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Title: Horrors and Atrocities of the Great War - Including the Tragic Destruction of the Lusitania
Author: Gibbs, Philip, Marshall, Logan, Thompson, Vance, Parker, Gilbert
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Transcriber’s Notes

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The murderous German submarine sighting its prey. Sinking under water it
launched the fatal torpedo and its helpless victim, crowded with
innocent men, women and children, was doomed.]


  =Including the Tragic Destruction of the Lusitania=

  The Desolation of Belgium, the Sacking of Louvain, the Shelling of
  Defenseless Cities, the Wanton Destruction of Cathedrals and Works of
  Art, the Horrors of Bomb Dropping
  The Grim Awfulness of this Greatest of All Wars Fought on Land and
  Sea, in the Air and Under the Waves, Leaving in Its Wake a Dreadful
  Trail of Famine and Pestilence

  Author of “The Sinking of the Titanic,” “Myths and
  Legends of All Nations,” etc.

  With Special Chapters by

  Author of “The Right of Way”

  Author of “Spinners of Life”

  Author of “The Street of Adventure,” Special
  Correspondent on _The London Daily Chronicle_.


  By L. T. MYERS


“_Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me._”--JESUS OF NAZARETH

The sight of all Europe engaged in the most terrific conflict in the
history of mankind is a heartrending spectacle. On the east, on the
south and on the west the blood-lust leaders have flung their deluded
millions upon unbending lines of steel, martyrs to the glorification of

We see millions of men taken from their homes, their shops and their
factories; we see them equipped and organized and mobilized for the
express purpose of devastating the homes of other men; we see them
making wreckage of property; we see them wasting, with fire and sword,
the accumulated efforts of generations in the field of things material;
we see the commerce of the world brought to a standstill, all its
transportation systems interrupted, and, still worse, the amenities of
life so placed in jeopardy for long generations to come that the
progress of the world is halted, its material and physical progress
turned to retrogression.

  “_Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
  brethren, ye have done it unto me!_”

But this is not the worst. We see myriads of men banded together to
practice open violation of the very fundamental tenets of humanity; we
see the worst passions of mankind, murder, theft, lust, arson,
pillage--all the baser possibilities of human nature--coming to the
surface. Outside of the natural killing of war, hundreds of men have
been murdered, often with incidents of the most revolting brutality;
children have been slaughtered; women have been outraged, killed and
shamefully mutilated. And this we see among peoples who have no possible
cause for personal quarrel.

  “_Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
  brethren, ye have done it unto me!_”

To all human beings of normal mentality it must have seemed that the
destruction of the Lusitania marked the apex of horror. There is,
indeed, nothing in modern history--nothing, at least, since the Black
Hole of Calcutta and some of the indescribable atrocities of Kurdish
fanatics--to supply the mind with a vantage ground from which to measure
the causeless and profitless savagery of this black deed of murder.

To talk of “warning” having been given on the day the Lusitania sailed
is puerile. So does the Black Hand send its warnings. So does Jack the
Ripper write his defiant letters to the police. Nothing of this prevents
us from regarding such miscreants as wild beasts, against whom society
has to defend itself at all hazards.

There are many reasons but not a single excuse for the war. When a man,
or a nation, wants what a rival holds and makes a violent effort to
enter into possession thereof, right and conscience and duty before God
and to one’s neighbor are forgotten in the struggle. Man reverts to the
brute. Loose rein is given to passion, and the worst appears. The fair
edifice of sobriety and amity and just dealing between man and man,
upreared by civilization in centuries of travail, is rent asunder, stone
from stone. The inner shrine of the inalienable sense of human
brotherhood is profaned. One cannot reconcile with any program for the
lasting accomplishment of good and the victory of the truth, this fever
of murder on a grand scale, this insensate madness of pillage and
slaughter that goes from alarum and counter-alarum to overt acts of
fiendish and sickening brutality, palliated because they are done by
anonymous thousands instead of by one man who can be named.

  “_Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
  brethren, ye have done it unto me!_”

It is civilization that is being shot down by machine guns in Europe.
That great German host is not made up of mercenaries, nor of the type of
men that at one time composed armies. There are Ehrlichs serving as
privates in the ranks and in the French corps are Rostands. A bullet
does not kill a man; it destroys a generation of learning, annihilates
the mentality which was about to be humanity’s instrument in unearthing
another of nature’s secrets. The very vehicles of progress are the
victims. It will take years to train their equals, decades perhaps to
reproduce the intelligence that was ripe to do its work. The chances of
the acquisition of knowledge are being sacrificed. Far more than half of
the learning on which the world depends for progress is turned from
laboratories and workshops into the destructive arenas of battle.

It is indeed a war against civilization. The personnel of the armies
makes it so. Every battle is the sacrifice of human assets that cannot
be replaced. That is the real tragedy of this stupendous conflict.

Perhaps it is better that the inevitable has come so soon. The burden of
preparation was beginning to stagger Europe. There may emerge from the
whirlpool new dynasties, new methods, new purposes. This may be the
furnace necessary to purge humanity of its brutal perspective. The
French Revolution gave an impulse to democracy which it has never lost.
This conflict may teach men the folly of dying for trade or avarice. But
whatever it does, it is not too much to hope that the capital and energy
of humanity will become again manifest in justice and moral achievement,
until the place of a nation on the map becomes absolutely subordinate to
the place it occupies in the uplift of humanity.


  INTRODUCTION                                                         3
          DESTRUCTION OF THE LUSITANIA                                 9
       V. THE PLOT AGAINST THE RESCUE SHIPS                           55
      VI. BRITISH JURY FINDS KAISER A MURDERER                        61
          ATROCITY                                                    69
       X. SWIFT REVERSAL TO BARBARISM                                101
            By Vance Thompson, American Author and Journalist.
      XI. BELGIUM’S BITTER NEED                                      112
            By Sir Gilbert Parker, M.P., British Novelist.
   XVIII. PITIFUL FLIGHT OF A MILLION WOMEN                          195
            By Philip Gibbs, English Author and Journalist.
     XIX. FACING DEATH IN THE TRENCHES                               207
      XX. A VIVID PICTURE OF WAR                                     221
    XXII. WHAT THE MEN IN THE TRENCHES WRITE HOME                    234
   XXIII. BOMBARDING UNDEFENDED CITIES                               240
    XXIV. GERMANY’S FATAL WAR ZONE                                   246
     XXV. MULTITUDINOUS TRAGEDIES AT SEA                             251
    XXVI. HOW “NEUTRAL” WATERS ARE VIOLATED                          255
   XXVII. THE TERRIBLE DISTRESS OF POLAND                            259
     XXX. THE TERRIBLE WORK OF ARTILLERY IN WAR                      280
          LEAD TO?                                                   314


The English Cunarder, “Lusitania,” one of the largest and fastest
passenger vessels in the world, was torpedoed and sunk by a German
submarine in a few minutes with the loss of two-thirds of her passengers
and crew, among whom were more than one hundred American citizens. The
vessel was entirely unarmed and a noncombatant. (_Copyright by Underwood
and Underwood._)]


Upper left picture shows a section at center of the vessel. Upper right
view shows the submarine at the surface with two torpedo tubes visible
at the stern. The large picture illustrates how this monster attacks a
vessel like the Lusitania by launching a torpedo beneath the water while
securing its observation through the periscope, just above the waves.]




No thinking man--whether he believes or disbelieves in war--expects to
have war without the horrors and atrocities which accompany it. That
“war is hell” is as true now as when General Sherman so pronounced it.
It seems, indeed, to be truer today. And yet we have always
thought--perhaps because we hoped--that there was a limit at which even
war, with all its lust of blood, with all its passion of hatred, with
all its devilish zest for efficiency in the destruction of human life,
would stop.

Now we know that there is no limit at which the makers of war, in their
frenzy to pile horror on horror, and atrocity on atrocity, will stop. We
have seen a nation despoiled and raped because it resisted an invader,
and we said that was war. But now out of the sun-lit waves has come a
venomous instrument of destruction, and without warning, without respite
for escape, has sent headlong to the bottom of the everlasting sea more
than a thousand unarmed, unresisting, peace-bent men, women and
children--even babes in arms. So the Lusitania was sunk. It may be war,
but it is something incalculably more sobering than merely that. It is
the difference between assassination and massacre. It is war’s supreme
crime against civilization.


The horror of the deadly assault on the Lusitania does not lessen as the
first shock of the disaster recedes into the past. The world is aghast.
It had not taken the German threat at full value; it did not believe
that any civilized nation would be so wanton in its lust and passion of
war as to count a thousand non-combatant lives a mere unfortunate
incidental of the carnage.

Nothing that can be said in mitigation of the destruction of the
Lusitania can alter the fact that an outrage unknown heretofore in the
warfare of civilized nations has been committed. Regardless of the
technicalities which may be offered as a defense in international law,
there are rights which must be asserted, must be defended and
maintained. If international law can be torn to shreds and converted
into scrap paper to serve the necessities of war, its obstructive letter
can be disregarded when it is necessary to serve the rights of

[Illustration: THE TRIUMPH OF HATE.]


The irony of the situation lies in the fact that from the ghastly
experience of great marine disasters the Lusitania was evolved as a
vessel that was “safe.” No such calamity as the attack of a torpedo was
foreseen by the builders of the giant ship, and yet, even after the
outbreak of the European war, and when upon the eve of her last voyage
the warning came that an attempt would be made to torpedo the Lusitania,
her owners confidently assured the world that the ship was safe because
her great speed would enable her to outstrip any submarine ever built.

Limitation of language makes adequate word description of this mammoth
Cunarder impossible. The following figures show its immense dimensions:
Length, 790 feet; breadth, 88 feet; depth, to boat deck, 80 feet;
draught, fully loaded, 37 feet, 6 inches; displacement on load line,
45,000 tons; height to top of funnels, 155 feet; height to mastheads,
216 feet. The hull below draught line was divided into 175 water-tight
compartments, which made it--so the owners claimed--“unsinkable.” With
complete safety device equipment, including wireless telegraph,
Mundy-Gray improved method of submarine signaling, and with officers and
crew all trained and reliable men, the Lusitania was acclaimed as being
unexcelled from a standpoint of safety, as in all other respects.

Size, however, was its least remarkable feature. The ship was propelled
by four screws rotated by turbine engines of 68,000 horse-power, capable
of developing a sea speed of more than twenty-five knots per hour
regardless of weather conditions, and of maintaining without driving a
schedule with the regularity of a railroad train, and thus establishing
its right to the title of “the fastest ocean greyhound.”


On Saturday May 1, 1915, the day on which the Cunard liner Lusitania,
carrying 2,000 passengers and crew, sailed from New York for Liverpool,
the following advertisement, over the name of the Imperial German
Embassy, was published in the leading newspapers of the United States:


  TRAVELERS intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that
  a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain
  and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to
  the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the
  Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain,
  or of any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and
  that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or
  her allies do so at their own risk.

  WASHINGTON, D. C., April 22, 1915.

The advertisement was commented upon by the passengers of the Lusitania,
but it did not cause any of them to cancel their bookings. No one took
the matter seriously. It was not conceivable that even the German
military lords could seriously plot so dastardly an attack on

When the attention of Captain W. T. Turner, commander of the Lusitania,
was called to the warning, he laughed and said: “It doesn’t seem as if
they had scared many people from going on the ship by the looks of the
passenger list.”

Agents of the Cunard Line said there was no truth in reports that
several prominent passengers had received anonymous telegrams warning
them not to sail on the Lusitania. Charles T. Bowring, president of the
St. George’s Society, who was a passenger, said that it was a silly
performance for the German Embassy to do.

Charles Klein, the American playwright, said he was going to devote his
time on the voyage to thinking of his new play, “Potash and Perlmutter
in Society,” and would not have time to worry about trifles.

Alfred G. Vanderbilt was one of the last to go on board.

Elbert Hubbard, publisher of the Philistine, who sailed with his wife,
said he believed the German Emperor had ordered the advertisement to be
placed in the newspapers, and added jokingly that if he was on board the
liner when she was torpedoed, he would be able to do the Kaiser justice
in the Philistine.

The early days of the voyage were unmarked by incidents other than those
which have interested ocean passengers on countless previous trips, and
little apprehension was felt by those on the Lusitania of the fate which
lay ahead of the vessel.

The ship was proceeding at a moderate speed, on Friday, May 7, when she
passed Fastnet Light, off Cape Clear, the extreme southwesterly point of
Ireland that is first sighted by east-bound liners. Captain Turner was
on the bridge, with his staff captain and other officers, maintaining a
close lookout. Fastnet left behind, the Lusitania’s course was brought
closer to shore, probably within twelve miles of the rock-bound coast.


Her speed was also increased to twenty knots or more, according to the
more observant passengers, and some declare that she worked a sort of
zigzag course, plainly ready to shift her helm whenever danger should
appear. Captain Turner, it is known, was watching closely for any
evidence of submarines.

One of the passengers, Dr. Daniel Moore, of Yankton, S. D., declared
that before he went downstairs to luncheon shortly after one o’clock he
and others with him noticed, through a pair of marine glasses, a curious
object in the sea, possibly two miles or more away. What it was he could
not determine, but he jokingly referred to it later at luncheon as a

While the first cabin passengers were chatting over their coffee cups
they felt the ship give a great leap forward. Full speed ahead had
suddenly been signaled from the bridge. This was a few minutes after two
o’clock, and just about the time that Ellison Myers, of Stratford,
Ontario, a boy on his way to join the British Navy, noticed the
periscope of a submarine about a mile away to starboard. Myers and his
companions saw Captain Turner hurriedly give orders to the helmsman and
ring for full speed to the engine room.

The Lusitania began to swerve to starboard, heading for the submarine,
but before she could really answer her helm a torpedo was flashing
through the water toward her at express speed. Myers and his companions,
like many others of the passengers, saw the white wake of the torpedo
and its metal casing gleaming in the bright sunlight. The weather was
ideal, light winds and a clear sky making the surface of the ocean as
calm and smooth as could be wished by any traveler.


The torpedo came on, aimed apparently at the bow of the ship, but nicely
calculated to hit her amidships. Before its wake was seen the periscope
of the submarine had vanished beneath the surface.

In far less time than it takes to tell, the torpedo had crashed into the
Lusitania’s starboard side, just abaft the first funnel, and exploded
with a dull boom in the forward stoke-hole.

Captain Turner at once ordered the helm put over and the prow of the
ship headed for land, in the hope that she might strike shallow water
while still under way. The boats were ordered out, and the signals
calling the boat crews to their stations were flashed everywhere through
the vessel.

Several of the life-boats were already swung out, according to some
survivors, there having been a life-saving drill earlier in the day
before the ship spoke Fastnet Light.

Down in the dining saloon the passengers felt the ship reel from the
shock of the explosion and many were hurled from their chairs. Before
they could recover themselves, another explosion occurred. There is a
difference of opinion as to the number of torpedoes fired. Some say
there were two; others say only one torpedo struck the vessel, and that
the second explosion was internal.


In any event, the passengers now realized their danger. The ship, torn
almost apart, was filled with fumes and smoke, the decks were covered
with débris that fell from the sky, and the great Lusitania began to
list quickly to starboard. Before the passengers below decks could make
their way above, the decks were beginning to slant ominously, and the
air was filled with the cries of terrified men and women, some of them
already injured by being hurled against the sides of the saloons. Many
passengers were stricken unconscious by the smoke and fumes from the
exploding torpedoes.

The stewards and stewardesses, recognizing the too evident signs of a
sinking ship, rushed about urging and helping the passengers to put on
life-belts, of which more than 3,000 were aboard.

On the boat deck attempts were being made to lower the life-boats, but
several causes combined to impede the efforts of the crew in this
direction. The port side of the vessel was already so far up that the
boats on that side were quite useless, and as the starboard boats were
lowered the plunging vessel--she was still under headway, for all
efforts to reverse the engines proved useless--swung back and forth, and
when they struck the water were dragged along through the sea, making it
almost impossible to get them away.


The first life-boat that struck the water capsized with some sixty women
and children aboard her, and all of these must have been drowned almost
instantly. Ten more boats were lowered, the desperate expedient of
cutting away the ropes being resorted to to prevent them from being
dragged along by the now halting steamer.

The great ship was sinking by the bow, foot by foot, and in ten minutes
after the first explosion she was already preparing to founder. Her
stern rose high in the air, so that those in the boats that got away
could see the whirring propellers, and even the boat deck was awash.

Captain Turner urged the men to be calm, to take care of the women and
children, and megaphoned the passengers to seize life-belts,
chairs--anything they could lay hands on to save themselves from
drowning. There was never any question in the captain’s mind that the
ship was about to sink, and if, as reported, some of the stewards ran
about advising the passengers not to take to the boats, that there was
no danger of the vessel going down till she reached shore, it was done
without his orders. But many of the survivors have denied this, and
declared that all the crew, officers, stewards and sailors, even the
stokers, who dashed up from their flaming quarters below, showed the
utmost bravery and calmness in the face of the disaster, and sought in
every way to aid the panic-stricken passengers to get off the ship.


When it was seen that most of the boats would be useless, hundreds of
passengers donned life-belts and jumped into the sea. Others seized deck
chairs, tubs, kegs, anything available, and hurled themselves into the
water, clinging to these articles.

The first-cabin passengers fared worst, for the second- and third-cabin
travelers had long before finished their midday meal and were on deck
when the torpedo struck. But the first-cabin people on the D deck and in
the balcony, at luncheon, were at a terrible disadvantage, and those who
had already finished were in their staterooms resting or cleaning up
preparatory to the after luncheon day.

The confusion on the stairways became terrible, and the great number of
little children, more than 150 of them under two years, a great many of
them infants in arms, made the plight of the women still more desperate.


After the life-boats had cut adrift it was plain that a few seconds
would see the end of the great ship. With a great shiver she bent her
bow down below the surface, and then her stern uprose, and with a
horrible sough the liner that had been the pride of the Cunard Line,
plunged down in sixty fathoms of water. In the last few seconds the
hundreds of women and men, a great many of them carrying children in
their arms, leaped overboard, but hundreds of others, delaying the jump
too long, were carried down in the suction that left a huge whirlpool
swirling about the spot where the last of the vessel was seen.

Among these were Elbert Hubbard and his wife, Charles Frohman, who was
crippled with rheumatism and unable to move quickly; Justus Miles
Forman, Charles Klein, Alfred G. Vanderbilt and many others of the
best-known Americans and Englishmen aboard.

Captain Turner stayed on the bridge as the ship went down, but before
the last plunge he bade his staff officer and the helmsman, who were
still with him, to save themselves. The helmsman leaped into the sea and
was saved, but the staff officer would not desert his superior, and went
down with the ship. He did not come to the surface again.

Captain Turner, however, a strong swimmer, rose after the eddying
whirlpool had calmed down, and, seizing a couple of deck chairs, kept
himself afloat for three hours. The master-at-arms of the Lusitania,
named Williams, who was looking for survivors in a boat after he had
been picked up, saw the flash of the captain’s gold-braided uniform, and
rescued him, more dead than alive.


Despite the doubt as to whether two torpedoes exploded, or whether the
first detonation caused the big liner’s boilers to let go, Captain
Turner stated that there was no doubt that at least two torpedoes
reached the ship.

“I am not certain whether the two explosions--and there were
two--resulted from torpedoes, or whether one was a boiler explosion. I
am sure, however, that I saw the first torpedo strike the vessel on her
starboard side. I also saw a second torpedo apparently headed straight
for the steamship’s hull, directly below the suite occupied by Alfred G.

When asked if the second explosion had been caused by the blowing up of
ammunition stored in the liner’s hull, Captain Turner said:

“No; if ammunition had exploded that would probably have torn the ship
apart and the loss of life would have been much heavier than it was.”

Captain Turner declared that, from the bridge, he saw the torpedo
streaking toward the Lusitania and tried to change the ship’s course to
avoid the missile, but was unable to do so in time. The only thing left
for him to do was to rush the liner ashore and beach her, and she was
headed for the Irish coast when she foundered.

According to Captain Turner, the German submarine did not flee at once
after torpedoing the liner.

“While I was swimming about after the ship had disappeared I saw the
periscope of the submarine rise amidst the débris,” said he. “Instead of
offering any help the submarine immediately submerged herself and I saw
nothing more of her. I did everything possible for my passengers. That
was all I could do.”




Every great calamity produces its great heroes. Particularly is this
true of marine disasters, where the opportunities of escape are limited,
and where the heroism of the strong often impels them to stand back and
give place to the weak. One cannot think of the Titanic disaster without
remembering Major Archibald Butt, Colonel John Jacob Astor, Henry B.
Harris, William T. Stead and others, nor of the sinking of the Empress
of Ireland without calling to mind Dr. James F. Grant, the ship’s
surgeon; Sir Henry Seton-Karr, Lawrence Irving, H. R. O’Hara of Toronto,
and the rest of the noble company of heroes. So the destruction of the
Lusitania brought uppermost in the breasts of many those qualities of
fortitude and self-sacrifice which will forever mark them in the
calendar of the world’s martyrs.


Among the Lusitania’s heroes, one of the foremost was Alfred Gwynne
Vanderbilt, one of America’s wealthiest men. With everything to live
for, Mr. Vanderbilt sacrificed his one chance for escape from the doomed
Lusitania, in order that a woman might live. Details of the chivalry he
displayed in those last moments when he tore off a life-belt as he was
about to leap into the sea, and strapped it around a young woman, were
told by three of the survivors.

Mr. Vanderbilt could not swim, and when he gave up his life-belt it was
with the virtual certainty that he was surrendering his only chance for

Thomas Slidell, of New York, said he saw Mr. Vanderbilt on the deck as
the Lusitania was sinking. He was equipped with a life-belt and was
climbing over the rail, when a young woman rushed onto the deck. Mr.
Vanderbilt saw her as he stood poised to leap into the sea. Without
hesitating a moment he jumped back to the deck, tore off the life-belt,
strapped it around the young woman and dropped her overboard.

The Lusitania plunged under the waves a few minutes later and Mr.
Vanderbilt was seen to be drawn into the vortex.

Norman Ratcliffe, of Gillingham, Kent, and Wallace B. Phillips, a
newspaper man, also saw Mr. Vanderbilt sink with the Lusitania. The
coolness and heroism he showed were marvelous, they said.

Oliver P. Bernard, scenic artist at Covent Garden, saw Mr. Vanderbilt
standing near the entrance to the grand saloon soon after the vessel was

“He was the personification of sportsmanlike coolness,” Mr. Bernard
said. “In his right hand was grasped what looked to me like a large
purple leather jewel case. It may have belonged to Lady Mackworth, as
Mr. Vanderbilt had been much in the company of the Thomas party during
the trip and evidently had volunteered to do Lady Mackworth the service
of saving her gems for her.”

Another touching incident was told of Mr. Vanderbilt by Mrs. Stanley L.
B. Lines, a Canadian, who said: “Mr. Vanderbilt will in the future be
remembered as the ‘children’s hero.’ I saw him standing outside the palm
saloon on the starboard side, with Ronald Denit. He looked upon the
scene before him, and then, turning to his valet, said:

“‘Find all the kiddies you can and bring them here.’ The servant rushed
off and soon reappeared, herding a flock of little ones. Mr. Vanderbilt,
catching a child under each arm, ran with them to a life-boat and dumped
them in. He then threw in two more, and continued at his task until all
the young ones were in the boat. Then he turned his attention to aiding
the women into boats.”


“Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure in life,” were the
last words of Charles Frohman before he went down with the Lusitania,
according to Miss Rita Jolivet, an American actress, with whom he talked
calmly just before the end came.

Miss Jolivet, who was among the survivors taken to Queenstown, said she
and Mr. Frohman were standing on deck as the Lusitania heeled over. They
decided not to trust themselves to life-boats, although Mr. Frohman
believed the ship was doomed. It was after reaching this decision that
he declared he had no fear of death.


This British destroyer escaped a torpedo from a hunted submarine by
quick turning. This incident took place at the naval fight off the
island of Heligoland, in October. (_Copyright, The Sun News Service._)]


One of the Belgian armored motor cars surprising a party of Uhlans.
Several of the enemy were killed by the rapid fire from swivel machine
gun and rifle, but the car driven at a furious pace was wrecked on a
fallen horse.]


This advertisement was wired to forty American newspapers by Count von
Bernstorff, German Ambassador at Washington. It was ordered inserted on
the morning of the day the Lusitania sailed.]

Dr. F. Warren Pearl, of New York, who was saved, with his wife and two
of their four children, corroborated Miss Jolivet’s statement, saying:

“After the first shock, as I made my way to the deck, I saw Charles
Frohman distributing life-belts. Mr. Frohman evidently did not expect to
escape, as he said to a woman passenger, ‘Why should we fear death? It
is the greatest adventure man can have.’”

Sir James M. Barrie, in a tribute to Charles Frohman, published in the
London Daily Mail, describes him as “the man who never broke his word.

“His companies were as children to him. He chided them as children,
soothed them as children and forgave them and certainly loved them as
children. He exulted in those who became great in that world, and gave
them beautiful toys to play with; but great as was their devotion to
him, it is not they who will miss him most, but rather the far greater
number who never made a hit, but set off like all the rest, and fell by
the way. He was of so sympathetic a nature; he understood so well the
dismalness to them of being failures, that he saw them as children, with
their knuckles to their eyes, and then he sat back cross-legged on his
chair, with his knuckles, as it were, to his eyes, and life had lost its
flavor for him until he invented a scheme for giving them another

“Perhaps it is fitting that all those who only made for honest mirth and
happiness should now go out of the world; because it is too wicked for
them. It is strange to think that in America, Dernburg and Bernstorff,
who we must believe were once good men, too, have an extra smile with
their breakfast roll because they and theirs have drowned Charles


The presence of so many babies on board the Lusitania was due to the
influx from Canada of the English-born wives of Canadians at the battle
front, who were coming to England to live with their own or their
husband’s parents during the war.

No more pathetic loss has been recorded than that of F. G. Webster, a
Toronto contractor, who was traveling second class with his wife, their
six-year-old son Frederick and year-old twin sons William and Henry.
They reached the deck with others who were in the dining saloon when the
torpedo struck. Webster took his son by the hand and darted away to
bring life-belts. When he returned his wife and babies were not to be
seen, nor have they been since.

W. Harkless, an assistant purser, busied himself helping others until
the Lusitania was about to founder. Then, seeing a life-boat striking
the water that was not overcrowded, he made a rush for it. The only
person he encountered was little Barbara Anderson, of Bridgeport, Conn.,
who was standing alone, clinging to the rail. Gathering her up in his
arms he leaped over the rail and into the boat, doing this without
injuring the child.

Francis J. Luker, a British subject, who had worked six years in the
United States as a postal clerk, and was going home to enlist, saved two
babies. He found the little passengers, bereft of their mother, in the
shelter of a deck-house. The Lusitania was nearing her last plunge. A
life-boat was swaying to the water below. Grabbing the babies he ran to
the rail and made a flying leap into the craft, and those babies did not
leave his arms until they were set safely ashore hours later.

One woman, a passenger on the Lusitania, lost all three of her children
in the disaster, and gave the bodies of two of them to the sea herself.
When the ship went down she held up the three children in the water,
shrieking for help. When rescued two were dead. Their room was required
and the mother was brave enough to realize it.

“Give them to me!” she shrieked. “Give them to me, my bonnie wee things.
I will bury them. They are mine to bury as they were mine to keep.”

With her form shaking with sorrow she took hold of each little one from
the rescuers and reverently placed it in the water again, and the people
in the boat wept with her as she murmured a little sobbing prayer.

Just as the rescuers were landing her third and only remaining child


Even the young girls and women on the Lusitania proved themselves
heroines during the last few moments and met their fate calmly or rose
to emergencies which called for great bravery and presence of mind.

Fourteen-year-old Kathleen Kaye was returning from Toronto, where she
had been visiting relatives. With a merry smile on her lips and with a
steady patter of reassurance, she aided the stewards who were filling
one of the life-boats.

Soon after the girl took her own place in the boat one of the sailors
fainted under the strain of the efforts to get the boat clear of the
maelstrom that marked where the liner went down. Miss Kaye took the
abandoned oar and rowed until the boat was out of danger. None among the
survivors bore fewer signs of their terrible experiences than Miss
Kaye, who spent most of her time comforting and assisting her sisters in


Ernest Cowper, a Toronto newspaper man, praised the work of the
Lusitania’s crew in their efforts to get the passengers into the boats.
Mr. Cowper told of having observed the ship watches keeping a strict
lookout for submarines as soon as the ship began to near the coast.

“The crew proceeded to get the passengers into boats in an orderly,
prompt and efficient manner. Helen Smith, a child, begged me to save
her. I placed her in a boat and saw her safely away. I got into one of
the last boats to leave.

“Some of the boats could not be launched, as the vessel was sinking.
There was a large number of women and children in the second cabin.
Forty of the children were less than a year old.”


R. J. Timmis, of Gainesville, Tex., a cotton buyer, who was saved after
he had given his life-belt to a woman steerage passenger who carried a
baby, told of the loss of his friend, R. T. Moodie, also of Gainesville.
Moodie could not swim, but he took off his life-belt also and put it on
a woman who had a six-months-old child in her arms. Timmis tried to help
Moodie, and they both clung to some wreckage for a while, but presently
Moodie could hold out no longer and sank. When Timmis was dragged into a
boat which he helped to right--it had been overturned in the suction of
the sinking vessel--one of the first persons he assisted into the boat
was the steerage woman to whom he had given his belt. She still carried
her baby at her breast, but it was dead from exposure.


Oliver P. Brainard told of the bravery of the wireless operators who
stuck to their work of summoning help even after it was evident that
only a few minutes could elapse before the vessel must go down. He said:

“The wireless operators were working the emergency outfit, the main
installation having been put out of gear instantaneously after the
torpedo exploded. They were still awaiting a reply and were sending out
the S. O. S. call.

“I looked out to sea and saw a man, undressed, floating quietly on his
back in the water, evidently waiting to be picked up rather than to take
the chance of getting away in a boat. He gave me an idea and I took off
my jacket and waistcoat, put my money in my trousers pocket, unlaced my
boots and then returned to the Marconi men.

“The assistant operator said, ‘Hush! we are still hoping for an answer.
We don’t know yet whether the S. O. S. calls have been picked up or

“At that moment the chief operator turned around, saying, ‘They’ve got

“At that very second the emergency apparatus also broke down. The
operator had left the room, but he dashed back and brought out a kodak.
He knelt on the deck, now listing at an angle of thirty-five degrees,
and took a photograph looking forward.

“The assistant, a big, cheerful chap, lugged out the operator’s swivel
chair and offered it to me with a laugh, saying: ‘Take a seat and make
yourself comfortable.’ He let go the chair and it careened down the deck
and over into the sea.”

F. J. Gauntlet, of New York and Washington, traveling in company with A.
L. Hopkins, president of the Newport News Shipbuilding Company, and S.
M. Knox, president of the New York Shipbuilding Company, of
Philadelphia, unconsciously told the story of his own heroism. He said:

“I was lingering in the dining saloon chatting with friends when the
first explosion occurred. Some of us went to our staterooms and put on
life-belts. Going on deck we were informed that there was no danger, but
the bow of the vessel was gradually sinking. The work of launching the
boats was done in a few minutes. Fifty or sixty people entered the first
boat. As it swung from the davits it fell suddenly and I think most of
the occupants perished. The other boats were launched with the greatest

“Swinging free from one of these as it descended, I grabbed what I
supposed was a piece of wreckage. I found it to be a collapsible boat,
however. I had great difficulty in getting it open, finally having to
rip the canvas with my knife. Soon another passenger came alongside and
entered the collapsible with me. We paddled around and between us we
rescued thirty people from the water.”


George A. Kessler, of New York, said:

“A list to starboard had set in as we were climbing the stairs and it
had so rapidly increased by the time we reached the deck, that we were
falling against the taffrail. I managed to get my wife onto the
first-class deck and there three boats were being got out.

“I placed her in the third, kissed her good-by and saw the boat lowered
safely. Then I turned to look for a life-belt for myself. The ship now
started to go down. I fell into the water, some kind soul throwing me a
life-belt at the same time. Ten minutes later I found myself beside a
raft on which were some survivors, who pulled me onto it. We cruised
around looking for others and managed to pick up a few, making in all
perhaps sixteen or seventeen persons who were on the raft. In all
directions were scattered persons struggling for their lives and the
boats gave what help they could.”


W. G. E. Meyers, of Stratford, Ont., a lad of sixteen years, who was on
his way to join the British navy as a cadet, told this story:

“I went below to get a life-belt and met a woman who was frenzied with
fear. I tried to calm her and helped her into a boat. Then I saw a boat
which was nearly swamped. I got into it with other men and baled it out.
Then a crowd of men clambered into it and nearly swamped it.

“We had got only two hundred yards away when the Lusitania sank, bow
first. Many persons sank with her, drawn down by the suction. Their
shrieks were appalling. We had to pull hard to get away, and, as it was,
we were almost dragged down. We saved all the women and children we
could, but a great many of them went down.”

H. Smethhurst, a steerage passenger, put his wife into a life-boat, and
in spite of her urging refused to accompany her, saying the women and
children must go first. After the boat with his wife in it had pulled
away Smethhurst put on a life-belt, slipped down a rope into the water
and floated until he was picked up.




Among the stories of the Lusitania horror told by the survivors were a
few that stand out from the rest for their clearness and vividness. One
of the most interesting of these, notable for the prominence of the man
who relates it as well as for its conciseness, was the description given
by Samuel M. Knox, president of the New York Shipbuilding Company. Mr.
Knox said:

“Shortly after two, while we were finishing luncheon in a calm sea, a
heavy concussion was felt on the starboard side, throwing the vessel to
port. She immediately swung back and proceeded to take on a list to
starboard, which rapidly increased.

“The passengers rapidly, but in good form, left the dining room,
proceeding mostly to the A or boat deck. There were preparations being
made to launch the boats. Order among the passengers was well
maintained, there being nothing approaching a panic. Many of the
passengers had gone to their staterooms and provided themselves with

“The vessel reached an angle of about twenty-four degrees and at this
point there seemed to be a cessation in the listing, the vessel
maintaining this position for four or five minutes, when something
apparently gave way, and the list started anew and increased rapidly
until the end.

“The greater number of passengers were congregated on the high side of
the ship, and when it became apparent that she was going to sink I made
my way to the lower side, where there appeared to be several boats only
partly filled and no passengers on that deck. At this juncture I found
the outside of the boat deck practically even with the water and the
ship was even farther down by the head.


“I stepped into a boat and a sailor in charge then attempted to cast her
off, but it was found that the boat-falls had fouled the boat and she
could not be released in the limited time available. I went overboard at
once and attempted to get clear of the ship, which was coming over
slowly. I was caught by one of the smokestacks and carried down a
considerable distance before being released.

“On coming to the surface I floated about for a considerable time, when
I was picked up by a life-raft. This raft, with others, had floated free
when the vessel sank, and had been picked up and taken charge of by Mr.
Gauntlet, of Washington, and Mr. Lauriat, of Boston, who picked up
thirty-two persons in all.

“It was equipped with oars, and we made our way to a fishing smack,
about five miles distant, which took us on board, although it was
already overloaded. We were finally taken off this boat by the Cunard
tender Flying Fish and brought to Queenstown at 9.30.”

Some of the passengers, notably David A. Thomas, told of panicky
conditions on board the vessel before she sank, and one of the rescued
declared that the loss of life was due to some extent to the assurances
spread by the stewards among the passengers that there was no danger of
the Lusitania sinking. But all united in praising the courage and
steadiness of the officers and crew of the ship.


Mr. Thomas, a Cardiff, Wales, coal magnate, who was rescued with his
daughter, Lady Mackworth, said that not more than fifteen minutes
elapsed between the first explosion and the sinking of the ship. Lady
Mackworth had put on a life-preserver and went down with the Lusitania.
When she arose to the surface, Mr. Thomas said, she was unconscious, and
floated around in the tumbling sea for three and a half hours before she
was picked up.

“As soon as the explosions occurred,” said Mr. Thomas, “and the officers
learned what had happened, the ship’s course was directed toward the
shore, with the idea of beaching her. Captain Turner remained upon the
bridge until the ship went down, and he was swallowed up in the
maelstrom that followed. He wore a life-belt, which kept him afloat
when he arose to the surface, and remained in the water for three hours
before he was picked up by a life-boat.

“During the last few minutes’ life of the Lusitania she was a ship of
panic and tumult. Excited men and terrified women ran shouting and
screaming about the decks. Lost children cried shrilly. Officers and
seamen rushed among the panic-stricken passengers, shouting orders and
helping the women and children into life-boats. Women clung desperately
to their husbands or knelt on the deck and prayed. Life-preservers were
distributed among the passengers, who hastily donned them and flung
themselves into the water.

[Illustration: AS OTHERS SEE US.]


“In their haste and excitement the seamen overloaded one life-boat and
the davit ropes broke while it was being lowered, the occupants being
thrown into the water. The screams of these terrified women and men
intensified the fright of those still on the ship. Altogether I counted
ten life-boats launched.”

A German submarine was seen for an hour before the liner was sunk,
according to Dr. Daniel Moore, of Yankton, S. D., who said:

“About 1 P. M. we noticed that the Lusitania was steering a zigzag
course. Land had been in sight for three hours, distinctly visible
twelve miles away. Looking through my glasses, I could see on the port
side of the Lusitania, between us and land, what appeared to be a black,
oblong object, with four dome-like projections. It was moving along
parallel to us, more than two miles away. At times it slowed down and
disappeared. But always it reappeared. All this time the Lusitania was
zigzagging along. Later the Lusitania kept a more even course, and we
generally agreed then that it was a friendly submarine we were watching.
We had seen no other vessels except one or two fishing boats.

“At 1.40 we sat down to luncheon in the second saloon. We talked of the
curious object we had seen, but nobody seemed anxious or concerned.
About two o’clock a muffled, drum-like noise sounded from the forward
part of the Lusitania and she shivered and trembled. Almost immediately
she began to list to starboard. She had been struck on the starboard
side. Unless the first submarine seen had been speedy enough to make
rings around the Lusitania, this torpedo must have come from a second
submarine which had been lying hidden to starboard.

“We heard no sound of explosion. There was general excitement among the
passengers at luncheon, but the women were soon quieted by assurances
that there was no danger and that the Lusitania had merely struck a
small mine. The passengers left the saloon in good order.


“As I reached the deck above I had difficulty in walking owing to the
tilt of the vessel. With most of the passengers I ran on to the
promenade deck. There was no crushing. Although the deck was crowded, I
looked over the side; but I could see no evidence of damage. I started
to return to my cabin, but the list of the liner was so marked that I
abandoned the idea and regained the deck. Looking over the starboard
rail, I saw that the water was now only about twelve feet from the rail
at one point. While searching for a life-belt I came upon a stewardess
struggling with a pile of life-belts in a rack below deck and helped her
put one on, afterward securing one for myself. I had tremendous
difficulty in reaching the promenade deck again.

“The Lusitania now was on her side and sinking by the bow. I saw a woman
clinging to the rail near where a boat was being lowered. I pushed her
over the rail into the boat, afterward jumping down myself.

“The boat fell bodily into the sea, but kept afloat, although so heavily
loaded that water was lapping in. We bailed with our hats, but could not
keep pace with the water, and I realized we must soon sink.

“Seeing a keg, I threw it overboard and sprang after it. A young steward
named Freeman also used the keg as a support. Looking back, I saw the
boat I had left swamped. We clung to the keg for about an hour and a
half and then were picked up by a raft on which were twenty persons,
including two women.

“We had oars and rowed toward land. At about four o’clock we were picked
up by the patrol boat Brook. She took us aboard and then cruised out to
where the Lusitania had gone down, picking up many survivors there, also
taking aboard many from boats and rafts.


“A number of those picked up were injured, including a little boy, whose
left thigh was broken. I improvised splints for him and set his leg. He
was a plucky little chap, and was soon asking, ‘Is there a funny paper

“At the scene of the catastrophe the surface of the water had seemed
dotted with bodies. Only a few life-boats seemed to be doing good. Cries
of ‘Save us! Help!’ gradually grew weaker from all sides. Finally low
wailings made the heart sick. I saw many men die.

“There was no suction when the ship settled. It went down steadily. The
life-boats were not in order and they were not manned. Weighing all the
facts soberly convinces me that it was only through the mercy of God
that any one was saved. Are there any bounds to this modern vandalism?”

L. Tonner, a County Dublin man, and a stoker on the Lusitania, who was
one of the survivors landed at Kinsale, said:

“There must have been two submarines attacking the Lusitania. The liner
was first torpedoed on the starboard side, and right through the engine
room a few minutes afterward the Lusitania received a second torpedo on
the port side. The Lusitania listed so heavily to starboard that it was
impossible to lower the boats on the port side.”


Alfred G. Vanderbilt, New York Millionaire. (_C. Underwood &

Charles Frohman, Theatrical Magnate. (_C. Underwood & Underwood._)

Elbert Hubbard, Editor and Lecturer. (_C. Int. News Service._)

Charles Klein, well-known Playwright. (_C. Int. News Service._)]


Sixty-six coffins were placed in one grave at the Queenstown graveyard.
In the presence of a large crowd they were buried with full military
honors. The view shows a few of the caskets in the grave. (_C. Int. News


G. D. Lane, a youthful but cool-headed second-cabin passenger, who was
returning to Wales from New York, was in a life-boat which was capsized
by the davits as the Lusitania heeled over.

“I was on the B deck,” he said, “when I saw the wake of a torpedo. I
hardly realized what it meant when the big ship seemed to stagger and
almost immediately listed to starboard. I rushed to get a life-belt, but
stopped to help get children on the boat deck. The second cabin was a
veritable nursery.

“Many youngsters must have drowned, but I had the satisfaction of seeing
one boat get away filled with women and children. When the water reached
the deck I saw another life-boat with a vacant seat, which I took, as no
one else was in sight, but we were too late. The Lusitania reeled so
suddenly our boat was swamped, but we righted it again.

“We now witnessed the most horrible scene of human futility it is
possible to imagine. When the Lusitania had turned almost over she
suddenly plunged bow foremost into the water, leaving her stern high in
the air. People on the aft deck were fighting with wild desperation to
retain a footing on the almost perpendicular deck while they fell over
the slippery stern like crippled flies.

“Their cries and shrieks could be heard above the hiss of escaping steam
and the crash of bursting boilers. Then the water mercifully closed over
them and the big liner disappeared, leaving scarcely a ripple behind

“Twelve life-boats were all that were left of our floating home. In time
which could be measured by seconds swimmers, bodies and wreckage
appeared in the space where she went down. I was almost exhausted by the
work of rescue when taken aboard the trawler. It seems like a horrible
dream now.”


According to another American survivor, W. H. Brooks, “there was a scene
of great confusion as women and children rushed for the boats which were
launched with the greatest difficulty and danger, owing to the tilting
of the ship.

“I heard the captain order that no more boats be launched, so I leaped
into the sea. After I reached the water there was another explosion
which sent up a shower of wreckage.”

Dr. J. T. Houghton, of Troy, N. Y., said: “It was believed there was no
reason to fear any danger after the first explosion, as it was said the
vessel would be headed for Queenstown and beached if necessary.
Meanwhile boats were being got ready for any emergency.

“Just then the liner was again struck, evidently in a more vital spot,
for it began to settle rapidly. Orders then came from the bridge to
lower all boats. A near panic took possession of the women. People were
rushed into the boats, some of which were launched successfully, others
not so successfully.”

Oscar F. Grab, of New York, said: “I was able to get hold of a
life-preserver and I remained on the starboard side until the water was
almost at my feet. Then I slid into the sea so easily that I did not
even wet my hair. I was soon picked up by a boat in which were twenty
women and some children.

“We had to keep the women lying in the bottom so as to get room to pull
at the oars. The ship went down, as seen by me from the water, in this

“She had settled down well forward. She then listed to starboard, and
rose to a perpendicular until the stern with the propellers was sticking
straight out of the water.

“An explosion then occurred as the water reached the boilers; one of the
funnels was blown clean out, and in half a minute there was nothing
visible of the Lusitania but a lot of wreckage mingled with a number of
dead bodies.”


The Misses Agnes and Evelyn Wilde, sisters, of Paterson, N. J., were at
lunch when the torpedo struck the vessel. They rushed on deck. Miss
Agnes Wilde said:

“We clung to each other, determined not to be separated, even if we went
to the bottom. We were thrown into a boat, together with thirty-six
others, and after several hours were picked up by a fishing boat, which
towed us for several hours, intending to take us to Kinsale. Before we
arrived, however, a Government boat came along and took us to

“We were drenched to the skin, cold and penniless. We went into a shop,
where they fitted us out from head to foot without charge. We are only
beginning to realize what we have passed through.”

Mrs. Martha Anna Wyatt, sixty years old, of New Bedford, Mass., said: “I
went down with the ship and spent four hours in a collapsible boat
before being picked up. I was going to England to live.

“While the ship was sinking I found it impossible to get into any of the
life-boats. There seemed no help about. I simply stood still, clinging
to the rail, and went down. I seemed to go to the bottom. When I came to
the surface again I was pulled into the collapsible boat which brought
me to safety.”

Mrs. C. Stewart, who was traveling from Toronto to Glasgow, said:

“I was in my cabin with my eight-months-old baby, who was sleeping in
the berth, when I heard the crash. I snatched my baby up and went on
deck. A man yelled, ‘Come on with the baby.’ I handed him the infant and
he said, ‘Now for yourself.’

“We were two and a half hours in the boat before we were picked up by a
Greek steamer.”

Robert C. Wright, of Cleveland, O., gave what may be the last word of
Elbert Hubbard. Mr. Wright said:

“I don’t know who was saved, but I know that Elbert Hubbard must have
been drowned. He was a conspicuous person on account of his long hair.
I saw him and his wife start below, apparently for life-belts, but I
never saw either again. I am certain they were drowned.”


Isaac Lehmann, of New York, a first-cabin passenger, who described
himself as being engaged in the Department of Government Supplies, said
that after having witnessed an accident to one of the boats through the
snapping of the ropes while it was being lowered, he ran into his cabin
and seizing a revolver and a life-belt, returned to the deck and mounted
a collapsible boat and called to some of the crew to assist in launching
it. One sailor, he said, replied that the captain’s orders were that no
boats were to be put out.

“I drew my revolver, which was loaded with ball cartridges,” said Mr.
Lehmann, “and shouted ‘I’ll shoot the first man who refuses to assist in
launching.’ The boat was then lowered. At least sixty persons were in
it. Unfortunately, the Lusitania lurched so badly that the boat
repeatedly struck the side of the sinking ship, and I think at least
twenty of its occupants were killed or injured.

“At that instant we heard an explosion on the right up forward, and
within two minutes the liner disappeared. I was thrown clear of the
wreckage, and went down twice, but the life-belt that I had on brought
me up. I was in the water fully four hours and a half.”

Asked as to the probable speed of the Lusitania when she was struck by
the torpedo, Mr. Lehmann said the boat was probably going at about
sixteen or seventeen knots.

Julian de Ayala, Consul General for Cuba at Liverpool, said that he was
ill in his berth when the Lusitania was torpedoed. He was thrown against
the partition of his berth by the explosion and suffered an injury to
his head and had flesh torn off one of his legs.

The boat Mr. de Ayala got into capsized and he was thrown into the
water, but later he was picked up.

“Captain Turner,” said Mr. de Ayala, “thought he could bring the
crippled vessel into Queenstown, but she rapidly began to sink by the

“Her stern went up so high,” Mr. de Ayala added, “that we could see all
of her propellers, and she went down with a headlong plunge, volumes of
steam hissing from her funnels.”


The experience of two New York girls, Miss Mary Barrett and Miss Kate
MacDonald, rescued at the last minute, may be taken as typical of the
experience of many others. Miss Barrett gives the following account of
her experiences:

“We had gone into the second saloon and were just finishing lunch. I
heard a sound something like the smashing of big dishes and then there
came a second and louder crash. Miss MacDonald and I started to go
upstairs, but we were thrown back by the crowd when the ship stopped.
But we managed to get to the second deck, where we found sailors trying
to lower boats.

“There was no panic and the ship’s officers and crew went about their
work quietly and steadily. I went to get two life-belts, but a man
standing by told us to remain where we were and he would fetch them for
us. He brought us two belts and we put them on. By this time the ship
was leaning right over to starboard and we were both thrown down. We
managed to scramble to the side of the liner.

“Near us I saw a rope attached to one of the life-boats. I thought I
could catch it, so we murmured a few words of prayer and then jumped
into the water. I missed the rope, but floated about in the water for
some time. I did not lose consciousness at first, but the water got into
my eyes and mouth and I began to lose hope of ever seeing my friends
again. I could not see anybody near me. Then I must have lost
consciousness, for I remember nothing more until one of the Lusitania’s
life-boats came along. The crew was pulling on board another woman, who
was unconscious, and they shouted to me, ‘You hold on a little longer!’

“After a time they lifted me out of the water. Then I remembered nothing
more for a time. In the meantime our boat had picked up twenty others.
It was getting late in the evening when we were transferred to a trawler
and taken to Queenstown.

“Miss MacDonald floated about nearly four hours in a dazed state. She
had little remembrance of what had passed until a boat saved her. She
remembered somebody saying, ‘Oh, the poor girl is dead!’ She had just
strength to raise her hand and they returned and pulled her on board.”

Miss Conner, a cousin of Henry L. Stimson, formerly Secretary of War of
the United States, was standing beside Lady Mackworth when they were
flung into the water as the ship keeled over. Both women were provided
with life-belts and were picked up when at the point of exhaustion.


Doctor Howard Fisher of New York, who is a brother of Walter L. Fisher,
formerly Secretary of the Interior of the United States, was on his way
to Belgium for Red Cross duty. His story follows:

“It is not true that those on board were unconcerned over the
possibility of being torpedoed. I took the big liner to save time and
also because in case of a floating mine I felt she would have more
chance of staying up. But like everybody else aboard, I felt sure in
case of being torpedoed that we would have ample time to take to the

“When I heard the crash I rushed to the port side. No officer was in
sight. An effort was being made to lower the boat swinging just opposite
the grand entrance. Women, children and men made a mad scramble about
this boat, which was smashed against the side, throwing all the
occupants into the sea.

“Then two big men, one a sailor and the other a passenger, succeeded in
launching a second boat. Much to my surprise this amateur effort was
successful. This boat got away and carried chiefly women and children.
This boat was successfully launched on the port side.


“We then saw our first glimpse of an officer, who came along the deck
and spoke to Lady Mackworth, Miss Conner and myself, who were standing
in a group. He said:

“‘Don’t worry, the ship will right itself.’ He had hardly moved on
before the ship turned sideways and then seemed to plunge head foremost
into the sea.

“I came up after what seemed to be an interminable time under water and
found myself surrounded by swimmers, dead bodies and wreckage. I got on
an upturned yawl, where I found thirty other people, among them Lady
Allan, whose collar-bone was broken while she was in the water.

“Another passenger on the yawl, a man whose name I did not learn, had
his arm hanging by the skin. His injury probably was due to the
explosion which followed. His arm was amputated successfully with a
butcher knife by a little Italian surgeon aboard the tramp steamer which
picked me up.”




Percy Rogers, assistant manager and secretary of the Canadian National
Exhibition, who went to England in connection with the Toronto Fair,
told a graphic story of his experiences after the Lusitania was struck.
He undoubtedly owed his life to the fact that he was a good swimmer.

“It had been a splendid crossing,” he said, “with a calm sea and fine
weather contributing to a delightful trip. The Lusitania made nothing
like her maximum pace. Her speed probably was about five hundred miles
daily, which, as travelers know, is below her average.

“Early Friday morning we sighted the Irish coast. Then we entered a
slight fog, and speed was reduced, but we soon came into a clear
atmosphere again, and the pace of the boat increased. The morning passed
and we went as usual down to lunch, although some were a little later
than others in taking the meal. I should think it would be about ten
minutes past two when I came from lunch. I immediately proceeded to my
stateroom, close to the dining-room, to get a letter which I had
written. While in there I heard a tremendous thud, and I came out


“There was no panic where I was, but the people were aghast. It was
realized that the boat had been struck, apparently on the side nearest
the land. The passengers hastened to the boat deck above. The life-boats
were hanging out, having been put into that position on the previous
day. The Lusitania soon began to list badly with the result that the
side on which I and several others were standing went up as the other
side dropped. This seemed to cause difficulty in launching the boats,
which seemed to get bound against the side of the liner.

“It was impossible, of course, for me to see what was happening in other
places, but among the group where I was stationed there was no panic.
The order was given, ‘Women and children first,’ and was followed
implicitly. The first life-boat lowered with people at the spot where I
stood smacked upon the water, and as it did so the stern of this
life-boat seemed to part and the people were thrown into the sea. The
other boats were lowered more successfully.

“We heard somebody say, ‘Get out of the boats; there is no danger,’ and
some people actually did get out, but the direction was not generally
acted upon. I entered a boat in which there were men, women and
children, I should say between twenty and twenty-five. There were no
other women or children standing on the liner where we were, our
position, I should think, being about the last boat but one from the
stern of the ship.


“Our boat dropped into the water, and for a few minutes we were all
right. Then the liner went over. We were not far from her. Whatever the
cause may have been--perhaps the effect of suction--I don’t know, but we
were thrown into the sea. Some of the occupants were wearing life-belts,
but I was not. The only life-belts I knew about were in the cabins, and
it had not appeared to me that there was time to risk going there. It
must have been about 2.30 when I was thrown into the water. The watch I
was wearing stopped at that time.

“What a terrible scene there was around me! It is harrowing to think
about the men, women and children struggling in the water. I had the
presence of mind to swim away from the boat and made towards a
collapsible boat, upon which was the captain and a number of others. For
this purpose I had to swim quite a distance.

“I noticed three children among the group. Our collapsible boat began
rocking. Every moment it seemed we should be thrown again into the sea.
The captain appealed to the people in it to be careful, but the boat
continued to rock, and I came to the conclusion that it would be
dangerous to remain in it if all were to have a chance. I said,
‘Good-by, Captain; I’m going to swim,’ and jumped into the water. I
believe the captain did the same thing after me, although I did not see
him, but I understand he was picked up.

[Illustration: “GOD IS WITH US”]


“The scene was now terrible. Particularly do I remember a young child
with a life-belt around her calling, ‘Mamma!’ She was not saved. I had
seen her on the liner, and her sister was on the collapsible boat, but I
could not reach her. I saw a cold-storage box or cupboard. I swam
towards it and clung to it. This supported me for a long time. At last I
saw a boat coming towards me and shouted. I was heard and taken in. From
this I was transferred to what I think was a trawler, which also picked
up three or four others. Eventually I was placed upon a ferry boat known
as the Flying Fish, in which, with others, I was taken to Queenstown.

“It was quite possible that some people went down while in their cabins,
because after lunch it was the custom with some to go for a rest. A
friend of mine on the liner has told me he saw Alfred G. Vanderbilt on
deck with a life-belt and observed him give it to a lady. It seemed to
me the seriousness of the situation scarcely was realized when the boat
was torpedoed. It was all so sudden and so unexpected, and the
recollection of it all is terrible.”




From the lips of Captain Turner, of the Lusitania, and from several of
the survivors the world has heard the story of the sudden appearance
among the débris and the dead of the sunken liner, of the German
submarine that had fired the torpedo which sent almost 1,200
non-combatants, hundreds of them helpless women and children, and among
them more than a hundred American citizens, to their deaths. But it
remained for the captain of the steamship Etonian, arriving at Boston on
May 18, to add the crowning touch to the tragedy.

Captain William F. Wood, of the Etonian, specifically charged that two
German submarines deliberately prevented him from going to the rescue of
the Lusitania’s passengers after he had received the liner’s wireless S.
O. S. call, and when he was but forty miles or so away, and might have
rendered great assistance to the hundreds of victims.

Captain Wood charged further that two other ships, both within the same
distance of the Lusitania when she sank, were warned off by submarines,
and that when the nearest one, the Narragansett, bound for New York,
persisted in the attempt to proceed to the rescue of the Lusitania’s
passengers, a submarine fired a torpedo at her, which missed the
Narragansett by only a few feet.


The Etonian is a freight-carrying steamship, owned by the
Wilson-Furness-Leyland lines, and under charter to the Cunard Line. She
sailed from Liverpool on May 6. Captain Wood’s story, as he told it
without embellishment and in the most positive terms, was as follows:

“We had left Liverpool without unusual incident, and it was two o’clock
on the afternoon of Friday, May 7, that we received the S. O. S. call
from the Lusitania. Her wireless operator sent this message: ‘We are ten
miles south of Kinsale. Come at once.’

“I was then about forty-two miles from the position he gave me. Two
other steamships were ahead of me, going in the same direction. They
were the Narragansett and the City of Exeter. The Narragansett was
closer to the Lusitania, and she answered the S. O. S. call.

“At 5 P. M. I observed the City of Exeter across our bow and she
signaled, ‘Have you heard anything of the disaster?’

“At that very moment I saw the periscope of a submarine between the
Etonian and the City of Exeter. The submarine was about a quarter of a
mile directly ahead of us. She immediately dived as soon as she saw us
coming for her. I distinctly saw the splash in the water caused by her


The King’s Regiment of the British Army suffered heavily while trying to
penetrate the enemy’s wire entanglement at Givenchy. Three lines of a
perfect thicket of barbed-wire lay between them and the enemy. Only one
brave officer even managed to penetrate the wire. (_Il. L. News


A method which has been known to blow forty men to pieces at once. By
sapping and mining the gallery was dug almost to the enemy’s trenches
underground and explosives placed, which were then fired by electric
wire. The explosion hurled a piece of railroad iron weighing twenty-five
pounds a distance of over a mile. (_Il. L. News copr._)]


“I signaled to the engine room for every available inch of speed, and
there was a prompt response. Then we saw the submarine come up astern of
us with the periscope in line afterward. I now ordered full speed ahead,
and we left the submarine slowly behind. The periscope remained in sight
about twenty minutes. Our speed was perhaps two miles an hour better
than the submarine could do.

“No sooner had we lost sight of the submarine astern than I made out
another on the starboard bow. This one was directly ahead and on the
surface, not submerged. I starboarded hard away from him, he swinging as
we did. About eight minutes later he submerged. I continued at top speed
for four hours, and saw no more of the submarines. It was the ship’s
speed that saved her. That’s all.

“Both these submarines were long craft, and the second one had wireless
masts. There is no question in my mind that these two submarines were
acting in concert and were so placed as to torpedo any ship that might
attempt to go to the rescue of the passengers of the Lusitania.

“As a matter of fact, the Narragansett, as soon as she heard the S. O.
S. call, went to the assistance of the Lusitania. One of the submarines
discharged a torpedo at her and missed her by a few feet. The
Narragansett then warned us not to attempt to go to the rescue of the
Lusitania, and I got her wireless call while I was dodging the two
submarines. You can see that three ships would have gone to the
assistance of the Lusitania had it not been for the two submarines.

“These German craft were, it seems to me, deliberately stationed off Old
Head of Kinsale, at a point where all ships have got to pass, for the
express purpose of preventing any assistance being given to the
passengers of the Lusitania.”


That the British tank steamer Narragansett, one of the vessels that
caught the distress signal of the Lusitania, was also driven off her
rescue course by a torpedo from a submarine when she arrived within
seven miles of the spot where the Lusitania went down, an hour and
three-quarters after she caught the wireless call for help, was alleged
by the officers of the tanker, which arrived at Bayonne, N. J., on the
same day that the Etonian reached Boston.

The story told by the officers of the Narragansett corroborated the
statements made by officers of the Etonian. They said that submarines
were apparently scouting the sea to drive back rescue vessels when the
Lusitania fell a victim to another undersea craft.

The Lusitania’s call for help was received by the Narragansett at two
o’clock on the afternoon of May 7, according to wireless operator Talbot
Smith, who said the message read: “Strong list. Come quick.”

When the Narragansett received the message she was thirty-five miles
southeast of the Lusitania, having sailed from Liverpool the preceding
afternoon at five o’clock for Bayonne. The message was delivered quickly
to Captain Charles Harwood, and he ordered the vessel to put on full
steam and increase her speed from eleven to fourteen knots. The
Narragansett changed her course and started in the direction of the
sinking ship.


Second Officer John Letts, who was on the bridge, said he sighted the
periscope of a submarine at 3.35 o’clock, and almost at the same instant
he saw a torpedo shooting through the water. The torpedo, according to
the second officer, was traveling at great speed.

It shot past the Narragansett, missing the stem by hardly thirty feet,
and disappeared. The periscope of the submarine went out of sight at the
same time, but the captain of the Narragansett decided not to take any
chance, changed the course of his vessel so that the stern pointed
directly toward the spot where the periscope was last sighted, and,
after steering straight ahead for some distance, followed a somewhat
zigzag course until he was out of the immediate submarine territories.

Captain Harwood abandoned all thought of the Lusitania’s call for help,
because he thought it was a decoy message sent out to trap the
Narragansett into the submarine’s path.

“My opinion,” said Second Officer Letts, “is that submarines were
scattered around that territory to prevent any vessel that received the
S. O. S. call of the Lusitania from going to her assistance.”

When attacked by the submarine the Narragansett had out her log,
according to Second Officer Letts, and the torpedo passed under the line
to which it was attached. The torpedo was fired from the submarine when
the undersea boat was within two hundred yards of the tanker.

The Narragansett when turned back had not sighted the wreck of the
Lusitania, and her officers, who were led to believe the S. O. S. was a
decoy, did not learn of the sinking of the Cunarder until the following
morning at two o’clock.

The Narragansett, under charter to the Standard Oil Company, is one of
the largest tank steamships afloat. She is 540 feet long, has a
sixty-foot beam, and 12,500 tons displacement.




One of the first official acts with reference to the loss of the
Lusitania was the impaneling, on May 10, of a coroner’s jury at
Queenstown to fix the responsibility for the death of the passengers
whose bodies were recovered and taken to that place. The inquest was
conducted by Coroner John Horgan. The coroner’s proceedings were
comparatively brief, and were concluded with the return of the following
verdict of the jury:


“We find that the deceased met death from prolonged immersion and
exhaustion in the sea eight miles south-southwest of Old Head of
Kinsale, Friday, May 7, 1915, owing to the sinking of the Lusitania by
torpedoes fired by a German submarine.

“We find that this appalling crime was committed contrary to
international law and the conventions of all civilized nations.

“We also charge the officers of said submarine and the Emperor and
Government of Germany, under whose orders they acted, with the crime of
wholesale murder before the tribunal of the civilized world.

“We desire to express sincere condolences and sympathy with the
relatives of the deceased, the Cunard Company and the United States,
many of whose citizens perished in this murderous attack on an unarmed


Captain W. T. Turner, the Lusitania’s commander, was the chief witness
at the inquest.

The Coroner asked the captain whether he had received a message
concerning the sinking of a ship off Kinsale by a submarine. Captain
Turner replied that he had not.

“Did you receive any special instructions as to the voyage?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Are you at liberty to tell us what they were?”

“No, sir.”

“Did you carry them out?”

“Yes, to the best of my ability.”

“You were aware threats had been made that the ship would be torpedoed?”

“We were,” the captain replied.

“Was she armed?”

“No, sir.”

“What precautions did you take?”

“We had all the boats swung when we came within the danger zone, between
the passing of Fastnet and the time of the accident.”

[Illustration: “UNCLEAN!”]

“Tell us in your own words what happened after passing Fastnet.”


“The weather was clear,” Captain Turner answered. “We were going at a
speed of eighteen knots. I was on the port side and heard Second Officer
Hefford call out, ‘Here’s a torpedo.’

“I ran to the other side and saw clearly the wake of a torpedo. Smoke
and steam came up between the last two funnels. There was a slight
shock. Immediately after the first explosion there was another report,
but that may possibly have been internal.

“I at once gave the order to lower the boats down to the rails, and I
directed that women and children should get into them. I also had all
the bulkheads closed.

“I also gave orders to stop the ship,” Captain Turner continued, “but we
could not stop. We found that the engines were out of commission. It was
not safe to lower boats until the speed was off the vessel. As a matter
of fact, there was a perceptible headway on her up to the time she went

“When she was struck she listed to starboard. I stood on the bridge when
she sank, and the Lusitania went down under me. She floated about
eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck her. My watch stopped at 2.36.
I was picked up from among the wreckage and afterward was brought aboard
a trawler.

“No warship was convoying us. I saw no warship, and none was reported to
me as having been seen. At the time I was picked up I noticed bodies
floating on the surface, but saw no living persons.”

“Eighteen knots was not the normal speed of the Lusitania, was it?” he
was asked.

“At ordinary times,” answered Captain Turner, “she could make
twenty-five knots, but in war times her speed was reduced to twenty-one
knots. My reason for going eighteen knots was that I wanted to arrive at
Liverpool without stopping and within two or three hours of high water.”


“Was there a lookout kept for submarines, having regard to previous

“Yes; we had double lookouts.”

“Were you going a zigzag course at the moment the torpedoing took

“No; it was bright weather, and land was clearly visible.”

“Was it possible for a submarine to approach without being seen?”

“Oh, yes, quite possible.”

“Something has been said regarding the impossibility of launching the
boats on the port side?”

“Yes,” said Captain Turner, “owing to the listing of the ship.”

“How many boats were launched safely?”

“I cannot say.”

“Were your orders promptly carried out?”


“Was there any panic on board?”

“No, there was no panic at all; it was all most calm.”

By the foreman of the jury:

“In the face of the warnings at New York that the Lusitania would be
torpedoed, did you make any application to the Admiralty for an escort?”

“No, I left that to them. It is their business, not mine. I simply had
to carry out my orders to go, and I would do it again.”

Captain Turner uttered the last words of this reply with great emphasis.

By the coroner:

“I am very glad to hear you say so, Captain.”

By a juryman:

“Did you get a wireless to steer your vessel in a northerly direction?”

“No,” replied Captain Turner.

“Was the course of the vessel altered after the torpedoes struck her?”

“I headed straight for land, but it was useless. Previous to this the
water-tight bulkheads were closed. I suppose the explosion forced them
open. I don’t know the exact extent to which the Lusitania was damaged.”

“There must have been serious damage done to the water-tight bulkheads.”

“There certainly was, without doubt.”

“Were the passengers supplied with life-belts?”


“Were any special orders given that morning that life-belts be put on?”



“Was any warning given you before you were torpedoed?”

“None whatever. It was suddenly done and finished.”

“If there had been a patrol boat aboard; might it have been of

“It might, but it is one of those things one never knows.”

With regard to the threats against his ship, Captain Turner said he saw
nothing except what appeared in the New York papers the day before the
Lusitania sailed. He never had heard the passengers talking about the
threats, he said.

“Was a warning given to the lower decks after the ship had been struck?”
Captain Turner was asked.

“All the passengers must have heard the explosion,” Captain Turner

Captain Turner in answer to another question said he received no report
from the lookout before the torpedo struck the Lusitania.


Cornelius Horrigan, a waiter aboard the Lusitania, testified that it was
impossible to launch boats on the starboard side because of the
steamer’s list. He went down with the ship, but came up and was rescued.
Horrigan gave a partial identification of one of the bodies, which he
thought to be that of Steward Cranston.

The ship’s bugler, Vernon Livermore, gave evidence that the water-tight
compartments were closed, but thought that the explosion must have
opened them. No one was able to identify a man in whose pocket was found
a card bearing the name of John Wanamaker of New York, and in the
left-hand corner “Notary Public MacQuerrie, Bureau of Information.”


Coroner Horgan said that the first torpedo fired by the German submarine
did serious damage to the Lusitania, but that, not satisfied with this,
the Germans had discharged another torpedo. The second torpedo, he said,
must have been more deadly, because it went right through the ship,
hastening the work of destruction.

He charged that the responsibility “lay on the German government and the
whole people of Germany who collaborated in the terrible crime.

“This is a case,” he said, “in which a powerful war-like engine attacked
an unarmed vessel without warning. It was simple barbarism and
cold-blooded murder.

“I purpose to ask the jury to return the only verdict possible for a
self-respecting jury--that the men in charge of the German submarine
were guilty of willful murder.”




Not even the invasion of peaceful Belgium, nor any of the other
atrocities charged to the belligerent nations in the great war, stirred
such universal and emphatic condemnation as the destruction of the
Lusitania and over half its _human_ freight of _human_ lives. From all
quarters of the globe the cry of amazement, indignation and outrage

One of the first to express his feelings was Colonel Theodore Roosevelt,
who said: “This represents not merely piracy, but piracy on a vaster
scale of murder than any old-time pirate ever practiced.

“This is the warfare which destroyed Louvain and Dinant and hundreds of
men, women and children in Belgium carried out to innocent men, women
and children on the ocean and to our own fellow countrymen and
countrywomen who are among the sufferers.

“It seems inconceivable that we should refrain from taking action in
this matter, for we owe it not only to humanity, but to our own national

Atlee Pomerene, U. S. Senator from Ohio, member of the Foreign Relations
Committee, said: “To Americans the sinking of the Lusitania is the most
deplorable incident of the European war. Every man with the milk of
human kindness in his breast condemns any policy by any nation that
leads to the slaughter without warning of babes, women and

Morris Sheppard, U. S. Senator from Texas, said: “The sinking of the
Lusitania is an illustration of the unspeakable horror of modern
warfare, and will be a tremendous argument for general disarmament when
the war closes. Let us handle the present situation with patience and
calmness, trusting the President to take the proper course.”

John W. Griggs, former Governor of New Jersey and at one time
Attorney-General of the United States, expressed himself emphatically on
the Lusitania tragedy. He said: “The time for watchful waiting has
passed. No investigating committee is needed. The facts are known.
Action is demanded. A demand should be made at once without waiting by
the government to get the finding of any investigations or inquests.
Would you hesitate to act if a man slapped you in the face? I do not say
what should be demanded. That is for the government to decide. But an
explanation should be demanded of Germany at once. The German submarine
violated a law that even savages would recognize. I would hold Germany
to account by proclaiming her an outlaw among the nations of the world.
If the German government pleads that it was justified in this
crime--which it will--it is then the duty of the United States to join
with other neutral nations and cut her off from the rest of the world.”


Jacob M. Dickinson, Secretary of War under President Taft, issued a
statement in which he said: “It is not likely that Germany will disavow
the purpose to destroy the Lusitania with full knowledge of the fact
that this involved many American lives. In view of the result and the
warning given by our government to Germany, some proper action must be
taken, or the American government will incur the contempt of the world
and the contempt of a vast number of its own people.”

“An act of barbarity without justification,” was the expression of
Frederick R. Coudert, of New York, an authority on international law, in
referring to the torpedoing of the Lusitania. Mr. Coudert said: “I make
that statement on the supposition that lives of citizens of the United
States, a neutral nation, were destroyed by the sinking of the vessel.
There is no justification, however, for ruthlessly sinking a merchant
ship in the open seas when that vessel is not engaged in any manner as a
belligerent vessel, and when the lives of non-combatants depend upon its
safety. It would seem to be time for the government of this country to
determine whether it will sit idly by and accept explanations that
Americans were warned to keep off the steamer, or take a definite stand
upon the rights of our citizens on the seas.”

The opinion of the nation on the sinking of the Lusitania is fairly
represented by the following extracts from the editorial columns of
leading newspapers throughout the United States:


New York Evening Post: “Germany ought not to be left in a moment’s doubt
how the civilized world regards her latest display of ‘frightfulness.’
It is a deed for which a Hun would blush, a Turk be ashamed and a
Barbary pirate apologize. To speak of technicalities and the rules of
war, in the face of such wholesale murder on the high seas, is a waste
of time. The law of nations and the law of God have been alike trampled
upon. The German government must be given to understand that no plea of
military necessity will now avail it before the tribunal on which sits
as judge the humane conscience of the world. As was declared by
Germany’s own representative at The Hague Congress, the late Marschall
von Bieberstein, there are some atrocities which international law does
not need to legislate against, since they fall under the instant and
universal condemnation of mankind.”


The upper picture shows the body of an American victim of the Lusitania
disaster carried through the streets of Queenstown covered with the
Stars and Stripes. Below, British soldiers laying the Union Jack over
the coffins of victims recovered after the sinking of the Lusitania.
(_C. Int. News Service._)]


Wife and children of Paul Crompton. Not only hundreds of non-combatant
men, but many women and children were intentionally sunk with the

New York Tribune: “Failing these things, no American should
misunderstand the meaning of the present crisis; no American should
shrink from the facts that cannot be evaded or avoided. If Germany has
once and for all embarked upon a deliberate campaign of murder directed
against American citizens, there can be but one consequence--the end is

New York World: “The main thing that concerns the American government
today is not the subordinate question of reparation for the
assassination of American citizens who were traveling on the Lusitania.
It is the broader question of whether Germany can be brought to her
senses and induced to abandon methods of warfare that are a crime
against civilization and an affront to humanity.”

New York Times: “Neither in law nor in custom is there any extenuation
for this act of monstrous inhumanity, no exception, no condition, can be
made to shield it from the full force and condemnation it deserves and
has received. And the warning advertisement published by the German
Embassy here, being notice of an intent to commit a crime, is of no more
avail for exculpation than a Black Hand letter of threat.”

New York Globe: “The duty of this government is sufficiently clear.
In a formal and emphatic manner, not shrinking from explicit
characterization, it should denounce the greatest international outrage
that has occurred since the Boxer savages of China, with the countenance
of a treacherous government, attacked the women and children in the
legations at Pekin.”

Philadelphia Public Ledger: “As it stands the horror is almost
inconceivable. There has been nothing like it before. One of the
consequences of this war ought to be that nothing like it can ever
happen again. Unless civilization is to relapse into barbarism, helpless
non-combatants must not be exposed in such a fashion to the worst
calamities of war.”

Boston Transcript: “The torpedoing of the Lusitania was not battle--it
was massacre. To destroy an enemy ship, an unarmed merchant vessel of
great value and power, is an act of war; to sink her in such a manner as
to send hundreds of her passengers, among them many neutrals, to their
death, is morally murder, and no technical military plea will avail to
procure any other verdict at the bar of civilized public opinion.”

Boston Post: “The sinking of the British liner Lusitania by the torpedo
of a German submarine with terrible loss of life, is the worst crime
against civilization and humanity that the modern world has ever known.
It is a reversion to barbarism that will set the whole world, save
perhaps the little world of its perpetrators, aflame with horror and

Boston Traveler: “With the destruction of this queen of the ocean liners
and the hundreds of lives of non-combatant men, women and children, also
came the ruin of the last vestige of the structure of international law
and humane consideration that through the centuries mankind has been
striving to erect. The very life and honor of the nation depend upon
the manner in which this attack upon its integrity is adjudicated, even
if any adjudication of a civil nature will be deemed sufficient to
permit of a peaceful, to say nothing of a friendly, adjustment.”

Hartford Courant: “It is hard to find in the dictionary the words strong
enough to fit such conduct, and the effect of the destruction of the
ship and the loss of lives will be to turn public sentiment more than
ever against the Germans.”

Providence Journal: “Scores of Americans were murdered yesterday on the
high seas, by order of the German government. Men and women, citizens of
the United States, traveling peaceably on a merchant steamer, have been
sent to their death by the deliberately planned act of Emperor William
and his advisers.”

Providence Evening Tribune: “The torpedoing of the Lusitania, in that it
destroyed innocent American lives, was a capital crime committed by
Germany against the United States. A capital crime is a crime punishable
by death. And in the case of a nation punitive death is usually
administered by the process of war.”


Chicago Herald: “International law contemplates the capture of merchant
vessels. It contemplates their destruction under certain conditions. But
it does not contemplate, provide for or justify destruction of the crews
and passengers of such ships without giving them a chance for safety.”

Minneapolis Journal: “Germany intends to become the outlaw of nations.
Perhaps we are yet to witness savagery carried to its ultimate

Minneapolis Tribune: “The sinking of the Lusitania is outside the rules
of civilized warfare. The President will have the loyal support of the
people of this country in whatever course wise counsel may find it
necessary to pursue.”

Denver Rocky Mountain News: “Mankind will hang its head in shame. It was
not war. It is not England that suffers; it is not the relatives and
friends of the dead that suffer only; the people of Germany will suffer
for the deed of yesterday.”


Washington Post: “No warrant whatever, in law or morals, can be found
for the willful destruction of an unarmed vessel, neutral or enemy,
carrying passengers, without giving them an opportunity to leave the
vessel. Germany stands indicted on this charge, and if it is proved the
world will not exonerate that nation for the awful destruction of
innocent life.”

Baltimore American: “Americans must and will resent the invasion of
their rights, and in this there can be no division of American

Charleston News and Courier: “The destruction of the Lusitania has been
accomplished, it now appears, with the most diabolically cruel
deliberation. If this shall be established as a fact, there can be no
question that the wrath of the American people will flame--and should

New Orleans Times-Picayune: “What is Washington going to do about it?
Slaughter of American citizens in contravention of all laws of warfare
has placed the United States in a position that is intolerable. Our
people were wantonly done to death.”


Even sterner was the tone of the editorial opinion of the Canadian
press. In many cases the actual intervention of the United States in the
war was advocated. The following excerpts are characteristic of the
opinion of the newspapers of Canada:

Toronto Daily News: “This fresh display of Teutonic Kultur raises anew
the question as to how long the Washington government is going to be
scorned and trampled upon by the most unscrupulous and barbarous race of
modern times. What effect will this deliberate destruction of hundreds
of American citizens in cold blood have upon public sentiment throughout
the United States? Can President Wilson forever stand aside while
international law and international moral standards are cast to the
winds by a brutal and infuriated people?”

Toronto Mail and Empire: “The Washington government knows why the
American citizens whose names are on the passenger list of the Lusitania
trusted themselves to the ship despite the warnings of the Kaiser’s
agents and accomplices in New York. Those American men and women
disregarded the warnings, not because they believed the Germans
incapable of torpedoing a passenger vessel, but because they felt that
the neutrality and puissance of their nation would be respected. The
Washington government cannot let these American citizens who relied on
its protection go unavenged.”

Toronto Globe: “But what of the United States. Does President Wilson
propose to let German submarines destroy the lives of American citizens
because they choose to cross the Atlantic in a passenger ship flying the
British flag? Does he still think the mad dog of Europe can be trusted
at large? Is it not almost time to join in hunting down the brute?”

Toronto Daily Star: “The sinking of the Lusitania was not necessary to
prove what was already abundantly demonstrated--that there is no length
of vindictiveness to which Germany will not go. There is no lesson to be
drawn from it except that Germany must be fought to a finish, and that
all the resources of the allied countries must be marshalled for that
purpose. We are engaged in no ordinary war. The very existence of
civilization is at stake. The civilized world is threatened by a nation
that has deliberately gone back to barbarism and given a free rein to
criminal instincts. Denunciation and rebuke are of no avail in such a
case. The conflict is between a powerful criminal and those who desire
to live under the reign of law; and the time has come for every man who
believes in law, in every nation, to fight for the life of


That the torpedoing of the Lusitania was not an act of war in the
technical sense committed by Germany as against the United States, was
the view expressed by Mr. McGregor Young, professor of international
law in Toronto University, who said in an interview:

“Certain acts are acts of war in the technical sense--acts, that is to
say, which touch the state qua state. But the torpedoing of the
Lusitania does not come within that category, so far as the United
States is concerned. It is not an act such as is not compatible with
friendly relations between that country and Germany. The Lusitania was a
British ship, and the American passengers on board her were really an
incident, as it were. Whether it would be consistent with the United
States’ self-respect to put up with Germany’s action is another matter.
That is a question as to which a nation must judge for itself.”

Mr. E. F. B. Johnston, K.C., gave his opinion as follows:

“The Lusitania was a vessel owned by a British company, carrying on
business in England. It was not under the control of the United States.
Individual citizens choosing to travel by this boat would do so at their
own risk, and so far as loss is concerned, the United States as a nation
would not perhaps be legally affected. But if citizens of the United
States are not to be protected by their own Government, a wholesale
slaughter might be justified on the ground that the ship was English. It
seems to me to be a question of policy. And, as such, one would say that
it was the duty of the United States to protect, as far as possible,
their own citizens.”

On the Sunday following the destruction of the Lusitania reference to
the disaster was made by countless clergymen throughout Canada. Varying
sentiments were expressed in their sermons, but perhaps the keynote was
sounded by the Rev. W. H. Hincks, D.D., pastor of Trinity Methodist
Church, Toronto, who alluded to the subject as follows:

“Neutral nations headed by the President of the United States seven
months ago entered a united diplomatic protest against the violation of
the branch of The Hague Convention which has to do with the killing of
civilians. The greatest thinkers in Great Britain have taken the view
that the United States can do more good as a neutral by exerting her
influence in the interest of humanity and in accordance with The Hague
Convention than in entering unprepared into the war. Our duty is to pray
for the President of the United States, that, surrounded by the wisest
of his advisers, he may take action with other neutral nations to
prevent the repetition of such a crime.”




Rarely has a man in any office of life had laid upon his shoulders so
great a responsibility as was thrust upon President Wilson by the
destruction of more than a hundred American lives in the Lusitania
disaster. No heart was more sorely stricken than his by the dastardly
calamity, and yet it is characteristic of the man, and to his
everlasting credit, that when impetuous minds were urging him to hasty
action, his reply was,

“We must think first of humanity.”

A man of lesser stature, mentally and spiritually, would have required a
host of counselors. In the great crisis which he faced President Wilson
assumed for himself full responsibility. There was the rare spectacle of
a man great enough and sure enough to determine wholly within his own
mind upon the action he should take. He sought no advice; he eschewed
advisers. In solitude he evolved his supreme duty.

When, in the seclusion of his own soul, he had fixed upon his policy, he
proceeded in the same way to put it into words. It is a thing perhaps
without precedent before the administration of President Wilson that the
note to the German government, which has become a historic document, was
written originally by the President in shorthand. After he had set down
the communication in this way he transcribed it on his own typewriter.
No official or clerk of the White House had any part in the preparation
of the document until after it had been presented to the members of the
Cabinet. Not even Secretary Bryan saw it in advance of that time.


The full text of President Wilson’s note, dated May 13, and communicated
over the name of Secretary of State Bryan, is as follows:

  _“The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador at Berlin_:

  “Please call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and after reading to
  him this communication, leave with him a copy:

  “In view of the recent acts of the German authorities in violation of
  American rights on the high seas, which culminated in the torpedoing
  and sinking of the British steamship Lusitania on May 7, 1915, by
  which over one hundred American citizens lost their lives, it is
  clearly wise and desirable that the government of the United States
  and the imperial German government should come to a clear and full
  understanding as to the grave situation which has resulted.

  “The sinking of the British passenger steamship Falaba by a German
  submarine on March 28, through which Leon C. Thresher, an American
  citizen, was drowned; the attack on April 28 on the American vessel
  Cushing by a German aeroplane; the torpedoing on May 1 of the American
  vessel Gulflight by a German submarine, as a result of which two or
  more American citizens met their death; and, finally, the torpedoing
  and sinking of the steamship Lusitania, constitute a series of events
  which the government of the United States has observed with growing
  concern, distress and amazement.


  “Recalling the humane and enlightened attitude hitherto assumed by the
  imperial German government in matters of international right, and
  particularly with regard to the freedom of the seas; having learned to
  recognize the German views and the German influence in the field of
  international obligation as always engaged upon the side of justice
  and humanity; and having understood the instructions of the imperial
  German government to its naval commanders to be upon the same plane of
  humane action prescribed by the naval codes of other nations, the
  government of the United States was loath to believe--it cannot now
  bring itself to believe--that these acts, so absolutely contrary to
  the rules, the practices and the spirit of modern warfare, could have
  the countenance or sanction of that great government. It feels it to
  be its duty, therefore, to address the imperial German government
  concerning them with the utmost frankness and in the earnest hope that
  it is not mistaken in expecting action on the part of the imperial
  German government which will correct the unfortunate impressions which
  have been created and vindicate once more the position of that
  government with regard to the sacred freedom of the seas.


  “The government of the United States has been apprised that the
  imperial German government considered themselves to be obliged by the
  extraordinary circumstances of the present war and the measures
  adopted by their adversaries in seeking to cut Germany off from all
  commerce, to adopt methods of retaliation which go much beyond the
  ordinary methods of warfare at sea, in the proclamation of a war zone
  from which they have warned neutral ships to keep away. This
  government has already taken occasion to inform the imperial German
  government that it cannot admit the adoption of such measures or such
  a warning of danger to operate as in any degree an abbreviation of the
  rights of American shipmasters or of American citizens bound on lawful
  errands as passengers on merchant ships of belligerent nationality;
  and that it must hold the imperial German government to a strict
  accountability for any infringement of those rights, intentional or
  incidental. It does not understand the imperial German government to
  question those rights. It assumes, on the contrary, that the imperial
  German government accept, as of course, the rule that the lives of
  non-combatants, whether they be of neutral citizenship or citizens of
  one of the nations at war, cannot lawfully or rightfully be put in
  jeopardy by the capture or destruction of an unarmed merchantman, and
  recognize, also, as all other nations do, the obligation to take the
  usual precaution of visit and search to ascertain whether a suspected
  merchantman is in fact of belligerent nationality or is in fact
  carrying contraband of war under a neutral flag.


  “The government of the United States, therefore, desires to call the
  attention of the imperial German government with the utmost
  earnestness to the fact that the objection to their present method of
  attack against the trade of their enemies lies in the practical
  impossibility of employing submarines in the destruction of commerce
  without disregarding those rules of fairness, reason, justice and
  humanity, which all modern opinion regards as imperative. It is
  practically impossible for the officers of a submarine to visit a
  merchantman at sea and examine her papers and cargo. It is practically
  impossible for them to make a prize of her; and, if they cannot put a
  prize crew on board of her, they cannot sink her without leaving her
  crew and all on board of her to the mercy of the sea in her small
  boats. These facts, it is understood, the imperial German government
  frankly admit.

  “We are informed that in the instances of which we have spoken time
  enough for even that poor measure of safety was not given, and in at
  least two of the cases cited not so much as a warning was received.
  Manifestly, submarines cannot be used against merchantmen, as the last
  few weeks have shown, without an inevitable violation of many sacred
  principles of justice and humanity.

  “American citizens act within their indisputable rights in taking
  their ships and in traveling wherever their legitimate business calls
  them upon the high seas, and exercise those rights in what should be
  the well-justified confidence that their lives will not be endangered
  by acts done in clear violation of universally acknowledged
  international obligations, and certainly in the confidence that their
  own government will sustain them in the exercise of their rights.


  “There was recently published in the newspapers of the United States,
  I regret to inform the imperial German government, a formal warning,
  purporting to come from the imperial German embassy at Washington,
  addressed to the people of the United States, and stating in effect
  that any citizen of the United States who exercised his right of free
  travel upon the seas would do so at his peril if his journey should
  take him within the zone of waters within which the imperial German
  navy was using submarines against the commerce of Great Britain and
  France, notwithstanding the respectful but very earnest protest of
  this government, the government of the United States. I do not refer
  to this for the purpose of calling the attention of the imperial
  German government at this time to the surprising irregularity of a
  communication from the imperial German embassy at Washington addressed
  to the people of the United States through the newspapers, but only
  for the purpose of pointing out that no warning that an unlawful and
  inhumane act will be committed can possibly be accepted as an excuse
  or palliation for that act, or as an abatement of the responsibility
  for its commission.

  “Long acquainted as this government has been with the character of the
  imperial German government and with the high principles of equity by
  which they have in the past been actuated and guided, the government
  of the United States cannot believe that the commanders of the vessels
  which committed these acts of lawlessness did so except under a
  misapprehension of the orders issued by the imperial German naval
  authorities. It takes it for granted that, at least within the
  practical possibilities of every such case, the commanders even of
  submarines were expected to do nothing that would involve the lives of
  non-combatants or the safety of neutral ships, even at the cost of
  failing of their object of capture or destruction.

  “It confidently expects, therefore, that the imperial German
  government will disavow the acts of which the government of the United
  States complains; that they will make reparation so far as reparation
  is possible for injuries which are without measure, and that they will
  take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence of anything so
  obviously subversive of the principles of warfare for which the
  imperial German government have in the past so wisely and so firmly


  “The government and people of the United States look to the imperial
  German government for just, prompt and enlightened action in this
  vital matter with the greater confidence because the United States and
  Germany are bound together not only by special ties of friendship, but
  also by the explicit stipulations of the treaty of 1828 between the
  United States and the Kingdom of Prussia.

  “Expressions of regret and offers of reparation in case of the
  destruction of neutral ships sunk by mistake, while they may satisfy
  international obligations, if no loss of life results, cannot justify
  or excuse a practice, the natural and necessary effect of which is to
  subject neutral nations and neutral persons to new and immeasurable

  “The imperial German government will not expect the government of the
  United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the performance
  of its sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and
  its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment.



With anxiety, even if with confidence, the American people waited the
publication of this note. Then they read, and the whole country
resounded with enthusiastic support. More than at almost any previous
period in the history of the United States, more certainly than at the
outbreak of any previous foreign war, the nation stood solidly behind
the President. According to the New York Tribune he “acted with calm
statesmanlike directness, deserved well of his own nation and earned the
respect of the world.” The New York Sun, commenting on the note, said:
“The President has spoken firmly. The country, supporting him as firmly,
awaits without passion the German reply,” and the New York Herald in an
editorial declared that President Wilson had “expressed the unanimous
voice of the great American republic.” “Everyone trusts the President
because he has shown himself worthy of trust,” was the comment of the
Philadelphia Public Ledger. “The Government’s position in this case is
the country’s position. It is not extreme, yet it covers the ground,”
spoke the Springfield Republican, and the Christian Science Monitor went
so far as to state that there was “probably no body of opinion in the
United States which will be dissatisfied either with the tone or temper
of the message.”


An armored car is suspended by three cables from the Zeppelin airship to
a distance of several thousand feet below the monster air-craft, which
is concealed in the clouds above. (_Sphere copr._)]


This stirring picture represents a German aeroplane of the type called
Aviatik, beaten in a fight high up in the air by the famous French
Aviator Garros, plunging to earth in flames, turning and turning like a
falling star.]


No less enthusiastic was the approval of the press in the South and
West. “The citizenry of this country is with Wilson,” stoutly declared
the Baltimore Sun, and the Louisville Post maintained: “There are no
neutrals in America now. We are all earnest supporters of the President,
who by patience and fortitude has established his right to lead a free
people.” The note, according to the Atlanta Journal, was “the voice of
the American people proclaiming in terms unmistakable their conscience
and their will.”

“Whatever the fate of our relations with Germany, the President
undoubtedly has voiced the sentiment of the nation upon the use of the
submarine and as to the rights of neutrals on the high seas,” was the
comment of the Chicago Tribune. The note was described by the Cleveland
News as “all that Americans could wish,” and according to the San
Francisco Chronicle, it commended itself “to the common sense of people
unafflicted with inflammable hatreds.” “It is probable that no document
of state ever came nearer reflecting the sentiment of the American
people,” commented the Denver Times, and the Indianapolis News
proclaimed: “It is not simply the government, but the nation that speaks
through the document. There is no one who does not hope for a peaceful
adjustment of the difficulty.” The Minneapolis Journal, after analyzing
the note and especially the last strong paragraph of protest, declared:
“The American people will stand by these words.”

If no president of the United States ever faced so grave a crisis,
certainly none ever received more unanimous support. If there were any
murmurs of dissatisfaction they were too faint to be heard above the
chorus of approval.




The German defense for the destruction of the Lusitania and for other
marine atrocities committed against non-combatant vessels in the famous,
or infamous, war zone was contained in a note to the American
government, transmitted May 31, in reply to President Wilson’s note of
protest. The full text of the German note is as follows:

“The undersigned has the honor to submit to Ambassador Gerard the
following answer to the communication of May 13 regarding the injury to
American interests through German submarine warfare.

“The Imperial government has subjected the communication of the American
government to a thorough investigation. It entertains also a keen wish
to co-operate in a frank and friendly way in clearing up a possible
misunderstanding which may have arisen in the relations between the two
governments through the events mentioned by the American government.

“Regarding, firstly, the cases of the American steamers Cushing and
Gulflight. The American embassy has already been informed that the
German government has no intention of submitting neutral ships in the
war zone, which are guilty of no hostile acts, to attacks by a submarine
or submarines or aviators. On the contrary, the German forces have
repeatedly been instructed most specifically to avoid attacks on such


“If neutral ships in recent months have suffered through the German
submarine warfare, owing to mistakes in identification, it is a question
only of quite isolated and exceptional cases, which can be attributed to
the British government’s abuse of flags, together with the suspicious or
culpable behavior of the masters of the ships.

“The German government, in all cases in which it has been shown by its
investigations that a neutral ship, not itself at fault, was damaged by
German submarines or aviators, has expressed regret over the unfortunate
accident and, if justified by conditions, has offered indemnification.


“The cases of the Cushing and the Gulflight will be treated on the same
principles. An investigation of both cases is in progress, the result of
which will presently be communicated to the embassy. The investigation
can, if necessary, be supplemented by an international call on the
international commission of inquiry as provided by Article III of The
Hague agreement of October 18, 1907.

“When sinking the British steamer Falaba, the commander of the German
submarine had the intention of allowing the passengers and crew a full
opportunity for a safe escape. Only when the master did not obey the
order to heave-to, but fled and summoned help by rocket signals, did the
German commander order the crew and passengers by signals and megaphone
to leave the ship within ten minutes. He actually allowed them
twenty-three minutes time and fired the torpedo only when suspicious
craft were hastening to the assistance of the Falaba.

“Regarding the loss of life by the sinking of the British passenger
steamer Lusitania, the German government has already expressed to the
neutral governments concerned its keen regret that citizens of their
states lost their lives.

“On this occasion, the Imperial government, however, cannot escape the
impression that certain important facts having a direct bearing on the
sinking of the Lusitania may have escaped the attention of the American

“In the interest of a clear and complete understanding, which is the aim
of both governments, the Imperial government considers it first
necessary to convince itself that the information accessible to both
governments about the facts of the case is complete and in accord.

“The government of the United States proceeds on the assumption that
the Lusitania could be regarded as an ordinary unarmed merchantman. The
Imperial government allows itself in this connection to point out that
the Lusitania was one of the largest and fastest British merchant ships,
built with government funds as an auxiliary cruiser and carried
expressly as such in the ‘navy list’ issued by the British admiralty.


“It is further known to the Imperial government from trustworthy reports
from its agents and neutral passengers, that for a considerable time
practically all the more valuable British merchantmen have been equipped
with cannon and ammunition and other weapons and manned with persons who
have been specially trained in serving guns. The Lusitania, too,
according to information received here, had cannon aboard, which were
mounted and concealed below decks.

“The Imperial government, further, has the honor to direct the
particular attention of the American government to the fact that the
British admiralty in a confidential instruction issued in February,
1915, recommended its mercantile shipping not only to seek protection
under neutral flags and disguising marks, but also, while thus
disguised, to attack German submarines by ramming. As a special
incitation to merchantmen to destroy submarines, the British government
also offered high prizes and has already paid such rewards.

“The Imperial government in view of these facts indubitably known to it,
is unable to regard British merchantmen in the zone of naval operations
specified by the admiralty staff of the German navy as ‘undefended.’
German commanders consequently are no longer able to observe the
customary regulations of the prize law, which they always followed.

“Finally the Imperial government must point out particularly that the
Lusitania on its last trip, as on earlier occasions, carried Canadian
troops and war material, including no less than 5,400 cases of
ammunition intended for the destruction of the brave German soldiers who
are fulfilling their duty with self-sacrifice and devotion in the
Fatherland’s service.


“The German government believes that it was acting in justified
self-defense in seeking with all the means of warfare at its disposition
to protect the lives of its soldiers by destroying ammunition intended
for the enemy.

“The British shipping company must have been aware of the danger to
which the passengers aboard the Lusitania were exposed under these
conditions. The company, in embarking them notwithstanding this,
attempted deliberately to use the lives of American citizens as
protection for the ammunition aboard, and acted against the clear
provisions of the American law, which expressly prohibits the forwarding
of passengers on ships carrying ammunition, and provides a penalty
therefor. The company therefore is wantonly guilty of the death of so
many passengers.

“There can be no doubt according to definite report of the submarine’s
commander, which is further confirmed by all other information, that the
quick sinking of the Lusitania is primarily attributed to the explosion
of the ammunition shipment caused by a torpedo. The Lusitania’s
passengers would otherwise, in all human probability, have been saved.

“The Imperial government considers the above-mentioned facts important
enough to recommend them to the attentive examination of the American


“The Imperial government, while withholding its final decision on the
demands advanced in connection with the sinking of the Lusitania until
receipt of an answer from the American government, feels impelled in
conclusion to recall here and now that it took cognizance with
satisfaction of the mediatory proposals submitted by the United States
government to Berlin and London as a basis for a modus vivendi for
conducting the maritime warfare between Germany and Great Britain.

“The Imperial government by its readiness to enter upon a discussion of
these proposals, then demonstrated its good intentions in ample fashion.
The realization of these proposals was defeated, as is well known, by
the declinatory attitude of the British government.

“The undersigned takes occasion, etc.



The effect of the German note on American opinion was to create a sense
of angry disappointment. The newspapers were a unit in calling it
evasive. It “does not meet the issue,” declared the New York World,
while the New York Times viewed it as being “not responsive to our
demand. It tends rather to becloud understanding.” The Albany
Knickerbocker Press denounced it as “an answer which purposely does not
answer. Germany evidently is playing for time.” This thought was
reiterated by the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, which pointed out that “it
is palpable that Germany proposes to consume time by raising points
which call for further correspondence, in the meanwhile continuing in
the course to which the United States has objected.”


Mr. Cowper, a Canadian journalist, holding little Helen Smith, a
six-year-old American girl, who lost both father and mother. (_C. Int.
News Service._)

“The Man Who Cannot Be Drowned.” This stoker was saved from the Titanic,
the Empress of Ireland and, lastly, from the Lusitania.]


When the hostile trenches are near together an open zig-zag trench is
dug to a point very close to the enemy’s line, then a covered gallery is
excavated to a point almost under the hostile trench.


Here a charge of explosive is placed and fired from a distance by an
electric wire. At the same instant the men charge over the ground and
occupy the ruined trench of the enemy. (_Il. L. News copr._)]


This photograph, made at Putte, a Holland frontier town, shows some of
the three hundred thousand refugees who sought safety in Holland.
(_Copyright by Underwood and Underwood._)]

  United States’ Note of Protest and Germany’s Reply Compared

  _President Wilson Demanded_:

  Practical cessation of submarine attacks on non-combatant vessels.

  Observance of the rule of visit and search in the case of all
  suspected merchantmen before any such ship shall be subjected to
  capture or destruction.

  Protection of non-combatants who may be on suspected merchantmen.

  Disavowal of official German responsibility for injury to Americans in
  the Cushing, Gulflight and Lusitania cases.

  Reparation, so far as reparation is possible, for irreparable damage.

  Immediate steps by Germany to prevent the recurrence of incidents “so
  obviously subversive of the principles of warfare.”

  The first three items, as noted above, were stated not as actual
  demands, but as assumptions of what Germany would agree to in view of
  previous communications from this country in the matter of what is
  allowable in maritime warfare according to previously acknowledged
  international law and the dictates of humanity.

  _Germany Conceded_:

  No intention of attacking neutral ships not guilty of hostile acts in
  “war zone.”

  Regrets and indemnity where neutral ship, not itself at fault, is

  Attacks on the American ships Gulflight and Cushing unintentional, the
  circumstances being rigidly investigated.

  Keen regret at loss of lives of neutral citizens on Lusitania.

  _Germany Evaded_:

  Issue as to humanitarian aspect and facts in Lusitania case.

  Giving of any direct promise to abandon submarine warfare.

  Any attempt to justify such warfare, except as “self-defense.”

  _Germany Countered_:

  By raising question as to Lusitania being an “auxiliary armed
  cruiser,” and not of the “undefended merchantmen” class.

  By accusing Cunard company of using American citizens to protect the
  “ammunition” carried by Lusitania, and of being guilty of their death.

The Chicago Herald more specifically pointed out the evasiveness of the
German reply, claiming that it “fails wholly to meet the main points at
issue, both the specific point of the slaughter of American citizens on
the Lusitania and the general point of the impossibility of employing
submarines in the destruction of commerce without disregarding rules of
fairness, reason, justice and humanity--established principles of
international law.”


The Philadelphia Public Ledger also criticized it for ignoring
altogether “the protest in the name of humanity against submarine
warfare upon non-combatants,” and the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune laid
bare the “absolute ignoring of the vital principles set forth in the
Wilson letter,” adding that “there is a half contemptuous, albeit
entirely courteous, suggestion of ‘Well, they are still dead; now, what
do you propose to do about it?’”

[Illustration: NO USE.]

The German claim that the Lusitania was in effect a warship, with
mounted guns, and carried ammunition and Canadian soldiers, was
emphatically denied in a public statement by Dudley Field Malone,
collector of the port of New York, and the New York World vehemently
answered the German claim by declaring that “the Lusitania was a warship
in the same way that Belgium was an aggressor against Germany; in the
same way that the University of Louvain and Rheims Cathedral were
‘fortifications’; in the same way that various seaside resorts in
England, raided by Germans, were ‘defended.’”


Many newspapers joined in calling for more drastic action on the part of
the United States government. “We have but one thing in mind,” announced
the New York Tribune, “that these crimes shall cease. Any answer,
therefore, which fails to guarantee their stoppage as a condition
precedent to diplomatic rectification cannot be expected to satisfy the
just expectation of the United States.” The Washington Herald followed
this by saying: “The patience of the American people in the face of
contemptuous disregard of their rights and a series of outrages against
their countrymen has been sublime, but surely it has a limit. Surely a
way will be found, without much longer delay, to compel Germany to cease
her attacks on American vessels engaged in neutral commerce and to
guarantee the safety of American lives and property.”


On the other hand there was a strong element that counseled coolness and
restraint. “This is not a time,” declared the Albany Knickerbocker
Press, “to suggest to President Wilson what ought to be done. It is not
a time to become impatient. It is a time for restraint. Nothing can be
gained now by playing upon the strings of excitable public opinion in
America. The President must find his way out and every true American
must support him loyally.” Echoing this sentiment, the Springfield
Republican added, “but the German government may fairly be required to
give definite assurances that during the period of the negotiations no
more torpedo attacks on passenger ships which may be carrying American
citizens will be permitted.”





  [The following article is reproduced by the courtesy of the New York

There is in Brussels--if the Uhlans have spared it--a mad and monstrous
picture. It is called “A Scene in Hell,” and hangs in the Musée Wiertz.
And what you see on the canvas are the fierce and blinding flames of
hell; and amid them looms the dark figure of Napoleon, and around him
the wives and mothers and maids of Belgium scream and surge and clutch
and curse--taking their posthumous vengeance.

And since Napoleon was a notable emperor in his time, the picture is not
without significance today. Paint in another face, and let it go at

War is a bad thing. Even hell is the worse for it.

War is a bad thing; it is a reversal, sudden and complete, to barbarism.
That is what I would get at in this article. One day there is
civilization, authentic, complex, triumphant; comes war, and in a moment
the entire fabric sinks down into a slime of mud and blood. In a day,
in an hour, a cycle of civilization is canceled. What you saw in the
morning was suave and ordered life; and the sun sets on howling
savagery. In the morning black-coated men lifted their hats to women.
Ere nightfall they are slashing them with sabres and burning the houses
over their heads. And the grave old professors who were droning
platitudes of peace and progress and humanitarianism are screaming, ere
today is done, shrill senile clamors for blood and ravage and rapine.

A reversal to barbarism.

Here; it is in the tea-room of the smartest hotel in Munich; war has
come; high-voiced women of title chatter over their teacups; comes
swaggering in the Crown Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria; he has just had his
sabre sharpened and has girt his abdomen for war. His wife runs to him.
And she kisses the sabre and shouts: “Bring it back to me covered with
blood--that I may kiss it again!” And the other high-voiced women flock
to kiss the sword.

A reversal to barbarism.

It has taken place in an hour; but yesterday these were sweet patrician
ladies, who prattled of humanity and love and the fair graces of life;
and now they would fain wet their mouths with blood--laughingly, as
harlots wet their mouths with wine.

The unclean and vampirish spirit of war has swept them back to the
habits of the cave-dwelling ages of the race. In an hour the culture so
painfully acquired in slow generations has been swept away. Royalty, in
the tea-room of the “Four Seasons,” is one with the blonde nude female
who romped and fought in the dark Teutonic forests ere Caesar came
through Gaul.

Reversal to barbarism.

War is declared; and in Berlin the Emperor of Germany rides in an open
motor car down Unter den Linden; he is in full uniform, sworded, erect,
hieratic; and at his side sits the Empress--she the good mother, the
housewife, the fond grandmother--garmented from head to foot in cloth
the color of blood.

Theatricalism? No. The symbolism is more significant. The symbol bears a
savage significance. It marks, as a red sunset, the going down of
civilization and the coming of the dark barbarism of war.


There was war; and the whole machinery of civilization stopped.

Modern civilization is the most complex machine imaginable; its infinite
cogged wheels turn endlessly upon each other; and perfectly it
accomplishes its multifarious purposes; but smash one wheel and it all
falls apart into muddle and ruin. The declaration of war was like
thrusting a mailed fist into the intricate works of a clock. There was
an end of the perfected machine of civilization. Everything stopped.

That was a queer world we woke in. A world that seemed new, so old it

Money had ceased to exist. It seemed at that moment an appalling thing.
I was on the edge and frontier of a neutral state. I had money in a
bank. It ceased to be money. A thousand-franc note was paper. A
hundred-mark note was rubbish. British sovereigns were refused at the
railway station. The Swiss shopkeeper would not change a Swiss note.
What had seemed money was not money.

Values were told in terms of bread.

It was a swift and immediate return to the economic conditions of
barbarism. Metals were hoarded; and where there had been trade there was
barter. And it all happened in an hour, in that first fierce panic of

Traffic stopped with a clang as of rusty iron. The mailed fist had
dislocated the complex machinery of European traffic. Frontiers which
had been mere landmarks of travel became suddenly formidable and
impassable barriers, guarded by harsh, hysterical men with bayonets.

War makes men brave and courageous? Rubbish! It fills them with the
cruelty of hysteria and the panic of the unknown. I am not talking of
battle, which is a different thing. But I say the men who guarded the
German frontier--and I dare say every other frontier--in the first
stress of war, were wrenched and shaken with veritable hysteria. At St.
Ludwig and Constance those husky soldiers in iron-mongery, with shaved
heads and beards and outstanding ears, fell into sheer savagery, not
because they were bad and savage men, but simply because they were
hysterical. The fact is worth noting.

It explains many a bloody and infamous deed in the tragic history of sad
Alsace and of little Belgium. The war-begotten reversal to savagery
brought with it all the hysteria of the savage man. The sentries at St.
Ludwig struck with muskets and sabres because they were hysterical with
terror of the new, unknown state into which they had been plunged, not
because they were not men like you and me. Surely the savage Uhlan who
ravaged the cottages of Alsace was your brother and mine, as were the
Magyar beyond the Danube and the Cossack at Kovna. Only they had gone
back to the terrors of the man who dwelt in a cave.

Traffic stopped; and when it stopped civilization fell away from the
travelers. That was strange. Take the afternoon of the day war was
declared, the date being Aug. 1, in the year of our Lord 1914, and the
hour 7.30 P. M., Berlin time. It was the last train that reached the
frontier from Paris. Between Delle and Bicourt lies a neutral zone about
three kilometers--say, nearly two and a half miles--in extent. On one
side France and invasion and terror and war; on the other side of the
zone the relative safety of Switzerland. Six hundred passengers poured
out of the French train at noon into that neutral zone and started to
walk to Swiss safety. A blazing August sun; a road of pebbles and
stinging, upblown dust.

The passengers had been permitted to bring on the train only what
luggage they could carry; so they were laden with bags and coats,
dressing bags and jewel cases--all they had deemed most valuable. Mostly
women. German ladies fleeing for refuge; Russian ladies; English,
American; and a crowd of men, urgent to reach their armies, German,
Swiss, Russian, Austrian, Servian, Italian; withal many of the kind of
American men who go to Switzerland in August.

And the caravan started in the dust and heat of a desert. A woman let
fall her heavy bag and plodded on. Another threw away her coats. Men
shook off their bundles. The heat was stifling. And through the clouds
of dust a panic terror crept. It was the antique terror of the God
Pan--the God All; it was a fear as immense as the sky.

A woman screamed and began to run, throwing away everything she had
safeguarded so she might run with empty hands. A score followed her. Men
began to run. They thrust the women aside, cursing; and ran. And for
over two miles the road was covered thick with coats and bags, with
packages and jewel cases. The greed of possession died out in the
causeless fear.

These hoarse, pushing men, these sweating, shameless women had gone back
10,000 years into prehistoric savagery. Lightly they threw away all the
baubles and gewgaws civilization had fashioned for adorning and
disguising their raw humanity, and the habits of civilization as well.

They had touched but the outermost edge of war, and their very clothes
fell off them.


War; and it takes eighty-four hours to make a twelve-hour journey from
the Alps to Paris; the cable is dead; the telegraph is dumb; letters go
only when smuggled over the frontiers by couriers; you look about you
and find you are in a mediæval and mysterious world. You stand amid the
melancholy ruins of canceled cycles. The mailed fist of war has smashed
your world to pieces. You do not know it.

The man you thought of as a brother looks at you with eyes of passionate
hatred; you have eaten bread and salt together; you have drunk together;
you have been uplifted by the same books; you have been sublimed by the
same music; but he is a German, and your blood was made in another land,
and he looks at you with suspicion and hate--perhaps you are a spy. (The
spy mania! Dear Lord, what absurd, bloody, and abominable stories I
could write of this madness which has Europe by the throat, this madness
which is only another form of war hysteria!) A reversal to barbarism;
you and the man who was your friend have gone back to the fear and
hatred of primitive savages, meeting at the corner of a dark wood. All
of humanity we have acquired in the slow way of evolution sloughs off

We are savages once more. For science is dead. All the laboratories are
shut, save those where poison is brewed and destruction is put up in
packages. Education has ceased, save that fierce Nietzschean education
which declares: “The weak and helpless must go to the wall; and we shall
help them go.” All that made life humanly fair is hidden in the fetid
clouds of war where savages (in terror and hysteria) grope for each
other’s throats.

The glory of war--rot! The heroism of war--rot! The scarlet and
beneficent energies of war--rot! When you look at it close what you see
are hulking masses of brutes with fear behind them prodding them on, or
wild and splendid savages, hysterical with hate, battling to save their
hearth fires and women from the oncoming horde. Reversal to barbarism.

Think it over. Upon whom falls the stress of war? Not upon the soldier.
He is killed and fattens the soil where he falls; or he is maimed and
hobbles off toward a pension or beggary--both tolerable things; anyway
he has drunk deep of cruelty and terror and may go his way. By rare good
grace he may have been a hero. In other words, he may have been a
Belgian--which is a word like a decoration, a name to make one strut
like a Greek of Thermopylae--and become thus a permanent part of the
world’s finest history.

       *       *       *       *       *

I would like to write here the name of a friend, Charles Flamache of
Brussels. He was twenty-one years old. He was an artist who had already
tasted fame. He had known the love of woman. That his destiny might be
fulfilled he died, the blithe, brave boy, in front of Liège. It was the
right death at the right time--ere yet the massed Prussians had rolled
in fire and blood over his fair small land. Wherefore, hail and
farewell, young hero!

       *       *       *       *       *

But upon whom falls the stress of war?

In a time of barbarism those who suffer are always the weak. War is in
its essence (as said Nietzsche, the German philosopher of “world power”)
an attack upon weakness. The weakest suffer most.

I saw children born on cinder heaps, and I saw them die; and the mothers
die gasping like she dogs in a smother of flies.

Some day the story of what was done in Alsace will be written and the
stories of Visé and Aerschot and Orsmael and Louvain will seem pale and
negligible; but not now--five generations to come will whisper them in
the Vosges.

What I would emphasize is that in the natural state of barbarism induced
by the war the woman falls back to her antique state of she animal. In
thousands of years she has been made into a thing of exquisite and
mysterious femininity; in a day she is thrown back to kinship with the
she dog. Slashed with sabres, pricked with lances, she is a mere thing
of prey.

Surely not the dear Countess and Baroness? Of course not. War is made in
the palaces, but it does not attack the palaces. The worth of every
nation dwells in the cottage; and it is upon the cottage that war works
its worst infamy. Go to Alsace and see.

Pillage, loot, incendiarism, “indemnity”--you can read that in the
records of the invasion of Belgium; that is war; it is all right if war
is to be, for all this talk of chivalrous consideration for foes and
regard for international law is all nonsense; necessity, as
Bethmann-Hollweg said, knows no law, and necessity has always been the
tyrant’s plea; it is the business of a soldier to kill and terrify; if
he restricts his killing and terrifying he is a bad soldier and bad at
his work of barbarism; but--

There is a more sinister side to Europe’s lapse into barbarism. The
women are paying too dear. And to make them pay dear is not really the
business of a soldier, not even a bad soldier. Yet the woman is paying,
God knows. A tragic payment.


One morning at dawn--it was at Ambérieu--I saw the long trains go by
carrying the German wounded and the German prisoners, who had been taken
in the battles of the Vosges. There were 2,400 taken on toward the
south. There were French nurses with the wounded. I saw water and fruit
and chocolate given to the prisoners.

This was early in the war. The sheer lapse into barbarism had not yet
come. Soon the German newspapers announced:

“Great concern is expressed in press and public utterances lest
prisoners of war receive anything in the line of favored treatment.
Newspapers have conducted an angry campaign against women who have
ventured at the railway station to give coffee or food to prisoners of
war passing through; commanding officers have ordered that persons
‘demeaning themselves by such unworthy conduct’ are to be immediately
ejected from the stations, and in response to public clamor official
announcements have been issued that such prisoners in transport receive
only bread and water.”

And the French followed suit; no “coddling” of prisoners; back to
barbarism, the lessons of humanity forgot and savagery come again.

Civilization in the old world is smashed. I have traversed the ruins;
and my feet are still dirty with mud and blood. But I can tell you what
is going to come out of that welter of ruin. There will come a sane and
righteous hatred of militarism. What will be surely destroyed is
Cæsarism. Prophecy? This is not prophecy; I am stating an assured fact.
Even at this hour of hysterical and relentless warfare there lies deep
in the heart of the democracy of Europe a consuming hatred of

Drops of water (or blood) do not more naturally flow into each than did
the English hatred of Cæsarism blend with the high French hatred of the
evil thing; and when the palaces have done fighting, the cottages of
Europe, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and from the Black Sea to
the Hebrides, will proclaim its destruction.

And you will see it; you will see Cæsarism drowned in the very blood it
has shed. And the German, mark you, will not be the least bitter of the
foes of militarism. He will be indeed a relentless foe.

Reversal to barbarism, say you? A shuddering lapse into savagery?

Quite true; that is the state of Europe over the fairest and most highly
civilized provinces. The picture of Sir John French strolling up and
down the battle line smoking a cigarette does not give a fair idea of
it; nor do you get it from the Kaiser on a hilltop surveying his massed
war bullocks surging forth patiently to battle; all that belongs to the
picture books of war.

The real thing is dirtier.





  [Sir Gilbert Parker went abroad at the request of the American
  Committee for the Relief of Belgium, and the following graphic
  statement and appeal to the American people, dated December 5, 1914,
  appeared in the New York Times.]

Since the beginning of the war the hearts of all humane people have been
tortured by the sufferings of Belgium. For myself the martyrdom of
Belgium had been a nightmare since the fall of Liège. Whoever or
whatever country is to blame for this war, Belgium is innocent. Her
hands are free from stain. She has kept the faith. She saw it with the
eyes of duty and honor. Her government is carried on in another land.
Her king is in the trenches. Her army is decimated, but the last
decimals fight on.

Her people wander in foreign lands, the highest and lowest looking for
work and bread; they cannot look for homes. Those left behind huddle
near the ruins of their shattered villages or take refuge in towns which
cannot feed their own citizens.


Many cities and towns have been completely destroyed; others, reduced or
shattered, struggle in vain to feed their poor and broken populations.
Stones and ashes mark the places where small communities lived their
peaceful lives before the invasion. The Belgian people live now in the
abyss of want and woe.

All this I knew in England, but knew it from the reports of others. I
did not, could not, know what the destitution, the desolation of Belgium
was, what were the imperative needs of this people, until I got to
Holland and to the borders of Belgian territory. Inside that territory I
could not pass because I was a Britisher, but there I could see German
soldiers, the Landwehr, keeping guard over what they call their new
German province. Belgium a German province!

There at Maastricht I saw fugitives crossing the frontier into Holland
with all their worldly goods on their shoulders or in their hands, or
with nothing at all, seeking hospitality of a little land which itself
feels, though it is neutral, the painful stress and cost of the war.
There, on the frontier, I was standing between Dutch soldiers and German
soldiers, so near the Germans that I could almost have touched them, so
near three German officers that their conversation as they saluted me
reached my ears.

I begin to understand what the sufferings and needs of Belgium are. They
are such that the horror of it almost paralyzes expression. I met at
Maastricht Belgians, representatives of municipalities, who said that
they had food for only a fortnight longer. And what was the food they
had? No meat, no vegetables, but only one-third of a soldier’s rations
of bread for each person per day. At Liège, as I write, there is food
for only three days.

What is it the people of Belgium ask for? They ask for bread and salt,
no more, and it is not forthcoming. They do not ask for meat; they
cannot get it. They have no fires for cooking, and they do not beg for
petrol. Money is of little use to them, because there is no food to be
bought with money.

Belgium under ordinary circumstances imports five-sixths of the food she
eats. The ordinary channels of sale and purchase are closed. They cannot
buy and sell if they would. Representatives of Belgian communities told
me at Maastricht that the crops were taken from their fields--the wheat
and potatoes--and were sent into Germany.


There is no work. The factories are closed because they have not raw
material, coal, or petrol, because they have no markets.

And yet war taxes are falling with hideous pressure upon a people whose
hands are empty, whose workshops are closed, whose fields are idle,
whose cattle have been taken, or compulsorily purchased without value

In Belgium itself the misery of the populace is greater than the misery
of the Belgian fugitives in other countries, such as Holland, where
there have come since the fall of Liège one and a half million of
fugitives. To gauge what that misery in Belgium is, think of what even
the fugitives suffer. I have seen in a room without fire, the walls
damp, the floor without covering, not even straw, a family of nine women
and eight children, one on an improvised bunk seriously ill. Their home
in Belgium was leveled with the ground, the father killed in battle.

Their food is coffee and bread for breakfast, potatoes for dinner, with
salt--and in having the salt they were lucky--bread and coffee for
supper. Insufficiently clothed, there by the North Sea, they watched the
bleak hours pass, with nothing to do except cling together in a vain
attempt to keep warm.

Multiply this case by hundreds of thousands and you will have some hint
of the people’s sufferings.

In a lighter on the River Maas at Rotterdam, without windows, without
doors, with only an open hatchway from which a ladder descends, several
hundred fugitives spend their nights and the best parts of their days in
the iron hold, forever covered with moisture, leaky when rain comes,
with the floor never dry, and pervasive with a perpetual smell like the
smell of a cave which never gets the light of day. Here men, women, and
children were huddled together in a promiscuous communion of misery,
made infinitely more pathetic and heartrending because none complained.

At Rosendaal, at Scheveningen, Eysden, and Flushing, at a dozen other
places, these ghastly things are repeated in one form or another.
Holland has sheltered hundreds of thousands, but she could not in a
moment organize even adequate shelter, much less comforts.

In Bergen-op-Zoom, where I write these words, there have come since the
fall of Antwerp 300,000 hungry marchers, with no resources except what
they carry with them. This little town of 15,000 people did its best to
meet the terrible pressure, and its citizens went without bread
themselves to feed the refugees. How can a small municipality suddenly
deal with so vast a catastrophe? Yet slowly some sort of order was
organized out of chaos, and when the Government was able to establish
refugee camps through the military the worst conditions were moderated,
and now, in tents and in vans on a fortunately situated piece of land,
over 3,000 people live, so far as comforts are concerned, like Kaffirs
in Karoo or aborigines in a camp in the back blocks of Australia. The
tents are crammed with people, and life is reduced to its barest
elements. Straw, boards, and a few blankets and dishes for rations--that
constitutes the ménage.

Children are born in the hugger-mugger of such conditions, but the good
Holland citizens see that the children are cared for and that the babies
have milk. Devoted priests teach the children, and the value of military
organization illuminates the whole panoply of misery. Yet the best of
the refugee camps would seem to American citizens like the dark and
dreadful life of an underworld, in which is neither work, purpose, nor
opportunity. It is a sight repugnant to civilization.


The saddest, most heartrending thing I have ever seen has been the
patience of every Belgian, whatever his state, I have met. Among the
thousands of refugees I have seen in Holland, in the long stream that
crossed the frontier at Maastricht and besieged the doors of the Belgian
Consul while I was there, no man, no woman railed or declaimed against
the horror of their situation. The pathos of lonely, staring, apathetic
endurance is tragic beyond words. So grateful, so simply grateful, are
they, every one, for whatever is done for them.

None begs, none asks for money, and yet on the faces of these frontier
refugees I saw stark hunger, the weakness come of long weeks of famine.
One man, one fortunate man from Verviers, told me he could purchase as
much as 2s. 8d. worth of food for himself, his wife and child for a

Think of it, American citizens! Sixty-six cents’ worth of food for a
man, his wife, and child for a whole week, if he were permitted to
purchase that much! Sixty-six cents! That is what an average American
citizen pays for his dinner in his own home. He cannot get breakfast, he
can only get half a breakfast, for that at the Waldorf or the Plaza in
New York.

This man was only allowed to purchase that much food if he could,
because if he purchased more he would be taking from some one else, and
they were living on rations for the week which would represent the food
of an ordinary man for a day. A rich man can have no more than a poor
man. It is a democracy of famine.


There is enough food wasted in the average American household in one day
to keep a Belgian for a fortnight in health and strength. They want in
Belgium 30,000 tons of food a month. That is their normal requirement.
The American Relief Committee is asking for 8,000 tons a month,
one-quarter of the normal requirements, one-half of a soldier’s rations
for each Belgian. The American Committee needs $5,000,000 a month until
next harvest. It is a huge sum, but it must be forthcoming.

Of all the great powers of the world the United States is the only one
not at war or in peril of war. Of all the foremost nations of the world
the United States is the only one that can save Belgium from starvation
if she will. She was the only nation that Germany would allow a foothold
for humanity’s and for Christ’s sake in Belgium. Such an opportunity,
such responsibility, no nation ever had before in the history of the
world. Spain and Italy join with her, but the initiative and resources
and organization are hers.

Around Belgium is a ring of steel. Within that ring of steel is a
disappearing and forever disappearing population. Towns like
Dendermonde, that were of 10,000 people, have now 4,000, and in
Dendermonde 1,200 houses have fallen under the iron and fire of war.
Into that vast graveyard and camp of the desolate only the United States
enters with an adequate and responsible organization upon the mission of

No such opportunity was ever given to a people, no such test ever came
to a Christian people in all the records of time. Will the American
nation rise to the chance given to it to prove that its civilization is
a real thing and that its acts measure up with its inherent and
professed Christianity?

I am a profound believer in the great-heartedness of the United States,
and there is not an American of German origin who ought not gladly and
freely give to the relief of people who, unless the world feeds them,
must be the remnant of a nation; and the world in this case is the
United States. She can give most.


The price of one good meal a week for a family in an American home will
keep a Belgian alive for a fortnight.

Probably the United States has 18,000,000 homes. How many of them will
deny themselves a meal for martyred Belgium? The mass of the American
people do not need to deny themselves anything to give to Belgium. The
whole standard of living on the American continent, in the United States
and Canada, is so much higher than the European standard that if they
lowered the scale by one-tenth just for one six months the Belgian
problem would be solved.

I say to the American people that they cannot conceive what this strain
upon the populations of Europe is at this moment, and, in the cruel grip
of winter, hundreds of thousands will agonize till death or relief
comes. In Australia in drought times vast flocks of sheep go traveling
with shepherds looking for food and water, and no flock ever comes back
as it went forth. Not in flocks guided by shepherds, but lonely,
hopeless units, the Belgian people take flight, looking for food and
shelter, or remain paralyzed by the tragedy fallen upon them in their
own land.


Their sufferings are majestic in simple heroism and uncomplaining
endurance. So majestic in proportion ought the relief to be. The Belgian
people are wards of the world. In the circumstances the Belgian people
are special wards of the one great country that is secure in its peace
and that by its natural instincts of human sympathy and love of freedom
is best suited to do the work that should be done for Belgium. If every
millionaire would give a thousand, if every man with $100 a month would
give $10, the American Committee for the Relief of Belgium, with its
splendid organization, its unrivaled efficiency, through which flows a
tide of human sympathy, would be able to report at the end of the war
that a small nation in misfortune had been saved from famine and despair
by a great people far away, who had responded to the call, “Come over
and help us!”




Viscount Bryce, former British Ambassador at Washington, was appointed
chairman of a special government commission to investigate and report on
“outrages alleged to have been committed by German troops.” Associated
with Lord Bryce on the commission were Sir Frederick Pollock, Sir Edward
Clarke, Sir Alfred Hopkinson, H. A. L. Fisher, Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Sheffield; Harold Cox, and Kenelm E. Digby. The commission
was appointed by Premier Asquith on January 22, 1915. The document is
considered as probably the most severe arraignment made of the German
military sweep across Belgium, mainly because of the position of
Viscount Bryce as a historian, and also because of the care with which
the investigation was made, the great number of witnesses whose
testimony was examined, and the mass of evidence submitted with the
report of the commission.

The report makes an official document of sixty-one printed pages, or
upward of 30,000 words, accompanied by maps showing the various routes
of the army and the chief scenes of desolation. It states at the outset
that 1,200 witnesses have been examined, the depositions being taken by
examiners of legal knowledge and experience, though without authority to
administer an oath. The examiners were instructed not to “lead” the
witnesses, and to seek to bring out the truth by cross-examination and
otherwise. The commission also submitted extracts from a number of
diaries taken from the German dead, chiefly German soldiers and in some
cases officers.


Taking up conditions at Liège at the outset of the war, the report gives
a harrowing recital of occurrences at various points in the devastated
territory. At Herve on August 4, 1914, the report says, “the murder of
an innocent fugitive civilian was a prelude to the burning and pillage
of the town and of other villages in the neighborhood; to the
indiscriminate shooting of civilians of both sexes and to the organized
military execution of batches of selected males. Thus some fifty men
escaping from burning houses were seized, taken outside the town and
shot. At Melen, in one household alone the father and mother (names
given) were shot, the daughter died after being repeatedly attacked and
the son was wounded.

“In Soumagne and Micheroux very many civilians were summarily shot. In a
field belonging to a man named E----, fifty-six or fifty-seven were put
to death. A German officer said, ‘You have shot at us.’ One of the
villagers asked to be allowed to speak, and said, ‘If you think these
people fired, kill me, but let them go.’ The answer was three volleys.
The survivors were bayoneted. Their corpses were seen in the field that
night by another witness. One at least had been mutilated. These were
not the only victims in Soumagne. The eye-witness of the massacre saw,
on his way home, twenty bodies, one that of a girl of thirteen. Another
witness saw nineteen corpses in a meadow.

“At Heure le Romain all the male inhabitants, including some bed-ridden
old men, were imprisoned in the church. The burgomaster’s brother and
the priest were bayoneted. The village of Visé was completely destroyed.
Officers directed the incendiaries. Antiques and china were removed from
the houses before their destruction, by officers, who guarded the
plunder, revolver in hand.


“Entries in a German diary show that on August 10 the German soldiers
gave themselves up to debauchery in the streets of Liège, and on the
night of the 20th a massacre took place in the streets. . . . Though the
cause of the massacre is in dispute, the results are known with
certainty. The Rue des Pitteurs and houses in the Place de l’Université
and the Quai des Pêcheurs were systematically fired with benzine; and
many inhabitants were burned alive in their houses, their efforts to
escape being prevented by rifle fire. Twenty people were shot while
trying to escape, before the eyes of one of the witnesses. The Liège
Fire Brigade turned out, but was not allowed to extinguish the fire. Its
carts, however, were usefully employed in removing heaps of civilian
corpses to the Town Hall.”

Taking up the Valleys of the Meuse and Sambre, the report gives lengthy
details of terrible conditions described by witnesses at Andenne, and

“About four hundred people lost their lives in this massacre, some on
the banks of the Meuse, where they were shot according to orders given,
and some in the cellars of the houses where they had taken refuge. Eight
men belonging to one family were murdered. Another man was placed close
to a machine gun which was fired through him. His wife brought his body
home on a wheelbarrow. The Germans broke into her house and ransacked

“A hair-dresser was murdered in his kitchen where he was sitting with a
child on each knee. A paralytic was murdered in his garden. After this
came the general sack of the town. Many of the inhabitants who escaped
the massacre were kept as prisoners and compelled to clear the houses of
corpses and bury them in trenches. These prisoners were subsequently
used as a shelter and protection for a pontoon bridge which the Germans
had built across the river and were so used to prevent the Belgian forts
from firing upon it.

“A few days later the Germans celebrated a ‘fête nocturne’ in the
square. Hot wine, located in the town, was drunk, and the women were
compelled to give three cheers for the Kaiser and to sing ‘Deutschland
über Alles.’”


Similar details are recited at much length in reference to the districts
of Namur, Charleroi and the town of Dinant. At the latter point, the
report says, “Unarmed civilians were killed in masses. We have no reason
to believe that the civilian population of Dinant gave any provocation
or that any other defense can be put forward to justify the treatment
inflicted upon its citizens.”

The commission stated that it had received a great mass of evidence on
“scenes of chronic outrage” in the territory bounded by the towns
Aerschot, Malines, Vilvorde and Louvain. It stated that the total number
of outrages was so great that the commission could not refer to them

“The commission is specially impressed by the character of the outrages
committed in the smaller villages. Many of these are exceptionally
shocking and cannot be regarded as contemplated or prescribed by
responsible commanders of the troops by whom they were commanded.
Evidence goes to show that deaths in these villages were due not to
accident but to deliberate purpose. The wounds were generally stabs or
cuts, and for the most part appear to have been inflicted with a

“In Sempst the corpse of a man with his legs cut off, who was partly
bound, was seen by a witness, who also saw a girl of seventeen in great
distress dressed only in a chemise. She alleged that she herself and
other girls had been dragged into a field, stripped naked and attacked,
and that some of them had been killed with a bayonet.”

Taking up conditions at Aerschot and the surrounding district during
September, the report says:

“At Haecht several children had been murdered; one of two or three years
old was found nailed to the door of a farmhouse by its hands and feet, a
crime which seems almost incredible, but the evidence for which we feel
bound to accept. At Eppeghem the body of a child of two was seen pinned
to the ground with a German lance. The same witness saw a mutilated
woman alive near Weerde on the same day.”

A chapter is given to the terrible conditions at Louvain, where the
report states, “massacre, fire and destruction went on. . . . Citizens
were shot and others taken prisoners and compelled to go with the
troops. Soldiers went through the streets saying, ‘Man hat geschossen’
(some one has fired on us).


“The massacre of civilians at Louvain was not confined to its citizens.
Large crowds of people were brought into Louvain from the surrounding
districts, not only from Aerschot and Gelrod, but also from other
places. For example, a witness describes how many women and children
were taken in carts to Louvain, and there placed in a stable. Of the
hundreds of people thus taken from the various villages and brought to
Louvain as prisoners, some were massacred there, others were forced to
march along with citizens of Louvain through various places, some being
ultimately sent to the Belgian lines at Malines, others were taken in
trucks to Cologne, others were released.

“Ropes were put around the necks of some and they were told they would
be hanged. An order then came that they were to be shot instead of
hanged. A firing squad was prepared, and five or six prisoners were put
up, but were not shot. . . . This taking of the inhabitants in groups
and marching them to various places must evidently have been done under
the direction of a higher military authority. The ill-treatment of the
prisoners was under the eyes and often under the direction or sanction
of officers, and officers themselves took part in it. . . .

“It is to be noticed that cases occur in the depositions in which humane
acts by individual officers and soldiers are mentioned, or in which
officers are said to have expressed regret at being obliged to carry out
orders for cruel action against the civilians. Similarly, we find
entries in diaries which reveal a genuine pity for the population and
disgust at the conduct of the enemy. It appears that a German
non-commissioned officer stated definitely that he ‘was acting under
orders and executing them with great unwillingness.’ A commissioned
officer on being asked at Louvain by a witness, a highly educated man,
about the horrible acts committed by the soldiers, said he ‘was merely
executing orders,’ and that he himself would be shot if he did not
execute them.”

Another division of the report is on the “killing of non-combatants in
France.” This is not as detailed as the case of Belgium, as the
commission states that the French official report gives the most
complete account as to the invaded districts in France. It adds:

“The evidence before us proves that, in the parts of France referred
to, murder of unoffending civilians and other acts of cruelty, including
aggravated cases of felonious attack, carried out under threat of death,
and sometimes actually followed by murder of the victim, were committed
by some of the German troops.”


A special chapter is given to the treatment of women and children. The
latter, it is said, frequently received milder treatment than the men.
But many instances are given of “calculated cruelty, often going the
length of murder, towards the women and children.” A witness gives a
story, very circumstantial in its details, of how women were publicly
attacked in the market place of the city, five young German officers
assisting. The report goes on: “In the evidence before us there are
cases tending to show that aggravated crimes against women were
sometimes severely punished. These instances are sufficient to show that
the maltreatment of women was not part of the military scheme of the
invaders, however much it may appear to have been the inevitable result
of the system of terror deliberately adopted in certain regions.

“It is clearly shown that many offences were committed against infants
and quite young children. On one occasion children were even roped
together and used as a military screen against the enemy, on another
three soldiers went into action carrying small children to protect
themselves from flank fire. It is difficult to imagine the motives which
may have prompted such acts. Whether or not Belgian civilians fired on
German soldiers, young children at any rate did not fire.”

Many instances are given of the use of civilians as screens during the
military operation. Cases of the Red Cross being misused for offensive
military purposes, and of abuse of the white flag are also given. As to
the latter the report says: “There is in our opinion sufficient evidence
that these offences have been frequent, deliberate and in many cases
committed by whole units under orders. All the facts mentioned are in
contravention of The Hague Convention, signed by the Great Powers,
including France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States, in

A division of the report is given to diaries of German soldiers. The
entry of a sergeant of the First Guards Regiment, who received the Iron
Cross, says, under date of August 10: “A transport of 300 Belgians came
through Duisburg in the morning. Of these, eighty, including the
Oberburgomaster, were shot according to martial law.” The diary of a
member of the Fourth Company of Jägers says, under date of August 23:
“About 220 inhabitants and the village were burned.” Another diary, by a
member of the Second Mounted Battery, First Kurhessian Field Artillery
Regiment, No. 11, records an incident which happened in French territory
near Lille on October 11: “We had no fight, but we caught about twenty
men and shot them.” The commission says of this last diary: “By this
time killing not in a fight would seem to have passed into a habit.”

The report adds that the most important entry was contained in diary No.
19. This contained no name and address, but names referred to in the
diary indicate that the entries were made by an officer of the First
Regiment of Foot Guards. The entry made at Bermeton on August 24 says:
“We took about 1,000 prisoners; at least 500 were shot. The village was
burned because inhabitants had also shot. Two civilians were shot at

“If a line is drawn on a map from the Belgian frontier to Liège and
continued to Charleroi, and a second line drawn from Liège to Malines, a
sort of figure resembling an irregular Y will be formed. It is along
this ‘Y’ that most of the systematic (as opposed to isolated) outrages
were committed. If the period from August 4 to August 30 is taken it
will be found to cover most of these organized outrages. Termonde and
Alost extend, it is true, beyond the ‘Y’ lines, and they belong to the
month of September. Murder, assault, arson and pillage began from the
moment when the German army crossed the frontier. For the first
fortnight of the war the towns and villages near Liège were the chief
sufferers. From August 19 to the end of the month outrages spread in the
direction of Charleroi and Malines and reached their period of greatest

“There is a certain significance in the fact that the outrages around
Liège coincide with the unexpected resistance of the Belgian army in
that district, and that the slaughter which reigned from August 19 to
the end of the month is contemporaneous with the period when the German
army’s need for a quick passage through Belgium at all costs was deemed

“In all wars occur many shocking and outrageous acts of men of criminal
instincts whose worst passions are unloosed by the immunity which the
conditions of warfare afford. Drunkenness, moreover, may turn even a
soldier who has no criminal habits into a brute, and there is evidence
that intoxication was extremely prevalent among the German army, both in
Belgium and in France. Unfortunately little seems to have been done to
repress this source of danger.


“In the present war, however--and this is the gravest charge against the
German army--the evidence shows that the killing of non-combatants was
carried out to an extent for which no previous war between nations
claiming to be civilized (for such cases as the atrocities perpetrated
by the Turks on the Bulgarian Christians in 1876, and on the Armenian
Christians in 1895 and 1896, do not belong to that category) furnishes
any precedent. That this killing was done as part of a deliberate plan
is clear from the facts hereinbefore set forth regarding Louvain,
Aerschot, Dinant and other towns. The killing was done under orders in
each place. It began at a certain fixed date. Some of the officers who
carried out the work did it reluctantly, and said they were obeying
directions from their chiefs. The same remarks apply to the destruction
of property. House burning was part of the program; and villages, even
large parts of a city, were given to the flames as part of the
terrorizing policy.

“Citizens of neutral states who visited Belgium in December and January
report that the German authorities do not deny that non-combatants were
systematically killed in large numbers during the first weeks of the
invasion, and this, so far as we know, has never been officially denied.

“The German government has, however, sought to justify these severities
on the grounds of military necessity and has excused them as retaliation
for cases in which civilians fired on German troops. There may have been
cases in which such firing occurred, but no proof has ever been given,
or, to our knowledge, attempted to be given, of such cases, nor of the
stories of shocking outrages perpetrated by Belgian men and women on
German soldiers. . . .

“We gladly record the instances where the evidence shows that humanity
has not wholly disappeared from some members of the German army and that
they realized that the responsible heads of that organization were
employing them not in war but in butchery: ‘I am merely executing
orders, and I should be shot if I did not execute them,’ said an officer
to a witness at Louvain. At Brussels another officer said, ‘I have not
done one hundredth part of what we have been ordered to do by the high
German military authorities.’

“That these acts should have been perpetrated on the peaceful population
of an unoffending country which was not at war with its invaders, but
merely defending its own neutrality, guaranteed by the invading power,
may excite amazement and even incredulity. It was with amazement and
almost with incredulity that the commission first read the depositions
relating to such acts. But when the evidence regarding Liège was
followed by that regarding Aerschot, Louvain, Andenne, Dinant, and the
other towns and villages, the cumulative effect of such a mass of
concurrent testimony became irresistible, and we were driven to the
conclusion that the things described had really happened. The question
then arose how they could have happened.

“The explanation seems to be that these excesses were committed--in some
cases ordered, in others allowed--on a system and in pursuance of a set
purpose. That purpose was to strike terror into the civil population and
dishearten the Belgian troops, so as to crush down resistance and
extinguish the very spirit of self-defense. The pretext that civilians
had fired upon the invading troops was used to justify not merely the
shooting of individual franc-tireurs, but the murder of large numbers of
innocent civilians, an act absolutely forbidden by the rules of
civilized warfare.


“In the minds of Prussian officers war seems to have become a sort of
sacred mission, one of the highest functions of the omnipotent state,
which is itself as much an army as a state. Ordinary morality and the
ordinary sentiment of pity vanish in its presence, superseded by a new
standard which justifies to the soldier every means that can conduce to
success, however shocking to a natural sense of justice and humanity,
however revolting to his own feelings. The spirit of war is deified.
Obedience to the state and its war lord leaves no room for any other
duty or feeling. Cruelty becomes legitimate when it promises victory.
Proclaimed by the heads of the army, this doctrine would seem to have
permeated the officers and affected even the private soldiers, leading
them to justify the killing of non-combatants as an act of war, and so
accustoming them to slaughter that even women and children become at
last the victims.

“It cannot be supposed to be a national doctrine, for it neither springs
from nor reflects the mind and feelings of the German people as they
have heretofore been known to other nations. It is specifically military
doctrine, the outcome of a theory held by a ruling caste who have
brooded and thought, written and talked and dreamed about war until they
have fallen under its obsession and been hypnotized by its spirit.

“The doctrine is plainly set forth in the German official monograph on
the usages of war on land, issued under the direction of the German
staff. This book is pervaded throughout by the view that whatever
military needs suggest becomes thereby lawful, and upon this principle,
as the diaries show, the German officers acted.

“If this explanation be the true one, the mystery is solved, and that
which seemed scarcely credible becomes more intelligible though not less
pernicious. This is not the only case that history records in which a
false theory, disguising itself as loyalty to a state or to a church,
has perverted the conception of duty and become a source of danger to
the world.”


The conclusions of the commission, as to the various detailed recitals,
are as follows:

“We may now sum up and endeavor to explain the character and
significance of the wrongful acts done by the German army in Belgium.

“It is proved, first, that there were in many parts of Belgium
deliberate and systematically organized massacres of the civil
population accompanied by many isolated murders and other outrages.

“Second--That in the conduct of the war generally innocent civilians,
both men and women, were murdered in large numbers, women attacked and
children murdered.

[Illustration: “THEIR FIRST SUCCESS.”

“At Morfontaine, near Longwy, the Germans shot two fifteen-year-old
children who had warned the French gendarmes of the enemy’s
arrival.”--The Newspapers.]

“Third--That looting, house burning and the wanton destruction of
property were ordered and countenanced by the officers of the German
army, that elaborate provision had been made for systematic incendiarism
at the very outbreak of the war, and that the burning and destruction
were frequently where no military necessity could be alleged, being,
indeed, part of a system of general terrorization.

“Fourth--That the rules and usages of war were frequently broken,
particularly by the using of civilians, including women and children, as
a shield for advancing forces exposed to fire, to a less degree by
killing the wounded and prisoners, and in the frequent abuse of the Red
Cross and the white flag.

“Sensible as they are of the gravity of these conclusions, the
commission conceive that they would be doing less than their duty if
they failed to record them as fully established by the evidence. Murder,
lust and pillage prevailed over many parts of Belgium on a scale
unparalleled in any war between civilized nations during the last three

“Our function is ended when we have stated what the evidence
establishes, but we may be permitted to express our belief that these
disclosures will not have been made in vain if they touch and rouse the
conscience of mankind, and we venture to hope that as soon as the
present war is over, the nations of the world in council will consider
what means can be provided and sanctions devised to prevent the
recurrence of such horrors as our generation is now witnessing.”


Scene of desolation in Louvain. On the right is the magnificent Town
Hall, considered one of the most marvelous pieces of architecture in
Europe’s which escaped almost untouched. In the center, however, the
famous St. Peter’s Cathedral has only the walls standing. (_Copyright by
the International News Service._)]


The old Flemish town was the center of hot fighting between the Allies
and the German troops in the battles for the possession of Belgium. At
the right of the picture are seen the ruins of the famous Cloth Hall,
one of the most famous medieval buildings in Europe. (_Copyright by the
International News Service._)]




To the thousands of unhappy Belgian refugees driven from their homes by
the advancing Germans and transported to England the pity of the whole
world has gone out; yet even more deplorable than the condition of these
was the fate of those who were left behind to suffer at the hands of a
relentless enemy. The story of a delicate boy of sixteen, as told in the
following letter which he himself wrote from Antwerp to his former
employer, an American living at the time in England, is typical.

When this boy, fleeing from Aerschot, arrived in Antwerp, without
friends, money or papers, there was no agency to help him. If he had
been a smaller child somebody doubtless would have taken pity on him and
carried him with them as they fled; if he had been able to preserve his
legitimatization papers the Belgian authorities would have given him
some support; and, of course, if he had been older, he would have been
immediately enlisted in the service of his country. As it was he could
only drift before the foe, and suffer.

  “ANTWERP, Sept. 23, 1914.

“DEAR SIR: As you correctly said in my testimonial when you were closing
the office, the war has isolated Belgium. Really I can well say that I
have been painfully struck by this scourge, and I permit myself, dear
sir, to give you a little description of my Calvary.

“Your offices were closed in the beginning of August. As I did not know
what to do and as the fatherland had not enough men to defend its
territory I tried to get myself accepted as a volunteer.

“On Aug. 10 I went to Aerschot, my native town, to get my certificate of
good conduct. Then I went to Louvain to have same signed by the
commander of the place. This gentleman sent me to St. Nicholas and
thence to Hemixem, where I was rejected as too young. I then decided to
return to Brussels, passing through Aerschot. Here my aunt asked me to
stay with her, saying that she was afraid of the Germans.

“I remained at Aerschot. This was Aug. 15. Suddenly, on the 19th, at
nine o’clock in the morning, after a terrible bombardment, the Germans
made their entry into Aerschot. In the first street which they passed
through they broke into the houses. They brought out six men whom I knew
very well and immediately shot them. Learning of this, I fled to
Louvain, where I arrived on Aug. 19 at one o’clock.


“At 1.30 P. M. the Germans entered Louvain. They did not do anything to
the people in the beginning. On the following Saturday, Aug. 22, I
started to return to Aerschot, as I had no money. (All my money was
still in Brussels.) The whole distance from Louvain to Aerschot I saw
nothing but German armies, always Germans. They did not say a word to me
until I suddenly found myself alone with three of the “Todeshusaren”
(Death’s-head Hussars), the vanguard of their regiment. They arrested me
at the point of the revolver, demanded where I was going and why I had
run away from Aerschot. They said that the whole of Aerschot was now on
fire, because the son of the burgomaster had killed a general. Finally
they searched me from head to foot, and I heard them discuss the
question of my fate.

“Finally the non-commissioned officer told me that I could continue on
my way; that they would certainly take care of me in Aerschot, as I had
been firing at Germans, and they would shoot me when I arrived. I would
have liked better to return to Louvain, but with an imperious gesture he
pointed out my road to Aerschot, and I continued. On arriving within a
few hundred meters of the town I was arrested once more.

“I forgot to tell you that of all the houses which I passed between
Louvain and Aerschot, there were only a few left intact. Upon these the
Germans had written in chalk in the German language: ‘Please spare. Good
people. Do not burn.’ Lying along the road I saw many dead horses
putrefying. There were also to be seen pigs, goats, and cows which had
nothing to eat, and which were howling like wild beasts. Not a soul was
to be seen in the houses or in the streets. Everything was empty.

[Illustration: IN BELGIUM.

_Jean_--“Do you think St. Nicholas will find us, now that we haven’t a

“I was then arrested when a short distance from Aerschot. There were
with me two or three families from Sichem, a village between Diest and
Aerschot. We remained in the fields alongside the road, while the
Prussian regiments with their artillery continued to pass by. When the
artillery had passed we were marched at the point of the bayonet to the
church in Aerschot. On arrival at the church the families of Sichem
(there were at least twenty small children) were permitted to continue
on their way, and the non-commissioned officer, delighted that I could
speak German, permitted me to go to my aunt’s house.


“The aspect of the town was terrible. Not more than half the houses were
standing. In the first three streets which the Germans traversed there
was not a single house left. There was not a house in the town but had
been pillaged. All doors had been burst open. There was nothing,
nothing left. The stench in the streets was insupportable.

“I then went home, or, rather, I should say, I went to the house where
my father had always been boarding. You know, perhaps, that my mother
died twelve years ago. I did not find my father, but according to what
the people told me he had been arrested, and, with five other Aerschot
men, taken to Germany--I do not know for what purpose.

“I got into this house without any difficulty, because the door was
smashed in. I stayed there from Saturday, Aug. 22, up to Wednesday, the
26th, a little more comfortable. There was nothing to eat left in the
house. I lived on what a few women who remained in Aerschot could give
me. I was forced to go with the soldiers into the cellars of M. X.,
director of a large factory, to hunt for wine. As recompense I got a
loaf. It was not much, but at this moment it meant very much for me.


“On Wednesday, Aug. 26, we were all once more locked up in the church.
It was then half-past four in the afternoon. We could not get out, even
for our necessities. On Thursday, about nine o’clock, each of us was
given a piece of bread and a glass of water. This was to last the whole
day. At ten o’clock a lieutenant came in, accompanied by fifteen
soldiers. He placed all the men who were left in a square, selected
seventy of us and ordered us out to bury the corpses of Germans and
Belgians around the town, which had been lying there since the battle of
the 19th. That was a week that these bodies had remained there, and it
is no use to ask if there was a stench. Afterward we had to clean the
streets, and then it was evening.


“They just got ready to shoot us. There were then ten of us. The guns
had already been leveled at us, when suddenly a German soldier ran out
shouting that we had not fired on them. A few minutes before we had
heard rifle-firing and the Germans said it was the Aerschot people who
were shooting, though all these had been locked up in the church and we
were the only inhabitants then in the streets, cleaning them, under
surveillance of Germans. It was this German who saved our lives.

“Picture to yourself what we have suffered! It is impossible to
describe. On Aug. 28 we were brought to Louvain, always guarded by
German soldiers. There were with us about twenty old men, over eighty
years of age. These were placed in two carts, tied to one another in
pairs. I and about twenty of my unfortunate compatriots had then to pull
the carts all the way to Louvain. It was hard, but that could be
supported all the same.

“On arriving at Louvain I saw with my own eyes a German who shot at us.
The Germans who were at the station shouted ‘The civilians have been
shooting,’ and commenced a fusillade against us. Many of us fell dead,
others wounded, but I had the chance to run away.


“I now took the road to Tirlemont, marching all the time among German
camps. Once I was arrested. Again they wanted to shoot me, insisting
that I was a student of the University of Louvain. The Germans pretend
it was the students who caused the population in Louvain to shoot at
them. However, my youth saved me, and I was set at liberty.


“All my money, the twenty francs which you presented me and my salary
for five weeks, as well as my little savings, are lying in Brussels, and
I cannot get at them. . . I cannot work, because there is no work to be
got. I cannot cross over to England, as, to do this, it is necessary
that there should be a whole family. In these horrible circumstances, I
respectfully take the liberty of addressing you, and I hope you will aid
me as best you can. I swear to you that I shall pay you back all that
you give me. I have here in Antwerp no place, no family. The town will
not give me any aid, because I have no papers to prove my identity. I
threw all my papers away for fear of the Germans. I count then on you
with a firm hope to pay you back later.

“Please accept, dear sir, my respectful greetings.”

  ---- ----.




The French official report on German atrocities contained records of
such horror that the whole civilized world stood aghast. Here at last
was war with all its multitudinous attendant crimes, more horrible than
the actual warfare itself because so causeless and so bestial. Many
stories of atrocities had been told by travelers and war correspondents
abroad; the official report from France verified these earlier accounts,
though there was still a vestige of doubt because it was a French report
of German atrocities; and then to back up this record and remove the
last shadow of disbelief, came the testimony of the Germans against
themselves, through the “War Diaries” of German soldiers, many of which
naturally fell into the hands of the enemy. Paragraphs selected from
these notebooks follow:

“In this way we destroyed eight dwellings and their inhabitants. In one
of the houses we bayoneted two men, with their wives and a young girl
eighteen years old. The young one almost unmanned me, her look was so
innocent! But we could not master the excited troop, for at such times
they are no longer men--they are beasts.”


“Unfortunately, I am forced to make note of a fact which should not have
occurred, but there are to be found, even in our own army, creatures who
are no longer men, but hogs, to whom nothing is sacred. One of these
broke into a sacristy; it was locked, and there the Blessed Sacrament
was kept. A Protestant, out of respect, had refused to sleep there. This
man used it as a deposit for his excrements. How is it possible there
should be such creatures? Last night one of the men of the landwehr,
more than thirty-five years of age, married, tried to rape the daughter
of the inhabitant where he had taken up his quarters--a mere girl--and
when the father intervened he pressed his bayonet against his breast.”

“Langeviller, Aug. 22.--Village destroyed by the eleventh battalion of
Pioneers. Three women hanged to trees; the first dead I have seen.”


“The inhabitants fled through the village. It was horrible. The walls of
houses are bespattered with blood and the faces of the dead are hideous
to look upon. They were buried at once, some sixty of them. Among them
many old women, old men, and one woman pregnant--the whole a dreadful
sight. Three children huddled together--all dead. Altar and arches of
the church shattered. Telephone communication with the enemy was found
there. This morning, Sept. 2, all the survivors were driven out; I saw
four little boys carrying on two poles a cradle with a child some five
or six months old. The whole makes a fearful sight. Blow upon blow!
Thunderbolt on thunderbolt! Everything given over to plunder. I saw a
mother with her two little ones--one of them had a great wound in the
head and an eye put out.”

“At the entrance to the village lay the bodies of some fifty citizens,
shot for having fired upon our troops from ambush. In the course of the
night many others were shot down in like manner, so that we counted more
than two hundred. Women and children, holding their lamps, were
compelled to assist at this horrible spectacle. We then sat down midst
the corpses to eat our rice, as we had eaten nothing since morning.”


“Aug. 25 (in Belgium).--We shot 300 of the inhabitants of the town.
Those that survived the salvo were requisitioned as grave-diggers. You
should have seen the women at that time! But it was impossible to do
otherwise. In our march upon Wilot things went better; the inhabitants
who wished to leave were allowed to do so. But whoever fired was shot.
Upon our leaving Owele the rifles rang out, and with that, flames, women
and all the rest.”


“We arrested three civilians, and a bright idea struck me. We furnished
them with chairs and made them seat themselves in the middle of the
street. There were supplications on one part, and some blows with the
stocks of our guns on the other. One, little by little, gets terribly
hardened. Finally, there they were sitting in the street. How many
anguished prayers they may have muttered, I cannot say, but during the
whole time their hands were joined in nervous contraction. I am sorry
for them, but the stratagem was of immediate effect. The enfilading
directed from the houses diminished at once; we were able then to take
possession of the house opposite, and thus became masters of the
principal street. From that moment every one that showed his face in the
street was shot. And the artillery meanwhile kept up vigorous work, so
that at about seven o’clock in the evening, when the brigade advanced to
rescue us, I could report ‘Saint-Dié has been emptied of all enemies.’

[Illustration: THE ROAD TO YESTERDAY.]

“As I learned later, the ---- regiment of reserves, which came into
Saint-Dié further north, had experiences entirely similar to our own.
The four civilians whom they had placed on chairs in the middle of the
street were killed by French bullets. I saw them myself stretched out in
the street near the hospital.”


“Aug. 8, 1914. Gouvy (Belgium).--There, the Belgians having fired on
some German soldiers, we started at once pillaging the merchandise
warehouse. Several cases--eggs, shirts, and everything that could be
eaten was carried off. The safe was forced and the gold distributed
among the men. As to the securities, they were torn up.”

“The enemy occupied the village of Bièvre and the edge of the wood
behind it. The third company advanced in first line. We carried the
village, and then pillaged and burned almost all the houses.”

“The first village we burned was Parux (Meurthe-et-Moselle). After this
the dance began, throughout the villages, one after the other; over the
fields and pastures we went on our bicycles up to the ditches at the
edge of the road, and there sat down to eat our cherries.”

“Our first fight was at Haybes (Belgium) on the 24th of August. The
second battalion entered the village, ransacked the houses, pillaged
them, and burned those from which shots had been fired.”

“They do not behave as soldiers, but rather as highwaymen, bandits and
brigands, and are a dishonor to our regiment and to our army.”

“No discipline, . . . the Pioneers are well nigh worthless; as to the
artillery, it is a band of robbers.”

“Aug. 12, 1914, in Belgium.--One can get an idea of the fury of our
soldiers in seeing the destroyed villages. Not one house left untouched.
Everything eatable is requisitioned by the unofficered soldiers. Several
heaps of men and women put to execution. Young pigs are running about
looking for their mothers.”


“On the 22d, in the evening, I learned that in the woods, about one
hundred and fifty meters north of the square formed by the intersection
of the great Calonne trench with the road from Vaux-les-Palameis to
Saint-Rémy, there were corpses of French soldiers shot by the Germans. I
went to the spot and found the bodies of about thirty soldiers within a
small space, most of them prone, but several still kneeling, and _all
having a precisely similar wound_--a bullet through the ear. One only,
seriously wounded in his lower parts, could still speak, and told me
that the Germans before leaving had ordered them to lie down and that
they had them shot through the head; that he, already wounded, had
secured indulgence by stating that he was the father of three small
children. The skulls of these unfortunates were scattered; the guns,
broken at the stock, were scattered here and there; and the blood had
besprinkled the bushes to such an extent that in coming out of the woods
my cape was spattered with it; it was a veritable shambles.”

“Dogs chained, without food or drink. And the houses about them on fire.
But the just anger of our soldiers is accompanied also by pure
vandalism. In the villages, already emptied of their inhabitants, the
houses are set on fire. I feel sorry for this population. If they have
made use of disloyal weapons, after all, they are only defending their
own country. The atrocities which these non-combatants are still
committing are revenged after a savage fashion. Mutilations of the
wounded are the order of the day.”

This order was addressed by General Stenger, in command of the
fifty-eighth German brigade, on the 26th of August, to the troops under
his orders:

“From this day forward no further prisoners will be taken. All prisoners
will be massacred. The wounded, whether in arms or not in arms, shall be
massacred. Even the prisoners already gathered in convoys will be
massacred. No living enemy must remain behind us.”


Having been instructed to investigate atrocities said to have been
committed by the Germans in portions of French territory which had been
occupied by them, a commission composed of four representatives of the
French Government repaired to these districts in order to make a
thorough investigation. The commission was composed of M. Georges
Payelle, First President of the Cour des Comptes; Armand Mollard,
Minister Plenipotentiary; Georges Maringer, Counselor of State, and
Edmond Paillot, Counselor of the Cour de Cassation.

They started on their mission late in September, 1914, and visited the
Departments of Seine-et-Marne, Marne, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Oise,
and Aisne. According to the report, they made note only of those
accusations against the invaders which were backed up by reliable
testimony and discarded everything that might have been occasioned by
the exigencies of war.

The statement, which extends over many pages and contains over 25,000
words, is a record of the most fiendish crimes imaginable. “On every
side our eyes rested on ruin. Whole villages have been destroyed by
bombardment or fire; towns formerly full of life are now nothing but
deserts full of ruins; and, in visiting the scenes of desolation where
the invader’s torch has done its work, one feels continually as though
one were walking among the remains of one of those cities of antiquity
which have been annihilated by the great cataclysms of nature.

“In truth it can be stated that never has a war carried on between
civilized nations assumed the savage and ferocious character of the one
which at this moment is being waged on our soil by an implacable
adversary. Pillage, rape, arson, and murder are the common practice of
our enemies; and the facts which have been revealed to us day by day at
once constitute definite crimes against common rights, punished by the
codes of every country with the most severe and the most dishonoring
penalties, and which prove an astonishing degeneration in German habits
of thought since 1870.

“Crimes against women and young girls have been of appalling frequency.
We have proved a great number of them, but they only represent an
infinitesimal proportion of those which we could have taken up. Owing to
a sense of decency, which is deserving of every respect, the victims of
these hateful acts usually refuse to disclose them. Doubtless fewer
would have been committed if the leaders of an army whose discipline is
most rigorous had taken any trouble to prevent them; yet, strictly
speaking, they can only be considered as the individual and spontaneous
acts of uncaged beasts. But with regard to arson, theft, and murder the
case is very different; the officers, even those of the highest station,
will bear before humanity the overwhelming responsibility for these

“In the greater part of the places where we carried on our inquiry we
came to the conclusion that the German Army constantly professes the
most complete contempt for human life, that its soldiers, and even its
officers, do not hesitate to finish off the wounded, that they kill
without pity the inoffensive inhabitants of the territories which they
have invaded, and they do not spare in their murderous rage women, old
men, or children. The wholesale shootings at Lunéville, Gerbéviller,
Nomeny, and Senlis are terrible examples of this; and in the course of
this report you will read the story of scenes of carnage in which
officers themselves have not been ashamed to take part.”


Of the criminal attempts on women cited in the report two of the most
horrible occurred in the Department of Seine-et-Marne.

“Frightful scenes occurred at the Château de ---- in the neighborhood of
La Ferté-Gaucher. There lived there an old gentleman, M. X., with his
servant, Mlle. Y., 54 years old. On Sept. 5 several Germans, among whom
was a non-commissioned officer, were in occupation of this property.
After they had been supplied with food, the non-commissioned officer
proposed to a refugee, a Mme. Z., that she should sleep with him; she
refused. M. X., to save her from the designs of which she was the
object, sent her to his farm, which was in the neighborhood. The German
ran there to fetch her, dragged her back to the château and led her to
the attic; then, having completely undressed her, he tried to violate
her. At this moment M. X., wishing to protect her, fired revolver shots
on the staircase and was immediately shot.


This scene, painted in Hartlepool, shows the effect of a bursting German
shell in the unfortified British town. Several women and many other
civilians were killed by the German raiders.]


In spite of her prayer he seized her roughly, tied her hands together
and throwing her across his saddle rode away. Fortunately, a Cossack
appeared, pierced the scoundrel with his lance and rescued the woman.
(_Graphic copr._)]

“The non-commissioned officer then made Mme. X. come out of the attic,
obliged her to step over the corpse of the old man, and led her to a
closet, where he again made two unsuccessful attempts upon her. Leaving
her at last, he threw himself upon Mlle. Y., having first handed Mme. Z.
over to two soldiers, who, after having violated her, one once and the
other twice, in the dead man’s room, made her pass the night in a barn
near them, where one of them twice again had sexual connection with her.

“As for Mlle. Y., she was obliged by threats of being shot, to strip
herself completely naked and lie on a mattress with the non-commissioned
officer, who kept her there until morning.


“It is generally believed at Coulommiers that criminal attempts have
been made on many women of that town, but only one crime of this nature
has been proved for certain. A charwoman, Mme. X., was the victim. A
soldier came to her house on the 6th of September, toward 9.30 in the
evening, and sent away her husband to go and search for one of his
comrades in the street. Then, in spite of the fact that two small
children were present, he tried to rape the young woman. X., when he
heard his wife’s cries, rushed back, but was driven off with blows of
the butt of the man’s rifle into a neighboring room, of which the door
was left open, and his wife was forced to suffer the consummation of the
outrage. The rape took place almost under the eyes of the husband, who,
being terrorized, did not dare to intervene, and used his efforts only
to calm the terror of his children.


“Personal liberty, like human life, is the object of complete scorn on
the part of the German military authorities. Almost everywhere citizens
of every age have been dragged from their homes and led into captivity,
many have died or been killed on the way.

“Arson, still more than murder, forms the usual procedure of our
adversaries. It is employed by them either as a means of systematic
devastation or as a means of terrorism. The German Army, in order to
provide for it, possesses a complete outfit, which comprises torches,
grenades, rockets, petrol pumps, fuse sticks, and little bags of
pastilles made of compressed powder which are very inflammable. The
lust for arson is manifested chiefly against churches and against
monuments which have some special interest, either artistic or

“Thousands of houses in the ground covered by the investigators had been
completely destroyed by fire. In the Department of Marne a great many
villages, as well as important country towns, were burned without any
reason whatever. Without doubt these crimes were committed by order, as
German detachments arrived in the neighborhood with their torches, their
grenades, and their usual outfit for arson.

“At Lépine, a laborer named Caqué, in whose house two German cyclists
were billeted, asked the latter if the grenades which he saw in their
possession were destined for his house. They answered: ‘No. Lépine is
finished with.’ At that moment nine houses in the village were burned

“At Marfaux nineteen private houses were burned.

“Of the commune of Glannes practically nothing remains. At Somme-Tourbe
the entire village has been destroyed, with the exception of the
mayoralty house, the church, and two private buildings.

“At Auve nearly the whole town has been destroyed. At Etrepy sixty-three
families out of seventy are homeless. At Huiron all the houses, with the
exception of five, have been burned. At Sermaize-les-Bains only about
forty houses out of nine hundred remain. At Bignicourt-sur-Saultz thirty
houses out of thirty-three are in ruins.

“At Suippes, the big market town which has been practically burned out,
German soldiers carrying straw and cans of petrol have been seen in the
streets. While the mayor’s house was burning, six sentinels with fixed
bayonets were under orders to forbid any one to approach and to prevent
any help being given.

“All this destruction by arson, which only represents a small proportion
of the acts of the same kind in the Department of Seine-et-Marne, was
accomplished without the least tendency to rebellion or the smallest act
of resistance being recorded against the inhabitants of the localities
which are today more or less completely destroyed. In some villages the
Germans, before setting fire to them, made one of their soldiers fire a
shot from his rifle so as to be able to pretend afterward that the
civilian population had attacked them, an allegation which is all the
more absurd since at the time when the enemy arrived the only
inhabitants left were old men, sick persons, or people absolutely
without any means of aggression.


“On the 6th of September at Champguyon, Mme. Louvet was present at the
martyrdom of her husband. She saw him in the hands of ten or fifteen
soldiers, who were beating him to death before his own house, and ran up
and kissed him through the bars of the gate. She was brutally pushed
back and fell, while the murderers dragged along the unhappy man covered
with blood, begging them to spare his life and protesting that he had
done nothing to be treated thus. He was finished off at the end of the
village. When his wife found his body it was horribly disfigured. His
head was beaten in, one of his eyes hung from the socket, and one of his
wrists was broken.

“At Montmirail a scene of real savagery was enacted. On the 5th of
September a non-commissioned officer flung himself almost naked on the
widow Naudé, on whom he was billeted, and carried her into his room.
This woman’s father, François Fontaine, rushed up on hearing his
daughter’s cry. At once fifteen or twenty Germans broke through the door
of the house, pushed the old man into the street, and shot him without
mercy. Little Juliette Naudé opened the window at this moment and was
struck in the stomach by a bullet, which went through her body. The poor
child died after twenty-four hours of most dreadful suffering.


“We have constantly found definite evidence of theft,” states the report
further, “and we do not hesitate to state that where a body of the enemy
has passed it has given itself up to a systematically organized pillage,
in the presence of its leaders, who have even themselves often taken
part in it. Cellars have been emptied to the last bottle, safes have
been gutted, considerable sums of money have been stolen or extorted; a
great quantity of plate and jewelry, as well as pictures, furniture,
‘objets d’art,’ linen, bicycles, women’s dresses, sewing machines, even
down to children’s toys, after having been taken away, have been loaded
on vehicles to be taken toward the frontier.”

Space forbids further quotation from the harrowing document, in which
one frightful tale succeeds another, until with a wave of sickening
horror the reader cries out, “Can such things really be?”


“A chain of baseless fabrications” is the phrase used by Germany to
characterize the charges brought against the German armies by the French
government, claiming that “German army officers have, by every means and
with full success, effected the maintenance of discipline and the strict
observance of all the rules of war in each and all the spheres of

The demolished villages and pitiful victims must tell their own tale of
terror. Doubtless many of the crimes committed have been without the
sanction of the German government or even without the authority of a
superior officer, but, even allowing for the partisanship that is
natural on the part of afflicted inhabitants, the testimony of the
French commission together with that of former Ambassador Bryce must
deeply affect the attitude of all thinking people toward warfare.




All through Belgium and all through the country of the Franco-German
border line are towns and cities filled with treasures of art and
history--some of the richest, indeed, that centuries of civilization
have amassed. Under the guns of both sides of the mighty conflict these
paintings and shrines and storied buildings have been exposed to
destruction, and many of them have been wantonly sacrificed, shattered
beyond hope of restoration.

Under the latest Hague proposals, Article XXVIII, historic monuments are
supposed to be respected even by warring nations, yet both Germany and
France have accused each other of violating this convention. The whole
of civilized humanity rises in protest against such sacrilege.

Among all the black crimes of the German invasion of Belgium none is
blacker than the sack and burning of Louvain, the fairest city of
Belgium and the intellectual metropolis of the Low Countries. According
to a bitter statement of Frank Jewett Mather, the well-known American
art critic, “Louvain contained more beautiful works of art than the
Prussian nation has produced in its entire history.”


There was hardly a building within the ramparts but breathed the air of
some romance of the Middle Ages or marked a stepping-stone in its
stirring history. Once before war robbed it of its commercial prestige,
only to permit it to rise, phœnix-like, as the center of learning during
the sixteenth century. At the opening of the present war it still
boasted of the largest university in Belgium, in which thousands of
antique volumes and prints were stored. Its museums and its churches
housed scores of paintings of the old Flemish masters.

Louvain has passed through successive periods of culture and barbarity
ever since Julius Caesar established a permanent camp there during his
campaigns against the Belgians and the Germans. In the eleventh century
it became the residence of the long line of Dukes of Brabant, and was
the capital until Brussels wrested this distinction from it during an
uprising of weavers against their feudal masters. In the fourteenth
century it had gained a population of between 100,000 and 150,000, and
there were no fewer than 2,400 woolen manufactories. The weavers were a
turbulent lot, however, and when they rose against the Duke Wencelaus he
conquered them and forced thousands of them to flee to Holland and
England. It was then that Brussels became the capital and Louvain lost
its prestige as a center of the cloth-making industry.


“Louvain, thou wast built on my foundations, spirit of my spirit, heart
of my heart.”]

Scholars began to pour into the town, however, to glean what learning
they could from the old parchments and books which its castles
contained. In 1423 Duke John IV of Brabant founded Louvain University.
Students flocked there from all over the world. In the sixteenth century
it had 4,000 students and forty-three colleges.

The library occupied a large room with fine wood panels, carved in
intricate designs. It held 150,000 volumes and thousands of manuscripts,
valuable beyond price. It contained a colossal group representing a
scene from the Flood, sculptured by Geerts in 1839.

One block to the north of the university is the Grande Place, on which
faced the Hôtel de Ville, one of the finest examples of the late Gothic
style of architecture in Europe. It surpassed the town halls of Bruges,
Brussels, and Ghent in elegance of detail and harmony of design. It was
erected in 1448 by Mathieu de Layens, and it was from the upper windows
of this building that thirteen magistrates of noble birth were hurled to
their death on the spears of the populace in the streets below during
the weavers’ uprising.

Across the Grande Place stood the church of St. Pierre, a magnificent
type of the Gothic style built on a cruciform plan and flanked by
chapels holding reliquaries of the saints, life-sized wooden figures,
and priceless carvings and paintings. There might have been seen the
works of Van Papenhoven, Roger van der Weyden, Dierick Bouts, and De


The notification of the sacking of Louvain was contained in the notice
issued by the British Press Bureau on Friday, August 28, 1914, which
read as follows: “On Tuesday evening a German corps, after receiving a
check, withdrew in disorder into the town of Louvain. A German guard at
the entrance to the town mistook the nature of this incursion and fired
on their routed fellow-countrymen, mistaking them for Belgians. In spite
of all denials from the authorities the Germans, in order to cover their
mistake, pretended that it was the inhabitants who had fired on them,
whereas the inhabitants, including the police, had been disarmed more
than a week before. Without inquiry and without listening to any
protests the German commander-in-chief announced that the town would be
immediately destroyed. The inhabitants were ordered to leave their
dwellings; a party of the men were made prisoners and the women and
children put into trains, the destination of which is unknown. Soldiers
furnished with bombs set fire to all parts of the town. The splendid
church of St. Pierre, the University buildings, the library, and the
scientific establishment were delivered to the flames. Several notable
citizens were shot. A town of 45,000 inhabitants, the intellectual
metropolis of the Low Countries since the fifteenth century, is now no
more than a heap of ashes.”


The town treasurer of Louvain, who managed to escape from the sacked
city, gave in the London Times the following account of the destruction:

“At last, on Tuesday night, there took place the unspeakable crime, the
shame of which can be understood only by those who followed and watched
the different phases of the German occupation of Louvain.

“It is a significant fact that the German wounded and sick, including
their Red Cross nurses, were all removed from the hospitals. The Germans
meanwhile proceeded methodically to make a last and supreme requisition,
although they knew the town could not satisfy it. Toward six o’clock the
bugle sounded, and officers lodging in private houses left at once with
arms and luggage. At the same time thousands of additional soldiers,
with numerous field pieces and cannon, marched into the town to their
allotted positions. The gas factory, which had been idle, had been
worked through the previous night and day by Germans, so that during
this premeditated outrage the people could not take advantage of
darkness to escape from the town. A further fact that proves their
premeditation is that the attack took place at eight o’clock, the exact
time at which the population entered their homes in conformity with the
German orders--consequently escape became well-nigh impossible. At 8.20
the full fusillade with the roar of the cannons came from all sides of
the town at once.

“The cavalry charged through the streets sabring fugitives, while the
infantry, posted on the foot-paths, had their fingers on the triggers of
their guns waiting for the unfortunate people to rush from the houses or
appear at the windows, the soldiers praising and complimenting each
other on their marksmanship as they fired at the unhappy fugitives.
Those whose houses were not yet destroyed were ordered to quit and
follow the soldiers to the railway station. There the men were separated
from mothers, wives, and children, and thrown, some bound, into trains
leaving in the direction of Germany. They saw their carefully-collected
art and other treasures being shared out by the soldiers, the officers
looking on. Those who attempted to appeal to their tormentors’ better
feelings were immediately shot. A few were let loose, but most of them
were sent to Germany.

“On Wednesday at daybreak the remaining women and children were driven
out of the town--a lamentable spectacle--with uplifted arms and under
the menace of bayonets and revolvers. The day was practically calm. The
destruction of the most beautiful part of the town seemed momentarily to
have soothed the barbarian rage of the invaders. On Thursday the remnant
of the Civil Guard was called up on the pretext of extinguishing the
conflagration; those who demurred were chained and sent with some
wounded Germans to the Fatherland, whilst the population had to quit.”


Fair Louvain is now a place of desolation and ashes. Its treasures have
been madly sacrificed to the god of war. A graphic description of the
ruin has been written by Professor E. Gilson, of the University of
Louvain, in the form of a letter to the Belgian Minister of Justice. It
says in part:

“At the ‘Seven Corners’ Louvain reveals itself to my eyes like a
luminous panorama in the glade of a forest. The center of the city is a
smoking heap of ruins. Houses are caved in, nothing remains but smoking
ruins, and a mass of brick. It is a veritable Pompeii. But how much more
tragic and vivid is the sight of this new Pompeii! An oppressive silence
everywhere. Everybody has fled; at the windows of cellars I see
frightened faces, and at the street corners Prussian sentinels, sordid,
immovable and silent.

“In the center stand the walls of St. Pierre, now a grinning silhouette,
roof and belfry gone, the walls blackened and caved in. In front stands
the Hôtel de Ville, dominating everything and almost intact. Further on,
the remains of Les Hales, entirely destroyed, except for the arcade of
big pillars of the Salle des Pas Perdus. The library and its treasures
are entirely gone.

“In the Petite Rue Louis Nelsens everything is destroyed. At the foot of
the statue, in a flower bed all tramped underfoot, there is an irregular
hillock covered with a few dead leaves. An old woman, recognizing me,
comes out of her cellar and tells me: ‘Monsieur, this is the grave of
Monsieur David and his son, the best people that ever lived.’ She cries.
They were killed by shrapnel fired upon them as they were leaving their
house. The Capuchin brothers made temporary graves for the dead.

“Graves were found nearly everywhere. In front of the statue, near a
house, I find traces of fire. ‘In this place,’ the old woman tells me,
‘the Prussians burned a body after soaking it in petroleum. Some men
buried the charred remains.’ I pick up a key which must have belonged to
the dead man--a memento of this monstrous incident.

“In the center of the city the sight is extraordinarily
picturesque--gloomy, abominable, and more so in the evening when the
full moon is shining over the mass of ruins, it is really fantastic,

“The center of old Louvain, the old city of the Dukes of Brabant, exists
no longer; a new city will have to be built in the center of the
quarters spared by the torch.


“A villager told me that the soldiers had two ways of setting fire to
the houses: One was to break the windows of the first floor, to throw
petroleum on the floor, and throw in torches of burning straw, while
others were engaged in shooting at the upper-story windows to prevent
the inhabitants from throwing missiles on those setting fire to their


Indignant protest against the outrageous sacrifice of Louvain arose from
every quarter of the civilized world. The London Tablet, commenting on
the desolation of Belgium and the sacrifice of her temples, said:

“The irreparable crime of Louvain and the ruthless damage done to the
Cathedral of Malines while Cardinal Mercier was absent in Rome have left
Belgium’s cup of bitterness still unfilled. We do not understand the
reason of these remorseless attacks upon venerable places of worship,
and particularly upon Roman Catholic churches. We do not fully discern
why even the modern Huns should be so eager to violate these peaceful
sanctuaries, destroying one, bombarding another with zest, stabling
their horses in a third, as they have undoubtedly done. One would almost
fancy that the late Professor Cramb was right after all, that Germany
regards the Christian creed as outworn, and that she dreams, when she
has imposed her will upon the world (if she can), of founding a new
religion, with the Kaiser as its inspired expositor. We wonder what the
pious people of Bavaria and Austria-Hungary think of this persistent
desecration of Catholic shrines. The meaning of the sack of Dinant is,
however, sufficiently clear. Thousands of travelers know that pleasant
little town, which clustered beneath the old citadel on the banks of the
Meuse. They will learn with horror and distress that it has shared the
fate of Louvain, that it has been shelled and burned, that many of its
defenseless men have been shot, and that its women are hunted and
homeless. We have not yet been told, but doubtless shall hear in due
course, that the splendid thirteenth-century church of Notre Dame, the
most complete example of pointed Gothic architecture in Belgium, has
perished amid the general destruction. The reason of this sack and
pillage of town after town in Belgium, with every accompaniment of
murderous barbarity--Termonde is another melancholy case in point--is
becoming obvious. It is due to the resolute resistance of Antwerp. The
Germans want to capture Antwerp, but can not spare enough men to invest
the fortress, and in any case hope to obtain it without paying the
price. They seek to terrorize Antwerp into submission by laying Belgium
waste, by razing her undefended cities to the ground, and by shedding
the blood of innocent Belgian citizens of both sexes. . . . The wilful
devastation of Belgium will have only one definite result. It will
increase the chorus of indignant denunciation of German methods of
warfare which now rises from every civilized country in the world.”


This noble building, one of the finest pieces of Gothic architecture in
the world, was bombarded by German shells and set on fire. Much of the
priceless statuary and the entire roof were destroyed.]


According to the official report of the Commission of Inquiry into the
German atrocities at Louvain and other places, men were brutally
separated from their wives and children, and after having been subjected
to abominable treatment by the Germans were herded out of the town. The
corpses of many a civilian encumbered the streets and squares.]




If the destruction of famous buildings, shrines of humanity as well as
of art and religion, were but put down to the unavoidable accidents of
war, after the first poignant sense of the irreparable loss, one would
rather sorrowfully accept the smoking ruins as further evidence of the
horrible, if unavoidable, waste of war. But to have Louvain’s atrocities
justified, to have the destruction of towns systematically brought about
in a spirit of fiendish reprisal or as part of a propaganda of military
terrorism, this is what revolts the world. It is this demoniacal
barbarism, raised to the ultimate power for evil by modern mechanism,
that staggers civilization.

The sacking of Louvain had hardly ceased to be a matter of world-wide
outcry against such inexcusable barbarity when there came the official
report that the Cathedral of Rheims, one of the most glorious examples
of Gothic art in the world and an historic monument of first rank, had
fallen before the German guns in the bombardment of that historic city.


Rheims has been a city of importance since the time of the Romans. The
cathedral, wherein for nearly 1,000 years the kings of France were
crowned, has been fittingly described as “the most perfect example in
grandeur and grace of Gothic style in existence.”

Hincmar, a mighty archbishop of the ninth century, once declared that
Rheims was “by the appointment of Heaven a royal city.”

The words are at once historical and prophetic. Here Clovis was baptized
by St. Remigius, and here in the cathedral in 1429, Charles VII of
France was crowned through the efforts of Joan of Arc.

According to the historians of art, Rheims is royal in another sense. In
no city in Europe have the life and thought of the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance found such perfect expression in architecture. From early
Gothic to Romanesque, and from Romanesque to Renaissance, the buildings
of Rheims reveal better than any records the city’s historical
development. Of all the buildings illustrative of their various periods
there were said to be no better examples than the cathedral and the
church of St. Jacques, fine monuments of early Gothic; the later Gothic
edifice of the archbishop’s palace, and, finally, the city hall, a
handsome work of the best period of French Renaissance.


No one really knows who designed and built the cathedral. The first
stones were laid in 1211, and the building, with the exception of the
superb west façade, was completed in the thirteenth century. The façade,
which dates from the fourteenth century, was adorned with three
exquisite recessed portals containing, in a more or less good state of
preservation, over five hundred statues. Of the entire structure, we
read in “Cathedrals of the Isle de France”: “Nothing can exceed the
majesty of its deeply recessed portals, the beauty of the rose window
that surmounts them, or the elegance of the gallery that completes the

[Illustration: THE CHRISTIAN WORLD!]


The interior, which was cruciform, was 455 feet long and 99 feet wide;
the distance from the middle isle to the highest point in the roof was
125 feet. Here in niches in the walls was another multitude of statues,
and in the nave and transepts were preserved valuable tapestry,
representing biblical scenes and scenes from the history of medieval
France. Here also hung a treasure of paintings, including canvases by
Tintoretto, Nicolas Poussin, and others, and some fine old tapestries.

In the treasury were reliquaries, one said to contain a thorn from the
Holy Crown, the skull of St. Remi and a collection of valuable vessels
in gold, the most remarkable in France. The treasures included not only
the coronation ornaments of various kings, but the vase of St. Ursula,
the massive chalice of St. Remigius, and countless crucifixes in gold,
silver and precious woods.

In the treasury was also preserved the Sainte Ampoule--the vessel in
which the oil used to anoint the kings of France was preserved--a
successor to the famous ampulla, which a dove was said to have brought
from heaven filled with inexhaustible holy oil at the time of the
baptism of Clovis, in 496. During the Revolution the sacred vessel was
shattered, but a fragment was piously preserved, in which some of the
oil was said still to remain.


The Cathedral of Notre Dame is now no more than an empty shell of
charred and blackened walls. The fire started between four and five
o’clock Sunday afternoon, September 20, 1914, after shells had been
crashing into the town all day. Over five hundred fell between early
morning and sunset.

The cathedral had been turned into a hospital for the German wounded, to
secure for the building the protection of the Red Cross flag. When the
first shell struck the roof everyone believed it was a stray shot, but
later in the day a German battery four miles away, began making the
great Gothic pile its target. Shell after shell crashed its way into the
old masonry and stonework that had stood the storms of centuries.

At 4.30 some scaffolding around the east end of the cathedral, where
repairs were going on, caught fire and soon the whole network of poles
and planks was ablaze. Then the roof of old oak timbers caught fire and
soon the ceilings of the nave and transepts were a roaring furnace.

The blazing piers of carved woodwork crashed to the floor, where piles
of straw had been gathered in connection with the work of the field
hospital. As soon as this caught fire the paneling of the altars, the
chairs and other furniture were devoured.

Twenty wounded Germans would have perished by the efforts of their own
countrymen if several French army doctors, with their bearers, had not
carried them one by one at their own risk out of the church by one of
the side doors.


There a grim scene was only prevented by the courage of the priests of
the cathedral. A crowd of about two hundred citizens had come out to
watch the terrible spectacle. As these Germans, in their uniforms,
appeared at the transept door howls of uncontrollable passion went up
from the crowd. “Kill them!” they shouted. Soldiers in the crowd
leveled their rifles, when Abbé Andrieux sprang forward between the
wounded men and the muzzles that threatened them.

“Don’t fire,” he shouted, “you would make yourselves as guilty as they.”

The reproach was enough, and amid fierce hooting and angry cries the
Germans were carried to shelter in the museum near by.

From the hills the flaming cathedral was an even more impressive sight
than in the streets of the town. From the yawning roof the red glare
poured up into the dark sky and its windows flickered with dancing
flames. So night closed down. Not for long was its stillness
undisturbed. At two o’clock German batteries opened fire again. Then
from windows that looked toward Rheims across the plain one could watch
the lurid sight of night bombardment.

At last daybreak came, a sad gray dawn, with cold, dispiriting rain
falling. When the shadows had lifted and enough light had filtered
through the low, lead-colored clouds for one to see across the plain,
the ravished city, with its ruined cathedral standing stark against the
background and a vast wall of smoke rising slowly from the still flaming
ruins, was as desolate a thing as the sun could well have found in its
journey round the world that morning.


“Will not every artist, every writer, every lover of the beautiful,
unite with us in a protestation of horror against the infamous
destruction of Rheims Cathedral?” wrote Emile Hovelaque, French
Inspector General of Public Instruction, in a letter to the London
Times. “It was the cradle of our kings, the high altar of our race, a
sanctuary and shrine dear from every memory, sacred in every thought,
loved as our remotest past, an ever-speaking witness to the permanence
through change of the ideals, aspirations and dreams of our country.

“Can such deeds go unavenged? Will not the conscience of the whole world
rise against those nameless barbarians who shelled Red Cross flags
floating over that twice-sacred pile, who have committed this supreme
sacrifice against the spirit of man in seven hundred years? Those gray
cliffs of chiseled stone had risen above the furious tides of
innumerable invasions unhurt, spared by the most savage onsets.
Battered, by every storm of heaven and earth, the noblest sculpture of
the West remained until German culture came.

“And then, deliberately, methodically, slowly, the princes and captains
of an accursed race mangled the sacred pile until all had fallen.
Fairest and most human images in all the world, a forest of gigantic
columns, a vast vaulted canopy of stone, majestic walls and
heaven-stained glass--it was murder in cold blood, the murder not of a
life but of immortality. Forty-eight long hours the inexplicable crime
dragged out. Louvain first, now Rheims. What next?”


The artistic beauty of the cathedral of Rheims can never be restored, in
the opinion of Whitney Warren, the New York architect, who made a
thorough inspection of the structure.

Mr. Warren, who is a corresponding member of the Institut de France, was
given the privilege of visiting the cathedral. His investigation had no
official character, but the result of his observations was communicated
to Myron T. Herrick, American Ambassador to Belgium.

“That anything remains of the edifice,” said Mr. Warren, “is due to the
strong construction of the walls and vaults which are of a robustness
that can resist even modern implements of war.”

The building was not battered by the heavier guns, as had been feared,
but it suffered most from shrapnel fire. The famous rose windows, the
sculpture and other details of the façade that were ruined are, however,
just the examples of art that can not be replaced.

Statues, gargoyles, and other ornaments on the exterior of the cathedral
have been tumbled to the pavement and shattered, though at first glance
the outer walls of the cathedral do not show the ruin that has taken
place. These blackened walls yet stand as a monument to the glory of
France, but still more as a grim reminder of the barbarity of German




The fight of the Canadians at Langemarck and St. Julien in April, 1915,
makes such a battle story as has sufficed, in other nations, to inspire
song and tradition for centuries. In the words of Sir John French, the
Canadians, by holding their ground when it did not seem humanly possible
to hold it, “saved the situation,” kept the enemy out of Ypres, kept
closed the road to Calais, and made a failure of German plans that
otherwise were about to be successful.

The Canadian soldiers have indeed shown that they are second to none.
They were put to as supreme a test as it would be possible for any army
to meet with, for they fought overwhelming numbers under conditions that
seemed to ensure annihilation. They fought on, and failed neither in
courage, discipline, nor tenacity, although thousands of them fell.

The story of their unflinching heroism was told by Sir Max Aitken, the
record officer serving with the Canadian division in France:

“The recent fighting in Flanders, in which the Canadians played so
glorious a part, cannot of course be described with precision of
military detail until time has made possible the co-ordination of
relevant facts, and the piecing together in a narrative both lucid and
exact of much which, so near the event, is confused and blurred. But it
is considered right that the mourning in Canada for husbands, sons or
brothers who have given their lives for the Empire should have with as
little reserve as military considerations allow the rare and precious
consolation which, in the agony of bereavement, the record of the valor
of their dead must bring, and indeed the mourning in Canada will be very
widely spread, for the battle which raged for so many days in the
neighborhood of Ypres was bloody, even as men appraise battles in this
callous and life-engulfing war. But as long as brave deeds retain the
power to fire the blood of Anglo-Saxons, the stand made by the Canadians
in those desperate days will be told by fathers to their sons.


“The Canadians have wrested the trenches over the bodies of the dead and
earned the right to stand side by side with the superb troops who, in
the first battle of Ypres, broke and drove before them the flower of the
Prussian Guards. Looked at from any point the performance would be
remarkable. It is amazing to soldiers when the genesis and composition
of the Canadian division are considered. It contained no doubt a
sprinkling of South African veterans, but it consisted in the main of
men who were admirable raw material, but who, at the outbreak of war,
were neither disciplined nor trained as men count discipline and
training in these days of scientific warfare. It was, it is true,
commanded by a distinguished English general. Its staff was
supplemented, without being replaced, by some brilliant British staff
officers. But in its higher and regimental commands were to be found
lawyers, college professors, business men and real estate agents, ready
with cool self-confidence to do battle against an organization in which
the study of military science is the exclusive pursuit of laborious

“With what devotion, with a valor how desperate, with resourcefulness
how cool and how frightful, the amateur soldier of Canada confronted
overwhelming odds, may perhaps be made clear, even by a narrative so
incomplete as the present.

“The salient of Ypres has become familiar to all students of the
campaign in Flanders. Like all salients it was, and was known to be, a
source of weakness to the forces holding it, but the reasons which have
led to its retention are apparent, and need not be explained.

“On Thursday, April 22, 1915, the Canadian division held a line of
roughly five thousand yards, extending in a northwesterly direction from
the Ypres-Roulers railway, to the Ypres-Poekapelle road, and connecting
at its terminus with the French troops. The division consisted of three
infantry brigades in addition to the artillery brigades. Of the infantry
brigades the first was in reserve, the second was on the right, and the
third established contact with the allies at the point indicated above.


“The day was a peaceful one, warm and sunny, and except that the
previous day had witnessed a further bombardment of the stricken town of
Ypres, everything seemed quiet in front of the Canadian line. At five
o’clock in the afternoon a plan carefully prepared was put into
execution against our French allies on the left. Asphyxiating gas of
great intensity was projected into their trenches, probably by means of
force pumps and pipes laid out under the parapets. The fumes, aided by a
favorable wind, floated backwards, poisoning and disabling over an
extended area those who fell under their effect. The result was that the
French were compelled to give ground for a considerable distance. The
glory which the French army has won in this war would make it
impertinent to labor on the compelling nature of the poisonous
discharges under which the trenches were lost. The French did, as
everyone knew they would do, all that stout soldiers could do, and the
Canadian division, officers and men, look forward to many occasions in
the future in which they will stand side by side with the brave armies
of France.

“The immediate consequence of this enforced withdrawal was, of course,
extremely grave. The third brigade of the Canadian division was without
any left, or, in other words, its left was in the air. It became
imperatively necessary greatly to extend the Canadian lines to the left
rear. It was not, of course, practicable to move the first brigade from
reserve at a moment’s notice, and the line, extended from five to nine
thousand yards, was not naturally the line that had been held by the
allies at five o’clock, and a gap still existed on its left.


Shaded Portion Indicates German Gain.]

“The new line, of which our recent point of contact with the French
formed the apex, ran quite roughly to the south and west. As shown
above, it became necessary for Brigadier-General Turner, commanding the
third brigade, to throw back his left flank southward to protect his
rear. In the course of the confusion which followed upon the
readjustment of position, the enemy, who had advanced rapidly after his
initial successes, took four British 4.7 guns in a small wood to the
west of the village of St. Julien, two miles in the rear of the original
French trenches.


“The story of the second battle of Ypres is the story of how the
Canadian division, enormously outnumbered, for they had in front of them
at least four divisions, supported by immensely heavy artillery, with a
gap still existing, though reduced, in their lines, and with
dispositions made hurriedly under the stimulus of critical danger,
fought through the day and through the night, and then through another
day and night; fought under their officers until, as happened to so
many, these perished gloriously, and then fought from the impulsion of
sheer valor because they came from fighting stock.

“The enemy, of course, was aware, whether fully or not may perhaps be
doubted, of the advantage his breach in the line had given him, and
immediately began to push a formidable series of attacks upon the whole
of the newly-formed Canadian salient.

“If it is possible to distinguish when the attack was everywhere so
fierce, it developed with particular intensity at this moment upon the
apex of the newly-formed line running in the direction of St. Julien. It
has already been stated that four British guns were taken in a wood
comparatively early in the evening of the 22d. In the course of that
night, and under the heaviest machine-gun fire, this wood was assaulted
by the Canadian Scottish, sixteenth battalion, of the third brigade, and
the tenth battalion of the second brigade, which was intercepted for
this purpose on its way to a reserve trench. The battalions were
respectively commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Leckie, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Boyle, and after a most fierce struggle in the light
of a misty moon they took the position at the point of the bayonet. At
midnight the second battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Watson
and the Toronto regiment, Queen’s Own (third battalion), under
Lieutenant-Colonel Rennie, both of the first brigade, brought up
much-needed reinforcements, and though not actually engaged in the
assault, were in reserve.


“All through the following days and nights these battalions shared the
fortunes and misfortunes of the third brigade. An officer, who took part
in the attack, describes how the men about him fell under the fire of
the machine guns, which, in his phrase, played upon them ‘like a
watering pot.’ He added quite simply, ‘I wrote my own life off,’ but the
line never wavered. When one man fell another took his place, and with a
final shout the survivors of the two battalions flung themselves into
the wood.

“The German garrison was completely demoralized, and the impetuous
advance of the Canadians did not cease until they reached the far side
of the wood and entrenched themselves there in the position so dearly
gained. They had, however, the disappointment of finding that the guns
had been blown up by the enemy, and later on the same night, a most
formidable concentration of artillery fire, sweeping the wood as a
tropical storm sweeps the leaves from a forest, made it impossible for
them to hold the position for which they had sacrified so much.

“The fighting continued without intermission all through the night and
to those who observed the indications that the attack was being pushed
with ever-growing strength, it hardly seemed possible that the
Canadians, fighting in positions so difficult to defend, and so little
the subject of deliberate choice, could maintain their resistance for
any long period. At 6 A. M. on Friday it became apparent that the left
was becoming more and more involved and a powerful German attempt to
outflank it developed rapidly. The consequences if it had been broken or
outflanked need not be insisted upon. They were not merely local.

“It was therefore decided, formidable as the attempt undoubtedly was, to
try and give relief by a counter-attack upon the first line of German
trenches, now far, far advanced from those originally occupied by the
French. This was carried out by the Ontario first and fourth battalions
of the first brigade, under Brigadier-General Mercer, acting in
combination with a British brigade. It is safe to say that the youngest
private in the rank, as he set his teeth for the advance, knew the task
in front of him, and the youngest subaltern knew all that rested upon
its success.


An incident showing how a company of British soldiers were cut down by
an ambushed enemy. The front rank of Germans had been firing from behind
a small ridge. In apparent surrender they stood up in a long row and
held up the white flag. The British advanced to receive their guns and
take them prisoners, when suddenly the entire line fell down and a
second line arose from behind the ridge and immediately killed all the
British company. (_Sphere copr._)]


A party of wounded Highlanders were resting in a house on the bank of
the Aisne River, where a doctor was attending them. A German shell came
through the window and the soldiers resting on the sofas and on the
floor were nearly all killed by flying fragments of shell. (_Sphere


“It did not seem that any human being could live in the shower of shot
and shell which began to play upon the advancing troops. They suffered
terrible casualties. For a short time every man seemed to fall, but the
attack was pressed even closer and closer. The fourth Canadian battalion
at one moment came under a particularly withering fire. For a moment,
not more, it wavered. Its most gallant commanding officer,
Lieutenant-Colonel 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 hoarse cry of anger they sprang forward (for, indeed, they loved
him) 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.

“The measure of this success may be taken when it is pointed out that
this trench represented in the German advance the apex in the breach
which the enemy had made in the original line of the allies, and that it
was two and a half miles south of that line. This charge, made by men
who looked death indifferently in the face, for no man who took part in
it could think that he was likely to live, saved the Canadian left. But
it did more; up to the point where the assailants conquered or died, it
secured and maintained during the most critical moment of all the
integrity of the allied line. For the trench was not only taken, it was
thereafter held against all comers, and in the teeth of every
conceivable projectile, until the night of Sunday, the 25th, when all
that remained of the war-broken but victorious battalions was relieved
by fresh troops.


“It is necessary now to return to the fortunes of the third brigade,
commanded by Brigadier-General Turner, which, as we have seen, at five
o’clock on Thursday was holding the Canadian left and after the first
attack assumed the defense of the new Canadian salient, at the same time
sparing all the men it could to form an extemporized line between the
wood and St. Julien. This brigade also was, at the first moment of the
German offensive, made the object of an attack by the discharge of
poisonous gas. The discharge was followed by two enemy assaults.
Although the fumes were extremely poisonous, they were not, perhaps,
having regard to the wind, so disabling as on the French lines (which
ran almost east to west), and the brigade, though affected by the fumes,
stoutly beat back the two German assaults.

“Encouraged by this success, it rose to the supreme effort required by
the assault of the wood, which has already been described. At 4 A. M.
on the morning of Friday, the 23d, a fresh emission of gas was made both
upon the second brigade, which held the line running northeast, and upon
the third brigade, which, as has been fully explained, had continued the
line up to the pivotal point, as defined above, and had then spread down
in a southeasterly direction. It is perhaps worth mentioning, that two
privates of the forty-eighth Highlanders, who found their way into the
trenches commanded by Colonel Lipsett, ninetieth Winnipeg Rifles, eighth
battalion, perished of the fumes, and it was noticed that their faces
became blue immediately after dissolution.

“The Royal Highlanders of Montreal, thirteenth battalion, and the
forty-eighth Highlanders, fifteenth battalion, were more especially
affected by the discharge. The Royal Highlanders, though considerably
shaken, remained immovable upon their ground. The forty-eighth
Highlanders, who no doubt received a more poisonous discharge, were for
the moment dismayed and indeed their trench, according to the testimony
of very hardened soldiers, became intolerable. The battalion retired
from the trench, but for a very short distance, and for an equally short
time. In a few moments they were again their own. They advanced upon and
occupied the trenches which they had momentarily abandoned.


“In the course of the same night the third brigade, which had already
displayed a resource, a gallantry, and a tenacity, for which no eulogy
could be excessive, was exposed (and with it the whole allied cause) to
a peril still more formidable.

“It has been explained, and indeed the fundamental situation made the
peril clear, that several German divisions were attempting to crush, or
drive back this devoted brigade, and in any event to use their enormous
numerical superiority to sweep around and overwhelm our left wing at a
point in the line which cannot be precisely determined. The last attempt
partially succeeded, and in the course of this critical struggle, German
troops in considerable, though not in overwhelming, numbers swung past
the unsupported left to the brigade and, slipping in between the wood
and St. Julien, added to the torturing anxieties of the long-drawn-out
struggle by the appearance, and indeed for the moment the reality, of
isolation from the brigade base.

“In the exertions made by the third brigade during this supreme crisis,
it is almost impossible to single out one battalion without injustice to
others, but though the efforts of the Royal Highlanders of Montreal,
thirteenth battalion, were only equal to those of the other battalions
who did such heroic service, it so happened by chance that the fate of
some of its officers attracted special attention.

“Major Norsworthy, already almost disabled by a bullet wound, was
bayoneted and killed while he was rallying his men with easy
cheerfulness. The case of Captain McCuaig, of the same battalion, was
not less glorious, although his death can claim no witness. This most
gallant officer was seriously wounded in a hurriedly constructed trench.
At a moment when it would have been possible to remove him to safety,
he absolutely refused to move, and continued in the discharge of his
duty. But the situation grew instantly worse, and peremptory orders were
received for an immediate withdrawal. Those who were compelled to obey
them were most insistent to carry with them, at whatever risk to their
own mobility and safety, an officer to whom they were devotedly
attached. But he, knowing, it may be, better than they, the exertions
which still lay in front of them, and unwilling to inflict upon them the
disabilities of a maimed man, very resolutely refused, and asked of them
one thing only, that there should be given to him as he lay alone in the
trench, two loaded Colt revolvers to add to his own, which lay in his
right hand as he made his last request. And so, with three revolvers
ready to his hand for use, a very brave officer waited to sell his life,
wounded and racked with pain, in an abandoned trench.

“On Friday afternoon the left of the Canadian line was strengthened by
important reinforcements of British troops, amounting to seven
battalions. From this time forward the Canadians also continued to
receive further assistance on the left from a series of French
counter-attacks pushed in a northeasterly direction from the canal bank.


“But the artillery fire of the enemy continually grew in intensity, and
it became more and more evident that the Canadian salient could no
longer be maintained against the overwhelming superiority of numbers by
which it was assailed. Slowly, stubbornly, and contesting every yard,
the defenders gave ground until the salient gradually receded from the
apex near the point where it had originally aligned with the French, and
fell back upon St. John.

“Soon it became evident that even St. Julien, exposed from right and
left, was no longer tenable in the face of overwhelming numerical
superiority. The third brigade was therefore ordered to retreat further
south, selling every yard of ground as dearly as it had done since five
o’clock on Thursday. But it was found impossible, without hazarding far
larger forces, to disentangle the detachment of the Royal Highlanders of
Montreal, thirteenth battalion, and of the Royal Montreal Regiment,
fourteenth battalion. The brigade was ordered, and not a moment too
soon, to move back. It left these units with hearts as heavy as those of
his comrades who had said farewell to Captain McCuaig.

“The German line rolled, indeed, over the deserted village, but for
several hours after the enemy had become master of the village the
sullen and persistent rifle fire which survived showed that they were
not yet master of the Canadian rear guard. If they died, they died
worthy of Canada. The enforced retirement of the third brigade (and to
have stayed longer would have been madness) reproduced for the second
brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Curry, in a singularly exact
fashion the position of the third brigade itself at the moment of the
withdrawal of the French.


“The second brigade, it must be remembered, had retained the whole line
of trenches, roughly five hundred yards, which it was holding at five
o’clock on Thursday afternoon, supported by the incomparable exertions
of the third brigade, and by the highly hazardous deployment in which
necessity had involved that brigade. The second brigade had maintained
its lines. It now devolved upon General Curry, commanding this brigade,
to reproduce the tactical maneuvers by which earlier in the fight the
third brigade had adapted itself to the flank movement of overwhelming
numerical superiority. He flung his left flank round and his record is
that in the very crisis of this immense struggle he held his line of
trenches from Thursday at five o’clock until Sunday afternoon, and on
Sunday afternoon he had not abandoned his trenches. 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. Such a brigade!

“It is invidious to single out any battalion for special praise, but it
is perhaps necessary to the story to point out that Lieutenant-Colonel
Lipsett, commanding the ninetieth Winnipeg Rifles, eighth battalion, of
the second brigade, held the extreme left of the brigade position at the
most critical moment.

“The battalion was expelled from the trenches early on 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, and after the third brigade had been forced to
retire, Lieutenant-Colonel Lipsett held his position, though his left
was in the air, until two British regiments filled up the gap on
Saturday night.


“The individual fortunes of those two brigades have brought us to the
events of Sunday afternoon, but it is necessary, to make the story
complete, to recur for a moment to the events of the morning.

“After a very formidable attack the enemy succeeded in capturing the
village of St. Julien, which has so often been referred to in describing
the fortunes of the Canadian left. This success opened up a new and
formidable line of advance, but by this time further reinforcements had
arrived. Here again it became evident that the tactical necessities of
the situation dictated an offensive movement, as the surest method of
arresting further progress.

“General Alderson, who was in command of the reinforcements, accordingly
directed that an advance should be made by a British brigade which had
been brought up in support. The attack was thrust through the Canadian
left and center, and as the troops making it swept on, many of them
going to certain death, they paused an instant, and with deep-throated
cheers for Canada gave the first indication to the division of the warm
admiration which their exertions had excited in the British army.

“The advance was indeed costly, but it could not be gainsaid. The story
is one of which the brigade may be proud, but it does not belong to the
special account of the fortunes of the Canadian contingent. It is
sufficient for our purpose to notice that the attack succeeded in its
object, and the German advance along the line, which was momentarily
threatened, was arrested.

“We had reached, in describing the events of the afternoon, the points
at which the trenches of the second brigade had been completely
destroyed. This brigade and the third brigade, and the considerable
reinforcements which by this time filled the gap between the two
brigades, were gradually driven, fighting every yard, upon a line
running, roughly, from Fortuin, south of St. Julien, in a northeasterly
direction towards Passchendale. Here the two brigades were relieved by
two British brigades, after exertions as glorious, as fruitful, and,
alas! as costly, as soldiers have ever been called upon to make.

“Monday morning broke bright and clear, and found the Canadians behind
the firing line. This day, too, was to bring its anxieties. The attack
was still pressed, and it became necessary to ask Brigadier-General
Curry whether he could once more call upon his shrunken brigade.


“‘The men are tired,’ this indomitable soldier replied, ‘but they are
ready and glad to go again to the trenches.’ And so once more, a hero
leading heroes, the general marched back the men of the second brigade,
reduced to a quarter of its original strength, to the apex of the line
as it existed at that moment.

“This position he held all day Monday. On Tuesday he was still occupying
reserve trenches, and on Wednesday was relieved and retired to billets
in the rear.

“Such, in the most general outline, is the story of a great and glorious
feat of arms. A story told so soon after the event, while tendering bare
justice to units whose doings fell under the eyes of particular
observers, must do less than justice to others who played their
part--and all did--as gloriously as those whose special activities it is
possible, even at this stage, to describe. But the friends of men who
fought in other battalions may be content in the knowledge that they,
too, shall learn, when time allows, the exact part which each unit
played in these unforgettable days.”




Of the London Daily Chronicle


  [The following article is reproduced by the courtesy of the New York

At least a million German soldiers--that is no exaggeration of a light
pen, but the sober and actual truth--were advancing steadily upon the
capital of France. They were close to Beauvais when I escaped from what
was then a death-trap. They were fighting our British troops at Creil
when I came to that town. Upon the following days they were holding our
men in the Forest of Compiègne. They had been as near to Paris as
Senlis, almost within gunshot of the outer forts.

“Nothing seems to stop them,” said many soldiers with whom I spoke. “We
kill them and kill them, but they come on.”

The situation seemed to me almost ready for the supreme tragedy--the
capture or destruction of Paris. The northwest of France lay very open
to the enemy, abandoned as far south as Abbéville and Amiens, too
lightly held by a mixed army corps of French and Algerian troops with
their headquarters at Aumale.

Here was an easy way to Paris.

Always obsessed with the idea that the Germans must come from the east,
the almost fatal error of this war, the French had girdled Paris with
almost impenetrable forts on the east side, from those of Ecouen and
Montmorency, by the far-flung forts of Chelles and Champigny, to those
of Susy and Villeneuve, on the outer lines of the triple cordon; but on
the west side, between Pontoise and Versailles, the defenses of Paris
were weak. I say, “were,” because during the last days thousands of men
were digging trenches and throwing up ramparts. Only the snakelike
Seine, twining into a Pégoud loop, forms a natural defense to the
western approach to the city, none too secure against men who have
crossed many rivers in their desperate assaults.


This, then, was the Germans’ chance; it was for this that they had
fought their way westward and southward through incessant battlefields
from Mons and Charleroi to St. Quentin and Amiens and down to Creil and
Compiègne, flinging away human life as though it were but rubbish for
death-pits. The prize of Paris, Paris the great and beautiful, seemed to
be within their grasp.

It was their intention to smash their way into it by this western entry
and then to skin it alive. Holding this city at ransom, it was their
idea to force France to her knees under threat of making a vast and
desolate ruin of all those palaces and churches and noble buildings in
which the soul of French history is enshrined.

I am not saying these things from rumor and hearsay, I am writing from
the evidence of my own eyes after traveling several hundreds of miles in
France along the main strategical lines, grim sentinels guarding the
last barriers to that approaching death which was sweeping on its way
through France to the rich harvest of Paris.

There was only one thing to do to escape from the menace of this death.
By all the ways open, by any way, the population of Paris emptied itself
like rushing rivers of humanity along all the lines which promised
anything like safety.

[Illustration: THE ANXIOUS HOUR.]

Only those stayed behind to whom life means very little away from Paris
and who if death came desired to die in the city of their life.

Again I write from what I saw and to tell the honest truth from what I
suffered, for the fatigue of this hunting for facts behind the screen
of war is exhausting to all but one’s moral strength, and even to that.

I found myself in the midst of a new and extraordinary activity of the
French and English armies. Regiments were being rushed up to the center
of the allied forces toward Creil, Montdidier, and Noyon.

This great movement continued for several days, putting to a severe test
the French railway system, which is so wonderfully organized that it
achieved this mighty transportation of troops with clockwork regularity.
Working to a time-table dictated by some great brain in the headquarters
of the French army, there were calculated with perfect precision the
conditions of a network of lines on which troop trains might be run to a
given point. It was an immense victory of organization, and a movement
which heartened one observer at least to believe that the German
death-blow would again be averted.


I saw regiment after regiment entraining. Men from the Southern
Provinces, speaking the patois of the South; men from the Eastern
Departments whom I had seen a month before, at the beginning of the war,
at Châlons and Epernay and Nancy, and men from the southwest and center
of France, in garrisons along the Loire. They were all in splendid
spirits and utterly undaunted by the rapidity of the German advance.

“It is nothing, my little one,” said a dirty, unshaved gentleman with
the laughing eyes of a D’Artagnan; “we shall bite their heads off. These
brutal ‘bosches’ are going to put themselves in a ‘guet-apens,’ a
veritable death-trap. We shall have them at last.”

Many of them had fought at Longwy and along the heights of the Vosges.
The youngest of them had bristling beards, their blue coats with
turned-back flaps were war-worn and flanked with the dust of long
marches; their red trousers were sloppy and stained, but they had not
forgotten how to laugh, and the gallantry of their spirits was a joy to

They are very proud, these French soldiers, of fighting side by side
with their old foes. The English now, after long centuries of strife,
from Edward, the Black Prince, to Wellington, are their brothers-in-arms
upon the battle-fields, and because I am English they offered me their
cigarettes and made me one of them. But I realized even then that the
individual is of no account in this inhuman business of war.

It is only masses of men that matter, moved by common obedience at the
dictation of mysterious far-off powers, and I thanked Heaven that masses
of men were on the move rapidly in vast numbers and in the right
direction to support the French lines which had fallen back from Amiens
a few hours before I left that town, and whom I had followed in their
retirement, back and back, with the English always strengthening their
left, but retiring with them almost to the outskirts of Paris itself.

Only this could save Paris--the rapid strengthening of the allied front
by enormous reserves strong enough to hold back the arrow-shaped
battering ram of the enemy’s main army.

Undoubtedly the French headquarters staff was working heroically and
with fine intelligence to save the situation at the very gates of Paris.
The country was being swept absolutely clean of troops in all parts of
France, where they had been waiting as reserves.

It was astounding to me to see, after those three days of rushing troop
trains and of crowded stations not large enough to contain the
regiments, how an air of profound solitude and peace had taken
possession of all these routes.

In my long journey through and about France and circling round Paris I
found myself wondering sometimes whether all this war had not been a
dreadful illusion without reality, and a transformation had taken place,
startling in its change, from military turmoil to rural peace.

Dijon was emptied of its troops. The road to Châlons was deserted by all
but fugitives. The great armed camp at Châlons itself had been cleared
out except for a small garrison. The troops at Tours had gone northward
to the French center. All our English reserves had been rushed up to the
front from Havre and Rouen.

There was only one deduction to be drawn from this great, swift
movement--the French and English lines had been supported by every
available battalion to save Paris from its menace of destruction, to
meet the weight of the enemy’s metal by a force strong enough to resist
its mighty mass.


It was still possible that the Germans might be smashed on their left
wing, hurled back to the west between Paris and the sea, and cut off
from their line of communications. It was undoubtedly this impending
peril which scared the enemy’s headquarters staff and upset all its
calculations. They had not anticipated the rapidity of the supporting
movement of the allied armies, and at the very gates of Paris they saw
themselves balked of their prize, the greatest prize of the war, by the
necessity of changing front.


Hauling a German twenty-one centimeter Howitzer on its firing mat with a
purchase on the wheels, which are fitted with caterpillar pads to
prevent sinking into soft mud.]


Ruins of the Fort Loncin at Liège, Belgium, after the German army had
bombarded it with their huge guns and reduced to fragments the strong
concrete fortifications. (_Copyright by International News Service._)]

To do them justice, they realized instantly the new order of things, and
with quick and marvelous decision did not hesitate to alter the
direction of their main force. Instead of proceeding to the west of
Paris they swung round steadily to the southeast in order to keep their
armies away from the enveloping movement of the French and English and
drive their famous wedge-like formation southward for the purpose of
dividing the allied forces of the west from the French army of the east.
The miraculous had happened, and Paris, for a little time at least, was

After wandering along the westerly and southerly roads I started for
Paris when thousands and scores of thousands were flying from it. At
that time I believed, as all France believed, that in a few hours German
shells would be crashing across the fortifications of the city and that
Paris the beautiful would be Paris the infernal. It needed a good deal
of resolution on my part to go deliberately to a city from which the
population was fleeing, and I confess quite honestly that I had a nasty
sensation in the neighborhood of my waistcoat buttons at the thought.


Along the road from Tours to Paris there were sixty unbroken miles of
people--on my honor, I do not exaggerate, but write the absolute truth.
They were all people who had despaired of breaking through the dense
masses of their fellow-citizens camped around the railway stations, and
had decided to take the roads as the only way of escape.

The vehicles were taxicabs, for which the rich paid fabulous prices;
motor cars which had escaped military requisition, farmers’ carts laden
with several families and piles of household goods, shop carts drawn by
horses already tired to the point of death because of the weight of the
people who crowded behind, pony traps and governess carts.

Many persons, well dressed and belonging obviously to well-to-do
bourgeoisie, were wheeling barrows like costers, but instead of
trundling cabbages were pushing forward sleeping babies and little
children, who seemed on the first stage to find new amusement and
excitement in the journey from home; but for the most part they trudged
along bravely, carrying their babies and holding the hands of their
little ones.

They were of all classes, rank and fortune being annihilated by the
common tragedy. Elegant women whose beauty is known in Paris salons,
whose frivolity, perhaps, in the past was the main purpose of their
life, were now on a level with the peasant mothers of the French suburbs
and with the “midinettes” of Montmartre, and their courage did not fail
them so quickly.

I looked into many proud, brave faces of these delicate women, walking
in high-heeled shoes, all too frail for the hard, dusty roadways. They
belonged to the same race and breed as those ladies who defied death
with fine disdain upon the scaffold of the guillotine in the great

They were leaving Paris now, not because of any fears for themselves--I
believe they were fearless--but because they had decided to save the
little sons and daughters of soldier fathers.

This great army in retreat was made up of every type familiar in Paris.

Here were women of the gay world, poor creatures whose painted faces had
been washed with tears, and whose tight skirts and white stockings were
never made for a long march down the highways of France.

Here also were thousands of those poor old ladies who live on a few
francs a week in the top attics of the Paris streets which Balzac knew;
they had fled from their poor sanctuaries and some of them were still
carrying cats and canaries, as dear to them as their own lives.

There was one young woman who walked with a pet monkey on her shoulder
while she carried a bird in a golden cage. Old men, who remembered 1870,
gave their arms to old ladies to whom they had made love when the
Prussians were at the gates of Paris then.

It was pitiful to see these old people now hobbling along
together--pitiful, but beautiful also, because of their lasting love.

Young boy students, with ties as black as their hats and rat-tail hair,
marched in small companies of comrades, singing brave songs, as though
they had no fear in their hearts, and very little food, I think, in
their stomachs.

Shopgirls and concierges, city clerks, old aristocrats, young boys and
girls, who supported grandfathers and grandmothers and carried new-born
babies and gave pick-a-back rides to little brothers and sisters, came
along the way of retreat.


Each human being in the vast torrent of life will have an unforgettable
story of adventure to tell if life remains. As a novelist I should have
been glad to get their narratives along this road for a great story of
suffering and strange adventure, but there was no time for that and no

When I met many of them they were almost beyond the power of words. The
hot sun of this September had beaten down upon them--scorching them as
in the glow of molten metal. Their tongues clave to their mouths with

Some of them had that wild look in their eyes which is the first sign of
the delirium of thirst and fatigue.

Nothing to eat or drink could be found on the way from Paris. The little
roadside cafés had been cleared out by the preceding hordes.

Unless these people carried their own food and drink they could have
none except of the charity of their comrades in misfortune, and that
charity has exceeded all other acts of heroism in this war. Women gave
their last biscuit, their last little drop of wine, to poor mothers
whose children were famishing with thirst and hunger; peasant women fed
other women’s babies when their own were satisfied.

It was a tragic road. At every mile of it there were people who had
fainted on the roadside and poor old men and women who could go no
farther, but sat on the banks below the hedges, weeping silently or
bidding younger ones go forward and leave them to their fate. Young
women who had stepped out jauntily at first were so footsore and lame
that they limped along with lines of pain about their lips and eyes.

Many of the taxicabs, bought at great prices, and many of the motor cars
had broken down as I passed, and had been abandoned by their owners, who
had decided to walk. Farmers’ carts had bolted into ditches and lost
their wheels. Wheelbarrows, too heavy to be trundled, had been tilted
up, with all their household goods spilled into the roadway, and the
children had been carried farther, until at last darkness came, and
their only shelter was a haystack in a field under the harvest moon.

For days also I have been wedged up with fugitives in railway trains
more dreadful than the open roads, stifling in their heat and
heart-racking in their cargoes of misery. Poor women have wept
hysterically clasping my hand, a stranger’s hand, for comfort in their
wretchedness and weakness. Yet on the whole they have shown amazing
courage, and, after their tears, have laughed at their own breakdown,
and, always the children of France have been superb, so that again and
again I have wondered at the gallantry with which they endured this
horror. Young boys have revealed the heroic strain in them and have
played the part of men in helping their mothers. And yet, when I came at
last into Paris against all this tide of retreat, it seemed a needless
fear that had driven these people away.


Then I passed long lines of beautiful little villas on the Seine side,
utterly abandoned among their trees and flowers. A solitary fisherman
held his line above the water as though all the world were at peace, and
in a field close to the fortifications which I expected to see bursting
with shells, an old peasant bent above the furrows and planted cabbages.
Then, at last, I walked through the streets of Paris and found them
strangely quiet and tranquil.

The people I met looked perfectly calm. There were a few children
playing in the gardens of Champs Elysées and under the Arc de Triomphe
symbolical of the glory of France.

I looked back upon the beauty of Paris all golden in the light of the
setting sun, with its glinting spires and white gleaming palaces and
rays of light flashing in front of the golden trophies of its monuments.
Paris was still unbroken. No shell had come shattering into this city of
splendor, and I thanked Heaven that for a little while the peril had




“Other times, other manners” applies as accurately to the battle-field
as it does elsewhere. The cavalry charge is nearly extinct, mass
formation is going, hand-to-hand conflict is rarely found, and now, it
appears, the old-fashioned and romantic bivouac is no more.
Trench-fighting has been carried on to such an extent in France and
Belgium, and Poland, that the open camp, with its rows of little tents,
outposts, and sentry guard, becomes almost a forgotten picture of
warfare. Doubtless the military schools of the future will make
provision for special instruction in the construction of commodious
caverns on the battle-field, safe, warm, and containing all the comforts
of a barrack.

The modern warrior, like a mole, lives under ground and displays his
greatest activity at night. With the coming of subterranean warfare, as
trench-fighting can be appropriately called, great armies have had to
adopt unique methods. They have been compelled to build peculiar little
forts--for a trench is a fort, in fact--wherever their soldiers meet the
enemy. In consequence these rectangular excavations have been improved
far beyond their original outline.

The first trench was nothing more nor less than a hole in the ground,
deep enough to protect a man kneeling, standing, or sitting, as the case
might be. Before the advent of the modern rifle and modern cannon, these
defenses, with several feet of loose earth thrown up in front of them,
served admirably. In those days the question of head-cover was of minor
importance; today a protective roofing is the sine qua non of any
well-constructed trench. Early in the European war it was discovered
that the trench offered the safest haven from the bursting shells of the
enemy’s field artillery. To all intents and purposes, shrapnel, or, as
its inventor termed it, the man-killing projectile--is practically
harmless in its effect upon entrenched troops. Unless a shell can be
placed absolutely within the two-feet wide excavation it wastes its
destructive powers on the inoffensive earth and air. This has led to a
modification of artillery methods, which, in turn, compels the
elaboration of the trench and emphasizes the importance of head-cover.


“The history of the great war,” to quote from a French paper, “will
show, among other things, how the Germans profited by the lessons of
recent conflicts. The South African, the Russo-Japanese, and the Balkan
wars were studied minutely by them, and their particular preparations,
their tactics, and their artifices result from the knowledge thus
acquired. They learned much, especially, as regards the formation of

“After 1870 we confined ourselves to three regulation types of trenches:
for men prone, kneeling, and standing. While in training, our soldiers
were taught how to take shelter momentarily between advances, by digging
up the soil a little and lying flat behind the smallest of mounds. They
were instructed, moreover, how to protect themselves from the enemy’s
fire by propping up their knapsacks in front of them. This meant
insufficient protection, and an extremely dangerous visibility, since
the foe, by simply counting the number of knapsacks, could know the
strength opposed to him. To insure the making of such shelter, a French
company was equipped with eighty picks and eighty spades; that is, 160
tools for 250 men. These tools were fixed on to the knapsacks; and it
took some time to bring them into use.”

The German methods for defensive and offensive trench-making are quite
different. Each man has a tool of his own, which is fixed on to the
scabbard of his sword-bayonet. When occasion for fighting arises, the
line conceals itself, and, as soon as it is engaged, it prepares for
possible retreat, making strong positions assuring an unrelenting
defensive and counter-attacks.


It is on these sound principles that all the German fighting-lines are
organized, on a more or less standardized model. The fighting-lines
consist generally of one, two, or three lines of shelter-trenches lying
parallel, measuring twenty or twenty-five inches in width, and varying
in length according to the number they hold; the trenches are joined
together by zigzag approaches and by a line of reinforced trenches
(armed with machine guns), which are almost completely proof against
rifle, machine gun, or gun fire. The ordinary German trenches are almost
invisible from 350 yards away, a distance which permits a very deadly
fire. It is easy to realize that if the enemy occupies three successive
lines and a line of reinforced entrenchments, the attacking line is
likely, at the lowest estimate, to be decimated during an advance of 650
yards--by rifle-fire at a range of 350 yards’ distance, and by the
extremely quick fire of the machine guns, which can each deliver from
300 to 600 bullets a minute with absolute precision. In the
field-trench, it is obvious, a soldier enjoys far greater security than
he would if merely prone behind his knapsack in an excavation barely
fifteen inches deep. He has merely to stoop down a little to disappear
below the level of the ground and be immune from infantry fire;
moreover, his machine guns can fire without endangering him. In
addition, this stooping position brings the man’s knapsack on a level
with his helmet, thus forming some protection against shrapnel and

At the back of the German trenches, shelters are dug for
non-commissioned officers and for the commander of the unit. The
latter’s shelter is connected with the communication trench; the others
are not. If one adds that the bank, or, rather, the earth that is dug
from the trenches and spread out in front, extends for five or six
yards, and is covered with grass, or appropriate vegetation, it will be
recognized that the works concealing the German lines can be seen only
when a near approach is made to them.


Upper view: Details of roofs, loop-holes, and the form of the
excavations. Lower left-hand view: Vertical section of trenches and
shelters. Lower right-hand view: A plan and section of trenches and

As to reinforced trenches, the drawings show clearly their conception
and arrangement. They are proof against ordinary bullets and shrapnel.
Only percussion-shells are able to destroy them and to decimate their
defenders. The interior details of the trenches vary according to the
ingenuity and spare time of the occupants and the nature of the ground.


The whole system, that of the rest-rooms more especially, is designed to
give the men the maximum of comfort and security. Doors and wooden
shutters wrenched from deserted houses are used for covers, or else
turf-covered branches.

Ever since the outbreak of the war, the French troops in Lorraine, after
severe experiences, realized rapidly the advantages of the German
trenches, and began to study those they had taken gloriously. Officers,
non-commissioned officers, and men of the Engineers were straightway
detached in every unit to teach the infantry how to construct similar
shelters. The education was quick, and very soon they had completed the
work necessary for the protection of all. The tools of the enemy
“casualties,” the spades and picks left behind in deserted villages,
were all gladly piled on to the French soldiers’ knapsacks, to be
carried willingly by the very men who used to grumble at being loaded
with even the smallest regulation tool. As soon as night had set in on
the occasion of a lull in the fighting, the digging of the trenches was
begun. Sometimes, in the darkness, the men of each fighting
nation--less than 500 yards away from their enemy--would hear the noise
of the workers of the foe: the sounds of picks and axes; the officers’
words of encouragement; and tacitly they would agree to an armistice
during which to dig shelters from which, in the morning, they would dash
out, to fight once more.


Commodious, indeed, are some of the present trench barracks, if we may
believe the letters from the front. One French soldier writes:

“In really up-to-date entrenchments you may find kitchens, dining-rooms,
bedrooms, and even stables. One regiment has first class cow-sheds. One
day a whimsical ‘piou-piou,’ finding a cow wandering about in the danger
zone, had the bright idea of finding shelter for it in the trenches. The
example was quickly followed, and at this moment the --th Infantry
possess an underground farm, in which fat kine, well cared for, give
such quantities of milk that regular distributions of butter are being
made--and very good butter, too.”

But this is not all. An officer writes home a tale of yet another one of
the comforts of home added to the equipment of the trenches:

“We are clean people here. Thanks to the ingenuity of ----, we are able
to take a warm bath every day from ten to twelve. We call this teasing
the ‘bosches,’ for this bathing-establishment of the latest type is
fitted up--would you believe it?--in the trenches!”


Describing trenches occupied by the British in their protracted
“siege-warfare” in Northern France along and to the north of the Aisne
Valley, a British officer wrote: “In the firing-line the men sleep and
obtain shelter in the dugouts they have hollowed or ‘undercut’ in the
side of the trenches. These refuges are slightly raised above the bottom
of the trench, so as to remain dry in wet weather. The floor of the
trench is also sloped for purposes of draining. Some trenches are
provided with head-cover, and others with overhead cover, the latter, of
course, giving protection from the weather as well as from shrapnel
balls and splinters of shells. . . . At all points subject to
shell-fire access to the firing-line from behind is provided by
communication-trenches. These are now so good that it is possible to
cross in safety the fire-swept zone to the advanced trenches from the
billets in villages, the bivouacs in quarries, or the other places where
the headquarters of units happen to be.”


A cavalry subaltern gave the following account of life in the trenches:
“Picnicking in the open air, day and night (you never see a roof now),
is the only real method of existence. There are loads of straw to bed
down on, and everyone sleeps like a log, in turn, even with shrapnel
bursting within fifty yards.”


One English officer described the ravages of modern artillery fire, not
only upon all men, animals and buildings within its zone, but upon the
very face of nature itself: “In the trenches crouch lines of men, in
brown or gray or blue, coated with mud, unshaven, hollow-eyed with the
continual strain.”

“The fighting is now taking place over ground where both sides have for
weeks past been excavating in all directions,” said another letter from
the front, “until it has become a perfect labyrinth. A trench runs
straight for a considerable distance, then it suddenly forks in three or
four directions. One branch merely leads into a ditch full of water,
used in drier weather as a means of communication; another ends abruptly
in a cul-de-sac, probably an abandoned sap-head; the third winds on,
leading into galleries and passages further forward.

“Sometimes where new ground is broken the spade turns up the long-buried
dead, ghastly relics of former fights, and on all sides the surface of
the earth is ploughed and furrowed by fragments of shell and bombs and
distorted by mines. Seen from a distance, this apparently confused mass
of passages, crossing and recrossing one another, resembles an irregular

“The life led by the infantry on both sides at close quarters is a
strange, cramped existence, with death always near, either by means of
some missile from above or some mine explosion from beneath--a life
which has one dull, monotonous background of mud and water. Even when
there is but little fighting the troops are kept hard at work
strengthening the existing defenses, constructing others, and
improvising the shelter imperative in such weather.”


But it is not the guns or cannon of the enemy that affect the spirits of
the soldiers. It is the weather. A week of alternate rain and snow, when
the ill-drained dugouts are half-filled with a freezing viscid mud;
when, day after day, the feet are numbed by the frost until all
sensation in them is deadened; when the coarse, scanty ration is refused
by the tortured stomach--then it is that the spirits of the stoutest
falter. Let the enemy attack as he will, and he must fail. It is only in
fighting that the men find an outlet for their rancor.

More than thirty years ago a well-known German general declared that a
book on “Seasonal Tactics” might as properly be written as those on the
tactics of weapons, and of geographical conditions; and in a recent
issue of the Deutsche Revue an unsigned article by a veteran of the
Franco-Prussian war recounts the difficulties that arise when the Frost
King holds sway. “To begin with, the precious hours of daylight are much
fewer, and even these may be shortened by overcast skies and heavy fogs.
Soft snow and mud seriously impede marching and at times it is
impossible to take cross-country cuts, even single horsemen having great
difficulty in crossing the frozen ridges of plowed fields or stubble.
Moreover, even regular highways may become so slippery that they
endanger both man and horse, and in hilly country such conditions make
it necessary to haul heavy artillery up steep ascents by man-power. Cold
head-winds also greatly impede progress.

“The necessity of bringing the troops under cover enforces long marches
at the end of the day’s work, and again at its beginning, and therefore
makes extra demands on energy. . . . The early dark hinders the offense
from carrying out its plans completely and from utilizing any advantage
won by following it up energetically. Night battles become frequent. The
defense seeks to regain what it has lost by day, the offense to make use
of the long nights to win what it could not achieve in the daytime.
Then, too, the need of getting warmed-up makes the troops more


As the British vessel “Aboukir” was sinking after being torpedoed by a
German submarine, one of the sailors described the last moment as
follows: “The captain sings out an order just like on any ordinary
occasion, ‘If any man wishes to leave the side of the ship he can do so,
every man for himself,’ then we gave a cheer and in we went.”]


The conduct of the British fleet is well illustrated by this picture,
which shows life-boats and torpedo destroyers rescuing the drowning
sailors of a German battleship after the latter had been sunk. The heads
and shoulders of numerous unfortunate men are seen dotted about in the
water. (_Photo by Underwood and Underwood._)]

All sorts of constructive work--fortification building, the erection of
stations for telegraphs, telephones and wireless, etc.--is naturally
much more difficult in frozen ground. General von der Goltz of the
German Army is said to have recommended many years ago that in view of
possible winter campaigns provision should be made in quantity of warm
winter clothing, materials for the building of barracks, making double
tents, etc. Another important preventive of suffering and the consequent
diminished efficiency is to provide plenty of good hot food for the men.


“There isn’t anything heroic about cooks,” wrote Herbert Corey in the
New York Globe, “and when things go wrong one either apprehends a cook
as chasing a waiter with a bread-knife or giving way to tears.” Yet the
German army contains many a cook whose expansive apron is decorated with
the Iron Cross. “And the Iron Cross,” Mr. Corey reminds us, “is
conferred for one thing only--for 100 per cent courage.”

“‘They’ve earned it,’ said the man who had seen them. ‘They are the
bravest men in the Kaiser’s four millions. I’ve seen generals salute
greasy, paunchy, sour-looking army cooks.’

“The cook’s job is to feed the men of his company. Each German company
is followed, or preceded, by a field-kitchen on wheels. Sometimes the
fires are kept going while the device trundles along. The cook stands on
the foot-board and thumps his bread. He is always the first man up in
the morning and the last to sleep at night.

“When that company goes into the trenches the cook stays behind. There
is no place for a field-kitchen in a four-foot trench. But these men in
the trench must be fed. The Teuton insists that all soldiers must be
fed--but especially the men in the trench. The others may go hungry, but
these must have tight belts. Upon their staying power may depend the
safety of an army.

“So, as the company can not go to the cook, the cook goes to the
company. When meal-hour comes he puts a yoke on his shoulders and a
cook’s cap on his head and, warning the second cook as to what will
happen if he lets the fires go out, puts a bucketful of hot veal stew on
either end of the yoke and goes to his men. Maybe the trench is under
fire. No matter. His men are in that trench and must be fed.

“Sometimes the second cook gets his step right here. Sometimes the
apprentice cook--the dish-washer--is summoned to pick up the cook’s yoke
and refill the spilled buckets and tramp steadily forward to the line.
Sometimes the supply of assistant cooks, even, runs short. But the men
in the trenches always get their food.

“‘That’s why so many cooks in the German Army have Iron Crosses dangling
from their breasts,’ said the man who knows. ‘No braver men ever lived.
The man in the trench can duck his head and light his pipe and be
relatively safe. No fat cook yoked to two buckets of veal stew ever can
be safe as he marches down the trench.’”


Granville Fortescue, who visited the Russian trenches in Poland, related
in the Illustrated London News a story of how the Germans, to use a
slang phrase, “put one over” on the too-confiding Russians. “This
happened,” he wrote, “at a portion of the line where the positions ran
so close that the men could communicate by shouting. It was around
Christmas, and the Germans invited the Russians to come over for a hot
cup of new coffee just received from home. The Russians replied to this
invitation, shouting: ‘Come over and try our tea. It’s a special gift
from the Czar.’

“The Germans then put up the white flag, and said that they would send
over fifteen men to try the tea if the Russians would send over the same
number to sample their coffee. The plan was carried out. When the
fifteen Germans appeared in the Russian trench, the hosts remarked to
one another that if these were a sample the enemy would not hold out
long. They were a sick-looking lot. Suddenly the Germans pulled down
their white flag and commenced firing. Then the Russians found that
they had exchanged fifteen good soldiers for fifteen typhus patients.

“It is easy to believe that the Russian soldier could be imposed upon in
this way. Although extremely courageous, he is very simple-minded with
it all, and certainly trusting. He is a splendid physical specimen. In
the trail of trench warfare this is the great desideratum. Then, the
Russians of the type that are drafted into the army have all their life
been accustomed to privation and exposure. For this reason they are the
only troops that I have seen who can stick six days and nights on end in
a trench, under constant small arms and shell fire, with the temperature
below zero, and after a day’s rest be as good as ever. The Russians
never grumble.”




One of the most vivid word-pictures of what war means in all its horror
was told by an eye-witness of the battle of Neuve Chapelle in which the
British soldiers dislodged the Germans from an important position. He

“The dawn, which broke reluctantly through a veil of clouds on the
morning of Wednesday, March 10, 1915, seemed as any other to the Germans
behind the white and blue sandbags in their long line of trenches
curving in a hemicycle about the battered village of Neuve Chapelle. For
five months they had remained undisputed masters of the positions they
had here wrested from the British in October. Ensconced in their
comfortably-arranged trenches with but a thin outpost in their fire
trenches, they had watched day succeed day and night succeed night
without the least variation from the monotony of trench warfare, the
intermittent bark of the machine guns--rat-tat-tat-tat-tat--and the
perpetual rattle of rifle fire, with here and there a bomb, and now and
then an exploded mine.


“For weeks past the German airmen had grown strangely shy. On this
Wednesday morning none were aloft to spy out the strange doings which as
dawn broke might have been descried on the desolate roads behind the
British lines.

“From ten o’clock of the preceding evening endless files of men marched
silently down the roads leading towards the German positions through
Laventie and Richebourg St. Vaast, poor shattered villages of the dead
where months of incessant bombardment have driven away the last
inhabitants and left roofless houses and rent roadways. . . .

“Two days before, a quiet room, where Nelson’s Prayer stands on the
mantel-shelf, saw the ripening of the plans that sent these sturdy sons
of Britain’s four kingdoms marching all through the night. Sir John
French met the army corps commanders and unfolded to them his plans for
the offensive of the British Army against the German line at Neuve

“The onslaught was to be a surprise. That was its essence. The Germans
were to be battered with artillery, then rushed before they recovered
their wits. We had thirty-six clear hours before us. Thus long, it was
reckoned (with complete accuracy as afterwards appeared), must elapse
before the Germans, whose line before us had been weakened, could rush
up reinforcements. To ensure the enemy’s being pinned down right and
left of the ‘great push,’ an attack was to be delivered north and south
of the main thrust simultaneously with the assault on Neuve Chapelle.”

After describing the impatience of the British soldiers as they awaited
the signal to open the attack, and the actual beginning of the
engagement, the narrator continues:



“Then hell broke loose. With a mighty, hideous, screeching burst of
noise, hundreds of guns spoke. The men in the front trenches were
deafened by the sharp reports of the field-guns spitting out their
shells at close range to cut through the Germans’ barbed wire
entanglements. In some cases the trajectory of these vicious missiles
was so flat that they passed only a few feet above the British trenches.

“The din was continuous. An officer who had the curious idea of putting
his ear to the ground said it was as though the earth were being smitten
great blows with a Titan’s hammer. After the first few shells had
plunged screaming amid clouds of earth and dust into the German
trenches, a dense pall of smoke hung over the German lines. The
sickening fumes of lyddite blew back into the British trenches. In some
places the troops were smothered in earth and dust or even spattered
with blood from the hideous fragments of human bodies that went hurtling
through the air. At one point the upper half of a German officer, his
cap crammed on his head, was blown into one of our trenches.


“Words will never convey any adequate idea of the horror of those five
and thirty minutes. When the hands of officers’ watches pointed to five
minutes past eight, whistles resounded along the British lines. At the
same moment the shells began to burst farther ahead, for, by previous
arrangement, the gunners, lengthening their fuses, were ‘lifting’ on to
the village of Neuve Chapelle so as to leave the road open for our
infantry to rush in and finish what the guns had begun.

“The shells were now falling thick among the houses of Neuve Chapelle, a
confused mass of buildings seen reddish through the pillars of smoke and
flying earth and dust. At the sound of the whistle--alas for the bugle,
once the herald of victory, now banished from the fray!--our men
scrambled out of the trenches and hurried higgledy-piggledy into the
open. Their officers were in front. Many, wearing overcoats and carrying
rifles with fixed bayonets, closely resembled their men.


“It was from the center of our attacking line that the assault was
pressed home soonest. The guns had done their work well. The trenches
were blown to irrecognizable pits dotted with dead. The barbed wire had
been cut like so much twine. Starting from the Rue Tilleloy the Lincolns
and the Berkshires were off the mark first, with orders to swerve to
right and left respectively as soon as they had captured the first line
of trenches, in order to let the Royal Irish Rifles and the Rifle
Brigade through to the village. The Germans left alive in the trenches,
half demented with fright, surrounded by a welter of dead and dying men,
mostly surrendered. The Berkshires were opposed with the utmost
gallantry by two German officers who had remained alone in a trench
serving a machine gun. But the lads from Berkshire made their way into
that trench and bayoneted the Germans where they stood, fighting to the
last. The Lincolns, against desperate resistance, eventually occupied
their section of the trench and then waited for the Irishmen and the
Rifle Brigade to come and take the village ahead of them. Meanwhile the
second thirty-ninth Garhwalis on the right had taken their trenches with
a rush and were away towards the village and the Biez Wood.


“Things had moved so fast that by the time the troops were ready to
advance against the village the artillery had not finished its work. So,
while the Lincolns and the Berks assembled the prisoners who were
trooping out of the trenches in all directions, the infantry on whom
devolved the honor of capturing the village, waited. One saw them
standing out in the open, laughing and cracking jokes amid the terrific
din made by the huge howitzer shells screeching overhead and bursting
in the village, the rattle of machine guns all along the line, and the
popping of rifles. Over to the right where the Garhwalis had been
working with the bayonet, men were shouting hoarsely and wounded were
groaning as the stretcher-bearers, all heedless of bullets, moved
swiftly to and fro over the shell-torn ground.

“There was bloody work in the village of Neuve Chapelle. The capture of
a place at the bayonet point is generally a grim business, in which
instant, unconditional surrender is the only means by which bloodshed, a
deal of bloodshed, can be prevented. If there is individual resistance
here and there the attacking troops cannot discriminate. They must go
through, slaying as they go such as oppose them (the Germans have a
monopoly of the finishing-off of wounded men), otherwise the enemy’s
resistance would not be broken, and the assailants would be sniped and
enfiladed from hastily prepared strongholds at half a dozen different


“The village was a sight that the men say they will never forget. It
looked as if an earthquake had struck it. The published photographs do
not give any idea of the indescribable mass of ruins to which our guns
reduced it. The chaos is so utter that the very line of the streets is
all but obliterated.

“It was indeed a scene of desolation into which the Rifle Brigade--the
first regiment to enter the village, I believe--raced headlong. Of the
church only the bare shell remained, the interior lost to view beneath
a gigantic mound of debris. The little churchyard was devastated, the
very dead plucked from their graves, broken coffins and ancient bones
scattered about amid the fresher dead, the slain of that morning--grey
green forms asprawl athwart the tombs. Of all that once fair village but
two things remained intact--two great crucifixes reared aloft, one in
the churchyard, the other over against the château. From the cross that
is the emblem of our faith the figure of Christ, yet intact though all
pitted with bullet marks, looked down in mute agony on the slain in the


“The din and confusion were indescribable. Through the thick pall of
shell smoke Germans were seen on all sides, some emerging hall dazed
from cellars and dugouts, their hands above their heads, others dodging
round the shattered houses, others firing from the windows, from behind
carts, even from behind the overturned tombstones. Machine guns were
firing from the houses on the outskirts, rapping out their nerve-racking
note above the noise of the rifles.

“Just outside the village there was a scene of tremendous enthusiasm.
The Rifle Brigade, smeared with dust and blood, fell in with the Third
Gurkhas with whom they had been brigaded in India. The little brown men
were dirty but radiant. Kukri in hand they had very thoroughly gone
through some houses at the cross-roads on the Rue du Bois and silenced a
party of Germans who were making themselves a nuisance there with some
machine guns. Riflemen and Gurkhas cheered themselves hoarse.”




Some idea of the ruin wrought day after day as the battle raged in
Flanders may be gained from the occasional reports of war correspondents
who shared the fortunes of battle.

“The battle rages along the Yser with frightful destruction of life,”
wrote a correspondent of the London Daily News in October. “Air engines,
sea engines, and land engines death-sweep this desolate country,
vertically, horizontally, and transversely. Through it the frail little
human engines crawl and dig, walk and run, skirmishing, charging, and
blundering in little individual fights and tussles, tired and puzzled,
ordered here and there, sleeping where they can, never washing, and
dying unnoticed. A friend may find himself firing on a friendly force,
and few are to blame.

“Thursday the Germans were driven back over the Yser; Friday they
secured a footing again, and Saturday they were again hurled back. Now a
bridge blown up by one side is repaired by the other; it is again blown
up by the first, or left as a death trap till the enemy is actually


“Actions by armored trains, some of them the most reckless adventures,
are attempted daily. Each day accumulates an unwritten record of
individual daring feats, accepted as part of the daily work. Day by day
our men push out on these dangerous explorations, attacked by shell
fire, in danger of cross-fire, dynamite, and ambuscades, bringing a
priceless support to the threatened lines. As the armored train
approaches the river under shell fire the car cracks with the constant
thunder of guns aboard. It is amazing to see the angle at which the guns
can be swung.

“And overhead the airmen are busy venturing through fog and puffs of
exploding shells to get one small fact of information. We used to regard
the looping of the loop of the Germans overhead as a hare-brained piece
of impudent defiance to our infantry fire. Now we know it means early
trouble for the infantry.

“Besides us, as we crawl up snuffing the lines like dogs on a scent,
grim train-loads of wounded wait soundlessly in the sidings. Further up
the line ambulances are coming slowly back. The bullets of machine guns
begin to rattle on our armored coats. Shells we learned to disregard,
but the machine gun is the master in this war.

“Now we near the river at a flat country farm. The territory is scarred
with trenches, and it is impossible to say at first who is in them, so
incidental and separate are the fortunes of this riverside battle. The
Germans are on our bank enfilading the lines of the Allies’ trenches. We
creep up and the Germans come into sight out of the trenches, rush to
the bank, and are scattered and mashed. The Allies follow with a fierce
bayonet charge.

“The Germans do not wait. They rush to the bridges and are swept away by
the deadliest destroyer of all, the machine gun. The bridge is blown up,
but who can say by whom? Quickly the train runs back.

“‘A brisk day,’ remarks the correspondent. ‘Not so bad,’ replies the
officer. So the days pass.”


Another correspondent who, accompanied by a son of the Belgian War
Minister, M. de Broqueville, made a tour of the battleground in the
Dixmude district wrote:

“No pen could do justice to the grandeur and horror of the scene. As far
as the eye could reach nothing could be seen but burning villages and
bursting shells.

“Arriving at the firing line, a terrible scene presented itself. The
shell fire from the German batteries was so terrific that Belgian
soldiers and French marines were continually being blown out of their
dugouts and sent scattering to cover. Elsewhere, also, little groups of
peasants were forced to flee because their cellars began to fall in.
These unfortunates had to make their way as best they could on foot to
the rear. They were frightened to death by the bursting shells, and the
sight of crying children among them was most pathetic.

“Dixmude was the objective of the German attack, and shells were
bursting all over it, crashing among the roofs and blowing whole streets
to pieces. From a distance of three miles we could hear them crashing
down, but the town itself was invisible, except for the flames and the
smoke and clouds rising above it. The Belgians had only a few field
batteries, so that the enemy’s howitzers simply dominated the field, and
the infantry trenches around the town had to rely upon their own unaided


“Our progress along the road was suddenly stopped by one of the most
horrible sights I have ever seen. A heavy howitzer shell had fallen and
burst right in the midst of a Belgian battery which was making its way
to the front, causing terrible destruction. The mangled horses and men
among the debris presented a shocking spectacle.

“Eventually, we got into Dixmude itself, and every time a shell came
crashing among the roofs we thought our end had come. The Hôtel de Ville
(town hall) was a sad sight. The roof was completely riddled by shell,
while inside was a scene of chaos. It was piled with loaves of bread,
bicycles, and dead soldiers.

“The battle redoubled in fury, and by seven o’clock in the evening
Dixmude was a furnace, presenting a scene of terrible grandeur. The
horizon was red with burning homes.

“Our return journey was a melancholy one, owing to the constant trains
of wounded that were passing.”


“The German losses are frightful” wrote another correspondent. “Three
meadows near Ostend are heaped with dead. The wounded are now installed
in private houses in Bruges, where large wooden sheds are being rushed
up to receive additional injured. Thirty-seven farm wagons containing
wounded, dying, and dead passed in one hour near Middelkerke.”


From Fumes, Belgium, members of the staff of the English hospital
traveled to Dixmude to search for wounded men on the firing line. Philip
Gibbs, of the London Daily Chronicle, who traveled with them in
reporting his experiences, said:

“I was in one of the ambulances, and Mr. Gleeson sat behind me in the
narrow space between the stretchers. Over his shoulder he talked in a
quiet voice of the job that lay before us. I was glad of that quiet
voice, so placid in its courage. We went forward at what seemed to me a
crawl, though I think it was a fair pace, shells bursting around us now
on all sides, while shrapnel bullets sprayed the earth about us. It
appeared to me an odd thing that we were still alive. Then we came into


The Australian cruiser “Sydney” came up with the German cruiser “Emden”
off the Cocos Keeling Island on November 9. After the “Sydney” had fired
six hundred rounds of ammunition and covered fifty-six miles in
maneuvering, she forced the “Emden” to run ashore owing to the breaking
of her steering gear. The German vessel ran at a speed of nineteen knots
upon the beach, the shock killing the man at the wheel. (_From a direct
camera picture taken on board the “Sydney.”_)]


This most dramatic photograph of the Great North Sea Battle, in which
the British fleet was victor, January 24, 1915, shows the death agony of
the German cruiser “Bluecher” just as she turned turtle and sank. The
ship is shown lying on her side, with her machinery and armament shot
into masses of twisted iron and steel, great fires raging forward,
amidship and aft. The officers and men can be seen ranged along the side
of the vessel: many of them have slipped into the water and may be seen
swimming about. (_Copyright by the International News Service._)]

“When I saw it for the first and last time it was a place of death and
horror. The streets through which we passed were utterly deserted and
wrecked from end to end, as though by an earthquake. Incessant
explosions of shell fire crashed down upon the walls which still stood.
Great gashes opened in the walls, which then toppled and fell. A roof
came tumbling down with an appalling clatter. Like a house of cards
blown by a puff of wind, a little shop suddenly collapsed into a mass of
ruins. Here and there, further into the town, we saw living figures.
They ran swiftly for a moment and then disappeared into dark caverns
under toppling porticoes. They were Belgian soldiers. . . .

“We stood on some steps, looking down into that cellar. It was a dark
hole, illumined dimly by a lantern, I think. I caught sight of a little
heap of huddled bodies. Two soldiers, still unwounded, dragged three of
them out and handed them up to us. The work of getting those three men
into the first ambulance seemed to us interminable; it was really no
more than fifteen or twenty minutes.

“I had lost consciousness of myself. Something outside myself, as it
seemed, was saying that there was no way of escape; that it was
monstrous to suppose that all these bursting shells would not smash the
ambulance to bits and finish the agony of the wounded, and that death
was very hideous. I remember thinking also how ridiculous it was for men
to kill one another like this and to make such hells on earth.”




Life at the front is not all marching and fighting by any means: there
are long days and nights of waiting in which though it be

    “Theirs not to reason why”

the soldiers have abundant time to reflect upon the grim fatality of war
and the hideousness of the carnage. They are continually facing death,
and though many of them, perhaps most of them, become inured to the
sights of human slaughter, others cannot fail to be impressed by the
stark, white faces of the fallen--friends and foes alike. Sights more
horrible than perhaps they could have imagined are burned into their
minds, never to be effaced.

Naturally some of their reflections find expression in the letters home,
when the soldier is more or less off guard. There we get an “inside
view” of the war which does much to offset the ruthlessness of rulers
and restore one’s faith in the essential humanity of men.


The following letter, which Refers to the fighting along the Aisne, was
found on a German officer of the Seventh Reserve Corp:

  “Cerny, South of Laon, Sept. 14, 1914.

“My dear Parents: Our corps has the task of holding the heights south of
Cerny in all circumstances until 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.

[Illustration: THE MOTHER.]

“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 their shrapnel fire in our
positions. 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 an
immensely superior English force, 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 supports on
foot. My horse was wounded, and the others were too far in the rear.
Then came up the guards jäger battalion, fourth jäger, 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

“In our battalion three Iron Crosses have been given, one to C. O., one
to Captain ----, and one to Surgeon ----. [Names probably deleted.] Let
us hope that we shall be the lucky ones 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 overcoat. The
rest of my kit was on the horses which had been left 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, as 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.

“Yesterday evening, about six, 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.”


How foe helps foe when the last grim hour comes is revealed in the
letter which a French cavalry officer sent to his fiancée in Paris:

“There are two other men lying near me, and I do not think there is much
hope for them either. One is an officer of a Scottish regiment and the
other a private in the Uhlans. They were struck down after me, and when
I came to myself, I found them bending over me, rendering first aid.

“The Britisher was pouring water down my throat from his flask, while
the German was endeavoring to stanch my wound with an antiseptic
preparation served out to them by their medical corps. The Highlander
had one of his legs shattered, and the German had several pieces of
shrapnel buried in his side.

“In spite of their own sufferings they were trying to help me, and when
I was fully conscious again the German gave us a morphia injection and
took one himself. His medical corps had also provided him with the
injection and the needle, together with printed instructions for its

“After the injection, feeling wonderfully at ease, we spoke of the lives
we had lived before the war. We all spoke English, and we talked of the
women we had left at home. Both the German and the Britisher had only
been married a year. . . .

“I wonder, and I supposed the others did, why we had fought each other
at all. I looked at the Highlander, who was falling to sleep, exhausted,
and in spite of his drawn face and mud-stained uniform, he looked the
embodiment of freedom. Then I thought of the Tri-color of France, and
all that France had done for liberty. Then I watched the German, who had
ceased to speak. He had taken a prayer book from his knapsack and was
trying to read a service for soldiers wounded in battle.”


Sergeant Gabriel David, of the French infantry, who saw seven months of
continuous service in the trenches of the Argonne Forest, described the
odd effect of peeping over the top of a trench for weeks into the same
pair of German blue eyes.

“I don’t know who this man was or what he might have been,” he said,
“but wherever I go I can yet see those sad-looking eyes. He and I gazed
at each other for three weeks in one stretch; his watch seemed to always
be the same as mine. We came to respect each other. I am sure that I
would always know those blue eyes, and I would like to meet that man
when the war has ended.”


There is yet to appear an authentic letter from a private or officer on
either side that contains a tithe of the virulence and bitterness shown
in the statements and writings of many non-combatants.

“One wonders,” runs a letter of a British officer, “when one sees a
German face to face, is this really one of those devils who wrought such
devastation--for devastation they have surely wrought. You can hardly
believe it, for he seems much the same as other soldiers. I can assure
you that out here there is none of that insensate hatred that one hears

“Just to give you some idea of what I mean, the other night four German
snipers were shot on our wire. The next night our men went out and
brought one in who was near and get-at-able and buried him. They did it
with just the same reverence and sadness as they do to our own dear
fellows. I went to look at the grave the next morning, and one of the
most uncouth-looking men in my company had placed a cross at the head of
the grave, and had written on it:

    “‘Here lies a German.
    We don’t know his name.
    For he died bravely fighting
    For his Fatherland.’

“And under that, ‘got mitt uns’ (sic), that being the highest effort of
all the men at German. Not bad for a bloodthirsty Briton, eh? Really
that shows the spirit.”




The Ninth Hague Convention of 1907, to which both Germany and Great
Britain gave their assent upon identical conditions, expressly forbids
“the bombardment by naval forces of undefended ports, towns, villages,
dwellings or buildings,” and by inference requires notice to be given
previous to any such operations. Neither of these stipulations was
observed by the German naval raiders who on December 16, 1914, bombarded
the historic English towns of Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough.
Appearing in the early morning, the Germans rained deadly shells upon
these coast towns, none of which was of strategic importance, and only
one protected by fortifications. The immediate result was the useless
slaughter of many non-combatants--men and women and children, and the
ruin of buildings, churches and historic monuments, including the
ancient abbey of St. Hilda at Whitby.

The raid on Scarborough was described by Ruth Kauffman, the wife of the
novelist, Reginald Wright Kauffman, in an interesting communication.
The Kauffmans had been living for several years just outside of
Cloughton, a village near Scarborough.


“It’s a very curious thing to watch a bombardment from your house.


“Everybody knew the Kaiser would do it. But there was a little doubt
about the date, and then somehow the spy-hunting sport took up general
attention. When the Kaiser did send his card it was quite as much of a
surprise as most Christmas cards--from a friend forgotten.

“Eighteen people were killed in the morning between eight and
eight-thirty o’clock in the streets and houses of Scarborough by German
shrapnel, two hundred were wounded and more than two hundred houses were
damaged or demolished.

“From our windows we could not quite make out the contours of the
ruined castle, which is generally plainly visible. Our attention was
called to the fact that there was “practicing” going on and we could at
8.07 see quick flashes. That these flashes pointed directly at
Scarborough we did not for a few moments comprehend, then the fog slowly
lifting, we saw a fog that was partly smoke. The castle grew into its
place in the six miles distance.

“It seemed for a moment that the eight-foot thick Norman walls tottered,
but no, whatever tottered was behind the keep. Curiously enough, we
could barely hear the cannonading, for the wind was keen in the opposite
direction, yet we could, as the minutes crept by and the air cleared,
see distinctly the flashes from the boats and the flashes in the city.

“After about fifteen minutes there was a cessation, or perhaps a
hesitation, that lasted two minutes; then the flashes continued. Ten
minutes more and the boats began to move again. One cruiser disappeared
from sight, sailing south by east.


“The other two rushed like fast trains north again, close to our cliffs,
and in another half hour we heard all too plainly the cannonading which
had almost escaped our ears from Scarborough. We thought it was Robin
Hood’s Bay, as far north of us as Scarborough is south, but afterward we
learned that the boats omitted this pretty red-roofed town and
concentrated their remaining energy on Whitby, fifteen miles north; the
wind blowing toward us brought us the vibrating boom.

“We drove to Scarborough. We had not gone one mile of the distance when
we began to meet people coming in the opposite direction. A small
white-faced boy in a milk cart that early every morning makes its
Scarborough rounds showed us a piece of shell he had picked up, and said
it had first struck a man a few yards from him and killed the man. A
woman carrying a basket told us, with trembling lips, that men and women
were lying about the streets dead.

“We did not meet a deserted city when we entered. The streets were
thronging. There was a Sunday hush over everything, without the
accompanying Sunday clothes, but people moved about or stood at their
doorways. Many of the shop fronts were boarded up and shop windows were
empty of display. The main street, a narrow passage-way that clambers up
from the sea and points due west, was filled with a procession that
slowly marched down one side and up the other. People hardly spoke. They
made room automatically for a group of silent Boy Scouts, who carried an
unconscious woman past us to the hospital. There was the insistent honk
of a motor-car. As it pushed its way through, all that struck me about
the car was the set face of the old man rising above improvised bandages
about his neck, part of the price of the Kaiser’s Christmas card.

“The damage to property did not first reach our attention. But as we
walked down the main street and then up it with the procession we saw
that shops and houses all along had windows smashed next to windows
unhurt. At first we thought the broken windows were from concussion; but
apparently very few were so broken; there was not much concussion, but
the shells, splintering as they exploded, had flown red hot in every
direction, The smoke, we had seen, had come from fires quickly


“We left the main business street and picked our way toward the
foreshore and the South Cliff, the more fashionable part of the town as
well as the school section. Here there was a great deal of havoc, and we
had to climb over some of the debris. Roofs were half torn off and
balancing in mid-air; shells had shot through chimneys and some chimneys
tottered, while several had merely round holes through the brick work;
mortar, brick and glass lay about the streets; here a third-story room
was bare to the view, the wall lifted as for a child’s doll house and
disclosing a single bedroom with shaving materials on the bureau still
secure; there a drug-store front lay fallen into the street, and the
iron railing about it was torn and twisted out of shape.

“A man and a boy had just been carried away dead. All around small
pieces of iron rail and ripped asphalt lay scattered. Iron bars were
driven into the woodwork of houses. There were great gaps in walls and
roofs. The attack had not spent itself on any one section of the city,
but had scattered itself in different wards. The freaks of the shells
were as inexplicable as those of a great fire that destroys everything
in a house except a piano and a mantelpiece with its bric-a-brac, or a
flood that carries away a log cabin and leaves a rosebush unharmed and

“Silent pedestrians walked along and searched the ground for souvenirs,
of which there were plenty. Sentries guarded houses and streets where it
was dangerous to explore and park benches were used as barriers to the
public. All the cabs were requisitioned to take away luggage and
frightened inhabitants. During the shelling hundreds of women and
children, breakfastless, their hair hanging, hatless and even penniless,
except for their mere railway fares, had rushed to the station and taken
tickets to the first safe town they could think of. There was no panic,
these hatless, penniless women all asserted, when they arrived in York
and Leeds.


“A friend of mine hurried into Scarborough by motor to rescue her
sister, who was a pupil at one of the boarding schools. But it appeared
that when the windows of the school began to crash the teachers hurried
from prayers, ordered the pupils to gather hats and coats and sweet
chocolate that happened to be on hand as a substitute for breakfast and
made them run for a mile and a half, with shells exploding about them,
through the streets to the nearest out-of-Scarborough railway station.
My friend, after unbelievable difficulties, finally found her sister in
a private house of a village near by, the girl in tears and pleading not
to be sent to London; she had been told that her family’s house was
probably destroyed, as it was actually on the sea-coast.”




The German imperial decree making all of the waters surrounding the
British Isles a war zone and threatening to destroy ships and crews
found therein after February 18, 1915, whether they were English or
neutral, raised a storm of protest in the United States. The decree

“The waters around Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole
English Channel, are declared a war zone from and after February 18,

“Every enemy ship found in this war zone will be destroyed, even if it
is impossible to avert dangers which threaten the crew and passengers.

“Also, neutral ships in the war zone are in danger, as in consequence of
the misuse of neutral flags ordered by the British government on January
31 and in view of the hazards of naval warfare it cannot always be
avoided that attacks meant for enemy ships shall endanger neutral ships.

“Shipping northward, around the Shetland Islands, in the eastern basin
of the North Sea, and in a strip of at least thirty nautical miles in
breadth along the Dutch coast, is endangered in the same way.”

As plainly as words could state it, this was a warning that American and
other neutral vessels might be sunk by German submarines and that
Germany would repudiate responsibility for such action. The American
press denounced the declaration and its intent, and the United States
government made public a note to Germany, containing the following


“If the commanders of German vessels of war should act upon the
presumption that the flag of the United States was not being used in
good faith and should destroy on the high seas an American vessel, or
the lives of American citizens, it would be difficult for the government
of the United States to view the act in any other light than as an
indefensible violation of neutral rights which it would be very hard
indeed to reconcile with the friendly relations now happily subsisting
between the two governments.”

Frederick R. Coudert, of New York, an authority on international law,
said in discussing the war zone:

“From the beginning the United States government always maintained the
right to treat the open sea as a public highway, and refused to
acquiesce in one attempt after another to establish a closed sea. It
refused to submit to an imposition of the Sound dues by Denmark, or to
recognize the Baltic as a closed sea. It refused to pay tribute to the
Barbary powers for the privilege of navigating the Mediterranean, and
gave notice to Russia that it would disregard the claim to make the
North Pacific a closed sea.


“No one has ever pretended to assert a claim to control the navigation
of the North Sea, and Germany has no more right to plant mines in the
open sea between Great Britain and Belgium and France than she would
have to do so in Delaware Bay, or than a property owner, who was annoyed
by automobiles, would have to plant torpedoes in a turnpike.

“The right to plant mines as a defense to a harbor, from which all
vessels might lawfully be excluded, is one thing, but to destroy the use
of the open sea as a highway, by sowing mines which might indeed destroy
British ships, but might also destroy American ships, is an act of
hostility which, if persisted in, would constitute a casus belli, and if
we had Mr. Webster, or Mr. Marcey, or Mr. Evarts in Washington as
Secretary of State, prompt notice would be given that for any damage
done Germany would be held responsible.”

A representative quotation from the newspapers of the United States is
the following:

“The imperial decree making all of the waters surrounding the British
isles a ‘war zone,’ and threatening to destroy ships and crews found
therein after February 18, whether they be English or neutral, is surely
the maddest proposal ever put forth by a civilized nation.


“This excessively efficient method of warfare, however, is one that most
concerns England and France. The interest of the United States lies in
the fact that the threat is aimed emphatically at neutral shipping.


The “Aboukir,” “Hogue” and “Cressy” sunk by torpedoes on September 22.
The horrors of modern warfare are illustrated by the notice issued after
this disaster by the British Admiralty, which reads in part, “No act of
humanity, whether to friend or foe, should lead to neglect of the proper
precautions and dispositions of war, and no measure can be taken to save
life which prejudice the military situation.” (_Copyright by the Sun
News Service._)]


On March 18 the “Irresistible” quit the line of the French and English
fleet, which was bombarding the Turkish forts in the narrows of the
Dardanelles, and sank in deep water. The whole ship was lifted up in the
explosion, and to increase the horror of the situation the Turks
commenced bombarding the vessel with their big guns.]

“Neutral nations were loath to accept the sinister meaning of the order
when it was first published; but its intent was emphasized by Bismarck’s
old organ, the Hamburger Nachrichten:

“‘Beginning on February 18 everybody must take the consequences. The
hate and envy of the whole world concern us not at all. If neutrals do
not protect their flags against England, they do not deserve Germany’s

“The misuse of the American flag is annoying to this country as well as
exasperating to Germany, but no government in its senses would seriously
threaten to make that an excuse for piratical operations. A merchant
ship has a right to fly any flag the skipper has in his locker,
particularly if thereby he can deceive an enemy and evade capture. The
custom is as old as maritime warfare, and has been resorted to
numberless times by every nation.

“But this issue is trifling compared to the German effort to exclude
neutral shipping from an arbitrarily decreed ‘war zone.’ It is
officially admitted that this does not comprise a formal blockade, but
it is clear that Germany is attempting to achieve the benefits of a
blockade without its heavy responsibilities.


“It is understood that she has a perfect right to hold up and search
neutral ships in her declared ‘war zone,’ and to make prizes of such as
carry contraband. But it is the possession of this very right which
forbids the inhuman policy she proclaims. She cannot plead ignorance of
a vessel’s identity, or attack it unless it refuses to stop when
signaled. The burden of proof is upon the submarine, and to torpedo a
vessel on suspicion merely would be unredeemed piracy and murder.

“This is distinctly a case in which the convenient doctrine of ‘military
necessity’ is not to be invoked. Nor would an occasional misuse of a
neutral flag by belligerent vessels, as a ruse of war, justify a
mistaken act of destruction. If every British merchantman approaching
England flew the American colors, that would not excuse the torpedoing
of one American ship.

“These facts are stated with convincing clearness in the official
protest sent from Washington to Berlin. We do not know who framed this
document, although it bears distinct literary marks of revision by
President Wilson. But whoever the men actually responsible for it, they
produced a state paper which is a model of terseness, lucidity,
dignified courtesy and force, an irrefutable presentation of the
relevant principles of international law and justice. No loyal American
wants trouble, but the blood of the most pacific citizen must move a
little faster on reading the German decree and the restrained but
perfectly straightforward reply sent by our government.”




The fact that the Lusitania was the twenty-ninth vessel to be sunk or
damaged in one week in May in the war zone established by Germany around
the British Isles throws into grim relief the ruthlessness of modern
war. The naval battles of the past were engagements of dignity in which,
when a vessel was lost, it went down with a certain tragic magnificence
after a fair fight; but most of the vessels lost in the European war
have been the victims of torpedoes, struck by stealthy blows in the
dark. In less than three months, from February 18 to May 7, 1915, no
less than eighty-two merchant vessels belonging either to the Allies or
to neutral nations were torpedoed or mined in the war zone, with a loss
of life estimated at 1,704 non-combatants--a terrible sacrifice to
modern warfare.

Naturally the greater number of these merchant ships were British, but
the fact that the war zone was proclaimed by Germany with a view to
stopping neutral shipping as well is established by the figures which
show that among the eighty-two non-combatant vessels destroyed there
were French, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Greek and three
American vessels, the latter being the Evelyn, sunk by a mine explosion
February 20; the Carib, sunk by a mine explosion February 22, and the
Gulflight, torpedoed May 1.

In addition to these eighty-two cases of non-combatant vessels
destroyed, there have been innumerable instances of unsuccessful
attacks, of which a notable example was the double attempt to sink the
American tank steamship Cushing, once by a Zeppelin which aimed three
bombs at the vessel, and once by a submarine which placed a contact mine
directly in the path of the ship; her bow narrowly missed the mine, and
her stern struck it a glancing blow, but not with sufficient force to
explode it.


It would require many hundreds of pages to recount the details of all of
these crimes against non-combatant merchant ships, and to show the
relentless severity with which neutral commerce has been attacked, but
the organized military measures even against neutral ships are well
illustrated by the case of the American ship Gulflight, as described by
the second officer, Paul Bower:

“When the Gulflight left Port Arthur, Texas, on April 10, bound for
Rouen, France,” said Bower, “we were followed by a warship of some
description, which kept out of sight, but in touch by wireless and
warned us not to disclose our position to any one.

“At noon Saturday, May 1, we were twenty-five miles west of the Scilly
Islands, a small group about thirty miles southwest of England. The
weather was hazy, but not thick. About two and one-half miles ahead I
saw a submarine.


Kinsale, on South Coast of Ireland, close to Cork Harbor.]

“Twenty-five minutes later we were struck by a torpedo on the starboard
side, and there was a tremendous shock. The submarine had not reappeared
on the surface before discharging the torpedo.

“Previous to this, we had been met by two patrol boats, which
accompanied us on either side. The boat on our starboard side was so
badly shaken by the explosion that her crew imagined that she also had
been torpedoed. We immediately lowered the boats and left our ship and
were quickly taken on board the patrol boats. But the fog increased and
we drifted about all night and did not land at Scilly until 10.30
o’clock Sunday morning.

“At midnight of Saturday, while still on board the patrol boat, Captain
Gunter summoned me. I found him in bed and he said he wanted some one to
roll a cigarette for him. He then tossed up his arms and fainted. From
then until the time of his death, which occurred about 3.30 o’clock
Sunday morning, he remained unconscious.

“Captain Gunter’s speech was thick and indistinct, but we could
distinguish that he wished some one to take care of his wife. The crew
had always regarded Captain Gunter as a healthy man and had never heard
him complain.”

Second Assistant Engineer Crist, of the Gulflight, said:

“I was on watch in the engine room when we were torpedoed, and so
terrible was the blow that the Gulflight seemed to be tumbling to
pieces. She appeared to be lifted high in the air and then to descend
rapidly. I told the boys to beat it as quickly as possible and shut the
engines down.

“Reaching the deck, I found them launching both life-boats. We got
safely into them, with the exception of wireless operator Short and a
Spanish seaman, who had dived overboard when they felt the shock, and
were drowned.”




“A neutral has a perilous part to sustain.” So says Louis XI to his
treacherous minister, Cardinal Balue, in Scott’s famous novel. The
dictum is true enough even when a strong state is in question. For Great
Britain the question of neutrality is of great importance in so far as
it affects her on the sea. Historically, of course, neutrality is rather
a modern development. Small and weak states in the earlier ages of the
world had little hope of keeping themselves free from the havoc of a
great world conflict. Great naval powers, such as the Hanseatic League,
Genoa, and Venice, did, during the Middle Ages, succeed at times in
inspiring respect for their neutrality, but it was at best precarious,
and strong states rarely paid much respect to neutral waters. Early in
the reign of Charles I the Dutch destroyed a Spanish fleet in the very
Downs; and though Charles was master of a strong naval power he made no
attempt to resent the insult. In this case, of course, there were
special reasons for England’s apathy, but the incident is significant.
Roughly speaking, it may be laid down as an axiom that in all the ages
of history the neutrality of a state, on sea as on land, has been
respected only in so far as it has possessed the power to make it so.


During the Napoleonic wars, Great Britain was in constant trouble with
the United States owing to the fashion in which British naval commanders
exercised, and sometimes abused, the right of searching American ships
for contraband of war. The British-American quarrels had the good effect
that attempts were made to standardize and establish on a firm basis the
laws of neutrality at sea. The naval portion of the Neutrality
Conference of 1907 contains twenty-eight clauses, of which the first
provides that belligerents must respect neutral waters. Where the coast
borders the open sea the neutral zone extends to three miles from the
shore. As this is well within the range of even small naval guns it is
clear that an opportunity is afforded to an unscrupulous captain of
sinking vessels which have crossed the neutral line. In the case of a
power controlling the entrance to inland seas the provision becomes of
enormous importance.


Within neutral waters belligerents may not take prizes, hold prize
courts, nor establish warlike bases, nor may they obtain supplies
therein. At the same time neutrality is not held to be compromised by
the simple passage through neutral waters of belligerent ships and
prizes. Belligerent vessels may also obtain the help of pilots. The
neutral state must use all its endeavor to be impartial and must expel
or warn off vessels guilty of breaches of neutrality.

Except in special cases a belligerent warship may make a stay of only
twenty-four hours in neutral waters. The special cases would usually be
those of vessels disabled or otherwise in distress or storm-bound. When
damaged a warship may remain long enough in a neutral port to effect
necessary repairs, but it must not take on board extra armament,
ammunition, or reinforcements of men. If out of coal it must only take
on board sufficient to carry it to its nearest home port. Nor is it
supposed to fill up with food stores beyond its ordinary supply in time
of peace. In all these cases the neutral authorities are the judges. It
must be obvious that a weak neutral state will be in a terrible quandary
if the vessel be a powerful one and the country to which it belongs a
powerful one.


The belligerent ship must give twenty-four hours’ notice before leaving,
and must not visit the same port again until three months have elapsed.
Should it break the neutrality laws the neutral state authorities may
incapacitate it for immediate service and detain it, leaving on board
just as many of the crew as are necessary to keep it clean and in order.
The steps taken would generally be to remove the vitally necessary
engine and gun fittings. Should two hostile ships enter a neutral port
they must, while there, observe its neutrality, and must leave at an
interval of twenty-four hours.


It must be obvious from all this that the inviolability of neutrality
will always depend very much upon the ability of the state concerned to
keep it so.

It is not difficult, either, to imagine various methods by which the
neutrality, which is supposed to govern within the three-mile limit, may
be evaded. It is only necessary to cite the case of a war vessel unable
to overtake a fast merchant-man until the latter reaches neutral waters,
but successful in sinking it by long-range gun-fire from a point outside
the three-mile limit.




“If you imagined all the people of New York State deprived of everything
they owned, left a prey to starvation and disease, and hopelessly
crushed under the iron heels of contending armies, you might form a
slight idea of what the Poles are enduring at present,” declared the
great pianist, Paderewski, while visiting America in 1915 in the
interests of the afflicted nation. “One of the worst phases of the
situation lies in the inability of the inhabitants of one-half of the
country to communicate with those in the other. Compared with their lot,
even that of the Belgians loses some of its horror, for my unhappy
countrymen have no France, Holland, or England in which they can seek

Girt by a ring of war, Poland in the winter and spring of 1915 was in
the most terrible straits. Her cities and villages had been captured and
recaptured by both Germans and Russians, her fields had been laid waste,
and her inhabitants were slowly dying of starvation.


“If figures can give any idea of the immensity of this disaster,”
pleaded the great musician, “then these may convey a slight impression
of what has gone on in Poland: An area equal in size to the states of
Pennsylvania and New York has been laid waste. The mere money losses,
due to the destruction of property and the means of agriculture and
industry, are $2,500,000,000. A whole nation of 18,000,000 people,
including 2,000,000 Jews, are carrying the burden of the war in the east
on their backs, and their backs are breaking under the load. The great
majority of the whole Polish people, about 11,000,000 men, women and
children, peasants and workmen, have been driven into the open, their
homes taken from them or burned, and they flee, terror-stricken, hungry
and in confusion, whither they know not. In ruins, in woods or in
hollows they are hiding, feeding on roots and the bark of trees. It is
Christian humanity that calls for help for succumbing Poland.”

“From the banks of the Niemen to the summits of the Carpathians,” wrote
the novelist, Henryk Sienkiewicz, in his plea to the American people,
“fire has destroyed the towns and villages, and over the whole of this
huge, desolated country the specter of famine has spread its wings; all
labor and industry have been swept away; the ploughshare is rusted; the
peasant has neither grain nor cattle; the artisan is idle; all works and
factories have been destroyed; the tradesman cannot sell his wares; the
hearth fire is extinguished, and disease and misery prevail. To such
starving people, crying out for aid, listen, Christian nations.”


The Polish Relief Committee, headed by Madame Sembrich, published this
word from the great tenor, Jean de Reszké, whose home is in Paris:


“My poor brother was unable to get away from the war zone in time. He
wrote this letter several weeks ago, and now I fear he may never survive
the terrible hardships. He had plenty of money and a splendid estate,
but all were swept away.”

The letter referred to shows that there is no leveler like war. It runs:

“My dear brother, whether this will ever get through the lines and reach
you I do not know. I am sure no man could get through alive, with all
this fighting and the continual bombardment going on on every hand.

“The war broke with such suddenness that it was impossible to escape. I
was forced to remain here on my estate in Garnesk. This part of Poland
has been reduced to worse than a desert. All is desolate and every one
is suffering. My beautiful estate has met the common fate and been
reduced to ashes. I am now living in a cellar with scanty covering. If
a shell should drop in it would afford no protection. So fierce has
been the fighting here that there have been days when I could not
venture forth. We have been between two fires. All Poland needs relief.

“I have no coal, oil, coffee, and only a handful of grain left. Through
the cold and the rain I have had but poor shelter, but my lot is the
same as that of my fellow countrymen here. Every one is in want; every
one is suffering. Many are dead, and many more will die unless aid
reaches them soon. Prince Lukouirski and his wife recently reached here
and are sharing my cellar with me. Their own beautiful estate has been
destroyed, and even the cellar blown to atoms by the shells.”


Mr. Herbert Corey, writing from Berlin to the New York Globe, in the
spring of 1915, declared that unless something was done the world would
be horrified--if the world had not lost its capacity for horror--by the
sufferings of the Poles. “Soon cholera will come to Poland. Famine is
there now. Scarlet fever and typhoid and smallpox and enteric and typhus
are old settlers.” The million now in utter want only live at all
because “humanity has a wonderful capacity for adjustment to

“There are 6,000,000 Poles in the portion of Russian Poland that is
being fought over. Of these, according to the Red Cross men, 1,000,000
are absolutely destitute. They are without food or the means to buy
food. They are living on the charity of others who are but slightly
better off. That charity must come to an end soon--because food is
coming to an end. It is not merely that money is lacking. Flour is
lacking. It must be imported or starvation follows.

“Russian Poland is a conspicuous example of Russian rule. No measure of
self-government is permitted the people. All governing officials are
appointed from Petrograd. Lodz, for example, a city which contains from
500,000 to 750,000 people--all statistics in Poland are mere guesses--is
ruled by a mayor and four assistants, all sent out from Russia. No city
may expend more than $150, American money, for its own purposes, except
permission is secured from Petrograd. That permission is rarely given.
Petrograd needs the taxes that Lodz pays. When permission is given it is
long delayed. Therefore, Lodz, a town as large as St. Louis, has unpaved
streets that are ankle-deep in mud in winter and ankle-deep in dust in
summer. It has a privately owned and paid fire department that responds
only to calls from its own clients. Ninety per cent of its residents
live in sties on streets that are mere stenches.

“And yet Lodz is the second cotton-manufacturing town in Europe. It is
excelled only by Manchester in its manufacturing totals. Isolated on the
bleak plains of Poland, at a distance from a seaport, served by two
railroads only, it is an anomaly in the commercial world.


“For two weeks Lodz had no bread at all. For months it has had no meat
at all--so far as the poorer classes are concerned. During those two
weeks the mass of the population lived on potatoes.

“Conditions were slightly worse in Czenstochow, the second city in
Russian Poland. Here 90,000 people live. It has no street-lights. It has
no attempt at street-paving. It has no sewers. It has no city water. It
has no publicly maintained fire department, though a few of the
merchants have a department of their own. It is pre-middle-ages in
everything--morals, discomfort, filth, darkness, disease, death-rate.
Cholera is there all the time. Most of its people exist in reeking
hovels, smoke-filled when they can afford fires, wet and cold at other

“As the towns grow smaller, conditions grow worse.”


If the war had not come, these people would have prospered after a
fashion. Potatoes were plentiful, and they had few other wants. A woman
earned thirty cents a day in the mills and a man three cents more.
Children worked as soon as they were old enough. Sixty-five per cent are
wholly illiterate. Then--

“Russia struck at Germany. The German armies invaded Poland in
retaliation. They swept almost to Warsaw--and an invading army sweeps
fairly clean. There were some things left when they passed over. They
were driven back, and the Russian armies covered this territory--and
they gleaned what was left. Then the Russians were driven back--sacking
as they went--and the Germans covered the ground once more. Three times
unhappy Poland has been fought over. It had little at the beginning. It
has nothing now. For months Poland has been starving, not merely going
hungry. That is a commonplace of war. Poles have been dying because they
cannot get food.


“Poland is quite unable to help herself. Most of the mills--probably all
of the mills--are owned by Russian and German and French capitalists.
The banks are all branches of foreign institutions. These concerns are
all conducted by resident managers. Some of the managers have--on their
own responsibility--given their work people two and a half and three
cents a day each for food. Some have added a trifle for the children
also. But this has practically come to an end. The managers have
exhausted their supply of cash. They cannot get more. There are no
mails. The towns of Poland are each printing their own paper money--not
by consent of the Russian bureaucrats, but in defiance of them--but this
money circulates only within the town’s borders. It is highly improbable
it will ever be redeemed in real money. Meanwhile the price of food
commodities has risen fifty per cent in two months. By the time this
reaches America the prices may have doubled.


“Conditions are slightly better in the agricultural sections. The
farmers have no seed and no draft animals, it is true. But they have
fairly good supplies of potatoes. Last year’s potato-crop was an
enormous one.

“There is a Jewish question in every city of Poland. Where there is a
Jewish question in Russia there are riots. There will be more rioting
in Poland unless Providence intervenes. Russia has always confined her
Jews to the pale. Being forced to make their living by trading, their
naturally sharp wits have been whetted. Today they are--broadly
speaking--owners of every shop in Poland. There may be Christian
shopkeepers here and there. People who know Poland doubt it.

“Beggars follow the stranger in the Polish cities. Some of them are
mute. They only look at the stranger through hollow eyes and hold out
skinny hands. Others are vociferous. They cling to the garments of the
passer-by. They cry for aid in an uncouth dialect. They run out from
darkened doorways. The man who gives is pursued by a cue of them.”




Ten years ago the dropping of bombs from balloons was still considered
an illegitimate form of warfare, involving danger to non-combatants, and
was under the ban of the Geneva Convention. At the Hague Peace
Conference the Germans refused to abstain from bomb-dropping, and other
nations followed suit. According to the German conception of war,
civilians in the theater of operations must take their chance of being
killed, but must not shoot back under pain of summary execution. The
horrors which this theory has added to war have proved only too real,
but, so far as bomb-dropping is concerned, the reality has so far fallen
short of anticipations. The great Zeppelins, capable of carrying a ton
of explosives, have practically been frightened out of the air by the
new anti-aircraft guns; and, except for one instance at Antwerp,
bomb-dropping has been confined to aeroplanes. Now, in the first place,
an aeroplane can carry only a limited weight of bombs--say, two hundred
pounds; and in the second place, it is extraordinarily difficult to hit
anything with them. If the airman could hover over his target and take
deliberate aim, he might be more dangerous; as it is, the German airman
finds a cathedral hardly a big enough mark. The British airmen, at
Düsseldorf and Lake Constance, adopted a different plan from the
Germans; instead of dropping bombs from a great height, they made a
steep “vol piqué” down on to the target, turned sharply up again, and
dropped the bomb at the moment when the plane was checked by the
elevator. This plan is more dangerous, but affords a better chance of


Fig. 1.--An aeroplane bomb containing 12 lbs. of tetranitranilin, with a
screw stem up which the vanes travel in flight and thus “arm” the fuse.
Fig. 2.--Steel dart and boxes of darts used by Taube aeroplanes over
Paris, showing how they are inverted and released. Fig. 3.--A French
“arrow bullet”; very light, but able to kill a man from a height of
1,800 feet. Fig. 4.--A French aerial torpedo used by aeroplanes against
Zeppelins, exploding when it has pierced an air-ship’s envelope and is
suddenly arrested by the wooden cross.]


Various kinds of bombs are used for dropping from aeroplanes. A simple
pattern shown in Fig. 1 consists of a thin spherical shell of steel,
containing twelve pounds of tetranitranilin, which is an explosive more
powerful than melinite. The stem of the bomb, by which it is handled,
has an external screw-thread, and carries a pair of vanes. While in the
position shown, the bomb is harmless, but as it drops, the vanes screw
themselves up to the top of the stem till they press against the stop.
This, by means of a rod passing down the center of the stem, “arms” or
prepares the fuse seen at the bottom of the bomb, so that it acts at the
slightest touch, even on the wing of another aeroplane. The fuse effects
the explosion of the burster by means of a primer of azide of lead,
which causes the tetranitranilin to detonate with great violence. The
whole bomb weighs twenty-two pounds, and an aeroplane usually carries
six of them.

The Italians, in their campaign in Tripoli, used similar bombs, but
without the special device for rendering the fuse sensitive. These were
not a success, as many of them failed to explode in the desert sand, and
the Arabs used to collect them and throw them into the Italian trenches
at night.


The Taube aeroplanes, when they flew over Paris, used sometimes to drop
steel darts pointed at one end and flattened and feathered at the other,
as shown in Fig. 2. These were put up in boxes of a hundred, so that
when the box was released from its hook, it turned over and released the


The “arrow bullet” shown in Fig. 3 is a French device; though weighing
only three-quarters of an ounce, its peculiar shape enables it to
acquire a high velocity, so that it will kill a man when dropped from a
height of six hundred yards. An aerial torpedo carried by French
aeroplanes for the destruction of Zeppelins is shown in Fig. 4; it
contains a powerful charge of explosive and a fuse, to which the
suspending-wire is connected. When dropped on a Zeppelin, the
needle-pointed torpedo pierces the envelope and gas-chamber, but the
wooden cross is arrested and the sudden jerk on the suspending-wire sets
the fuse in action, causing the certain destruction of the airship. The
torpedo would be too dangerous to handle, but the French have an
ingenious device which renders it perfectly safe until it is dropped.


Various attempts have been made to mount machine guns on aeroplanes, but
the operator, in his narrow seat, has hardly space to point a machine
gun in any direction except straight to his front. The American Curtis
machine gun exhibited at Olympia is the most efficient form yet
produced, but at present the airman seems to prefer an automatic rifle.
Even in the early days of the war, Sir John French was able to report
that British airmen had disposed of no less than five of the enemy’s
aircraft with this weapon.

The Zeppelins are well armed with machine guns, carrying one in each of
the two cars, and one on top of the structure. Access is had to the
latter by means of a shaft and ladder which passes up through the


The Zeppelins have elaborate bomb-dropping apparatus with which it
should be theoretically possible to drop a bomb with great accuracy, but
on the occasion when it was tried at Antwerp, the Germans met with no
great success. The principle of the bomb-dropping device is as follows:
A sort of camera, pointed vertically downwards, is used, and an observer
notes the speed with which an object on the ground passes across the
field, and the direction in which it appears to move. He then reads the
height of the airship from the barometer, which gives the time taken by
the bomb to fall, say fifteen seconds for 3,500 feet. He has now to
calculate, from the data given by the camera-observation, the allowance
to be made for speed and leeway for fifteen seconds of fall, and to
point his sighting-tube accordingly. The air-ship is steered to windward
of the target, and at the moment when the target (say, the second funnel
of a dreadnaught) appears on the cross wires, the nine hundred-pound
bomb is dropped, and the ship goes to the bottom.


Leigh, shown on the map, is only twenty-five miles from the British
capital, and South End just five miles further on. The fleet of
Zeppelins, or aeroplanes, or both, it will be seen, got uncomfortably
close to the British metropolis.]




What is the value of the submarine in war? Is it so great that all our
theories of naval attack and defense will have to be revised? Are the
great battles of the future to be fought under water? Is a little vessel
of a few hundred tons to make the dreadnaught useless? German naval
tactics in the present war have made these questions interesting alike
to the expert, who has his answers to them, and to the layman, who is
profoundly ignorant on the whole subject.

Simon Lake, an inventor who has done much to bring the submarine to its
present degree of efficiency, says that “it is the first weapon which
has a potential power to destroy an invading force, and also to prevent
an invading force from leaving its own harbors or roadsteads, but which
is itself useless for invading purposes.” This is at once an exaltation
and a limitation of its effectiveness. Yet Captain Lake believes that it
will be “the most potent influence that has been conceived to bring
about a permanent peace between maritime nations.”

Heavy armament would have availed the Lusitania nothing, even if the
vessel had been so equipped, declared Captain Lake. Even if the Cunarder
had been bristling with guns from bow to stern, she could have done no
damage to the under-water craft that attacked her. She was doomed when
the submarine approached her.

The submarine with its periscope three feet under water could not have
been seen fifty feet distant from the liner’s side, and the chances were
she was 1,000 yards distant. No shot from the vessel could have located
her, though aimed by trained officers.


The scenes on both the vessel and the little submarine may be pictured
from a theoretical description given by Captain Lake as follows: “The
great ship, knowing the lurking danger, is traveling at her best speed
limit, changing the course from time to time in a zigzag manner. Waiting
beneath the surface of the calm sea a big submarine, now said to be
capable of discharging a torpedo at a distance of five miles, rolls idly
in the underground swell. Her crew is sleeping or talking in the
semi-fetid atmosphere that the compressed air tanks relieve from time to
time. An officer sits with his eye glued to a periscope, which
constantly revolves that he may discern the rising smoke of an
approaching vessel.

“On the deck of the Lusitania passengers are lolling in steamer chairs
or leaning over the rails. They covertly fear attack, yet the horizon
shows no sign of the impending calamity.

“Suddenly the submarine commander focuses his periscope upon a faint and
hazy line on the horizon. Closely he watches it move. An electric signal
is given and the submarine crew is in place. Another and the boat swings
silently and slowly on its course diagonal to that of the approaching
vessel. The electric engines turn without noise.

“The vessels near each other. An order is transmitted from the conning
tower to the forward compartment of the submarine. The outside ports of
two bow torpedo tubes are closed; compressed air drives out all water.
Two inside ports are carefully opened and two one-ton torpedoes are
lifted by means of chain tackle and swung carefully into the tubes. The
inside ports are closed and the outside ports again opened. The air
chamber between the torpedo and the breaches is filled with air
compressed to nearly 1,200 pounds to the square inch--nearly the force
of exploding dynamite.

“Both vessels are closing together at right angles. On the bigger one
all is gayety and hope of early and safe arrival at port. On the
submarine all are alert. The bow is carefully trained toward a direct
line over which the ship must travel. The speed and distance are
carefully gauged by trained officers.

“The submarine sinks beneath the surface and men are stationed at the
firing levers on each of the forward tubes. An officer stands with a
watch in his hand, counting the seconds. A little bell tinkles over the
lever man on the port or starboard side of the submarine. He pulls the
lever which releases the trigger, and with a rush the enormous torpedo
forces itself in a direct line toward the vessel. Another second elapses
and the bell rings again. Similar action is observed on the submarine,
which a moment later rises with its periscope above the slight ripple of
the water.

“There is a deadening crash, as the shock is transmitted through the
water and the resounding shell of the air-filled submarine. The officer
at the submarine periscope, or conning tower, is the only living person
on the submarine that sees a great vessel rise out of the water and
slowly settle back. He knows that the shots have taken effect and he can
offer no aid to the thousands who a moment later will be attempting to
save their lives. He turns his bow homeward, or cruises for other
victims of his mechanical ingenuity, as his sealed sailing orders may


“The course of the torpedo from the time it is released in the tube by
the lever trip is interesting,” said Captain Lake. “These torpedoes are
made at a cost of $5,000 each, much of which is spent in testing. With
their high charge of explosive placed well forward and a little plunger
on the nose, connecting with a percussion cap, their interior presents
the same view as that of a large steamship. The officer is a little
gyroscope, impelled by compressed air. This in turn may be set from the
outside to travel straight forward or on a curve, and by a timing device
to change its course after a certain distance. Usually it is set to
travel straight beneath the water at a depth of about fifteen feet.

“To insure accuracy the torpedo without explosive charge must be fired
many times from a fixed torpedo tube. It is finally inspected and
passed. As it leaves the torpedo tube on its last journey the trip
releases the compressed air which turns its turbine engine. That in turn
revolves the propeller. The rudder, speed and depth of passage are
actuated by the gyroscope.

“A torpedo has been fired accurately at a distance of five miles. The
distance for accuracy is between fifty yards and one thousand. Owing to
the concussion on the ear-drums of those in a submarine the greatest
distance compatible with accuracy is sought. As the plunger on the
torpedo strikes the vessel it explodes the charge almost directly
against the side of the vessel.”


The British naval authorities took measures to guard British shipping in
the English Channel by stretching nets over as much of the water,
particularly in the narrows, as possible. The nets are made of links of
steel. These links are about six or eight inches in diameter and made of
one-half inch steel. The nets are similar to those formerly used to
guard battleships and large cruisers, but which have now been discarded
because a torpedo will puncture the net and the second torpedo, which is
fired only a second or two after the first, will go through the hole
made by the first and reach the hull of the vessel.

These chain nets are moored very securely and have buoys at the upper
edges to hold them in position. Often they are set just as a fisherman
sets his nets. When the submarine, like a fish, gets in the pound it
cannot get out, and those in the vessel must either die there or take
chances on reaching the surface and swimming to shore.

It takes very little to disable a submarine. The hull is of
comparatively thin steel which is easily punctured and the propeller
when caught is absolutely useless. Even an ordinary fisherman’s net will
disable a submarine, and should one get foul of such a net the chances
of getting clear are very slim.

According to the German naval press, the latest submarines are fitted
with double acting Diesel oil engines of 1,000 horse power or more.
These engines are as simple and run as smoothly as marine steam engines
and are as easily controlled. So strongly built are these craft that
they can plunge to a depth of 150 feet, at which the water pressure is


A security weight, as it is called, of about five tons is carried. This
can be released from the inside of the vessel at a moment’s notice, and
the effect is like that of dropping a mass of ballast from an airship.
When in diving trim, that is to say, when the boat is awash, an
up-to-date submarine can disappear under water in fifteen seconds and
re-emerge in twenty seconds. It can remain under water for a whole day
and night, or even longer.

A submarine when submerged is handled mechanically. Those in charge
cannot see where the vessel is going. The officer in charge steers
according to the ranges he has taken when on the surface, and it is
absolutely impossible to see obstructions that may be ahead. It is
impossible to see another submarine unless the two are floating near the
surface and in bright daylight. For this reason it is impossible for one
submarine to fight another when submerged.




A full century ago, Napoleon the Great, himself an artillery officer,
had developed the fighting power of artillery of his day so as to make
its fire a dominant factor on the battle-field. In the present war its
action is even more important, since we learn from the front that
seventy per cent of the casualties are due to artillery fire. It was the
gun that took Liège and Antwerp, and it is the gun which held the
contending armies pent up within a semicircle of fire. Once massed
formations were abandoned, the gun lost its terrors to a great extent,
and did not regain its place in military estimation till the
introduction of the shrapnel shell.

This is a hollow steel projectile, packed with bullets, and containing a
charge of powder in the base. (See Fig. 1.) It is exploded by a
time-fuse, containing a ring of slowly burning composition which can be
set so as to fire the powder during the flight of the shell, when it has
traveled to within fifty yards of the enemy. The head is blown off, and
the bullets are projected forward in a sheaf, spreading outwards as
they go. The British eighteen-pounder shell covers a space of ground
some three hundred yards long by thirty-five yards wide with its 365
heavy bullets.

[Illustration: TYPES OF SHELLS

Fig. 1.--Shrapnel shell, packed with bullets that spread. Fig. 2.--A
French quick-firer shell, like an enlarged rifle cartridge. Fig. 3.--The
“Universal” shell, combining the action of shrapnel and high explosives.
Fig. 4.--A fuse-setting machine.]


In 1885 the British brought out the twelve-pounder high-velocity
field-gun, which remained for some years the best gun in Europe. Its
power was afterwards increased by giving it a fifteen-pounder shell,
and, as a fifteen-pounder, it did good work in South Africa. Then came
another development, the quick-firing gun now being used in the war,
with a steel shield to protect the detachment. The quick-firing gun is
badly named; its high rate of fire is only incidental, and is rarely of
use in the combat. The essential feature of the “Q.F.” gun, as it is
generally styled, is that the carriage does not move on firing, so that
the gunners can remain safely crouched behind the shield.


The French gun as it was originally brought out has now been improved by
the addition of a steel plate which closes the gap between the shields;
and a steel shield is also provided to protect the officer standing on
the upturned ammunition-wagon.

The carriage does not move, and the men remain in their positions behind
the shield while the gun recoils between them. The carriage is prevented
from sharing the movement of recoil by the spade at the end of the
trail, which digs into the ground so as to “anchor” it.


The gun-recoil carriage, as the new invention was called, increases the
rate of fire, since there is no delay in running up. The French were
quick to develop this new feature, and set to work to make the rate of
fire as high as possible. Up till then the ammunition fired from a
field-gun had consisted of a shell, a bag of powder, and a friction-tube
introduced through the vent to fire the charge. This was called a round
of ammunition, and its complexity was increased by the fuse, which was
carried separately and screwed into the shell when the round was
prepared for loading, and afterwards set with a key to burst the shell
at the required distance. The French combined the whole of these
separate parts into one, so that a round of “fixed” ammunition, as now
used, looks exactly like an enlarged rifle cartridge. (See Fig. 2.)

Further, they did away with the cumbrous process of setting the fuse by
hand, and introduced a machine which sets fuses as fast as the shell can
be put into it. One of these machines is shown in Fig. 4. It is of a
later pattern than that of the French service gun, being the one used by
the Servians with their new gun made by the famous firm of Schneider of
Creusot. The machine is set to the range ordered by the battery
commander, the shell is dropped into it, and a turn of the handle sets
the fuse.


The independent line of sight is another modern device for facilitating
the service of a gun. With this the gear for giving the gun the
elevation necessary to carry a shell to the required distance is kept
entirely separate from that used for pointing the gun at the target. The
gun-layer has merely to keep his sighting telescope on the target, while
another man puts on the range-elevation ordered by the battery

The result of all these improvements is that the best quick-firing guns
(among which the French gun is still reckoned) are capable of firing
twenty-five rounds a minute. The German field-gun is hardly capable of
twenty rounds a minute, being an inferior weapon converted from the old

But these high rates of fire are used only on emergency, as a gun
firing twenty-five rounds a minute would exhaust the whole of the
ammunition carried with it in the battery in three minutes.

One of the first consequences of the introduction of the shielded gun
was the reappearance of the old common shell in an improved form. The
common shell is almost as old as Agincourt, and consisted simply of a
hollow shell filled with powder, which exploded on striking the object.
When shrapnel came into use most nations abandoned the common shell. But
shrapnel proved almost ineffective against the shielded gun, and the
gunners were indifferent to the bullets pattering on the steel shield in
front of them. The answer to this was the high-explosive shell, a steel
case filled with high explosive, such as melinite, which is the same as
lyddite, shimose, or picric acid. This, when detonated upon striking a
gun, can be relied upon to disable it and to kill the gunners behind it.


Of late years a shell which combines the action of the shrapnel and the
high-explosive shell has been introduced. This is the “Universal” shell
(see Fig. 3) invented by Major van Essen, of the Dutch Artillery. It is
a shrapnel with a detachable head filled with high explosive. When burst
during flight it acts like an ordinary shrapnel, and the bullets fly
forward and sweep the ground in front of it; at the same time the head,
with its explosive burster, flies forward and acts as a small but
efficient high-explosive shell. These projectiles have been introduced
for howitzers and for anti-aircraft guns, and some of the nations with
new equipments, such as the Balkan States, have them for their
field-guns. Their introduction has, however, been delayed in Western
Europe, as they are less efficient as such than the ordinary shrapnel,
which is considered the principal field artillery projectile.




Killing by noxious gases may be, as the Germans claim, no more barbarous
than slaughter by shrapnel, but it has been denounced in America as a
violation of all written and unwritten codes and as a backward step
toward savagery. Certainly the descriptions of responsible persons who
have witnessed the pernicious work of the gas only deepens the horror
with which all peace-loving citizens look upon “civilized” warfare.

The following description of the effect is told by a responsible British
officer who visited some Canadians who were disabled by gas:

“The whole of England and the civilized world ought to have the truth
fully brought before them in vivid detail, and not wrapped up as at
present. When we got to the hospital we had no difficulty in finding out
in which ward the men were, as the noise of the poor devils trying to
get breath was sufficient to direct us.


“There were about twenty of the worst cases in the ward, on mattresses,
all more or less in a sitting position, strapped up against the walls.
Their faces, arms, and hands were of a shiny, gray-black color. With
their mouths open and leaden-glazed eyes, all were swaying slightly
backward and forward trying to get breath. It was a most appalling
sight. All these poor black faces struggling for life, the groaning and
the noise of the efforts for breath was awful.

“There was practically nothing to be done for them except to give them
salt and water and try to make them sick. The effect the gas has is to
fill the lungs with a watery frothy matter, which gradually increases
and rises until it fills up the whole lungs and comes to the mouth--then
they die. It is suffocation, slow drowning, taking in most cases one or
two days. Eight died last night out of twenty I saw, and the most of the
others I saw will die, while those who get over the gas invariably
develop acute pneumonia.

“It is without doubt the most awful form of scientific torture. Not one
of the men I saw in the hospital had a scratch or wound. The Germans
have given out that it is a rapid, painless death--the liars. No torture
could be worse than to give them a dose of their own gas.”


Asphyxiating gases seem to have been first used by the Germans in the
fighting around Ypres in April, 1915. The strong northeast wind, which
was blowing from the German lines across the French trenches, became
charged with a sickening, suffocating odor which was recognized as
proceeding from some form of poisonous gas. The smoke moved like a vivid
green wall some four feet in height for several hundred yards, extending
to within two hundred yards of the extreme left of the Allies’ lines.
Gradually it rose higher and obscured the view from the level.

Soon strange cries were heard, and through the green mist, now growing
thinner and patchy, there came a mass of dazed, reeling men who fell as
they passed through the ranks. The greater number were unwounded, but
they bore upon their faces the marks of agony.

The retiring men were among the first soldiers of the world whose
sang-froid and courage have been proverbial throughout the war. All were
reeling like drunken men.


“The work of sending out the vapor was done from the advanced German
trenches. Men garbed in a dress resembling the harness of a diver and
armed with retorts or generators about three feet high and connected
with ordinary hose-pipe turned the vapor loose toward the French lines.
Some witnesses maintain that the Germans sprayed the earth before the
trenches with a fluid which, being ignited, sent up the fumes. The
German troops, who followed up this advantage with a direct attack, held
inspirators in their mouths, these preventing them from being overcome
by the fumes.

In addition to this, the Germans appear to have fired ordinary
explosive shells loaded with some chemical which had a paralyzing effect
on all the men in the region of the explosion. Some chemical in the
composition of these shells produced violent watering of the eyes, so
that the men overcome by them were practically blinded for some hours.


_Right-hand figure: British soldier wearing respirator with air valve on

_Left-hand figure: German with respirator and goggles armed with


The German use of poisonous gases that asphyxiate soldiers of the enemy
against whom they are directed, has made it necessary to devise a new
defense. The pictures show the devices used by those who direct the use
of the gases and those who have to meet their deadly vapors.]

The effect of the noxious trench-gas seems to be slow in wearing away.
The men come out of their violent nausea in a state of utter collapse.
How many of the men left unconscious in the trenches when the French
broke died from the fumes it is impossible to say, since those trenches
were at once occupied by the Germans.


Dr. John S. Haldane, an authority on the physiology of respiration, who
was sent by the British government to France to observe the effect of
the gases, examined several Canadians who had been incapacitated by the

“These men,” he said, “were lying struggling for breath, and blue in the
face. On examining their blood with a spectroscope and by other means I
ascertained that the blueness was not due to the presence of any
abnormal pigment. There was nothing to account for the blueness and
their struggles for air but one fact, and that was that they were
suffering from acute bronchitis, such as is caused by the inhalation of
an irritant gas. Their statements were to the effect that when in the
trenches they had been overwhelmed by an irritant gas produced in front
of the German trenches and carried toward them by a gentle breeze.

“One of the men died shortly after our arrival. A post-mortem
examination showed that death was due to acute bronchitis and its
secondary effect. There was no doubt that the bronchitis and
accompanying slow asphyxiation was due to irritant gas.

“Captain Bertram, of the eighth Canadian battalion, who is suffering
from the effects of gas and from wounds, says that from a support
trench about six hundred yards from the German lines he observed the
gas. He saw first of all white smoke rising from the German trenches to
a height of about three feet. Then in front of the white smoke appeared
a green cloud which drifted along the ground to our trenches, not rising
more than about seven feet from the ground.

“When it reached our first trenches, the men in these trenches were
obliged to leave, and a number of them were killed by the effects of the
gas. We made a counter-attack about fifteen minutes after the gas came
over, and saw twenty-four men lying dead from the effects of the gas on
a small stretch of road leading from the advanced trenches to the
supports. He, himself, was much affected by the gas, and felt as though
he could not breathe.

“These symptoms and other facts so far ascertained point to the use by
the German troops of chlorine or bromide for the purpose of
asphyxiation. There also are facts pointing to the use in German shells
of other irritant substances. Still, the last of these agents are not of
the same brutality and barbarous character as was the gas used in the
attack on the Canadians.

“The effects are not those of any of the ordinary products of combustion
of explosives. On this point the symptoms described left not the
slightest doubt in my mind.”


Various have been the opinions of chemists as to the kind of gas
employed. Sir James Dewar, President of the Royal Institution, was of
the opinion that it was liquid chlorine. Dr. F. A. Mason, of the Royal
College of Science, considered it to have been bromine. Dr. Crocker, of
the South-Western Polytechnic, said it may have been either carbon
monoxide or liquid peroxide. Dr. W. J. Pope, Professor of Chemistry,
Cambridge, and Sir E. Rutherford, Professor of Physics, Manchester
University, agreed in thinking the gas to have been phosgene, a compound
of carbon monoxide and chlorine, largely used in dye production in

“For some years,” stated Sir James Dewar, “Germany has been
manufacturing chlorine in tremendous quantities. . . . The Germans
undoubtedly have hundreds of tons available. If several tons of liquid
are allowed to escape into the atmosphere, where it immediately
evaporates and forms a yellow gas, and if the wind is blowing in a
favorable direction, it is the easiest thing for the Germans to inundate
the country with poison for miles ahead of them.

“The fact that the gas is three times heavier than air makes escape from
its disastrous effects almost impossible, for it drifts like a thick
fog-cloud along the surface of the ground, overwhelming all whom it


Of the German attack on the allied front near Ypres, Secretary of War,
Earl Kitchener, speaking in the House of Lords on May 18, said:

“In this attack the enemy employed vast quantities of poisonous gases,
and our soldiers and our French allies were utterly unprepared for this
diabolical method of attack, which undoubtedly had been long and
carefully prepared.”

It was at this point that Earl Kitchener announced the determination of
the Allies to resort to similar methods of warfare.

“The Germans,” said Earl Kitchener, “have persisted in the use of these
asphyxiating gases whenever the wind favored or other opportunity
occurred, and His Majesty’s government, no less than the French
government, feel that our troops must be adequately protected by the
employment of similar methods, so as to remove the enormous and
unjustifiable disadvantage which must exist for them if we take no steps
to meet on his own ground the enemy who is responsible for the
introduction of this pernicious practice.”




The black crime of Louvain, the world-lamented destruction of the
cathedral of Rheims, the denudation of the fair land of Belgium, with
all its horrible attendant crimes, is explained, in part at least, by
“Usages of War on Land,” the official manual of instructions to military
officers compiled by the general staff of the German army. It is an
authoritative exposition of the rules of war as practiced by the

Two general principles bearing directly on the question of the invasion
of Belgium are clearly stated in this guide:

“A war conducted with energy cannot be directed merely against the
combatants of the enemy state and the positions they occupy, but it will
and must in like manner seek to destroy the total intellectual and
material resources of the latter. Humanitarian claims, such as the
protection of men and their goods, can only be taken into consideration
in so far as the nature and object of the war permit.

“The fact that such limitations of the unrestricted and reckless
application of all the available means for the conduct of war, and
thereby the humanization of the customary methods of pursuing war,
really exist, and are actually observed by the armies of all civilized
states, has in the course of the nineteenth century often led to
attempts to develop, to extend, and thus to make universally binding
these pre-existing usages of war; to elevate them to the level of laws
binding nations and armies; in other words, to create a law of war. All
these attempts have hitherto, with some few exceptions to be mentioned
later, completely failed. If, therefore, in the following work the
expression ‘the law of war’ is used, it must be understood that by it is
meant not a written law introduced by the international agreements, but
only a reciprocity of mutual agreement--a limitation of arbitrary
behavior, which custom and conventionality, human friendliness and a
calculating egotism have erected, but for the observance of which there
exists no express sanction, but only ‘the fear of reprisals’ decides.”


Put in plain language, these passages mean that there is no law of war
which may not be broken at the dictates of interest. Unlimited
destruction is the end, and only fear of reprisals need limit the means.
The sentimental humanitarianism and flabby emotion which prevail
elsewhere have no place in the bright lexicon of the German officer. “By
steeping himself in military history,” the manual clearly states, “an
officer will be able to guard himself against excessive humanitarian
notions” and learn that “certain severities are indispensable in war,”
and that “the only true humanity often lies in a ruthless application of
them.” Then there is laid down this comprehensive general rule:

“All means of warfare may be used without which the purpose of war
cannot be achieved. On the other hand, every act of violence and
destruction which is not demanded by the purpose of war must be

Interpreted by other passages in the volume, this implies that the end
justifies the means. Barbarities may be forgiven if only they are
useful. Thus “international law is in no way opposed to the exploitation
of the crimes of third parties--assassination, incendiarism, robbery and
the like--to the prejudice of the enemy.”


It must not be assumed, of course, that the German war manual is a
defense of unlimited rapine. The rules of civilized warfare are usually
stated clearly enough. But there are so many exceptions to the
application of them that a zealous officer might well be pardoned if he
regarded them as not binding whenever it was to his interest to ignore
them. Thus, after a careful statement of the right of the inhabitants of
an invaded country to organize for its defense, the advantages of
“terrorism” are candidly set forth as outweighing these considerations
in many instances. That policy has been illustrated in Belgium very
significantly. The difference between precept and practice is also seen
in the prohibition of the bombardment of churches and unfortified towns.
Regarding the latter the manual says:

“A prohibition by international law of the bombardment of open towns and
villages which are not occupied by the enemy or defended was, indeed,
put into words by The Hague regulations, but appears superfluous, since
modern military history knows of hardly any such case.”

Military history has been made since then, particularly by the German
air raids on English seashore resorts.


Several other excellent rules in the manual may be contrasted with
German practice in the present war.

“No damage, not even the smallest, must be done unless it is done for
military reasons.

“Contributions of war are sums of money which are levied by force from
the people of an occupied country. They differ in character from
requisitions in kind because they do not serve an immediate requirement
of the army. Hence, requisitions in cash are only in the rarest cases
justified by the necessities of war.

“The military government by the army of occupation carries with it only
a temporary right to enjoy the property of others. It must, therefore,
avoid every purposeless injury, it has no right to sell or dispose of
the property.”

“Usages of War on Land” makes interesting reading throughout, though
the conclusions that the impartial reader will draw from it will not be
in every case those which the German military authorities would have him




So overwhelming has been the thought of human suffering in Europe, so
anxious has the world been to relieve it, that little thought has been
bestowed on the dumb sufferers. Various war photographs have shown us
the novel sight of the dogs of Belgium impressed into service for
dragging the smaller guns; but all contestants use horses, and when we
reflect that the average life of a cavalry horse at the front is not
more than a week, if that, we gain some idea of the sacrifice of animals
which modern warfare demands.

One of the pleaders for the horse is John Galsworthy, the English
novelist, who gives in the London Westminster Gazette this moral aspect
of the use of the horse in warfare, with the attendant obligation:

“Man has only a certain capacity for feeling, and that has been strained
almost to breaking-point by human needs. But now that the wants of our
wounded are being seen to with hundreds of motor ambulances and
hospitals fully equipped, now that the situation is more in hand, we can
surely turn a little to the companions of man. They, poor things, have
no option in this business; they had no responsibility, however remote
and indirect, for its inception; get no benefit out of it of any kind
whatever; know none of the sustaining sentiments of heroism; feel no
satisfaction in duty done. They do not even--as the prayer for them
untruly says--‘offer their guileless lives for the well-being of their
countries.’ They know nothing of countries; they do not offer
themselves. Nothing so little pitiable as that. They are pressed into
this service, which cuts them down before their time.”


The horse still plays an important part in war, as every army service
corps officer who has had anything to do with them well knows. The men
love their mettlesome beasts, and much trouble and worry is pardoned and
lost sight of in the comradeship which arises between man and beast. The
great part played by motors and motor-driven vehicles in the present war
has tended to draw attention away from the work of horses at the front,
yet motor cavalry has not been evolved. While recognizing that for
moving big guns along a well-made road motor power is very valuable, it
is still equally true that once the roads are left it is found in
practice of little use.

A remarkable feature of the European war, new, so far as we know, to
military experience, has been the use upon an extensive scale of the
heavy draught horse, whose stately pace admits of no hurrying, but whose
great strength permits of his hauling very heavy weights where the
nature of the road does not admit of the use of the motor.


That the European war threatened to deplete the stock of horses even in
the United States is emphasized by a careful computation which fixed at
185,023 the number of horses shipped to the warring nations from July 1,
1914, to March 31, 1915. The value of the animals, according to an
inventory compiled from the manifests of ships transporting the horses
is placed at $40,695,057. During that same period 26,976 mules, valued
at $5,143,270, were sent abroad.

Buyers representing the British, French and Russian governments were
reported as searching the country for more, and, according to estimates
made by shippers, at least 120,000 animals were to be shipped to Europe
during the summer of 1915.

Frank L. Neall, statistician, asserted that few persons realized the
extent of the raid made by European buyers on the horse market.
“Shipments,” he said, “have been made from New Orleans, Newport News,
Portland, Boston and New York. During the month of March, 33,694 horses
were shipped, representing a value of $8,088,974.”

Shippers were deeply interested when it became known for a certainty
that the German government had representatives purchasing horses in the
West. Wood Brothers, the largest horse dealers in Nebraska, were asked
to bid on a 25,000-head shipment. Ruling prices for the grade of horses
desired by foreign buyers have ranged from $175 to $200 per head.

The stockyards in New Orleans, where these animals were assembled, cover
about eight acres and shed 3,500 animals. Horses were thoroughly
examined as to their fitness for service, both at the point of purchase
and at New Orleans.

The last step before placing the horses on shipboard was to adjust
special halters to them, so that, as in the case of many horses
purchased by France, it was only necessary, when the animal reached the
other side, to snap two straps to his head-stalls and make him instantly
ready to be hitched to a gun limber or a wagon of a transport train.




In many campaigns of the past, disease has slain its thousands where
bullets and shells have killed hundreds, and even the twentieth century
with its marvelous science of sanitation has not defeated the direful
common enemies of allies and foes. Why disease should attack masses of
men in the prime of life, living in the open air, and on the whole well
fed and clothed, at first sight seems strange, but when we remember that
modern fighting begets an intolerable thirst, which the soldier is
naturally tempted to slake as best he can and when he can, at least one
reason is not hard to find.

All modern armies, since the striking experience of Japan in the
Manchurian campaign, pay special attention to the drinking water, and
with good results. But an irremovable source of disease remains in the
typhus-carrying vermin, in the myriads of flies bred in the rotting
carcases of men and horses and in the filth that inevitably collects
around perpetually shifting camps and bivouacs. As everyone now knows,
these insects are ceaseless and tireless carriers of infection, and it
is difficult to see how, under conditions of war, the plague of them can
be utterly wiped out.


Of the diseases which assail an army in the field, a few stand out so
prominently that all others may practically be neglected. These are
cholera, typhus, typhoid fever, dysentery, and pneumonia; and they have
this in common, that they are all caused by specific bacilli. Thus
cholera is the child, so to speak, of the dreaded vibrio, and pneumonia
that of the pneumococcus; while typhus, typhoid and dysentery have each
their own special microbe. The modes of attack are, however, different,
for the pneumococcus can enter the organism by the nose and mouth only;
typhoid and dysentery through the alimentary canal; while the way in
which cholera is propagated is at present unknown. All have this in
common, that while the microbes causing them are probably always
present--that of cholera being a doubtful exception--they seem only to
assault a subject previously weakened by exposure, bad food, or


The dread aftermaths of war made their first visitations upon the
Servian nation. One read with dismay that Belgium was later outdone by
Poland, and Poland seemed almost fortunate beside Servia. The account
sent by Captain E. N. Bennett, Commissioner in Servia for the British
Red Cross Society, of the conditions prevailing in Servian hospitals and
prisoners’ camps filled the whole world with dread. “Fires are needed
to clear Servia of typhus, just as fires were needed to stop the great
plague in London,” reported Sir Thomas Lipton, who spent considerable
time in that country. He said:

“I met on the country roads many victims too weak to crawl to a
hospital. Bullock-carts were gathering them up. Often a woman and her
children were leading the bullocks, while in the car the husband and
father was raving with fever. Scarcely enough people remain unstricken
to dig graves for the dead, whose bodies lie exposed in the cemeteries.

“The situation is entirely beyond the control of the present force,
which imperatively needs all the help it can get--tents, hospitals,
doctors, nurses, modern appliances, and clothing to replace the garments
full of typhus-bearing vermin.”

His picture of the hospital at Ghevgheli, where Dr. James F. Donnelly,
of the American Red Cross, died, is appalling. Sir Thomas called Dr.
Donnelly one of the greatest heroes of the war:

“The place is a village in a barren, uncultivated country, the hospital
an old tobacco factory, formerly belonging to Abdul Hamid. In it were
crowded 1,400 persons, without blankets or mattresses, or even
straw--men lying in the clothes in which they had lived in the trenches
for months, clothes swarming with vermin, victims of different diseases,
typhus, typhoid, dysentery, and smallpox were herded together. In such a
state Dr. Donnelly found the hospital, where he had a force of six
American doctors, twelve American nurses, and three Servian doctors.
When I visited the hospital three of the American doctors, the three
Servian doctors, and nine of the nurses were themselves ill.

“The patients were waited on by Austrian prisoners. The fumes of illness
were unbearable. The patients objected to the windows being opened, and
Dr. Donnelly was forced to break the panes. The first thing Dr. Donnelly
did on his arrival was to test the water, which he found infected. He
then improvised boilers of oil-drums, in which to boil water for use.
The boilers saved five hundred lives, said Dr. Donnelly. He also built
ovens in which to bake the clothes of the patients, but he was not
provided with proper sterilizing apparatus.


“No braver people exist than the Servians. They have never a word of
complaint. In one ward I saw a fever patient, his magnificent voice
booming songs to cheer his comrades. Some were in a delirium, calling
for ‘mother.’

“One source of infection is the army black bread, which is the only
ration of the troops. The patients in the hospital receive only a loaf
each, which they put in their bed or under their pillow. Later the
unused loaves are bought by pedlers and are resold, spreading disease
among the people, who are mediæval in so far as sanitation is concerned.
A Servian soldier receives a rifle, some hand-grenades, and perhaps part
of a uniform, but otherwise looks after himself.

“The street-cleaning and hospital-waiting are done by Austrians, who are
rapidly thinning from typhus and other diseases.


“The best hospital in the Balkans is at Belgrade, under Dr. Edward W.
Ryan, of the American contingent, where there are 2,900 patients. Dr.
Ryan kept the hospital neutral during the Austrian occupation, and
accomplished wonders diplomatically at that time. He is worshiped by the

“Dr. Ryan says that the greatest task is to keep the hospital free from
vermin. The typhus affects men the most severely. Women come next, and
children for the most part recover. The symptoms begin like those of
grip. The disease lasts fifteen days, with fever and delirium.”

In the spring of 1915, a large sanitary commission was organized by the
American Red Cross and the Rockefeller Foundation, each of these
organizations donating $25,000 to the prosecution of the work. The
commission included a group of distinguished bacteriologists and
physicians, among them William C. Gorgas, surgeon-general of the U. S.
A. An initial supply of 10,000 anti-cholera treatments was carried to
Servia by the commission, for there was danger not only of a spread of
typhus but also of an outbreak of Asiatic cholera or some other
infectious disease that might sweep across all Europe. Heavy indeed is
the price of warfare.




Amid the dreadful welter of carnage and its attendant agony which spells
modern warfare one ray of brightness appears in the universal gloom in
the shape of the highly organized efficiency of the Red Cross Service,
which waits upon battle. Die Umschau, of Berlin, printed an admirable
description of its activities from the pen of Professor Rupprecht, one
of the chief organizers of the German Military Hospital Service, of
which we give an abstract:

“The stretcher-bearers of the infantry--four to each company--who bear
the Red Cross symbol on the arm, when a battle is on hand, gather at the
end of the battalion (sixteen men with four stretchers) and then proceed
to the Infantry Sanitation Car. As soon as the ‘bandaging camp’ is made
ready . . . they go to the front with stretchers and knapsacks in order
to be ready to give aid to the wounded as soon as possible. Musicians
and others are employed as assistant stretcher-bearers. These wear a red
band on the sleeve but do not come under the provisions of the Geneva


Similar arrangements are made for the cavalry. The so-called “bandaging
camp” is for the purpose of gathering the wounded and examining and
classifying them. It should be both protected and accessible, and if
possible near a water supply. At the end of a battle it is the duty of
the troops to search trenches, woods, houses, etc., for the wounded,
protect them against plunderers and carry them to the bandaging camp, as
also to bury the dead.


This dressing for head-wounds in the form of a cap, can be applied in a
few seconds, and remains comfortably in position. It can be washed,
sterilized, and used repeatedly. The diagrams show the method of
adjusting and the dressing in position.]

“At the bandaging camp the surgeons and their assistants must revive and
examine the men and make them ready for transport. Operations are seldom
practicable or necessary here. The chief concern is to bandage wounds of
bones, joints, and arteries carefully. . . . Severe hemorrhages usually
stop of themselves, on which account it is seldom desirable to bind the
limb tightly above the wound. The wound itself must never be touched,
washed, or probed. After the clothing is removed or cut away it must
merely be covered with the contents of the bandage package.”

Every soldier carries two of these packages in a pocket on the lower
front corner of his left coat-tail. Each package contains a gauze
bandage enclosed in a waterproof cover. There is sewed to this bandage a
gauze compress saturated with sublimate and of a red color. It is so
arranged that the bandage can be taken hold of with both hands without
touching the red compress.

It is strongly impressed upon the stretcher-bearers and all assistants
that cases having wounds in the abdomen are not transportable and must
on no account be given food or drink; also that bleeding usually stops
of itself. They are taught, too, that touching, washing, or probing the
wound is injurious, and that only _dry_ bandages must be placed on the
wound--never those that are damp or impervious.

“The wounded who are capable of marching leave their ammunition, except
for a few cartridges, at the bandaging camp, are provided if need be
with a simple protective bandage, and march first to the nearest ‘camp
for the slightly wounded,’ or to the nearest ‘resting-camp.’ The rest of
the wounded are removed as soon as possible directly to the field
hospitals or lazarets. If obliged to remain for a while before removal
they are protected by portable tents, wind-screens, etc. . . . If it is
impossible to carry the wounded along in a retreat they are left in care
of the hospital staff under the protection of the Red Cross.”


In case of a big battle a sanitation company remains near the bandaging
camp. Every army corps has three of these companies, which, together
with the twelve field lazarets of the corps, form a sanitation

As soon as it is apparent that the troops will remain in one locality
for some length of time the smaller bandaging camps or stations are
supplemented by a chief bandaging station some distance in the rear, and
if possible, near a highway and near houses. At this spot there are
arranged places for the entry and exit of the wagons carrying the
wounded, for the unloading of the wounded, for the dying and the dead,
for cooking, and a “park” for wagons and horses.

Each field lazaret is capable of caring for two hundred men, but this
capacity may be extended by making use of local aid. The supplies
carried are very comprehensive, including tents, straw mattresses and
woolen blankets, lighting materials, clothing and linen, tools, cooking
utensils, soap, writing materials, drugs and medical appliances,
sterilization ovens, bandages, instruments, and an operating-table. As
fast as possible the patients treated are sent home on furlough or
removed to permanent military hospitals. The very perfection of this
system but deepens the tragic irony that occasions it.


One very important development in the care for the wounded is the
introduction of the hospital barge. The rivers and canals of France
offer splendid opportunities for conveying wounded from point to point.
This new method of transport was foreshadowed in an article in the
London Times, in which the writer, in describing the hospital barges,

“The north of France, as is well known, is exceedingly rich in
waterways--rivers and canals. The four great rivers, the Oise, the
Somme, the Sambre, and the Escaut (Scheldt), are connected by a network
of canals--quiet and comfortable waterways at present almost free of
traffic. So far as the reaching of any particular spot is concerned
these waterways may be said to be ubiquitous. They extend, too, right
into Belgium, and have connection with the coast at various points--for
example, Ostend. Here, then, is a system of ‘roads’ for the removal of
the wounded, a system which, if properly used, can be made to relieve
greatly the stress of work imposed upon the ambulance motor cars and
trains. Here also is the ideal method of removal.

“The Ile de France is lying at present at the Quai de Grenelle, near the
Eiffel Tower. This is a Seine barge of the usual size and type,
blunt-nosed, heavily and roomily built. You enter the hold by a
step-ladder, which is part of the hospital equipment. This is a large
chamber not much less high from floor to ceiling than an ordinary room,
well lighted, and ventilated by means of skylights. The walls of the
hold have been painted white; the floor has been thoroughly scrubbed out
for the reception of beds, of which some forty to fifty will be

“The forward portion of the barge can accommodate more beds, and there
is no reason why a portion of it should not be walled in and used as an
operating room, more especially since in the bow a useful washing
apparatus is fitted. The barge is heated by stoves, and a small electric
plant could easily be installed. The barges are used in groups of four,
and a small tug supplies the motive power. In favorable circumstances
about fifty kilometers a day can be traveled.”

The barges employed are big, roomy barges one hundred and twenty feet
long, sixteen feet broad, and ten feet high. Care is taken to use only
fairly new and clean barges which have been used in the conveyance of
timber or stone or other clean and harmless cargoes.




In the mobilization of armies, in the appropriation of colossal funds
and consequent imposition of intolerable taxes, in the disregard of the
neutrality of lesser nations, in the “emergency measures” that tear
apart a home to give its bread-winner to the reeking shambles--in all
these phenomena original incentives quickly are forgotten, as though
they had never been.

What imperial chancellery now remembers, or now cares, that a
sovereign’s nephew and his morganatic wife were done to death in an
obscure dependency upon the Adriatic shores? Their hands and steel are
at each other’s throats on that pretext, but they improve the occasion
to settle all old scores that rancorous racial antagonism in an
interminable blood-feud have created. War has thrown down the barriers
of social restraint; it has abolished the delimitations of political
adjustment; international decorum, propriety, all that is signified in
the German tongue under the untranslatable name of “Sittlichkeit” are no
more; landmarks set in place with a thankful sense of achievement and a
pious aspiration are obliterated.

None will deny to our heroes living, nor to those who after warfare rest
in peace, the sublimity of their utmost pattern of devotion and of the
sacrifice they made. But with all that selfless devotion implies and
patriotism means, with all that the bugle sings or flaunting pennons
inspire, with all that the sight of old and tattered battle-flags
conveys, with all that the histories tell, with all the exemplary
careers of conquerors that were not ruthless and armies that sang psalms
and nations whose quarrel was just and kings who laid their crowns
before the throne of God in prayer, and their laurels in the dust of the
profoundest self-abasement--the nature of war is not changed.

With all the Te Deums that have risen in cathedrals, and hosannas that
were sung for conquering Caesars when earth and sky were shaken like a
carpet with their welcome at the gate; with all the splendor of shining
accoutrements of guardsmen and Uhlans and cuirassiers; with all the
investiture of romance that poet and painter and even the sensitive
historian have been able to confer upon it--war remains what it is: an
abysmal and sickening reversion to the primitive brute in man. It must
still be a sight “to grieve high heaven and make the angels mourn” that
men created in the image of their Maker, endowed with a diviner instinct
beyond the body’s need or transient existence, could sink so far, and in
the slough of primordial animality forget the very light of life and
their immortal destiny for the sake of the mere fiction of power on
land, sea and even in the throbbing and embattled air through which the
prayers of women ascend like silent flame to God.

  The World’s Best Intellects on War

  JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU: War is the foulest fiend that ever vomited
  forth from the mouth of hell.

  THOMAS JEFFERSON: I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of

  BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: There never was a good war or a bad peace.

  WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON: My country is the world; my countrymen are all

  NAPOLEON BONAPARTE: The more I study the world, the more am I
  convinced of the inability of force to create anything durable.

  PAUL ON MARS HILL: God hath made of one blood all nations of men for
  to dwell on all the face of the earth.

  ANDREW CARNEGIE: We have abolished slavery from civilized countries,
  the owning of man by man. The next great step that the world can take
  is to abolish war, the killing of man by man.

  GEORGE WASHINGTON: My first wish is to see the whole world at peace,
  and the inhabitants of it as one band of brothers, striving which
  should most contribute to the happiness of mankind.

  ABRAHAM LINCOLN: With malice toward none, with charity for all, with
  firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive
  * * * to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace
  among ourselves and with all nations.

  EMANUEL KANT: The method by which states prosecute their rights cannot
  under present conditions be a process of law, since no court exists
  having jurisdiction over them, but only war. But through war, even if
  it result in victory, the question of right is not decided.


We are apt, in thinking of the consequences of the European war, to
consider the readjustment of national boundaries as of prime importance.
Such a thought betrays a wrong perspective, or a narrowness of vision,
or both. Territorial definition is a small, material factor. The larger,
spiritual considerations that affect all mankind are the momentous
things. And probably of all the consequences that are evolved out of the
horrors and atrocities of the great war, the spread of the democratic
spirit must be the most momentous. Despite the fact that the ambitions
of the people and the dynasties are in accord, the effect of the war
upon monarchical institutions must be momentous. The spirit of democracy
is abroad. It has practically abolished the British House of Lords. It
has forced the establishment of a parliament in Russia. It is so active
and alert in Germany that the Social Democratic party is the largest and
most powerful political organization in the empire. In France it
overturned the monarchy nearly half a century ago, and is now so firmly
established that only the wildest dreamers ever imagine that republican
institutions can be displaced. It is regnant in Portugal and nearly so
in Spain. A nation in arms, as Germany now is, will not long be content
to remain a nation without a ministry responsible to its Parliament. The
democratization of German institutions is inevitable after the war,
whatever the result. The people, even in Russia, are no longer driven
serfs. They think, they reason, and a demonstration of the power of
5,000,000 men on the battle-field will not be lost on the patriots who
wish also to demonstrate the power of the same number of millions in
deciding at first hand the causes for which they will take up arms.
Whether the kings and the emperors remain on their thrones matters
little. Great Britain, though it retains the fiction of a monarchy, is
as democratic as the United States, and its Parliament responds with
greater precision to popular sentiment than the American Congress. The
war means the end of autocracy whether the kings remain or not.


It is significant that the most democratic nations are likewise the most
peace-loving. With the spread of democracy must come the decline of the
war spirit. The teaching that war is a biological necessity for the
preservation of the heroic virtues in men has met its fate in this war,
for we have found men, whole regiments of them, who had only been in
warlike training a few months, showing just as cool courage and just as
stubborn fighting powers as men who had been trained to war from their
youth. Even from the standpoint of effectiveness in war the war spirit
is unnecessary.

And we have a right to insist that the bravery of the battle-line is not
the highest bravery, and that the deliverance wrought by bayonet and
shrapnel is not the most necessary to the welfare of humanity. The
courage which is unmoved by the roar of great guns and undaunted by the
gleam of advancing bayonets is good, but it is no better than the
courage of the timid woman who faces death upon the operating-table
without shrinking or complaint; and it is in nothing superior to the
courage which, in the daily life of our people, takes up patiently the
burden of the day, and in the face of poverty, sorrow, and pain, and
bearing also the contempt of many, goes forward without bitterness and
even with cheerfulness to the end of the journey, faithful unto death.


Finally, as the spirit of democracy rises and the spirit of war
declines, the vision of universal peace begins to crystallize. While to
many it may seem that this must always remain a vision, the real seers
of the world do not doubt that, when the awful conflict in Europe is
ended, the warring nations, viewing their dead and their devastated
countries, will welcome a plan which promises an end of such disasters.
The practicability and feasibility of the idea of an international
tribunal is shown by the successful operation of the American
Constitutional Courts of Arbitration, which have settled controversies
between the states, and by the so-called general arbitration treaties to
submit justiciable disputes to arbitration. And if an international
arbitration court is feasible, an international police, to give force to
the decrees of the tribunal, is also feasible. We have only to come to
believe this and the plan itself can be formulated. All great
achievement in the world has been a matter of great faith.

The hope of humanitarianism and civilization rests on the very enormity
of the present calamity. The horrors and atrocities of the war are so
great, its waste and devastation so enormous, its scars so deep, that
no one who is touched by it can want war again. The disaster is so
overwhelming that peace when it comes must be lasting.

  The 32 pages of illustrations contained in this book are not included
  in the paging. Adding these 32 pages to the 320 pages of the text
  makes a total of 352 pages.

  Transcriber’s Notes

  Inconsistent and unusual spelling and hyphenation have been retained,
  except as listed below.
  p. 139, Todeshusaren (Death’s-Head Hussars): either the English
  translation should be Death’s Hussars, or the German name should be
  p. 148, Haybes (Belgium): Haybes is in France (albeit close to the
  border with Belgium).
  p. 153, Mme. X.: probably an error for Mme. Z.
  p. 155, Bignicourt-sur-Saultz: probably Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.
  p. 234, “A WASTEFUL WAR”: there is no such section.

  Changes made:
  Some illustrations have been moved out of text paragraphs.
  Some minor obvious typographical and punctuation errors have been
  corrected silently.
  Accents have been corrected and standardised on French and German
  words (Châlons, château, Hôtel de Ville, Liège, Visé, Jäger,
  Pêcheurs, Pégoud), but not on English words (debris/débris); the
  capitalisation of German nouns has not been corrected.
  p.34: several section titles added to the list of subjects cf. the
  actual text
  p.109: Onsmael changed to Orsmael
  p. 159: BURNING OF CITY SYSTEMATIC added to list of subjects
  p. 179: Poekappelle changed to Poekapelle
  Illustration caption after page 200: Fort Loucin changed to Fort
  p. 280: RAPID FIRING added to list of subjects

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