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Title: America's War for Humanity
Author: Russell, Thomas Herbert, 1862-1947
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "America's War for Humanity" ***


Pictorial History _of the_ World War _for_ Liberty


_Noted Historical and Military Writer. Member American Historical

[Illustration: Giants of Democracy]

_Above_--Machine-gun team of an American balloon company at work on the
French front, trying to get an enemy airplane. These anti-aircraft guns
are known as "Archies"

_Below_--Men of the 313th U.S. Field Artillery cleaning and polishing
75-millimeter shells, to be sent over to the Hun at night. Dirty
or rusted shells are dangerous to use. (_U.S. Official Photos_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Scene in Chateau Thierry after the battle that
brought undying glory to American arms, and especially to the Marine
Corps. The effects of the heavy bombardment by the artillery of the
Third Division are plainly to be seen. (_Photo from I.F.S._)

_Below_--American and French soldiers looking over the town of Chateau
Thierry after the battle. This was the scene of America's first great
victory in the war. The town was stormed and the enemy routed by the
troops the Germans had chosen to belittle. (_Copyright by C.P.I.; Photo
from W.N.U._)]

[Illustration: _Above_--American automatic rifle team
making it hot for the Huns. Note the protective barricade of ammunition
boxes and sandbags.

_Below_--How hand grenades are thrown at the enemy in the trenches.
American soldiers soon became expert at this superlative kind of
baseball. (_U.S. Official Photos_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Surrender
of the German high-seas fleet. A British warship, which towed an
observation balloon, leading the line of seventy German vessels into the
Firth of Forth. _(Copyright, U. & U.)_

_Below_--Surrendering the German submarines at the port of Harwich,
England. Note the listless attitude of this particular German crew.
_(Copyright, I.F.S.)_]

[Illustration: Drafting the armistice terms by
the Allied plenipotentiaries at Versailles. On the left side of
the table from left to right are shown: Gen. du Robilant; next man
unidentified; Italian Foreign Minister Sonnino; Italian Premier Orlando;
Col. E.M. House; Gen. Tasker H. Bliss; next man unidentified; Greek
Premier Venizelos; Serbian Minister Vesnitch. On the right side of the
table from left to right: Admiral Wemyss, with back to camera; Gen.
Sir Henry Wilson; Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig; Gen. Sackville West;
Andrew Bonar Law; Premier David Lloyd-George; French Premier Georges
Clemenceau; and French Foreign Minister Stephen Pichon. (_French
Official Photo, from I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: The American delegates to
the Peace Conference at Versailles: _From left to right_--Colonel E.
M. House, Secretary of State Robert Lansing, President Woodrow Wilson,
Henry White, General Tasker H. Bliss. The photograph was taken in
the Murat Mansion, residence of the President while in Paris.]
[Illustration: The Human Flag--A wonderful triumph of artistic military
formation and photography, showing 10,000 Jackies at Great Lakes,
Illinois, the largest naval training station in the world, with nearly
60,000 sailors in the making, and a naval band of over 1,000 pieces.
_(Copyright,_ _U. & U_.)]

[Illustration: A typical aerial battle.
Destruction of a Boche plane by dauntless American aviators, swooping
like eagles upon their prey, regardless of the anti-aircraft shells that
burst all about them, and helping by their intrepidity and skill to
clear the air of the Hun and maintain the supremacy gained by the Allies
in aerial warfare. Thousands of American flyers were trained and ready
to carry the war into Germany when the Teuton forces collapsed and cried
"Enough!" _(Photo from I. F. S_.)] [Illustration: _Above_--An American
supply train in the town of Esnes, seen from the cemetery. In the
background Hill 300, which was held by the Germans since early in the
war and has been the scene of many attacks and great slaughter. Note the
utter ruin of the town as it was found by the Americans.

_Below_--An American patrol arriving at the ruins of the house used as
an observatory by the German Crown Prince during the famous battle of
Verdun. It is said that he watched the operations in comfort while
seated before the eyepiece of a periscope carried up through the roof.
(_U. S. Official Photos_.)]

[Illustration: Departure of President Wilson
from New York, December 3. 1918, on the steamship George Washington,
formerly a German liner, on his voyage to France to attend the Peace
Conference. This event made a new record in American history, it being
the first time a President has ever left the country for any length of
time. A destroyer is seen escorting the President's ship down the harbor
to Staten Island, where the battleship Pennsylvania assumed the chief
escort duty. _(Copyright, I. F. S_.)]

_Above_--General Pershing decorating Private Nick Connors, Infantry,
42nd Division, with the Distinguished Service Cross, for bravery at
Chateau Thierry.

_Below_--Y. M. C. A. Secretary H. F. Butterfield, with a volunteer
detail of the 104th Infantry, 26th Division, loaded with cigarettes,
chewing gum, and tobacco for the boys of the 104th, who were chasing the
retreating foe in France. _(U. S. Official Photos.)_]

[Illustration: The
United States battleship Pennsylvania, showing an unusual view of some
of her heavy guns. This vessel is the pride of the Navy and was selected
to escort President Wilson on his voyage to Europe to attend the Peace
Conference. She led the way across the Atlantic, steaming ahead of the
George Washington, on which the President and his party of 200 were
passengers. She carries twelve 14-inch and twenty-two 5-inch guns.]

[Illustration: _Above_--American observation balloon being brought down
to its anchorage. One of many similar balloons used to direct the fire
of artillery and observe the movements of the enemy, a service of
considerable danger as the balloonists are constantly exposed to airplane
attack. Each observer is harnessed to a parachute and jumps when the
balloon is attacked and in danger of destruction. (_Copyright by C. P.
I., from W. N. U_.)

_Below_--Canadian officers of a Royal Air Squadron, lined up with their
machines behind the front in France. It was the splendid work of these
gallant fellows and thousands more like them--British, French, and
Americans--that kept the supremacy of the air in the hands of
the Allies. _(Canadian Official Photo, copyright by U. & U_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Remarkable photograph of a flame-throwing attack
by French troops. The "flammenwerfer" or flame-thrower was originated
by the Germans, like other diabolical methods of warfare. The Allies
perfected the machine and turned it on the enemy with great success, and
the Germans did not like their own medicine. Note the reservoir on the
soldier's back. _(Copyright. U. & U._)

_Below_--A Belgian scouting party in Flanders, making its way over a
pontoon bridge, and dressed in the new khaki uniform of the Belgian
army, which turned the tables on the Hun. _(Photo, U. & U._)]

[Illustration: Part of the American army of occupation on its way
to Germany. After celebrating for awhile the announcement that the
armistice had been signed, the American troops at the front realized
that there was still serious work, though of a different kind, ahead
of them, and started for the cities across the Rhine with a firm
determination to carry on till all the fruits of their victory
were obtained. An American dispatch rider is seen at the right,
fraternizing with a French soldier. _(French Official Photo, from U.
& U._)]

[Illustration: GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING, Commander American
Expeditionary Forces in France, in August, 1918, had an army of
1,500,000 Americans in France, doing glorious service with their allies
against the common enemy. His selection for command was approved by
all Americans; he is the idol of his men. _(Copyright, U. & U._)]

[Illustration: A divisional headquarters on the British front in France
during the progress of a battle, showing troops in reserve, German
prisoners, and stretcher-bearers at work. (Australian official

[Illustration: Canadians entering a wood just evacuated by the Germans
and passing an enemy gun which has been rendered useless and abandoned
by the Huns in their retreat. The Canadians are advancing in the face
of machine-gun fire. (Canadian official photograph.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Going over the top. Allied troops with full
equipment are seen leaving their trench and advancing to attack. This
is the moment that tried men's souls, and showed themselves and their
comrades the stuff that was in them. _(Photo from I. F. S._)

_Below_--Scene when Cambrai was captured by the British, showing large
numbers of British troops moving forward across the battlefield. In the
foreground the men are seen leaving a communication trench. _(British
Official Photo, from I. F. S._)]

[Illustration: Scene at Gen. Sir E. H. Allenby's historic entry on foot
into Jerusalem, December 11, 1917, after its capture by the British from
the Turks, who had held the Holy City under Moslem domination for
centuries. All Christendom hailed the event with rejoicing. Every sacred
building, shrine, and traditional holy spot will in future be
scrupulously maintained and protected. The Holy City was not bombarded
by the British, but was evacuated by the Turks and surrendered by the
leading inhabitants when Gen. Allenby's forces, after defeating the
Turkish troops repeatedly in the field, reached Gazara, three miles from
Jerusalem. Subsequently the entire Turkish army in Palestine was
captured or dispersed in disorder. _(Copyright, U. & U_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Easing the pain of the wounded in an evacuation
hospital in France. The Red Cross nurses in the photo (two girls from
Aberdeen, S. D.), are giving wounded Yank a newspaper from God's country
and some chocolate, and he evidently appreciates their work.

_Below_--The first batch of American troops to return.from France after
the armistice. The photo shows the camouflage of S. S. Mauretania as
she arrived in New York harbor, bearing 5,000 men, of whom 1,100 were
wounded. _(U. S. Official Photos_)]

[Illustration: Homecoming of
American soldiers from Europe. An upper deck of the steamship
Mauretania, sister ship of the ill-fated Lusitania, as she steamed into
New York harbor, bringing back the first batch of returning troops.
These men were all of the aviation service who had been in training
in England. Their faces show how glad they were to see the Goddess of
Liberty once more. _(Copyright, I. F. S._)]

[Illustration: War Map Showing Naval and Military Forces of Europe at a

[Illustration: and Naval Bases. (_Specially drawn by G.
F. Morrell for the London Graphic_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Company M and Company K, 336th U. S. Infantry,
82nd Division, advancing on the enemy's positions and driving out the
Huns, while the 307th Engineers of the 82nd Division clear the way by
blowing up wire entanglements. (_Official U.S. Photo_.)]

[Illustration: _Below_--Photo taken from the body of the German soldier
at the left (in gray sweater) near Chateau Thierry. The three women in
the picture were at the time operating a German machine-gun under
armed guard. (_Photo from U. & U_.)]

[Illustration: Resting after the
battle--a most unusual photo, reminiscent of the famous historical
painting, "The Bivouac." After a tremendous battle, in which these
Italian troops of the Florence regiment acquitted themselves with great
glory the men were so completely tired out that they threw themselves
on the ground to snatch a brief rest. This regiment was one of the
mainstays of the Italian defense when treachery aided the Teutons in
driving the Italians back across the Piave River _(Copyright, U. & U.)_]

[Illustration: Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the great strategist in supreme
command of the allied forces on the Western front, who wrested the
initiative from the Germans and sent them reeling back in 1918. (_French
Official Photo by U. & U._)]

[Illustration: Leaders of France and England
on the battle front. Left to right: M. Thomas of the French Cabinet;
Sir Douglas Haig, Marshal Joffre, and Premier Lloyd George. (_British
Official Photo from I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: _Top_--One of the fast
"Whippets," or small British tanks, that created havoc and terror in the
German ranks in 1918. They precede the Infantry and completely destroy
machine gun nests. (_British Official Photo from I.F.S_.)

_Bottom_--The first American-built tank, called the "America," biggest
of all, weighing 45 tons and propelled by steam. (_Copyright, U. & U._)]
[Illustration: Canadian and German wounded receiving first aid in a
village which only a few hours before was in the hands of the Germans
responsible for the scene of ruin and devastation which it presents.]

[Illustration: Canadian and Imperial troops helping themselves
to free coffee supplied by the Canadian Y.M.C.A. at a roadside
stand made of biscuit boxes. The Helpful work of the "Y" was highly
appreciated by the troops in France and Flanders. (Canadian official
photograph.)] [Illustration: How the news of the armistice of November
11, 1918, was received on the French front. The picture shows a scene
along the French lines immediately after hostilities ceased. Myriads of
men sprang into sight from the concealment of the trenches, exposing
themselves to the view of the enemy for the first time in more than four
years, without fear of consequences. Note the fleet of tanks ready
in the foreground, also the wire entanglements and No Man's Land.
(_Copyright, I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: _Top_--Close view of the first
Handley-Page bombing aeroplane built in America. It is proposed to fly
these planes across the Atlantic under their own power, driven by Twin
Liberty motors of 400 H.P. each.

_Bottom_--Submarines of United States Navy at base in an Atlantic
port awaiting orders for coast defense duty. (_Copyright, U. & U._)]
[Illustration: Wounded Canadians being carried to the rear by German
prisoners taken in the pursuit of the retreating Boche army in the fall
of 1918. (Canadian official photograph.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--Field
dressing station on captured ground near Cambrai, during the last great
drive on the British front. The wounded are being brought in by German
prisoners taken during the drive, as seen in the foreground. A typical
scene at a dressing station, where first aid is given the wounded.
(_British Official Photo, from I.F.S._)

_Below_--A dashing attack by French poilus, advancing with full packs,
bayonets fixed, and typical daring and courage. The spirit of the
poilu is admirably illustrated in this snapshot. (_Photo by I.F.S._)]
[Illustration: _Top_--How British fighting men advance to attack after
going over the top, spread out in thin columns. Very different from
mass formations of the enemy and less costly to human life. (_British
Official Photo, from I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: _Bottom_--A remarkable actual war photograph of British
machine gunners operating from German second line; captured in the great
Cambrai drive. The men are coolly preparing mess. (_Copyright, U. &

[Illustration: _Above_--Red Cross men tenderly caring for the
wounded. The services of the American Red Cross were invaluable to the
army in France and won the admiration of all the Allies.

_Below_--Wounded man making his way painfully back to the rear, with
grim determination to keep going and all the grit of the typical
American soldier. (_Official Photos by Signal Corps, U.S.A_.)]

[Illustration: The longest-range field gun in the world, produced by
the Ordnance Department, U.S. Army, for service in France, though the
hostilities ceased before they reached General Pershing. More than a
hundred of these guns are said to have been prepared for shipping to
France, and their range and power would probably have astonished the
Germans, as did the great naval guns, mounted on railway cars and manned
by American seamen, that did such effective work in the closing days
of the conflict. (_U.S. Official Photo_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--A
company of American infantry enjoying a well-earned rest after capturing
the German second-line trenches in the forest of Argonne, the scene of
desperate and protracted fighting in the fall of 1918. (_Copyright by
C.P.I., Photo from U. & U._)]

[Illustration: _Below_--A party of Serbian officers trying the effects
of gas while on a visit to the Western front. They entered a British
trench filled with gas for practice purposes, and are seen adjusting
their gas masks for protection. (_British Official Photo, Copyright by
U. & U._)]

[Illustration: _Top_--A great Australian howitzer in action
in France under a camouflage screen. Note the size of shells, which
require four men to handle. (_Australian Official Photo; copyright, U. &

_Bottom_--American Army Postoffice in France on Mothers' Day, 1918.
Letters and packages from the folks back home are the American soldiers'
greatest comfort on the battle front. (_Copyright, Committee on Public

[Illustration: An American battery of howitzers ready to
fire upon the Huns from the ruins of a town in France. This was one of
the first United States official photographs of the American advance
in the Argonne, a district that is not all forest by any means, but
comprises much cultivated territory and many towns and villages that
have been wrecked by ruthless German fire. (_Photo by Signal Corps,


The battery had inflicted heavy losses on the British troops. All the
gunners were cut down and the guns put out of action.--Drawn by Dudley
Tennant for The Graphic, from notes by a trooper.]

[Illustration: German prisoners captured by Canadians during a French
raid, with one of their captors. The Canadians became noted for the
success of their raids by day and night and seldom failed to bring back
prisoners. (Canadian official photograph.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--American negro infantrymen advancing toward the
front in the Argonne along a screened highway. It can truly be said of
these American soldiers and their ilk in the campaign in France that
"the colored troops fought nobly."

_Below_--Men of the 132nd U.S. Infantry, 33rd Division, in a front line
trench, looking toward the valley of the Meuse, where it is estimated
70,000 men lie buried. (_U.S. Official Photos_.)]


The First Battalion of the Naval Militia of New York passing in review
of Mayor Mitchell and other officials on stand at Union League Club, 39th
Street and Fifth Avenue. (_Copyright by U. & U., N.Y._)]

[Illustration: Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, England's famous Field
Marshal and Secretary of State for War, who lost his life at sea while
on a mission to Russia, June 5, 1916.

Gen. Sir E.H. Allenby, British commander in Palestine and Syria, who
defeated the Turks and captured Jerusalem, the Holy City, in December,

[Illustration: Copyright, Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.

Top: United States Warship North Dakota.

Bottom: New type of rapid-firing machine gun used by the United States

[Illustration: _Top_--Inspection of Czecho-Slovaks at railroad
station, Vladivostok, before leaving for interior of Siberia in campaign
against the Bolsheviki; later aided by American troops. (_Copyright, U.
& U._)

_Bottom_--"Blue Devils of France"; battle-scarred veterans of the
fighting lines leaving the White House after their reception.
President Wilson shook hands with every one of these gallant soldiers.
(_Copyright, I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: British cavalry engaged against
German infantry driven out of shelter of the trees by fire and smoke
near Chantilly. The charge down the grassy glade of the flaming forest.
The woods had been set on fire by British infantry in order to smoke out
a large force of Germans who had secreted themselves in the forest. As
soon as they emerged they were charged with destructive effect by the
British and sustained heavy losses.--_Drawn by Frederic de Haenen from
a sketch by Frederic Villiers_. (_Sun Printing and Publishing Assn_.)]

[Illustration: _Above_--How a commanding general works while his troops
are fast asleep. A night scene in the tent headquarters of Maj.-Gen.
Adelbert Cronkhite, U.S.A., division commander on the front in France.
The general stands at the right and his chief of staff, Col. Wm. H.
Waldron, at the left.

_Below_--U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker getting ready to try
on an American infantryman's pack at a rest camp in England. (_U.S.
Official Photos_.)] [Illustration: President Wilson and General Pershing
receiving American troops at Humas, near the front, on Christmas day,
1918. The President is seen wearing the fur coat made from trophies
of the hunt, presented by Southern friends. Mrs. Wilson stands at the

[Illustration: _Top_--American fighters in France, just out of
the trenches, are seen at a wayside station of the American Red Cross,
receiving welcome refreshments within gunfire of the battle front.
(_Photo from I.F.S._)]

[Illustration: _Bottom_--First aid given to a wounded German prisoner by
American soldiers near the front. An example of American fair play in
striking contrast to Boche methods. (_Copyright, Committee on Public

[Illustration: King Albert I of Belgium, the beloved
sovereign who never lost the confidence of his stricken people during
the four years of their intense suffering.

Marshal Petain of France, the hero of Verdun, who led the victorious
French into Strassburg and heads the French army of occupation in

[Illustration: Canadian soldier examining the rifle and kit
of a German killed by Canadian cavalry a few minutes before, while
protecting the rear of the German retreat. (Canadian official

[Illustration: Canadian troops resting in a trench on the
hard-won Wotan line of the Germans, which was captured on the previous
day after a desperate struggle that resulted in the rout of the enemy.
(Canadian official photograph.)]


The above photograph shows the gun train complete, ready for
transportation. The motive power is furnished by the powerful motor
truck at the right, which also carries most of the artillerymen forming
the gun crew. About thirty men are needed to manipulate the gun in
action. The huge shells and ammunition are conveyed in separate trucks
or caissons. As a fort-wrecker this powerful piece of ordnance is most
effective. Its total weight is nearly 100 tons. The gun proper is at the
left and its Krupp sliding breech can be plainly seen at the side. In
the center is the gun carriage, with its very powerful recoil apparatus.
When the gun is in action these two sections are joined, being so
constructed as to fit together readily. The bursting projectiles were
called by the British soldiers "Jack Johnsons," "Black Marias" and
"Coal-boxes," from the thick black smoke they produced. These epithets
ignored their awful death-dealing qualities. (_Copyright, U. & U._).]

[Illustration: _Above_--African troops of the French army en route to
the Riviera to enjoy a well-earned rest after the battle of Douaumont,
in which their ranks were considerably depleted. These colored fighters
of France are commanded entirely by white officers and have done
splendid service. (_Copyright, U. & U_).]

[Illustration: _Below_--Colored Canadians imitating the Germans that
they captured in this dugout near the Canal du Nord, as they put up
their hands and shouted "Kamerad!" (_Canadian Official Photo, from

MOST POWERFUL WEAPON AGAINST FORTS.] [Illustration: French Artillery on
the Firing Line--The Modern Field Guns of the French and the Krupp Guns
of the Germans Have Proved to be Terrible Weapons of Destruction.]

[Illustration: This French soldier, tempted by the payment to him of
a hundred francs, signaled a message to the Germans, giving them the
position of the French batteries near Rheims. He was the first French
traitor of the war, and being caught in the act, met an ignominious
death by the roadside. (_Copyright, U. & U._).]

[Illustration: 1. French
Cuirassier being fed by Belgian woman. 2. Major Richardson of the
British Army and two of his bloodhounds used to find wounded soldiers on
Belgian battlefields. (_International News Service_.)] [Illustration:
Canada's Premier on a visit to the Western front in Europe, with a
notable group of Canadian officers. Sir Robert Borden is the central
figure of the seated row, and the other civilian in the picture is Mr.
Calder. Between them is seen General Currie, in command of the Canadian
forces in Europe, who have earned undying fame for the great
Dominion during the war. (_Canadian Official Photo, from W.N.U._).]

[Illustration: French Cavalrymen Bivouacked in the Streets of Paris,
Sleeping on the Fodder of Their Mounts, Standing in the Background.]


A few minutes after the Aboukir was struck by a torpedo from the German
submarine U-9 early on September 22, 1914, she listed to port at an
angle of 45 degrees and the captain sang out from the bridge: "Every man
for himself!" The drawing depicts the scene that followed, as described
by a survivor. Two-thirds of the crew of 650 were drowned or killed by
the explosion. The boats of the cruisers Hogue and Cressy, which were
soon after also torpedoed and sunk, are seen coming to the rescue. The
total loss was over 1,400 lives.--_Drawn by Charles Dixon, R.I., for The

"_LaFayette, we are here_"--_General Pershing_


_By_ GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING _Commander-in-Chief_

Prose" "A Soldier of Navarre" etc._

Consul to France Author "Spanish-American War" "Prussian-Japanese War"


To the soldiers and sailors of the United States and Canada; to the men
of the armies and navies of nations allied with us; to the splendid
courage and devotion of American, French, British and Belgian women, who
have endured in silence the pain of losses worse than death, and never
faltered in works of mercy for which no thanks can ever pay; to all the
agencies of good that have helped save civilization and the world from
the most dreadful menace of all time, this volume is dedicated.

To the honor of those nations upon whom the laurel of victory has
descended. To those who have vouchsafed for us the permanence of the
higher ideals of humanity and civilization.

To those who have sheltered posterity from the dominance of barbarity,
brutality, serfdom, bigotry and degradation.

To those who have striven against the Teuton and the Turk that God-given
and God-ordained freedom may triumph.

To those noble stoics of Belgium, of France, of Serbia, of Roumania,
of Poland and all other peoples who have felt the mailed fist of the
ruthless oppressor; who have looked upon their devastated fields, their
dismantled cathedrals, their violated hearth-stones and the desecrated
graves of their kindred, and that peace, tranquillity, contentment and
prosperity may again be restored to them in bounteous meed.

To those heroes who by their valor, their vigor and their inspired
devotion to right and patriotism have so nobly fought and conquered.

To those martyrs whom God in his immutable manifestations has chosen
for the ultimate sacrifice of their lives upon the altar of freedom and
humanity's cause.

In honor to these who have attained this glorious victory. In honor to
the commingling flags of the allied nations reflecting in their rainbow
hues a covenant of everlasting peace in this their hour of triumph,
may we all consecrate our purposes and our lives to a brotherhood of
mankind, a spirit of broadest humanity and universal peace on earth.

--_L.J. Robinson_.


With the signing of an armistice November 11, 1918, by the
plenipotentiaries of the nations at war, active hostilities were halted
while the sweeping terms of the truce were being complied with by
Germany. The collapse of the Teutonic forces came with a suddenness that
was surprising, and the collapse was complete. The German army and navy
ceased to be a menace to the civilized world--and all civilization
rejoiced with an exceeding great joy.

Remarkable events in the world's history followed with amazing rapidity,
and are duly recorded in all their interesting details in these pages.
The flight and abdication of the Kaiser; the abject surrender of the
German high seas fleet and submarines to the British Grand Fleet and its
American associates; the withdrawal of the defeated German armies
from Belgium and France; the return of the French flag to Alsace and
Lorraine; the occupation of Metz, Strassburg, Cologne, and Coblentz by
Allied and American forces, and the memorable entry of Belgian troops as
conquerors into Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen); the sailing of the President
of the United States to take part in the Peace Conference--all these
events and many others form part of the marvelous record of the recent
past, furnishing material that has never been equaled for the use of the

Now the eyes of all America are turned to the eastern horizon, and
would fain scan the wide waters of the Atlantic, on the watch for the
home-coming heroes of the great conflict. A million young Americans are
coming home--but a million more will stay abroad awhile, to safeguard
the fruits of victory and insure the safety of the world. Truly the
story of their achievements, in permanent form, should find a place in
every American home, for in the words of General Pershing, their great

"Their deeds are immortal and they have earned the eternal gratitude of
their country."






Review of America's Good Reasons for Fighting--Memories of Beautiful
France--Why I Was Not Accepted as Consul to Germany--Why We Went to
War--Work or Fight--Rationing the Nations, by Hon James Martin Miller,
Former US Consul to France--What the Yankee Dude'll Do


The President Proclaims War--Interned Ships Are Siezed--Congress Votes
$7,000,000,000 for War--Enthusiasm in the United States--Raising an
American Army--War to Victory, Wilson Pledge--British and French
Commission Reaches America--American Troops in France


Personal Accounts of Battle--Gas and Shell Shock--Marines Under
Fire--Americans Can Fight and Yell--Getting to the Front Under
Difficulties--The Big Day Dawns--The Shells Come Fast--A Funeral at the
Front--Impression of a French Lieutenant--Keeping the Germans on the


First Major Action by All American Army--Stories to Folks Back
Home--Huns Carry Off Captive Women--Hell Has Cut Loose--Major Tells
His Story--Enormous Numbers of Guns and Tanks--Over the Top at 5:
AM--Texas and Oklahoma Troops Fight in True Ranger Style--Our Colored
Boys Win Credit


Air Craft--Liberty Motors and Air Service--The Danger of Aviation--Air
Plane's Tail Shot Off--Champions of the Air--Lieut. Lehr's Personal
Stories of Air Fighting at the Front--American Aviator Grabs Iron Cross
as Souvenir--Eyes of the Army Always Open



Belgians Rush to Defense of Their Frontier--Towns Bombarded and Burned
--The Defense of Liège--Destruction of Louvain--Fall of Namur--German
Proclamation to Inhabitants--Belgian Capital Occupied by the Germans
Without Bloodshed--Important Part Played by American Minister Brand
Whitlock--March of the Kaiser's Troops Through the City--Belgian Forces
Retreat to Antwerp--Dinant and Termonde Fall


Earl Kitchener Appointed Secretary for War--A New Volunteer
Army--Expeditionary Force Landed in France--Field Marshal Sir John
French in Command--Colonies Rally to Britain's Aid--The Canadian
Contingent--Indian Troops Called For--Native Princes Offer Aid


Belgian Resistance to the German Advance--The Fighting at Vise, Haelen,
Diest, Aerschot and Tirlemont--Mons and Charleroi the First Great
Battles of the War--Allies Make a Gallant Stand, but Forced to Retire
Across the French Border


Allies Withdraw for Ten Days, Disputing Every Inch of Ground with the
Kaiser's Troops--Germans Push Their Way Through France in Three Main
Columns--Official Reports of the Withdrawing Engagements--Paris Almost
in Sight


German Plans Suddenly Changed--Direction of Advance Swings to the
Southeast When Close to the French Capital--Successful Resistance by
the Allies--The Prolonged Encounter at the Marne--Germans Retreat, with
Allies in Hot Pursuit for Many Miles


Slow Mobilization of Troops--Invasion of German and Austrian
Territory--Cossacks Lead the Van--Early Successes in East Prussia--"On
to Berlin"--Heavy Losses Inflicted on Austrians--German Troops Rushed to
the Defense of the Eastern Territory


Declaration of War by Austria--Bombardment of Belgrade---Servian
Capital Removed--Seasoned Soldiers of Servia Give a Good Account of
Themselves--Many Indecisive Engagements--Servians in Austrian Territory


Thrilling Incidents of the Great War Told by Actual Combatants--Personal
Experiences from the Lips of Survivors of the World's Bloodiest
Battles--Tales of Prisoners of War, Wounded Soldiers, and Refugees
Rendered Homeless in the Blighted Arena of Conflict--Hand-to-Hand
Fighting--Frightful Mortality Among Officers--How It Feels to Be
Wounded--In the "Valley of Death"--A Belgian Boy Hero--A British Cavalry
Charge--Spirit of French Women--In the Paris Military Hospital--German
Uhlans as Scouts--How a German Prince Died--Fearful State of


Movements of British Battleships Veiled in Secrecy--German Dreadnoughts
in North Sea and Baltic Ports--Activity of Smaller Craft--English Keep
Trade Routes Open--Several Minor Battles at Sea


Battleships in Constant Danger from Submerged Craft--Opinions of Admiral
Sir Percy Scott--Construction of Modern Torpedoes--How Mines Are Laid
and Exploded on Contact


Aerial Attacks on Cities--Some of the Achievements of the Airmen in the
Great War--Deeds of Heroism and Daring--Zeppelins in Action--Their
Construction and Operation


Most Prolonged Encounter in History Between Gigantic Forces--A Far-Flung
Battle Line--Germans Face French and British in the Aisne Valley
and Fight for Weeks--Armies Deadlocked After a Desperate and Bloody


Great Seaport of Belgium Besieged by a Large German Force--Forts
Battered by Heavy Siege Guns--Final Surrender of the City--Belgian and
British Defenders Escape--Exodus of Inhabitants--Germans Reach the Sea


Typical Precautions Used by the German Army--The Soldier's First-Aid
Outfit--System in Hospital Arrangements--How Prisoners of War Are
Treated--Regulations Are Humane and Fair to All Concerned CHAPTER PAGE


Plan to Send Santa Claus Gifts From America to War-Stricken Children of
Europe--A Widespread Response---Movement Endorsed by Press, Pulpit and
Leading Citizens--Approved by Governments of Contending Nations


Results of the Battle of the Rivers--Fierce Fighting in Northern
France--Developments on the Eastern Battle Front--The Campaign in the
Pacific--Naval Activities of the Powers


Torpedoed by a Submarine--Crisis in German-American Relations--The
Diplomatic Exchanges


Submarine Activities--Horrors in Serbia--Bloody Battles East and
West--Italy Declares War and Invades Austria--Russians Pushed Back in














"Gentlemen of the Congress: 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 coast of Europe or any of the ports controlled by
the enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean.


"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 meager 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.

"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 area 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.


"I was for a little while unable to believe that such things would be in
fact done by any government that had hitherto subscribed to the 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 meager 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.

"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 winds all scruples of humanity
or of respect for the understandings that were supposed to underlie the
intercourse of the world.



"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.

"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 discrimination. 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 feelings 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.

"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 intentions.
They must be dealt with upon sight if dealt with at all.

"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

"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.


"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.


"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.

"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.

ARMY OF 500,000 MEN

"It will involve the immediate addition to the armed force of the United
States already provided for by law in case of war at least 500,000 men,
who should, in my opinion, be chosen upon the principal 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.

"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.


"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

"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
which the responsibility of conducting the war and safeguarding the
nation will most directly fall.


"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 months, and I do not
believe that the thought of the nation has been altered or clouded by

"I have exactly the same things in mind now that I had in mind when I
addressed the senate on the twenty-second of January last; the same that
I had in mind when I addressed the congress on the third of February
and on the twenty-sixth 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 amongst 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

"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.


"We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards
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.

"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 the
nation's affairs.


"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 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 give 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 interest of mankind to any narrow interest of
their own.


"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 it 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, as 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 added in all their native 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.

"One of the things that has 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


"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 towards 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 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.


"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 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
people, the German people included; for the rights of nations, great and
small; the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and
of obedience.


"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 right 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.

"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.

"I have said nothing of the governments allied with the imperial German
government 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
endorsement 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.

"On these premises 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.

"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 in enmity towards 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 reëstablishment 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

"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.

"We shall, happily, still have an opportunity to prove that friendship
in our daily attitude and actions towards the millions of men and women
of German birth and native sympathy who live amongst us and share our
life, and we shall be proud to prove it towards 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.


"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.

"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






To have lived on the principal battle ground of the world war was a
privilege the author did not appreciate at the time. As representative
of the United States Government in the Consular district of France that
includes the departments of the Aisne, Ardennes, Marne, Aube, Meuse,
Vosges, Haute-Marne and Meurthe-et-Moselle, he lived and had his
headquarters at Reims, some years before the war. Reims is (or rather
was) a beautiful city of 112,000 people. The story of the city goes
back to the days of the Roman empire, and bears the mark of many Gallic
insurrections. In comparatively later times Joan of Arc caused Charles
VII to be crowned in the great Cathedral there--one of the most
glorious and stately in all Europe, now a ruin. A history of the eight
departments (or small states) mentioned above would include a history
of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, and of the greatest and most
desperate of all wars, the one just brought to a close.

My Consular district bordered on Belgium, Luxemburg and Alsace-Lorraine.
The Marne, the Aisne, the Vesle, and other streams whose names adorn
with sad pride so many of America's battle-flags, flow through it. After
1914 Belgium saw very little fighting; but this district saw almost four
years of continuous and enormous battle. It was overrun time and again.
Neither Belgium nor any other country suffered such devastation, nor
such material destruction. Today it is a vast graveyard. Hundreds of
thousands of men dyed its soil with their lifeblood. All America and all
the world knows about Chateau Thierry and St. Mihiel, and the gallantry
of American troops in those two brilliant and significant actions. It is
difficult to realize the stupendous tragedy that through all those years
hung over that beautiful country, whose fields were once as familiar to
me as any fields of home. I look back to that time with affection, in
the glow of happy memories.

Americans before this war had held the Monroe Doctrine in high
reverence. Presidents had strengthened it in their messages. Candidates
for office for more than half a century had argued as a campaign issue
that the United States must never be drawn into foreign entanglements;
that no European nation ever would be allowed to interfere in the
affairs of the American continents. This doctrine was so deeply
rooted that objectors everywhere rose up when we began to talk of
"preparedness" against the ultimate day when we could no longer keep
out of the fight. Many declared it would be "unconstitutional" for the
United States to send troops to Europe. The war lords of Germany took
advantage of this traditional sentiment among our people and felt sure
that the United States never would come in, no matter how many American
lives nor how much American property Germany might destroy, nor how many
of our ships German pirates might sink at sea, without warning. The
German government had built up a propaganda in this country that at one
time threatened to poison the minds of all our people. There were some
among us who hated England, and wanted to see Germany win for no other
reason than that. Others hated Russia, and so desired Germany to win.
Germany's secret intrigues in Mexico came near to getting us into a war
with that country. In the face of all these things there was a strong
sentiment among our people and even in Congress favorable to Germany. It
is easy now to say that we should have gone to war when the Lusitania
was sunk, but pro-German feeling was so noisy and so strong, even though
it was held by a minority, that the Congress itself was affected and
withheld its hand.

Public sentiment had to be crystalized so that it would stand back of
the administration. With our lack of a secret service capable of coping
with the German agents who were busy everywhere and all the time, we
were at a disadvantage in gathering evidence to convince our people that
the Germans were menacing our very existence. Even after the secret
service was built up it took many months of hard work and several
thousand government men to uncover and stamp out their organizations
and their ruthless plots. The slimy tracks of the German ambassador at
Washington had to be followed through devious underground channels that
no one had suspected. The embassy had filled the country with German
poison gas, and backed the German campaign of wholesale arson. Germans
living here, many of them American born, were busily counteracting
public opinion as the evidences accumulated.

Democracies are always at a disadvantage in dealing with monarchies; in
the initial stages of war at least. We have seen it demonstrated that
a democracy must become autocratic if it is to carry on a war
successfully. But an American autocracy takes the shape of a temporary
delegation of unusual power in conditions that cannot wait for the slow
action of ordinary times; and those who exercise it are put in power
by the people themselves, to do the people's will. It was necessary to
consolidate not only the direction of the nation itself, but of our
military affairs abroad. We soon got the home situation in hand, and
then the President of the United States threw his influence, backed by
all the American people, toward bringing the allied armies and those of
the United States under one head in the person of General Foch as
Field Marshal. This was not accomplished until after the great Italian
disaster, when it looked as though the Austro-Hungarian armies would
crush Italy. The same may be said of the threatened disaster to the
British army early in 1918, when von Hindenburg began his great drive
toward Calais and Paris. Here were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and
Bulgaria, four monarchies dominated by the German government, fighting
nearly all the democracies of the world, not considering Russia, which
dropped out shortly before the United States effectively entered the

We will not consider Japan's position as a nominal member of the
entente, except for her action at the beginning of the war in capturing
Kiauchau, China, the German fortified port and naval base in the Orient,
and sweeping Germany out of the Pacific by taking the Marshall islands.
Beyond this, Japan sent soldiers to Eastern Siberia to help in police
duty, and in guarding the great stores of supplies accumulated by the
Russians at Vladivostok. These stores had been bought largely upon the
credit extended to Russia by the United States.

With Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary gone as monarchies, Japan is
the greatest of the remaining imperial states. We have seen more than a
dozen kings, emperors, princes and grand dukes pass into the discard as
a result of a war which they themselves brought on.

France tried to discard kings and princes in 1798. The sovereignty of
the people was proclaimed in that war, but the governments which have
ruled France since have been many, and presented wide differences. In
this present age, no doubt it will be much easier to establish a stable
democracy upon the wreck of a monarchy than it could have been a century
ago. Still, the construction of a democracy is a difficult ordeal for
people who have always been imperialists. The several monarchies, big
and little, that have fallen in this war, present most perplexing
problems. There are boundary and racial disputes of the most bitter kind
between some of their peoples. But the great democracies of the world
that won this war are taking the part of "big brothers" to these, and
are seeing to it that their petty quarrels and internal differences
are held in check. Each of these countries, even though they establish
democracies, will have strong royalist parties that will constitute
a standing threat. France even to this day has a royalist group of
considerable strength. Their persistent claim is that France will again
be a monarchy. The United States is really the only democracy without
such a party. It is the only republic that was not founded on the ruin
of a monarchy.


I have had some personal experience with the late German Imperial
Government. As a war correspondent it was my duty to give to the world
an account of the forcible deportation of King Mataafa from Samoa to the
Marshall Islands, where he was kept in exile six years. The Germans had
shoved him aside to make room for Malieto, an imbecile and a German
figurehead. I was there again when Mataafa, at the end of those six
years, returned to Samoa, to the great joy of his people.

A few years later I discovered that Germany's policy was to "mark" any
individual who wrote or spoke in criticism of anything German.

I was appointed United States Consul to Aix la Chapelle, Germany, four
years after those articles appeared. My appointment came from President
Roosevelt, and was confirmed by the United States Senate. When I arrived
in Germany I found I was United States Consul so far as the United
States Government was concerned, but I was put off in the matter of my
exequatur (certificate of authority) from the government to which I
was accredited; and without an exequatur, I could not act. I was kept
cooling my heels in the consulate several months before I found out what
was the matter. My newspaper articles describing what the Germans had
done in Samoa, published four years earlier, were being held against me.
My presence in Germany was not desired.

I had crossed the Atlantic with Prince Henry, the Kaiser's brother and
Admiral of the German Navy, in February, 1901, when the Prince brought
his party of a dozen or so militarists to this country to "further
cement the amity and good will" existing between the great republic
and the great empire. It later developed that this was a well planned
operation in German propaganda. As a representative of the Associated
Press, I had written of it. That was just after I had written the Samoan

Speck von Sternberg was the German Ambassador to Washington. He was
in Paris. I went there to see him and ascertain, if I could, why my
exequatur was withheld. The Government at Washington could get no
information on the subject. The whole affair was clothed in mystery.

After some conversation I suggested to Ambassador von Sternberg that
perhaps the foreign office at Berlin was withholding the document
because of my writings on German colonial matters. Then it came out--my
guess was true. Some underlings in the foreign office had the case in
charge. The Ambassador suggested that as I knew Prince Henry, I would
better write him at Kiel. I did this, with the result that the obstacle
was removed and the exequatur issued.


_German Propaganda in the United States and Mexico_--_Sinking of the
Lusitania_--_Unrestricted Submarine Warfare_.


During two years preceding our entrance upon war, Germany had been
carrying on open warfare against us, within our own borders. For more
than thirty years Germany's policy of preparatory penetration had been
in course. As we know now, every country, all round the globe, but
especially the United States in North America and Brazil and Venezuela
in South America, had been filled with Germans, ostensibly settlers,
business men and followers of the higher professions, but for the
greater part agents of Germany, in continuous contact with Potsdam and
under Potsdam direction. It was the business of these imported Germans
to foster the German idea, exalt Germany's leadership in military power
and in science and the arts, impress their language, their literature,
music and customs upon our people, and to do all those things which
might work for the day when Germany, having faked a partnership with
Almighty God, should reach out for world dominion.

The processes were pressed with that strange blend of industry,
stupidity, mendacity and cunning which characterize the Prussian and all
his acts. Under our noses a German solidarity was attempted here, and in
part achieved. Organizations having Prussian ends in view were numerous,
large, popular and unsuspected. Threading them through and through was
a spy system unbelievably thorough and amazingly adroit. Potsdam had
us marked as a nation of easy going money getters, to be bled white,
crammed with her muddy kultur and taught the goose-step, at her imperial
leisure, after France and England had fallen to her guns.

But her blend of qualities, no matter how strong in itself, was
nullified by just one lack: the total inability of the Prussian mind to
understand the mind of the world exterior to Germany. In the day of test
it failed.

Because of that inability, and knowing full well how readily the German
mind could be terrorized, the outbreak of war in Europe brought an
outbreak of blind German violence in the United States. We were to be
impressed by the German power to strike. Our soil was chosen as a garden
of domestic sedition, and of foreign conspiracy against powers with
which we were at peace. To keep us busy with troubles of our own, German
propaganda and German money in Mexico raised on our southern border a
threatening spectre of war. We were to have been rushed into conflict
with Mexico and kept employed there while being terrorized by wholesale
arson and sabotage at home, so that by no chance could any friendly
European power look to us for help. The scheme came near to succeeding,
for our people were aroused by Mexican aggression, and the flaunting
insults of Mexican authority, prompted by German agents. The policy of
our Government saved us from falling into a trap that might have held us
fast while Germany overran the whole of Europe and made ready to come
a-plundering here at her own time and convenience.

If the truth had been known by the people then as clearly as it was
known at Washington, nothing could have held us back: We would not have
bothered with Mexico at all. We would have joined the free nations of
Europe, and nobody may guess what would have happened. Certainly we
could not have assembled the men and the resources we actually and
swiftly did assemble later, when the real hour sounded. We would have
cut a sorry figure and gone into the mess confusedly. Washington knew.
The President knew so well that through 1915 and 1916 he and others in
high places never ceased crying a warning to "prepare." The President
himself toured the country and told the people everywhere that with a
world on fire we could not hope to escape unsinged.

He said openly as much as he dared. Under the surface the Government
did much more. The rapid movement of events once we were declared
a combatant would have been impossible otherwise. That rapidity of
effective action surprised the world only because it had all been
planned before a word was said.

In the years of our neutrality our course as a nation was surely shaping
itself for war, without an outward sign or act. Ruthless destruction of
property and of life became too open, too frequent, too outrageous, for
the patience of even a long-suffering, tolerant people such as we. The
first impulse of genuine resentment was given when the Lusitania went
down with its neutral passengers, a defenseless ship on a peaceful
errand, drowning more than a hundred Americans of both sexes and all
ages without the slightest notice, or the faintest chance of escape.

Any nation other than ours would have gone to war in a moment over
such a blow in the face. We did not. Farther, we endured a sudden and
flagrant increase of German propaganda in high quarters and low, and of
German insolence openly and defiantly parading itself. The catalogue of
provocations grew daily, and daily bred anger, but our temper held until
in February of 1917, when Germany proclaimed unrestricted piracy by
submarines, and under the thin pretext of starving out the British
Isles, American and other ships were destroyed with all on board,

Even then our hand was withheld until Germany advised us that we might
send just one ship a week to Europe, one ship and no more, provided that
solitary ship were painted in a manner prescribed in the permission,
and then held strictly to a course laid down by the German admiralty.
Germany, a third rate naval power, had arbitrarily forbidden us the
freedom of the seas.

Then our patience broke. For this and all the other causes Germany had
given us, and for our own safety and the rescue of a world that without
us would have perished, the United States went to war.


Back of every American soldier about fifty men and women were needed
in order that he be supplied with everything his physical, moral and
military well being might require. They were put there. The result was
a sweeping change, an immense expansion of energy in the United States
itself. The draft took care of the army. No time or trouble had to be
given to filling the ranks and keeping them full. The enormous sums of
money necessary to finance our allies as well as ourselves were promptly
oversubscribed in a series of loans, the first and least of which ran
into three billion dollars, the fourth into six billions, a sum larger
than any single loan ever floated by any other nation. Idleness was
abolished. The order to "work or fight" was strictly enforced upon all
the people, rich and poor alike, for any attempt to except any one or
any class would have been blown away in a gale of laughter. In a space
incredibly brief the United States became a nation of actual workers, in
which every individual did his or her share, submitting meanwhile, with
good grace and no murmuring, to being rationed. Interstate utilities
were taken over and operated by the government, including the railway,
telegraph and telephone lines; and government fixed prices on the
necessaries of life. Everything was subordinated to the one and only
purpose of winning the war. All that we were and all that we had was
thoroughly mobilized behind the fighting arms, the army and the navy.


Almost immediately after the first military and naval preparations had
been set in operation the United States Government, taking no chance as
against the future, began to regulate the lives and living of Americans
at home. A policy of conservation, so well devised that it went into
effect without the slightest disturbance of daily living and daily
routine, was at once adopted.

England, France and Belgium had to be fed. Belgium had to be clothed and
housed as well as fed. Out of our abundance had to come the means to
those ends, as well as to equip and maintain vast armies of our own,
from bases three thousand miles away in Europe and twice as far in Asia.
The whole nation was mobilized for war.

Britain and France had come through more than three years of
close-lipped but bone-cracking effort, in which every aspect of domestic
life was changed, the final ounce of strength exerted, privations
unheard of endured in grim silence. America saved them, and not alone by
force of arms against the common enemy.



  Uncle Samuel blew the bugle call,
  For his boys to fall in line,
  And they came, yes, by the million,
  On the march at double time,
  With muskets on their shoulders
  They answered to the call
  To defend our nation's honor,
  And for Liberty of all.
  They buckled on their knapsacks,
  And they loaded up their guns,
  To the tune of Yankee Doodle,
  They whipped those Turks and Huns;
  For their hearts were with the colors
  Of the red, the white and blue,
  And they've shown those fiendish Prussians
  What the Yankee Dude'll Do.


  Singing rally round Old Glory, boys,
  And fight for freedom true,
  Rally to the Stars and Stripes
  As your fathers did for you.
  Oh! we sailed across the ocean deep,
  With the red, the white and blue,
  And we've shown that devilish Kaiser
  What the Yankee Dude'll Do.

  From our north land, and our east land,
  To our far-off Golden Gate,
  From our south way down in Dixie
  And the old Palmetto State,
  Bravest sons of all the nation came
  To fight our country's foe,
  Who would follow our Old Glory,
  Where her stars and stripes might go;
  To the battle cry of Freedom,
  All our men would surely come,
  And fight for world-wide Victory
  At the call of fife and drum.
  We have proved to all creation
  That our boys are real true blue,
  And we've shown those fiendish Prussians,
  What the Yankee Dude'll Do.



_The President Proclaims War_--_Interned Ships Are Seized_--_Congress
Votes $7,000,000,000 for War_--_Raising an American Army_--_War to
Victory Wilson Pledge_--_British and French Commission Reaches America_.

On April 2, 1917, Congress having been called in special session,
President Wilson appeared before a joint session of both houses and
in an address worthy of its historical importance asked for a formal
declaration that a state of war existed with Germany, owing to the
ruthless and unrestricted submarine campaign. He recommended the utmost
practical co-operation with the Entente Allies in counsel and action;
the extension of liberal financial credit to them, the mobilization
of all the material resources of the United States for the purpose of
providing adequate munitions of war, the full equipment of the Navy,
especially in supplying it with means for dealing with submarines, and
the immediate enrollment of an army of 500,000 men, preferably by a
system of universal service, to be increased later by an additional army
of equal size. The President took pains to point out that in taking
these measures against the German government, the United States had
no quarrel with the German people, who were innocent, because kept in
ignorance of the lawless acts of their autocratic government, which had
become a menace not only to the peace of the world, but to the cause of
fundamental human liberty. The object of the United States, said the
President, was to vindicate the principles of peace and justice
as against selfish and autocratic power, and to insure the future
observance of these principles.

After due debate the following joint resolution, declaring war with
Germany was adopted by the Senate and House of Representatives and
signed by the President on April 6, 1917:

"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

"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 war against the imperial German
government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all
of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of
the United States."


Immediately after signing the resolution of Congress, President Wilson
issued a formal proclamation of war, embodying in it an earnest 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."

The President further enjoined all alien enemies within the United
States to preserve the peace and refrain from crime against the public
safety, and from giving information, aid, or comfort to the enemy,
assuring them of protection so long as they conducted themselves in
accordance with law and with regulations which might be promulgated
from time to time for their guidance. The great mass of German-American
citizens promptly avowed the utmost loyalty to the United States, but
numerous arrests of suspected spies followed all over the country.


Following the declaration of war all the German merchant vessels
interned in ports of the United States were seized by representatives of
the Federal authority, their crews removed and interned, and guardians
placed aboard. These ships in American waters numbered 99, of an
aggregate value of about $100,000,000, and included some of the finest
vessels of the German merchant marine; for instance, the Vaterland, of
54,283 tons, valued at $8,000,000, and numerous other Atlantic liners.
The disposition to be made of the German ships was left to the future
for decision, with great probability, however, that they would be used
to transport munitions and supplies to the Allies in Europe through the
German submarine blockade.

CONGRESS VOTES $7,000,000,000 FOR WAR.

Prompt action was taken by Congress to furnish the sinews of war.
By April 14 a bond and certificate issue of $7,000,000,000 had been
unanimously voted by both houses, and preparations were made to float
a popular subscription for the bonds. Three billions of the amount
was intended for loans to the Allies, and the remainder for active
prosecution of the war by the United States. The debates in Congress
indicated that the country stood solidly behind the President in a
determination to bring the military autocracy of Germany to a realizing
sense of its responsibility to civilization. RAISING AN AMERICAN ARMY.

Legislation was immediately presented by the War Department to the
military committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, to
provide for raising an army for active participation in the war. This
legislation was described by President Wilson as follows:

"It proposes to raise the forces necessary to meet the present emergency
by bringing the regular army and the National Guard to war strength and
by adding the additional forces which will now be needed, so that the
national army will comprise three elements--the regular army, the
National Guard and the so-called additional forces, of which at first
500,000 are to be authorized immediately and later increments of the
same size as they may be needed.

"In order that all these forces may comprise a single army, the term of
enlistment in the three is equalized and will be for the period of the

"The necessary men will be secured for the regular army and the National
Guard by volunteering, as at present, until, in the judgment of the
President, a resort to a selective draft is desirable. The additional
forces, however, are to be raised by selective draft from men ranging
in age from 19 to 25 years. The quotas of the several states in all of
these forces will be in proportion to their population."

Recruiting for the army and navy became active as soon as war was
declared. On April 15 President Wilson issued an address to the nation,
calling on all citizens to enroll themselves in a vast "army of
service," military or industrial, and stating that the hour of supreme
test for the nation had come. The United States prepared to rise to its
full measure of duty, confident in the patent justice of its cause, and
echoing the sentiment of its President when he said:

"The hope of the world is that when the European war is over
arrangements will have been made composing many of the questions which
have hitherto seemed to require the arming of the nations, and that in
some ordered and just way the peace of the world may be maintained by
such co-operations of force among the great nations as may be necessary
to maintain peace and freedom throughout the world."


The news of the President's proclamation of war, following the action
of Congress, was received in England and France, Russia and Italy, with
enthusiasm. A great service of thanksgiving was held in St. Paul's
Cathedral, London, attended by the King and Queen, ministers of state,
and an enormous congregation that joined in singing "The Star-Spangled
Banner" and the national anthem, while the Stars and Stripes by official
order was flown for the first time in history from the tower of the
Parliament buildings at Westminster and on public buildings throughout
the British empire. A high commission was appointed to visit the United
States for a series of war conferences, and Premier Lloyd George
expressed the national satisfaction in glowing terms of welcome to the
United States as an ally against Germany, paying at the same time
an eloquent tribute to the masterly address of President Wilson to
Congress, which stated the case for humanity against military autocracy
in such an unanswerable manner, the British premier said, that it placed
the seal of humanity's approval on the Allied cause and furnished final
justification of the British attitude toward Germany in the war.


In France, the Stars and Stripes were flung to the breeze from the
Eiffel Tower on April 22, and saluted by twenty-one guns. This marked
the opening of the ceremonies of "United States day" in Paris.

The French tricolor and the star-spangled banner were at the same hour
unfurled together from the residence of William G. Sharp, the American
ambassador, in the Avenue d'Eylau, from the American Embassy, from the
city hall, and from other municipal government buildings.

It was a great day for the red, white and blue, 40,000 American flags
being handed out gratis by the committee and waved by the people
who thronged the vicinity of the manifestations, which included the
decoration of the statues of Washington and Lafayette.

Members of the American Lafayette flying corps, a delegation from the
American Ambulance at Neuilly and the American Field Ambulances were the
guard of honor before the Lafayette statue.

Ambassador Sharp and his escort were received at the city hall by the
members of the municipal council and other distinguished persons. Adrien
Mithouard, president of the municipal council, welcomed Ambassador
Sharp, who was greeted with great applause when addressing the people of
Paris. He said:

"Citizens of Paris: May I say to you, on this day you have with such
fine sentiment set apart to honor my country, that America remains no
longer content to express to France merely her sympathy. In a cause
which she believes as verily as you believe to be a sacred one, she
will consecrate all her power and the blood of her patriotic sons, if
necessary, to achieve a victory that shall for all time to come insure
the domination of right over wrong, freedom over oppression, and the
blessings of peace over the brutality of war."

The French Government also appointed a war commission to visit the
United States forthwith for conference.

Resolutions expressing the great satisfaction of the Allied nations at
the action of the United States were adopted by the British House of
Commons, the French Chamber of Deputies, the Russian Duma, and the

War being declared, the people of the United States were not slow in
letting the President know that they stood solidly behind him. From all
parts of the country came assurances that the action of the Government
was approved. Organizations of every conceivable kind passed resolutions
pledging their support to all war measures decided to be necessary to
carry the war to a successful issue. Recruiting was at once started for
both the Army and the Navy. The recruiting depots were thronged daily
and thousands were enrolled for active service while Congress was
debating the respective merits of the volunteer system and the
"selective draft" advocated by the general staff of the Army and
approved by the President and his cabinet.

The full quota of men desired for the Navy, to place the ships already
in commission in a high state of efficiency, was soon secured. More men
offered themselves for naval service, indeed, than could be accepted
pending the action of Congress. Volunteers for the aviation corps, the
marines, the field artillery, the engineer corps, and all the various
branches of the military establishments came forward freely, and a
general desire was expressed to send an American force to the trenches
in Europe at the earliest possible moment consistent with proper
training for the field.

As the reports of American diplomats from the war zone, freed from
German censorship, were given to the public, the martial spirit of
America grew apace. Ambassador Gerard's corroboration of German
atrocities in the occupied territory of France, and Minister Brand
Whitlock's report on the situation in Belgium and the illegal and
atrocious deportation of Belgian citizens for hard labor, ill treatment,
and starvation in Germany, added fuel to the flame of national
indignation, already running high as the result of continued destruction
of American merchant vessels and the loss of American lives by submarine
piracy and murder, continued almost without cessation since the infamous
sinking of the Lusitania, one of the never-to-be-forgotten crimes of
German ruthlessness.

One hundred million free-born people were at length aroused to action.
The Navy was ready for immediate service where it could do most good,
and promptly took over patrol duty in the western Atlantic, relieving
British and French men-of-war for service elsewhere. The raising of an
army of a million or more men for active participation in the war waited
only on the action of Congress.

American women responded nobly to the President's call for universal
service, flocking to the Red Cross headquarters in every city and
setting to work immediately in the preparation of comforts for the great
army gathering on the horizon. They were promptly organized, so that
their efforts might count to the best advantage. In August, 1916, the
United States Navy included 356 war craft of all kinds, as against
credited to Great Britain, 404 to France, and 309 to Germany, The latter
figure does not include an unknown number of submarines of recent


On Sunday, April 22, the British war commission reached Washington,
headed by the Right Hon. Arthur James Balfour, secretary of state for
foreign affairs and former premier. The commission included Rear
Admiral Sir Dudley R.S. De Chair, naval adviser to the foreign office;
Major-General G.T.M. Bridges, representing the British army; Lord
Cunliffe of Headley, governor of the Bank of England; and a number of
other distinguished officials and naval and military officers, with
clerical assistants. The party met with an enthusiastic welcome in
Washington. Mr. Balfour was received by the President in private
conference next day, and after a round of receptions and social
functions of various kinds, arrangements were made for the business
meetings affecting war policies, which were the object of the visit.

Mr. Balfour informed the President that the British commission had come
to Washington not to ask favors, concessions, or agreements from the
United States, but to offer their services for the organization of the
stupendous undertaking of fighting Germany. He said that if the United
States was confronted by the same problems that confronted England at
the outset of the war, the British commission could be of service in
pointing out many grievous mistakes of policy and organization that
proved costly to the British cause. He was, in turn, assured by the
President that the United States would fight in conjunction with the
Allied until the Prussian autocracy was crushed and Americans at home
and abroad were safe from the ruthlessness of the Berlin government.


The French war commission soon followed the British envoys, arriving
in Washington on Wednesday, April 25, on board the presidential yacht
Mayflower from Hampton Roads. Headed by M. Rene Viviani, minister of
justice and former premier of France, the commission included the famous
hero of the Marne and idol of the French army and people, Marshal
Joffre; also Admiral Chocheprat, representing the French navy; the
Marquis de Chambrun (Lafayette's grandson), and other distinguished
Frenchmen. The fame of Marshal Joffre and the traditional friendship
for France secured for the party an enthusiastic popular greeting.
Its members were accorded similar official receptions to those of the
British commissioners, and they similarly expressed their desire to be
of service to the American people by giving the Washington government
the benefit of their costly experience in three years of war. ALLIES

Following the spring drive of the Allies on the western front and the
retirement of the Germans to the so-called Hindenburg line, the British
and French continued their offensive during the months of May, June and
July, 1917, which concluded the third year of the great struggle. Great
battles in the Champagne and along the Aisne were fought by the French,
who in April had captured Auberive, and they advanced their forces
from one to five miles along a fifty-mile front, inflicting great and
continual losses on the enemy. At the end of the third year, the French
line ran from northwest of Soissons, through Rheims, to Auberive. French
troops also appeared in Flanders during this period and co-operated
with the British on the left of Field Marshal Haig's forces. The chief
command of the French armies was in the hands of General Petain, the
gallant defender of Verdun, who was appointed chief of staff after the
battle of Craonne.

The continuation of the British offensive northeast of Arras, following
the bloody battle of Vimy Ridge, which was firmly held by the Canadians
against desperate counter-attacks, placed the British astride the
Hindenburg line, and the Germans retired to positions a mile or two west
of the Drocourt-Queant line. These they held as the third year closed at
the end of July.

In June, 1917, the British began an attack on Messines and Wytschaete,
in an effort to straighten out the Ypres salient. By this time their
flyers dominated the air, and they had gained the immense advantage of
artillery superiority. By way of preparation, the British sappers and
miners had spent an entire year in mining the earth beneath the German
positions, and the offensive was begun with an explosion so terrific,
when the mines were sprung, that it was heard in London. Following
immediately with the attack, the British won and consolidated the
objective ground, capturing more than 7,500 German prisoners and great
stores of artillery. This victory placed them astride the Ypres-Commines
canal, having advanced three miles on an eight-mile front. Portuguese
and Belgian troops assisted in this offensive, which resulted in the
greatest gain the Allies had made in Belgium since the German invasion.
Fighting in this terrain had been confined for many months to
trench-raiding operations.


It is estimated that during April, May, and June the Germans suffered
350,000 casualties on the western front. The totals of the German
official lists of losses for the entire war to July 19, 1917, were as
follows: Killed or died of wounds, 1,032,800; died of sickness, 72,960;
prisoners and missing, 591,966; wounded, 2,825,581; making a grand total
of casualties of 4,523,307. The German naval and colonial casualties were
not included in this total.


Fighting continued almost steadily in Flanders during the month of
August, although the Allies were greatly hampered in their operations
by heavy rains and mud. On a nine-mile front east and north of Ypres, a
long drawn-out battle carried the advancing French and British troops
more than a mile into the intricate hostile trench system on August 16,
after successive advances on previous days. From Dreigrachten southward
the French surged across the River Steenbeke, capturing all objectives,
while at the same time the British occupied considerable territory in
the region of St. Julien and Langemarck, captured the latter town, and
carried the fighting beyond Langemarck. The main difficulty encountered
was the mud in the approaches to the town, the infantry plunging deep
into the bog at every step. Not infrequently the soldiers had to rescue
a comrade who had sunk to the waist in the morass, but they continued to
push forward steadily, facing machine-gun fire from hidden redoubts and
battling their way past with bombs and rifle fire. There were concrete
gunpits about the positions in front of the town, which was flooded from
the Steenbeke River, but the infantry divided and bombed their way about
on either side until they had encircled the town and passed beyond,
where the Germans could be seen running away. Little resistance was
offered in the town itself, but the Germans suffered severely from the
preliminary bombardment, which worked havoc in their ranks, according to
the prisoners taken in the Langemarck region. The contact between the
French and British forces was excellent throughout the fight; in fact,
the perfect co-operation of the two armies continued to be one of the
minor wonders of the war.


Canadian troops added to their laurels by the storming and capture of
Hill 70, dominating the important mining center of Lens, in northern
France, August 15, following up their victory by the occupation of the
fortified suburbs of the city and apparently insuring its redemption
from German hands, after a struggle that had lasted for two years.

The men of the Dominion swept the Germans from the famous hill, defeated
all counter-attacks, and thus gained command of the entire Loos salient.
It was on this hill that the British forces under Sir John French were
badly broken in their efforts to reach Lens in the first battle of Loos,
in September, 1915. Hill 70 was the last high ground held by the Germans
in the region of the Artois, and its fall menaced their whole line south
to Queant and north to La Bassee.

The Canadian attack began at 4:25 o'clock, just as the first hint of
dawn was appearing. All night the British big guns had been pouring a
steady stream of high explosive shells into the German positions,
great detonations overlapping one another like the rapid crackling of
machine-gun fire and swelling into a mighty volume of thunder that shook
the earth and stunned the senses. Then, a short time before the hour set
for the attack arrived, the batteries ceased abruptly and a strange,
almost oppressive stillness crept over the terrain which until then had
been an inferno of crashing noise and death. It had been raining and
gray clouds still hung over the trenches where crouched the Canadian
infantrymen, waiting eagerly for the arrival of the moment which would
summon them to attack.

Suddenly, ten minutes before the time set for the advance, every British
gun within range broke out with a hurricane of shelling, and solid lines
of crimson lightning belched from the German trenches as the explosives
broke about them. To this lurid picture was added the spectacle of
burning oil, which the British threw on the enemy lines. Great clouds of
pinkish colored smoke rolled across the country from the flaming liquid
and the murky sky threw back myriad colors from the conflagration below.

The moment of attack arrived, and as the British guns dropped their
protecting barrage fire in front of the Canadian trenches, the clouds
parted and the yellow crescent moon appeared. Under the light of this
beacon the Canadians leaped over the parapets and began their methodical
advance behind their barrage fire.

The British barrage was without a flaw, says an eyewitness. Behind it
the Canadians mounted Hill 70 and swept along the rest of the line. On
the crest of the hill, where so much blood had been, spilled before,
heavy fighting might have been expected, for the position was well
manned with machine guns. The resistance here, however, was not strong,
and it was not until the dwellings in the outskirts of the suburbs were
reached that vigorous fighting occurred. The ground over which the
infantry advanced was honeycombed with British shell holes and the
barbed wire defenses had been leveled, so that they gave little trouble.


The first serious resistance from the Germans was met at a point where
the enemy was strongly intrenched in connecting cellars and there
sanguinary fighting occurred. The place was a sample of many other
suburbs about Lens. The city is surrounded by colliery communities which
are so close together and so near the city proper that they really form
part of the town. Lens, before the war, had a population of 30,000, but
had become a mass of ruins.

Following their usual tactics, the Germans had carried out systematic
destruction of the houses and had constructed strong underground
defenses. The whole city was undermined with tunnels and dugouts, which
had been reinforced with concrete, and most of the ruined buildings had
been turned into machine-gun emplacements.

The effect of the preliminary British bombardment was most demoralizing
to the enemy. The first German prisoners taken were in a completely
dazed state as a result of the terrific bombardment they had undergone,
and other Germans were seen to flee to the rear, deserting their posts
as the attack began.

The result of this preliminary fire was shown in the speed of the
Canadian infantry's advance. The extreme depth reached in the first
stage was 1,500 yards, and this was achieved in ninety-three minutes.
This new front, taken into conjunction with positions secured previously
in the southwestern outskirts of Lens, established an angular line like
a pair of shears whose points reached out to the north and south of the

As the Canadians pushed in on the northwest, a simultaneous advance
was started by the troops on the lower blade of the shears, and close
fighting began, with the Germans intrenched in their concreted cellars,
which were linked up with barbed wire and filled with hundreds of
machine guns. The capture of the entire city of Lens was then only a
matter of time, as Hill 70 insured the holding of the ground won by
the Canadians, German reinforcements being placed under the range of
irresistible fire from that dominating height. Among the prisoners taken
in the attack were many German lads apparently not more than 17 years of

The German commander, Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, made frantic efforts
to recapture the lost positions around Lens. The taking of Hill
stirred the German high command as nothing else had done on the western
front for many months, and a grim battle was waged for several days.
On August 16 the enemy came on ten separate times, but they seldom got
close enough to the Canadians for fighting with bayonet or bomb. The
Prussian Guards participated in the counter-attacks and were subjected
to a terrible concentrated fire from the British artillery and Canadian
machine guns. Their losses were frightful and all German efforts to
retake Hill 70 came to naught, while their hold on the central portion
of the mining city became most precarious, as the Canadians consolidated
the advantageous positions their valor had finally won.


After the Russian revolution in March, 1917, the military affairs of the
new nation entered upon a curious phase. At first the Russian army made
a feint to advance on Pinsk, to cover the actual operations resumed
in the month of July against Lemberg. This latter front extended for
eighteen and a half miles and was held by troops known as "Regiments
July First." These troops, reinvigorated by the consciousness of
political liberty, confounded German military prophets by the magnitude
and extent of the offensive which they began. Led by Alexander Kerensky,
the revolutionary minister of war, and observed by American army
officers, they forced the Teutons to evacuate Brzezany, and then
captured many important positions, including terrain west and south of
Halicz and strongly-defended positions northwest of Stanislau. On July
11 Halicz was taken, thus smashing the Austro-German front between
Brzezany and the Carpathians.

This Russian operation broadened by mid-July, so that it extended from
the Gulf of Riga to the Roumanian front, a distance of 800 miles. The
Germans were reported to be rushing troops from the Italian and French
fronts. Widespread enthusiasm was created throughout Russia, and the
moral effect on the other entente powers was tremendous.

Before the third year closed, at the end of July, however, Russia's
offensive suffered a collapse. German spies, anarchists, peace fanatics,
and other agitators succeeded in destroying the morale of some of the
Russian troops in Galicia, where a retreat became necessary when unit
after unit refused to obey orders. Brzezany, Halicz, Tarnopol, Stanislau
and Kaloma were lost, together with all the remaining ground gained
during the offensive. The Russians surrendered many prisoners, heavy
guns, and an abundance of supplies and ammunition.

The death penalty was invoked as a check to further insubordinations and
the provisional government introduced a policy of "blood and iron" in an
effort to avert disaster.

South of the Carpathians and in the Vilna region there was little
disaffection among the Russian troops, and Russia had not yet thrown up
her hands, although the situation on the eastern front was disappointing
to the Allies. Alexander Kerensky, a popular hero, became the strong man
of Russia. A counter-revolution was promptly and forcibly crushed in
Petrograd and an "extraordinary national council," meeting at
Moscow, August 25, took steps to end the crisis. All loyal Russians,
conservative and radical, were called to the aid of Kerensky, who
ignored factional and party lines and succeeded in bringing something
like order out of the political chaos in the new republic. Every effort
was made to restore the power as well as the will of Russia to gain
ultimate victory, and Elihu Root, head of a United States commission to
Russia, assured the American people on his return from Petrograd that
the ill effects of the revolution would soon pass away, leaving Russia
once more united for action against the Teuton foe.

On August 15, Nicholas Romanoff, the deposed czar of Russia, and his
entire family were removed from the palace at Tsarskoe-Selo, near
Petrograd, and transported to Tobolsk in Siberia. Fifty servants who
were devoted to him accompanied the ex-emperor into exile. Instead of
the gorgeous imperial train in which he was wont to travel, an ordinary
train composed of three sleeping cars, a dining car, and several
third-class coaches was used for the transportation of Nicholas and his
party, which included the former Empress Alexandra, whose pro-German
attitude was a prime cause of his downfall. On arrival at Tobolsk the
ex-czar and his entourage were received as political prisoners.


The campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare, which was relied upon
by Germany to win the war by the extinction of the British mercantile
marine and the stoppage of transatlantic supplies, had proved a failure
by August, 1917, after six months' duration. While the tonnage destroyed
by the undersea instruments of frightfulness was sufficiently serious to
cause grave alarm on both sides of the Atlantic, it formed but a
small percentage of the ships actively and continually engaged in the
transportation of munitions and supplies, while it was practically
counterbalanced by the activities of Allied shipbuilders and by the
seizure for Allied service of interned German ships in the countries
that entered the war subsequent to February 1, 1917, when the campaign
of unrestricted destruction began. Determined efforts were made by the
British, French and United States navies to cope with the undersea
enemy, and these were increasingly successful. Many merchant ships and
transports were convoyed to safety by the destroyers of the three great
naval Allies, and by August the fear that Britain could be starved out
by means of German submarines had practically disappeared. The record of
sinkings of British vessels for the first twenty-four weeks after the
"unrestricted" warfare began was as follows:

  Over           Under
  1,600          1,600          Smaller
  Week                          tons.          tons.

  First............               14             9
  Second...........               13             4
  Third............               16             8
  Fourth ..........               19             7
  Fifth............               18            13
  Sixth ...........               17             2
  Seventh..........               19             9
  Eighth ..........               40            15
  Ninth............               38            13
  Tenth............               24            22
  Eleventh ........               18             5
  Twelfth..........               18             5
  Thirteenth ......               18             1
  Fourteenth ......               15             3
  Fifteenth........               22            10
  Sixteenth........               27             5
  Seventeenth .....               21             7
  Eighteenth ......               15             5
  Nineteenth ......               14             3
  Twentieth........               14             4
  Twenty-first.....               21             3
  Twenty-second ...               18             3
  Twenty-third.....               21             2
  Twenty-fourth ...               14             2

  Total............              474           164

  Grand total of ships sunk......


King Constantine I of Greece was forced by the Allies to abdicate his
throne on June 12, 1917, in favor of his second son, Prince Alexander.
The kingdom remained, but not a pro-German one as before. In order to
block the designs of the King and court, who were doing their best to
deliver Greece to the Germans, the Entente powers were obliged to make
a succession of demands upon the Greek government, including the
demobilization of most of the army, the surrender of the fleet, and the
withdrawal of Greek troops from Thessaly. In an effort to enforce their
demands the Entente allies landed marines in Athens--who were fired
upon--and finally declared an embargo on imports into Greece. Turmoil
and intrigue continued, and pressure was brought to bear upon
Constantine which compelled him to abdicate the throne. Venizelos
returned as premier and Greece was announced as a belligerent on the
side of the Entente.


In the Trentino the Italians took the offensive in June and after
terrible fighting captured the Austrian positions on Monte Ortigara and
Agnello Pass. These they were forced to relinquish, however, in the face
of Austrian counter-attacks.

The Italian campaign on the Isonzo and in the Trentino, continued
throughout the summer, was perhaps the most scientific of all the
campaigns, involving tremendous technical difficulties, which were
solved with amazing ingenuity and skill. The campaign was largely an
engineers' and an artilleryman's war, waged in the mountains, much of
it in regions of perpetual snow--highly picturesque and spectacular.
Finally, it was as little destructive as war well can be, because the
Italians were fighting in territories which they hoped to hold after the
conflict, and they spared the towns and villages to the greatest extent


The capture of Bagdad by the British in March, 1917, after a brilliant
campaign in Mesopotamia, had a deep moral effect in the Orient,
particularly in Arabia, where the natives revolted against Turkish rule
and established an independent government in Mecca.

In the Holy Land the British in 1917 opened a new era in the history of
the East. Their advance by August 1 had carried them nearly to Gaza.
Their objective was Jerusalem, which the Turks partly evacuated at their
approach, after doing untold damage in the holy city and inflicting many
atrocities upon the inhabitants.


In cementing America's association with the nations which had become
her allies, numerous exchanges of missions were arranged. France, Great
Britain, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Japan and other entente belligerents
sent delegations to the United States as a step toward unification,
military, financial and otherwise. The United States sent missions to
Russia and other countries.


Cities from Bagdad to London were subject to aerial raids by the
Germans during the summer, notable attacks being those by Zeppelins and
aeroplanes on London and the eastern coast cities of England. In five
attacks on England in May, June and July, 298 persons were killed and
863 injured. Insistent demands were then made by the English people for
reprisals in kind.


An estimate of the total war losses, made near the close of the third
year of the war and voiced by Arthur Henderson of the British War
Council, placed the number of men killed at 7,000,000 since August,
1914. French general headquarters on August 1 estimated that 1,500,
Germans had been killed up to March 1. Mr. Henderson estimated the total
casualties of the war at more than 45,000,000.


The third year of the world war closed in July, 1917, with the fortunes
of conflict favoring the Entente, except for uncertainty as to the
outcome of the Russian situation. On the western front in Europe the
Teutons found themselves on the defensive at the advent of the fourth
year. They were fighting on lines newly established after forced
retirement from terrain which they had won in earlier days at a
tremendous sacrifice.

Following the declaration of war by the United States, Cuba and Liberia
declared themselves on the side of the Allies. Panama pledged the United
States her aid in defending the Panama Canal. Costa Rica put her naval
bases at its disposal. China, Bolivia, Guatemala and Brazil severed
diplomatic relations with Germany. Uruguay expressed her sympathy with
the United States. Late in July Siam entered the war against the central
powers, and on August 14 China formally declared war against Germany
and Austria. This made a total of seventeen nations arrayed against the
central powers.

As to the prospects for the fourth year of the war, which opened in
August, 1917, American sentiment was expressed by the _New York Sun_,
which said editorially: "We expect today as at first that the end will
be catastrophic overthrow for the Kaiser and the military party of
Germany, and a dreary expiation by the German people of their sin in
allowing themselves to be dragooned into the most immoral enterprise of
the ages."


The Army bill providing for raising a new national army by selective
draft duly passed the House of Representatives and the United States
Senate and was signed by President Wilson on May 18, 1917. The President
forthwith issued a proclamation calling on all male inhabitants of the
United States between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for the draft on
the following June 5. At the same time he formally declined the offer
of Col. Roosevelt to raise a volunteer army for immediate service in

On June 5, the day of registration, 9,700,000 young men of all classes
registered in their home districts throughout the country. It was then
decided to call approximately 650,000 men to the colors as the first
national army. The formal drawing of the serial numbers allotted to
registrants occurred in Washington late in July. District boards were
appointed to examine the men drafted and receive applications for
exemption, also appeal boards in every State. The month of August
was largely occupied in preparing the quotas from each district and
meanwhile cantonments were made ready for the training of the new army,
while thousands of prospective officers received intensive training in
special camps at various points, east and west, and were commissioned in
due course. Orders were then issued for the men selected to report at
the cantonments in three divisions of 200,000 men each, at intervals of
fifteen days, beginning September 5. The National Guards of the various
States were also mobilized August 9, mustered into the Federal service,
and ordered to special training camps, mostly situated in the South. The
work of assembling equipment and supplies for the new army was rushed
and the whole country hummed with the task of preparation.


France and Great Britain having joined in a request for the dispatch
of an American expeditionary force to France at the earliest possible
moment, the United States government on May 18 ordered 25,000 troops
to France under the command of Major-General John J. Pershing. A large
force of marines was subsequently ordered to join them, bringing the
strength of the expedition up to approximately 40,000 men. General
Pershing and his staff preceded the troops to Europe, reaching London
June 8 and Paris June 13, and being enthusiastically welcomed in both
the Allied capitals.

Convoyed by American warships, the first and second contingents of
American troops crossed the Atlantic in safety, despite two submarine
attacks on the transports in which at least one U-boat was sunk. Without
the loss of a ship or a man the troops were landed in France on June
and 27, to be received with outbursts of joy by the French populace,
who saw in their coming the assurance of final delivery from the German
invaders. Training camps awaited their coming and there, behind the
French lines they spent the months of July and August in active
preparation for service under the Stars and Stripes against the German
enemy on the western front.


America's destroyer flotilla arrived in British waters in May and
immediately co-operated with the British fleet in the patrol of its home
waters and the hunt for German submarines. The flotilla was commanded by
Vice-Admiral Sims and did effective work from the very start.

On August 11 it was announced in Washington that Admiral Sims had sent
to the Navy Department a series of reports detailing the work of the
American ships and men under his command. These were said to present
a thrilling story of accomplishment, telling of many encounters with
U-boats and also of the rescue of numerous crews of ships which had been
destroyed by submarines off the coasts of England and Ireland.

Soon after war was declared by the United States, American warships took
over from British and French vessels the patrol of American coasts,
while Brazil added her navy to that of the United States for the
protection of South American waters against the common enemy.


On May 2, a few weeks after the United States entered the war,
subscriptions were opened for the first block of $2,000,000,000 of the
"Liberty loan" of $7,000,000,000 authorized by Congress in April. Great
popular interest was evinced and all classes of the American people
hastened to subscribe for the 3-1/2 per cent bonds, so that when the
books were closed on June 15 it was found that the loan had been
oversubscribed by $1,035,226,850 and the list of subscribers contained
no fewer than 4,000,000 names. Most of the amount raised was used
for loans to the Allies, to be expended in the United States for war
munitions and supplies.

A war budget appropriating $3,340,000,000 for current expenses of the
war was passed by Congress and signed by the President June 15; also an
Espionage bill which among other important provisions gave the President
power to place an embargo on all exports. On July 14 the House of
Representatives passed an Aviation bill appropriating the sum of
$640,000,000 for the construction and maintenance of an aerial fleet for
home and foreign service.


On August 10 President Wilson signed the Food Control bill adopted by
Congress after prolonged debate, and he at once announced the
formal appointment of Mr. Herbert C. Hoover as United States food
administrator. Mr. Hoover, whose work as chief of the Belgian Relief
Commission had made him world famous, stated the threefold objects of
the food administration under the bill as follows:

"First, to so guide the trade in the fundamental food commodities as to
eliminate vicious speculation, extortion, and wasteful practices, and to
stabilize prices in the essential staples. Second, to guard our exports
so that against the world's shortage we retain sufficient supplies for
our own people, and to coöperate with the Allies to prevent inflation of
prices; and, third, that we stimulate in every manner within our power
the saving of our food in order that we may increase exports to our
Allies to a point which will enable them to properly provision their
armies and to feed their peoples during the coming winter."


While the United States was busily engaged in raising its new national
army, innumerable difficulties arose to be contended with by the Federal
and State governments and local authorities. Not the least of these was
caused by enemy propaganda of various kinds, designed to interfere with
the success of the selective draft. Active opposition to the draft
developed in many districts, especially in the Western states where
the organization calling itself the "Industrial Workers of the World,"
notorious as the "I.W.W.," had a considerable following, including many
aliens, and gave the State and municipal authorities much trouble.
Attacks on munition plants, strikes, and incipient riots were frequent,
until the Federal government declared its determination to meet all such
demonstrations with the strong arm of the law. Pacifists and pro-Germans
of various stripes did their utmost to retard war preparations, and
caused much annoyance, without, however, preventing the steady march of
the selected men to the training cantonments, where the first divisions
of the national army gradually assembled. The presence in the country
of so many aliens of enemy birth constituted a difficulty, but this had
been foreseen and partly provided against, and the true American spirit
of patriotism steadily prevailed over all obstacles to the successful
prosecution of the war for humanity. Uncle Sam prepared to strike--and
strike hard.


Meanwhile, internal troubles developed in the German empire. Weary of
the war, with hopes of final victory dwindling month by month, a strong
peace party arose in the Reichstag, committing itself to the policy of
a peace without annexations or indemnities, and for a brief time the
Reichstag refused to vote a war credit. This brought the Kaiser, Von
Hindenburg, and Von Ludendorff in hot haste to Berlin, to exert the
utmost possible pressure of the military party on the recalcitrants. For
the time being their power prevailed, but the German Chancellor, Von
Bethmann Hollweg, was sacrificed, together with the Foreign Minister and
other leading officials of the empire. The Chancellor was succeeded by
Dr. Georg Michaelis, a statesman of colorless and practically unknown
quality, suspected of being a mere mouthpiece of the Kaiser, appointed
to register his decrees and continue the policy of the autocracy in the
conduct of the war. But many peace proposals came out of Germany during
the summer and every possible German effort was made to break the
solidarity of the Allies.


On August 14 Pope Benedict addressed to all the belligerent nations
a proposal for a peace agreement, stating the general terms which he
believed might be found acceptable as a basis for the cessation
of hostilities. These included disarmament of the nations, mutual
condonation of damages, the establishment of the principle of
arbitration for the future, the evacuation of Belgian and French
territory by the Germans, reciprocal restoration of the German colonies,
and a peace-table agreement as to Alsace-Lorraine, Poland, the Trentino,
Armenia and the Balkan states.

Nothing being said as to the causes of the war and the criminal
responsibility attaching to the authors of the great conflict, and all
the nations at issue being classed as equally entitled to the benefits
of the condonation proposed, the message from the Vatican met with a
cool reception from the Allied nations, including the United States,
especially as they entertained grave suspicions that it was inspired
from Berlin, by way of Vienna. The answers of President Wilson and
the British and French governments were therefore awaited with little
expectation that the hour for peace had struck.

The British attitude toward peace proposals was expressed July 20 by Sir
Edward Carson, member of the war cabinet, who said:

"If the Germans want peace we are prepared tomorrow to treat not
with Prussianism, but with the best of the German nation, and as a
preliminary to such a treaty and as an earnest of their sincerity that
they don't want to acquire any territory or show violence towards
others, we tell them to come forward and offer to enter negotiations. We
make as the first condition of such a parley that they shall withdraw
their troops behind the Rhine.

"When they have shown something like contrition for the wrongs and
outrages against humanity which they have committed on poor little
Belgium, in northern France, in Serbia, and in those other regions which
they needlessly drenched with blood, we will be willing to enter into
negotiations to see what can be done for release of the world from the
terror of arms."


On August 21 Canadian troops smashed their way with bombs and cold steel
farther into the German defenses of the ruins of Lens, and defeated a
desperate simultaneous attack by the enemy, which developed into one of
the most sanguinary hand-to-hand conflicts on this battle-scarred front.
The attack began at dawn with the capture of 2,000 yards of German
positions on the outskirts of the shell-torn mining center, the
Canadians driving their lines closer about the heart of the city and
gaining possession of many railway embankments and colliery sidings in
the northwest and southwest suburbs which had been strongly fortified
for defense with a series of shell-hole nests of machine guns. The
battle raged fiercely for twenty-four hours.

When the Canadians went "over the top" in the thick haze of early dawn
of the 21st, they saw masses of shadowy gray figures advancing toward
them. The Germans had planned an attack to be delivered at the same
moment, and sent in wave after wave of infantry in desperate efforts to
regain their lost positions. In the words of an eyewitness, the Germans
fought like cornered rats among the shell holes and wire incumbrances of
"No man's Land," where the struggle raged, bomb and bayonet being the
principal weapons. As the Canadian bayonet did its deadly work, in some
of the bitterest fighting of the war, the German officers tried in vain
to rally their men and the enemy infantry gradually fell back to the
trenches they had left. The Canadians followed closely and, leaping on
the parapets, hurled masses of bombs down among great numbers of troops
which had been collected for the attack. The Germans tried to flee
through the communication trenches, but the Canadians leaped among them
with bayonets and bombs, killing many and sparing few as prisoners.
Throughout the day the entire line was a seething caldron, but the new
Canadian positions were firmly held as night fell.

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig after the battle sent a message of
congratulation to Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, commanding the
Canadian forces, and refuted the German claim that the Canadians had
attacked with four instead of two divisions when Hill 70 was captured by
the gallant fellows from the Dominion. The commander-in-chief also gave
the Canadians credit for having reached all their objectives in the
battles of the previous week.

Eight heavy assaults were delivered against the Canadians at Lens by the
Germans during the night of the 21st, but in each case the enemy was
thrown back at the point of the bayonet and by afternoon of August
the Canadians had consolidated all the new positions gained. During the
battle of Lens up to this time (from August 15 to 22) the Canadians took
1,378 prisoners, 34 machine guns and 21 trench mortars. The number of
prisoners taken bore only a small ratio to the losses inflicted on the
Germans, who appeared exhausted when the assaults ceased.

On August 22 the British launched another fierce attack on the enemy
in the Langemarck sector of the front and forced their way to a
considerable depth in the neighborhood of the ridge known as Hill 35,
strongly defended by Irish troops against Prince Rupprecht's Bavarians.
At the same time a new battle at Verdun was in progress, but the
French held all their gains against reserves massed by the Germans for
desperate counter-attacks.


On the Isonzo front the Italian commander, General Cadorna, launched a
great offensive while the British were active in Flanders and by August
23 had broken through the whole Austrian line, capturing the town of
Selo, which was the pivot of the Austrian defense, and considered
impregnable, and inflicting upon the enemy, in this eleventh battle of
the Isonzo, the greatest losses he had sustained since the capture of
Goritz. More than 13,000 Austro-Hungarian prisoners were captured during
the battle, with thirty guns, and all counter-attacks were repulsed with
heavy losses. The whole Selo line fell before the heroic onslaught of
the Italians, and the loss of this important position was a serious blow
to the Austrians. On August 22 Italian warships were showering shells on
Trieste, the big Austrian port on the Adriatic which was the objective
of the Italian campaign.


"In the welter of the conflict an emperor of Austria-Hungary has died,
full of years and of sorrow, a czar of Russia has stepped from his
throne, and a king of Greece has lost his crown," said a well-known
publicist, reviewing the war up to this time.

"Not one of the prime ministers or ministers of foreign affairs who
conducted the diplomatic maneuvers preceding of immediately following
the beginning of the war in the six most important countries of Europe
is still in power. In Russia, Goremykin and Sazonoff are forgotten
behind a line of successors, equally unstable. In France, Delcassé left
the foreign office and Viviani ceased to head the cabinet, following the
collapse of Serbia in the second autumn of the war.

"The tragedy of Roumania a year later contributed to the overthrow of
Asquith and his foreign secretary, Sir Edward Grey, in Great Britain.
San Giuliano of the Italian foreign office and Salandra, the
prime minister, have passed. Count Berchtold, foreign minister of
Austria-Hungary in 1914 (the empire has no prime minister), has passed
into oblivion, while Von Jagow gave up the management of Germany's
foreign affairs last autumn. Von Bethmann-Hollweg, the last of the group
to lose his grip, has just gone down, despite the fact that he was not
responsible to any elective body.

"Ministers of war in the belligerent countries have not been more
stable. Kerensky follows a long procession in Russia. France has had
four war ministers from Millerand to Painlevé, inclusive, while Lord
Kitchener, organizer of Great Britain's most marvelous war achievement,
a volunteer army of some 4,000,000 men, sleeps below the waters of the
North Sea.

"History has as ruthlessly brushed aside most of the army commanders of
the early days. Von Kluck, who led the Germans on Paris, is retired.
Rennenkampf, with whom the Russians meanwhile swarmed into East Prussia,
is a memory only. Sir John French has been recalled to England. That
little group of generals who saved France and Europe at the Marne is
decimated. Foch and Castelnau, and Manoury are no longer in command,
while Galliéni, worn out in the service of his country, was borne on his
last journey through the streets of Paris on a sunny spring day in 1916.

"Even Joffre has been superseded in a military sense, though not as an
idol of the nation. France still holds him as close to her heart as
Germany possibly could hold Von Hindenburg--almost the only one of the
war's early commanders to retain his military power."


On August 23, Riga, the Russian seaport which is the gateway to
Petrograd, was reported in peril from the Germans, who were conducting a
determined advance on the north of the eastern front under the immediate
direction of Field Marshal Von Hindenburg. With a Japanese mission in
Washington, headed by Viscount Ishii, it was expected that steps might
be taken to send Japanese troops to the aid of the Russians.

Russia's critical internal situation, aggravated by the new German drive
against Riga, was watched by officials in Washington with the gravest
concern. While the taking of Riga would not necessarily be a decisive
blow, it would make the Baltic more than ever a German lake, leaving the
Russian fleet in the position of the mouse in the rathole to the German
cat, just as the Kaiser's fleet was the mouse to the English fleet

The outcome of the forthcoming extraordinary national council to be held
at Moscow was therefore awaited in Washington with the keenest interest,
scarcely less keen than in Russia itself. The immediate fate of Russia,
it was felt, depended upon the action of the council in its efforts to
throw off the demoralizing socialistic control of the Russian army and
workmen. German intrigues in Russia were known to be exerting powerful
influence to bring about anarchy within the new democracy.


An advance by the Canadians in the neighborhood of the Green Grassier on
the southern edge of Lens added greatly to the strength of the British
line, which continued to tighten steadily about the heart of the city.

The Grassier is a great slag heap, and lies only about 300 yards south
of the central railway station of Lens, and overlooks it.

The Canadians made their assault before dawn this time, and the attack
was preceded by a protracted and exceedingly intense bombardment of the
German positions. The Germans, exhausted by the long strain of constant
counter-attacks, found the Canadians in their midst with little warning.
But the defenders did not give up without a struggle, and there was
fierce bayonet fighting.

The Grassier was an important buffer between the Canadians and the
defenses of the city proper, and the Germans reached it through tunnels
connected with the network of passages and dugouts beneath Lens.

Part of the ground about the Grassier was inundated, due to the waterway
near by having broken its banks, and this, in conjunction with the
great number of machine-gun emplacements on the elevation, made it a
particularly difficult position for attack.

An advance upon two German colliery positions adjoining the Grassier to
the northwest, earlier in the night, also involved stiff hand-to-hand
fighting. About the Grassier were numerous shell-shattered buildings,
many of which had been strongly fortified by the Germans. The Canadians
bombed their way systematically through these defenses, silencing the
machine guns and clearing out the defenders.

The fighting on August 23 was on the edge of the city proper, rather
than in the suburbs. Notwithstanding the tremendous strain upon the
Canadians during the previous week, there was no diminution in the
strength of their attacks. They worked steadily and methodically,
gradually weaving a net about the Germans, who were living miserably in
their underground positions within the great coal center.


In the three days' fighting on the western front from August 21 to 23,
the Entente Allies captured 25,000 German prisoners and by September
1 the total for August had reached more than 40,000, according to
Major-General Frederick B. Maurice, chief director of the British war
intelligence office. This topped the figure of prisoners which the
Germans claimed to have taken in a single month on the Russian front,
although their total undoubtedly was composed by at least half of mere
stragglers from the mutinous and disorganized Russian units.

On September 1, 1917, the positions recaptured by the French around
Verdun were safely consolidated in their possession, every German effort
being thrown back in disorder. The fighting had developed into a big-gun
duel, in which the French continued to maintain undoubted mastery, and
they were firmly established once more on the left bank of the Meuse,
which the Germans had intended to hold at all costs. Thus ended the last
hope of the Crown Prince of Germany, who apparently was obsessed with
the desire to conquer Verdun, in the neighborhood of which thousands of
the flower of the German army found only a burial place, without any
laurels of victory.


The early autumn of 1917 witnessed steady gains by the British and
French forces co-operating in Flanders and to the South of the Belgian
border along the western front. The artillery on both sides was
constantly active, but with evident superiority on the part of the
Allies. Repeated German attacks were repulsed in the Champagne and along
the Meuse, while in the Ypres region the Allied troops made frequent
gains in spite of the concrete defenses established by the enemy to
strengthen their entrenched positions.

Repeated successes of the Allies along the Chemin des Dames finally
forced a German retreat along a fifteen-mile front which the Crown
Prince had made strenuous efforts to hold. The Germans were compelled to
retire because French victories on October 21-23 enabled French guns to
enfilade the Ailette Valley behind the German positions, exposing the
enemy to a series of disastrous flanking attacks and hampering the
German communications. On October 30-31 the French bombarded the German
lines vigorously. The enemy had already moved their artillery across the
Ailette to a ridge north of the river. On the night of November 1 they
completed their preparations for retreat and withdrew their infantry.
French patrols approaching the German lines on the morning of November
2 were fired upon at first, but on renewing their reconnoissance soon
after dawn found the German trenches empty.

It was impossible for the Germans to keep their front line supplied with
ammunition or food, the carriers of which were obliged to pass through a
tornado of shells and machine gun bullets while crossing the Valley of
the Ailette, where their every movement could be observed by the French.
Eventually the position became untenable and the Germans retired during
the night to the Northern side of the Ailette Valley. The best elements
of the Crown Prince's army had sustained severe losses and were
compelled to go to the rear to reconstitute their diminished ranks. The
evacuated territory North of the crest of Chemin des Dames included
several towns that had been pulverized by bombardment, and the retreat
brought the important city of Laon within range of the French guns.

The captures by the French in this sector from September 23 to November
1 included 12,000 prisoners, 200 heavy field guns, 220 trench mortars,
and 720 machine guns. In ten days, from September 21 to 30, twenty-three
German airplanes were destroyed and twenty-eight forced to descend badly


The first list of Americans killed and wounded in combat with the enemy
reached Washington on October 17, in an official report from Rear
Admiral Sims of an encounter between a German submarine and an American
destroyer. One American sailor was killed and five sailors were wounded
when the submarine torpedoed the destroyer Cassin on patrol duty in
European waters. The destroyer was not sunk and after making a gallant
fight reached a British port.

Two days later Rear Admiral Sims reported that the American troop
transport Antilles, homeward bound from France, was torpedoed and sunk
by a German submarine on October 17. Seventy men of the 237 aboard lost
their lives, including four naval enlisted men, sixteen army enlisted
men, three ship's officers, and 47 members of the ship's crew. The
Antilles was under convoy of American patrol vessels at the time it was


At the burial on November 7 of the first three American soldiers killed
in the trenches in France by a raiding party of Germans, a guard of
French infantrymen, in their picturesque uniforms of red and horizon
blue, stood on one side and a detachment of American soldiers on the
other while the flag-wrapped coffins were lowered into the grave, as a
bugler blew taps and the batteries nearby fired minute guns. The French
officer commanding in the sector paid an eloquent tribute to the fallen
Americans, his words being punctuated by the roar of the guns and the
whistle of shells. In conclusion he said:

"In the name of the French army and in the name of France, I bid
farewell to Private Enright, Private Gresham and Private Hay of the
American army.

"Of their own free will they had left a prosperous and happy country to
come over here. They knew war was continuing in Europe; they knew that
the forces fighting for honor, love of justice and civilization were
still checked by the long-prepared forces serving the powers of brutal
domination, oppression and barbarity. They knew that efforts were still
necessary. They wished to give up their generous hearts and they had not
forgotten old historical memories while others forgot more recent ones.

"They ignored nothing of the circumstances and nothing had been
concealed from them--neither the length and hardships of war nor the
violence of battle, nor the dreadfulness of new weapons, nor the perfidy
of the foe. Nothing stopped them. They accepted the hard and strenuous
life; they crossed the ocean at great peril; they took their places on
the front by our side and they have fallen facing the foe in a hard and
desperate hand-to-hand fight. Honor to them! Their families, friends and
fellow-citizens will be proud when they learn of their deaths.

"Men! These graves, the first to be dug in our national soil and only a
short distance from the enemy, are as a mark of the mighty land we and
our Allies firmly cling to in the common task, confirming the will of
the people and the army of the United States to fight with us to a
finish, ready to sacrifice as long as is necessary until final victory
for the most noble of causes, that of the liberty of nations, the weak
as well as the mighty. Thus the deaths of these humble soldiers appeal
to us with extraordinary grandeur.

"We will therefore ask that the mortal remains of these young men be
left here, left with us forever. We inscribe on the tombs, 'Here lie the
first soldiers of the republic of the United States to fall on the soil
of France for liberty and justice.' The passer-by will stop and uncover
his head. Travelers and men of heart will go out of their way to come
here to pay their respective tributes.

"Private Enright! Private Gresham! Private Hay! In the name of France, I
thank you. God receive your souls! Farewell!"


In the first week of October Austrian forces, heavily reinforced by
Germans, opened a gigantic drive in an effort to crush Italy. It soon
resulted in wiping out all the gains made by the Italians under General
Cadorna on the Isonzo and in the Trentino, and in a determined invasion
of Northern Italy by the enemy, with the city of Venice as its immediate

The Teuton attack began on the morning of October 24, after an intensive
artillery fire in which specially constructed gas shells were thrown at
various places. The offensive covered a 23-mile front, from Monte Rombon
Southeast through Flitsch and Tolmino and thence Southward to the
Bainsizza Plateau, about ten miles Northeast of Goritz, the scene of
desperate fighting in the drive by the Italians which wrested important
mountain positions from the Austrians.

The greatest shock came from the North, where the Isonzo was first
crossed by the enemy. At this point there occurred a weakening of
certain troops of the second Italian army, which gave the overwhelming
German contingents an opportunity to pass forward between a portion of
the army on the North and that on a line farther South. Then began the
double exposure of the Southern force to fire in the front and on the
flank which required a steady falling back until the entire Italian
army was moving towards newly-established positions farther West. The
commanding height of Monte Nero, which the Italians had occupied after
deeds of great valor, was defended against onslaughts from three
sides which gradually resulted in envelopment and the capture of many
thousands of Italian troops and hundreds of guns.

A general retreat of the Italian forces was then carried out, with
shielding operations by rear guards, and the main body of General
Cadorna's army retired to the Tagliamento. The Germans encountered
stubborn resistance on the Bainsizza Plateau and heaps of enemy dead
marked the lines of their advance. In one of the mountain passes a small
village, commanding the pass, was taken and retaken eight times during
desperate artillery, infantry and hand-to-hand fighting.

Goritz was shelled heavily and what remained of the city was further
reduced to a mass of debris. One of the main bridges from Goritz across
the Isonzo was blown up by the Italians and the enemy movement thus was
further impeded.

West of Goritz the town of Cormons also was shelled heavily. The great
German guns opened enormous craters and literally tore the towns to

The heaviest pressure began to be felt on the Carso front on Friday,
October 26. The Teutons then increased their bombardment to deafening
intensity and supplemented this with huge volumes of poison gas and
tear-shells. The humid air and light winds permitted great waves of the
deadly gases to creep low toward the Italian lines, the rear guards
protecting themselves with gas masks and by hiding in caverns.

Amid the onslaught of overwhelming masses of the enemy, the Italians
fell back slowly. The retreat, as in other instances of the war, was
the most terrible for the civilian inhabitants. There was an enormous
movement Westward. All the roads were packed with dense traffic, with
four or five lines abreast of teams, automobiles, motor trucks, pack
mules, artillery wagons, and ox carts. The soldiers marched or rode,
singly, in groups, in regiments, in brigades, or in divisions.

"It was such a time as the world has seldom witnessed," said a Red Cross
spectator. "Even fields and by-roads were utilized for the colossal
migration. The only wonder was that the great army was able to withdraw
at all and establish itself along the new line of defense.

"Many heartrending scenes were witnessed along the route, as the
torrential rain and the vast zone of mud increased the misery of the
moving multitude. Food was scarce and many went without it for days,
while sleep was impossible as the throng trudged westward. The military
hospitals were evacuated, with all other establishments, and pale and
wounded patients obliged to join in the rearguard march or fall into the
hands of the enemy. The roads were strewn with dead horses.

"Families with eight or ten children, the youngest clinging tightly to
the grandfather, trudged amid ranks of soldiers of many descriptions."
The safe retirement of the Tagliamento was due to the unexampled heroism
of large bodies of Italians, of such spirit as the Alpine troops on
Monte Nero, who refused to surrender, and the regiments of Bersaglieri
at Monte Maggiore, the members of which perished to the last man rather
than yield ground. It was by such resistance in the face of overwhelming
forces of the enemy that the civil population was able to retire. And it
was owing to the valor of Italian aviators, combating the Austro-German
army of the air, that the fleeing women, children and old men, who
crowded the roads, were not struck down by bursting bombs.

By November 1 General Cadorna's forces had effected their retirement
behind the Tagliamento River line, but at the cost of tremendous losses,
aggregating 180,000 prisoners and 1,500 guns. It was soon seen, however,
that the Tagliamento line could not be successfully held against the
enemy and a further retirement was carried out, Southward through the
mountainous country to a shorter line along the Piave River East of
Venice and Northwesterly to the Trentino boundary. This gave French and
British reinforcements the opportunity to arrive in sufficient numbers
to aid in checking the invaders.

As one result of the Italian reverses, General Cadorna was relieved of
the chief command, though he was credited with a masterly retreat. He
was succeeded by General Diaz.

The Austro-German offensive continued steadily for three weeks and on
November 21 was being pressed on three main fronts: First, along the
Piave River; second, from the Piave to the Brenta; third, from the
Brenta across the Asiago Plateau. The Italian troops were holding firm
and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. The spirit of the Italian
people was calm and public opinion strongly supported the most stubborn
resistance to the invader. Although all the fruits of Italy's two years
of strife had been swept away in a single month and a dread enemy was
reaching ever forward, seeking her most treasured possessions of art and
industry, the internal dissensions which Germany probably hoped to start
had not appeared. The population of Venice, however, had been reduced
from 160,000 to 20,000.


The Imperial government of Russia, headed by Premier Kerensky, was
ousted on November 7, when a period of practical anarchy set in. On the
evening of that day a congress of workmen's and soldiers' delegates
assembled in Petrograd, with 560 delegates in attendance. Without
preliminary discussion the congress elected officers pledged to make
"a democratic peace." They included fourteen so-called Maximalists
or members of the Bolsheviki (majority), the radical Socialist party
suspected of pro-German tendencies, headed by Nikolai Lenine and Leon
Trotzky; also seven revolutionary Socialists. These leaders at once
sent an ultimatum to the Kerensky government, demanding their surrender
within 20 minutes. The government replied indirectly, refusing to
recognize the Bolsheviki committee. Rioting then broke out and the
Winter Palace, headquarters of the provisional government, was besieged
by troops favorable to the rebels. The cruiser Aurora, firing from
the Neva River, and the guns of the St. Peter and St. Paul fortress
bombarded the palace and early next morning compelled the surrender of
the government forces defending it. Women of the "Battalion of Death,"
armed with machine guns and rifles, were among the defenders, who held
out for four hours. Soon the Bolsheviki were in complete control of
the city, Kerensky was in flight, several members of his cabinet were
arrested by the rebels, and the provisional government was no more.

Several weeks of political and industrial chaos in Russia followed
the Lenine coup d' etat, which was a triumph, probably temporary,
of extremists. A number of the commissioners appointed by the
Lenine-Trotzky faction to carry on the government, gave up their posts
within a few days, characterizing the Bolsheviki regime as "impossible"
and as inevitably involving "the destruction of the revolution and the

On November 23, Leon Trotzky, styling himself "National Commissioner for
foreign affairs," addressed to the embassies of the Allies in Petrograd
a note proposing "an immediate armistice on all fronts and the immediate
opening of peace negotiations." An official announcement was also made
that the Bolsheviki government had decided to undertake without delay
the reduction of the Russian armies, beginning with the release from
their military duties of all citizen soldiers conscripted in 1899.


The second "Liberty Loan" of the United States war bond issues was
largely oversubscribed by the patriotic citizens of the country. When
the books closed on October 27 it was announced that the subscriptions
received from approximately 9,000,000 persons amounted to over
$5,000,000,000, the amount of the bond issue being $3,000,000,000.


By a series of attacks on the morning of November 21 that took the
German enemy completely by surprise, the British Third army, under
command of Lieut.-Gen. Sir Julian Byng, broke through the Hindenburg
line on a front of 32 miles between St Quentin and the Scarpe. The
following day, when they consolidated the new positions gained, 10,
German prisoners were sent to the rear, with a large number of guns and
quantities of material abandoned by the astonished enemy, while at one
point the victorious troops were 6-1/2 miles in advance of their former
positions and the city of Cambrai was brought within easy range of their

It was the greatest and most successful surprise of the war. There was
no preliminary bombardment to warn the enemy, and the advance continued
steadily for two days, when the towns of Masnieres, Marcoing, Ribecourt,
Havrincourt, Graincourt, and Flesquieres, long occupied by the enemy,
all were behind the British lines.

Just before dawn on the 20th there was absolute quiet along the whole
line. A few minutes later British tanks were rumbling along over "No
Man's Land" flanked and followed by the infantry. The tanks smashed down
the barbed wire entanglements and were atop the trenches and, dugouts
before their German defenders were aware of their peril.

The German artillery could lay down no barrage, and line after line of
trenches had been captured before they got into action. Then the British
guns opened, but not for barrage purposes. They were shelling and
silencing the enemy artillery.

Following through the gaps made by the tanks, English, Scottish, and
Irish regiments swept over the enemy's outposts and stormed the first
defensive system of the Hindenburg line on the whole front.

The infantry and tanks then swept on in accordance with the program and
captured the German second system of defense, more than a mile beyond.
This latter was known as the Hindenburg support line.

English rifle regiments and light infantry captured La Vacquerie and
the formidable defense on the spur known as Welsh ridge. Other English
county troops stormed the village of Ribecourt and fought their way
through Coillet wood.

In severe hand-to-hand fighting at Flesquieres near Cambrai, on the
21st, British troops, preceded by tanks, stormed the town. The Germans
fired on the tanks with seven big guns at short range. The British
infantry charged the guns, captured them, and killed the crews. Three
other big guns were captured in a similar manner at Premy Chapelle.
British cavalry captured a battery at Rumilly, sabering the crews.

Highland territorial battalions crossed the Grand ravine and entered
Flesquieres, where fighting took place. West Biding terriorials captured
Havrincourt and the German trench, systems north of the village, while
the Ulster battalions, covering the latter's left flank, moved Northward
up the West bank of the Canal du Nord.

Later in the day the advance was continued and rapid progress was made
at all points, English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh battalions secured
the crossings on the canal at Masnieres and captured Marcoing and Neuf
Wood. On the following day, Wednesday, November 21, reinforcements which
the enemy hurried up to the battlefield to oppose the British advance
were driven out of a further series of villages and other fortified

Thousands of cavalry co-operated with the great army of tanks and
infantry in continuing the successful assault begun on November 20. Open
fighting went on at many places and the mounted troops, who long had
waited for a chance to vindicate their existence in this war, rendered
invaluable services in "mopping up".


A special American Commission, headed by Colonel Edward M. House,
personal friend and trusted adviser of President Wilson, arrived in
London on November 8, on its way to attend the Allies' conference which
met in Paris November 22, to perfect a system of co-ordination among the
nations at war with Germany and secure a better understanding of their
respective needs.


On November 24 the British forces contending against the Turks in
Palestine had advanced to the suburbs of Jerusalem, after inflicting
a severe defeat upon the enemy at Askelon, with Turkish casualties of
10,000. More than seventy guns were captured at Askelon, and the British
subsequently occupied the ancient port of Jaffa (Poppa). The fall of
Jerusalem was then considered imminent and the end of Turkish dominion
in the Holy Land was plainly in sight.

[Illustration: ITALIAN BATTLE FRONT, MAY 4, 1918.

The Heavy Line Shows the Position of the Hostile Armies, When the
Austrians Threatened A New Drive in 1918. The Shaded Line Shows the
Italian Positions Before the Austro-German Offensive, in the Fall of


For the first time since the war began England celebrated on November
the victory of Field Marshal Haig and General Byng at Cambrai, in the
old-fashioned way, by the ringing of bells in London and other cities.
Heavy fighting continued for several days at the apex of the wedge
driven into the German line, especially at Bourlon Wood and the village
of Fontaine, where attacks and counter-attacks followed in rapid

Up to November 30 the British held their gains near Cambrai and that
city lay under their guns. Then the Germans in a determined attack
surprised the British in their turn, and forced them, back from
their new positions for a distance of about two miles, nearly to the
Bapaume-Cambrai road.

Next day, by fierce fighting, the British recaptured Gouzeau-court. The
battle then raged over a fifteen-mile front, desperate efforts being
made by the Germans to regain all the ground taken by the British west
and south of Cambrai. The British had had no chance to dig themselves in
and consolidate their positions in the ground won, and on December 1 and
2 the struggle was in the open, a fierce hand-to-hand conflict unlike
anything previously seen in the war. The British lost guns, for the
first time in more than thirty months. They also lost many men,
taken prisoner by the enemy, but soon succeeded in checking the

In their attempt to deliver a great simultaneous encircling attack,
to surround the victorious British in their new Cambrai salient, the
Germans sent forward great forces of infantry, supported by a terrific
bombardment. The British met the shock brilliantly, finally held their
own, and the German drive was declared to have missed its end, at
enormous sacrifice of life.

On the night of December 5 the British strengthened their line by
abandoning certain untenable positions near Cambrai, falling back
deliberately and successfully, unknown to the enemy, upon a well-chosen
line which ruled out the dangerous salient made by Bourlon Wood. Here
they prepared to maintain their hold upon the captured length of the
Hindenburg line against any pressure.

The German casualties in the battle of Cambrai were estimated at 100,
men, greatly exceeding those of the British in consequence of the nature
of the massed attacks made by infantry in the counteroffensive.

As the year 1917 closed there was a succession of German attacks and
counter-attacks by the British in the Cambrai sector, the British lines
holding firmly at all points and continuing to hold during the winter.

The British War Office issued the following statement of captures and
losses during 1917: Captures--prisoners on all fronts, 114,544; guns,
781. Losses--prisoners, 28,379; guns, 166.

The following figures, obtained from reliable sources, tell the real
story of Germany's "ruthless" submarine campaign against British
shipping. Tonnage of British, ships of more than 1,600 tons in August,
1914--16,841,519; loss by enemy action in 3-1/2 years, less new
construction, purchase, and captures, 2,750,000; remaining tonnage
January I,1918--14,091,519.

On December 3, 1917, it was announced officially in London that East
Africa had been completely cleared of the enemy. Every German-colony was
then occupied by Allied forces.


As the result of a collision in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia,
between the French munition ship "Mont Blanc" and the Belgian relief
ship "Imo" on December 6, thousands of tons of high explosives blew up,
killing more than 1,260 persons, injuring thousands, and destroying
millions of dollars in property in the city.


Advancing steadily upon Jerusalem in the Palestine campaign against the
Turks, the British forces under General Allenby finally, on December 10,
captured the Holy City and restored it to Christendom. The Turks were
driven to the north, with heavy losses, the port of Joppa was occupied,
and Palestine was slowly but surely freed from Mussulman dominion.
General Allenby formally entered and took possession of Jerusalem on
December 11 with a small representative force of British and colonial
troops, being received and welcomed with impressive ceremonies by the


The United Stages Congress on December 7, 1917, passed a resolution
declaring a state of war to exist with Austria-Hungary. Austrian aliens,
however, were permitted free movement in the United States, only Germans
being classed as alien enemies and subjected to restrictions as such.

It was announced by the Secretary of War during the winter that 500,
American troops would be on the fighting line in France in the spring of
1918 and that a total of 1,500,000 men would be available for the front
during the year.

A portion of the French front was taken over by the United States troops
under General Pershing early in 1918 and in a number of trench raids and
patrol engagements in the last weeks of winter they gave a good account
of themselves, receiving their baptism of enemy fire and gas with the
utmost gallantry and winning several minor engagements. A small number
of Americans were captured in German raids up to March 10, but the
losses inflicted upon the enemy more than counterbalanced those


On November 28, a few days after German emissaries had been sent to
Petrograd to parley with the peace faction in disorganized Russia, the
Bolshevik _de facto_ government under Nicolai Lenine and Leon Trotzky
began negotiations for an armistice with Germany; and on December 3 an
armistice was arranged. The Cossacks under General Kaledines and General
Korniloff began a revolt against the Bolsheviki, who organized their
forces as Red Guards, and a virtual reign of terror was inaugurated in
Russia while negotiations for a separate peace with Germany proceeded
with numerous interruptions. The administration of Lenine and Trotzky
became an absolutely despotic regime, all forms of opposition, being
summarily dealt with, while crime was rampant and blood flowed freely in
Petrograd and Moscow. The Ukrainian provinces formed a separate republic
and proceeded to make peace with Germany and Austria.

Formal announcement of the armistice with the Petrograd government was
made at Berlin December 16, with the statement that peace negotiations
would begin immediately at Brest-Litovsk on the Eastern front. Russia
thus violated her pledge to the Allies not to make a separate peace.

The peace delegates of Russia and Germany began their sessions December
23. On Christmas Day Ensign Krylenko, the Bolshevik commander-in-chief,
reported that the Germans were transferring large numbers of troops to
the Western front against the Allies, contrary to one of the Russian
conditions of the armistice. Early in the new year, January 2. 1918, the
negotiations at Brest-Litovsk were suspended for several days, owing
to the nature of the German terms of peace, which demanded that Russia
surrender to Germany the territory including Poland, Courland, Esthonia
and Lithuania. Foreign Minister Trotzky declared that the Russian
workers would not accept the German terms.

Germany, however, stood pat and on January 10 negotiations were resumed,
continuing at intervals for several weeks. In the middle of February the
Bolshevik government announced that it had withdrawn Russia from the
war with the Central Empires and had ordered the demobilization of
the Russian armies, but refused to sign a formal treaty of peace with
Germany. Premature rejoicing ensued in Germany, and on February
Berlin announced a resumption of war with Russia. Two days later the
German armies began an advance into Russia along the whole front from
Riga south to Lutsk; occupying the latter city without fighting.

A complete surrender to Germany followed. Lenine and Trotzky stating
that they would sign the peace treaty on the German terms, which
included all the territory claimed by Germany along the eastern coast of
the Baltic Sea, comprising the western part of Esthonia, Courland with
the Moon Islands in the Gulf of Riga, most of the provinces of Kovno
and Grodno, and nearly all of Vilna, with a huge indemnity. Despite the
surrender, the Germans continued their invasion of Russia, with an
eye to booty, and captured without organized resistance of any kind
thousands of guns and vast quantities of rolling stock, motor trucks,
automobiles, and munitions of war. The invasion continued well into the
month of March in the general direction of Petrograd, while to the south
Austria, at first seemingly reluctant to join the German incursion
into helpless territory, also invaded the Ukraine on the pretense of
"restoring order."


The first serious disaster to American troops on the voyage to France
occurred on February 5, when the steamship "Tuscania," a British
transport with 2,179 United States troops on board, was torpedoed and
sunk by a German submarine off the north coast of Ireland. The close
proximity of British convoy and patrol boats enabled most of those on
board to be rescued, 1912 survivors being landed within a few hours at
Buncrana and Larne in Ireland. The lives lost included 267 American
soldiers besides a number of the crew. The attacking submarine is
believed to have been destroyed by the British patrol before the
"Tuscania" sank.


Early in 1918, while the Russian debacle complicated the war situation
in Europe and the United States hummed with war activities, a series of
speeches by statesmen of the powers at war resulted in demonstrating the
futility of all hopes of a general peace.

In an address to Congress on January 8 President Wilson, following and
indorsing a notable speech by the English premier, Mr. Lloyd-George,
laid down fourteen definite peace and war aims of the United States,
closely agreeing with the expressed aims of the European Allies; "and
for these," said Mr. Wilson, "we will fight to the death." Subsequently,
in February, Mr. Wilson stated four general principles on which the
nations at war should agree in seeking a satisfactory peace. The German
chancellor, Von Hertling, addressing the Reichstag, declared that
Germany could agree to Mr. Wilson's basic principles of peace, but
British and French statesmen promptly pointed out that the German
practices in Russia, and elsewhere as opportunity offered, failed to
agree with Von Hertling's profession of the Wilson principles. German
suggestions of an informal discussion of peace terms were therefore
declined by the allied powers, and in March, 1918, all eyes were turned
toward the Western front in anticipation of a long-threatened German


All previous battles of the Great War paled into comparative
insignificance when the German offensive of 1918 opened on the Western
front, March 21, with a desperate and partially successful attempt of a
million men to break through the British line, attacking fiercely from
the Ailette to the Scarpe, along a front of sixty miles. For weeks the
battle raged over the territory of the Somme, and when a second German
drive occurred farther north, from Givenchy to Ypres, fully 3,000,
men were engaged on both sides, and all records of human combat were

The loss of life was appalling, but in the absence of official reports
while the fighting was in progress, could only be guessed at, though the
world knew that the rivers of France and Flanders ran with blood. The
Germans attacked in masses and successive waves, and paid the penalty of
their desperate strategy. For though the British, and later the French,
lines were bent backward for miles, and gaps were occasionally torn in
them by the foe's furious attack, the Allied defensive withstood the
onslaught and after a month of the most terrific struggle the world has
ever seen, both British and French forces presented an unbroken front to
the disappointed enemy.

The city of Amiens, one of the keys to Paris, had been a chief objective
of the German drive, but all efforts to capture that important railroad
center failed. True, Noyon, Peronne, Bapaume, Albert and Montdidier,
on the south, and Festubert, Neuve Chappelle, Armentieres, and
Paaschendaele, to the north, were successively captured from the Allies,
in spite of the most gallant and heroic resistance. But then the lines
held firmly, and all the Germans had to show for an awful sacrifice
of life and morale was a few miles of advance into territory already
devastated by war.

On April 21, when the Hun offensive had lasted a full month, not only
were the armies of the Allies intact, and better still, their spirit and
morale unbroken, but the utmost confidence prevailed among them. All the
Allied forces, British, French, Canadian, and American, on the Western
front, had been by this time placed under the supreme command of the
eminent French strategist, General Ferdinand Foch, an important step in
the co-ordination of effort that met with universal approval among the
Allied nations.


A magnanimous offer by General Pershing, approved by President Wilson,
to brigade the United States troops in France with the British and
French forces, was gratefully accepted by General Foch. While the
Americans bore only a minor part in the big battles, or rather the
continuous battle of March and April on the Somme, and had no part at
all in the fighting in Flanders, they held splendidly to their section
of the front-line trenches in the vicinity of Toul, and gave the enemy a
taste of their quality in many a trench raid. Several attacks by German
storm troops were also beaten off, the most important of these occurring
late in April, when the Americans defeated a force of some 1,200 picked
Hun troops, driving them back to their own lines with a loss of 400,
while the total losses of the Americans was about 200.


The great German drive had been in course of preparation for months
before it began. The Russian situation had been settled, and large
bodies of troops were thereby released for service on the Western front.
The Kaiser and his general staff then determined upon a final effort
to win a decisive victory in the west. Their plan was to vanquish
the British and French, if possible, before the United States could
transport a sufficient number of men to France to turn the tide of
numbers in favor of the Allies, and enable them to take the offensive
with good prospects of success.

German troops were therefore concentrated near the points chosen for
attack, and this was done with the utmost secrecy, the troop trains
running unlighted at night, so as to escape the observation of Allied
aviators. Two hundred divisions in all were gathered for the German
drive, and fully half of them were assembled near the British front
on the Somme. March 21 was set as the date for the attack and every
precaution was taken to render it a surprise to the British. The German
troops were led to believe that they would be irresistible, and that
Paris, their long-looked-for goal, would soon be won.

Meanwhile the Allies had not been idle. Expecting the drive, but not
knowing where it would strike first, preparations had been made all
along the line, not merely for strenuous defense of the positions held,
but also for eventualities in case of enforced retreat. New positions
back of the lines were prepared, reserves were distributed at strategic
points, and full co-operation between the Allied armies was arranged
for. The British took over the section of the French front between St.
Quentin and Chauny, in addition to their former front, and by so doing
relieved the strain on the far-flung French line.

The Germans counted for victory upon their concentration of vast bodies
of troops and the element of surprise, hoping to break through between
the British and French armies before Allied reserves could be brought up
in sufficient numbers to halt them.


On the day set, Thursday, March 21, the great battle opened, after a
six-hour bombardment, the British 3rd and 5th armies being attacked
simultaneously. The German infantry advanced in waves, of which there
seemed no end, and these were followed by batteries of trench mortars,
until the front line of German trenches had been reached. Then, wave
after wave, the advance was continued, in the face of a furious British
fire, until the defenders were compelled to draw back through sheer
force and weight of numbers. The German waves moved forward at the
calculated rate of 200 yards every four minutes, wherever it was found
possible to do so. Each wave, on reaching its objective point, dropped
to the ground and opened fire with rifles and machine guns, placing a
barrage 2,000 yards ahead of them, under cover of which the succeeding
wave advanced. Thus each wave passed over the one ahead of it, and fresh
troops were constantly coming to the front. With such tactics, against a
spirited and determined foe, the losses of the attackers were naturally
enormous. In fact, it was estimated that the casualties suffered by the
Germans during the first few days of such fighting amounted to 250,
men. But, driven on by ruthless commanders, they continued to advance in
masses, though mowed down by the British at every successive step.

"All the German storm troops, including the guards, were in brand-new
uniforms," said the correspondent of the New York Times. "They advanced
in dense masses and never faltered until shattered by the machine-gun
fire. The supporting waves advanced over the bodies of the dead and
wounded. The German commanders were ruthless in the sacrifice of life,
in the hope of overwhelming the defense by the sheer weight of numbers.
* * * Still they came on, with most fanatical courage of sacrifice.
When the first lines fell, their places were filled by others, and the
British guns and machine-guns could not kill them fast enough." Two
batteries of field artillery at Epehy, it is said, "fired steadily with
open sights (that is, pointblank) at four hundred yards for four hours,
into the German masses swarming over No Man's Land."

On the first day, some field batteries aided the Germans, but these were
soon left behind in the advance over difficult and shell-torn ground,
and the battle became one of rifle and machine-gun fire and hand-to-hand

On the north the British 3rd army made a splendid resistance and
held its ground well, but the 5th army farther south, which bore the
principal brunt of the attack, under General Gough, was gradually forced
to retreat, though in good order, in a northwesterly direction, towards
Amiens. French troops were ordered from the southwest to reinforce the
British in the vicinity of Noyon. There the French stemmed the tide of
Germans, and the drive was soon turned northward, with Amiens as its
evident objective.


The battle continued along these lines, with the British still slowly
retiring, with their faces to the foe, until the 26th of March, the
French stretching their lines farther and farther to the left to keep in
touch with the British, and never failing to maintain connection between
the two armies. The Germans' fond hope of cutting them apart was doomed
to disappointment. French and British cavalry aided in keeping the line
intact, and for the second time since the early days of the war the
horsemen came into their own, doing valiant service in covering the
retreat of the British and impeding the enemy's advance at many points
where their aid proved invaluable.

On March 27 and 28, the situation began to improve. British
reinforcements arrived at the points of greatest danger, and the defense
stiffened, then held the lines firmly before Amiens, and at a distance
from that threatened city sufficiently great to prevent its successful
bombardment by all but the heaviest artillery of the enemy. The
devastated and shell-torn condition of the terrain taken over by the
Germans was unfavorable for bringing up the great guns to within
striking distance. From that time on, the Allies were supremely
confident of their ability to cope with any forces.

While the Allied armies, especially the British, lost heavily in men and
guns during the Hun advance, many of the German divisions engaged in the
drive were literally cut to pieces. The 88th division was reported by
prisoners to be practically annihilated. The same prisoners, taken in
counter-attacks, expressed the utmost surprise at the relatively small
number of dead whom they had found in the British and French trenches
as they advanced. They had been informed by their officers that the
offensive would be over in eight days, and that a complete victory over
the Allies would be won within three or four weeks.


The eighth day of the German offensive, far from finding the Huns
victorious, resulted in tremendous attacks by the Germans being stopped
by the unbeatable British, while the French won a brilliant victory at
the south of the line. Meanwhile the Germans had begun another attack in
the Flanders sector, with the object of wresting from the British the
control of Messines Ridge, which dominated the lowlands of Flanders and
had been so gallantly won by the Canadians in the previous year. They
gained a partial footing on the ridge, but the greater part of it was
grimly held, and all efforts of the enemy to advance through Ypres
towards the Channel ports were frustrated.

Another sector was added to the north end of the battle line on the
eighth day, March 28, when the Germans attacked heavily on both sides of
the River Scarpe toward Arras. Here some of the fiercest fighting of
the offensive soon developed, but the ground gained by the Germans was
insignificant. Daily, however, they claimed to have captured thousands
of Allied troops and hundreds of guns; while, on the other hand,
enormously long ambulance trains were reported passing through Belgium
with the German wounded, the hospitals in northern France not having
sufficient accommodation for the sufferers. On every battlefield of the
100-mile front--for the fighting now covered that enormous stretch of
territory, in two sections, north of La Bassee and south of Arras--the
German dead lay literally in heaps.

On March 29, the ninth day of the great battle in France, the German
drive was practically halted, and both British and French reports noted
a decrease of the fighting, enemy activity being manifested only by
local attacks all along the front, which was being strengthened each day
by the arrival of Allied reinforcements.


Soon after the great offensive opened, the city of Paris was surprised
by being bombarded from a distance of approximately 70 miles by a new
German long-range gun, which was discovered by French airmen to be
concealed in a concrete tunnel in a wood behind the German lines, A
number of persons were killed and wounded by the nine-inch shells from
this new weapon, 54 women being killed when a shell struck a church in
the suburbs of the city on Good Friday. The Allied commanders refused to
regard the long-range gun as of any great military importance except
as a means of spreading terror among the civilian population,--and
the population of Paris refused to be terrorized by such a method,
exhibiting the same spirit as that of the people of England with regard
to the futile aerial raids.

French estimates of the German losses for the first eleven days of the
offensive placed them at between 275,000 and 300,000 men. The Germans
claimed that during the same period they had captured 70,000 prisoners
and 1,000 field guns.


Having been foiled in an attempt on March 31 to break through the valley
of the Oise, Paris ceased to be the German objective, and another
offensive against Amiens was undertaken on April 4. By this time a
French army had repaired the ragged line between the French on the south
and the remainder of the British army of General Gough, whose enforced
retirement had been conducted in good order. Though outnumbered two to
one, the British and French repulsed the attack on Amiens with heavy
losses to the Germans, who were effectually stopped at a distance of
fifteen kilometers (nine miles) from that city. This ended the first
phase of the great battle.


The second phase of the battle which was expected to prove decisive
began April 9 with an attack on the British, aided by Portuguese troops,
on a front of fifteen miles, from La Bassee to Ypres. The center, held
by three Portuguese divisions, was broken through, and on April 12 the
situation seemed critical. Determined counterattacks by the British,
however, and reinforcements by the French, stopped the Germans in the
next few days, and this offensive, like that farther south in the valley
of the Somme, gradually died out, leaving the Germans with gains of only
a few square miles of devastated territory to show for their continued
heavy losses. And the reserve forces of the Allies were still intact,
the strategy of General Foch in this respect being universally applauded
as correct under the circumstances.


In the beginning of the offensive which thus failed to accomplish its
object, the most desperate means were employed by the Germans to break
down resistance; In the first six hours of bombardment on March 21, when
three great German armies were massed for the attack, under Generals Von
Bulow, Von Marwitz, and Von Hutier, commanding from the north to south
in the order named, it is estimated that at least 1,500,000 shells were
fired by one single army--that opposed to General Gough's forces on the
south, while the British 3rd army, under General Byng, to the north, was
similarly assailed. Most of the shells contained gas and were designed
to destroy the occupants of the trenches about to be stormed. Only the
utmost individual valor and persistency of the thin British line, as it
retired still fighting, prevented the desperate and over-confident foe
from turning the gradual retreat into a decisive defeat. As it was,
the Germans paid dearly for every yard of ground they gained, as their
successive waves of troops swept over the zone of trenches and then
engaged the groups of Allied forces in the open beyond.

All the German units were under orders to advance as far and as fast as
possible, being provided with three days' rations and two days' water.
After the first few days, the difficulty of bringing up supplies, with
the expected objectives far from being gained, aided in slowing up and
then halting their advance. Behind the German storm troops great numbers
of reserves were assembled, to fill up the gaps torn in the ranks and
restore the divisions to their normal strength as fast as they were
depleted by the defense. The German tactics took no account of human
life, but expended it in the most reckless manner, with appalling
results throughout the drive. The Allies, on the other hand, sought at
all times to conserve their forces by intrenching as fast as possible at
every point during the period of their retirement. Their artillery was
constantly in action, and aided greatly in checking the German. advance.


German aeroplanes played no great part in the advance, although they
bombed the British and French rear nightly, and the air service of the
Allies proved superior throughout the battle. For the first time in a
great battle British and French airmen attacked the enemy infantry from
low altitudes with their machine guns and bombs, and rendered invaluable
assistance in damming the swelling tide of the Hun hordes. Having gained
the mastery of the air, as they did prior to the British drive on
the Somme in 1916, they retained it until the foe was halted. To a
considerable extent they replaced the heavy guns of the Allies by their
constant bombing and gun fire.

Between March 21 and March 31, the French and British pilots shot down
more than 100 German planes, losing about one-third of that number in
the air battles. After the first few clays there were practically no
German machines in the air over the fighting front, as was the case
on the Somme in 1916, but at the end of March the Hun planes began to
reappear in mass formation patrols, sometimes consisting of as many as
fifty planes in a group of patrols. Then followed a period of intense
air fighting, of which a single day's record of the French may be cited
as an example. On April 12, the Allied aviation report shows that French
fighting scouts made 250 flights, fought 120 combats in the sky, shot
down eight Germans and damaged 23 others, burned five enemy balloons,
damaged five more, and bombarded German troops with 45 tons of


The last part of the month of April was marked by a succession of minor
attacks by the Germans along the entire front of the halted offensive,
and by the development of counter-attacks by the Allies at various
points where it was deemed necessary or advisable to strengthen their
defensive positions, but up to May 1 the Germans were as far as ever
from their main objectives in the west. Judged from the standpoint of
their confident expectations, and the promises of success held out as
an encouragement to their troops, the long-heralded and long-prepared
spring offensive of 1918 was a failure. Their much-vaunted strength of
numbers and of organization failed as completely to gain a decisive
result as their initial drive on Paris in 1914. Though they threw into
the fighting in March and April about 125 divisions, they failed to
separate the French and British armies, which was a prime object of
their strategy, and they sustained losses which, while not irreparable,
must have greatly affected the morale of their men. "Remember Verdun!"
said a famous French commander, commenting on the drive. "The Boche is
making this tremendous effort and sustaining these losses to effect
a complete rupture of our front, and if he does not do that he has


On April 25 the British minister of munitions announced in the House
of Commons that the losses of guns and ammunition sustained by Field
Marshal Haig's forces in France and Flanders during the big German drive
had been more than replaced. The losses were placed by Mr. Winston
Spencer Churchill at nearly 1,000 guns, between 4,000 and 5,000 machine
guns, and a quantity of ammunition "requiring from one to three weeks to
manufacture." More than twice the number of guns lost or destroyed had
been placed at the disposal of the British air and ground services, said
the minister.


Another determined attack in the Somme region was begun by the Germans
on April 24, after three weeks' further preparation. The enemy evidently
had not abandoned hope of capturing Amiens, and, he again began
hammering at the gateway to that city. The first onslaught was repulsed
by the British, but on the following day, April 25, the enemy succeeded
in gaining about a mile of ground. The combined British and French
armies were covering the roads to Amiens, with reserves close at hand,
and part of General Pershing's American forces were co-operating with
the French. The utmost confidence prevailed that the united forces under
General Foch, who was called by Marshal Joffre "the greatest strategist
in Europe," would not only meet and defeat this renewed drive by the
enemy, but that before long the tide of battle would turn strongly in
favor of the Allies, whose reserve armies were held in leash by their
supreme commander, awaiting the strategic hour to strike.


One of the most thrilling exploits of the war occurred on the night of
April 22, 1918, when British naval forces performed an almost incredible
feat, by entering the harbors of Ostend and Zeebrugge, German submarine
bases, and practically bottling them up. French destroyers co-operated
with the British in the daring undertaking.

At midnight, under cover of a remarkably developed smoke screen,
furnished by the raiders themselves, five old British cruisers were run
aground in the harbor channels, blown up, and abandoned by their crews.
The ships were loaded with concrete. An old submarine, loaded with
explosives, was also run under a bridge connecting the mole, or
breakwater, at Zeebrugge with the shore, and there blown up, so as to
prevent interruption of the raiders while they were doing their work
alongside the mole.

Facing dangerous and unknown conditions of navigation, the harbor was
rushed by British monitors and destroyers, under heavy fire from the
shore batteries. A storming party of volunteers, sailors and marines,
was landed under extreme difficulties from the cruiser Vindictive. This
party boarded a German destroyer lying alongside the mole, defeated her
crew, and sank the ship. The concrete-laden vessels were duly sunk with
a view to blocking both harbors, and every gun on the mole at Zeebrugge
was destroyed. The effects of the raid were not easily ascertainable. It
was soon learned that the submarine base at Zeebrugge at least had been
put out of business for a while. The gallantry and daring of the deed
were generally recognized as fully in keeping with the best traditions
of the British navy. The loss of life was quite heavy, but the British
lost only one destroyer and two coastal motor boats, many of the raiders
returning safely to the other side of the Channel. Even the men on the
exploded submarine succeeded in escaping. The officer who planned the
raid, however, was among the killed.


On Monday, April 29, the German 4th army under General von Arnim, having
gained possession of Mount Kemmel, a dominating position, began a
general assault on the British hill positions on the Kemmel front,
southwest of Ypres. The intention was to capture Ypres forthwith, by the
overwhelming power of numbers, and the day's fighting was a crucial test
of the holding power of the Allies in the Ypres salient. The result of
the attack was a stunning defeat for the enemy, who was repulsed all
along the line and suffered frightful losses.

In the words of a French general, "It was a great day for the Allies!"
The repulse of the German attack was a real defeat, for it upset all the
confident calculations of the enemy, who from the height of Mount Kemmel
had seen, first Ypres, and then channel ports, within his grasp. It
brought disappointment and disillusion to his troops, who had been urged
on to their disastrous massed attacks by flamboyant promises of success.
The effect was seen in a renewal of German peace propaganda, which all
the Allies had learned by this time to disregard as unworthy of the
slightest serious attention.

"Extraordinary nervousness and depression prevail in Germany, owing to
the losses in the western offensive," said Reuter's correspondent at
Amsterdam on April 29, quoting a German military writer, Capt. von
Salzmann, who said: "Our losses have been enormous. The offensive in
the west has arrived at a deadlock. The enemy is much stronger than our
supreme command assumed. The region before Ypres is a great lake, and
therefore impassable. The whole country between our Amiens front and
Paris is mined and will be blown up should we attempt to pass."

The preliminary bombardment southwest of Ypres April 29 started in the
early morning and took in the ten-mile front from Meteren, west of
Bailleul, to Voormezeele, two miles south of Ypres. Infantry attacks in
this area followed with great fury, and sanguinary fighting continued
all day. The Germans at the outset advanced with fixed bayonets, but
they came under such an intense machine-gun fire that most of them were
never able to employ the steel. The French at Locre and the British at
Voormezeele repulsed every attack, thrusting the enemy back whenever he
gained a footing in advanced positions, and firmly holding every point
around Ypres at the end of the day.

General von Arnim's losses were particularly staggering at Locre, where
he used battalion after battalion in a vain attempt to hold the village,
a key to Mount Rouge. The previous German capture of Mount Kemmel did
the enemy little good, for the Allied artillery kept the crest of the
hill so smothered with shell fire that it was impossible for the Huns to
occupy it in force.

The attack, which was the fourth great battle of Ypres, was the biggest
effort the Germans had made in the Flanders offensive, the enemy
employing thirty fresh battalions of reserves, in addition to the large
number of divisions in position at the beginning of the battle. The
net result was a tremendous setback for the Germans, who paid an awful
price. Next morning the battlefield in front of the defenders' positions
was covered with the bodies of gray-uniformed men.


American units were in action in Picardy, east of Amiens, on April 28,
having reinforced the British and French in that sector, to aid in
keeping the foe from Amiens and Paris. Their baptism of fire in the
direct line of the German offensive made their previous experiences pale
into the insignificance of skirmishes. During the various engagements in
which they participated in the last days of April and the first week of
May they acquitted themselves with great credit.

After a preliminary bombardment of two hours, a heavy German attack
was launched against the Americans in the afternoon of April 30 in the
vicinity of Villers-Bretonneux, and was repulsed with heavy losses to
the enemy, who left dead and wounded on the field, while the American
losses were reported as "rather severe." There was hand-to-hand fighting
all along the line, and the violent struggle lasted for a considerable
time before the enemy was finally thrust back, leaving prisoners in the
American hands. Their French comrades were full of praise for the marked
bravery displayed throughout by the American troops, who were fighting
at one of the most difficult points on the whole battle front.


As a result of the great German offensive movements and territorial
gains in the spring of 1918, there was a tremendous increase in the
military activities of the United States, particularly in rushing troops
to Europe. After the selection of General Foch as generalissimo of the
Allied forces, the American troops in the war zone were brigaded with
the French and British all the way from the North Sea to Switzerland,
and their numbers steadily increased.

In the United States the training of the new National Army, national
guards, and officers in the numerous cantonments and training camps was
intensified and hurried. As fast as the men were brought into condition
they were shipped to France. At first much of the space on the
transports was devoted to supplies and materials for the camps and
depots in France, but as the situation became critical owing to
successful enemy offensives, fewer supplies and more men were sent.
Great Britain lent her ships and the number of transports was largely
increased, so that each month of 1918 showed a greater movement of
troops across the Atlantic.

The troop movement record for the spring and summer months of 1918 was
a wonderful one, in view of the submarine menace. In April, 117,
American troops were successfully transported; in May, 244,345; in
June, 276,382, and in July 300,000, The month of August found more than
1,500,000 Americans in France, England and Italy. This immense number of
men were carried over without the loss of a single eastbound American


On August 5, 1918, plans were announced for increasing the effective
strength of the United States army to 5,000,000 forthwith, by an
extension of the draft age limits and rapid intensive training. Official
statements showed that the armed forces of the United States already
amounted to a total of 3,074,572 men, including 2,570,780 in the army
and 503,792 in the navy. The national army at this date contained
1,400,000 men, the regular army 525,741, the national guard 434,511 and
the reserve corps 210,528. The regular navy had 219,158 men, the marine
corps 58,463, the coast guard 6,605, and the reserve 219,566. On June
of this year 744,865 men reaching the age of 21 since June 5, 1917, were
registered for selective draft purposes.


Meanwhile giant strides were taken in the American program of
shipbuilding to offset the ravages of submarine warfare. The U.S.
Shipping Board was reorganized and galvanized into a high state of
efficiency. Under the leadership of Charles M. Schwab, director-general
of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, and Edward M. Hurley, chairman of
the board, the work in the shipyards on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts,
and on the Great Lakes, was speeded up until ships were being built at
the rate of 5,000,000 tons a year. In the first three weeks of July,
1918, twenty-three ships of 122,721 deadweight tons were completed,
making a total of 223 new vessels built under the direction of the board
up to that time, the aggregate tonnage being 1,415,022 tons. On July
alone eighty-two vessels were launched, their splash being "heard around
the world."

With the increased tonnage being put out by the British, French, and
Italian shipyards, and the output of neutral countries friendly to the
Allies, this practically put an end to the submarine peril. In addition
the United States requisitioned seventy-seven Dutch ships with an
aggregate tonnage of about 600,000, while arrangements were made with
Sweden for about 400,000 tons of shipping and contracts were let for the
building of a considerable number of ships in Japanese shipyards.

The knowledge that there were over a million American troops facing the
enemy on the battle fronts in Europe came as a decided shock to the
German army and people, who were forced to realize the failure of their
submarine campaign.


After the American forces in France had their first serious encounter
with the Germans on April 20 at Seicheprey, a village near Renners
forest, which they recovered from the enemy in a gallant counter-attack,
the fighting was of a more or less local character throughout the rest
of the month and in May, with varying fortunes.

On May 27 the Germans began another great offensive, taking the Chemin
des Dames from the French and crossing the Aisne. On the following
day they crossed the Vesle river at Fismes. But on this day also the
Americans won their first notable victory, by capturing the village of
Cantigny and taking 200 prisoners. The United States marines added to
their laurels in this fight and held the position firmly against many
subsequent counter-attacks.

Continuing their drive toward Paris, the Germans occupied Soissons on
May 29, Fère-en-Tardenois May 30, and next day reached Chateau Thierry
and other points on the Marne, where they were halted by the French.

In the early days of June several towns and villages fell to the
Germans, but the French by counter-attacks recaptured Longpont, Corcy,
and some other places. On June 6 American marines by a spirited attack
gained two miles on a two and a half mile front, taking Hill 142 near
Torcy and entering Torcy itself. The following day, with French aid,
they completed the capture of Vilny, Belleau, and important heights
nearby. In another battle northwest of Chateau Thierry the Americans
advanced nearly two and a half miles on a six-mile front, taking about
300 prisoners.

These battles confirmed the impression that the American troops as
fighters were equal to their allies.


On June 9 the Germans began the fourth phase of their offensive, planned
by their high command to enforce peace. They attacked between Montdidier
and the Oise, advancing about four miles and taking several villages. On
the next day they claimed the capture of 8,000 French. The same day the
American marines took the greater part of Belleau Wood. On June 11 they
completed the capture of Belleau Wood, taking 300 prisoners, machine
guns and mortars. The French at the same time defeated the Germans
between Rubescourt and St. Maur, taking 1,000 prisoners. Other battles
followed on the 12th and 13th, but on the 14th the latest German
offensive was pronounced a costly failure.

From this time to the end of the month the fighting was of a less
serious character, though the Americans in the Belleau and Vaux region
gave the Germans no rest, attacking them continually and taking
prisoners at will.


America's Independence day, 1918, was officially celebrated in England,
France, and Italy, as well as in the United States, making it a truly
historic occasion. On that day Americans assisted the Australians in
taking Hamel with many prisoners. On the 8th and 9th the French advanced
in the region of Longpont and northwest of Compiègne, taking Castel and
other strong points near the west bank of the Avre river. July 14, the
French national holiday, was generally observed in America and by the
American soldiers in France. Then, on July 15, the Germans began the
fifth and disastrous last phase of the offensive which they started in
the spring, on March 21.


But Italy meanwhile had scored a great success against the Austrians.
French and British regiments, with some Americans, were helping to hold
the Italian line when, on June 15, the Austrians, driven by their German
masters, began an offensive along a 100-mile front, crossing the Piave
river in several places. For two days they continued violent attacks,
penetrating to within 20 miles of Venice, at Capo Silo. Then the
Italians, British, and French counter-attacked with great vigor and soon
turned the Austrian offensive into a great rout, killing thousands,
taking other thousands prisoner, and capturing a vast amount of war
material, including many of the Austrian heavy-caliber guns. The entire
Austrian, plan to advance into the rich Italian plains, where they hoped
to find great stores of food for their hungry soldiers, resulted in
miserable failure.

The defeat increased the discontent in Austria-Hungary and added to the
bad feeling entertained towards Germany. Peace feelers were thrown out
by Austrian statesmen, but the continued influence of German militarism
prevented them from receiving serious attention by the Allies.


When the German divisions of the Crown Prince of Prussia began their
last desperate offensive on July 15, they attacked from Chateau Thierry
on the west to Massiges, along a 65-mile front, crossing the Marne at
several places.

East and west of Reims the battle raged, with the Allies holding
strongly everywhere and the Germans suffering heavy losses. The enemy
aimed at Chalons and Epernay and hoped by turning the French flank at
Reims to capture the cathedral city without a direct assault upon its
formidable defenses. General Gouraud, the hero of Gallipoli, was in
command of the French forces on the right, while General Mangin and
General de Goutte held the left. Most of the Americans taking part in
the battle were under the command of these noted generals, and strong
Italian and British forces were with General Gouraud's army. The French
constituted about 70 per cent of the Allies engaged.


In a single day the German offensive was effectually blocked at the
Marne. Despite the enemy's utmost efforts he could make no further

Then Foch, the great French strategist and Allied generalissimo, struck
the blow for which he had patiently bided his time!

Apparently having advance information of the German plans, or perhaps
surmising them, General Foch had been preparing a surprise for the Crown
Prince. In the forest of Villers-Cotterets on the German right flank,
he had quietly massed large forces, including some of the best French
regiments, together with the foreign legion, Moroccan and other crack
troops, and many Americans. Everything possible had been done to keep
these troop movements secret from the enemy.

On Thursday morning, July 18, 1918, a heavy attack was launched in force
at the Germans under General von Boehm all along the line from Chateau
Thierry on the Marne to the Aisne river northwest of Soissons.

The Germans were taken completely by surprise, and town after town was
captured from them with comparatively slight resistance. When the first
shock of surprise was over, their resistance stiffened, but the Allies
continued to advance. Mounted cavalry were once more used to assist the
infantry in the open, while tanks in large numbers were used to clear
out enemy machine-gun nests.

The American troops, fighting side by side with the French, did their
work in a manner to excite the admiration of their allies, and acquitted
themselves like veterans. Thousands of prisoners were taken, with large
numbers of heavy guns and great stores of ammunition, besides thousands
of machine guns, many of which were turned against the enemy. The
strategy of General Foch received world-wide applause. His master stroke
met with immediate success.

By the 20th of July Soissons was threatened by the Allies. The Germans,
finding themselves caught in a dangerous salient and attacked fiercely
on both flanks, hurriedly retreated to the north bank of the Marne and
were rapidly pressed back farther. Their condition was critical and the
German Crown Prince was obliged to call for assistance from Crown Prince
Rupprecht of Bavaria, commanding in the north. Taking advantage of this,
the British and French in the north made frequent attacks, gaining
ground and taking prisoners at numerous points.

For ten days the Allies continued their victorious progress on both
sides of the Soissons-Reims salient, the Germans continuing to retire
under strong pressure. They were forced back to the Oureq river, then
to the Vesle, where they made a determined stand. Fère-en-Tardenois and
Fismes fell into the hands of the victorious French and Americans, the
latter gaining a notable victory in the occupation of Fismes over the
vaunted Prussian guards, who had been brought up to endeavor to stay
their progress. The first week of August saw most of the Reims salient
wiped out by the German retreat, while rear-guard actions were being
fought along the Vesle as the Germans sought defensive positions farther
in the rear.

The prisoners captured by the Allies in their drive up to that time
numbered more than 35,000 and more than 700 heavy guns also fell into
their possession, with immense quantities of ammunition and stores. The
Germans, however, succeeded in destroying many of the ammunition dumps
and vast supplies which had been stored in the salient for their
expected drive on Paris.

As they retired the Germans burned many of the occupied French villages,
pursuing their usual policy. As many as forty fires were observed on the
horizon at one time as the Allies advanced.

Soissons was retaken on August 2, and the valley of the Crise was
crossed by the Allies, who dominated the plains in the German rear with
their big guns.

The German losses in the great battle and retreat from the Marne were
variously estimated at from 120,000 to 200,000. General von Boehm
avoided a first-class disaster, but his defeat was a serious one and had
far-reaching moral consequences among the enemy.

It was estimated that from the beginning of their offensive in March,
the German armies lost more than 1,000,000 men in killed, wounded and
prisoners. The Austrians in their ill-fated offensive of 1918 lost more
than 250,000 men.


On August 6 General Ferdinand Foch, commander-in-chief of the Allied
forces, was elevated by the French council of ministers to the rank of a
Marshal of France. In presenting his name Premier Clemenceau said:

"At the hour when the enemy, by a formidable offensive, counted on
snatching the decision and imposing a German peace upon us, General
Foch and his admirable troops vanquished him. Paris is not in danger,
Soissons and Chateau Thierry have been reconquered, and more than
villages have been delivered. The glorious Allied armies have thrown the
enemy from the banks of the Marne to the Aisne."


The American troops covered themselves with glory at many points in the
Allied drive, notably in the hand-to-hand fighting in the streets of
Fismes on August 4, when they captured that German base. The fighting
was said to have been the bitterest of the whole war, the Prussian
guards asking no quarter and being bayoneted or clubbed to death as they
stood by their machine guns.


On the Amiens front, in Picardy, the British Fourth Army, under General
Rawlinson, and the French First Army, under General Debentry, stormed
the German positions on August 8 on a front of over 20 miles, capturing
14,000 prisoners and 150 guns, and making an advance of over seven


Before the Germans had time to recover from the surprise of Marshal
Foch's attack on the Marne, and while they were still retreating to
the Vesle, the Allies delivered another heavy blow, this time on the
Albert-Montdidier front in Picardy. Here the British and French suddenly
attacked in force on the morning of August 8, stormed the enemy
positions along a thirty-mile front and on the first day of the attack
penetrated to a depth of seven miles.

For several days the enemy retreated, closely pursued by allied cavalry
and tanks, which for the first time fought in a combination that proved
irresistible. The tanks used were of a new small variety, known as
"whippets," which rapidly wiped out the machine-gun nests with which the
enemy sought to stem the tide of the victorious onrush. Some American
troops fought with the British in their advance and gained high praise
from the Allied commanders.

By August 15 the total number of prisoners captured by the British
Fourth Army, under General Rawlinson, was 21,844. In the same period of
one week the prisoners taken by the French First Army amounted to 8,500,
making a total of 30,344 Germans captured in the operations of the
Allied armies on the Montdidier-Albert front, besides 700 heavy guns,
quantities of machine guns, and other important spoils of war.

North of the Somme, between Albert and Arras, the Germans continued to
fall back to the old Hindenburg line, where there were strong defensive
positions, with the British and French keeping in close touch with
their retreat. On August 15 they had definitely given up the towns of
Beaumont-Hamel, Serre, Bucquoy, and Puisieux-au-Mont, and at several
points had crossed the Ancre river.

Field Marshal Haig announced that the proportion of German losses to
those of the Allies in the Picardy offensive were greater than at any
other period of the war. The total Allied casualties were not as large
as the number of Germans taken prisoner.


One important result of the British drive was that Amiens, the "dead
city of Picardy," began to come to life again. Its population of
150,000, including 40,000 refugees, had fled before the German offensive
in March, 1918, but the former inhabitants began to return when the
menace of the invader disappeared, as the invader himself was chased
back toward the Somme. A service of thanks to the Allied arms was held
in the Great Cathedral of Notre Dame in Amiens, August 15. Despite the
damage from German guns and bombs, the cathedral retained the title of
the most beautiful in all France.

The city of Paris, at the same time, quietly celebrated the great change
in the situation wrought in one short month. Just four weeks before, on
July 18, the residents of Paris had been awakened by the sounds of such
a cannonade as they never had heard before. It was General Mangin's
counter-preparation against the great German attack which the enemy
believed was to bring him to the gates of Paris. In the meantime the
Germans, who were at the gates of Amiens, Reims, and Compiegne, had been
soundly beaten and outgeneraled at every point, and the initiative had
been forced from them by the military genius of Marshal Foch. The effect
upon the Germans was apparent from the fact that General Hans von Boehm,
the German "retreat specialist" had been appointed to the supreme
command on the Somme front. The German withdrawal north of Albert was
looked upon as the first application of his tactics. It was General von
Boehm and his former command, the German Eighth Army, that stood the
brunt of the Allied pressure in the Marne salient previous to the
retreat of the Huns to the north of the Vesle river, where they were
still standing in the middle of August.


Former Czar Nicholas of Russia was executed by the Bolsheviki in July,
1918, having been held as a prisoner since his dethronement.


Shaded portions of map show territory gained by American and Allied
troops during July and August, 1918. Most of the territory gained by
the Germans in their 1918 offensive was recaptured by the Allies before
September 1, 1918.]



  _Personal Accounts of Battle--Gas and Shell Shock--Marines Under
  Fire--Americans Can Fight and Yell--Getting to the Front
  Under Difficulties--The Big Day Dawns--The Shells Come
  Fast--A Funeral at the Front--_Impression of a French Lieutenant--
  Keeping the Germans on the Run._

The name of Chateau Thierry will be long remembered in the United
States, for it was there the American fighting quality was for the first
time clearly impressed upon the Germans, to their immense astonishment,
and with far-reaching effect. The German people and the German army had
been told that the United States had no army, navy, or fighting quality;
that the talk of an American army in Europe was "Yankee bluff," and
nothing more; that even if we could raise an army we could not send it
across the ocean, first because we had no ships, second because if we
had ships the submarines of Germany would surely sink them. Yet here at
Chateau Thierry they were confronted by United States troops and soundly

That effect upon the Germans was in itself of tremendous significance;
but the historic effect was greater, and will grow in importance with
the passage of time, for it is a fact, unperceived by onlooking nations
at the moment, that it was the turning point of the war; and that the
turning was accomplished by troops of a nation that hated war and was
supposed to be incapable of military development; and that these troops
had met and whipped the choicest troops of a power that above all things
was military, that had assumed proprietary rights in the art of war, and
believed itself invincible.

Late in February, 1918, General Ludendorff had told a Berlin newspaper
correspondent that on the first of April he would be in Paris. It was
inconceivable to the Germans that with the thorough preparation of a
mighty army for an offensive that by sheer weight of numbers should
drive through an opposition twenty times as strong as that which then
confronted them, they could not with ease push in between the French
and British forces, thrust straight through to Paris (as a spectacular
performance rather than a vital military operation), and then walk over
to the channel ports of France and bring both France and England to a
plea for mercy.

From the 21st of March until along in May, 1918, it looked as though
they might succeed. That is, to anyone unaware of the strategy of
Marshal Foch, who sold terrain by the foot for awful prices in German
lives, and held an unbroken front until such time as American forces
could be brought into action, instead of wearing out his reserves and
weakening his power for an offensive.

Unity of command had been accomplished by that time at the urgent demand
of the United States Government. Foch had saved France and the world at
the first battle of the Marne. Being given supreme authority over all
the allied forces, as soon as the arrival of American troops in great
numbers had been thoroughly established, he was ready; and the offensive
passed from German to allied hands.

The tremendous German drive, which Ludendorff had confidently promised
the German people would bring a smashing and decisive victory, was
stopped. Retrocession began. On the Marne again, in July, 1918, in the
sector held by Americans an action began at Chateau Thierry which
forced the German retreat that in a few weeks was to shake the heart of
Germany, scare out Bulgaria, Austria and Turkey, in the early autumn
bring Germany to a plea for peace, send Ludendorff himself into
retirement, dethrone the Kaiser, do away with the imperial form of
government, set up a republic, and create conditions that would quash
for all time the power of Prussia to disturb a decent world.

Floyd Gibbons, correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, a noncombatant who
wanted to see the combat he was there to report, was in that memorable
action. He lost his left eye there, and was otherwise severely
shattered, but he got his story through. His home paper some months
afterward gave Gibbons well earned credit for that contribution to
current history. It said he "helped to put the Marines where they belong
in the war's history, for he was with them in their early exploits and
fell in one of their battles. Six thousand out of 8,000 engaged was
their toll. They fought with the French through Belleau Wood, heartening
the brave, tired, discouraged poilus, and after they came out upon the
other side the name of the battlefield was changed to the 'Wood of the
American Marines.' Mr. Gibbons says that when Marshal Foch began his
great offensive, which in cosmic importance is second only to creation,
he selected the units in which he had the most faith. These units were
chosen not because they were braver nor more sacrificial, but because
they knew. They were the Foreign Legion of France, two divisions of
American Regulars, and the United States Marines."

From that day there was no change in the favorable fortunes of war on
the western front.


An eyewitness of the first days of the Chateau Thierry battle thus
describes the capture of the Beauleau wood:

"The Americans moved stealthily with fixed bayonet until they got into
the edge of the woods and atop of the German machine gun-tiers. Then
the farm boys cheered, and the lumberjacks shouted, and the Indians
yelled. They were where they could mix it at close range with the Boche,
and that was what they wanted.

"Their yells could be heard a mile away. They were up against two of the
Kaiser's redoubtable divisions, the Two Hundredth Jaegers and the Two
Hundred and Sixteenth reserve division. They fought with vim and joy.

"They had lost comrades at the hands of the Germans and now were to
avenge them. No quarter was asked or expected. The Germans had orders to
fight to the death and the Americans needed no such order.

"Without much artillery on either side and without gas, the Americans
fought the Germans through that woods, four kilometers (nearly three
miles) long, for six hours. At last we got through and took up a
position across the northern end of the woods.

"Perhaps the most sensational part of the fight was when about
Germans got around behind our men. They were chased into a clearing,
where the Americans went at them from all sides with the bayonet, and I
am told that three prisoners were all that were left of the Germans."

"How did you do it?" inquired a dazed Prussian officer, taken prisoner
at Chateau Thierry by an American soldier. "We are storm troops."

"Storm hell!" said the American. "I come from Kansas, where we have

That was and is the idea. This spirit enabled American soldiers to go
wherever they wanted to go. A European officer on observation duty
with the United States force at Chateau Thierry wanted to know how our
soldiers got through as they did.

"They seem to have been trained somewhere," he said, "for they fight all
right. But that doesn't explain to me the way they keep going."

The American officer with whom he was talking gave this explanation:

"They were thoroughly trained in our camps at home in all but one thing.
They were not trained to stop going."

It was a splendid exhibition, the first of many of its kind.


The following is one of hundreds of thrilling experience stories that
could be told by officers and men who fought at that front.

Details of the participation of the United States Marines in the
counter-attack of the allies against German forces on the Marne, July
18, are given in a letter written shortly afterward by Major Robert L.
Denig, of the United States Marines, to his wife, in Philadelphia,
and which had been forwarded to Washington for the historical files of
the Marine Corps.

It is the best and truest form of war history, and important in that
it gives details of action during those July days when American troops
stopped the German drive.

It also establishes the fact that the Marines who helped stop the German
drive on Paris at Belleau wood early in June were honored by being
brought from this wood to Vierzy and Tigny, near Soissons, for
participation with a crack French division in the great counter-attack
which started the disintegration of the German front in the west.

Names that became familiar through the fighting in Belleau wood are
mentioned in Major Denig's letter as being prominent in the allied
counter-attack--Lieut. Col. Thomas Holcomb, Lieut. Col. Benton W.
Sibley, Lieut. Col. John A. Hughes, Capt Pere Wilmer and others who took
a prominent part in the fighting. The letter in substance follows:

"We took our positions at various places to wait for camions that were
to take us somewhere in France, when or for what purpose we did not
know. Our turn to enbus came near midnight.


"We at last got under way after a few big 'sea bags' had hit near by.
We went at a good clip and nearly got ditched in a couple of new shell
holes. Shells were falling fast by now and as the tenth truck went
under the bridge a big one landed near with a crash and wounded the two
drivers, killed two Marines and wounded five more.

"We did not know it at the time and did not notice anything wrong till
we came to a crossroad, when we found we had only eleven cars all told.
We found the rest of the convoy after a hunt, but even then were not
told of the loss, and did not find it out till the next day.

"After twelve hours' ride we were dumped in a big field, and after a
few hours' rest started our march. It was hot as hades and we had had
nothing to eat since the day before. We at last entered a forest; troops
seemed to converge on it from all points. We marched some six miles in
the forest. A finer one I have never seen--deer would scamper ahead and
we could have eaten one raw.

"At 10 that night, without food, we lay down in a pouring rain to sleep.
Troops of all kinds passed us in the night--a shadowy stream, more than
a half-million men. Some French officers told us that they had never
seen such concentration since Verdun, if then.


"The next day, July 18, we marched ahead through a jam of troops,
trucks, etc., and came at last to a ration dump, where we fell to and
ate our heads off for the first time in nearly two days. When we left
there the men had bread stuck on their bayonets. I lugged a ham. All
were loaded down.

"We finally stopped at the far end of the forest, nearing a dressing
station. This station had been a big, fine stone farmhouse, but was now
a complete ruin--wounded and dead lay all about. Joe Murray came by with
his head all done up--his helmet had saved him. The lines had gone on
ahead, so we were quite safe.

"Late in the afternoon we advanced again. Our route lay over an open
field covered with dead.

"We lay down on a hillside for the night near some captured German guns,
and until dark I watched the cavalry, some 4,000, come up and take

"At 3:30 the next morning the regiment was soon under way to attack. We
picked our way under cover of a gas infected valley to a town where we
got our final instructions and left our packs.


"We formed up in a sunken road on two sides of a valley that was
perpendicular to the enemy's front. We now began to get a few wounded;
one man with ashen face came charging to the rear with shell shock. He
shook all over, foamed at the mouth, could not speak. I put him under a
tent and he acted as if he had a fit.


"At 8:30 we jumped off with a line of tanks in the lead. For two 'kilos'
the four lines of Marines were as straight as a die, and their advance
over the open plain in the bright sunlight was a picture I shall never
forget. The fire got hotter and hotter, men fell, bullets sung, shells
whizzed-banged and the dust of battle got thick.

"Lieut. Overton was hit by a big piece of shell and fell. Afterwards
I heard he was hit in the heart. He was buried that night and the pin
found, which he had asked to have sent to his wife.

"A man near me was cut in two. Others when hit would stand, it seemed,
an hour, then fall in a heap. I yelled to Wilmer that each gun in the
barrage worked from right to left, then a rabbit ran ahead and I watched
him, wondering if he would get hit. Good rabbit--it took my mind off the

"About sixty Germans jumped up out of a trench and tried to surrender,
but their machine guns opened up, we fired back, they ran and our left
company after them. That made a gap that had to be filled, so Sibley
advanced one of his to do the job, then a shell lit in a machine gun
crew of ours and cleaned it out completely.


"At 10:30 we dug in--the attack just died out, I found a hole or old
trench and when I was flat on my back I got some protection Holcomb
was next me; Wilmer some way off. We then tried to get reports. Two
companies we never could get in touch with. Lloyd came in and reported
he was holding some trenches near a mill with six men.

"Gates, with his trousers blown off, said he had sixteen men of various
companies; another officer on the right reported he had and could see
some forty men, all told. That, with the headquarters, was all we could
find out about the battalion of nearly 800. Of the twenty company
officers who went in, three came out, and one, Cates, was slightly


"From then on to about 8 p. m. life was a chance and mighty
uncomfortable. It was hot as a furnace, no water, and they had our range
to a 'T.' Three men lying in a shallow trench near me were blown to

"You could hear men calling for help in the wheat fields. Their cries
would get weaker and weaker and die out. The German planes were thick in
the air; they were in groups of from three to twenty. They would look us
over and then we would get a pounding.

"We had a machine gun officer with us, and at 6 o'clock a runner came
up and reported that Sumner was killed. He commanded the machine gun
company with us. He was hit early in the fight, by a bullet, I hear. At
the start he remarked: 'This looks easy; they do not seem to have much

"Well, we just lay there all through the hot afternoon.

"It was great--a shell would land near by and you would bounce in your

"As twilight came we sent out water parties for the relief of the
wounded. At 9 o'clock we got a message congratulating us, and saying the
Algerians would take us over at midnight. We then began to collect our
wounded. Some had been evacuated during the day, but at that, we soon
had about twenty on the field near us.

"A man who had been blinded wanted me to hold his hand. Another, wounded
in the back, wanted his head patted; and so it went; one man got up on
his hands and knees; I asked him what he wanted. He said: 'Look at the
full moon,' then fell dead. I had him buried, and all the rest I could

"The Algerians came up at midnight and we pushed out. They went over at
daybreak and got all shot up. We made the relief under German flares and
the light from a burning town.

"We went out as we came, through the gully and town, the latter by now
all in ruins. The place was full of gas. We pushed on to the forest and
fell down in our tracks and slept all day.


"That night the Germans shelled us and got three killed and seventeen
wounded. We move a bit farther back to the cross road and after burying
a few Germans, some of whom showed signs of having been wounded before,
we settled down to a short stay.

"It looked like rain, and so Wilmer and I went to an old dressing
station to salvage some cover. We were about to go when we stopped to
look at a new grave. A rude cross made of two slats from a box had
written on it:

"Lester S. Wass, Captain U. S. Marines. July 18, 1918."

"The old crowd at St. Nazaire and Bordeaux--Wass and Sumner killed,
Baston and Capt. LeRoy T. Hunt wounded. We then moved further to the
rear and camped for the night. Dunlap came to look us over. A carrier
pigeon perched on a tree with a message. We decided to shoot him. It was
then quite dark, so the shot missed. I then heard the following remarks
as I tried to sleep: 'Hell! he only turned around!' 'Send up a flare!'
'Call for a barrage!' etc.

"The next day we were back in a town for some rest and to lick our


A French lieutenant thus describes the American fighting quality:

"The finest thing in the combat was the dash of the Americans. It was
splendid to see those grand fellows, with their tunics thrown off and
their shirt sleeves rolled up above their elbows, wading the rivers with
the water to their shoulders and throwing themselves on the Boche like

"Any one who has seen such a sight knows what the American army is good
for henceforth and to the end of the war. At the sight of these men,
magnificent in their youth, physical force, good temper and dash, the
Germans fled 'with every leg' or surrendered without awaiting the order
to throw away their arms and take off their suspenders, which is the
first thing a prisoner is told to do, in order that he may be compelled
to keep his hands employed and out of mischief.

"The Germans hurried toward our lines gripping their trousers, haggard
and mad with terror.

"Would that every mother in France who has lost a son in the war could
have seen that epic sight. They would have seen themselves revenged, and
it would have been some consolation to them in their sorrow."


The trench deadlock in northern France and Belgium was broken by
Ludendorff's fatuous drive in March, 1918. After the allies had stopped
it and inaugurated their counter-offensive all Europe made a startling
discovery. The Germans were tenacious enough in trench warfare; in
open fighting, known as war of maneouvre, they could not stand before
American and the allied troops. Incessant attacks, rapidly delivered at
the same time at many points on the long line between the North Sea and
the Swiss border, were more than they could withstand. The mechanically
trained troops of the central empires were futile before armies of men
who did their own thinking and delighted in fighting an enemy they could
see from the feet up. German armies had twice been almost at the gates
of Paris. The first time they were driven back they dug themselves in.
That was in 1915. The second time, in the spring of 1918, they were
allowed no time for digging in. From the July days of 1918, when
American soldiers at Chateau Thierry beat the best troops that ever
were trained in Prussia, they were kept going. How industriously may be
inferred from the story of the young corporal who was sitting on the
roadside trying to tie the soles of his shoes to the uppers, in a hurry.
Somebody asked him what was the matter.

"O, nothing much," said he. "Only I came over here to kill Germans, but
they never told me I'd have to run 'em to death."


There never was a war so prolific of personal incident in every shade of
experience possible to human life. The devastated provinces of France
offer perhaps more of these happenings than any other part of the
steel-swept, shell-wrecked fronts of all Europe. An Associated Press
correspondent tells one that is especially touching.

He was motoring toward Denaen, one of the cities the Germans had
occupied through four hard years, when a French officer going in the
same direction asked him for a lift, explaining that he had lived there
but had neither seen nor heard from his wife during all that time.

Entering the city and turning into his street the officer saw the first
house was in ruins. He gave a nervous start. A few doors farther on was
his home. The officer climbed out with an effort, his eyes fixed on the

There was no sign of life. The windows were shuttered and on the door
was a sign showing German officers had been living there. The officer
pulled the bell with shaking hand. No one answered. He backed away like
a man in a trance and leaned against the car, trembling.

Suddenly the door opened and an aged servant appeared, leading a
beautiful baby girl with a wealth of golden curls. The officer took one
step toward the child and halted. He was a stranger to his own flesh and
blood. The child hid behind the nurse, peering out in fright.

The half blind eyes of the old nurse had recognized her master and she
held out her hands, repeating, "Monsieur! Monsieur!" in ecstasy. He
crossed the road and grasped her hands, but the baby drew back.

A door opened end a comely young matron came to see what was going on.
She caught sight of her husband, then stopped. Her hands flew to her
breast. She swayed for a second. With a sob of joy she hurled herself
into his arms.

The correspondent moved away. And thus they were left, the nurse beaming
on the happy couple and the curly headed youngster looking with troubled
eyes at this strong man who had appropriated her mother so completely
without a word.


An American newspaper man who returned from Europe about the time
hostilities ceased was informed that General Pershing suggested to
Marshal Foch in June 1918, that he thought it bad policy to stick around
waiting for the boche and that he felt the time had come to jump in and
attack--"But" he was told, "we have not got the troops."

"Whats the matter with the Americans?" Pershing asked.

"They are not yet trained" was Foch's reply.

"Try them and see" said General Pershing. "They will go, anywhere you
send them, and I will bet my life on it."

Pershing took the initiative in urging the offensive, supplied the
troops that gave Foch his mobile reserve enabling him to strike his
blow, and those American troops "delivered the goods."


Official reports to the war department show that the general health of
the American army during the war had been surprisingly good. The death
rate for all forces at home and abroad up to August 30th, 1918, was 5.
per 1,000 men per year, or little more than the civilian death rate for
men of the same age groups.

There were 316,000 cases of influenza among the troops in the United
States during the late summer and fall of 1918 and of 20,500 deaths,
between September 14th and November 8th, 19,800 were ascribed to the


An official report shows that on the day the Armistice was signed more
than twenty-five per cent of the male population of the United States
between the ages of 19 and 31 years, were in military service, the army
having reached a total of 3,664,000, with more than 2,000,000 of this
number in Europe. As compared with an army strength of 189,674 in March
1917, one week before war was declared by the United States.



  _First Major Action by All American Army--Stories to Folks at
  Home--Huns Carry Off Captive Women--Hell Has Cut Loose--
  Major Tells His Story--Enormous Numbers of Guns and Tanks--
  Over the Top at 5:30 A. M.--Texas and Oklahoma Troops Fight
  in True Ranger Style--Our Colored Boys Win Credit._

The first major action by an all American army was that which began
before the St. Mihiel salient September 11, 1918. The Germans had
occupied that salient almost four years, and had built it into what they
believed to be an impregnable position. The Americans, under direct
command of General Pershing, reduced it in a three days' advance.

The salient was a huge bulge, almost twenty miles in depth, turning
southwest from Combres at the north base and Hattonville at the south
and looping down around the towns of St. Mihiel and Ailly. It was
powerfully held by masses of enemy troops.

General Pershing's army attacked from the west, south and east all the
way from Bouzee to Norroy, and by September 13th had pushed it back to a
straight line drawn from Combres to Hattonville. The French attacked at
Ailly, the apex of the salient as it was on September 11.

The entire operation was conducted with rapidity and with irresistible
energy. The dash and enthusiasm of the American soldiers astonished
and delighted the French and British as completely as it staggered the

By September 13th the Americans had taken forty-seven towns and
villages, reduced the German front from forty miles to twenty, captured
the railway that connects Verdun with Commercy, opened the cities of
Nancy and Toul to the allies, and with the French and British on the
east, created a new battle front on a line running from Hattonville on
the west to Pagny on the east--Pagny being a town on the Moselle river,
at the German border.

The importance of this victory could hardly be overestimated. It opened
the way to and was followed up by the demolition of the whole German
line from the Swiss border to the North Sea, and hastened the great
German retreat. In the action itself, September 11 to 13, about 15,
Germans were taken prisoner by the Americans.


Sidelight stories of what happened in the St. Mihiel fight, mostly in
letters written home by men who were in it, go far toward showing how
completely the Germans were taken off their guard. Corp. Ray Fick of the
103d Infantry wrote home in this wise:

"We got into the woods and then kept on going until we reached a big
city where there was a brewery, but they had set fire to the whole city
before they left. We got some beer and wine just the same. It was a
little stale, but it was fine. The Huns' warehouses were all fixed for
the winter and the boys got cigars and cigarettes, but I was a little
too late to get in on it.

"The whole thing was very interesting all the way through. The Huns sure
did make themselves scarce in a hurry, but they kept many prisoners, a
troop train and an ammunition train.

"Cigarettes are scarce and we look for smokes all the time. The Red
Cross and the Salvation Army are the ones who look to our comforts. If
any one wants to give, tell them the Red Cross and the Salvation Army
are the ones to get it."


But Corporal Fick uncovers another Hun procedure that has no fun in it.
While the Huns lost no time in getting away from there, they took care
to carry off their captured women slaves.

"The women they have held captives for the last four years," he writes,
"were driven ahead of them, but they were brought back by the Americans.
Truckload after truckload passed us on the way, and they sure were happy
to be free again."


Another soldier wrote to his father telling about the first day of
attack as he saw it:

"Hell has let loose. The woods are a mass of whistling shell and
shrapnel. Every time the big twelves go off the flash lights up the
entire camp like a flashlight picture, then the ground heaves and
tumbles like old Lake Michigan does on a stormy day.

"The infantry have cleared the top and have gone on far in advance,
almost outside of the range of fire. Our big objective has been wiped
off the map and our men are preparing to keep right on going after them
and backing up the doughboys who are doing such great work.

"I went up to the front last night on an ammunition caisson (which is
the only way to get up there) and saw the thing commence. It started
with one solitary gun of ours (a big one, too). Then the others joined
in on the chorus, and it has been steady ever since.

"When the doughboys were told that they were going over the top at the
zero hour, you never heard shouting to equal it; the Board of Trade on a
Monday morning was just a whisper in comparison.

"Dad, that is the general feeling of our boys over here--always waiting
to move up. I told a lad in one of the outfits that the artillery was
right back of them and would blow them through to the objective if they
did not make it, and he laughed and said, 'Hoboken by Christmas.' They
were all in the best of mood and roaring to go."

These letters are good specimens of the thousands that have come over
the sea. They not only give good sidelights on an event that will loom
large in history, but they show the indomitable cheer and high spirit of
our soldiers.


Concurrently with the action that originated at St. Mihiel on September
11, 1918, another great battle developed northwest of Verdun. It lasted
about three weeks, and is graphically described by Lt. Col. B.M.
Chipperfield (then a major) of the 23d Division. Lt. Col. Chipperfield
was a participant in as well as an eyewitness of the whole engagement.
Under date of September 29, 1918, the described it substantially as
follows, in a letter to a friend at home:

"For several days preparations had been in progress for the action that
began on Thursday, September 26th. The American troops were moved up
by night, jamming the roads with their advancing columns and transport

"Thousands and thousands of them," wrote Major Chipperfield, "trudged
along without a light and in almost quiet.


"Tanks and cannon and guns of all sorts, every kind of vehicle,
ambulance wagon, and transport passed in this continuous procession. It
seemed that there was no end to it, and one could not help but admire
the wonderful resources that had been gathered together by the United
States to help perform its part in this great struggle for freedom.

"I think the greatest collection of guns that has ever been gathered
together for participation in any conflict of the world was taken to the
front where the attack was about to be made. It is estimated there
were 6,000 of these guns, and the soldiers that were gathered together
numbered hundreds of thousands.

"These guns and soldiers were conducted to their places so secretly and
quietly that, although they marched many miles, the enemy did not even
know a small part of the strength and could only speculate what it all


"In the arrangement of the plan of battle our division was on the
extreme right. Across the river was a German stronghold. Here there
were located a large quantity of artillery and many machine guns. Our
officers understood that it was going to be a difficult advance, for a
bridge had to be built across a creek, but everything in our division
went like clockwork. It had all been planned in advance, and the plan
was carried out exactly as made.

"It was arranged that at 11:30 o'clock on Thursday night the battle
was to begin. Before that time I had reached my destination at the
headquarters of the other division, and together with the rest of
the headquarters staff we were in a favorable place to watch the

"At 11:25 it was silent as the grave, and the night was beautiful.
Precisely at 11:30 from every conceivable direction the great
bombardment commenced. In an instant the whole night was filled with a
roar and thunder and reverberation of the cannon from, every quarter.
The shriek and whistle and whine and clamor of the shells made a fearful
chorus as they were hurled in the direction of the field occupied by our

"From every quarter came the flash of the explosions, until the night
was lighted as bright as day. Signal rockets rose from every portion and
part of our lines and also from the enemy lines. It looked as though the
heavens were ablaze and raining fire. It was a scene which has probably
never been seen before upon any battlefield and may never be witnessed

"Apparently this fierce bombardment took the enemy entirely by surprise
because our fire was so deadly and the extent so great that they could
only make uncertain reply. They seemed to be stupefied.

"For six hours this terrific bombardment continued. It is estimated
that each of the guns fired an average of three shots a minute and that
1,000,000 projectiles and charges of ammunition were used.


"As 5:30 approached the bombardment increased. The machine guns joined
in the chorus and a curtain of steel and fire was placed in front of our
troops and rained upon the guns and cannon of the enemy.

"After a brief period of this fire our men started over the top, and as
they did so they swept the enemy before them in their irresistible rush.
They advanced kilometer after kilometer. They could not be resisted or
stayed at any stage of the attack.

"Soon the prisoners commenced to come in, and they told of the terrific
effect that the great bombardment had upon the Germans. They said the
bombardment was so terrible that it disrupted their plans so that they
could not be carried out and that they could not resist the attack.

"Several times during the night I went out to witness the scene and as
long as life lasts it will be remembered.


  "Once when two of our regiments came over a hill and saw the
  valley that lay before them being terrifically shelled by the cannon
  and assailed by hail from the machine guns, the whole column was
  seen to pause and a look of worry came over the faces of these men
  that for just an instant was pitiful. They knew that ahead of them lay
  death for many and it is not strange that for several seconds the
  lines were held up, but then a look of fierce determination and of
  courage took the place of the former expression and with a great
  resolve and courage, dash, and daring, the lines shot forward at a
  redoubled step and the determination to do or die was manifested in
  every action.

  "These machine guns were speedily put out of business, and
  then the attack would go on. That portion of the lines that the
  division of which I am a member was given for the purpose of the
  attack, it was thought would take the entire day, but our division
  was on its objective by early afternoon and had commenced to dig
  in, from which position they could defy the Germans with impunity.

  "While the attack was going on I went up to Dead Man's Hill.
  This hill is the last word in the destructiveness of war.

  "It is literally rent to atoms. Dugouts have been blown to
  pieces. Hundreds of thousands of men had been killed in the earlier
  battles before Verdun, and many of the bodies could not be reached
  for burial, the place was so torn up."


Many other personal glimpses of the fighting come from officers and men.
One division was made up largely of Illinois regiments, among others the
3d Illinois Infantry, commanded by Col. John V. Clinnin. The position
held by these troops was vital to the entire advance, and it required
rapid action on the first day to reach the objective at the same time as
the other units.

Menomme creek is a little stream which is not shown on maps. It runs
eastward from the village of Septsarges to the Meuse. The stream holds
vivid memories for the Illinois infantry. It was there that it met the
most severe resistance, the Germans catching our men just as they were
relieving other young soldiers. The men fought their way down to the
creek. On the other side along the highway between Septsarge and
Dannevoux the Germans had entrenched themselves and were shelling the
road which the Americans had crossed. They were also using intrenched
machine guns at the edge of the woods.

  "I heard bullets whistling overhead," said a wounded soldier in
  a hospital. "We were lying near the edge of the creek at the time
and knew that a machine gun was shooting at us, so I just started out
and got it."

"Our colonel was right up there with us getting into line." said Private
Hiram E. Burnett. "One night when the shells were bursting all around
and several men were wounded the colonel went over the top just like any
of us."

The Bois des Forges has been a battle ground since the war began, with
trenches in front and miles of barbed wire, machine gun nests and
concrete pillboxes inside. A frontal attack on such a stronghold
apparently meant suicide, but the Illinois men, led by Col. Sanborn and
Col. Abel Davis, took it so neatly and quickly that they bagged nearly
1,000 soldiers, fifteen officers, twenty-six guns ranging from 105s
down, 126 machine guns, twenty-one flatcars, two rolling kitchens, an
ambulance and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

"We were looking for you in front," said a captured German officer. "We
did not expect that you would come through the swamp and outflank us. We
did not think that any Yankee outfit was so foxy."


"It was a great show when we crossed that river and rushed on through
the woods, cleaning up machine gun nests," said Private Gray McKindy of
Woodstock, "The machine guns in the woods started throwing bullets as
soon as we reached the river. They thought they could stop us from going
up the opposite hill, but we did it and got every gun there."

Private Kenneth W. Steiger was one of those who went in on the second
night when his captain called for volunteers to make up a patrol.
Steiger became separated from the others in the darkness and ran into a
party of three Germans. Quickly covering them with his rifle he brought
all three back.

Private Bernard Snyder returned with prisoners before dark on the first
day. Making use of his ability to speak German, he induced a dozen
Germans to lay down their arms, pick up stretchers and carry American
wounded back five kilometers (three miles) to where ambulances were


Lieut. Jorgen R. Enger, the chaplain of a Kansas-Missouri outfit,
carried the wounded for three days from the Montfaucon woods two miles
to the ambulance. Searching in the woods in the darkness one night with
shells bursting and bullets whistling he found a husky sergeant wounded
in the foot and growing weaker and weaker from loss of blood. The
chaplain shouldered the man and carried him back to a dressing station,
saving his life.

"I didn't think a chaplain would do a thing like that," said the
sergeant. "I would rather save you than save a general," replied the

When not searching for wounded hidden in the tangle of under-brush the
chaplain was busy helping the surgeons at a first aid dressing station.

"I never thought any clergyman would have the opportunities for doing
good such as I am haying," he said when I saw him.

Col. Eugene Houghton, Wisconsin, who was a British major until America
entered the war, distinguished himself by personally leading a unit of
New York men. According to them he escaped death repeatedly as by a


Capt. Carl F. Laurer while assisting in the examination of German
prisoners, was surprised when an American prisoner was brought before
him. "Where do you belong?" asked the captain. "I am with an aerial
squadron in the south of France" replied the prisoner. "I walked
fourteen days to get here." "Did you desert?" asked Captain Lauer. "No,"
the man replied, "I want to fight. That is what I came to France for.
When I get home the folks will ask what I did in the war and when I
answer 'worked' they will say 'Why the devil didn't you fight?'" The
boy's wish was gratified and he was sent forward.

"We have everything good and plenty--rations, ammunition and other
things. It looks like a regular Sunday."


In this district, the 36th Division, made up of troops from Texas and
Oklahoma, veterans and raw recruits together, showed splendid fighting
form. They were under terrific shell fire day after day, but they met
several murderous attacks firmly, and drove the boches back in brilliant
counter attack, chasing them in true Ranger style. All these men showed
the same spirit that animated Roosevelt's renowned Rough Riders in the
war with Spain, so many of whom were Texas and Oklahoma men.

Reporting this fight, General Naulin, commanding the Corps of which the
2d and 36th Divisions were parts, said "the 36th Division, a recent
formation not yet completely organized, was ordered into line on the
night of October 6-7 to relieve, under conditions particularly delicate,
the 2d Division, and to dislodge the enemy from the crest north of St.
Etienne and throw him back to the Aisne. Although being under fire for
the first time, the young soldiers of Maj. Gen. W. R. Smith, rivaling in
combative spirit and tenacity the old and valiant regiment of General
LeJeune, accomplished all the tasks set for them." Every American knows
full well the bright record of the 2d Division of Infantry, the regulars
of which were composed of the 5th and 6th Marines and the 9th and 23rd
Infantry. These are the boys who stopped the Germans up in Belleau Wood
when the boches were headed for Paris and cocksure of getting there,
blandly unaware that they were goose-stepping toward an American


American negro troops had a considerable share in the last few months of
fighting, and acquitted themselves in a highly creditable manner. They
were great trench diggers and trench fighters, and their endurance on
the march was a marvel to the allied armies. They were very popular with
the French people, who were delighted with their good nature and their
never-ceasing songs. Regular negro melodies these songs were, nearly all
of them of the camp-meeting variety--and sung with that choral beauty
which especially distinguishes all of their musical performances. The
negro notion of war and indifference to death was instanced in the case
where a white officer overheard one of them at the zero hour call out,
"Good night ol' world! Good mawin,' Mistah Jesus!" as he went over the

  "The colored boys," said Charles N. Wheeler, a distinguished
  correspondent with the American armies, "are great fighters, and
  are no better and no worse than any other group of American soldiers
  in France, whatever the blood strain. They do take pardonable pride
  in the fact that 'Mistah' Johnson, a colored boy, was the first American
  soldier in France to be decorated for extraordinary bravery under


  "The color line has about died out in the American army--in
  France. They play together, sing their songs together--the blacks
  and the white--and they go over the top together. They come back
  together, too, the wounded, and there is no thought of the color of a
  man's skin. They mix together on the convoy trains going up to the
  front, and all sing together, sharing each other's dangers and their
  joys. It is not an uncommon sight to see a crowd of white doughboys
  around a piano in some 'Y' or Red Cross hut, singing to beat the band,
  with a colored jass expert pounding the stuffing out of the piano. The
  white boys enjoy immensely the wit of the colored comrades, and
  many a bleak and drab day of privation and suffering is made a bit
  brighter by the humor that comes spontaneously to the lips of the
  'bronze boys.'

  "The children of France love them. I suppose that is because
  they wear American soldiers' uniforms. I have seen scores of white
  children holding the hands of colored boys and trudging along on
  the march with them or romping into their tents and sitting on their
  knees and just exuding the affection that all the children of France
  have for anything and everybody from the United States."



The Hughes report on air craft, submitted in October, 1918, contained a
full account of the difficulties, drawbacks and questionable management
that had held back the manufacture and shipment of airplanes to Europe.
In September there were on the French-Belgian front between 300 and
machines, all of which were in the scout and observation classes, with
no regulation combat planes of American build; but American airmen had
conducted many successful actions against German battle planes, and a
good many Americans were operating French and British battle planes in
action back of the German lines. The combined American, British, French
and Canadian planes had before that time cleared the air of German
observation and other machines in front of the allied lines, thereby
preventing hostile observation of allied camps and artillery positions
and movements of troops preparatory to attack.

The efficiency of this combined air service is credited with having
contributed in an important degree, first to retarding the movement of
supplies from the enemy rear to the enemy fighting line, and next
to disturbance of the enemy in retreat. The Americans especially
distinguished themselves by flying at high speed along the last of the
enemy trenches and clearing up the German troops therein by continuous
streams of machine gun fire. American flyers also made successful raids
across the German border, blowing up munitions works, railway centers,
and German troops at concentration points. Between early September and
late October, 1918, they dropped thousands of tons of high explosives
inside of Germany. At the same time, in association with British and
Canadian aviators, they put a definite end to German air raids upon the
British Isles and interior France. The Canadian air service during the
summer and early autumn of 1918 increased at the rate of 300 planes per
month, all manufactured in Canada.


After July, 1918, the output of Liberty motors for the Government caught
up with the immediate demand. It increased until in October it reached a
rate of about 5,000 a month. The Ford factory at Detroit alone reported
at the end of October an established monthly rate of increase of over


American flyers made a great record in the closing days of war. In the
period from September 12 to 11:00 o'clock on the morning of November 11,
American aviators claim they brought down 473 German machines. Of this
number, 353 have been confirmed officially. Day bombing groups from the
time they began operations dropped a total of 116,818 kilograms of bombs
within the German lines.


Aviation is the most perilous of all services, calling for young bodies,
high spirit, quick wit, personal initiative, and unshakable nerve. Thus
it has drawn in the best and brightest of America's sons--brilliant,
clear-eyed, steady youths, who take the air and its perils with joyous

The danger, the romance, the thrill of air fighting, are things that
never were known in war until this one called into being vast aerial
navies that grappled in the sky and rained upon the earth below "a
ghastly dew" of blood.

There are no tales of this war more fascinating than those that have
been told by these men. Courage and modesty being inseparable, our
aviators avoid print and cannot be interviewed with any satisfaction.
But sometimes they write home to a mother, a sweetheart or a pal, and
these letters now and then come to light.


"I cannot describe my feelings, right off the bat," said Eddie
Rickenbacker, the ace of American aces, the day following the signing of
the armistice. "But I can say I feel ninety-nine per cent better. There
is a chance of living now and the gang is glad." Rickenbacker became a
captain during the last phase of the war and has twenty-four victories
over enemy airmen to his credit. To Rickenbacker, whose home is in
Columbus, Ohio, the allied command gave the honor of making the last
flight over the German front and firing the last shot from the air on
the morning of November 11, 1918.


In reporting this most remarkable occurrence Edward Price Bell, an
American correspondent, wrote as follows from the front:

A British observer, flying a powerful machine at 16,000 feet over
Ostend, had the machine's tail shot off by the direct hit of a shell--a
very unusual occurrence. The machine turned upside down, out of control,
and the pilot was thrown out of his seat. By some inexplicable maneuver
he managed to clamber on to the bottom of the fuselage of the machine,
astride of which he sat as if he was riding a horse.

Though the machine was out of control, owing to the loss of its tail
planes, yet by moving forward and backward he so managed to balance it
that it glided fairly steadily downward, although upside down.

He successfully brought it across the German lines, and came safely
to within a few hundred feet of the ground. Then he crashed and was
injured, but is now recovering in a hospital.

When it is considered that this incident occurred at a height of 16,
feet, over hostile territory, and that during the airman's terribly
precarious ride he was subject to antiaircraft fire, and liable to the
attack of hostile scouts, it is not too much to say that his was a
record achievement.

Recently, another airman was shot down, out of control, from 13,
feet, and fell fluttering like a leaf, toward the ground. At a height of
9,000 feet he fainted. Shortly afterward he came to and found himself in
the machine upside down, in a marsh, absolutely unhurt. Many airmen, of
course, have been through several "crashes" without sustaining so much
as a broken collar bone.


This story of Lieut. Manderson Lehr, who refused a transfer home and
shortly after died in combat, is taken (by permission) from his personal
letters written to a friend in this country. It is typical of many that
might be told by or about brilliant young Americans who would not wait
for America's participation in the war, but went voluntarily, with high
hearts and eager hands, to help those other boys of France and the
British Empire to whom had fallen so large and so momentous a part in
the world's salvation.

Nearly all of these American lads, the choicest spirits of our nation,
took up whatever work they could find--anything, so long as it was
useful, or contributed in any way to winning out against the German
hordes, or stem the flood of German crime that was sweeping over Europe,
that would later, if it were not stopped, cover our continent with an
inundation of blood and desolation. Most of them, like Lieutenant Lehr,
went into ambulance service; and afterward when the air planes were
ready and needed men to fly them, took to the air. These were the men
who "put out the eyes" of the German armies and piloted the allies
to many a victory. And alas! Many of them, like Lehr, gave up their
lives--though not in vain, nor without having sent down to crashing
death, each one, his share of the flyers of the foe.


Lieutenant Lehr's story begins with a letter from France just after
his arrival in Paris on May 15, 1917, when he joined the Ambulance
Corps--later entering the air service. It covered a period of more than
a year's experiences at the front.

The last letter from Lieut. Lehr was dated June 14th, 1918, when the big
German drive was about at its climax. According to news reports from the
front Lehr had a period of intense activity up to July 15th, when he
was reported missing. "Bud" was regarded as one of the most adept of
American fliers.

One of the last news reports from the front told of him still flying
under French colors and having twice returned from raids with his
passenger killed by enemy attacks and of his being awarded the war
cross. The same report told of a 150 mile raid into Germany with eight
other French Machines--when a patrol of twelve German planes were
attacked and three of them sent down in flames, while all the nine
French machines returned safely.

The following are a few of Lehr's later letters from the front:


Sector----at the Front, Oct. 12, 1917.--It's blowing terrifically,
wind and rain. You can't imagine how I picture you people at home, warm,
happy and safe. I've been out here a week now. Three days of it has been
flying weather. Up 25,000 feet and ten miles into Germany is my record
so far and I've actually had one combat with a boche. He was below me,
at first, far in the distance. I was supposed to be protecting a bombing
expedition of ten machines. I saw this spot, started away from the rest
and through excitement, anticipation and the goodness knows what, I
climbed, went faster and faster until I had the sun between us and the
German below me. Then I dived; he heard me and "banked"; we both looped
and then came head on, firing incessantly.

My machine gun was empty and the boche had more, for he got in behind
me and "Putt! Putt! Putt!" past my ear he came, so I dove, went into a
"vrille" with him on top, came out and squared off, and he let me have
it again. All I could do was to maneuver, for I had no shells left and
I did not want to beat it, so I stuck. We both came head on again and
I said a little prayer, but the next time I looked Mr. Boche was going
home. I "peaked" straight down, made my escadrille, accompanied them
home and when I got out of my furs I was wringing wet in spite of the
fact it was cold as ice where I had done my fighting.


I looked my machine over and found five holes in it, but nothing
serious. Tomorrow is going to be bad and no one will fly unless they
call for volunteers, and then I think most of us will go. I'd like to
figure out what I did wrong. First of all, I was so excited that I fired
all my shots at the German and he maneuvered out of my way and then came
at me as I was helpless. My captain gave me "harkey" for staying when
out of bullets, so I guess the rest was O.K., but I'd hate to run from
any boche.


The machine I've been flying has been condemned, so I expect to be sent
back to get another one, a brand new one that has never been on the
front. Twenty-five pilots in the last month have been killed by wings
dropping off. I've seen twelve go and it surely takes the old pep out of
you. I was above one and saw his wing crumple, then fall. A man is so
utterly helpless he must merely sit there and wait to be killed, and
when you're flying the same type of machine it doesn't help your
confidence any. I was glad they condemned mine, for I've put my old
"cuckoo" through some awful tests and it's about ready to fall apart.

We expect to change soon and go up to a new offensive in F----. If I get
through that I'm going to change over to the American army. They have
offered me a commission and I think I'll take it. My fingers are cramped
and my feet have long since been numb. Now I'm going to wrap up in my
fur leathers and go to bed. This is war.


Feb. 1, 1918.--Had a great time this last week, and made six long
bombardments. For the first three times we had no trouble getting
across whatsoever. Coming out the last three times we got some real
competition. It was in the form of the flying circus or "tangoes," which
consists of fifteen of the best pilots in Germany, commanded by Baron
von Richthofen, who seems a good sort, for when you fight him and you
both miss he waves and we wave back. We had been at it consistently for
four days, and so they sent these birds down opposite us to stop us. We
had been in Germany for some distance and had reached our objective and
bombed it. There was a heavy fog below us, so I took a couple of turns
to make sure we could see our objective. We dropped our bombs and then I
turned to the right to see the damage. I had to take a large turn, for
the "archies" were shooting pretty close. I looked for my escadrille,
and saw these machines way off in the distance. I started for them and
soon caught up with them. Then I swerved and dipped up to them, for I
thought them a little strange. I got up closer, and, wow! all three
dived at me like a rock and bullets flew by me, cutting my plane, so I
pulled up at them, fired, swerved so my gunner could let them have it
also and then saw the iron cross flash by, so I knew it was the Huns. I
started getting altitude and went up high and then the boches got the
sun between them and my plane and came again, but I thought this would
happen and "peaked." They went under me and that left me on top, so I
gave them about 120 bullets, and one went for home. The other two came
by again and I went into a tight spiral so my gunner could pump at
them--but nothing doing. They beat it home and so did I, for it had been
three to one. When I landed I had five holes in my machine. One of the
wires had been shot away and gave me some trouble in landing.

Feb. 10, 1918.--We have been pretty busy and had some exciting times. I
almost got mine day before yesterday and feel pretty lucky to be here.
We started out on a long trip into Germany and all the way over we had
no trouble at all. After we bombed, my observer and I dived down on
some villages and used our own guns on them. We got so low that the
anti-aircraft guns were popping too close, so we beat it. We soon saw a
bunch of hangars below us and we dived down on them and shot at them. In
a few minutes a bunch of Huns came up from the hangars after us and we
beat it to catch up with the others. We got up with them and looked
behind us and there were a number of Germans sneaking down on us.

Then the battle commenced and for forty minutes we had a hot fight. We
picked off (censored) of them and they went plunging down in flames.
Then the others went back and we all returned safely, but I noticed that
my machine worked queerly, and when I landed I had a hard time, and
barely got to the ground without smashing to pieces.

I looked the machine over, and you should have seen it. From top
to bottom it was one mass of holes. One bullet passed through my
combination and hit a can of tobacco. Another cut a main spar on one of
my wings, and another hit my stabilizer, tearing it half in two. One
other hit my gas tank and put a hole clear through it. Luckily my gas
was low and it did not explode, but, believe me, I was lucky.


April 20, 1918.--The orderly has just tapped on my window to put down my
shade, which means the Gothas are on their way. The guns are starting.
This attack has been frightful--day after day long lines of ambulances
roll by our camp carrying large numbers of wounded. Tomorrow we shall
continue our work of knocking down their batteries and bombing their
railroads. To-night, now, they are trying to get us.

I started on a "permission" about three weeks ago and had beautiful
visions of peace and content for a week, but was called back immediately
at the beginning of this horrible attack. Things look bad, and in a few
days we are moving farther up.

Our work here has been hard and exciting and always working in any kind
of weather. While our loss has been heavy we have accomplished wonders.
Going over on cloudy days when the heavy black clouds hang down to
within fifty meters of the ground, spotting a group of trucks, a line of
cars, or a battery of troops, then bombing them, shooting them up with
your machine guns and shooting back up into the clouds midst a rain of
luminous machine gun bullets from the ground is interesting work. But
the terror of those on the ground, poor devils! Yet it's got to be
brought home. Out of twenty-four trips we lost eight machines.
Poor Chuck Kerwood was among them. Chuck is an American boy from
Philadelphia, and he has been with us for five months.

I had a chance to go back to the states as an instructor, and almost
took it, but when the time came around to leave this band of men who
have been in it for almost four years, I couldn't do it. They are men,
and have pulled me out of tight holes when I was green at this game, and
they did it at the risk of their lives. Now I've seen them drop off one
at a time, fine young Frenchmen, and I guess the least I can do is to
stay right by them and I feel my work is here.

In Hospital, May 3, 1918.--Well, here I am at last, but I fooled them
for six months. Finally one slipped up behind me. I never saw him, but
felt him. Only got it in the leg, so it isn't very serious, except that
the bullet was incendiary. They have oodles of sulphur on them and I'm
afraid of complications. This is a nice hospital in a nice location;
only thing that I hate about it is that I may not be able to get back to
my escradrille for fifteen or twenty days.


May 16, 1918--Going to have another operation tomorrow and then I think
I'll be well. And, believe me, if I am I am going back and get somebody
for this. We are now on the Somme, near Rouen. I suppose you know Baron
von Richthofen has been brought down. I'm sorry, for he was a game,
clean scrapper, and I know, for I've had several brushes with him. The
Huns came over here last night and dropped sixty bombs, killing
people and wounding I don't know how many. Several of the bombs hit
about 300 meters from here and our beds shook like the dickens.


At the Front, June 14, 1918.--I've been back here from the hospital for
several days and we are having beautiful weather, doing lots of work and
losing lots of men, but getting results. I think by now you have all my
letters explaining the change into the American army and the croix de
guerre, which doesn't signify a great deal. Things look pretty bad now,
but the French are holding strong with the constant arrival of Americans
and I think the Hun advance is stopped. We have been working at very
low altitudes and while we have lost men heavily the work was extremely
effective. We have been shifted from one part of the front to another so
that one hardly has time to unpack before we go to a new attack. Our car
has a broken piston, so we have had to walk more than usual and my leg
gets so worn out in a short time that it is slow going.


At the beginning of the year, Lieut. Rene Fonck, the great French
flyer and ace of aces of all the belligerent forces, had only nineteen
successes to his credit, but during the last days of fighting the wily
Lieutenant scored many victories bringing his totals up to seventy five
enemy airplanes officially destroyed, with forty more probable successes
awaiting official verification. The final list of Lieut Fonck is all the
more astonishing when it is considered that he made flights only when
he thought himself in the fittest condition, and every time he flew he
triumphed over the German Aviators. His wonderful success is accredited
to his incomparable tactics, keen eyesight and most remarkable skill.


Among other champion flyers of the allied forces Major Bishop of the
British is credited with seventy-two victories; Lieutenant Coppens of
Belgium, wounded during the late fighting, and with a leg amputated,
holds the record of thirty-six victories; Lieutenant Baracchini the
Italian flyer has thirty victories to his credit; Eddie Rickenbacker the
American ace is responsible for twenty-four enemy victims, and Edward
Parsons, another American flyer is credited with eight official
victories and seven more unconfirmed. Captain Kosakoff the Russian ace
held seventeen successes to his credit at the close of Russias fighting.


Lieutenant Udet of Germany is the ace of enemy aces and holds the record
of sixty victories; Captain Brunmwsky of the Austrian forces is next
with thirty-four to his credit; Sergeant Fiselier the German flyer
serving for Bulgaria is credited with seven victims, and Captain Schults
also a German serving for Turkey had eleven victories.


On Sunday July 14th, 1918, a violent encounter took place between German
battleplanes and American Air forces trying to break through the German
defense over the Marne. In this engagement Lieut, Quentin Roosevelt was
brought down and killed near Chambry, then behind the German lines. He
was buried with military honors by German airmen, at the spot where he
fell. His grave was located later by one of his fellow air scouts.


One of the remarkable feats performed by Yankee air men, was that of
Lieut. Wm. T. Webb Jr. of Buffalo, a member of an American squadron
which encountered a German battleplane while flying over the German
lines. The American flyers surrounded the German Fokker like a flock of
birds, and instead of shooting it down, which would have been easy,
they maneuvered their planes so the boche machine was forced toward the
American lines. The German airmen fought desperately, but in vain,
to break through, and was forced lower and lower to the ground. Upon
reaching the ground he refused to stop his motor until, after bumping
over two fields, a bullet was fired through his gas tank setting it
afire. The two Germans jumped from the machine to the ground uninjured.
Both wore iron crosses. Lieut. Webb landed his machine, jumped out,
grabbed an iron cross from one of the terrified Germans, and rose again
to join his companions.


Few civilians have any idea of the intense, close watch that was kept
upon the enemy throughout the struggle. Soldiers on "listening post"
would crawl out every night to and sometimes into the enemy lines and on
their return report what they had heard. By day, aviators came back from
flights over enemy positions and gave details of what they had seen.
Every hill, tree-top, church spire, tall building and captive balloon
watched every move of the enemy and reported it. These reports by the
ears and eyes of the armies enabled American and allied commanders to
plan their infantry and artillery attacks.


Knowledge of conditions in Germany during the war was so accurate that
the American general staff had computed many weeks in advance almost
the exact date on which the breaking point would be reached. A chart in
Secretary Baker's office shows the fluctuations in the "morale of the
German nation" from August, 1914, to the month of November, 1918.

The chart shows how German morale fell and rose under the influence
of the military situation, the results of the submarine campaign, the
unanimity of purpose evidenced by the different groups in the reichstag,
and the economic condition of the country. So accurate was the
information that the "morale line" reached the zero point between Nov.
10 and 15.

The chart indicates clearly that practically every major operation of
the German military forces was inaugurated when the morale line showed
dangerous slumps.

A big map in the war office locates not only every allied unit but the
composition of the opposition forces, their commanders, and, in most
cases, their headquarters.

Opposite each German army unit the map shows a list of the "used" and
reserve organizations. On Nov. 11, when the armistice was signed, long
lists of divisions which had been entirely used up were noted, but the
reserves had disappeared entirely, with the single exception of two
fresh German divisions in Belgium.


_National and Race Prejudices--The Triple Alliance--The Triple
Entente--Teuton vs. Slav--Influence of Russian Diplomacy--Russia vs.
Austria--Control of Balkan Seaports--England's Commercial Supremacy
Challenged by Germany--Assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of
Austria by a Serb_.

Within the space of less than a week from August 1, 1914, five of the
six "great powers" of Europe became involved in a war that quickly
developed into the greatest and most sanguinary struggle of all time.
The European conflagration, long foreseen by statesmen and diplomats,
and dreaded of all alike, had broken out.

Beginning with the thunder of Austrian guns at Belgrade, the
reverberations of war were heard in every capital of the Old World.
Austria's declaration of war against Servia was followed by the
alignment of Germany with its Teuton neighbor against the forces of
Russia, France and England. Italy alone, of the six great powers,
declined to align itself with its formal allies and made a determined
effort at the outset to maintain its neutrality.

Soon the highways of Europe resounded with the hoof-beats and the tramp
of marching hosts, with the rattle of arms and the rumble of artillery.
Of such a war, once begun, no man could predict the end. But the world
realized that it was a catastrophe of unparalleled proportions, a
failure of civilization in its stronghold, a disaster to humanity.

For more than forty years the great powers of Europe had been at peace
with one another. Though war had threatened now and then, diplomacy
had avoided the actual outbreak. But that the dreaded conflict was
inevitable had long been recognized. For its coming immense armaments
had been prepared, until the burdens of taxation laid upon the people
had become in themselves a source of danger. But behind it all lay the
sinister influence of the "junker" element of Germany--the military
party, swollen with pride in the development of the German army by more
than forty years of preparation for conflict, and the naval party, eager
for "der Tag" which should bring a trial of the new German navy
against the battle fleets of an enemy. Fostering and encouraging these
militaristic sentiments was the growing desire of Germany for "a
place in the sun," which was translatable only as a desire for world
domination. Greater and wider markets for German commerce were urgently
demanded, and visions of Germany as mistress of the seas, with a great
colonial empire, and of the Kaiser as the undisputed military overlord
of Europe, already filled and fired the Teuton imagination.

The political alignment of the great powers prior to the war was as
follows: On the one side was the Triple Alliance, including Germany,
Austria-Hungary, and Italy; while on the other was the Triple Entente,
comprising Great Britain, France and Russia. As the event proved, the
uncertain element in this line-up was Italy, which had a real grievance
against Austria in the latter's possession of the former Italian
territory known as the Trentino, and which was not consulted by Germany
and Austria prior to the outbreak of hostilities. She therefore declined
to enter the war as a member of the Triple Alliance, but was later found
in the field against Austria, and thenceforth rendered powerful aid to
the cause of "the Allies," as the members of the Triple Entente and
their supporters soon came to be known.

It was in the Balkans, long regarded as the zone of danger to European
peace, that the war-clouds gathered and darkened rapidly. For
generations Austria and Russia had struggled diplomatically for the
control of Balkan seaports, with the Balkan states acting as buffers in
the diplomatic strife. Servia acted as a bar to Austria's commercial
route to the Ægean, by way of the Sanjak of Novi Bazar to Saloniki,
while Russia was Servia's great ally and stood stoutly behind the little
Slav kingdom in its opposition to Austrian aggression.


Then came the recent Balkan Wars, and their outcome was viewed with
alarm. Austria uneasily watched the approach of Servia to the Adriatic
and the Aegean. The formation of the new new autonomous state of
Albania, between Servia and the Adriatic, was all that prevented Austria
from attacking Servia during that crisis. The terms of peace left the
situation, as it concerned Austria and Russia, practically as it had
been. Austria made no further progress toward the sea, and Russia
remained the ally of Servia. Bulgaria had failed in its efforts to reach

At this stage another element exerted its influence. Servia awoke to the
possibility of a Greater Servia. An Empire of the Slavs had long been
dreamed of. In Austria-Hungary itself millions of Slavs were dreaming of
it and awaiting the disruption of Austria-Hungary, held together now,
as they argue, only by the indomitable will of the old Emperor, Franz
Joseph. The hatred between the Slavs and the Teutonic Austrians is
intense. The annexation by Austria of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which
Servians predominate, increased the Servian hatred and the indignation
of the whole Slav world to the point of violence. A conflict was avoided
with difficulty. These principalities had hoped to form part of a
Greater Servia. Had not Russia been exhausted by the war with Japan,
Servia would have called upon her ally and the crisis would have come
then. As it was, the Balkans teemed with plots and counterplots against
the Austrians, culminating in the assassination of the Arch-Duke and
heir-apparent to the Austrian throne, Francis Ferdinand, known for his
anti-Slav principles, and therefore feared and hated as the king to
be. The assassination occurred at Serajevo in Bosnia, where Servian
disaffection was seething. Austria immediately laid the crime on the
Servian government.


Failing in her peremptory demands for satisfaction, Austria declared
war, July 28, 1914, apparently for revenge, but behind her righteous
indignation she still held in view her traditional ambition, a port on
the Mediterranean, to be secured by the complete control of the
Novi Bazar route to Salonica, a route which, besides its commercial
importance, is of tremendous strategic value to the nation which
commands it. The treaty of Berlin of 1878, after the Russo-Turkish War,
had given Austria the military, political, and commercial control of the
route within the Sanjak of Novi Bazar, then a part of Turkey.

But now, in the division of spoils following the Balkan Wars, Servia
gained control of Novi Bazar, Pristina, Uskub, and Istip, or practically
the entire route to a short distance north of Salonica, where the new
boundaries of Greece had been extended. This meant that Austria saw
herself shut out from the Sanjak, and only by the destruction and
subsequent occupation of Servia could Austria regain her ascendancy over
the route. Victory would mean a long step by Austria toward the sea.


The "balance of power" among European nations has hitherto been
maintained because the formation of a single nation out of the Balkan
States has not been possible. Although the people of these states
have similar pursuits, and live much alike in all regions, they have
preserved their original racial differences. A village of Albanians may
be within a few miles of a village of Greeks. Yet through centuries both
have remained racially distinct. Here and there the barriers have given
way somewhat, but in general the races persist side by side, sometimes
peaceably, more often in mutual distrust or open feud. Such division has
been fostered by the great nations, and new states have been created, as
recently Albania, since the formation of a great state in the Balkans by
the union of all or the absorbing greatness of one, would overthrow
the balance of power, and besides interpose an insurmountable obstacle
between Austria and Russia, and the sea.

Thus the states have been played against each other. Sometimes the game
has been one of diplomacy, or one of force, hurling the states at each
other's throats.


  _Ultimatum, by Austria to Servia--War Declared by Austria--
  Russia Mobilizes--Germany Declares War on Russia
  August 1--France and England Involved--Germans
  Enter Belgium--Scenes in European Capitals_.

On Sunday, June 28, 1914, a Servian student named Prinzep shot
and killed the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the thrones of
Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, in
the streets of Serajevo, a town in Bosnia which the royal couple were

Nearly four weeks later, on July 23, the Austro-Hungarian government,
fixing responsibility for the assassination upon Servian intrigues,
presented to Servia a number of demands which formed a very drastic
ultimatum, requiring compliance within forty-eight hours, with the
alternative of war. Servia was required to condemn "the propaganda
directed against Austria" and to take proceedings against all
accessories to the plot against the Archduke Francis Ferdinand who were
in Servia. Austrian delegates were to supervise the proceedings, and
Servia was also to arrest certain Servian officials whose guilt was
alleged. These exorbitant conditions made it quite obvious that no
concessions on Servians part would be accepted. It was a plain prelude
to war.

Nevertheless, a virtual acceptance by Servia followed. Acting on the
advice of Russia, Servia acceded to all that was required of her,
making only two reservations of the most reasonable character. These
reservations were found enough to serve as an excuse for war. Austria at
once declared herself dissatisfied and though the actual declaration of
war was delayed for a brief period, a state of war practically existed
between the two countries from Saturday evening, July 25.


Then began efforts on the part of Great Britain to localize the war.
Sir Edward Grey, the able foreign secretary in Mr. Asquith's cabinet,
repeated solemn warnings in every chancellery of Europe. According to
the English "white book," the very day that he was notified of the
violent tone of Austria's note to Servia--the day it was presented--he
warned the Austrian Ambassador in London that if as many as four of
the Great Powers of Europe were to engage in war, it would involve the
expenditure of such a vast sum of money and such interference with
trade, that a complete collapse of European credit and industry would
follow. The reply of Russia to this warning was quite conciliatory. The
Russian foreign minister, M. Sazonoff, assured the British minister that
Russia had no aggressive intentions, and would take no action unless
forced. Austria's action, M. Sazonoff added, in reality aimed at
over-throwing Russia's influence in the Balkans.

Thus, on Monday, July 27, Sir Edward Grey was able to state in the House
of Commons that his suggestion of a joint conference, composed of the
Ambassadors of Germany, France and Italy, and himself, with a view to
mediation between Austria and Russia, had been accepted by all except
Germany, which power had expressed its concurrence with the plan in
principle, but opposed the details on the ground that there was a
prospect of direct "conversations" (diplomatic exchanges) between
Austria and Russia. This statement was believed in England to lack
sincerity. On that Monday afternoon the Russian Ambassador at Vienna
warned Austria that Russia would not give way and expressed his hope
that some arrangement might be arrived at before Servia was invaded.

Austria's reply came next day in the shape of a formal declaration of
war against Servia.


On July 30 Sir M. de Bunsen, British Ambassador at Vienna, made the
following statement to Sir Edward Grey regarding the attitude of Germany
in the crisis: "Although I am not able to verify it, I have private
information that the German Ambassador (at Vienna) knew the text of the
Austrian ultimatum to Servia before it was dispatched, and telegraphed
it to the German Emperor. I know from the German Ambassador himself that
he endorses every line of it."

Naturally enough the Russian foreign minister complained that
"conversations" with Austria were useless in the face of such facts.
Russia then declared that her forces would be mobilized the day that
Austria crossed the Servian frontier. The attitude of Germany at once
stiffened and it became evident that Germany meant to regard even the
partial mobilization of Russia as a ground for war, not only against
Russia, but also against the latter's ally, France.

In vain Russia protested that her partial mobilization was merely a
precaution. In vain did the Czar himself offer to give his word that no
use would be made of any of his forces. Germany was aware, as subsequent
facts have proved, that her own state of mobilization was very much
further advanced than that of Russia.


By Friday, July 31, Germany was ready for the fray and a final ultimatum
to St. Petersburg was launched. On the same day Russia declared war
against Austria. By six o'clock on Saturday evening, August 1, war
between Germany and Russia began, when Germany dismissed the Russian
Ambassador, and by Sunday morning Germany was invading France. The
next day, August 3, the German Ambassador left Paris and the French
Ambassador at Berlin was ordered to demand his passports.

At this point Great Britain passed from the position of general
peacemaker to that of a principal. In the House of Commons on Monday,
August 3, Sir Edward Grey stated that the question whether Austria
or Russia should dominate the Southern Slav races was no concern of
England, nor was she bound by any secret alliance to France. She was
absolutely free to choose her course with regard to the crisis which had
overtaken her. But there were two cardinal points in the situation
which had arisen which ultimately concerned Great Britain. The first
essential feature of British diplomacy, said Sir Edward, was that France
should not be brought into such a condition in Europe that she became
a species of vassal state to Germany. On the morning of July 31,
therefore, he had informed the German Ambassador that if the efforts to
maintain peace failed and France became involved Great Britain would be
drawn into the conflict.

In his speech of August 3 the British foreign minister also stated that
he had given France on the previous day the written assurance that if
the German fleet came into the English Channel or through the North Sea
to assail her, the British fleet would protect her to the uttermost.


On the same afternoon, in the same place, Sir Edward Grey reiterated the
other dominant principle of British foreign policy--that England can
never look with indifference on the seizure by a great continental power
of any portion of Belgium and Holland. More than a hundred years ago it
was declared by Napoleon, who was a master of political geography, that
Antwerp was "a pistol leveled at the head of London."

When on July 31 the British foreign minister inquired by telegraph both
at Paris and Berlin whether the two governments would engage to respect
the neutrality of Belgium, France replied with an assurance that she was
resolved to do so unless compelled to act otherwise by reason of the
violation of Belgium's neutrality at the hands of another power. The
German secretary of state, Herr von Jagow, replied that he could give no
such assurance until he had consulted the Emperor and Chancellor, and
doubted whether he could give any answer without revealing the German
plan of campaign. He furthermore alleged the commission of hostile acts
by Belgium.

Developments quickly followed. The German government proposed that
Belgium should grant its armies free passage through Belgian territory.
The proposal was accompanied by an intimation that Belgium would be
crushed out of existence if it refused to comply. In fact, it was an
ultimatum presented at 7 o'clock on Sunday evening, August 2, to expire
within twelve hours.

Then came Sir Edward Grey's speech in parliament on August 3, when it
was fully realized that Germany and England were on the verge of war.
What followed was related in the House of Commons next day.


Germany's reply to the speech by Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign
secretary, indicating the attitude of Great Britain in regard to the
contemplated violation of Belgian territory by Germany was a second
ultimatum from Berlin to Brussels, saying Germany was prepared to carry
through her plans by force of arms if necessary.

The British government was officially informed by Belgium on August
that German troops had invaded Belgium and that the violation of that
country's neutrality, which the British, foreign secretary had intimated
must be followed by action on the part of the British, had become an
accomplished fact.

Definite announcement of Great Britain's intentions under these
circumstances was expected in the house of commons that afternoon.


On the assembly of the house the premier, Mr. Asquith, said that a
telegram had been sent early in the morning to Sir Edward Goschen,
British ambassador in Berlin, to the following effect:

"The king of the Belgians has appealed to His Britannic Majesty's
government for diplomatic intervention on behalf of Belgium. The British
government is also informed that the German government has delivered to
the Belgian government a note proposing friendly neutrality pending a
free passage of German troops through Belgium and promising to maintain
the independence and integrity of the kingdom and its possessions on the
conclusion of peace, threatening in case of refusal to treat Belgium as
an enemy." Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, had requested
an answer within twelve hours.

Premier Asquith then read a telegram from the German foreign minister,
which the German ambassador in London had sent to Sir Edward Grey. It
was as follows:

  "Please dispel any distrust that may subsist on the part
  of the British government with regard to our intentions by
  repeating most positively the formal assurance that even in
  case of armed conflict with Belgium, Germany will under no
  pretensions whatever annex Belgian territory."

The reading of this telegram was greeted with derisive laughter by the
members of the house.

Premier Asquith continued:

  "We understand that Belgium categorically refused to
  assent to a flagrant violation of the law of nations.

  "His majesty's government was bound to protest against
  this violation of a treaty to which Germany was a party in
  common with England and must request an assurance that
  the demand made upon Belgium by Germany be not proceeded
  with and that Belgium's neutrality be respected by Germany
  and we have asked for an immediate reply.

  "We received this morning from our minister in Brussels
  the following telegram:

  "'The German minister has this morning addressed a
  note to the Belgian minister for foreign affairs stating that as
  the Belgian government has declined a well intentioned proposal
  submitted to it by the imperial German government
  the latter, deeply to its regret, will be compelled to carry out,
  if necessary by force of arms, the measures considered indispensable
  in view of the French menace.'"


By 11 o'clock that evening England and Germany were at war. Their
respective ambassadors were handed their passports and Great Britain
braced herself for a conflict that was felt to threaten her very
existence as a nation.



  _Belgians Rush to Defense of Their Frontier--Towns Bombarded
  and Burned--Defense of Liege--Fall of Liege--
 --Fall of Namur--Peasants and Townspeople Flee--
  Destruction of Louvain_.

At 10 o'clock on the night of August 2 German troops crossed the Belgian
frontier, coming from Aix-la-Chapelle, or Aachen, temporary headquarters
of the general staff, and the bloody invasion of Belgium, involving the
violation of its neutral treaty rights, began. Simultaneously the German
forces entered the independent duchy of Luxemburg to the south, en route
to the French border, and also came in touch with French outposts in the
provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.

The events that followed in Belgium furnished a genuine surprise to
the world. Instead of finding the Belgian people indifferent to the
violation of their territory and the Belgian army only a slight obstacle
in the road to Paris, as was probably expected by the German general
staff, a most gallant and determined resistance was offered to the
progress of the German hosts. The army of the little State was quickly
mobilized for defense and its operations, while ineffectual in stopping
the Kaiser's irresistible force, delayed its advance for three
invaluable weeks, giving time for the complete mobilization of the
French and for the landing of a British expeditionary force to
co-operate with the latter in resisting the German approach to Paris.

Just across the Belgian border lay the little towns of Visé and
Verviers, and these were the first objects of German attack and Belgian
defense. Both were occupied after desperate resistance by the Belgians
and Visé was partly demolished by fire in reprisal, it was claimed,
for the firing by civilians on the German invaders. The subsequent
bombardment and burning of towns and villages by the Germans were
explained in every case as measures of revenge for hostile acts on the
part of non-combatants and intended to prevent their occurrence
elsewhere by striking terror into the hearts of the Belgian populace.
Whatever the pretext or the excuse, the historical fact remains that the
result of the German progress toward the Franco-Belgian frontier
constituted a martyrdom for Belgium and gained for the plucky little
kingdom the fullest sympathy of the civilized world.

[Illustration:--From the Literary Digest BELGIUM--THE FIRST BATTLEFIELD OF THE WAR

The map shows the more important railroad lines connecting the cities of
Brussels, Antwerp and Namur and those of Northern France. Paris is
200 miles by rail from Brussels and 190 from Namur.]


The ancient city of Liège was attacked by the German artillery on August
4. The town itself was occupied, five days later, but the modern forts
surrounding it continued for some time longer to hold out against the
fierce German attack. It became necessary to bring up the heaviest
modern Krupp siege guns in order to reduce them.

Amidst all the plethora of events which crowded themselves into the
first few days following the outbreak of the war, none was more
remarkable than the Belgian stand at Liège against the German advance.

The struggle round Liège bids fair to become historic, and the garrisons
of the Liège forts when they looked out fearlessly from the banks of the
Meuse on the vanguard of the German host, and took decision to block
its further progress, proved their claim once again to Julius Cæsar's
description of their ancestors, "The Belgians are the bravest of the


News of the fall of Liege and the occupation of the city by German
troops was received with great rejoicing in Berlin on August 8th.
Dispatches received at Amsterdam from the German capital said:

The news of the fall of Liege spread with lightning rapidity throughout
Berlin and created boundless enthusiasm. The Emperor sent an
aide-de-camp to announce the capture of the city to crowds that
assembled outside the palace.

Policemen on bicycles dashed along Unter den Linden proclaiming the
joyful tidings. Imperial Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg drove to the castle
to congratulate the Emperor on the victory and was enthusiastically
cheered along the way.


Following the fall of Liège came a number of sanguinary engagements in
northern Belgium; the unopposed occupation of Brussels on August 20, and
a four days' battle beginning on August 23, in which the Germans forced
back the French and British allies to the line of Noyon-LaFère across
the northern frontier of France. In the northern engagements the
Belgians gave a good account of themselves, but were everywhere forced
to give way before the innumerable hosts of the Kaiser, though not
without inflicting tremendous losses on the invaders.

The retirement of the civilian population before the advancing masses of
the German army was a pathetic spectacle. It was a flight in terror and

On Tuesday, August 18, the German troops surged down upon Tirlemont,
a town twenty miles southeast of Louvain, around which they had been
massing for some days, presumably by rail and motor cars. The stories
which had reached the inhabitants of Tirlemont of the happenings at
surrounding towns and villages had not added to their peace of mind,
and soon the moment for flight arrived. All kinds of civilians set out
towards Brussels and Ghent for refuge. At times the road was full of
carts bearing entire families, with pots and pans swaying and banging
against the sides as the vehicles bumped over the roadway. The younger
women, boys and menfolk who had been left in the towns and villages
fled on foot. Priests, officials and Red Cross helpers mingled with the
crowd. This stream of unfortunates uprooted from their homes was thus
described by an eyewitness:

  "These masses of broken-hearted people moved silently
  along, many weeping, few talking. With them they brought
  a few of their possessions, as pathetically miscellaneous as
  the effects one might seize in the panic haste of a hotel fire.
  Ox wagons, bundles and babies on dog-drawn carts or on men's
  backs, bicycles and handcarts laden with kitchen utensils, all
  mingled with the human stream. Here were to be seen sewing
  machines, beds, bedding, food, and there a little girl or boy
  with some toy clasped uncomprehendingly in a dirty hand;
  they also knew that danger threatened and that they must
  save what they held most dear. And even among these unhappy
  people there were some more unfortunate than the
  others--men and women who had no bundle, children who
  had no doll. All the way to Louvain there flowed this human
  stream of misery. Back along the Tirlemont road rifle firing
  could be heard and entrenchments were to be seen in the town

These scenes between Tirlemont and Louvain were typical of those on
every road leading to the larger cities of Belgium as the inhabitants
fled before the approach of the dreaded Uhlans.


On the afternoon of Sunday, August 23, the fortress of Namur was
evacuated by the Belgians, and the town was later occupied by the

The fortress was said to be as strong as Liège and it owed its
importance in the present war to the fact that it was the apex of the
two French flanks. One ran from Namur to Charleroi and the other by
Givet to Mezieres.

Warned by their experiences at Liège, the Germans made most determined
efforts against Namur. From the north, south and east they were able to
bring up their big guns unhindered, and by assaults at Charleroi and
Dinant they endeavored to break the sides of the French triangle. Namur
finally collapsed but clever strategy enabled the French to fall back
upon their main lines.

The fall of Namur, nevertheless, was a decided blow to the allies. This
was admitted by the French minister of war, who said at midnight Monday,
August 24, of the failure of the "Namur triangle":

"It is, of course, regrettable that owing to difficulties of execution
which could not have been foreseen our plan of attack has not achieved
its object. Had it done so it would have shortened the war, but in any
case our defense remains intact in the face of an already weakened
enemy. Our losses are severe. It will be premature to estimate them or
to estimate those of the German army, which, however, has suffered so
severely as to be compelled to halt in its counterattack and establish
itself in new positions."

The object of the French triangle, having its apex at Namur, was to
break the German army in two. The British troops, as related in another
chapter, were cooperating with the French at Mons. When the Belgians
evacuated Namur the Germans had knocked to pieces three of the forts to
the northeast of the town with howitzer fire. Between these forts they
advanced and bombarded the town, which was defended by the Belgian
Fourth Division. Namur was evacuated when the defenders found themselves
unable to support a heavy artillery fire.

The Germans attacked in a formation three ranks deep, the front rank
lying down, the second kneeling, and the third standing. They afforded a
target which was fully used by the men behind the Belgian machine guns.
Some fifty or sixty howitzers were brought into action by the Germans,
who concentrated several guns simultaneously on each fort and smothered
it with fire.


At this stage of the war in Belgium an event occurred that riveted
universal attention upon the German operations. On Tuesday, August 25,
the beautiful, historic, scholastic city of Louvain, containing 42,
inhabitants, was bombarded by the Germans and later put to the torch.
The fire, which burned for several days, devastated the city. Many
artistic and historical treasures, including the priceless library of
Louvain University and several magnificent churches, centuries old,
were totally destroyed. Only the Hotel de Ville (City Hall), one of the
finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe, was spared and left
standing in the midst of ruins.

The Rotterdam Telegraf, a neutral newspaper, declared that in the
devastation of Louvain "a wound that can never be healed" was inflicted
"on the whole of civilized humanity." Frank Jewett Mather, the
well-known American art critic, bitterly denounced the act as one of
wanton destruction, saying that Louvain "contained more beautiful works
of art than the Prussian nation has produced in its entire history."

Thus when the first month of war ended, the Germans had made good with
their plan of seizing Belgium as a base of operations against France and
had arrived in full force at the first line of French defenses, well on
the way to the coveted goal, Paris.

But poor little Belgium, the "cockpit of Europe," ran red with blood.


_Belgian Capital Occupied by the Germans Without Bloodshed--Important
Part Played by American Minister Brand Whittock---Belgian Forces Retreat
to Antwerp--Dinant and Termonde Fall_.

After the usual reconnaissances by Uhlans and motorcycle scouts, the van
of the German army arrived at Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, on
August 20. The seat of government had been removed three days before to
Antwerp. The French and Russian ministers also moved to Antwerp, leaving
the affairs of their respective countries in the hands of the Spanish
legation. Brand Whitlock, United States minister to Belgium, remained at
Brussels and played an important part in negotiations which led to the
unresisted occupation and march through the city by the Germans in force
on August 21 and the consequent escape of Brussels from bombardment and
probable ruin.

At the approach of the German army the inhabitants of the capital were
stricken with fear of the outcome. When the Belgian civic guards and
refugees began pouring into the city from the direction of Louvain, they
brought stories of unspeakable German atrocities, maltreatment of old
men and children, and the violation of women.

"The Belgian capital reeled with apprehension," said an American
resident. "Within an hour the gaiety, the vivacity, and brilliancy of
the city went out like a broken arclight. The radiance of the cafes
was exchanged for darkness; whispering groups of residents broke up
hurriedly and locked themselves into their homes, where they put up
the shutters and drew in their tricolored Belgian flags. "The historic
Belgian city went through a state of morbid consternation, remarkably
like that from which it suffered on June 18,1815, when it trembled with
the fear of a French victory at Waterloo.

"In less than twenty-four hours the Belgian citizens were chatting
comfortably with the German invaders and the allegations of German
brutality and demoniacal torture dissolved into one of the myths which
have accompanied all wars.

"Neither in Brussels nor in its environs was a single offensive act, so
far as I know, committed by a German soldier. In a city of over half
a million people, invaded by a hostile army of perhaps a quarter of a
million soldiers, no act, sufficiently flagrant to demand punishment or
to awaken protest came to my attention."


Prior to the occupation the German commander had sent forward a flag
of truce demanding the surrender of the city. This was at midnight of
Wednesday, August 19. The Belgian commandant replied that he was bound
in honor to defend the town.

Brand Whitlock, the United States minister, then came to the fore. He
recommended to the commandant and to Burgomaster Max the unconditional
surrender of the city, pointing out how resistance might bring increased
misfortune on the citizens. But the military commander remained adamant
until orders arrived from King Albert consenting to the surrender of the

Mr. Whitlock was later congratulated officially by the king for his
action. Undoubtedly he had a great deal to do with saving Brussels.


The city of Brussels, thus occupied by the Germans, contains art
treasures that are priceless. The museum and public galleries are filled
with masterpieces of the Flemish and old Dutch school, while the royal
library comprises 600,000 volumes, 100,000 manuscripts and 50,000 rare
coins. Unquestionably the Brussels Museum is one of the most complete on
the Continent. A prominent historic landmark of Brussels is the King's
House (also called the Dreadhouse), an ancient structure, recently
renovated. Within its walls both the Counts Egmont and Hoorn spent the
last night before their execution, in 1567, by the hirelings of the Duke
of Alva, the Spanish Philip II's tyrannical governor of the Netherlands,
who, by means of the sword and the Inquisition, sought to establish the
Catholic religion in those countries. Brussels boasts another historic
relic known the world over--the equestrian statue of Godfrey of
Bouillon, who led the Crusaders to the Holy Land. It stands upon the
Place Royale, and was unveiled in 1848.

The magnificent Town Hall of Brussels would probably have suffered
destruction, together with the city's other beautiful buildings, had not
the government yielded without a struggle.


General von der Goltz, appointed by the Kaiser military governor of
Belgium, levied a war tax of $40,000,000 on the capture of the capital.
Other cities occupied by the Germans were also assessed for large
sums, which in several instances had to be paid immediately on pain of
bombardment. It was announced September 1 that the four richest men in
Belgium had guaranteed the payment to Germany of the war tax. The four
men were Ernest Solvay, the alkali king; Baron Lambert, the Belgian
representative of the Rothschilds; Raoul Warocque, the mine owner, and
Baron Empain, the railway magnate.


After the German occupation almost normal conditions were soon restored
in Brussels, so far as civic life was concerned. It was speedily
announced that the Germans intended to regard the whole of Belgium as
a German province and to administer it as such, at least during the
continuance of the war. The Belgian army retired to the north within the
fortifications of Antwerp, where they were joined by French troops, but
desultory fighting against the German invader continued at many points
and the Franco-British allies soon came into contact with the advancing
German army.


Antwerp is one of the largest, most modernly equipped and efficient
ports in Europe. It is only a short distance across the English Channel,
and is the head of 1,200 miles of canals in Belgium which connect with
the canal systems of Holland, France and Germany. On the harbor alone
over $100,000,000 has been spent and extensions are in progress which
will cost $15,000,000 more.

For the prosperity of Belgium, Antwerp is many times more important than
Brussels, the capital. While the country has an enormous amount of coal
and many factories and other industries, these would be of little value
without the imports which enter through Antwerp.

The city has about 360,000 inhabitants. Although located fifty-three
miles inland on the Scheldt River, it has natural advantages for harbor
purposes which have been recognized since the seventh century. Napoleon
looked over the spot and started large harbor construction.


Ever since that time, according to popular belief, Antwerp has
encouraged commerce. Over eighty different steamboat lines use the docks
and quays. The passenger lines include boats to New York and Boston, New
Orleans, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Grimsby, South American ports,
Cuba, the Congo, East and South Africa and the far East.

In 1912 a total of 6,973 ocean-going vessels entered the port, and
41,000 other vessels.

Antwerp in 1870 ranked fifth in the ports of the world. Today it is
believed to be second or third. Ten years ago the freight received from
the inland was principally by the canals. Approximately 2,300,000 tons
were received by rail and 5,500,000 tons by canal boats.

This ratio has not been maintained, but the canal traffic now is much
larger than the rail tonnage. This gives an idea of the extensive use to
which the European countries put their canals, and the reader may guess
the value of the city at the head of the canal system to the Germans.


Historic Ghent, with its quarter of a million inhabitants, was also
surrendered peaceably to the Germans, and again the energy and
initiative of an American, United States Vice-Consul J. A. Van Hee, had
much to do with the avoidance of tragedy and destruction.

Learning that the advance guard of the German army was only a few miles
outside the city, the burgomaster went out on the morning of September
to parley with Gen. von Boehn--in the hope of arranging for the German
forces not to enter. An agreement finally was reached whereby the
Germans should go around Ghent on condition that all Belgian troops
should evacuate the city, the civic guard be disarmed, their weapons
surrendered, and the municipal authorities should supply the Germans
with specified quantities of provisions and other supplies.

The burgomaster was not back an hour when a motor car driven by two
armed German soldiers appeared in the streets.

At almost the same moment that the German car entered the city from the
south a Belgian armored car, armed with a machine gun, with a crew of
three men, entered from the east on a scouting expedition.

The two cars, both speeding, encountered each other at the head of the
Rue Agneau, directly in front of the American consulate. Vice-consul Van
Hee, standing in the doorway, was an eyewitness to what followed.

The Germans, taken completely by surprise at the sight of the foe's grim
war car in its coat of elephant gray, bearing down upon them, attempted
to escape, firing with their carbines as they fled. Notwithstanding the
fact that the sidewalks were lined with onlookers, the Belgians opened
on the fleeing Germans with their machine guns, which spurted lead as a
garden hose spurts water.

The driver, fearing the Germans might escape, swerved his powerful car
against the German motor precisely as a polo player "rides off" his
opponent. The machine gun never ceased its angry snarl.

The Germans surrendered, both being wounded.

Appreciating that Ghent stood in imminent danger of meeting the terrible
fate of its sister cities, Aerschot and Louvain, sacked and burned for
far less cause, Mr. Van Hee hurriedly found the burgomaster and urged
him to go along instantly to German headquarters.

They found General von Boehn and his staff at a chateau a few miles
outside the city. The German commander at first was furious with anger
and threatened Ghent with the same punishment he had meted out to the
other places where Germans were fired on. Van Hee took a very firm
stand, however. He told the general the burning of Ghent would do
more than anything else to lose the Germans all American sympathy. He
reminded him that Americans have a great sentimental interest in Ghent
because the treaty of peace between England and the United States was
signed there just a century ago.

The general finally said: "If you will give me your word that there
will be no further attacks upon Germans in Ghent, and that the wounded
soldiers will be taken under American protection and returned to
Brussels by the consular authorities when they have recovered, I will
agree to spare Ghent and will not even demand a money indemnity."

The news that Mr. Van Hee had succeeded in his mission spread through
the city like fire in dry grass and when he returned he was acclaimed by
cheering crowds as the saviour of Ghent.


Blazoned on the front of the Town Hall suddenly appeared a great
black-lettered document. It was a manly and inspiring proclamation by
the burgomaster, similar to the splendid proclamation issued by M.
Adolphe Max, burgomaster of Brussels, just before the German entry.
He assured the inhabitants that he and all the town officials were
remaining in their places, and that so long as life and liberty remained
to him he would do all in his power to protect their honor and their
interests. He reminded them that under the laws of war they had the
right to refuse all information and help to the invaders; and called
upon each citizen, or his wife, to refuse such information and help.
Finally, he urged the citizens to remain calm, and stay in their homes.

"Vive la Belgique! Vive Ghent!" The proclamation ended in great capitals
with this patriotic cry.


But other cities and towns of Belgium were not as fortunate as Brussels
and Ghent in escaping damage and destruction.

Dinant, a town of 8,000 inhabitants, fifteen miles south of Namur, and
dating back to the sixth century, was partially destroyed by the Germans
in their advance on September 3 and 4. Early reports stated that a
number of the most prominent citizens had been executed, including Mr.
Humbert, owner of a large factory, who was slain in the presence of his
wife and children.

The Germans alleged that citizens had fired on them from the heights
about the city. They then drove all of the inhabitants out, shot some of
the men as examples, took the gold from the branch of the National Bank
and burned the business section. On September 4 the town of Termonde met
a similar fate. This town, 16 miles from Ghent, was fired in several
places before the Kaiser's troops passed on. They also blew up a bridge
over the River Escaut to the north, seeming to renounce for the moment
their intrusion into the country of the Waes district. Afterward they
directed an attack against the southwest front position of the Antwerp
army and were repulsed with great losses.

Describing the burning of Termonde by the Germans, a Ghent correspondent

"By midday Sunday the blaze had assumed gigantic proportions and by
Sunday evening not a house stood upright. This was verified at Zele,
where there were thousands of refugees from Termonde. The Germans also
pillaged Zele. The suburb of St. Giles also suffered from bombardment
and fire."

A courier who knew Termonde as a flourishing town with fine shops,
an ancient town hall of singular beauty and a number of churches of
historic interest, found the place on September 11 a smoldering ruin,
except for the town hall and one church, on a stone of which he saw the
inscription "1311." These two structures were left intact, without so
much as a broken window.

Termonde was burned for much the same reason as Louvain. On September
4 a German force came back from the field after having been severely
handled by the Belgians, and the German commander, it is said,

"It is our duty to burn them down!"

The inhabitants were given two hours' grace, and German soldiers filed
through the town, breaking windows with their rifles. They were followed
by other files of troops, who sprayed kerosene into the houses, others
applied lighted fuses and the town was systematically destroyed.


On Thursday night, August 27, the German artillery bombarded the ancient
Belgian town of Malines. During the bombardment many of the monuments
in the town were hit by shells and destroyed. When the artillery had
ceased firing the inhabitants of Malines were advised to leave the town.


_Earl Kitchener Appointed Secretary for War--A New Volunteer
Army--Expeditionary Force Landed in France--Marshal Sir John French
in Command--Colonies Rally to Britain's Aid--The Canadian
Contingent--Indian Troops Called For--Native Princes Offer Aid_.

After the declaration of war by Great Britain against Germany on August
4, the first important development in England was the appointment of
Earl Kitchener of Khartoum as secretary of state for war. This portfolio
had been previously held by the Rt. Hon. H.H. Asquith, premier and first
lord of the treasury. Lord Kitchener being the idol of the British army
and most highly esteemed by the nation generally for his powers of
organization and administration, as well as for his military fame,
the appointment increased the confidence of the British people in the
Liberal Government and awakened their enthusiasm for war. Parliament
unanimously passed a vote of credit for $500,000,000 on August 6.

Lord Kitchener immediately realized the serious nature of the task
confronting his country as an ally of France against the military power
of Germany. His first step was to increase the regular army. The first
call was for 100,000 additional men. This was soon increased to 500,000.
Within a month there were 439,000 voluntary enlistments and then a
further call was made for 500,000 more, bringing the strength of the
British army up to 1,854,000 men, a figure unprecedented for Great

The war fever grew apace in England. All classes of society furnished
their quota to the colors for service in Belgium and France. The period
of enlistment was "for the war" and a wave of patriotic fervor swept
over the British Isles and over all the colonies of Britain beyond the
seas. Political differences were forgotten and the empire presented
a united front, as never before. If Germany had counted on internal
dissension keeping England out of the fray, the expectation proved
unfounded. Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen stood shoulder to shoulder.
The Irish Home Rule controversy was dropped by common consent. The men
of Ulster and the Irish Nationalists struck hands and agreed to forget
their differences in the presence of national danger.

Trade resumed normal conditions and the Bank of England rate, which
earlier in the week had mounted to 10 per cent, was reduced on August
to 5 per cent.

There were some panicky conditions and a disquieting collapse on the
London Stock Exchange during the last days of feverish diplomacy, and it
was due to the financial solidity of the British nation, no less than to
its level-headedness and the promptness of government measures, that the
declaration of war, instead of precipitating worse conditions, cleared
the atmosphere.


While the British army was being mobilized, the utmost secrecy was
observed regarding all movements of troops. The newspapers refrained
from publishing even the little they knew and an expeditionary force,
composed of the flower of the British army and numbering approximately
94,000 men of all arms of the service, was assembled, transported across
the English Channel and landed at Boulogne and other French ports behind
a veil of deepest mystery, so far as the British public and the world at
large were concerned.

The old town of Plymouth, on the Channel, was the chief port of
embarkation for the troops and the main concentration point in England,
but troops embarked also at Dublin, Ireland; Liverpool; Eastbourne;
Southampton, and other cities. Not a mention of the midnight sailings of
transports carrying troops, horses, automobiles, artillery, hospital
and commissary equipment and supplies was allowed to be printed in the
newspapers, nor was it known how many troops were being sent across the

The landing in France was effected between the 10th and the 20th of
August without the loss of a single man, and on the 23d, having joined
forces with the French army under General Joffre, commander-in-chief,
the British found themselves in touch with the German enemy at Mons in


The expeditionary force was in supreme command of Field Marshal Sir John
D. P. French, a veteran officer of high military repute, with Maj.-Gen.
Sir A. Murray as chief of staff. Other noted officers were Lieut.-Gen.
Sir Douglas Haig, commander of the First Corps; Lieut.-Gen. Sir James
Grierson, commander of the Second Corps; Maj.-Gen. W. P. Pulteney,
commander of the Third Corps, and Maj.-Gen. Edmund Allenby, in command
of the Cavalry Division. The home army was left in command of Gen. Sir
Ian Hamilton.

Hardly had the expedition landed in France when the death was reported
of the commander of the Second Corps, Sir James Grierson, who succumbed
to heart disease while on his way to the front, dropping dead on a
train. He was given a notable military funeral in London. Gen. Sir H.
L. Smith-Dorrien was appointed to succeed him in command of the Second

The British troops were received in France with loud acclaim and Field
Marshal French, on visiting Paris for a conference at the French
war office before proceeding to the front, was greeted by a popular
demonstration that showed how welcome British aid was to the French in
their critical hour.

The British field force was composed of three army corps, each
comprising two divisions, and there was also an extra cavalry division.

Each army corps consists of twenty-four infantry battalions of about
one thousand men each on a war footing; six cavalry regiments, eight
batteries of horse artillery of six guns each, eighteen batteries of
field artillery, two howitzer batteries, and troops of engineers, signal
corps, army service corps and other details.

Thus the first British field force landed in France aggregated about
94,000 men, including the extra Cavalry division. These were added to
almost daily during the following weeks, until by September 20 the
British had probably 200,000 men co-operating with the French army north
and east of Paris.


At the prospect of war with Germany the dominions of the British Empire
overseas eagerly offered their aid. Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
India, all came forward with offers of men, money, ships and supplies.
The Australian premier issued a statement to the people in which he
said: "We owe it to those who have gone before to preserve the great
fabric of British freedom and hand it on to our children. Our duty is
quite clear. Remember we are Britons."


A formal offer of military contingents was cabled to England by the
Canadian government August 1. A meeting of the cabinet was presided over
by Premier Borden. It was called to deal with the situation in which
Canada found herself as the result of the European war.

The government unanimously decided to make England an offer of men.
Infantry, cavalry and artillery would be included in any force sent
forward and it would number 20,000 men if transportation could be
obtained for that number. It was estimated that within two weeks it
would be possible to dispatch 10,000 efficient soldiers, and within
three months this number could be increased to 50,000.

Many offers for foreign service arrived from the commandants of militia
corps throughout the dominion. In all 40,000 Canadian troops were
tendered to and accepted by the British Government in the early days of
the war; also 20,000 men from Australia and 8,000 from New Zealand, a
total of 68,000 men.

By the request of the Dominions in each case, the cost of the
equipment, maintenance and pay of the forces was defrayed by the three
governments--in itself a generous and patriotic additional offer. The
Dominions at the same time declared their readiness to send additional
contingents if required, as well as drafts from time to time to maintain
their field forces at full strength.


The first intimation that Canadian troops had been dispatched to the
front from Valcartier Camp came on September 24, when the Hon. T. W.
Crothers, the Dominion minister of labor, announced in a speech before
the Canadian Trades and Labor Congress, assembled in convention at St.
John, New Brunswick, that 32,000 Canadian volunteers "left for the front
a day or two ago." It was understood that the troops had sailed from
Quebec in twenty armed transports, convoyed by a fleet of British
warships, which had been collected at convenient ports for the purpose.

There were two army divisions in the force that sailed, each comprising
three brigades of infantry (12,000 men), 27 guns, 500 cavalry, and 2,
staff, signallers, medical corps and supermimaries.


Before they sailed away the Canadian army marched past the reviewing
stand at the Valcartier Camp, Quebec, under the eyes of 10,
civilians. There were 32,000 soldiers equipped for active service and
everyone was impressed with the serious scene.

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Princess Patricia, Col. Sam
Hughes, the Canadian minister of militia, and Col. V. H. C. Williams,
commandant of the camp, looked on with pride as the great parade, almost
a full army corps, passed the royal standard. They marched in column of
half battalions, and took a full hour to go by. Officers commanding the
four infantry brigades: Lieut.-Col. R.E.W. Turner, V.C., D.S.O., of
Quebec, a veteran of the South African war, mentioned in dispatches for
especially gallant service; Lieut.-Col. S.M. Mercer, Toronto, Commanding
Officer of the Queen's Own Rifles; Lieut.-Col. A.W. Currie of Victoria,
Commanding Officer of the 50th Fusiliers; Lieut.-Col. J.E. Cohoe of St.
Catharines, Commanding Officer of the 5th Militia Infantry Brigade.

The officer appointed to command the artillery brigade was Lieut.-Col.
H.E. Burstall of Quebec, of the Artillery Headquarters Staff.

Officer in command of the Strathcona Horse, Lieut.-Col. A.C. Macdonnell,
D.S.O., of Winnipeg, a South African veteran.

Officer in command of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lieut-Col. C.M.
Nelles of Toronto, Inspector of Cavalry for Militia Headquarters.

The commanding officer of the whole army division was an English general
selected by the British War Office.

It was understood that the Canadian troops would land in the south of
England and march through London to training quarters at Aldershot and
Salisbury Plains, the infantry going to Aldershot and the artillery
to Salisbury Plains, for several weeks' training under active service
conditions before going to the firing line.


"Canada will spend its last dollar and shed its last drop of blood
fighting for the principle of democracy, against that of autocracy, as
exemplified in the present European conflict."

This was the emphatic statement made by Sir Douglas Cameron,
lieutenant-governor--chief executive--of the province of Manitoba,
passing through Chicago on September 28.

"Great Britain is not fighting for empire," he said. "It is not fighting
for greater commercial gains. We are fighting for the annihilation of
autocracy and it is the sentiment of the people of Canada that they will
fight against Germany's domination to the bitter end.

"England does not want more commerce, except as it can be gained through
the paths of peace. We would not draw the sword to increase it, but we
will fight to the last drop of blood to protect it.

"The men of Canada have responded nobly to the call to arms. We have
sent about 31,800 provincial troops, every one a volunteer, and we have
that many more already enlisted if they are needed. Our trouble is to
equip them as fast as they enlist.

"In Canada we are turning our attention to agricultural pursuits. Wheat
is at a premium; a farmer can get from $1 to $1.10 per bushel in cash
for wheat on his wagon. All Europe will be in dire need of foodstuffs
next year and for some years to come and we in Canada hope to profit by
the opportunity.

"Economic conditions in the dominion received a terrible blow when the
war came; we were shocked, staggered, and business has received a hard
setback; finances are depressed. The government has offered help to the
banks, but they do not need it yet.

"We want immigrants in our country--Germans or any other good, strong,
virile nationality. We have no quarrel with the German people. We like
them; they are used to a high standard of living and are the finest kind
of citizens.

"To my mind, this war cannot be of long duration. Germany, with all
its preparedness, could not lay by stores enough to support 65,000,
people for any great length of time when there is no raw material coming
in. The country will be starved out, if not beaten in the field, for I
do not believe Germany can gain control of the high seas and cover the
world with its merchantmen."


The announcement by Lord Kitchener in the House of Commons late in
August that native troops from India were to be summoned to the aid of
the British army in France "came like a crash of thunder and revealed a
grim determination to fight the struggle out to a successful finish."

There was some talk in England of increasing the army by temporary
conscription, but Premier Asquith declined to consider any such

In the House of Commons on September 9 a message was read from the
Viceroy of India, which said that the rulers of the Indian native
states, nearly 700 in number, had with one accord rallied to the defense
of the empire with personal offers of services as well as the resources
of their states.

Many of the native rulers of India also sent cables to King George
offering him their entire military and financial resources, while the
people of India by thousands offered to volunteer.

Conditions in India were indeed so satisfactory, from the British
standpoint, that Premier Asquith was able to announce that two divisions
(40,000) of British (white) soldiers were to be removed from India.

The aid that India could offer was not lightly to be considered. The
soldiery retained by the British and the rajahs, constituting India's
standing army, amount to about 400,000, not taking into consideration
the reserves and the volunteers. The rajahs maintain about 23,
soldiers, who are named Imperial Service Troops, expressly for purposes
of Imperial defense, and these have served in many wars. They served
with British, German, French, and United States troops in China from
September, 1900, to August, 1901, and gained the highest laurels for
efficiency and good conduct.

The first Indian troops called for by Lord Kitchener included two
divisions of infantry and a brigade of cavalry, adding about 70,
combatants to the allied armies in France, with approximately 130 pieces
of artillery, both light and heavy, and howitzers.

Twelve Indian potentates were selected to accompany this expeditionary
force. These included the veteran Sir Pertab Singh, regent of Jodhpur;
Sir Ganga Bahadur, Maharajah of Bikanir, and Sir Bhupindra Singh,
Maharajah of Patiala.

The expeditionary force contained units of the regular army and
contingents of the Imperial Service Troops in India, From twelve states
the viceroy accepted contingents of cavalry, infantry, sappers and
transport, besides a camel corps from Bikanir.

The Maharajah of Mysore placed $1,600,000 at the disposal of the
Government in connection with the expenditure for the expeditionary
force. In addition to this gift, the Maharajahs of Gwalior and Bhopal
contributed large sums of money and provided thousands of horses as
remounts. Maharajah Repa offered his troops and treasure, even his
privately-owned jewelry, for the service of the British King and Emperor
of India. Maharajah Holkar of Indore made a gift of all the horses in
the army of his state.

A similar desire to help the British Government was shown by committees
representing religious, political, and social associations of all
classes and creeds in India.

In the House of Lords on August 28 Earl Kitchener announced that the
first division of the troops from India was already on the way to the
front in France. At the same time the Marquis of Crewe, secretary of
state for India, said: "It has been deeply impressed upon us by what we
have heard from India that the wonderful wave of enthusiasm and loyalty
now passing over that country is to a great extent based upon the desire
of the Indian people that Indian soldiers should stand side by side with
their comrades of the British army in repelling the invasion of our
friends' territory and the attack made upon Belgium. We shall find our
army there reinforced by native Indian soldiers--high-souled men of
first-rate training and representing an ancient civilization; and we
feel certain that if they are called upon they will give the best
possible account of themselves side by side with our British troops in
encountering the enemy."


On September 9 a message from King George to the British colonies,
thanking them for their aid in Britain's emergency, was published as

"During the last few weeks the peoples of my whole empire at home and
overseas have moved with one mind and purpose to confront and overthrow
an unparalleled assault upon the continuity of civilization and the
peace of mankind.

"The calamitous conflict is not of my seeking. My voice has been cast
throughout on the side of peace. My ministers earnestly strove to allay
the causes of the strife and to appease differences with which my empire
was not concerned. Had I stood aside when in defiance of pledges to
which my kingdom was a party, the soil of Belgium was violated and
her cities made desolate, when the very life of the French nation was
threatened with extinction, I should have sacrificed my honor and given
to destruction the liberties of my empire and of mankind.

"I rejoice that every part of the empire is with me in this decision.

"Paramount regard for a treaty of faith and the pledged word of rulers
and peoples is the common heritage of Great Britain and of the empire.
My peoples in the self-governing dominions have shown beyond all doubt
that they whole-heartedly indorse the grave decision it was necessary
to take, and I am proud to be able to show to the world that my peoples
oversea are as determined as the people of the United Kingdom to
prosecute a just cause to a successful end.

"The Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia and the Dominion
of New Zealand have placed at my disposal their naval forces, which
have already rendered good service for the empire. Strong expeditionary
forces are being prepared in Canada, Australia and New Zealand for
service at the front, and the Union of South Africa has released all
British troops and undertaken other important military responsibilities.

"Newfoundland has doubled the number of its branch of the royal naval
reserve, and is sending a body of men to take part in the operations at
the front. From the Dominion and Provincial governments of Canada, large
and welcome gifts of supplies are on their way for use both by my naval
and military forces.

"All parts of my oversea dominions have thus demonstrated in the most
unmistakable manner the fundamental unity of the empire amidst all its
diversity of situation and circumstance."

A message similar to the foregoing was addressed by King George to the
princes and the people of India.

The King's eldest son, the young Prince of Wales, volunteered for active
service at the outset of the war and was gazetted as a second lieutenant
in the First Battalion, Grenadier Guards. He also inaugurated and acted
as treasurer of a national fund for the relief of sufferers by the war.
This fund soon grew to $10,000,000 and steadily climbed beyond that



_Belgian Resistance to the German Advance_--_The Fighting at Vise,
Haelen, Diest, Aerschot and Tirlemont_--_Mons and Charleroi the First
Great Battles of the War_--Make a Gallant Stand, but Forced to Retire
Across the French Border_.

From the first day of the German entry into Belgium brief and hazy
reports of battles between the patriotic Belgians and the invaders came
across the Atlantic. Many absurd and mischievous reports of repeated
Belgian "victories" were received throughout the month of August. These
were for the most part rendered ridiculous by the steady advance of
the German troops. The resistance of the Belgians was gallant and
persistent, but availed only to hinder and delay the German advance
which it was powerless to stop. Up to August 23, there were no
"victories" possible for either side, because never until then were the
opposing armies definitely pitted against each other in an engagement in
which one or the other must be broken.

All the time these Belgian "victories," which were no more than
resistances to German reconnoissances, were being reported, the German
line was not touched, and behind that line the Germans were methodically

When they were ready they came on. The Belgian army retired from the
Diest-Tirlemont line, from Aerschot and Louvain, from Brussels, because
to have held these positions against the overwhelming force opposed to
them would have meant certain destruction. The rearguards held each of
these points with the greatest heroism so long as that was necessary,
and then retired in good order on the main force.


The first fighting of any severity in Belgium occurred at Visé, near
the frontier, early in the German advance. German troops crossed the
frontier in motors, followed by large bodies of cavalry, but the
Belgians put up a stubborn resistance. The chiefs of the Belgian staff
had foreseen the invasion and had blown up the bridges of the River
Meuse outside the town, as well as the railway tunnels. Time after time
the Belgians foiled with their heavy fire the attempts of the Germans to
cross by means of pontoons. Visé itself was stubbornly defended. Only
after a protracted struggle did the Germans master the town, which they
fired in several places on entering.


At the end of the first week of the Belgian invasion it was estimated
that the Germans had concentrated most of their field troops, probably
about 900,000 combatants, along a 75-mile line running from Liege to the
entrance into Luxemburg at Treves. With this immense army it was said
there were no less than 5,894 pieces of artillery. This was only the
first-line strength of the Germans, the reserves being massed in the
rear. Part of the right wing was swung northward and westward in the
direction of Antwerp, and swept the whole of northern Belgium to the
Dutch frontier.

On August 10 the Belgian defenders fought a heavy engagement with the
Germans at Haelen, which was described in the dispatches as the first
battle of the war. A Belgian victory was claimed as the result, the
German losses, it was said, being very heavy, especially in cavalry,
while the Belgian casualties were reported relatively small. But the
German advance was merely checked. The covering troops were speedily
reinforced from the main body of the army and the advance swept on.

The result of the Haelen engagement was thus described in the dispatches
of August 13:

"The battle centered around Haelen, in the Belgian province of Limbourg,
extending to Diest, in the north of the province of Brabant, after
passing round Zeelhem.

"At 7 o'clock last evening all the country between the three towns
mentioned had been cleared of German troops, except the dead and
wounded, who were thickly strewn about the fire zone. Upward of 200 dead
German soldiers were counted in a space of fifty yards square.

"A church, a brewery and some houses in Haelen. were set afire, and two
bridges over the Denier were destroyed by Belgian engineers.

"Great quantities of booty were collected on the battlefield, and this
has been stacked in front of the town hall of Diest. Many horses also
were captured.

"The strength of the German column was about 5,000 men."

Another report said of the encounter:

"A division of Belgian cavalry, supported by a brigade of infantry and
by artillery, engaged and defeated, near the fortress of Diest, eighteen
miles northeast of Louvain, a division of German cavalry, also supported
by infantry and by artillery.

"The fighting was extremely fierce and resulted in the Germans being
thrown back toward Hasselt and St. Trond."

Meanwhile the forts at Liege, to the southeast, still held out, though
fiercely bombarded by German siege guns. The fortress of Namur was also
being attacked. The Germans had bridged the river Meuse and were moving
their crack artillery against the Belgian lines. French troops had
joined the Belgian defenders and the main battle line extended from
Liege on the north to Metz on the south.

A visit to Haelen and other towns by a Brussels correspondent August
17, "showed the frightful devastation which the Germans perpetrated in
Belgian territory.

"For instance, at Haelen itself houses belonging to the townspeople have
been completely wrecked. Windows were broken, furniture destroyed, and
the walls demolished by shell fire. Even the churches have not been
respected. The parish church at Haelen has been damaged considerably
from shrapnel fire, "On the battlefield there are many graves of Germans
marked by German lances erected in the form of a cross."


A correspondent of the New York Tribune said:

"Across the battlefield of Diest there is a brown stretch of harrowed
ground half a furlong in length. It is the grave of twelve hundred
Germans who fell in the fight of August 11. All over the field there are
other graves, some of Germans, some of Belgians, some of horses. When I
reached the place peasants with long mattocks and spades were turning in
the soil. For two full days they had been at the work of burial and they
were sick at heart. Their corn is ripe for cutting in the battlefield,
but little of it will be harvested. Dark paths in their turnip fields
are sodden with the blood of men and horses."

The Belgians, in contempt of German markmanship, had forced the enemy
to the attack, which had been made from three points of the field
simultaneously. The fighting had been fierce, but now that both sides
had swept on, no one seemed to know how those in the fight had really
fared. Only by the heaps of dead could one make estimate:

"At least, there were most dead on the side toward the bridge. A charge
of 300 Uhlans, who were held in check for a short time by seventeen
Belgians at a corner, seems, however, to have come near success. The
derelict helmets and lances that covered the fields show that the charge
pressed well up to the guns and to the trenches in the turnip fields
where the Belgian soldiers lay. On the German left mitrailleuses got in
their work behind, and in the houses on the outskirts of the villages.
Five of these houses were burned to the ground, and two others farther
out broken all to pieces and burned. In a shed was a peasant weeping
over the dead bodies of his cows.

"It would be easy now at the beginning of this war to write of its
tragedy. The villages have each a tale of loss to tell. All of the
twelve hundred men in the long grave were men with wives, sweethearts,
and parents. All the Belgian soldiers and others who were buried where
they fell have mourners. A LETTER FROM THE GRAVE

"A letter which I picked up on the field and am endeavoring to have
identified and sent her for whom it is intended will speak for all. It
is written in ink on half a sheet of thin notepaper. There is no date
and no place. It probably was written on the eve of battle in the hope
that it would reach its destination if the writer died. This is the

"'Sweetheart: Fate in this present war has treated us more cruelly than
many others. If I have not lived to create for you the happiness of
which both our hearts dreamed, remember my sole wish now is that you
should be happy. Forget me and create for yourself some happy home that
may restore to you some of the greater pleasures of life. For myself, I
shall have died happy in the thought of your love. My last thought has
been for you and for those I leave at home. Accept this, the last kiss
from him who loved you.'

"Postcards from fathers with blessings to their gallant sons I found,
too, on the field, little mementos of people and of places carried by
men as mascots. Everywhere were broken lances of German and Belgian,
side by side; scabbards and helmets, saddles and guns. These the
peasants were collecting in a pile, to be removed by the military.
High up over the graves of twelve hundred, as we stood there, a German
biplane came and went, hovering like a carrion crow, seeking other
victims for death.

"In the village itself death is still busy. A wounded German died as we
stood by his side and a Belgian soldier placed his handkerchief over his
face. Soldiers who filled the little market-place may be fighting for
life now as I write. The enemy is in force not a mile away from them,
and in a moment they may be attacked. It is significant that all German
prisoners believed they were in France. The deception, it appears, was
necessary to encourage them in their attack, and twelve hundred dead
in the harrowed field died without knowing whom or what they were


A number of German prisoners were taken by the Belgians during the
fighting at Haelen-Diest. From these it was learned that the German
soldiers really believed they were fighting in France. At Diest it is
said that 400 surrendered the moment they lost their officers and were
surprised to learn that they were in Belgium.

King Albert of Belgium was constantly in the field during the early
engagements of the war, moving from point to point inside the Belgian
lines by means of a high-powered automobile, in which he was slightly
wounded by the explosion of a shell. He was thus enabled to keep in
touch with the field forces, as well as with his general staff, and
speedily endeared himself to the Belgian soldiery by his personal
disregard of danger.

The Belgians by their gallant fight against the trained legions of
Germany quickly won the admiration even of their foes. The army
of Belgium was brought up to its full strength of 300,000 men and
everywhere the soldiers of the little country battled to halt the
invaders. Often their efforts proved effective. The losses on both sides
were truly appalling, the Germans suffering most on account of their
open methods of attack in close order. But their forces were like the
sands of the sea and every gap in the ranks of the onrushing host was
promptly filled by more Germans.


The fighting at Tirlemont and Louvain was described by a citizen of
Ostend, who says he witnessed it from a church tower at Tirlemont first
and later proceeded to Louvain. He says:

"Until luncheon time Tuesday, August 18, Tirlemont was quiet and normal.
Suddenly, about 1 o'clock, came the sound of the first German gun. The
artillery had opened fire.

"From the church tower it was possible to see distinctly the position of
the German guns and the bursting of their shells. The Belgians replied
from their positions east of Louvain. It was a striking sight, to the
accompaniment of the ceaseless thud-thud of bursting shells with their
puffs of cottonlike smoke, tearing up the peaceful wheat fields not far


"Gradually working nearer, the shells began to strike the houses in
Tirlemont. This was a signal for the populace, which had been confident
that the Belgian army would protect them, to flee. All they knew was
that the Germans were coming. From the tower the scene was like the
rushing of rats from a disturbed nest. The people fled in every
direction except one.

"I moved down to Louvain, where everything seemed quiet and peaceful.
The people sat in the cafes drinking their evening beer and smoking.
Meanwhile the Belgian troops were retiring in good order toward Louvain.


"By midnight the town was in the throes of a panic. Long before midnight
throngs of refugees had begun to arrive, followed later by soldiers. By
11 o'clock the Belgian rear guard was engaging the enemy at the railroad
bridge at the entrance to the town.

"The firing was heavy. The wounded began to come in. Riderless horses
came along, both German and Belgian. These were caught and mounted by
civilians glad to have so rapid a mode of escape.


"I remember watching a black clad Belgian woman running straight down
the middle of a road away from the Germans. Behind her came the retiring
Belgian troops, disheartened but valiant. This woman, clad in mourning,
was the symbol of the Belgian populace.

"At some of the barricades along the route the refugees and soldiers
arrived simultaneously, making the defense difficult. All about
Tirlemont and Louvain the refugees interfered with the work of the
troops. The road to Brussels always was crowded with refugees and many
sorrowful sights were witnessed among them as they fled from the homes
that had been peaceful and prosperous a few days before. BRUSSELS FILLED

"Brussels is filled with refugees from surrounding towns, despite the
large numbers who left the city for Ghent and Ostend during the last few
days," said a correspondent, writing from Ghent on August 20.

"The plight of most of the refugees is pitiable. Many are camped in
the public square whose homes in the suburbs have been fired by the
Prussians. The roads leading into Brussels have been crowded all day
with all kinds of conveyances, many drawn by dogs and others by girls,
women and aged peasants.

"Most of these people have lost everything. Few of them have any money.
The peasant is considered lucky who succeeded in saving a single horse
or a cow.

"Military men characterize the German force which is moving across
Belgium as overwhelming, saying it consists of at least two or three
army corps. The advance of this huge force is covered over the entire
thirty-mile front by a screen of cavalry. The Germans had no difficulty
in taking Louvain, which was virtually undefended.

"In the high wooded country between Louvain and Brussels the Germans
found an excellent defensive position. Having occupied Louvain, the
Kaiser's troops pushed forward with great celerity, the cavalry opening
out in fan-shaped formation, spreading across country.

"At one point they ran into a strong force of Belgian artillery, which
punished them severely. Later in the day a Belgian scouting force
reached Louvain and found it unoccupied, but received imperative
orders to fall back, because of the danger of being outflanked and


By August 20 the Germans were in touch with the French army that had
advanced into Belgium and occupied the line Dinant-Charleroi-Mons, the
right of the French resting on Dinant and the left on Mons, where they
were reinforced by the British expeditionary force under Field Marshal
French. There was a heavy engagement at Charleroi, and a four days'
battle was begun at Mons August 23. Slowly but surely the Franco-British
army was forced back across the French border, to take up a new position
on the line, Noyon-Chant-La Fere, which constituted the second line of
the French defense.

The German right, opposing the British, was under command of General von
Kluck; General von Buelow and General von Hausen commanded the German
center opposing the Franco-Belgian forces between the Sambre and Namur
and the Meuse. The Grand Duke Albrecht of Wuerttemberg operated between
Charleroi and the French border fortress of Maubeuge. The German Crown
Prince led an army farther east, advancing toward the Meuse. The Crown
Prince of Bavaria commanded the German forces farther south toward
Nancy, and General von Heeringen was engaged in repulsing French attacks
on Alsace-Lorraine, in the region of the Vosges mountains, where the
French had met with early successes.

Meanwhile on August 18 the town of Aerschot had been the scene of a
bloody engagement and was occupied and partly destroyed by the Germans.
The occupation of Brussels followed on August 20-21 and the German line
of communications was kept open by a line of occupied towns.

After overwhelming the Belgians the Kaiser's great advance army swept
quickly into deadly conflict with the allies. The first mighty shock
came at Charleroi, where the French were forced back, and on August
came the first battle with the British at Mons.


All England was thrilled on the morning of September 10 when the British
government permitted the newspapers to publish the first report from
Field Marshal Sir John D.P. French, commander-in-chief of the British
army allied with the French and Belgians on the continent, telling of
the heroic fight made by the British troops, August 23-26, to keep from
being annihilated by the Germans. The withdrawal of the British army
before the German advance was compared to the pursuit of a wildcat by
hounds, the English force backing stubbornly toward the River Oise,
constantly showing its teeth, but realizing that it must reach the river
or perish. The report of Field Marshal French created much surprise in
England, as it was not known until his statement was made public just
how hard pressed the British army had been.

The communication was addressed to Earl Kitchener, the secretary for
war, and its publication indicated that the government was responding to
the public demand for fuller information on the progress of operations,
so far as the British forces in France were concerned.

The report, as published in the London Gazette, the official organ, was
as follows:


"The transportation of the troops from England by rail and sea was
effected in the best order and without a check. Concentration was
practically completed on the evening of Friday, August 21, and I was
able to make dispositions to move the force during Saturday to positions
I considered most favorable from which to commence the operations which
General Joffre requested me to undertake. The line extended along the
line of the canal from Condé on the west, through Mons and Binche on the

"During August 22 and 23 the advance squadrons did some excellent work,
some of them penetrating as far as Soignies (a town of Belgium ten miles
northeast of Mons) and several encounters took place in which our troops
showed to great advantage.

"On Sunday, the 23d, reports began to come in to the effect that the
enemy was commencing an attack on the Mons line, apparently in some
strength, but that the right of the position from Mons was being
particularly threatened.

"The commander of the First Corps had pushed his flank back to some high
ground south of Bray and the Fifth Cavalry evacuated Binche, moving
slightly south. The enemy thereupon occupied Binche. "The right of
the third division under General Hamilton was at Mons, which formed a
somewhat dangerous salient and I directed the commander of the Second
Corps if threatened seriously to draw back the center behind Mons.

"In the meantime, about five in the afternoon, I received a most
unexpected message from General Joffre by telegraph, telling me that at
least three German corps were moving on my position in front and that
a second corps was engaged in a turning movement from the direction of
Tournai. He also informed me that the two reserve French divisions and
the Fifth French Army Corps on my right were retiring.


"In view of the possibility of my being driven from the Mons position, I
had previously ordered a position in the rear to be reconnoitered.

"This position rested on the fortress of Maubeuge on the right and
extended west to Jenlain, southeast of Valenciennes on the left. The
position was reported difficult to hold because standing crops and
buildings limited the fire in many important localities.

"When the news of the retirement of the French and the heavy German
threatening on my front reached me, I endeavored to confirm it by
aeroplane reconnaissance, and as a result of this I determined to effect
a retirement to the Maubeuge position at daybreak on the 24th.

"A certain amount of fighting continued along the whole line throughout
the night and at daybreak on the 24th the second division from the
neighborhood of Harmignies made a powerful demonstration as if to retake
Binche. This was supported by the artillery of both the first and the
second divisions while the first division took up a supporting position
in the neighborhood of Peissant. Under cover of this demonstration The
Second Corps retired on the line of Dour, Quarouble and Frameries. The
third division on the right of the corps suffered considerable loss in
this operation from the enemy, who had retaken Mons.

"The Second Corps halted on this line, where they intrenched themselves,
enabling Sir Douglas Haig, with the First Corps, to withdraw to the new


"Toward midnight the enemy appeared to be directing his principal effort
against our left. I had previously ordered General Allenby with the
cavalry to act vigorously in advance of my left front and endeavor to
take the pressure off.

"About 7:30 in the morning General Allenby received a message from Sir
Charles Fergusson, commanding the fifth division, saying he was very
hard pressed and in urgent need of support. On receipt of this message
General Allenby drew in his cavalry and endeavored to bring direct
support to the fifth division.

"During the course of this operation General DeLisle of the Second
Cavalry Brigade thought he saw a good opportunity to paralyze the
further advance of the enemy's infantry by making a mounted attack on
his flank. He formed up and advanced for this purpose, but was held up
by wire about 500 yards from his objective.


"The Nineteenth Infantry Brigade was brought by rail to Valenciennes on
the 22d and 23d. On the morning of the 24th, they were moved out to a
position south of Quarouble to support the left flank of the Second
Corps. With the assistance of cavalry Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien was
enabled to effect his retreat to a new position.

"At nightfall a position was occupied by the Second Corps to the west
of Bavay, the First Corps to the right. The right was protected by the
fortress of Maubeuge, the left by the Nineteenth Brigade in position
between Jenlain and Bavay and cavalry on the outer flank. The French
were still retiring and I had no support except such as was afforded by
the fortress of Maubeuge.


"I felt that not a moment must be lost in retiring to another position.
I had every reason to believe that the enemy's forces were somewhat
exhausted and I knew that they had suffered heavy losses. The operation,
however, was full of danger and difficulty, not only owing to the very
superior forces in my front, but also to the exhaustion of the troops.
"The retirement was recommenced in the early morning of the 25th to
a position in the neighborhood of Le Catean and the rear guard were
ordered to be clear of Maubeuge and Bavay by 5:30 a. m.

"The fourth division commenced its detrainment at Le Cateau on Sunday,
August 23, and by the morning of the 25th eleven battalions and a
brigade of artillery with the divisional staff were available for
service. I ordered General Snow to move out to take up a position with
his right south of Solesmes, his left resting on the Cambrai-Le Cateau
road south of La Chapriz. In this position the division rendered great

"Although the troops had been ordered to occupy Cam-brai-Le
Cateau-Landrecies position and ground had, during the 25th, been
partially prepared and entrenched, I had grave doubts as to the wisdom
of standing there to fight.

"Having regard to the continued retirement of the French right, my
exposed left flank, the tendency of the enemy's western corps to envelop
me, and, more than all, the exhausted condition of the troops, I
determined to make a great effort to continue the retreat till I could
put some substantial obstacle, such as the Somme or the Oise between my
troops and the enemy.


"Orders were therefore sent to the corps commanders to continue their
retreat as soon as they possibly could toward the general line of
Vermand, St. Quentin and Ribemont, and the cavalry under General Allenby
were ordered to cover the retirement. Throughout the 25th and far into
the evening the First Corps continued to march on Landrecies, following
the road along the eastern border of the forest of Mormal, and arrived
at Landrecies about 10 o'clock. I had intended that the corps should
come further west so as to fill up the gap between Le Cateau and
Landrecies, but the men were exhausted and could not get further in
without a rest.

"The enemy, however, would not allow them this rest and about 9:
that evening the report was received that the Fourth Guards brigade
in Landrecies was heavily attacked by troops of the Ninth German army
corps, who were coming through the forest to the north of the town.


"At the same time information reached me from Sir Douglas Haig that his
first division was also heavily engaged south and east of Marilles. I
sent urgent messages to the commander of two French reserve divisions
on my right to come up to the assistance of the First Corps, which they
eventually did.

"By about 6 in the afternoon the Second Corps had got Into position,
with their right on Le Cateau, their left in the neighborhood of Caudry,
and the line of defense was continued thence by the fourth division
toward Seranvillers.

"During the fighting on the 24th and 25th the cavalry became a good
deal scattered, but by early morning of the 26th General Allenby had
succeeded in concentrating two brigades to the south of Cambrai.

"On the 24th the French cavalry corps, consisting of three divisions
under General Sordet, had been in billets, north of Avesnes. On my
way back from Vavay, which was my _paste de commandemente_ during the
fighting of the 23d and the 24th, I visited General Sordet and earnestly
requested his cooperation and support. He promised to obtain sanction
from his army commander to act on my left flank, but said that his
horses were too tired to move before the next day.

"Although he rendered me valuable assistance later on in the course of
the retirement, he was unable for the reasons given to afford me any
support on the most critical day of all--namely, the 26th.


"At daybreak it became apparent that the enemy was throwing the bulk of
his strength against the left of the position occupied by the Second
Corps and the fourth division. At this time the guns of four German
army corps were in position against them, and Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien
reported to me that he judged it impossible to continue his retirement
at daybreak.

"I sent him orders to use his utmost endeavors to break off the action
and retire at the earliest possible moment, as it was impossible for me
to send him support.

"The French cavalry corps under General Sordet was coming up on our left
rear early in the morning, and I sent him an urgent message to do his
utmost to come up and support the retirement of my left flank, but owing
to the fatigue of his horses he found himself unable to intervene in any

"There had been no time to intrench the position properly, but the
troops showed a magnificent front to the terrible fire which confronted


"At length it became apparent that if complete annihilation was to
be avoided retirement must be attempted, and the order was given to
commence it about 3:30 in the afternoon. The movement was covered with
most devoted intrepidity and determination by the artillery, which had
itself suffered heavily, and the fine work done by the cavalry in
the further retreat from the position assisted materially the final
completion of this most difficult and dangerous operation.

"I cannot close the brief account of this glorious stand of the British
troops without putting on record my deep appreciation of the valuable
services rendered by Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien. I say without hesitation
that the saving of the left wing of the army under my command on
the morning of the 26th could never have been accomplished unless a
commander of rare and unusual coolness, intrepidity and determination
bad been present to personally conduct the operations.

"The retreat was continued far into the night of the 26th and through
the 27th and the 28th, on which date the troops halted on the line from
Noyon, Chauny and LeFere.


"On the 27th and 28th I was much indebted to General Sordet and the
French cavalry division which he commands for materially assisting my
retirement and successfully driving back some of the enemy on Cambrai.
General d'Amade also, with the Sixty-first and Sixty-second Reserve
divisions, moved down from the neighborhood of Arras on the enemy's
right flank and took much pressure off the rear of the British forces.

"This closed the period covering the heavy fighting which commenced at
Mons on Sunday afternoon, August 23, and which really constituted a four
days' battle.

"I deeply deplore the very serious losses which the British forces
suffered in this great battle, but they were inevitable, in view of
the fact that the British army--only a few days after concentration by
rail--was called upon to withstand the vigorous attack of five German
army corps.

"It is impossible for me to speak too highly of the skill evinced by the
two general officers commanding army corps, the self-sacrificing and
devoted exertions of their staffs, the direction of troops by the
divisional, brigade and regimental leaders, the command of small units
by their officers and the magnificent fighting spirit displayed by the
noncommissioned officers and men.

[Signed] "J. D. P. FRENCH, "Field Marshal."


A British soldier, who was wounded in the fight during the retreat from
Mons, told the following story of the battle there:

"It was Sunday, August 23, and the British regiments at Mons were
merry-making and enjoying themselves in leisure along the streets.
Belgian ladies, returning from church, handed the soldiers their prayer
books as souvenirs, while the Belgian men gave the men cigarettes and

"About noon, when the men were beginning to think about dinner, a German
aeroplane appeared overhead and began throwing out a cloud of black
powder, which is one of their favorite methods of assisting batteries to
get the range.

"No sooner had the powder cloud appeared than shrapnel began to burst
overhead and in a moment all was confusion and uproar. But it didn't
take the regiments long to get into fighting trim and race through the
city to the scene of operations, which was on the other side of the
small canal, in the suburbs. "Here our outposts were engaging the enemy
fiercely. The outposts lost very heavily, most of the damage being done
by shells. The rifle fire was ineffective, although at times the lines
of contenders were not more than 300 yards apart.

"The first reinforcements to arrive were posted in a glass factory, the
walls of which were loop-holed, and we doggedly held that position until
nightfall, when we fixed bayonets and lay in wait in case the enemy made
an attempt to rush the position in the darkness.


"About midnight orders came to retire over the canal and two companies
were left behind to keep the enemy in check temporarily. After the
main body had crossed the bridge was blown up, leaving the two outpost
companies to get across as best they could by boats or swimming. Most of
them managed to reach the main body again.

"The main body retired from the town and fell back through open country,
being kept moving all night. When daylight arrived it was apparent from
higher ground that Mons had been practically blown away by the German

"Throughout the morning we continued to fight a rearguard action, but
the steady march in retreat did not stop until 6 o'clock in the evening,
when the British found themselves well out of range of the German
artillery in a quiet valley.

"Here all the troops were ordered to rest and eat. As they had been
without food since the previous morning's breakfast it was rather
amusing to see the soldiers going into the turnip fields and eating
turnips as though they were apples.

"At 8 o'clock all lights were extinguished, the soldiers were ordered
to make no noise and the pickets pushed a long distance backward. Long
before dawn the troops were hastily started again and continued the

"By noon the enemy was again heard from and a large detachment was
assigned the task of fighting to protect our rear.


"During the afternoon both the German and British armies watched a duel
in the air between French and German aeroplanes. The Frenchman was
wonderfully clever, and succeeded in maneuvering himself to the upper
position, which he gained after fifteen minutes of reckless effort. Then
the Frenchman began blazing away at the German with a revolver.

"Finally he hit him, and the wounded German attempted to glide down into
his own lines. The glide, however, ended in the British lines near my
detachment, the West Kent Infantry. We found the aviator dead when we
reached the machine. We buried him and burned the aeroplane.

"At dusk a halt was made for food, and as the Germans had fallen behind
the English spent a quiet night. At dawn, however, we found the Germans
close to our heels, and several regiments were ordered to prepare
intrenchments. This is tedious and tiresome work, especially in the heat
and without proper food, but we quickly put up fortifications which were
sufficient to protect us somewhat from the artillery fire.

"It was not long before the German gunners found the range and began
tearing up those rough fortifications, concentrating their fire on the
British batteries, one of which was completely demolished. Another found
itself with only six men. Both these disasters bore testimony to the
excellent markmanship of the German gunners.


"As it became evident that we must leave these guns behind and continue
the retreat, an officer was seen going around putting the guns out of
action, so that they would be of no use to the Germans. His action
required cool bravery, because the Germans, having found the range,
continued firing directly at these batteries.

"Things rapidly got hotter, and the commanding officer ordered a
double-quick retreat. We were not long in doing the retiring movement to
save our own skins.

"I was wounded at this time by a Maxim bullet. For a moment I thought
my head had been blown off, but I recovered and kept on running until
I reached a trench, where I had an opportunity to bandage the wound. I
rushed off to the ambulances, but found the doctors so busy with men
worse off than I that I went back to my place in the line."


The loss of life in the Franco-German battle near Charleroi was
admittedly the greatest of any engagement up to that time. It was at
Charleroi that the Germans struck their most terrific blow at the
allies' lines in their determination to gain the French frontier. Though
the tide of battle ebbed and flowed for awhile the French were finally
forced to give way and to retreat behind their own frontier, while the
British were being forced back from their position at Mons. The fighting
along the line was of the fiercest kind. It was a titanic clash of
armies in which the allies were compelled to yield ground before the
superior numbers of the German host.

One of the wounded, who was taken to hospital at Dieppe, said of the
fighting at Charleroi:

"Our army was engaging what we believed to be a section of the German
forces commanded by the crown prince when I was wounded. The Germans at
one stage of the battle seemed lost. They had been defending themselves
almost entirely with howitzers from strongly intrenched positions. The
Germans were seemingly surrounded and cut off and were summoned to
surrender. The reply came back that so long as they had ammunition they
would continue to fight.

"The howitzer shells of the Germans seemed enormous things and only
exploded when they struck the earth. When one would descend it would dig
a hole a yard deep and split into hundreds of pieces. Peculiarly enough
the howitzer shells did much more wounding than killing. The other
shells of the Germans, like cartridges, the supply of which they seemed
to be short of, did only little damage.


"The German aeroplane service was perfect. An aircraft was always
hovering over us out of range. We were certain within an hour after we
sighted an aeroplane to get the howitzers among us. Whenever we fired,
however, we did terrific execution with our seventy-five pieces of
artillery. I counted in one trench 185 dead. Many of them were killed as
they were in the act of firing or loading.

"The ground occupied by the Germans was so thick with dead that I
believe I saw one soldier to every two yards. You might have walked for
a mile on bodies without ever putting foot to the ground. They buried
their dead when they had time, piling fifteen or twenty in a shallow


On August 9 the advance guard brigade of the French right wing, under
General Pau, a veteran of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, invaded
Alsace, fought a victorious action with an intrenched German force of
equal numbers and occupied Muelhausen and Kolmar. The news of the French
entry into the province lost in 1871 was received all over France with
wild enthusiasm. The mourning emblems on the Strasburg monument in Paris
were removed by the excited populace and replaced by the tricolor flag
and flowers in token of their joy. Muelhausen was soon after retaken by
the German forces, only to be recaptured later by the French and then
evacuated once more.

On the day of the first French occupation of Muelhausen France declared
war against Austria in consequence of the arrival of two Austrian army
corps on the Rhine to assist the main German army.

After the French occupation of Muelhausen a large German army was sent
to the front in Alsace-Lorraine and succeeded in dislodging the French
from that city, but not without severe fighting.

Two weeks after the war began the French defeated a Bavarian corps in
Alsace and for awhile General Pau more than held his own in that former
province of France. On August 21 the Germans drove back the French who
had invaded Lorraine, and occupied Lunéville, ten miles inside the
French border.

About the same time the French reoccupied Muelhausen, after three days'
fighting around the city. Another French army was reported to be within
nineteen miles of Metz, But before the end of the month the French had
been compelled to evacuate both their former provinces. They continued
during September, however, to make frequent assaults on the German
frontier positions, but without regaining a sure foothold on German
soil, the bulk of their efforts being devoted to the defense of their
own frontier strongholds.


An official dispatch from the foreign office in Paris, dated August 28,

  "Yesterday the French troops took the offensive in the
  Vosges mountains and in the region between the Vosges and
  Nancy, and their offensive has been interrupted, but the German
  loss has been considerable.

  "Our forces found, near Nancy, on a front of three kilometers,
  2,500 dead Germans, and near Vitrimont, on a front
  of four kilometers, 4,500 dead. Longwy, where the garrison
  consisted of only one battalion, has capitulated to the Crown
  Prince of Germany after a siege of twenty-four days."


The German view of early operations in Alsace-Lorraine was given in the
following dispatch September 2 from the headquarters of the general
staff at Aix-la-Chapelle:

  "The French forces were trapped in Alsace-Lorraine.
  Realizing that the French temperament was more likely to be
  swayed by sentiment than by stern adherence to the rules
  of actual warfare, the German staff selected its own battle
  line and waited. The French did not disappoint. They
  rushed across the border. They took Altkirch with little opposition.
  Then they rushed on to Muelhausen. Through the
  passes in the Vosges mountains they poured, horse, artillery,
  foot--all branches of the service. Strasburg was to fall and
  so swift was the French movement that lines of communication
  were not guarded.

  "Then the German general staff struck. Their troops
  from Saarburg, from Strasburg and from Metz, under the
  command of General von Heeringen, attacked the French all
  along the line. They were utterly crushed. The Germans
  took 10,000 Frenchmen prisoners and more than one hundred
  guns of every description. Alsace-Lorraine is now reported
  absolutely cleared of French troops.

  "The armies of Crown Prince Frederick Wilhelm and of
  Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria are moving in an irresistible
  manner into France. In a 3-day battle below Metz
  the French were terribly cut up and forced to retreat in almost
  a rout. It is declared that in this engagement the French
  lost 151 guns and were unable to make a stand against the victorious
  Germans until they had passed inside of their secondary
  line of defense."


Just prior to the declaration of war, cable dispatches from Paris told
of a remarkable series of posters dotting the countryside of France.
These posters, innocently advertising "Bouillon Kub," a German soup
preparation, were so cleverly printed by the German concern advertising
the soup, that they would act as signals to German army officers leading
their troops through France.

In one of our photographic illustrations, one of these "spy posters" is
seen posted on the left of an archway past which the French soldiers are
marching en route to meet the Germans near the Alsace frontier.

The ingenuity of the signs was remarkable. Thus a square yellow poster
would carry the information, "Food in abundance found here," while a
round red sign would advertise, "This ground is mined." Many geometrical
figures and most of the colors were utilized, and animal forms, flowers
and even the American Stars and Stripes were employed to convey their
messages of information.

The French Minister of the Interior got wind of the system, and orders
were telegraphed throughout France to destroy these posters. Bouillon
Kub, therefore, is no longer advertised in France.


A wounded French soldier described his experiences under fire during
the Alsace campaign. He said in part: "There! A blow in the breast, a
tearing in the body, a fall with a loud cry and a terrible pain; there
I lay one of the victims of this terrible day. My first sensation was
anger at the blow, my second an expectation of seeing myself explode,
for, judging by the sound of the ball, I believed I had a grenade in my
body; then came the pain, and with it helplessness and falling.

"Oh, how frightful are those first moments! Where I was hit, how I was
wounded, I could form no idea; I only felt that I could not stir, saw
the battalion disappear from sight and myself alone on the ground, amid
the fearful howling and whistling of the balls which were incessantly
striking the ground around me.

"With difficulty could I turn my head a little, and saw behind me two
soldiers attending on a third, who was lying on the ground. Of what
happened I can give no account except that I cried for help several
times as well as I could, for the pain and burning thirst had the upper
hand. At last both of them ran to me, and with joy I recognized the
doctor and hospital attendant of my company.

"'Where are you wounded?' was the first question. I could only point.
My blouse was quickly opened, and in the middle of the breast a bloody
wound was found. The balls still constantly whizzed around us; one
struck the doctor's helmet, and immediately I felt a violent blow on the
left arm. Another wound! With difficulty I was turned round, to look for
the outlet of the bullet; but it was still in my body, near the spine.
At last it was cut out. They were going away--'The wound in the arm,
doctor.' This, fortunately, was looked for in vain; the ball had merely
caused a blue spot and had sunk harmlessly into the ground.

"I extended my hand to the doctor and thanked him, as also the
attendant, whom I commissioned to ask the sergeant to send word to my
family. The doctor had carefully placed my cloak over me, with my helmet
firmly on my head, in order in some measure to protect me from the
leaden hail.

"Thus I lay alone with my own thoughts amid the most terrible fire
for perhaps an hour and a half. All my thoughts, as far as pain and
increasing weakness allowed, were fixed on my family. Gradually I got
accustomed to the danger which surrounded me, and only when too much
sand from the striking bullets was thrown on my body did I remember
my little enviable position. At last, after long, long waiting, the
sanitary detachment came for me."


It is not a pleasant picture--this story of the French soldier. It has
little in it of the grandeur, the beat of drums, the sound of martial
music, which is supposed to accompany war. The tread of marching feet
has died away, the excitement is gone, and man the demon is supplanted
by man the everyday human creature of suffering and home folks and fear.

It is only a personal account of an individual experience, yet in it may
be found the real significance and the real tragedy of war; for, after
the fighting is over, after the intoxication of legalized murder has
gone, after nations turn their attention from victories to men, it is
the aggregate of individual experiences which counts the costs of war.

Thousands of German, French, Belgian, Austrian, Russian, and British men
in the prime of life have been miserably slain and lie in obscure graves
of which the enemy now is the guardian, while others writhe in the
agony of lingering wounds or sullenly brood over their fate in the dull
routine of military prisons. In every part of the warring countries
mothers weep over the sons they shall see no more, and wives over the
husbands snatched from them forever. In many a mansion, in many a
comfortable home, in many a peasant's cottage, the empty chair is
eloquent of the absent father, brother, husband or son who shall be
absent forever.



  _Allies Withdraw for Ten Days, Disputing Every Inch of
  Ground With the Kaiser's Troops--Germans Push
  Their Way Through France in Three Main Columns--
  Reports of the Withdrawing Engagements--
  Paris Almost in Sight_.

Flushed with their successes over the Allies at Mons and Charleroi,
the Germans pushed their advance toward the French capital with great
celerity and vigor. During the last week of August and the first few
days of September, it appeared inevitable that the experience of Paris
in 1870-71 was to be repeated and that a siege of the city by the German
forces would follow immediately.

It was conceded that the armies of the Allies had been forced back and
that Paris was endangered. The German advance was general, all along the
line. The flower of the Kaiser's army had marched through Belgium
and pushed back the lines of the Allies to the formidable rows of
fortifications that surround Paris. The Germans advanced in three main
columns, constantly in touch with one another, from the right, passing
through Mons, Cambrai and Amiens, to the extreme left in Lorraine. The
center threatened Verdun, and from that point the right advance swept
through Northern France like an opening fan, with the fortress of Verdun
as the pivot.

Three million men were engaged in the main struggle. When the Germans
first reached the Franco-Belgian frontier near Charleroi they were
opposed by 700,000 French and 150,000 British troops. After being driven
back the Allies began assembling 1,000,000 men between the frontier and
Paris, The Allies hoped to hold the whole German army in check while
the Russians pursued their successes in eastern Germany. French troops
guarded the entire frontier, battling to check the other German invading
columns. The holding of the Germans, once they broke through the
fortifications that formed the chief reliance of the French, would
be impossible. The next stand would be around Paris, which was well
fortified. The invaders were, of course, attempting to get through where
there were no forts.


Strenuous resistance to the onward movement of the German enemy was made
by the Allies from day to day, but for a period of ten days there was an
almost continual retirement of the French and British upon Paris. It was
in fact a masterly retreat, but a retreat nevertheless. From the line of
La Fère and Mezieres, occupied by the Allies after the battles at Mons
and Charleroi, they fell back 70 miles in seven days, disputing every
step of the way, but withdrawing gradually to the line of defenses
around the French capital. From Cambrai the Germans pushed through
Amiens to Beauvais; from Peronne to Roye, Montdidier, Creil, and on to
the forest of Chantilly. From the region of Le Cateau and St. Quentin
the German advance was by Noyon to Compiegne (famous for its memories of
Joan of Arc's famous sortie), at which point the Allies made a desperate
stand and the Germans had to fight for every inch of ground. They then
passed through Senlis, which was first bombarded, down to Meaux, almost
within sight of Paris, the head of the German army resting on a line
between Beaumont, Meaux and La Ferte, at which point the resistance of
the Allies finally forced a change in German plans.

Other German forces passed through Laon, Soissons and Chateau Thierry.
Farther to the east, the road from Mezieres led the Germans to Rheims,
Mourmelon, and opposite Chalons on the River Marne.

Another German army from the direction of Longwy, under the command
of the Crown Prince, was operating through Suippes and on the wooded
Argonne plateau, with its five passes, famous in the action of
which preceded the battle of Valmy. At the entrance to this hilly
country stands the little town of Sainte Menehould, where there was
severe fighting with the French. Here the German Crown Prince made his

The great plain of the Argonne is full of most wonderful ecclesiastical
buildings and many magnificent cathedrals, townhalls and ancient
fortresses were passed by the warring armies in their advance and
withdrawal, some of these historic structures sustaining irreparable

The German advance continued southward toward Paris until September 4.


All reports agree that during the retirement of the Allies, the Germans
pursued the British headquarters staff with uncanny precision throughout
the ten days from Mons back to Compiègne. After fierce street fighting
in Denain and Landrecies Sir John French withdrew his headquarters to Le
Cateau, which was at once made the target of a terrific bombardment.
The town caught fire, burning throughout one night, and the British
headquarters had to be evacuated, this time in favor of St. Quentin, in
the local college. Here the same thing happened and Field Marshal French
was compelled once more to retire, to the neighborhood of Compiègne.

In an official report issued on Sunday, September 6, it is stated that,
"The 5th French army on August 29 advanced from the line of the Oise
River to meet and counter the German forward movement and a considerable
battle developed to the south of Guise. In this the 5th French army
gained a marked and solid success, driving back with heavy loss and in
disorder three German army corps, the 10th, the Guard, and a reserve
corps. In spite of this success, however, and all the benefits which
flowed from it, the general retirement to the south continued and the
German armies, seeking persistently after the British troops, remained
in practically continuous contact with the rearguards.

"On August 30 and 31 the British covering and delaying troops were
frequently engaged, and on September 1 a very vigorous effort was made
by the Germans, which brought about a sharp action in the neighborhood
of Compiègne. This action was fought principally by the 1st British
Cavalry Brigade and the 4th Guards Brigade and was entirely satisfactory
to the British. The German attack, which was most strongly pressed, was
not brought to a standstill until much slaughter had been inflicted upon
them and until ten German guns had been captured. The brunt of this
affair fell upon the Guards Brigade, which lost in killed and wounded
about 300 men."

This affair was typical of the numerous rearguard engagements fought by
both the British and the French forces during their retirement.


Pressing hard upon the rear of the Allies for ten days was the greatest
military machine that has ever been assembled in one cohesive force.
Through Belgium had poured nearly 2,000,000 German troops, made up of
about 800,000 first-line soldiers and more than 1,000,000 reserves. The
twenty-six-hour march of part of the German army through Brussels was
stunning evidence of the might of the "war machine," and despite fierce
fighting all the way, the great army had never faltered in its 150-mile
advance in Belgium.

But the numerical might of the German advance was matched by the
masterly tactics of the Allies in retiring. By these tactics, in which
General Joffre, the French commander-in-chief, co-operated with the
British field-marshal, Sir John French, the Allies prevented their lines
being overwhelmed by the superior numbers of their foe, but the German
right flank and center, strung out over a line more than 150 miles long,
northeast of Paris, kept smashing on. Losses were frightfully heavy, but
the Kaiser's order was "Take Paris!"

It was believed certain that the German general staff had staked
everything on investing Paris immediately, by completely breaking down
the opposition massed between the German lines and the city. Paris
had therefore prepared for the siege, with her great circles of forts
strengthened and her food supply replenished. Many of the residents fled
the city in panic, fearing a repetition of the dread days of 1871, with
their privation and distress, but the spirit of the French people
generally remained unshaken and General Gallieni, military governor of
Paris, assumed complete control of the situation in the city.


On August 26 the French cabinet had resigned in a body and it was
reconstructed on broader lines under Premier Viviani to meet the demands
of the national emergency.

German troops were reported within 40 miles of Paris on September 3, and
at 3 A. M. of that day a proclamation was issued by President Poincaré,
announcing that the seat of government would be temporarily transferred
from Paris to Bordeaux. The minister of the interior stated that
this decision had been taken "solely upon the demand of the military
authorities because the fortified places of Paris, while not necessarily
likely to be attacked, would become the pivot of the field operations of
the two armies."

The text of President Poincaré's proclamation was as follows:


"FEENCHMEN: For several weeks our heroic troops have been engaged in the
fierce combat with the enemy. The courage of our soldiers has won for
them a number of marked advantages. But in the north the pressure of the
German forces has constrained us to retire. This situation imposes on
the president of the Republic and the government a painful decision.

"To safeguard the national safety the public authorities are obliged to
leave for the moment the city of Paris. Under the command of its eminent
chief, the French army, full of courage and spirit, will defend the
capital and its patriotic population against the invader. But the war
must be pursued at the same time in the rest of the French territory.

"The sacred struggle for the honor of the nation and the reparation of
violated rights will continue without peace or truce and without a stop
or a failure. None of our armies has been broken.

"If some of them have suffered only too evident losses, the gaps in the
ranks have been filled up from the waiting reserve forces, while the
calling out of a new class of reserves brings us tomorrow new resources
in men and energy.

"Endure and fight! Such should be the motto of the allied army, British,
Russians, Belgians and French.

"Endure and fight! While on the sea our allies aid us to cut the enemy's
communications with the world.

"Endure and fight! While the Russians continue to carry a decisive blow
to the heart of the German empire.

"It is for the government of this republic to direct this resistance to
the very end and to give to this formidable struggle all its vigor and
efficiency. It is indispensable that the government retain the mastery
of its own actions. On the demand of the military authorities the
government therefore transfers its seat momentarily to a point of the
territory whence it may remain in constant relations with the rest of
the country. It invites the members of parliament not to remain distant
from the government, in order to form, in the face of the enemy, with
the government and their colleagues, a group of national unity.

"The government does not leave Paris without having assured a defense of
the city and its entrenched camp by all means in its power. It knows it
has not the need to recommend to the admirable Parisian population a
calm resolution and sangfroid, for it shows every day it is equal to its
greatest duties.

"Frenchmen, let us all be worthy of these tragic circumstances. We shall
gain a final victory and we shall gain it by untiring will, endurance
and tenacity. A nation that will not perish, and which, to live,
retreats before neither suffering nor sacrifice, is sure to vanquish."

The removal of the French government departments to Bordeaux was
accomplished within twenty-four hours and the southern city became at
once a center of remarkable activity. Ambassador Herrick, representing
the United States, remained in Paris to render aid to his
fellow-countrymen who were seeking means of returning to America and
were more than ever anxious to get away when a state of siege became
imminent. A radical change in the French military operations was put in
effect after the Germans had swept in from Belgium, and had taken the
cities of Lille, Roubaix, and Longwy. The French army had attempted to
strike and shatter the Germans at their weakest point, and failed.

Paris prepared for the worst when the Kaiser's conquering army reached
La Fère, about seventy miles away. From Amiens to La Fère the Germans
pressed their attack hardest. As the Allies were seen to be gradually
falling back, reserve troops were assembled in Paris and the forts put
in readiness for siege.


Paris has one of the strongest fortification systems of any city in the
world. The siege of the giant city would be a much greater undertaking
than forty-four years ago, as the fortifications have been essentially
augmented and strengthened since the Franco-Prussian war.


The fortifications consist of the old city walls, the old belt of forts
and the new enceinture of the fortified camps, which have been advanced
far outside of the reach of the old forts. The main wall, ten meters
(33 feet) high, consists of ninety-four bastions and is surrounded by a
ditch fifteen meters wide. Behind the wall a ringroad and a belt line
run around the city.

The belt of old forts surrounds this main fortification of the city at
a little distance and consists of not less than sixteen forts. Those
farthest advanced are hardly half a mile distant from the main wall. The
experiences of the last war, the immense progress of the artillery, and
especially the wider reach of the modern siege guns induced the French
army authorities to build a belt of still stronger forts, which
surrounds the old fortress of 1870 like a protective net. The forts,
redoubts and batteries belonging to this last belt of fortifications
are situated at least two miles from the city limits proper, and even
Versailles is taken into this belt of fortifications.

The circumference of the circle formed by them is 124 kilometers
(nearly 77 miles) and the space included in it amounts to 1,200 square
kilometers. This new belt of fortifications consists of seven forts of
the first class, sixteen forts of the second class and fifty redoubts or
batteries, which are connected with each other by the "Great Belt Line,"
of 113 kilometers (71 miles).


The strongest of these forts form fortified camps, large enough to
give protection to strong armies and also the possibility for a new
reconcentration. There are three of these camps. The northern camp
includes the fortifications from the Fort de Cormeilles on the left to
the Fort de Stains on the right wing, with the forts of the first class,
Cormeilles and Domont, and the forts of the second class, Montlignon,
Montmorency, Ecouen and Stains, and it is protected in the rear by the
strong forts in the vicinity of St. Denis. The eastern camp goes from
the Ourcq canal and the forest of Bondy to the Seine, and its main
strongholds are the forts of Vaujours and Villeneuve-St. Georges, with
the smaller forts of Chelles, Villiers, Champigny and Sully.

On the left bank of the Seine the southwestern camp is situated,
including Versailles, whose main forts are those of St. Cyr, Haut-Bue,
Villeras and Palaiseau, to which the large redubt of Bois d'Arey and the
forts of Chatillon and Hautes-Bruyeres, situated a little to the rear,
belong likewise.

To invest this strongest fortress of the world the line of the Germans
ought to have a length of 175 kilometers and to its continuous
occupation, even if the ring of the investing masses were not very deep,
a much greater number of troops would be necessary than were used in
1870 for the siege of Paris.


A correspondent at Nanteuil, September 12, thus described the capture
of a German ammunition column while the Germans were feeling their way
toward Paris:

"The seven-kilometer column was winding its way along Crepy-en-Valois
when General Pan sent cavalry and artillery to intercept it. The column
was too weakly guarded to cope with the attack, and so was captured
and destroyed. This capture had an important bearing on the subsequent

"A noticeable feature of the operations has been the splendid marching
qualities of the French troops. This was displayed especially when two
divisions, which were sent to intercept the expected attempt of the
Germans to invest Paris, covered eighty kilometers (49½ miles) in two


The plan of the Allies on September 1 was to make a determined stand
before Paris, in the effort to protect the city from the horrors of a
siege. With their left wing resting on the strongly fortified line of
the Paris forts and with their right wing strengthened by the defensive
line from Verdun to Belfort, they would occupy a position of enormous
military strength. If the Germans concentrated to move against their
front the French reserve armies could assemble west of the Seine, move
forward and attack the German invading columns in flank. If in their
effort to continue the great turning movement the Germans pushed forward
across the Seine and attempted by encircling Paris to gain the rear of
the allied armies, the French could mass their reserve corps behind
their center at Reims, push forward against the weakened German center
in an attack that if successful would cut off the German invading
columns and expose them to annihilation.

Such were the conditions and the possibilities when the German advance
reached its climax on September 4.

dotted line denotes battle front of the Allies; lighter line the
position of the German Troops.]



  _German Plans Suddenly Changed--Direction of Advance
  Swings to the Southeast When Close to the French
  Capital--Successful Resistance by the Allies--The
  Prolonged Encounter at the Marne--Germans Retreat
  With Allies in Hot Pursuit for Many Miles_.

Suddenly the German plans were changed. With Paris almost in sight,
almost within the range of their heavy artillery, the German forces on
the right of the line on September 4 changed the direction of their
advance to a southeasterly course, which would leave Paris to the west.
The people of the gay capital, who for several days had been preparing
themselves once more for the thunder of the Prussian guns, began to
breathe more freely, while all the world wondered at the sudden and
spectacular transformation in the conditions of the conflict.

What had happened? Why was the advance thus checked and the march on
Paris abandoned? Was it a trick, designed to lead the Allies into a
trap? Or were the German troops too exhausted by forced marches and lack
of rest to face the determined resistance of the allied forces before

These were the questions on every tongue, on both sides of the Atlantic,
while the military experts sought strategic reasons for the change in
German plans.

When the movement towards the east began the right of the German forces
moved through Beaumont and L'Isle towards Meaux, apparently with the
intention of avoiding Paris. Their front some twenty-four hours later
was found to be extending across the River Marne as far south as
Conlommiers and La Ferte-Gaucher, the two opposing lines at that time
stretching between Paris on the left flank and Verdun on the right.

On Monday, September 7, there came news that the southward movement of
the German army had been arrested, and that it had been forced back
across the Marne to positions where the German right wing curved
back from La Ferté-sous-Jouarre along the bank of the River Ourcq, a
tributary of the Marne, to the northward of Chateau Thierry. All this
territory forms part of the district known as the "Bassin de Paris."

Then came a turn in the tide of war and the German plans were
temporarily lost sight of when the Allies assumed the offensive along
the Marne and the Ourcq and the Germans began to fall back. For four
days their retreat continued. Ten miles, thirty miles, forty-five miles,
back toward the northeast and east the invaders retired and Paris was
relieved. The tide of battle had thrown the Germans away from the French
capital and Frenchmen believed their retirement was permanent.


Important and interesting details of the battle of the Marne and the
movements that preceded it are given in an official report compiled from
information sent from the headquarters of Field Marshal Sir John French
(commander-in-chief of the British expeditionary forces), under date of
September 11. This account describes the movements both of the British
force and of the French armies in immediate touch with it. It carries
the operations from the 4th to the 10th of September, both days
inclusive, and says:

"The general position of our troops Sunday, September 6, was south of
the River Marne, with the French forces in line on our right and left.
Practically there had been no change since Saturday, September 5, which
marked the end of our army's long retirement from the Belgian frontier
through Northern France.

"On Friday, September 4, it became apparent that there was an alteration
in the advance of almost the whole of the first German army. That army
since the battle near Mons on the 23d of August had been playing its
part in a colossal strategic endeavor to create a Sedan for the Allies
by out-flanking and enveloping the left of their whole line so as to
encircle and drive both the British and French to the south.


"There was now a change in its objective and it was observed that
the German forces opposite the British were beginning to move in a
southeasterly direction instead of continuing southwest on to the
capital, leaving a strong rear guard along the line of the River Ourcq
(which flows south of and joins the Marne at Lizy-sur-Ourcq) to keep
off the French Sixth Army, which by then had been formed and was to the
northwest of Paris. They were evidently executing what amounted to a
flank march diagonally across our front.

"Prepared to ignore the British as being driven out of the fight, they
were initiating an effort to attack the left flank of the main French
army, which stretched in a long curved line from our right toward the
east, and so to carry out against it alone an envelopment which so far
had failed against the combined forces of the Allies.

"On Saturday, the 5th, this movement on the part of the Germans was
continued and large advance parties crossed the Marne southward at
Trilport, Sammeron, La Ferte-sous-Jouarre and Chateau Thierry. There was
considerable fighting with the French Fifth Army on the French left,
which fell back from its position south of the Marne toward the Seine.

"On Sunday large hostile forces crossed the Marne and pushed on through
Coulommiers and past the British right, farther to the east. They were
attacked at night by the French Fifth, which captured three villages at
the point of bayonets.


"On Monday, September 7, there was a general advance on the part of the
Allies. In this quarter of the field our forces, which had now been
reinforced, pushed on in a northeasterly direction in co-operation with
the advance of the French Fifth Army to the north and of the French
Sixth Army to the eastward against the German rearguard along the River

"Possibly weakened by the detachment of troops to the eastern theater
of operations and realizing that the action of the French Sixth Army
against the line of Ourcq and the advance of the British placed their
own flanking movement in considerable danger of being taken in the rear
and on its flank, the Germans on this day commenced to retire toward the

"This was the first time that these troops had turned back since their
attack at Mons a fortnight before and from reports received the order to
retreat when so close to Paris was a bitter disappointment. From letters
found on dead soldiers there is no doubt there was a general impression
among the enemy's troops that they were about to enter Paris.


"On Tuesday, September 8, the German movement north-eastward was
continued. Their rear guards on the south of the Marne were being
pressed back to that river by our troops and by the French on our right,
the latter capturing three villages after a hand-to-hand fight and the
infliction of severe loss on the enemy.

"The fighting along the Ourcq continued on this day and was of the
most sanguinary character, for the Germans had massed a great force of
artillery along this line. Very few of their infantry were seen by the
French. The French Fifth Army also made a fierce attack on the Germans
in Montmirail, regaining that place.

"On Wednesday, September 9, the battle between the French Sixth Army and
what was now the German flank guard along the Ourcq continued.

"The British corps, overcoming some resistance on the River Petit Morin,
crossed the Marne in pursuit of the Germans, who now were hastily
retreating northwest. One of our corps was delayed by an obstinate
defense made by a strong rear guard with machine guns at La
Ferte-sous-Jouarre, where the bridge had been destroyed.

"On Thursday, September 10, the French Sixth Army continued its pressure
on the west while the Fifth Army by forced marches reached the line of
Chateau Thierry and Dormans on the Marne. Our troops also continued the
pursuit on the north of the latter river and after a considerable amount
of fighting captured some 1,500 prisoners, four guns, six machine guns
and fifty transport wagons.

"Many of the enemy were killed or wounded and the numerous thick
woods which dot the country north of the Marne are filled with German
stragglers. Most of them appear to have been without food for at least
two days.

"Indeed, in this area of the operations, the Germans seem to be
demoralized and inclined to surrender in small parties. The general
situation appears to be most favorable to the Allies.

"Much brutal and senseless damage has been done in the villages occupied
by the enemy. Property has been wantonly destroyed. Pictures in chateaus
have been ripped up and houses generally have been pillaged.

"It is stated on unimpeachable authority also that the inhabitants have
been much ill-treated.


"Interesting incidents have occurred during the fighting. On the 10th of
September part of our Second Army Corps, advancing into the north,
found itself marching parallel with another infantry force some little
distance away. At first it was thought this was another British unit.
After some time, however, it was discovered that it was a body of
Germans retreating.

"Measures promptly were taken to head off the enemy, who were surrounded
and trapped in a sunken road, where over 400 men surrendered.

"On September 10 a small party under a noncommissioned officer was cut
off and surrounded. After a desperate resistance it was decided to go
on fighting to the end. Finally the noncommissioned officer and one man
only were left, both of them being wounded.

"The Germans came up and shouted to them: 'Lay down your arms!' The
German commander, however, signed to them to keep their arms and then
asked to shake hands with the wounded noncommissioned officer, who was
carried off on his stretcher with his rifle by his side.

"Arrival of reinforcements and the continued advance have delighted our
troops, who are full of zeal and anxious to press on.


"One of the features of the campaign on our side has been the success
obtained by the Royal Flying Corps. In regard to the collection of
information it is impossible either to award too much praise to
our aviators for the way they have carried out their duties or to
overestimate the value of the intelligence collected, more especially
during the recent advance.

"In due course certain examples of what has been effected may be
specified and the far-reaching nature of the results fully explained,
but that time has not arrived.

"That the services of our Flying Corps, which, has really been on trial,
are fully appreciated by our allies is shown by the following message
from the commander-in-chief of the French armies, received September
by Field Marshal Lord Kitchener:

  "'Please express most particularly to Marshal French
  my thanks for the services rendered on every day by the
  English flying corps. The precision, exactitude and regularity
  of the news brought in by its members are evidence of
  their perfect organization and also of the perfect training
  of the pilots and the observers.--JOSEPH JOFFRE, General,'

"To give a rough idea of the amount of work carried out it is sufficient
to mention that during a period of twenty days up to the 10th of
September a daily average of more than nine reconnaissance flights of
over 100 miles each has been maintained.


"The constant object of our aviators has been to effect an accurate
location of the enemy's forces and, incidentally, since the operations
cover so large an area, of our own units. Nevertheless, the tactics
adopted for dealing with hostile air craft are to attack them instantly
with one or more British machines. This has been so far successful that
in five cases German pilots or observers have been shot while in the air
and their machines brought to ground.

"As a consequence the British Flying Corps has succeeded in establishing
an individual ascendancy which is as serviceable to us as it is
dangerous to the enemy.

"How far it is due to this cause it is not possible at present to
ascertain definitely, but the fact remains that the enemy have recently
become much less enterprising in their flights. Something in the
direction of the mastery of the air already has been gained in pursuance
of the principle that the main object of military aviators is the
collection of information.

"Bomb dropping has not been indulged in to any great extent. On one
occasion a petrol bomb was successfully exploded in a German bivouac at
night, while from a diary found on a dead German cavalry soldier it has
been discovered that a high explosive bomb, thrown at a cavalry column
from one of our aeroplanes, struck an ammunition wagon, resulting in an
explosion which killed fifteen of the enemy."


Some idea of the terrific character of the fighting at the Marne and
of the great losses in the prolonged battle may be gained from the
following story, telegraphed on September 14 by a correspondent who
followed in the rear of the allied army:

"General von Kluck's host in coming down over the Marne and the Grand
Morin rivers to Sezanne, twenty-five miles southwest of Epernay, met
little opposition, and I believe little opposition was intended. The
Allies, in fact, led their opponents straight into a trap. The English
cavalry led the tired Germans mile after mile, and the Germans believed
the Englishmen were running away. When the tremendous advance reached
Provins the Allies' plan was accomplished, and it got no farther.

"Fighting Sunday, September 6, was of a terrible character, and began
at dawn in the region of La Ferte-Gaucher. The Allies' troops, who were
drawn up to receive the Germans, understood it would be their duty to
hold on their very best that the attacking force at Meaux might achieve
its task in security. The battle lasted all night and until late Monday.

"The Germany artillery fire was very severe, but not accurate. The
French and English fought sternly on and slowly beat the enemy back.

"Attempts of the Germans to cross the Marne at Meaux entailed terrible
losses. Sixteen attempts were foiled by the French artillery fire
directed on the river and in one trench 600 dead Germans were counted.


"The whole country was strewn with the dead and dying. When at last
the Germans retired they slackened their rifle fire and in once place
retired twelve miles without firing a single shot. One prisoner declared
that they were short of ammunition and had been told to spare it as much
as possible.

"Monday saw a tremendous encounter on the Oureq. In one village, which
the Germans hurriedly vacated, the French in a large house found a
dinner table beautifully set, with candles still burning on the table,
where evidently the German staff had been dining. A woman occupant said
they fled precipitately.

"There was a great deal of hand-to-hand fighting and bayonet work on
the Ourcq, which resulted in the terrible Magdeburg regiment beating a

"Monday night General von Kluck's army had been thrown back from the
Marne and from the Morin and to the region of Sezanne and his position
was serious. Immediate steps were necessary to save his line of
communications and retreat. To this end reinforcements were hurried
north to the Meaux district and the Ourcq and tremendous efforts were
made to break up the French resistance in this section.


"The second attempt on the Oureq shared the fate of the first. Though
all Monday night and well on into Tuesday the great German guns boomed
along this river, the resistance of the allies could not be broken.
'Hold on!' was the command and every man braced himself to obey. While
the Ourcq was being held the struggle of Sezanne was bearing fruit.

"The German resistance on Thursday morning was broken. I heard the news
in two ways: from the silence of the German guns and from the wounded
who poured down to the bases.

"The wounded men no longer were downhearted, but eager to rejoin the
fray. On every French lip was the exclamation that 'They are in full
retreat!' and 'They are rushing back home!' and in the same breath came
generous recognition of the great help given by the British army.

"The number of wounded entailed colossal transportation work. I counted
fifteen trains in eight hours. A fine, grim set of men, terribly weary
but amiable, except for the officers.


"The enemy crossed the Marne on the return journey north under great
difficulties and beneath a withering fire from the British troops, who
pursued them hotly. The German artillery operated from a height. There
was again much hand-to-hand fighting and the river was swollen with

"Tuesday night the British were in possession of La Ferte-sous-Jouarre
and Chateau Thierry and the Germans had fallen back forty miles, leaving
a long train of spoils behind them.

"On the same day, in the neighborhood of Vitry-le-François, the French
troops achieved a victory. Incidentally they drove back the famous
Imperial Guard of Germany from Sezanne, toward the swamps of Saint Cond,
where, a century ago, Napoleon achieved one of his last successes. The
main body of the guard passed to the north of the swamps, but I heard of
men and horses engulfed and destroyed.

"'It is our revenge for 1814,' the French officers said. 'If only the
emperor were here to see.'


"Wednesday the English army continued the pursuit toward the north,
taking guns and prisoners.

"On that day I found myself in a new France. The good news had spread.
Girls threw flowers at the passing soldiers and joy was manifested

"The incidents of Wednesday will astound the world when made known in
full. I know that two German detachments of 1,000 men each, which were
surrounded and cornered but which refused to surrender, were wiped
out almost to the last man. The keynote of these operations was the
tremendous attack of the Allies along the Ourcq Tuesday, which showed
the German commander that his lines were threatened. Then came the
crowning stroke.

"The army of the Ourcq and of Meaux and the army of Sezanne drew
together like the blades of a pair of shears, the pivot of which was in
the region of the Grand Morin. The German retreat was thus forced toward
the east and it speedily became a rout."


The best view of the retreating German armies was obtained, according to
a Paris report, by a French military airman, who, ascending from a point
near Vitry, flew northward across the Marne and then eastward by way of
Rheims down to the region of Verdun and back again in a zigzag course to
a spot near Soissons.

He saw the German hosts not merely in retreat, but in flight, and in
some places in disorderly flight.

"It was a wonderful sight," the airman said, "to look down upon these
hundreds and thousands of moving military columns, the long gray lines
of the Kaiser's picked troops, some marching in a northerly, others in a
northeasterly direction, and all moving with a tremendous rapidity.

"The retreat was not confined to the highways, but many German soldiers
were running across fields, jumping over fences, crawling through
hedges, and making their way through woods without any semblance of
order or discipline.

"These men doubtless belonged to regiments which were badly cut up in
the fierce fighting which preceded the general retreat. Deprived of the
majority of their officers, they made a mere rabble of fugitives, Many
were without rifles, having abandoned their weapons in their haste to
escape their French and British pursuers."


The London Times correspondent describes the German retreat in a
hurricane, with rain descending in torrents, the wayside brooks swollen
to little torrents.

  "The gun wheels sank deep in the mud, and the soldiers,
  unable to extricate them, abandoned the guns," he said.

  "A wounded soldier, returned from the front, told me
  that the Germans fled as animals flee which are cornered and
  know it.

  "Imagine the roadway littered with guns, knapsacks, cartridge
  belts, Maxims and heavy cannon. There were miles of
  roads like this.

  "And the dead! Those piles of horses and those stacks
  of men I have seen again and again. I have seen men shot so
  close to one another that they remained standing after death.

  "At night time the sight was horrible beyond description.
  They cannot bury whole armies.

  "In the day time over the fields of dead carrion birds
  gathered, led by the gray-throated crow of evil omen with a
  host of lesser marauders at his back. Robbers, too, have
  descended upon these fields.

  "Trainload after trainload of British and French troops
  swept toward the weak points of the retreating host.

  "The Allies benefited by this advantage of the battle-ground;
  there is a network of railways, like the network of a
  spider's web."


Two military attaches of the United States embassy at Paris, Lieut.-Col.
H. T. Allen and Capt. Frank Parker, both of the Eleventh cavalry,
U.S.A., returned on September 15 from an automobile trip over the
battlefield where from September 8 until the night of September 11 the
French and Germans were fiercely engaged. This battle was the one which
assured the safety of Paris.

On September 1 the German left and center were separated, but like a
letter "V" were approaching each other, with Paris as their objective.
Had the Allies attacked at that time they would have had to divide their
forces and, so weakened, give battle to two armies. By retreating they
drew after them the two converging lines of the V and when the Germans
were in wedge-shaped formation, attacked them on the flank and center at
Meaux and made a direct attack at Sezanne.

The four days' battle at Meaux ended with the Germans crossing the river
Aisne and retreating to the hills north and west of Soissons. Col. Allen
and Capt. Parker saw the end of the battle north of Sezanne, which
resulted in the retreat of the Germans to Rheims.

The battles, as Col. Allen and Capt. Parker describe them, were as

On the 8th the Germans advanced from a line stretching from Epernay and
Chalons, a distance of twenty-five kilometers (sixteen miles). In this
front, counting from the German right, were the Tenth, the Guards, the
Ninth and Twelfth Army Corps. The presence of the Guards, the _corps
d'elite_ of the German army, suggested that this was intended to be a
main attack upon Paris and that the army at Meaux was to occupy the
center. The four combined corps numbered over 200,000. The French met
them, they assert, with 190,000.

The Germans advanced until their left was at Vitry-le-Francois and their
right rested at Sezanne, making a column 15 miles long, headed west
toward Paris. The French butted the line six miles east of Sezanne, in
the forests of La Fere and Champenoise. It was here that the greater
part of the fight occurred. It was fighting at long distance with
artillery and from trench to trench with the bayonet.


During the four days in which fortune rested first on one flag and then
on another 30,000 men of both armies are said to have been killed and a
considerable number of villages were wiped from the map by the artillery
of both armies.

Two miles from Sezanne a French regiment was destroyed by an ambush.
The Germans had thrown up conspicuous trenches and with decoys sparsely
filled them. From the forest in the rear the mitrailleuse was trained on
the French. The French infantry charged this trench and the decoys fled,
making toward the flanks, and as the French poured over the trenches the
hidden guns swept them.

In another trench the American attaches counted the bodies of more than
900 German guards, not one of whom had attempted to retreat. They had
stood fast with their shoulders against the parapet and taken the cold
steel. Everywhere the loss of life was appalling. In places the dead lay
across each other three and four deep.


"The fiercest fighting of all seems to have been done by the Turcos and
Senegalese. In trenches taken by them from the guards and the famous
Death's Head Hussars, the Germans showed no bullet wounds. In nearly
every attack the men from the desert had flung themselves upon the
enemy, using only the butt or the bayonet. Man for man no white man
drugged for years with meat and alcohol is a physical match for these
Turcos, who eat dates and drink water," said Richard Harding Davis,
who saw the end of the fighting at Meaux. "They are as lean as starved
wolves. They move like panthers. They are muscle and nerves and they
have the warrior's disregard of their own personal safety in battle, and
a perfect scorn of the foe.

"As Kipling says, 'A man who has a sneaking desire to live has a poor
chance against one who is indifferent whether he kills you or you kill


The following narrative of a night engagement during the prolonged
battle of the Marne is quoted from a French soldier's letter to a
compatriot in London:

"Our strength was about 400 infantrymen. Toward midnight we broke up our
camp and marched off in great silence, of course not in closed files,
but in open order. We were not allowed to speak to each other or to make
any unnecessary noise, and as we walked through the forest the only
sound to be heard was that of our steps and the rustling of the leaves.
It was a perfectly lovely night; the sky was so clear, the atmosphere so
pure, the forest so romantic, everything seemed so charming and peaceful
that I could not imagine that we were on the warpath, and that perhaps
in a few hours this forest would be aflame, the soil drenched by human
blood, and the fragrant herbs covered with broken limbs.

"Yet all those silent, armed men, marching in the same direction as I
did, were ever so many proofs that no peace meeting or any delightful
romantic adventure was near, and I wondered what thoughts were stirring
all those brains. Suddenly a whisper passed on from man to man. It was
the officer's command. A halt was made, and in the same whisper we
were told that part of us had to change our direction so that the two
directions would form a V. A third division proceeded slowly in the
original direction.


"I belonged to what may be called the left leg of the V. After what
seemed to be about half an hour, we reached the edge of the forest, and
from behind the trees we saw an almost flat country before us, with here
and there a tiny little hill, a mere hump four or five feet high. On the
extreme left-hand side the land seemed to be intersected by ditches and

"Another whispered command was passed from man to man, and we all had to
lie down on the soil. A moment afterward we were thus making our way to
the above-mentioned ditches and trenches. It is neither the easiest nor
the quickest way to move, but undoubtedly the safest, for an occasional
enemy somewhere on the hills at the farther end of the field would not
possibly be able to detect us. I don't know how long it took us to reach
the ditches, which were, for the greater part, dry; nor do I know how
long we remained there or what was happening. We were perfectly hidden
from view, lying flat down on our stomachs, but we were also unable to
see anything. Everybody's ears were attentive, every nerve was strained.
The sun was rising. It promised to be a hot day.


"Suddenly we heard a shot, at a distance of what seemed to be a mile or
so, followed by several other shots. I ventured to lift my body up in
order to see what was happening. But the next moment my sergeant, who
was close by me, warned me with a knock on my shoulder not to move, and
the whispered order ran, 'Keep quiet! Hide yourself!' Still, the short
glance had been sufficient to see what was going on. Our troops,
probably those who had been left behind in the forest, were crossing the
plain and shooting at the Germans on the crest of the hill, who returned
the fire.

"The silence was gone. We heard the rushing of feet at a short distance;
then, suddenly, it ceased when the attacking soldiers dropped to aim and
shoot. Some firing was heard, and then again a swift rush followed. This
seemed to last a long time, but it was broken by distant cries, coming
apparently from the enemy. I was wondering all the time why we kept
hidden and did not share in the assault.

"The rifle fire was incessant. I saw nothing of the battle. Would, our
troops be able to repulse the Germans? How strong were the enemy! They
seemed to have no guns, but the number of our soldiers in that field was
not very large.


"A piercing yell rose from the enemy. Was it a cry of triumph? A short
command rang over the field in French, an order to retreat. A swift rush
followed; our troops were being pursued by the enemy. What on earth were
we waiting for in our ditches? A bugle signal, clear and bright. We
sprang to our feet, and 'At the bayonet!' the order came. We threw
ourselves on the enemy, who were at the same time attacked on the other
side by the division which formed the other 'leg' of the V, while the
'fleeing' French soldiers turned and made a savage attack.

"It is impossible to say or to describe what one feels at such a moment.
I believe one is in a state of temporary madness, of perfect rage. It is
terrible, and if we could see ourselves in such a state I feel sure we
would shrink with horror.

"In a few minutes the field was covered with dead and wounded men,
almost all of them Germans, and our hands and bayonets were dripping
with blood. I felt hot spurts of blood in my face, of other men's blood,
and as I paused to wipe them off, I saw a narrow stream of blood running
along the barrel of my rifle.

"Such was the beginning of a summer day."


Writing from Sezanne a few days after the battle of the Marne a visitor
to the battlefield described the conditions at that time as follows:

"The territory over which the battle of the Marne was fought is now
a picture of devastation, abomination and death almost too awful to

"Many sons of the fatherland are sleeping their last sleep in the open
fields and in ditches where they fell or under hedges where they crawled
after being caught by a rifle bullet or piece of shell, or where they
sought shelter from the mad rush of the franc-tireurs, who have not
lost their natural dexterity with the knife and who at close quarters
frequently throw away their rifles and fight hand to hand.

"The German prisoners are being used on the battlefield in searching
for and burying their dead comrades. Over the greater part of the huge
battlefield there have been buried at least those who died in open
trenches on the plateaus or on the high roads. The extensive forest
area, however, has hardly been searched for bodies, although hundreds
of both French and Germans must have sought refuge and died there.
The difficulty of finding bodies is considerable on account of the

"Long lines of newly broken brown earth mark the graves of the victims.
Some of these burial trenches are 150 yards long. The dead are placed
shoulder to shoulder and often in layers. This gives some idea of the
slaughter that took place in this battle.

"The peasants, who are rapidly coming back to the scene, are marking the
grave trenches with crosses and planting flowers above or placing on
them simple bouquets of dahlias, sunflowers and roses.


"Some of the hottest fighting of the prolonged battle took place around
the beautiful chateau of Mondement, on a hill six miles east of Sezanne.
This relic of the architectural art of Louis XIV occupied a position
which both sides regarded as strategically important.

"To the east it looked down into a great declivity in the shape of
an immense Greek lamp, with the concealed marshes of St. Sond at
the bottom. Beyond are the downs and heaths of Epernay, Rheims and
Champagne, while the heights of Argonne stand out boldly in the
distance. To the west is a rich agricultural country.

"The possession of the ridge of Mondement was vital to either the
attackers or the defenders. The conflict here was of furnace intensity
for four days. The Germans drove the French out in a terrific assault,
and then the French guns were brought to bear, followed by hand-to-hand
fighting on the gardens and lawns of the chateau and even through the
breached walls.

"Frenchmen again held the building for a few hours, only to retire
before another determined German attack. On the fourth day they swept
the Germans out again with shell fire, under which the walls of the
chateau, although two or three feet thick, crumpled like paper."

The same correspondent described evidences on the battlefields of how
abundantly the Germans were equipped with ammunition and other material.
He saw pyramid after pyramid of shrapnel shells abandoned in the rout,
also innumerable paniers for carrying such ammunition. These paniers are
carefully constructed of wicker and hold three shells in exactly fitting
tubes so that there can be no movement.

The villages of Oyes, Villeneuve, Chatillon and Soizy-aux-Bois were all
bombarded and completely destroyed. Some fantastic capers were played by
the shells, such as blowing away half a house and leaving the other half
intact; going through a window and out by the back wall without damaging
the interior, or going a few inches into the wall and remaining fast
without exploding.

Villeneuve, which was retaken three times, was, including its fine old
church, in absolute ruins.


The battle line along the Marne was so extended that the four-days'
fighting from Sunday, September 6, to Thursday morning, September 10,
when the Germans were in full retreat, comprised a series of bloody
engagements, each worthy of being called a battle. There were hot
encounters south of the Marne at Crecy, Montmirail and other points. At
Chalons-sur-Marne the French fought for twenty-four hours and inflicted
heavy losses on the enemy. General Exelmans, one of France's most
brilliant cavalry leaders, was dangerously wounded in leading a charge.

There was hard fighting on September 7 between Lagny and Meaux, on the
Trilport and Crecy-en-Brie line, the Germans under General von Kluck
being compelled to give way and retire on Meaux, at which point their
resistance was broken on the 9th.

General French's army advanced to meet the German hosts with forced
marches from their temporary base to the southeast of Paris.

The whole British army, except cavalry, passed through Lagny, and
the incoming troops were so wearied that many of them at the first
opportunity lay down in the dust and slept where they were.

But a few hours' rest worked a great change, and a little later the
British troops were following the German retreat up the valley with
bulldog tenacity.

The British artillery did notable work in those days, according to the
French military surgeons who were stationed at Lagny. At points near
there the bodies of slain Germans who fell before the British gunners
still littered the ground on September 10, and the grim crop was still
heavier on the soil farther up the valley, where the fighting was more

As far as possible the bodies were buried at night, each attending to
its own fallen.


Sanguinary incidents were plentiful in the week of fighting to the south
of the Marne. In an engagement not far from Lagny the British captured
thirty Germans who had given up their arms and were standing under guard
when, encouraged by a sudden forward effort of the German front, they
made a dash for their rifles. They were cut down by a volley from their
British guards before they could reach their weapons.

"Among dramatic incidents in the fighting," according to an English
correspondent, "may be mentioned the grim work at the ancient fishponds
near Ermenonville. These ponds are shut in by high trees. Driving the
enemy through the woods, a Scotch regiment hustled its foes right into
the fishponds, the Scotchmen jumping in after the Germans up to the
middle to finish them in the water, which was packed with their bodies."
This scene is illustrated on another page.


Some idea of how the Germans were harassed by artillery fire during
their retreat was obtained on a visit to the fields near Meaux, the
scene of severe fighting. The German infantry had taken a position in a
sunken road, on either side of which were stretched in extended lines
hummocks, some of them natural and some the work of spades in the hands
of German soldiers.

The sunken road was littered with bodies. Sprawling in ghastly fashion,
the faces had almost the same greenish-gray hue as the uniforms worn.
The road is lined with poplars, the branches of which, severed by
fragments of shells, were strewn among the dead. In places whole tops of
trees had been torn away by the artillery fire.

Beside many bodies were forty or fifty empty cartridge shells, while
fragments of clothing, caps and knapsacks were scattered about. This
destruction was wrought by batteries a little more than three miles
distant. Straggling clumps of wood intervened between the batteries
and their mark, but the range had been determined by an officer on an
elevation a mile from the gunners. He telephoned directions for the
firing and through glasses watched the bursting shells.


A graphic picture of the fight in Crecy wood was given by a
correspondent who said: The French and English in overwhelming numbers
had poured in from Lagny toward the River Marne to reinforce the
flanking skirmishers. One of the smaller woods southeast of Crecy
furnished cover for the enemy for a time, but led to their undoing. The
Allies' patrols discovered them in the night as the Germans were moving
about with lanterns.

Suddenly the invaders found their twinkling glow-worms the mark for a
foe of whom they had been unaware. Without warning a midnight hail storm
from Maxims screamed through the trees. The next morning scores of
lanterns were picked up in the wood, with the glasses shattered. A
dashing cavalry charge by the British finally cleared the tragic wood of
the Germans.


At Lagny one of the sights of the town was a shattered bridge, which was
blown up by General French as soon as he got his army across it. At that
time British infantry and artillery had poured through the town and over
the bridge for several days. General French's idea was to keep raiding
detachments of German cavalry from incursions into the beautiful villas
and gardens of the western suburbs.

Fifteen minutes after the bridge had been reduced to a twisted mass
of steel and broken masonry a belated order came to save it, but the
British engineers who had received the order to destroy it had done
their work well.

The inhabitants were cleared out of all the neighboring houses, which
were shaken by the terrific explosion when the charge was set off. Every
window in the nearby houses was shattered.

The people of Lagny took the destruction of their beautiful bridge in
good part. They were too grateful for their deliverance from the Germans
to grumble about the wrecked bridge.


There is no doubt that the German losses in the engagements at the Marne
far exceeded those of the Allies and were most severe, in both men and
material. The Germans made incredible efforts to cross the Marne. The
French having destroyed all the bridges, the Germans tried to construct
three bridges of boats. Sixteen times the bridges were on the point of
completion, but each time they were reduced to matchwood by the French

"There is not the slightest doubt," said a reliable correspondent, "that
but for the superb handling of the German right by General von Kluck, a
large part of Emperor William's forces would have been captured at the
Marne. The allied cavalry did wonders, and three or four additional
divisions of cavalry could have contributed towards a complete rout of
the Germans."

The general direction of the German retirement was northeast, and it was
continued for seventy miles, to a line drawn between Soissons, Rheims
and Verdun.

A week after the battle the field around Meaux had been cleared of dead
and wounded, and only little mounds with tiny crosses, flowers and
tricolored flags recalled the terrible struggle.

The inhabitants of neighboring villages soon returned to their homes and
resumed their ordinary occupations.


While the fighting at the Marne was in progress, German troops achieved
some successes in other parts of the theater of war. Thus, the fortified
French town of Maubeuge, on the Sambre river midway between Namur in
Belgium and St. Quentin, France, fell to the Germans on September 7. The
investment began on August 25. More than a thousand shells fell in one
night near the railway station and the Rue de France was partially
destroyed. The loss of life, however, was comparatively slight.

At 11:50 o'clock on the morning of September 7 a white flag was hoisted
on the church tower and trumpets sounded "cease firing," but the firing
only ceased at 3:08 o'clock that afternoon. In the meantime the greater
part of the garrison succeeded in evacuating the town. The German forces
marched in at 7:08 o'clock that evening.

The retreat of the German forces from the Marne ended the second stage
of the great war.



  _Slow Mobilization of Troops--Invasion of German and Austrian
  Territory--Cossacks Lead the Van--Early Successes
  in East Prussia--"On to Berlin"--Heavy
  Losses Inflicted on Austrians--German Troops Rushed
  to the Defense of the Eastern Territory_.

When at 7:30 o'clock on the evening of August 1, 1914, the German
Ambassador at St. Petersburg handed the declaration of war to the
Russian foreign minister, the immediate reason was that Russia had
refused to stop mobilizing her army, as requested by Germany on July 30.

The general mobilization of the Russian army and fleet was proclaimed
on July 31 and martial law was proclaimed forthwith in Germany. The
government of the Kaiser had given Russia twenty-four hours in which
to reply to its ultimatum of the 30th. Russia paid no attention to the
ultimatum, but M. Goremykin, president of the Council of the Russian
Empire, issued a manifesto which read:

"Russia is determined not to allow Servia to be crushed and will fulfill
its duty in regard to that small kingdom, which has already suffered so
much at Austria's hands."

Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia on August 6. From that
time on the Russian army had two main objectives--first, the Austrian
province of Galicia, and second the eastern frontier of Germany, across
which lay the territory known as East Prussia. And while the early days
of the great conflict saw a German host pouring into Belgium, animated
by the battle-cry, "On to Paris!" the gathering legions of the Czar
headed to the west and crossed the Prussian frontier with hoarse,
resounding shouts of "On to Berlin!"


The mobilization of the Russian army was slow compared with that
of Germany, France and Austria, and some weeks elapsed after the
declaration of war before Russia was prepared to attack Germany with
the full force of which it was capable. The immense distances to be
traversed by troops proceeding to the frontier and by the reserves to
their respective depots caused delays that were unavoidable but were
minimized by the eagerness of the Russian soldiery to get to the front.
In Russia, as in all the other great countries engaged in the conflict,
with the probable exception of Austria, the war was popular and a wave
of patriotic enthusiasm and martial ardor swept over the land, from the
Baltic to the Black Sea, from St. Petersburg to Siberia.

In Russia military service is universal and begins at the age of 20,
continuing for twenty-three years. There are three divisions of the
Russian army--the European, Caucasian and Asiatic armies. Military
service of the Russian consists of three years in the first line,
fourteen years in the reserve (during which time he has to undergo two
periods of training of six weeks each) and five years in the territorial
reserve. The Cossacks, however, hold their land by military tenure and
are liable to serve at any time in the army. They provide their own
horses and accouterments. The total strength of the Russian army is
about 5,500,000 men; the field force of the European army consists of
1,000,000 soldiers with about the same number in the second line. There
were besides at the beginning of the war over 5,000,000 men unorganized
but available for duty.


Since the disastrous war with Japan the Russian army has been
reorganized and it has profited largely by the harsh experience of the
Manchurian campaign.

The physique of the Russian infantryman is second to none in Europe. The
Russian "moujik" (peasant) is from childhood accustomed to cover long
distances on foot, so that marches of from 30 to 40 miles are covered
without fatigue by even the youngest recruits. They wear long boots,
which are made of excellent soft leather, so that sore feet were quite
the exception even in Manchuria, where very long marches were undergone
by many of the units.

Each regiment of infantry contains four battalions commanded by a major
or lieutenant-colonel. The battalion consists of four companies of
men, commanded by a captain, so that each regiment on a war footing
numbers upwards of 2,000 men.

The Russian cavalry is divided into two main categories. There are the
heavy regiments of the Guard, which consist mainly of Lancer regiments,
and there are also numberless Cossack or irregular cavalry regiments,
which are recruited chiefly from the districts of the River Don and the
highlands of the Caucasus.

The horses of the Russian horse and field artillery are distinctly poor
and very inferior to those of the cavalry. The artillery is
therefore somewhat slow in coming into action. But the horses, while
weedy-looking, are very hardy and pull the guns up steep gradients.
The Russian gunners prefer to take up "indirect" rather than "direct"
positions. Batteries are also rather slow in changing positions and in
moving up in support of their infantry units.


What the Uhlans are to the German army, the Cossacks of the Don and the
Caucasus are to the Russians--scouts, advance guards and "covering"
cavalry. They are good all-round fighters, capable of long-continued
effort and tireless in the saddle; they are also trained to fight in
dismounted action.

As a soldier the Cossack is altogether unique; his ways are his own and
his confidence in his officers and himself is perfect. His passionate
love of horses makes his work a pleasure. The Cossack seat on horseback
is on a high pad-saddle, with the knee almost vertical and the heel well
drawn back. Spurs are not worn, and another remarkable thing is that
he has absolutely no guard to his sword. The Russian soldier scorns
buttons; he says, "They are a nuisance; they have to be cleaned, they
wear away the cloth, they are heavy, and they attract the attention of
the enemy."

The Cossack pony is a quaint little beast to look at, but the finest
animal living for his work, and very remarkable for his wonderful powers
of endurance. The Cossack and his mount have been likened to a clever
nurse and a spoilt child--each understands and loves the other, but
neither is completely under control. The Cossack does not want his horse
to be a slave, and recognizes perfectly that horses, like children, have
their whims and humors and must be coaxed and reasoned with, but rarely
punished. The famous knout (whip) is carried by the Cossacks at the end
of a strap across the left shoulder. Most of the men are bearded and in
full dress, with the high fur cap stuck jauntily on the head of square
cut hair, the Cossack presents a picturesque and martial figure. The
appearance of these men is quite different from that of the clean-shaven
regular infantryman of the Russian army.


"While the direct objective of the Russians was Berlin, there were
many reasons why a bee-line course could not be followed. Germany had
prepared an elaborate defense system to cover the direct approaches to
Berlin, and the fortresses of Danzig, Graudenz, Thorn, and Posen were
important points in this scheme. The nature of the country also adapts
itself to these defensive works and would make progress slow for an

Moreover, as Austria and her forces mobilized before Russia, a diversion
was created by the Austrian invasion of south Poland, in which the
Germans also took the offensive. Under these circumstances the Russian
plan of campaign resolved itself into three parts:--

(1) A northern movement from Kovno and Grodno on Insterburg and
Königsberg as a counter-attack.

(2) A central movement from Warsaw towards Posen with supporting
movements north and south.

(3) A southern movement on Lublin in Poland to repulse the invaders
combined with a movement from the east on Lemberg in order to turn the
Austrian flank.

The first purpose of Russia was to clear Poland of enemies, as they
threatened the Russian left flank. At the same time Russia took the
offensive by an invasion of Prussia in the north. This latter movement
led to a victory at Gumbinnen and the investment of Königsberg. Later
came victory at Lublin, rolling back the Austrians, and the capture of
Lemberg, which signalized the Russian invasion of Austrian territory.
Thus Russia was for awhile clear of the enemy, while she established a
strong footing in both Prussia and Austria.

[Illustration: THE RUSSIAN PLAN OF CAMPAIGN In the above view the German
lines of defense are shown black, the Austrian lines of defense are
indicated by crossed lines, and the Russian advances are shown by

We can now understand the main Russian plan a little better. In the
north the army was to advance from Königsberg and endeavor to cut off
Danzig and break the line of defenses between that place and Thorn, thus
leaving this fortress in the rear. In the south the Austrians, already
heavily punished, would be driven back on the Carpathian passes to
the south, and westward also toward Cracow, which is the key to the
situation. If Cracow fell Russia would have a good route into Germany,
and the move would be supported by advances from Warsaw, thus
threatening Breslau from two sides.


Early in September, however, the danger of the Russian advance into
Germany, which apparently had given the German general staff but little
concern at first, was fully realized and large bodies of German troops
were detached from the western theater of war and hurried to the eastern
frontier. Germany had evidently reckoned on Austria being able to hold
its ground better, and was badly prepared for a flanking move on Breslau
so early in the campaign. But the Servian and Russian defeats of Austria
left Germany to bear the full force of the terrific Russian onslaught,
and her forces proved equal to the occasion. Under General von
Hindenberg the German army of the east soon repelled the Russian
invaders and forced them to retire from East Prussia across their own
border, where they were followed by the Germans. A series of engagements
on Russian soil followed, in which the advantage lay as a rule with the
Germans. The losses on both sides were heavy, but the Germans captured
many thousands of Russian prisoners and considerable quantities of arms
and munitions of war. The immense resources of the Russian empire in men
and material made the problem of Russian invasion a very serious one for
Germany. This was fully realized by the Kaiser, who about October 1,
at the end of the second month of the war, proceeded in person to his
eastern frontier to direct the defensive operations against Russia.


About the same time the Czar, Nicholas II, also took the field in
person, arriving at the front on October 5, accompanied by General
Soukhomlinoff, the Russian minister of war.

"I am resolved to go to Berlin itself, even if it causes me to lose my
last moujik (peasant)," the Czar is reported as saying in September. The
spirit and temper of the Russian government may be judged by the fact
that before the war was many days old the name of the Russian capital
was officially changed from "St. Petersburg," which was considered to
have a German flavor, to "Petrograd," a purely Russian or Slavic form of


By the third week of August, according to an announcement from
Petrograd, Russian troops had checked an attempt by the Austrians to
enter Poland from the Galician frontier and were preparing to invade
Austria on a large scale. At that time Russia was said to have 2,000,
men under arms for the invasion of Germany and Austria, also 500,000 on
the Roumanian and Turkish borders, and 3,000,000 men in reserve. (The
latter were called out by imperial ukase before Czar Nicholas started
for the front.) The Poles had been promised self-government and had been
called on to support Russia. The Jews throughout the Russian empire were
also promised a greater measure of protection, freedom of action and
civil rights. These measures inaugurated an era of better feeling in
Russia and Poland and were strongly approved by the allies of Russia.

Most of the Austrian reserves were mobilized by August 15 and Germany's
ally announced that she would soon have her total war strength of
2,000,000 men in the field. Austria sent some troops to join the German
forces in Belgium and an army of several hundred thousand men was
gathered along the Austro-Russian frontier under command of the Archduke
Frederick. General Rennenkampf was in command of the Russian forces for
the invasion of East Prussia, while General Russky led the Russian army
operating against Galicia.


Within a week the Russian movement in eastern Germany assumed menacing
proportions, the great army of invasion having moved rapidly,
considering the natural obstacles. More than 800,000 men were sent over
the border into Prussia. The Germans evacuated a number of towns, after
setting them afire, and a considerable part of the Kaiser's eastern
field forces was bottled up in military centers. Germany's active field
force was at this time inferior in numbers to the invading army.

By the capture of Insterberg the Russians paralyzed one of the main
German strategic centers and gained control of an important railroad.
The German Twentieth Army Corps was reported to have been routed near
Lyck. At the start the Russian forces extended from Insterberg to
Goldapp, a distance of about thirty-two miles. Seventy-five
miles further on was the first of the two strong German lines of

Early victories were claimed by the Russians in their advance into
Austria, which was made slowly. Austria then turned to fight the Russian
invasion. It was forced to gather all its forces for this principal
struggle and hence retired from offensive operations against the
Servians. Unless she could halt the Russians pouring in from the north,
a success against Servia could do her no good.

By the first of September the Russian advance into East Prussia was
well under way and the strong fortress of Königsberg was in danger of a
siege, German troops were being rushed to its defense. In Galicia there
were fierce encounters between the Russian invaders and the Austrians.
Several victories were claimed by the Russians all along the line and
whole brigades of Austrian troops were reported destroyed, while the
Russian losses were also admittedly heavy. The fiercest fighting
occurred in the vicinity of Lemberg, the capital of Galicia, which was
soon to fall to General Russky. The Austrian attack on Russian Poland
failed and the Austrians were driven back across their own frontier. The
Russians were seeking to destroy the hope of the Kaiser for help from
Austria in Eastern Germany, where the Russian advance, ridiculed or
belittled by Germany before it began, became more menacing every day.
The German war plans had contemplated a quick, decisive blow in France
and then a rapid turn to the East to meet the Russians with a tremendous
force. But the belligerency of the Belgians and the cooperation of the
British balked these plans, while the Russians moved faster than was
expected by their foe. Austria had failed everywhere to stop the Czar's
forces, and then came a crushing blow to Austrian hopes in a ruinous
defeat near Lemberg and the loss of that fortress.


The capture of Lemberg from the Austrians early in September after a
four days' battle was one of the striking Russian successes of the war.
Details reached the outer world on September 10th from Petrograd (St.
Petersburg) as follows, the story being that of an eyewitness:

"The commencement of the fighting which resulted in the capture of
Lemberg began August 29th, when the Russians drove the enemy from
Zisczow (forty-five miles east of Lemberg) and moved on to Golaya
Gorka--a name which means 'the naked hill.'

"We spent the night on Naked Hill, and the actual storming of the town
was begun at 2:30 o'clock in the morning. Then followed a four days'
battle. A virtually continuous cannonade continued from dawn to darkness
without cessation.

"Even in the darkness the weary fighters got little sleep. Whenever a
single shot was heard the men dashed for their places and the battle
boiled again with renewed fury.

"The enemy's counter attacks were delivered with great energy and a
dense hail of lead and iron was poured over our ranks. The Russian
advance was greatly impeded by the hilly nature of the ground and
the great number of extinct craters, which formed splendid natural
fortifications for the enemy, which held them doggedly. Out of these,
however, the enemy was driven in succession.

"We suffered much from thirst, for the stony, country was devoid of
springs. The days were oppressively hot and the nights bitterly cold.


"Both sides fought with great obstinacy, but the nearer we approached
Lemberg the harder the struggle became. However, it soon was evident
that we were superior in artillery.

"At length the enemy was driven from all sides beneath the protection of
the Lemberg forts. Our troops were very weary, but in high spirits.

"For two days the fight raged around the forts, but we were always
confident of the prowess of our artillery. The big guns of both sides
rained a terrific hail down on the armies, which suffered terrific

"At last we noticed that the resistance of the forts was growing weaker.
A charge at double quick was ordered, and we carried the first line of

"It was evident from that point that many of the enemy's guns had been
destroyed. Not enough of them had been left to continue an effective
defense, but the enemy was undiscouraged and tried to make up with rifle
fire what it lacked in artillery.


"Between the first and second lines our losses were heavier than before,
but under bayonet charges the enemy broke and fled in panic.

"Our troops entered the town at the enemy's heels. We ran into the town,
despite our fatigue, with thunderous cheering.

"An episode which had much to do with ending the enemy's dogged
resistance occurred during the fighting between the first and second
lines. The Austrians in the hope of checking the Russian effort to
encircle the town had thrown out a heavy screen of Slav troops with a
backing of Magyars who had been ordered to shoot down the Slavs from
behind if they showed any hesitation.

"This circumstance became known to the Russian commander, who ordered a
terrific artillery fire over the heads of the Slavs and into the ranks
of the Magyars. This well-directed fire set the whole line in panic."

More than 35,000 Austrians and Russian wounded were abandoned on the
field of battle between Tarnow, Lemberg and Tarnopol owing to lack of
means of transportation, according to reliable reports. Both armies
declined to ask for an armistice for the burial of the dead and the
collection of the wounded, each fearing to give an advantage to the


The immense superiority of the Austrian forces east of Lemberg enabled
the Austrians at first to adopt the offensive. As soon, however, as
the Austrians realized the impossibility of an advance on Warsaw they
concentrated their large and overwhelming forces in an attempt to
outflank the right wing of the Russian army, which was drawing slowly
but surely towards Lemberg, On the other Russian flank the two
Russian army corps, after crossing the River Zlota Lipa without much
opposition, continued their advance to the River Knila Lipa, where they
found the bridges had all been destroyed by the Austrian advance guards.
Two bridges were constructed on the Rogarten-Halicz line, which enabled
a crossing to be effected in spite of heavy and incessant artillery fire
from the Austrian 24-centimeter guns.

Once across the river, the two Russian corps crossed the upper reaches
of the River Boog and so approached the town of Lemberg from the east.
The main Austrian army, however, had by this time moved up to bar the
further advance of the Russian forces, and the whole of their armies on
the left bank of the River Vistula being in front of the three Russian
corps, the latter were compelled to adopt a defensive rôle for three or
four days, after which, having received large reinforcements, the
Russian force moved forward and drove the Austrian troops out of their
entrenchments outside Lemberg at the point of the bayonet. A desperate
attempt was made by means of a counter-attack to arrest the advance of
the Russian troops, but this only resulted in the capture of 6,000
Austrian prisoners.

Battle grounds of Eastern Prussia and of Galicia, where the Austrians
were repeatedly defeated with heavy losses.]

Lemberg was not a fortress but was recently converted into a
semi-fortified place, as a series of lunettes, redoubts, etc., had been
hastily prepared. It was the headquarters of the 11th Austrian Corps,
which consisted of the famous 43rd Landwehr infantry division, and was
further divided into three Landwehr brigades. There was also a Landwehr
Uhlan regiment, together with a howitzer division of field artillery.
These batteries were armed with 10.5-centimeter guns, fitted with the
German or Krupp eccentric breech action. The forts outside the town were
said to be armed with the 15-centimeter siege gun made of steel, also
with a Krupp action. The ammunition for these guns is chiefly high
explosive shell and shrapnel; one of the forts is also said to have had
a battery of three 24-centimeter heavy siege guns of quite a modern


When Lemberg fell the Russian advance covered a line extending from far
up in Eastern Prussia, near Tilsit, across the frontier and on down
south into Austrian Galicia. Königsberg was hearing the sound of the
Russian guns and its besiegers seemed on the verge of victory. A central
column of mighty strength was pushing its way into Germany, despite a
stubborn resistance. Then the tide turned. German reinforcements were
brought up and under General von Hindenberg the Germans administered a
severe defeat to General Rennenkampf's army near Allenstein, in which
it was claimed that 60,000 prisoners were taken. Other reverses were
suffered by the Russians and soon after the middle of September they had
been forced to retire from German territory, the German troops following
them into Russia, where a series of minor engagements occurred near the


The operations leading to the defeat of General Rennenkampf's Russian
army by the Germans were as follows:

From September 7 to 13 the Russians took a strong position on the line
from Angerburg to Gerdauen, Allenburg, and Kehlau, the left wing resting
on the Mazurian lakes and the right wing protected in the rear and flank
by the forest of Frisching, whose pathless woods and swamps furnished
an almost impregnable position. The Russians devoted great efforts to
intrenching their position and brought up besides their heavy artillery.
Russian cavalry scouted far to the west and south, but otherwise the
army-undertook no offensive operations in the days following a battle at

The German forces, according to the German official account, were
composed of the Second, Third, Fourth and Twentieth corps, two reserve
divisions and five cavalry divisions.

General von Hindenburg, the German commander, meanwhile was assembling
every available man, depriving the fortresses of their garrisons and
calling in all but a bare remnant of the force protecting the southern
frontier in the vicinity of Soldau, adding them to reinforcements
received from the west.

General von Hindenburg again resorted to the customary German flanking
movement, and since the German right, protected by the forest and
marshes, seemed too strong, he adopted the daring strategy of sending
the flanking force to the lake region to the south, the same character
of movement by which the Russian Narew army had been defeated on August
28, in the vicinity of Ortelsburg, and which in case of failure might
have been equally as disastrous for the Germans.


The strategy, however, succeeded, although General Rennenkampf offered a
desperate resistance to the frontal attacks. After three days' fighting
the Russians were forced back slightly in the center. When the flank
movement of the Germans was discovered already threatening the flank,
a counter-movement was launched with a new army collected at Lyck,
including the Twenty-second corps and parts of the Third Siberian corps,
just arriving from Irkutsk, and the balance of the defeated army. The
counter-attacks failed and on September 10 the Russians began to fall
back on their main position, retreating in good order and well covered.

The Russian artillery on the right wing appears to have made a good
retreat owing to a timely start, while the left wing was hard pressed by
the enveloping German infantry. From this wing the Russians retreated
across the border in two columns, while the main body went northward
and the others in an easterly direction, pursued by the Germans, who
advanced far from the border.

The German government appointed Count von Merveldt as governor of the
Russian province of Suwalki and other points occupied by them.

The University of Koenigsberg on September 18 conferred upon General von
Hindenburg honorary doctors' degrees from all four of the departments of
philosophy, theology, law and medicine, in recognition of his success
against the Russian invader.


In Galicia, however, Russian successes continued. The important fortress
of Mikolajoff, 25 miles south of Lemberg, was captured and this cleared
away every Austrian stronghold east of Przemysl, which was then invested
by the Russians.

Austria was now struggling for her very existence as a monarchy.
Following the crushing defeats administered to the Austrian troops and
with the Czar's forces sweeping Galicia, Vienna was hurriedly fortified.
All reports indicated that the large Austrian force, nearly 1,000,
men in all, opposing the main Russian invasion had proved ineffective.
Help from Germany did not arrive in time. Official dispatches reported
the main Austrian army retreating, pursued and harassed by the Russians.
The other important Austrian army was surrounded near Lublin.

While the Muscovite host went smashing through Galicia, chasing the
Austrian army before it, the Russian staff belittled the retreat from
East Prussia, saying that the Russian army was merely falling back on
a new defensive position. The German artillery had been getting in its
deadly work and the pressure on Koenigsberg was soon to be relieved.

There were many reports at this time of a popular demand in Austria that
an end be made to the struggle. Peace talk was a marked feature of the
sixth week of the war, but there were no definite results in any part of
the immense theater of war.

The third week of September found the Germans, greatly reinforced,
making a strong resistance to Russian progress, with the aid of the
heavy German artillery. The shattered Austrian armies, under Generals
von Auffenberg and Dankl, were making desperate endeavors to concentrate
in the vicinity of Rawaruska, but were apparently surrounded by the
Russians, who continued to capture Austrian prisoners by the thousand.
Fears were entertained for Cracow, one of the strongest fortresses in
Austria, if not in Europe, which seemed likely soon to fall into the
hands of Russia.

It was stated in Rome, and said to be admitted in Vienna, that the
Archduke Frederick, commanding the Austrian forces in Galicia, had
lost 120,000 men, or one-fourth of his entire army. German troops were
reported marching south toward Poland to assist the Austrians.

The Russian successes in Galicia gave them command of the Galician
oil-fields, upon which Germany largely depended for her supply of
gasoline, which is a prime necessary in modern war.


On September 21 the Russians began the bombardment of Przemysl, having
previously occupied Grodek and Mosciska, west of Lemberg. The shattered
second Austrian army was evidently incapable of staying the Russian
advance, and took refuge in Przemysl. A part of this Galician stronghold
was soon captured by the Russians, forcing the Austrians to take refuge
in the eastern forts, where the entire garrison was concentrated at the
end of September, preparing to make a final resistance. The situation of
the garrison was critical, as it was entirely surrounded by the enemy.
On September 21 also the Russian troops took by storm the fortifications
of Jaroslav, on the river San, and captured many guns.

The German offensive from East Prussia was apparently halted October
by the almost impassable condition of the Russian roads in the north.
Germany was said to have at this time thirty army corps of the line and
the first reserve prepared to operate against Russia and to resist the
Russian advance upon Cracow.

The German main defenses against Russia extended in a general line from
Koenigsberg to Danzig, thence south along the Vistula to the great
fortress of Thorn. From there the fortified line swung to the southwest
to Posen, thence south to Breslau, the main fortress along the Oder, and
from there to Cracow.

Early in October the Russian invasion of Hungary began. The Russian
armies continued to sweep through Galicia and that province was reported
clear of Austrian troops. The German successes claimed against the Czar
farther north included victories at Krasnik and Zamoso, in Russian
Poland; Insterburg and Tannenburg, in East Prussia.


A Russian estimate places the Austrian losses in Galicia at 300,
in killed, wounded and prisoners, or nearly one-third of their total
forces. They also lost, it was claimed at Petrograd, 1,000 guns, more
than two-thirds of their available artillery.

The Russian newspaper correspondents described horrible scenes on the
battlefields abandoned by the Austro-German forces in Galicia.

"Streams," said one eyewitness, "were choked full with slain men,
trodden down in the headlong flight till the waters were dammed and
overflowing the banks. Piles of dead are awaiting burial or burning.
Hundreds of acres are sown with bodies and littered with weapons and
battle debris, while wounded and riderless horses are careering madly
over the abandoned country. The trophies captured comprise much German
equipment. An ammunition train captured at Janow (eleven miles northwest
of Lemberg) was German, while the guns taken included thirty-six of
heavy caliber bearing Emperor William's initials and belonging to the
German Sixth army corps.

"The line of retreat of the Austro-German forces was blocked with debris
of every kind--valuable military supplies, telephone and telegraph
installations, light railway and other stores, bridging material--in
fact, everything needed by a modern army was flung away in flight. Over
1,000 wagons with commissariat supplies alone were captured."

Forty-five thousand Austro-German prisoners were reported to have
arrived at Lublin. Russian correspondents with the armies in Galicia
asserted that German troops were interspersed with Austrian troops in
the intrenchments in order to raise the morale of the Austrians. One
correspondent declared that while the Austrians often took flight the
Germans were ready, to the last man, to perish.


The first American permitted to witness actual battles near the eastern
frontier of Germany was Karl H. von Wiegand, who wrote as follows from
the firing line near East Wirballen, Russian Poland, October 9:

"The German artillery today beat back, in a bloody, ghastly smear of
men, the Russian advance.

"Yesterday I saw an infantry engagement. Today it was mostly an
artillery encounter. The infantry attack is the more ghastly, but the
artillery the more awe-inspiring. This was the fifth day of constant
fighting and still the German trenches hold.

"Today's battle opened at dawn. With two staff officers assigned as my
chaperons, I had been attached overnight to the field headquarters. I
slept well, exhausted by the excitement of my first sight of modern war,
but when dawn once again revealed the two long lines of the Russian and
German positions the Russian guns began to hurl their loads of shrapnel
at the German trenches.

"We had breakfast calmly enough despite the din of guns. Then we went
to one of the German batteries on the left center. They were already
in action, though it was only 6 o'clock. The men got the range
from observers a little in advance, cunningly masked, and slowly,
methodically, and enthusiastically fed the guns with their loads of

"The Russians didn't have our range. All of their shells flew screaming
1,000 yards to our left. Through my glasses I watched them strike.
The effect on the hillock was exactly as though a geyser had suddenly
spurted up. A vast cloud of dirt and stones and grass spouted up, and
when the debris cleared away a great hole showed.


"While we watched the Russians seemed to tire of shooting holes in an
inoffensive hill. They began to try chance shots to the right and to the
left. It wasn't many minutes before I realized that, standing near a
battery, the execution of which must have been noted on the Russian
side, I had a fine chance of experiencing shrapnel bursting overhead. It
was a queer sensation to peer through field glasses and see the Russian
shells veer a few hundred feet to the right. I saw one strike a
windmill, shattering the long arms and crumpling it over in a slow
burning heap. Then we beat a retreat, further toward the center.

"We had been standing behind a slight declivity. I hadn't caught a
glimpse of the enemy. Shells were the only things that apprised us
of the Russian nearness. But as we passed out on an open field,
considerably out of range of the field guns, I could see occasional
flashes that bespoke field pieces, a mile or so away.


"Back behind us, on the extreme left, I was told the Russians were
attacking the German trenches by an infantry charge, the German field
telephone service having apprised the commanders along the front. With
glasses we could see a faint line of what must have been the Russian
infantry rushing across the open fields.

"We passed on to the center, going slightly to the rear for horses. As
we arrived at the right wing we witnessed the last of a Russian infantry
advance at that end. The wave of Russians had swept nearly to the German
trenches, situated between two sections of field artillery, and there
had been repulsed. Russians were smeared across in front of these pits,
dead, dying, or wounded--cut down by the terrible spray of German
machine guns.

"I got up to the trenches as the German fire slackened because of the
lack of targets. The Russians had gone back. Strewn in the trenches
were countless empty shells, the bullets of which had, as it looked to
inexpert eyes, slain thousands. As a matter of fact, there were hundreds
of dead in the field ahead.


"German infantrymen spat on their rapid firers as we reached the trench
and delightedly called our attention to the sizzle that told how hot the
barrels were from the firing.

"The men stretched their cramped limbs, helped a few wounded to the
rear, and waited for breakfast. It was not long forthcoming. Small lines
of men struggling along tinder steaming buckets came hurrying up to the
accompaniment of cheers and shouts. They bore soup that the men in the
trenches gulped down ravenously. Meanwhile men with the white brassard
and the red Geneva cross were busy out in the open, lending succor to
the Russian wounded. The battle seemed to have come to a sudden halt.

"But even as I was getting soup, the artillery fusillade broke forth
again. From 9 o'clock to noon the Russians hurled their heavy shells at
the German trenches and the German guns. The German batteries replied

"There was mighty little fuss and feathers about this business of
dealing death from guns. The crews at each piece laughed among
themselves, but there were none of the picturesque shouts of command,
the indiscriminate blowing of bugles, and the flashy waving of battle
flags that the word battle usually conjures up. It was merely a deadly
business of killing.

"Over to the right, a scant 300 yards away, the Russians had apparently
succeeded in getting the range. As I watched through the glasses I saw
shrapnel burst over the battery there and watched a noncommissioned
soldier fall with three of his comrades. I was told that one had been
killed and three wounded. The Red Cross crew came up and bore away the
four--the dead and the live--and before they were gone the gun was
speaking away with four fresh men working it.

"But the shrapnel kept bursting away over it and soon an orderly came
riding furiously back on his horse, saluted the officers with me, and
shouted as he hurried back to the artillery reserve: 'Six inch shells to
the front; more ammunition.'

"I went back to see the wounded, but the surgeon wouldn't let me. I
expressed to him my wonder at the few wounded. I had seen only a few in
the trenches, and no German dead until I saw the artilleryman killed.
He explained that the losses on the German side were light because
the trenches were well constructed and because there had been no
hand-to-hand, bayonet to bayonet fighting.


"Yesterday, my first day at Wirballen, I saw the third attempt of the
Russians to carry the German center by storm. Twice on Wednesday their
infantry had advanced under cover of their artillery, only to be
repulsed. Their third effort proved no more successful.

"The preliminaries were well under way, without my appreciating their
significance, until one of my officer escorts explained.

"At a number of points along their line, observable to us, but screened
from the observation of the German trenches in the center, the Russian
infantry came tumbling out, and, rushing forward, took up advanced
positions, awaiting the formation of the new and irregular battle
line. Dozens of light rapid-firers were dragged along by hand. Other
troops--the reserves--took up semi-advanced positions. All the while the
Russian shrapnel was raining over the German trenches.

"Finally came the Russian order to advance. At the word hundreds of
yards of the Russian fighting line leaped, forward, deployed in open
order, and came on. Some of them came into range of the German trench
fire almost at once. These lines began to wilt and thin out.


"But on they came, all along the line, protected and unprotected alike,
rushing forward with a yell, pausing, firing, and advancing again.

"From the outset of the advance the German artillery, ignoring for the
moment the Russian artillery action, began shelling the onrushing mass
with wonderfully timed shrapnel, which burst low over the advancing
lines and tore sickening gaps.

"But the Russian line never stopped. For the third time in two days
they came tearing on, with no indication of having been affected by the
terrible consequences of the two previous charges. As a spectacle the
whole thing was maddening.

"On came the Slav swarm, into the range of the German trenches, with
wild yells and never a waver. Russian battle flags--the first I had
seen--appeared in the front of the charging ranks. The advance line
thinned and the second line moved up.

"Nearer and nearer they swept toward the German positions. And then came
a new sight. A few seconds later came a new sound. First I saw a sudden,
almost grotesque melting of the advancing line. It was different from
anything that had taken place before. The men literally went down like
dominoes in a row. Those who kept their feet were hurled back as though
by a terrible gust of wind. Almost in the second that I pondered,
puzzled, the staccato rattle of machine guns reached us. My ear answered
the query of my eye.


"For the first time the advancing line hesitated, apparently bewildered.
Mounted officers dashed along the line, urging the men forward. Horses
fell with the men. I saw a dozen riderless horses dashing madly through
the lines, adding a new terror. Another horse was obviously running away
with his officer rider. The crucial period for the section of the charge
on which I had riveted my attention probably lasted less than a minute.
To my throbbing brain it seemed an hour. Then, with the withering fire
raking them even as they faltered, the lines broke. Panic ensued. It was
every man for himself. The entire Russian charge turned and went tearing
back to cover and the shelter of the Russian trenches.

"I swept the entire line of the Russian advance with my glasses--as far
as it was visible from our position. The whole advance of the enemy was
in retreat, making for its intrenched position.


"After the assault had failed and the battle had resumed its normal
trend I swept the field with my glasses. The dead were everywhere. They
were not piled up, but were strewn over acres. More horrible than the
sight of the dead, though, were the other pictures brought up by the
glasses. Squirming, tossing, writhing figures everywhere! The wounded!
All who could stumble or crawl were working their way back toward their
own lines or back to the friendly cover of hills or wooded spots.

"After the charge we moved along back of the German lines at a safe
distance and found the hospital corps bringing back the German wounded.

"The artillerymen had resumed their duel and as we came up in the lee of
the outbuildings of a deserted farmhouse a shell struck and fired the
farmhouse immediately in front of us. As we paused to see if the shot
was a chance one, or if the Russian gunners had actually gotten the
range, a regiment of fresh reserves, young men who had just come up from
the west, passed us on their way to get their baptism of fire.

"Their demeanor was more suggestive of a group of college students going
to a football game than the serious business on which they were bent.
They were singing and laughing, and as they went by a noncommissioned
officer inquired rather ruefully whether there were any Russians left
for them.

"Throughout the day we watched the fight waged from the opposing
trenches and by the artillery.

"Suddenly at sundown the fighting ceased as if by mutual agreement. As I
write this I can see occasional flashes of light like the flare of giant
fireflies out over the scene of the Russian charge--the flashes of small
electrical lamps in the hands of the Russian hospital corps.

"I'm glad I don't have to look at what the flashes reveal out there in
the night."



  _Declaration of War by Austria--Bombardment of Belgrade--
  Servian Capital Removed--Seasoned Soldiers of Servia
  Give a Good Account of Themselves--Many Indecisive
  Engagements--Servians in Austrian Territory_.

Formal declaration of war against Servia was proclaimed by Austria on
Tuesday, July 28. The text of the official announcement was as follows:

"The Royal Government of Servia not having given a satisfactory reply to
the note presented to it by the Austro-Hungarian Ministry in Belgrade
on July 23, 1914, the Imperial and Royal Government of Austria-Hungary
finds it necessary itself to safeguard its rights and interests and to
have recourse for this purpose to the force of arms. Austria-Hungary,
therefore, considers itself from this moment in a state of war with

This declaration was signed by Count Berchtold, the Austrian minister
for foreign affairs.

The events that immediately preceded the declaration of war, as
summarized in a previous chapter, were as follows:

On June 28 a Slav student who thought he was a patriot killed the
Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, at Serajevo,
the capital of Bosnia, which had been lately made a province of Austria.
An inquiry was begun in which evidence was introduced to show that the
assassin's work was part of a plot for the revolt of the Southern Slav
provinces of Austria, and that it was instigated by Servians, if not by
the Servian Government. On July 23, however, before the investigation
was completed, Austria sent an ultimatum to Servia demanding that it use
every means in its power to punish the assassins and also to stop all
further anti-Austrian propaganda. Austria demanded that she be permitted
to have representatives in the work of investigation in Servia.

The next day, July 24, Russia joined the little Slav country in asking
for a delay. Austria refused to grant this.

On July 25, ten minutes before 6 p.m., the hour at which the ultimatum
expired, the Servian premier, M. Pashitch, gave his reply to the
Austrian ambassador at Belgrade. Servia agreed to all the conditions
and apologies demanded by Austria, except the requirement that Austrian
officials should be allowed to participate in the inquiry to be
conducted in Servia into the assassination of the Archduke. Even this
was not definitely refused.

On July 27 the Austrian foreign office issued a statement in which
appeared these words:

"The object of the Servian note is to create the false impression that
the Servian Government is prepared in great measure to comply with our

"As a matter of fact, however, Servians note is filled with the spirit
of dishonesty, which clearly lets it be seen that the Servian Government
is not seriously determined to put an end to the culpable tolerance
it hitherto has extended to intrigues against the Austro-Hungarian

Russia at once notified Austria that it could not permit Servian
territory to be invaded. It was then realized in Europe that the great
Slav nation would support its little brother. Germany let it be known
that no other country must interfere with the Austro-Servian embroglio,
which meant that Germany was prepared to back Austria.

An eleventh-hour proposal by the British foreign secretary, Sir Edward
Grey, that mediation between Servia and Austria be undertaken by a
conference of the Ambassadors in London, was accepted by France and
Italy, but declined by Germany and Austria. Then next day, July 28, came
Austria's declaration of war, which soon made Europe the theater of the
bloodiest struggle of all the ages.


Servians reply to the declaration of war was to concentrate a strong
division of its forces in the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar, from which they
would be in a position to threaten Bosnia and Herzegovina, the two
Balkan provinces that Austria had lately annexed. It was also reported
that Servia intended to invade Bosnia with the object of enlisting
further support from the Bosnian Serbs, who were said to be on the point
of rising against Austria-Hungary.

The country of the Servians being well suited for defense, they were
never completely overrun by the Turks, as other Balkan states were,
and as a consequence they still retain, like the Greeks, a native
aristocracy of culture. Physically, they are fairer than most of the
Balkan Slavs and more refined in appearance. By temperament they are
light-hearted, joyous, frivolous, and charming to deal with.

In Servia itself, including territory acquired in recent wars, there
are about 4,500,000 Serbs. In Austria there are about 3,500,000 Serbs,
including Croats who belong to the Servian race.

The Servians have long dreamed and talked and written of a greater
Servia, that should take in all the Servian race. They look back to the
time of King Stephen Dushan, in the fourteenth century, when Servia was
supreme in the Balkans and was nearly as advanced in civilization as the
most advanced nations of Europe. The re-establishment of this ancient
kingdom had become a passion with the Serbs--not only with those in
Servia, but with many in Hungary as well. Hence, their animus against
Austria and Austrian rule, while Austria's fight was, primarily, for
the preservation and solidification of her heterogeneous dominions;
secondarily, for revenge for the Archduke's death. Incidentally, it may
be mentioned that the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was a close personal
friend of the German Kaiser.


The Servian forces under General Radumil Putnik, consist of ten
divisions, divided into four army corps, with a peace footing of 160,
and a war strength of over 380,000. Most of the men called to arms
against Austria were veterans of the two recent Balkan wars, and hence
probably the most seasoned troops in Europe.

The rifle of the Servian army is the Mauser, model of 1899, with a
caliber of 7 millimeters, but it is doubtful if Servia possessed enough
of them to arm the reserves. The Servian field piece is a quick-firing
gun of the French Schneider-Canet system. The army has some 350 modern

At the outbreak of the war Servia had ten of the most modern aircraft,
but she had not developed their efficiency to a degree at which they
would be of much material benefit to her in the struggle.

The extremely mountainous nature of Servia and of the adjacent territory
of Bosnia make military movements somewhat slow and difficult,
especially for troops unaccustomed to mountain warfare. Compared with
this mountainous region, the district of Agram, where one Austrian army
corps had its headquarters, is easy country to operate in, while the
plain of Hungary on the opposite side of the Danube made the task of
concentrating troops an easy one for the Austrians.

Another Austrian army corps had its base at Serajevo in Bosnia. A
railway to the northeast from this Bosnian capital touches the Servian
border at Mokragora. To the north of this point lies Kragujevac, the new
capital of Servia, to which King Peter, his court and the Government
repaired from Belgrade just before the declaration of war. Southeast of
the new capital is the important Servian city of Nish.

The western frontier of Servia follows the windings of the Biver Drina,
a tributary of the Danube. The Danube itself forms part of the northern
boundary and the former capital. Belgrade, is picturesquely situated
on the south bank of the Danube at its junction with a tributary. Two
Austrian fortresses command the city from across the Danube. On the
plain of Hungary to the north is Temesvar, an important point at which
another Austrian army corps was located.


At the outset the chances of war were heavily against Servia. Such
artificial defenses as she possessed were on the Bulgarian frontier.
Many of her troops were engaged in endeavoring to establish Servian rule
among the neighboring peoples in her new Albanian possessions. Austria
was prepared to bring against her immediately the three army corps from
Temesvar, Serajevo and Agram, and four more corps, from Hermanstadt,
Budapest, Graz, and Kaschau, within a fortnight. Servians one hope
appeared to be the difficulty of the country, otherwise she could not
oppose for a moment the advance of 250,000 troops supported by
pieces of artillery. Then, too, Austria had warships on the Danube and
it was partly through this fact that it was decided by the Servian
Government to evacuate Belgrade and to retire to Kragujevac, sixty miles

In spite, however, of the seeming futility of opposition, Servia,
encouraged by Russian support, prepared for a strenuous campaign against
the Austrian forces, and the first two months of the war ended without
any decisive advantage to Austria. The Servians, on the other hand,
claimed numerous successes. Their task was lightened by the Russian
invasion of Austrian territory and the determined advance of the Czar's
host, which demanded the fullest strength of the Austrian forces to
resist. As the Russians hammered their enemy in Galicia the spirits of
the Servians rose and their seasoned soldiers gave a good account of
themselves in every encounter with Austrian troops. They crossed the
Drina and carried the war into Bosnia, putting up a stiff fight wherever
they encountered the enemy, and while they sustained severe losses
in killed and wounded during August and September, the losses they
inflicted upon the Austrians were still heavier.


The Austrian troops on the banks of the Danube became active soon after
war was declared. In the first few days they seized two Servian steamers
and a number of river boats. Belgrade was bombarded from across the
river and many of its public buildings, churches and private residences
suffered damage.

The hostile armies came into contact for the first time on the River
Drina, between Bosnia and Servia, and Vienna was compelled to admit
defeat in this preliminary engagement of the war. The Servians forced a
passage through the Austrian ranks, but only at the cost of many killed
and wounded.

When Crown Prince Alexander of Servia began the invasion of Bosnia
in earnest, in the middle of August, Austria found herself at a
disadvantage because of the necessity of massing most of her forces
against the Russians. Roumania and Montenegro were then preparing to
join the Servians in the field against Austria.

Later in August the Servians captured several of the enemy's strongholds
in Bosnia. After a four-day battle on the banks of the Drina the
Austrians were defeated with heavy loss, a large number of guns and
prisoners being captured by the Servians. The Montenegrin troops
repulsed an Austrian invading force and took several hundred prisoners
in an all-day battle on the frontier.

Early in September a heavy engagement was fought by the Servian and
Austrian armies near Jadar, resulting in Servian victory. It was claimed
that the Austrians left 10,000 dead on the field of battle. The Servians
also successfully defended Belgrade, which had been bombarded on several
occasions. Fifteen or twenty miles west of Belgrade on the Save River,
an Austrian force was decisively defeated by the Servians, who then
seemed to be duplicating the successes of the Russian army against

The attitude of Turkey was being closely watched at this time, Greece
and Bulgaria being prepared to enter the war against the Ottoman Empire
if the latter decided on belligerency, but on September 5 Turkey again
declared her intention to remain neutral.


Crossing the Save River into Hungary, the Servians scored a brilliant
stroke in the capture of Semlin, an important Austrian city. They also
reported continued successes in Bosnia. Reports of wholesale desertions
of Slavs from the Austrian army were received daily and probably had
considerable foundation in fact. It was said that the Servians were
being received enthusiastically by the people of Hungary.

These Servian triumphs led to the reorganization of the Balkan League,
including Servia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece.

On September 20 the Servian Government announced that an Austrian
attacking army which attempted to cross the frontier near the Sabatz
Mountains had been routed with a loss of 15,000 killed and wounded. The
Servian losses in this and other engagements were claimed to have been
small in comparison with those of the enemy.

Continuing their forward movement into Hungary, the Servians inflicted
further losses on the Austrians near Noviapazow, while the Montenegrins
reported a victory in the mountain slopes over their border.

On October 1 it was reported that the Servians had again repulsed an
Austrian attempt at invasion and had driven the Austrians back across
the Drina with loss. They had also checked another Austrian attempt
to take Belgrade. The Servian war office claimed that the combined
Servian-Montenegrin armies had made material progress in their invasion
of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that they were within striking distance of
Serajevo, which they expected to capture. This, however, was denied by
the Vienna ministry of war, which claimed that the Servian situation was
entirely satisfactory to Austria.

On October 5 Servian troops were reported to have begun a northeast
advance from Semlin, to effect a junction with two Russian columns
advancing southward in Hungary. One of these columns was then assaulting
a fortress in Northwest Hungary, sixty-six miles southeast of Olmutz,
while the other was descending the valley of the Nagyan against Huszt
in the province of Marmaros. This latter province or county, which the
Russians invaded through the Carpathian passes, lies in the northeast of
Hungary, bordering on Galicia, Bukowina and Transylvania. There was a
legend that the eastern Carpathians are impregnable, but this legend was
destroyed by the Russian invasion.

Before attaining Uzsok pass, in the Carpathians, the Russians
successively captured by a wide flanking movement three well-masked
positions which were strongly defended by guns. Each time the Russians
charged the enemy fled and the Russians followed up the Austrian retreat
with shrapnel and quick fire, inflicting heavy losses.

German troops joined the Austrian forces in Hungary and at some points
succeeded in repulsing the invaders, though their general advance was
not decisively checked and they continued the endeavor to effect a
junction with the Servians to the south. Advices from Budapest, October
6, declared that the Russians had captured Marmaros-Sziget, capital of
the county of Marmaros, necessitating the removal of the government of
that department to Huszt, twenty-eight miles west-northwest of Sziget.
A second Russian column was reported to be threatening Huszt and
Austro-German reinforcements were being hurried up to check the Russian

--Kessler in the New York _Evening Sun_.]



  _Thrilling Incidents of the Great War Told by Actual Combatants
  --Personal Experiences from the Lips of Survivors
  of the World's Bloodiest Battles--Tales of
  Prisoners of War, Wounded Soldiers and Refugees
  Rendered Homeless in Blighted Arena of Conflict_.


Cavalry fighting on the banks of the River Marne in the year 1914 was
almost identical with the charge in the days when Hannibal's Numidian
horse charged at Romans at Lake Trasimene, or when Charles Martel and
the chivalry of France worsted the Moors and saved Europe on the plains
of Tours.

A good description of a cavalry charge was given by Private Capel of the
Third British Hussars, a veteran of the Boer war, who took part in the
fighting beginning at Mons and was separated from his regiment in a
charge at Coulommiers, in the battle of the Marne, when his horse fell.

"You hear," said he, "the enemy's bugles sounding the charge. Half a
mile away you see the Germans coming and it seems that in an instant
they will be on you. You watch fascinated and cold with a terror that
makes you unable to lift an arm or do anything but wait and tremble.

"They come closer and still you are horrorstruck. Then you feel your
horse fretting and suddenly you start from your daze, and fear changes
suddenly to hate. Your hand goes to the saber hilt, your teeth clinch
and you realize that you must strike hard before the enemy, who is now
very close, can strike. Every muscle tightens with the waiting.

"Before your own bugles have sounded two notes of the charge you find
yourself leaning forward over the neck of your galloping horse. All the
rest is a mad gallop, yells of the enemy and your own answer, a terrible
shock in which you are almost dismounted, and then you find yourself
face to face with a single opponent who, standing up in the stirrups, is
about to split your head. You notice that you are striking like a fiend
with the saber.

"After that madness passes it seems almost like a complex maneuver and
soon you find yourself riding for dear life--perhaps to escape, perhaps
after the Germans. You then realize that you have been whipped and that
the charge has failed, or you see the backs of the fleeing enemy,
feel your horse straining in pursuit and know that you have gained a


The official reports of the loss of life in the battles in France tell
of the large number of officers killed. Sharp-shooters on both sides
have had instructions to aim at officers. These sharpshooters are often
concealed far in advance of their troops. Their small number and their
smokeless powder make their discovery most difficult. This lesson was
learned at great cost to the British during the Boer war.

Dispatches from Bordeaux stated that letters found on dead and captured
German officers prove the truth of reports regarding the terrible
mortality in the German ranks, especially among officers. In the Tenth
and Imperial Guard Corps of the German army it is said that only a few
high ranking officers escaped being shot, and many have been killed.
The German officers have distinguished themselves by their courage,
according to the stories of both British and French who fought them.

An officer of an Imperial Guard regiment, who was taken prisoner after
being wounded, said:

"My regiment left for the front with sixty officers; it counts today
only five. "We underwent terrible trials."

A German artillery officer wrote:

"Modern war is the greatest of follies. Companies of 250 men in the
Tenth Army Corps have been reduced to seventy men, and there are
companies of the guard commanded by volunteers of a year, all the
officers having disappeared."


The following is from a letter, written during the prolonged battle of
the Aisne by a lieutenant of the Twenty-sixth German Artillery:

"The Tenth Corps has been constantly in action since the opening of the
campaign. Nearly all our horses have fallen. We fight every day from
5 in the morning till 8 at night, without eating or drinking. The
artillery fire of the French is frightful. We get so tired that we
cannot ride a horse, even at a walk. Toward noon our battery was
literally under a rain of shrapnel shells and that lasted for three
days. We hope for a decisive battle to end the situation, for our troops
cannot rest. A French aviator last night threw four bombs, killing four
men and wounding eight, and killing twenty horses and wounding ten more.
We do not receive any more mail, for the postal automobiles of the Tenth
Corps have been destroyed."


Many men in the trenches have proved themselves heroes in the war. A
wounded British private told this story:

"We lay in the trench, my friend and I, and when the order to fire came
we shot, and shot till our rifles burned up. Still the Germans swarmed
on toward us, and then my friend received a bad wound. I turned to my
work again, continuing to shoot slowly. Then I rose a little too high on
my shoulder.

"Do you know what it is like to be wounded? A little sting pierced my
arm like a hot wire; too sharp almost to be sore, and my rifle fell from
me. I looked at my friend then and he was dead."

In one casualty list made public by the British war office in September,
sixteen officers were reported killed, thirty-eight wounded and ten
missing. The famous Coldstream Guards and the Black Watch regiments were
among the sufferers.


A correspondent in France described the death of General Neil Douglas
Findley of the British Royal Artillery as follows:

"When at dawn the British advance continued toward Soissons the enemy
was fighting an exceptionally fierce rearguard action. A terrible
shell fire was directed against our artillery under General Findley,
temporarily situated in a valley by the village of Prise. It seemed a
matter of moments when we should have to spike our guns and General
Findley saw the urgency for action.

"'Boys,' his voice echoed down the line, 'we are going to get every gun
into position,' Then deliberately the general approached a regimental
chaplain kneeling beside a gunner. 'Here are some of my personal
belongings, chaplain. See that they don't go astray,'

"One by one our guns began to blaze away and the general had a word
of encouragement and advice for every man. In vain his staff tried to
persuade him to leave the danger zone.

"Our range was perfect, the German fire slackened and died away and with
a yell our men prepared to advance. The outburst came too soon, one
parting shell exploding in a contact with Findley's horse, shattering
man and beast."


While their men battled on a road near Antwerp, it is said that a
Belgian cavalry sergeant and an officer of German Uhlans fought a
revolver duel which ended when the Belgian killed his foe, sending a
bullet into his neck at close range.

The daring Uhlans had approached close to the Antwerp fortifications on
a reconnoitering expedition. They were seen by a small Belgian force,
which immediately went out on the road to give battle. As they neared
each other, the German commander shouted a jibe at the Belgian sergeant.
There was no answer, but the sergeant rode at a gallop straight for
the Uhlan. Miraculously escaping the shots aimed at him, he drew up
alongside the officer and informed him that his life was to be forfeited
for the insulting words he had uttered. Both began firing with their
revolvers, while at the same time their men clashed.

Only a few of the soldiers witnessed the thrilling duel, for they
themselves were fighting desperately. After their officer's death the
Uhlans withdrew, leaving a number of dead. Someone carried word of the
duel to King Albert, who had just arrived in Antwerp, and he called
before him and personally congratulated the sergeant, Henri Pyppes. The
latter was wounded in the arm by one of the Uhlan's bullets, but he
refused to be taken to the hospital and remained on duty in the field.


Count Guerry de Beauregard, a French veteran of the war of 1870, thus
announced the death of a son at the front: "One son already has met the
death of the brave beyond the frontier at the head of a squadron of
the Seventh Hussars. Others will avenge him. Another of my sons, an
artilleryman, is with the general staff. My eldest son is with the
Twenty-first Chasseurs. Long live France!"

A wounded French soldier who was taken to Marseilles verified a
remarkable story of his escape from death while fighting in German
Lorraine. The soldier owes his life to a small bust of Emperor William,
which he picked up in a village school and placed in his haversack. A
German bullet struck the bust and, thus deflected, inflicted only a
slight wound on the soldier.

Twenty German prisoners taken during the melee near Crecy, were herded
together in a clearing, their rifles being stacked nearby. In a rash
moment they thought that they were loosely guarded and made a combined
rush for the rifles. "They will never make another," was the laconic
report of the guard.


Edouard Helsey of the Paris newspaper, Le Journal, reported to be
serving with the colors, wrote under date of August 29:

"It would be difficult to estimate the number of Germans killed last
week. Whole regiments were annihilated at some points. They came out of
the woods section by section. One section, one shell--and everything was
wiped out.

"At two or three places which I am forbidden to name corpses filled the
Meuse until the river overflowed. This is no figure of speech. The river
bed literally was choked by the mass of dead Germans. The effect of our
artillery surpasses even our dreams."


Lawrence Stern Stevens, an artist of Detroit, narrowly escaped death
near Aix-la-Chapelle at the hands of a crazed German lieutenant, by whom
he was suspected of being a spy.

Stevens left Brussels on Aug. 24 in an automobile. He was accompanied by
a photographer and a Belgian newspaper correspondent, and his intention
had been to make sketches on the battlefield. His arrest at Laneffe
thwarted this plan. He underwent a terrifying ordeal at the hands of his
demented captor, although he was not actually injured.

On the evening of Aug. 24 he was court-martialed and sentenced to death
and held in close confinement over night. Early on the morning of Aug.
25 he was led out, as he supposed, to be shot, but the plans had been
changed and instead he was taken before Gen. von Arnim. After being
forced to march with German troops for two days, Stevens fell in with
a party of American correspondents at Beaumont, from which point he
traveled to Aix-la-Chapelle on a prison train, and eventually reached
Rotterdam and safety.


M. Brieux, the noted French dramatist, who witnessed the arrival at
Chartres of a train full of fugitives who had fled from their homes
before the German advance, described his experience for the Figaro. The
fleeing people gathered round him and told him stories and he wrote his
impressions as follows:

"Children weep or gaze wide-eyed, wondering what is the matter. Old
folks sit in gloomy silence. Women with haggard cheeks and disheveled
hair seem to belong to another age.

"They tell of invaders who scattered powder around or threw petroleum
into their houses and then set them afire.

"And when did this happen? Yesterday! It is not a matter of centuries
ago in distant climes, but yesterday, and quite near to us. Yet one
cannot believe it was really yesterday that these things were done."

One of the fugitives explained to M. Brieux why after the first hour of
their flight she had to carry her elder child as well as her baby. She
showed him a pair of boots.

"I felt the inside with my fingers," says Brieux. "Nails had come
through the soles. I looked at the child's feet. They were dirty with
red brown clots. It was blood."


Chauncey M. Depew, former United States Senator for New York, was in
Geneva when the trouble began. He said on his return: "After crossing
the border into France we picked up men joining the colors on the way to
Paris, until our train could hold no more.

"Whenever I stuck my head into a corridor the soldiers would set up a
cheer on seeing my side whiskers. They mistook me for an Englishman and
cried: 'Long live the _entente cordiale!_'"


The fiercest fighting of all that preceded the Russian victory at Lublin
was in a gorge near the village of Mikolaiff, which the Russian soldiers
reverently named the "Valley of Death."

The gorge was full of dead men, lying in heaps, according to an officer
who participated in the battle. "When we attacked at 3 o'clock in the
morning," he said, "the gorge contained 15,000 Austrians, a large
proportion of whom were mowed down by the artillery fire which plowed
through the valley in the darkness. The Austrians surrendered and we
entered the gorge to receive their arms, while their general stood
quietly on a hill watching the scene. Eight of his standards being
turned over to the Russians was more than he could bear, for he drew a
pistol and shot himself."


The war put everybody into khaki, with a few exceptions. On the battle
line or in the field the English soldier and the English officer get
out of their richly colored and historic uniforms and into khaki, of a
neutral hue. The Germans are in gray. The Austrians have most of their
soldiers in khaki, and the Russians all wear khaki-colored cloth. The
French still cling to their blue coats and brilliant red trousers,
although steps are being taken to reclothe the army in more modern
fashion, and the Belgians have a uniform that is very similar to the

The French and Belgian officers are dangerously ornamented with gilt
trimmings during warfare and present such brilliant targets that some of
the Belgian regiments during hard fighting with the Germans have lost
nearly all of their leaders.

The new twentieth century mode of warfare puts the ban on anything that
glitters, even the rifle barrels, bayonets and sabers.


On a cot in the Red Cross hospital at Ostend, September 12, lay one of
the heroes of the war. He is Sergeant van der Bern of the Belgian army,
and only 17 years old. He was only a corporal when he started out with
twenty-nine men on a reconnoitering expedition during which he was
wounded, but displayed such valor that his bravery was publicly related
to all the soldiers, and Van der Bern was promoted.

Van der Bern and his little command came suddenly upon a band of fifty
Uhlans while on their expedition. Outnumbered, his men turned and fled.
The corporal shouted to them and dashed alone toward the Germans. The
other Belgians rallied and threw themselves upon the Uhlans. Within a
few minutes only Van der Bern and two others of his command remained.
Twenty-seven Belgians were dead or wounded. Within a few minutes more of
the corporal's companions fell, mortally wounded. Then the boy picked
them up and displaying almost superhuman strength carried them to
safety. As he was making his retreat, burdened by the two wounded men,
Van der Bern was hit twice by German bullets. He staggered on, placed
his men in charge of the Red Cross and without a word walked to
headquarters and reported the engagement. Then he fell in a faint. WHEN

A vivid description of the rout and retreat of the Germans during
hurricane and rain on September 10, which turned the roads into river
ways so that the wheels of the artillery sank deep in the mire, was
given by a correspondent writing from a point near Melun. He described
how the horses strained and struggled, often in vain, to drag the guns
away, and continued:

"I have just spoken with a soldier who has returned wounded from the
pursuit that will go down with the terrible retreat from Moscow as one
of the crowning catastrophes of the world. They fled, he declares, as
animals flee who are cornered, and know it.

"Imagine a roadway littered with guns, knapsacks, cartridge belts,
Maxims and heavy cannons even. There were miles and miles of it. And
the dead--those piles of horses and those stacks of men! I have seen it
again and again, men shot so close to one another that they remained
standing after death. The sight was terrible and horrible beyond words.

"The retreat rolls back and trainload after trainload of British and
French are swept toward the weak points of the retreating host. This
is the advantage of the battleground which the Allies have chosen. The
network of railways is like a spider's web. As all railways center upon
Paris, it is possible to thrust troops upon the foe at any point with
almost incredible speed, and food and munitions are within arm's reach."


Prince Joachim, youngest son of Emperor William, was wounded during a
battle with the Russians and taken to Berlin. On September 15 it was
reported from Berlin that the wound was healing rapidly, despite the
tearing effect of a shrapnel ball through the thigh. The empress and the
surgeons were having considerable trouble in keeping the patient quiet
in bed. He wanted to get on his feet again and insisted that he ought to
be able to rejoin his command at the front in about a fortnight.

"The prince treats the wound as a trifle," said the Berlin dispatch.
"He smilingly greeted an old palace servant whom he had known since
childhood with the remark: 'Am I not a lucky dog?'"

From an officer who was with Prince Joachim when he was wounded the
following description of the incident was obtained:

"It was during the hottest part of the battle, shortly before the
Russian resistance was broken, that the prince, who was with the staff
as information officer, was dispatched to the firing line to learn how
the situation stood. He rode off with Adjutant Captain von Tahlzahn and
had to traverse the distance, almost a mile, under a heavy hail of shell
and occasional volleys.

"As the Russian artillery was well served and knew all the ranges from
previous measurements, the ride was not a particularly pleasant one,
but he came through safely and stood talking with the officers when a
shrapnel burst in their vicinity. The prince and the adjutant were
both hit, the latter receiving contusions on the leg, but the shot not

"To stop and whip out an emergency bandage which the prince, like every
officer and private, carries sewed inside the blouse, and bind it around
the thigh to check the bleeding was the work of but a moment. It was a
long and dangerous task, however, to get him back to the first bandaging
station, about a mile to the rear, under fire and from there he was
transported to the advanced hospital at Allenstein, where he remained
until he was able to travel.

"Prince Joachim, who was already recommended for the Iron Cross for
bravery before Namur, received the decoration shortly before he was
wounded. The prince, who has many friends in America, conveyed through
his adjutant his thanks for assurances of American sympathy and


The aged ex-Empress Eugenie of France, widow of Napoleon III, has been
living for many years in retirement in the county of Hampshire, England.
She was recently visited by Lord Portsmouth, an old friend, who found
the illustrious lady full of courage and devotion to the French cause
in the present war. In explaining her failure to treat her guest as she
would have desired, the empress said:

"I cannot give you dinner because most of the men of my kitchen have
gone to war."


Just before the war France added to its equipment the most modern of
fighting devices. It is a train of armored cars with rapid-fire guns,
conning towers and fighting tops. As a death-dealing war apparatus it
is the most unique of anything used by any of the nations. This
"battleship" on wheels consists of an armored locomotive, two rapid-fire
gun carriages and two armored cars for transporting troops. The
rapid-fire guns are mounted in such manner that they can be swung and
directed to any point of the compass. Rising from the car behind the
locomotive, is a conning tower from which an officer takes observations
and directs the fire of the rapid-fire guns. Rails running on top of
the cars permit troops to fire from the roof of the cars. For opening
railway communications this "battleship on wheels" is unexcelled.


The scene is a village on the outskirts of Muelhausen, in Alsace. A
lieutenant of German scouts dashes up to the door of the only inn in
the village, posts men at the doorway and entering, seats himself at a

He draws his saber and places it on the table at his side and orders
food in menacing tones.

The village waiter is equal to the occasion. He goes to the stables and
fetches a pitchfork and places it at the other side of the visitor.

"Stop! What does this mean?" roared the lieutenant, furiously.

"Why," said the waiter, innocently, pointing to the saber, "I thought
that was your knife, so I brought you a fork to match."


On a train loaded with wounded which passed through Limoges, September
11, was a young French officer, Albert Palaphy, whose unusual bravery on
the field of battle won for him the Legion of Honor.

As a corporal of the Tenth Dragoons at the beginning of the war, Palaphy
took part in the violent combat with the Germans west of Paris, In the
thick of the battle the cavalryman, finding his colonel wounded and
helpless, rushed to his aid.

Palaphy hoisted the injured man upon his shoulders, and under a rain of
machine gun bullets carried him safely to the French lines. That same
day Palaphy was promoted to be a sergeant.

Shortly afterward, although wounded, he distinguished himself in another
affair, leading a charge of his squad against the Baden guard, whose
standard he himself captured.

Wounded by a ball which had plowed through the lower part of his stomach
and covered with lance thrusts, he was removed from the battlefield
during the night, and learned he had been promoted to be a sublieutenant
and nominated chevalier in the Legion of Honor.

This incident of decorating a soldier on the battlefield recalls
Napoleonic times.


Lieutenant de Lupel of the French army is said to have endeared himself
to his command by a most unusual exhibition of what they are pleased to
term "old-fashioned French gallantry."

Accompanied by a few men, Lieutenant de Lupel succeeded in surrounding a
German detachment occupying the station at Mezières. The lieutenant, on
searching the premises, came upon the German officer hiding behind a
stack of coal. Both men leveled their guns, and for a moment faced each

"After you," finally said the Frenchman courteously.

The German fired and missed and Lieutenant de Lupel killed his man.

The French soldiers cheered their leader, and he has been praised
everywhere for his action.


A correspondent describes a "walking wood" at Crecy. The French and
British cut down trees and armed themselves with the branches. Line
after line of infantry, each man bearing a branch, then moved forward
unobserved toward the enemy.

Behind them, amid the lopped tree trunks, the artillerymen fixed
themselves and placed thirteen-pounders to cover the moving wood.

The attack, which followed, won success. It almost went wrong, however,
for the French cavalry, which was following, made a detour to pass the
wood and dashed into view near the ammunition reserves of the Allies.

German shells began falling thereabouts, but British soldiers went up
the hills and pulled the boxes of ammunition out of the way of the
German shells. Ammunition and men came through unscathed. By evening the
Germans had been cleared from the Marne district.


The Bourse Gazette relates the story of a Russian regimental chaplain
who, single-handed, captured twenty-six Austrian troopers. He was
strolling on the steppes outside of Lemberg, when suddenly he was
confronted by a patrol of twenty-six men, who tried to force him to tell
the details of the position of the Russian troops.

While talking to the men, the priest found that they were all Slavs,
whereupon he delivered an impassioned address, dwelling on the sin of
shedding the blood of their Slav brethren.

At the end of the address, the story concludes, the troopers with bent
heads followed the priest into the Russian camp.


Here is a picturesque story of a British cavalry charge at Thuin, a town
in Belgium near Charleroi, and the subsequent retreat to Compiègne:

"On Monday morning, August 24, after chafing at the long delay, the 2nd
British Cavalry Brigade let loose at the enemy's guns. The 9th Lancers
went into action singing and shouting like schoolboys.

"For a time all seemed well; few saddles were emptied, and the leaders
had charged almost within reach of the enemy's guns when suddenly the
Germans opened a murderous fire from at least twenty concealed
machine guns at a range of 150 yards.

"The result was shattering, and the Lancers caught the full force of the
storm, Vicomte Vauvineux, a French cavalry officer who rode with the
brigade as interpreter, was killed instantly. Captain Letourey, who
was the French master of a school in Devon, was riding by the side of
Vauvineux, and had a narrow escape, as his horse was shot from under
him. Other officers also fell.

"While the bulk of the brigade swerved to the right the others held on
and rode full tilt into wire entanglements buried in the grass thirty
yards in front of the machine guns, and were made prisoners. Three
regiments of the best cavalry in the British went into the charge, and
suffered severely. The 18th Hussars and the 4th Dragoons also suffered,
but not to the same extent as the others.

"A happy feature of the charge was the gallant conduct of Captain
Grenfell, who, though twice wounded, called for volunteers and saved the
guns. It is said that he has been recommended for the Victoria Cross.

"After this terrible ordeal the British brigade was harassed for
fourteen days of retreat, the enemy giving them rest neither day nor
night. At 2 o'clock each morning they were roused by artillery fire, and
every day they fought a retiring action, pursued relentlessly by the

"It was a wonderful retreat. Daily the cavalry begged to be allowed to
go for the enemy in force to recover lost ground, but only once were
they permitted to taste that joy, at the village of Lassigny, which they
passed and repassed three times.

"The Germans made repeated efforts, which were always foiled, to capture
the retreating transport. It had, however, many narrow escapes. At one
point it escaped by a furious gallop which enabled the wagons to cross a
bridge less than an hour ahead of the enemy. The engineers had mined the
bridge and were waiting to blow it up. They sent a hurry-up call to the
transport, and the latter responded with alacrity. The bridge was blown
up just in time to separate the two forces. "At Compiègne the brigade
for the first time saw and welcomed their French brothers-in-arms."


One of the popular heroes of Belgium is Boy Scout Leysen, who has been
decorated by King Albert for his valor and devotion to his country.

This young man, who was born at Liège, is described as of almost uncanny
sharpness, with senses and perceptions as keen as an Indian. He was able
to find his way through the woods and pass the German sentinels with
unerring accuracy.

Leysen made his way through the German lines from Antwerp for the
tenth time on Sunday, September 6, carrying dispatches to secret
representatives of the Belgian government in Brussels. He discovered and
denounced eleven German spies in Belgium, and performed a variety of
other services, and all without impairing his boyish simplicity.


After the first three weeks of war, Emperor William requested the
supreme council of the Evangelical Church throughout the German empire
to include the following prayer in the liturgy at all public services
during the war:

"Almighty and most merciful God, God of the armies, we beseech Thee in
humility for Thy almighty aid for German Fatherland. Bless our forces of
war; lead us to victory and give us grace that we may show ourselves to
be Christians toward our enemies as well. Let us soon arrive at a peace
which will everlastingly safeguard our free and independent Germany."


When sympathy was expressed in Paris for a poor woman, mother of
nine sons, eight of whom were at the front, she replied: "I need no
consolation. I have never forgotten that I was flogged by Prussians in
1870. I have urged my sons to avenge me and they will."

As one train of soldiers for the front moved out of a Paris railway
station two girls who had bravely kissed farewell to a departing man
turned away, and one began to cry, but the other said: "Keep up a little
longer, he can still see us." Another carried a baby, and as her husband
leaned out of the window and the train started she threw it into his
arms, crying: "Leave it with, the station master at the next station,
and I will fetch it; you must have it for another few minutes."

A Paris painter, called for military duty, was obliged to leave his wife
and four children almost destitute. When he communicated with his wife
on the subject she replied: "Do your duty without worrying about us. The
city, state and our associations will look after us women and children."
In her letter, the wife enclosed a money order for $1 out of $1.20, the
total amount of money which she possessed.


Lieutenant Henkart, attached to the general staff of the Belgian Army,
perfected a monitor armored motor car which was successfully used by the

During the war the officer engaged in reconnoitering in one of his
armored cars. He had several encounters with Uhlans, of whom he killed a
considerable number, virtually single-handed. His only assistants in his
scouting trips were a chauffeur, an engineer and a sharpshooter.

On one occasion the party killed five Uhlans. Two days later it killed
seven and on another occasion near Waterloo, the auto ran into a force
of 500 Germans and escaped after killing twenty-five with a rapid-fire
gun, which was mounted on the motor car.


A Belgian diplomat in Paris related an incident he observed at
Charleroi. He said:

"Twenty Death's Head Hussars entered the town at 7 o'clock in the
morning and rode quickly down the street, saluting and calling out
'Good-day' to those they met, saying, 'We are friends of the people.'

"Mistaking them for English cavalrymen, the people cried 'Long live
England!' The Belgian soldiers themselves were deceived until an officer
at a window, realizing their mistake, ran to the street and gave the
alarm. The Belgian soldiers rushed quickly to arms and opened fire on
the fleeing Germans, of whom several were killed." DIED WRITING TO HIS

Here is a story of a heroic death on the battlefield, told simply in a
letter found in the cold hands of a French soldier who had just finished
writing it when the end came. "I am awaiting help which does not come,"
the letter ran. "I pray God to take me, for I suffer atrociously. Adieu,
my wife and dear children. Adieu, all my family, whom I so loved. I
request that whoever finds me will send this letter to Paris to my
wife, with the pocketbook which is in my coat pocket. Gathering my last
strength I write this, lying prostrate under the shell fire. Both my
legs are broken. My last thoughts are for my children and for thee,
my cherished wife and companion of my life, my beloved wife. Vive la


A visitor to the military hospital within the intrenched camp of Paris,
just outside the city walls, said on September 18:

"Men of all ranks are there, from the simple private to a general of
division. There is no sign of discouragement or sadness on the pale
faces, which light up with the thought of returning to battle.

"I saw hundreds of men lying on the beds in the wards with varieties of
wounds, no two being identical. This Turco--or African soldier--suffered
from a torn tongue, cut by a bullet, which traversed his cheek. Another
had lost three fingers of his left hand. A bullet entered the temple of
this infantryman and fell into his mouth, where by some curious reaction
he swallowed it.

"Many of the patients are suffering from mere flesh wounds. One poor
fellow whose eye was put out by a bullet said: "That's nothing. It is
only my left eye and I aim with my right. I need the lives of just three
Germans to pay for it."


"The Turcos, though terrible hand-to-hand fighters, are hard to care
for. They have great fear of pain and it is difficult to bandage their
wounds. The doctors give them cigarettes, which they smoke with dignity
as if performing a ritual.

"All the African soldiers were wrathful at a German officer lying in a
neighboring room. They muttered in a sinister fashion, 'To-morrow!' and
put two hands to the neck. I understood this to mean that they would
strangle him to-morrow. Much vigilance is required to keep the officer
out of their reach.

"One Turco killed two Prussians with his bayonet and two with the stock
of the gun in a single fight. His body is covered with the scars of
years of fighting in the service of France. When asked if he liked
France he replied: 'France good country, good leaders, good doctors.' He
seemed to mind his wound less than the lack of cigarettes."


Writing from Antwerp on September 1, William G. Shepherd, United Press
staff correspondent, illustrated the spirit of the soldiery of Belgium
by the following story:

"The little Belgian soldier who climbed into the compartment with me was
dead tired; he trailed his rifle behind him, threw himself into the seat
and fell sound asleep. He was ready to talk when he awoke an hour later.

"'Yes, I was up all night with German prisoners,' he said. 'It was a bad
job, there were only sixteen of us to handle 200 Germans. We had four
box cars and we put twenty-five prisoners in one end of the car and
twenty-five in the other, and the four of us with rifles sat guard by
the car door.

"'We rode five hours that way and I expected every minute that the whole
fifty Germans in the car would jump on us four and kill us. Four to
fifty; that's heavy odds. But we had to do it. You see there aren't
enough soldiers in Belgium to do all the work, so we have to make out
the best we can.'

"That's the plucky little Belgian soldier, all over.

"In the first place, he's different from most soldiers, because he is
willing to fight when he knows he's going to lose.

"'We have to make out the best we can,' is his motto.

"In the second place, he's a common-sense little fellow. Even while he's
fighting, he's doing it coolly, and there is no blind hatred in his
heart that causes him to waste any effort. He gets down to the why and
wherefore of things.

"'I really felt sorry for those German prisoners,' said a comrade of
the first soldier. 'They were all decent fellows. They told me their
officers had fooled them. They said the officers gave them French money
on the German frontier and then yelled to them, "On into France!" They
went on three days and got to Liège before they knew they were in
Belgium instead of France.

"'We didn't want to hurt Belgium,' they told us, because we're from
Alsace-Lorraine ourselves.'

"'You see,' continued the logical little Belgian, 'it wasn't their
fault, so we couldn't be mad at them.'

"That is the Belgian idea--cool logic.

"'Why did you fight the Germans?' I asked a high government official.

"'Because civilization can't exist without treaties, and it is the duty
that a nation owes to civilization to fight to the death when written
treaties are broken,' was the reply.

"'It must be a rule among nations that to break a treaty means to fight.
The Germans broke the neutrality treaty with Belgium and we had to

"'But did you expect to whip the Germans?'

"'How could we? We knew that hordes of Germans would follow the first
comers, but we had no right to worry about who would be whipped; all we
had to do was to fight, and we've done it the best we could.'

"It has been a cool-headed logical matter with the Belgians from the
start. Treaties are made with ink; they're broken with blood, and just
as naturally and coolly as the Belgian diplomats used ink in signing the
treaties with Germany so the Belgian soldiers have used their blood in
trying to maintain the agreements."


In the present war Germany uses a Mauser rifle, with a bullet of
millimeters caliber, steel and copper coated. Great Britain's missile is
the Lee-Enfield, caliber 7.7 mm., the coating being cupro-nickel.

The French weapon is the Lebel rifle, of 8 mm. caliber, with bullets
coated with nickel. Russia uses Mossin-Nagant rifles, 7.62 mm.,
with bullets cupro-nickel coated. Austria's chief small arm is the
Mannlicher, caliber 8 mm., with a steel sheet over the tip.

Hitting a man beyond 350 yards, the wounds inflicted by all these
bullets are clean cut. They frequently pass through bone tissue without

When meeting an artery the bullet seems to push it to one side and goes
around without cutting the blood channel.

Amputations are very rare compared with wars of more than fifty years
ago. A bullet wound through a joint, such as the knee or the elbow, then
necessitated the amputation of the limb. Now such a wound is easily
opened and dressed.

Even Russia, which made a sad sanitary showing in the war with Japan,
now has learned her lesson and has efficient surgical arrangements.

All the nations use vaccine to combat typhoid, the scourge which once
decimated camps, and killed 1,600 in the Spanish-American war.


Concerning the German Uhlans, of whom so much has been heard in the
European war, Luigi Barzini, a widely known Italian war correspondent,

"The swarms of cavalry which the Germans send out ahead of their advance
are to be found everywhere--on any highway, on any path. It is their
business to see as much as possible. They show themselves everywhere and
they ride until they are fired upon, keeping this up until they have
located the enemy.

"Theirs is the task of riding into death. The entire front of the enemy
is established by them, and many of them are killed--that is a certainty
they face. Now and then, however, one of them manages to escape to bring
the information himself, which otherwise is obtained by officers in
their rear making observation.

"At every bush, every heap of earth, the Uhlan must say to himself:
'Here I will meet an enemy in hiding.' He knows that he cannot defend
himself against a fire that may open on him from all sides. Everywhere
there is danger for the Uhlan--hidden danger. "Nevertheless he keeps on
riding, calmly and undisturbed, in keeping with German discipline."


The Paris Matin relates that on the arrival of a train bringing wounded
Senegalese riflemen nearly all were found smoking furiously from long
porcelain pipes taken from the enemy and seemingly indifferent to
their wounds. One gayly told of the daring capture of a machine gun
by eighteen of his comrades. The gun, he said, was brought up by a
detachment of German dragoons and the Senegalese bravely charged and
captured everything.

Though their arms and bodies were hacked by sabers, the Senegalese
complained of nothing but the obligation to fight with shoes on. Before
going into battle at Charleroi they slyly rid themselves of these
impediments and came back shod in German footwear to avoid punishment
for losing equipment.


The shot which resulted in the death of Prince von Buelow, one of the
German generals, was fired by a Belgian private named Rosseau, who was
decorated by King Albert for his conduct in the battle of Haelen.

Rosseau was lying badly wounded among his dead comrades when he saw a
German officer standing beside his horse and studying a map. Picking up
a rifle beside a dead German, Rosseau fired at this officer and wounded
him. The officer proved to be Prince von Buelow. Exchanging his hat for
the German general's helmet and taking the general's horse, Rosseau made
his way to the Belgian lines and was placed in a hospital at Ghent.


The Hanover Courier gave the following account by an eyewitness of the
death of Prince Frederick William of Lippe at Liege:

"On all sides our detachment was surrounded by Belgian troops, who were
gradually closing in for purposes of exterminating us. At the prince's
command we formed a circle eight deep, maintaining a stubborn defense.
At length a strong division arrived to support us. The prince raised
himself from a kneeling position and turned to the standard bearer, who
lay prone beside him, covering the standard with his body.

"'Raise the standard,' commanded the prince, 'so that we may be
recognized by our friends.'

"The standard bearer raised the flag, waving it to and fro. This action
immediately brought upon the standard bearer and the prince a violent
fusillade. The standard was shot away and at the same moment the prince
was struck in the chest and expired instantly."


Mrs. Herman H. Harjes, wife of the Paris banker, who, with other
American women, was deeply interested in relief work, visited the North
railroad station at Paris on September 1 and was shocked by the sights
she saw among the Belgian refugees.

"The station," said Mrs. Harjes, "presented the aspect of a shambles.
It was the saddest sight I ever saw. It is impossible to believe the
tortures and cruelties the poor unfortunates had undergone.

"I saw many boys with both their hands cut off so that it was impossible
for them to carry guns. Everywhere was filth and utter desolation. The
helpless little babies, lying on the cold, wet cement floor and crying
for proper nourishment, were enough to bring hot tears to any mother's

"Mothers were vainly besieging the authorities, begging for milk or
soup. A mother with twelve children said:

"What is to become of us? It seems impossible to suffer more. I saw
my husband bound to a lamppost. He was gagged and being tortured by
bayonets. When I tried to intercede in his behalf, I was knocked
senseless with a rifle. I never saw him again.'"


The bodies of the dead in this war were not, with occasional exceptions,
returned to their relatives, but were buried on the field and where
numbers required it, in common graves. Valuables, papers and mementoes
were taken from the bodies and made up in little packets to be sent to
the relatives, and the dead soldiers, each wrapped in his canvas shelter
tent, as shroud, were laid, friend and foe, side by side in long
trenches in the ground for which they had contested.


In the German official Gazette daily lists of the dead, wounded and
missing were published. The names marched by in long columns of the
Gazette, arrayed with military precision by regiments and companies,
batteries or squadrons--first the infantry and then cavalry, artillery
and train.

The company lists were headed usually by the names of the officers,
killed or wounded; then came the casualties from the enlisted
strength--first the dead, then the wounded and the missing. A feature
of the early lists was the large proportion of this last class, reports
from some units running monotonously, name after name, "missing" or
"wounded and missing"--in mute testimony of scouting patrols which did
not return, or of regiments compelled to retire and leave behind them
dead, wounded and prisoners, or sometimes of men wandering so far from
their comrades in the confusion of battle that they could not find and
rejoin their companies for days.


An attempt was made in lists of the German wounded to give the nature
and location of the wound. These were principally from rifle or
shrapnel fire. A scanty few in the cavalry were labeled "lance thrust,"
indicating that the favorite weapon of the European cavalry has not done
the damage expected of it, although the lance came more into play in the
later engagements between the Russian and German cavalry divisions.


Writing from Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany, on August 29th, Karl H. von
Wiegand, who is considered by the Allies a German mouthpiece, said:

"America has not the faintest realization of the terrible carnage going
on in Europe. She cannot realize the determination of Germany, all
Germany--men, women and children--in this war. The German Empire is
like one man. And that man's motto is 'Vaterland oder Tod!' (Fatherland
or Death!)

"English news sources are reported here as telling of the masterly
retreat of the allies. Here in the German field headquarters, where
every move on the great chess-board of Belgium and France is analyzed,
the war to date is referred to as the greatest offensive movement in the
history of modern warfare."


The German offensive plans were well laid. No army that ever took the
field was ever so mobile. Thousands of army autos have been in use. Each
regiment had its supply. The highways were mapped in advance. There was
not a crossroad that was not known. Even the trifling brooks had been
located. Nothing had been left to chance and the advance guard was
accompanied by enormous automobiles filled with corps of sappers who
carried bridge and road building materials.


How well the German plans worked was shown when Namur, which, it was
boasted, would resist for months, fell in two days. The terrible work of
the great Krupp weapons, whose existence had been kept secret, is hard
to realize. One shot from one of these guns went through what was
considered an impregnable wall of concrete and armored steel at Namur,
exploded and killed 150 men.

And aside from the effectiveness of these terrible weapons, Belgian
prisoners who were in the Namur forts declare their fire absolutely
shattered the nerves of the defenders, whose guns had not sufficient
range to reach them.


"It makes you sick to see the way that the Germans literally walk into
the very mouth of the machine guns and cannon spouting short-fused
shrapnel that mow down their lines and tear great gaps in them," said a
Belgian major who was badly wounded. "Nothing seems to stop them. It is
like an inhuman machine and it takes the very nerve out of you to watch


"The women of Germany are facing the situation with heroic calmness,"
said Eleanor Painter, an American opera singer on landing in New York
September 7th, direct from Berlin, where she had spent the last four
years. "It is all for the Fatherland. The spirit of the people is
wonderful. If the men are swept away in the maelstrom of war, the women
will continue to fight. They are prepared now to do so.

"There are few tears in Berlin. Of course there is sorrow, deep sorrow.
But the German women and the few men still left in the capital realize
that the national life itself is at stake and accept the inevitable
losses of a successful military occupation. There is a grim dignity
everywhere. There are no false ideas as to the enormity of the struggle
for existence. A great many Germans, in fact, realizing that it is
nearly the whole world against Germany, do not believe that the
Fatherland can survive. But they are determined that while there is a
living German so long will Germany fight.


"A German father with his ten sons enlisted. General von Haessler,
more than the allotted three-score years and ten, veteran of two wars,
offered his sword. Boys who volunteered and who were not needed at the
time wept when the recruiting officers sent them back home, telling them
their time would come.

"The German women fight their own battles in keeping back tears and
praying for the success of the German arms. Hundreds of titled women are
at the front with the Red Cross, sacrificing everything to aid their
country. Baroness von Ziegler and her daughter wrote from Wiesbaden that
they were en route to the front and were ready to fight if need be.

"Even the stupendous losses which the army is incurring cannot dim the
love of the Fatherland nor the desire of the Germans, as a whole nation,
to fight on. I speak of vast losses. An officer with whom I talked while
en route from Berlin to Rotterdam, told me of his own experience. He
was one of 2,000 men on the eastern frontier. They saw a detachment
of Russians ahead. The German forces went into battle singing and
confident, although the Russian columns numbered 12,000. Of that German
force of 2,000 just fifty survived. None surrendered."


Dead men and horses, heaped up by thousands, lay putrefying on the
battlefields of the Aisne, Colonel Webb C. Hayes, U.S.A., son of former
President Hayes, declared in Washington on Oct. 7, on his return from
observing the war and its battlefields. He was the bearer of a personal
message to President Wilson from the acting burgomaster of Louvain.

"When I left Havre on Sept. 27," he said, "the Allies were fearful that
they would not be able to penetrate to the German line through the mass
of putrefying men and horses on the battlefields, which unfortunately
the combatants seem not to heed about burying. I don't see how they
could pass through these fields. The stench was horrible, and the idea
of climbing over the bodies must be revolting even to brave soldiers."

Col. Hayes had been on the firing line; he had visited the sacked city
of Louvain as the guest of Germans in an armored car; he had been in
Aix-la-Chapelle, at the German base, and had seen some of the fighting
in the historic Aisne struggle.

"It is a sausage grinder," he declared.

"On one side are the Allies, apparently willing to sacrifice their
last man in defense of France; on the other are the Germans, seemingly
prodigal of their millions of men and money and throwing man after man
into the war."

"What about the alleged atrocities in Belgium?" he was asked.

"Well, war is hell; that's about the only answer I can give you.
The real tragic feature of the whole war is Belgium. Its people are
wonderful folk--clean, decent, respectable. What this nation should do
is to concentrate its efforts to aid the women and children of Belgium.
Help for hospitals is not so much needed, but the fate of these people
is really pathetic." Asked for a brief description of what he saw along
the battle line, Col. Hayes declared:

"The battle front these days is far different from what it used to
be. There are few men to be seen, and practically no guns. All are
concealed. Shrapnel flies through the air and bursts. That is the scene
most of the time. In the hand-to-hand fighting bayonets are used much by
the French, while the Turcos use knives."

"Shall you go back?" Col. Hayes was asked.

"Does anyone wish to visit a slaughterhouse a second time?" he replied.


Prince August William, the fourth son of Emperor William, was shot in
the left arm during the battle of the Marne and Emperor William bestowed
the Iron Cross of the first class on him.

Prince Eitel, the Kaiser's second son, was wounded during the battle
of the Aisne. Up to October 7 four of Emperor William's sons had been
placed temporarily _hors de combat_.

Prince George of Servia, while leading his battalion against the
Austrians September 18, was hit by a ball which entered near the spinal
column and came out at the right shoulder. The wound was said not to be


At St. Quentin, France, the Highland infantrymen burst into the thick
of the Germans, holding on to the stirrups of the Scots Greys as the
horsemen galloped, and attacked hand to hand. The Germans were taken
aback at the sudden and totally unexpected double irruption, and broke
up before the Scottish onslaught, suffering severe losses alike from the
swords of the cavalry and from the Highlanders' bayonets. The scene of
this charge is depicted in one of our illustrations.


During the Russian retreat through the Mazur lake district, in East
Prussia, a Russian battery was surrounded on three sides by the enemy's
quick firers. The infantry was on the other side of the lake, and
the Russian ammunition was exhausted. In order to avoid capture, the
commander ordered the battery to gallop over the declivity into the
lake. His order was obeyed and he himself was among the drowned.

During an assault on the fortress of Ossowetz, a German column got into
a bog. The Russians shelled the bog and the single road crossing it. The
Germans, in trying to extricate themselves, sank deeper into the mire,
and hundreds were killed or wounded. Of the whole column, about forty


A peculiar incident of the war is noted by a doctor writing in the New
York American, who went through several of the great Brussels hospitals
and noted the condition of the wounded Belgian soldiers. These soldiers
carried on the defense of their country with a valor which the fighting
men of any nation might admire and envy. The writer remarks:

"Two facts struck me very forcibly. The first was the very large number
of Belgian soldiers wounded only in the legs, and, secondly, many of the
soldiers seem to have collapsed through sheer exhaustion.

"In peace times one sees and hears little or nothing of extreme
exhaustion, because in times of peace the almost superphysical is not
demanded. War brings new conditions.

"These Belgian soldiers were at work and on the march during stupendous
days, practically without a moment's respite. They went, literally,
until they dropped. As a medical man, their condition interested me

"What force of will to fight and struggle until the last gasp! The
exhaustion one sees often in heat strokes and in hot climates is
commonplace, but this type of exhaustion is, by itself, the final
triumph of brave spirits.

"The victims presented a very alarming appearance when first I met them.
They seemed almost dead; limp, pale, and cold. Recovery usually is not
protracted; in every case the men knocked out in this manner expressed a
fervent desire to return at once to the ranks.


Following is the text of a proclamation published in French and posted
in all towns occupied by the Germans:

"All the authorities and the municipality are informed that every
peaceful inhabitant can follow his regular occupation in full security.
Private property will be absolutely respected and provisions paid for.

"If the population dare under any form whatever to take part in
hostilities the severest punishment will be inflicted on the refractory.

"The people must give up their arms. Every armed individual will be put
to death. Whoever cuts telegraph wires, destroys railway bridges or
roads or commits any act in detriment to the Germans will be shot.

"Towns and villages whose inhabitants take part in the combat or who
fire upon us from ambush will be burned down and the guilty shot at
once. The civil authorities will be held responsible. (Signed) VON


The Russian army has always placed much dependence on its horses, having
a vast number, but it has realized the importance of the motor vehicle
in warfare and already it is much better equipped than other nations
suppose. An illustration of the fact is the following, related by a Bed
Cross man who accompanied the Russian forces into eastern Germany:

"I was walking beside one of our carts. We could hear heavy artillery
fire as we went, when shouts from our people behind warned us to get
off the road. We pulled onto the grass as there came thundering past,
bumping from one rough place to another on the poor road and going at a
sickening pace, a string of huge motor cars crowded with infantrymen.
They looked like vehicles of the army establishment, all apparently
alike in size and pattern and each carrying about thirty men.

"They were traveling like no motor wagon that I ever saw--certainly at
not less than forty miles an hour. The procession seemed endless. I
didn't count them, but there were not less than a hundred, and perhaps a
good many more. That was General Rennenkampf reinforcing his threatened


Jennie Dufau, the American opera singer, had one of the most thrilling
experiences told by a refugee from the war zone.

Miss Dufau was visiting in Saulxures, Province of Alsace, when the war
started, and was in the hitherto peaceful valley of that region until
August 24. She was with her sister, Elizabeth, and her two brothers,
Paul and Daniel.

On August 6 the German artillery occupied the heights on one side of the
valley, overlooking the town. On the 12th the Germans occupied the town
itself. At that time there were but two French regiments near Saulxures.

The French, however, opened fire on the Germans, and Miss Dufau with her
father and sister at once retreated to the cellar in an effort to escape
the flying shells.

"Then began a tremendous artillery duel that lasted for days," she said.
"All this time we were living in the cellar, where we were caring for
ten wounded French officers. I often went out over the battlefield when
the fire slackened and did what I could for the wounded and dying.

"My brothers Paul and Daniel were drafted into the German army. They had
sworn an oath not to fire a shot at a Frenchman, and their greatest
hope was that they would be captured and permitted to put on the French

"Between August 12 and 24 the artillery duel raged, and finally the
opposing armies came to a hand-to-hand fight with the bayonet. First
it was the Germans who occupied the town, then the French. The Germans
finally came to our house and accused my sister, my father, and myself
of being spies because they found a telephone there. The soldiers lined
us up against the wall to shoot us, but we fell on our knees and begged
them to spare the life of our father. They gave no heed till a German
colonel came along and, after questioning us, ordered that we be set


A non-combatant who succeeded in getting close to the firing lines on
the Aisne when the great battle had raged continuously for five weeks,
wrote as follows on October 21st of the horrors he had witnessed:

"Between the lines of battle there is a narrow strip, varying from
seventy yards to a quarter of a mile, which is a neutral valley of
death. Neither side is able to cross that strip without being crumpled
by fire against which no body of men can stand. The Germans have
attempted to break through the British and French forces hundreds of
times but have been compelled to withdraw, and always with severe

"A number of small towns are distributed in this narrow strip, the most
important being Craonne. The Germans and French have reoccupied it six
times and each in turn has been driven out. The streets of Craonne are
littered with the dead of both armies. The houses, nearly all of which
have been demolished by exploding shells, are also full of bodies of men
who crawled into them to get out of the withering fire and have there
died. Many of these men died of sheer exhaustion and starvation while
the battle raged day after day.

"Both armies have apparently abandoned the struggle to hold Craonne
permanently, and it is now literally a city of the dead.

"It is a typical French village of ancient stone structures; the tiny
houses all have, or had, gables and tiled roofs. These have mostly
been broken by shell fire. Under the shelter of its buildings both the
Germans and French have been able at times to rescue their wounded.

"This is more than can be said of the strip of death between the battle
lines. There the wounded lie and the dead go unburied, while the
opposing forces direct their merciless fire a few feet above the field
of suffering and carnage. I did not know until I looked upon the horrors
of Craonne that such conditions could exist in modern warfare.

"I thought that frequent truces would be negotiated to give the opposing
armies an opportunity to collect their wounded and bury their dead. I
had an idea that the Red Cross had made war less terrible. The world
thinks so yet, perhaps, but the conditions along the Aisne do not
justify that belief. If a man is wounded in that strip between the lines
he never gets back alive unless he is within a short distance of his own
lines or is protected from the enemy's fire by the lay of the land.

"This protracted and momentous battle, which raged day and night for
so many weeks, became a continuous nightmare to the men engaged in it,
every one of whom knew that upon its issue rested one of the great
deciding factors of the war."


The following paragraphs from a letter received October 15th by the
author from an English lady interested in the suffrage movement,
give some idea of the spirit in which the people of England met the
emergency; and also indicate the frightful conditions attending the care
of the wounded in France:

"London, October 7, 1914.--The world is a quite different place from
what it was in July--dear, peaceful July! It seems years ago that we
lived in a time of peace. It all still seems a nightmare over England
and one feels that the morning must come when one will wake up and find
it has all been a hideous dream, and that peace is the reality. But the
facts grow sadder every day, as one realizes the frightful slaughter and
waste of young lives. * * *

"But now that we are in the midst of this horrible time, we can only
stop all criticism of our Government, set our teeth, and try to help
in every possible way. All suffrage work has stopped and all the
hundred-and-one interests in societies of every kind are in abeyance as
well. The offices of every kind of society are being used for refugees,
Bed Cross work, unemployment work, and to meet other needs of the

"Every day of our time is taken up with helping to equip 'hospital
units,' private bodies of doctors and nurses with equipment, to go to
France and help the French Red Cross work among the French wounded. The
situation in France at present is more horrible than one can imagine.
Our English soldiers have medical and surgical help enough with them
for first aid. Then they are sent back to England, and here all our
hospitals are ready and private houses everywhere have been given to the
War Office for the wounded. But the battlefield is in France; many of
the French doctors have been shot; the battle-line is 200 miles long,
and the carnage is frightful.

"Last week we sent off one hospital unit, and a messenger came back from
it yesterday to tell us awful facts--16,000 wounded in Limoges for
one place, and equal numbers in several other little places south of
Paris--just trains full of them--with so little ready for them in the
way of doctors or nurses. One hears of doctors performing operations
without chloroform, and the suffering of the poor fellows is awful."


The wealth of the principal belligerent nations, in terms of property,
goods and appraisable resources of all kinds, is estimated as follows:

                              National           National      Percent
                               Wealth               Debt

  United States.............$260,000,000,000    $18,000,000,000    6.

  Great Britain.............. 90,000,000,000     36,675,000,000   40.

  France..................... 65,000,000,000     23,000,000,000   35.

  Russia..................... 40,000,000,000     25,400,000,000   63.

  Italy...................... 25,000,000,000      7,000,000,000   28.

  Japan...................... 28,000,000,000      1,300,000,000    4.

  Germany.................... 80,000,000,000     33,000,000,000   38.

  Austria-Hungary............ 25,000,000,000     20,000,000,000   80.

It is worth noting in this connection that the fourth liberty bond issue
of six billions was oversubscribed to extent $866,416,300--almost an
extra billion. There were over 21,000,000 individual subscribers.

The war bills of the United States between April 6, 1917, and October
31st, 1918, as officially reported at Washington November 2, 1918,
amounted to twenty billions, five hundred and sixty-one million dollars
($20,561,000,000). Of this sum, seven billions and seventeen millions
($7,017,000,000) have been loaned to the allies and will be repaid.

Only a little more than one-fourth of the expense had up to the date
of the report been raised by taxation. Most of the remainder had been
raised by bond issues practically all of which were subscribed by our
own people, so that the debt is owing not to foreign creditors, but to

The same report shows that on November 1st, 1918, the treasury's working
balance stood at one billion, eight hundred and forty-five millions,
seven hundred and thirty-nine thousand dollars ($1,845,739,000) the
largest sum ever available at any one time in the history of the
nation--with continuing receipts of instalment payments on the fourth
liberty loan coming in at the rate of two billions per month, and
preparations for the fifth loan well under way.


The direct cost of the war for all belligerent nations to May 1, 1918,
was reported at about $175,000,000,000 by the Federal Reserve board
bulletin, issued November 18. It was estimated that the cost would
amount to nearly $200,000,000,000 before the end of the year.

For purely military and naval purposes, it appears that all belligerents
had spent about $132,000,000,000 to May 1. The remainder represented
interest on debt, and other indirect war expenses.

The mobilization and the first five months of the war in 1914 cost all
belligerents about $10,000,000,000. In 1915 the expenses jumped to
$26,000,000,000, in 1916 they increased to $38,000,000,000; and in
they were estimated at $60,000,000,000. In 1918 expenses ran only a
little above the rate of 1917.

The public debt of the principal entente allies is calculated at
approximately $105,000,000,000, not counting the debt incurred since May
1918. The annual burden to all belligerents to pay interest and sinking
fund allowances will be not less than $10,000,000,000, and probably much

Unofficial reports indicate that Germany's national debt, represented
mainly by war bonds held within the empire, is now nearly
$35,000,000,000 (almost two-fifths of the estimate national wealth of
$80,000,000,000). Besides this, France claims a return of the
indemnity, $20,000,000,000; $28,000,000,000 for pensions; and reparation
of damages, $20,000,000,000; being $68,000,000,000 in all.

Whatever may be the weight of the final burden of reparation and
restitution to be placed on Germany, the size of the task ahead of her
may be illustrated by comparison of her national debt with that of the
United States, Germany has 66,000,000 population and $80,000,000,000 of
estimated wealth, to pay $35,000,000,000 of war debt already created.

The United States has 110,000,000 population and an estimated national
wealth of $250,000,000,000, to pay nearly $18,000,000,000 war debt
already created, or approximately $23,000,000,000 up to the end of May,
1919. This means that the per capita burden will be at least three times
greater in Germany than in the United States.



  _Movements of British Battleships Veiled in Secrecy--German
  Dreadnoughts in North Sea and Baltic Ports--Activity
  of Smaller Craft--English Keep Trade Routes Open--
  Several Minor Battles at Sea_.

Shortly before war was declared a great review of the British navy was
held at Spithead, on the English Channel, when several hundred vessels
were gathered in mighty array for inspection by King George and the
lords of the Admiralty. The salutes they fired had hardly ceased to
reverberate along the shores of the Channel when the momentous struggle
was on. It found the British fleet fully mobilized and ready for action.
The ships had their magazines filled, their bunkers and oil tanks
charged, their victualing completed, and last, but not least, their full
crews aboard.

Then, without a moment's delay, they disappeared, under orders to
proceed to stations in the North Sea, to cruise in the Channel, the
Atlantic or the Mediterranean; to keep trade routes open for British and
neutral ships and capture or destroy the ships of the enemy. Silently
and swiftly they sailed, and for weeks the world knew little or nothing
of their movements or whereabouts.

Mystery equally deep shrouded the German fleet. In all probability it
lay under the guns of the coast cities and forts of Germany, but nothing
definite was permitted to leak out. The test of the two great navies,
the supreme test of dreadnoughts and superdreadnoughts, failed to
materialize, and for weeks the people of Great Britain and Germany could
only wonder what had become of their naval forces and why they did not
come into contact with each other. A few minor engagements in the North
Sea, in which light cruisers and torpedo-boat destroyers were concerned,
served only to deepen the mystery.

Only naval men and well-informed civilians realized that Germany was
biding her time, waiting to choose her own hour for action, realizing
the strength of the opposing force and determined not to risk her own
ships until the opportune moment should arrive which would offer the
best possible chances for success. And meanwhile the main British fleet
lay in the North Sea, waiting for the enemy to appear.

After a while letters began to come from the North Sea, telling of
the life aboard the vessels lying in wait, scouting or patrolling
the coasts. The ships were all stripped for action; all inflammable
ornaments and fittings had been left behind or cast overboard; stripped
and naked the fighting machines went to their task. All day long the
men were ready at their guns, and during the night each gun crew slept
around the weapon that it was their duty to serve, ready to repel any
destroyers or submarines coming out of the surrounding darkness to
attack them.

Vice-Admiral Sir John Jellicoe had assumed supreme command of the
British home fleet on August 4, with the rank of admiral. His chief
of staff was Rear Admiral Charles E. Madden. Rear Admiral Sir George
Callaghan was in command of the North Sea fleet.


On Thursday, September 10, the secretary of the British Admiralty made
the following announcement: "Yesterday and today strong and numerous
squadrons and flotillas have made a complete sweep of the North Sea up
to and into the Heligoland Bight. The German fleet made no attempt to
interfere with our movements and no German ship of any kind was seen at

That much patience had to be exercised by the seamen of the North Sea
fleet is evidenced by a letter in which the writer said to his family,
"If you want to get away from the excitement of war, you should be here
with me." This situation, of course, might be changed at a moment's
notice. The London Times said in September: "It is not to be wondered at
if our seamen today envy a little the old-time sailors who did not have
to compete with such things as mines, destroyers and submarines. In the
accounts of the old blockades we read how by means of music and dancing,
and even theatrical entertainments, the monotonous nature of the work
was counteracted, and the officers of the ships, including Nelson and
other great commanders, welcomed these diversions for the prevention of
the evils which might be bred by enforced idleness. It is a true saying
that everything that stagnates corrupts. There is no possible chance of
the crews of our modern vessels stagnating under the new conditions of
war. Whether engaged in blockading in the big ships, scouting in the
cruisers, or patrolling the coasts in the destroyers, the life is
described as tremendously interesting and exciting. There has been no
sense of monotony whatever. Indeed, the conditions are such that, were
it not obligatory for portions of every crew to take rest, all of them
would be continually on the alert. We may be certain that arrangements
have been made for ensuring that the crews obtain periods of relaxation
from the constant strain; but the only real change comes in the big
ships when they have of necessity to refill their bunkers."


The cruiser Amphion was the first British war vessel lost in the war.
The survivors on landing at the North Sea port of Harwich, England,
on August 10, stated that hardly had they left Harwich than they
were ordered to clear the decks for action. They sighted the German
mine-laying vessel Koenigin Luise, and, as it refused to stop even when
a shot was fired across its bows, they gave chase.

The German ship fired and then the destroyers, accompanying the Amphion,
surrounded and sank it after a brief combined bombardment.

The captain, it is said, was beside himself with fury. He had a revolver
in his hand and threatened his men as they prepared to surrender to the
rescuing ships. He flatly refused to give himself up and was taken by

When the smoke of a big ship was seen on the horizon the Amphion gave
chase, firing a warning shot as it drew near the vessel, which at once
made known its identity as the Harwich boat St. Petersburg, carrying
Prince Lichnowsky, the German ambassador, to the Hook of Holland. While
returning to port came the tragedy of the Amphion. As it struck a sunken
mine it gave two plunging jerks. Then came an explosion which ripped up
its forepart, shot up its funnels like arrows from a bow, and lifted
its heavy guns into the air. The falling material struck several of the
boats of the flotilla and injured some of the men on board them.

The Amphion's men were dreadfully burned and scalded and had marks on
their faces and bodies which resembled splashes of acid.

The scene at Harwich was like that which follows a colliery explosion.
Of the British seamen in the hospital thirteen were suffering from
severe burns, five from less serious burns, two from the effects of
lyddite fumes, and one each from concussion, severe injury, slight
wounds, shock, and slight burns. A few wounded German sailors also lay
in the hospital.


On August 12 there came from Edinburgh the story of an eyewitness of a
naval battle in the North Sea on the previous Sunday between British
cruisers and German submarines, in which the German submarine U-15 was

"The cruiser squadron on Sunday," the story ran, "suddenly became aware
of the approach of the submarine flotilla. The enemy was submerged, only
the periscopes showing above the surface of the water.

"The attitude of the British in the face of this attack was cool and the
enemy was utterly misled when suddenly the cruiser Birmingham, steaming
at full speed, fired the first shot. This shot was carefully aimed,
not at the submerged body of a submarine, but at the thin line of the

"The gunnery was superbly accurate and shattered the periscope.
Thereupon the submarine, now a blinded thing, rushed along under water
in imminent danger of self-destruction from collision with the cruisers

"The sightless submarine was then forced to come to the surface,
whereupon the Birmingham's gunner fired the second shot of the fight.
This shot struck at the base of the conning tower, ripping the whole of
the upper structure clean and the U-15 sank like a stone.

"The remainder of the submarine flotilla fled." NAVAL BATTLE OFF

In the last week of August a naval engagement occurred off the island
of Heligoland, in the North Sea. British war vessels sank five German
ships, killing 900 men. A graphic description of the engagement was
given by a young lieutenant who was on one of the British torpedo boat

"I think the home papers are magnifying what really was but an affair of
outposts. We destroyers went in and lured the enemy out and had lots of
excitement. The big fellows then came up and afforded some excellent
target practice, and we were very glad to see them come; but it was a
massacre, not a fight.

"There was superb generalship and overwhelming forces on the spot, but
there was really nothing for them to do except to shoot the enemy, even
as father shoots pheasants.

"Have you ever noticed a dog rush in on a flock of sheep and scatter
them? He goes for the nearest and barks and goes so much faster than
the flock that it bunches up with its companions. The dog then barks at
another and the sheep spread out fanwise, so in front of the dog there
is a semicircle of sheep and behind him none.

"That was much what we did at 7 a. m. on August 28. The sheep were the
German torpedo craft, which fell back on the limits of our range and
tried to lure us within the fire of the Heligoland forts. But a
cruiser then came out and engaged our Arethusa and they had a real
heart-to-heart talk, while we looked on, and a few of us tried to shoot
at the enemy, too, though it was beyond our distance.

"We were getting nearer Heligoland all the time. There was a thick mist
and I expected every minute to find the forts on the island bombarding
us, so the Arethusa presently drew off after landing at least one good
shell on the enemy. The enemy gave every hit as good as he got there.

"We then reformed, but a strong destroyer belonging to the submarines
got chased, and the Arethusa and Fearless went back to look after it. We
presently heard a hot action astern, so the captain in command of the
flotilla turned us around and we went back to help. But they had driven
the enemy off and on our arrival told us to 'form up' on the Arethusa.


"When we had partly formed and were very much bunched together, making a
fine target, suddenly out of the mist arrived five or six shells from a
point not 150 yards away. We gazed at whence they came and again five
or six stabs of fire pierced the fog, and we made out a four-funneled
German cruiser of the Breslau class.

"Those stabs were its guns going off. We waited fifteen seconds and the
shots and noise of its guns arrived pretty well from fifty yards away.
Its next salvo of shots went above us, and I ducked as they whirred
overhead like a covey of fast partridges.

"You would suppose our captain had done this sort of thing all his life.
He went full speed ahead at once, upon the first salvo, to string the
bunch out and thus offer less target. The commodore from the Arethusa
made a signal to us to attack with torpedoes. So we swung round at right
angles and charged full speed at the enemy like a hussar attack.

"Our boat got away at the start magnificently and led the field, so all
the enemy's firing was aimed at us for the next ten minutes, when we got
so close that debris from their shells fell on board. Then we altered
our course and so threw them out in their reckoning of our speed, and
they had all their work to do over again.

"Humanly speaking, our captain by twisting and turning at psychological
moments saved us. Actually, I feel that we were in God's keeping that
day. After ten minutes we got near enough to fire our torpedo. Then we
turned back to the Arethusa. Next our follower arrived just where we had
been and fired its torpedo, and of course the enemy fired at it instead
of at us. What a blessed relief!

"After the destroyers came the Fearless, and it stayed on the scene.
Soon we found it was engaging a three-funneler, the Mainz, so off we
started again, now for the Mainz, the situation being that the crippled
Arethusa was too tubby to do anything but be defended by us, its

"Scarcely, however, had we started when, from out of the mist and across
our front, in furious pursuit came the first cruiser squadron of the
town class, the Birmingham, and each unit a match for three like the
Mainz, which was soon sunk. As we looked and reduced speed they opened
fire, and the clear bang-bang of their guns was just like a cooling

"To see a real big four-funneler spouting flame, which flame denoted
shells starting, and those shells not at us but for us, was the most
cheerful thing possible. Once we were in safety, I hated it. We had just
been having our own imaginations stimulated on the subject of shells

"Now, a few minutes later, to see another ship not three miles away,
reduced to a piteous mass of unrecognizability, wreathed in black fumes
from which flared out angry gusts of fire like Vesuvius in eruption,
as an unending stream of hundred-pound shells burst on board it, just
pointed the moral and showed us what might have been.

"The Mainz was immensely gallant. The last I saw of it it was absolutely
wrecked. It was a fuming inferno. But it had one gun forward and one aft
still spitting forth fury and defiance like a wild cat.

"Then we went west, while they went east. Just a bit later we heard the
thunder of the enemy's guns for a space. Then fell silence, and we knew
that was all.


"The most romantic, dramatic, and piquant episode that modern war can
ever show came next. The Defender, having sunk an enemy, lowered a
whaler to pick up its swimming survivors. Before the whaler got back,
an enemy's cruiser came up and chased the Defender, which thus had to
abandon its small boat.

"Imagine their feelings, alone in an open boat without food, twenty-five
miles from the nearest land, and that land an enemy's fortress, with
nothing but fog and foes around them, and then suddenly a swirl
alongside, and up, if you please, hops His Britannic Majesty's submarine
E-4, opens its conning tower, takes them all on board, shuts up again,
dives and brings them home, 250 miles."


On Tuesday morning, September 22, the British cruisers Aboukir, Cressy
and Hogue were torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the North
Sea. Each of the vessels carried a crew of about 650 men, and the total
of the death roll was about 1,400.

The three cruisers had for some time been patrolling the North Sea. Soon
after 6 o'clock in the morning the Aboukir suddenly felt a shock on the
port side. A dull explosion was heard and a column of water was thrown
up mast high. The explosion wrecked the stokehold just forward of
amidships: and tore the bottom open.

Almost immediately the doomed cruiser began to settle. Except for the
watch on deck, most of the crew were asleep, wearied by the constant
vigil in bad weather, but in perfect order the officers and men rushed
to quarters. The quick-firers were manned in the hope of a dying shot at
the submarine, but there was not a glimpse of one.

Meanwhile the Aboukir's sister cruisers, more than a mile away, saw and
heard the explosion and thought the Aboukir had struck a mine. They
closed in and lowered boats. This sealed their own fate, for, while
they were standing by to rescue survivors, first the Hogue and then the
Cressy was torpedoed.

Only the Cressy appears to have seen the submarine in time to attempt to
retaliate, and she fired a few shots before she keeled over, broken in
two, and sank.

British naval officers by this time were beginning to wonder how long
the German high seas fleet intended to remain under cover in the Kiel

"Our only grievance," one said, "is that we have not had a shot at the
Germans. Our only share of the war has been a few uncomfortable weeks of
bad weather, mines and submarines."

A number of the survivors were taken to the Dutch port of Ymuiden, where
they were interned as technical prisoners of war.


The German submarine which accomplished the hitherto unparalleled feat
was the U-9, in command of Capt.-Lieut. Otto Weddigen, whose interesting
story was given to the public through the German Admiralty on October 6,
as follows:

"I set out from a North Sea port on one of the arms of the Kiel canal
and set my course in a southwesterly direction. The name of the port I
cannot state officially, but it was not many days before the morning of
September 22 when I fell in with my quarry.

"British torpedo-boats came within my reach, but I felt there was bigger
game further on, so on I went. It was ten minutes after six in the
morning of the 22nd when I caught sight of one of the big cruisers of
the enemy.

"I was then eighteen sea miles northwesterly of the Hook of Holland. I
had traveled considerably more than 200 miles from my base. I had been
going ahead partially submerged, with about five feet of my periscope

"Almost immediately I caught sight of the first cruiser and two others.
I submerged completely and laid my course in order to bring up in center
of the trio, which held a sort of triangular formation. I could see
their gray-black sides riding high over the water.

"When I first sighted them they were near enough for torpedo work, but I
wanted to make my aim sure, so I went down and in on them. I had taken
the position of the three ships before submerging, and I succeeded in
getting another flash through my periscope before I began action. I soon
reached what I regarded as a good shooting point.

"Then I loosed one of my torpedoes at the middle ship. I was then about
twelve feet under water and got the shot off in good shape, my men
handling the boat as if it had been a skiff. I climbed to the surface to
get a sight through my tube of the effect and discovered that the shot
had gone straight and true, striking the ship, which I later learned was
the Aboukir, under one of its magazines, which in exploding helped the
torpedo's work of destruction.

"There was a fountain of water, a burst of smoke, a flash of fire, and
part of the cruiser rose in the air.


"Its crew were brave and, even with death staring them in the face, kept
to their posts. I submerged at once. But I had stayed on top long enough
to see the other cruisers, which I learned were the Cressy and the
Hogue, turn and steam full speed to their dying sister.

"As I reached my torpedo depth I sent a second charge at the nearest of
the oncoming vessels, which was the Hogue. The English were playing my
game, for I had scarcely to move out of my position, which was a great
aid, since it helped to keep me from detection.

"The attack on the Hogue went true. But this time I did not have the
advantageous aid of having the torpedo detonate under the magazine, so
for twenty minutes the Hogue lay wounded and helpless on the surface
before it heaved, half turned over, and sank.

"By this time the third cruiser knew, of course, that the enemy was
upon it, and it sought as best it could to defend itself. It loosed its
torpedo defense batteries on bows, star-board, and port, and stood its
ground as if more anxious to help the many sailors in the water than to
save itself.

"In the common method of defending itself against a submarine attack, it
steamed in a zigzag course, and this made it necessary for me to hold my
torpedoes until I could lay a true course for them, which also made it
necessary for me to get nearer to the Cressy.

"I had to come to the surface for a view, and saw how wildly the fire
was being sent from the ship. Small wonder that was when they did not
know where to shoot, although one shot went unpleasantly near us.

"When I got within suitable range I sent away my third attack. This
time I sent a second torpedo after the first to make the strike doubly
certain. My crew were aiming like sharpshooters and both torpedoes went
to their bull's-eye. My luck was with me again, for the enemy was made
useless and at once began sinking by the head. Then it careened far
over, but all the while its men stayed at the guns looking for their
invisible foe.

"They were brave and true to their country's sea traditions. Then it
eventually suffered a boiler explosion and completely turned turtle.
With its keel uppermost it floated until the air got out from under it
and then it sank with a loud sound, as if from a creature in pain.

"The whole affair had taken less than one hour from the time of shooting
off the first torpedo until the Cressy went to the bottom.

"I set my course for home. Before I got far some British cruisers and
destroyers were on the spot and the destroyers took up the chase.

"I kept under water most of the way, but managed to get off a wireless
to the German fleet that I was heading homeward and being pursued. But
although British destroyers saw me plainly at dusk on the 22d and made
a final effort to stop me, they abandoned the attempt, as it was taking
them too far from safety and needlessly exposing them to attack from our
fleet and submarines."


During the first months of the war a large number of merchant vessels,
principally German and British, were captured or sunk. According to a
British Admiralty return, issued September 28, twelve British ships with
an aggregate tonnage of 59,331 tons had been sunk on the high seas by
German cruisers up to September 23. Eight other British ships, whose
tonnage aggregated 2,970, had been sunk by German mines in the North
Sea, and 24 fishing craft, with a tonnage of 4,334, had been captured or
sunk by the Germans in the same waters. British ships detained at German
ports numbered 74, with a total tonnage of 170,000.

On the other side the Admiralty reported 102 German ships, with a total
tonnage of 200,000, detained in British ports since the outbreak of the
war; while 88 German ships, of an aggregate tonnage of 338,000, had been
captured since hostilities began.

The return also showed that 168 German ships, with an aggregate tonnage
of 283,000, had been detained or captured by the Allies. Fifteen ships,
with a tonnage of 247,000, were detained in American ports, while
fourteen others, with a tonnage of 72,000, remained in the Suez Canal.

The German mines in the North Sea had also destroyed seven Scandinavian
ships, with a tonnage of 11,098.


Several German cruisers were amazingly active in distant waters early
in the war. Among these were the Goeben, Breslau, Emden, Karlsruhe, and
Leipzig, which captured or sank a number of vessels of the enemy. The
German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau also operated in the Pacific,
bombarding the French colony of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti, and
inflicting much damage, including the sinking of two vessels.

On August 26 the big converted German liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse,
while cruising on the northwest coast of Africa, was sunk by the British
cruiser Highflyer.

The German cruiser Dresden was reported sunk by British cruisers in
South American waters in the second week of September. The Emden,
operating under the German flag in the Indian Ocean, sank several
British steamers. Several Austrian vessels succumbed to mines off the
coast of Dalmatia and in the Baltic there were a number of casualties
in which both Russian and German cruisers suffered. The Russian armored
cruiser Bayan was sunk in a fight near the entrance to the Gulf of

On September 20 the German protected cruiser Koenigsberg attacked the
British light cruiser Pegasus in the harbor of Zanzibar and disabled
her. Off the east coast of South America the British auxiliary cruiser
Carmania, a former Cunard liner, destroyed a German merchant cruiser
mounting eight four-inch guns. About the same time the German cruiser
Hela was sunk in the North Sea by the British submarine E-9. The
Kronprinz Wilhelm, a former German liner, which had been supplying coal
to German cruisers in the Atlantic, was also sunk by the British.


The British Admiralty announced on September 12 that the Australian
fleet had occupied Herbertshoehe, on Blanche Bay, the seat of government
of the German Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands.

The Bismarck Archipelago, with an area of 18,000 square miles and a
population of 200,000, is off the north coast of Australia and southwest
of the Philippine Islands. The group was assigned to the German sphere
of influence by an agreement with Great Britain in 1885. German New
Guinea was included in the jurisdiction.


On October 11 German submarines in the Baltic torpedoed and sank the
Russian armored cruiser Pallada with all its crew, numbering 568 men.
The Pallada had a displacement of 7,775 tons and was a sister ship of
the Admiral Makarov and Bayan. She was launched in November, 1906, and
had a water-line length of 443 feet; beam, 57 feet; draft of 21-1/
feet, and a speed of 21 knots. She carried two 8-inch, eight 6-inch,
twenty-two 12-pounders, four 3-pounders, and two torpedo tubes. Seven
inches of Krupp armor protected the vessel amidships and four inches

The Pallada was engaged in patrolling the Baltic with the Admiral
Makarov when attacked by the submarines. She opened a strong fire on
them, but was blown up by a torpedo launched by one of the submerged
craft, while the Makarov escaped.


On October 15th, while the British cruisers Hawke and Theseus were
patrolling the northern waters of the North Sea, they were attacked by a
German submarine. The Hawke, a cruiser of 7,750 tons, commanded by
Capt. H.P.E.T. Williams, was torpedoed and sank in eight minutes. Only
seventy-three of her crew of 400 officers and men were saved.


Capt. Cecil H. Fox, who was in command of the British cruiser Amphion
when she was destroyed by a German mine early in the war, had his
revenge on October 17, when, in command of the cruiser Undaunted, he
sank four German torpedo boat destroyers off the coast of Holland. Only
31 of the combined crews of 400 men were saved and these were taken as
prisoners of war.



_Battleships in Constant Danger from Submerged Craft--Opinions of
Admiral Sir Percy Scott--Construction of Modern Torpedoes--How Mines Are
Laid and Exploded on Contact_.

Sir Percy Scott, admiral in the British navy, who through his inventions
made possible the advance in marksmanship with heavy guns and increased
the possibilities of hitting at long range and of broadside firing, said
recently that everything he has done to enhance the value of the gun is
rendered useless by the advent of the latest type of submarine, a
vessel which has for its principal weapon the torpedo. Dreadnoughts and
super-dreadnoughts are doomed, because they no longer can be safe at sea
from the submarine nor find safety in harbors.

"The introduction of vessels that swim under water," he said, "has in my
opinion entirely done away with the utility of the ships that swim on
top of the water. The functions of a war vessel were these: Defensively,
[1] to attack ships that come to bombard our forts, [2] to attack ships
that come to blockade us, [3] to attack ships convoying a landing party,
[4] to attack the enemy's fleet, [5] to attack ships interfering with
our commerce; offensively, [1] to bombard an enemy's ports, [2] to
blockade an enemy, [3] to convoy a landing party, [4] to attack the
enemy's fleet, [5] to attack the enemy's commerce.

"The submarine renders 1, 2 and 3 impossible, as no man of war will dare
to come even within sight of a coast that is adequately protected by
submarines. The fourth function of a battleship is to attack an enemy's
fleet, but there will be no fleet to attack, as it will not be safe
for a fleet to put to sea. Submarines and aeroplanes have entirely
revolutionized naval warfare; no fleet can hide itself from the
aeroplane's eye, and the submarine can deliver a deadly attack in broad

"In time of war the scouting aeroplanes will always be high above on
the lookout, and the submarines in constant readiness. If an enemy is
sighted the gong sounds and the leash of a flotilla of submarines will
be slipped. Whether it be night or day, fine or rough, they must go out
in search of their quarry; if they find her she is doomed and they give
no quarter; they cannot board her and take her as prize as in the olden
days; they only wait till she sinks, then return home without even
knowing the number of human beings they have sent to the bottom of the

"Not only is the open sea unsafe; a battleship is not immune from attack
even in a closed harbor, for the so-called protecting boom at the
entrance can easily be blown up. With a flotilla of submarines commanded
by dashing young officers, of whom we have plenty, I would undertake to
get through any boom into any harbor and sink or materially damage all
the ships in that harbor."


This is not a mere theorist or dreamer talking, says Burton Roscoe in
commenting on Admiral Scott's statements; it is the one man in England
most supremely versed in naval tactics, the man to whom all nations owe
the present effectiveness of the broadside of eight, twelve and fourteen
inch guns and the perfection in sighting long range guns.

The newest type of submarine torpedo is 100 per cent efficient. The
torpedo net of steel that used to be the ship's defense against
torpedoes is now useless. The modern torpedoes need only to come in
contact with a surface like the torpedo net or the armor plate of a
battleship to discharge a shell which will burst through a two-inch
armor caisson, rupture the hull of a battleship, and sink it in a few

The torpedo submarines of the modern type have a submerged speed of from
eight to ten knots an hour. Only a small surface, including the bridge
or conning tower, is exposed, thus making it almost impossible to
hit them with the clumsy guns aboard ship. The highest type of submarine
has a submerged tonnage of 812 tons and its length is 176 feet.

Each submarine carries from one to six torpedoes, each of which is
capable of sinking the most heavily armored vessel afloat. The sighter
in the conning tower moves swiftly, up within range of the vessel he is
attacking and gives the signal for the discharge of the torpedo. The men
aboard the attacked ship have no warning of their impending death except
a thin sheaf of water that follows on the surface in the wake of the
submerged torpedo and which lasts only an instant.


By a compressed air arrangement motive power is furnished the torpedo in
transit for its propellers. A gyroscope keeps it on a plane and upright.
A striker on the nose of the torpedo is released by a fan which revolves
in the water. The nose of the torpedo strikes the side of the battleship
and the compact jars the primer of fulminate of mercury. The high
explosive of gunpowder forces out a shell and exploded with it after the
shell has penetrated the armor. Then the work is done.

It is generally believed the principal harbors and fortifications in
England are heavily supplied with torpedoes of the new type. It is also
believed that the fortifications about the River Elbe are thus equipped.
If this is a fact the defending nation will be able not only to repulse
any fleet attempting an invasion but also to destroy it. By throwing
across the Straits of Dover, or across the lower end of the North Sea,
a flotilla of its powerful submarines England can prevent any naval
invasion of France or England or Belgium by Germany should the attacking
fleet take this route.

In the latest type of submarine the United States is deficient. There
are only twenty-nine submarines in the United States naval service at
the present time and only eighteen under construction.

The old type of torpedo did not have penetrative power [Illustration:
Cross section of Belgian Type of Fortress. The forts at Liege were of
this type and long withstood the battering of the German guns.

This kind of modern fort was designed by the famous Belgian military
engineer, General Brailmont. The strength of every such work must depend
on the spirit of its garrison, and at Liege and Namur, the Belgian
defenders gave a good account of themselves. These forts are provided
with an elaborate system for repelling attempts to carry the works by
assault and for making a counter-attack. There are land-mines, fired
electrically from the forts, wire entanglements, disappearing guns, and
search-lights to locate and blind an attacking enemy.]

[Illustration: Construction of Modern Torpedo, Showing All Important
Parts, Including Engine, Propellers, Steering Gear, etc.] sufficient
to sink the modern armor-clad battleship unless it struck under
exceptionally favorable circumstances. A large percentage of the
destructive power was expended on the outside of the hull. Commander
Davis of the United States navy invented the torpedo that carries its
power undiminished into the interior of the vessel.


The new torpedoes are provided with special steel cutters by which they
cut through the strongest steel torpedo net. The torpedo has within it
an eight-inch gun, capable of exploding a shell with a muzzle velocity
of about 1,000 feet a second. The projectile carries a bursting charge
of a high explosive, and this charge is detonated by a delayed-action
fuse. When the torpedo strikes its target, the gun is fired and the
shell strikes the outside plating of the ship. Then the fuse in the
shell's base explodes the charge in the shell, immediately after the

With a small fleet of these under-water fighting vessels--say of two
or three--an invading or blockading fleet of not more than twenty
men-of-war can be destroyed within an hour by an otherwise unprotected
harbor or port.

Germany has a few of these latest style submarines, and if it can rush
the construction of the thirty-one now being built, it will have a
flotilla that will protect its harbor towns against invasion.

France, also with its fifty submarines and thirty-one under
construction, and its great corps of scouting aeroplanes, will prove a
formidable agent in crippling the activities of Germany's big fleet of
dreadnoughts, armored cruisers and battleships. Russia will need its
twenty-five submarines for coast defense and probably will not send them
out of the Baltic [or out of the Black Sea in the event that Italy is
drawn into the conflict.]

Undoubtedly, then, the great battles in the present war, on the water
at least, may be decided by these silently moving, dinky sized, almost
imperceptible submarines which carry the ever-destroying torpedoes. And
the loss of lives will be more prodigious than ever.


                               Built      Building.
  Great Britain....................... 69
  France.............................. 50
  Russia.............................. 25
  Germany............................. 24
  Italy............................... 18
  Austria.............................  6


The sinking of the light cruiser Pathfinder of the British navy by a
German mine in the North Sea early in the war called special attention
to the deadly character of the mines of the present day.

A modern mine-laying ship puts to sea with a row of contact mines on
rails along her side, ready for dropping into the sea. The rails project
over the stern. The essential parts of a special type of mine of recent
design consist of (1) the mine proper, comprising the explosive charge
and detonating apparatus in a spherical case; (2) a square-shaped
anchor chamber, connected with the mine by a length of cable; (3) a
plummet-weight used in placing the mine in position, connected with
the anchor chamber by a rope. Thus the mine appears on the deck of the
mine-laying ship before being lowered over the stern.

Before the mine goes over, a windlass inside the plummet-sinker is
revolved by hand until the length of cable between the plummet and the
anchor-chamber has been reeled off equivalent to the depth below the
surface at which the explosive mine is to float.

Then the entire apparatus is hove overboard. The plummet and
anchor-chamber sink, while the spherical mine proper is kept on the
surface for the moment by means of a buoyant air-chamber within. A
windlass in the anchor-chamber now pays out the cable between it and the
mine as the anchor-chamber sinks. On the plummet touching bottom, the
tension in the cable between it and the anchor-chamber is lessened, and
the windlass mentioned stops. The anchor-chamber thereupon sinks to the
bottom, dragging down the spherical mine until that is at the selected
depth ready for its deadly work.



_Aerial Attacks on Cities--Some of the Achievements of the Airmen in
the Great War--Deeds of Heroism and Daring--Zeppelins in Action--Their
Construction and Operation._

During the first ten weeks of the war German airmen flew over Paris
several times and dropped bombs that did some damage. Aeroplanes, not
Zeppelins, were used in these attempts to terrorize the capital and
other cities of France.

The early visits of Zeppelin airships to Antwerp have been described in
a previous chapter. These were continued up to the time of the fall of
Antwerp. While comparatively few lives were lost through the explosion
of the bombs dropped, the recurring attacks served to keep the
inhabitants, if not the Belgian troops, in a state of constant
excitement and fear. When the city fell into German hands, a similar
condition arose in England, where it was feared that Antwerp might be
made the base for German airship attacks on London and other cities of
Great Britain; and all possible precautions were taken against such
attacks. The members of the Royal Flying Corps were kept constantly
on the alert; powerful searchlights swept the sky over London and the
English coast every night and artillery was kept in readiness to repel
an aerial invasion. Such was the condition in the third week of October.


A new type of British aeroplane was developed during the war, capable of
rising from the ground at a very sharp angle and of developing a speed
of 150 miles an hour. And in their operations in France and Belgium the
British army aviators proved themselves highly efficient and earned
unstinted praise from Field Marshal Sir John French, in command of the
British forces on the continent. One of their notable exploits was an
attack, October 8, on the Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldorf and Cologne, in
German territory. The attack was made by Lieut R.S.G. Marix, of the
Naval Flying Corps, in a monoplane, and Squadron Commander Spencer Grey,
with Lieut S.V. Lippe, in a biplane. Flying from Antwerp at a height of
5,000 feet, to escape the almost continuous German fire, Lieut.
Marix succeeded in locating the Zeppelin hangars at Dusseldorf. Then
descending to a height of only 1,000 feet he released two bombs when
directly over them, damaging both hangars and aircraft. A German bullet
passed through Lieut. Marix's cap and the wings of his aeroplane were
pierced in a dozen places, but he succeeded in returning to the burning
city of Antwerp, which he was ordered to leave the same evening.

During the same raid Commander Spencer Grey flew to Cologne. He was
unable to locate the Zeppelin hangars but dropped two bombs into the
railway station, which was badly damaged.

A night or two later a German Zeppelin flew over Ghent and dropped a
bomb near the South station. On October 11 two German aviators dropped a
score of bombs on different quarters of Paris, killing three civilians
and injuring fourteen others. The property damage, however, was slight
and the effectiveness of bomb-dropping as a means of destroying a city
or fortifications remained to be proved to the military mind. It was
noted that a large proportion of the bombs dropped by German aviators
failed to explode.


Stories of heroism displayed by aviators on both sides of the great
conflict have abounded. One story of the devotion of German airmen,
told to a correspondent by several German officers, he succeeded in
verifying, but was unable to learn the name of the particular hero of
the occurrence. This story was as follows:

"In one of the battles around Rheims it became necessary to blow up a
bridge which was about to be crossed by advancing French troops coming
to relieve a beleaguered fort. The only way to destroy the bridge was
for an airman to swoop down and drop an exceptionally powerful bomb upon

"There were twenty-four flyers with that division of the German army. A
volunteer was asked for, it being first announced that the required task
meant sure death to the man undertaking it.

"Every one of the twenty-four stepped forward without hesitation. Lots
were quickly drawn. The chosen man departed without saying farewell to
any one. Within five minutes the bridge was in ruins and the aeroplane
and its heroic pilot had been blown to pieces. This incident was not
published in the press of Germany, because of the fear that it would
cause terrible anxiety to the wives of all married German flyers."


An aerial victory for a French aviator, fought thousands of feet in the
air in the presence of troops of both armies, was reported by Lieutenant
de Laine of the French aerial corps on October 10. The air duel was one
of the most thrilling since the war began. Lieutenant de Laine's account
of the combat was as follows:

"I had been ordered to fly over the German lines with an observer
who was to drop pamphlets. These pamphlets contained the following

"'German soldiers, attention! German officers say that the French
maltreat prisoners. This is a lie. German prisoners are as well treated
as unfortunate adversaries should be.'

"We had no sooner taken wing than the aeroplane was sighted by German
observers in captive balloons anchored about six miles distant.
Immediately two Albatross machines rose from the German camp and came

"We continued to advance, meanwhile sending the aeroplane higher and
higher until the barograph showed we were 6,000 feet above the
ground. Our machine was speedier than the German Aeroplane, which was
constructed of steel and was so heavy it could not work up the speed of
the French army monoplane.

"We were able to get over the German lines and my companion began
hurling thousands of the pamphlets in every direction. It was like a

"In the meantime, the German artillery got their long range air guns in
action and were hurling volley after volley against us. The shells were
of special type, designed to create violent air waves when they burst.
We were too high to be reached, but we had to turn our attention to the
two aeroplanes which were rushing toward us.

"As they approached the German artillery fire stopped. We were too high
to distinguish what was going on beneath us, but I could imagine the
thousands of soldiers staring skyward in wonder at the strange spectacle
above them.

"We kept swinging in wide circles over the German lines and I kept
getting higher and higher in order to outmaneuver the German plane and
to prevent it from getting above us so that bombs could be thrown at us.

"The machines were all equipped with rapid-fire guns, and when we got
within 100 yards of each other, both sides opened fire. The bullets went
wide. Finally we began to swing backward, getting lower and lower. One
of the German machines was thus lured over the French lines and our
land artillery opened against it. One of its wings was shattered and it
dropped, but the other aeroplane escaped."


How a German aviator in Belgium secured control of a falling aeroplane
after his companion had been killed is described in a thrilling letter
received by his father in Berlin September 30. It reads:

"Dear Father: I am lying here in a beautiful Belgian castle slowly
recovering from wounds I thought would kill me. On August 22 I made a
flight with Lieutenant J., a splendid aviator; established the fact that
the enemy was advancing toward us. In the region of Bertrix we came into
heavy rainclouds and had to descend to 3,000 feet. As we came through
the clouds we were seen and an entire French division began shooting at

"Lieutenant J. was hit in the abdomen. Our motor was put out of
commission. We were trying to volplane across a forest in the distance
when suddenly I felt the machine give a jump. I turned around--as I was
sitting in front--and found that a second bullet had hit Lieutenant J.
in the head and killed him.

"I leaned over the back of the seat and managed to reach the steering
apparatus and headed down. A hail of shots whistled about me. I felt
something hit me in the forehead. Blood ran into my eyes. I was faint.
But will prevailed and I retained consciousness. Just as we were near
the ground a gust of wind hit the plane and turned my machine over.
I fell in the midst of the enemy with my dead companion. The 'red
trousers' were coming from all directions and I drew my pistol and shot
three of them. I felt a bayonet at my breast and gave myself up for dead
when an officer shouted: "'Let him live! He is a brave soldier.'

"I was taken to the commanding general of the Seventeenth French army
corps, who questioned me, but, of course, got no information. He said I
would later be sent to Paris, but as I was weak from loss of blood and
seriously wounded I was taken into their field hospital and cared for.
The officers were very nice to me and when the French fell back I took
advantage of the confusion to crawl under a bush, where I remained until
our troops came."

Many occurrences of a similarly thrilling character have been related
in the camps of the contending armies. The above suffice to show the
patriotic devotion and heroism of the military forces of the air, which
for the first time in history have been a prominent feature of warfare
in 1914.


The real story of the performances of air-craft in the has not been
told, but there has been enough to give the world a terrifying glimpse
of these modern weapons.

The three attacks on Antwerp by a Zeppelin airship brought into action
the long predicted onslaught by forces of the air against the ground.
After one of the great German dirigibles had been brought down by
gunfire because it was accidentally guided too near the earth, another
returned over the city, and the havoc wrought by this single craft
realizes the horrors that would follow any concerted attack by a fleet
of the aerial destroyers if they were launched against a city.

The Zeppelin is an impressive thing because of its size, cigar-shaped
and ranging from 300 to over 500 feet in length, driven at a rate of
miles an hour by four propellers and carrying a huge car. It is most
valuable for use at night, of course, but has proved it is capable of
doing its deadly work out of range of ordinary gunfire at day. Artillery
has been invented which can reach airships flying at 5,000 feet, but
there is not much of it. The half dozen German Zeppelins which have been
destroyed by French and Russian fire met their fate chiefly because they
got too near the ground.

Refugees from Belgium describe the method used by Zeppelins in dropping
bombs. The dirigible is kept as much as possible out of range of the
enemy's guns while it lowers a steel cage, attached to a steel rope,
200 or 300 feet long. The cage carries a man who throws down the bombs.
Because of the small size of the cage and the fact that it is kept
constantly in motion it is difficult for heavy guns to hit it. The great
airship remains perfectly stable while the missiles, of which there are
a variety for different missions, are being hurled. All the military
Zeppelins of Germany are armed and there are a large number of unarmed
dirigibles in reserve.

It is estimated that there are 100 aeroplanes with the British forces
on the continent. The French army has hundreds of aeroplanes of
various kinds. Germany's fleet of flying machines has been in action
continuously and the aviators have proved a big aid in scouting as well
as in dropping bombs and grenades on the enemy.

The newest French aeroplanes are said to be equipped with boxes filled
with thousands of "steel arrows."

These "arrows" are really steel bolts four inches long. When the aviator
sails over the enemy he opens trapdoors of the "arrow" boxes with a
simple device and lets showers of bolts fall on the men below. One of
the "arrows" dropped 2,000 feet will go through a German helmet and a
soldier's head. A shower of them would prove effective against a massed

On August 10 the correspondent of the London Times in Brussels,
describing the fighting at Liege, said aerial fleets were used by both
Belgians and Germans. The fighting in midair was desultory but deadly. A
huge Zeppelin sailed over Liege during the early fighting. The fighting
in midair was desultory but deadly. A huge Zeppelin sailed over Liege
during the early fighting, but was pursued by a Belgian aeroplanist, who
risked and lost his life in destroying it.

--Aero and Hydro, Chicago]

After the destruction of this Zeppelin the Germans confined their aerial
activity to the use of scouting aeroplanes, several of which were
destroyed by shots from the forts. Attempts to reach the aeroplanes with
shells were often unsuccessful, however, owing to the inability to shoot
high enough.


In the early days of the great war only an occasional flash of news was
received about the French and Russian aero-military operations or those
of the German corps along the Russian and French frontiers. It was
difficult to imagine that they were idle, for the German-Russian and
the French-German frontiers had been the locations of many military
aeronautical camps or fortresses. These were described at the outbreak
of hostilities as follows:

"Along the German frontier facing Russia are the important aero centers
of Thorn and Graudenz, while the nearest aero base in Russia is at Riga,
farther north.

"Against German invasion there are French centers at Verdun, Nancy,
Luneville and Belfort. The most important is at Belfort. Sixty miles
from the Belgian frontier and 170 miles from Liege is the great center
at Rheims, with the even more important base at Chalons-sur-Marne only
twenty-five miles distant.

"Seventy-five to 100 miles is the scouting range of the military
aeroplanes, while the dirigibles will scout 500 to 1,000 miles from the
base, according to the duration efficiency. The Zeppelins might, taking
some risk, travel even farther. With this taken into consideration,
the fact that there are only two German aero centers on the French
frontier--Aix-la-Chapelle and Metz--is not very significant. The range
of the Vosges occupies the territory where there is no aero center.

"Back of the mountains, along the Rhone from Dusseldorf to Strasbourg,
there are a dozen aero stations, some of them devoted to aeroplanes and
dirigibles, others to dirigibles alone.

"The latest data show that Germany has sixty stations, including private
dirigible hangars, while France has thirty, in most cases of greater
extent than those in Germany, Russia, eight months ago, had ten, but it
is believed that this number has been increased twofold since that time.


"The two principal Belgian centers are at Brasschaet, near Antwerp,
and Etterbeck, near Brussels. The aviators operating in the early
engagements have undoubtedly flown down from Brussels and are in
temporary camp at Liege. There are probably not more than four Belgian
escadrilles, or little fleets of four machines each, on the scene, while
Germany's force is supposedly greater."



_Most Prolonged Encounter in History Between Gigantic Forces--A
Far-Flung Battle Line--Germans Face French and British in the Aisne
Valley and Fight for Weeks--Mighty Armies Deadlocked After a Desperate
and Bloody Struggle_.

For a few days after the tide of battle in France turned in favor of
the Allies (September 9), the German forces continued to retreat to the
north, closely followed by the French and British armies that had fought
and won the battle of the Marne, as described in a previous chapter.
This northward movement was marked by heavy German losses in men and
munitions of war, and lasted until Saturday, September 12, when the
Germans were found to be occupying a position of great defensive
strength on the River Aisne, north of Soissons. At that time they held
both sides of the river and had a formidable line of intrenchments on
the hills to the north of eight road bridges and two railway bridges
crossing the Aisne. Seven of the road bridges and both the railway
bridges had been destroyed.

The Allies gained some high ground south of the Aisne, overlooking the
Aisne valley, east of Soissons. Then began (on Saturday, September 12)
an action along the Aisne which was destined to go down in history as
the greatest and most prolonged battle of all time. Two days, three
days, a week, two weeks, three, four, five weeks it lasted, with varying
fortune to the contending armies, but no decisive result. Germans,
French and British, literally by the thousand, fell under the continuous
hail of shrapnel, the hurricane of machine-gun and rifle fire, or in
the desperate bayonet charges of daily occurrence, but still the battle
raged. Minor positions were gained and lost, towns and villages along
the far-flung battle line were occupied and evacuated, countless deeds
of heroism were wrought, to be sung and celebrated by posterity in a
dozen different lands--but the lines on both sides held and victory
refused to perch on any banner.

Modern scientific strategy exhausted its utmost efforts; flanking and
turning movements were planned, attempted and failed; huge masses of
men were hurled against each other in every formation known to military
skill; myriads of lives and millions of money were sacrificed in
historic endeavors to breach the enemy's front--but ever the foeman held
his ground and neither side could claim decided advantage. Intrenchments
such as the world has never seen before covered the countryside for
fifty miles. Teuton, Gaul and Anglo-Saxon, Turco and Hindu, literally
"dug themselves in," and refused to budge an inch, though hell itself,
in all its horror and its fury, was loosed against them.

And thus the battle of the Aisne--also aptly called, from its extent and
ramifications, the battle of the Rivers--continued through many weeks
while all the world wondered and stood aghast at the slaughter, and the
single gleam of brightness that came out of that maelstrom of death and
misery was the growing respect of Frenchman, German and Briton for the
individual and collective courage of each other and the death-defying
devotion that was daily displayed by all.


Beginning as an artillery duel in which the field-guns of the French and
Germans were matched against each other from opposite heights as never
before, the battle of the Aisne soon resolved itself into a series of
daily actions in which every arm of the opposing hosts engaged. There
was little rest for the troops day or night. Artillery fire beginning at
daybreak and continuing till dusk might break out again at any hour
of the night, the range of the enemy's intrenchments being known.
Frequently the artillery seemed to open fire in the still watches of the
night for no other reason than to prevent the enemy in his trenches from
getting any sleep at all, and many a man was borne to the rear on both
sides suffering from no wound, but from utter exhaustion--a state of
collapse which is often as deadly as shrapnel to the soldier in the

For weeks at a time the only real rest for many of the troops engaged
along the line of battle came in snatches of a few hours when they were
temporarily relieved by fresh troops brought up from the rear, and
these in their turn might be soon exhausted by the continuous strain of
keeping on the alert to repel attacks--or, as frequently happened, their
ranks might be decimated, or worse, when they were ordered to a charge.
Officers and men suffered alike from the strenuous nature of the demands
made upon them--and so far as actual casualties are concerned the battle
was one in which officers of all ranks, in all the armies, suffered
perhaps more severely, in proportion to the number engaged, than in any
previous battle. Hundreds of British officers, for example, were among
the victims whose bones lie rotting in the valley of the Aisne, as whole
pages of their portraits in the London journals, bearing many of the
best known names in the British Empire, testified in mute protest
against the horrors of war. And both Germany and France have a similar
"roll of honor."


While the great battle of the Rivers was in progress the most connected
stories of its daily developments came through the British official news
bureau, and these are reproduced in part in the pages that follow. The
author of these reports is believed to be Colonel Swinton, of Field
Marshal French's staff, who is generally credited with having
contributed to the literature of the war some of the most interesting
and enlightening accounts of the operations of the British and French
armies in the field. And these reports are given here, because of their
general character of apparent truth and fairness, and in the absence of
any similar reports from the other side.


The following report from the British headquarters covers the period
when the Allies' forward movement was halted along the Aisne and also
describes the terrain, or country, in which the subsequent fighting

"From Thursday, September 10, the British army made [Illustration: In
the above view the Rivers Marne, Ourcq, Aisne, Oise, and Meuse are
clearly shown, exaggerated in size for convenience of reference. The
position of the Allies September 20, 1914, is shown by a black dotted
line running from between Amiens and Peronne to Verdun and Nancy. The
German front is indicated by the shaded sections, which also show the
German lines of communication or retreat, numbered from 1 to 7. At this
time the Allies were pushing north to Arras, endeavoring to turn the
German right flank in common of General von Kluck.] steady progress in
its endeavor to drive back the enemy in co-operation with the French.
The country across which it had to force its way, and will have to
continue to do so, is undulating and covered with patches of thick wood.

"Within the area which faced the British before the advance commenced,
right up to Laon, the chief feature of tactical importance is the fact
that there are six rivers running across the direction of the advance,
at all of which it was possible that the Germans might make resistance.
These rivers are, in order from the south, the Marne, Ourcq, Vesle,
Aisne, Ailette and Oise.

"The Germans held the line of the Marne, which was crossed by our forces
on September 9, as a purely rearguard operation. Our passage of the
Ourcq was not contested. The Vesle was only lightly held, while
resistance along the Aisne, both against the French and the British, has
been and still is of a determined character.

"On Friday, September 11, but little opposition was met with along any
part of our front, and the direction of the advance was, for the purpose
of co-operating with our allies, turned slightly to the northeast.
The day was spent in rushing forward and gathering in various hostile
detachments. By nightfall our forces had reached a line north of the
Ourcq, extending from Oulchy-le-Chateau to Longpont.

"On this day there was also a general advance of the French along their
whole line, which ended in a substantial success, in one portion of the
field Duke Albrecht of Wuerttemburg's army being driven back across the
Saulx, and elsewhere the whole of the artillery of a German corps being
captured. Several German colors also were taken.

"It was only on this day that the full extent of the victory gained by
the Allies on September 8 [at the Marne] was appreciated by them, and
the moral effect of this success has been enormous. An order dated
September 6 and 7, issued by the commander of the German Seventh Corps,
was picked up. It stated that the great object of the war was about to
be attained, since the French were going to accept battle, and that upon
the result of this battle would depend the issue of the war and the
honor of the German armies.

"On Saturday, the 12th, the enemy were found to be occupying a very
formidable position opposite us on the north of the line at Soissons.
Working from the west to the east, our Third Army Corps gained some high
ground south of the Aisne overlooking the Aisne valley, to the east of
Soissons. Here a long-range artillery duel between our guns and those of
the French on our left and the enemy's artillery on the hills continued
during the greater part of the day, and did not cease until nearly
midnight. The enemy had a very large number of heavy howitzers in
well-concealed positions.

"At Braisne the First cavalry division met with considerable opposition
from infantry and machine-guns holding the town and guarding the bridge.
With the aid of some of our infantry it gained possession of the town
about midday, driving the enemy to the north. Some hundred prisoners
were captured around Braisne, where the Germans had thrown a large
amount of field-gun ammunition into the river, where it was visible
under two feet of water.


"On our right the French reached the line of the River Vesle. On this
day began an action along the Aisne which is not yet finished, and which
may be merely of a rearguard nature on a large scale, or may be the
commencement of a battle of a more serious nature.

"It rained heavily on Saturday afternoon and all through the night,
which severely handicapped transport.

"On Sunday, the 13th, extremely strong resistance was encountered by the
whole of our front, which was some fifteen miles in length. The action
still consisted for the most part of a long-range gunfire, that of the
Germans being to a great extent from their heavy howitzers, which were
firing from cleverly concealed positions. Some of the actual crossings
of the Aisne were guarded by strong detachments of infantry with

"By nightfall portions of all our three army corps were across the
river, the cavalry returning to the south side. By early next morning,
three pontoon bridges had been built, and our troops also managed to
get across the river by means of the bridge carrying the canal over the

"On our left the French pressed on, but were prevented by artillery fire
from building a pontoon bridge at Soissons. A large number of infantry,
however, crossed in single file the top girder of the railway bridge
left standing.

"During the last three or four days many isolated parties of Germans
have been discovered hiding in the numerous woods a long way behind our
line. As a rule they seemed glad to surrender, and the condition of some
of them may be gathered from the following incident:

"An officer proceeding along the road in charge of a number of led
horses received information that there were some of the enemy in the
neighborhood. He gave the order to charge, whereupon three German
officers and 106 men surrendered.


"Rheims was occupied by the enemy on September 3. It was reoccupied by
the French after considerable fighting on September 13.

"On the 12th, a proclamation, a copy of which is in the possession of
the British army, was posted all over the town. A literal translation of
this poster follows:

"'PROCLAMATION--In the event of an action being fought early today or in
the immediate future in the neighborhood of Rheims, the inhabitants are
warned that they must remain absolutely calm and must in no way try
to take part in the fighting. They must not attempt to attack either
isolated soldiers or detachments of the German army. The erection of
barricades, the taking up of paving stones in the streets in a way
to hinder the movement of troops, or, in a word, any action that may
embarrass the German army, is formally forbidden.

"'With an idea to securing adequately the safety of the troops and to
instill calm into the population of Rheims, the persons named below have
been seized as hostages by the commander-in-chief of the German army.
These hostages will be hanged at the slightest attempt at disorder.
Also, the town will be totally or partially burned and the inhabitants
will be hanged for any infraction of the above.

"'By order of the German authorities. (Signed) "'THE MAYOR.'

"Here followed the names of eighty-one of the principal inhabitants of
Rheims, with their addresses, including four priests, and ending with
the words, 'And some others.'"


The following descriptive report from Field Marshal Sir John French's
headquarters was issued September 22:

"At the date of the last narrative, September 14, the Germans were
making a determined resistance along the River Aisne. The opposition has
proved to be more serious than was anticipated.

"The action now being fought by the Germans along their line is
naturally on a scale which, as to extent of ground covered and duration
of resistance, makes it undistinguishable in its progress from what is
known as a 'pitched battle.'

"So far as we are concerned, the action still being contested is the
battle of the Aisne. The foe we are fighting is just across that river,
along the whole of our front to the east and west. The struggle is not
confined to the valley of that river, though it will probably bear its

"On Monday, the 14th, those of our troops which had on the previous
day crossed the Aisne, after driving in the German rearguards on that
evening, found portions of the enemy's forces in prepared defensive
positions on the right bank and could do little more than secure a
footing north of the river. This, however, they maintained in spite of
two counter-attacks delivered at dusk and 10 p.m., in which the fighting
was severe.

"During the 14th strong reinforcements of our troops were passed to the
north bank, the troops crossing by ferry, by pontoon bridges, and by the
remains of permanent bridges. Close co-operation with the French forces
was maintained and the general progress made was good, although the
opposition was vigorous and the state of the roads, after the heavy
rain, made movements slow.


"One division alone failed to secure the ground it expected to. The
First Army Corps, after repulsing repeated attacks, captured
prisoners and twelve guns. The cavalry also took a number of prisoners.

"There was a heavy rain throughout the night of September 14th,
and during the 15th the situation of the British forces underwent no
essential change. But it became more and more evident that the defensive
preparations made by the enemy were more extensive than was at first
apparent. The Germans bombarded our lines nearly all day, using heavy
guns brought, no doubt, from before Maubeuge as well as those with the

"All the German counter-attacks, however, failed, although in some
places they were repeated six times. One made on the Fourth Guards
Brigade was repulsed with heavy slaughter.

"Further counter-attacks made during the night were beaten off. Rain
came on towards evening and continued intermittently until 9 _a.m_., on
the 16th. Besides adding to the discomfort of the soldiers holding
the line, the wet weather to some extent hampered the motor transport
service, which was also hindered by broken bridges.

"On Wednesday, the 16th, there was little change in the situation
opposite the British; the efforts made by the enemy were less active
than on the previous day, though their bombardment continued throughout
the morning and evening.

"On Thursday, the 17th, the situation still remained unchanged in its
essentials. The German heavy artillery fire was more active than on the
previous day. The only infantry attacks made by the enemy were on the
extreme right of our position, and, as had happened before, they
were repulsed with heavy loss, chiefly on this occasion by our field


"In order to convey some idea of the nature of the fighting it may be
said that along the greater part of our front the Germans have been
driven back from the forward slopes on the north of the river. Their
infantry are holding strong lines of trenches amongst and along the
edges of the numerous woods which crown the slopes. These trenches are
elaborately constructed and cleverly concealed. In many places there are
wire entanglements and lengths of rabbit fencing.

"Both woods and open are carefully aligned, so that they can be swept by
rifle fire and machine-guns, which are invisible from our side of the
valley. The ground in front of the infantry is also, as a rule, under
cross fire from the field artillery placed on neighboring heights, and
under high angle fire from pieces placed well back behind the woods on
top of the plateau.

"A feature of this action, as of the previous fighting, is the use by
the enemy of numerous heavy howitzers, with which they are able to
direct long range fire all over the valley and right across it. Upon
these they evidently place great reliance.

"Where our men are holding the forward edges of the high ground on the
north side they are now strongly intrenched. They are well fed, and in
spite of the wet weather of the last week are cheerful and confident.


"The bombardment by both sides has been heavy, and on Sunday, Monday,
and Tuesday was practically continuous. Nevertheless, in spite of the
general din caused by the reports of the immense number of heavy guns
in action along our front on Wednesday, the arrival of the French force
acting against the German right flank was at once announced on the
east of our front some miles away by the continuous roar of their
quick-firing artillery, with which the attack was opened.

"So far as the British are concerned, the greater part of this week has
been passed in bombardment, in gaining ground by degrees, and in beating
back severe counter-attacks with heavy slaughter. Our casualties have
been severe, but it is probable that those of the enemy are heavier.

"The rain has caused a great drop in the temperature and there is more
than a distant feeling of autumn in the air.

"On our right and left the French have been fighting fiercely and have
been gradually gaining ground. One village already has been captured and
recaptured twice by each side and at the time of writing remains in the
hands of the Germans.

"The fighting has been at close quarters and of the most desperate
nature, and the streets of the village are filled with dead of both


"As an example of the spirit which is inspiring our allies the following
translation of an _Ordre du Jour_ (order of the day), published on
September 9, after the battle of Montmirail, by the commander of the
French Fifth Army, is given:

"'Soldiers: Upon the memorable fields of Montmirail, of Vauchamps,
of Champaubert, which a century ago witnessed the victories of our
ancestors over Blücher's Prussians, your vigorous offensive has
triumphed over the resistance of the Germans. Held on his flanks, his
center broken, the enemy now is retreating towards the east and north
by forced marches. The most renowned army corps of old Prussia, the
contingents of Westphalia, of Hanover, of Brandenburg, have retired in
haste before you.

"'This first success is no more than the prelude. The enemy is shaken
but not yet decisively beaten. You have still to undergo severe
hardships, to make long marches, to fight hard battles. May the image of
our country, soiled by barbarians, always remain before your eyes! Never
was it more necessary to sacrifice all for her.

"'Saluting the heroes who have fallen in the fighting of the last few
days, my thoughts turn toward you, the victors in the last battle.
Forward, soldiers, for France!'


"So many letters and statements of our wounded soldiers have been
published in our newspapers that the following epistle from a German
soldier of the Seventy-fourth Infantry regiment, Tenth Corps, to his
wife also may be of interest:

"'My Dear Wife: I have just been living through days that defy
imagination. I should never have thought that men could stand it. Not a
second has passed but my life has been in danger, and yet not a hair of
my head has been hurt.

"'It was horrible; it was ghastly, but I have been saved for you and
for our happiness, and I take heart again, although I am still terribly
unnerved. God grant that I may see you again soon and that this horror
may soon be over.

"'None of us can do any more; human strength is at an end. I will try to
tell you about it. On September 5 the enemy were reported to be taking
up a position near St. Prix, southeast of Paris. The Tenth Corps, which
had made an astonishingly rapid advance of course, was attacked on

"'Steep slopes led up to the heights, which were held in considerable
force. With our weak detachments of the Seventy-fourth and Ninety-first
regiments we reached the crest and came under a terrible artillery fire
that mowed us down. However, we entered St. Prix. Hardly had we done
so than we were met with shell fire and a violent fusillade from the
enemy's infantry. Our colonel was badly wounded--he is the third we have
had. Fourteen men were killed around me. We got away in a lull without
my being hit.

"'The 7th, 8th, and 9th of September we were constantly under shell and
shrapnel fire and suffered terrible losses. I was in a house which was
hit several times. The fear of death, of agony, which is in every man's
heart, and naturally so, is a terrible feeling. How often I have thought
of you, my darling, and what I suffered in that terrifying battle
which extended along a front of many miles near Montmirail, you cannot
possibly imagine.

"'Our heavy artillery was being used for the siege of Maubeuge. We
wanted it badly, as the enemy had theirs in force and kept up a furious
bombardment. For four days I was under artillery fire. It was like hell,
but a thousand times worse.

"'On the night of the 9th the order was given to retreat, as it would
have been madness to attempt to hold our position with our few men, and
we should have risked a terrible defeat the next day. The first and
third armies had not been able to attack with us, as we had advanced
too rapidly. Our morale was absolutely broken; in spite of unheard-of
sacrifices we had achieved nothing.

"'I cannot understand how our army, after fighting three great battles
and being terribly weakened, was sent against a position which the enemy
had prepared for three weeks, but, naturally, I know nothing of the
intentions of our chiefs; they say nothing has been lost.

"'In a word, we retired towards Cormontreuil and Rheims by forced
marches by day and night. We hear that three armies are going to get
into line, intrench and rest, and then start afresh our victorious
march on Paris. It was not a defeat, only a strategic retreat. I have
confidence in our chiefs that everything will be successful.

"'Our first battalion, which has fought with unparalleled bravery, is
reduced from 1,200 to 194 men. These numbers speak for themselves.'"


The next report from the official chronicler at the front, dated
September 24, was in part as follows:

"The enemy is still maintaining himself along the whole front, and in
order to do so is throwing into the fight detachments composed of units
from the different formations, the active army, reserve, and landwehr,
as is shown by the uniforms of prisoners recently captured.

"Our progress, although slow on account of the strength of the defensive
positions against which we are pressing, has in certain directions been
continuous, but the present battle may well last for some days more
before a decision is reached, since it now approximates nearly to siege

"The nature of the general situation after the operations of the 18th,
19th, and 20th, cannot better be summarized than as expressed recently
by a neighboring French commander to his corps: 'Having repulsed
repeated and violent counterattacks made by the enemy, we have a feeling
that we have been victorious.'

"So far as the British are concerned, the course of events during these
three days can be described in a few words. During Friday, the 18th,
artillery fire was kept up intermittently by both sides during daylight.
At night the Germans counter-attacked certain portions of our line,
supporting the advance of their infantry as always by a heavy
bombardment. But the strokes were not delivered with great vigor and
ceased about 2 _a.m_. During the day's fighting an aircraft gun of the
Third Army Corps succeeded in bringing down a German aeroplane.


"On Saturday, the 19th, the bombardment was resumed by the Germans at an
early hour and continued intermittently under reply from our guns, which
is a matter of normal routine rather than an event.

"Another hostile aeroplane was brought down by us, and one of our
aviators succeeded in dropping several bombs over the German line, one
incendiary bomb falling with considerable effect on a transport park
near LaFère.

"A buried store of the enemy's munitions of war also was found not far
from the Aisne, ten wagonloads of live shells and two wagons of cable
being dug up. Traces were discovered of large quantities of stores
having been burned--all tending to show that as far back as the Aisne
the German retirement was hurried.

"On Sunday, the 20th, nothing of importance occurred until the
afternoon, when there was an interval of feeble sunshine, which was
hardly powerful enough to warm the soaking troops. The Germans took
advantage of this brief spell of fine weather to make several attacks
against different points. These were all repulsed with loss to the
enemy, but the casualties incurred by us were by no means light.

"The offensive against one or two points was renewed at dusk, with no
greater success. The brunt of the resistance naturally has fallen on the
infantry. In spite of the fact that they have been drenched to the skin
for some days and their trenches have been deep in mud and water, and
in spite of the incessant night alarms and the almost continuous
bombardment to which they have been subjected, they have on every
occasion been ready for the enemy's infantry when the latter attempted
to assault. Indeed, the sight of the troops coming up has been a
positive relief after long, trying hours of inaction under shell fire.


"The object of the great proportion of artillery the Germans employ is
to beat down the resistance of their enemy by concentrated and prolonged
fire--to shatter their nerve with high explosives before the infantry
attack is launched. They seem to have relied on doing this with us,
but they have not done so, though it has taken them several costly
experiments to discover this fact.

"From statements of prisoners, it appears that they have been greatly
disappointed by the moral effect produced by their heavy guns, which,
despite the actual losses inflicted, has not been at all commensurate
with the colossal expenditure of ammunition which has really been

"By this it is not implied that their artillery fire is not good. It is
more than good--it is excellent. But the British soldier is a difficult
person to impress or depress, even by immense shells filled with a high
explosive, which detonate with terrific violence and form craters large
enough to act as graves for five horses.

"The German howitzer shells are from eight to nine inches in calibre,
and on impact they send up columns of greasy black smoke. On account of
this they are irreverently dubbed 'coal boxes,' 'Black Marias,' or 'Jack
Johnsons' by the soldiers.

"Men who take things in this spirit are, it seems, likely to throw out
the calculations based on loss of morale so carefully framed by the
German military philosophers.

"The German losses in officers are stated by our prisoners to have been
especially severe. A brigade is stated to be commanded by a major; some
companies of foot guards by one-year volunteers; while after the battle
of Montmirail one regiment lost fifty-five out of sixty officers.


"The following letter, which refers to the fighting on the Aisne and was
found on a German officer of the Seventh Reserve Corps, has been printed
and circulated to the troops:

"'Cerny, South of Paris, Sept 17.--My Dear Parents:--Our corps has the
task of holding the heights south of Cerny in all circumstances till the
Fourteenth Corps on our left flank can grip the enemy's flank. On
our right are other corps. We are fighting with the English guards,
Highlanders and Zouaves. The losses on both sides have been enormous.
For the most part this is due to the too-brilliant French artillery.

"'The English are marvelously trained in making use of ground. One never
sees them and one is constantly under fire. The French airmen perform
wonderful feats. We cannot get rid of them. As soon as an airman has
flown over us, ten minutes later we get shrapnel fire in our position.
We have little artillery in our corps; without it we cannot get forward.

"'Three days ago our division took possession of these heights and dug
itself in. Two days ago, early in the morning, we were attacked by
immensely superior English forces--one brigade and two battalions--and
were turned out of our positions. The fellows took five guns from us. It
was a tremendous hand-to-hand fight.

"'How I escaped myself I am not clear. I then had to bring up support on
foot. My horse was wounded and the others were too far in the rear. Then
came up the Guard Jager Battalion, Fourth Jager, Sixth Regiment, Reserve
Regiment Thirteen, and Landwehr Regiments Thirteen and Sixteen, and,
with the help of the artillery, we drove the fellows out of the position
again. Our machine-guns did excellent work; the English fell in heaps.

"'In our battalion three iron crosses have been given. Let us hope that
we shall be the lucky ones the next time.

"'During the first two days of the battle I had only one piece of bread
and no water. I spent the night in the rain without my greatcoat. The
rest of my kit was on the horses, which have been left miles behind with
the baggage and which cannot come up into the battle because as soon as
you put your nose up from behind cover the bullets whistle.

"'War is terrible! We are all hoping that a decisive battle will end the
war. Our troops already have got round Paris. If we beat the English the
French resistance will soon be broken. Russia will be very quickly dealt
with; of this there is no doubt.

"'We have received splendid help from the Austrian heavy artillery at
Maubeuge. They bombarded Fort Cerfontaine in such a way that there was
not ten meters of parapet which did not show enormous craters made by
the shells. The armored turrets were found upside down.

"'Yesterday evening about 6, in the valley in which our reserves stood,
there was such a terrible cannonade that we saw nothing of the sky but a
cloud of smoke. We had few casualties.'


"Espionage is carried on by the enemy to a considerable extent. Recently
the suspicions of some of the French troops were aroused by coming
across a farm from which the horses had been removed. After some search
they discovered a telephone which was connected by an underground cable
with the German lines, and the owner of the farm paid the penalty in
the usual way in war for his treachery. "After some cases of village
fighting, which occurred earlier in the war, it was reported by some
of our officers that the Germans had attempted to approach to close
quarters by forcing prisoners to march in front of them. The Germans
have recently repeated the same trick on a larger scale against the
French, as is shown by the copy of an order issued by the French
officials. It is therein referred to as a ruse, but if that term can be
accepted, it is a distinctly illegal ruse.


"Full details of the actual damage done to the cathedral at Rheims will
doubtless have been cabled, so that no description of it is necessary.
The Germans bombarded the cathedral twice with their heavy artillery.

"One reason it caught fire so quickly was that on one side of it was
some scaffolding which had been erected for restoration work. Straw had
also been laid on the floor for the reception of German wounded. It is
to the credit of the French that practically all the German wounded were
successfully extricated from the burning building.

"There was no justification on military grounds for this act of
vandalism, which seems to have been caused by exasperation born of
failure--a sign of impotence rather than of strength."


On September 29 Field Marshal French's headquarters reported as follows:

"The general situation as viewed on the map remains practically the same
as that described in the last letter, and the task of the army has not
changed. It is to maintain itself until there is a general resumption of
the offensive.

"No ground has been lost. Some has been gained, and every counter-attack
has been repulsed--in certain instances with very severe losses to the

"Of recent events an actual narrative will be carried on from the 25th
to 29th, inclusive. During the whole of this period the weather has
remained fine.

"On Friday, the 25th, comparative quiet reigned in our sphere of action.
The only incident worthy of special mention was the passage of a German
aeroplane over the interior of our lines. It was flying high, but drew a
general fusillade from below, with the result that the pilot was killed
outright and the observer was wounded. The latter was captured by the

"That night a general attack was made against the greater part of the
Allies' position, and it was renewed in the early morning of Saturday,
the 26th. The Germans were everywhere repulsed with loss. Indeed,
opposite one portion of our lines, where they were caught in mass by our
machine-guns and howitzers firing at different ranges, it is estimated
that they left 1,000 killed or wounded.

"The mental attitude of our troops may be gauged from the fact that the
official report next morning from one corps, of which one division had
borne the brunt of the fighting, ran thus laconically: 'The night was
quiet except for a certain amount of shelling both from the enemy and


"At 3:40 a.m. an attack was made on our right. At 5 a.m. there was a
general attack on the right of the----th division, but no really heavy
firing. Further ineffectual efforts to drive us back were made at 8 a.m.
and in the afternoon, and the artillery fire continued all day.

"The Germans came on in 'T' formation, several lines shoulder to
shoulder, followed almost immediately by a column in support. After a
very few minutes the men had closed up into a mob, which afforded an
excellent target for our fire.

"On Sunday, the 27th, while the German heavy guns were in action, their
brass bands could be heard playing hymn tunes, presumably at divine

"The enemy made an important advance on part of our line at 6 p.m., and
renewed it in strength at one point, with, however, no better success
than on the previous night. Sniping continued all day along the whole

"On Monday, the 28th, there was nothing more severe than a bombardment
and intermittent sniping, and this inactivity continued during Tuesday,
the 29th, except for a night attack against our extreme right.


"An incident that occurred Sunday, the 27th, serves to illustrate
the type of fighting that has for the last two weeks been going on
intermittently on various parts of our lines. It also brings out the
extreme difficulty of ascertaining what is actually happening during an
action apart from what seems to be happening, and points to the value of
good intrenchments.

"At a certain point in our front our advance trenches were on the north
of the Aisne, not far from a village on a hillside and also within a
short distance of German works, being on a slope of a spur formed by a
subsidiary valley running north and a main valley of the river. It was a
calm, sunny afternoon, but hazy, and from our point of vantage south
of the river it was difficult exactly to locate on the far bank the
well-concealed trenches.

"From far and near the sullen boom of guns echoed along the valley,
and at intervals in a different direction the sky was flecked with the
almost motionless smoke of anti-aircraft shrapnel.

"Suddenly and without any warning, for the reports of the distant
howitzers from which they were fired could not be distinguished from
other distant reports, three or four heavy shells fell into the
village, sending up huge clouds of dust and smoke, which ascended in a
brownish-gray column. To this no reply was made by our side.

"Shortly afterwards there was a quick succession of reports from a point
some distance up the subsidiary valley on the side opposite our trenches
and therefore rather on their flank. It was not possible either by ear
or by eye to locate the guns from which the sounds proceeded. Almost
simultaneously, as it seemed, there was a corresponding succession of
flashes and sharp detonations in the line along the hillside along what
appeared to be our trenches.

"There was then a pause and several clouds of smoke rose slowly and
remained stationary, spaced as regularly as poplars.

"Again there was a succession of reports from German quick-firers on
the far side of the misty valley and like echoes of detonations of high
explosives; then the row of expanding smoke clouds was prolonged by
several new ones. Another pause and silence, except for the noise in the

"After a few minutes there was a roar from our side of the main valley
as our field guns opened one after another in a more deliberate fire
upon the positions of the German guns. After six reports there was again
silence save for the whirr of shells as they sang up the small valley.
Then followed flashes and balls of smoke--one, two, three, four, five,
six--as the shrapnel burst nicely over what in the haze looked like some
ruined buildings at the edge of the wood.


"Again, after a short interval, the enemy's gunners reopened with a
burst, still further prolonging the smoke, which was by now merged into
one solid screen above a considerable length of the trenches and again
did our guns reply. And so the duel went on for some time.

"Ignoring our guns, the German artillerymen, probably relying on
concealment for immunity, were concentrating all their efforts in a
particularly forceful effort to enfilade our trenches. For them it must
have appeared to be the chance of a lifetime, and with their customary
prodigality of ammunition they continued to pour bouquet after bouquet
of high explosives or combined shrapnel and common shells into our

"Occasionally, with a roar, a high angle projectile would sail over the
hill and blast a gap in the village. One could only pray that our men
holding the trenches had dug themselves in deep and well, and that those
in the village were in cellars.

"In the hazy valleys, bathed in sunlight, not a man, not a horse, not
a gun, nor even a trench was to be seen. There were only flashes, and
smoke, and noise. Above, against the blue sky, several round, white
clouds were hanging. The only two visible human souls were represented
by a glistening speck in the air. On high also were to be heard more or
less gentle reports of the anti-aircraft projectiles.

"But the deepest impression created was one of sympathy for the men
subjected to the bursts along that trench. Upon inquiry as to the losses
sustained, however, it was found that our men had been able to take care
of themselves and had dug themselves well in. In that collection of
trenches on that Sunday afternoon were portions of four battalions of
British soldiers--the Dorsets, the West Kents, the King's Own Yorkshire
light infantry, and the King's Own Scottish Borderers."


Later reports from the Aisne valley, up to October 17, when the big
battle had been five weeks in progress, indicated little change in the
general situation. Bombardments and artillery duels, varied by general
attacks, occurred daily all along the line. The main positions of both
armies were firmly held, though the French had gained some ground north
of Rheims and continually threatened the German center. The left of the
Allies' line had crept north to and beyond Arras, where there was severe
fighting for several days; and at the end of the thirty-fifth day of this
battle of the Rivers the lines of the opposing armies extended almost
continuously from beyond Arras on the northwest, south in a great curve
to the Aisne valley, thence east to Verdun, where the Crown Prince's
army kept hammering away at that fortress without success, and thence
southwest to Nancy and the Alsatian border.

By this time the armies of the center were in a species of deadlock. The
strain on both sides had long promised to get beyond human endurance and
the antagonists of the Aisne were likened by a French officer to two
exhausted pugilists, who would soon be unable to inflict further
punishment upon each other. But there was no sign of "throwing up the
sponge" on either side, though beyond the actual sphere of conflict it
was felt that "something must give way soon."


Writing on September 16, the fourth day of the battle, a special
correspondent behind the British lines by Senlis and Chantilly, said:

"I have passed through a smiling land to a land wearing the mask of
death; through harvest fields rich with great stacks snugly builded
against the winter to the fields of a braver harvest; by jocund villages
where there is no break in the ebb and flow of everyday life to villages
and towns that despoiling hands have shattered in ruins.

"And I have passed up this Via Dolorosa toward the very harvesting
itself--toward those great plains stretching away on the banks of the
River Aisne, where the second act of this drama of battles is at this
moment being played.

"Details of this fight, which, as I write, reaches its fourth day of
duration, are very scanty, but partly from personal observation and
partly from information which has reached me I know that the struggle so
far has been a terrible one, equal to, if not greater than, the struggle
on the banks of the Marne.

"The events of Monday (September 14) revealed a foe battling desperately
for his life; and this defense of General von Kluck's army demanded of
the Allies their utmost strength and determination.

"Picture this battlefield, which will assuredly take its place with that
of the Marne as one of the greatest combats of the greatest war. Through
the middle of it flows the great river, passing from the east to the
west. The banks of the river here are very steep. Above the plain, which
sweeps away from the northern bank, rises the "massif" of Laon. It is an
ideal area for great movements and for artillery work directed upon the
valley of the river. Passing eastward a little, there are the heights
behind the city of Rheims and above the Vesle, a tributary of the Aisne.
Here again nature has builded a stronghold easy to defend, difficult
exceedingly to attack.

"I know of heroic work against these great lines, work that will live
with the most momentous of this struggle. I know of smashing attacks the
thought of which takes one's breath away. I have heard narratives of the
trenches and of the bridges--these engineers, French and English, have
indeed 'played the game'--which no man can hear unmoved; how the columns
went down again and again to the blazing death of the valley, and how
men worked, building and girding in a very inferno--worked with the
furious speed of those whose time of work is short.


"And in the trenches, too, the tale of heroism unfolds itself hour by
hour. Here is an example, one among ten thousand, the story of a wounded
private: 'We lay together, my friend and I...The order to fire came. We
shot and shot till our rifles burned us. Still they swarmed on towards
us. We took careful aim all the while. "Ah, good, did you see that?" I
turned to my friend and as I did so heard a terrible dull sound like a
spade striking upon newly turned earth. His head was fallen forward. I
spoke, I called him by name. He was moaning a little. Then I turned to
my work again. They are advancing quickly now. Ah! how cool I was. I
shot so slowly,...so very slowly.

"'And then--do you know what it feels like to be wounded? I rose just
a little too high on my elbow. A sting that pierces my arm like a hot
wire--too sharp almost to be sore. I felt my arm go away from me--it
seemed like that--and then my rifle fell. I believe I was a little
dazed. I looked at my friend presently. He was dead.'


"So, on these green river banks and across these fair wooded plains the
Germans make their great stand--the stand that if they are defeated will
be their last in France. And meanwhile behind them lie the wasted fields
and the broken villages. It is impossible adequately to describe the
scenes which I have witnessed on the line of the great retreat, but here
and there events have had place, which, in truth, cry to high heaven for
report. Of such is the grim story of Senlis.

"I spent many hours in Senlis and I will recount that story as I saw it
and as I heard it from those who lived through the dreadful procession
of days. On Saturday, September 5, the Germans reached this beautiful
old cathedral town and entered into occupation. They issued a
proclamation to the inhabitants calling upon them to submit and to offer
no sort of resistance on pain of severe reprisals.

"But the inhabitants of Senlis had already tasted the bitter draft of
war making. The people had become bitter to the point of losing care of
their own safety. They were reckless, driven to distraction.

"Bitter was the price exacted for the recklessness! The trouble began
when, exasperated beyond measure by their insolence, a brave tobacconist
declared to a couple of the Prussians: 'I serve men, not bullies.' He
followed his words with a blow delivered fiercely from the shoulder.

"The infuriated soldiers dragged him from his shop and hurled him on his
knees in front of the door. His wife rushed out shrieking for mercy.
Mercy! As well ask it of a stone! A shot rang out...Another...Man and
wife lay dead.

"Immediately the news of this murderous act flew through the town.
Outraged and furious, the conquerors marched instantly to the house of
the mayor--their hostage--and arrested him. They conveyed him without a
moment's delay to the military headquarters, where he was imprisoned for
the night. On Wednesday morning a court-martial sat to decide his fate.
A few minutes later this brave man paid for the indiscretion of his
people with his life, dying splendidly.

"And then guns were turned on this town of living men and women and
children. Shells crashed into the houses, into the shops, into the
station. At Chantilly, seven kilometers away, the amazed inhabitants saw
a great column of black smoke curl up into the air; they guessed the
horrible truth. Senlis was burning.

"The work, however, was interrupted. At midday the glad tidings were
heard, 'The Turcos are here.' Within the hour broken and blazing Senlis
was re-relieved and rescued. The Turcos pursued and severely punished
the enemy.

"Today these streets are terrible to look upon. House after house has
been shattered to pieces--broken to a pile of stones. One of the small
turrets of the cathedral has been demolished, and a rent has been torn
in the stone work of the tower. The station is like a wilderness."


A correspondent gives a vivid account of the German bombardment of
Rheims, during the battle on the Aisne, as viewed by him from the belfry
of the famous cathedral.

"What a spectacle it was!" he said. "Under the cold, drifting gray
rainclouds the whole semicircle of the horizon was edged by heights on
which the German batteries were mounted, three miles away.

"There was nothing but the inferno of bursting shells, those of the
Germans landing anywhere within the space of a square mile. Sometimes
it was just outside the town that they fell, trying to find the French
troops lying there in their trenches, waiting to go forward to the
attack of the hills, when their artillery should have prepared the way.

"The cathedral tower made a wonderful grand stand from which to watch
this appalling game of destruction. It was under the protection of the
Red Cross flag, for directly the shells began to hit the cathedral in
the morning some German wounded were brought in from a hospital nearby
and laid on straw in the nave, while Abbé Andreaux and a Red Cross
soldier pluckily climbed to the top of the tower and hung out two Geneva

"The crescendo scream the shells make has something fiendish in it that
would be thrilling apart from the danger of which it is the sign. You
hear it a full second before the shell strikes, and in that time you can
tell instinctively the direction of its flight.

"Then comes the crash of the explosion, which is like all the breakages
you ever heard gathered into one simultaneous smash."


A few of the German shells struck the cathedral and set it on fire. The
scene was thus described by Abbé Camu, a priest of Rheims:

"It was all over in an hour. There were two separate fires. We put the
first out with four buckets of water, all we had in the place, but soon
another shell struck the roof and the wind drove the flames along the
rafters inside of the nave. We rushed up, but it was flaming all along
and as we could do nothing, we hurried down.

"There were holes in the ceiling of the nave and sparks began to fall
through them into a great heap of straw, ten feet high and twenty yards
long, which the Germans had piled along the north aisle. We tried to
catch the sparks in our hands as they fell, and such of the German
wounded as were able to walk helped us. But the first spark that fell on
the pile set it blazing. There was time to think of nothing but getting
out the wounded.

"They screamed horribly. We carried many of those that could not walk,
while others dragged themselves painfully along to the side door in
the north aisle. Those who had only hand and arm wounds helped their
comrades. We got out all except thirteen, whose bodies were left behind.

"When at last I came out of the flaming building I found the whole body
of wounded huddled together around the doors. Opposite to them was
a furiously hostile crowd of civilians of the town and a number of
soldiers with their rifles already leveled.

"I sprang forward. 'What are you doing?' I cried.

"'They shall all burn,' shouted the soldiers in answer. 'They shall go
back and burn with the cathedral or we will shoot them here.'

"'You are mad!' I exclaimed in reply. 'Think of what this means. All the
world will hear of the crime the Germans have committed here, and if you
shoot these men the world will know that France has been as criminal in
her turn. Anyhow,' I said, 'you shall shoot me first, for I will not

"Unwillingly the soldiers lowered their rifles and I turned to six
German, officers who were among the wounded and asked if they would do
what I told them to. They said they would and I asked them to tell their
men to do the same. Then I formed them up in a solid body, those who
could walk unaided carrying or helping those who could not. I put myself
at the head and we set off to the Hotel de Ville, which is only a few
hundred yards away.

"Well, then the crowd, mad with grief and rage, set on us. I can't
describe it. You have never seen anything so dreadful as that scene.
They beat some of the Germans and some of them they got down.

"'Can't you help me!' I called to a French officer I caught sight of.

"'You will never get to the Hotel de Ville like this,' he replied, so I
forced my wounded through the gateway of a private house and we managed
to close the gates after us.

"They had been roughly handled, some of them, and they stayed there a
day and a night before we could move them again."

[The damage done to the cathedral at Rheims, by the way, though by no
means slight, inexpressibly sad and truly regrettable, was not nearly
so great as was indicated by many early reports. The friends of
architectural art and beauty hope to see the cathedral fully restored at
no distant date.]


Much of the fighting during the battle of the Aisne centered around
Soissons. On September 16 a correspondent described the fighting there
as follows: "For the last three hours I have been watching from the
hills to the south of the town that part of the terrific struggle that
may be known in history as the battle of Soissons.

"It has lasted for four days, and only now can it be said that victory
is turning to the side of the Allies.

"The town itself cannot be entered for it still is being raked both by
artillery and rifle fire, and great columns of smoke mark several points
at which houses are burning.

"The center of the fighting lies where the British and French pontoon
corps are trying to keep the bridges they have succeeded in throwing
across the river.

"Men who have come from the front line tell me that the combat there has
been a positive slaughter. They say that the unremitting and desperate
firing of these four days and nights puts anything else in modern
warfare into the shade, that river crossings are as great an objective
on one side to take and keep as on the other to destroy."


A wounded soldier, on being brought back to the hospital at Paris, after
only one week in the valley of the Aisne, said in a dazed sort of way:

"Each day was like the others. It began at 6 o'clock in the, morning
with heavy shellfire. There was a short interval at which it stopped,
about 5:30 every day. Then in the night came the charges, and one night
I couldn't count them. It was awful--kill, kill, kill, and still they
came on, shoving one another over on to us. Seven days and nights of it
and some nights only an hour's sleep; it was just absolute hell!"

None of the wounded found another word to describe the battle and the
sight of the men bore it out. Muddied to the eyes, wet, often with blood
caked on them, many were suffering from the curious aphasia produced by
continued trouble and the concussion of shells bursting. Some were
dazed and speechless, some deafened, and yet, strange to say, said a
correspondent, no face wore the terrible animal war look. They seemed to
have been softened, instead of hardened, by their awful experience.



_Great Seaport of Belgium Besieged by a Large German Force_--_Forts
Battered by Heavy Siege Guns_--_Final Surrender of the City_--_Belgian
and British Defenders Escape_--_Exodus of Inhabitants_--_Germans Reach
the Sea._

When the battle of the Marne ended in favor of the Allies and the
Germans retired to take up a defensive position along the Aisne, the
Belgian army renewed its activities against the invader. With the
fortified city of Antwerp as their base, the Belgians began (on
September 10) an active campaign, having for its object the reoccupation
of their cities and towns which had been taken and garrisoned by German
troops. In some cases they were successful in regaining possession of
points which they had been forced to abandon during the German advance
in August, and there were many hot encounters with the Germans who were
left to hold open the German lines of communication through Belgium, But
the forces of the Kaiser were too numerous and too mobile for successful
opposition, and soon the Belgian army, despite the most gallant efforts,
was compelled once more to retire behind the outer forts of Antwerp and
there await the coming of an enemy who was approaching in force.

Great credit must be given to the Belgian army for the patriotic
manner in which it met the sudden invasion by the Germans, and for its
continued resistance against tremendous odds. Inspired by the example of
King Albert and his devoted Queen, who spent most of their time with the
Belgian forces in the field, and shared with them the vicissitudes of
war, the defenders of Belgium fought with the utmost pertinacity. The
resistance of the Belgians when invaded, and the success of the Allies
in halting the advance upon Paris and turning it into a retreat at the
Marne, appear to have inflamed the German generals with a desire to
crush Belgium completely under an iron heel. An object lesson of the
power and possibilities of the great fighting machine must be given
somewhere. Halted in France by the Franco-British armies and meeting
with varying fortunes against the Russian hosts in the eastern campaign,
Germany chose to make Belgium once more the international cockpit and
hurled an army against Antwerp. This move, if successful (as it proved
to be) would serve two purposes--first, the further punishment of
Belgium for her unexpected resistance, and second, the striking of
a direct blow at Great Britain, the possession of Antwerp being
strategically regarded as "a pistol leveled at the head of London."


In the third week of September the Germans, having massed a force
believed to be sufficient for the capture of Antwerp, brought up their
heavy Krupp siege guns which had been used successfully at Liège and
Namur, and planted them within their seven-mile range, so as to command
the outer belt of forts east and south of the city. [See map of the
fortifications of Antwerp on page 102.] These huge howitzers were
reinforced by heavy siege guns furnished by Austria. The fortification
system of Antwerp was believed by its builders to be practically
impregnable, but they had not reckoned with the tremendous shattering
power and great range of the latest Krupp siege guns. For Antwerp was
destined to fall, her outer and inner defenses broken down, within ten
days from the time the siege began in earnest.


The number of German troops engaged before Antwerp was variously
estimated at from 80,000 to 200,000. The siege proper began on Tuesday,
September 29. For more than a week previously there had been daily
engagements in the suburbs of the city and on several occasions the
Belgians made a sortie in force, only to encounter overwhelming numbers
of the German enemy, before whom they were compelled to retire behind
the shelter of the forts. In all these engagements the Belgians gave a
good account of themselves and inflicted severe losses on the enemy. But
the odds against them were too great and then when the great siege guns
began to thunder, it was soon realized that the city was in imminent

King Albert did all in his power to encourage the defense and by his
presence among his troops on the firing lines around the city added
greatly to his reputation as a patriotic soldier. A force of several
thousand British marines, coming from Ostend, aided the Belgian defense
in the last days of the siege, but all efforts were unavailing. One by
one the forts succumbed to the German fire with which the Belgian guns
could not cope, and German troops penetrated nearer and nearer to the
doomed city.

Finally, on October 9, when the inhabitants were in a state of terror
as a result of the long-continued bombardment of the forts, and the
shelling of the city, further resistance was seen to be useless, the
defending forces, Belgian and British, made their escape to Ostend or
into the neutral territory of Holland, the city formally capitulated
through the Burgomaster, and occupation by the Germans followed
immediately. The bulk of the British marines made their way back to
Ostend, but a rearguard, consisting of 2,000 British, together with some
Belgians, was cut off by the advance of the Germans across the Scheldt,
and rather than surrender to them marched across the border into Holland
and surrendered arms to the Dutch authorities. The men were interned and
will be held in Holland till the end of the war. It is probable that
this rearguard was deliberately sacrificed to enable the Anglo-Belgian
army to make good its retreat.

The fate of Antwerp shows what might have happened to Paris had the
Germans been able to bring up their great siege guns to the outer
fortifications of the French capital and protect them while they
performed their tremendous task of battering the defenses to pieces.
The wrecking of Antwerp's outer and inner forts in ten days proves that
solid, massive concrete, chilled steel and well-planned earthworks
afford little or no security against the monstrous cannon of the
Kaiser's armies. There appeared to be but one way of withstanding them.

As seems to have been demonstrated in the valley of the Aisne, they
are apparently ineffective against field forces deeply intrenched in a
far-flung line.


Early on Tuesday morning, October 6, one of the fiercest of the
engagements outside Antwerp ended with the crossing of the River Nethe
by the Germans and their approach to the inner forts. Monday had been
the sixth day of the siege and the Belgian army was fighting with
reckless courage to save Antwerp. As a precaution, the boilers of all
the German ships lying in the harbor were exploded on Sunday, in order
to prevent, if possible, use of these ships as transports for German
troops across the North Sea or elsewhere. The detonation of the bursting
boilers, resounding through the city, set the excited Sunday crowd very
near to a panic. This was accelerated by the constant fear of airship
attacks, and most of the population that was not already in active
flight from the city sought safety in cellars.

The entire war has presented no greater picture of desolation than that
of the hosts fleeing from the last Belgian stronghold. For forty-eight
hours before the city fell great crowds of the citizens, dumb with
terror as the huge German shells hurtled over their heads, were fleeing
toward England and Holland in such numbers that the hospitality of those
countries was likely to be taxed to the utmost.

The suburban town of Lierre was bombarded early in the week, the church
was destroyed, and a number of citizens killed and wounded. The next
day; the village of Duffel was bombarded and the population fled into
Antwerp. Many still had confidence in the ability of the Antwerp forts
to withstand the German attack.

Although the Germans succeeded in crossing the Nethe, their repeated
attempts to effect a passage over the Scheldt were repulsed and they
then concentrated their attention on an approach to Antwerp from the
southeast. In their trenches the Belgians resisted gallantly to the
last. "Most wonderful," said an American observer on October 7, "is the
patient, unfaltering courage of the average Belgian soldier, who has
been fighting for nine weeks. Tired, with hollow eyes, unkempt, unwashed
and provided with hasty, though ample, meals, he is spending most of the
time in the trenches.

"King Albert, the equal of any soldier in his devotion to duty, daily
exposes himself to personal danger, while the Queen is devoting her time
to the hospitals."

The effect of the German siege artillery was especially destructive near
Vosburg. Several villages suffered heavily and the barracks at Contich
were wrecked. The forts at Waelhem and Wavre-St. Catherines were totally
destroyed by the terrific shell fire.

Most of the fighting around Antwerp was a battle of Krupps against men.
Every day and night the fighting continued with deadly effect against
the forts, while the shrapnel and shell made many of the trenches

As fast as the Belgians were compelled to withdraw from a position the
Germans moved up and occupied it. The Belgians fought stubbornly with
infantry and frequently they repulsed the Germans, but these repulses
always meant a renewal of the artillery attacks by the Germans, with
the eventual retirement of the Belgians until the end of endurance was
reached and the city defenses were evacuated by their brave garrison.

An instance of the tenacity with which the infantry stuck to their
positions was reported from the Berlaere, where the commanding officer
and his aid-de-camp were in one of the most exposed positions. Sandbags
protected them for some time, but at last the aid-de-camp was struck
by shrapnel and had his face virtually blown away. Unperturbed by this
terrible proof of the danger of his position, the commanding officer
stuck to his post, and for further shelter placed the body of his junior
over his body. In this position he lay firing, whenever possible, from
o'clock in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.


The crossing of the River Nethe was attended by great loss to the
Germans. They hurled their infantry recklessly against the Belgian
trenches, and while they lost enormous numbers, eventually succeeded in
crossing the river. One of the unsuccessful attempts was described by an
independent observer as follows:

"The Germans succeeded in getting a pontoon completed and they came
down to the river bank in solid masses to cross it. As they came every
Belgian gun that could be turned on the spot was concentrated on them
and they were blown away, blocks of them at a time, and still the masses
came on.

"The Belgian officers spoke with enthusiasm of the steadiness and
gallantry with which, as each German company was swept away, another
pushed into its place. But it was a dreadful sight, nevertheless.

"At last the bridge went, shattered and blown to bits. The Belgian guns
continued for a while to search the opposite river bank, but the Germans
fell back and no more masses of men came down to where the pontoon had
been. Allowing for all exaggerations, there can be no doubt that the
German loss must have been extremely heavy."

Near Termonde, on Wednesday, the 7th, the fighting was just as fierce.
The Belgians had four batteries of field guns there which succeeded in
destroying the locks of the river (the Scheldt), thus flooding a part
of the river and blocking the Germans. Later they engaged in a hot duel
with the German artillery. Two of the Belgian batteries were completely
destroyed early in the action and all of the men serving them were
killed. Not until the last of the remaining guns were put out of action
did the Belgians withdraw.

Of the casualties in and around Antwerp during the siege it is possible
only to make an estimate. It was said after the Germans entered the city
that their total loss in killed, wounded and missing was near forty-five
thousand men. German officers were credited before the attack with
saying that they would sacrifice 100,000 men, if necessary, to take
Antwerp. It is probable that the German casualties numbered at least
twenty-five thousand, while the Belgian losses in actual killed and
wounded were probably five thousand The latter fought from entrenched
positions, while the heavy German losses were sustained in the open and
at the river crossings. The casualties among the British marines,
who arrived only a day or two before the city capitulated, were
comparatively insignificant. STORY OF AN EYEWITNESS--HARROWING SCENES

A vivid picture of the pathetic scenes attending the fall of Antwerp was
given by Lucien A. Jones, correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle,
who wrote on October 11th as follows:

"Antwerp has been surrendered at last. The bitterest blow which has
fallen upon Belgium is full of permanent tragedy, but the tragedy is
lightened by the gallantry with which the city was defended. Only at
last to save the historic buildings and precious possessions of the
ancient port was its further defense abandoned. Already much of it had
been shattered by the long-range German guns, and prolonged resistance
against these tremendous engines of war was impossible. Owing to this
the siege was perhaps the shortest in the annals of war that a fortified
city has ever sustained. Heroic efforts were made by the Belgians to
stem the tide of the enemy's advance, but the end could not long be
delayed when the siege guns began the bombardment.

"It was at three minutes past noon on Friday, October 9th, that the
Germans entered the city, which was formally surrendered by Burgomaster
J. De Vos. Antwerp had then been under a devastating and continuous
shell fire for over forty hours.

"It was difficult to ascertain precisely how the German attack was
planned, but the final assault consisted of a continuous bombardment
of two hours' duration, from half past 7 o'clock in the morning to
half-past 9. During that time there was a continuous rain of shells, and
it was extraordinary to notice the precision with which they dropped
where they would do the most damage. The Germans used captive balloons,
whose officers signaled the points in the Belgian defense at which they
should aim.


"The German guns, too, were concealed with such cleverness that their
position could not be detected by the Belgians. Against such methods
and against the terrible power of the German guns the Belgian artillery
seemed quite ineffective. Firing came to an end at 9.30 on Friday, and
the garrison escaped, leaving only ruins behind them. In order to gain
time for an orderly retreat a heavy fire was maintained against the
Germans up to the last minute and the forts were then blown up by the
defenders as the Germans came in at the gate of Malines.

"I was lucky enough to escape by the river to the north in a motorboat.
The bombardment had then ceased, though many buildings were still
blazing, and while the little boat sped down the Scheldt one could
imagine the procession of the Kaiser's troops already goose-stepping
their way through the well-nigh deserted streets.


"Those forty hours of shattering noise almost without lull seem to me
now a fantastic nightmare, but the sorrowful sights I witnessed in many
parts of the city cannot be forgotten.

"It was Wednesday night that the shells began to fall into the city.
From then onward they must have averaged about ten a minute, and most
of them came from the largest guns which the Germans possess, 'Black
Marias,' as Tommy Atkins has christened them. Before the bombardment had
been long in operation the civil population, or a large proportion of
it, fell into a panic.

"It is impossible to blame these peaceful, quiet-living burghers of
Antwerp for the fears that possessed them when a merciless rain of
German shells began to fall into the streets and on the roofs of their
houses and public buildings. The Burgomaster had in his proclamation
given them excellent advice, to remain calm for instance, and he
certainly set them an admirable example, but it was impossible to
counsel perfection to the Belgians, who knew what had happened to their
fellow-citizens in other towns which the Germans had passed through.


"Immense crowds of them--men, women and children--gathered along the
quayside and at the railway stations in an effort to make a hasty exit
from the city. Their condition was pitiable in the extreme. Family
parties made up the biggest proportion of this vast crowd of broken men
and women. There were husbands and wives with their groups of scared
children, unable to understand what was happening, yet dimly conscious
in their childish way that something unusual and terrible and perilous
had come into their lives. "There were fully 40,000 of them assembled
on the long quay, and all of them were inspired by the sure and certain
hope that they would be among the lucky ones who would get on board one
of the few steamers and the fifteen or twenty tugboats available. As
there was no one to arrange their systematic embarkation a wild struggle
followed amongst the frantic people, to secure a place. Men, women and
children fought desperately with each other to get on board, and in that
moment of supreme anguish human nature was seen in one of its worst
moods; but who can blame these stricken people?


"They were fleeing from _les barbares_,' and shells that were destroying
their homes and giving their beloved town to the flames were screaming
over their heads. Their trade was not war. They were merchants,
shopkeepers, comfortable citizens of middle age or more; there were many
women and children among them, and this horror had come upon them in a
more appalling shape than any in which horror had visited a civilized
community in modern times.

"There was a scarcity of gangways to the boats, and the only means of
boarding them was by narrow planks sloping at dangerous angles. Up these
the fugitives struggled, and the strong elbowed the weak out of their
way in a mad haste to escape.

"By 2 o'clock Thursday most of the tugboats had got away, but there were
still some 15,000 people who had not been able to escape and had to
await whatever fate was in store for them.


"At the central railway station incidents of a similar kind were
happening. There, as down by the river, immense throngs of people had
assembled, and they were filled with dismay at the announcement that no
trains were running. In their despair they prepared to leave the city
on foot by crossing the pontoon bridge and marching towards the Dutch
frontier. I should say the exodus of refugees from the city must have
totaled 200,000 men, women and children of all ages, or very nearly that
vast number, out of a population which in normal times is 321,800. "I
now return to the events of Thursday, October 8th. At 12.30 in the
afternoon, when the bombardment had already lasted over twelve hours,
through the courtesy of a Belgian officer I was able to ascend to the
roof of the cathedral, and from that point of vantage I looked down upon
the scene in the city.

"All the southern portion of Antwerp appeared to be desolate ruin. Whole
streets were ablaze, and the flames were rising to a height of twenty
and thirty feet.

"From my elevated position I had an excellent view also of the great oil
tanks on the opposite side of the Scheldt. They had been set on fire by
four bombs from a German Taube aeroplane, and a huge thick volume of
black smoke was ascending two hundred feet into the air. It was like a
bit of Gustave Doré's idea of the infernal regions.


"The city by this time was almost deserted, and no attempt was made to
extinguish the fires that had broken out all over the southern district.
Indeed there were no means of dealing with them. For ten days the water
supply from the reservoir ten miles outside the city had been cut off,
and this was the city's main source of supply. The reservoir was just
behind Fort Waelthen, and a German shell had struck it, doing great
mischief. It left Antwerp without any regular inflow of water and the
inhabitants had to do their best with the artesian wells. Great efforts
were made by the Belgians from time to time to repair the reservoir, but
it was always thwarted by the German shell fire.


"After leaving the cathedral, I made my way to the southern section of
the city, where shells were bursting at the rate of five a minute. With
great difficulty, and not without risk, I got as far as Rue Lamoiere.
There I met a terror-stricken Belgian woman, the only other person in
the streets besides myself. In hysterical gasps she told me that the
Bank Nationale and Palais de Justice had been struck and were in flames,
and that her husband had been killed just five minutes before I came
upon the scene. His mangled remains were lying not one hundred yards
away from where we were standing.

"Except for the lurid glare of burning buildings, which lit up the
streets, the city was in absolute darkness, and near the quay I lost my
way trying to get to the Hotel Wagner. For the second time that day I
narrowly escaped death by shell. One burst with terrific force about
twenty-five yards from me. I heard its warning whirr and rushed into a
neighboring porch. Whether it was from the concussion of the shell or in
my anxiety to escape I caromed against the door and tumbled down, and
as I lay on the ground a house on the opposite side crashed in ruins. I
remained still for several minutes, feeling quite sick and unable to get
up. Then I pulled myself together and ran at full speed until I came to
a street which I recognized.


"How many of the inhabitants of Antwerp remained in the city that night
it is impossible to say, but they were all in the cellars of their
houses or shops. The Burgomaster, M. De Vos, had in one of his several
proclamations made many suggestions for safety during the bombardment,
for the benefit of those who took refuge in cellars. Among the most
useful of them, perhaps, was that which recommended means of escape to
an adjoining cellar. The power of modern artillery is so tremendous that
a cellar might very well become a tomb if a shell fell on the building

"Sleep was impossible that night, in the noise caused by the explosion
of shells in twenty different quarters of the town. About 6 o'clock I
was told that it was time we got out, as the Germans were entering
the city. We hurried from the hotel and found the streets completely
deserted. I walked down to the quay-side, and there I came across many
wounded soldiers, who had been unable to get away in the hospital boat.

"On the quay piles of equipment had been abandoned. A broken-down
motor-car, kit-bags, helmets, rifles and knapsacks were littered in
heaps. Ammunition had been dumped there and rendered useless. The
Belgians had evidently attempted to set fire to the whole lot. The pile
of stuff was still smoldering. I waited there for half an hour, and
during that time hundreds of Belgian soldiers passed in the retreat.
Just about this time a pontoon bridge which had been the means of the
Belgian retreat was blown up to prevent pursuit by the Germans.

"At 8 o'clock a shell struck the Town Hall, and about 8:15 another shell
shattered the upper story and broke every window in the place.


"That was the German way of telling the Burgomaster to hurry up. A
quarter of an hour later M. De Vos went out in his motor-car toward
the German line to discuss the conditions on which the city should be

"At 9:30 o'clock the bombardment of the city suddenly ceased, and we
understood that the Burgomaster had by this time reached the German
headquarters. Still we waited, painfully anxious to learn what would be
the ultimate fate of Antwerp. Belgian soldiers hurried by and at 10:
proclamations were posted on the walls of the Town Hall urging all in
the city to surrender any arms in their possession and begging all to
remain calm in the event of the Germans' occupation. A list was also
posted of several prominent citizens who were appointed to look after
the interests of those Belgians who remained.

"The 'impregnable' city of Antwerp had fallen, but without dishonor to
its gallant defenders."


On October 10 Baron von der Schutz was appointed military governor
of Antwerp. It was expected that the city would become the base for
Zeppelin attacks upon England and also for a German naval campaign
in which mines and submarines would play an important part. This was
intimated in dispatches from Berlin following the German occupation of
the city.

The German General Staff, in announcing the capture, added that they
could not estimate the number of prisoners taken. "We took enormous
quantities of supplies of all kinds," said the official statement.



_Typical Precautions Used by the German Army_--_The Soldiers' First-Aid
Outfit_--_System in Hospital Arrangements_--_How Prisoners of War Are
Treated_--_Are Humane and Fair to All Concerned_.

Modern armies take the best possible care of their wounded and none
has brought this department of warfare to greater perfection than the
Germany army. One detail of this work shows the German army at its best.

Every soldier has sewn under a corner of his coat a strip of rubber
cloth. Under this strip is a piece of antiseptic gauze, a strip of
bandage and plaster and cloth for the outer bandage. This cloth bears in
simple pictures directions for dressing every sort of wound.

When a soldier is wounded either he or some comrade rips open this
package and applies at once the life saving dressing, which will last
at any rate until the soldier is brought to a station, where the first
scientific attention is given.

Through this simple and inexpensive device thousands upon thousands of
German soldiers, who have been slightly wounded in battle, have returned
to their comrades within a few days completely well and have taken their
places in the ranks once more. Without this care a large percentage of
the wounds would become inflamed, as has been the case with hundreds of
wounded French prisoners captured by the Germans.

The ordinary procedure of caring for the wounded in the German army
is for the sanitary corps, which is well provided with stretchers and
bandages, to gather up the wounded on or near the firing lines and bring
them to a gathering point a little way behind the lines.

Here the army surgeons are ready to begin work at once upon the most
urgent cases. They are assisted by members of the corps, who remove
the temporary bandages, and put on dressings which will last until the
soldier reaches a hospital. Then from this first gathering point the
wounded soldiers are put on stretchers in Red Cross wagons and carried
to the field hospitals a few miles farther back, where doctors and
nurses are at work.


These hospitals are usually established in village churches or town
halls. One room is cleared and arranged for an operating room, where
bullets and pieces of shell are removed and amputations are made if

"I have just visited such a field hospital," said a correspondent with
the right wing of the German army in France, writing on September 28.
"It was in a little whitewashed village church heated by a stove.
Everywhere were white beds made of straw and covered with sheets.
Perhaps twenty wounded were here, including two captured Irishmen. They
lay quite still when the army doctor ushered us in, for they were too
seriously wounded to pay much attention to anything.

"Near this hospital was another in a town hall. While we were there a
consulting surgeon arrived to investigate the condition of a seriously
wounded lieutenant, whose leg might need amputation. Two orderlies put
the patient on a stretcher, and he was taken into the next room for
examination. Later in the day the amputation was performed.


"From these little field hospitals, as soon as the men can be moved,
they are taken to some general hospital in the nearest large city, where
several thousands can be cared for. Such a hospital exists in this
neighborhood in the building of a normal college, where every corner is
used in housing wounded men.

"I made a quick trip through this building and the memory of it is one
of the most heartrending pictures I have of the war. Room after room
was filled with the victims of the conflict. Every man was seriously
wounded. Some had suffered amputations and the heads of others were
so bandaged that no feature could be seen, only a tube to the nose
permitting breathing.


"In one room a surgeon had a soldier on the operating table and was
pulling pieces of shell from a huge hole in the inner side of one of his
legs. On a stretcher on the floor, waiting for his turn to come under
the surgeon's care, was an officer. His face was covered with blood,
he was waving his arms wildly and gasping for air. This scene left an
impression of the utmost horror upon me.

"Slightly wounded soldiers, whom it is not necessary to leave for
a while in the field hospitals, are sent directly to these larger
hospitals and thence, after a short convalescence, are loaded into Red
Cross trains and sent home for recovery. Later they return to take their
places in the regiments. Such trains can be seen daily along any main
line of railroad. In some cases freight cars with straw bedding are

"One of the finest examples of charity given during the war is a
splendid Red Cross train entirely equipped as a modern hospital, even
having a first class operating room. This was given to the German army
by the citizens of Wilmersdorff, who also employed an excellent surgeon.
Scores of lives will be saved through a small outlay of money.


"Near the large hospital I visited was a graveyard where there were
scores of neatly marked fresh graves, each bearing a cross or tablet
with the name of the soldier and his regiment, division and corps marked
on it. In some cases comrades had added a word or two of scripture. The
deaths are too numerous for an imposing ceremony at each burial, but for
every one an army chaplain reads scripture and offers a short prayer,
while a few comrades stand by with bared heads.

"The identity of each soldier is easily determined from the name plate
which he wears in a little leather purse suspended from around the neck.
After a battle these plates are gathered from the dead and from these
the death lists are made out. [It was said that after the battle of
the Marne no fewer than 68,000 of these name plates or tags were found
collected in one place.--Ed.]

"After a battle where the deaths mount into the thousands some field
will be shut off for a cemetery and there the bodies are buried, each
grave receiving some kind of a cross wherever it is possible, but here
no names can be attached. There will be many homes in which there will
be vacant places and where it will not even be known where the absent
ones are buried.


"While here I heard a touching story about a lieutenant who was dying in
the hospital, while the Kaiser was inspecting it. The Kaiser came to the
room where the officer lay and the attendants asked him not to enter, as
a man was dying. The Kaiser immediately pushed his way in, went up to
the lieutenant, put his hand on the officer's shoulder, and said in
German: 'Hello, here I am!'

"The lieutenant began murmuring with his eyes closed.

"'I have been dreaming and I dreamed that my Kaiser came to me, put his
hand on my shoulder and spoke to me.'

"'Open your eyes,' said the Kaiser.

"The lieutenant obeyed, smiled a smile of recognition, and then closed
his eyes in the final sleep.


"So far, according to official announcement, there have been between
50,000 and 60,000 wounded and immediately after a great battle the
sanitary corps has been unable to cope quickly enough with the work,
but under ordinary circumstances the provision made has been ample. The
number of the sanitary corps was determined upon the experience in the
Russo-Japanese war, in which the losses were by no means so heavy as
they have been in this war, but where in a few cases numbers have been
lacking the surgeons and their assistants have put forth herculean
efforts. Many surgeons are now wearing the iron cross for bravery,
winning the insignia by dragging out wounded from the rain of bullets.

The prisoner of war has been a conspicuous figure in the news that has
come from the seething caldron of Europe. Many thousands of prisoners
have been taken from the contending armies by their adversaries. For
them the average American reader, perusing "war news" in the comfort of
his security from the great conflict, has felt perhaps a grain of sorrow
and wondered vaguely what horrors befell them after capture.

Early in September the German war department sent broadcast a statement
that 30,000 Russians had been taken prisoners by the German soldiers
after heavy battles in East Prussia, particularly around Ortelsburg,
Hohenstein and Tannenburg. The statement mentioned the fact that among
the prisoners were many Russian officers of high rank.

What is done with these prisoners, how they are handled and treated and
whether high officials are punished more severely than mere privates,
are questions frequently asked and seldom answered, for the procedure
followed in such matters is but little known.


The international laws of warfare, embodied in The Hague conventions,
the Geneva convention and the declaration of London, contain provisions
that provide expressly what manner of treatment shall be accorded
prisoners of hostile nations who are taken in battle. If these
provisions of international law are lived up to, the lot of the prisoner
of war is not so hard as many people have been led to believe.

After the first year of the war, however, stories of ill-treatment of
prisoners in German prison camps began to be told, and before long there
were many well-authenticated cases of the kind. Inhuman treatment was
reported by English and Canadian prisoners, and protests were duly made
by the British government through neutral channels. The growing shortage
of food in Germany was alleged as the cause of some of the complaints,
but cases of actual brutality, involving cowardly physical abuse and
even killing were also reported. The nation which captures its enemy's
soldiers and makes prisoners of them is held entirely responsible
for whatever happens and shoulders at once a responsibility that is
commensurate with the number of prisoners who are taken and detained.

The law of warfare says that a prisoner must be as fair with his
captors as they are with him. He must be "humanely treated," so it is
prescribed, and when he is questioned by his captors he must give his
true name and the rank he holds in the army which has been defeated
and of which he was once a part. Contrary to general belief, he is not
stripped of "everything" and thrown into a dungeon and fed on a crust of
bread and a mug of stale water. His captors do not deprive him of his
personal possessions, except weapons, horses and military papers.

Furthermore, they must give him complete religious liberty, and it is
specifically decreed that he must be given opportunity to attend a
church of the denomination to which he belongs. And there he may pray as
much for the success of his own nation or the much-desired relief from
detention as the state of his mind dictates.


The prisoner of war may be interned in a town or a fort, or even a camp,
according to the convenience of his captors, but the enemy may not
confine him, except, the law says, as "an indispensable measure of
safety," and then only as long as the circumstances make it necessary.
Of course the law gives the commanding officer considerable leeway in
such matters, for he is left to determine when the "indispensable"
occasion arises.

At other times when the prisoner is at liberty, he is subject to all the
rules and regulations of the army of the government that captured him,
and if he refuses to obey the rules or acts in an insubordinate manner
toward the officers in command, he may be punished and disciplined
according to his offense. And here it is again left to the discretion
of his captors as to what measure of punishment shall be inflicted upon


If a prisoner of war attempts to escape and his captors are vigilant to
the extent of retaking him before he leaves the territory they occupy,
or before he has a chance to rejoin his own army, he may be severely
punished. On the other hand, if he eludes his captors and makes a clean
getaway and his army is again unfortunate, and he is captured the
second time, the perfectly good escape from previous captivity must go
unpunished and he must be treated as a prisoner of war, just as though
he had not made the successful dash for liberty and further glory.

The government that holds prisoners of war is chargeable with their
maintenance and must provide them with food, clothing and shelter as
good as that provided for its own troops. The officers of the captors
are required to keep records of all the prisoners under their charge,
and if relief societies, which have been extensively formed by the women
of Europe and many American women as well, wish to minister to their
needs and comforts, the officers in command must afford them every
possible facility. And if the friends of prisoners or the welfare
societies see fit to send them presents and clothing, medicine and other
necessities, such goods must be admitted to them free of any war duty
that might be imposed by the nation holding them, and the railroads
owned by the government are bound to carry such supplies free of
transportation charges.


Prisoners of war may be put to work by the government that captures them
and the duties must be assigned with a view to their aptitude, fitness
and rank. The tasks must not be unduly severe, so as to border on
cruelty, and they must have no bearing whatever on the operations of the
war. The prisoners must be paid for the work they do, moreover, at a
rate equal to that being paid to the soldiers of the national army, and
prisoners may be authorized to work for the public service, for private
persons or on their own account.

The wages of these prisoners, the law says, must go toward improving
their condition, and the balance must be paid them after their release,
with the proper deduction for their board and keep. When officers of
hostile armies who are captured are put to work they must get the same
wage rate as is paid to the corresponding officers of the government
whose captives they are. All these moneys must be ultimately refunded by
their own governments to their captors after the war is over, peace is
declared and the intricate problems of indemnities come up for solution.

A prisoner of war may even be paroled by his captors, and this is done
sometimes when he is disabled or there are circumstances that prompt his
enemies to let him go to those who are near and dear to him. When parole
is granted to a prisoner he makes a solemn pledge and promise that he
will live up to the terms under which he is released, and even his own
nation may not ask him to perform a service that is inconsistent with
that pledge.


It goes hard with the prisoner on parole who is caught fighting against
the nation that released him, for he is not entitled to be treated as a
prisoner of war, and the judgment meted out to him is as terrible as
it is sure. Certain codes of honor are supposed to be observed even in
international warfare, and a soldier who breaks his word of honor is
considered the most despicable of men.



_American Relief for War-Stricken Peoples of Europe_--_Millions
of Dollars Contributed in Cash and Gifts_--Canada Aids the
Belgians_--Devastation of Poland Even Greater and More Terrible them
that of Belgium_.

Soon after the world became aware of the fact that the German army's
progress through Belgium on its dash to Paris in August of 1914 had
resulted in the absolute devastation of the little buffer state, an
enterprising and sympathetic American citizen, Mr. James Keeley, editor
of the Chicago Herald, penned a remarkable open letter "to the Children
of America," in which he suggested the sending of a "Christmas ship" to
Europe, filled with gifts of a useful character for the little ones of
all the belligerent nations. The response was immediate and most truly
generous. Newspapers and civic organizations all over the United States
joined in gathering from young and old the contributions that freighted
a United States warship with a cargo of gifts worth over two million
dollars, and at Yuletide these gifts were systematically distributed
among the innocent victims of the war in all the countries concerned.

The idea of the Christmas ship was nobly conceived and splendidly
executed. Rulers of the belligerent nations recognized the beauty of the
idea and paused awhile in their martial activities to welcome and thank
the American commissioner who enacted the role of an international Santa
Claus. But the slaughter on the fighting lines of eastern and western
Europe went on unabated and the peaceful symbolism of the Christmas ship
was soon forgotten in the daily recurrence of battle and bloodshed.

While the frightful state of Belgium commanded the sympathy of the
civilized world in the winter of 1914-15, the conditions in Poland
were even worse. At the end of March the great Polish pianist, Ignace
Paderewski, paid a visit to London on behalf of the suffering Poles
and his efforts resulted in the formation of an influential relief
committee. Among the members were such men as Premier Asquith,
ex-Premier Balfour, Chancellor of the Exchequer Lloyd-George, Cardinal
Bourne, archbishop of Westminster; Admiral Lord Charles Beresford and
the Russian and French ambassadors. An American woman, Lady Randolph
Churchill, also took an active part in the work of the committee, which
soon succeeded in raising a large sum for the relief of the most urgent
distress in Poland. While in London on his mission of mercy, Mr.
Paderewski said:

"Is it the death agony or only the birth pangs? That is the question
which every Pole throughout the world is asking himself as tragedy
follows tragedy in the long martyrdom of our beloved nation. You have
only heard the details of Belgium, but I tell you they are as nothing
with what has happened in Poland.

"The scene of operations in Poland is seven times larger than that of
Belgium, and she has had to endure seven times the torture. Remember,
the battle of Europe is being fought in the east, not in the west, and
while the tide of battle has reached a sort of ebb along the trenches
about the frontiers of Alsace and Flanders, the great waves roll
backward and forward from Germany to Russia and break always on Poland.

"Our country, in fact, is just as Belgium was called--the cockpit of
Europe, and it may now be called the battlefield of the world, if not of

"It is only perhaps we Poles who have known to its utmost depths what
this war has really meant. It is not only that there are 10,000,
human beings on the verge of starvation, nay, actually perishing; there
is worse than that.

"Remember that both Belgium and Poland are still under the yoke. The
Russians, it is true, occupy some fifteen thousand miles of our country,
but this is really nothing, for the Germans occupy five-sixths of it,
and the desolation passes all comprehension.


"As to actual battles, I can hardly speak of them. It is torture even to
think of them. Only consider! Our one nation is divided as it were into
three sections, which were thrust each against the others to work out
their destruction. It is parricide! It is fratricide, nay suicide!
Compulsory suicide! That is what it is!

"Listen to what it means to us all. I was told by a man from Austria
that an army doctor, a Pole by birth, who was deputed to go over the
Austrian battlefields and verify identification marks on the bodies,
found among the 14,000 dead hardly any but Polish names. He looked in
vain for any others, and in the end went mad with horror at the thought
of it. Another story that came to me the other day told of another case
of the tragedy of Poland which is almost too terrible for the human mind
to contain. The incident took place during a charge. Both armies had
been ordered to attack, and the Poles, as usual, were in the front
lines. As they met in the shock they recognized each other.

"One poor fellow, as he was struck through by a bayonet, cried out in
his death agony, 'Jesu Maria! I have five children! Jesu Maria!' The
words went as straight to the brain of his conqueror as a dagger to the
heart, and killed his reason. Somewhere among the madhouses of Europe
there is a lunatic. He is not violent, but he never laughs. He only
wanders about with the words of his dying victim, 'Ah, Jesu Maria! I
have five children. Jesu Maria!'

"The promise of Grand Duke Nicholas that Poland shall be a nation once
again went straight to the very heart of every one of our 25,000,
fellow countrymen. That one promise has been sufficient to change the
whole mentality of the nation and fill their souls with new hope. It has
cleared up any doubt that might have existed in the minds of the Poles
in Austria and Prussia as to what it is that the allies are fighting
for--namely: the principles of nationality for which we have suffered,
ah! how many centuries!"


The ruin wrought by war in Belgium affected 7,000,000 people. In Poland
more than twice that number have been rendered destitute. Not less than
15,000 villages have been laid waste, burned, or damaged in Russian
Poland alone. The loss in property has been estimated at $500,000,000,
but may reach double that sum.

In Galicia the conditions are reported to be equally appalling, though
the smashup has not been as complete, because the Russians have been
able to maintain their positions more permanently than they have in the
district west and northeast of the Polish capital.

The greater part of Poland lying in a broad sweep of country west,
southwest and northeast of Warsaw has been swept over and battered to
pieces by shot and shell like the strip of Flanders on both sides of the
Yser river.

Without any direct interest in the present great conflict, the unhappy
Poles found themselves impressed into the armies of these three great
powers and fighting against their own racial brethren. That meant that
brother was to fight against brother, and as the stress of the war
increased and the age limit was raised to 38 years and even higher,
nearly every able-bodied Pole was impressed into service.

Almost the first move of the Russians at the outbreak of hostilities was
to invade Galicia. This brought with it instantly all the most frightful
horrors of war. Embracing as it does a large part of the grain-growing
district of the Polish peoples, the devastation of Galicia meant
suffering for not only that province, but for Russian Poland as well.
The crops had only been partially harvested by August, when the war

The panic of war stopped the work in the fields, even where the peasants
were not compelled to flee before the invader. The men were called to
the colors and the crops were allowed to rot in the fields. Numerous
towns were sacked.

The advance to Lemberg by the Russians was swift. In the panic that
followed this great city of 200,000 had scarcely 70,000 left when the
invaders took possession. Families were broken up; none of the refugees
had time to take supplies or clothes.

Germany's first move against Russia came from the great fortresses
along the Oder and Vistula. All of western Poland was overrun. When the
Russian advance from Warsaw drove back the invaders, the scars of the
conflict left this section of Poland badly battered. Then came Von
Hindenburg's victorious armies, and again this section was torn by shot
and shell and wasted. While some of the larger places, such as Lodz,
Plock, Lowicz, Tchenstochow and Petrokov, were spared, the smaller
towns, villages, and hamlets in the direct line of battle suffered
equally from the defenders and invaders.

All the section to the northeast of Warsaw between the East Prussian
frontier and the Bug, Narew, and Niemen rivers has suffered even a worse
fate, as the bitterness engendered by the devastation worked by the
Russians in East Prussia led to reprisals that not even the strict
discipline of the German army could curb. Not only were the peasants'
homes pounded to bits by the opposing artillery fire, but the armies as
they fought back and forth took all the cattle, horses, and stock that
came to their hands. Disease added to the suffering of the stricken


Henry Sienkiewicz, the great Polish writer and author of "Quo Vadis," a
refugee in Switzerland, said, on March 15, 1915:

"In the kingdom of Poland alone there are 15,000 villages burned or
damaged; a thousand churches and chapels destroyed. The homeless
villagers have sought shelter in the forests, where it is no
exaggeration to say that women and children are dying from cold and
hunger by thousands daily.

"Poland comprises 127,500 square kilometers. One hundred thousand of
these have been devastated by the battling armies. More than a million
horses and two million head of horned cattle have been seized by the
invaders, and in the whole of the 100,000 square kilometers in the
possession of the soldiers not a grain of corn, not a scrap of meat, nor
a drop of milk remain for the civil population. "The material losses up
to the present are estimated at 1,000,000,000 rubles ($500,000,000). No
fewer than 400,000 workmen have lost their means of livelihood.

"The state of things in Galicia is just as dreadful for the civil
population--innocent victims of the war. Of 75,000 square kilometers all
except 5,000 square kilometers around Cracow are in possession of the
Russians. They commandeered 900,000 horses and about 200,000 head of
horned cattle and seized all the grain, part of the salt fields, and the
oil wells.

"The once rich province is a desert. Over a million inhabitants
have sought refuge in other parts of Austria, and they are in sheer

Truly, "War is hell!"


Following the invasion and over-running of Belgium by the Germans, the
problem of feeding the Belgian population became an urgent one. The
invaders left the problem largely to the charitable sympathies of the
civilized world, and from almost every quarter of the globe aid was sent
in money or provisions for the stricken people. In spite of the enormous
war drains upon the resources of the British Empire, every one of the
Overseas Dominions did its full share in Belgian relief, while the
United States, through the Rockefeller Foundation and other agencies, as
well as the South American countries, also contributed to alleviate the
suffering in the little kingdom. The contributions continued during more
than two years and the relief was administered most efficiently by means
of commissions.


On April 3, 1915, the leading United States newspapers printed an
appeal received from Nish, the war capital of Serbia, which set forth a
terrible situation in terms that confirmed a report already made public
by Sir Thomas Lipton, who dedicated his famous steam yacht, the Erin,
as a hospital ship for use in the Mediterranean, and visited Serbia
in February and March. The appeal was dated February 23 and said in
substance as follows:

"Typhus is raging in Serbia, and unless immediate aid be sent the
mortality will be appalling. "Typhus is a filth disease and is spread
by lice, which flourish only in dirt. There are not enough buildings to
house the sick and they lie huddled together on dirty straw.

"They have not changed their clothes for six months, and consequently
personal cleanliness, which is absolutely essential in checking the
disease, is impossible. They cannot get proper nourishment, as there is
not enough available, nor is there money to buy it if it were.

"The doctors can usually only work for two weeks before contracting
the disease, as they have no means of protecting themselves. Yet they
volunteer for typhus hospitals, knowing that they are probably going to
their death, for the mortality is over 50 per cent.

"The following four things are most urgently needed:

"1. Tents and portable chicken runs, as these make excellent houses.
There is no lumber in Serbia, so nothing can be built here.

"2. Beds and bed linen. It is impossible to keep straw free from lice.

"3. Underclothing. Dirty clothes make an ideal breeding place for lice.

"4. Disinfectants and whitewash.

"Speedy help is essential, as every day's delay costs hundreds of

The response to this touching appeal was immediate and generous, Germans
and Austrians in America contributing freely. A large amount of cash and
supplies for the Austrian prisoners was sent to the American consul at
Nish, who was also acting consul for Germany and Austria in Serbia.


A dispatch from Berlin by wireless March 23 stated that according to a
report received there from Cracow, the damages due to the war in
Poland and Galicia at that time amounted to 5,000,000,000 marks

In Galicia 100 cities and market places and 6,000 villages had been more
or less damaged, while 250 villages had been destroyed. Horses to the
number of 800,000 and 500,000 head of cattle, with all grain and other
provisions in Galicia had been taken away by the Russians.



_Results of the Battle of the Aisne_--_Fierce Fighting in Northern
France_--_Developments on the Eastern Battle Front_--_The Campaign in
the Pacific_--_Naval Activities of the Powers_.

With a battle front reaching from the Belgian coast on the North Sea
to the frontier of Switzerland, or a total distance of 362 miles, the
operations in the western theater of war toward the end of October were
being conducted on a more gigantic scale than was ever witnessed before.
On both sides reinforcements were being rushed to the front. German
efforts to break through the Allies' lines were concentrated on the main
center at Verdun and on the right flank of the Allies' left wing, above
its elbow, between Noyon and Arras, while powerful coincidal movements
were in progress on the extreme western end of the line in Belgium and
on the southeastern wing in Alsace. At Verdun continuous fighting of the
fiercest character had been going on for over sixty days, surpassing
in time and severity any individual battle in history. The army of
the Crown Prince had been unable to force the French positions in the
vicinity of Verdun and the check sustained by the Germans at this point
early in the campaign constituted a principal cause of General von
Kluck's failure in his dash toward Paris.

All along the tremendous battle front the allies' lines as a rule held
firm in the thirteenth week of the war, when the great conflict had
entered upon what may well be called its fourth stage. The third stage
may be said to have ended with the fall of Antwerp and the subjugation
of all Belgium but a small portion of its southwestern territory. On
the main front the Allies were maintaining the offensive at some vital
points, while repulsing the German assaults at others. One or two of
the French forts commanding Verdun had fallen but the main positions
remained in the hands of the French, and all along the line it was a
case of daily give-and-take.


After capturing Antwerp the Germans pushed on to Ostend, an "open"
or unfortified town, and occupied it with slight resistance from the
Belgian army, which was reforming its broken ranks to the south, between
Ostend and the French frontier, and preparing to contest the passage of
the Kaiser's forces across the River Yser. Moving northward from Lille,
the Allies encountered the Germans at Armentières, which was occupied
by a Franco-British force and there was also fierce fighting at Ypres,
where there is a canal to the sea. For more than a week the Belgians
gallantly held the banks of the Yser in spite of the utmost endeavors of
the Germans to cross, and it was not until October 24 that the latter
finally succeeded in getting south of the river, with the French seaport
of Dunkirk as their next objective point. Bloody engagements were fought
at Nieuport, Dixmude, Deynze and La Bassée.

At this time the battle line formed almost a perpendicular from Noyon in
France north to the Belgian coast, south of Ostend. A battle raged for
several days in West Flanders and Northern France and both sides claimed
successes. The losses of the Allies and the Germans were estimated
in the thousands and the wounded were sent back to the rear by the
trainful. In the Flemish territory the flat nature of the terrain, with
its numerous canals and almost total absence of natural cover, made
the losses especially severe. The passage of the Yser cost the Germans
dearly and Dixmude was strewn with their dead. And their advance could
get no farther.

The necessity of holding the French ports, Dunkirk and Calais, was
fully realized by the Allies, who threw large reinforcements into their
northern line. The Germans also drew heavily on their center and left
wing to reinforce the right, and for a while the forces opposing one
another at the extreme western end of the battle front were greater than
at any other point. The Germans were firmly held on a line running from
south of Ostend to Thourout, Roulers and Menin, the last mentioned place
being on the border north of Lille. Flanking attacks being no longer
possible, as the western flanks of both armies rested on the North Sea,
the Germans were compelled to make a frontal assault along the line
formed by the Belgian frontier. As the Belgian troops, assisted by
a British naval brigade, were pushed back from the Yser, they were
gradually merged into the army of the allies, by whom they were received
with the honors due the men who had made, for twelve long weeks, such
a gallant and determined defense of their country against invasion and


Soon after the German occupation of Ostend, several British warships
shelled the German positions in and around the city and aided in
hampering the German advance along the coast. The principal vessels
engaged in this work were three monitors which were being completed in
England for the Brazilian government when the war started and which were
bought by the admiralty.

These monitors, which had been renamed Mersey, Humber and Severn, drew
less than nine feet of water and could take up positions not far from
shore, from which their 6-inch guns and 4.7-inch howitzers, of which
each vessel carried two, were able to throw shells nearly four miles
across country, the range being given them by airmen.

French warships of light draft later joined the British monitors and
destroyers and assisted in patrolling the coast, shelling German
positions wherever the latter could be discovered by the aeroplane
scouts. One reported feat of the naval fire was the destruction of the
headquarters of a German general, Von Trip, in which the general and his
staff lost their lives.

From time to time German aerial attacks were made in the vicinity of
Dover, across the Straits, but these without exception proved to be
without military importance in their results. Steps were taken to
organize anti-aircraft artillery forces on the eastern coast of England
and the continued failure of Zeppelin attacks, annoying as they were,
soon restored the equanimity of the British public in this respect.


The first word of the employment of British Indian troops at the front
came on October 27, when it was reported that in the fighting near Lille
a reserve force of Sikhs and Ghurkas, the former with bayonets and the
latter with the kukri (a short, curved sword) played havoc with an
attacking force of Germans. "Never has there been such slaughter," said
the dispatches. "Twenty thousand German dead and wounded, nearly half
the attacking force, lay upon the field, while the British losses did
not exceed 2,000."


At the end of October the French right wing in Alsace-Lorraine was
reported to be making distinct progress. It was said to be advancing
through the passes of the Vosges in the midst of heavy snowstorms. Paris
reported that the Germans, who were attempting a movement against the
great French frontier fortress of Belfort, had been driven back with
heavy losses, while from other sources the Germans were reported to be
bringing up heavy mortars for the bombardment of Belfort. There
were persistent reports of German defeats in Alsace, but these were
repeatedly denied in Berlin. The situation in the territory coveted by
the French appeared to resemble that farther west--neither side was
making much headway.


In the eastern theater of war the conflict during October was waged with
fortunes that favored, first one side and then the other. Contradictory
claims were put forth from time to time by Petrograd, Vienna and Berlin,
but the net result of the operations at the end of the thirteenth week
of the war appeared to be that while the intended Russian march on
Berlin had been completely checked, the Germans had been repulsed with
heavy losses in all their attempts to cross the Vistula and occupy
Warsaw, the capital of Russian Poland, which was at one time seriously

The fighting along the Vistula was fierce and prolonged for several days
at a time. The Germans made numerous attempts to cross the river at
different points by means of pontoon bridges, but these were destroyed
by the Russian artillery as fast as completed. The slaughter on both
sides was considerable. On October 28 the Russian battle front reached
from Suwalki on the north to Sambor and Stryj on the south, a distance
of about 267 miles. The German operations on the Vistula were still
in progress and Poland furnished the main arena of battle. East Prussia
was practically free from Russian troops, save at a few points near the
boundary, but they strongly maintained their positions in Galicia.


After eleven weeks' bombardment by the Austrians, the Servian defenders
of Belgrade were still bravely resisting, although half the city had
been destroyed. The situation was such as to cause at once astonishment,
pity and admiration.

In the open field the Servians continued to hold their own against the
Austrian forces opposed to them. Their Montenegrin allies, under General
Bukovitch, were reported to have defeated 16,000 Austrians, supported by
six batteries of artillery, at a point northeast of Serajevo. The battle
terminated in a hand-to-hand bayonet conflict which lasted four hours.
The Austrians are said to have lost 2,500 men, killed and wounded, while
the Montenegrins claimed that their losses amounted to only 300 men.


Beginning with the loss of its colonies in the China sea, Germany was
compelled to witness during the first two years of the war the passing
into enemy hands of practically all its colonial possessions, which more
than balanced its temporary possession of enemy soil in Europe. One
by one its colonies in Asia and Africa were captured, and in these
operations not only the Japanese but the Belgians assisted, the latter
in Africa.

Late in October, 1914, the Japanese received the surrender of Tsing
Tau, the important German city in Kiauchau, China. The place had been
battered for weeks by land and sea by the Japanese forces, and the
surrender was ordered, it was said, to save the German forces and
civilians from certain annihilation if a defense by the garrison to the
end were to be carried on. German warships were powerless to assist the
beleaguered city, as Japanese and English war vessels had driven them
far from the coast of China.

The Japanese cruiser Takachiho was sunk by a mine in Kiauchau Bay on the
night of October 17. One officer and nine members of the crew are known
to have been saved. The cruiser carried a crew of 284 men. Her main
battery consisted of eight 6-inch guns.


Up to the last week in October the main fleets of the warring powers
were still inactive, but rumors of intended German naval activity were
frequent. The cat-and-mouse attitude of the British and German fleets
in the North Sea was continued, the Germans lying snug in their ports,
protected by their mines and submarines, while the British battleships
lay in wait at all points of possible egress. The situation tried the
patience of the people of both countries and there were frequent demands
for action by the great and costly naval armaments. But the Germans
apparently were not ready to risk a general engagement, and the British
could not force them to come out and fight. The British admirals,
therefore had, perforce, to pursue a policy of "watchful waiting,"
irksome as it was to all concerned, and "the tireless vigil in the North
Sea," as it was termed by Mr. Asquith, was maintained day and night.
No sea captain becalmed in the doldrums ever whistled for a wind more
earnestly than the British Jack tars prayed for a chance at the enemy
during those three months of playing the cat to Germany's mouse; and on
the other hand, the German sailors were, no doubt, equally desirious
of a chance to demonstrate the fighting abilities of their brand-new
battleships. All were equally on the _qui vive_, for any hour might
bring to the Germans the order to put to sea, and to the British the
welcome cry of "Enemy in sight!"


The plight of the Belgian people, including the refugees in Holland,
England and France, was pitiable in the extreme and by the end of
October had roused the sympathy of the entire world. A conservative
estimate placed the number of Belgians expatriated at 1,500,000 out of a
population of 7,000,000. On October 26 Mr. Brand Whitlock, United States
minister to Belgium, reported that the entire country was on the verge
of starvation, while Holland and England had their hands full caring for
the Belgians who had sought refuge in those countries. In eight cities
of Holland there were said to be 500,000 Belgian refugees. Over 70,
arrived in London in one week and a central committee in London had
twenty-seven subcommittees at work in different cities in England,
Scotland and Wales, placing the refugees in homes as rapidly as
possible. The humanitarian problem of taking care of the Belgians was
one of tremendous responsibility, but the people of the three countries
in which most of them sought refuge rose nobly to the occasion and
spared no effort to lessen their sufferings.


It was announced in Ottawa, Canada, on October 19 that the Dominion
Government had decided to put 30,000 more men in training in Canada, to
be despatched to England when ready. As soon as the first unit of 15,
was embarked, probably in December, another 15,000 men would be enlisted
to replace them, the plan being to keep 30,000 men continuously in
training, to be drawn upon in units of 10,000 or 15,000 as soon as
equipped, during the continuance of hostilities in Europe. Thus with the
32,000 Canadian volunteers already landed in England, and 8,000 under
arms guarding strategic points in the Dominion, Canada would soon raise
100,000 men as part of her contribution to Imperial defense.

But this was only a beginning. Later in the war Canada stood ready to
furnish half a million men to the cause of the Empire, if required.
Nearly 360,000 of that number had been enlisted when the war was two
years old. The greatest problems were encountered in the first year, or
rather in the first six months of the war, after which time efforts were
systematized, the military machine worked smoothly, and the Dominion's
splendid response to the call to arms was maintained throughout. General
prosperity in the face of adverse conditions happily attended this
record of patriotic achievement, and the predominant spirit in Canada
was one of buoyant optimism as to the inevitable outcome of the great


During the first three months of the war the German cruiser Emden,
operating principally in the Indian ocean, played havoc with British
merchantmen, sinking over twenty vessels engaged in far Eastern
commerce, besides a Russian cruiser and a French torpedo-boat. But she
met her match in the second week of November, when she was engaged off
the Cocos or Keeling group of islands, southwest of Java, by the fast
Australian cruiser Sydney and driven ashore a burning wreck after an
hour's fight, with a loss of 280 men.


Early in November a fleet of five German cruisers, under Admiral von
Spee, encountered a British squadron composed of the cruisers Good
Hope, Monmouth and Glasgow, in command of Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher
Cradock, off the coast of Chile, in the Southern Pacific. Despite a
raging gale, a long-range battle ensued, resulting in the defeat of the
British and the loss of the flagship Good Hope, with the admiral and all
her crew, and of the cruiser Monmouth. The Glasgow escaped in a damaged
condition. The loss of life was about 1,000, officers and men.

Up to November 15, the struggle in the coast region of Belgium continued
with terrific intensity and appalling loss of life on both sides. The
Germans occupied Dixmude November 11, only to lose it on November 13,
after a fierce attack by reinforced British troops.


The daily cost of the present war to the nations engaged in the struggle
is estimated at not less than $54,000,000 a day--a sum which fairly
staggers the imagination. This enormous cost of the armies in the field
gives a decided advantage to the nation best supplied with the "sinews
of war" and may contribute to a shortening of hostilities. War is indeed
a terrible drain upon the resources of a nation and only a few there
are that can stand many months of war expenditures like those of
August-October, 1914, amounting in the grand aggregate to nearly five
billions of dollars ($5,000,000,000).


On October 29 an act which was regarded in Russia as equivalent to a
declaration of war by Turkey was committed at Theodosia, the Crimean
port, when that town was bombarded without notice by the cruiser
Breslau, flying the Turkish flag, but commanded by a German officer and
manned by a German crew. The Breslau was a former German ship, and was
said to have been purchased by the Turkish government, with the German
battleship Goeben, when they sought refuge in the Dardanelles at
the beginning of the war, from the French and British fleets in the


The month of November, the fourth month of the war, was marked by the
heaviest losses to all the nations concerned, but made little change in
the general situation.

Along the Aisne the battle begun early in September continued
intermittently. Both sides literally dug themselves in and along the
battle line in many places, the hostile trenches were separated by only
a few yards. At the end of the month the burrowing had been succeeded by
tunneling, and both sides prepared for a winter of spasmodic action. It
was a military deadlock, but a deadlock full of danger for the side that
first developed a weak point in its far-flung front.

With the utmost fairness and impartiality it can be said that at the
beginning of December both the allied armies and the German forces
facing them from the Belgian coast east and south to the borders of
Alsace-Lorraine were exhausted by the strenuous efforts of the campaign.
By December 5, the 130th day of the war, after a seven-weeks' struggle
by the Germans for the possession of the French and Belgian coast, there
was a general cessation of offensive operations by both sides and the
indications were that this condition was due to pure physical weariness
of leaders and men. The world had never before witnessed such strenuous
military operations as those of the preceding three months and the
temporary exhaustion of the armies therefore was not surprising.

In the last days of November, the city of Belgrade fell into the
hands of the Austrians after a siege that had lasted, with continual
bombardments, since the war began. The city was finally taken by storm
at the point of the bayonet in a furious charge which fairly overwhelmed
the gallant defense of the Servians.

In this month it began to be generally realized that the war was likely
to be of prolonged duration. Strenuous preparations for the winter
campaign were made on both sides and the recruiting for the new British
army surpassed all previous records, the serious menace of the war being
at last recognized.

The month of November was also marked by enormous contributions of cash
and food stuffs by the people of the United States for the relief of
the impoverished and suffering Belgians. The people of Chicago alone
contributed over $500,000 and this was but a sample of the manner in
which Americans rose to the opportunity to alleviate the distress in
Belgium. "The United States has saved us from starvation," said a
Belgian official on December 1.

The casualties of all the armies in the field during the month of
November exceeded those of any previous period of the war. Basing an
estimate of the total casualties upon the same percentage as that
employed in the table given on another page, it is therefore safe to
say that up to December 5 the total losses of the combatant nations in
killed, wounded and missing aggregated not less than 3,500,000 men.


The month of December, 1914, the fifth month of the war, registered but
little change in the relative positions of the combatant nations. In the
west the lines held firm from the North Sea to Switzerland. Daily duels
of artillery and daily assaults here and there along the battle fronts
proved unavailing, so far as any change in general conditions was
concerned. Frequently the assaults were of a desperate character,
especially in Flanders, where in the middle of the month the Allies
assumed the offensive all along the line and sturdily strove to push
back the German front in Belgium. But the utmost valor and persistence
in attack were invariably met by resolute resistance. Both sides were
strongly entrenched and the gain of a few yards today was usually
followed by the loss of a few yards tomorrow.

Never before in the history of warfare had the science of entrenchment
been developed to such an extent. The German, French, British and.
Belgian armies literally burrowed in the earth along a battle front of
150 miles. In many places the hostile trenches were separated by only a
few yards, and mining was frequently resorted to. Tunneling toward each
other, both the contending forces occasionally succeeded in blowing up
the enemy's trench, and whole companies of unsuspecting troops were
sometimes annihilated in this way. In the trenches themselves scenes
unparalleled in warfare were witnessed. With the arrival of winter the
troops on either side proceeded to secure what comfort they could by all
manner of clever and unique devices. Winter clothing was provided as far
as possible, but on both sides there was inevitable suffering for lack
of suitable supplies for the winter campaign, and individual initiative
had frequently to supply the deficiencies of official forethought.

Many unique features of trench life were developed during the first
month of winter warfare. Two-story trenches became common on both
sides of the firing line. Bombproof underground quarters for staff and
commanding officers were constructed, and these were fitted up so as to
provide all the comforts of the winter cantonments of old-time warfare.
The ever-necessary telephone was installed at frequent points in
trenches that stretched for scores of miles in practically unbroken
lines. Board roofs were built and provision made for heating the dugouts
in which thousands of men passed many days and nights before their
reliefs arrived. On the German side miles of trenches were provided with
stockade walls, leaving ample room inside for the rapid movement of
troops. The British built trenches with lateral individual dugouts
at right angles to the main trench, protecting the men against flank
fire--and these aroused the admiration even of their enemies. In the
French trenches the ingenuity of a French engineer provided a system
of hot shower baths on the firing line, and from all points along the
deadlocked battle front came stories of the remarkable manner in which
the troops of all the armies speedily accommodated themselves to
unprecedented conditions and maintained a spirit of cheerfulness truly
marvelous under the circumstances, especially as there was no cessation
of the constant endeavor to gain ground from the enemy and no end to the
daily slaughter.


A correspondent with the German army who visited the firing line in the
Argonne forest late in November, by special permission of the German
crown prince, described the conditions in the trenches as follows: "Here
in the now famous Argonne forest--the scene of some of the war's most
desperate fighting--the Germans are trenching and mining their way
forward, literally yard by yard. This afternoon I reached the foremost
trench, south of Grandpré. About 160 feet ahead of me is the French
trench. Picture to yourself a canebrake-like woods of fishpoles ranging
in size from half an inch to saplings of two and three inches thick and
so dense that you can hardly see forty yards even now when the leaves
have fallen. Among these is a scattering of big trees, the trunks of
which are veritable mines of bullets.

"Irregular lines of deep yellow clay trenches zigzag for miles.
Other trenches run back from these to what looks like a huge Kansas
'prairie-dog town'--human burrows, where thousands of soldiers are
literally living underground. From the lines of trenches running
parallel to one another comes a constant, spitting, sputtering, popping
of rifles, making the woods resound like a Chinese New Year in San
Francisco or an old-time Fourth of July. Field guns and hand grenades
furnish the 'cannon-cracker' effect. Through the woods the high-noted
'zing zing' of bullets sounds like a swarm of angry bees, while high
overhead shrapnel and shell go shrieking on their way. Here and there
you may see spades full of earth being thrown up as if by invisible
hands, marking the onward work of the German gopher-like pioneers in
their subterranean warfare. That is the Argonne forest.

"As the trench I am in was still in the hands of the French three days
ago and as the crown prince is advancing steadily, the trenches are
temporary and contain little in the way of comforts. In deep niches cut
in the side the soldiers rest, play cards or even sleep on damp ledges
between fights.

"The trenches also serve as a cemetery. When the enemy's fire is so hot
that it is impossible to stick your head out or to take the dead out to
bury them, the grave is made in a niche or a ledge cut into the side of
the trench."


The western operations in December made it clear that the German advance
to the Channel ports of France had been definitely halted. In the
terrible battle of Ypres in Flanders, following the prolonged
engagements along the Yser river, the Allies succeeded in repulsing the
desperate German onslaught, and the German offensive was brought to
a full stop. Towns and villages in Flanders, in Artois and in Champagne,
that had been captured in the early German rush, were retaken one by
one by the Belgians, French and British, slowly but surely, until
the Germans were forced to act upon the defensive along a line of
entrenchments prepared to enable them to keep open their communications
through Belgium with their great base at Aix-la-Chapelle.

An incident of the desperate fighting at Ypres, in which British and
French troops practically annihilated six German regiments, including
the crack Second regiment of Prussian Guards, has been graphically
described by an eye-witness as follows:

"A long valley stretches out before us and the little rise on which we
stand--about fifty feet above the plain--commands it. The British guns
are shooting almost horizontally at the German infantry trudging through
the mud 2,000 yards away.

"I count easily five regiments together, but further to the right a
sixth one evidently wards off a flank attack on the part of the French
colonial troops. The lone regiment is the Second Prussian regiment of
the guard, the emperor's own, the elite of the Kaiser's army, 2,500 of
the brawniest, most disciplined men in the world. It is now 1 o'clock.
In one hour only 300 of these men will leave the field.

"A gust of wind brings to our ears the sound of music. The guards' band
is encouraging the men. At the foot of the small hill on which we stand
are twenty lines of trenches filled with Scotch and English infantry.
The men are silently awaiting the attack. Not a rifle is being fired.
The trenches are the Germans' goal; these and the British batteries once
taken, the road into Ypres is clear.

"In the valley the Germans halt. The range is only 1,500 yards now and
every British shot is telling. The effects are appalling. The gray
masses move onward once more, seem to hesitate, but sharp bugle blasts
launch them forward again and on the run they come for the trenches.

"At 1,000 yards our batteries again stop them. Whole rows are
mowed down, vast spaces appearing between the ranks. The companies
intermingle, then the regiments themselves seem to amalgamate and
melt into one another. Officers are seen galloping along the sides,
evidently trying to bring order out of chaos.

"The artillerymen work silently, the perspiration streaming down their
cheeks, and continue sending on their messengers of death.

"The Second regiment of the Guard alone, off to the right, seems
untouched, and on it comes. Suddenly the sound of a bagpipe is heard.
The Scots are awake. From the trenches an avalanche rushes forward
toward the disordered Germans.

"At the double-quick Scots and English, a few feet apart, yelling like
demons, pounce on the attackers. Rifles are silent. It is cold steel
alone. Our battery captains cry 'Stop firing.' There is a risk of
shelling our own men now. We become spectators.

"On the right the Guard has suddenly turned toward the hill. A bugle
blast and the mass of men half turns and seems to be thrown on the back
of the British, outflanked. The situation is desperate. Our artillery is

"Listen! Over the valley, rising louder and still louder, comes a song
which the Germans have heard before. A crash of brass, a hoarse roar
fills the air, echoing across the valley, drowning the shouts and curses
of the human wave fighting below.

"The 'Marseillaise'--the English and Scots have heard it. 'Hold tight,
the French are coming,' we scream. They cannot hear us, but we must
shout--the strain is too intense.

"Past our batteries a company of Spahis rushes like a cyclone. Two more
follow, then the Zouaves. Rifles close to their hips, bayonets low,
throwing out over the valley its glorious anthem, the human flood
crashes against the Guard.

"The lines waver in an indescribable jumble of gray, yellow, blue, and
red uniforms, then seem to bounce back from the very force of the shock.
Men appear, raised from their feet, and raised high in the air.

"Caught in a vise between the British and the French, the Guard alone
remains. Ten times the shattered remnants of the Kaiser's proud regiment
charged, and ten times was thrown back, first against the French, then
against the British. Crying, 'Comrades, comrades!' hundreds began
throwing their guns aside.

"At 2 o'clock it was over. The Allies had lost 1,200 men. Only
prisoners remained of the Second Prussian regiment of the Guard.


The campaign in the eastern theater of war attracted the attention
of the whole world in December, when the German operations begun in
November under Field Marshal Von Hindenburg, the victor of Tannenberg
earlier in the war, were continued with varying successes. Early in the
month the Germans captured Lodz, the second city and chief manufacturing
center of Russian Poland, with a population of about 500,000, after a
bombardment of a week's duration, the city being set on fire in many
places. The Russians made a desperate resistance, and the fighting
around Lodz constituted the most bitter struggle of the entire war on
this front. A general Russian retirement in the direction of Warsaw
followed, but the Germans failed in their subsequent efforts to
envelop the flanks of the Russian army to the north and south. Russian
reinforcements from Warsaw coming up promptly, the Germans were in their
turn compelled to retire. Two German army corps were then practically
cut off by the Russians, but made a successful retreat, fighting their
way back to safety with the bayonet in one of the most brilliant
exploits of the war. Thus the net result of the German campaign in
Poland in December left the general situation there practically
unchanged and the Russian front unbroken, while in East Prussia, too,
the Russian invasion continued despite German efforts to roll it back
across the frontier.

The losses on both sides in the eastern campaign in December were
appalling, the fighting being of the fiercest possible nature. A typical
struggle occurred a few miles west of Lodz in the little churchyard of
Beschici, where the Russians, in one of the final phases of the
struggle for the Polish city, showed that in spite of their defeats and
discouragements they knew how to fight and die. This churchyard lies
on a small eminence which formed a salient into the German lines. The
Germans were able to make an attack from three sides with infantry and
artillery. All the Russian trenches were enfiladed by shrapnel from
one direction or another, but the Russians clung to their positions
obstinately. When the Germans finally captured the trenches 878 Russian
corpses were found in a space about eighty yards square.

It was resistance of this nature which the Germans had to overcome in
order to capture Lodz. Later in December it became clear that Russia
was getting her millions into the field and that the strategy of the
commander-in-chief, the Grand Duke Nicholas, would soon be aided by the
weight of overwhelming numbers.


During November and December Madame Vandervelde, wife of a member of
the Belgian cabinet, toured the United States soliciting aid for her
suffering fellow-countrymen. The response everywhere was extremely
generous and in appreciation of the aid given the war victims of her
country Madame Vandervelde penned the following poem, entitled "Belgium
Thanks America:"

  But still we tell the story which once we loved to tell.
  "Good will! Good will!" we read it, and "Peace!"--we hear the name,
  And crouch among the ruins, and watch the cruel flame,
  And hear the children crying, and turn our eyes away--
  For them there's neither bread nor home this happy Christmas day.

  But look! there comes a message from far across the deep,
  From hearts that still can pity and eyes that still can weep--
  O little lips a-hunger! O faces pale and wan!
  There's somewhere--somewhere--peace on earth, somewhere good will to man,
  Across the waste of waters, a thousand leagues away,
  There's some one still remembers that here it's Christmas day.

  0 God of Peace, remember, and in thy mercy keep
  The hearts that still can pity, the eyes that still can weep,
  Amid the shame and torment, the ruins and the graves,
  To theirs, the land of freedom, from ours, the land of slaves,
  What answer can we send them? We can but kneel and pray:
  God grant--God grant to them, at least, a happy Christmas day.

A vivid picture of the horrible realities of the war, as seen in a
field hospital near the firing line, was given in "The New Republic" of
November 28 by Mr. Henry W. Nevinson, who described his experiences at
Dixmude in Belgium as follows:

"When I entered Dixmude one night in the middle of October the first
bombardment was over, but from both sides the heavy shells flew across
the town. From the end of the main street came an incessant noise of
rifles and machine guns. Unaimed bullets wailed through the air, and
pattered as they struck the walls. Flaming houses shed a light upon the
ruined streets, but only one house looked inhabited, and all the others
which were not burning stood silent and empty, expecting destruction.

"That one house was used as an outlying hospital or dressing-place
nearest the firing line, and the wounded had to be led or carried only
two or three hundred yards to reach it. They sat on the dining-room
chairs or lay helpless on the floor. A few surgeons were at work upon
them, cutting off loose fingers and throwing them into basins, plugging
black holes that welled up instantly through the plug, straining
bandages, which in a minute ceased to be white, round legs and heads.
The smell of fresh, warm blood was thick on the air. One man lay deep in
his blood. You could not have supposed that anyone had so much in him.
Another's head had lost on one side all human semblance, and was a
hideous pulp of eye and ear and jaw. Another, with chest torn open,
lay gasping for the few minutes left of life. And as I waited for the
ambulance more were brought in, and always more.

"In a complacent and comfortable account of hospital work I lately read
that 'deaths from wounds are happily rare; one surgeon put the number as
low as 2 per cent.' Happy hospital, far away in Paris or some Isle of
the Blest! The further from the front the fewer the deaths, because so
many have died already.

"In the nearest hospitals to the front, half the wounded, and on some
days more than half, die where they are put. Often they die in the
ambulance, and one's care in drawing them out is wasted, for they will
never feel again. I found one always took the same care, though the
greenish-yellow of the exposed hands or feet showed the truth. Laid on
the floor of the main hospital itself, some screamed or moaned, some
whimpered like sick children, especially in their sleep, some lay quiet,
with glazed eyes out of which sight was passing. Mere fragments of
mankind were there extended, limbs pounded into mash, heads split open,
intestines hanging out from gashes. Did those bones--did that exquisite
network of living tissue and contrivances for life--cost no more in
the breeding than to be hewed and smashed and pulped like this?
Shrapnel--shrapnel--it was nearly always the same. For this is, above
all, an artillery war, and both sides are justly proud of their
efficiency in guns."


Confidence of safety having been restored in the French capital, the
Paris bourse reopened on December 7, after having been closed since
September 3. President Poincaré transferred his official residence back
to Paris from Bordeaux on December 9 and a meeting of the French cabinet
was held in Paris on December 11, for the first time since the capital
was threatened by the German advance at the end of August.


In the second week of December the British navy avenged the defeat of
Rear Admiral Cradock's squadron off the Chilean coast in November, when
a powerful special fleet, under Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Sturdee,
encountered the German cruiser fleet, under Admiral von Spee, off the
Falkland Islands and practically destroyed it. Only one of the five
German cruisers escaped. The flagship Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau, the
Leipzig and the Nurnberg were sunk in the action, which lasted for five
hours, and the German admiral with three of his sons and most of the
officers and men of the German crews perished. The British losses were

This sea fight in the South Atlantic was the most important engagement
in which British men-of-war had participated since the era of Napoleon.
The sailing of the British fleet in quest of Admiral von Spee's
squadron had been kept secret and the news of the victory was therefore
especially welcome to the people of England, who had been considerably
worried by a succession of minor naval losses inflicted by German
cruisers, submarines and mines. The action was gallantly fought on both
sides. The advantage in weight of metal and range of guns lay on the
side of the British, and the battle was decided at long range. Admiral
von Spee, refusing to surrender, in spite of the odds against him,
went down with his ship. The flagship of the victorious admiral, Sir
Frederick Sturdee, was the modern battle cruiser Invincible. A number of
the German sailors were rescued by the British after the engagement and
sent as prisoners of war to England. The total German loss was over
2,000 officers and men.

Fine strategy was shown by the British admiralty in sending Admiral
Sturdee to South American waters. He was ordered to sea from his desk as
chief of the British naval board, after Von Spee's Chilean victory in
November, and was placed in command of some of the fastest and most
powerful cruisers of the British fleet. The entire affair, from the time
the admiral left London until he succeeded in finding and sinking the
German squadron in the South Atlantic, took about a month--a truly
remarkable exploit.


During December all the armies in the field were visited by the rulers
of their respective countries. The Czar spent some time with his troops
near the firing lines in Poland; King George of England visited the
British forces in Belgium and Northern France and conferred the Victoria
Cross ("For Valor") on a number of officers and men; and President
Poincaré made several trips to the front, conferring decorations upon
General Joffre, commander-in-chief, and other French officers, for
distinguished service. The gallant and devoted soldier-king, Albert of
Belgium, remained steadfastly at the front with his troops, sharing all
their privations and dangers during the fierce fighting in Flanders.
Kaiser Wilhelm was also at the front, both east and west, but was forced
to return to Berlin early in the month by an attack of illness. On his
recovery after two weeks he again visited the western field headquarters
in Belgium, but in the first week of January, 1915, he was again
compelled by his ailment to make a hurried return to Berlin for medical
treatment and rest. British and German naval losses in the world war to
January 1, 1915, are shown in the following, compiled from admiralty
reports, and, where these are missing, from other authoritative sources.
The figures are approximately correct.


  Date         Name and Type              How Sunk   Tonnage  Lives Lost
  Aug.   7--Amphion, protected cruiser      Mined      3,440   136
  Sept.  4--Speedy, torpedo gunboat         Mined        810   ...
  Sept.  5--Pathfinder,  protected  cruiser Mined      2,940   250
  Sept.  7--Warrior, protected  cruiser     Stranded  13,500   ...
  Sept.  9--Oceanic, auxiliary cruiser      Wrecked   17,000   ...
  Sept. 18--Fishguard II, training ship     Foundered ......    21
  Sept. 19--AE-1, submarine                 Lost         800    25
  Sept. 20--Pegasus, protected cruiser      Shelled    2,200    25
  Sept. 22--Aboukir, protected cruiser      Torpedoed 12,000   510
  Sept. 22--Cressy, protected cruiser       Torpedoed 12,000   561
  Sept. 22--Hogue, protected  cruiser       Torpedoed 12,000   362
  Oct.  16--Hawke, protected cruiser        Torpedoed  7,350   350
  Oct.  18--E-3, submarine                  Shelled      800    25
  Oct.  27--Audacious, dreadnought          Torpedoed 25,000     2
  Oct.  31--Hermes, protected cruiser       Torpedoed  5,600   ...
  Nov.   1--Monmouth, armored  cruiser      Shelled    3,800   540
  Nov.   1--Good Hope, armored cruiser      Shelled   14,100   875
  Nov.   5--D-5, submarine                  Mined        550    21
  Nov.  11--Niger, torpedo gunboat          Torpedoed    819   ...
  Nov.  20--Bulwark,  battleship            Explosion 15,000   800
  Jan.   1--Formidable,  battleship         Torpedoed 17,000   579
  Number of vessels lost, 21.                        --------------
  Totals                                             172,700 5,082


  Date         Name and Type               How Sunk  Tonnage  Lives Lost
  Aug.   5--Panther, gunboat                Shelled      900    75
  Aug.   6--Koenigin Luise, mine layer      Torpedoed  1,800    70
  Aug.   7--Augsburg, protected  cruiser    Shelled    4,280   158
  Aug.   9--U-15, submarine                 Shelled      400    12
  Aug.  27--Kaiser Wm.
  der Grosse, aux. cruiser       Shelled   14,849    30
  Aug.  27--Magdeburg, protected cruiser    Shelled    4,478   200
  Aug.  28--Ariadne, protected cruiser      Shelled    2,620   200
  Aug.  28--V-186, V-187, destroyers        Shelled    1,290   100
  Sept. 14--Cap Trafalgar,auxiliary cruiser Shelled   26,000    14
  Sept. 15--Hela, small cruiser             Torpedoed  2,000    10
  Oct.  17--S-115, 117, 118, 119, 4 destroyers         1,660   193
  Oct.  20--S-30, destroyer                 Ran Ashore   400   ...
  Oct.  25--Submarine                       Shelled      400    12
  Oct.  30--Submarine                       Shelled      400    12
  Nov.   4--Yorck, armored cruiser          Mined      9,350   226
  Nov.   7--Jaguar, gunboat                 Shelled      330    50
  Nov.   7--Luchs, gunboat                  Shelled      880    50
  Nov.   7--Iltis, gunboat                  Shelled      880    50
  Nov.   7--Cormoran, gunboat               Shelled    1,600   100
  Nov.   7--Tiger, gunboat                  Shelled      880    50
  Nov    7--Taku, destroyer                 Shelled      280    26
  Nov.   7--Ruchin, mine layer              Shelled      ...   ...
  Nov.   9--Emden, protected cruiser        Shelled    3,540   200
  Nov. . .--Wilhelm der Grosse, battleship  Mined     10,790   400
  Nov. . .--Hertha, cruiser                 Mined      5,569   200
  Dec.   8--Scharnhorst, armored  cruiser   Shelled   11,420   764
  Dec.   8--Gneisenau, armored cruiser      Shelled   11,420   700
  Dec.   8--Leipzig, cruiser                Shelled    3,200   280
  Dec    8--Nurnberg, cruiser               Shelled    3,200   256
  Dec.  10--Three submarines                Shelled    1,200    36
  Number of vessels lost, 38.                        ----------------
                                             Totals  134,026 5,005


Late in December the first of the Canadian troops to leave their English
training camp on Salisbury Plain were sent to the front in Northern
France. The Princess Patricia regiment had the military honor of leading
the Canadians to the firing line. It was made up largely of men who had
seen previous service and promptly proceeded to give a good account of
itself. A British guardsman returning wounded from the front on December
28 paid a characteristic tribute to the efficiency and daring of the
Canadian troops, when he said: "They are all old soldiers. They knew as
much about the game as we did and a blooming sight more than the enemy's

The Canadians first went into action at one of those ticklish spots
where yards count. The trench of the British ended at a village which
was vigorously shelled by the Germans, and was practically in ruins.
Another trench on the right of a little town held by unmounted French
cavalry made it impossible for the Germans to reach the village, but
their "snipers" had ensconced themselves in some farm buildings to the
northeast, making it extremely hazardous for supplies to reach the
advanced British posts.

"About twenty of the Canadians," said the wounded guardsman, "managed to
gain the ruins at the extreme end of the village during Christmas night
and when daylight came they accounted for practically all the German
'snipers' and dashed back into safety before the German artillery fire
was directed to the stronghold."


Just when it appeared likely that Servia might share the fate of
Belgium, a turn in the fortunes of war changed the entire situation of
affairs in the little Slav kingdom. Aided by a fresh advance of Russian
troops across the Carpathians, which caused the hurried withdrawal
of three Austrian army corps from Servian territory to defend the
threatened cities of Hungary, the Serbs again took the offensive and,
inspired by the presence in the field of old King Peter, a gallant
soldier of France in 1870, they reoccupied Belgrade and drove the
Austrians before them in a disorderly rout, so that by December
Servia was free of the Austrian enemy. Budapest, capital of Hungary,
became panic-stricken at the Russian advance and the Servian victory,
and the year 1914 closed with every evidence that the people of Austria,
at any rate, were tired of the war, discontented at the prospect, and
desirous of peace.


For the first time in history since the days of the American commander,
Paul Jones, British coast towns were bombarded on December 16, when a
squadron of German cruisers, slipping across the North Sea in a fog,
from their Heligoland base, appeared off Scarborough, Hartlepool and
Whitby, on the eastern coast of England, and shelled each of them in
turn. The loss of life in the three towns was about 100 men, women and
children, and a considerable number of buildings were partially wrecked
by the German shells. Comparatively speaking, of course the damage
inflicted was trifling and from a military point of view the incident
was unimportant, the German ships disappearing in the fog after a
half-hour's bombardment But the moral effect upon the British public was
tremendous. The event came as a distinct shock to their over-confidence
and as a reminder that the German navy was still to be reckoned with.
The warships of the Kaiser brought home to the people of the United
Kingdom the meaning of the war, as no previous incident had done, and
fear of further attacks took possession of them. This fear, however,
soon turned to rage, and then to a fierce determination to prosecute
the war to a bitter end. The attack stimulated recruiting for Lord
Kitchener's new army, and this was its chief result, though Germany
had proved that her ships could reach British shores and bombard their
defenseless towns, in spite of all the vigilance of the British fleet.


By way of answer to the German attack on Scarborough and Hartlepool, a
daring raid was made Christmas Day by the British navy on the German
naval base at Cuxhaven, at the mouth of the Elbe. The chief participants
were seven British naval airmen. They were assisted in the attack by
several light cruisers, destroyers and submarines. The airmen
piloted seaplanes and succeeded in dropping a number of bombs in the
vicinity of Cuxhaven, in an attempt to bring out into the open a portion
of the German fleet lying there. The affair resulted in a contest
between the most modern of war machines. No surface warships were sent
out by the Germans, but the attack was repelled by means of Zeppelins,
sea-planes and submarines. No great damage was done on either side and
the British airmen all escaped without injury, though four of them lost
their machines. One, Flight Commander Hewlett, fell with his plane into
the North Sea at a considerable distance from Cuxhaven and was picked up
by a Dutch trawler, which landed him in Holland several days afterward.
The British vessels remained off Cuxhaven for three hours, engaged in
the most novel combat in naval history.

A short time previous to the attack on Cuxhaven, the British submarine
B-11 accomplished one of the most remarkable exploits of the war when
it penetrated into the Dardanelles and torpedoed the Turkish battleship
Messudieh. In doing so the submarine successfully passed and repassed
five lines of submerged mines and returned to its base in safety after
being under water for many hours at a stretch.


On December 31, by mutual agreement between the State Department at
Washington and the British Foreign Office, the text of a note sent by
the United States to England, requesting an early improvement in the
treatment of American shipping by the British fleet, was made public.
The note of protest had been presented on December 29. It dealt with the
manner in which American ships suspected of carrying contraband of
war had been held up on the high seas and sent into British ports for
examination. Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, and Walter
Hines Page, United States ambassador, conferred on the subject in
London, and it was announced on January 1, 1915, that an answer to the
American note would be drawn up as soon as possible and that it would be
in the same friendly spirit in which the American note was written.


The battle lines in the western theater of war held firm and fast during
the first two months of 1915. Along the entire front, from Flanders to
the Swiss frontier, there were few changes in the relative positions of
the German forces and the Allies up to March 1, at which time both
sides were occupied with preparations for the spring campaign. British
reinforcements, forming part of Lord Kitchener's new army, were being
transported to the front, while the far-flung lines of trenches were
filled with battle-weary veterans of the winter campaign. In many places
the entrenchments of the opposing forces were only a few yards apart and
trenches were frequently destroyed by mines, resulting in losses to
both sides, but without materially changing the general aspect of the


One of the most important naval battles of the war took place on January
24 in the North Sea between a British battle cruiser squadron under
Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, comprising the battle cruisers Tiger,
Lion, Princess Royal, New Zealand and Indomitable, assisted by a few
light cruisers and destroyers, on the one hand, and on the other a
German squadron, consisting of the battle cruisers Derflinger, Seydlitz
and Moltke, the armored cruiser Bluecher, one of the finest in the
Kaiser's navy, and several light cruisers.

It was a running fight, covering over one hundred miles and lasting four
hours. At the end of this time the German armored cruiser Bluecher was
at the bottom of the sea and two of the German battle cruisers had been
damaged. Two of Vice-Admiral Beatty's ships were seriously damaged,
namely, the giant battle cruiser Lion, which was Sir David's flagship,
and the torpedo boat destroyer Meteor, one of the largest and fastest of
this class afloat. However, both of these vessels were safely towed
into port. The loss in men on the British side was fourteen killed and
twenty-nine wounded, while on the side of the Germans only 125 of the
crew of 850 men on the Bluecher were saved; the other 725 went down with
the ship. The loss of the Bluecher was the hardest blow the German navy
had sustained up to this time, as she was one of the newest and best
vessels of her class. She was built at a cost of $6,750,000. Her speed
was slower than that of the other vessels in the German squadron, which
doubtless accounted for her loss. The battle began about 150 miles from
Heligoland and ended within about fifty miles of this German naval base.

Early in the month of February, England threatened to put all foodstuffs
destined for German ports on the contraband list. In retaliation,
Germany, on February 4, through Admiral von Pohl, chief of the admiralty
staff, issued a proclamation designating the waters around Great Britain
and Ireland as a war area, to become effective February 18 and to be
enforced by a formidable fleet of submarines, the object being to
conduct war operations in this area for the purpose of destroying
commercial ships of the enemy.

Just at this time the great passenger steamship Lusitania, in her
passage from New York to Liverpool, hoisted the American flag while
sailing through the Irish Sea, and Germany charged that the British
Admiralty had issued confidential orders to captains of all British
ships to sail under the stars and stripes or other neutral flags when
necessary to use this means of protection against destruction by the
warships of the enemy. This situation seriously menaced the commerce of
the United States as well as that of all other neutral nations, and the
American Government, therefore, promptly issued a note of warning
to both belligerents and demanded in strong terms the protection of
American neutral rights on the high seas. Germany responded promptly
and promised to use every precaution to protect neutral shipping, but
pointed out that the use of the American flag by British ships would
make it difficult to distinguish neutral vessels from those of the
enemy; hence neutral shipping was urged to avoid the indicated war area.
Great Britain, on the other hand, claimed the right to use neutral flags
when necessary to protect human life and ships, when endangered by the
war vessels of the enemy; and under the laws of warfare and customs of
the nations this contention was correct.

It can readily be seen that this situation placed the sea commerce of
the United States, as well as that of all other neutral countries, in
a most dangerous position. Up to March 1, 1915, about twenty merchant
vessels of various nationalities were destroyed or damaged in the
war zone established by Germany, including Dutch, Norwegian, Danish,
American and British ships.


After a difficult campaign against the Russian invaders in East
Prussia, the German army, by the masterly strategy of Field Marshal von
Hindenburg, practically annihilated the Russian Tenth Army of 150,
men, completing the task February 20. It was the most spectacular
campaign in the history of modern warfare.

The object of the German commander was not only to free East Prussia
from the Russian invasion, but to completely capture the Russian Tenth
Army. He sent one column in from the south to drive back the Russians
who occupied the Mazurian lake gateway to East Prussia, and another
column from the north was swung around in wide circles to the east
and south, aiming to join hands with the southern German column, thus
cutting off the Russian retreat. This movement would have succeeded
absolutely except for delay in passing through the swamps, caused by
mild weather which broke up the ice. A commander of one of the German
corps said: "Nature has always helped Russia. Two days of hard frost and
we should have had every man."

In the south also nature aided the Russians. There the German hosts
attacked the enemy in the face of a driving snowstorm from the north,
which hindered their operations but did not prevent them from gaining a
victory which resulted in freeing Prussian territory from the invader.


On March 1 a great allied fleet of forty British and French warships,
having reduced the forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles, was on its
way through the straits and the Sea of Marmora to Constantinople, with
the object of capturing the city. Panic prevailed in the Turkish capital
at the approach of the fleet, while for the first time in history
hostile flags flew over the forts at the mouth of the Dardanelles.
The naval operations of the Allies in the Dardanelles, which began on
February 17, proceeded without any serious check for a month. Mine
sweepers were in daily use, to clear the channel of submerged and
floating mines, and the forts at the Narrows, several miles inside the
entrance of the straits, were subject to bombardment every fine day.
High winds and fog hampered the operations to a considerable extent,
but the purpose of the Allies under Vice-Admiral Carden was adamant and
would not be denied. They were determined to hammer their way through to
the Turkish capital. The greatest battle of all history between warships
and shore forts was the result. Soon after the bombardment began it
became known that the allied fleets were led by the great new British
superdreadnaught Queen Elizabeth, launched after the war began and
armed with 15-inch guns of immense range which proved most effective in
reducing the forts at the mouth of the straits.


This Map Shows the Route of the Allied Fleets on the Way to
Constantinople, The Principal Fortified Places Are Clearly Indicated.]

On March 18 three of the allied warships were sunk inside the
Dardanelles and two crippled by the Turks during a bombardment in which
ten vessels of the combined fleet participated. The official report of
the battle was as follows:

"Mine-sweeping having been in progress during the last ten days inside
the straits, a general attack was delivered by the British and French
fleets on Thursday morning upon the fortresses at the Narrows. At
10:45 A.M. the Queen Elizabeth, Inflexible, Agamemnon, and Lord Nelson
bombarded forts J, L, T, U and V, while the Triumph and Prince George
fired at batteries F, E and H. A heavy fire was opened on the ships from
howitzers and field guns.

"At 12:22 o'clock the French squadron, consisting of the Suffren,
Gaulois, Charlemagne and Bouvet, advanced up the Dardanelles and engaged
the forts at closer range. Forts I, U, F and E replied strongly. Their
fire was silenced by the ten battleships inside the straits, all the
ships being hit several times during this part of the action.

"By 1:25 P.M. all the forts had ceased firing. The Vengeance,
Irresistible, Albion, Ocean, Swiftsure and Majestic then advanced to
relieve the six old battleships inside the straits. As the French
squadron, which had engaged the forts in a most brilliant fashion, was
passing out, the Bouvet was blown up by a drifting mine. She sank in
fathoms north of Arenkeuf village in less than three minutes.

"At 2:23 P.M. the relief battleships renewed the attack on the forts,
which again opened fire. The attack on the forts was maintained while
the operations of the mine-sweepers continued.

"At 4:09 P.M. the Irresistible quitted the line, listing heavily, and
at 5:50 o'clock sank, having probably struck a drifting mine. At 6:
o'clock the Ocean, also having struck a mine, sank. Both vessels sank
in deep water, practically the whole of their crews having been removed
safely under a hot fire. The loss of the ships was caused by mines
drifting with the current, which were encountered in areas hitherto
swept clear.

"The British casualties in personnel were not heavy considering the
scale of the operations, but practically the whole of the crew of the
Bouvet were lost with the ship, an internal explosion having apparently
supervened on the explosion of the mine." [About 500 lives were lost on
the Bouvet.]

On March 16 Vice-Admiral Carden, who had been incapacitated by illness,
was succeeded in the chief command by Rear-Admiral John Michael De
Robeck, with the acting rank of vice-admiral.


After the engagement of March 18 Admiral De Robeck telegraphed to the
British Admiralty the following tribute to the gallantry of the French
in action:

"I desire to bring to the notice of your Lordships the splendid behavior
of the French squadron. Their heavy loss leaves them quite undaunted.
They were led into close action by Rear-Admiral Guepratte with the
greatest gallantry."

About this time it was noted by the press and generally commented upon,
in both England and America, that the Admiralty had not made public a
single word of commendation for the work of the British navy since
the war began. This unusual fact was interpreted as evidence of the
inflexible purpose of the British to ignore minor losses and even
defeats until the main battleship fleets of the belligerents should come
to grips in the open sea. English newspapers began to taunt the Germans
with permitting their navy to "rust in the Kiel Canal."

The sinking of the battle cruisers Irresistible, Ocean and Bouvet was
the heaviest loss sustained by the Allies since the war began. The
British crews were rescued, almost to a man, and the loss of the French
crew was due mainly to the internal explosion following that of the
mine. All the ships sunk were of the earlier pre-dreadnought type. On
the same day, March 18, the British battle cruiser Inflexible and the
French battleship Gaulois were put out of commission temporarily by the
fire of the Turkish forts.

The Irresistible, the Ocean and the Bouvet were all sunk in portions
of the straits which had been swept clear of anchored mines, and the
drifting mines which proved so deadly were undoubtedly set afloat by the
Turks, probably under the direction of German officers, on the swift
current of the Dardanelles at points near the allied ships after the
action began. On March 24 the allied fleets renewed with vigor their
attack upon the forts at the Narrows of the Dardanelles. A large body of
troops was also landed upon the peninsula of Gallipoli, commanding the
approach to Constantinople, and the Russian Black Sea fleet co-operated
by a bombardment of the Turkish naval base, which left the Turkish fleet
without supplies and practically paralyzed its movements.


The presence of part of Earl Kitchener's new British volunteer army at
the western front in Belgium and France was signalized between March
and March 16, when the British gained a series of successes that drew
marked attention to their operations. To the south of Ypres in Flanders
the British army, which a German attack had compelled to fall back
beyond St. Eloi, recaptured that village and almost all of the
neighboring German trenches, in spite of several counterattacks.

On March 11 Field Marshal Sir John French described the fighting which
led to the capture of Neuve Chapelle in Northern France as follows:

"Since my last communique the situation on our front, between
Armentières and La Bassée, has been materially altered by a successful
initiative on the part of the troops engaged. Shortly after 8 A.M. on
March 10 these troops assaulted and carried German trenches in the
neighborhood of Neuve Chapelle.

"Before noon we captured the whole village of Neuve Chapelle. Our
infantry at once proceeded to confirm and extend the local advantage
gained. By dusk the whole labyrinth of trenches on a front about 4,
yards was in our hands. We had established ourselves about 1,200 yards
beyond the enemy's advanced trenches.

"During the 11th the enemy made repeated efforts to recover the ground
lost. All his counter-attacks were repulsed with heavy loss.

"We continue to make steady progress and hard fighting continues. The
local initiative displayed by our troops daily is admirable. It says
much for the spirit which animates the army. The success achieved on the
10th and 11th is a striking example." "THE END OF THE WORLD"

An officer who was wounded in the fighting thus vividly describes the
battle of Neuve Chapelle:

"Modern warfare is such an infernal business that any man who is not
killed ought to be cheerful. It all seems like a wild dream to me.
I never heard such a row in all my life. And the bullets and the
shells--it was like passing through the most awful hail storm.

"We were in our trenches at dawn when suddenly a most infernal din
commenced. You never saw such a sight; you never heard such a noise. I
heard one of my men say, 'This is the end of the world,' and I did not
blame him for thinking so. We could see in the distance great masses of
flame, earth and brick in great clouds of smoke, all ascending together
as enormous shells screamed over our heads and burst among the German
entrenchments and the houses of the village. At the end of a half-hour's
bombardment the fire ceased as suddenly as it had begun.

"All this time we were awaiting the order to advance towards Aubers. At
length we jumped out into the open. The air seemed alive with bullets
and shells. There was a buzzing noise, such as you hear in a tropical
forest on a hot summer day. On we moved, until we came to an open
stretch, which was being swept by an infernal shell fire. We crossed
this in rushes to gain the shelter of a few houses, losing some 40 or
men. There we remained for some little time, reforming the battalion and
awaiting further orders. When these came we moved forward over rough,
open ground, coming upon lots of our poor fellows lying dead. They were
from the only battalion which had preceded us.

"Then we entered the German trenches which had been captured. Again we
halted. All this time our shells, German shells and rifle and machine
gun bullets were shrieking overhead.

"Thank goodness, in an action like this you seem to lose your senses!
A kind of elevation above all ordinary feelings comes over you and
you feel as though you were rushing through air. There is so much to
frighten you that you cease to be afraid. Then your senses gradually
come back. That is why all infantry attacks should be carried through
with one overwhelming rush."


On March 12 two German armies were on the move in Poland, seeking to
pierce the Russian lines. One of these armies was advancing along the
road to Przasnysz with the bank of the River Narew as its objective.
This was the main German attack and inaugurated one of the biggest
battles of the war.

Farther south, on the Pilica, a German feint was in progress with
the object of weakening the Russian defense in the north. But while
Petrograd seemed to be resigning itself to the idea of a second
withdrawal from before Przasnysz, there was little doubt of the ultimate
outcome of this German attempt to gain a firm footing on Russian soil.
The German troops were moved forward in close order and only in the
daytime, and were entirely dependent on what natural cover they could
find between the rushes, as the ground was frozen too hard to permit the
use of intrenching tools.

These tactics naturally involved very heavy losses. The German
casualties are also understood to have been extremely severe around
Simno, especially on their extreme left, where they lost the greater
part of their transport. It appeared certain that the Russians had
fallen back before an onrush of forces of overwhelming numerical
superiority, but it was equally certain that with every yard of the
German advance from their railways the shock of their impact weakened
while the Russian powers of resistance were enhanced.


Just as the French attacked the Germans in the western campaign when
Field Marshal von Hindenburg made his rush from East Prussia in
February, so the British army operating in Flanders undertook the task
of relieving the pressure on its Russian ally when the Russians again
were attacked in north Poland. This was part of the general plan of the
allied generals. When one was attacked the other attacked, so as to
compel the Germans and Austrians to keep strong forces at every point,
and endeavor to prevent them from sending new troops where they could do
the most good.

In March the Germans were occupied in an attempt to crush the Russians.
For this purpose they had an army estimated at nearly half a million men
marching along the roads toward Przasnysz. To prevent this army from
being further strengthened the British began to thrust at the German
line north of La Bassée, and besides reporting the capture of the
village of Neuve Chapelle, they advanced beyond that town.


On March 12 the Admiralty issued a report of the loss of the large
British auxiliary cruiser Bayano while on naval patrol duty in the
Irish Sea. Evidence pointed to her having been torpedoed by a German
submarine. Only 27 of the Bayano's crew of 250 were saved. Fourteen
officers, including the commander, went down with the ship. The Bayano
was a new twin screw steel steamer of 5,948 tons. The survivors were
afloat on a raft when rescued. The loss of the Bayano was the most
serious of the submarine blockade of the British coasts up to that time.


For several months British warships in the South Atlantic and South
Pacific oceans sought in vain for the German cruiser Dresden, one of the
German squadron defeated off the Falkland Islands by Admiral Sturdee in
December, when she was the only German vessel to escape. On February
she sank the British ship Conway Castle off Corral in the South Pacific,
and on March 14 she was caught near Juan Fernandez Island by the British
cruisers Glasgow and Kent and the auxiliary cruiser Orama. An action
ensued and after five minutes' fighting the Dresden hauled down her
flag. She was much damaged and set on fire, and after she had been
burning for some time her magazine exploded and she sank. The crew were
saved. Fifteen badly wounded Germans were landed at Valparaiso, and the
remainder of the crew were taken on board the auxiliary cruiser Orama as
prisoners of war.

The Dresden was a sister ship of the famous Emden, and was commissioned
in October, 1907. In the spring of 1914 the Dresden was on the Caribbean
station, and was lying off Tampico when the American forces captured
Vera Cruz. Later on in the summer the Dresden was the vessel on which
Victoriano Huerta, upon abandoning Mexico, traveled from Puerta to
Jamaica. Upon the outbreak of the war the Dresden was still stationed in
Central American waters, and for a time was hunted by the British and
French cruisers in the North Atlantic. She steamed south, however, and
after sinking the British steamer Hyades and the Holmwood off the coast
of Brazil, respectively, on August 16 and 26, went through the Strait
of Magellan and joined Admiral Count Von Spee's fleet in the southern

The sinking of the Dresden left at large on the high seas, so far as was
known, only the German cruiser Karlsruhe, last reported as operating in
the West Indies, and the auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm, which was
still raiding commerce in the South Atlantic.


On March 22 the long siege of Przemysl, the formidable Galician fortress
that had been called the "key to the Austrian empire," ended with the
surrender of the city to the Russians. The siege stands as the fifth
longest in 136 years, having lasted 185 days, surpassed in duration only
by the sieges of Gibraltar, Sebastopol, Vicksburg, Richmond and Port
Arthur. The news of the Austrians' surrender was the most important that
had come from the eastern front in weeks. For six months the stronghold
had withstood assault, remaining a constant menace in the rear of the
Russian advance in Galicia. From 120,000 to 150,000 Russians had been
held in the neighborhood by the necessity of masking the fortress.
Numerous efforts had been made to reach the beleaguered city by
relieving armies, but each in turn proved unavailing, though for a time
in December it appeared likely that a combined German and Austrian army
would succeed in raising the siege.

The fall of Przemysl was preceded by a sortie of the garrison in a last
desperate attempt to hack its way through the enemy's lines. After a
seven hours' battle they were compelled to retreat with a loss of nearly
4,000 prisoners. Only three days' rations were left. In the surrender of
the city the Russians announced the taking of nearly 120,000 prisoners,
including nine generals, 93 officers of the general staff, 2,
officers and officials, and 117,000 soldiers.

Twenty-four thousand soldiers of the Przemysl garrison were killed
during the long siege, according to dispatches from Petrograd. Twenty
thousand more were wounded making the total casualties of the Austrian
defenders 44,000 men. Depleted by disease, subsisting on horseflesh, and
surrounded by a superior force of Russians, the garrison of Przemysl was
forced to surrender, but fell with honor, the gallant character of the
defense under General von Kusmanek being conceded on all sides. The
Russian commander who received the surrender was General Seliwanoff. In
the early days of the siege a Bulgarian, General Radko Dimitrieff, was
in command of the investing forces. General Seliwanoff commanded the
Russian forces at Vladivostok during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05.

The duration of the siege compared with the length of time it took the
Germans to capture such strongholds as Liège, Namur and Antwerp was due
to two causes, one being the desire of the Russians to keep the loss of
life among the besieging army at a minimum, the other to the lack of
great guns which the Germans had in Belgium.

The investment was not a close one, the garrison having had a radius
of about twelve miles in which to move about. An aeroplane post was
maintained almost up to the last, and it is said that even some scanty
food supplies were carried in by aeroplane.

Although the victory was a big one, it cost the Russians dearly. It
is estimated that 150,000 Russians were killed and wounded during the
months that the siege went on. Not only were many Russians killed by the
efficient fire of the Austrian gunners, but the fierce sorties
where attackers and defenders fought hand-to-hand resulted in heavy

Przemysl was the greatest fortress in the Austrian empire. Hill, rock,
marsh and river combined to give it strength and the work of nature had
been supplemented by the labors of the finest military engineers in
central Europe. The gallant defense which the garrison put up for
days is recorded as Austria's most noteworthy contribution to the war.
For a long time the fortress had faced famine.

With the fall of Przemysl the only important fortified town in Austrian
Galicia which was not in the hands of the Russians was Cracow, close to
the German border. A large Russian army with artillery was released for
action. The Russian left wing stretched from the province of Bukowina on
the southeast to Tarnow and the Vistula River near Cracow on the west.

On the eastern front of the stupendous battle line in March the most
sanguinary fighting of the war occurred. Losses on both sides were
appalling, while the gains in territorial acquisition amounted to little
or nothing.

Describing the enormous losses on both sides in Poland, a neutral
observer, Mr. Stanley Washburn, said in the American Review of Reviews:

"The German program contemplated taking both Warsaw and Ivangorod and
the holding for the winter of the line between the two formed by the
Vistula. The Russians took the offensive from Ivangorod, crossed the
river, and after hideous fighting fairly drove Austrians and Germans
from positions of great strength around the quaint little Polish town of
Kozienice. From this town for perhaps ten miles west, and I know not how
far north and south there is a belt of forest of fir and spruce. Near
Kozienice the Russian infantry, attacking in flank and front, fairly
wrested the enemy's position and drove him back into this jungle. The
Russians simply sent their troops in after them.

"The fight was now over a front of perhaps twenty kilometers; there
was no strategy. It was all very simple. In this belt were Germans and
Austrians. They were to be driven out if it took a month. Then began the
carnage. Day after day the Russians fed troops in on their side of
the wood. Companies, battalions, regiments, and even brigades, were
absolutely cut off from all communication. None knew what was going on
anywhere but a few feet in front. All knew that the only thing required
of them was to keep advancing.

"Yard by yard the ranks and lines of the Austrians were driven back, but
the nearer their retreat brought them to the open country west of the
wood the hotter was the contest waged. The last two kilometers of the
woody belt are something incredible to behold; there seems hardly an
acre that is not sown like the scene of a paperchase--only here with
bloody bandages and bits of uniform. Men fighting hand to hand with
clubbed muskets and bayonets contested each tree and ditch. The end was,
of course, inevitable. The troops of the dual alliance could not fill
their losses, and the Russians could. "At last came the day when the
dirty, grimy, bloody soldiers of the Czar pushed their antagonists out
of the far side of the woodland--and what a scene occurred in that
open bit of country with the quaint little village of Augustowo at the
crossroads! Once out in the open the hungry guns of the Russians, so
long yapping ineffectively without knowing what their shells were doing,
had their chance. Down every road through the forest came the six-horse
teams with the guns jumping and jingling behind, with their accompanying
caissons heavy with death-charged shrapnel, and the moment the enemy
were in the clear these batteries, eight guns to a unit, were unlimbered
on the fringe of the wood and pouring out their death and destruction on
the wretched enemy now retreating hastily across the open. And the place
where the Russians first turned loose on the retreat is a place to

"Dead horses, bits of men, blue uniforms, shattered transport,
overturned gun-carriages, bones, broken skulls, and grisly bits of
humanity strew every acre of the ground.


"A Russian officer who seemed to be in authority on this gruesome spot
volunteered the information that already they had buried at Kozienice,
in the wood and on this open spot, 16,000 dead. Those that had fallen in
the open and along the road had been decently interred, as the forests
of crosses for ten miles along that bloody way clearly indicated, but
back in the woods themselves were hundreds and hundreds of bodies that
lay as they had fallen. Sixteen thousand dead means at least 70,
casualties all told, or 35,000 on a side if losses were equally
distributed. And this, figured on the basis of the 16,000 dead already
buried, without allowing for the numbers of the fallen that still lie
about in the woods. And yet here is a battle the name of which is hardly
more than known in America, yet the losses on both sides amount to more
than the entire army that General Meade commanded at the Battle of

"He who has the heart to walk about in this ghastly place can read the
last sad moments of almost every corpse. Here one sees a blue-coated
Austrian with leg shattered by a jagged bit of a shell. The trouser
perhaps has been ripped open and clumsy attempts been made to dress the
wound, while a great splotch of red shows where the fading strength was
exhausted before the flow of life's stream could be checked. Here again
is a body with a ghastly rip in the chest, made perhaps by bayonet or
shell fragment. Frantic hands now stiffened in death are seen trying to
hold together great wounds from which life must have flowed in a few
great spurts of blood. And here it is no fiction about the ground being
soaked with gore. One can see it,--coagulated like bits of raw liver,
while great chunks of sand and earth are in lumps, held together by this
human glue. Other bodies lie in absolute peace and serenity. Struck dead
with a rifle ball through the heart or some other instantly vital spot.
These lie like men asleep, and on their faces is the peace of absolute
rest and relaxation, but of these alas! there are few compared to the
ones upon whose pallid, blood-stained faces one reads the last frantic
agony of death.

"The soldiers themselves go on from battlefield to battlefield, from
one scene of carnage to another. They see their regiments dwindle to
nothing, their officers decimated, three-fourths of their comrades
dead or wounded, and yet each night they gather about their bivouacs
apparently undisturbed by it all. One sees them on the road the day
after one of these desperate fights marching cheerfully along, singing
songs and laughing and joking with one another. This is _morale_ and it
is of the stuff that victories are made. And of such is the fiber of the
Russian soldier, scattered over these hundreds of miles of front to-day.
He exists in millions and has abiding faith in his companions, in his
officers, and in his cause."


Writing of the desperate fighting in Poland in midwinter when the
Germans made a tremendous effort to pierce the Russian lines on the
Bzura and Rawka front, with Warsaw as their objective point, an American
correspondent, Mr. John F. Bass, said: "The fighting was terrific.
The detonations of the cannon came in such rapid succession that they
sounded like giant machine guns and the windows of the dressing stations
for the wounded shook as if from an earthquake. It was not possible to
distinguish individual gun explosions from the Battle of the infantry
fire. All were mingled in one inarticulate battle shriek. At
night, as in a furious thunderstorm, the darkness was pierced with the
unintermittent flashes of the guns, while sickly green rockets shed a
ghastly light over the fighting lines. The wounded brought in filled the
hospitals to overflowing.

"It was estimated by the Russians that the Germans lost 60,000 men. I
was told by an officer that the bodies of German soldiers were piled up
before the Russian trenches in many of the assaults so high that German
shells bursting among them threw mangled pieces of human beings into the
trenches among the Russians.

"At night, under the glare of search-lights, the undulating mass of
wounded made efforts to extricate themselves. Then, toward 2 o'clock in
the morning, they moved no more." The winter cold had done its deadly


In the Champagne country of northern France the month of March was
marked by almost continuous fighting of the fiercest character. French
advices from Chalons-sur-Marne on March 29 were to the effect that
11,000 German dead had been taken from the trenches won by the French in
the previous twenty days and that the total German losses during that
time in the Champagne district exceeded 50,000 in killed, wounded and


All through the month of April the days were crowded with important
occurrences east and west along the battle lines. The Russian movement
across the Carpathians was pressed with vigor and some of the fiercest
fighting of the war resulted, as the combined German and Austrian troops
resisted the Russian advance into Hungary.

Early in the spring the British forces gained a notable victory at
Neuve Chapelle in the western theater of war. Then the German forces
in Flanders were heavily reinforced until it was estimated that they
numbered not less than half a million men, gathered for the purpose of
smashing the line of the Allies at the strategic point where the British
and the Belgian troops were in touch with one another. Here, for three
days, the Germans succeeded in pushing forward, driving a wedge for
several miles into the line of the allied armies of England, France
and Belgium. And here, too, the Canadian division of the British army
covered itself with glory and once more demonstrated the value to the
British empire of the "lion's whelps." On one notable occasion, destined
to be recorded in history as a red-letter day for Canadian arms, the
gallant fellows from the great Dominion "saved the situation," to quote
from the report of Field Marshal French, by a splendid charge, during
which they recaptured from the Germans four of their field guns that had
been lost the day before.


_From Sir Max Aitken's official account of the battle of Ypres._

"It did not seem that any human being could live in the shower of shot
and shell which began to play on the advancing troops. They suffered
terrible casualties. For a short time every other man seemed to fall,
but the attack was pressed even closer and closer. The 4th Canadian
battalion at one moment came under a particularly withering fire. For a
moment it wavered.

"Its most gallant commanding officer, Lieut.-Col. Birchall, carrying,
after an old fashion, a light cane, coolly and cheerfully rallied his
men and at the very moment when his example had infected them, fell dead
at the head of his battalion.

"With a cry of anger they sprang forward as if to avenge his death. The
astonishing attack which followed, pushed home in the face of direct
frontal fire made in broad daylight by battalions whose names should
live forever in the memories of soldiers, was carried to the first line
of German trenches. After a hand-to-hand struggle the last German who
resisted was bayoneted and the trench was won.

"It was clear that several German divisions were attempting to crush or
drive back the Third Brigade and to sweep around and overwhelm our left
wing. The last attempt partially succeeded. German troops swung past the
unsupported left of the brigade and, slipping in between the wood and
St. Julien, added to our torturing anxieties by apparently isolating us
from the brigade base.

"In the exertions made by the Third Brigade during this supreme crisis,
Major Norsworthy, already almost disabled by a bullet wound, was
bayoneted and killed. Captain McQuaig of the same battalion was
seriously wounded.

"General Curry flung his left flank around and in the crisis of this
immense struggle held his trenches from Thursday afternoon until Sunday
afternoon. He did not abandon them then. There were none left. They had
been obliterated by artillery.

"He withdrew his undefeated troops from the fragments of his field
fortifications and the hearts of his men were as completely unbroken as
the parapets of his trenches were completely broken.

"The Ninetieth Winnipeg Rifles, which held the extreme left of the
brigade position at the most critical moment, was expelled from the
trenches early Friday morning by an emission of poisonous gas, but
recovering in three-quarters of an hour it counter-attacked, retook the
trenches it had abandoned and bayoneted the enemy.

"General Alderson, commanding the reinforcements, directed an advance by
a British brigade which had been brought up in support.

"As the troops making it swept through the Canadian left and center,
many of them going to certain death, they paused for an instant with
deep-throated cheers for Canada, indicating the warm admiration which
the Canadians' exertions had excited in the British army.

"On Monday morning General Curry was again called upon to lead his
shrunken Second Brigade, reduced to a quarter of its original strength,
into action at the apex of the line, which position the brigade held all
that day. On Wednesday it was relieved and retired to the rear. 'Not a
Canadian gun was lost in the long battle of retreat.'"

Concluding his account, Sir Max wrote: "The empire is engaged in a
struggle without quarter and without compromise against an enemy still
superbly organized, still immensely powerful, still confident that its
strength is the mate of its necessity. To arms then, and still to arms!
The graveyard of Canada in Flanders is very large."


Before the beginning of the spring campaign, it was realized by the
Allies that the German general staff was preparing for a determined
drive to the coast through the British and Belgian lines that protected
the approach to Calais. It was for this reason that the British took the
offensive at Neuve Chapelle and at the important strategic point known
as Hill 60. The purpose of Field Marshal French was to strike the first
blow, and the attacks were seemingly successful; but later news from the
front showed that "something went wrong" at Neuve Chapelle, which in a
large measure upset the British plans.

At Hill No. 60, though the British captured that important position,
they were held back from further advance. Then came the long-expected
German attack in the direction of Ypres, which was considered as one of
the keys to the French seaport of Calais. By this attack the Allies
were forced back from the Ypres canal, and the positions gained by the
Germans brought them within twenty-five miles of the coast at Dunkirk.

The fighting at Neuve Chapelle, Hill 60 and Ypres was probably the most
sanguinary of the entire war up to that time. The losses on both sides
were enormous. Germans, British, Belgians and French were killed
literally by the thousand, the British losses at Neuve Chapelle alone
being estimated at 20,000, while the German casualties in forcing the
passage of the Ypres canal a few days later exceeded 9,000 men.


It was in the most furious conflict of the western campaign--a battle
between Langemarcke and Steenstrate, in Flanders--that the Canadian
troops saved the British army from what seemed almost inevitable defeat.
The Canadian division was in the front line of the British forces on
April 23, when the Germans made their sudden assaults and broke
through the line for a distance of five miles. Only the brilliant
counter-charges of the Canadians saved the situation. They had many
casualties, but their gallantry and determination brought success and,
in the language of the official report of the prolonged battle, "their
conduct was magnificent throughout."

The correspondent, describing the harrowing scene of the battle on April
23, said: "Long ago Kitchener's army was given its baptism of fire, but
yesterday it got its initiation into hell."

In their great effort to smash the Allies on the Yser the Germans also
sustained terrible losses. By April 27 it was asserted that the German
force that managed to pass the Yser and took possession of the town of
Lizerne had been practically annihilated. The fighting was said to have
been far more terrible than that of the autumn of 1914, when the Yser
canal ran red with blood.

It was charged by the Allies that in the fighting in Flanders late in
April the Germans used asphyxiating gases, which placed thousands of the
allied troops _hors de combat_, including many of the Canadian division.
Strong protests against the German use of such methods were voiced
by the allied generals, and a formal denunciation was made by Lord
Kitchener in the British parliament.


On April 25-27, a strong force of British and French troops under
General Sir Dan Hamilton effected a landing on both sides of the
Dardanelles, to co-operate with the allied fleets seeking to force a
passage through the straits to the Bosporus. The landing was resisted by
Turkish troops, but the Allies succeeded in establishing themselves
on the Gallipoli peninsula by May 1, and made several thousand
Turks prisoners of war. The bombardment of the Turkish forts in the
Dardanelles by the allied warships was continued.

The French cruiser Leon Gambetta, with a displacement of 12,351 tons
and crew of 714 men, commanded by Rear Admiral Fenet, cruising at the
entrance of the Otranto canal in the Ionian sea, was torpedoed the night
of April 26th by the Austrian submarine U-5, and went to the bottom in
ten minutes; 578 lives were lost; all officers on board, including Rear
Admiral Fenet, perished.



_Destruction of the Great Cunard Liner by a German Submarine Caused a
Serious Crisis in German-American Relations--Over a Hundred Americans
and Many Canadians Drowned, Including Citizens of Prominence and
Wealth--Prompt Diplomatic Action by President Wilson--The German
Campaign of Frightfulness and Its Results._

Steaming majestically over a smiling sea, with the green hills of Erin
in sight over the port bow and all well aboard, the greatest, fastest
and most beautiful transatlantic liner in commission was nearing the end
of her voyage from New York to Liverpool. It was the hour after luncheon
on the great ship, the hour of the siesta or the promenade, the most
peaceful hour of the day. Little children by the score played merrily
about the great decks; families and friends foregathered in the lounges
or beside the rail to watch the Irish coast slip by; all the internal
economy of the giant ship moved smoothly, as if by clockwork.

It was more than a floating hotel, replete with comfort and luxury.
It was a floating town, with a whole townful of people. Over fourteen
hundred men, women and children were on the passenger list and six
hundred men in the Cunard uniform constituted the crew. Among the
passengers were many citizens of the United States and Canada, and there
was an unusually large proportion of women and children on board, the
families of men who had been drawn into the maelstrom of war.

For in spite of the calm and peace prevailing on the great passenger
ship, the shadow of war impended over all. The bloody struggles of the
great European cataclysm were proceeding at the other end of the English
Channel and dire hints of dangers on the sea in the "war zone" had
accompanied the sailing of the ship. But on this bright May day, as the
liner approached its destination, danger seemed far distant and few
indeed among passengers or crew gave serious thought to its imminence.
All was truly well on board. The skies were clear, the sea was smooth,
and though the myriad passengers realized that they had entered a danger
zone of the world's greatest war they had abounding confidence in the
giant ship, in its veteran commander, and in the line to which it
belonged, that had never yet lost the life of a single passenger
committed to its care. And confidently they looked forward to a safe
arrival in port next morning, the happy ending of a wartime voyage which
the children on board, and their children's children, should recall with
pride for a century to come. BUT--

Right ahead in the path of the floating palace, athwart the prescribed
course of the Lusitania there lurked the deadliest slinking serpent of
the seas--the tiny volcanic hull of an enemy submarine, most dangerous
of war's new weapons. Lying leisurely in wait, its body submerged just
beneath the swelling undulations of a summer sea, invisible, ruthless,
insatiable; only the protrusion of a foot or so of periscopic tube
betokened its presence without betraying its purpose. But in that
innocent-looking tube lay vast potentialities for evil--nay, devilish
certainties of dealing death and destruction. For the little
steel-encased arrangement of lenses and mirrors peeping from the depths
was the mechanical eye of the submarine and sufficed to betray to
watchful Teutons below the approach of the great ship, treasure laden
with human freight of non-combatants and neutrals, but flying the flag
of the German's foe.

For the crew of the submarine "der Tag" had come. Without a thought of
the innocents and neutrals aboard; reckless alike of immediate results
and ultimate consequences, animated only by the deadly designs of a
war-madness and a deliberate campaign of frightfulness, the firing
signal was flashed from the German commander's station and the fatal
torpedo was launched against the unsuspecting and unprotected leviathan.
Traveling true to its mark, it tore its frightful way through the thin
sheathing of the ship and, exploding on impact, pierced her vitals and
sealed her doom. * * *

Barely a quarter of an hour elapsed before the giant vessel disappeared
from sight, plunging bow foremost to the bottom in waters scarcely more
than one-third of her length in depth, so that the shock of her bow
striking the bottom of the sea was felt by the gallant captain on the
bridge before he was torn loose from his ill-fated vessel.

And when the waters of the Atlantic closed over the hull of the
Lusitania, within sight of the Irish coast on that fatal Friday, the
lives of over eleven hundred non-combatant men, women and children,
including more than a hundred American neutrals, were ruthlessly
sacrificed to the Teuton god of war.



_Submarine Activities--Horrors in Serbia--Bloody Battles East and
West--Italy Enters the War and Invades Austria--Russians Pushed Back in

The Lusitania was the twenty-ninth vessel to be sunk or damaged in the
first week of May, 1915, in the war zone established by Germany about
the British isles. Most of these vessels were torpedoed by German
submarines, although in some cases it has not been established whether
the damage was inflicted by mines or underwater boats.

Sixteen of the twenty-nine vessels were British trawlers. There were
four British and one French merchantman in the list. The others were
vessels of neutral nations.

One of them was the American steamer Gulflight, torpedoed off Scilly
islands on May 1, with the loss of three lives. There were three
Norwegian, two Swedish, and one Danish merchant vessel sunk.


The second week in May saw minor German successes on the western front,
but these were immediately succeeded by determined efforts on the part
of the Allies to retrieve lost ground. The week of May 10 to 15 was
marked by fierce assaults by the British and French upon the German
positions in Flanders and northern France. Thousands of lives were
sacrificed on both sides. At one point on the Yser where the Germans
were beaten back, they left 2,000 dead on the field, but this was only a
small percentage of the total losses during this series of engagements
in May. Around Ypres early in the month the Canadians lost heavily, but
made a splendid record for gallantry and endurance in the face of odds.
The Germans began at this time the use of asphyxiating gases in their
attacks. The results were horrifying in the extreme, and as these
inhuman assaults with gas were continued, the Allies prepared to adopt
the use of similar noxious gases by way of retaliation.


On May 12 the British warship Goliath was sunk by a Turkish torpedo
during the continued attack by the Allies on the Dardanelles. Twenty
officers and 160 men of the crew were saved and over 500 lives were
lost. The Goliath was one of the older British battleships of the
pre-dreadnaught type. She was built in 1898, was 400 feet long and
feet wide, with a displacement of 12,950 tons. Her armament consisted of
four twelve-inch and twelve six-inch guns, twelve twelve-pounders, six
three-pounders, and two machine guns.

In the determined attack on the Dardanelles, land forces of British and
French troops co-operated with the combined fleets. The Turks made a
stubborn resistance, but were compelled to give way gradually before the
terrific bombardment of the warships and the persistent attacks by land.
In the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula the British colonial troops
from New Zealand covered themselves with glory, fighting like veterans
and breaking down Turkish opposition with the bayonet. On May 19 one of
the most important forts at the Narrows, guarding the entrance to the
Sea of Marmora, was silenced by the warships' fire, and this was an
important step on the Allies' way to Constantinople.

Meanwhile an immense German army, said to number 1,600,000 men, had been
forcing the Russians back in Galicia to the San River and the gates of
Przemysl. A German bombardment of this fortress seemed imminent on May


On Sunday, May 23, Italy finally plunged into the great conflict with a
declaration of war against Austria. The formal declaration, presented to
the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister, Baron von Burian, by the Duke of
Avarna, Italian ambassador at Vienna, asserted that Italy had "grave
motives" for annulling her treaty of alliance with Austria and
"confident in her good right," resumed her liberty of action. The
declaration of war continued as follows:

"The government of the King, firmly resolved to provide by all means at
its disposal for safeguarding Italian rights and interests, cannot fail
in its duty to take, against every existing and future menace, the
measures which events impose upon it for the fulfillment of national

"His majesty, the King, declares that he considers himself from tomorrow
(May 24, 1915), in a state of war with Austria-Hungary."

Thus the ninety-sixth anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, of
England, found eleven of the countries of Europe at war, their rulers
including three of her grandsons, two arrayed in a bitter struggle
against the third. The Triple Alliance on this date became the Quadruple
Alliance, when Italy joined the Allies. Austria was of course supported
by Germany. Italy was expected to put 3,000,000 men in the field. WHY

The reasons why Italy entered the great conflict were succinctly stated
on May 19 by Signor Enrico Corradini, nationalist leader, as follows:

"1. The necessity for Italy to take advantage of the present revolution
in European affairs to settle her national irredentist problem at the
expense of Austria. Our right to the Trentino, Trieste and Istria, now
held by Austria, is not questioned by reasonable people anywhere in

"2. The necessity for Italy to arrive at a secure and definite
settlement of her military frontiers on the north and east.

"3. The necessity for Italy to create for herself by her intervention
a new moral and political position in the new European order of the
future, to replace that which she had, thanks to her alliance with the
central empires, a position which was liquidated at the outbreak of the

"4. The necessity for Italy to contribute to repelling the danger of
a German hegemony which would flourish at the expense of the various
individual cultures and civilizations."


Italy promptly threw an army across the Austrian frontier and began
active operations in the direction of Trent and Trieste. The fortified
city of Luzerne soon fell into Italian hands and continued successes
marked the progress of the invaders all through the month of June.
The Austrian strategy at first appeared to provide for a series of
withdrawals after skirmishing; but late in the month a more determined
resistance developed, the defenses of the Austrian troops being
skilfully prepared. The loss of life during the month was comparatively
light on both sides, but on June 26 the Italians--already masters of
Plava on the left bank of the Isonzo river, and the heights dominating
that town--were massing heavy bodies of troops before Gorizia and
Tolmino for crucial battles at those two points, both of which blocked
the way to the coveted Austrian seaport of Trieste.


All through the month of June the Allies continued their desperate
struggle for the possession of the Dardanelles, the gateway to
Constantinople. Under the direction of German officers and engineers,
the Turkish troops and gunners offered determined resistance and the
British, Colonial and French troops co-operating with the allied fleets,
gained headway but slowly and at tremendous cost. But it was declared
that the Allies were bent upon forcing a passage through the straits
regardless of cost and that every effort would be made to complete the
operation during the summer. Several German submarines appeared in the
Gulf of Saros during the month and effectively interfered with the
activity of the British and French fleets. The results of the operations
on the Gallipoli peninsula during the month indicated that the
Dardanelles would prove a veritable slaughter pen before the Allies
succeeded in winning their way to Stamboul.


On June 22 the city of Lemberg, capital of the Austrian province of
Galicia, was recaptured from the Russians, who had held it for nearly
ten months, by combined German-Austrian forces, under General Mackensen.
This marked the culmination of a successful Teuton campaign in Galicia,
including the recapture of the strong fortress of Przemysl, as well
as Lemberg, and the driving of the Russian invaders back to their own

The eastern battle front in June extended for 680 miles north and south,
and while the German drive through Galicia was entirely successful,
the Russians gained some victories in the north. They were sorely
handicapped by the lack of supplies and ammunition for their forces,
and at the end of June the Russian authorities were organizing every
possible industry for the production of ammunition.

The fiercest fighting of the war, as far as the Baltic provinces of
Russia are concerned, occurred in a battle for the mastery of the Dubysa
River early in June. The river changed hands five times in one day,
and at nightfall the stream was completely choked with the bodies of
thousands of dead, so that a plank roadway for artillery was laid by the
Russians across a solid bridge of bodies.


A thrilling and unprecedented feat was performed by Lieut. R. A. J.
Warneford, a Canadian aviator, when alone in an aeroplane, he destroyed
a Zeppelin airship with its crew of twenty-eight men in Belgium. He
received the Victoria Cross for his exploit, but a few days later was
killed while testing a new aeroplane near Paris. He was buried with
naval honors in London, June 23.

On July 3, 1915, when the twelfth month of the Great War began, it was
conservatively estimated that the total losses on all sides, including
killed, wounded and missing, had exceeded six millions of men. Over
vessels had been destroyed, including 120 ships of war.


During July and August there were no general engagements of importance
in the Western theatre of war. The deadlock continued. The troops along
the Western battle lines were, however, subjected almost daily to
violent artillery bombardment.

By August 22 the British line in northern France and Flanders had been
lengthened from 40 miles to over 100 miles, with over 800,000 troops
on the firing line. German submarines were very active in the war zone
during the month of August, over 170 merchant steamships of more than
500 tons displacement and nearly 2,000 noncombatant lives being the
awful toll to date of this new method of warfare.

The British transport Royal Edward was torpedoed and sunk August 14 by
a German submarine in the Aegean Sea. Nearly 1,000 lives were lost. The
transport had on board a force of 32 officers and 1,350 men, in addition
to the ship's crew of 220 officers and men. The troops consisted mainly
of reinforcements for the 29th Division and details of the Royal Army
Medical Corps.


Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was taken by the Germans August 5.
Bavarian troops under the command of Prince Leopold carried the forts of
the outer and inner lines of the city's defenses, where the rear guards
of the Russian troops made a tenacious resistance.

The German armies under Gen. von Scholz and Gen. von Gallwitz advanced
in the direction of the road between Lomza, Ostrov and Vyszkoy and
fought a number of violent engagements. The brave and desperate
resistance of the Russians on both sides of the road between Ostrov and
Rozan was without success.

Twenty-two Russian officers and 4,840 soldiers were taken prisoners. The
Germans also captured seventeen machine guns.

The fall of Warsaw marked the culmination of the greatest sustained
offensive movement of the war. Thrice before Teutonic armies had knocked
at its gates, only to be denied by the strength of its defenses and the
resistance of the forces holding it.

Warsaw lies on the Vistula, 625 miles southwest of Petrograd and
miles east of Berlin. It is an important industrial center and its
population is estimated at not far from 900,000.

The great Russian fortress of Kovno was captured by the Germans August
17. More than 400 cannon were taken. The fortress was stormed in spite
of the most stubborn Russian resistance.

The capture of Kovno was the most important German victory in the East
after the taking of Warsaw.

Kovno fell under the eye of General von Hindenburg. The capture of the
fortress was the first personal triumph of the "old man of the
Mazurian lakes" since the great Austro-German campaign in the East was
inaugurated. The six great forts defending the city from the west and
southwest were simply blown to pieces by the incessant pounding of
Germany's great 42-centimeter guns and a host of minor pieces.

The forts were under direct attack for scarcely a week, demonstrating
again the superiority of modern artillery over fort structures built by

Kovno, capital of the Russian province of that name, is on the right
bank of the Niemen. It is a fortress of the first class. The civilian
population of the city is more than 75,000.

The important Russian fortress of Novo Georgievsk, the last halting
place of the Russians in Poland, fell into the hands of the Germans on
August 19, after a most stubborn resistance. The garrison consisted
of 85,000 men and of these over 20,000 were taken prisoners. Over
cannon were captured and a large amount of war ammunition seized.


Russian naval forces aided by British submarines, in the Gulf of Riga
won a decided victory August 18 over the German fleet which penetrated
the gulf on August 13.

The great German battle cruiser Moltke, one of the finest ships of
its kind afloat, was destroyed in the engagement. The cruiser had
a displacement of 23,000 tons and carried a crew of 1,107 men and
officers. Its main battery consisted of ten 11-inch guns, mounted in
pairs in five turrets. Its secondary battery contained twelve 6-inch
guns. Twelve 24-pounders and four torpedo tubes completed its armament.
The Moltke was 610 feet long over all, with a beam of 96-3/4 feet, and
cost $12,000,000.

With the Moltke three German cruisers and seven torpedo boats, all
unnamed, were destroyed.

The Russians lost the destroyer Novik of 1,260 tons, largest in the
navy, and the gunboats Sivutch and Koriets, of 875 tons displacement.

The Russian victory did not end with the defeat of the German naval
forces. The invading fleet was accompanied by four enormous transports,
all crammed with troops. These soldiers attempted to make a landing on
Pernau bay, on the northeastern shoulder of the Gulf of Riga. They were
permitted to land and were then attacked and exterminated by the Russian
forces at that point. The loss was estimated at 6,000 men.


The White Star liner Arabic, which sailed August 18 from Liverpool for
New York, was sent to the bottom by a German torpedo August 19 off
Fastnet on the south coast of Ireland, not far from the point at which
the Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine.

Out of 429 persons aboard including crew, 39 lost their lives. Two
Americans perished--Mrs. Josephine Bruguière, widow of Emil Bruguière,
California millionaire banker, and Dr. E. F. Wood, of Janesville, Wis.

Capt. Finch, who commanded the steamer, gave the following graphic
account of the disaster: "We were forty-seven miles south of Galley
Head at 9:30 in the morning when I perceived the steamer Dunsley in
difficulty. Going toward her, I observed a torpedo coming for my ship,
but could not discern a submarine. The torpedo struck 100 feet from the
stern, making terrible havoc of the hull. The vessel began to settle
immediately and sank in about eight minutes.

"My order from the bridge about getting the boats launched was promptly
obeyed. Two boats capsized. We had taken every precaution while in the
danger zone. There were plenty of life-belts on deck and the boats were
ready for immediate launching. The officers and crew behaved excellently
and did everything possible in the circumstances, getting people into
the boats and picking up those in the sea.

"I was the last to leave, taking the plunge into the sea as the ship
was going down. After being in the water some time I was taken aboard a
raft, to which I had assisted two men and women.

"If the submarine had given me a little more time, I am satisfied I
could have saved everybody."

The Arabic's tonnage was 15,201 gross. It was 600 feet long, 65 feet
beam and 47 feet in depth. It was built at Belfast in 1903 by Harland &

On September 4 the German forces under General von Beseler stormed and
captured the bridgehead at Friedrichstradt, the most important defense
of Riga. The furiousness of the attacks in this region led military
critics to believe that the fall of the city of Riga was imminent.

Everywhere as Russians retreated they left a trail of utter devastation,
causing the Teutons to march around burning cities, finding the country
devoid of food or shelter. This destructive policy, however, resulted in
saving the Czar's army and rendering futile the hope of the Kaiser that
the military forces of Russia could be crushed.

With the Russian armies in full retreat and their double line of
fortresses all fallen to the invader, the apparent calm on the Western
front continued to be the marvel of the European campaign, as up to
September 7 no development on the Western front indicated that any
effort was being made to distract the Kaiser's attention from his
victorious expedition into the territory of the Czar.


The struggle of combined land and sea forces of the Allies to gain
control of the Dardanelles, and thus open the way for the British and
French fleets to Constantinople and the Black Sea, continued through the
autumn of 1915 and furnished some of the most sanguinary battles of the
war. From the day of the landing of British troops on the Grallipoli
peninsula up to the end of November the fighting was continuous and
bloody. The British losses were tremendous, while the Turkish defenders
of the supposedly impregnable straits also suffered heavily, but with
Mohammedan stoicism.

A terrible picture of the slaughter at Seddul-Bahr, where the British
troops landed from transports under the guns of their fleet, in the face
of an awful Turkish bombardment, was painted on his return to England in
November by Lieutenant-Commander Josiah Wedgwood, a Liberal member of
Parliament, who had received special mention for bravery at the front,
and the coveted stripes of the Distinguished Service order.

"Our school books told us," said Commander Wedgwood, "that the bloodiest
battle in history was that between the confederates and federals at
Sharpsburg during the American civil war, when one-third of all the men
engaged were left on the field. But Sharpsburg was a joy ride compared
with Seddul-Bahr."

Paying a tribute to the enemy, he said: "The Turks are the finest
fighters in the world, save only the Canadians and Australians. And they
proved to be humane. They could easily have killed all those who went
to succor the wounded, but I found them extraordinarily merciful as
compared with the enemy in Flanders."

Commander Wedgwood's first view of fighting at the Dardanelles was at
the so-called V beach, where a steamship, the "River Clyde," was run
aground to furnish cover for the landing of the British troops.

"This modern 'wooden horse of Troy,'" said Commander Wedgwood, "was run
ashore on a beautiful Sunday morning, 400 yards from the medieval castle
of Seddul-Bahr. I was on the vessel, but never noticed her grounding for
the horrors ahead of us in the shallow waters on the beach. Five tows of
five boats each, loaded with men, were going ashore alongside of us.
One moment it had been early morning in a peaceful country, with rustic
sights and sounds and smells; the next moment, while the boats were just
twenty yards from shore, the blue sea around each boat was turning red.
It was truly horrible. Of all those brave men two-thirds died, and
hardly a dozen reached unwounded the shelter of the five-foot sand dune.

"About 9 o'clock a dash across the row of lighters from the Wooden Horse
was led by Gen. Napier and his brigade major. Would they ever get to the
end of the lighters and jump into the sheltering water? No; side by side
they were seen to sit down. For one moment one thought they might be
taking cover; then their legs slid out and they rolled over.

"It was the Munsters that charged first, with a sprig of shamrock on
their caps; then the Dublins, the Worcesters, the Hampshires. Lying on
the beach, on the rocks, on the lighters, they cried on the Mother of
God. There, now, was Midshipman Drury swimming to a lighter which had
broken loose, with a line in his mouth and a wound in his head. If ever
a boy deserved his Victoria Cross, that lad did. And there was the
captain of the River Clyde, now no longer a ship to be stuck to but a
part forever of Gallipoli, alone with a boat by the spit of rock, trying
to lift in the wounded under fire.

"All these things I saw as in a dream. Columns of smoke rose from the
castle and town of Seddul-Bahr as the great shells from the fleet passed
over our heads and burst, and in every lull we heard the wounded.

"At 1 o'clock the Lancashires were appearing over the ridge to the left
from 'Lancashire landing.' "We saw fifteen men in a window in the
castle on the right by the water. They signaled that they were all that
remained of the Dublins who had landed at the Camber at Seddul-Bahr. At
3 o'clock we got 150 men alive to shore. We watched our men working
to the right and up into the castle ruins--at each corner the officer
crouching in front with revolver in rest.

"When night came a house in Seddul-Bahr was burning brightly and there
was a full moon. We disembarked men at once. All around the wounded
cried for help and shelter against the bullets, but there was no room on
boats or gang-way for anything but the men to come to shore.

"For two nights no one had slept and then another day dawned. We were
firmly ashore at Lancashire landing, and at Du Toit's battery to the
northeast, and the Australians were dug in at Anzac. An end had to be
made of V beach. The whole fleet collected and all morning blew the
ridge and castle and town to pieces.

"And all the time that wonderful infantry went forward up the hill and
through the ruined town. The troops that went in that attack had already
lost half their strength; the officers that led up those narrow streets
were nearly all killed. Dead beat, at 1 o'clock, before the final rush,
they hesitated. Then our last colonel, a staff man, Col. Doughty Wylie,
ran ashore with a cane, ran right up the hill, ran through the last
handful of men sheltering under the crest, took them with a rush into
the Turkish trench, and fell with a bullet through his head. But the
Turks ran and the ridge was ours."

Many weeks of bloody fighting followed and while there was talk early in
November of a possible abandonment of the Dardanelles campaign, the end
of the month found the struggle still in progress, with no end in sight.

Official figures made public October 15, show that the British
casualties at the Dardanelles up to October 9 were 96,899, of whom
1,185 were officers. The casualties among the Australian troops on the
Gallipoli peninsula up to the same date amounted to 29,121 officers and


On September 23, acting upon the advice of Premier Venizelos, King
Constantine of Greece ordered a general mobilization of the Greek army,
"as a measure of elementary prudence in view of the mobilization of
Bulgaria." Ten days later Premier Venizelos resigned upon official
notice that the King could not support his war policy, which was
believed to reflect the sentiments of the Greek people and to support
the Allies. King Constantine then endeavored to form a coalition
ministry. The great point at issue was whether Greece should support or
oppose the passage of the Allies through Greek territory to the aid of
Serbia. British and French troops to the number of 70,000 had meanwhile
been landed at Saloniki, the great Greek seaport, and were being hurried
to the support of the Serbians in their central territory, to oppose the
incursion of the Austro-Germans and the Bulgarians. In November King
Constantine and his military chiefs were visited by Field-Marshal Earl
Kitchener, the British Secretary of War, who made such demands upon them
in the interest of the Allies, backed by a temporary blockade of the
Greek coasts by the British and French fleets, that on November 25 it
was announced that cordial relations between Greece and the entente
powers had been established. The Greek government gave assurances that
no attempt would be made to interfere with the Allies' troops should
they under any contingency be forced to cross the Greek frontier,
but that railway and other facilities would be afforded them. It was
understood that the Allies also promised Greece a monetary indemnity
after the war for any damage that might be done through the occupation
of Greek territory.

With the question of Grecian intervention out of the way, the Allies
then occupied themselves with the attitude of Rumania and the
intervention of Russia in behalf of Serbia, in order that the latter
country might be saved from the fate of Belgium. It was generally
understood that Rumania could not afford to incur the enmity of Germany
by active interference in behalf of Serbia, even though the Serbians and
Rumanians were natural allies against Bulgaria.

On November 26, M. Pachitch, the Serbian premier, received a personal
telegram from the Russian emperor, in which the latter promised
the early appearance in Bulgaria of Russian troops and the Italian
government also promised the Serbians to send to their aid an
expeditionary force of 40,000 men. It was believed possible that the
Russian forces might seek to advance through Rumania, instead of forcing
a landing on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria--in which case the crossing
of Rumanian territory by Russian troops would bring Rumania into a
serious situation both economically and politically, and render it
difficult if not impossible for her to preserve her neutrality. At this
time Russia had concentrated a great army near the Rumanian frontier,
and it was understood that a large number of heavy guns had arrived at
Odessa for its use. The direction in which this Russian army would move
depended entirely upon the policy adopted by the Rumanian government.


On September 28, formal announcement was made in New York of the
terms of an American loan to Great Britain and France, arranged by a
commission of British and French financial authorities after conferences
with American bankers; a bond issue of $500,000,000 was soon floated,
drawing 5 per cent interest and issued to the syndicate at 96; the
money to remain in the United States and to be used only in payment for

Late in November the French people were called upon to subscribe to a
"loan of victory." The response from the people of Paris alone in one
day amounted to $5,000,000,000, thus exceeding the records of all former
popular war loans, including British and German issues, and typifying
the patriotic ardor of the French people and their determination to
continue the war to an issue successful to allied arms.


After a week's heavy bombardment of the German lines, an important
offensive movement was undertaken on September 25 by the French and
British against the German lines on the western front. The forward
movement occurred simultaneously in the Champagne district, between
Rheims and Verdun, by the French and in the Artois district, between
Ypres and Arras, by combined British and French forces. While the Allies
did not succeed in gaining much ground, and both sides suffered heavy
losses, it was claimed by the French war office on September 29 that
as a result of the four days' assaults of the Anglo-French forces the
Germans suffered losses amounting to the effective strength of 120,
men, while 23,000 men and 120 cannon were captured from the Teutonic
enemy. This constituted the result of what was described as the great
Anglo-French drive of the autumn, and the situation on the western
front then settled down once more into a state of siege. The first-line
trenches of the opposing forces along a wide-flung front were within a
short distance of each other. A new method of warfare had been developed
and the world began to realize that all historic conditions of war had
been revolutionized by the use of scientific weapons of destruction like
the machine gun, which mowed down men like hay, and the high explosive
shell that destroyed protective works as if they were made of cardboard
and filled the trenches with dead and dying bodies. Such was the
situation on the western front in the beginning of December. No let-up
in the determination of either side; no advance seemingly possible, no
attack that was not followed by a counter-attack; no gain of any
consequence anywhere; no possibility seemingly of any decisive battle;
nothing in sight but an absolute deadlock.


Late in September the German campaign against Russia appeared to lose
most of its force. Continued attempts were made by Field Marshal von
Hindenburg to fight his way to Riga, but without avail, and Russian
successes at various points along the eastern battle front were numerous
in October and November. The Russians declared on November 15 that they
deemed the city of Riga safe, and by November 26 it was apparent that
the Germans were engaged in a general retirement all along the River
Dvina. The Allies then became interested in the Kaiser's probable choice
of a line of defense for the winter on the northern section of his
Russian front. The breakdown of the German offensive was attributed
by the Allies to three things--the increase in the Russian ammunition
supply, a German shortage of munitions, and the weakening of the German
line for the Balkan campaign.


On October 1, 1915, it was evident that Bulgarian forces would shortly
be employed on the side of the central powers. Bulgarian troops from
Sofia were moving on to the Serbian frontier. King Ferdinand had ordered
the mobilization of all men under sixty-five years of age and martial
law was proclaimed, no citizen under forty-five being allowed to leave
the country. On October 4 Russia sent an ultimatum to Bulgaria and the
Russian minister was ordered to leave Sofia if by 4 p.m., October 5,
Bulgaria did not definitely break with Germany, Austria and Turkey. All
the allied powers supported Russia in this demand. Bulgaria did not
reply within the time specified and the Russian minister was reported
too ill to move from Sofia, thus indicating that the diplomats of the
great contending powers were still at work in an effort to secure the
important support of Bulgaria in the Balkan campaign which was imminent.

On October 6, when Bulgaria was said to have sent an ultimatum to Serbia
demanding the territory ceded after the recent Balkan wars, the envoys
of the Allies at Sofia requested their passports, and Bulgaria became
an active participant in the war. The Bulgarian minister at Nish, the
Serbian capital, received his passports on October 8, and on the same
day the Bulgarian minister at Paris was handed his passports. On the
following day, October 9, Belgrade, the former Serbian capital, was
occupied by Austro-German forces and the invasion of Serbia by Austria
and Germany from the north and by Bulgaria from the east began in
earnest. The Serbian capital was removed the same day to Ishtib, in the


When the great army of Germans and Austrians entered Serbia at Belgrade
and other points along the Danube and began to drive the Serbian forces
to the south, they met with immediate and continued successes. Bulgarian
troops meanwhile pressed the Serbians on the west and by the end of
November it seemed as if the entire territory of Serbia was doomed to
the fate of Belgium. But on the south, allied troops, including a great
body of French who had been landed at Saloniki in Greece and made their
way northward, disputed the advance of the invaders and at several
points drove back the Bulgarians, thus holding the southern territory of
Serbia for their ally in the same manner that Flanders was being held by
the Allies for Belgium.



In all the arenas of the great struggle, the winter campaign of 1915-16,
the second winter of the war, was accompanied by unparalleled hardships
and sufferings. It was, in fact, described by Major Moraht, military
expert of the Berliner Tageblatt and the best known German military
critic, as "the most terrific campaign in the world's history." Hundreds
of thousands of men of all classes, in all the armies stretched along
the battle fronts east and west, struggled against wind, weather, and
winter amid conditions of the most extreme self-denial. Speaking for
the Teutonic forces in January, Major Moraht said: "On our western and
eastern fronts and along the lines held by our Austro-Hungarian allies,
the conditions under which we must stubbornly hold out are such as never
in the history of the world's most terrible campaign had to be endured
before." The winter was exceptionally severe and men were invalided by
the thousands, owing to frost-bites, despite ingenious precautions and
the fact that their spells in the trenches were reduced considerably.

The conditions faced by the Austrians and Italians in the Alps and on
the Isonzo were especially appalling. Thus a detachment of Austrian and
Alpine troops, engaged in patrol duty, met its doom in an avalanche in
southern Tyrol. Only one out of twelve was rescued alive, and he lay
buried under snow for fourteen hours before he was rescued.

Added to the sufferings of the fighting men during the winter the sum
total of human misery in Europe when 1916 dawned was vastly increased by
the awful conditions prevailing in Poland and in Serbia. Poland, a land
long recognized as given over to sorrows, had been crossed and recrossed
by hostile armies. It had been harried, almost destroyed. Towns and food
supplies, fields and granaries, were obliterated. The cattle had been
driven off by the invaders and the people were left starving. The misery
of Belgium a year before was as nothing compared with the misery of
Poland amid the rigors of winter, and the unhappy country clamored
for the help of happier peoples. It had become a land of graves and
trenches, of ruin and destruction on a scale that had been wrought
nowhere else by the war. Many of the abandoned trenches were the
temporary "homes" of countless refugees, mostly women and children, who
had been driven from their homes in the burned and ruined villages that
dotted the land. And there was little or no relief in sight for
the stricken Poles, innocent victims of a ruthless war and pitiful
playthings of Fate.


Artillery fighting with mortars and long-range cannon was a continuous
performance during December and January in nearly every section of the
western battle line. Every day tens of thousands of shells, both high
explosive and shrapnel, were hurled at the trenches and men were killed
or wounded by the score at a time. To the war-hardened men behind the
guns on both sides this business of slaying and running the risk of
being slain or crippled became so prolonged and monotonous that they
thought no more of it than of cutting down a forest or building a
pontoon bridge.

Early in January the city of Nancy, just behind the French lines, was
bombarded for three days by German 15-inch guns. Much damage was
done and a number of the inhabitants were killed and wounded. As a
consequence there was an exodus from the city, safe conducts being
issued to more than 30,000 persons.

Estimates made in Vienna of the total booty of the Teutonic allies
during the first seventeen months of the war, up to January 1, 1916,
were as follows: Nearly 3,000,000 prisoners, 10,000 guns, and 40,
machine guns, while 470,000 square kilometers of enemy territory had
been occupied.

About the same time the German losses, as compiled from official lists,
were estimated at 2,588,000, including over 500,000 killed and 350,
taken by the Allies as prisoners of war.


After every effort had been exhausted in the British Isles to raise
troops by voluntary enlistment, first under Lord Kitchener and then
under Lord Derby, the British government was finally compelled to resort
to conscription, although nearly 3,000,000 men had voluntarily responded
to the call to the colors. A bill was presented in the House of Commons
by Premier Asquith on January 5, 1916, providing for compulsory service
by "all men between the ages of 18 and 41 who are bachelors or widowers
without children dependent on them." Ireland was excluded from the terms
of the measure, which finally passed the Commons on January 20, the
opposition having dwindled to a meager handful of votes. Four members of
the Cabinet, however, resigned as a protest against conscription.


On January 9 the British battleship King Edward VII foundered at sea
as the result of striking a mine. Owing to a heavy sea it had to be
abandoned and sank shortly afterward. The entire crew of nearly 800 men
were saved. The vessel was a predreadnaught of 16,350 tons and cost
nearly $8,000,000. A week previously the British battleship Natal, a
vessel of similar character, was sunk by an internal explosion.

The main battle fleets of both Britain and Germany remained "in statuo
quo" up to March 1, 1916. British cruisers and patrol ships maintained a
constant watch upon the waters of the North Sea, and visitors permitted
to see the battle fleet at its secret rendezvous reported efficiency and
eternal vigilance as its watchwords. The German fleet lay in safety in
the Kiel Canal, still awaiting orders to put to sea and enjoy "der Tag,"
after nineteen months of inactivity.


After several months of comparative inactivity Russia launched a forward
movement against the Austro-German forces late in December. This winter
drive was not unexpected, as the Russian armies had had time to recover
from their reverses of the summer and autumn of 1915 and had received
much-needed supplies of guns and ammunition.

The fact that Russia was vigorously on the offensive again was soon
demonstrated. The first week of 1916 was marked by a progressive
development of a forward Russian movement extending along the Stye and
Strypa rivers from the Pripet marshes to Bessarabia. The main attack
seemed to be directed against Bukowina and Eastern Galicia, and for some
time the pressure of the Russian attacks forced back the lines of the
Austro-German right along the eastern front.

During January the Russians were also actively engaged against the Turks
in the Caucasus, where the battle front was over 100 miles long, and
against the Turks, aided by Germans in Persia, They began a general
offensive in the Caucasus on January 11 and made steady gains over the
Turks, while similar successes attended their efforts in Persia, where
revolutionists had entered the field against the Russians and British.


The month of December saw the end of the Austro-German and Bulgarian
drives through Serbia. By the end of the year the remnants of the
Serbian army had been driven across the frontiers and some 50,000 of
them found refuge in January on the Greek island of Corfu, which was
seized by the Allies for that purpose. King Peter found an asylum in
Italy; Belgrade and Nish were occupied by Austrians and Germans, and
the Bulgarians halted at the Greek border. The small British and French
forces in Serbia, greatly outnumbered, retired before the enemy's
advance from north and east, but saved the Serbian army from total
annihilation by protecting its retreat to the southern frontier. Then
the British and French retreated across the Greek border to Saloniki,
where they were largely reinforced and proceeded to fortify themselves
against possible German or Bulgarian attacks. King Constantine of
Greece, brother-in-law of the Kaiser, feebly protested against the
proceedings of the Allies on Greek soil, saying that he wished his
country to remain neutral--but his protest was offset by the facts that
the great majority of the people of Greece were favorable to the Allies
and that their landing at Saloniki was for the purpose of aiding Serbia,
Greece's friend and ally, which Greece had notably failed to do.
Frequent threats of the bombardment of Saloniki by the Germans or by the
Bulgars were made during January, but up to February 10 the threatened
attack had failed to materialize and the Allies were strongly intrenched
in a 30-mile arc around the town, while the guns of a powerful fleet
of British and French warships commanded the approaches and protected
transports and landings.


On December 30 the Peninsular & Oriental liner Persia was torpedoed by
a submarine, probably Austrian, in the Mediterranean about 300 miles
northwest of Alexandria, and sank in five minutes. One hundred and
fifty-five out of the 400 passengers and crew were landed at Alexandria
on January 1, and eleven others were subsequently reported safe. Among
those lost was Robert N. McNeely, who was on his way to take up his
duties as American consul at Aden.


By the middle of January German engineers had succeeded in repairing the
railroad bridges and roadbed destroyed during the Serbian campaign and
thus reopened direct communication between Berlin and Constantinople.


On the night of February 3 the beautiful Gothic structure which housed
the Canadian Parliament at Ottawa--the architectural pride of the
Dominion--was wrecked by a fire which started in a reading room adjacent
to the chamber of the House of Commons. Six persons, two of them women
friends of the Speaker's family, lost their lives. The House was in
session when the fire broke out, and many members and other occupants of
the building escaped narrowly and with great difficulty. The money loss
from the fire was enormous, and priceless paintings, books and national
documents were destroyed.

Opinions differed as to the causes of the fire, but the occurrence
about the same time of several highly suspicious fires in Canadian
munition factories and the unexplained rapidity with which the
Parliament Building fire spread with mysterious volumes of suffocating
smoke, caused widespread suspicion that the disaster was of incendiary
and enemy origin. A tidal wave of resentment flooded the Dominion and
deep feeling was aroused against men of German birth or extraction
remaining in Canada, some of them occupying public positions of
responsibility. A Commission was appointed by the Government to
investigate the causes of the fire, and, pending its report, official
denials were made that German spies had anything to do with the burning
of the Houses of Parliament. These denials, however, failed to convince
the Canadian people that German sympathizers were entirely innocent of
any participation in the origin of the conflagration.

The ruined building was the central structure of the magnificent group
of Government buildings at Ottawa, and one of the finest examples
of Gothic architecture on the Continent. The Library of Parliament,
occupying a separate structure in the rear of the building wrecked, was
fortunately spared by the fire. It was announced by the Premier, Sir
Robert Borden, that steps would be taken to replace the Parliament
Building with a still finer structure, and the Houses of Parliament
continued their sessions in temporary quarters. One immediate result of
the fire and of the suspicions attached to its origin was to stimulate
recruiting in the Dominion and stiffen the resolve of the Canadian
people to do their utmost to aid the success of British arms at the
European front. Canada became more than ever an armed camp of determined
patriots. The general sentiment was expressed by the Toronto Globe,
which said: "If German agents see a way to injure Canada, they will stop
at nothing to compass their ends. Arson to them is a commonplace and
murder an incident in the day's work. The destruction of the Parliament
Building may have been the result of an accident, but the general belief
at Ottawa is that it was the work of an incendiary."


On February 15, following a five days' siege, Erzerum, the great
Armenian fortress, where the main Turkish army of the Caucasus had taken
refuge, fell into the hands of the Russians. The Turkish army numbered
160,000 men and was under the chief command of the German general, Field
Marshal von der Goltz, formerly military governor of Belgium. The main
body of the Turks managed to avoid capture at Erzerum, but the Russians
took 15,000 prisoners there, besides hundreds of guns and immense
quantities of munitions and supplies. Then began a determined and deadly
pursuit of the Turkish army, with the object of driving it out of
Armenia, and the efforts of the Russians met with continued successes.
Turkish opposition in Asia Minor was swiftly broken down, and steps
were taken by the Russians to relieve the British force which had been
beleagured by the Turks at Kut-el-Amara, in Mesopatamia, 150 miles from

On February 27-28 the Turks hastily evacuated the important Black Sea
port of Trebizond and neighboring cities before the victorious Russian
advance. On March 1 two Russian armies were moving rapidly on Trebizond,
one along the shores of the Black Sea through Rizeh, and the other in
a northwesterly direction from Erzerum. The capture of Erzerum was
effected in bitter wintry weather. During the assault on the fortress
several Turkish regiments were annihilated or taken prisoners with all
their officers. Many Turks perished from the cold.


One of the greatest and most sanguinary battles of the war began before
Verdun on February 20, when the army of the Crown Prince of Germany, in
the presence of the Kaiser, started a determined and desperate drive
against the great French fortress. Ever since the battle of the Marne
halted the German advance on Paris early in September, 1914, the forces
of the Crown Prince had been striving unsuccessfully to break through
the French lines north and east of Verdun, but the fortress had well
maintained its reputation for impregnability and continued to bar the
high road to Paris.

For ten days the battle raged on the plains, in the forests and on the
hills before Verdun, and the loss of life was appalling on both sides.
By February 26, after six days of continuous fighting, the Germans had
penetrated the French lines along several miles of front, had occupied
several villages a few miles north of Verdun, driven the French from the
peninsula of the Meuse formed by a bend of the river about six miles
from the city, and carried by storm the outlying fort of Douaumont, at
the northeast corner of the Verdun fortifications. But their advance
was then halted by the French in a series of the most brilliant
counter-attacks, and the German offensive appeared to die down by March
1, when their losses in the ten days' battle were estimated at 175,000,
including between 40,000 and 50,000 killed. The French losses were
heavy, but the nature of the German attacks, in which huge masses of men
were hurled against the French entrenchments, exposed the Teuton
forces "to the most withering and destructive fire from the French
75-centimeters and machine guns. The battle exceeded in violence and
losses even the great battle of the Yser earlier in the war. Heavy
reinforcements had been brought to the Verdun front by the Germans, and
it was estimated that their forces engaged in the attack numbered at
least 500,000 men, supported by numerous 15-inch and 17-inch Austrian
mortars, with all the heavy German artillery used in the Serbian
campaign and part of that formerly employed on the Russian front.

While the battle of Verdun was in progress, the Germans also made
determined attacks in the Champagne region, graining some ground; but on
March 1 the Allied lines were holding fast all along the western front.

Wounded soldiers returning from the front during the bloody struggle
before Verdun told tragic tales of the fighting. "I watched the assault
of the Germans upon the village of Milancourt, near the Meuse," said a
wounded Frenchman. "They came in solid ranks, without a word, loading
and reloading their rifles without cessation. Our seventy-fives fell
among them, and then the mitrailleuses entered into action. It was no
longer a battalion. It was a few scattered groups of men that one saw,
torn by a rain of shells and bullets, squeezing close against each other
as though for mutual protection.

"On the border of Montfaucon I saw one of these groups disappear at
one blow, as if they had been swallowed into a marsh. Our shells! What
frightful work they did. Never will I forget those fragments of human
beings that fell just at my feet. Never can I forget that terrible

"I followed the attack on Haumont and Samogneux. The field of battle
was lighted as if in full day by star shells. Black masses of Germans
advanced, protected by their artillery, while ours remained silent.
Finally our artillery began, and then the enemy ranks wavered, halted
and disappeared.

"Our guns had waited until the Germans were in a little hollow all
arranged for the massacre. In a little while there lay the bodies of
some 2,000 or 3,000 Germans. They occupied some villages, but their
attack on Verdun has failed after terrible losses."


The sinking of British and French ships, and sometimes neutral vessels,
by German and Austrian submarines continued during the month of
February. On February 27 the Peninsular & Oriental Line steamship
Maloja, of 12,431 tons, was sunk by a torpedo or mine only two miles off
the Admiralty pier at Dover, with a loss of 155 lives, including many
passengers, men, women and children, en route to India. Dozens of
craft went at once to the rescue, and one of them, the Empress of Fort
William, a vessel of 2,181 tons, was also torpedoed or struck a mine and
sank nearby. Of the Maloja's passengers and crew, 260 were rescued.

On February 28 the great French liner La Provence was sunk in the
Mediterranean with a loss estimated at 900 lives. It had a displacement
of 19,200 tons, length 602 feet, beam 65 feet, and had been in the
service of the French Government as a troop transport.

Under new orders to their submarine commanders, in spite of protests by
the United States Government, Germany and Austria inaugurated on March
1 the policy of sinking without warning all Allied merchant vessels
believed to carry any armament for defensive purposes, and the world
waited with bated breath for fresh developments of the Teutonic campaign
of frightfulness.



  _Prolonged Battle of Verdun the Most Terrible in History--
  Enormous Losses on Both Sides--_Submarine Activity
  Imperils Relations of America and Germany_.

Beginning with the first infantry attack by the Germans on Monday,
February 21, after twenty-four hours of continuous bombardment, the
battles incident to the siege of Verdun were fought at brief intervals
during the next two months, down to the middle of April, and marked
the climax of the War. The losses on both sides were enormous and
extraordinary, and taken as a whole the struggle on the semicircular
front north and east of the great French stronghold fully justified its
description as "the most terrible battle in the world's history."

When spring of 1916 arrived, the struggle seemed to be a pretty even
draw, but the end was not in sight. Both sides showed the greatest
confidence in the outcome. In France the confidence of the nation found
expression in the voice of M. Alexandre Ribot, the veteran minister
of finance, who, having Verdun before his eyes, told the Chamber of
Deputies: "We have reached the decisive hour. We can say without
exaggeration, without illusion, and without vain optimism, that we now
see the end of this horrible war."

But while the French were certain that victory would ultimately be
theirs, the German papers and people were just as fully persuaded that
this finest of the fortresses of France would finally fall before the
determined assaults of the Kaiser's army, which no fort had, as yet,

Both sides recognized that this was the supreme moment of the War. The
Germans had gained by April 15 from three to five miles along a front of
about 15 miles, but had taken only two of the ring of minor forts around
Verdun. The French claimed that the configuration of the ground occupied
by the contending forces at that time made their line impregnable.
Although Verdun was said by the German military experts to be only an
incident in the German offensive which was planned to secure the final
"decision," they realized the importance of Verdun to their whole line
on the Western front, and knew its value too well not to make the most
desperate and exhaustive efforts for its conquest.


For many weeks the battle for Verdun was signalized by the most terrific
artillery fire in history. No words can tell of the ear-stunning roar of
the guns, or depict the horror of the tons of steel daily crashing and
splintering amid massed bodies of men, while the softly-falling snows of
late winter covered, but could not conceal, the ensanguined landscape.
Modern warfare was seen at Verdun in all its panoply of terror. Amid
fire and fury, the rich and fertile countryside was transformed into
a vast scene of ruin and desolation, while heroism and self-sacrifice
abounded on both sides, men were maddened by the frenzy of the fight and
the ghastly horrors of night and day, and Death stalked gloatingly and
glutted, but never surfeited, over the bloody field.

The German attacks followed one another so fast and so furiously that
the weeks of fighting became one prolonged battle, and a description of
one attack will almost serve for all. Thus, a wounded French officer
said of the seven days of continuous fighting which opened the German
offensive against Verdun: "The first symptom of the battle favorable
to the French was the inability of the Germans to silence the French
artillery. The attack opened with strong reconnoitering parties
advancing, wherein was noted an unusually large proportion of officers.
For the first time the German officers were seen to be leading their men
into battle, instead of driving them, as had been the rule--and this was
said to be at the behest of the watching Kaiser. Then came the infantry
in great numbers. During the next two days the fighting waxed fiercer
and fiercer.

"At first fourteen German divisions were engaged, then sixteen, and
finally seventeen divisions (340,000 men). The French command at this
point carried out a maneuver which will be recorded as a masterpiece in
military history.

"If the Germans had been only fifteen yards away, the French could
have been submerged by the attack, providing the attacking forces were
prepared to make any sacrifice, but the distance being 1,500 yards there
was little chance for the Germans against the opposing artillery. The
French troops were accordingly swung back to positions from which they
could see the Germans approaching over exposed ground. The effect was
that the immediate front of the attack, which was originally twenty-five
miles in extent, was reduced to nine miles, but even this soon proved
too wide. The German losses were so great that the attack could not be
kept up at all points; and at the end of the seventh day the offensive
dwindled to fragmentary attacks,--but only to be renewed with added
vigor after a brief period of rest for the infantry on both sides, while
the artillery kept up its daily and nightly duel without ceasing, until
the entire terrain became an earthly inferno, thickly scattered over
with the dead and the dying."


Frightful in result, too, was the tragic stratagem played on the Germans
in Caures Wood, near the village of Beaumont. The whole wood had been
mined by the French, and was connected electrically with a station in
the village. When the Germans had advanced, fully a division strong, to
attack the wood, the French regiment holding it ran, as if seized with
panic, back toward the village. The Germans pursued them with shouts of
victory. Soon the last Frenchman had emerged from the trees, but the
French commander waited until the Germans were all in the mined area.
They were just beginning to debouch on the other side when he pressed
the button. There was a tremendous roar, drowning for a moment even the
boom of the cannon. The wood was covered with a cloud of smoke, and even
on the French trenches in Beaumont "there rained a ghastly dew." When
the French re-entered the wood, unopposed, they found not a single
German unwounded, and hardly a score alive.


The German successes during the weeks of fighting in the vicinity of
Verdun, consisting of a series of advances along the front, without
any decisive result so far as the strength of the defense of the main
fortress was concerned, were gained at the cost of enormous losses in
killed and wounded. These losses were estimated on April 7 to have
reached the huge total of 200,000--one of the greatest battle losses in
the whole range of warfare. During the period from February 21, when the
battle of Verdun began, to April 1, it was said that two German army
corps had been withdrawn from the front, having lost in the first
attacks at least one-third of their force. They subsequently reappeared
and again suffered like losses, the German reinforcements being
practically used up as fast as they were put in line.

Declarations gathered from prisoners and the observations of the French
staff led the latter to estimate that at least one-third of the total
number of men engaged were the minimum losses of the German infantry
during the first forty days of the battle, or 150,000 men of the first
fighting line alone.

Concerning the German losses before Verdun, Col. Feyler, a Swiss
military expert, wrote on April 10 as follows: "It is certain that the
first great attacks in February and March caused the German assailants
very exceptional losses. The 18th army corps lost 17,000 men and the 3d
corps lost 22,000. These are figures which in the history of wars will
form a magnificent eulogy on the heroism of these troops. It will become
a classic example, like that of the Prussian Guard at St. Privat,
France, August 18, 1870. It is probable that before Verdun, as at St.
Privat, the leaders underestimated the defenders' strength, especially
in cannon and machine guns.

"There are other examples. In the unfruitful attack on Fort Vaux, the
7th reserve regiment was literally mowed down by machine guns, while the
60th regiment lost 60 per cent of its effectives. In the attack on the
Malancourt and Avocourt woods, March 20, three regiments of the
11th Bavarian division, whose record in this war seems to have been
particularly praiseworthy, lost about 50 per cent of their men."


While the greater bulk of the total losses in killed and wounded before
Verdun was sustained by the Germans, however, it must not be imagined
for an instant that the French defenders of the fortress escaped
lightly. On the contrary, their losses were likewise enormous, being
estimated by the German general staff at a total of not less than
110,000 from February 20 to April 1. A considerable number of French
troops, officers and men, were also captured by the Germans during the
numerous attacks in February, March and April upon the French trenches
and other positions before Verdun.


Some idea of the tremendous forces engaged on both sides in what will
probably be called in history "the Siege of Verdun," may be gained from
the brief summary made on April 1 by an observer present with the
army of the Crown Prince of Germany on the north front of the Verdun
battlefield, from which point of vantage he telegraphed as follows:

"Probably not far from a million men are battling on both sides around
Verdun. Never in the history of the world have such enormous masses of
military been engaged in battle at one point.

"On the forty-mile semicircular firing-line around the French fortress,
from the River Meuse above St. Mihiel to Avocourt, the Germans probably
have several thousand guns, at least 2,500, in action or reserve. Were
each gun fired only once an hour, there would be a shot every second.

"As probably half the guns are of middle and heavy caliber, the average
weight per shell is certain to be more than twenty-five pounds. It
follows that even in desultory firing about 160,000 pounds of iron, or
from four to five carloads, are raining on the French positions every
hour. And this is magnified many times when the fire is increased to the
intensity which the artillerymen call 'drumming' the positions of the

"To the German guns must be added the tremendous amount of artillery
used by the French in their defense, estimated to be almost as large now
as that of the Germans. The conclusion is that more than 6,000 cannon,
varying from 3-inch field guns to 42-centimeter (16-inch) siege mortars,
are engaged in hurling thousands of high explosive shells hourly in
the never-ceasing, thunderous artillery duels of the mighty battle of


The stories told by those who, on the German side, lay in trenches
under shell-fire before Verdun for days at a time and week after week,
freezing, thirsting, in mud and water, between the dead and the dying,
thrilled the hearer with their pathos and devotion. These were the men
who, like the waves of the sea, beat almost incessantly against the
obstinate fortifications of Verdun, and there learned a new respect for
the French enemy. Such a story was written from the front in April by a
German officer named Ross--a man of Scottish descent--who, before
the war, was editor of a newspaper in Munich. In the Berlin Vossische
Zeitung he said:

"It is a worthy, embittered foe against whom this last decisive struggle
is aimed. France is fighting for her existence. She is no weaker than we
are in men, guns, or munitions. Only one thing decides between us--will
and nerves. Every doubting, belittling word is a creeping poison which
kills joyful, strong hope and does more damage than a thousand foes.
Only if we are convinced to our marrow that we shall win, shall we

"In this colossal combat, where numbers and mechanical weapons are so
utterly alike, moral superiority is everything. We have more than once
had the experience that the effective result of a battle has depended
upon who considered himself the victor and acted accordingly. Often the
merest remnant of will and nerves was the factor that influenced the

"War, which only smoldered here and there during the endless trench
fighting, like damp wood, burns here with such all-consuming fire that
divisions have to be called up after days and hours in the trenches, and
are ground to pieces and burned up into so many cinders and ashes.

"Such intensity of battle as is here before Verdun is unheard of.
No picture, no comparison, can give the remotest conception of the
concentration of guns and shells with which the two antagonists are
raging against each other. I have seen troops who had held out in the
fire for days and weeks, to whom in exposed positions food could hardly
be brought, on whose bodies the clothes were not dry, who, yet reeking
with dirt and dampness, had the nerve for new storming operations."


Among the fiercer struggles before Verdun, the battle of Caillette Wood,
east of the fortress city, will have a place in history as one of the
most bloody and thrilling.

The position of the wood, to the right of Douaumont, was important
as part of the French line. It was carried by the Germans on Sunday
morning, April 2, after a bombardment of twelve hours, which seemed to
break even the record of Verdun for intensity. The French curtain
of fire had checked their further advance, according to a special
correspondent of the Chicago Herald, and a savage countercharge in
the afternoon had gained for the defenders a corpse-strewn welter of
splintered trees and shell-shattered ground that had been the southern
corner of the wood. Further charges had broken against a massive
barricade, the value of which as a defense paid good interest on the
expenditure of German lives which its construction demanded. A wonderful
work had been accomplished that Sunday morning in the livid, London-like
fog and twilight produced by the lowering clouds and battle smoke.


While the German assaulting columns in the van fought the French hand to
hand, picked corps of workers behind them formed an amazing human chain
from the woods to the east over the shoulder of the center of the
Douaumont slope to the crossroads of a network of communicating trenches
600 yards in the rear.

Four deep was this human chain, and along its line nearly 3,000 men
passed an unending stream of wooden billets, sandbags, chevaux-de-frise,
steel shelters, and light mitrailleuses--in a word, all the material for
defensive fortifications passed from hand to hand, like buckets at a
country fire.

Despite the hurricane of French artillery fire, the German commander had
adopted the only possible means of rapid transport over the shell-torn
ground covered with debris, over which neither horse nor cart could
go. Every moment counted. Unless barriers rose swiftly, the French
counter-attacks, already massing, would sweep the assailants back into
the wood.

Cover was disdained. The workers stood at full height, and the chain
stretched openly across the hillocks, a fair target for the French
gunners. The latter missed no chance. Again and again great holes were
torn in the line by the bursting melinite, but as coolly as at maneuvers
the iron-disciplined soldiers of Germany sprang forward from shelters to
take the places of the fallen, and the work went on apace.


Gradually another line doubled the chain of the workers, as the upheaved
corpses formed a continuous embankment, each additional dead man giving
greater protection to his comrades, until the barrier began to form
shape along the diameter of the wood. There others were digging and
burying logs deep in the earth, installing shelters and mitrailleuses or
feverishly building fortifications.

At last the work was ended at fearful cost; but as the vanguard sullenly
withdrew behind it, from the whole length burst a havoc of flame upon
the advancing Frenchmen. Vainly the latter dashed forward. They couldn't
pass, and as the evening fell the barrier still held, covering the
German working parties, burrowed like moles in the mass of trenches and



Approximate Positions of German Troops at Various Dates, and More
Important Actions of the Verdun Campaign in in Their Chronological
  Order.--See Key to Letters and Numbers on Opposite Page.]


  Key to Map on Opposite Page

  Battle lines showing the approximate positions of the German troops at
  Verdun at various dates are designated in the map as follows:

  A.    Positions Feb. 21, 1916, when German offensive was begun.

  B.    Positions on Feb. 23.

  C.    Positions on Feb. 25.

  D.    Positions on Feb. 27.

  E.    Bethincourt salient, April 7, before French retired.

  F.    Positions on April 18.

  The more important actions of the Verdun campaign in their chronological
  order are indicated as follows:

  1.    Germans  open offensive against Verdun, piercing French lines.

  2.    French evacuate Haumont, Feb. 22.

  3.    French recapture Forest of Caures, Feb. 22, but lose it again.

  4.    Germans pierce French line, taking 3,000 prisoners.

  5.    Germans capture Brabant, Haumont, Samogneux,  etc., Feb.  23.

  6.    Berlin reports capture of four villages and 10,000 French prisoners
  Feb. 23.

  7.    Germans capture Louvemont and fortified positions Feb. 25. Fort
  Douaumont stormed by Brandenburg corps,  then  surrounded  by
  French, but relieved by Germans March 3.

  8.    Germans take Champneuville Feb. 27, with 5,000 prisoners.

  9.    Bloody encounters at village of Eix on Woevre plain, Feb. 27.

  10.    Germans occupy Moranville and Haudiomont, Feb. 27.

  11.    Champlon and Manheuilles fall Feb. 28; 1,300 French prisoners.

  12.    Verdun battered and set on fire by 42-centimeter guns.

  13.    French evacuate Fort Vaux, after heavy bombardment, March 1.

  14.    Germans begin violent bombardment of Dead Man's Hill, March 1.

  15.    Germans capture village of Douaumont, March 2; 1,000 prisoners.

  16.    Fresnes captured by Germans, March 5.

  17.    Germans capture Forges, March 5; drive against French left wing.

  18.    Germans take Regneville, west of Meuse, March 6.

  19.    Germans capture heights of Cumieres, etc., March 7.

  20.    Village of Vaux taken and retaken by Germans, March 8-10.

  21.    Crown Prince brings up 100,000 reinforcements, March 10-12.

  22.    French recapture trenches March 14, with 1,000 German prisoners.

  23.    Struggle for heights of Le Mort Homme, March 16.

  24.    Germans capture positions north of Avocourt, March 20.

  25.    Artillery duels east of Verdun, March 25.

  26.    French recapture part of Avocourt Wood, March 28.

  27.    Germans capture Malancourt, March 29-31.

  28.    Heavy fighting south of Douaumont, April 2-5; French successes in
  battle of Caillette woods, etc.

  29.    Germans recapture Haucourt, April 6.

  30.    Germans close in on Bethincourt salient, April 7.

  31.    French withdraw from Bethincourt April 9, but hold lines south.

  32.    French lines bombarded continuously, April 10-15, with violent
  assaults but no decisive results.

So sound was the barricade, padded with sandbags and earth-works, that
the artillery fire fell practically unavailing, and the French general
realized that the barrier must be breached by explosives, as in
Napoleon's battles.

It was 8 o'clock and already pitch dark in that blighted atmosphere when
a special blasting corps, as devoted as the German chain workers, crept
forward toward the German position. The rest of the French waited,
sheltered in the ravine east of Douaumont, until an explosion should
signal the assault.

In Indian file, to give the least possible sign of their presence to the
hostile sentinels, the French blasters advanced in a long line, at first
with comparative rapidity, only stiffening into the grotesque rigidity
of simulated death when the searchlights played upon them, and resuming
progress when the beam shifted. Then as they approached the barrier they
moved slowly and more slowly. When they arrived within forty yards the
movement of the crawling men became imperceptible.

The blasting corps lay at full length, like hundreds of other motionless
forms about them, but all were working busily. With a short trowel, the
file leader scuffled the earth from under his body, taking care not to
raise his arms, and gradually making a shallow trench deep enough to
hide him. The others followed his example until the whole line had sunk
beneath the surface.

Then the leader began scooping his way forward, while his followers
deepened the furrow already made. Thus literally inch by inch the files
stole forward, sheltered in a narrow ditch from the gusts of German
machine-gun fire that constantly swept the terrain. Here and there the
sentinels' eyes caught a suspicious movement or an incautiously raised
head sank down pierced by a bullet, but the stealthy, molelike advance
continued. Hours passed. It was nearly dawn when the remnant of the
blasting corps reached the barricade at last and hurriedly put their
explosives in position. Back they wriggled breathlessly. An over-hasty
movement meant death, yet they must hurry lest the imminent explosions
overwhelm them.

Suddenly there was a roar that dwarfed the cannonade and all along the
barrier fountains of fire rose skyward, hurling a rain of fragments upon
what was left of the blasting party.


The barricade was breached, but 75 per cent of the devoted corps had
given their lives to do it.

As the survivors lay exhausted the attackers charged over them,
cheering. In the melee that followed there was no room to shoot or wield
the rifle. Some of the French fought with unfixed bayonets, like the
stabbing swords of the Roman legions. Others had knives or clubs. All
were battle-frenzied, as only Frenchmen can be.

The Germans broke, and as the first rays of dawn streaked the sky only
a small section of the wood was still in their hands. There a similar
barrier stopped progress, and it was evident that the night's work must
be repeated; but the hearts of the French soldiers were leaping with
victory as they dug furiously to consolidate the ground they had gained,
strewn with German bodies, thick as leaves. Over 6,000 Germans were
counted in a section a quarter of a mile square, and the conquerors saw
why their cannonade had been so ineffective. The Germans had piled a
second barrier of corpses close behind the first, so that the soft human
flesh would act as a buffer to neutralize the force of the shells.


While all the German attacks upon the French lines in front of Verdun
were marked with the utmost valor and intensity of devotion, the
continuous defense made by the French under General Petain was equally
vigorous and often truly heroic. Volunteers frequently remained in the
French trenches from which the rest of the French defenders had been
compelled to retire, to telephone information about the advancing enemy
to the French batteries, and some of the heaviest losses of the Germans
occurred when they believed themselves successful in an attack.

The consequences of such devotion on the part of French volunteers
were exemplified early in the morning of April 12, at a point called
Caurettes Woods, along the northeastern slopes of the hill known as Le
Mort Homme (Dead Man's Hill), where a French withdrawal had been carried
out. Volunteers remained behind to signal information to the French
batteries, and an eyewitness of the attack described what followed thus:

"The French seventy-fives immediately concentrated on the hostile trench
line. The Germans suffered heavily, but persevered, and soon dense
columns appeared amid the shell-torn brushwood on the southern fringe of
the Corbeaux Wood, pouring down into the valley separating them from the
former French position on the hillside.

"Thinking the French still held the latter, the Germans deployed
with their latest trench-storming device in the form of liquid fire
containers, with special groups of four installed, two men working the
pump and two directing the fire jet.

"The grayness of the dawn was illuminated by sheets of green and red
flame and black oily clouds rolled along the valley toward the river
like smoke from a burning 'gusher.'

"Suddenly the air was filled with shrill whistling, as shells of the
seventy-fives were hurled against the attackers. Thanks to the devoted
sentinels dying at their posts in the sea of fire, the range was exact,
and the exploding melinite shattered the charging columns.

"An appalling scene followed. The shells had burst or overthrown the
fire containers and the Germans were seen, running wildly amid the
flames which overwhelmed hundreds of wounded and disabled.


"In this scene of confusion the French charged with bayonet, despite the
furnace heat and fumes produced by the red-hot containers flying in all
directions. The enemy offered little resistance. It was like a slaughter
of frenzied animals.

"The French mitrailleuse corps pressed close on their comrades' heels,
placing weapons at vantage points that had escaped the fire and
showering a leaden hail upon the main body of Germans retreating up
Corbeaux Hill.

"Hundreds fought in a terror-stricken mob to hide in a hole that might
have sheltered a score. Those beneath were stifled. Those above threw
themselves screaming into the air as the bullets pierced them or fell
dead in a wild dash toward a safer refuge. Flushed with success,
the French charged again right to the entrance of the wood, and the
slaughter recommenced.

"Five of the heroic sentinels, wonderful to say, returned with the
French wave that ebbed when victory was won for that day."


Several determined attacks were delivered by the Germans on the French
lines at Verdun between April 15 and 20, enormous masses of men,
sometimes as many as 100,000, being hurled against points in the
northeast sector of the battle front. But the French defense held firm,
although some trenches were lost and a considerable number of French
prisoners were taken. Up to this time the total number of prisoners
taken by the Germans at Verdun, from the beginning of the offensive,
February 21, was claimed to be 711 officers and 38,155 men.

Such were the conditions before Verdun on April 20, when, with spring
well under way on the Western battle fronts, there was daily expectation
of a vigorous drive by the Allies against the German lines between
Verdun and the sea. While both sides expressed confidence in the outcome
of the war, no man could foretell with any degree of certainty what the
final result of the great struggle would be.


During the month of March and early in April a number of Zeppelin raids
upon various parts of England did more or less damage, though none of an
important military character. The east coast of Scotland also suffered
from a Zeppelin visit in April.

Reports and figures issued by the British War Office showed that during
the fifteen months from Christmas, 1914, to April 1, 1916, no fewer than
thirty-four separate aerial raids occurred in Great Britain, including
those of aeroplanes and Zeppelins. The total casualties suffered, mainly
by civilians, men, women, and children, were 303 killed and 713 injured.
This record of results is interesting when it is remembered what
they must have cost the Germans in money and men, in view of the
comparatively small amount of damage that seems to have been done.
Germany, however, insisted that her air raids had done more substantial
harm to England than the War Office would admit.


With the approach of spring in 1916, new activities began on the Eastern
front, and the Russians threatened a vigorous attack on the German lines
in the north "after the thaw." By the middle of the summer the Russians
expected, according to semi-official reports, to have twelve million men
armed, drilled, and equipped for battle.

On April 1 the Berlin government declared that in the Russian offensive
on the Eastern front, against Field Marshal von Hindenburg, which lasted
from March 18 to March 30, the losses to the Russians were 140,000 out
of the 500,000 men engaged. This campaign was carried on mostly in the
frozen terrain of the Dvinsk marshes, and along the Dvina River, and the
German losses were also heavy, although the Russian attacks were as a
rule repulsed.


In Asia Minor, however, Russian successes of the winter were crowned in
the early spring by the fall of the Baltic seaport of Trebizond, which
was occupied on April 18. This city, the most important Turkish port on
the Black Sea, was captured by the Russian army advancing from Erzerum.
Aided by the Russian Black Sea fleet, the invaders pushed past the last
series of natural obstacles along the Anatolian coast when, on Sunday,
April 16, they occupied a strongly fortified Turkish position on the
left bank of the Kara Dere River, twelve miles outside the fortified
town. The official Russian report said:

"Our valiant troops, after a sanguinary battle on the Kara Dere River,
pressed the Turks without respite, and surmounted incredible
obstacles, everywhere breaking the fierce resistance of the enemy.
The well-combined action of the fleet permitted the execution of most
hazardous landing operations, and lent the support of its artillery to
the troops operating in the coastal region.

"Credit for this fresh victory also is partly due the assistance given
our Caucasian army by the troops operating in other directions in
Asia Minor. By their desperate fighting and heroic exploits, they did
everything in their power to facilitate the task of the detachments on
the coast."


The long-continued controversy between the United States and Germany
over the methods and results of German submarine warfare came to a
climax with the torpedoing of the British channel steamer Sussex, on
March 24, 1916, in pursuance of the new German policy of attacking
merchant vessels without warning. There was no pretense that the Sussex
was an "armed merchantman," and no warning was given the passengers
and crew, the former including a number of Americans on their way from
Folkestone to the French port of Dieppe. The ship, though badly damaged,
made port with assistance, but the loss of life from the explosion
and drowning amounted to fifty, and several American passengers were
injured. Germany disclaimed responsibility for the disaster, but the
weight of evidence pointed to a German submarine as the cause, and in
view of the repeated violations of German promises to the United States
to give due warning to passenger vessels and insure safety to their
occupants, President Wilson and his advisers, in April, seriously
considered the advisability of breaking off diplomatic relations with
the German Empire, by way of a protest in the name of humanity. On April
18 the President decided to lay the whole matter before Congress.

The record of German submarine attacks involving death or injury to
American citizens up to this time included the sinking or damaging of
the following vessels: British steamer Falaba, 160 lives lost, including
one American; American steamer Gulflight, three Americans lost; British
steamship Lusitania, 1,134 lives lost, including 115 Americans; American
steamer Leelanaw, sunk; liner Arabic sunk, two Americans killed; liner
Hesperian sunk mysteriously, three days after Germany had promised to
sink no more liners; Italian liner Ancona sunk (by Austrian submarine),
with loss of American lives; Japanese liner Yanaka Maru sunk in
Mediterranean; British liner Persia sunk, United States Consul McNeely
killed; steamer Sussex attacked, several Americans seriously injured;
British steamers Manchester Engineer, Eagle Point and Berwyn Dale
attacked, endangering American members of crews.


On Wednesday, April 19, President Wilson appeared before Congress,
assembled in joint session for the purpose of hearing him, and announced
that he had addressed a final note of warning to Germany, giving the
Imperial German Government irrevocable notice that the United States
would break off diplomatic relations if the illegal and inhuman
submarine campaign was continued. The language used by the President,
after recounting the course of events leading to his action, was as

"I have deemed it my duty, therefore, to say to the Imperial German
Government that if it is still its purpose to prosecute relentless
and indiscriminate warfare against vessels of commerce by the use of
submarines, the government of the United States is at least forced to
the conclusion that there is but one course it can pursue; and that
unless the Imperial German Government should now immediately declare and
effect an abandonment of its present method of warfare against passenger
and freight-carrying vessels this government can have no choice but to
sever diplomatic relations with the government of the German Empire


Germany replied to the President's note on May 4, denying the
implication of intentional destruction of vessels regardless of their
nature or nationality, and declaring that in future no merchant vessels
should be sunk without warning or without saving human lives, "unless
the ships attempt to escape or offer resistance."

On May 8, President Wilson dispatched a reply to Germany's note,
accepting the German promises as to the future conduct of submarine
warfare, but refusing to regard them as contingent on any action between
the United States and any other country. Germany later admitted that a
German submarine sank the Sussex, and promised that the commander would
be punished and indemnities paid to the families of those who perished.

This was regarded at Washington as practically closing the submarine
controversy, and the German war-cloud, which had assumed serious
proportions, gradually passed away. ABORTIVE REVOLT IN IRELAND.

An attempt at rebellion by Irish extremists, accompanied by bloody riots
in Dublin and other cities in the south and west of Ireland, followed
the sinking on April 21 of a German vessel which, convoyed by a
submarine, endeavored to land arms and ammunition on the Irish coast.
Sir Roger Casement, an anti-British Irishman of considerable note, who
had been resident in Germany for some months, was taken prisoner upon
landing from the submarine.

For several days, beginning April 25, the rebels, who formed an
inconsiderable part of the Irish people and were strongly condemned by
the Nationalist leaders and party, held possession of streets and public
buildings in Dublin. Incendiary fires did damage estimated at over
$100,000,000, many peaceable citizens were killed, and the casualties
among British troops and constabulary amounted to 521, including
killed, before the uprising was quelled and the "Irish Republic"
overthrown, with the unconditional surrender of its deluded leaders,
on April 30. Next day the remnants of the Sinn Fein rebels in Ireland
surrendered, making over 1,000 prisoners, who were transported to
English prisons. Military law had been proclaimed throughout Ireland and
nearly a score of the leaders of the revolt, who were accused of murder,
were tried by court-martial and summarily executed. The revolt was
alleged to have been encouraged in Germany and also by Irish extremists
in the United States, by whom the rebel leaders executed in Ireland were
regarded as "martyrs."


After holding out against the Turks at Kut-el-Amara, in Mesopotamia,
for 143 days, General Townshend, the British commander, was compelled,
through exhaustion of his supplies, to surrender his force of 9,000
officers and men, on April 28. This force included about 2,000 English
and 7,000 Indian troops, many being on the sick list. The Turks
recognized the gallantry of the defense and refused to accept General
Townshend's sword. Many of the sick and wounded were exchanged, and it
was planned to imprison the rest of the British force on an island in
the Sea of Marmora.


German attacks on the French lines at Verdun continued with the utmost
vigor up to June 10. From time to time they resulted in small successes,
gained at immense cost in human life. From May 27 to May 30 the battle
raged with especial severity, this period marking the greatest effort
made by the Germans during the whole of the prolonged operations at
Verdun. The French stood firm under an avalanche of shot and shell, and
drove back wave after wave of a tremendous flood of Teutonic infantry.
The infantry fighting in this struggle was described as the fiercest of
the war.

The total German casualties up to June 1 were estimated at nearly
3,000,000; the French at 2,500,000, and the British at 600,000, over
25,000 of the latter being commissioned officers.

General Joseph S. Gallieni, former minister of war of France, died at
Versailles on May 27, universally mourned by the French, who regarded
him as the saviour of Paris in the critical days of August-September,
1914, when he was military governor of Paris and commander of the
intrenched camp.



  _British and German High-Sea Fleets Finally Clash in the
  North Sea--Huge Losses in Tonnage and Men on
  Both Sides--_British Navy Remains in Control of the

After many months of unceasing sea patrol on the part of the British,
and of diligent preparation in port on the German side, it came at
last--the long-expected clash of mighty rival fleets in the North Sea.

It was on the misty afternoon of Wednesday, May 31, that Admiral David
Beatty, in command of Britain's battle-cruiser squadron, sighted the
vanguard of the German high-seas fleet steaming "on an enterprise to the
north" from its long-accustomed anchorages in the placid waters of the
Kiel Canal and under the guns of Helgoland.

The British battleship fleet was far away to the northwest, but the
wireless promptly flashed the signal, "Enemy in sight," and as the
battle-cruisers raced to close quarters with the tardy foe, and
sacrificed themselves in the effort to hold him in the open sea, down
from the north rushed the leviathans of the Mistress of the Seas, that
were counted on to crush the enemy when the opportunity came.

But the early stages of the fight found the British battling against
odds. Germany's mightiest warcraft were in the shadows of the mist,
behind the cruiser scouts; destroyers swarmed around them, submarines
appeared from the depths, and Zeppelins hovered overhead.

Gallantly did Admiral Beatty on his victorious Lion struggle to hold
his own till the British battleships came up; but one after another his
hard-pressed cruisers succumbed to weight of metal, until five of them
had sunk beneath the sea, with all their devoted crews, before the
near approach of Admiral Jellicoe and his dreadnaughts sent the enemy
scuttling back to port, to claim a victory that startled the world for a
day, only to disappear when the full extent of the German losses became
known, and it was learned that the German high-seas fleet had lost
some of its proudest units, that its losses, not only relatively but
absolutely almost equaled those of the British fleet, and that the
British remained in full control of the high seas, after scouring them
in vain for further signs of the enemy.


The ships lost by the British in the battle included three
battle-cruisers, the Queen Mary, Indefatigable, and Invincible; three
light cruisers, the Defense, Black Prince, and Warrior, and eight
destroyers, the Tipperary, Turbulent, Nestor, Alcaster, Fortune,
Sparrowhawk, Ardent, and Shark. The Warrior, badly damaged, was taken in
tow, but sank before reaching port. All but one of its crew were saved.

The British dreadnaught Marlborough was also damaged, but succeeded in
making port for repairs.

Following are particulars of the British cruisers sunk:

QUEEN MARY--27,000 tons; 720 feet long. Eight 13.5 inch guns, sixteen
4 inch guns, three 21 inch torpedo tubes. Complement, 900. Cost,

INDEFATIGABLE--18,750 tons: 578 feet long. Eight 12 inch guns, sixteen
4 inch guns, three 21 inch torpedo tubes. Complement, 900. Cost,

INVINCIBLE--17,250 tons; 562 feet long. Eight 12 inch guns, sixteen
4 inch guns, three 21 inch torpedo tubes. Complement, 731. Cost,

DEFENSE--14,600 tons; 525 feet long. Four 9.2 inch guns, ten 7.5 inch
guns, sixteen 12 pounders, five torpedo tubes. Complement, 755. Cost,

BLACK PRINCE--13,550 tons; 480 feet long. Six 9.2 inch guns, twenty
pounders, three torpedo tubes. Complement, 704. Cost, $5,750,000.

WARRIOR--13,550 tons; 480 feet long. Six 9.2 inch guns, four 7.5 inch
guns, twenty-four 3 pounders, three torpedo tubes. Complement, 704, all
saved but one. Cost, $5,900,000.

The destroyers sunk were each of about 950 tons, 266 feet long, and
carried a complement of 100 men. Only a few survivors were picked up
after the battle.


The German losses, as claimed by the British, included two dreadnaughts,
believed to be the Hindenburgh and Westfalen, each of approximately
26,000 tons, with a complement of 1,000 men; the battle-cruiser
Derfflinger, 26,600 tons, complement, 900 men; the battleship Pommern,
of 12,997 tons, complement, 729 men, cost, $6,000,000; the new fast
cruiser Elbing, of 5,000 tons, complement, 500 men; the cruisers
Frauenlob, of 2,715 tons, complement, 264 men, and Wiesbaden, not
registered; a number of destroyers, variously estimated at from six
to sixteen, and one submarine rammed and sunk. Besides these, the
battle-cruiser Lutzow, of 26,600 tons, was reported badly damaged, and
the battle-cruiser Seydlitz, of equal size, suffered heavily in the
battle and was hotly pursued to the mine fields of Helgoland.

The total loss of life in the battle amounted to approximately 4,
British, including 333 officers; and probably 4,000 or more Germans.
Rear-Admiral Horace Hood, second in command of the battle-cruiser fleet,
went down with the Invincible. Rear-Admiral Arbuthnot went down with the


The great naval battle, which may go down in history as the battle of
the Skager Rack, was fought in the eastern waters of the North Sea, off
the coast of Denmark. It lasted for many hours, fighting being continued
through the night of May 31-June 1. In general, the battle area extended
from the Skager Rack southward to Horn Reef off the Danish coast, the
center of the fighting being about 100 miles north of Helgoland, the
main German naval base in the North Sea.

Both in the number of lives and the tonnage lost, the battle was the
greatest sea-fight in history, as well as the first in which modern
dreadnaughts have been engaged. Never before have two naval forces of
such magnitude as the British and German high-sea fleets engaged in

The greatest previous tonnage loss was during the Japanese-Russian war.
In the naval battle of Tsushima in May, 1905, the loss totaled 93,
tons. Twenty-one Russian craft were sunk in this fight.

The text of the first British admiralty statement was in part as

"On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 31, a naval engagement took place
off the coast of Jutland. The British ships on which the brunt of the
fighting fell were the battle-cruiser fleet and some cruisers and light
cruisers, supported by four fast battleships. Among these the losses
were heavy.

"The German battle fleet aided by low visibility avoided a prolonged
action with our main forces. As soon as they appeared on the scene the
enemy returned to port, though not before receiving severe damage from
our battleships."

The battle was one in which no quarter was asked or even possible. There
were no surrenders, and the ships lost went down and carried with them
virtually the whole crews. Only the Warrior, which was towed part way
from the scene of battle to a British port, was an exception.

Of the thousand men on the Queen Mary, only a corporal's guard was
accounted for. The same was true of the Invincible, while there were
no survivors reported from the Indefatigable, the Defense or the Black


After the battle there were many stories of ships sinking with a great
explosion: of crews going down singing the national anthem; of merchant
ships passing through a sea thick with floating bodies.

From survivors came thrilling stories of the horrors and humanities of
the battle. The British destroyer Shark acted as a decoy to bring the
German ships into the engagement. It was battered to pieces by gunfire,
and a half dozen sailors, picked up clinging to a buoy by a Danish ship,
told of its commander and two seamen serving its only remaining gun
until the last minute, when the commander's leg was blown off.

A lifeboat with German survivors from the German cruiser Elbing rescued
Surgeon Burton of the British destroyer Tipperary. He had sustained four


The first account in detail of the battle was given by a high official
of the British Admiralty, who said on June 4:

"We were looking for a fight when our fleet went out. Stories that the
fleet was decoyed by the Germans are sheerest nonsense. In a word,
with an inferior fleet we engaged the entire German high sea fleet,
interrupted their plans, and drove them back into their harbors.

"In carrying out the plan decided upon we sustained heavy losses, which
we expected, but we also attained the expected result of forcing the
enemy to abandon his plan and seek refuge after we had given battle in
his own waters near his coast.

"With the exception of two divisions, part of which was only partly
engaged, the brunt of battle was borne by the battle-cruiser fleet, and
with one exception our battle fleet is ready for sea service. I must
admit that we had exceptionally hard luck with our battle-cruisers,
but the loss of three great ships does not in any measure cripple our
control of the sea.

"The great battle had four phases. The first opened at 3:15 p. m., when
our battle-cruisers, at a range of six miles, joined action with German
battle-cruisers. Shortly afterward the second phase began with the
arrival on both sides of battleships, the Germans arriving first. But
before their arrival our three battle-cruisers had been blown up,
supposedly the result of gunfire, although possibly they were victims
of torpedoes. "Such close range fighting with battle-cruisers might be
criticized as bad tactics, but our fleet, following the traditions
of the navy, went out to engage the enemy, and on account of weather
conditions could do so only at short range.

"The third phase was the engagement of battleships, which never was
more than partial. This phase included a running fight, as the German
dreadnaughts fled toward their bases. All the big ship fighting was over
by 9:15 p. m.


"Then came one of the most weird features of the battle, as German
destroyers made attack after attack, like infantry following artillery
preparation, on our big ships. But these onslaughts were futile, not a
single torpedo launched by them getting home.

"With the morning these attacks ended and the scene of battle was swept
by Jellicoe's fleet. Not a single enemy vessel remained in sight.

"An incident of the great battle was the torpedoing of the
super-dreadnaught Marlborough, which is now safely an harbor. It must
have struck a veritable hornets' nest of submarines, as by skillful
maneuvering it avoided three of these before it was finally hit.

"Early in the engagement, according to Admiral Beatty's report, a German
battle-cruiser, after being hotly engaged, blew up and broke in two.

"Officers of the fleet also reported passing a closely engaged German
battle-cruiser which was left behind while the British pursued the
Germans. On their return this vessel was missing. Judging from its
previous plight it must now be at the bottom of the sea. This accounts
for two of the enemy's battle-cruisers, and we have their admission that
they had lost two battleships.

"Zeppelins did not play the important part attributed to them. Only one
appeared. It remained in action a brief time, retiring under heavy
fire, evidently badly damaged. Weather conditions were such that it is
doubtful whether any aircraft would have been of much service.

"The enemy sprang no surprises. We saw nothing of any 17-inch guns. No
tricks were used which were not already known in naval warfare.

"From the standpoint of actual strength the navy's loss in personnel,
while great, was not serious, as we have plenty of men to replace them.
But the deaths of so many gallant officers and men have caused profound

"Admiral Hood went down with his flagship Invincible, in the words of
Admiral Beaty's report, 'leading his division into action with the most
inspiring courage.' His flag captain, Cay, went down with him. Capt.
Sowerby, former British naval attaché at Washington, perished with
his ship, the Indefatigable, while Capt. Prowse died on the Queen Mary."


From Copenhagen it was reported on June 3 that hundreds of bodies, many
of them horribly mutilated by explosions, and great quantities of debris
were drifting about in the North Sea near the scene of the battle. All
steamers arriving at Danish ports reported sighting floating bodies and
bits of wreckage.

The steamer Para picked up a raft aboard which were three German
survivors from the torpedo boat V-48. They had clung to the raft for
forty-eight hours and were semi-conscious when rescued. They reported
that ninety-nine of the V-48 crew perished and that in all about twenty
German torpedo boats were destroyed.

Other German sailors, rescued by Scandinavian steamers, described the
Teutonic losses in the Jutland battle as colossal. A number of the crew
of the cruiser Wiesbaden and men from several German torpedo boats were
rescued and brought to Copenhagen. They reported that many of their
comrades, after floating for thirty-six hours on rafts without food or
water, drank the sea water, became insane and jumped into the ocean.

The German survivors said that several of their torpedo boats and
submarines were capsized by the British shells and sank instantly.
Bodies of both British and German sailors were washed ashore on the
coast of Jutland.


Survivors who arrived at Edinburgh on June 5 from British destroyers
which made a massed attack on a German battleship in the battle off
Jutland, were convinced that they sent to the bottom the dreadnaught
Hindenburg, the pride of the German navy. These sailors said that
the Hindenburg was struck successively by four torpedoes while the
destroyers dashed in alongside of its hull, tearing it to pieces until
the mighty ship reeled and sank.

An officer from one of the British destroyers gave the following graphic
account of the battle:

"The ships of the grand fleet went into action as if they were going
into maneuvers. From every yardarm the white ensign flew, the flag
which is to the sailor as the tattered colors were in days of old to a
hard-pressed regiment. That it went hard with the battle-cruisers is
apparent, but one ship cannot fight a dozen. They had fought a great
fight, a fight to be proud of, a fight which will live longer than many
a victory.

"We fought close into the foe, and if anything is certain in the
uncertainties of naval battle it is that we gave at least as good as we
got. We passed along the line of German ships some miles away and let
off broadside after broadside. The air was heavy with masses of smoke,
black, yellow, green and every other color, which drifted slowly between
the opposing lines, hiding sometimes friend and sometimes foe. The enemy
ships were firing very fast, but watching the ships in front one came to
the conclusion that the shooting was decidedly erratic. Again and again
salvos of shells fell far short of the mark, to be followed immediately
by others which screamed past high in the air.


"I watched the Iron Duke swinging through the seas, letting off
broadside after broadside, wicked tongues of flames leaping through
clouds of smoke. The din of battle was stunning, stupendous, deafening,
as hundreds of the heaviest guns in the world roared out at once. Great
masses of water rose in the air like waterspouts, reaching as high as
the masts, as the salvos of German shells fell short or went over their
target. Now and then a shell found its mark, but it left us absolutely
cold as to its effect on each man at a time like this. A dozen men may
be knocked out at one's side. It makes no difference.

"It was impossible to see what was happening among the ships of the foe.
The smoke obscured everything so effectually that one could only get a
glimpse at intervals when a kindly wind blew a lane through the pall. It
was apparent that the best ships of the enemy were engaged, but how many
neither eye nor glass could make out. The number was certainly large. It
was equally impossible to see what damage we were causing. Only the high
command knew fine progress of the battle. That the damage inflicted on
the German ships was great does not admit of any doubt. At one time two
vessels, red with fire, gleamed through the smoke.


"It is a curious feeling to be in the midst of a battle and not to know
to which side fortune leans. Where only a few ships are engaged it is
different. Our own losses were known with some degree of exactness, but
even that was uncertain. Thus at one time it was thought that the Lion
had been lost as it did not answer any call. It transpired that its
wireless had been destroyed.

"With the dusk came the great opportunity of the mosquito craft and both
sides made use of it to the full. It was in this way that one of the
saddest of many sad incidents occurred. A destroyer, true to its name,
dashed for the big enemy ship. It soon got into effective range and
loosed its torpedo and with deadly effect on a German battleship. The
ship went down and the destroyer raced for safety, the commander and
officer standing on the bridge indulging in mutual congratulations at
their success. At that moment a shell hit the bridge and wiped out the
entire group.

"We fought what was in its way a great fight, although it was not a
sailor's battle. Both the grand and the terrible were present to an
almost overpowering degree. As a spectacle it was magnificent, awful.
How awful, it was impossible to realize until the fever of action had
subsided, until the guns were silent and the great ships, some battered,
others absolutely untouched, were plowing home on the placid sea."


After describing the battle itself, the officer reverted to incidents
preceding it, saying:

"I shall never forget the thrill which passed through the men on the
ships of the grand fleet when that inspiring message was received from
the battle-cruiser squadron many leagues away: 'I am engaged with heavy
forces of the enemy.' One looked on the faces of his fellows and saw
that the effect was electrical. The great ships swung around into battle
order and the responsive sea rocked and churned as the massive vessels
raced for what were virtually enemy waters. As the grand fleet drew near
the scene of action the smoke of battle and mutter of guns came down on
the winds. The eagerness of the men became almost unbearably intense and
it was a blessed relief when our own guns gave tongue."


Between April 20 and June 1, a large flotilla of transports arriving at
Marseilles, France, brought Russian soldiers in large numbers to the
support of the French line. The transports were understood to have made
the voyage of 10,250 miles from Vladivostok under convoy by the British


The British armored cruiser Hampshire, 10,850 tons, with Earl Kitchener,
the British secretary of state for war, and his staff on board, was sunk
shortly after nightfall on June 5, to the west of the Orkney Islands,
either by a mine or a torpedo. Heavy seas were running and Admiral
Jellicoe reported that there were no survivors. The crew numbered
officers and men. Earl Kitchener was on his way to Russia for a secret
conference with the military authorities when the disaster occurred. His
latest achievement was the creation, from England's untrained manhood,
of an army approximating 5,000,000 men, of whom he was the military



After gallantly holding their own for many months against repeated
German attacks, the Canadian troops holding that section of the western
front southeast of Ypres, between Hooge and the Ypres-Menin railway,
were engaged during the week ending June 3, 1916, in a battle scarcely
less determined in its nature than that of St. Julien and other great
encounters in which they distinguished themselves and added to Canadian
military laurels earlier in the war.

On Friday, June 2, the Germans, after a concentrated bombardment with
heavy artillery, pressed forward to the assault and succeeded in
penetrating the British lines. During the night they pushed their attack
and succeeded in cutting their way through the defenses to the depth of
nearly a mile in the direction of Zillebeke. The hard-fighting Canadians
then rallied and began counter-assaults at 7 o'clock on the following
morning. By Sunday morning, June 4, they had succeeded in gradually
driving the Germans from much of the ground they had gained, but the
losses to the Canadians were severe.

In the British official report of the engagement, it was stated that
"the Canadians behaved with the utmost gallantry, counter-attacking
successfully after a heavy and continued bombardment." The German
losses were very heavy and a large number of dead were abandoned on the
recaptured ground. Frederick Palmer, the noted war correspondent, said
that for a thousand yards in the center of the line where the Germans
secured lodgment the Canadians fired from positions in the rear and
filled the ruined trenches with German dead.

It was announced by the War Office that Generals Mercer and Williams,
who were inspecting the front trenches on June 2, during the German
bombardment, were among the missing. Soon after it was found that
General Mercer was severely wounded during the fight, and was taken
to hospital at Boulogne, while General Williams, who was wounded less
severely, was captured by the enemy. General Mercer was the commander
of the Third Division of Canadian troops, which in this action had its
first real test in hand-to-hand fighting, and came out of the trial like
veterans with glory undimmed.

The two-days' fighting occurred around the famous Hill No. 60 and
Sanctuary Wood, names destined to live in Canadian history. It was
entirely a Canadian battle, and while the losses of the devoted troops
from the Dominion probably reached the regrettable total of over 6,000,
including a number of men captured by the Germans during the first day's
attack, when they overran the front trenches, they doggedly bombed and
bayoneted their way back to the wrecked trenches next day and regained
nearly all their front. The commanding officers were especially pleased
that the newer Canadian battalions had kept up the traditions of the
first contingent, established in 1915 at St. Julien and elsewhere in
France and Flanders, by immediately turning upon the Germans with a
counter-attack which was carried out both coolly and skilfully.

The Ypres salient, thus successfully defended by the Canadians in one of
the hottest of the minor battles of the war, was regarded by the British
commander-in-chief as an important position which must be defended
despite the heavy losses. General Gwatkin, Chief of Staff for Canada,
stated that the German losses during the heavy fighting exceeded those
of the Canadians.

Colonel Buller of the Princess Patricia Regiment was killed by shrapnel
while leading his men at Sanctuary Wood.

The total enlistments in Canada up to June 10 exceeded 333,000 men.


The first week of June, 1916, saw the Russians successful in a great
drive against the Austrian positions in Volhynia and Galicia, a movement
that for awhile overshadowed the events on the western front. In the
space of five days a new Russian commander, General Brusiloff, who had
succeeded General Ivanhoff as Chief of the Russian Southwestern Armies,
captured 1,143 Austrian officers and 64,714 men, recovered almost, four
thousand square miles of fertile Volhyman soil, and recaptured the
fortified town of Lutsk. He had the advantage of a most efficient
artillery preparation, which blew the Austrian entanglements, trenches
and earthworks into such a chaos that the bewildered occupants
surrendered in thousands when the Russian infantry charged.

German reinforcements from the trenches north of the Pripet River tried
to stay the Russian rush, but in vain, and many Germans were among the
prisoners taken. At several points the Russian cavalry led the attack
after the artillery had done its work. A division of young Russians, by
an impetuous attack, captured a bridge-head on the Styr and took 2,
German and Austrian troops and much rich booty. In Galicia the Russian
armies crossed the Stripa and by June 10 were once more too near Lemberg
for the comfort of the Austrian garrison. At that time the total number
of prisoners taken in this drive was considerably over 100,000, while
the booty in guns, rifles, ammunition and supplies of all conceivable
kinds was enormous. The Allies were greatly heartened by these Russian
successes on the eastern front, and on June 15 Germany was preparing to
meet them by troop movements from the north, where Field Marshal von
Hindenburgh was in command on Russian territory. The extent and rapidity
of the Russian successes up to that time were without parallel in
military history.


During the following month the Russian advance toward the Carpathians,
for the second time in the war, continued steadily. It was apparent that
General Brusiloff, unlike his predecessors in command, was well supplied
with effective artillery and ammunition in plenty, and that the vast
resources of the Russian Empire had been at last successfully mobilized
for attack. Guns and ammunition, in immense quantities, had been secured
from Japan, among other sources, and this former enemy of Russia, now
her strong and capable ally, aided materially in changing the aspect of
affairs on the Eastern battle front.

On June 16, the Russian offensive had progressed to the Galician
frontier, and terrific fighting marked the advance along the whole line
south of Volhynia. Two German armies went to the aid of the Austrians in
the region of the Stochod and Styr rivers, and German forces also made
a stand before Kovel. The mortality on both sides was described as
frightful, but the Russians continued to make headway and the capture
of thousands of Teutonic prisoners was of almost daily occurrence, the
total reaching 172,000 before June 18.

Czernowitz, the capital of Bukowina, fell into the hands of the Russians
at midnight of June 17, after the bridgehead on the Pruth river had been
stormed by the victorious troops of the Czar. One thousand Austrians
were captured at the bridgehead, but the garrison succeeded in escaping.
The invading troops swept on, crossed the Sereth river, and soon gained
control of about one-half of Roumania's western frontier. By July
the Austrians were retreating into the foothills of the Carpathian
mountains, hotly pressed by the Russian advance. The German army around
Kovel continued to make a stubborn resistance, but could not prevent the
Austrian rout, and as the Russians approached the Carpathian passes the
Austrian prisoners taken by them during the drive reached a total of
200,000 officers and men. Immense quantities of munitions of war also
fell into their hands.

On July 4 Russian cavalry patrols advanced over the passes into southern
Hungary, and General Brusiloff's army neared Lemberg, which was defended
by a combined Teutonic army under General von Bothmer, along the River
Strypa. The losses of the Austrians and Germans, in killed and wounded
up to this time, were placed at 500,000 men, the Russian offensive
having lasted one month, with no evidence of slackening. General von
Bothmer then began a retirement westward, while General Brusiloff
advanced between the Pruth and Dniester rivers, and a concerted push
toward Lemberg was begun.


After many months of preparation by the British, during which
"Kitchener's army" was being sedulously trained for active service, a
new phase of the great war began on July 1, 1916, when a great
offensive was started on the western front by the British and French
simultaneously, after a seven-day bombardment of the German trenches.
In this preliminary bombardment more than one million shells were fired
daily, and the prolonged battle which ensued was the greatest of all

This offensive proved that the Allies had not been shaken from their
determination to bide their time until they were thoroughly prepared
and ready for the attack, and were able to co-ordinate their efforts in
genuine teamwork against the powerful and strongly-entrenched enemy in
the west, while the Russian offensive on the eastern front was also in
progress. This long-awaited movement was no isolated attack, costly but
ineffectual, like those of the English at Neuve Chapelle and Loos,
but "a carefully studied and deliberately prepared campaign of severe
pressure upon Germany at each of her battle fronts." It proved that the
war-councils of the Allies held in Paris and London, in Petrograd and
Rome, were no mere conventional affairs, but were at last to bear fruit
in concerted action that might decide the issue of the war.

The "big push," as it was popularly called in England, was started by
the British and French on both sides of the River Somme, sixty miles
north of Paris, at 7:30 o 'clock on the morning of July 1, and resulted
on the same day in a great wedge being driven into the German lines
along a front of twenty-five miles, with its sharp point penetrating
nearly five miles. The French advance was made in the direction of
Peronne, an important center of transportation and distribution long
held by the Germans.

An eyewitness who watched the beginning of the battle from a hill said
that overwhelming as was the power of the guns, yet as the gathering
of human and mechanical material proceeded, "the grim and significant
spectacle was the sight of detachments of infantry moving forward in
field-fighting equipment, until finally the dugouts were hives of khaki
ready to swarm out for battle."

As the days of the bombardment passed, the air of expectancy was
noticeable everywhere through the British army, commanded by Sir Douglas
Haig. Finally the word was passed that the infantry was to make the
assault early the next morning. Then, "at 7:20 A.M. the rapid-fire
trench mortars added their shells to the deluge pouring upon the
first-line German trenches. After ten minutes of this, promptly at
7:30 o'clock, the guns lifted their fire to the second line of German
trenches, as if they were answering to the pressure of a single electric
button, and the men of the new British army leaped over their parapets
and rushed toward the wreckage the guns and mortars had wrought. Even
close at hand, they were visible for only a moment before being hidden
by the smoke of the German shell-curtain over what remained of the

Of the deadly work beneath that pall of smoke, as steel met steel and
the new soldiers of Britain fleshed their bayonets for the first time,
and fell by the thousand under the murderous fire of machine-guns,
history will tell the tale long after the survivors have ceased to
recount the deeds of the day to their grandchildren wherever the English
tongue is spoken. Each side gives credit to the other for the utmost
bravery and devotion during the battle. The new English regiments fought
like veterans, and fully maintained the traditions of the British army
for dogged bravery, while the Germans fought with desperate tenacity,
valor and resourcefulness, this last quality being displayed in the
devices which had been invented and were used to prevent or delay
the Allied advance. It was indeed wonderful how well the Germans had
protected their machine-guns from the devastating effects of the
preliminary bombardment, which tore trenches to pieces and utterly
demolished barbed-wire entanglements, but failed in many cases to
destroy the deep bomb-proofs in which the Teuton machine-guns were
protected and concealed.


On July 2 and 3, the battle of the Somme continued without cessation
of infantry fighting, while the big guns thundered on both sides.
The British offensive took Fricourt on the 2nd, after a tremendous
bombardment, and occupied several villages, while the French advanced to
within three miles of Peronne. Ten thousand more prisoners fell into the
hands of the Allies on these two days. On the 4th, German resistance
temporarily halted the British, but the French offensive took German
second-line positions south of the Somme on a six-mile front. Violent
counter-attacks by the Germans on July 6 failed to wrest from the French
the ground won by them during the previous five days, and the Allied
troops resumed their advance, taking the German second-line trenches all
along the front in the face of a heavy fire. Next day Contalmaison was
won by the British, but recaptured by the Prussian Guard, who held the
town for three days, when they were again driven out.

A desperate struggle for the possession of the Mametz woods marked
the fighting from the 10th to the 12th, the British and the Germans
alternating in its possession. Victory at this point finally lay with
the British, who on July 12 gained possession of the whole locality,
together with the Trones wood, which had also been the scene of a bloody
straggle. By this time some 30,000 German prisoners had been taken by
the Allies during the offensive, while the losses in killed and wounded
on both sides, in the absence of official reports, could only be
estimated in appalling numbers.


A typical description of some of the horrors of the battle, as it surged
around Contalmaison, was given by a German prisoner on July 12 to the
war correspondent of the London Chronicle. He spoke English, having been
employed in London for some years prior to the war. With his regiment,
the 122nd Bavarians, he went into Contalmaison five days before his
capture. Soon the rations they took with them were exhausted, and owing
to the ceaseless gunfire they were unable to get fresh supplies. They
suffered agonies of thirst and the numbers of their dead and wounded
increased day after day.

"There was a hole in the ground," said the German prisoner, whose head
was bound with a bloody bandage and who was still dazed and troubled
when the correspondent talked with him. "It was a dark hole which held
twenty men, all lying in a heap together, and that was the only dugout
for my company, so there was not room for more than a few. It was
necessary to take turns in this shelter while outside the English shells
were coming and bursting everywhere. Two or three men were dragged out
to make room for two or three others, then those who went outside were
killed or wounded.

"There was only one doctor, an unter officer,"--he pointed to a man who
lay asleep on the ground face downward--"and he bandaged some of us till
he had no more bandages; then last night we knew the end was coming.
Your guns began to fire altogether, the dreadful _trommelfeuer_, as we
call it, and the shells burst and smashed up the earth about us. "We
stayed down in the hole, waiting for the end. Then we heard your
soldiers shouting. Presently two of them came down into our hole. They
were two boys and had their pockets full of bombs; they had bombs in
their hands also, and they seemed to wonder whether they should kill us,
but we were all wounded--nearly all--and we cried 'Kamerade!' and now we
are prisoners."

Other prisoners said in effect that the fire was terrible in
Contalmaison and at least half their men holding it were killed or
wounded, so that when the British entered they walked over the bodies of
the dead. The men who escaped were in a pitiful condition. "They lay on
the ground utterly exhausted, most of them, and, what was strange, with
their faces to the earth. Perhaps it was to blot out the vision of the
things they had seen."

Meanwhile, despite the threatening character of the Allied offensive on
the Somme, German assaults on the Verdun front continued unabated during
July, and there was little evidence of the withdrawal of German troops
from that point to reinforce the army opposed to the British. But
except at Verdun, Germany was at bay everywhere, and the situation was
recognized in the Fatherland as serious. Never before had the Allies
been able to drive at Germany from all sides at once. Only at Verdun the
German Crown Prince, long halted at that point, was keeping up a slow
but strong offensive pressure.


On July 9, the German merchant submarine Deutschland, in command of
Capt. Koenig, slipped into port at Baltimore, after eluding British
warships in the North Sea, English Channel, and Atlantic. The
Deutschland carried as cargo nearly a million dollars' worth of
dyestuffs, as well as important mail. The owners announced that she was
the first of a regular fleet to be placed in service between German and
American ports, to thwart the British blockade. She made the 4,000-mile
voyage in sixteen days, including nine hours during which, according to
her captain, she lay at the bottom of the Channel to escape capture. On
July 25 she was preparing for her return voyage with a cargo said to
consist largely of crude rubber and nickel, having been accepted by
the United States Government as an innocent merchantman and granted
clearance papers on that basis. Outside the Virginia capes, beyond the
three-mile limit, British and French cruisers awaited her possible
appearance, with the hope of effecting her capture. But it was announced
in Germany that the Deutschland reached her home port safely Aug. 23.


Along the portion of the western battle front held by Canadian troops,
there were frequent heavy bombardments by the enemy during the month
of July, but the gallant soldiers of the Dominion consolidated their
positions won in battle at Loos and elsewhere, and fully held their own.
In trench mortar fighting their batteries maintained the upper hand,
often returning six shells for one thrown by the Germans. The Canadian
patrols were very active; every night reconnaissances were made all
along the Canadian front, and numerous hostile working parties engaged
in strengthening German trenches and entanglements were dispersed by
Canadian rifle fire.

On July 8, in the gardens of Kensington Palace, London, Princess Louise,
Duchess of Argyll, presented to General Steele, for the Canadian forces,
a silken Union Jack and a silver shield, given by the women and children
of the British Isles in acknowledgment of Canada's good will and
valuable co-operation. The Princess made a short address expressing high
admiration and enthusiastic appreciation of the eager readiness with
which the officers and men of Canada had come forward to take their
share in the cause of the Empire. General Steele, in receiving the
gifts, returned thanks on behalf of the Canadian troops.


On July 24, General Kuropatkin began a new Russian drive in the battle
sector south of Riga. After making a preliminary breach in the German
lines, Kuropatkin drove in a wedge of fresh troops which swept Marshal
von Hindenburg's German forces back along a front of 30 miles, and to a
depth at one point of 12 miles. The attack was preceded by a bombardment
lasting four days, which battered into ruins the German defense along
the coast line from the Gulf of Riga to Uxhull. The Kaiser and his chief
of staff recognized the importance of General Kuropatkin's advance by
hastening to the Eastern battle front on July 25.


                    Killed.       Wounded.       Missing.
  Russia           1,200,000     2,500,000      2,000,000
  Germany            900,000     1,900,000        150,000
  France             850,000     1,500,000        325,000
  Austro-Hungary     475,000     1,000,000        900,000
  Great Britain      160,000       450,000         70,000
  Turkey              75,000       200,000         75,000
  Serbia              60,000       125,000         75,000
  Italy               50,000       100,000         30,000
  Belgium             30,000        70,000         50,000
  Bulgaria             5,000        25,000          5,000
  _________        _________      _________    __________
  Total            3,805,000     7,870,000      3,680,000


The second phase of the great Anglo-French offensive on the western
front began to develop late in July, and attacks were continuous
throughout the month of August and up to September 15. At every point in
the Somme region the giant British and French guns poured shell into
the German works, destroying barbed wire entanglements and wrecking
trenches, while Allied gains were reported almost daily, as the Germans
were slowly but surely ousted from their original positions along a wide

An engagement typical of the prolonged fighting on the Somme occurred
near Armentieres, where the Australians on a two-mile front made the
greatest trench raid ever undertaken in any war, inflicting heavy damage
upon the enemy by bombing and hand-to-hand fighting. The German position
at Longueval passed into British control on July 28, after what was
called the most terrific fighting of the war, in Delville Wood.

Between August 6 and September 10 the British under Gen. Sir Douglas
Haig and the French under Gen. Foch fought off many determined German
counter-attacks in the Somme sector, and continued their advance, the
French gaining Maurepas and the British moving closer to Guillemont
and Ginchy, driving the Germans back along eleven miles of front and
capturing Thiepval Ridge and other important positions near Pozieres.

On September 9 German official reports admitted considerable losses on
the western line, both in the section south of the Somme and to the
northeast of Verdun. Fierce attacks by the Germans at Verdun had been
renewed during August, but the French, under the able command of Gen.
Nivelle, more than held their own, recapturing a considerable portion of
the terrain occupied by the enemy, including Fleury and the important
Thiaumont Work.


The greatest blow which the Italian army had struck against Austria
since the beginning of the war was completed on August 9, when Italian
troops captured the fortified city of Goritz, for which they had been
struggling for months. The number of prisoners taken by the Italians
was 21,750, and in the next few days nearly 20,000 more fell into their
hands, with great stores of war munitions and many guns.

The taking of Goritz, one of the strongest fortresses in Europe,
compelled the retirement of the Austrians at other points along the
Isonzo River, and opened the road for the Italians, under Gen. Cadorna,
to strike at the coveted city of Trieste, twenty-two miles to the
southeast. With the capture of the "keystone" at Goritz, the Italian
commander confidently expected the resistance of the Austrians to weaken
and looked forward to the early occupation of the coveted provinces of
the Trentino.


On August 27, Italy declared war on Germany, giving as a reason the fact
that Germany had sent both land and sea forces to the aid of Austria.
The declaration became inevitable when Italy sent troops to Saloniki to
cooperate in the campaign of the Entente Allies on the Macedonian front.
For more than a year Italy's position with regard to Germany had been an
anomalous one, for although she withdrew from the Triple Alliance on May
25, 1915, and declared war against Austria, she remained officially at
peace with Germany until August 27, 1916.


After many months of hesitation, Rumania finally decided to enter the
war on the side of the Allies and declared war on Austria, August 27.
The next day Germany declared war on Rumania, and the issue was squarely
joined in the Balkans, which then became the scene of a mighty struggle
for the possession of Germany's road to Constantinople and the East.
Tremendous activity at once began on the Balkan front, with Rumania's
endeavor to aid Russia in cutting off Bulgaria and Turkey from the
Central Powers. In the event of the success of this move, it was
expected that the Allies would start a gigantic drive toward

The most important gain for either side in the Balkans up to the middle
of September was the capture by the Bulgarians and Germans, on September
7, of the great fortress of Turtukai, fifty miles to the southeast of
Bucharest, the Rumanian capital, and chief defense of the capital on
that side. Russian troops were rushed to the aid of the Rumanians,
and the loss of Turtukai was offset by Rumanian successes across the
Hungarian border, where they captured a number of towns, driving the
Austrian defenders before them as their invasion of Hungary progressed.


By September 10, Russian troops were massed in great force in
southeastern Rumania, and engaged the Bulgarians on the whole
seventy-mile front from the Danube to the Black Sea, fighting fiercely
to wrest the offensive from the enemy invading Rumania. In Transylvania
the Rumanians were advancing rapidly, having captured the important town
of Orsova, on the Danube, which gave them a grip on the Austrian second
line of defense behind the mountains dividing Transylvania from Hungary.
The entrance of Rumania into the war had increased the Austro-Hungarian
front by about 380 miles, which military men regarded as altogether too
long for the Teutonic armies to hold with any hope of success.

The Russians were also on September 10 winning ground in their campaign
against Lemberg, the capital of Galicia. They had advanced until they
were within artillery range of Halicz, an important railway junction
sixty miles south of Lemberg. They had cut the railway line between
Lemberg and Halicz, and the latter town was in flames.


British and French successes on the Western front continued during the
month of September, and the gains were encouraging to the Allies. On
September 15 the British took Flers, Martinpuich, the important position
known as the High Wood, Courcelette, and almost all of the Bouleaux
Wood, and also stormed the German positions from Combles north to
the Pozieres-Bapaume road, arriving within four miles of Bapaume and
capturing 2,300 prisoners. A prominent feature of the attack was the use
by the British of armored automobile trucks of unusual size and power,
so constructed that they were able to cross trenches and shell-holes.
These "tanks," as they were called, proved a genuine surprise to the
enemy. They were said to be developed from American tractors of the
"caterpillar" variety, which lay their own tracks as they proceed.

A two-mile trench system, believed to be impregnable, was stormed by the
Allied forces near Thiepval September 17, while south of the Somme the
French took the German trenches along a front of three miles. Next day
more ground was taken in the advance toward Bapaume and German prisoners
continued to fall into the Allies' hands. The number of Teuton captives
taken during the Somme fighting from July 1 to September 22 was placed
at 55,800 men and officers.

The month of September was remarkable for the great number of aerial
combats on the western front and the efficiency developed in this mode
of fighting. Many airplanes were shot down on both sides, but the Allies
seemed to be gaining the mastery of the air. On a single day, September
24, over a hundred air combats were reported, during which fifty-seven
airplanes were destroyed. On the same day two French airmen, in flights
of 500 miles, dropped bombs on the Krupp works at Essen in Germany.

In a forward sweep near the end of the month the British took a number
of German positions northeast of Combles, while the French advanced
south of that point, so that the two armies almost surrounding it were
scarcely a mile apart. A day later British and French troops entered
Comibles from opposite sides and drove the Germans out. Continuing
the drive from Thiepval, which had also been occupied, the British
consolidated their positions and straightened their line a short
distance from Bapaume, their objective point at this time. More than
5,000 German prisoners were taken September 26 and 27.

More Allied gains in the Somme sector were reported in the first week of
October. German counter-attacks were frequent, but lacked the vigor and
success of former efforts on this front. In a joint attack on October
the village of Le Sars was taken and the Allies found themselves within
two miles of Bapaume. General Foch with his French infantry took a
number of German positions near Ablaincourt, south of the Somme, October
14, and held his gains against repeated German attacks. The fighting was
extremely desperate and of a hand-to-hand character. Gas and liquid fire
were used by the Germans, but the new Allied lines were firmly held.
Liquid fire was also used against the British at Thiepval, but without

The Allied attacks on the Somme from October 9 to October 13 were
reckoned in Berlin dispatches as amongst the greatest actions of the
entire Somme battle, the enemy believing that the Allies themselves then
attempted to reach a decision by breaking through the German lines on
the largest possible scale. The losses on both sides during this period
were admittedly very heavy.

On October 18 the town of Sailly-Saillisel fell to the French after hard
fighting and commanding ridges on either side of it were also captured.
Fresh progress brought the French troops to the outskirts of Peronne
next day, and on the 21st the British advanced their lines along a front
of three miles, capturing the Stuff and Regina redoubts and trenches and
taking more than 1,000 prisoners, besides bringing down seventeen enemy

Captain Boelke, Germany's greatest airman, was killed October 28 in a
collision with another airplane during a battle on the western front. He
was 25 years of age, had been wounded several times during the war, and
is credited with having brought down forty Allied airplanes.

The October losses of the British in the Somme campaign were announced
by the War Office to be 107,033, bringing the British total from the
beginning of the campaign to 414,202 men and officers, killed, wounded
and missing.

In the first days of November the principal activity was in the vicinity
of Sailly. The Germans effected a successful counter-attack on November
6, recapturing some of the ground won by the Allies, with 400 prisoners,
300 of them French. Next day, however, a greater number of
German prisoners was taken by the French in an advance along a
two-and-a-half-mile front south of the Somme, and on the 9th the French
strengthened their positions near Sailly, clearing out German trenches
and taking more prisoners.

On November 13 the British took a five-mile front in the German line
near the River Ancre, capturing two towns and 3,000 prisoners, the
Germans being taken by surprise in the early morning mist. Continuing
their advantage the following day, the British took Beaucourt-sur-Anere
with more than 5,000 prisoners. On the 15th German troops took the
offensive on both sides of the Somme and succeeded in forcing their way
back into some of the trenches and advance positions held by the French,
but the British continued their advance north of the Ancre. Next day the
French recovered the lost ground and their airmen engaged in fifty-four
air battles with German machines along the Somme front. On the 18th
British and French airplanes again bombarded Ostend, dropping 180 bombs,
and once more raided Zeebrugge. In an ensuing battle six German planes
were brought down.

Infantry fighting in the Dixmude sector between Belgian and German
troops occurred on four consecutive days, from November 17 to 20, with
hand-grenade battles but no definite result. There was a general lull in
operations after this, caused by heavy weather and fogs.


In a dramatic blow at Verdun, after a period of comparative quiet at
that point, the French on October 24 took the village and fort of
Douaumont, also Thiaumont, the Haudromont quarries, La Caillette Wood,
Damloup battery and trenches along a four-mile front to a depth of two
miles. The ground retaken was the same that the Germans under the Crown
Prince took by two months' hard fighting. This was the quickest and most
effective blow struck in the Verdun campaign and reflected the highest
credit on the French general commanding, General Petain, and his devoted
troops, who thus turned the tide of victory at Verdun in favor of
the French and stamped with failure the efforts of the Crown Prince,
continued for nine months, to wrest Verdun from French control and open
a road to Paris. It was a campaign in which failure meant defeat for the
Germans, and its cost in men, money and munitions was enormous.

Four thousand German prisoners were taken on the 24th and the next day
the French began encircling Fort Vaux, the only one of the outer ring of
forts at Verdun which remained in German hands. All attempts on the
part of the Crown Prince to regain the lost ground were fruitless. Four
German attacks were beaten back on the 26th, and the following day the
French advanced south and west of Vaux and tightened their grip on the
fortress. During violent artillery duels, many German attacks on the
gained ground were repulsed, and by November 1 the prisoners in French
hands numbered 7,000.

On November 4 the French began the attempt to take the village of Vaux
held by the Crown Prince, and gained a foothold in the village. Next
day they captured the whole of Vaux village and also the village of
Damloup. The fort at Vaux had been evacuated by the Germans a few days
previously. Thus the long and bloody struggle for the possession of
Verdun apparently ended, although artillery duels of varying intensity
continued at intervals, and the laurels of the prolonged campaign rested
with the French.


Brilliant work on the part of the Canadian troops on the Somme front
aided materially to gain the British successes recorded on October 21.
William Philips Simms, an eyewitness with the Canadian forces, gave a
graphic account of the attack, which was typical of much of the fighting
on the Somme. He said:

"Eight minutes of dashing across a sea of mud worse than the Slough of
Despond, of methodically advanced barrage fire, of quick work in trench
fight, sufficed for the Canadians to take Regina trench--one of the
smoothest bits of trench-taking that has been witnessed in the Somme
drive. I saw the Canadians, muddy to the eyebrows--but grinning--on the
day after they had accomplished the feat.

"The assault was over in eight minutes. It was carried out in brilliant
moonlight, and despite a terrific German counter barrage fire and a sea
of mud. Every objective the Canadians sought was won.

"Though the Germans repeatedly counter-attacked, the Canadians not only
kept every inch they had wrested from the enemy, but before dawn they
had strongly reorganized their position and dug over 250 yards of
connecting trenches."


On the eastern front in the middle of September strong Russian attacks
before Halicz were driving the Teutonic troops back toward Lemberg, and
several thousand German and Turkish troops were captured. The Russian
advance was checked, however, on September 18, after a total of 25,
prisoners had been taken by the Russians near Halicz.

The Russian offensive was shifted September 21 from the Lemberg sector
to the east of Kovel and a few days after a fresh offensive began along
the entire eastern front, heavy fighting being reported west of Lutsk
and in the Carpathians. Turkish troops at this time appeared on the Riga
front, with German equipment and led by German and Austrian officers.
The great 300-mile battle continued unabated to the end of October, with
fighting all along the line from the Pinsk marshes on the north to the
Roumanian frontier on the south.

By a sudden drive through the Russian front north of the Pinsk marshes
on November 10, the Germans succeeded in cutting the Russian first line,
taking nearly 4,000 prisoners and twenty-seven machine guns. The Russian
lines were believed to have been weakened by the transfer of troops to
Roumanian positions in the south. Following this there was terrific
fighting in the Narayuvka, where the Russian trenches were carried
by the Germans after they had been practically destroyed by high
explosives; but the ground lost, located near Slaventin, was gallantly
regained by the Russian troops on November 15.

The Russian dreadnought Imperatritsa Maria was sunk by a mine near
Sulina, at the mouth of the Danube, November 11. It was launched in
and had a displacement of 22,500 tons. On November 18 Russian troops
near Sarny, southeast of Pinsk, brought down a Zeppelin airship,
capturing the crew of sixteen and 600 pounds of bombs.

German casualties from the beginning of the war, as compiled in London
from German official lists, were set November 10 at 3,755,693. Of this
total 910,234 were killed. The total German casualties for the month of
October, 1916, reached 199,675 officers and men, of whom 34,231 were


For some time after Roumania entered the war her fighting forces were
divided between two campaigns--in the Dobrudja and in Transylvania, the
Austrian territory invaded by Roumania as soon as she declared war. On
September 15 the Roumanians began a retreat in the Dobrudja, before
advancing forces of Germans and Bulgarains led by General von
Macksensen. The Russo-Roumanian center was driven back thirty miles,
while the German and Bulgarian troops occupied several of the Roumanian
Black Sea ports.

Then came a great six-day battle in the Dobrudja, with fighting along a
forty-five mile line from ten miles south of Constanza to Cernavoda, on
the Danube, and in this battle the Russo-Roumanians were successful,
compelling the Teutonic forces to retreat southward toward the border.
For a while Von Mackesen was on the defensive, but in a counter-attack
on September 23 he gained a marked victory over the Roumanians.
Gradually the latter were forced to retire, and although they made
a desperate resistance to the forces under Von Mackensen the latter
reached the coast by October 21, advancing on Constanza, Roumania's
chief port on the Black Sea, which was captured October 23. Cernavoda
fell on the 25th.

Meanwhile in Transylvania events of a similar character had been
happening. At first successful in their invasion of Austrian territory,
the Roumanians were unable to hold their advantage, and while the tide
of battle was for several weeks in doubt, the German and Austrian troops
under General von Falkenhayn at length drove the invaders back across
the mountains. By October 8 a Teutonic invasion of Roumania from the
northwest was imminent, and two days later the Roumanians were pursued
through the passes by Austrian troops. By the 17th Teuton forces were
five miles inside the frontier.

On October 25 Von Falkenhayn's army stormed the Vulcan Pass and pushed
nearer the railroad at Kimpolong, seventy-five miles from Bucharest.
These successes were not gained, however, without hard fighting, the
Roumanians making a desperate stand to prevent the Teuton invasion which
threatened their capital. They were aided by a French commander, General
Bertholet, and struck back hard at Von Falkenhayn, gaining some signal
successes in the last days of October and early in November and
capturing several thousand prisoners and much war material. These
successes, however, proved insufficient to do more than check the Teuton
advance toward Bucharest.

In the Dobrudja, after the capture of Cernavoda by Von Mackensen, there
were strenuous efforts by the Roumanians, aided by Russians, to regain
their lost territory. In their early retreat they destroyed the great
eleven-mile bridge over the Danube at Cernavoda and so cut off for the
time being Von Mackesen's threatened drive to Bucharest from the south.
The Roumanians that had been opposing him fell back northward to the
Danube forts. They were hotly pursued by Bulgarians, who on October
29 were reported to be at Astrovo, fifty miles north of the
Constanza-Cernavoda railway line. The possession of the latter was an
immense advantage to Von Macksensen.

General von Falkenhayn continued his advance into Roumania during
November and at the beginning of December the battle for Bucharest was
ranging on three sides of the capital, with the Roumanians successful at
some points, the invaders at others. West of Bucharest the defenders
had been pressed back to the Argesu River, while to the northwest the
Germanic forces had smashed through the Roumanian lines and were rapidly
moving down the Argesu Valley from Pitesci and down the Dombovitza from
the Kompelung region.

To the south of the capital, King Ferdinand's troops delivered a
powerful counter-attack on December 2 that forced the Teutons back from
the Argesu line and reclaimed two villages.

The Russians meanwhile were making a determined effort to relieve the
situation at Bucharest by a counter-demonstration in the Carpathians,
where on December 3 a great battle was developing in their favor. They
had gained a foothold in Kirlibaba, the key to the Rodna Pass and the
plains of Hungary, and were attacking successfully at other points on
the 250-mile front. The Russians also had seized the western end of the
Cernavoda bridge over the Danube, thus putting a check on any movement
of General von Mackensen's troops across the river from Dobrudja.
General Sakharoff's forces continued furious, attacks along the entire
line in the Dobrudja.


The Italian forces operating in the Trentino continued their activity
during the fall and early winter of 1916, continual gains being made
in their difficult undertaking. General Cadorna began a new drive on
Trieste in October, transferring the weight of his attacks from the
Carso sector to the Trentino front. The total number of Austrian
prisoners taken on the Isonzo front from August 6 to October 12 was set
by the Italian War Office at 30,880. No decided advantage was gained by
either side up to December 5, although the Italians continued to take
many prisoners and much Austrian war material in the course of their
operations, and in November compelled the Austrian generals to transfer
many troops from the Roumanian front in order to cope with the Italian
attacks, delivered in the most difficult terrain of the entire war
and often under weather conditions that tried the hardihood of troops
trained to Alpine warfare.


Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, died at
Schonbrunn Castle, near Vienna, November 21, at the age of 86. He had
ruled for sixty-eight years, his reign being marked by much turbulence
in the empire, both political and social, and by a long series of
domestic and personal disasters that culminated in the assassination of
his nephew, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the joint thrones of
Austria and Hungary, which furnished the Teutonic excuse for the great
war. Francis Joseph was succeeded by his grandnephew, Archduke Charles
Francis Joseph, of whose personality little was known outside Austria.


Several German Zeppelins were brought to earth on English soil during
the progress of aerial raids in September and November, 1916. Commander
Robinson and Lieutenants Tempest and Sowery of the Flying Corps each
accounted for one of the huge aircraft in the London district The
former received the Victoria cross for his exploit. The crew of one of
the Zeppelins was captured, but in the other cases the crews perished
with the airships, which fell flaming to earth. Two more Zeppelins were
brought down late in November on the eastern coast of England and fell
into the sea. One of these was destroyed nine miles from the coast by
naval seaplanes and a patrol boat.


A wave of indignation swept over the civilized world, already outraged
almost beyond endurance by the unprecedented German disregard of
international law and the recognized customs of war, when it was
announced on November 10 that 30,000 Belgians had been deported into
exile by the German authorities in Belgium. It was alleged that all
males between the ages of 17 and 30 were being sent in cattle-cars to
Germany. Cardinal Mercier of Belgium protested in the name of humanity,
the men being ruthlessly torn from their families, and said the Belgians
were being reduced to a state of slavery. The Pope protested to the
German government against the reported action, and the State Department
at Washington made representations concerning it to Berlin. The total
number of Belgian males to be deported to work in German industries was
alleged to be 300,000. After investigation Viscount Bryce of England
and many other statesmen and publicists denounced the German action as


By a joint manifesto, issued on November 4 by the Emperors of Germany
and Austria, the ancient kingdom of Poland was revived and Polish
autonomy ostensibly re-established. The kingdom was proclaimed with due
ceremony in Lublin and Warsaw. The definite territorial limits of the
new nation were not set, according to the proclamation, and would not
be until the close of the war. Constitutional rule and a national army,
however, were to be established at once. The joint opinion of other
nations, neutrals and Allies of the Entente, was that Poland as captured
territory could not be recognized as a new kingdom.


By December 2 the battle for Bucharest had reached the outskirts of
the Roumanian capital and the guns of Von Mackensen's forces began a
bombardment of the outer forts, and on December 6 the armies of the
Central Powers took Bucharest, cutting off a large part of the defending
army. Ploesci, the great oil center of Roumania, and Sinaia, the
summer capital, also fell. Many thousands of Roumanian troops were taken
prisoners in the operations near Bucharest, the number being estimated
at 38,500 for the first week of the month, and the Roumanians retired to
new positions to the north and east of their fallen capital. General von
Heinrich, governor of Lille during the deportation of Belgians from that
city, was appointed military governor of Bucharest, on which the Germans
imposed a levy amounting practically to $400 a person, or a total of

Von Mackensen continued to press his advances in the Dobrudja and
eastern Wallachia during the month, though retarded by sturdy Russian
and Roumanian resistance. As Christmas approached the forces of the
Central Powers were pressing the Russo-Roumanians close to the Danube
where it runs east and west, forming the boundary between Roumania and


On December 7 Mr. Henry Lloyd-George accepted the British premiership
and formed a new Cabinet, which included an important representation
of labor and other elements of strength pointing to a systematic and
determined prosecution of the war from all angles. The Cabinet as
announced December 12 included Sir Edward Carson, the Irish Unionist
leader, as First Lord of the Admiralty, and Baron Devonport as food
controller, a new position. The size of the war council was reduced to
five, including the premier. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe was appointed
First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, being succeeded in command of the grand
fleet of Britain by Admiral Sir David Beatty, who commanded the British
battle-cruiser fleet in the battle of Jutland.

France followed suit in reorganizing her war council under Premier
Briand, also restricting the number of members to five, and General
Joffre was succeeded in command of the armies of the north and the
northeast by General Nivelle, commander of the French troops at Verdun,
where notable victories were gained by the French in December, regaining
almost all the ground lost during the previous operations of the year.
General Joffre was promoted to the high honor of Marshal of France, the
ancient rank being revived for him.


On December 12 the Central Powers simultaneously presented notes
to neutral powers for transmission to the nations of the Entente,
containing a proposal for an armistice to discuss the possibilities
of peace. No terms of peace accompanied the German notes and after
consultation with the allies of Great Britain Premier Lloyd-George
delivered a speech in the House of Commons on December 19, declaring
that the proposals of peace could not be entertained, and in which he

"I appear before the House of Commons today with the most terrible
responsibility that can fall upon the shoulders of any living man as
chief adviser of the Crown in the most gigantic war in which this
country was ever engaged--a war upon the events of which its destiny

"We accepted this war for an object, and a world object, and the war
will end when the object is attained under God. I hope it will never end
until that time.


"We feel that we ought to know, before we can give favorable
consideration to such an invitation, that Germany is prepared to accede
to the only terms on which it is possible peace can be obtained and
maintained in Europe, Those terms have been repeatedly stated by all the
leading statesmen of the Allies. They have been stated repeatedly here
and outside. To quote the leader of the House last week:

"'Reparation and guarantee against repetition, so there shall be no
mistake, and it is important that there should be no mistake in a matter
of life or death to millions.'

"Let me repeat: Complete restitution, full reparation, and effectual


"Did the German Chancellor use a single phrase to indicate that he was
prepared to accept such a peace? Was there a hint of restitution? Was
there a suggestion of reparation? Was there an implication of any
security for the future that this outrage on civilization would not
again be perpetrated at the first profitable opportunity?

"The very substance and style of the speech constitutes a denial of
peace on the only terms on which peace is possible. He is not even
conscious now that Germany has committed any offense against the rights
of free nations.

"Listen to this from the note:

"'Not for an instant have they [the Central Powers] swerved from the
conviction that respect of the rights of other nations is not in any
degree incompatible with their own rights and interests.'

"The note and speech prove that they have not yet learned the alphabet
of respect for the rights of others.

"The Allies entered this war to defend Europe against the aggression of
Prussian military domination, and, having begun it, they must insist
that the only end is the most complete effective guarantee against the
possibility of that caste ever again disturbing the peace of Europe.

"You can't have absolute equality in sacrifice. In war that is
impossible. But you can have equal readiness to sacrifice from all.
There are hundreds of thousands who have given their lives; there are
millions who have given up comfortable homes and exchanged them for
daily communion with death. Multitudes have given up those whom they
loved best.


"Let the nation as a whole place its comforts, its luxuries, its
indulgences, its elegances on the national altar consecrated by such
sacrifices as these men have made! Let us proclaim during the war a
national Lent! The nation will be better and stronger for it, mentally
and morally, as well as physically. It will strengthen its fiber and
ennoble its spirit. Without it we shall not get the full benefit of this

"Our armies have driven the enemy out of the battered villages of France
and across the devastated plains of Belgium. They might hurl him across
the Rhine in battered disarray. But unless the nation as a whole
shoulders part of the burden of victory it won't profit by the triumph,
for it is not what a nation gains, but what it gives that makes it


A bombshell was cast into the camps of the nations at war on December
20, when President Wilson unexpectedly addressed a message to the
belligerents, urging them to state their terms of peace and end the war
without further fighting.

An explanation of the President's message to the nations was made by
Secretary of State Lansing on the morning of its publication. In the
course of this he asserted that the United States had been brought
to "the verge of war," which was generally understood to mean that a
threatened resumption of submarine activities by Germany on a large
scale might create an intolerable situation; also that the President
desired to know the terms of peace contemplated by the powers at war,
so as to be informed as to how they would affect the interests of the
United States.

Germany replied to the President's note on December 26, giving no terms,
but lauding the "high-minded suggestion" of Mr. Wilson and proposing "an
immediate meeting of delegates of the belligerent states, at a neutral
place," continuing as follows: "The imperial government is also of the
opinion that the great work of preventing further wars can be begun only
after the end of the present struggle of the nations. It will, when this
moment shall have come, be ready with pleasure to collaborate entirely
with the United States in this exalted task."

The reply of the Entente Allies to President Wilson's message was
received January 11. While disclaiming any intention of exterminating
the Teutonic peoples, the Allies in this reply stated terms of peace
which would result in the humbling of Germany and Austria-Hungary and
the expulsion of Turkey from Europe.


The Entente peace terms enumerated in the reply to the President were:

Restoration of Belgium, Serbia and Montenegro, with the payment of
indemnities to each by Germany.

Evacuation of France, Russia and Roumania, with reparation to each by

Reorganization of Europe "guaranteed by a stable regime and founded as
much upon respect of nationalities and full security and liberty of
economic development, which all nations, great or small, possess, as
upon territorial conventions and international agreements suitable
to guarantee territorial and maritime frontiers against unjustified


Restoration to France of Alsace and Lorraine by Germany and to Italy of
the former northern provinces by Austria.

Liberation of Italians, Slavs, Roumanians and Tcheco Slovaques (Czech
Slavs) from domination by the Central Powers, which would mean the
cession of several outlying portions of Austria-Hungary to Russia,
Roumania, Serbia and Italy.

Enfranchisement of the Armenians and other "populations subject to the
bloody tyranny of the Turks."

Expulsion of the Turkish empire from Europe, thus giving Constantinople
to Russia.


"It goes without saying," concluded the note, "that, if the Allies wish
to liberate Europe from the brutal covetousness of Prussian militarism,
it never has been their design, as has been alleged, to encompass the
extermination of the German peoples and their political disappearance.

"That which they desire above all is to insure a peace upon the
principles of liberty and justice, upon the inviolable fidelity to
international obligation with which the government of the United States
has never ceased to be inspired.


"United in the pursuits of this supreme object, the Allies are
determined, individually and collectively, to act with all their power
and to consent to all sacrifices to bring to a victorious close a
conflict upon which they are convinced not only their own safety and
prosperity depend, but also the future of civilization itself."

Belgium, in addition to joining with her allies in the reply to the
President, sent an individual note, in which the conquered kingdom made
a stirring appeal for American sympathy in its purpose to fight on till
it won freedom with reparation.

The Allies promised that in the event of peace on these terms Russia
would carry out her announced intention of conferring autonomy on


A curious situation developed in Greece during the fall and early winter
of 1916. The German sympathies of King Constantine had brought him into
conflict with the considerable portion of the Greek people led by
the former premier, Venizelos, and the latter had proclaimed a Greek
republic and placed troops in the field in active co-operation with
the Allies. Diplomatic representatives of the Entente Powers who had
remained in Athens were ordered to leave early in November, their
presence being felt to be a menace to the interests of the Allies, whose
warships commanded the Greek ports and whose troops were stationed
at Saloniki in large numbers. The ostensible neutrality of King
Constantine's government was regarded by the Allies as dangerous, the
failure of Greece to respond to the call of Serbia, its treaty ally,
having demonstrated the governmental inclination toward the cause of the
Central Powers. In order to minimize the danger, therefore, the French
admiral, Du Fournet, in command of the Allied fleet, demanded the
surrender to the Allies of certain guns and war material, and this
demand being refused French and British marines were landed at the
Piraeus on December 2, 1916, and took possession of the Acropolis. This
led to their being fired upon by Greek reservists who had been called
out, and some bloodshed resulted, there being about 200 casualties
before a compromise was reached between King Constantine and the Allied
commanders and the Greek crisis passed for the time being. The king
submitted to part of the Allied demands, the others were waived, and the
forces landed were withdrawn, after a day of fighting in which the
Greek reservists engaged in many clashes with the armed followers of

On January 9 ministers of the Entente Powers handed to the Greek
government an ultimatum giving Greece forty-eight hours to comply with
the demands contained in the note drawn up by France, Great Britain and
Russia on December 31.

Included in the ultimatum was a request by the Entente Powers that the
Greek government fulfill at the earliest possible moment the agreement
of December 14 regarding the transfer of Greek troops from Thessaly.


During the night of January 14 a party of British troops entered the
German lines east of Loos. Many casualties were inflicted on the enemy,
his dug-outs were bombed and some prisoners were secured. North of the
Ancre an enemy transport was successfully engaged.

In addition to the usual artillery activity the enemy's positions were
effectually bombarded southeast of Loos and opposite the Bois Grenier.


The official communication of the French war office January 15, 1917,
announced that reciprocal bombardments took place on both banks of the
Somme, the right bank of the Meuse and in Lorraine.

After a bombardment the night before between the Aisne and the Argonne
the Germans attacked the French advanced posts; they were driven back
after a spirited combat with grenades.

On their side the French carried out several surprise attacks on the
enemy lines, taking material and prisoners.

On January 16 a powerful offensive was started by the Russo-Roumanian
forces in the Roumanian theatre of war, with strong attacks between the
Casinu and Sushitza valleys and on both sides of Fundeni. In places the
trenches of the German Allies were entered.



  _German Sea Raider Busy--British Victory in Mesopotamia
 --Russia Dethrones the Czar--United States' Relations
  with Germany Severed--Germans Retreat on the West_.

On January 10 the Greek government accepted the ultimatum of the
Allies, providing satisfaction to them without interfering with the
administration of the country or local communications. From this time on
the situation in Greece ceased to be a source of serious trouble to the
Allied commanders at Saloniki.


It was learned on January 17 that a German sea raider, which had
succeeded in slipping through the cordon of British ships, had been
preying on commerce in the south Atlantic for six weeks. Twenty-one
vessels were reported to have been sunk by the raider, with a total loss
of approximately $40,000,000. Victims of the raider who were landed at
Pernambuco, Brazil, January 18 stated their belief that she was the
steamship Moewe, notorious as a raider early in the war, but later
reported docked in the Kiel Canal. It was said that she left the Canal
disguised as a Danish hay-ship.


In a sea battle off Zeebrugge, Holland, on January 23, fourteen German
torpedo-boat destroyers, attempting to leave port, were attacked by a
British flotilla and seven of them were reported sunk.


Victorious advances were made in Mesopotamia during the month of January
by the British forces, who were determined to wipe out the reverse
sustained in the surrender at Kut-el-Amara in 1916. On January 21 it was
announced that the Turks had been driven out of positions on the right
bank of the Tigris, near Kut, the British occupying their trenches on a
wide front.

After a series of persistent attacks Kut-el-Amara fell before the
British advance on February 26, opening the road to Bagdad. The Turkish
garrison of the city took flight, hotly pursued by the British cavalry,
and more than 2,000 prisoners were taken, with many guns and large
quantities of war material. Next day the British defeated the Turks in a
sanguinary battle 15 miles northwest of the captured town, and took many
more prisoners. Bagdad soon fell into their hands, and as the month of
April approached the British were on the eve of effecting a junction
with the Russian army advancing through Mesopotamia.


After many vicissitudes in the fighting on the Eastern front in January,
the Russians struck a smashing blow at the Teuton line on January 28,
tearing a mile-wide gap in Bukowina, close to the Roumanian frontier.
Berlin admitted that the offensives on the Sereth and Riga fronts had
been temporarily stopped, that many prisoners had been taken by the
Russians, and that the German lines had been withdrawn because of
superior pressure. The reorganized Roumanian army was reported ready for
a new offensive in the spring.

The Russian successes were, however, only temporary and the remainder of
the winter campaign was marked by repeated efforts on the part of the
Germans to break down the Russian defenses of Riga on the north, and to
push the Slavs still further back on the south. Late in February the
Teuton forces entered Russian positions in Galicia and also re-took
the offensive on the Roumanian front, raiding Russian trenches in the
Carpathians and blocking all Russian attempts to force the mountain
passes. On February 28 they recaptured most of the peaks in the Bukowina
which were lost to the Russians earlier in the year, and took a large
number of Russian prisoners.

Meanwhile the Russian advance in Persia and Mesopotamia against the
Turks continued unchecked, and events of importance were shaping
themselves in the Russian empire, calculated to have an immense effect
on the conduct of the Russian armies in the field as well as on the
fortunes of the Romanoff dynasty.


Early in March, after several days of ominous silence in regard to
events in Petrograd, the news of a successful revolution in Russia
astonished the world. From March 9 to March 15, it appeared, the Russian
people, headed by Michael Rodzianko, President of the Duma, set about
cleaning house with quiet but characteristic thoroughness. Beginning
with minor food riots and labor strikes, the cry for food reached the
hearts of the soldiers, and one by one, regiments rebelled until finally
those troops which had for a time stood loyal to the government of the
Czar and his bureaucratic advisers gathered up their arms and marched
into the ranks of the revolutionists.

The change came with startling and dramatic rapidity. The Duma, ordered
by Imperial rescript to dissolve, refused to obey and voted to continue
its meetings. An Executive Committee was appointed, headed by the
President of the Duma, which after arresting a number of pro-German
ministers of the Czar, proclaimed itself a Provisional Government
and announced its intention of creating a new representative form of
government for the country. With the assistance of the army, it was soon
in control.

Czar Nicholas was promptly compelled to abdicate the throne for himself
and his young son. At first the crown was offered to his brother, the
Grand Duke Michael, but inside of twenty-four hours he declined it, also
abdicating formally. The Czar and imperial family were confined, while
the former pro-German ministers were thrown into prison. The new
Provisional Government pledged itself to conduct the war against Germany
vigorously, and promised the people complete religious liberty and
freedom of speech, political amnesty, universal suffrage, and a
constitutional assembly to determine the form of the permanent new
government. Great Britain, France, and Italy were prompt to recognize
the Duma committee and it was also given enthusiastic support by the
Russian armies in the field.

By March 20 absolute quiet prevailed in Petrograd and throughout Russia.
The Allies were officially notified of the abdication of Nicholas II and
informed by Foreign Minister Milukoff that Russia would stay in the
war with them to the end. Prince Lvoff, one of the most popular men in
Russia, was placed at the head of the Government Constitute and general
political amnesty was proclaimed in a ukase which brought numbers of
political prisoners back to their homes from Siberia, and caused great
rejoicing throughout the country, no longer an empire of the Romanoffs,
who had ruled it for centuries with a rod of iron.

The United States recognized the new order of things in Russia on March
22. A few days later the grand dukes and royal princes of Russia jointly
informed the Government Constitute that they formally associated
themselves with the abdication of Grand Duke Michael and would turn over
to the new Government the crown lands and other state grants in their
possession, thus completing the total abdication of the Romanoff
dynasty and placing the seal of complet