks evacuate Gaza.]

[Sidenote: Turkish rearguard makes counterattacks.]

As soon as it was seen that the Turks had evacuated Gaza a part of the
force pushed along the coast to the mouth of the Wadi Hesi, so as to
turn the Wadi Hesi line and prevent the enemy making any stand there.
Cavalry had already pushed on round the north of Gaza, and became
engaged with an enemy rearguard at Beit Hanun, which maintained its
position till nightfall. The force advancing along the coast reached the
Wadi Hesi by evening, and succeeded in establishing itself on the north
bank in the face of considerable opposition, a Turkish rearguard making
several determined counterattacks.

On our extreme right the situation remained practically unchanged during
the 7th; the enemy made no further attempt to counterattack, but
maintained his positions opposite our right flank guard.

[Sidenote: London troops take Tel el Sheria.]

In the centre the Hareira Tepe Redoubt was captured at dawn; some
prisoners and guns were taken. The London troops, after a severe
engagement at Tel el Sheria, which they captured by a bayonet charge at
4 a. m. on the 7th subsequently repulsing several counterattacks, pushed
forward their line about a mile to the north of Tel el Sheria; the
mounted troops on the right moved towards Jemmamah and Huj, but met with
considerable opposition from hostile rearguards.

[Sidenote: Charge of the Worcester and Warwick Yeomanry.]

[Sidenote: Reports of the Royal Flying Corps.]

During the 8th the advance was continued, and interest was chiefly
centred in an attempt to cut off, if possible, the Turkish rearguard
which had held the Tank and Atawineh systems. The enemy had, however,
retreated during the night 7th-8th, and though considerable captures of
prisoners, guns, ammunition, and other stores were made during the day,
chiefly in the vicinity of Huj, no large formed body of the enemy was
cut off. The Turkish rearguards fought stubbornly and offered
considerable opposition. Near Huj a fine charge by some squadrons of the
Worcester and Warwick Yeomanry captured 12 guns, and broke the
resistance of a hostile rearguard. It soon became obvious from the
reports of the Royal Flying Corps, who throughout the 7th and 8th
attacked the retreating columns with bombs and machine-gun fire, and
from other evidence, that the enemy was retiring in considerable
disorganization, and could offer no very serious resistance if pressed
with determination.

Instructions were accordingly issued on the morning of the 9th to the
mounted troops, directing them on the line El Tine-Beit Duras, with
orders to press the enemy relentlessly. They were to be supported by a
portion of the force, which was ordered to push forward to Julis and

[Sidenote: Enemy pursued toward Hebron by the Yeomanry.]

The enemy opposite our right flank guard had commenced to retreat
towards Hebron on the morning of the 8th. He was pursued for a short
distance by the Yeomanry, and some prisoners and camels were captured,
but the Yeomanry were then recalled to rejoin the main body of the
mounted troops for the more important task of the pursuit of the enemy's
main body.

[Sidenote: The problem of water and forage.]

By the 9th, therefore, operations had reached the stage of a direct
pursuit by as many troops as could be supplied so far in front of
railhead. The problem, in fact, became one of supply rather than
man[oe]uvre. The question of water and forage was a very difficult one.
Even where water was found in sufficient quantities, it was usually in
wells and not on the surface, and consequently if the machinery for
working the wells was damaged, or a sufficient supply of troughs was not
available, the process of watering a large quantity of animals was slow
and difficult.

[Sidenote: Enemy organizes a counterattack.]

[Sidenote: Enemy's losses heavy.]

On the evening of November 9 there were indications that the enemy was
organizing a counterattack towards Arak el Menshiye by all available
units of the force which had retired towards Hebron, with the object of
taking pressure off the main force, which was retiring along the coastal
plain. It was obvious that the Hebron force, which was believed to be
short of transport and ammunition, to have lost heavily and to be in a
generally disorganized state, could make no effective diversion, and
that this threat could practically be disregarded. Other information
showed the seriousness of the enemy's losses and the disorganization of
his forces.

[Sidenote: Imperial Camel Corps ordered to Tel de Nejile.]

Orders were accordingly issued to press the pursuit and to reach the
Junction Station as early as possible, thus cutting off the Jerusalem
Army, while the Imperial Camel Corps was ordered to move to the
neighborhood of Tel de Nejile, where it would be on the flank of any
counter-stroke from the hills.

[Sidenote: The Turkish Army makes a stand.]

Operations on the 10th and 11th showed a stiffening of the enemy's
resistance on the general line of the Wadi Sukereir, with centre about
El Kustineh; the Hebron group, after an ineffective demonstration in the
direction of Arak el Menshiye on the 10th, retired north-east and
prolonged the enemy's line towards Beit Jibrin. Royal Flying Corps
reports indicated the total hostile forces opposed to us on this line at
about 15,000; and this increased resistance, coupled with the capture of
prisoners from almost every unit of the Turkish force, tended to show
that we were no longer opposed to rearguards, but that all the remainder
of the Turkish Army which could be induced to fight was making a last
effort to arrest our pursuit south of the important Junction Station.

[Sidenote: Troops suffer from thirst.]

In these circumstances our progress on the 10th and 11th was slow; the
troops suffered considerably from thirst (a hot, exhausting wind blew
during these two days), and our supply difficulties were great; but by
the evening of the 11th favorable positions had been reached for a
combined attack.

[Sidenote: Forces far from their railhead.]

[Sidenote: Water supply slow to obtain.]

The 12th was spent in preparations for the attack, which was ordered to
be begun early on the morning of the 13th, on the enemy's position
covering Junction Station. Our forces were now operating at a distance
of some 35 miles in advance of their railhead, and the bringing up and
distribution of supplies and ammunition formed a difficult problem. The
routes north of the Wadi Hesi were found to be hard and good going,
though there were some difficult Wadi crossings, but the main road
through Gaza and as far as Beit Hanun was sandy and difficult. The
supply of water in the area of operations, though good and plentiful in
most of the villages, lies mainly in wells 100 feet or more below the
surface, and in these circumstances a rapid supply and distribution was
almost impossible. Great credit is due to all concerned that these
difficulties were overcome and that it was found possible not only to
supply the troops already in the line, but to bring up two heavy
batteries to support the attack.

[Sidenote: The enemy's position from El Kubeibeh to Beit Jibrin.]

The situation on the morning of November 13 was that the enemy had
strung out his force (amounting probably to no more than 20,000 rifles
in all) on a front of 20 miles, from El Kubeibeh on the north to about
Beit Jibrin to the south. The right half of his line ran roughly
parallel to and only about 5 miles in front of the Ramleh-Junction
Station railway, his main line of supply from the north, and his right
flank was already almost turned. This position had been dictated to him
by the rapidity of our movement along the coast, and the determination
with which his rearguards on this flank had been pressed.

The advanced guard of the 52nd (Lowland) Division had forced its way
almost to Burkah on the 11th, on which day also some mounted troops
pushed across the Nahr Sukereir at Jisr Esdud, where they held a
bridge-head. During the 12th the Yeomanry pushed north up the left bank
of the Nahr Suhereir, and eventually seized Tel-el-Murreh on the right
bank near the mouth.

[Sidenote: One part of enemy retires north, the other east.]

The enemy's army had now been broken into two separate parts, which
retired north and east respectively, and were reported to consist of
small scattered groups rather than formed bodies of any size.

In fifteen days our force had advanced sixty miles on its right and
about forty on its left. It had driven a Turkish Army of nine Infantry
Divisions and one Cavalry Division out of a position in which it had
been entrenched for six months, and had pursued it, giving battle
whenever it attempted to stand, and inflicting on it losses amounting
probably to nearly two-thirds of the enemy's original effectives. Over
9,000 prisoners, about eighty guns, more than 100 machine guns, and very
large quantities of ammunition and other stores had been captured.

[Sidenote: Capture of Junction Station.]

After the capture of Junction Station on the morning of the 14th, our
troops secured a position covering the station, while the Australian
mounted troops reached Kezaze that same evening.

[Sidenote: Turks fight New Zealand Mounted Rifles.]

The mounted troops pressed on towards Ramleh and Ludd. On the right
Naaneh was attacked and captured in the morning, while on the left the
New Zealand Mounted Rifles had a smart engagement at Ayun Kara (six
miles south of Jaffa). Here the Turks made a determined counter-attack
and got to within fifteen yards of our line. A bayonet attack drove them
back with heavy loss.

Flanking the advance along the railway to Ramleh and covering the main
road from Ramleh to Jerusalem, a ridge stands up prominently out of the
low foot hills surrounding it. This is the site of the ancient Gezer,
near which the village of Abu Shusheh now stands. A hostile rearguard
had established itself on this feature. It was captured on the morning
of the 15th in a brilliant attack by mounted troops, who galloped up the
ridge from the south. A gun and 360 prisoners were taken in this affair.

[Sidenote: Mounted troops reach Ramleh and Ludd. Jaffa taken.]

By the evening of the 15th the mounted troops had occupied Ramleh and
Ludd, and had pushed patrols to within a short distance of Jaffa. At
Ludd 300 prisoners were taken, and five destroyed aeroplanes and a
quantity of abandoned war material were found at Ramleh and Ludd.

Jaffa was occupied without opposition on the evening of the 16th.

The situation was now as follows:

[Sidenote: Airmen report enemy likely to leave Jerusalem.]

The enemy's army, cut in two by our capture of Junction Station, had
retired partly east into the mountains towards Jerusalem and partly
north along the plain. The nearest line on which these two portions
could re-unite was the line Tul Keram-Nablus. Reports from the Royal
Flying Corps indicated that it was the probable intention of the enemy
to evacuate Jerusalem and withdraw to reorganize on this line.

On our side the mounted troops had been marching and fighting
continuously since October 31, and had advanced a distance of
seventy-five miles, measured in a straight line from Asluj to Jaffa. The
troops, after their heavy fighting at Gaza, had advanced in nine days a
distance of about forty miles, with two severe engagements and continual
advanced guard fighting. The 52nd (Lowland) Division had covered
sixty-nine miles in this period.

[Sidenote: Railway is being extended.]

The railway was being pushed forward as rapidly as possible, and every
opportunity was taken of landing stores at points along the coast. The
landing of stores was dependent on a continuance of favorable weather,
and might at any moment be stopped for several days together.

[Sidenote: One good road from Nablus to Jerusalem.]

A pause was therefore necessary to await the progress of railway
construction, but before our position in the plain could be considered
secure it was essential to obtain a hold of the one good road which
traverses the Judæan range from north to south, from Nablus to

[Sidenote: Road damaged in several places.]

[Sidenote: Water supply scanty.]

On our intended line of advance only one good road, the main
Jaffa-Jerusalem road, traversed the hills from east to west. For nearly
four miles, between Bab el Wad (two and one-half miles east of Latron)
and Saris, this road passes through a narrow defile, and it had been
damaged by the Turks in several places. The other roads were mere tracks
on the side of the hill or up the stony beds of wadis, and were
impracticable for wheeled transport without improvement. Throughout
these hills the water supply was scanty without development.

On November 17 the Yeomanry had commenced to move from Ramleh through
the hills direct on Bireh by Annabeh, Berfilya and Beit ur el Tahta
(Lower Bethoron). By the evening of November 18 one portion of the
Yeomanry had reached the last-named place, while another portion had
occupied Shilta. The route had been found impossible for wheels beyond

[Sidenote: Infantry begins its advance.]

[Sidenote: Attempt to avoid fighting near Jerusalem.]

On the 19th the Infantry commenced its advance. One portion was to
advance up the main road as far as Kuryet el Enab, with its right flank
protected by Australian mounted troops. From that place, in order to
avoid any fighting in the close vicinity of the Holy City, it was to
strike north towards Bireh by a track leading through Biddu. The
remainder of the infantry was to advance through Berfilya to Beit Likia
and Beit Dukka and thence support the movement of the other portion.

[Sidenote: Saris defended by rearguards.]

After capturing Latron and Amnas on the morning of the 19th, the
remainder of the day was spent in clearing the defile up to Saris, which
was defended by hostile rearguards.

On the 20th Kuryet el Enab was captured with the bayonet in the face of
organized opposition, while Beit Dukka was also captured. On the same
day the Yeomanry got to within four miles of the Nablus-Jerusalem road,
but were stopped by strong opposition about Beitunia.

[Sidenote: Difficult advance of infantry and Yeomanry.]

On the 21st a body of infantry moved north-east by a track from Kuryet
el Enab through Biddu and Kolundia towards Bireh. The track was found
impassable for wheels, and was under hostile shell-fire. Progress was
slow, but by evening the ridge on which stands Neby Samwil was secured.
A further body of troops was left at Kuryet el Enab to cover the flank
and demonstrate along the main Jerusalem road. It drove hostile parties
from Kostul, two and one-half miles east of Kuryet el Enab, and secured
this ridge.

By the afternoon of the 21st advanced parties of Yeomanry were within
two miles of the road and an attack was being delivered on Beitunia by
other mounted troops.

[Sidenote: Period of organization and preparation necessary.]

The positions reached on the evening of the 21st practically marked the
limit of progress in this first attempt to gain the Nablus-Jerusalem
road. The Yeomanry were heavily counter-attacked and fell back, after
bitter fighting, on Beit ur el Foka (Upper Bethoron). During the 22nd
the enemy made two counter-attacks on the Neby Samwil ridge, which were
repulsed. Determined and gallant attacks were made on the 23rd and on
the 24th on the strong positions to the west of the road held by the
enemy, who had brought up reinforcements and numerous machine-guns, and
could support his infantry by artillery fire from guns placed in
positions along the main road. Our artillery, from lack of roads, could
not be brought up to give adequate support to our infantry. Both attacks
failed, and it was evident that a period of preparation and organization
would be necessary before an attack could be delivered in sufficient
strength to drive the enemy from his positions west of the road.

Orders were accordingly issued to consolidate the positions gained and
prepare for relief.

[Sidenote: Position for final attack is won.]

Though these troops had failed to reach their final objectives, they had
achieved invaluable results. The narrow passes from the plain to the
plateau of the Judæan range have seldom been forced, and have been fatal
to many invading armies. Had the attempt not been made at once, or had
it been pressed with less determination, the enemy would have had time
to reorganize his defences in the passes lower down, and the conquest of
the plateau would then have been slow, costly, and precarious. As it
was, positions had been won from which the final attack could be
prepared and delivered with good prospects of success.

By December 4 all reliefs were complete, and a line was held from Kustul
by the Neby Samwil ridge, Beit Izza, and Beit Dukka, to Beit ur el

[Sidenote: Severe local fighting.]

[Sidenote: Enemy pierces outposts near Jaffa.]

[Sidenote: Attacks costly to Turks.]

During this period attacks by the enemy along the whole line led to
severe local fighting. On November 25 our advanced posts north of the
river Auja were driven back across the river. From the 27th to the 30th
the enemy delivered a series of attacks directed especially against the
high ground north and north-east of Jaffa, the left flank of our
position in the hills from Beit ur el Foka to El Burj, and the Neby
Samwil ridge. An attack on the night of the 29th succeeded in
penetrating our outpost line north-east of Jaffa, but next morning the
whole hostile detachment, numbering 150, was surrounded and captured by
Australian Light Horse. On the 30th a similar fate befell a battalion
which attacked near El Burj; a counter-attack by Australian Light Horse
took 220 prisoners and practically destroyed the attacking battalion.
There was particularly heavy fighting between El Burj and Beit ur el
Foka, but the Yeomanry and Scottish troops successfully resisted all
attacks and inflicted severe losses on the enemy. At Beit ur el Foka one
company took 300 prisoners. All efforts by the enemy to drive us off the
Neby Samwil ridge were completely repulsed. These attacks cost the Turks
very dearly. We took 750 prisoners between November 27 and 30, and the
enemy's losses in killed and wounded were undoubtedly heavy. His attacks
in no way affected our positions nor impeded the progress of our

[Sidenote: Improvement of roads and water supply.]

Favored by a continuance of fine weather, preparations for a fresh
advance against the Turkish positions west and south of Jerusalem
proceeded rapidly. Existing roads and tracks were improved and new ones
constructed to enable heavy and field artillery to be placed in position
and ammunition and supplies brought up. The water supply was also

[Sidenote: Advances of British troops.]

The date for the attack was fixed as December 8. Welsh troops, with a
Cavalry regiment attached, had advanced from their positions north of
Beersheba up the Hebron-Jerusalem road on the 4th. No opposition was
met, and by the evening of the 6th the head of this column was ten miles
north of Hebron. The Infantry were directed to reach the Bethlehem-Beit
Jala area by the 7th, and the line Surbahir-Sherafat (about three miles
south of Jerusalem) by dawn on the 8th, and no troops were to enter
Jerusalem during this operation.

It was recognized that the troops on the extreme right might be delayed
on the 7th and fail to reach the positions assigned to them by dawn on
the 8th. Arrangements were therefore made to protect the right flank
west of Jerusalem, in case such delay occurred.

[Sidenote: Three days of rain make roads almost impassable.]

On the 7th the weather broke, and for three days rain was almost
continuous. The hills were covered with mist at frequent intervals,
rendering observation from the air and visual signalling impossible. A
more serious effect of the rain was to jeopardize the supply
arrangements by rendering the roads almost impassable--quite impassable,
indeed, for mechanical transport and camels in many places.

[Sidenote: Artillery support difficult.]

The troops moved into positions of assembly by night, and, assaulting at
dawn on the 8th, soon carried their first objectives. They then pressed
steadily forward. The mere physical difficulty of climbing the steep and
rocky hillsides and crossing the deep valleys would have sufficed to
render progress slow, and the opposition encountered was considerable.
Artillery support was soon difficult, owing to the length of the advance
and the difficulty of moving guns forward. But by about noon London
troops had already advanced over two miles, and were swinging north-east
to gain the Nablus-Jerusalem road; while the Yeomanry had captured the
Beit Iksa spur, and were preparing for a further advance.

[Sidenote: Enemy defences west of Jerusalem captured.]

As the right column had been delayed and was still some distance south
of Jerusalem, it was necessary for the London troops to throw back their
right and form a defensive flank facing east towards Jerusalem, from the
western outskirts of which considerable rifle and artillery fire was
being experienced. This delayed the advance, and early in the afternoon
it was decided to consolidate the line gained and resume the advance
next day, when the right column would be in a position to exert its
pressure. By nightfall our line ran from Neby Samwil to the east of Beit
Iksa, through Lifta to a point about one and one-half miles west of
Jerusalem, whence it was thrown back facing east. All the enemy's
prepared defences west and north-west of Jerusalem had been captured,
and our troops were within a short distance of the Nablus-Jerusalem

[Sidenote: Operations isolate Jerusalem.]

Next morning the advance was resumed. The Turks had withdrawn during the
night, and the London troops and Yeomanry, driving back rearguards,
occupied a line across the Nablus-Jerusalem road four miles north of
Jerusalem, while Welsh troops occupied a position east of Jerusalem
across the Jericho road. These operations isolated Jerusalem, and at
about noon the enemy sent out a _parlementaire_ and surrendered the

At noon on the 11th I made my official entry into Jerusalem.

       *       *       *       *       *

There were many encounters between American ships and German submarines
in the months of 1917, following the Declaration of War. Official
accounts of the most important of these encounters are given in the
following pages.



[Sidenote: The destroyer _Cassin_ sights a submarine.]

On October 15, 1917, the U. S. destroyer _Cassin_ was patrolling off the
south coast of Ireland; when about 20 miles south of Mine Head, at 1.30
p. m., a submarine was sighted by the lookout aloft four or five miles
away, about two points on the port bow. The submarine at this time was
awash and was made out by officers of the watch and the quartermaster of
the watch, but three minutes later submerged.

The _Cassin_, which was making 15 knots, continued on its course until
near the position where the submarine had disappeared. When last seen
the submarine was heading in a south-easterly direction, and when the
destroyer reached the point of disappearance the course was changed, as
it was thought the vessel would make a decided change of course after
submerging. At this time the commanding officer, the executive officer,
engineer officer, officer of the watch, and the junior watch officer
were all on the bridge searching for the submarine.

[Sidenote: Torpedo sighted running at high speed.]

[Sidenote: Torpedo strikes destroyer and depth charges also explode.]

At about 1.57 p. m. the commanding officer sighted a torpedo apparently
shortly after it had been fired, running near the surface and in a
direction that was estimated would make a hit either in the engine or
fire room. When first seen the torpedo was between three or four hundred
yards from the ship, and the wake could be followed on the other side
for about 400 yards. The torpedo was running at high speed, at least 35
knots. The _Cassin_ was maneuvering to dodge the torpedo, double
emergency full speed ahead having been signaled from the engine room and
the rudder put hard left as soon as the torpedo was sighted. It looked
for the moment as though the torpedo would pass astern. When about
fifteen or twenty feet away the torpedo porpoised, completely leaving
the water and shearing to the left. Before again taking the water the
torpedo hit the ship well aft on the port side about frame 163 and above
the water line. Almost immediately after the explosion of the torpedo
the depth charges, located on the stern and ready for firing, exploded.
There were two distinct explosions in quick succession after the torpedo

[Sidenote: Ingram's sacrifice saves his comrades.]

But one life was lost. Osmond K. Ingram, gunner's mate first class, was
cleaning the muzzle of No. 4 gun, target practice being just over when
the attack occurred. With rare presence of mind, realizing that the
torpedo was about to strike the part of the ship where the depth charges
were stored and that the setting off of these explosives might sink the
ship, Ingram, immediately seeing the danger, ran aft to strip these
charges and throw them overboard. He was blown to pieces when the
torpedo struck. Thus Ingram sacrificed his life in performing a duty
which he believed would save his ship and the lives of the officers and
men on board.

Nine members of the crew received minor injuries.

After the ship was hit, the crew was kept at general quarters.

[Sidenote: Port engine still workable.]

The executive officer and engineer officer inspected the parts of the
ship that were damaged, and those adjacent to the damage. It was found
that the engine and fire rooms and after magazine were intact and that
the engines could be worked; but that the ship could not be steered,
the rudder having been blown off and the stern blown to starboard. The
ship continued to turn to starboard in a circle. In an effort to put the
ship on a course by the use of the engines, something carried away which
put the starboard engine out of commission. The port engine was kept
going at slow speed. The ship, being absolutely unmanageable, sometimes
turned in a circle and at times held an approximate course for several

[Sidenote: Radio officers improvise temporary wireless.]

Immediately after the ship was torpedoed the radio was out of
commission. The radio officer and radio electrician chief managed to
improvise a temporary auxiliary antenna. The generators were out of
commission for a short time after the explosion, the ship being in
darkness below.

When this vessel was torpedoed, there was another United States
destroyer, name unknown, within signal distance. She had acknowledged
our call by searchlight before we were torpedoed. After being torpedoed,
an attempt was made to signal her by searchlight, flag, and whistle, and
the distress signal was hoisted. Apparently through a misunderstanding
she steamed away and was lost sight of.

[Sidenote: Another submarine fight.]

At about 2.30 p. m., when we were in approximately the same position as
when torpedoed, a submarine conning tower was sighted on port beam,
distant about 1,500 yards, ship still circling under port engine. Opened
fire with No. 2 gun, firing four rounds. Submarine submerged and was not
seen again. Two shots came very close to submarine.

[Sidenote: American and British vessels stand by.]

At 3.50 p. m., U. S. S. _Porter_ stood by. At 4.25 p. m., wreckage which
was hanging to stern dropped off. At dark stopped port engine and
drifted. At about 9 p. m., H. M. S. _Jessamine_ and H. M. S. _Tamarisk_
stood by. H. M. S. _Jessamine_ signalled she would stand by until
morning and then take us in tow. At this time sea was very rough, wind
about six or seven and increasing.

[Sidenote: Attempts to tow the _Cassin_ fail.]

H. M. S. _Tamarisk_ prepared to take us in tow and made one attempt
after another to get a line to us. Finally, about 2.10 a. m., October
16, the _Tamarisk_ lowered a boat in rough sea and sent grass line by
means of which our eight-inch hawser was sent over to her. At about 2.30
a. m. _Tamarisk_ started towing us to Queenstown, speed about four
knots, this vessel towing well on starboard quarter of _Tamarisk_, due
to condition of stern described above. At 3.25 hawser parted.

[Sidenote: The _Tamarisk_ succeeds in getting out a line.]

Between this time and 10.37 a. m., when a towing line was received from
H. M. S. _Snowdrop_, various attempts were made by the _Tamarisk_ and
two trawlers and a tug to tow the _Cassin_. An eleven-inch towing hawser
from the _Tamarisk_ parted. All ships, except her, lost the _Cassin_
during the night. The _Cassin_ was drifting rapidly on a lee shore, and
had it not been for the _Tamarisk_ getting out a line in the early
morning, the vessel would have undoubtedly grounded on Hook Point, as it
is extremely doubtful if her anchors would have held.

About thirty-five feet of the stern was blown off or completely
ruptured. The after living compartments and after storerooms are
completely wrecked or gone, and all stores and clothing from these parts
of the ship are gone or ruined. About forty-five members of the crew,
including the chief petty officers, lost practically everything but the
clothes they had on.

At the time of the explosion there were a number of men in the after
compartments. How they managed to escape is beyond explanation.

The officers and crew behaved splendidly. There was no excitement. The
men went to their stations quietly and remained there all night, except
when called away to handle lines.

[Sidenote: Efficiency of officers and men.]

The work of the executive officer, Lieutenant J. W. McClaran, and of the
engineer officer, Lieutenant J. A. Saunders, is deserving of especial
commendation. These two officers inspected magazines and spaces below
decks and superintended shoring of bulkheads and restaying of masts.
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) R. M. Parkinson did excellent work in getting
an improvised radio set into commission. W. J. Murphy, chief electrician
(radio), and F. R. Fisher, chief machinist's mate, are specifically
mentioned in the commanding officer's report for their cool and
efficient work.

Twenty-two enlisted men are mentioned by name as conspicuous for their
coolness and leadership.

[Sidenote: Luck in favor of the submarine.]

From the statement of all the officers it is evident that luck favored
the submarine. The destroyer probably would have escaped being hit had
not the torpedo broached twice and turned decidedly to the left both
times--in other words, failed to function properly.

[Sidenote: The results of the explosion.]

The equivalent of 850 pounds of T. N. T. is estimated to have exploded
in and upon the _Cassin's_ fantail; this includes the charges of the
torpedo and of both depth mines. No. 4 gun, blown overboard, left the
ship to port, although that was the side which the torpedo hit. The gun
went over at a point well forward of her mount. The mass of the
wreckage, however, went to starboard. Explosion of the depth charges,
rather than that of the torpedo outward or in throwback, supposedly
effected this. About five seconds elapsed between the torpedo's
detonation and those of the mines. They probably went off close
together, for accounts vary as to whether there were in all two or
three explosions.

[Sidenote: The bulkhead buckles.]

Of the two after doors, that to port threatened to carry away soon after
the seas began to pound in. The main mass of the wreckage which dropped
off did so upward of an hour after the explosions. It was at this time
that the bulkhead began to buckle and the port door and dogging weaken.
It was shored with mattresses under the personal direction of the
executive. Up to this time and until the seas began to crumple the
bulkhead completely, there was only a few inches of water in the two P.
O. compartments; and even when the _Cassin_ reached Queenstown, hardly
more than three feet. None of the compartments directly under these
three on the deck below--handling room, magazine, and oil tanks--were
injured at all. The tanks were farthest aft, and were pumped out after

[Sidenote: Freaks of flying metal.]

One piece of metal entered the wash room and before coming to rest
completely circled it without touching a man who was standing in the
center of the compartment. Another stray piece tore a six-inch hole in
one of the stacks.

The destroyer within signal distance at the time of the attack was the
U. S. S. _Porter_. It is believed that she saw the explosion, at least
of the two depth charges, and thinking that the _Cassin_ was attacking a
submarine, started off scouting before a signal could be sent and after
the radio was out of commission.

[Sidenote: The _Alcedo's_ last voyage.]

[Sidenote: Low visibility hides convoy.]

At 4 p. m., November 4, 1917, the U. S. S. _Alcedo_ proceeded to sea
from Quiberon Bay on escort duty to take convoy through the war zone.
Following the northbound convoy for Brest, when north of Belle Ile
formation was taken with the _Alcedo_ on the starboard flank. At 5.45 p.
m. the _Alcedo_ took departure from Point Poulins Light. Darkness had
fallen and owing to a haze visibility was poor, at times the convoy not
being visible. About 11.30 visibility was such that the convoy was seen
on the port bow of the _Alcedo_, the nearest ship, according to the
commanding officer's estimate, being about 1,200 yards distant. Having
written his night order, the commanding officer left the bridge and
turned in.

The following is his report of the torpedoing:

[Sidenote: "Submarine, Captain."]

[Sidenote: Attempts to avoid the torpedo.]

At or about 1.45 a. m., November 5, while sleeping in emergency cabin,
immediately under upper bridge, I was awakened by a commotion and
immediately received a report from some man unknown, "Submarine,
captain." I jumped out of bed and went to the upper bridge, and the
officer of the deck, Lieutenant Paul, stated he had sounded "general
quarters," had seen submarine on surface about 300 yards on port bow,
and submarine had fired a torpedo, which was approaching. I took station
on port wing of upper bridge and saw torpedo approaching about 200 feet
distant. Lieutenant Paul had put the rudder full right before I arrived
on bridge, hoping to avoid the torpedo. The ship answered slowly to her
helm, however, and before any other action could be taken the torpedo I
saw struck the ship's side immediately under the port forward chain
plates, the detonation occurring instantly. I was thrown down and for a
few seconds dazed by falling débris and water.

[Sidenote: Submarine alarm sounded on siren.]

Upon regaining my feet I sounded the submarine alarm on the siren, to
call all hands if they had not heard the general alarm gong, and to
direct the attention of the convoy and other escorting vessels. Called
to the forward guns' crews to see if at stations, but by this time
realized that gallant forecastle was practically awash. The foremast had
fallen, carrying away radio aerial. I called out to abandon ship.

I then left the upper bridge and went into the chart house to obtain
ship's position from the chart, but, as there was no light, could not
see. I then went out of the chart house and met the navigator,
Lieutenant Leonard, and asked him if he had sent any radio, and he
replied "No." I then directed him and accompanied him to the main deck
and told him to take charge of cutting away forward dories and life

I then proceeded along starboard gangway and found a man lying face down
in gangway. I stooped and rolled him over and spoke to him, but received
no reply and was unable to learn his identity, owing to the darkness. It
is my opinion that this man was dead.

[Sidenote: Dories and life rafts are cut away.]

I then continued to the after end of ship, took station on aftergun
platform. I then realized that the ship was filling rapidly and her
bulwarks amidships were level with the water. I directed the after
dories and life rafts to be cut away and thrown overboard and ordered
the men in the immediate vicinity to jump over the side, intending to
follow them.

[Sidenote: The ship sinks--Captain reaches a whaleboat.]

Before I could jump, however, the ship listed heavily to port, plunging
by the head, and sunk, carrying me down with the suction. I experienced
no difficulty, however, in getting clear, and when I came to the surface
I swam a few yards to a life raft, to which were clinging three men. We
climbed on board this raft and upon looking around observed Doyle, chief
boatswain's mate, and one other man in the whaleboat. We paddled to the
whaleboat and embarked from the life raft.

[Sidenote: Rescuing men from the water.]

The whaleboat was about half full of water, and we immediately started
bailing and then to rescue men from wreckage, and quickly filled the
whaleboat to more than its maximum capacity, so that no others could be
taken aboard. We then picked up two overturned dories which were nested
together, separated them and righted them, only to find that their
sterns had been broken. We then located another nest of dories, which
were separated and righted and found to be seaworthy. Transferred some
men from the whaleboat into these dories and proceeded to pick up other
men from wreckage. During this time cries were heard from two men in the
water some distance away who were holding on to wreckage and calling for
assistance. It is believed that these men were Ernest M. Harrison, mess
attendant, and John Winne, jr., seaman. As soon as the dories were
available we proceeded to where they were last seen, but could find no
trace of them.

[Sidenote: Submarine of _U-27_ type approaches.]

About this time, which was probably an hour after the ship sank, a
German submarine approached the scene of torpedoing and lay to near some
of the dories and life rafts. She was in the light condition, and from
my observation of her I am of the opinion that she was of the _U-27-31_
type. This has been confirmed by having a number of men and officers
check the silhouette book. The submarine was probably 100 yards distant
from my whaleboat, and I heard no remarks from anyone on the submarine,
although I observed three persons standing on top of conning tower.
After laying on surface about half an hour the submarine steered off and

[Sidenote: Boats leave scene of disaster.]

I then proceeded with the whaleboat and two dories searching through the
wreckage to make sure that no survivors were left in the water. No other
people being seen, at 4.30 a. m. we started away from the scene of

The _Alcedo_ was sunk, as near as I can estimate, 75 miles west true of
north end of Belle Ile. The torpedo struck ship at 1.46 by the officer
of the deck's watch, and the same watch stopped at 1.54 a. m., November
5, this showing that the ship remained afloat eight minutes.

[Sidenote: A French torpedo boat rescues the Captain's party.]

The flare of Penmark Light was visible, and I headed for it and
ascertained the course by Polaris to be approximately northeast. We
rowed until 1.15, when Penmark Lighthouse was sighted. Continued rowing
until 5.15 p. m. when Penmark Lighthouse was distant about 2 1/2 miles.
We were then picked up by French torpedo boat _275_, and upon going on
board I requested the commanding officer to radio immediately to Brest
reporting the fact of torpedoing and that 3 officers and 40 men were
proceeding to Brest. The French gave all assistance possible for the
comfort of the survivors. We arrived at Brest about 11 p. m. Those
requiring medical attention were sent to the hospital and the others
were sent off to the _Panther_ to be quartered.

[Sidenote: Crews of two other dories safe.]

Upon arrival at Brest I was informed that two other dories containing
Lieutenant H. R. Leonard, Lieutenant H. A. Peterson, Passed Assistant
Surgeon Paul O. M. Andreae, and 25 men had landed at Pen March Point.
This was my first intimation that these officers and men had been saved,
as they had not been seen by any of my party at the scene of torpedoing.

[Sidenote: The destroyer _Jacob Jones_ is torpedoed.]

At 4.21 p. m. on December 6, 1917, in latitude 49·23 north, longitude
6·13 west, clear weather, smooth sea, speed 13 knots zigzagging, the U.
S. S. _Jacob Jones_ was struck on the starboard side by a torpedo from
an enemy submarine. The ship was one of six of an escorting group which
were returning independently from off Brest to Queenstown. All other
ships of the group were out of sight ahead.

[Sidenote: Attempts to avoid the torpedo.]

I was in the chart house and heard some one call out "Torpedo!" I jumped
at once to the bridge, and on the way up saw the torpedo about 800 yards
from the ship approaching from about one point abaft the starboard beam
headed for a point about midships, making a perfectly straight surface
run (alternately broaching and submerging to apparently 4 or 5 feet), at
an estimated speed of at least 40 knots. No periscope was sighted. When
I reached the bridge I found that the officer of the deck had already
put the rudder hard left and rung up emergency speed on the engine-room
telegraph. The ship had already begun to swing to the left. I personally
rang up emergency speed again and then turned to watch the torpedo. The
executive officer, Lieutenant Norman Scott, left the chart house just
ahead of me, saw the torpedo immediately on getting outside the door,
and estimates that the torpedo when he sighted it was 1,000 yards away,
approaching from one point, or slightly less, abaft the beam and making
exceedingly high speed.

[Sidenote: Lieutenant Kalk acts promptly.]

After seeing the torpedo and realizing the straight run, line of
approach, and high speed it was making, I was convinced that it was
impossible to maneuver to avoid it. Lieutenant (Junior Grade) S. F. Kalk
was officer of the deck at the time, and I consider that he took correct
and especially prompt measures in maneuvering to avoid the torpedo.
Lieutenant Kalk was a very able officer, calm and collected in
emergency. He had been attached to the ship for about two months and had
shown especial aptitude. His action in this emergency entirely justified
my confidence in him. I deeply regret to state that he was lost as a
result of the torpedoing of the ship, dying of exposure on one of the

[Sidenote: Torpedo strikes fuel-oil tank below water line.]

The torpedo broached and jumped clear of the water at a short distance
from the ship, submerged about 50 or 60 feet from the ship, and struck
approximately three feet below the water line in the fuel-oil tank
between the auxiliary room and the after crew space. The ship settled
aft immediately after being torpedoed to a point at which the deck just
forward of the after deck house was awash, and then more gradually until
the deck abreast the engine-room hatch was awash. A man on watch in the
engine room, D. R. Carter, oiler, attempted to close the water-tight
door between the auxiliary room and the engine room, but was unable to
do so against the pressure of water from the auxiliary room.

[Sidenote: Effects of the explosion.]

The deck over the forward part of the after crew space and over the
fuel-oil tank just forward of it was blown clear for a space
athwartships of about 20 feet from starboard to port, and the auxiliary
room wrecked. The starboard after torpedo tube was blown into the air.
No fuel oil ignited and, apparently, no ammunition exploded. The depth
charges in the chutes aft were set on ready and exploded after the stern
sank. It was impossible to get to them to set them on safe as they were
under water. Immediately the ship was torpedoed, Lieutenant J. K.
Richards, the gunnery officer, rushed aft to attempt to set the charges
on "safe," but was unable to get further aft than the after deck house.

[Sidenote: Impossible to use radio.]

As soon as the torpedo struck I attempted to send out an "S. O. S."
message by radio, but the mainmast was carried away, antennae falling,
and all electric power had failed. I then tried to have the gun-sight
lighting batteries connected up in an effort to send out a low-power
message with them, but it was at once evident that this would not be
practicable before the ship sank. There was no other vessel in sight,
and it was therefore impossible to get through a distress signal of any

[Sidenote: Confidential publications are weighted and thrown overboard.]

Immediately after the ship was torpedoed every effort was made to get
rafts and boats launched. Also the circular life belts from the bridge
and several splinter mats from the outside of the bridge were cut adrift
and afterwards proved very useful in holding men up until they could be
got to the rafts. Weighted confidential publications were thrown over
the side. There was no time to destroy other confidential matter, but it
went down with the ship.

[Sidenote: Men jump overboard.]

The ship sank about 4.29 p. m. (about eight minutes after being
torpedoed). As I saw her settling rapidly, I ran along the deck and
ordered everybody I saw to jump overboard. At this time most of those
not killed by the explosion had got clear of the ship and were on rafts
or wreckage. Some, however, were swimming and a few appeared to be about
a ship's length astern of the ship, at some distance from the rafts,
probably having jumped overboard very soon after the ship was struck.

[Sidenote: The ship sinks stern first. Depth charges explode.]

Before the ship sank two shots were fired from No. 4 gun with the hope
of attracting attention of some nearby ship. As the ship began sinking
I jumped overboard. The ship sank stern first and twisted slowly through
nearly 180 degrees as she swung upright. From this nearly vertical
position, bow in the air to about the forward funnel, she went straight
down. Before the ship reached the vertical position the depth charges
exploded, and I believe them to have caused the death of a number of
men. They also partially paralyzed, stunned, or dazed a number of
others, including Lieutenant Kalk and myself and several men, some of
whom are still disabled but recovering.

[Sidenote: Rafts and boats float.]

Immediate efforts were made to get all survivors on the rafts and then
get rafts and boats together. Three rafts were launched before the ship
sank and one floated off when she sank. The motor dory, hull undamaged
but engine out of commission, also floated off, and the punt and wherry
also floated clear. The punt was wrecked beyond usefulness, and the
wherry was damaged and leaking badly, but was of considerable use in
getting men to the rafts. The whaleboat was launched but capsized soon
afterwards, having been damaged by the explosion of the depth charges.
The motor sailor did not float clear, but went down with the ship.

[Sidenote: Submarine appears and picks up one man.]

About 15 or 20 minutes after the ship sank the submarine appeared on the
surface about two or three miles to the westward of the rafts, and
gradually approached until about 800 to 1,000 yards from the ship, where
it stopped and was seen to pick up one unidentified man from the water.
The submarine then submerged and was not seen again.

[Sidenote: The captain's boat steers for the Scillys.]

I was picked up by the motor dory and at once began to make arrangements
to try to reach the Scillys in that boat in order to get assistance to
those on the rafts. All the survivors then in sight were collected and I
gave orders to Lieutenant Richards to keep them together. Lieutenant
Scott, the navigating officer, had fixed the ship's position a few
minutes before the explosion and both he and I knew accurately the
course to be steered. I kept Lieutenant Scott to assist me and four men
who were in good condition in the boat to man the oars, the engine being
out of commission. With the exception of some emergency rations and half
a bucket of water, all provisions, including medical kit, were taken
from the dory and left on the rafts. There was no apparatus of any kind
which could be used for night signaling.

[Sidenote: Survivors are picked up.]

After a very trying trip during which it was necessary to steer by stars
and by the direction of the wind, the dory was picked up about 1 p. m.,
December 7, by a small patrol vessel about 6 miles south of St. Marys.
Commander Randal, R. N. R., Senior Naval Officer, Scilly Isles, informed
me that the other survivors had been rescued.

One small raft (which had been separated from the others from the
first) was picked up by the S. S. _Catalina_ at 8 p. m., December 6.
After a most trying experience through the night, the remaining
survivors were picked up by H. M. S. _Camellia_, at 8.30 a. m., December

[Sidenote: The number lost.]

I deeply regret to state that out of a total of 7 officers and 103 men
on board at the time of the torpedoing, 2 officers and 64 men died in
the performance of duty.

The behavior of officers and men under the exceptionally hard conditions
is worthy of the highest praise.

[Sidenote: Lieutenant Scott's valuable services.]

Lieutenant Norman Scott, executive officer, accomplished a great deal
toward getting boats and rafts in the water, turning off steam from the
fireroom to the engine room, getting life belts and splinter mats from
the bridge into the water, in person firing signal guns, encouraging and
assisting the men, and in general doing everything possible in the short
time available. He was of invaluable assistance during the trip in the

[Sidenote: Calmness and efficiency of other officers.]

Lieutenant J. K. Richards was left in charge of all the rafts, and his
coolness and cheerfulness under exceedingly hard conditions was highly
commendable and undoubtedly served to put heart into the men to stand
the strain.

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) S. F. Kalk, during the early part of the
evening, but already in a weakened condition, swam from one raft to
another in the effort to equalize weight on the rafts. The men who were
on the raft with him state, in their own words, that "He was game to the

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) N. N. Gates was calm and efficient in the
performance of duty.

[Sidenote: Men recommended for commendation.]

During the night, Charlesworth, C., boatswain's mate first class,
removed parts of his own clothing (when all realized that their lives
depended on keeping warm) to try to keep alive men more thinly clad than
himself. This sacrifice shows his caliber and I recommend that he be
commended for his action.

At the risk of almost certain death, Burger, P. J., seaman second class,
remained in the motor sailer and endeavored to get it clear for floating
from the ship. While he did not succeed in accomplishing this work
(which would undoubtedly have saved 20 or 30 lives) I desire to call
attention to his sticking to duty until the very last, and recommend him
as being most worthy of commendation. He was drawn under the water with
the boat, but later came to the surface and was rescued.

Kelly, L. J., chief electrician, and Chase, H. U., quartermaster third
class, remained on board until the last, greatly endangering their lives
thereby, to cut adrift splinter mats and life preservers. Kelly's
stamina and spirit were especially valuable during the motor dory's

Gibson, H. L., chief boatswain's mate, and Meier, E., water tender, were
of great assistance to the men on their rafts in advising and cheering
them up under most adverse conditions.

The foregoing report is made from my own observations and after
questioning all surviving officers and men.

       *       *       *       *       *

The American naval authorities early recognized that the swift
destroyers were the most effective instruments for hunting down German
submarines, and the most efficient guardians for the loaded troop and
food ships crossing the Atlantic. Life on board one of these swift and
powerful boats is described in the following narrative.[1]

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] Transcriber's Note: This narrative will be found in Vol. III of this

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 18, double word "being" removed (without being able) Original
read: (without being being able)

Page 33, word "with" was originally italicised. These italics were
removed. (_Nerissa_, with _Moorsom_ and _Morris_)

Page 39, "squaddron" changed to "squadron" (his magnificent squadron)

Page 59, "I" inserted into text (men than I could)

Page 86, "Fregicourt" changed to "Frégicourt" (Rancourt, and Frégicourt)

Page 143, "Candian" changed to "Canadian" (Canadian lines and had)

Page 151, "Hobenzollerns" changed to "Hohenzollerns" (upon the

Page 158, "frome" changed to "from" (came from the sentries)

Page 178, "Meopotamia" changed to "Mesopotamia" (empire--Mesopotamia,

Page 238, "Wheras" changed to "Whereas" (_Whereas_, The Imperial German)

Page 267, "dramtically" changed to "dramatically" (was dramatically

Page 294, "Consulor" changed to "Consular" (to American Consular)

Page 346, "depots" changed to "depôts" to match rest of article (and
depôts north of)

Page 367, Sidenote: "defenses" changed to "defences" to match rest of
text (Enemy defences west)

Page 375, "foremost" changed to "foremast" (The foremast had fallen)

Page 381, "other" changed to "others" (number of others)

Many words were hyphenated or not depending on the article. Examples:
battlefield, battle-field; bridgehead, bridge-head; varied forms of
cooperate, co-operate, coöperate.

At times manoevre was spelled with an oe-ligature. This is indicated in
the text by enclosing the ligature in brackets [oe].

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