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Willard Straight Hall 

D 24.T17 

Cornetl University Library 

World's story : 

3 1924 026 424 477 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 




Copyright by Underwood &• Vndtrmod, Nni York 


Next to the invasion of Belgium and the sinking of the 
Lusitania, no single act of the Germans has so aroused the 
world as the bombardments of the Cathedral at Rheims — 
one of the noblest monimients of civilization. Its state in 
1917 after nearly three years of bombardment was thus 
described by Gi'ace EUery Channing in the "Boston Tran- 
script": — 

" I had never seen the Cathedral itself, and it so swept over 
me in its battered beauty and the glory of its soaring facade 
that for an instant it blotted the German out. 

" There, then, it stood, the thing of wonder, the thing which 
had stood through centuries and their wars, untouched, 
unharmed. . . . Hands of many dead masters had lifted 
it up into the air and wrought upon it, until it had become 
one of the most eloquent expressions of the dumb soul of 
man — of that wonderful animal, man; the touching wit- 
ness to that in man which no other animal has. History, 
rehgion, art, all were inscribed here; it was one of the sacred 
stone-books of the world. 

"And seven centuries — think of it! — had so held it, had 
passed over it with all their tumults, their conflicts, their 
crimes, and left it — still sacred. . . . And then think 
that to-day, in the twentieth century, in an age which 
abhors war as an idea, in times grown humane, a country 
more than most enhghtened, whose banner-word is KuUur, 
has fired upon Rheims Cathedral, not once, not through 
some passionate and desperate and desperately disavowed 
error of an underliug, but again and again, and yet again, 
and is firing still. 

"Nothing but the formidable strength of its masonry 
has kept the great monument standing till now; all about it 
are the ruins of walls only a little less massive. Shells have 
struck and dented and broken the Cathedral; but it still 
stands. How much more it can stand, architects perhaps know. 
There must be a limit of resistance; apparently there is none 
of bombardment. The very day after our visit Rheims 
was shelled again; it has been sheUed every few days since." 










All rights in material used in this volume are reserved 
by the holders of the copyright. The publishers and 
others named in the subjoined list are proprietors, either 
in their own rights or as agents for the authors, of the 
selections taken by permission from the works and mag- 
azines enumerated, of which the ownership is hereby 
acknowledged. The editor takes this opportunity to 
thank both authors and pubUshers for the ready gener- 
osity with which they have given their permission to 
include these selections in "The World's Story." 


"The Cost of War"; copyrighted by the Mechanics 
and Metals National Bank, New York, 1917. 

"Following the Red Cross," by Elizabeth Frazer: 
from "The Saturday Evening Post," October, 191 7. 

"The Current History Magazine of the New York 
Times," selections from articles by contributors and 
from the daily press as follows: "The Attack on Tsing- 
tau," Jefferson Jones (in the "Minneapolis Journal"), 
January, 1915; "Wonders of War Surgery," February, 
1917; "Caillette Wood: An Episode of Verdun," May, 
1916; "A Great Fight in the Air," July, 1917; Letter 
by Dr. Charles W. EUot to the "New York Times," 
November, 1914; "The Titanic Battles for Cambrai," 
Philip Gibbs, December, 1917; "The British in the 
Promised Land," W. T. Massey (in the London 

From the "Atlantic Monthly," selections from the 
following articles: "Campaigning Under Botha," Cyril 


Campbell, May, 1915; "Sharks of the Air," Lewis R. 
Freeman, April, 1916; "The Machines," William J. 
Robinson, May, 1916; "Miicke of the Emclen," Lewis 
R. Freeman, June, 1916; "General Smuts's Campaign 
in German East Africa," Cyril Campbell, August, 1916; 
"The Second Year," J. B. W. Gardiner, September, 
1916; "Behind the Yser," Maud Mortimer, October, 
1916; "From Salonica," Albert Kinross, October, 1916; 
"The Russian Ides of March," Paul Wharton, July, 
1916; "The Machine-Gun Destroyers," Louis-Octave 
Philippe, May, 191 7; '"The Battle of Verdun," Raoul 
Blanchard, June, 191 7. 

"Under the Guns," George Pattullo; from "The Sat- 
urday Evening Post," February 2, 1918. 

"The Y.M.C.A. at the Front," Francis B. Sayre; 
from "Harper's Monthly Magazine," February, 1918. 

From the "World's Work," selections from the fol- 
lowing articles: "The Garibaldi take the Col di Lana," 
Lewis R. Freeman, June, 191 7; "With Maude at the 
Taking of Bagdad," Arthur T. Clark, January, 1918; 
"The Tanks," Colonel E. D. Swinton, September, 

From the "Boston Evening Transcript," an extract 
from an article by Grace Ellery Charming describing 
a visit to Rheims. 

"Belgitmi's Agony" {La Belgique sanglante, trans- 
lated by M. T. H. Sadler), by Emile Verhaeren; pub- 
lished in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Com- 
pany, Boston and New York, 191 5. 

"The Marne Campaign," by Major F. E. Whitton; 
published in the United States by Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 191 7. 



"The British Navy at War," by W. Macneille Dixon; 
published in the United States by Houghton MifSin 
Company, 191 7. 

"The Retreat from Mons," with a Preface by Field 
Marshal Lord French; copyrighted and published in 
the United States by Houghton Mifflin Company, 

"Obstacles to Peace," by S. S. McClure; copyrighted, 
1917, by Samuel S. McClure; published by Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1917. 

"Day by Day with the Russian Army," by Bernard 
Pares; published in the United States by Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1915. 

"The Log of a Non-Combatant," by Horace Green; 
copyrighted by The New York Evening Post Company, 
1914, and by Horace Green, 191 5; published by 
Houghton Mifflin Company, 191 5. 

"At Suvla Bay," by John Hargrave ("White Fox"); 
pubHshed in the United States by Houghton MifiJin 
Company, 191 7. • 

"To Ruhleben and Back," by Geoffrey Pyke; pub- 
lished in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Com- 
pany, 191 6. 

"The First Hundi-ed Thousand," by Ian Hay (Major 
Ian Hay Beith); published by Houghton Mifflin Com- 
pany, 1916. 

"Kitchener's Mob," by James Norman Hall; copy- 
righted, 1916, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, and 
by James Norman Hall; published by Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 1916. 

"A Soldier of the Legion," by Edward Morlae; copy- 
righted, 1916, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, and 



by Houghton Miflflin Company; published by the latter, 

"Four Weeks in the Trenches," by Fritz Kreisler; 
copyrighted, 1915, by Fritz Kreisler; published by 
Houghton Mijfiin Company, 191 5. 

"Ambulance No. 10," by Leslie Buswell; copyrighted, 
191 5 and 1916, and published, 1916, by Houghton 
Mifflin Company. 

"The Lusitania's Last Voyage," by Charles E. 
Lauriat, Jr. ; copyrighted by the author in Great Britain, 
Ireland, and British Colonies, and in all countries under 
the convention, 191 5; published by Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 1915. 

"War Flying," by A Pilot (The Letters of "Theta"); 
published in the United States by Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 19 17. 

"Campaign Diary of a French Officer," by Sous- 
Lieutenant Rene Nicolas, of the French Infantry; trans- 
lated by Katharine Babbitt; copyrighted and pubhshed 
by Houghton MifHin Company, 1917. 

" Outposts of the Fleet," by Edward Noble; published 
in the United States by Houghton MifHin Company, 

"A Volunteer Poilu," by Henry Sheahan; copy- 
righted, 1916, by The Atlantic Monthly Company and 
by Henry Sheahan; published by Houghton Mifflin 
Company, 191 6. 

"At the Front in a Flivver," by William Yorke 
Stevenson; copyrighted by the author, 191 7; published 
by Houghton MifHin Company, 191 7. 

"The Journal of Submarine Commander von Forst- 
ner"; copyrighted, 1917, by John Hays Hammond, Jr., 



and Anna Crafts Codman; published by Houghton 
Mifflin Company under Copyright License Number i 
issued by the Federal Trade Commission under German 
Copyright, 191 6, by Ullstein & Company. 

" Diary of Section VIII, American Ambulance Field 
Service." Printed only for private distribution. 



The Outbreak or Hostilities .... Major F. E, Whitton 3 

From "The Mame Campaign." 
Why did Germany invade Belgium ? . . . . 5. 5. McClure 10 

From "Obstacles to Peace." 
Belgium's Part Emile Verhaeren 14 

From "Belgium's Agony." 
The Real Causes oe the War Charles W. Eliot 18 

From "The New York Times." 
Germany's Military Masters Woodrow Wilson 25 

From the Flag Day Address, June 14, 1917. 


The Training or Kitchener's Mob . . James Norman Hall 31 

From "Kitchener's Mob.'' 
The First Hundred Thousand in Training .... Ian Hay 38 

From "The First Hundred Thousand." 
En Route with Kitchener's Mob . . . James Norman Hall 44 

From "Kitchener's Mob." 
The Second German Mobilization Geofrcy Fyke $3 

From "To Ruhleben and Back." 


The Retreat from Mons A British Staff Officer 59 

From "The Retreat from Mons." 
The Battle of the Marne Major F. E. Whitton 67 

From "The Mame Campaign." 
Tee Fall as Antwerp Horace Green 80 

From "The Log of a Non-Combatant." 
A Prisoner in Ruhleben Geoffrey Pyhe 91 

From "To Ruhleben and Back." 
The Battle of the Slag-Heaps Ian Hay 99 

From "The First Hundred Thousand." 
The Legion Captures a Trench Edward Morlae 109 

From "A Soldier of the Legion." 




TiiE Battle or Verdun Raoul Blanchard 127 

From "The Atlantic Montlily." 
Caillette Wood: An Episode OF Verdun , . 141 

From "Current History Magazine of the New York Times." 
The Fight for Montauban : An Incident of the Battle of the 

SoMME Ian Hay 146 

From "AU In It." 
The Battle of Messines Ridge 160 

From Report by the British War Office. 
The Battle of Cambrai Philip Gibbs 164 

From " Current History Magazine of the New York Times." 
The Garibaldi take the Col di Lana . . Lewis R. Freeman 177 

From "The World's Work." 


Intrenched with the Austrians in Galicla . Frilz Kreisler 191 

From "Four Weeks in the Trenches.'' 
The Russian Victory at Przemysl Bernard Pares 199 

From "Day by Day with the Russian Army." 
The Defeat at Gallipoli Sir Ian Hamilton 203 

From General Hamilton's Official Report. 
A British Soldier at Suvla Bay .... John Hargrave 208 

From "At Suvla Bay." 
Bulgaria enters the War J. B.W. Gardiner 214 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 
From Salonica Albert Kinross 219 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 


The Attack on Tsing-tau Jejjerson Jones 229 

From "The Minneapolis Journal." 
Campaigning under Botha Cyril Campbell 237 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 

General Smuts 's Campaign in German East Africa 

Cyril Campbell 246 
From "The Atlantic Monthly." 

With Maude at the Taking of Bagdad . . Arthur T. Clark 254 

From "The World's Work." 
The British in the Promised Land . . . . W. T. Massey 264 

From the London "Times." 



The Akrivai. of Kitchener's Mob . . . James Norman Hall 273 

From "Kitchener's Mob." 
The New Warfare Ian Hay 280 

From "The First Hundred Thousand." 
A Description of Trench Life RenS Nicolas 286 

From " Campaign Diary of a French Officer." 
The Impregnable Trenches Henry Sheahan 291 

From "A Volimteer Poilu." 


The Machines William J. Robinson 297 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 
The Machine-Gun Destroyers . . . Louis-Octave Philippe 315 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 
The Tanks Col. E. D. Swinton 326 

From "The World's Work." 


The Escape of a Merchantman Edward Noble 337 

From "Outposts of the Fleet." 
The Heligoland Action W. Macneille Dixon 345 

From "The British Navy at War." 
The Battle of Jutland W. Macneille Dixon 353 

From "The British Navy at War." 
The Emden Lemis R. Freeman 365 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 


The Sinking of the Ltjsitania .... Charles E. Laurial 375 

From "The Lusitania's Last Voyage." 
Life in a German Submarine . . . Commander Von Forstner 381 

From "The Journal of Submarine Commander Von Forstner." 
The Work of the British Submarines . W. Macneille Dixon 392 

From "The British Navy at War." 


Flying IN THE War-Zone "Theta" 401 

From "War-Flying." 
A Zeppelin Raid in London Lewis R. Freeman 408 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 



A Great Air Battle A British War Correspondent 

From "Current History Magazine of the New York Times." 


Behind the Yser Maud Mortimer 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 
The American Ambulance Field Service . . . A, P. A. 

From "Ambulance No lo." 
With Ambulance No. lo Leslie Buswell 

From " Ambulance No. lo." 
With an Ambulance at Verdun . . William Yorke Stevenson 

From "At the Front in a Flivver." 
Wonders op War Surgery 

From "Current History Magazine of the New York Times." 


The American Red Cross 

From " The Red Cross Magazine." 
Red Cross Rest Baekacks Elizabeth Frazer 

From "The Saturday Evening Post." 
The Y.M.C.A. at the Front Francis B. Sayre 

From "Harper's Monthly Magazine." 


Russia in Revolution Patd Wharton 

From "The Atlantic Monthly." 
The Cost of the War 

From "The Economist," London. 
The Human Cost 

From "The Cost of the War." 


The War Message Woodrow Wilson 

With the Americans at the Front .... George Paltullo 

From "The Saturday Evening Post." 
The President Defines America's War Aims Woodrow Wilson 


The Cathedral at Rheims Frontispiece 

A Gas Attack "62 

Flame-Throwers 100 

The Biggest Cannon on the Western Front 134 

A Modern Battlefield 148 

Charge of the Canadians at Vimy Ridge 162 

Landing under Fire at the Dardanelles 204 

" Jerusalem Delivered " 266, 

German Prisoners in Ypres 312 

British Tanks in Action 332 

A French Fighting Plane 402 

American Ambulance-Drivers 440 

A Y.M.C.A. Hut "Somewhere in France" 476 

Street Scene in Petrograd during the Revolution .... 488 

All the Ulmlralions are from photographs 





It is easy to state 'the main facts concerning the immediate 
occasions of the war and describe the actual events which 
led to it, but the question of premeditated causes is com- 
plicated and diiEcuIt. A Bosnian student assassinated the 
heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary June 28, 1914, at 
Sarajevo, Bosnia. Austria sent a series of demands to Serbia, 
July 23, and these demands were met as fully as possible by 
Serbia. Austria was not prepared to accept any reply short 
of absolute surrender, and was apparently awaiting a pre- 
text to make war. Accordingly, war was declared July 28 
and hostiHties began at once. On the face of it the war was 
merely local, but it immediately enlarged from a contest 
between a large nation and a small one into the greatest con- 
flict between leading European nations which history has 
seen. The apparently simple origin of the war is complicated 
by any number of official documents which throw light on 
the action of the nations which so swiftly mobilized. Opin- 
ions on the significance of these official conununications will 
long differ. The first need is, intelligent reading of the 
main facts showing how the Austro-Serbian war began; what 
efforts were made to limit hostilities to the two countries 
most directly concerned; how and why Belgium was invaded; 
why England declared war; and why the war took precisely 
the course it followed. It will then be possible to pass from 
the question of the mere cause of the war to an interpreta- 
tion of the motives involved in the international conflict. 
One cannot correctly explain the origin of the war without 
also judging the nations in the light of actual methods pur- 
sued and deeds done. The results may then show, more 
plainly than the actual occasions, what nation or nations 
originated the war. As the war has gone on from year to year, 
it has become more evident to all that some of the nations 
were not only poorly prepared, but without desire for war. 
It has become no less clear that in other cjuarters plans for 
such a war had been long in process. 



To every Foreign Office in Europe that portion of the 
Continent known by the general title of the Balkans had 
longbeen the subject of uneasy speculation. It had gained 
for itself such appellations as thundercloud, volcano, 
danger-spot, and magazine, and one fraction of it, Bosnia, 
was to show that such reputation was not undeserved. 
That state had been handed over to Austria for admin- 
istration after the Russo-Turkish War, and in 1908 was 
definitely annexed, the action of Austria being theatri- 
cally supported by Germany in the face of the joint 
protests of England, France, and Russia. Six years 
later the spark was lit in Bosnia which set all Europe 
ablaze. . . . 

The population of Bosnia is overwhelmingly Slav 
both in race and in sympathy, but by a regrettable 
imprudence the visit of the Archduke was allowed to 
coincide with the celebration of an anniversary sacred 
to Slav national feeling. Whether it was this blunder 
that cost the heir-apparent his life is not certain; but, 
at any rate, the Archduke and his wife, who had accom- 
panied him, were within a few hours assassinated by a 
Bosnian student. The thrill of horror which ran through 
Europe soon subsided and at first the tragedy seemed 
destined to be but a nine days' wonder. But in the weeks 
which followed Austria, convinced that the outrage was 
the outcome of anti-Austrian intrigue in Serbia, was 


busily formulating her demands, and presented them 
on July 23d. The terms of the ultimatum were harsh in 
the extreme, and in her distress Serbia had recourse 
to Russia, the traditional protector of Slav peoples. On 
the advice of her ally Serbia forwarded her reply within 
the forty-eight hours allowed, accepting the demands 
with but two reservations. Austria's answer was to recall 
her ambassador, and two days later she declared war 
on Serbia. 

The fact that Europe was grouped by treaties into 
what were practically two armed camps was sufficient 
to set the machinery of diplomacy working at full pres- 
sure throughout the Continent and to cause the other 
Powers to stand at once on the alert. Russia was dis- 
inclined to stand aside and witness the humiliation of 
her protege by Austria, and France was bound to stand 
by Russia, although her direct interests in Serbia were 
infinitesimal. On the other side Germany and Italy 
were leagued with Austria by the terms of the Triple 
Alliance. Five Great Powers were thus immediately 
confronted with the possibility of war. 

England was bound to neither side, but she did not 
fail to take an important precautionary step which cir- 
cumstances rendered possible. A test mobilization of the 
Third Fleet had been carried out on July 15th, and a few 
days later the First, Second, and Third Fleets had as- 
sembled at Spithead for inspection by the King. Thence 
the various squadrons proceeded to sea for tactical exer- 
cises which terminated on July 24th. It had been ar- 
ranged that maneuver leave should now be granted to 
the First Fleet. But at midnight, 26th-27th, this was 
cancelled by the Admiralty, and the Navy was ordered 



to stand fast, and England was thus enabled to watch 
the course of events in comparative security. 

On Wednesday, the 29th of July, the political tension 
of Europe had almost reached breaking-point. Austria 
was, indeed, actually at war with Serbia and was bom- 
barding the Serbian capital Belgrade. England had dis- 
patched part of her navy to sea while holding all her 
squadrons in home waters in a state of instant readi- 
ness; but there was nothing aggressive in her action, for 
her Foreign Secretary was making superhuman efforts 
to induce the Great Powers to summon a conference to 
mediate in the Austro- Serbian quarrel. Belgium — un- 
fortunately caught in the middle of army reorganization 
— was hurriedly preparing herself for eventuaHties by 
mobilization. Germany had recalled her High Seas Fleet ; 
German troops in Metz had been pushed forward to the 
frontier; and the German people were withdrawing their 
deposits from the savings banks in considerable haste. 
Russia had ordered the mobilization of her southern 
armies. France was anxiously inquiring of England what 
the action of the latter would be in case of a general 

On the following day the British Foreign Secretary 
made fresh proposals for a European council, but war 
loomed appreciably nearer every hour. Germany de- 
manded that Russia should stop the mobihzation of her 
forces, to which Russia replied that such step was tech- 
nically impossible, and therein the German Emperor 
proclaimed a period of national danger. In England it 
was recognized that the gravity of the situation de- 
manded every military precaution. All ofhcers and men 
of the regular army who were absent from their units 


were recalled by telegraph, while units in training areas 
were directed to return at once to their mobilization 

On the 31st of July the Foreign Secretary telegraphed 
to the French and German Governments asking whether 
they would respect the neutraUty of Belgium provided 
it were not violated by another Power. France gave the 
required assurance; Germany did not reply. Austria 
had now issued orders for general mobilization. Belgium 
followed suit. The gener&,l anxiety had by this reached 
Holland and a complete mobilization of her forces was 
decreed. Switzerland was preparing to resist any viola- 
tion of her neutrality. These were happenings ominous 
enough for one day, but graver news was yet to folloW. 
Late in the evening the French ambassador was in- 
formed by his Government that French territory had 
been penetrated by German patrols. 

These were, however, but the warnings of the tempest. 
The storm burst on the evening of Saturday, August ist. 
About 5 o'clock Germany declared war on Russia. Or- 
ders were issued for a general mobiHzation of the Ger- 
man army, and similar instructions were promulgated 
in France. Money, always sensitive to poHtical shock, 
reflected the magnitude of the disaster. In England the 
markets went to pieces, the Bank rate rose to ten per 
cent, and the London Stock Exchange was closed. 

On Sunday, the 2d of August, a German force, com- 
prised chiefly of some of the covering troops from Cob- 
lentz, advanced on Luxemburg. This Grand Duchy, 
about the size of an English county, had been declared 
neutral territory by a treaty of 1867. The object of the 
movement was to seize the railways running through 



the state toward France, and to utilize them for the 
movement of German troops. At the same time three 
German army corps were moved toward the frontier at 
Aix-la-Chapelle ready for an advance through Belgium. 
There the War Office was laboring in frantic haste to 
place the country in a state of defense, and 30,000 nav- 
vies had all day been digging trenches round Liege. 
About seven o'clock in the evening a note was presented 
by Germany. If German troops were allowed to pass 
through Belgium without molestation her independence 
would be guaranteed by Germany, and the latter coun- 
try would indemnify Belgium for all damage. The Grer- 
man Government asked for an answer within twelve 
hours. Some hours before this demand was made, Eng- 
land had assured France that, should the German fleet 
undertake hostile operations against the French coast 
or shipping, the British navy would render France every 
assistance in its power. The Naval Reserves were called 
up in the United Kingdom, and orders were issued by the 
military authorities for the precautionary period to be- 
gin. Troops were dispatched to supplement the garrisons 
of coast defenses, important bridges, tunnels, etc., upon 
the lines of railway were placed under guard, and the 
cable offices of the kingdom were submitted to military 
censorship and control. 

During the day German troops definitely invaded 
France, for bodies of troops larger than mere reconnoi- 
tering patrols entered the country and penetrated sev- 
eral miles into the interior. These forces entered at 
seven different places between Longwy and the Vosges. 
The French had withdrawn all troops ten kilometers 
from the frontier in order to render it clear that Ger- 


many was the aggressor. On the Eastern Front Germany 
had followed up her declaration of war with Russia by 
moving troops across the Polish frontier and seizing 
three towns on a front of a hundred miles, while at sea 
a German cruiser ineffectually bombarded the Russian 
port of Libau. 

At 4 A.M. on Monday, the 3d of August, the Belgian 
Government issued a dispatch refusing the German offer, 
and during the day the King of the Belgians appealed 
to England for assistance. In Belgium the bulk of the 
armed forces received orders to concentrate on Liege. 
That afternoon the Foreign Secretary of England, in a 
stirring speech in the House of Commons, insisted upon 
the impossibility of England remaining inactive should 
the neutrality of Belgium be violated. Later in the 
evening German troops crossed the Belgian frontier en 
route for the attack of the fortress of Liege, and before 
the day closed the French and German Ambassadors 
had left Berlin and Paris respectively, and England was 
now faced with choice between peace or war. The 4th 
of August brought matters to a crisis so far as she was 
concerned. Early in the day information was received 
of Germany's offer to Belgium, and of the categorical 
refusal by the latter country. Later came the news 
that German troops had crossed the Belgian frontier. 
Instructions were at once telegraphed to the British 
Ambassador in Berlin directing him to obtain from 
the German Goverrmient an assurance that Belgiimi's 
wishes would be respected; in the event of this guarantee 
not being given, the ambassador was to return home 
forthwith. Midnight was the time fixed for the reply, 
but about II P.M. the ambassador received his pass- 


ports and England and Germany were at war. Hos- 
tilities had, indeed, already begun. That very night 
the Hamburg-American liner Konigin Luise was busily 
employed in laying mines off the eastern coast of Great 
Britain. . . . 



It would have seemed to a detached and well-informed 
observer on August i, 1914, that the invasion of Belgium 
by Germany would surely cause England to go to war. 

The negotiations of 1912, in which Lord Haldane was 
so active . . . revealed very definitely England's views 
as to the neutrality of Belgium. Also when the Franco- 
Prussian War broke out, in 1870, Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria's Government sent an identical question to the 
Emperor of France and to the King of Prussia, as to 
whether or not either would violate the neutrality of 
Belgium. Later the British Government made an iden- 
tical treaty with each of the two belligerents. . . . All 
the world knew that it would be very difficult for the 
most pacific government to keep England out of a war 
that involved the violation of Belgium's neutrality. . . . 

But could Britain keep out of the war, even if Belgium 
were not in question? Hardly. War breaks out. Great 
Britain during the years of naval competition with Ger- 
many had massed nearly all her navy in the North Sea. 
France had undertaken to make good in the Mediterran- 
ean the withdrawal of England's warships from thence, 
and, in return, England had agreed to protect the north- 
ern coasts of France, which France had denuded when 
she massed her naval armaments in the Mediterranean. 
Further, public opinion in England would not let Eng- 
land stand aside while France was being crushed. 

The moment that war should break out, Germany 



would endeavor to hinder France's export and import 
trade. In a month or two England must have come in. 
No one can doubt this who remembers the diplomatic 
events of the last two years and a half between the 
United States and Germany. 

If England were sure to enter the war in any event, 
what would be the chances of her coming in earlier if 
Belgium were invaded? And even if she came in im- 
mediately, would not the advantages of attacking 
France through Belgium greatly outweigh the benefit 
to France of Britain's immediately entering the war? 

The genuine surprise of -Von Bethmann-Hollweg, and 
in fact of the masses of the German people, shows that 
Germany did not count on the immediate entrance of 
Great Britain into the war. . . . Civil war in Ireland 
seemed certain. . . . Further, even should England 
immediately enter the war, it could make but slight 
difference. From a military standpoint England was 
almost as negligible as the United States. What would 
a hundred thousand troops signify in a contest in which 
milKons would be engaged on each side? 

The advantages to Germany, on the other hand, of an 
advance through Belgium would be incalculable. First, 
she could probably in less than six weeks envelop the 
armies of France and capture Paris. With her knowl- 
edge of the military situation and of the armaments 
of Germany and France, nothing was more absolutely 
certain to Germany than that her armies would be in 
Paris by the middle of September. And any student of 
the war to-day with the knowledge then available to the 
Germans would regard their belief as absolutely sound. 

The great plan of the German General Staff was sim- 



plicity itself. Germany's military forces would be placed 
on the Franco-German frontier in sufficient numbers 
to protect against invasion and occupy the bulk of the 
French military forces. Meanwhile an overwhelming 
army of over a million of the best-equipped soldiers 
in the world would sweep through Belgium, drive the 
French forces west and south, envelop them, achieve 
a Sedan on a colossal scale, and take Paris at its 
leisure. . . . 

But by invading France through Belgium, Germany 
did more than win in battle. Modern warfare requires 
munitions on a gigantic scale. Modern war is a war 
of metallurgy. Nearly all the iron and coal mines of 
France and three fourths of her steel mills are in the 
northeast. When Germany intrenched after the battle 
of the Marne, she controlled most of the mineral re- 
sources — and hence most of the raw materials — of 
France. The war was won if France could not get ma- 
terials by sea; and there was the submarine. 

The enormous increase in Germany's resources and 
the starvation of France's industries rendered France 
absolutely unable to manufacture munitions, the more 
so as more than a third of a;ll her manufacturing plants 
were in Germany's possession. 

Further, the crops raised in the part of France occu- 
pied by the German armies are not appKed to the needs 
of the inhabitants. They are taken by the German 
Government. When I was in Mannheim, in April, 191 6, 
I was told by Herr Hirsch, president of the Corn Ex- 
change, that he had a day or two before dealt with one 
thousand tons of wheat shipped from French territory 
occupied by the Germans. 



Iron ore from the French mines is mined far in excess 
of the consumption of the mills, and is stored up in Ger- 
many. The forests are cut down and the lumber shipped 
to Germany. 

It is estimated by the French Government that it will 
require two and a half bilHon dollars to restore the parts 
of France occupied by the German army. This does not 
include the loss to France from the exploitation of her 
mines of iron ore and coal, nor from the destruction 
of her forests. 

The eastern frontier of France runs through the mid- 
dle of the Lorraine iron deposits; and nine tenths of the 
metallurgical industries of the whole of France are con- 
centrated in the Briey Basin, just across the frontier 
from Germany. If, the Germans argued, the Briey 
Basin was seized at the beginning of the war, the French 
would have lost more than a battle, because they would 
be deprived of the means of recuperation, and the Ger- 
mans, on their part, would have gained "a victory with- 
out a morrow." . . . 

By invading Belgium, Germany secured immeasur- 
able advantages, incalculable because she at once in- 
creased her coal and iron resources so that her produc- 
tion was enormously increased, and most important of 
all, she crippled France at the very source for the manu- 
facture of munitions. But this was not all. She stripped 
the Belgian and French mills and factories of all raw 
materials as well as of all useful machinery. Belgium 
and occupied France have thus been a source of great 
strength to Germany, at less than no expense. 




[Attention centered upon Belgium soon after Germany de- 
clared war on Russia, for the country's neutrality had been 
guaranteed by treaty; and Belgium's part, for or against, was 
sure to have much to do with the development of the war as 
a whole. Preparation to meet any contingency began very 
early within Belgium itself. The forts were provisioned 
July 30th, the export of horses and vehicles was prohibited, 
and presently the movements of trains on the railways to 
Germany came to a standstill. Parliament was summoned 
and King Albert was ready to meet with courage and deci- 
sion the inducements offered by Germany, whose plans to 
secure the unmediate passage of troops were destined to meet 
a serious setback by the stout resistance offered at Liege. 
Belgium's resistance exasperated Germany beyond all prec- 
edent and led the way to the long list of atrocities inflicted 
upon the Belgians, the destruction of Louvain, the imposing 
of huge fines upon Brussels, and finally to the heartrending 
deportations of a later date. The following selection by Bel- 
gium's patriot-poet gives an inner view of some of the mat- 
ters in question. 

The Editor] 

The fury felt against us by the German officers dates 
from the very day of the war's beginning. We barred 
their road to France. The act had no meaning, no hon- 
esty to them. True to their traditions, they sought to 
buy us off. Calling our Government, as it were, into the 
room behind the shop, they asked, "For how much?" 



And waited for the answer they expected, "For thirty- 
pieces of silver." 

But the answer was given by Liege, and Liege in- 
furiated them. They lost thousands of men; by no 
means were they able to force the instant passage which 
was so essential to them. Behind our defense was France 
mobilizing. For England and for Russia we gained a 
precious respite. 

The world jumped immediately to the conclusion that 
the fate of the war was already settling against Ger-. 
many. Even this first check, given by a tiny nation in 
the cause of honor, was regarded as the death-blow. 
Certainly there was talk, of peace. Three separate times 
did Germany approach us with proposals. The first 
occasion was in August [19 14]. M. Davignon, Belgian 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, received through our Min- 
ister at The Hague a long telegram which contained the 
following sentence: "The German Government is ready 
to take any steps in order to have Belgium on her side 
in the war with France." 

Belgium's reply was prompt and definite: — 

"True to her international duties, Belgium can only 
repeat her answer to the ultimatum of August 2d. And 
this especially as, since that time, her territory has been 
violated, a terrible war has been carried into her lands, 
and the guarantors of her integrity have promptly and 
loyally responded to her appeal for help." 

Germany's second attempt was through political 
chaimels in Belgium, but it failed as ignominiously as 
the first. 

The third of the peace proposals was made by M. 
Eyschen, a politician of Luxemburg, who toured the 



neutral states, persuading them to issue a joint appeal 
for peace between us and Germany. Such a scheme 
could not have any result. Belgium, first of all, met it 
with point-blank refusal. . . . 

In times before the war, those of us who dreamed of 
a greater Belgium had no visions of territorial expansion 
in Europe, nor of a colonial empire in Africa. What we 
pictured was a rebirth of Belgium, a rebirth essentially 
of the mind and spirit. We pictured certainly an ever- 
growing activity of trade and industry, but our desire 
was even more for a greater modernity and vitality of 
thought. We sought for Belgium the power of influence 
rather than of conquest. 

And now we see the influence of Belgium stronger 
than it has ever been. It is true that for the moment 
our factories are silent, apparently deprived of the pant- 
ing breath which is their life. But no one really thinks 
them dead. As soon as the war is over they will spring to 
life again: ... as ever we Belgians shall be young and 
keen. Until to-day our nation has known no danger. 
We were too sure of the morrow. We lived like rich 
people who had no knowledge of want. War, we thought, 
was the business of others. 

But war has come upon us, fierce and terrible, when 
we least expected it. . . . We were alone; we were few. 
. . . Into the old forts of Liege we threw ourselves in des- 
perate haste. We had, as it were, to invent courage and 
resource for ourselves; we had to manufacture a tragic 
spirit of resistance. All that we did in a day, an hour, 
a moment. . . . 

These early triumphs of Liege, and those that fol- 
lowed at Haelen and the Yser, have won for Belgiimi 



the eternal honor, respect, and admiration of all. For 
three months we have held the vast German armies in 
our country; the armies that allotted to us three days. 
With the most convincing argxunents of all we have 
challenged the dogma of their invincibility. We have 
caused them their first losses. . . . 

The force of our resistance gave time to France and 
to England to arm themselves, to perfect their organi- 
zation. . . . Our handful of soldiers at Li^ge and at Hae- 
len represented, unconsciously of course, a great past 
of cultured civilization. . . . That is why this simple act 
of courage is so great. We need not dread comparing 
them to the deeds at Thermopylae. At Liege, as in 
Sparta, a handful of men saved the world. . . . 



[In the early months of the war ex-President Eliot, of Har- 
vard University, contributed to the " New York Times " 
a series of letters on the causes of the war which aroused an 
extensive controversy. In summarizing his part of the con- 
troversy Dr. Ehot expressed himself as follows concerning 
the German desire for world-empire. 

The Editor.] 

Each one of the principal combatants in Europe seems 
to be anxious to prove that it is not responsible for 
this cruelest, most extensive, and most destructive of all 
wars. Each Government involved has published the 
correspondence between its Chief Executive and other 
Chief Executives, and between its Chancellery or For- 
eign Office and the equivalent bodies in the other nations 
that have gone to war, and has been at pains to give a 
wide circulation to these documents. To be sure, none 
of these Government publications seems to be abso- 
lutely complete. There seems to be in all of them sup- 
pressions or omissions which only the future historian 
will be able to report — perhaps after many years. They 
reveal, however, the dilapidated state of the Concert of 
Europe in July, 1914, and the flurry in the European 
Chancelleries which the ultimatum sent by Austria- 
Hungary to Serbia produced. They also testify to the 
existence of a new and influential public opinion, about 



war and peace, to which nations that go to war think 
it desirable to appeal for justification or moral support. 

These publications have been read with intense inter- 
est by impartial observers in all parts of the world, and 
have in many cases determined the direction of the 
readers' sympathy and good-will; and yet none of them 
discloses or deals with the real sources of the unprece- 
dented calamity. They relate chiefly to the question who 
struck the match, and not to the questions who provided 
the magazine that exploded, and why did he provide it. 
Grave responsibility, of course, attaches to the person 
who gives the order to mobilize a national army or to 
invade a neighbor's territory; but the real source of the 
resulting horrors is not in such an order, but in the gov- 
errmiental institutions, political philosophy, and long- 
nurtured passions and purposes of the nation or nations 

The prime source of the present immense disaster in 
Europe is the desire on the part of Germany for world- 
empire, a desire which one European nation after an- 
other has made its supreme motive, and which none that 
has once adopted it has ever completely eradicated. 
Germany arrived late at this desire, being prevented 
until 1870 from indulging it, because of her lack of 
unity, or rather because of being divided since the Thirty 
Years' War into a large number of separate, more or 
less independent, states. When this disease, which has 
attacked one nation after another through all historic 
times, struck Germany, it exhibited in her case a re- 
markable malignity, moving her to expansion in Europe 
by force of arms, and to the seizure of areas for coloni- 
zation in many parts of the world. Prussia, indeed, had 



long believed in making her way in Europe by fighting 
and had repeatedly acted on that belief. Shortly befor 
the achievement of German unity by Bismarck sh 
had obtained by war in 1864 and 1866 important ac 
cessions of territory and leadership in all Germany. 

With this desire for world-empire went the belief tha 
it was only to be obtained by force of arms. Therefore 
united Germany has labored with utmost intelligenci 
and energy to prepare the most powerful army in thi 
world, and to equip it for instant action in the mos 
perfect manner which science and eager invasion coulc 
contrive. To develop this supreme military machin( 
universal conscription — an outgrowth of the concep 
tion of the citizens' army of France during the Revolu 
tion — was necessary; so that every young man in Ger 
many physically competent to bear arms might receiv< 
the training of a soldier, whether he wished it or not, anc 
remain at the call of the Goverimient for military dutj 
during all his years of competency, even if he were th( 
only son of a widow, or a widower with little children 
or the sole support of a family or other dependents. Ir 
order to the completeness of this military ideal the arm) 
became the nation and the nation became the army tc 
a degree which had never before been realized in eithei 
the savage or the civilized world. This army could b( 
summoned and put in play by the Chief Executive o: 
the German nation with no preliminaries except the con 
sent of the hereditary heads of the several states whicl 
united to form the Empire in 1870-71 under the domina 
tion of Prussia, the Prussian King, become German Em 
peror, being Commander-in-Chief of the German army 
At the word of the Emperor this army can be summoned 


collected, clothed, equipped and armed, and set in mo- 
tion toward any frontier in a day. The German army 
was thus made the largest in proportion to population, 
the best equipped, and the most mobile in the world. 
The German General Staff studied incessantly and 
thoroughly plans for campaigns against all the other 
principal states of Europe, and promptly utilized — 
secretly, whenever secrecy was possible — all promising 
inventions in explosives, ordnance, munitions, trans- 
portation, and sanitation. At the opening of 1914 the 
General Staff believed that the German army was ready 
for war on the instant, and that it possessed some sig- 
nificant advantages in fighting — such as better im- 
plements and better discipline — over the armies of the 
neighboring nations. The army could do its part toward 
the attainment of world empire. It would prove in- 

The intense desire for colonies, and for the spread of 
German conamerce throughout the world, instigated the 
creation of a great German navy, and started the race 
with England in navy-building. The increase of German 
wealth, and the rapid development of manufactures and 
commercial sea power after 1870-71, made it possible 
for the Empire to devote immense sums of money to the 
quick construction of a powerful navy, in which the 
experience and skiU of aU other shipbuilding nations 
would be appropriated and improved on. In thus push- 
ing her colonization and sea-power poHcy Germany en- 
countered the wide domination of Great Britain on the 
oceans; and this encounter bred jealousy, suspicion, and 
distrust on both sides. That Germany should have been 
belated in the quest for foreign possessions was annoy- 



ing; but that England and France should have acquired 
early ample and rich territories on other continents, and 
then should resist or obstruct Germany when she aspired 
to make up for lost time, was intensely exasperating. 
Hence chronic resentments, and — when the day came 
— probably war. In respect to its navy, however, Ger- 
many was not ready for war at the opening of 1914; and, 
therefore, she did not mean to get into war with Great 
Britain in that year. Indeed, she believed — on incor- 
rect information — that England could not go to war 
in the sxmmrier of 1 914. Neither the Goverimient nor the 
educated class in Germany comprehends the peculiar 
features of party government as it exists in England, 
France, and the United States; and, therefore, the Ger- 
man leaders were surprised and grievously disappointed 
at the sudden popular determination of Great Britain 
and Ireland to lay aside party strife and take strenuous 
part in the general European conflict. 

The complete preparation of the German army for 
sudden war, the authority to make war always ready 
ia the hands of the German Emperor, and the thorough 
studies of the German Staff into the most advanta- 
geous plans of campaign against every neighbor, con- 
spired to develop a new doctrine of "military necessity" 
as the all-sufficient excuse for disregarding and violating 
the contracts or agreements into which Prussia or the 
new Germany had entered with other nations. . . . 

This German view of the worthlessness of interna- 
tional agreements was not a cause of the present war, 
because it was not fully evident to Europe, although fa- 
miliar and of long standing in Germany; but it is a po- 
tent reason for the continuance of the war by the Allies 



until Germany is defeated; because it is plain to all the 
nations of the world, except Germany, Austria-Hungary, 
and Turkey at the moment, that the hopes of mankind 
for the gradual development of international order and 
peace rest on the sanctity of contracts between nations, 
and on the development of adequate sanctions in the 
administration of international law. The new doctrine 
of military necessity affronts all law, and is completely 
and hopelessly barbarous. . . . 

United Germany has for forty years been putting into 
practice, at home and abroad, the doctrine of force as 
the source of all personal and national greatness and 
all worthy human achievements. In the support of this 
doctrine, educated Germany has developed and accepted 
the religion of valor and the dogma that might makes 
right. In so doing it has rejected with scorn the Chris- 
tian teachings concerning Humility and Meekness, Jus- 
tice and Mercy, Brotherhood and Love. The objects of 
its adoration have become Strength, Courage, and ruth- 
less WUl-Power ; let the weak perish and help them to per- 
ish; let the gentle, meek, and humble submit to the harsh 
and proud; let the shiftless and incapable die; the world 
is for the strong, and the strongest shall be ruler. This is 
a religion capable of inspiring its followers with zeal and 
sustained enthusiasm in promoting the national wel- 
fare at whatever cost to the individual of life, liberty, or 
happiness, and also of lending a religious sanction to the 
extremes of cruelty, greed, and hate. ... To this ideal 
state every German owes duty, obedience, and complete 
devotion. The trouble with this supplement to the re- 
ligion of valor is that it dwells too much on submission, 
self-sacrifice, and discipline, and not enough on indi- 



vidual liberty and self-control in liberty. Accordingl} 
when the valiant men got control of the Governmei] 
and carried the nation into a ferocious war, they swep 
away with them all the devotees of this romantic an 
spiritual state. . . . 

The present war is the raevitable result of lust of err 
pire, autocratic goverimient, sudden wealth, and the n 
hgion of valor. What German dominatioii would mea 
to any that should resist it the experience of Belgium an 
Northern France during the past three months aptl; 
demonstrates. The civilized world can now see where th 
new German morality — be efl&cient, be virile, be hard 
be bloody, be rulers — would land it. To maintain tha 
the power which has adopted in practice that ne^ 
morality, and in accordance with its precepts promisei 
Austria its support against Serbia and invaded Belgium 
and France in hot haste, is not the responsible author o 
the European war, is to throw away memory, reason 
and common sense in judging the human agencies ii 
current events. The real cause of the war is this gradu 
ally developed barbaric state of the German mind aiw 
will. All other causes — such as the assassination of th 
heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, the sympath; 
of Russia with the Balkan States, the French desir 
for the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine, and Great Britain' 
jealousy of German aggrandizement — are secondar 
and incidental causes, contributory, indeed, but no 
primary and fundamental. If any one ask who brough 
the ruling class in Germany to this barbaric fram 
of mind, the answer must be Bismarck, Moltkf 
Treitschke, Nietzsche, Bernhardi, the German Emperoi 
their like, their disciples, and the military caste. . . . 




[Time enables those who understand the international situa- 
tion to speak with more confidence. President Wilson, in an 
address delivered at Washington, Jtme 14, 1917, at a Flag 
Day celebration, set forth in detail the reasons why the 
United States entered the war, and made the following smn- 
mary of the causes of the war as a whole. 

The Editor.] 

The war was begun by the military masters of Germany, 
who proved to be also the masters of Austria-Himgary. 
These men have never regarded nations as peoples, men, 
women, and children of like blood and frame as them- 
selves, for whom governments exist and in whom govern- 
ments had theif life. They have regarded them merely 
as serviceable organizations which they could by force 
or intrigue bend or corrupt to their own purpose. They 
have regarded the smaller states, in particular, and the 
peoples who could be overwhelmed by force, as their 
natural tools and instruments of domination. Their pur- 
pose has long been avowed. The statesmen of other na- 
tions, to whom that purpose was incredible, paid little 
attention; regarded what German professors expounded 
in their classrooms and German writers set forth to 
the world as the goal of German policy, as rather the 
dream of minds detached from practical affairs, as pre- 
posterous private conceptions of German destiny, than 



as the actual plans of responsible rulers; but the rulers 
of Germany themselves knew all the while what con- 
crete plans, what well-advanced intrigues lay back of 
what the professors and the writers were saying, and 
were glad to go forward urmiolested, filling the thrones 
of Balkan States with German princes, putting German 
officers at the service of Turkey to drill her armies and 
make interest with her Government, developing plans of 
sedition in India and Egypt, setting their fires in Persia. 
The demands made by Austria upon Serbia were a mere 
single step in a plan which compassed Europe and Asia, 
from Berhn to Bagdad. They hoped those demands 
might not arouse Europe, but they meant to press them 
whether they did or not, for they thought themselves 
ready for the final issue of arms. 

Their plan was to throw a broad belt of German mili- 
tary power and poHtical control across the very center 
of Europe and beyond the Mediterranean into the heart 
of Asia; and Austria-Himgary was to be as much their 
tool and pawn as Serbia or Bulgaria or Turkey or the 
ponderous states of the East. Austria-Hungary, indeed, 
was to become a part of the Central German Empire, ab- 
sorbed and dominated by the same forces and influences 
that had originally cemented the German States them- 
selves. The dream had its heart in Berlin. It could have 
had a heart nowhere else! It rejected the idea of soli- 
darity of race entirely. The choice of peoples played no 
part in it at all. It contemplated binding together racial 
and pohtical units which could be kept together only 
by force, — Czechs, Magyars, Croats, Serbs, Rumanians, 
Turks, Armenians, — the proud States of Bohemia and 
Hungary, the stout little commonwealths of the Balkans, 



the indomitable Turks, the subtle peoples of the East. 
These peoples did not wish to be united. They ardently 
desired to direct their own affairs, would be satisfied only 
by undisputed independence. They could be kept quiet 
only by the presence of the constant threat of armed 
men. They would live under a common power only by 
sheer compulsion and await the day of revolution. But 
the German military statesmen had reckoned with all 
that and were ready to deal with it in their own way. 

And they have actually carried the greater part of that 
amazing plan into execution. . . . Austria is at their 
mercy. It has acted, not upon its own initiative or upon 
the choice of its own people, but at Berlin's dictate ever 
since the war began. . . . The so-called Central Powers 
are in fact but a single Power. Serbia is at its mercy, 
should its hands be but for a moment freed; Bulgaria 
has consented to its will; and Rumania is overrun. The 
Turkish armies, which Germany trained, are serving 
Germany, certainly not themselves, and the guns of Ger- 
man warships lying in the harbor of Constantinople 
remind Turkish statesmen every day that they have no 
choice but to take their orders from Berlin. . . . 




Events followed thick and fast after the Austrian and Serbian 
troops were called out, and Russia began to mobilize forces 
preparatory to the invasion of Austria. July 30, 1914, the 
Kaiser gave Russia twenty-four hours in which to halt mo- 
bilization and explain why forces were massed on the frontier. 
Then, as the answer was not forthcoming, the Kaiser signed 
the order for mobilization. 

When war was declared, Germany and Austria were ready 
with huge armies which had long been in training for war 
on a vast scale, with guns and ammunition, and with every 
kind of equipment needed for a prolonged conflict. Russia 
possessed a large army, but without the system and the re- 
sources, without the guns and ammunition, required for such 
a war. France, too, was in a measure prepared, and able to 
put a large army into the field. But in England the forces 
were relatively small. Hence England naturally enlists our 
attention, if we would know how a great nation may meet 
the demands of a sudden and unexpected war taxing all 
resources to the limit. In August, 19 14, England had only 
750,000 men, including the territorials and partly trained 
men, those Uable for foreign service and those available for 
home defense. The regular army, with the reserves and 
special reserves, numbered but 450,000. The remainder were 
supposed to need six months' training before they should 
become first-line troops. For the moment, about 100,000 
were serving in India and other distant stations. Lord Kitch- 
ener immediately called for 100,000 men from nineteen to 
thirty years of age, to be enrolled in new formations as 
service battalions, and to constitute the first expeditionary 
force when properly, trained. These men were found mthin 
a fortnight, more were forthcoming, when the call went out; 
30,000 came in one day; 175,000 in one week, the fifth of 
the war. Within a month the total became 1,000,000, and 
in due time England had 5,000,000 men under arms. The 
unprepared England of 1914 became the England ready to 
make war in earnest in 1916. This achievement is without 
a parallel in history. 



"Kitchener's Mob " they were called in the early days 
of August, 1914, when London hoardings were clamorous 
with the first calls for volunteers. The seasoned regu- 
lars of the first British expeditionary force said it pat- 
ronizingly, the great British pubHc hopefully, the world 
at large doubtfully. "Kitchener's Mob," when there 
was but a scant sixty thousand under arms with millions 
yet to come. "Kitchener's Mob" it remains to-day, 
fighting in hundreds of thousands in France, Belgiimi, 
Africa, the Balkans. And who to-morrow, when the war 
is ended, will come marching home again, old campaign- 
ers, war-worn remnants of once mighty armies? " Kitch- 
ener's Mob." 

It is not a pleasing name for the greatest volunteer 
army in the history of the world; for more than three 
millions of toughened, disciplined fighting men, united 
under one flag, all parts of one magnificent mihtary 
organization. And yet Kitchener's own Tommies are 
responsible for it, the rank and file, with their inherent 
love of ridicule even at their own expense, and their 
intense dislike of "swank." They fastened the name 
upon themselves, lest the world at large should think 
they regarded themselves too highly. There it hangs. 
There it will hang for all time. 

It was on the i8th of August, 1914, that the mob spirit 



gained its mastery over me. After three weeks' solitary 
tramping in the mountains of North Wales, I walked 
suddenly into news of the great war, and went at once 
to London, with a longing for home which seemed strong 
enough to carry me through the week of idleness until 
my boat should sail [for America]. But, in a spirit of ad- 
venture, I suppose, I tempted myseK with the possibility 
of assuming the increasingly popular alias, Atkins. On 
two successive mornings I joined the long line of pro- 
spective recruits before the ofl&ces at Great Scotland 
Yard, withdrawing each time, after moving a conven- 
ient distance toward the desk of the recruiting sergeant. 
Disregarding the proven fatality of third times, I joined 
in on another morning, dangerously near to the head 
of the procession. . . . 

I was frank with the recruiting officers. I admitted, 
rather boasted, of my American citizenship, but ex- 
pressed my entire willingness to serve in the British 
army in case this should not expatriate me. I had, in 
fact, delayed, hoping that an American legion would be 
formed in London as had been done in Paris. The an- 
nouncement was received with some surprise, during 
which there was much vigorous shaking of heads. . . . 
" Three years or the duration of the war " were the terms 
of the enlistment contract. I had visions of bloody 
engagements, of feverish nights in hospital, of endless 
years in a home for disabled soldiers. The conference 
was over, and the recruiting officer returned to his desk, 
smiling broadly. 

"We'll take you, my lad, if you want to join. You'll 
just say you are an EngUshman, won't you, as a matter 
of formality? "... 



The remainder of the week I spent mingling with 
the crowds of enlisted men at the Horse Guards Parade, 
watching the bulletin boards for the appearance of my 
name which would mean that I was to report at the regi- 
mental depot at Hounslow. My first impression of the 
men with whom I was to live for three years, or the dura- 
tion of the war, was anything but favorable. The news- 
papers had been asserting that the new army was being 
recruited from the flower of England's young manhood. 
The throng at the Horse Guards Parade resembled an 
army of the unemployed, and I thought it likely that 
most of them were misfits, out-of-works, the kind of men 
who join the army because they can do nothing else. 
There were, in fact, a good many of these. I soon 
learned, however, that the general out-at-elbows ap- 
pearance was due to another cause. . . . 

"A mob" is genuinely descriptive of the array of 
would-be soldiers which crowded the parade-ground 
at Hoimslow Barracks during the memorable last week 
in August. We herded together like so many sheep. 
We had lost our individuality, and it was to be months 
before we regained it in a new aspect, a collective in- 
dividuality of which we became increasingly proud. We 
squeak-squawked across the barracks square in boots 
which felt large enough for an entire family of feet. Our 
khaki service dress uniforms were strange and uncom- 
fortable. Our hands hung limply along the seams of 
our pocketless trousers. . . . 

We had come to Hounslow, believing that, within a 
few weeks' time, we should be fighting in France, side by 
side with the men of the first British expeditionary force. 
Lord Kitchener had said that six months of training, at 



the least, was essential. This statement was regarded as 
intentionally misleading. Lord Kitchener was too shrewd 
a soldier to announce his plans; but England needed men 
badly, immediately. After a week of training, we should 
be proficient in the use of our rifles. In addition to this, 
all that was needed was the ability to form fours and 
march, in column of route, to the station where we should 
entrain for Folkestone or Southampton, and France. 

As soon as the battalion was up to strength, we were 
given a day of preliminary drill before proceeding to our 
future training area in Essex. It was a disillusioning 
experience. Equally disappointing was the vmdignified 
display of our Httle skill, at Charing Cross Station, 
where we performed before a large and amused London 
audience. For my own part, I could scarcely wait until 
we were safely hidden within the train. 

Although mine was a London regiment, we had men 
in the ranks from all parts of the United Kingdom. 
There were North-Countrymen, a few Welsh, Scotch, 
and Irish, men from the Midlands and from the south of 
England. But for the most part we were Cockne3rs, bom 
within the sound of Bow Bells. . . . Being an Amer- 
ican, it was very hard, at first, to understand the class 
distinctions of British army life. And having understood 
them, it was more difficult yet to endure them. I learned 
that a ranker, or private soldier, is a socially inferior 
being from the officer's point of view. The officer class 
and the ranker class are east and west, and never the 
twain shall meet, except in their respective places on 
the parade-ground. This does not hold good to the same 
extent, upon active service. Hardships and dangers, 
shared in common, tend to break down artificial bar- 



riers. But even then, although there was goodwill and 
friendliness between ofl&cers and men, I saw nothing of 
genuine comradeship. This seemed to me a great pity. 
It was a loss for the officers fully as much as for the 
men. . . . 

We declined to accept the responsibility for the seem- 
ing slowness of our progress. We threw upon the War 
Office, which had not equipped us in a manner befitting 
our station in life. Although we were recruited imme- 
diately after the outbreak of war, less than half of our 
number had been provided with uniforms. . . . Our 
arms and equipment were of an equally nondescript 
character. We might easily have been mistaken for a 
mob of vagrants which had pillaged a seventeenth cen- 
tury arsenal. ... 

Our housing accommodations, throughout the autimm 
and winter of 1914-1 s, when England was in such urgent 
need of shelter for her rapidly increasing armies, were 
also of the makeshift order. We slept in leaky tents or 
in hastily constructed wooden shelters, many of which 
were afterward condemned by the medical inspectors. 
St. Martin's Plain, Shorncliffe, was an ideal camping- 
site for pleasant summer weather. But when the au- 
tumnal rains set in, the green pasture-land became a 
quagmire. Mud was the great reality of our lives, the 
malignant deity which we fell down (in) and propiti- 
ated with profane rites. It was a thin, watery mud or a 
thick, viscous mud, as the steady downpour increased 
or diminished. Late in November we were moved to a 
city of wooden huts at Sandling Junction, to make room 
for newly recruited units. The dwellings were but half- 
finished, the drains were open ditches, and the rains 



descended and the floods came as usual. We lived an 
amphibious and wretched existence until January, when, 
to our great joy, we were transferred to billets in 
the Metropole, one of Folkestone's most fashionable 
hotels. . . . 

Meanwhile our rigorous training continued from week 
to week in all weathers, even the most inclement. 
Reveille sounded at daybreak. For an hour before break- 
fast we did Swedish drill. . . .Two hours daily were given 
to musketry practice. . . . After musketry practice, 
the remainder of the day was given to extended order, 
company, and battalion drill. Twice weekly we route- 
marched from ten to fifteen miles; and at night, after 
the parades of the day were finished, boxing and wres- 
tling contests, arranged and encouraged by the ofl&cers, 
kept the red blood poimding through our bodies imtil 
"lights out" sounded at nine o'clock. . . . 

Plenty of hard work in the open air brought great and 
welcome changes. The men talked of their food, antici- 
pated it with a zest which came from realizing, for the 
first time, the joy of being genuinely hungry. They 
watched their muscles harden with the satisfaction known 
to every normal man when he is becoming physically 
efficient. Food, exercise, and rest, taken in wholesome 
quantities and at regular intervals, were having the usual 
excellent results. For my own part, I never before had 
been in such splendid health. I wished that it might 
at all times be possible for democracies to exercise a 
beneficent paternalism over the lives of their citizenry, at 
least in matters of health. It seems a great pity that the 
principle of personal freedom should be responsible for 
so many ill-shaped and ill-sorted physical incompetents. 



My fellow Tommies were living, really living, for the 
first time. They had never before known what it means 
to be radiantly, buoyantly healthy. 

There were, as well, more profound and subtle changes 
in thoughts and habits. The restraints of discipline and 
the very exacting character of miUtary life and training 
gave them self-control, mental alertness. At the begin- 
ning, they were individuals, no more cohesive than so 
many grains of wet sand. After nine months of training 
they acted as a unit, obeying orders with that instinctive 
promptness of action which is so essential on the field of 
battle when men think scarcely at all. . . . 




At a quarter to nine the battalion parades for a route- 
march. This, strange as it may appear, is a comparative 
rest. Once you have got your company safely decanted 
from column of platoons into column of route, your 
labors are at an end. All you have to do is to march; and 
that is no great hardship when you are hard as nails, as 
we are fast becoming. On the march the mental gym- 
nastics involved by the formation of an advanced guard 
or the disposition of a picket line are removed to a safe 
distance. There is no need to wonder guiltily whether 
you have sent out a connecting-file between the vanguard 
and the main guard, or if you remembered to instruct 
your sentry groups as to the position of the enemy and 
the extent of their own front. 

Second Lieutenant Little heaves a contented sigh, and 
steps out manfully along the dusty road. Behind him 
tramp his men. We have no pipers as yet, but melody is 
supplied by "Tipperary," sung in ragged chorus, va- 
ried by martial interludes upon the mouth-organ. De- 
spise not the mouth-organ. Ours has been a constajit 
boon. It has kept sixty men in line for miles on end. 

Fortunately the weather is glorious. Day after day, 
after a sharp and frosty dawn, the sun swings up into a 
cloudless sky; and the hundred thousand troops that 



swarm like ants upon the undulating plains of Hamp- 
shire can march, sit, lie, or sleep on hard, sun-baked 
earth. A wet autumn would have thrown our training 
back months. The men, as yet, possess nothing but 
the fatigue uniforms they stand up in, so it is imperative 
to keep them dry. 

Tramp, tramp, tramp. "Tipperary" has died away. 
The owner of the mouth-organ is temporarily deflated. 
Here is an opportunity for individual enterprise. It is 
soon seized. A husky soloist breaks into one of the death- 
less ditties of the new Scottish Laureate; his comrades 
take up the air with ready response; and presently we 
are all swinging to the strains of "I Love a Lassie," — 
"Roaming in the Gloaming," and "It's Just Like Being 
at Home," being rendered as encores. . . . 

Tramp, tramp, tramp. Now we are passing through 
a village. The inhabitants line the pavement and smile 
cheerfully upon us, — they are always kindly disposed 
toward "Scotchies," — but the united gaze of the rank 
and file wanders instinctively from the pavement to- 
ward upper windows and kitchen entrances, where the 
domestic staff may be discerned, bunched together and 
giggling. Now we are out on the road again, silent, 
dusty. Suddenly, far in the rear, a voice of singular 
sweetness strikes up "The Banks of Loch Lomond." 
Man after man joins in, until the swelling chorus runs 
from end to end of the long column. Half the battal- 
ion hail from the Loch Lomond district, and of the rest 
there is hardly a man who has not indulged during some 
Trades' Holiday or other, in " a pleesure trup " upon 
its historic but inexpensive waters. 

" You 'n tak' the high road and I '11 tak' the low road — " j 



A shrill whistle sounds far ahead. It means "March 
at Attention." "Loch Lomond "dies away with uncanny 
suddenness — discipline waxing stronger every day — 
and tunics are buttoned and rifles unslung. Three min- 
utes later we swing demurely on to the barrack square, 
across which a pleasant aroma of stewed onions is waft- 
ing, and deploy with creditable precision into the forma- 
tion known as "mass." Then comes much dressing of 
ranks and adjusting of distances. The Colonel is very 
particular about a clean finish to any piece of work. 

Presently the four companies are aUgned. The battal- 
ion stands rigid, facing a motionless figure upon horse- 
back. The figure stirs. 

"Fallout, the officers!" 

They come trooping, stand fast, and salute — very 
smartly. We must set an example to the men. Besides 
we are hungry too. 

"Battalion, slope arms! Dis — miss!" 

Every man, with one or two incurable exceptions, 
turns sharply to his right and cheerfully smacks the butt 
of his rifle with his disengaged hand. The colonel gravely 
returns the salute; and we stream away, all the thousand 
of us, in the direction of the savory smell. Two o'clock 
will come around all too soon, and with it company drill 
and tiresome musketry exercises; but by that time we 
shall have dined, and Fate caimot touch us for another 
twenty-four hours. 

We have our little worries, of course. Last week we 
were all vaccinated, and we did not like it. . . . There 
are other rifts within the military lute. At home we are 
persons of some consequence, with very definite notions 
about the dignity of labor. We have employers who 



tremble at our frown; we have trades-union ofl&cials 
who are at constant pains to impress upon us our own 
omnipotence in the industrial world in which we Hve. 
We have at our beck and caU a Radical M.P. who, in 
return for our vote and suffrage, informs us that we are 
the backbone of the nation, and that we must on no 
account permit ourselves to be trampled upon by the 
effete and tyrannical upper classes. Finally, we are 
Scotsmen, with all a Scotsman's curious reserve and 
contempt for social airs and graces. 

But in the army we appear to be nobody. We are 
expected to stand stiffly at attention when addressed by 
an officer; even to call him "sir" — an honor to which 
our previous employer has been a stranger. At home, 
if we happened to meet the head of the firm in the street, 
and none of our colleagues was looking, we touched a 
cap, furtively. Now we have no opinion in the matter. 
We are expected to degrade ourselves by meaningless 
and humiliating gestures. ... If you answer a sergeant 
as you would a foreman, you are impertinent; if you 
argue with him, as all good Scotsmen must, you are in- 
subordiuate; if you endeavor to drive a collective bar- 
gain with him, you are mutinous; and you are reminded 
that upon active service mutiny is punishable by death. 
It is all very unusual and upsetting. . . . 

Still, one can get used to anything. Our lot is miti- 
gated, too, by the knowledge that we are all in the 
same boat. . . . Even the colonel was seen one day to 
salute an old gentleman who rode on to the parade- 
ground during morning drill, wearing a red band around 
his hat. Noting this, we realize that the army is not, 
after all, as we first suspected, divided into two classes 



— oppressors and oppressed. We all have to "go 
through it." 

Presently fresh air, hard training, and clean living 
begin to weave their spell. Incredulous at first, we find 
ourselves slowly recognizing the fact that it is possible 
to treat an officer deferentially, or carry out an order 
smartly, without losing one's self-respect as a man and 
a trades-unionist. The insidious habit of cleanliness, 
once acquired, takes despotic possession of its victims: 
we find ourselves looking askance at room-mates who 
have not yielded to such predilections. The swimming- 
bath, where once we flapped unwillingly and inglori- 
ously at the shallow end, becomes a desirable resort, and 
we look forward to our weekly visit with something 
approaching eagerness. We begin, too, to take our pro- 
fession seriously. Formerly we regarded outpost exer- 
cises, advanced guards, and the like, as a rather fatu- 
ous form of play-acting, designed to amuse those officers 
who carry maps and notebooks. Now we begin to con- 
sider these diversions on their merits, and seriously 
criticize Second Lieutenant Little for having last night 
posted one of his sentry groups upon the sky-line. Thus 
is the soul of a soldier born. 

We are getting less individuahstic, too. We are be- 
ginning to think more of our regiment and less of our- 
selves. At first loyalty takes the form of criticizing other 
regiments, because their marching is slovenly, or their 
accouterments dirty, or — most significant sign of all — 
their discipline is bad. We are especially critical of our 
own Eighth Battalion, which is fully three weeks younger 
than we are, and is not in the First Hundred Thousand 
at all. In their presence we are war-worn veterans. We 



express it as our opinion that the officers of some of these 
battalions must be a poor lot. From this it suddenly 
comes home to us that our officers are a good lot, and 
we find ourselves taking a queer pride in our company 
commander's homely strictures and severe sentences 
the morning after pay-night. Here is another step in 
the quickening life of the regiment. Esprit de corps is 
raising its head, class prejudice and dour "independ- 
jence" notwithstanding. 

Again, a timely hint dropped by the colonel on bat- 
talion parade this morning has set us thinking. We begin 
to wonder how we shall compare with the first-line regi- 
ments when we find ourselves "oot there." Silently we 
resolve that when we, the first of the Service Battalions, 
take our place in trench or firing line alongside of the 
Old Regiment, no one shall be found to draw unfavorable 
comparisons between parent and offspring. We intend 
to. show ourselves chips of the old block. No one who 
knows the Old Regiment can ask more of a young bat- 
talion than that. . . . 



One Sunday morning in May we assembled on the bar- 
rack square at Aldershot for the last time. Every man 
was in full marching order. His rifle was the "Short. 
Lee Enfield, Mark IV," his bayonet, the long single- 
edged blade in general use throughout the British army. 
In addition to his arms he carried one hundred and 
twenty rounds of "303" caliber munition, an intrench- 
ing tool, water-bottle, haversack, containing both emer- 
gency and the day's rations, and his pack, strapped to 
shoulders and waist in such a way that the weight of it 
was equally distributed. His pack contained the follow- 
ing articles: A great coat, a woolen shirt, two or three 
pairs of socks, a change of underclothing, a "housewife," 
— the soldiers' sewing kit, — a towel, a cake of soap, 
and a "hold-all," in which were a knife, fork, spoon, 
razor, shaving-brush, toothbrush, and comb. All of 
these were useful and sometimes essential articles, par- 
ticularly the toothbrush, which Tommy regarded as the 
best instrimient for cleaning the mechanism of a rifle 
ever invented. Strapped on top of the pack was the 
blanket roll wrapped in a water-proof ground sheet; 
and hanging beneath it, the canteen in its khaki- 
colored cover. Each man wore an identification disc on 
a cord about his neck. It was stamped with his name, 
regimental nimiber, regiment, and religion. A first-aid 
field dressing, consisting of an antiseptic gauze pad and 



bandage and a small vial of iodine, sewn in the lining of 
his tunic, completed the equipment. 

Physically, the men were "in the pink," as Tommy 
says. They were elear-eyed, vigorous, alert, and as hard 
as nails. With their caps on, they looked the well- 
trained soldiers which they were; but with caps re- 
moved, they resembled so many uniformed convicts 
less the prison pallor. "Oversea haircuts" were the last 
tonsorial cry, and for several days previous to our de- 
parture, the army hairdressers had been busily wielding 
the close-cutting cHppers. 

Each of us had received a copy of Lord Kitchener's 
letter to the troops ordered abroad, a brief, soldierlike 
statement of the standard of conduct which England 
expected of her fighting men. ... It was an effective 
appeal and a constant reminder to the men of the glori- 
ous traditions of the British army. In the months that 
followed, I had opportunity to learn how deep and last- 
ing was the impression made upon them by Lord Kitch- 
ener's first, and I believe his only, letter to his soldiers. 

The machinery for moving troops in England works 
without the slightest friction. The men, transport, 
horses, commissariat, medical stores, and supplies of a 
battalion are entrained in less than half an hour. Every- 
thing is timed to the minute. Battalion after battalion 
and train after train, we moved out of Aldershot at 
half-hour intervals. Each train arrived at the port of 
embarkation on schedule time and pulled up on the 
docks by the side of a troop transport, great slate-colored 
liners taken out of the merchant service. Not a moment 
was lost. The last man was aboard and the last wagon 
on the crane swinging up over the ship's side as the next 



train came in. Ship by ship we moved down the har- 
bor in the twilight, the boys crowding the rail on both 
sides, taking their farewell look at England — home. It 
was the last farewell for many of them, but there was 
no martial music, no waving of flags, no tearful good- 
byes. Our farewell was as prosaic as our long period of 
training had been. We were each one a very small part 
of a tremendous organization which works without any 
of the display considered so essential in the old days. 

We left England without a cheer. There was not so 
much as a wave of the hand from the wharf; for there 
was no one on the wharf to wave, with the exception of 
a few dock laborers, and they had seen too many sol- 
diers off to the front to be sentimental about it. It was 
a tense moment for the men, but trust Tommy to relieve 
a tense situation. As we steamed away from the slip, we 
passed a barge, loaded to the water's edge with coal. 
Tommy has a song pat to every occasion. He enjoys, 
above all things, giving a ludicrous twist to a "weepy" 
ballad. When we were within hailing distance of the coal 
barge, he began one of this variety, "Keep the Home 
Fires Burning," to those smutty-faced barge hands. 
Every one joined in heartily, forgetting all about the 
solemnity of the leave-taking. 

Tommy is a prosaic chap. This was never more ap- 
parent to me than upon that pleasant evening in May 
when we said good-bye to England. The lights of home 
were twinkling their farewells far in the distance. Every 
moment brought us nearer to the great adventure. We 
were "off to the wars," to take our places in the far- 
flung battle line. Here was Romance lavishly offering 
gifts dearest to the hearts of Youth, offering them to 



clerks, tradesmen, drapers' assistants, men who had 
never known an adventure more thrilling than a holiday 
excursion to the Isle of Man or a week of cycling in 
Kent. And they accepted them with all the stolidity 
native to the Englishman. The eyes of the world were 
upon them. They had become the knights-errant of 
every schoolgirl. They were figures of heroic propor- 
tions to every one but themselves. . . . 

There was, however, one burst of enthusiasm, as we 
started on our journey, which struck me as being spon- 
taneous, and splendid, and thoroughly English. Outside 
the harbor we were met by our guardians, a fleet of 
destroyers which was to give us safe convoy across the 
Channel. The moment they saw them the men broke 
forth into prolonged cheering, and there were glad 
shouts of — 

"There they are, me lads! There's some o' the little 
old watch dogs wot's keepin' 'em bottled up!" 

"Good old navy! That's w'ere we got 'em by the 

"Let's give 'em 'Sons of the Sea'!" 

And they did. They sang with a spirit of exaltation 
which Englishmen rarely betray, and which convinced 
me how nearly the sea and England's position as Mis- 
tress of the Seas touch the Enghshman's heart of hearts. 

" Sons of the sea, 
All British born, 
Sailing the ocean, 
Laughing foes to scorn. 
They may build their ships, my lad, 
And think they know the game; 
But they can't beat the boys of the bulldog breed 
Who made old England's name! " 



It was a confession of faith. On the sea England can't 
be beaten. Tommy believes that with his whole soul, 
and on this occasion he sang with all the warmth of re- 
ligious conviction. 

Our Channel voyage was uneventful. Each transport 
was guarded by two destroyers, one on either side, the 
three vessels keeping abreast and about fifty yards apart 
during the entire Journey. The submarine menace was 
then at its height, and we were prepared for an emer- 
gency. The boats were swung ready for immediate 
launching, and all of the men were provided with life- 
preservers. But England had been transporting troops 
and supplies to the firing-line for so many months with- 
out accident that none of us were at all concerned about 
the possibiHty of danger. Furthermore, the men were 
too busy studying "Tommy Atkins's French Manual," 
to think about submarines. They were putting the final 
polish on their accent in preparation for to-morrow's 
landing. . . . 

The following day we 'crowded into the t)^ical French 
army troop train and started on a leisurely journey 
to the firing-line. We traveled all day, at eight or ten 
miles an hour, through Normandy. We passed through 
pleasant towns and villages lying silent in the afternoon 
sunshine, and seemingly almost deserted, and through 
the open country fragrant with the scent of apple blos- 
soms. Now and then children waved to us from a cot- 
tage window, and in the fields old men and women and 
girls leaned silently on their hoes or their rakes and 
watched us pass. Occasionally, an old reservist, guarding 
the railway line, would lift his cap and shout "Vive 
I'Angleterre! " But more often he would lean on his rifle 



and smile, nodding his head courteously but silently to 
our salutations. Tommy, for all his stolid, dogged cheeri- 
ness, sensed the tragedy of France. It was a land swept 
bare of all its fine young manhood . There was no pleasant 
stir and bustle of civilian Hf e. Those who were left went 
about their work silently and joylessly. When we asked 
of the men, we received always, the same quiet, courte- 
ous reply: "A la guerre, monsieur." 

The boys soon learned the meaning of the phrase, "a 
la guerre." It became a war-cry, a slogan. It was shouted 
back and forth from car to car and from train to train. 
You can imagine how eager we all were; how we strained 
our ears, whenever the train stopped, for the sound of 
the guns. But not until the following morning, when 
we reached the little village at the end of our railway 
journey, did we hear them, a low muttering like the 
sound of thunder beyond the horizon. How we cheered 
at the first faint sound which was to become so deafen- 
ing, so terrible to us later! It was music to us then; for 
we were like the others who had gone that way! We knew 
nothing of war. We thought it must be something ad- 
venturous and fine. Something to make the blood leap 
and the heart sing. We marched through the village and 
down the poplar-lined road, surprised, almost disap- 
pointed, to see the neat, well-kept houses, and the pleas- 
ant level fields, green with the spring crops. We had ex- 
pected that everything would be in ruins. At this stage 
of the journey, however, we were still some twenty-five 
miles from the firing-line. 

During all the journey from the coast, we have seen, 
on every side, evidences of that wonderfully organized 
branch of the British military system, the Army Service 



Corps. From the village at which we detrained, every- 
thing was Enghsh. Long lines of motor transport lorries 
were parked along the sides of the roads. There were 
great anmiunition bases, commissariat supply depots, 
motor repair shops, wheelwright and blacksmith shops, 
where one saw none but the khaki-clad soldiers engaged 
in all the non-combatant business essential to the main- 
tenance of large armies. There were long lines of trans- 
port wagons loaded with supplies, traveling field kitch- 
ens, with chimneys smoking and kettles steaming as 
they bumped over the cobbled roads, water carts. Red 
Cross carts, motor ambulances, batteries of artillery, 
London omnibuses, painted slate gray, filled with troops, 
seemingly endless columns of infantry on foot, all mov- 
ing with us, along parallel roads, toward the firing-line. 
And most of these troops and supply columns belonged 
to my own division, one small cog in the British fighting 

We advanced toward the war zone in easy stages. It 
was intensely hot, and the rough, cobbled roads greatly 
increased the difl&culty of the marching. In England 
we had frequently tramped from fifteen to twenty-five 
miles in a day without fatigue. But the roads there were 
excellent, and the climate moist and cool. Upon our first 
day's march in France, a journey of only nine miles, 
scores of men were overcome by the heat, and several 
died. The suffering of the men was so great, in fact, that 
a halt was made earlier than had been planned, and we 
bivouacked for the night in the fields. 

Life with a battalion on the march proceeds with the 
same orderly routine as when in the barracks. Every man 
has his own particular employment. Within a few mo- 



ments the level pasture land was converted into a busy 
community of a thousand inhabitants. We made serv- 
iceable little dwellings by lacing together two or three 
waterproof ground-sheets and erecting them on sticks 
or tying them to the wires of the fences. . . . The sick 
were cared for and justice dispensed with the same 
thoroughness as in England. The day's offenders against 
discipline were punished with what seemed to us unusual 
severity. But we were now on active service, and offenses 
which were trivial in England were looked upon, for this 
reason, in the Kght of serious crimes. 

Daily we approached a Httle nearer to our goal, sleep- 
ing, at night, in the open fields or in the lofts of great 
rambling farm-buildings. Most of these places had been 
used for soldiers' billets scores of times before. The walls 
were covered with the names of men and regiments, and 
there were many penciled suggestions as to the best 
place to go for a basin of "coffay oh lay," as Tommy 
called it. Every roadside cottage was, in fact. Tommy's 
tavern. The thrifty French peasant women kept open 
house for soldiers. They served us with delicious coffee 
and thick slices of French bread, for the very reason- 
able sum of twopence. They were always friendly and 
hospitable, and the men, in turn, treated them with 
courteous and kindly respect. Tommy was a great fa- 
vorite with the French children. They climbed on his 
lap and rifled his pockets; and they delighted him by 
talking in his own vernacular, for they were quick to 
pick up English words and phrases. They sang "Tip- 
perary," and "Rule Britannia," and "God Save the 
King," so quaintly and prettily that the men kept them 
at it for hours at a time. 



And so, during a week of stifling heat, we moved 
slowly forward. The sound of the guns grew in intensity, 
from a faint rumbling to a subdued roar, until one eve- 
ning, sitting in the open windows of a stable loft, we 
saw the far-off Ughtenings of bursting shells, and the 
trench rockets soaring skyward; and we heard bursts of 
rifle and machine-gun fire, very faintly, like the sound 
of chestnuts popping in an oven. 




[The following description of the movement of German 
troops is by a correspondent of the " London Chronicle " 
who succeeded in reaching Berlin a few weeks after war 
was declared. 

The Editor^ 

I HAD reckoned that the Russian advance would neces- 
sitate a large calling-out of reserves and a great transfer 
of troops, in fact, a new mobilization. Now the main 
artery to the west from Berlin runs through the sub- 
urbs of Charlottenburg, and just beyond Charlottenburg 
are the Charlottenburg woods, and somewhat to the 
north runs the railway. So on Sunday I took train to 
Charlottenburg, and so did the whole of Berlin. Know- 
ing that this was its habit, I knew I should be safe. And 
as I walked through the woods, I heard a great rumble, 
and then a silence that was great beside it. A long pause, 
and then another rumble, and I realized I was drawing 
nearer to it; but it died away before I reached the spot 
whence it came. And then I came to the edge of the 
wood, and over the clearing that confronted me was 
the railway line, and far away down the line was the 
great iron bridge that crossed the Havel. Keeping well 
within the shadow of the trees, I looked hard at that 
bridge, and saw what I had expected — five Landsturm 
[guardsmen], two at each end, and an Unieroffizier. Thus 



far and no farther thought I. It was from here that the 
rumble had come. I took out my packet of lunch, and 
sat down just inside the trees. I also took out two bottles 
of Pilsener beer. I looked a perfect Berliner. Suddenly 
came the rumble again. It could not have been more 
than seven or eight minutes after the last had died away. 
In a few minutes a long train of forty-four luggage trucks 
had dashed past. At the rear were two ordinary car- 
riages. The sliding doors of the vans were pushed back, 
and inside I saw were packed row after row of soldiers. 
They stood at the door leaning out over one another's 
shoulders, singing cheerfully and sturdily those won- 
derful German marching songs that make one's very 
breathing-keep time to them. Each truck sang the same, 
and right down the train — more than a quarter of a 
mile long — rose and fell the words of the " Wacht am 
Rhein." God! with what fervor they shouted it, and 
yet it was still music. Next would come the prayer for 
Franz Joseph, and next, "Die beide Grenadier," and 
then again, "Die Wacht am Rhein," and again and 
again, and it is the last notes that I can still hear sing- 
ing in my ears when the next train comes rushing along, 
and the last that I can hear from them, and so on. And 
it remains a vista, those trucks decorated with green 
branches, and those jolly-looking men leaning out of 
them, singing, singing, singing. And all day long those 
trainloads of men passed and passed, and when I came 
back the next day they were still passing. Every ten 
minutes they came, and they never varied by more 
than twenty seconds. But the place where all this was 
being worked from was miles away, in a room in the 
Kriegsministerium [War Ofl&ce] of Berlin, and there, 



at any moment, they knew where every train ought 
to be, or actually was, which was generally the same 

It was as long ago as 1903 that the plans for mobih- 
zation were last" altered on a large scale, and it was then 
that they were finally moulded to their present shape. 
One of the fundamental necessities for the smooth work- 
ing organization to the Teutonic mentahty is not merely 
sheep-like docility, combined with the technical ability 
bred of the latest continuation school and the poly- 
technics, but also the fact that the whole thing or some- 
thing like it has been done before. It is generally con- 
sidered safer, by superiors in Government services in 
Prussia; that inferiors should be able to recognize as an 
old friend, or tormentor, any order that should be given 
them. It saves them the trouble of understanding it. 
This was the case of the Prussian mobilization. Every 
stunmer for the last twelve years, every station-master, 
the head of every locomotive depot, and every inspector 
in every district, every station in the Empire, received 
three large ofl&cial envelopes, which he had already re- 
ceived instructions were to be put into his safe, and there 
kept "until they should be necessary." The first of 
these envelopes that disappeared behind lock and key 
had inscribed on the cover in large printed capitals: 
FRANCE." On the second of these docimients was 
WAR WITH RUSSIA"; and the third: "TO BE 
FRANCE AND RUSSIA." There was no fourth. No 
envelope with: "TO BE OPENED IN THE EVENT 



BRITAIN." Every year a gold-laced official would 
come round to collect these envelopes, and carefully 
scrutinize them, to see that they were untampered 
with. . . . Year after year this serious formahty would be 
gone through; then came " the day. " " You will do this 
and that "; "Trains will pass through your station at the 
following times"; "Signalmen to be instructed to lower 
their signals so many minutes before each train." . . . 

It is in this manner that all of the three great efforts 
were prepared for months beforehand. For the last 
effort that cleared Galicia, it was probably March that 
saw a whole staff of the ablest and stiffest young men, 
straight from Staff Colleges, and full of ambition, sit 
down imder the direction of a snow-white-haired old 
general or so, and carefully plot out with huge diagrams 
the exact time at which each train and each wagon was 
to leave its position, from where it was to be gathered 
in, and where it was to be concentrated, and whither it 
was to go. It is largely to these young men in spectacles, 
sitting in Berlin, that General von Mackensen owes his 
victories. At any rate, he could not possibly accomplish 
them without. 




To understand the campaign on the Western Front from 
its beginning, it is necessary to take account of the expec- 
tations of Germany and France, and the disappointments 
of the first month of the war. The Germans, avoiding the 
strongly fortified French frontier, swiftly moved large forces 
toward Belgium with the hope that Belgium would yield 
passage to Paris. The first setback came with Belgium's 
refusal and the stout resistance of Liege, against which 
30,000 men were moved under General von Emmich. Pres- 
ently, three armies of about 1,000,000 men pressed forward. 
One marched on Brussels, another crossed the Meuse and 
marched against Namur, and a third swept through the 
Ardennes. Meantime, the French, eager to win their lost 
province, massed forces to capture Alsace, but were com- 
pelled to alter their plan of campaign to meet the German 
armies as they swept south. While Belgium's brave resist- 
ance gave England time to transport the first forces to 
France, the combined armies were not large or eflScient 
enough to stem the advancing Teutonic tide. The British 
in the vicinity of Mons were overwhelmed. The fall of 
Namur, August 2 2d, was a great blow to the AlUes. In 
the battles about Mons and Charleroi there were only 
300,000 Allied troops to meet the German onslaught of 
750,000 men. The Germans were now apparently in a posi- 
tion to sweep everything before them, march rapidly on 
Paris, and repeat the triumphs of 1870 on a greater scale. 
It was then that General Joffre, rising to the occasion, 
brought the Allied armies together for the first decisive 
battle of the war. It is estimated that more than 3,000,000 
men were engage^ in this battle, and that the losses were not 
less than 500,000. This great victory for the Allies effectu- 
ally put a stop to Germany's plan to annihilate the French 
army, and then turn to meet Russia before anything impor- 
tant should happen on the Eastern Front. Germany's tactics 
were forthwith changed and the war became a struggle for 
trenches and minor positions, taken, lost, retaken. 



[The first British expeditionary force left England for 
France during the early weeks of August, in command of 
Sir John French. By August 2 2d, the forces were gathered 
for action, and on the 23d, three army corps extended along 
a twenty-five mile front east and west of Mons, a Belgian 
town of twenty-five thousand inhabitants. The battle be- 
gan that day and continued until it became clear that the 
British were greatly outnumbered and must retreat to escape 
annihilation. The retreat lasted twelve days, during which 
there were constant forced marches day and night, and in- 
cessant rear-guard actions. 

The Editor^ 

The general situation in this region, as it was known at 
the moment to the leaders of the Allies, may be briefly 
stated. It was at last plain, after much uncertainty, that 
the first great shock and collision of forces was destined to 
take place in this northern area. It was plain, also, that 
Belgium, for some time to come, was out of the scheme. 
Liege had fallen, and with it how many hopes and pre- 
dictions of the engineer! Brussels was occupied; and the 
Belgian field army was retiring to shelter under the ram- 
parts of Antwerp. Except for Namur, there was nothing 
in Belgiimi north of the Allied line to stop the Ger- 
man advance. Von Kluck and Von Billow, with the First 
and Second German Annies, were marching without 
opposition toward the French frontier — Von Kluck 



toward the southwest and Von Biilow toward the 
crossings of the Sambre. By the evening of the 20th, 
Von Billow's guns were bombarding Namur. So much 
was known to the leaders of the Allies : of the strength 
of the advancing armies they knew little. . . . 

The line occupied by the British ran due east from 
the neighborhood of Conde along the strait of the 
Conde-Mons Canal, round the loop which the canal 
makes north of Mons, and then, with a break, patrolled 
by cavalry, turned back at almost a right angle toward 
the southeast of the direction of the Mons-Beaumont 
road. The whole of the canal Hne, including the loop 
round Mons, — a front of nearly twenty miles, — was 
held by the Second Army Corps, and the First Army 
Corps lay off to its right, holding the southeastern line 
to a point about nine miles from Mons. There being no 
infantry reserves available in this small force, General 
Allenby's cavalry division was employed to act on the 
flank or in support of any threatened part of the line. . . . 

Throughout the Saturday our men intrenched them- 
selves, the North-Countrymen among them finding 
in the chimney stacks and slag heaps of this mining 
district much to remind them of home. The hne they 
held was clearly not an easy line to defend. No saUent 
ever is, and a glance at the map will show that this was 
no common saHent. To the sharp apex of Mons was 
added, as an aggravation, the loop of the canal. It was 
nevertheless the best hne available, and, once adopted, 
had been occupied with that double view both to defense 
and to attack which a good commander has always be- 
fore him. . . . 

The attack had most certainly begun; and it began, 


as was expected, at the weakest and most critical point 
of the line, the canal loop, which was held by the Third 
Division. This division had the heaviest share of the 
fighting throughout the day, maintaining, longer than 
seemed humanly possible, a hopeless position against 
hopeless odds, the Second Royal Irish and Fourth Mid- 
dlesex of the Eighth Brigade, and the Fourth Royal 
Fusiliers of the Ninth Brigade, particularly distinguish- 
ing themselves. The bridges over the canal, which our 
men held, after some preliminary shelling, wereattacked 
by infantry debouching from the low woods which at 
this point came down to within three hundred or four 
hundred yards of the canal. These woods were of great 
assistance to the enemy, both here and at other points 
of the canal, in providing cover for their infantry and 
machine guns. The odds were very heavy. One company 
of the Royal Fusiliers, holding the Nimy Bridge, was 
attacked at one time by as many as four battalions. 
The enemy at first came on in masses, and suffered 
severely in consequence. It was their first experience of 
the British "fifteen rounds a minute," and it told. They 
went down in bundles — our men delighting in a form of 
musketry never contemplated in the Regulations. To 
men accustomed to hitting bobbing heads at eight hun- 
dred yards there was something monstrous and incred- 
ible in the German advance. They could scarcely be- 
lieve their eyes; such targets had never appeared to 
them even in their dreams. Nor were our machine guns 
idle. In this, as in many other actions that day and in 
the days that followed, our machine guns were han- 
dled with a skill and devotion which no one appreciated 
more than the enemy. . . . 



The attack had now spread along the whole line of 
the canal; but except at the loop the enemy could make 
no impression. There, however, numbers told at last, 
and about the middle of the afternoon the Third Divi- 
sion was ordered to retire from the salient, and the Fifth 
Division on its left directed to conform. Bridges were 
blown up — the Royal Engineers vying with the other 
services in the race for glory: and by the night of the 
23d, after various vicissitudes, the Second Army Corps 
had fallen back as far as the line Montreuil-Wasmes- 
Paturages-Frameries. That the retirement, though suc- 
cessful, was expensive, is not to be wondered at, when 
it is remembered that throughout this action, as we 
now know, the Second Army Corps was outnumbered 
by three to one. All ranks, however, were in excellent 
spirits. Allowing for handicaps, they felt that they had 
proved themselves the better men. 

It was a feeling which was to be severely tried in the 
next few days. At 5 p.m. on Sunday the 23d, as the 
Second Corps was withdrawing from the canal, the 
British Commander-in-Chief received a most unexpected 
telegraph from General Joffre, the Generalissimo of the 
Allied armies, to the effect that at least three German 
army corps were moving forward against the British 
front, and that a fourth corps was endeavoring to out- 
flank him from the west. He was also informed that the 
Germans had on the previous day captured the crossings 
of the Sambre between Charleroi and Namur, and that 
the French on his right were retiring. In other words, 
Namur, the defensive pivot of the Anglo-French line, 
on the resistance of which — if only for a few days — 
the Allied strategy had depended, had fallen almost at 




Poisonous gas was first used by the Germans at the second 
battle of Ypres in April, 1915. The French colonial troops, 
completely surprised by this new and terrifying weapon, 
suffered heavily and were compelled to give ground. The 
battle is memorable for the heroism of the Canadians, who, 
outflanked and nearly surrounded, held on at fearful cost 
and kept the Germans from breaking through. 

Gas attacks are made either by clouds, or by shells con- 
taining a quantity of gas which is released when the shells 
burst. In cloud attacks the gas cylinders (which are very 
similar to those used in a soda fountain) are buried in the 
front trench, one to a yard, with pipes extending a few feet 
into No Man's Land. Then, when conditions are just right 
and a gentle wind is blowing toward the enemy's trenches, 
the gas is released on its deadly mission. So powerful are the 
fumes that they have been known to kill at a distance of 
nine miles in the rear. 

At the first intimation of a gas attack a gong is rung in the 
trenches as a signal for the instant donning of gas masks. 
The artillery is also notified and a curtain of fire dropped 
fifty yards before the trenches in order to prevent an enemy 
attack which is always to be expected in connection with 
the release of gas, and also in the hope that the exploding 
shells may break up the gas cloud. 

The photograph from which this remarkable illustration 
was made was taken above the lines by a Russian aviator. 
It shows the start of a poison-gas attack by the Teutbns. 
Great clouds of chlorine gas are seen rolling toward the 
Russians, released from cylinders operated by men in the 
first line. Behind these men three lines of troops are visible, 
waiting to follow up the attack when the fumes have got in 
their deadly work. The strange black lines tha,t might almost 
be taken for gas cylinders are the shadows of the waiting 
soldiers. Evidently the attack was made shortly after sun- 


a blow. By Saturday the Germans had left Namur be- 
hind, and in numbers far exceeding French predictions 
had seized the crossings of the Sambre and Middle 
Meuse and were hammering at the junction of the 
Fifth and Fourth French Armies in the river-fork. The 
junction was pierced, and the French, unexpectedly and 
overwhelmingly assaulted both in front and flank, could 
do nothing but retire. By 5 p.m. on the Sunday, when 
the message was received at British Headquarters, the 
French had been retiring for anywhere from ten to twelve 
hours. The British army was for the moment isolated. 
Standing forward a day's march from the French on its 
right, faced and engaged by three German corps in front, 
and already threatened by a fourth corps on its left, it 
seemed a force marked out for destruction. 

In the British Higher Command, however, there was 
no flurry. There is a thing called British phlegm. 

The facts of the case, though unwelcome, were la- 
conically accepted. Over General Headquarters brooded 
a clubroom cakn. Airmen were sent up to confirm the 
French report, in the usual manner, and arrangements 
were quietly and methodically made for a retirement to- 
ward the prearranged Maubeuge-Valenciennes Hne. . . . 

It had been intended by the British Commander- 
in-Chief to make a stand on the Maubeuge line, and if 
the first calculations of the enemy's strength and inten- 
tions had proved correct, it is possible that a great 
battle might have been fought here, and continued by 
the French armies along the whole fortress line of 
northern France. Even as it was, the temptation to 
linger at Maubeuge must have been strong; it of- 
fered such an inviting buttress to our right flank, and 



filled so comfortably that dangerous gap between ,our 
line and the French. The temptation, to which a 
weaker commander might have succumbed, was 
resisted. . . . 

Early on the 25th, accordingly, the whole British 
army set out on the next stage of its retreat. Its func- 
tion in the general Allied strategy was now becoming 
clear. It was not merely fighting its own battles. 
Situated as it was on the left flank of the retiring 
French armies, it had become in effect the left flank 
guard of the Allied line, committed to its retirement, 
and to the protection of that retirement, to the end. 
The turning movement from the west, at first local 
and partial, had suddenly acquired a strategic sig- 
nificance. It threatened not merely the British army, 
but the whole Allied strategy of the retreat. Could 
the British resist it? Could they, at the least, delay it? 
These were the questions which the French leaders 
asked themselves, with some anxiety, as they retired 
with their armies from day to day, and waited for the 
counter-turn which was to come. For, as we now know, 
behind the retiring and still intact French armies, to 
the south and east of Paris, movements were shaping, 
forces were forming, which were to change the face of 
things in this western comer. . . . 

The crisis of the retreat was now approaching. 
There is a limit to what men can do, and it seemed 
for a moment as if this limit might be reached too 
soon. The Commander-in-Chief, seriously considering 
the accumulating strength of the enemy, the continued 
retirement of the French, his exposed left flank, the 
tendency of the enemy's western corps to envelop him, 



and above all, the exhausted and dispersed condition 
of his troops, decided to abandon the Le Cateau posi- 
tion, and to press on the retreat tiU he could put some 
substantial obstacle, such as the Sorrune or the Oise, 
between his men and the enemy, behind which they 
might reorganize and rest. He therefore ordered his 
corps commanders to break off whatever action they 
might have in hand, and continue their retreat as soon 
as possible toward the new Saint-Quentin line. 

The First Corps was by this time terribly exhausted, 
but, on receiving the order, set out from its scattered 
halting-places in the early hours of the 26th. ... 

That the day was critical, that it was ail or nothing, 
was realized by all ranks. Everything was thrown into 
the scale; nothing was held back. Regiments and bat- 
teries, with complete self-abandonment, faced hopeless 
duels at impossible ranges; brigades of cavalry on the 
flanks boldly threatened divisions; and in the half -shel- 
ter of their trenches the infantry, withering but never 
budging, grimly dwindled before the German guns. It 
was our first experience on a large scale of modern artil- 
lery in mass. For the first six hours the gims never 
stopped. To our infantry it was a time of stubborn and 
almost stupefied endurance, broken by lucid intervals of 
that deadly musketry which had played such havoc with 
the Germans at Mons. To our artillery it was a duel, 
"and perhaps of all the displays of constancy and devo- 
tion in a battle where every man in every arm of the 
service did his best, the display of the gunners was the 
finest. For they accepted the duel quite cheerfully, and 
made such sport with the enemy's infantry that even 
their masses shivered and recoiled. By midday, how- 



ever, many of our batteries were out of action, and 
the enemy infantry had advanced almost to the main 
Cambrai-Le Cateau road, behind which our men, in their 
pathetic civilian trenches, were quietly waiting. . . . 




[AccoKDiNG to the report of Sir John French, commanding 
the British forces, General Jofire, Commander-in-Chief of 
the Allied armies, announced his intention on September 5th 
to take the offensive, and on Smiday, the 6th, at sunrise, 
the combined movements of the armies began. The great 
battle front extended from Ermenonville, through Lizy on 
the Mame, Mauperthuis, Courtecon, to Esternay and 
Charleville (the left of the Ninth Army under General Foch), 
and so on to a point north of the fortress of Verdun. The 
battle continued imtil the evening of September loth, when 
the Germans had been driven back to the line of Soissons- 
Rheims, with the loss of thousands of prisoners, many guns, 
and great masses of transport. 

The Editor^ 

The position of the five German armies concerned in 
the pursuit of the Franco-British left and center was, 
on the evening of the 4th, generally speaking, a line 
in close touch with the Allied front. The Fifth Army, 
under the Crown Prince, after its successful engage- 
ment at Longwy, had thrown its right wing across 
the Meuse below Verdun and had moved against the 
fortress, which was then partially invested. In touch 
with this army and to the west of it was the Fourth 
Army, vmder the Duke of Wiirtemberg, which, after 
its victory near Sedan, was pushed on past Chilons, 
where it was sharply attacked by the retiring French 



Fourth Army. Working still westward was the Ger- 
man Third Army. . . . Then came a gap to where lay 
the First Army of General von Kluck, which had been 
chiefly charged with the shepherding of the British 
force and of sweeping the country wide to the west. 
The right columns of this army had stretched to Amiens 
and Beauvais, while cavalry detachments had pene- 
trated almost as far as Rouen. On the 3d of September 
its main body was on the line Creil-Senlis-Nanteuil. 
And it had begun to close in on its left, for by that 
date Lille, Arras, Douai, Bethime, and Lens were re- 
ported to be clear of Germans. 

On that day there occurred an event which was to 
change the whole aspect of the war. The direction of 
the march of the German First Army was altered. 
Hitherto an advance on Paris had been regarded as 
almost certain, but just before midnight on the night 
of the 3d-4th of September a dispatch was published 
in Paris to the effect that contact with the Germans 
on the line Creil-Nanteuil had been lost. Some unex- 
pected movement was clearly foreshadowed, and early 
in the morning of the 4th aeroplanes rose from the 
city to solve the mystery. During the forenoon they 
were able to report to General Gallieni, the Military 
Governor of Paris, that cavalry scouts followed by 
large bodies of infantry were moving in a southeast- 
erly direction, across the British front, and further 
air reconnaissances, in which the British aviators did 
splendid service, placed it beyond all doubt that, all 
day long on the 4th, the German First Army was 
moving generally east of a line drawn from Nanteuil 
to Lizy on the river Ourcq. A consideration as to the 



probable reasons which induced General von Kluck to 
accept the hazard of attempting a flank march across 
the face of an enemy in position and in the immediate 
vicinity of a large fortress may with advantage be 
reserved. . . . The plan was apparently conceived with 
the object of making a vigorous effort to break the 
AUies' line at some point of supposed weakness. But 
whatever may have been its cause or its ultimate ob- 
ject, the French commanders were quick to realize that 
such changes do not often occur in war, and to grasp 
the fact that this flank march offered them an excep- 
tionally favorable opportunity for attack. The pro- 
ject of a further retirement behind the Seine was at 
once abandoned. It was General GaUierd who took the 
first step, for on the morning of the 4th of September 
he conceived the idea of launching the Sixth Army 
against the German forces moving southeast. At 9 a.m. 
he thus wrote to General Maunoury: "I shall give 
you your marching orders so soon as I know the 
direction of the march of the British army. Mean- 
while be ready to march this afternoon so as to make 
an attack to-morrow, the 5th of September, east of 
Paris." He then telephoned his action to the General- 
issimo, who approved of the course taken; and General 
Joffre in the evening issued the necessary orders to his 
troops. . . . 

[General Joffre's orders for attack, with special reference 
to the risky situation of the German First Army, were forth- 
with sent to the various generals in command of the French 
and British forces, and "all the available forces" were to be 
ready for the offensive on the morning of the 6th. The arrival 
of the Fourth Corps from the neighborhood of Verdim was 



delayed, also two reserve divisions, too exhausted to take 
their places in line at the appointed time. But by a brilliant 
move, later, the Military Governor of Paris hurried portions 
of these troops to the firing-line by commandeering thousands 
of motor cars, taxicabs, and motor omnibuses.] 

The area on which the battle was about to be con- 
tested may be delineated as follows: A line drawn east 
and west through Compiegne forms the northern bound- 
ary and a similar line through Sezanne and Vitry-le- 
Francois will mark the southern edge, the sides of the 
battlefield being marked by north and south lines drawn 
through Verdun and sh'ghtly to the west of Compiegne 
respectively. A rectangle is thus formed inside of 
which took place all the fighting of the battle of the 
Mame, and it includes the intrenched positions on the 
right bank of the Aisne, back to which the Germans 
retired after their defeat. The length of the rectangle 
from east to west is roughly one hundred and twenty 
miles, and the distance from the southern to the north- 
ern edge is fifty miles, so that the battlefield may be 
said to cover an area of some six thousand square miles. 
. . . The eastern strip is, generally speaking, a large 
cultivated plain, in which the Marne, flowing through 
a well-marked valley, receives as tributaries the Ourcq 
and the two Morins. . . . Speaking generally, the roads 
within the area forming the battlefield are good, and 
this applies to the lesser byroads as well as to the main 
routes. In many cases the latter are fringed with the 
tall trees so characteristic of French roads, a factor 
which was not without military importance in view of 
the excellent ranging marks thus afforded for military 
fire. The woods with which the country abounds have 



mostly a thick undergrowth, which renders them a dis- 
tinct obstacle to attacking troops, but such under- 
growth is not to be found to quite the same extent in 
the larger forests. A marked distinction between the 
battlefield and a corresponding area of English coun- 
try is the almost total absence of the hedgerows so 
distinctive in rural England. This factor gave great 
freedom of movement and was on the whole in favor 
of the attacking side. 

Such was the setting for the great struggle which 
was now to open. The field was worthy of such a 
contest. It had witnessed the most brilliant efforts of 
Napoleon's strategy, and had been the scene of two 
decisive battles of the world. At Vahny in 1792 the 
elder Kellermaim had stemmed the tide of invasion 
on the very day when France first declared herself 
a republic. Thirteen centuries earlier at Chalons the 
Roman general Aetius had driven back the Huns 
when imder Attila the torrent of their arms was di- 
rected west and south, and their myriads marched 
under the guidance of one master-mind to the over- 
throw of the new and old powers of the world. 

[It is difficult to tell the actual numbers arrayed for battle, 
because the two sides have withheld the exact hsts of cas- 
ualties since the war began, and the exact composition of the 
reserve corps on the German side is unknown. Exclusive 
of the garrisons at Verdun and Paris, General Joffre had 
at least 700,000 men at his disposal. Major Whitton states, 
"It is generally believed, except by the German public, that 
the Germans were superior in nvimbers along the battle 
front." The total estknate of the armies engaged is put by 
some authorities as high as 3,000,000 men.] 



Both sides fully realized the importance of the battle 
which was now opening, and, by proclamations circu- 
lated among the troops, the higher commands strove to 
bring the urgency of the issue clearly before the rank 
and file. The order of the day drawn up by the French 
Generalissimo is couched in somewhat unconventional 
terms. Apart from the absence of the customary refer- 
ences to the defense of home and country it was re- 
markable for its curt, peremptory, and almost menacing 
tone. It ran as follows: — 

"At the moment when a battle, on which depends 
the welfare of the country, is about to begin, I have to 
remind all ranks that the time for looking back is past. 
Every effort must be made to attack the enemy and 
hurl him back. Troops which find advance impossible 
must stand their ground at all costs and die rather 
than give way. This is a moment when no faltering 
will be tolerated." 

The tone of this brief document is curiously at vari- 
ance with the dramatic appeals to national sentiment, 
and to the stirring recollection of bygone victories by 
which, at critical moments, orders of the day to French 
armies are usually characterized. 

. . . Although some fighting had taken place through- 
out the 5th on the line Dammartin-Meaux, the battle 
proper may be said to have begun at dawn on Sunday, 
the 6th of September, a dawn which gave promise of 
a day of almost tropical heat. The French Sixth Army 
had as its task to force the passage of the river Ourcq 
between Lizy and Neufchelles and to make for ChS,- 
teau Thierry, a movement which was practically tanta- 
mount to an order to attack the flank ai^d rear of the 



German First Army. At daybreak the French troops 
marched out, the Sixth Army acting in two wings, of 
which the right was formed by the reserve corps . . . 
[which] had occupied the line Cuisy-Ivemy-Neuf- 
montiers. From this line early on the morning of the 
6th this wing was once more set in motion, the Ger- 
mans, who were apparently unprepared for such an 
onslaught, being attacked on the rolling hills round 
Monthyon and Penchard. . . . The French artillery . . . 
made short work of the German field gims posted right 
and left of the Meaux-Soissons road and on a smaller 
elevation above the village of fitrepiUy. The village 
of Barcy was very heavily shelled throughout the day 
and was reduced to ruins before being taken toward 
evening by a battalion of chasseurs-d-pied. Here feU 
Major d'Urbal, of the Second Zouaves, brother of 
General d'Urbal — his grave dug by the shell which 
caused his death, and on the groimd which sloped 
toward the Ourcq, French and German dead lay in 
hundreds, in some cases the foes transfixed with bay- 
onets as they had fallen fighting. The day had been 
one of frequent hand-to-hand encounters, but when 
darkness fell General Lamaze's corps had gained 
several miles of ground and was in occupation of the 
line Chambry-Barcy-Marcilly. 

While the French Reserve Corps was thus making 
headway to the east, the Seventh Corps on its left was 
attacking the line Marcilly-Acy-en-Multien. At day- 
break it had seized the village of Saint-Soupplets, 
and was able to push on with considerable speed, for 
practically the whole of the German Fourth Reserve 
Corps was held by General Lamaze's troops on the 



right; part of it was, however, falling back in a north- 
easterly direction toward Acy-en-Multien. The com- 
mander of the German corps had not been slow to real- 
ize that the fighting which developed was something 
far different from a mere affair of advanced troops 
and had, early in the morning, sent oflf to General von 
Kluck urgent appeals for assistance. . . . During the 
day General von Kluck continued to send off further 
reinforcements to deal with what was an obvious peril 
to his right flank, but these colxmins had now to run 
the gauntlet of the French Eighth Division, which was 
south of the Mame. Toward evem'ng some stiff fight- 
ing, in consequence, took place in the Meaux woods, 
with the result that the German colimins were delayed 
in their crossing of the Mame, and the day closed on 
a distinct tactical success for the French Sixth Army 

[The British Forces also began operations at sunrise; later 
they seized the heights on the Grand Morin, west of Cou- 
lommiers, and by evening lay astride of the Grand Morin; 
but on the whole they did but little fighting the first day. 
Meanwhile the other French armies had come into action, 
and the battle of the Grande Couronne de Nancy reacted 
favorably on that along the Marne. The next day it became 
apparent that General von Kluck had taken alarm and that 
large forces from the German First Army were recrossing the 
Mame in the direction of Ourcq. A comparatively small 
force was left to withstand the British; the latter moved for- 
ward to the attack, using their cavalry to great advantage. 
The French Fifth Army felt the relaxation of pressure on its 
front caused by the withdrawal of the Germans across the 
Marne, and its task became largely one of pursmt. The Fourth 
and Ninth Armies had to sustain themselves against fierce 
attacks, while the Germans also threatened the French 
above Verdun. On the whole the attainments of September 



7th were a disappointment. On the Sth the Germans began 
to feel the pressure which was to culminate in a general re- 
treat, although the day was notable for the violence of the 
German attacks. The British army came more fully into 
play with the order to force the passage of the Petit 

The general order for the British army was now to 
advance toward Nogent-l'Artaud as a preliminary 
step to a further movement toward Chateau Thierry. 
. . . When the troops left their bivouacs early in the 
morning the sky was already full of aeroplanes and the 
air himiming with the whir of their engines. As the 
German cavalry which had been opposing the British 
throughout the 7th had, on the morning of that day, 
fallen back to the right bank of the Petit Morin, the 
march of the British was at first undisturbed. But on 
reaching that river it was soon realized that the German 
rear guard would not yield their line without a strug- 
gle, especially as the steep valley, covered with small 
but thick woods, distinctly favored the defense. On 
the British right two battalions of the First Corps were 
sharply engaged about Sabloimieres and suffered a num- 
ber of casualties before they succeeded in clearing 
the Germans out of the village in conjunction with 
the First Cavalry Brigade. ... On the left the Third 
Corps had passed through La Haute Maison early in 
the morning and during the day attacked from the line 
Signy-Signets-Jouarre in the direction of La Ferte- 
sous-Jouarre, supported by some French guns, while 
the British howitzers shelled the bridges of that place 
across which Germans were streaming northward. . . . 
By evening the British had made good the Petit Morin 



and were on the west and south of La Ferte-sousr 
Jouarre. . . . 

Wednesday, the 9th of September, was a day of high 
winds and drenching rains, which were especially vio- 
lent in the center and east of the position. A critical 
moment had arrived, for on the Ourcq the battle was 
still undecided, and the menace to General Maunoury's 
left flank had grown extremely serious. ... In the ab- 
sence of a General Reserve, reinforcements, however, 
were difficult to obtain, but the Military Governor of 
Paris again rose to the occasion. During the night 
he dispatched some Zouave troops by railway and by 
motors to Senlis and Creil, and, apparently at the 
same time and by the latter method of transport, he 
sent the Sixty-second Reserve Division from the Paris 
garrison. The Germans on their side were making 
most determined efforts to drive in the French left 
flank. During the morning they gained possession of 
Nanteuil and their troops were found as far as Baron 
to the northwest. The French cavalry soon made some 
prisoners, from whom it was discovered that the new 
arrivals consisted of at least a brigade of Landwehr 

The French Fourth Corps (less the Eighth Division) 
was now upon the extreme left. In face of the severe 
attack upon his front, and fearing that the enemy at 
Baron might work round his rear, its commander with- 
drew toward Silly-le-Long. . . . General Maunoury, 
when he heard what was happening, instantly sent a 
staff officer to General Boelle, the commander of the 
corps, with instructions to hold his ground at all cost, 
and even to advance, regardless of sacrifices. In re- 



sponse to this urgent message General Boelle halted 
his men and, flanked by some of the First Cavalry 
Corps, struggled northwards toward Nanteuil. 

General von Kluck had, however, now shot his bolt. 
News had apparently reached him about midday from 
General Marwitz, who was commanding the rear 
guard on the Marne, indicating the difficulties that 
he was ejcperiencing in, face of the strong British ad- 
vance. This intelligence, coupled later with the news 
that the French Fourth Corps was coming on again at 
Nanteuil, seems to have brought it home to him that 
there was now nothing for it but a frank retreat. The 
definite orders to that effect were issued somewhere 
about 8 P.M., but these were anticipated by instructions 
for the immediate withdrawal of troops not actually 
engaged. During the afternoon French aeroplanes were 
therefore able to report that immense German trains 
east of the Ourcq were heading northeast evidently in 
full retreat, and that these were being followed by col- 
umns of all arms. . . . General Maunoury summoned 
the Eighth Division to leave the right flank and to 
hurry to Silly-le-Long so as to be in a position to 
support an attack which he proposed to deliver with 
his left early on the loth. This he hoped would put 
the seal on the victory which his army had now un- 
questionably achieved. This happy consummation for 
the French was not, however, entirely due to the 
counter-stroke of the Seventh Division of the Fourth. 
Corps, for elsewhere along the line of the Sixth Army 
the remaining troops had played a gallant part. . . . 

[The Germans had previously destroyed the bridges at 
La Ferte-sous-Jcuarre, and the British were unable to 



bridge the Mame during daylight. But by nightfall the bulk 
of the Third Corps had crossed, and the Second Corps forced 
the passage higher up the river. A German battery was 
immediately taken, and the British pressed forward. The 
French Fifth Army was also busy on the Mame, the Ninth 
was compelled to give some ground; but the Third, under 
General Sarrail, put the Crown Prince's army near Verdim 
into a position not unlike that of Von Kluck's forces a few 
days before.] 

According to trustworthy reports, the German Em- 
peror on the evening of the 9th of September, foimd 
himself compelled to sign an order for the general re- 
treat of the five armies between Paris and Verdim. 
A summary of the day might, therefore, be confined 
to the statement that the Germans had acknowledged 
defeat and that, therefore, the French had won a vic- 
tory. This, however, is somewhat beside the point, for 
the question to consider is how the situation presented 
itself to the French Generalissimo at the end of the day. 
He could not, naturally, have been aware of the issue 
of the momentous order of the German Emperor, and 
his conclusions had to be based upon results actu- 
ally known. On the Ourcq the crisis had been passed 
with clear gain to the French Sixth Army. . . . That 
the Germans would have to acknowledge defeat was 
extremely probable, but the extent of his own victory 
remained problematic. General Joffre had experienced 
constant retreat, himself, almost since the war broke 
out. But he had never for a moment allowed retreat 
to affect his determination to use it purely as a means 
of resuming the offensive at his own time and imder 
his own conditions. Such time and conditions had oc- 
curred, and General Joffre had been quick to use them, 



. . . Everything, therefore, depended upon the capacity 
of his armies so to press the pursuit as to deny to the 
enemy the power of re-forming within a reasonable 
time or within a favorable situation for retaking the 
offensive. . . . 

[The next mornmg, the British started in pursuit in the 
pouring rain, many parties of the Germans were rounded 
up, but the bulk of them were glad to surrender. The French 
armies also joined in the pursuit, with changes of front to the 
northeast according to General Joffre's plan as a whole. The 
retreat of the Germans could not be called a rout, since it was 
well managed and the heavy guns were got away in safety 
according to plans prepared, with the thoroughness charac- 
teristic of the Germans. The last of the infantry escorting 
the guns were hurried away in motor-cars. The pursuit 
continued on the following day, and finally the Germans 
reached their intrenched positions on the Aisne, the fact that 
they sought shelter being "the most eloquent confession of 
failure they could have made."] 




[The invasion of Belgium began with the attack upon Liege, 
which was followed by the destruction of one town or city- 
after another till Brussels was taken August 20th, and 
Namur two days later. With the fall of Brussels the Belgian 
army withdrew to Antwerp, which was besieged for ten 
days prior to its fall, October gth. The Belgian army escaped 
south through Ostend to the Yser, north of Dunkirk. 

The Editor] 

Antwerp, the temporary capital of Belgium, was at 
this time invested, but not yet besieged, by the Ger- 
man army. On the south the city was already cut off 
by several regiments of the Ninth and Tenth Ger- 
man Army Corps and General von Boehn. The river 
Scheldt and the Dutch border formed a wall on the 
north and west. It was to Antwerp, therefore, that we 
determined to go. . . . 

Judging from the looks of the country, and the burn- 
ing villages, we were on the heels of a devastating army. 
For three, four, and five miles on either side of the road 
beautiful trees lay flat upon the ground. It was not 
until we saw groups of Belgian soldiers tearing down 
their own walls and hedges and applying match and 
gasoline to those which still stood, that we realized that 
this was a case of self-inflicted destruction. Farm- 
houses, stores, churches, old Belgian mansions, and 
windmills were either "in flames or smouldering ruins. 



Where burning had not been sufficient, powder and 
dynamite had been applied to destroy landmarks which 
for centuries had been the coimtry's pride. As far as 
the eye could reach the Countryside was flattened to a 
desert. . .^ . The devastation was for the defensive pur- 
pose of giving an unobstructed view to the cannon of 
Antwerp's outer fortifications, which on that side cov- 
ered one sector of the circle swept by her enormous guns. 
I should hesitate to mention the millions of dollars of 
self-inflicted damage to Antwerp's suburbs alone. . . . 

There is no need of describing in detail Antwerp at 
the time of my first visit. One or two pictures will 
suffice to give a rough idea of its existence up to the 
time of the bombardment. Try to imagine, for example, 
going about your business in New York or Boston or 
Los Angeles when your country, a territory perhaps the 
size of the New England States, was already two thirds 
overrun, biu:nt, smashed, and conquered by a hostile 
nation, whose forces were now within nineteen miles of 
the gates of the capital. Imagine that nation's warriors 
in the act of crushing your tiny army, whose remnants 
were already exhausted and on the verge of despair. 
Then picture a quaint, sleepy city, with shadowy alleys 
and twisting, gabled streets, in which every other store 
and house was decorated with King Albert's picture 
draped in the red, black, and yellow banner of the 
country — a city whose atmosphere was charged with 
fear and suspicion and excitement. Sometimes a crowd 
of a thousand or two drew one toward the Central Sta- 
tion where bedraggled, refugee families, just arrived 
from Liege, Termonde, Aerschot, and Malines, stood on 
street comer or wagon top and thrilled the crowd with 



tales of atrocities and the story of their flight from their 
burning homes to the south. Now and then the crowd 
parted before the clanging bell of a Red Cross ambulance 
rushing its load of bleeding bodies to the hospitals 
along the Place de Meir. Nurses, male or female, climg 
to the ambulance steps. . . . During the daytime the 
ordinary things of life went on, for the good burghers 
and shopkeepers went about their business as usual, 
and, generally speaking, fought against fear as bravely 
as the soldiers in the trenches stood up against the 
German howitzers. It was only after dark (when mar- 
tial law permitted no lights of any kind) that the city 
seemed to shiver and suck in its breath; doors were bar- 
ricaded, iron shutters came down, and behind them 
people talked in whispers. . . . 

Such, very briefly, was the condition of Antwerp at 
the time we arrived. That very evening word came that 
the Belgian forces, which had been engaged with the 
enemy for five consecutive days of severe fighting, had 
retired behind the southern ramparts of the city. 

During the night the stream of incoming wounded 
confirmed the news of battle. In the moonlight, and 
later in the gray dawn, I watched the long lines of Bel- 
gian hounds, pulling their rapid-fire gims toward the 
trenches. Many times later I was destined to see them. 
They made a picturesque and stimulating sight — those 
faithful dogs of war — fettered, and harnessed, their 
tongues hanging out as they lay patiently beneath the 
gun trucks awaiting the order to go into action, or, when 
the word had been given, trotted along the dusty roads, 
each pair tugging to the battle front a lean, gray engine 
of destruction. . . . 



Though not ofl&cially admitted to the besieged city- 
fat the time of the second visit], I went at once to my 
old stand, the H6tel Saint-Antoine, now converted into 
British Staff Headquarters. At sxmdown a mist crept 
up from the river, and through it we heard a roar of 
welcome and the rumble of heavy artillery. Charging 
down the Avenue de Keyser, came a hundred London 
motor-busses, Picadilly signs and all, some filled, some 
half-filled, with a wet-looking bimch of Tommies, fol- 
lowed by armored mitrailleuses, a few 6.7 naval gims, 
officers' machines, commissary and ammunition carriages 
— the first brigade of Winston Chiurchill's army of reUef, 
which for five days was destined to make so valiant, but 
so short, a fight against the overwhelming German army. 

There was something typically British in the way 
those Englishmen went about the defense of Antwerp. 
In the streets and barracks, and more especially at the 
Saint-Antoine, where I stayed until its doors were 
closed, I saw them at close range during that week of 
horror. Once when I was eating with a company of 
marines near their temporary barracks, they gave me 
the password to the trenches, and, although I only got 
as far as the inner line of forts on that day, it gave me an 
opportimity to observe the work of the men under long- 
range firing. . . . 

Here was Belgiimi's last stronghold on the verge of 
downfall: the outer line of forts had aheady fallen; 
Forts Wavre, St. Catherine, Waelham, and Lierre were 
already prey to the Krupp mortars; the German hosts 
were swarming across the river Nethe, six miles to the 
city's south, and the cowering populace in their flight 
made the streets terrible to look upon. 



Yet at the Saint-Antoine there was no particular 
flurry — so far, at least, as the ofiicers were concerned. 
At night they worked over their war maps; in the 
daytime they went out to the forts. ... If only two 
or three of a group returned, you would naturally 
have to draw your own conclusions as to the fate of 
the rest. 

Those English gentlemen went about their jobs of 
life and death with the same detached coolness as if 
their hunters were being saddled, or they were waiting 
for the referee's whistle in Rugby football. Their atti- 
tude was infernally exasperating; yet you couldn't 
help taking off your hat to their sublime nerve and in- 

By that time we of Antwerp were getting a very fair 
imitation of a city besieged. Water supply had already 
been cut off for some days. There was just enough for 
cooking purposes; bathing and such pleasantries were 
out of the question — even for royalty. . . . Monday, 
October 5th, the night before the city emptied itself of 
non-combatants, was almost a festive occasion at the 
Saint-Antoine. The British entry gave tremendous 
confidence to the stricken city and the tired Belgian 
soldiers — a bit of pride before the fall. New faces 
turned up, friends in the English army met, shook 
hands, and discussed the outlook. ... In the flash of 
an eye these scenes changed to scenes of terror. 

The news leaked out, and spread like wild-fire, that 
the Kaiser's men had crossed the river Nethe and had 
placed their big guns within range of the city. It was 
not until forty-eight hours later that the populace saw 
a handful of Flemish posters pasted in out-of-the-way 



corners — posters signed by the Civil Government — 
which thanked the populace "for retaining until the 
present time their praiseworthy sang-froid, and regret- 
ting that the responsibilities of their office necessitated 
their own removal to a neighborhood more safe." . . . 

Then came the flight. You knew the fear of the Ger- 
mans had got into their blood when waiters dropped 
their plates and dishes and ran; when shops, houses, 
hotels closed and the people melted away; when the 
French chambermaid besought with frightened eyes 
that Monsieur would take her away to England, and 
when the hotel proprietor disappeared without even 
asking for his biU. . . . 

Here [on the water front] was a sight to come again 
and rend the memory. The crowds were endeavoring to 
get away on one of the two avenues still open. I esti- 
mated that between five in the afternoon and the fol- 
lowing dawn 300,000 persons must have passed through 
the city's gates. They were the people of Antwerp itself, 
swelled by exiles from Alost, Aerschot, Maliaes, Ter- 
monde, and other cities to the south and west. Liter- 
mittently for two days and nights I watched them from 
my room in the Queen's. From five yards beneath my 
window ledge came the shuffle, shuffle of imending feet, 
the creaks and groans of heavy cart wheels, the talk and 
babble of guttural tongues, the yelp of hounds, as the 
thousands moved and wept and surged and jostled 
along throughout the night and into the imcertain mist 
of that October morning. They were so close I could 
have jumped into their carts or dropped a pebble on 
their heads. Infinitely more impressive than the retreat 
of the Allied armies or the victorious entry of the Ger- 



mans a little later, was the pageant of this pitiful army 
without guns or leaders. . . . 

The twenty-foot entrance to that pontoon bridge 
seemed to me like the mouth of a funnel through which 
poured the dense misery of an entire nation. Think of 
this army's composition: a great city was emptying itself 
of himian life; not only a great city, but all the people 
driven to it from the outside, all who had congregated 
in Belgiimi's last refuge and its strongest fort. They 
bore themselves bravely, the greater number plodding 
along silently in the footsteps of those who went ahead, 
with no thoughts of their direction, some of them even 
chatting and laughing. You saw great open wagons 
carrying baby carriages, perambulators, pots and ket- 
tles, an old chair, huge bimdles of household goods, and 
the ubiquitous Belgian bicycle strapped on the side. 
There were small wagons, and more great wagons 
crowded with twenty, thirty, forty people: aged brown 
women, buried like shrunk walnuts in a mass of shawls, 
girls sitting listlessly on piles of straw, and children fit- 
fully asleep or very much awake and crying lustily. . . . 

In this way the city emptied itself, but so slowly that 
the very slowness of the movement wore the marchers 
out. Each family group was limited to the speed of its 
oldest member. Himdreds gave it up and lay by the 
road, or formed little gypsy camps imder the trees. At 
night these were lighted by fires, overshadowed by the 
greater fire from the distant burning city, and beside 
them stretched dumb-looking souls, watching vaguely 
those who still had strength to move. 

Watching these wretches got so on my nerves that I 
had to get out and do something. With a British inteUi- 



gence officer, formerly of Sir John French's staff, I wan- 
dered down to the southern quarter of the city known 
as Berchem. As usual, the gims at the outer forts had 
been booming through the evening. From the city's 
ramparts you could not only feel the shudder of the 
earth, but you could see occasional splashes of flame 
from the Belgian batteries, answered, in the dim dis- 
tance to the south, by smaller, less vivid splashes issu- 
ing from the mouths of the German instruments of 
"culture" which throughout the night pounded ruth- 
lessly on the unprotected houses within the city 

On the way we stopped in at the British field hospital 
to see a wounded British friend. As we left the hospital, 
on the Rue de Leopold, a shrieking sky-rocket whizzed 
by above us and buried its hissing head in the river to 
the north. One or two more fell at a distance of several 
hundred yards, and in the southern part of the city 
flames from several houses shot up into the quiet, 
windless night. 

The bombardment was on — the time was 12.07, 
Wednesday, midnight. For a moment I did not realize 
that this was the beginning of the end of Antwerp. I 
had heard so much gun-fire and seen so many bombs 
dropping from aeroplanes that I did not fully appreciate 
the significance of these shells. . . . 

As I walked down the Avenue de Keyser [the next 
morning] I thought at first it was Sunday — or rather a 
year of Sundays all rolled into one. 

Overnight the city had been transformed into a 
tomb. Shops were closed; iron shutters were pulled 
down everywhere; trolley cars stood in the street as 



they had been left. My own footsteps resounded fear- 
fully on the pavement, and I walked five blocks before 
I saw a human being. . . . 

All Thursday afternoon the German Taubes circled 
above the city — mostly along the water front. Below 
them puffed little clouds of smoke where the Belgian 
anti-aircraft gims were exploding. I fancy the air- 
men were locating the pontoon bridge and signaling 
the battery commanders six miles away. 

But during Wednesday and Thursday, when the 
crowds of refugees were assembled on the water front, 
not a single bomb dropped among them. A few shells, 
well placed, would have slaughtered them like sheep. 
Before and during the bombardment I am quite certain 
that the Germans intended to frighten, rather than injure, 

The bombardment lasted forty hours. That night — 
Thursday, October 8th — the second and last night 
which the town held out, all of the Americans were 
gathered at the Queen's. The firing by this time was 
terrific. Except for the lurid glare of the burning build- 
ings which ht up the streets, the city was in total dark- 
ness. . . . About an hour after darkness settled on us I 
climbed to the roof of the Queen's Hotel, from which, 
for a few minutes, I looked out upon the most horrible 
and at the same time the most gorgeous panorama 
that I ever hope to see. The entire southern portion of 
the city appeared a desolate ruin; whole streets were 
ablaze, and great sheets of fire rose to the height of 
thirty or forty feet. . . . Even more glorious was the 
scene to the north. 

On the opposite side of the Scheldt the oil tanks, 


the first objects to be set on fire by bombs from the 
German Taubes, were blazing furiously and vomiting 
huge volumes of oU-laden smoke. Looking over on 
this side of the river, too, I could see the crackling 
wooden houses of the village of St. Nicholas, lighting 
with their glow all of northern Antwerp and the water 

In the swampy meadows on the farther bank we could 
see the frightened refugees as they hurried along the 
still protected road to Ghent. They passed on our 
side of the burning village, not five himdred yards 
away. Every now and then as a fitful flame lighted the 
meadow I could see the figures silhouetted against the 
red background. They appeared to be actually walking 
through the flames. . . . There was at this time an omi- 
nous lull in the moaning poimd of shrapnel. 

Out of the darkness in the direction of West Antwerp 
came a new sound — the low methodical beat of feet. 
The noise became gradually louder and louder until one 
could hear the rumble of heavy wheels and distinguish 
the sound of voices above the crowd. This was the 
beginning of the British and Belgian retreat, which 
started at about eight o'clock Thursday night, and, 
under cover of darkness, continued unbroken for eight 
hours. Following the line taken by the escaping popu- 
lace this retreat went past our position on the water 
front. Before dawn on Friday morning, when the light 
became strong enough for the advancing army to make 
out the enemy's position, practically the entire Belgian 
army plus ten thousand Royal British Naval Marines 
had got across the pontoon bridge and were well along 
the road to Ghent. During aU these hours squads of 



gendarmes with fixed bayonets held back such remain- 
ing townsfolk as attempted to get near the bridge. To 
these wretches it seemed that their last avenue of escape 
had been cut off. . . . 

[Remaining in the city as long as possible, Mr. Green at 
length started for the pontoon bridge to escape into Holland, 
when a more terrible explosion than any that had been 
heard before rocked the city to its foundation. The retreating 
Belgian army had blown up the bridge, apparently cutting 
off the last avenue of escape. Mr. Green managed to clamber 
aboard a river barge laden to the sinking point with "Ant- 
werp's peaceful burghers and their dumb-looking women 
and children," and from this barge, which landed a few miles 
down the Scheldt, he made his way to Rooseendaal, just 
across the Dutch border.] 




[The author of the following narrative left London in 
September, 1914, and set out for Berlin, unknown to the 
German authorities, in quest of such information and ex- 
perience as a press correspondent might gain under such 
conditions. Not long after his arrival in Berlin, he was ar- 
rested, without explanation, and put in one prison after an- 
other until finally he was transferred from solitary confine- 
ment to the prison camp for civilians at Ruhleben, near Ber- 
lin. From the latter prison, wonderful to relate, he made his 
escape, in company with a fellow-prisoner, July 9, 1915, and 
succeeded in making his way by night to Holland and thence 
to London. 

The Editor] 

The first time I saw Ruhleben it was already dusk. 
There were six inches of snow upon the ground, and 
several degrees of frost. The soles of my boots were 
worn away from walking up and down the cell. I reck- 
oned I had altogether walked 1730 miles up and down 
those eleven feet. I walked with my socked feet upon 
the ice and snow. It was very cold. After we had passed 
along a brick waU, and had been admitted at a door 
haKway along, I foimd myself in a square. In the 
center of the square was an electric standard with an 
arc light which flickered. Beneath this arc light walked 
up and down himdreds of dark couples. They walked 
energetically, and seemed to have some object in doing 



so. I learned later that it was in order to keep warm. 
I was taken away to fill up my name on a slip, and for 
the policeman [who accompanied me] to hand over my 
money. I was given a receipt for the greater part of 
it, and was handed over about thirty marks in cash. 
There was a large map in the of&ce, and for the first time 
since October I saw where the line was on the Western 
Front. The last news that I had had was just before I 
got over the frontier. Then the great retreat of the 
Germans to the Aisne was in full swing. Of this, the 
German public heard nothing but that their "right wing 
had slightly altered its position backwards," — "am 
strategische grilnde" [for reasons of strategy], — and 
then, much later, it was noticed that the daily reports 
contained mention of places that had been captured in 
the great advance. Gradually, the idea filtered through 
to the mind of the German public that they had re- 
treated. The map with its flags and pins absorbed me 
immensely; I had not seen anything like it for more 
than four months. 

Then a soldier took me. We went down alleys, through 
doors. Everywhere there were people. The place was 
crowded with them. ... I went outside into the snow, 
and up a staircase outside. I sat on a straw sack on the 
floor and so did every one. I lived for months in that 
place. It was impossible to stand upright in it, and at 
one spot the snow came gently through the roof. It was 
here I slept. The atmosphere was as thick as cheese. . . . 
Nobody took his clothes off, or, at best, changed into 
others. We were so closely packed that it was impos- 
sible to put one's arms above one's head. The light went 
out, and an hour later there was silence. I could not 



sleep. ... It was intensely cold. I reckoned that there 
was one half square inch of window space per man, and 
my own particular half square inch was eighteen feet 
away around the corner. . . . These lofts in which we 
slept were the gables of the stables. ... In this loft 
there were two hundred people in four rows; two back 
to back in the center, and one on each side. The peo- 
ple on the side, if tail, were unable to stand upright. . . . 
The floor could not be seen for huddled forms that 
covered it. . . . No one will ever know how much hope, 
how much despair, how much determination, how 
much suffering, was hid in each of those two hundred 
huddled heaps. 

The charm that I found in Ruhleben was purely 
relative, and it soon wore off. It is difficult, perhaps, for 
those whose tongues are only limited by what they have 
to say, to understand how intense the pleasure of mere 
intercourse can be. I would lie back on my sack, and 
just listen to people borrowing spoons from each other, 
or cursing each other for mutual coffee slopping. A 
universal shout of laughter would make me warm with 
delight, and a continual cry to some one to shut up 
would make me pause over every delectable syllable. 
Less, however, was the pleasure I took in the physical 
surroundings. It was my first morning there. I did 
nothing. I lay huddled on my sack of straw, vainly 
hoping that I might one day know again the meaning of 
the term warmth. But it was not long before a cry arose 
from the far-off depths of the loft, of "Every one out- 
side, please," and I had to make a supreme effort to 
move my wretched carcass. I was stiU grasping my 
coffee bowl in a frantic attempt to get heat, long since 



flown. I stumbled numbly up and toward the door, and 
after passing two hurrying people with brooms, went 
out into the snow. 

It was very cold. There was a wind that cut. I 
found the scene of the night before repeated. Hun- 
dreds — thousands — of forms, black against the snow, 
were moving like ants in every direction. . . . What was 
everybody doing? I must find out, and get something 
to do as well. I was standing thus when two dimly re- 
membered figures suddenly laughed, and clasped me 
by the hand. . . . They were two old Cambridge friends, 
people I had never expected to see again, and whom 
I had completely forgotten. I foimd a very large Cam- 
bridge and Oxford colony and we were all very merry. 
I still had nothing but a thin summer suit, and a per- 
fectly diaphanous shirt, the soles of my boots were 
worn away, and I had worn my one collar for sixteen 
weeks. My friends swept me away and clad me from 
head to foot in clothes that made my body glow with 
warmth. All of them gave me something, and I should 
have attained the proportions of a prima donna had I 
accepted everything in which they tried to wrap me 

My friends, and their friends, not merely clothed me 
but fed me for the first few days, gave me stores and 
books, bored themselves with my company and left 
not a stone unturned to bring m'e back to life. ... It 
was not merely my friends. People I had never seen 
before were continually doing things for me, men whose 
purse was short and who had a limited amount of 
parcels sent them from home. . . . 

The commanders of the camp and the barracks were 



soldiers. To the latter we gave money: to the former 
grovelling respect. . . . For a considerable time aU news- 
papers were forbidden, and "Vorwarts" or any Eng- 
lish paper was strictly forbidden at all times. Never- 
theless, I always saw all the German newspapers, 
including " Vorwarts " and Maximilian Harden's paper, 
the " Zukunf t." We had the number that was suppressed 
by the Government in the spring. We had a regular 
subscription to the "Times," and never a week went by 
without our seeing that, or some other EngHsh paper. 
One method would be detected by the mihtary and we 
would discover another. Some men used to earn their 
living by getting hold of Eng^sh papers and letting 
them out at sixpence to one shiUing per hour. It re- 
sulted in there being a species of club of persons who 
subscribed to obtain the news. . . . Nearly all German 
soldiers are venal as long as there is no risk attached 
to the service involved, and the " Times " is freely sold in 
Berlin. The complete disorganization that reigned in 
the camp for the first few months made it possible to 
do almost anything. ... 

I spent the first ten days of my stay at Ruhleben 
trying to find out if there was any chance of obtaining 
an exchange [of prisoners]. At the end of that time 
I not only came to the conclusion that there was none, 
but also suddenly got taken ill with double pneimionia. 
That evening the loft captain . . . sent for the one man 
in the camp who boasted any medical knowledge. The 
long and the short of the matter was that for days I 
lingered at death's door in the atmosphere of that loft. 
My friends nursed me day and night, taking it by turns 
to sit up with me. They got hold of the most won- 



derful things to feed me on, and Heaven only knows 
where they got them in that place. They had been 
continually urging the military doctor to come and see 
me, but he always replied that I could come and see 
him between nine and ten any morning that I cared 
to. One evening, thinking that they would not be able 
to keep me ahve throughout the night, my friends got 
hold of the commander of the camp, and induced him 
to telephone to the doctor, who was in Berlin on pleas- 
ure, to return at once. He did so. The doctor's men- 
tahty as regards myself when he arrived was, Is he 
dead? If not, why not? He gave me two aspirins and 
remarked that I was tpo ill to be moved, remarking a 
little later in the week that I was not ill enough. He 
had me both ways. He never came to see me again. . . . 
During the weeks that followed, I spent day and 
night upon my back. I was too weak to do a thing for 
myself, and, during all that time, with all the long days 
and nights to get through, I became more and more 
of a day-dreamer. The misery and the futility of such a 
life took hold of me, driving me to the determination to 
do something — anything — to avoid more of it. . . . 
The determination to escape arose without any thought 
as to how it was to be done. It was not for several days 
that I even began to consider any plans. I had seen so 
little of the camp that I was untrammeled by any awe 
of the authorities. I knew that if I should eventually 
take on the idea and stick to it long enough and hard 
enough I must pull through. 

[The narrative goes on to indicate the insuperable diffi- 
culties and dangers that appeared to beset every plan of es- 
cape. Then the author made the acquaintance of a man who 



was ready to plot the way of escape with him. Together they 
studied every possibility. The way that finally led to success 
is not disclosed since, under the conditions which war im- 
poses, it would not be discreet.] 

The whole scheme worked most beautifully, and it 
is a matter of the keenest regret, the regret of an arti- 
ficer at having to conceal his handiwork from the sight 
of men, that both my friend and myself have agreed 
that, until the German military authorities have dis- 
covered how we accomplished it, or drcmnstances ren- 
der discretion nugatory, the secret shall not pass our 
lips. . . . The plan was supremely obvious, and it still 
remains there for any one of the denizens of Ruh- 
leben whom it stares in the face, and who cares to take 
the risk. . . . 

[After reaching Berlin, the two friends provided them- 
selves with food and other supplies for travel by night across 
the coxmtry to the Dutch border. The author, weakened by 
his long illness, was compelled at times to rest every twenty 
minutes during their stealthy tramps through the darkness, 
' along hedges and in byways, and at one time his friend was 
about to leave him apparently dead by the roadside when 
a last ray of hope restrained him. Thus, proceeding amidst 
the greatest hardships, they at last reached the border by 
night and met a friendly Dutch sentry who permitted them 
to push on to their destination.] 

And as we walked down a rough coimtry lane at 
the end of which, not far away, was England, our 
jolly Dutch frontier guard, who had taken us for smug- 
glers, said, "You see that red-roofed cottage over 

"I should think I do," I replied; "I've been crawling 



about on my belly in mud all day, in order to keep out 
of its sight." 

"Well," he remarked, "it's been a close thing for you. 
That cottage is in Holland. The rain from its roof 
drips off into Germany." 



[The battle of Loos began with terrific bombardment, Sep- 
tember 23d, and the British assault of the 25th. On the 
French front, facing Vimy Heights, the French attack also 
began. German first-line trenches were taken by the Allies 
at Hooge, Vermelles, Loos, Souchez, Perthes, and 20,000 
prisoners were captured. A British force under General 
Rawlinson later captured Loos itself. The battle in that 
region continued into the early part of October. The British 
losses in the battle were said to be about 45,000 men, in- 
cluding a major-general and twenty-eight battalion com- 
manders. September 25th, the French launched an offensive 
against the Germans in Champagne, in accordance with the 
plan which led to the attack on Loos. Here, too, the advances 
were made at fearful cost. The French took 150 guns and 
25,000 prisoners, but lost about 120,000 men. 

The battalion in which Major Ian Hay (Beith) served took 
part in the early fighting at Loos and was then sent back to 
rest. Almost immediately, however, they were recalled to 
the front lines to meet the German coimter-attacks. The 
following selection describes one of these attacks launched 
among the slag-heaps of what had once been a great mining 

The Editor \ 

By midnight on the same Sunday the battalion, now 
far vmder its original strength, had reentered the scene 
of yesterday's long struggle, filing thither under the 
stars, by a deserted and ghostly German boyau nearly 
ten feet deep. Fosse Alley erred in the opposite direc- 



tion. It was not much more than four feet in deptl 
the chalky parapet could by no stretch of imaginatic 
be described as bullet-proof; dug-outs and communici 
tion-trenches were non-existent. On our left the trenc 
line was continued by the troops of another divisioi 
on our right lay another battalion of our own brigad 

"If the line has been made really continuous th 
time," observed the colonel, "we should be as safe i 
houses. Wonderful fellows, these sappers! They ha\ 
wired almost our whole front already. I wish they ha 
had time to do it on our left as well." 

Within the next few hours all defensive preparatioi 
possible in the time had been completed; and oi 
attendant angels, most effectively disguised as Royi 
Engineers, had flitted away, leaving us to wait f( 
Monday morning — and Brother Boche. 

With the dawn, our eyes, which had known no slee 
since Friday night, peered rheumily out over the whi 
ening landscape. 

To our front the ground stretched smooth and lev 
for two hundred yards, then feU gently away, leavii 
a clearly defined sky-line. Beyond the sky-line roi 
houses, of which we could descry only the roofs ar 
upper windows. 

"That must be either Haisnes or Douvrin," sa: 
Major Kemp. "We are much farther to the left tha 
we were yesterday. By the way, was it yesterday?" 

"The day before yesterday, sir," the ever-reac 
Waddell informed him. 

"Never mind; to-day 's the day, anyhow. And it 
going to be a busy day, too. The fact is, we are in 
tight place, and all through doing too well. We ha^ 




This remarkable photograph shows a squad of French sol 
diers drenching "No Man's Land" in front of their trenchei 
with liquid fire. Of this terrifying adaptation of an ok 
method of warfare Captain F. H. EUiott, in his book 
"Trench Fighting," says: — 

"Liquid fire was first used by the Germans, and it i! 
largely a morale-effect weapon- The methods used to pro 
duce Hquid fire differ. They consist generally of a tank con 
taining highly inflammable liquid, petrol, or coal oil. Thii 
liquid is forced out under pressure of compressed nitroger 
gas (ninety pounds pressure) through a long pipe nozzle anc 
is ignited by a safety lighter on reaching the air, producing 
large volumes of smoke and flame, and has a terrif jdng effect 
on troops who do not understand the method of combating it 
However, the flame which is thus produced heats the sur- 
rounding air, and this heated air tends to lift the flame 
rather than to allow it to be directed in the same maime 
that you woxfld direct a stream of water. Consequently 
should a liquid-fire attack come down your trench, all thai 
is necessary is for you not to expose yourself above th( 
height of the trench, and a few well-directed Mills bomb; 
will effectively dispose of the attacking party. 

"If caught in the open by a liquid-fire attack, bayonet 
men should charge madly at the source of the fire, and th( 
chances are about ten to one that they will not be seriouslj 
injured and they will be able to stab the nozzle-man. The 
range of liquid fire is about twenty-five yards, and it can be 
used with considerable effect in protecting a trench from i 
frontal attack. Its value, however, as a trench weapon is 
decidedly limited. 

"The Allies at the present time have a very much more 
effective liquid-fire apparatus than that of the enemy." 


again penetrated so much farther forward than any- 
one else in our neighborhood that we may have to fall 
back a bit. But I hope not. We have a big stake, 
Waddell. If we can hold on to this position until the 
others make good upon our right and left, we shall have 
reclaimed a clear two miles of the soU of France, my 
son." The major swept the horizon with his glasses. 
"Let me see: that is probably HuUuch away on our 
right front: the Loos towers must be in line with us on 
our extreme right, but we can't see them for those hil- 
locks. There is our old friend Fosse Eight towering 
over us on our left rear. I don't know anything about 
the groimd on our absolute left, but so long as that flat- 
head regiment hold on to their trench, we can't go far 
wrong. Waddell, I don't like those cottages on our left 
front. They block the view, and also spell machine 
guns. I see one or two very suggestive loopholes in 
those red-tiled roofs. Go and draw Ayling's attention 
to them. A little preliminary strafing will do them no 

Five minutes later one of Ayling's machine guns 
spoke out, and a cascade of tiles came sliding down the 
roofs of the offending cottages. 

"That will tickle them up, if they have any guns set 
up on those rafters," observed the major, with ghoul- 
ish satisfaction. "I wonder if Brer Boche is going to 
attack. I hope he does. There is only one thing I am 
afraid of, and that is that there may be some odd saps 
nmning out toward us especially on our flanks. If so, 
we shall have some close work with bombs — a most 
imgentlemanly method of warfare. Let us pray for a 
straightforward frontal attack." 


But Brer Boche had other cards to play first. Sud- 
denly, out of nowhere, the air was filled with "whizz- 
bang" shells, moving in a lightning procession which 
lasted nearly half an hour. Most of these plastered the 
already scarred countenance of Fosse Eight: others 
fell shorter and demolished our parapet. When the 
tempest ceased, as suddenly as it began, the number of 
casualties in the crowded trench was considerable. But 
there was little time to attend to the wounded. Already 
the word was running down the line — 

"Look out to your front!" 

Sure enough, over the sky-line, two hundred yards 
away, gray figures were appearing — not in battalions, 
but tentatively, in twos and threes. Next moment a 
storm of rapid rifle fire broke from the trench. The 
gray figures turned and ran. Some disappeared over the 
horizon, others dropped flat, others simply curled up 
and withered. Li three minutes solitude reigned again, 
and the firing ceased. 

"Well, that's that!" observed Captain Wagstaffe 
to Bobby Little, upon the right of the battalion line. 
"The Boche has 'bethought himself and went,' as 
the poet says. Now he knows we are here, and have 
brought our arquebuses with us. He will try something 
more ikey next time. Talking of time, what about 
breakfast? When was our last meal, Bobby? " 

"Have n't the vaguest notion," said Bobby sleep- 

"Well, it 's about breakfast-time now. Have a bit 
of chocolate? It is all I have." 

It was eight o'clock, and perfect silence reigned. All 
down the line men, infinitely grubby, were producing 



still grubbier fragments of bully-beef and biscuits from 
their persons. For an hour, squatting upon the sodden 
floor of the trench — it was raining yet again — the 
unappetizing, intermittent meal proceeded. 

Then — 

"Hallo!" exclaimed Bobby with a jerk (for he was 
beginning to nod), "what was that on our right?" 

"I'm afraid," replied Wagstaffe, "that it was bombs. 
It was right in this trench, too, about a hundred yards 
long. There must be a sap leading up there, for the 
bombers certainly have not advanced overgroimd. I 'ye 
been looking out for them since stand-to. Who is this 
anxious gentleman?" 

A subaltern of the battalion on our right was forcing 
his way along the trench. He addressed Wagstaffe. 

"We are having a pretty bad time with Boche bomb- 
ers on our right, sir," he said. "Will you send us down 
all the bombs you can spare?" 

Wagstaffe hoisted himself upon the parapet. 

"I will see our CO. at once," he repUed, and departed 
at the double. It was a risky proceeding, for German 
bullets promptly appeared in close attendance; but he 
saved a good five minutes on his journey to battalion 
headquarters at the other end of the trench. 

Presently the bombs began to arrive, passed from 
hand to hand. Wagstaffe returned, this time along the 

"We shall have a tough fight for it," he said. "The 
Boche bombers know their business, and probably have 
more bombs than we have. But those boys on our right 
seem to be keeping their end up." 

" Can't we do anything? " asked Bobby feverishly. 


"Nothing — unless the enemy succeed in working 
right down here; in which case we shall take our turn of 
getting it in the neck — or giving it! I fancy old Ay ling 
and his popgun will have a word to say, if he can j&nd a 
nice straight bit of trench. All we can do for the present 
is to keep a sharp lookout in front. I have no doubt they 
will attack in force when the right moment comes." 

For close on three hours the bomb-fight went on. 
Little could be seen, for the struggle was all taking 
place upon the extreme right; but the sounds of conflict 
were plain enough. More bombs were passed up and 
yet more; men, some cruelly torn, were passed down. 

Then a signal sergeant doubled up across country 
from somewhere in rear, paying out wire, and presently 
the word went forth that we were in touch with the 
artiUery. Directly after, sure enough, came the blessed 
sound and sight of British shrapnel bursting over our 
right front. 

" That won't stop the present crowd," said Wagstaffe, 
"but it may prevent their reinforcements from coming 
up. We are holding our own, Bobby. What's that, 
sergeant? " 

"The commanding officer, sirr," announced Sergeant 
Carfrae, "has just passed up that we are to keep a 
sharp lookout to our left. They've commenced for to 
bomb the English regiment now." 

"Golly, both flanks! This is getting a trifle steep," 
remarked Wagstaffe. 

Detonations could now be distinctly heard upon the 

"If they succeed in getting round behind us," said 
Wagstaffe in a low voice to Bobby, "we shall have to 



fall back a bit, into line with the rest of the advance. 
Only a few hundred yards, but it means a lot to us I" 

"It has n't happened yet," said Bobby stoutly. 

Captain Wagstaffe knew better. His more experi- 
enced eye and ear had detected the fact that the posi- 
tion of the regiment upon the left was already turned. 
But he said nothing. 

Presently the tall figure of the colonel was seen, 
advancing in leisurely fashion along the trench, stopping 
here and there to exchange a word with a private or a 

"The regiment on the left may have to fall back, 
men," he was saying. "We, of course, will stand fast, 
and cover their retirement." 

This most characteristic announcement was received 
with a matter-of-fact "Varra good, sir/' from its recip- 
ients, and the colonel passed on to where the two officers 
were standing. 

"Hallo, Wagstaffe," he said; "good-morning! We 
shall get some very pretty shooting presently. The 
enemy are massing on our left front, down behind those 
cottages. How are things going on our right? " 

"They are holding their own., sir." 

" Good ! Just tell Ayling to get his guns trained. But 
doubtless he has done so already. I must get back to 
the other flank." 

And back to the danger-spot our CO. passed — an 
upright, gallant figure, saying little, exhorting not at 
all, but instilling confidence and cheerfulness by his 
very presence. 

Halfway along the trench he encountered Major 


"How are things on the left, sir?" was the Major's 
sotto wee inquiry. 

"Not too good. Our position is turned. We have 
been promised reinforcements, but I doubt if they can 
get up in time. Of course, when it comes to faihng back, 
this regiment goes last." 

"Of course, sir." 

Highlanders! Four hundred yards! At the enemy 
advancing half -left, rapid fire ! 

Twenty minutes had passed. The regiment still stood 
immovable, though its left flank was now utterly ex- 
posed. All eyes and rifles were fixed upon the cluster of 
cottages. Through the gaps that lay between these 
could be discerned the advance of the German infantry 
— line upon line, moving toward the trench upon our 
left. The groimd to our front was clear. Each time one 
of these lines passed a gap the rifles rang out and 
AyHng's remaining machine gun uttered joyous barks. 
Still the enemy advanced. His shrapnel was bursting 
overhead; bullets were whistling from nowhere, for the 
attack in force was now being pressed home in earnest. 

The deserted trench upon our left ran right through 
the cottages, and this restricted our view. No hostile 
bombers could be seen; it was evident that they had 
done their bit and handed on the conduct of affairs to 
others. Behind the shelter of the cottages the infantry 
were making a safe detour, and were bound, unless 
something imexpected happened, to get round behind us. 

"They'll be firing from our rear in a minute," said 
Kemp between his teeth. "Lochgair, order your pla- 
toon to face about and be ready to fire over the parados." 

1 06 


Young Lochgair's method of executing this command 
was characteristically thorough. He climbed in leisurely 
fashion upon the parados; and standing there, with all 
his six-foot-three in full view, issued his orders. 

"Face this way, boys! Keep your eyes on that group 
of buildings just behind the empty trench, in below the 
Fosse. You '11 get some target practice presently. Don't 
go and forget that you are the straightest-shooting 
platoon in the company. There they are " — he pointed 
with his stick — "lots of them — coming through that 
gap in the wall ! Now, then, rapid fire, and let them have 
it! Oh, well done, boys! Good shooting! Very good! 
Very good ind — " 

He stopped suddenly, swayed, and toppled back into 
the trench. Major Kemp caught him in his arms, and 
laid him gently upon the chalky floor. There was 
nothing more to be done. Young Lochgair had given 
his platoon their target, and the platoon were now firing 
steadily upon the same. He closed his eyes and sighed, 
like a tired child. 

"Carry on, major!" he murmured faintly. "I'm all 

So died the simple-hearted, vaHant enthusiast whom 
we had christened OtheUo. 

The entire regiment — what was left of it — was 
now firing over the back of the trench; for the wily 
Teuton had risked no frontal attack, seeing that he could 
gain all his ends from the left flank. Despite vigorous 
rifle fire and the continuous maledictions of the machine 
gun, the enemy were now pouring through the cottages 
behind the trench. Many gray figures began to climb 



up the face of Fosse Eight, where apparently there was 
none to say them nay. 

"We shall have a cheery walk back, I don't think!" 
murmured Wagstaffe. 

He was right. Presently a withering fire was opened 
from the summit of the Fosse, which soon began to take 
effect in the exiguous and ill-protected trench. 

"The colonel is wounded, sir," reported the sergeant- 
major to Major Kemp. . 


"Yes, sir." 

Kemp looked round him. The regiment was now 
alone in the trench, for the gaUant company upon their 
right had been battered almost out of existence. 

" Wecan do no more good by staying here any longer," 
said the major. "We have done our Uttle bit. I think 
it is a case of 'Home, John!' Tell off a party to bring 
in the CO., sergeant-major." 

Then he passed the order. 

"Highlanders, retire to the trenches behind, by com- 
panies, beginning from the right." 




The next morning, at 8 A.M., hot coffee was passed 
round, and we breakfasted on sardines, cheese, and 
bread, with the coffee to wash it down. At 9 the com- 
mand passed down the lines, "Every man ready!" Up 
went the knapsack on every man's back, and, rifle in 
hand, we filed along the trench. 

The cannonading seemed to increase in intensity. 
From the low places in the parapet we caught glimpses 
of barbed wire which would glisten in occasional flashes 
of light. Our own we could plainly see, and a little 
farther beyond was the German wire. 

Suddenly, at the sound of a whistle, we halted. The 
command, "Baionnette au canon!" passed down the 
section. A drawn-out rattle followed, and the bayonets 
were fixed. Then the whistle sounded again. This time 
twice. We adjusted our straps. Each man took a look 
at his neighbor's equipment. I turned and shook hands 
with the fellows next to me. They were grinning, and I 
felt my own nerves a-quiver as we waited for the signal. 

Waiting seemed an eternity. As we stood there a shell 
burst close to our left. A moment later it was whispered 
along the line that an adjutant and five men had gone 

What were we waiting for? I glanced at my watch. 
It was 9.15 exactly. The Germans evidently had the 



range. Two more shells burst close to the same place. 
We inquired curiously who was hit this time. Our re- 
sponse was two whistles. That was our signal. I felt 
my jaws clenching, and the man next to me looked 
white. It was only for a second. Then every one of us 
rushed at the trench wall, each and every man strug- 
gling to be the first out of the trench. In a moment we 
had clambered up and out. We sUd over the parapet, 
wormed our way through gaps in the wire, formed in 
Une, and, at the command, moved forward at march- 
step straight toward the German wire. 

The world became a roaring hell. Shell after shell 
burst near us, sometimes right among us; and, as we 
moved forward at the double-quick, men fell right and 
left. We could hear the subdued rattling of the mitrail- 
leuses and the roar of volley fire, but above it all, I 
could hear with almost startling distinctness the words 
of the captain, shouting in his clear, high voice, "En 
avant! Vive la France!" 

As we marched forward toward our goal, huge geysers 
of dust spouted into the air, rising behind our backs 
from the rows of 7s's supporting us. In front the fire- 
curtain outlined the whole length of the enemy's line 
with a neatness and accuracy that struck me with won- 
der, as the flames burst through the pall of smoke and 
dust aroimd us. Above, all was blackness, but at its 
lower edge the curtain was fringed with red and green 
flames, marking the explosion of the shells directly over 
the ditch and parapet in front of us. The low-flying 
clouds mingled with the smoke curtain, so that the 
whole brightness of the day was obscured. Out of the 
blackness fell a trickling rain of pieces of metal, lumps 



of earth, knapsacks, rifles, cartridges, and fragments of 
human flesh. We went on steadily, nearer and nearer. 
Now we seemed very close to the wall of shells stream- 
ing from our own gims, curving just above us, and 
dropping into the trenches in front. The effect was 
terrific. I almost braced myself against the rocking 
of the earth, like a saUor's instinctive gait in stormy 

In a single spot immediately in front of us, not over 
ten metres in length, I counted twelve shells bursting so 
fast that I could not coimt them without missing other 
explosions. The scene was horrible and terrifying. 
Across the wall of our own fire poured shell after shell 
from the enemy, tearing through our ranks. From 
overhead the shrapnel seemed to come down in sheets, 
and from behind the stinking, blinding curtain came 
volleys of steel-jacketed bullets, their whine imheard 
and their effect almost unnoticed. 

I think we moved forward simply from habit. With 
me it was like a dream as we went on, ever on. Here 
and there men dropped, the ranks closing automatically. 
Of a sudden our own fire curtain lifted. In a moment 
it had ceased to bar our way and jiunped Uke a liv- 
ing thing to the next line of the enemy. We could see 
the trenches in front of us now, quite clear of fire, but 
flattened almost beyond recognition. The defenders 
were either killed or demoralized. Calmly, almost 
stupidly, we parried or thrust with the bayonet at 
those who barred our way. Without a backward glance 
we leaped the ditch and went on straight forward 
toward the next trench, marked in glowing outHne by 
our fire. I remember now how the men looked. Their 



eyes had a wild unseeing look in them. Everybody was 
gazing ahead, trying to pierce the awful curtain which 
cut us off from all sight of the enemy. Always the black 
paU smoking and burning appeared ahead — just 
ahead of us — hiding everything we wanted to see. 

The drama was played again and again. Each time, 
as we approached so close that fragments of our own 
shells occasionally struck a leading file, the curtain 
Hfted as by magic, jumped the intervening metres, and 
descended upon the enemy's trench farther on. The 
ranges were perfect. We followed blindly — sometimes 
at a walk, sometimes at a dog-trot, and, when close to 
our goal, on the dead run. You could not hear a word 
in that pandemonium. All commands were given by 
example or by gesture. When our captain lay down, 
we knew our orders were to lie down too. When he 
waved to the right, to the right we swerved; if to the 
left, we turned to the left. A sweeping gesture, with 
an arm extended, first up then down, meant, "Halt. 
Lie Down!" From down, up, it meant, "Rise!" When 
his hand was thrust swiftly forward, we knew he was 
shouting, "En avant!" and when he waved his hand 
in a circle above his head, we broke into the double- 

Three times on our way to the second trench, the 
captain dropped and we after him. Then three short 
quick rushes by the companies and a final dash as the 
curtain of shells lifts and drops farther away. Then a 
hand-to-hand struggle, short and very bloody, some 
using their bayonets, others clubbing their rifles and 
grenades. A minute or two, and the trench was ours. 
The earthen fortress, so strong that the Germans had 



boasted that it could be held by a janitor and two 
washerwomen, was in the hands of the Legion. 

As we swept on, the trench-cleaners entered the 
trench behind and began setting things to rights. Far 
down, six to eight metres below the surface, they found 
an underground city. Long tunnels, with chambers 
opening to right and left; bedrooms, furnished with 
bedsteads, wash-stands, tables, and chairs; elaborate 
mess-rooms, some fitted with pianos and phonographs. 
There were kitchens, too, and even bathrooms. So 
complex was the labyrinth that three days after the 
attack Germans were foxmd stowed away in the lateral 
galleries. The passages were choked with dead. Hun- 
dreds of Germans who had survived the bombardment 
were torn to pieces deep beneath the ground by French 
hand-grenades, and buried where they lay. In rifles, 
munitions, and equipment the booty was immense. 

We left the subterranean combat raging underneath 
us and continued on. As we passed over the main 
trench, we were enfiladed by cannon placed in armored 
tiurrets at the end of each section of trench. The danger 
was formidable, but it, too, had been foreseen. In a 
few moments these guns were silenced by hand-gren- 
ades shoved point-blank through the gun-ports. Just 
then, I remember, I looked back and saw Pala down 
on his hands and knees. I turned and ran over to help 
him up. He was quite dead, killed in the act of ris- 
ing from the ground. His grotesque posture struck me 
at the time as funny, and I could not help smiling. I 
suppose I was nervous. 

Our line was wearing thin. Halfway to the third 
trench we were reinforced by Battalion E coming from 



behind. The ground in our rear was covered with our 

All at once came a change. The German artillery 
in front ceased firing, and the next second we saw the 
reason why. In the trench ahead, the German troops 
were pouring out in black masses and advancing toward 
us at a trot. Was it a counter-attack? "Tant mieux," 
said a man near me; another, of a different race, said, 
" We'll show them!" Then as suddenly our own artil- 
lery ceased firing, and the mystery became plain. The 
Germans were approaching in columns of fotu-s, ofi&cers 
to the front, hands held in the air, and, as they came 
closer, we could distinguish the steady cry, " Kame- 
raden! Kameraden!" 

They were surrendering. How we went at our work! 
Out flew our knives, and, in less time than it takes to 
tell it, we had mingled among the prisoners, slicing off 
their trouser buttons, cutting off suspenders, and hack- 
ing through belts. All the war shoes had their laces cut, 
according to the regulations laid down in the last 
French Manual, and thus, slopping along, their hands 
helplessly in their breeches' pockets, to keep their 
trousers from falling round their ankles, shuffling their 
feet, to keep their boots on, the huge column of prison- 
ers was sent to the rear with a few soldiers to direct 
rather than to guard them. There was no fight left in 
them now. A terror-stricken group; some of them, tem- 
porarily at least, half insane. 

As the Germans had left the trenches, their artillery 
had paused, thinking it a counter-attack. Now, as file 
after file was escorted to the rear and it became appar- 
ent to their rear lines that the men had surrendered, 



the German artillery saw its mistake and opened up 
again furiously at the dark masses of defenseless pris- 
oners. We, too, were subjected to a terrific fire. Six 
shells landed at the same instant in almost the same 
place, and within a few minutes Section III of our com- 
pany had almost disappeared. I lost two of my own 
section, Casey and Leguer, both severely wounded in 
the leg. I coimted fourteen men of my command still 
on their feet. The company seemed to have shrunk 
two thirds. A few minutes later, we entered the trench 
lately evacuated by the Prussians and left it by a very 
deep communication trench which we knew led to our 
destination, Ferme Navarin. Just at the entrance we 
passed sign-boards, marked in big letters with black 


This trench ran zigzag, in the general direction north 
and south. In many places it was filled level with dirt 
and rocks kicked in by our big shells. From the mass 
of debris, hands and legs were sticking stifHy out at 
grotesque angles. In one place, the heads of two men 
showed above the loose brown earth. Here and there, 
men were sitting, their backs against the wall of the 
trench, quite dead, with not a woimd showing. In one 
deep crater, excavated by our 3 20-millimetres, lay five 
Saxons, side by side, in the pit where they had sought 
refuge, killed by the bursting of a single shell. One, a 
man of about twenty-three years of age, lay on his 
back, his legs tensely doubled, elbows thrust back into 
the groimd, and fingers dug into the pahns; eyes staring 
in terror and mouth wide open. I could not help carry- 
ing the picture of fear away with me, and I thought to 
myself, that man died a coward. Just alongside of him, 



resting on his left side, lay a blond giant stretched out 
easily, almost graceful in death. His two hands were 
laid together, pahn to palm, in prayer. Between them 
was a photograph. The look upon his face was calm 
and peaceful. The contrast of his figure with his neigh- 
bor's struck me. I noticed that a paper protruded from 
his partly opened blouse, and, picking it up, read the 
heading, "Ein' Feste Burg ist Unser Gott." It was a 
two-leaved tract. I drew a blanket over him and fol- 
lowed my section. 

The trench we marched in wound along in the shelter 
of a Httle ridge crowned with scrubby pines. Here the 
German shells bothered us but Kttle. We were out of 
sight of their observation posts, and, consequently, their 
fire was imcontroUed and no longer effective. On we 
went. At every other step our feet pressed down 
upon soldiers' corpses, lying indiscriminately one on top 
of the other, sometimes almost filling the trench. I 
brushed against one who sat braced against the side of 
the trench, the chin resting upon folded arms quite 
naturally — • yet quite dead. It was through this trench 
that the Germans had tried to rush reinforcements into 
the threatened position, and here the men were slaugh- 
tered, without a chance to go back or forwards. 
Hemmed in by shells in both front and rear, many hun- 
dreds had climbed into the open and tried to escape 
over the fields toward the pine forest, only to be mown 
down as they ran. For hundreds of metres continu- 
ously my feet as I trudged along did not touch the 
groimd. In many of the bodies life was not yet ex- 
tinct, but we had to leave them for the Red Cross 
men. We had our orders. No delay was possible, and, 



at any rate, our minds were clogged with our own 
work ahead. 

Making such time as we could, we finally arrived at 
the summit of the little ridge. Then we left the cover 
of the trench, formed in Indian file, fifty metres be- 
tween sections, and, at the signal, moved forward 
swiftly and in order. 

It was a pretty bit of tactics and executed with a 
dispatch and neatness hardly equaled on the drill- 
ground. The first files of the sections were abreast, 
while the men fell in, one close behind the other; and 
so we crossed the ridge, offering the smallest possible 
target to the enemy's guns. Before us and a little to our 
left was the Ferme Navarin, our goal. As we descended 
the slope, we were greeted by a new hail of iron. Shells 
upon shells, fired singly, by pairs, by salvos, from six- 
gun batteries, they crashed and exploded aroiuid us. 
We increased the pace to a run and arrived out of breath 
abreast of immense pits dynamited out of the ground 
by prodigious explosions. Imbedded in them we could 
see three enemy howitzers, but not a living German was 
left. All had disappeared. . . . 

As we waited there, the mood of the men seemed to 
change. Their spirits began to rise. One Jest started 
another, and soon we were all laughing at the memory 
of the German prisoners marching to the rear, holding 
up their trousers with both hands. Some of the men 
had taken the welcome opportunity of searching the 
prisoners while cutting their suspenders, and most of 
them were now pufl&ng German cigarettes. One of them, 
Haeffle, offered me a piece of K.K. bread [Krieg's 
Kartoffel Brot], black as ink. I declined with thanks, 



for I did n't like the looks of it. In the relaxation of 
the moment, nobody paid any attention to the shells 
falling outside the little open shelter, until Capdevielle 
proposed to crawl inside one of the German howitzers 
for security. Alas, he was too fat, and stuck ! I myself 
hoped rather strongly that no shell would enter one of 
these pits in which the company had found shelter, 
because I knew there were several thousand rounds of 
ammunition piled near each piece hidden under the 
dirt, and an explosion might make it hot for us. 

As we sat there, smoking and chatting, Delpenche 
slid over the edge of the hollow and brought with him 
the order to leave the pit in column of one and to de- 
scend to the bottom of the incline, in line with some 
trees which he pointed out to us. There we were to 
deploy in open order and dig shelter trenches for our- 
selves — though I can tell the reader that "shelter" 
is a poor word to use in such a connection. It seems 
we had to wait for artillery before making the attack 
on Navarin itself. The trench "Spandau," so Del- 
penche told me, was being put into shape by the engi- 
neers and was already partially filled with troops who 
were coming up to our support. The same message 
had been carried to the other section. As we filed out 
of our pit, we saw them leaving theirs. In somewhat 
loose formation, we ran full-tilt down the hill, and, at 
the assigned position, flung ourselves on the ground 
and began digging like mad. We had made the last 
stretch without losing a man. 

The Ferme Navarin was two hundred metres from 
where we lay. From it came a heavy rifle and mitrail- 
leuse fire, but we did not respond. We had something 



else to do. Every man had his shovel, and every man 
made the dirt fly. In what seemed half a minute we 
had formed a continuous parapet, twelve to fourteen 
inches in height, and with our knapsacks placed to keep 
the dirt in position, we felt quite safe against infantry 
and machine-gun fire. Next, each man proceeded to 
dig his little individual niche in tlje ground, about a 
yard deep, twenty inches wide, and long enough to lie 
down in with comfort. Between each two men there 
remained a partition wall of dirt, from ten to fifteen 
inches thick, the usefulness of which was immediately 
demonstrated by a shell which fell into Blondino's 
niche, blowing him to pieces without injuring either of 
his companions to the right or the left. . . . 

The day passed slowly and without mishap to my 
section. As night fell, one half of the section stayed on 
the alert four hours, while the other half slept. The 
second sergeant had returned and relieved me at twelve, 
midnight. I pulled several handfuls of grass, and with 
that and two overcoats I had stripped from dead Ger- 
mans during the night, I made a comfortable bed and 
lay down to sleep. The bank was not uncomfortable. 
I was very tired, and dozed off immediately. 

Suddenly I awoke in darkness. Everything was still, 
and I could hear my watch ticking, but over every part 
of me there was an immense leaden weight. I tried to 
rise, and could n't move. Something was holding me 
and choking me at the same time. There was no air to 
breathe. I set my muscles and tried to give a strong 
heave. As I drew in my breath, my mouth filled with 
dirt. I was buried alive ! 

It is curious what a man thinks about when he is 



in trouble. Into my mind shot memories of feats of 
strength performed. Why, I was the strongest man in 
the section. Surely I could lift myself out, I thought 
to myself, and my confidence began to return. I worked 
the dirt out of my mouth with the tip of my tongue and 
prepared myself mentally for the sudden heave that 
would free me. A quick inhalation, and my mouth filled 
again with dirt. I could not move a muscle under my 
skin. And then I seemed to be two people. The "I" 
who was thinking seemed to be at a distance from the 
body lying there. 

My God! Am I going to die stretched out in a hole 
like this? I thought. 

Through my mind flashed a picture of the way I had 
always hoped to die — the way I had a right to die: 
face to the enemy and ruiming towards him. Why, 
that was part of a soldier's wages. I tried to shout for 
help, and more dirt entered my mouth! I could feel it 
gritting way down in my throat. My tongue was locked 
so I could not move. I watched the whole picture. I 
was standing a little way off and could hear myself 
gurgle. My throat was rattling, and I said to myself, 
"That's the finish!" Then I grew cahn. It was n't 
hurting so much, and somehow or other I seemed to 
realize that a soldier had taken a soldier's chance and 
lost. It was n't his fault. He had done the best he could. 
Then the pain all left me and the world went black. 
It was death. 

Then somebody yelled, "Hell! He bit my finger." 
I could hear him. 

"That's nothing," said a voice I knew as Collette's. 
"Get the dirt out of his mouth." 



Again a finger entered my throat, and I coughed 

Some one was working my arms backward, and my 
right shoulder hurt me. I struggled up, but sank to my 
knees and began coughing up dirt. 

"Here," says Subiron, "turn round and spit that 
dirt on your parapet. It all helps." The remark made 
me smile. 

I was quite all right now, and Subiron, Collette, Joe, 
and Marcel returned to their holes. The Red Cross men 
were picking something out of the hole made by a 250- 
millimetre, they told me. It was the remnant of the 
Corporal and Sergeant Fourrier, who had their trench 
to my left. It seems that a ten-inch shell had entered 
the ground at the edge of my hole, exploded a depth of 
two metres, tearing the corporal and sergeant to pieces, 
and kicking several cubic metres of dirt into and on top 
of me. Subiron and the Collettes saw what had hap- 
pened, and immediately started digging me out. They 
had been just in time. It was n't long before my strength 
began to come back. Two stretcher-bearers came up to 
carry me to the rear, but I declined their services. There 
was too much going on. I dug out the German over- 
coats, recovered some grass, and, bedding myself down 
in the crater made by the shell, began to feel quite safe 
again. Lightning never strikes twice in the same spot. 

However, that was n't much like the old-fashioned 
lightning. The enemy seemed to have picked upon 
my section. The shells were falling thicker and closer. 
Everybody was broad awake now, and all of us seemed 
to be waiting for a shell to drop in our holes. It was only 
a question of time before we should be wiped out. 



Haeffle called my attention to a little trench we all had 
noticed during the daytime, about forty metres in front 
of us. No fire had come from there, and it was evidently 
quite abandoned. 

I took HaefHe and Saint-Hilaire with me and quietly 
crawled over to the trench, round the end of it, and 
started to enter at about the center. 

Then all of a sudden a wild yell came out of the 
darkness in front of us. 

' ' Fr anzosen ! Die Franzosen ! ' ' 

We could n't see anything, nor they, either. There 
might have been a regiment of us or of them, for that 
matter. I screeched out in German, "Hande hoch!" 
[Hands up ! ] and jumped into the trench followed by 
my two companions. As we crouched in the bottom, I 
yelled again, " Hande hoch oder wir schiessen ! " [Hands 
up, or we win shoot!] 

The response was the familiar "Kameraden! Kame- 
raden!" Haeffle gave an audible chuckle. 

Calling again on my German, I ordered the men to 
step out of the trench with hands held high, and to 
march toward our line. I assured the poor devils we 
would not hurt them. They thought there was a division 
of us, more or less, and I don't know how much con- 
fidence they put in my assurance. Anyhow, as they 
scrambled over the parapet, I counted six of them 
prisoners to the three of us. Haeffle and Saint-Hilaire 
escorted them back and also took word to the second 
sergeant to let the section crawl, one after the other, up 
this trench to where I was. 

One by one the men came on, crawling in single file, 
and I put them to work, carefully and noiselessly revers- 



ing the parapet. This German trench was very deep, 
with niches cut into the bank, at intervals of one metre, 
permitting the men to he down comfortably. 

I wanted to know the time and felt along my belt. 
One of the straps had been cut clean through and my 
wallet, which had held two hundred and sixty-five 
francs, had been neatly removed. Some one of my men, 
who had risked his life for mine with a self-devotion 
that could scarcely be surpassed, had felt that his need 
was greater than mine. Whoever he was, I bear him no 
grudge. Poor chap, if he lived he needed the money — 
and that day he surely did me a good turn. Besides, he 
was a member of the Legion. 

I placed sentries, took care to find a good place for 
myself, and was just dropping off to sleep as HaefHe 
and Saint-Hilaire returned and communicated to me 
the captain's compliments and the assurance of a 
" citation." 1 

I composed myself to sleep and dropped off quite 

' Equivalent to " mentioned in dispatches." 




With the coming of iqi6, the Allies on the Western Front 
were much better prepared for war. The French were com- 
pelled, to be sure, to act on the defensive for weeks in order 
to save Verdun, and that prolonged battle was a severe 
drain upon all available resources. But the French were 
victorious; they once more proved equal to the occasion 
when the Germans tried to break through to Paris; and in 
later months were ready to take the offensive in the Cham- 
pagne and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the British had been 
making the most extensive preparations, with new armies, 
new implements of war, and far-reaching plans for the oper- 
ation of mines. The great battle of the Somme was the first 
result, a battle which put the Allies in a position to take the 
offensive at the strongest points of the German lines. The 
campaigns of 191 7 steadily developed the new plans of 
offense, netting the Allies great numbers of prisoners, guns, 
and other items of conquest. 

The Germans, meanwhile, approached the campaigns of 
1916 with the assurance of victors, after the conquests on the 
Eastern Front during the previous year. Undoubtedly they 
expected to break through the French lines at Verdun as 
they had driven the Russians before them in Galicia. Their 
failure, after the most furious and persistent assaults, put 
them on the defensive in the western theater of the war. 
The Russian revolution in the spring of 191 7 played into 
their hands, for Russia was practically out of the war from 
that time on, during the months of internal turmoil; the 
Germans were able to withdraw troops and mass forces 
opposite the British lines, also to make ready for the sudden 
drive through the Italian lines on the Isonzo and beyond, 
early in November. Italy thus suddenly became the center 
of crucial operations. For the submarine policy of frightful- 
ness launched by Germany, February ist, had failed to 
bring the anticipated destruction of British shipping, and 
the United States had come to the aid of England on the 



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

For another reason, Verdun was too near, for the 
comfort of the Germans, to those immense deposits of 
iron ore in Lorraine which they have every intention 01 
retaining after the war. The moral factor involved in 



the fall of Verdun was also immense. If the stronghold 
were captured, the French, who look on it as their chief 
bulwark in the east, would be greatly disheartened, 
whereas it would delight the souls of the Germans, who 
had been counting on its seizure since the beginning of 
the war. They have not forgotten that the ancient 
Lotharingia, created by a treaty signed eleven centuries 
ago at Verdim, extended as far as the Meuse. Finally, 
it is probable that the German General Staff intended 
to profit by a certain slackness on the part of the French, 
who, placing too much confidence in the strength of the 
position and the favorable nature of the surrounding 
countryside, had made little effort to augment their 
defensive value. 

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

The German preparation was, from the start, formid- 
able and painstaking. It was probably under way by 
the end of October, 1915, for at that time the troops 
selected to deliver the first crushing attack were with- 
drawn from the front and sent into training. Four 
months were thus set aside for this purpose. To make 
the decisive attack, the Germans made selection from 
four of their crack army corps, the Eighteenth active, the 
Seventh reserve, the Fifteenth active (the Miilhausen 
Corps), and the Third active, composed of Branden- 
burgers. These troops were sent to the interior to under- 
go special preparation. In addition to these 80,000 or 



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

The point chosen for the attack was the plateau on 
the right bank of the Meuse. The Germans would thus 
avoid the obstacle of the chffs of C6tes de Meuse, and, 
by seizing the ridges and passing around the ravines, 
they could drive down on Douaumont, which dominates 
the entire region, and from there fall on Verdun and 
capture the bridges. At the same time, the German 
right wing would assault the French positions on the 
left bank of the Meuse; the left wing would complete 
the encircling movement, and the entire French army 
of Verdun, driven back to the river and attacked from 
the rear, would be captured or destroyed. 

The plan was worked out meticulously; it is even 
reported that every colonel of the regiments which were 
to take part in the operation had been summoned to 
the Great Headquarters at Charleville, and that a sort 
of general rehearsal was gone through in the presence 
of the Kaiser. As in the beginning of the war, the Ger- 
mans felt that success was assured. They had taken 
every precaution; their resources were immense, their 



adversary had grown careless. They could not fail. 
But once more Germany had counted without the 
mettle and adaptability of the French soldiers — their 
genius for improvisation and their spirit of self-sacrifice. 
With such thorough preparation, the Germans felt 
that the contest would be a short one. As a matter of 
fact, the battle of Verdim lasted no less than ten months, 
— from February 21st to December i6th, — and in its 
course various phases were developed which the Ger- 
mans had scarcely foreseen. First of aU, came the for- 
midable German attack, with its harvest of success during 
the first few days of the frontal drive, which was soon 
checked and forced to wear itself out in fruitless flank 
attacks, kept up imtil April 9th. After this date the 
German programme became more modest: they merely 
wished to hold at Verdun sufl&cient French troops to 
forestall an offensive at some other point. This was the 
period of German "fixation," lasting from April to the 
middle of July. It then became the object of the French, 
in their turn, to hold the German forces at Verdun and 
prevent their transfer to the Somme. This was the 
period of French "fixation," which ended in the suc- 
cesses of October and December. 

The first German onslaught was the most intense 
and critical moment of the battle. The violent frontal 
attack on the plateau east of the Meuse, magnificently 
executed, at first carried all before it. This success was 
due to the thoroughness of the preparations, the admir- 
able strategy, and also to weaknesses on the part of the 
French. The commanders at Verdun had shown a lack 
of foresight. For more than a year this sector had been 
quiet, and imdue confidence was placed in the natural 



strength of the position. There were too few trenches, 
too few cannon, too few troops. These soldiers, more- 
over, had had little experience in the field compared with 
those who came up later to reinforce them; and it was 
their task to face the most terrific attack ever known. 

On the morning of February 21st the German artil- 
lery opened up a fire of infernal intensity. This artil- 
lery had been brought up in undreamed-of quantities. 
French aviators who flew over the enemy positions 
located so many batteries that they gave up marking 
them on their maps; the number was too great. The 
forest of Gremilly, northeast of the point of attack, was 
just a great cloud shot through with lightning-flashes. 
A deluge of shells fell on the French positions, annihilat- 
ing the first line, attacking the batteries and attempting 
to silence them, and finding their mark as far back as 
the city of Verdun. At five o'clock in the afternoon the 
first waves of infantry went forward to the assault and 
carried the advanced French positions in the woods of 
Haumont and Caures. On the 2 2d the French left was 
driven backwards for a distance of about four kilo- 

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

The situation developed rapidly on the 24th. The 
Germans enveloped the French center, which formed a 
salient; at two in the afternoon they captured the im- 
portant central position of Beaumont, and by nightfall 



had reached Louvemont and La Vauche forest, gather- 
ing in thousands of prisoners. On the morning of the 
25th the enemy, taking advantage of the growing con- 
fusion of the French command, stormed Bezonvaux, 
and, after some setbacks, entered the fort of Douau- 
mont, which they foimd evacuated. 

The German victory now seemed assured. In less 
than five days the assaulting troops sent forward over 
the plateau had penetrated the French positions to a 
depth of eight kilometres, and were masters of the most 
important elements of the defense of the fortress. It 
seemed as if nothing could stop their onrush. Verdun 
and its bridges were only seven kilometres distant. The 
commander of the fortified region himself proposed to 
evacuate the whole right bank of the Meuse; the troops 
estabhshed in the Woevre were already falling back 
toward the bluffs of Cotes de Meuse. Most luckily, 
on this same day there arrived at Verdun some men 
of resource, together with substantial reinforcements. 
General de Castelnau, Chief of the General Staff, or- 
dered the troops on the right bank to hold out at all 
costs. And on the evening of the 25th General Petain 
took over the command of the entire sector. The 
Zouaves, on the left bank, were standing firm as rocks 
on the C6te du Poivre, which cuts off access from the 
valley to Verdun. During this time the Germans, pour- 
ing forward from Douaiunont, had already reached the 
C6te de Froideterre, and the French artillerymen, out- 
flanked, poured their fire into the gray masses as though 
with rifles. It was at this moment that the Thirty- 
ninth division of the famous Twentieth French Army 
Corps of Nancy met the enemy in the open, and, after 



furious hand-to-hand fighting, broke the backbone of 
the attack. 

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

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

These flank attacks were delivered for over a month 
(March 6th to April 9th) on both sides of the river 
simultaneously, with an intensity and power which 



recalled the first days of the battle. But the French 
were now on their guard. They had received great 
reinforcements of artillery, and the nimble 75's, thanks 
to their speed and accuracy, barred off the positions 
under attack by a terrible curtain of fire. Moreover, 
their infantry contrived to pass through the enemy's 
barrage-fire, wait calmly until the assaulting infantry 
were within thirty metres of them, and then let loose 
the rapid-fire guns. They were also commanded by 
energetic and brilliant chiefs: General Retain, who off- 
set the insufficient railroad communications with the 
rear by putting in motion a great stream of more than 
40,000 motor trucks, all traveling on strict schedule 
time; and General Nivelle, who directed operations on 
the right bank of the river, before taking command of 
the Army of Verdun. The German successes of the first 
days were not duplicated. . . . 

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

Instead of employing only eight divisions of excellent 
troops, as originally planned, the Germans had little by 
little cast into the fiery furnace thirty divisions. This 
enormous sacrifice could not be allowed to count for 




Tms has been called a war of artillery and the name is justi- 
fied. Beyond the front line the batteries are arranged ir 
tiers; first the lighter guns, then the medium, and last ol 
all the heavy artillery such as is shown in the illustration, 
all placed according to their range. Each of the lightei 
batteries is trained on an imaginary line fifty yards in 
advance of the front-line trench and thirty feet in the air. li 
the enemy attacks at night, a colored rocket is fired from 
the front trench. This is noted by the lookout men for the 
batteries having that particular sector in their care, and the 
guns immediately come into action, putting a barrage oi 
curtain of fire along their imaginary line with the object ol 
keeping the enemy from reaching the trenches. At the same 
time the orderly at Company Headquarters telephones the 
S.O.S. call to Battalion, Division and Corps Headquarters 
and the heavy artillery come into action against the enemy's 
trenches and rear lines. 

To illustrate the rapidity and accuracy with which all 
this can be carried out. Captain F. Hawes Elliott, in his 
book, "Trench Fighting," says: "At Saint-filoi, in 1916, 
the Germans were attacking our position, and we sent up 
an S.O.S. rocket, and within ten seconds we had fourteen 
hundred eighteen-pounder field guns putting up a barrage 
fifty yards in front of our trench with a burst point thirty 
feet in the air. This fire was concentrated on a frontage of 
one thousand yards, being five hundred yards either side 
of the point where the rocket was sent up. When you re- 
member that the lateral burst of a shell is twenty-five yards 
either side of the burst point and the forward burst one 
hundred and fifty yards, and also the fact that these 
eighteen-pounder guns were fired at the rate of eighteen 
shells per minute, you will gain some idea of the tremendous 
screen of fire which our artillery places in front of us." 

The cannon shown in the illustration throws a shell almost 
eighteen inches in diameter, or nearly two inches larger than 
the great German 42-centimetre. It is hidden away from the 
most keen-sighted enemy airman by the thick foliage of the 
Vosges Mountains. 


nothing. The German High Command therefore de- 
cided to assign a less pretentious object to the abor- 
tive enterprise. The Crown Prince's offensive had fallen 
flat; but, at all events, it might succeed in preventing a 
French offensive. For this reason it was necessary that 
Verdun should remain a sore spot, a continually men- 
aced sector, where the French would be obliged to send 
a steady stream of men, material, and munitions. It 
was hinted then in all the German papers that the 
struggle at Verdun was a battle of attrition, which 
would wear down the strength of the French by slow 
degrees. There was no talk now of thxmderstrokes; it 
was all " the siege of Verdun." This time they expressed 
the true purpose of the German General Staff; the strug- 
gle which followed the fight of April gth now took the 
character of a battle of fixation, in which the Germans 
tried to hold their adversaries' strongest units at Ver- 
dun and prevent their being transferred elsewhere. This 
state of affairs lasted from mid-April to well into July, 
when the progress of the Somme offensive showed the 
Germans that their efforts had been unavailing. . . . 

On May 4th there began a terrible artillery prepara- 
tion, directed against Hill 304. This was followed by 
attacks of infantry, which surged up the shell-blasted 
slopes, first to the northwest, then north, and finally 
northeast. The attack of the 7th was made by three 
divisions of fresh troops which had not previously been 
in action before Verdun. No gains were secured. Every 
foot of ground taken in the first rush was recaptured by 
French counter-attacks. During the night of the i8th 
a savage onslaught was made against the woods of 
Avocourt, without the least success. On the 20th and 



2ist, three divisions were hurled agaiiist Le Mort 
Homme, which they finally took; but they could go 
no farther. The 23d and 24th were terrible days. The 
Germans stormed the village of Cumieres; their advance 
guard penetrated as far as Chattancourt. On the 26th, 
however, the French were again in possession of 
Cumieres arid the slopes of Le Mort Homme; and if 
the Germans, by means of violent counter-attacks, were 
able to get a fresh foothold in the ruins of Cumieres, 
they made no attempt to progress farther. The battles 
of the left river-bank were now over; on this side of the 
Meuse there were to be only local engagements of no 
importance, and the usual artillery fixe. . . . 

Verdun, however, continued to be of great interest 
to the French. In the first place, they could not endure 
seeing the enemy intrenched five kilometres away from 
the coveted city. Moreover, it was most important for 
them to prevent the Germans from weakening the Ver- 
dun front and transferring their men and guns to the 
Somme. The French troops, therefore, were to take the 
initiative out of the hands of the Germans and inaugu- 
rate, in their turn, a battle of fixation. This new situa- 
tion presented two phases: in July and August the 
French were satisfied to worry the enemy with small 
forces and to oblige them to fight; in October and 
December General Nivelle, well supplied with troops 
and material, was able to strike two vigorous blows 
which took back from the Germans the larger part of 
all the territory they had won since February 21st. 

From July isth to September 15th, furious fighting 
was in progress on the slopes of the plateau stretching 
from Thiaumont to Damloup. This time, however, it 



was the French who attacked savagely, who captured 
ground, and who took prisoners. So impetuous were 
they that their adversaries, who asked for nothing but 
quiet, were obliged to be constantly on their guard and 
deHver costly counter-attacks. 

The contest raged most bitterly over the ruins of 
Thiaumont and Fleury. On* the 15th of July the 
Zouaves broke into the southern part of the village, 
only to be driven out again. However, on the 19th and 
20th the French freed Souville, and drew near to Fleury; 
from the 20th to the 26th they forged ahead step by 
step, taking eight himdred prisoners. A general attack, 
delivered on August 3d, carried the fort of Thiaumont 
and the village of Fleury, with fifteen hundred prisoners. 
The Germans reacted violently; the 4th of August they 
reoccupied Fleury, a part of which was taken back by 
the French that same evening. From the sth to the 9th 
the struggle went on ceaselessly, night and day, in the 
ruins of the village. During this time the adversaries . 
took and retook Thiaumont, which the Germans held 
after the Sth. But on the loth the Colonial regiment 
from Morocco reached Fleury, carefuUy prepared the 
assault, delivered it on the 17th, and captured the north- 
em and southern portions of the village, encircling the 
central part, which they occupied on the i8th. From 
this day Fleury remained in French hands. The German 
counter-assaults of the i8th, 19th, and 20th of August 
were fruitless; the Moroccan Colonials held their con- 
quest firmly. 

On the 24th the French began to advance east of 
Fleury, in spite of incessant attacks which grew more 
intense on the 28th. Three hundred prisoners were taken 



between Fleury and Thiaumont on September 3d, and 
three hundred more fell into their hands in the woods 
of Vaux-Chapitre. On the 9th they took three hundred 
more before Fleury. 

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

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



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

The success was undeniable. As a reply to the Ger- 
man peace proposals of December 12th, the battle of 
Verdim ended as a real victory; and this magnificent 
operation, in which the French had shown such superi- 
ority in infantry and artillery, seemed to be a pledge of 
future triumphs. 

The conclusion is easily reached. In February and 
March Germany wished to end the war by crushing the 
French army at Verdun. She failed utterly. Then, from 
April to July, she wished to exhaust French military 
resources by a battle of fixation. Again she failed. The 



Sonune offensive was the offspring of Verdun. Later on, 
from July to December, she was not able to elude the 
grasp of the French, and the last engagements, together 
with the vain struggles of the Germans for six months, 
showed to what extent General Nivelle's men had won 
the upper hand. 

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



The fiercest struggle on the sector between Douaumont 
and Vaux was that which raged around Caillette Wood 
in the early days of April. Eye-witnesses describe it as 
one of the most thrilling episodes in the whole great 
series of battles. The importance of the position lay in 
the fact that if the Germans could keep it they could 
force the French to abandon the entire ridge. The 
heroic deeds on both sides in the French recapture of 
this ground are narrated by a staff correspondent in the 
following remarkable story, under date of April 4th : — 

"The Germans had taken Caillette on Sunday morn- 
ing, April 2d, after twelve hours' bombardment, which 
seemed even to beat the Verdun record for intensity. 
The French curtain fire had checked their further ad- 
vance, and a savage countercharge in the early afternoon 
had gained for the defenders a corpse-strewn welter of 
splintered trees and shell-shattered ground that had 
been the southern comer of the wood. Further charges 
had broken against a massive barricade, the value of 
which as a defense paid good interest on the expenditure 
of German lives which its construction demanded. 

"A wonderful work had been accomplished that 
Sunday forenoon in the livid, London-like fog and twi- 
light produced by the lowering clouds and battle smoke. 
While the German assault columns in the van fought the 
French hand to hand, picked corps of workers behind 



them formed an amazing hmnan chain from the woods 
to the east over the shoulder of the center of the Douau- 
mont slope to the crossroads of a network of communi- 
cation trenches, six hundred yards in the rear. 

"Four deep was this chain, and along its line of nearly 
three thousand men passed an unending stream of 
wooden biUets, sandbags, chevaux-de-frise, steel shel- 
ters, and light mitrailleuses, in a word, all the material 
for defensive fortifications, like buckets at a country fire. 

"Despite the hurricane of French artUlery fire, the 
German commander had adopted the only possible 
means of rapid transport over the shell-torn ground, 
covered with debris, over which neither horse nor cart 
could go. Every moment counted. Unless barriers rose 
swiftly the French counter-attacks, already massing, 
would sweep the assailants back into the wood. 

"Cover was disdained. The workers stood at full 
height, and the chain stretched openly across the hol- 
lows and hillocks, a fair target for the French gunners. 
The latter missed no chance. Again and again great 
rents were torn in the Hne by the bursting melinite, but 
as coolly as at maneuvers the iron-disciplined soldiers of 
Germany sprang forward from shelters to take the places 
of the fallen, and the work went apace. 

"Gradually another line doubled the chain of the 
workers, as the upheaved corpses formed a continuous 
embankment, each additional dead man giving greater 
protection to his comrades, until the barrier began to 
form shape along the diameter of the wood. There 
others were digging and burying logs deep into the earth, 
installing shelters and mitrailleuses, or feverishly build- 
ing fortifications. 



"At last the work was ended at fearful cost, but as 
the vanguard sullenly withdrew behind it, from the 
whole length burst a havoc of flame upon the advanciag 
Frenchmen. Vainly the latter dashed forward. They 
could not pass, and as the evening fell the barrier still 
held, covering the German workiag parties, burrowing 
like moles in the maze of trenches and boyaux. 

"So soUd was the barricade, padded with sandbags 
and earthworks, that the artillery fire fell practically 
unavailing, and the French General realized that the 
barrier must be breached by explosives as in Napoleon's 

"It was eight o'clock and already pitch dark in that 
blighted atmosphere as a special blasting corps, as 
devoted as the German chain workers, crept forward 
toward the German position. The rest of the French 
waited, sheltered in the ravine east of Douaumont, 
imtil an explosion should signal the assault. 

"In Indian file, to give the least possible sign of their 
presence to the hostile sentinels, the blasting corps ad- 
vanced in a long line, at first with comparative rapidity, 
only stiffening into the grotesque rigidity of simulated 
death when the searchlights played upon them, and re- 
suming progress when the beam shifted; then as they ap- 
proached the barrier they moved slowly and more slowly. 

"When they arrived within fifty yards the movement 
of the crawling men became imperceptible; the German 
star-shells and sentinels surpassed the searchlights in 

"The blasting corps lay at full length, just like hun- 
dreds of other motionless forms about them, but aU were 
working busily. With a short trowel each file leader 



scuffled the earth from under the body, taking care not 
to raise his arms, and gradually making a shallow trench 
deep enough to hide him. The others followed his exam- 
ple until the whole line had sunk below the surface. 
Then the leader began scooping gently forward while his 
followers deepened the furrow already made. 

"Thus literally, inch by inch, the files stole forward, 
sheltered in a narrow ditch from the gusts of German 
mitrailleuse fire that constantly swept the terrain. Here 
and there the sentinel's eye caught a suspicious move- 
ment and an incautiously raised head sank down, pierced 
by a bullet. But the stealthily mole-like advance con- 

"Hours passed. It was nearly dawn when the rem- 
nant of the blasting corps reached the barricade at last, 
and hurriedly put their explosives in position. Back 
they wriggled breathlessly. An over-hasty movement 
meant death, yet they must needs hurry lest the immi- 
nent explosions overwhelm them. 

"Suddenly there comes a roar that dwarfs the can- 
nonade, and along the barrier fountains of fire rise sky- 
ward, hurling a rain of fragments upon what was left 
of the blasting party. 

"The barricade was breached, but seventy-five per 
cent of the devoted corps had given their lives to do it. 

"As the survivors lay exhausted, the attackers charged 
over them, cheering. In the melee that followed there 
was no room to shoot or wield the rifle. 

"Some of the French fought with unfixed bayonets 
like the stabbing swords of the Roman legions. Others 
had knives or clubs. All were battle-frenzied, as only 
Frenchmen can be. 



"The Germans broke, and as the first rays of dawn 
streaked the sky, only a small northern section of the 
wood was still in their hands. There a similar barrier 
stopped progress, and it was evident that the night's 
work must be repeated. But the hearts of the French 
soldiers were leaping with victory as they dug furiously 
to consoUdate the ground they had gained." 





[The long-expected Allied " drive " against the Germans on 
the Western Front began July ist, and operations were in 
active process well into November. 

In this great contest the British and French took thou- 
sands of prisoners, while suffering great losses themselves 
in killed, wounded, and missing. The Germans were pushed 
back six miles, and the new British army was proved superior 
to the German veteran forces. The German retreat in the 
spring of 1917 was a direct result of the Allied successes. In 
this retreat along the line from Arras to Soissons, the Ger- 
mans evacuated nearly a thousand square miles of French 

The Editor :\ 

For nearly two years the British armies on the West- 
em Front have been playing for time. They have been 
sticking their toes in and holding their ground, with 
niunerically inferior forces and inadequate artillery 
supports against a nation in arms which has set out, 
with forty years of preparation at its back, to sweep 
the earth. We have held them, and now der Tag has 
come for us. The deal has passed into our hand at last. 
A fortnight ago, ready for the first time to undertake 
the offensive on a grand and prolonged scale, — Loos 
was a mere reconnaissance compared with this, — the 



New British army went over the parapet shoulder to 
shoulder with the most heroic army in the world — the 
army of France — and attacked over a sixteen-mile 
front in the Valley of the Somme. 

It was a critical day for the AUies: certainly it was a 
most critical day in the history of the British army. 
For on that day an answer had to be given to a very big 
question indeed. Hitherto we had been fighting on the 
defensive — unready, uphill, against odds. It would 
have been no particular discredit to us had we failed 
to hold our line. But we had held it, and more. Now, 
at last, we were ready — as ready as we were ever 
likely to be. We had the men, the guns, and the muni- 
tions. We were in a position to engage the enemy on 
equal, and more than equal, terms. And the question 
that the British Empire had to answer in that day, the 
ist of July, 1916, was this: "Are these new amatem: 
armies of ours, raised, trained, and equipped in less than 
two years, with nothing in the way of miUtary tradi- 
tion to uphold them — nothing but the steady courage 
of their race: are they a match for, and more than a 
match for, that grim machine-made, iron-bound host 
that lies waiting for them along that line of Picardy 
hills? Because if they are not, we cannot win this war. 
We can only make a stalemate of it." 

We, looking back now over a space of twelve months, 
know how our boys answered that question. In the 
greatest and longest battle that the world had yet seen, 
that army of city clerks, Midland farm-lads, Lancashire 
mill-hands, Scottish miners, and Irish corner-boys, side 
by side with their great-hearted brethren from over- 
seas, stormed positions which had been held impreg- 



nable for two years, captured seventy thousand pris- 
oners, reclaimed several hundred square miles of the 
sacred soil of France, and smashed once and for all the 
German-fostered fable of the invincibility of the Ger- 
man army. It was good to have lived and suffered 
during those early and lean years, if only to be present 
at their fulfillment. 

But at this moment the battle was only beginning, 
and the bulk of their astoxmding achievement was 
■still to come. Nevertheless, in the cautious and modest 
estimate of their commander-in-chief, they had already 
done something. 

" After ten days and nights of continuous fighting," 
said the first official report, "our troops have completed 
the methodical capture of the whole of the enemy's first 
system of defense on a front of fourteen thousand yards. 
This system of defense consisted of numerous and con- 
tinuous lines of fire trenches, extending to depths of 
from two thousand to four thousand yards, and in- 
cluded five strongly fortified villages, numerous heav- 
ily intrenched woods, and a large nimaber of immensely 
strong redoubts. The capture of each of these trenches 
represented an operation of some importance, and the 
whole of them are now in our hands." 

Quite so. One feels, somehow, that Berlin would 
have got more out of such a theme. . . . 

It was dawn on Saturday morning, and the second 
phase of the battle of the Somme was more than twen- 
ty-four hours old. The programme had opened with a 
night attack, always the most difficult and imcertain 
of enterprises, especially for soldiers who were civiUans 




This official French photograph, taken by an aviator during 
a French advance at the Somme, gives a graphic idea of a 
modern battlefield; the ground dotted with shell holes, many 
of them large enough to shelter a dozen men from the sweep 
of riiie and machine-gun bullets and the rain of exploding 

The picture is of particular interest as showing what a 
modern charge really looks like. Instead of a rush of cheer- 
ing, frenzied men, it is now made either by men pacing 
slowly, watch in hand, behind the Steadily moving curtair 
of bursting shells from their artillery, or, as in this case, b> 
methods that recall Indian warfare, the stormihg parties 
working their way forward bit by bit and taking advantage 
of every scrap of cover. .The leaders of the charge are the 
men in the upper end of the communication trench that runs 
from top to bottom of the picture. Another far advanced 
group has just taken shelter in a shell hole slightly above the 

A picture like this gives a more vivid idea of war as i1 
is than the most realistic description. 


less than two years ago. But no undertaking is too 
audacious for men in whose veins the wine of success is 
beginning to throb. And this undertaking, this hazard- 
ous gamble, had succeeded all along the line. During 
the past day and night, more than three miles of the 
German second system of defenses, from Bazentin le 
Petit to the edge of Delville Wood, had received their 
new tenants; and already long streams of not altogether 
reluctant Hun prisoners were being escorted to the 
rear by perspiring but cheerful gentlemen with fixed 

Meanwhile — in case such of the late occupants of 
the line as were still at large should take a fancy to 
revisit their previous haunts, working-parties of infan- 
try, pioneers, and sappers were toiling at fuU pressure 
to reverse the parapets, run out barbed wire, and bestow 
machine guns in such a manner as to produce a con- 
tinuous lattice- work of fire along the front of the cap- 
tured position. 

AH through the night the work had continued. As a 
result, positions were now tolerably secure, the intrepid 
"Buzzers" had included the newly grafted territory in 
the nervous system of the British Expeditionary Force, 
and battalion headquarters and supply depots had 
moved up to their new positions. . . . 

Meanwhile, up in the line, "A" Company were hold- 
ing on grimly to what are usually described as "cer- 
tain advanced elements" of tie village. 

Village fighting is a confused and untidy business, 
but it possesses certain redeeming features. The com- 
batants are usually so inextricably mixed up that the 
artillery are compelled to refrain from participation. 



That comes later, when you have cleared the village 
of the enemy, and his guns are preparing the ground 
for the inevitable counter-attack. 

So far "A" Company had done nobly. From the 
moment when they had lined up before Montauban 
in the gross darkness preceding yesterday's dawn until 
the moment when Bobby Little led them in one victori- 
ous rush into the outskirts of the village, they had never 
encoimtered a setback. By sunset they had penetrated 
some way farther; now creeping stealthily forward 
imder the shelter of a broken wall to hurl bombs into the 
windows of an occupied cottage; now climbing precari- 
ously to some commanding position in order to open fire 
with a Lewis gim; now making a sudden dash across an 
open space. Such work offered peculiar opportunities to 
small and well-handled parties — opportunities of which 
Bobby Little's veterans availed themselves right readily. 

Angus M'Lachlan, for instance, accompanied by a 
small following of seasoned experts, had twice rounded 
up parties of the enemy in cellars, and had dispatched 
the same back to headquarters with his compliments and 
a promise of more. Mucklewame and four men had 
bombed their way along a communication trench lead- 
ing to one of the side streets of the village — a likely 
avenue for a coimter-attack — and having reached the 
end of the trench, had built up a sandbag barricade, 
and had held the same against the assaults of hostile 
bombers until a Vickers machine gim had arrived in 
charge of an energetic subaltern of that youthful but 
thriving organization, the Suicide Club, or Machine- 
Gun Corps, and closed the street to further Teutonic 



During the night there had been periods of quiescence, 
devoted to consolidation, and here and there to snatches 
of uneasy slumber. Angus M'Lachlan, fairly in his 
element, had trailed his enormous length in and out of 
the back-yards and brick-heaps of the village, visiting 
every point in his irregular line, testing defenses; be- 
stowing praise; and insuring that every man had his 
share of food and rest. Unutterably grimy but in- 
expressibly cheerful, he reported progress to Major 
Wagstaffe when that nocturnal rambler visited him in 
the small hours. 

"Well, Angus, how goes it?" inquired Wagstaffe. 

"We have won the match, sir," repUed Angus with 
simple seriousness. "We are just playing the bye now ! " 

And with that he crawled away, with the unnecessary 
stealth of a small boy playing robbers, to encourage his 
dour paladins to further efforts. 

"We shall probably be relieved this evening," he 
explained to them, "and we must make everything 
secure. It would never do to leave our new positions 
untenable by other troops. They might not be so 
reliable" — with a paternal smile — "as you! Now, 
our right flank is not safe yet. We can improve the 
position very much if we can secure that estaminet, 
standing up like an island among those ruined houses 
on our right front. You see the sign, Aux Bons Fer- 
miers, over the door. The trouble is that a German ma- 
chine gun is sweeping the intervening space — and we 
cannot see the gun! There it goes again. See the brick- 
dust fly! Keep down! They are firing mainly across 
our front, but a stray bullet may come this way." 

The platoon crouched low behind their improvised 


rampart of brick rubble, while machine-gun buUets 
swept low, with misleading daquement, along the space 
in front of them, from some hidden position on their 
right. Presently the firing stopped. Brother Boche 
was merely "loosing off a belt," as a precautionary 
measure, at commendably regular intervals. 

"I cannot locate that gun," said Angus impatiently. 
"Can you, Corporal M'Snape?" 

" It is not in the estamint itself, sirr," replied M'Snape. 
("Estamint" is as near as our rank and file ever get 
to estaminet.) "It seems to be mounted some place 
higher up the street. I doubt they cannot see us 
themselves — only the ground in front of us." 

"If we could reach the estaminet itself," said Angus 
thoughtfully, "we could get a more extended view. 
Sergeant Mucklewame, select ten men, including three 
bombers, and follow me. I am going to find a jumping- 
off place. The Lewis gun too." 

Presently the little party were crouching round their 
oflBicer in a sheltered position on the right of the line — 
which for the moment appeared to be "in the air." 
Except for the intermittent streams of machine-gun 
fire, and an occasional shrapnel-burst overhead, all was 
quiet. The enemy's counter-attack was not yet ready. 

"Now listen carefully," said Angus, who had just 
finished scribbling a dispatch. "First of all, you. Bogle, 
take this message to the telephone, and get it sent to 
company headquarters. Now you others. We will 
wait till that machine gun has fired another belt. Then, 
the moment it has finished, while they are getting out 
the next belt, I will dash across to the estaminet over 
there. M'Snape, you will come with me, but no one 



else — yet. If the estaminet seems capable of being 
held, I will signal to you, Sergeant Mucklewame, 
and you will send your party across, in driblets, not 
forgetting the Lewis gun. By that time I may have 
located the German machine gun, so we should be 
able to knock it out with the Lewis." 

Further speech was cut short by a punctual fantasia 
from the gun in question. Angus and M'Snape 
crouched behind the shattered wall^ awaiting their 
chance. The firing ceased. 

"Now!" whispered Angus. 

Next moment ofl&cer and corporal were flying across 
the open, and before the mechanical Boche gunner 
could jerk the new belt into position, both had found 
sanctuary within the open doorway of the half-ruined 

Nay, more than both; for as the panting pair flung 
themselves into shelter, a third figure, short and stout, 
in an ill-fitting kilt, tumbled heavily through the door- 
way after them. Simultaneously a stream of machine- 
gun bullets went storming past. 

"Just in time!" observed Angus, weU pleased. "Bo- 
gle, what are you doing here?" 

"I was given tae imnerstand, sirr," replied Mr. Bogle 
calmly, "when I jined the regiment, that in action an 
ofl&cer's servant stands by his ofi&cer." 

"That is true," conceded Angus; "but you had no 
right to follow me against orders. Did you not hear 
me say that no one but Corporal M'Snape was to 

"No, sirr. I doubt I was away at the 'phone." 

"Well, now you are here, wait inside this doorway, 



where you can see Sergeant Mucklewame's party, and 
look out for signals. M'Snape, let us find that machme 

The pair made their way to the hitherto bHnd side of 
the building, and cautiously peeped through a much- 
perforated shutter in the living-room. 

"Do you see it, sirr?" inquired M'Snape eagerly. 

Angus chuckled. 

"See it? Fine! It is right in the open, in the middle 
of the street. Look!" 

He relinquished his peep-hole. The German machine 
gun was mounted in the street itself, behind an impro- 
vised barrier of bricks and sandbags. It was less than a 
hundred yards away, sited in a position which, though 
screened from the view of Angus's platoon farther down, 
enabled it to sweep all the ground in front of the posi- 
tion. This it was now doing with great intensity, for 
the brief public appearance of Angus and M'Snape had 
effectually converted intermittent into continuous fire. 

"We must get the Lewis gun over at once," muttered 
Angus. "It can knock that breastwork to pieces." 

He crossed the house again, to see if any of Muckle- 
wame's men had arrived. 

They had not. The man with the Lewis gun was 
lying dead halfway across the street, with his precious 
weapon on the groimd beside him. Two other men, 
both wounded, were crawling back whence they came, 
taking what cover they could from the storm of bullets 
which whizzed a few inches over their flinching bodies. 

Angus hastily semaphored to Mucklewame to hold 
his men in check for the present. Then he returned to 
the other side of the house. 



"How many men are serving that gun?" he said to 
M'Snape. " Can you see? " 

"Only two, sirr, I think. I cannot see them, but 
that wee breastwork will not cover more than a couple 
of men." 

"Mphm," observed Angus thoughtfully. "I expect 
they have been left behind to hold on. Have you a 
bomb about you? " 

The admirable M'Snape produced from his pocket 
a Mills grenade, and handed it to his superior. 

"Just the one, sirr," he said. 

"Go you," commanded Angus, his voice rising to 
a more than usually Highland inflection, "and sema- 
phore to Mucklewame that when he hears the explosion 
of this" — he pulled out the safety-pin of the grenade 
and gripped the grenade itself in his enormous paw — 
"followed, probably, by the temporary cessation of the 
machine gim, he is to bring his men over here in a 
bimch, as hard as they can pelt. Put it as briefly as 
you can, but make sure he understands. He has a good 
signaler with him. Send Bogle to report when you have 
finished. Now repeat what I have said to you. . . . 
That's right. Carry on!" 

M'Snape was gone. Angus, left alone, pensively 
restored the safety-pin to the grenade, and laid the 
grenade upon the ground beside him. Then he pro- 
ceeded to write a brief letter in his field message-book. 
This he placed in an envelope which he took from his 
breast-pocket. The envelope was already addressed — 
to the "Reverend Neil M'Lachlan, The Manse," in a 
very remote Highland village. (Angus had no mother.) 
He closed the envelope, initialed it, and buttoned it 



up in his breast-pocket again. After that he took up his 
grenade and proceeded to make a further examination 
of the premises. Presently he found what he wanted; 
and by the time Bogle arrived to aimoimce that Ser- 
geant Mucklewame had signaled "message under- 
stood," his arrangements were complete. 

"Stay by this smaU hole in the waU, Bogle," he said, 
"and the moment the Lewis gun arrives tell them to 
mount it here and open fire on the enemy gun." 

He left the room, leaving Bogle alone, to listen to 
the melancholy rustle of peeling waU-paper within and 
the steady crackling of buUets without. But when, 
peering through the improvised loophole, he next caught 
sight of his officer, Angus had emerged from the house 
by the cellar window, and was creeping with infinite 
caution behind the shelter of what had once been 
the wall of the estaminet's back yard (but was now an 
imeven bank of bricks, averaging two feet high), in 
the direction of the German machine gun. The gun, 
obhvious of the danger now threatening its right front, 
continued to fire steadily and hopefully down the street. 

Slowly, painfully, Angus crawled on, imtil he found 
himself within the right angle formed by the comer of 
the yard. He could go no farther without being seen. 
Between him and the German gun lay the cobbled 
surface of the street, offering no cover whatsoever 
except one mighty shell-crater, situated midway be- 
tween Angus and the gun, and fuU to the brim with 

A single peep over the wall gave him his bearings. 
The gun was too far away to be reached by a grenade, 
even when thrown by Angus M'Lachlan. Still, it would 



create a diversion. It was a time bomb. He would — 

He stretched out his long arm to its full extent behind 
him, gave one mighty overarm sweep, and with all the 
crackUng strength of his mighty sinews, hurled the 

It fell into the exact center of the flooded shell-crater. 

Angus said something under his breath which would 
have shocked a disciple of KuUur. Fortunately the two 
German gurmers did not hear him. But they observed 
the splash fifty yards away, and it relieved them from 
ennui, for they were growing tired of firing at nothing. 
They had not seen the grenade thrown, and were a little 
puzzled as to the cause of the phenomenon. 

Four seconds later their curiosity was more than 
satisfied. With a mufifled roar, the shell-hole suddenly 
spouted its liquid contents and other debris straight to 
the heavens, startling them considerably and entirely 
obscuring their vision. 

A moment later, with an exultant yell, Angus 
M'Lachlan was upon them. He sprang into their vision 
out of the descending cascade — a towering, terrible, 
kilted figure, bareheaded and Berserk mad. He was 
barely forty yards away. 

Initiative is not the forte of the Teuton. Number 
One of the German gun mechanically traversed his 
weapon four degrees to the right and continued to press 
the thumb-piece. Mud and splinters of brick sprang 
up round Angus's feet; but still he came on. He was 
not twenty yards away now. The gtinner, beginning 
to boggle between waiting and bolting, fumbled at his 
elevating gear, but Angus was right on him before his 
thumbs got back to work. Then, indeed, the gun spoke 



out with no uncertain voice, for perhaps two seconds. 
After that it ceased fire altogether. 

Ahnost simultaneously there came a triumphant 
roar lower down the street, as Mucklewame and his 
followers dashed obliquely across into the estaminet. 
Mucklewame himself was carrying the derelict Lewis 
gun. In the doorway stood the watchful M'Snape. 

"This way, quick!" he shouted. "We have the 
Gairman gun spotted, and the officer is needing the 

But M'Snape was wrong. The Lewis was not re- 

A few moments later, in the face of brisk sniping 
from the houses higher up the street, James Bogle, 
officer's servant, — a member of that despised class 
which, according to the "Bandar-Log" at home, spend 
the whole of its time pressing its master's trousers and 
smoking his cigarettes somewhere back in billets, — 
led out a stretcher party to the German gun. Number 
One had been killed by a shot from Angus's revolver. 
Number Two had adopted Hindenburg tactics, and 
was no more to be seen. Angus himself was lying, stone 
dead, a yard from the muzzle of the gun which he, 
single-handed, had put out of action. 

His men carried him back to the Estaminet aux Bons 
Fermiers, with the German gun, which was afterwards 
employed to good purpose during the desperate days 
of attacking and counter-attacking which ensued be- 
fore the village was ffiially secured. They laid him in 
the inner room, and proceeded to put the estaminet in 
a state of defense . — ready to hold the same against all 



comers until such time as the relieving division should 
take over, and they themselves be enabled, under the 
kindly cloak of darkness, to carry back their beloved 
officer to a more worthy resting-place. 

In the left-hand breast-pocket of Angus's tunic they 
found his last letter to his father. Two German ma- 
chine-gvm bullets had passed through it. It was for- 
warded with a covering letter, by Colonel Kemp. In 
the letter Angus's commanding officer informed Neil 
M'Lachlan that his son had been recommended posthu- 
mously for the highest honor that the King bestows 
upon his soldiers. 


[It will be remembered that in the vicinity of Ypres fierce 
contests have taken place since the beginning of the war. 
From October 25 to November 15, 1914, the Germans made 
desperate and furious assaults in their persistent attempts 
to push through to Dunkirk and Calais. By the use of 
chlorine vapor bombs in the assault of April 22, 1915, the 
Germans once more tried to gain their end, and the attempts 
were renewed during the second battle of Ypres, extending 
into November, 1915. In the action of June 7, 1917, the 
British took the offensive south of Ypres in a great drive 
which had been long in preparation. For many months prior 
to the attack the British "sappers" had been at work dig- 
ging for the mining operations, and at the appointed time a 
million pounds of ammonite were discharged. At 3.10 a.m., 
nineteen mines, electrically connected, were sent off in the 
most remarkable mining operation in history. The hill-tops 
were blown off by the vast explosion, which was heard one 
hundred and forty miles away in England. The intense shell- 
fire which began at the same time was followed by the 
charge of the infantry and the capture of the Ridge, with 
7000 prisoners and many guns. The German casualties are 
estimated at 30,000, those of the British at 10,000. It was 
the most important day's work in 191 7, after the capture of 
Vimy Ridge. The following is the summary of the British 
War Office. 

The Editor.] 

"The position captured by us was one of the enemy's 
most important strongholds on the Western Front. 
Dominating as it did the Ypres salient and giving the 
enemy complete observation over it, he neglected no 



precautions to render the position impregnable. These 
conditions enabled the enemy to overlook all our prepa- 
rations for the attack, and he had moved up reinforce- 
ments to meet us. The battle, therefore, became a gauge 
of the ability of the German troops to stop our advance 
imder conditions as favorable to them as an army can 
ever hope for, with every advantage of ground and 
preparation and with the knowledge that an attack was 

"The German forward defenses consisted of an elab- 
orate and intricate system of weU-wired trenches and 
strong points forming a defensive belt over a mile in 
depth. Nimierous farms and woods were thoroughly 
prepared for the defense, and there were large numbers 
of machine guns in the German garrisons. Guns of all 
caHbers, recently increased in numbers, were placed to 
bear not only on the front but on the flanks of an attack. 
Numerous communicating trenches and switch lines, 
radiating in all directions, were amply provided with 
strongly constructed concrete dugouts and machine- 
gun emplacements designed to protect the enemy gar- 
rison and machine gunners from the effect of our bom- 
bardment. In short, no precaution was omitted that 
could be provided by the incessant labor of years, 
guided by the experience gained by the enemy in his 
previous defeats on the Somme, at Arras, and on Vimy 

"Despite the difficulties and disadvantages which 
our troops had to overcome, further details of [the] 
fighting show that our first assault and the subsequent 
attacks were carried out in almost exact accordance 
with the time-table previously arranged. . . . 



"Following on the great care and thoroughness in 
preparations made under the orders of General Sir 
Herbert Plumer, the complete success gained may be 
ascribed chiefly to the destruction caused by our mines, 
to the violence and accuracy of our bombardment, to 
the very fine work of the Royal Fl3Tng Corps, and to 
the incomparable dash and courage of the infantry. 
The whole force acted in perfect combination. Excel- 
lent work was done by the tanks, and every means of 
offense at our disposal was made use of, so that every 
arm of the service had a share in the victory." 

The British had to level many bits of woodland, and 
then they sprayed these woods with drums of blazing 
oil, which burned them away and made attacking 
across what would be considered impregnable natural 
defenses almost an easy matter. The communication 
trenches were so damaged that it was impossible for 
the Germans to make their way along them in daylight 
except on all fours. Ration parties attempting at night 
to come up over the open were badly cut up by the 
constant British fire. 

[The action against Messines Ridge was characteristic of 
the new form which the battles on the Western Front have 
assumed since the Germans gave up the attempt to hold a 
long line, equally strong at many points, and tried to main- 
tain their ground by concentrating upon a few strongly 
fortified positions, seemingly impregnable. The positions at 
Bapaume, Vimy, and the Monchy Plateau east of Arras 
were heavily fortified positions of this sort. All these, to- 
gether with Messines Ridge, were taken by the British dur- 
ing three months of remarkably successful offensives. In 
the same way the French concentrated upon and captured 
the famous Dead Man's Hill and Hill 304, overlooking 




On April 9th the British began the spring drive of 1917 
along a battle front of forty-five miles toward Lens and Saint- 
Quentin, since known as the battle of Arras. The battle 
started on a twelve-mile front north and south of Arras and 
led to the capture of many coveted points including the 
famous Vimy Ridge where nearly six thousand prisoners 
were taken. 
Of this attack the Canadian War Ofifice said: — 
"At half -past five on Easter Monday morning the great 
attack was laimched with terrible fire from our massed 
artillery and from many field guns in hidden advanced posi- 
tions. Our 'heavies' bombarded the enemy positions on and 
beyond the ridge, and trenches, dugouts, emplacements, 
and roads, which for long had been kept in a continual state 
of disrepair by our fire, were now smashed to uselessness. 
An intense barrage of shrapnel from our field guns, strength- 
ened by the indirect fire of hundreds of machine guns, was 
laid along the front. At the same moment the Canadian 
troops advanced in line, in three waves of attack." 

The illustration opposite (reproduced from the largest war 
photograph in existence) shows a wide portion of the battle- 
field during the actual charge. Ahead of the Canadians their 
barrage is pounding to pieces the German trenches, having 
swept across the battlefield demolishing the German wire 
entanglements as may be plainly seen in the picture. It will 
be noticed that the counter-barrage smoke is particularly 
heavy in the background, which is accounted for by the 
fact that the Germans were at the moment concentrating 
their artillery fire on the line of tanks, which may be dimly 
seen through the clouds of smoke lumbering along toward 
the German trenches. 


Verdun, August 19th. The new conditions have made it 
imperative either to direct the attack upon a single hill, or 
to advance on a very wide front, the British and French 
forces cooperating. Thus we read that on July 30th, "the 
French and British smash the German line on a twenty-mile 
front in Flanders." August 14th, the British renewed the 
fighting on the Loos-Lens Ime along a wide front, and on the 
following day they made a wide thrust between Ypres and 
Dixmude. On September 20th, the British once more re- 
newed the offensive m Flanders, while on the 27th they took 
their turn in repelling such furious attacks by the Germans 
in the Ypres sector as the French have steadily repelled 
around Verdun. 

No less than eight of the drives which the Allies have 
made so successful were launched after September 20th, 
the climax being that for Passchendaele, a most important 
position on high groimd commanding the lowlands to the 
coast, about twenty miles distant. Field Marshal von 
Hindenburg is reported to have ordered his armies to hold 
this point at any cost. Meanwhile, the British had been 
striving all summer to gain it, and were victorious Novem- 
ber 6th. This town lies five miles west of Roulers, around 
which fierce fighting has taken place in the supreme efforts 
of the Germans to protect their submarine bases at Ostend 
and Zeebrugge. The newer warfare centers about the con- 
crete "pill-box" [redoubt] which the Germans fortify to 
guard an important position, the British "tank" which 
enables the assailants to ride over obstacles to the desired 
position, and the swarm of airplanes by which the Allies 
hold the supremacy of the air. The concrete redoubt is 
readily seen by the aviators, who direct the Allied fire, 
which in turn prepares the way for the tank.] 




[The last great battle of 191 7 was fought by the British 
and Germans, November 20-December 12, for possession of 
the strategic city of Cambrai. Under Sir Julian Byng the 
British attacked suddenly on a thirty-two-mile front be- 
tween Saint-Quentin and the Scarpe, and penetrated the 
so-called and supposably impregnable Hindenburg line to 
a depth of five miles. The attack was led by hundreds of 
"tanks," and was irresistible. Many prisoners and guns 
were taken. The victory was even greater than antici- 
pated, hence the British were not able to sustain it at all 
points; and the Germans, by massing heavy reinforcements 
from the Eastern Front, succeeded in driving the British 
back part-way, taking prisoner about six thousand men and 
numbers of guns. The battle was almost continuous for 
twenty days and was one of the most sanguinary of the 
war. The description below is from cable dispatches to the 
"Current History Magazine of the New York Times." 

The Editor.] 

The enemy yesterday (November 20, 191 7) had, I am 
sure, the surprise of his life on the Western Front, 
where, without any warning by ordinary preparations 
that are made before a battle, without any sign of 
strength in men and guns behind the British front, 
without a single shot fired before the attack, and with 
his great belts of hideously strong wire still intact, the 
British troops suddenly assaulted him at dawn, led for- 
ward by great numbers of "tanks," smashed through 



his wire, passed beyond to his trenches, and penetrated 
in many places the main Hindenburg line and the 
Hindenburg support beyond. 

To my mind it is the most sensational and dramatic 
episode of this year's fighting, brilliantly imagined and 
carried thi-ough with the greatest secrecy. Not a whis- 
per of it had reached men like myself, who are always 
up and down the lines, and since the secret of the tanks 
themselves, which suddenly made their appearance on 
the Somme last year, this is, I believe, the best-kept 
secret of the war. How could the enemy guess, in his 
wildest nightmare, that a blow would be struck quite 
suddenly at that Hindenburg line of his — enormously 
strong in redoubts, tunnels, and trenches — and with- 
out any artillery preparation or any sign of gun power 
behind the British front? 

The enemy had withdrawn many of his guns from 
this "quiet" sector, and he did not know that during 
recent nights great numbers of tanks had been crawling 
along the roads toward Havrincourt and the British 
lines below Flesquieres Ridge, hiding by day in the 
copses of this wooded and roUing country beyond P6- 
ronne and Bapaume. Indeed, he knew little of aU that 
was going on before him imder the cover of darkness. 

Most of the prisoners say that the first thing they 
knew of the attack was when, out of the mist, they saw 
the tanks advancing upon them, smashing down "their 
wire, crawling over their trenches and nosing forward 
with gunfire and machine-gun fire slashing from their 

The Germans were aghast and dazed. Many hid down 
in their dugouts and tunnels, and then surrendered. 



Only the steadiest and bravest of them rushed to the 
machine gims and got them into action and used their 
rifles to snipe the British. 

Out of the silence which had prevailed behind the 
British lines a great fire of gxms came upon the Germans. 
They knew they had been caught by an amazing strata- 
gem, and they were full of terror. Behind the tanks, 
coming forward in platoons, the infantry swarmed, 
cheering and shouting, trudging through the thistles, 
while the tanks made a scythe of machine-gun fire in 
front of them, and thousands of shells went screaming 
over the Hindenburg lines. 

The German artillery made but a feeble answer. 
Their gun positions were being smothered by the fire of 
all the British batteries. There were not many German 
batteries, and the enemy's infantry could get no great 
help from them. They were caught, German officers 
knew they had been caught, like rats in a trap. It was 
their black day. 

I think all the British felt the drama of this adventure 
and had the thrill of it, a thrill which I had believed had 
departed out of war because of the ferocity of shell fire and 
the staleness of war's mechanism and formula of attack. 

A mass of cavalry was brought up and hidden very 
close to the enemy's lines, ready to make a sweeping 
drive should the Hindenburg line be pierced by the ad- 
vance of the tanks over the great belts of barbed wire 
and the deep, wide trenches of the strongest lines on 
the western front. 

Yesterday I saw the cavalry in all this country wait- 
ing for their orders to saddle up and get their first great 
chance. I was astounded to see them there and was 



stirred by a great thrill of excitement, not without some 
tragic foreboding, because after seeing much of the war 
on this front and coming straight from Flanders with its 
terrifying artillery and frightful barrages it seemed to 
me incredible that after all cavalry should ride out into 
the open and round up the enemy. I had seen the Hin- 
denburg line up by BuUecourt and Queant and knew 
the strength of it and the depth of the barbed wire belts 
that surroimd it. 

The cavalry were in the highest spirits and full of 
tense expectation. Young cavalry officers galloped past 
smiling, and caUed out a cheery "Good-morning," like 
men who have good sport ahead. In the folds of land 
toward the German lines there were thousands of cav- 
alry horses, massed in parks, with their horse artillery 
limbered up, and ready for their ride. 

This morning, very early, in the steady rain and wet 
mist, I saw squadrons of them going into action, and it 
was the most stirring sight I had seen for many a long 
day in this war, one which I sometimes thought I should 
never live to see. They rode past me as I walked along 
the road through our newly captured ground and across 
the Hindenburg line. They streamed by at a quick trot 
and the noise of the horses' hoofs was a strange, rushing 

Rain slashed down upon their steel hats, their capes 
were glistening, and mud was flung up to the horses' 
flanks, as in long coliunns they went up and down the 
rolling coimtry and cantered up the steep track, making 
a wide curve around two great mine craters in roads 
which the enemy had blown up in his retreat. It was a 
wonderful picture to see and remember. 



Other squadrons of cavalry had already gone ahead 
and had been fighting in the open country since midday 
yesterday after crossing the bridges at Masnieres and 
Marcoing, which the enemy did not have time to de- 
stroy. They had done well. One squadron rode down a 
battery of German gims, and a patrol had ridden into 
Flesquieres village when the Germans were still there. 
Still other bodies of cavalry had swept around German 
machine-gun emplacements and German villages and 
drawn many prisoners into their net. 

The drama was far beyond the most fantastic imag- 
ination. This attack on the Hindenburg lines before 
Cambrai has never been approached on the Western 
Front, and the first act began when the tanks moved for- 
ward before dawn toward the long, wide belts of wire, 
which they had to destroy before the rest could follow. 

These squadrons of tanks were led into action by the 
general commanding their corps, who carried his flag 
on his own tank — a most gallant man, full of enthusi- 
asm for his monsters and their brave crews, and deter- 
mined that this day should be theirs. To every officer 
and man of the tanks he sent this Order of the Day 
before the battle: — 

"The Taiak Corps expects that every tank this day 
wiU do its damnedest." . . . 

The German troops knew nothing of the fate that 
awaited them until out of the gloom of dawn they saw 
these great numbers of gray inhimian creatures bearing 
down upon them. A German officer whom I saw to-day, 
one out of thousands of prisoners who have been taken, 
described his own sensations. At first he could not be- 
lieve his eyes. He seemed in some horrible nightmare 



and thought he had gone mad. After that from his dug- 
out he watched all the tanks trampling about, crunching 
down the wire, heaving themselves across his trenches 
and searching about for machine-gun emplacements, 
while his men ran about in terror, trjdng to avoid the 
bursts of fire and crying out in surrender. 

Some of the German troops kept their nerve and 
served their machine gims, firing between the tanks at 
British infantry, but the tanks dealt with them and 
silenced them. Some of the German snipers fired at the 
British at a few yards and the infantry dealt with them 
masterfully. But, for the most part, the enemy broke 
as soon as the tanks were on them and fled or surren- 

A few of the tanks had bad luck, and I saw these 
cripples this morning where they were overturned by 
shell fire or had become bogged. Elsewhere I saw one 
or two which had buried their noses deep into the soft 
earth and lay overturned or lay head downward over 
deep banks down which they had tried to crawl. But the 
tank casualties were light, and large numbers of them 
went ahead and fought all day up Flesquieres Ridge and 
round the chateau of Havrincourt, where the enemy 
held out for some time, and across the bridges of Mar- 
coing and Masnieres and up to the neighborhood of 
Noyelles and Graincourt and beyond Ribecourt. . . . 

The attack of the Ulster battalions on the first two 
days of the battle was a hard and grim episode of the 
general action, and ground was gained only by the most 
persistent endeavors and courage. 

These men, newly down from the battles of Flanders, 
where they had terrible and tragic fighting, were deter- 



mined to go far in this new field, and their spirit was 

They had no tanks to cut the wire in front of them, 
as those machines were concentrated in large numbers 
on the right wing of the attack. The Ulstermen had the 
Hindenburg trenches before them, wide belts of wire, 
and beyond the trenches the deep ditch of the Canal du 
Nord, a most formidable series of defenses. They had 
to break down the wire in front of them by bomb ex- 
plosions and under heavy machine-gun fire from the 
trenches and the further side of the canal bank, where 
the Germans were in concrete blockhouses and strong 

At first they broke their way through all obstacles in 
spite of being hung up by wire here and there and the 
harassing fire of snipers, and they cleared the trenches 
of the men who were demoralized by the surprise and 
suddenness of the attack. 

Later some of the Ulstermen. came up against a high 
"spoU" bank or waste heap, sixty feet high from the 
canal bank, and defended from tunneled dugouts under- 
neath it. About 8.30 in the morning they captured the 
spoil heap and a crowd of prisoners in the dugouts, and 
then tried to get astride the Cambrai road and to cross 
the canal. 

A gallant little body of Belfast men, all from ship- 
building works on Queens Island, worked for hours 
under fire to build a bridge across and repair the de- 
stroyed causeway so that the infantry could pass. It 
was done before dusk, and the Ulstermen seized the 
way across the Cambrai road, but could not cross the 
canal or get forward very far owing to the fierce machine- 



gun fire that swept down upon them from the east side 
of the canal, where the enemy was holding Moeuvres 
and Graincourt. 

[As the British troops advanced and the various villages 
were captured, the French civilians who had for three years 
been under German domination were released. The scenes 
at the liberation of these people are thus described by Mr. 
Gibbs in a cable letter written on November 22 :] 

The people I saw to-day (gathered together in a 
ruined village, in the heart of all these new scenes of war, 
with the tide of cavalry streaming up the roads, with 
tanks crawling on the hillsides and guns firing across 
the open fields, and new batches of German prisoners 
tramping down under escort, haggard and dazed by the 
swift turn of fortime's wheel, which had flimg them into 
British hands when they seemed so safe behind their 
great hnes) were all from Masnieres near Marcoing, 
where four hundred and fifty of them had awaited the 
coming of the Enghsh in feverish excitement since they 
heard the approach of the advance guards. 

They were pitiful groups of men, women, and children 
— pitiful because of their helplessness in this comer of 
war among the gtms. Some of the women had babies 
with them in perambulators and wooden boxes on 
wheels, into which also they had tucked a few things 
from their abandoned homes. Some of them were 
young women neatly dressed, but aU plastered with mud 
after the tramp across the battlefields and woefully 
bedraggled. Some of the little girls had brought their 
dogs with them, and one child had a bird in a cage. 

There were sturdy peasants among them and old folk 
with wrinkled faces and frightened eyes because of this 



strange adventure in their old age, and young men of 
military age who had not been taken away like most of 
their comrades for forced labor because their work was 
useful to the enemy in their own district. This was the 
case of a good-looking young barber to whom I talked, 
who had shaved the German officers and men for three 
years in Masnieres. 

These people looked woe-begone as they waited in 
the ruins for the Enghsh lorries to take them away to 
safety, but in their hearts there was great Joy, as I found 
when I talked to them, because they were on the British 
side of the lines and out of reach of the enemy^ whom 
they hate bitterly because of the discipline put upon 
them and their servitude, and most of all and all in all 
because he is the enemy of their country and the 
destroyer of their land and blood. 

They told me that after the coming of the Germans 
in the early days of the war, when the Uhlans entered 
Masnieres and fought with French and English cavalry 
at Crevecourt, where our cavalry was again fighting 
yesterday, they had no liberty and no property. The 
Germans requisitioned everything. They took their pigs 
and their poultry and their grain and their wine. If a 
peasant hid a hen he was heavily fined or put in prison; 
if he was discovered with a bottle of wine he was fined 
ten francs or put in prison. . . . 

[Mr. Gibbs gave this graphic and interesting description 
of the battlefield in a cable letter dated November 25:] 

The way up to Havrincourt Village, on the ridge to 
the west of Flesquieres (by a stone cross, five centuries 
old, dedicated to St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunts- 
men before the tanks went a-hunting on a fine Novem- 



ber morning), was littered witli things the Germans had 
left behind — field-gray overcoats, shrapnel helmets, 
innumerable pairs of boots, goatskin pouches, rifles, 
bayonets, bandohers, tunics, gas masks. It was as if 
great numbers of men had thrown everything away from 
them in a moment of great terror and had fled naked 
from their fear. 

I went out into the open coimtry. Outstretched before 
me was the whole panorama of this battle. I went up to 
the edge of it as close as one could go without getting 
into the furnace fires. All around me were the swirl 
and turmoil of the battlefield. * Everywhere tanks were 
crawling over the ground, some of them moving for- 
ward into action, some of them out of action, mortally 
wounded, some of them like battle cruisers of the land 
going forward in recoimaissance. 

Less than two thousand yards away from us was a 
town on fire. It was Graincourt, and the enemy was 
"knocking hell out of it," in revenge for its capture. It 
had been my intention to go there, but I stopped short 
of it and was glad I had gone no farther. 

Shell after shell burst among its roofs and walls with- 
out ceasing for several hours. Red brick cottages went 
up in clouds of rosy smoke with flames in the heart of it. 
The enemy's shells burst in Graincourt with so many 
colors — green, purple, orange, rose, and pink — that it 
was a wonderful poem in color, but as tragic as the death 
that was there. 

[The Germans retaliated on November 30 by delivering 
two flank and a center attack southwest of Cambrai on a 
wide front and succeeded in surprising one weaker section of 
the British line, where four thousand men were captured, 



with some territory, compelling the British a few days later 
to withdraw from about one third of the advance they had 
previously made. This bloody attack is described as follows:] 

The assault began at about 8.40 o'clock. The enemy 
went over the ridge between these Moeuvres and Bourlon 
woods in dense masses. As they swept down the slope 
toward the Bapaimie-Cambrai road they came under 
the fire of the British artillery. The British gimners had 
so many targets that they hardly knew where to begin 
shooting, but immediately poiured a veritable deluge of 
shells into the advancing German ranks. British ma- 
chine gims and rifles also took part in the sanguinary 

The Germans fell by scores as they advanced over 
the ridge in close formation, but they kept coming on. 
British infantrymen were thrown into the battle line 
for a counter-attack, and hot fighting ensued. The 
Germans succeeded in penetrating to the vicinity of the 
Bapaume-Cambrai highway northwest of Graincourt, 
but this was as far as they were able to get. 

Notwithstanding their terrible losses, the Germans 
continued to rush over the ridge in waves all day and 
always with the same result — they came under an 
intense fire and were mown down in great numbers. 
Late in the day British counter-attacks succeeded in 
pushing the enemy back to virtually the same line 
that they had left. 

Farther to the south the Germans broke through the 
British front south of Villers-Guislain, and, by executing 
a turning movement to the north, succeeded in envel- 
oping Gauche Wood, Gouzeaucourt, Goimelieu, and 
La Vacquerie. 



[The Germans followed their advantage by continuing 
their attacks on December i with fresh fury. The corre- 
spondent describes the battle for the village of Masnieres 
as follows:] 

Nine separate counter-attacks launched against 
Masnieres by strong German forces yesterday were all 
repulsed after most sanguinary fighting, although the 
British pulled their line back somewhat to lessen the 
sharp salient there. An intense battle raged all day, and 
it is stated that the British killed more Germans betweeri 
daylight and dark than in any similar period since the 
war began. It was practically a continuous fight from 
the start of the first counter-attack. 

The enemy infantry kept surging forward in waves, 
and as each came up it was caught by the fire from the 
artillery, rifles, and machine guns. The attacking forces 
were mowed down like wheat before the wind, but with 
characteristic Prussian discipline they continued to fill 
their ranks and advance until after the ninth assault 
had failed. 

During the afternoon the Germans succeeded in cap- 
turing Les Rues Vertes, a suburb south of Masnieres, 
but a British counter-attack pushed the enemy out 

The British had to encoimter ten German attacks in 
great force, advancing into the suburbs of Les Rues 
Vertes under the protection of a frightful bombardment. 
They repulsed these attacks ten times with machine- 
gun and rifle fire, until the enemy ofiicers sent back word 
that their position in this suburb was untenable and 
they had to retreat from the annihilating fire. But by 
this time Masnieres was at the end of a sharp salient, 



formed by the enemy's gain of the ridge below, and dur- 
ing the night, according to orders, the British withdrew 
unknown to the Germans, who were busy with their 
dead and woimded. Even on Sunday morning the 
Germans did not know that not a single English soldier 
remained in Masnieres, and they bombarded it anew 
before sending forward more storm troops in the after- 
noon, when they discovered its abandoimient. 

The Germans continued their battle on the 2d and 3d, 
employing great forces. They approached La Vacquerie 
from the east and southeast, and at the outset it ap- 
peared that the attack was comparatively local. In 
their first charge the enemy came up against a stone wall 
and they were forced to fall back. They kept coming in 
waves, however. They finally won a footing in the town, 
but immediately were ejected. Intense fighting at close 
quarters followed. 

In the early dawn on December 4 the British withdrew 
from the Bourlon salient to a depth varying from a half 
to two and a half miles. The readjustment of the lines 
was effected without any losses to the British and left 
them in possession of about two thirds of the territory 
originally captured. Fierce artillery exchanges between 
the two fronts continued day and night from the 6th to 
the 12th, and there were indications that the Germans 
were massing immense forces for another great offensive. 





[For many years Italy had longed to extend her territory on 
the north through the Trentino and on the east to Trieste 
and along the coast of the Adriatic: partly to liberate her 
fellow countrymen who lived in these regions; partly to 
secure herself against an Austrian invasion by holding the 
mountain passes; and partly to gain complete control of 
the Adriatic Sea. The war seemed to offer her an opportu- 
nity to satisfy her ambition, and on May 23, 1915, she en- 
tered the conflict on the side of the Entente. 

The following selection describes the capture of one of 
the Austrian key positions in the Carnic Alps and gives a 
graphic idea of the obstacles the Italians were compelled to 
overcome in their advance through the mountains. Colonel 
Garibaldi is a grandson of the famous ItaUan patriot who 
was largely responsible for the liberation of Italy from 
Austrian rule in the middle of the last century. 

The Editor^ 

Toward the middle of the short winter afternoon the 
gorge we had been following opened out into a narrow 
valley, and straight over across the little lake which the 
road skirted, reflected in the shimmering sheet of steam- 
ing water that the thaw was throwing out across the ice, 
was a vivid white triangle of towering mountain. A true 
granite Alp among the splintered Dolomites — a for- 
tress among cathedrals ^ it was the outstanding, the 



dominating feature in a panorama which I knew from 
my map was made up of the mountain chain along 
which wriggled the interlocked lines of the Austro-Ital- 
ian battle front. 

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

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

By the light of a little spirit lamp and to the accom- 
paniment of a steady drip of eaves and the nmible of 
distant avalanches of falling snow, Colonel Garibaldi, 
that evening, told me "the story": — 

"... In July I was given command of a battalion 
occupying a position at the foot of the Col di Lana. 
Perhaps you saw from the lake, as you came up, the 
commanding position of this mountain. If so, you will 
understand its supreme importance to us, whether for 
defensive or offensive purposes. Looking straight down 
the Cordevole Valley toward the plains of Italy, it not 
only furnished the Austrians an incomparable observa- 
tion post, but also stood as an effectual barrier against 
any advance of our own toward the Livinallongo Valley 



and the important Pordoi Pass. We needed it impera- 
tively for the safety of any line we established in this 
region; and just as imperatively would we need it when 
we were ready to push the Austrians back. Since it was 
Just as important for the Austrians to maintain posses- 
sion of this great natural fortress as it was for us to take 
it away from them, you will understand how it came 
about that the struggle for the Col di Lana was perhaps 
the bitterest that has yet been waged for any one point 
on the Alpine front. 

"Early in July, imder cover of our guns to the south 
and east, the Alpini streamed down from the Citna di 
Falzarego and Sasso di Stria, which they had occupied 
shortly before, and secured what was at first but a pre- 
carious foothold on the stony lower eastern slope of the 
Col di Lana. Indeed, it was Httle more than a toe-hold 
at first; but the never-resting Alpini soon dug them- 
selves in and became firmly established. It was to the 
command of this battalion of Alpini that I came on the 
1 2 th of July, after being given to understand that my 
work was to be the taking of the Col di Lana regardless 
of cost. . . . 

"At that time the Austrians -^ who had appreciated 
the great importance of that mountain from the outset 

— had us heavily out-gunned, while mining in the hard 
rock was too slow to make it worth while imtil some 
single position of crucial value hung in the balance. So 

— well, I simply did the best I could under the circum- 
stances. The most I could do was to give my men as 
complete protection as possible while they were not 
fighting, and this end was accomplished by estabhshing 
them in galleries cut out of the solid rock. This was, I 



believe, the first time the ' gallery-barracks ' — now quite 
the rule at all exposed points — were used on the Italian 

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

"The Austrians made a brave and skillful defense, 
but the steady pressure we were bringing to bear on them 
gradually forced them back up the moimtain. By the 
first week in November we were in possession of three 
sides of the mountain, while the Austrians held the 
fourth side and — but most important of all — the sum- 
mit. The latter presented a sheer wall of rock, more 
than two hundred metres high, to us from any direction 
we were able to approach it, and on the crest of this cliff 
— the only point exposed to our artillery fire — the 
enemy had a cimningly concealed machine-gun post 
served by fourteen men. Back and behind, under shel- 
ter in a rock gallery, was a reserve of two hundred men, 

1 80 


who were expected to remain safely under cover during 
a bombardment and then saUy forth to repel any infan- 
try attack that might follow it. The handful in the 
machine-gun post, it was calculated, would be suflBlcient, 
and more than sufficient, to keep us from scaling the 
cliff before their reserves came up to support them; and 
so they would have been if there had been only an infan- 
try attack to reckon with. It failed to allow sufficiently, 
however, for the weight of the artillery we were bring- 
ing up, and the skiU of our gunners. The apparent im- 
pregnabUity of the position was really its undoing. 

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

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

"It is almost certain that our sudden gust of concen- 


trated gunfire snuffed out the lives of all the men in the 
machine-gun post before tljey had time to send word of 
our developing infantry attack to the reserves in the 
gallery below. At any rate, these latter made no attempt 
whatever to swarm up to the defense of the crest, even 
after our artiUery fire ceased. The consequence was that 
the one himdred and twenty Alpini I sent to scale the 
cliff reached the top with only three casualties, these 
probably caused by rolling rocks or flying rock frag- 
ments. The Austrians in their big 'fimk-hole' were 
taken completely by surprise, and one hundred and 
thirty of them fell prisoners to considerably less than 
that number of Italians. The rest of the two himdred 
escaped or were killed in their flight. 
^ "So far it was so good; but, unfortunately, taking the 
summit and holding it were two entirely different mat- 
ters. No sooner did the Austrians discover what had 
happened than they opened on the summit with all their 
available artillery. We have since ascertained that the 
fire of one hundred and twenty guns was concentrated 
upon a space of one hundred by one himdred and fifty 
metres which offered the only approach to cover that 
the barren summit afforded. Fifty of my men, finding 
shelter in the lee of rocky ledges, remained right out on 
the summit; the others crept over the edge of the cUff 
and held on by their fingers and toes. Not a man of 
them sought safety by flight, though a retirement would 
have been quite justified, considering what a hell the 
Austrians' guns were making of the summit. The enemy 
counter-attacked at nightfall, but despite superior num- 
bers and the almost complete exhaustion of that little 
band of Alpini heroes, they were able to retake only a 



half of the summit. Here, at a ten-metres-high ridge 
which roughly bisects the cima, the Alpini held the Aus- 
trians, and here, in turn, the latter held the reinforce- 
ments which I was finally able to send to the Alpini's 
aid. There, exposed to the fire of the guns of either side 
(and so comparatively safe from both), a hne was estab- 
hshed from which there seemed little probability that 
one combatant could drive the other, at least without a 
radical change from the methods so far employed. 

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

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



" The choice of the engineer for the work, was a singu- 
larly fortunate one. Gelasio Caetani — he is a son of 
the Duke of Sermoneta — had operated as a mining 
engineer in the American West for a number of years 
previous to the war, and the practical experience gained 
in California and Alaska was invaluable preparation for 
the great task now set for him. His ready resource and 
great personal courage were also incalculable assets. 
(As an instance of the latter I could tell you how, to 
permit him to make certain imperative observations, he 
allowed himself to be lowered over the side of a sheer 
cliff at a point only partially protected from the enemy's 

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

"The worst thing about it all was the fact that it 
had to be done under the incessant fire of the Austrian 
artillery. I provided for the men as best I could by 
putting them in galleries, where they were at least able 
to get their rest in comparative safety. My own head- 
quarters were in a little shed in the lee of a big rock. 
When the enemy finally found out what we were up to 
they celebrated their discovery by a steady bombard- 
ment which lasted for fourteen days without interrup- 



tion. During a certain forty-two hours of that fortnight 
there was, by actual count, an average of thirty-eight 
shells a minute exploding on our little position. With 
aU the protection it was possible to provide, the strain 
became such that I found it advisable to change the 
battalion holding our portion of the summit every week. 
Did I have any respite myself? Well, hardly; or, rather, 
not until I had to. * 

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

"And then there arose another difficulty. The small- 
est gun that would stand a chance of doing the job cut 
out for it weighed one hundred and twenty kilos — 
about two hundred and sixty-five pounds; this just for 



the gun alone, with all detachable parts removed. But 
the point where the gun was to be mounted was so 
exposed that there was no chance of rigging up a cable- 
way, while the incline was so steep and rough that it was 
out of the question to try to drag it up with ropes. Just 
as we were on the verge of giving up in despair, one of 
the Alpini — a man of Herculean frame who had made 
his living in peace-time by breaking chains on his chest 
and performing other feats of strength — came and 
suggested that he be allowed to carry the gim up on his 
shoulder. Grasping at a straw, I let him indulge in a 
few 'practice maneuvers'; but these only showed that, 
whUe the yoimg Samson could shoulder and trot off 
with the gun without great effort, the task of lifting 
hrmseK and his burden from foothold to foothold in 
the crumbling rock of the seventy-degree slope was too 
much for him. 

"But out of this failure there came a new idea. Why 
not let my strong man simply support the weight of the 
gun on his shoulder ^ acting as a sort of ambulant gun- 
carriage, so to speak — while a line of men pulled him 
along with a rope? We rigged up a harness to equalize 
the pull on the broad back, and, with the aid of sixteen 
ordinary men, the feat was accomplished without a 
hitch. I am sorry to say, however, that poor Samson 
was laid up for a spell with racked muscles. 

"The gun — with the necessary parts and munition 
— was taken up in the night, and at daybreak it was set 
up and ready for action. It fired just forty shots before 
the Austrian 'heavies' blew it — and all but one or two 
of its brave crew — to pieces with a rain of high-explo- 
sive. But it had done its work, and done it well. The 



sacrifice was not in vain. The troublesome Austrian 
battery was put so completely out of action that the 
enemy never thought it worth while to reemplace it. 

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

[In the autumn of 1917 the Teuton army broke through 
the flank of the Italian forces that were threatening Trieste, 
and drove deep into the plains of Italy, undoing at a blow 
the gains the Italians had spent nearly two and a half 
years and countless lives to gain, and captiuring a vast 
booty of prisoners and suppUes.] 




The campaign on the Eastern Front began with the mobi- 
lizing of the Austrian and Serbian forces, during the last 
days of July, 1914, the massing of Russian troops and the 
mobilizing of German armies to meet Russia. The main 
Austrian forces were sent to Galicia to meet the Russian 
advance, and an effort was also made to enter Poland. 
The Russian plan was to engage Austria as soon as possible, 
before Germany could move forces from the Western Front. 
Russia met with reverses in East Prussia, and was defeated 
by the Germans in the battle of Tannenberg, September i, 
when the army opposing Von Hindenburg was enveloped 
in the swamp districts. But the main armies still pressed 
forward and were generally victorious over Austria. The 
main Austrian army was defeated and routed at Lemberg 
and Lublin, the Germans failed in their attempt to come to 
the rescue; and the Russians crossed the San, invested 
Przemysl, the key to Galicia, penetrated the Carpathians, 
and finally took Przemysl, March 22,1915. Nothing now 
seemed to stand in the way of Russia's campaign. 

Meanwhile the Germans won the battle of the Mazurian 
Lakes region, February 10, 1915, and began a great offensive 
early in May which turned the tide in favor of Austria. 
Under Von Mackensen, a large army swept the Russians 
to the rear at all points; Przemysl and Lemberg were re- 
taken, and Warsaw fell, August 5. The Russian army 
escaped, but Galicia had been lost, the campaign in Poland 
had failed, and many prisoners and a large section of Russian 
territory were in the hands of the Austro-Germans. But 
the Russians rallied and in the late spring of 191 6 once more 
broke through the Austrian lines. Later, Rumania joined 
the Allies and Russian success seemed secure. But the 
Germans, strengthened by the Bulgars and Turks, carried 
the day; the Rumanian forces were routed and the Rus- 
sian armies once more withdrew. Then, in the spring of 
191 7, came the Russian revolution, internal disruption in 
the army, Teutonic intrigue, and the gradual withdrawal 
of Russia as a factor in the waf. 




Just then our own artillery came thundering up, occu- 
pied a little hill in the rear and opened fire on the enemy. 
The moral effect of the thimdering of one's own artillery 
is most extraordinary, and many of us thought that we 
had never heard any more welcome sound than the 
deep roaring and crashing that started in at our rear. It 
quickly helped to disperse the nervousness caused by 
the first entering into battle and to restore self-control 
and confidence. Besides, by getting into action, our 
artillery was now focusing the attention and drawing 
the fire of the Russian guns, for most of the latter's 
shells whined harmlessly above us, being aimed at the 
batteries in our rear. Considerably relieved by this di- 
version, we resumed our forward movement after about 
fifteen minutes of further rest, our goal being the 
little chain of hills which our advance guard had pre- 
viously occupied pending our arrival. Here we were 
ordered to take up positions and dig trenches, any fur- 
ther advance being out of the question, as the Russian 
artillery overlooked and commanded the entire plain 
stretching in front of us. 

We started at once to dig our trenches, half of my 
platoon stepping forward abreast, the men being placed 
an arm's length apart. After laying their rifles down, 



barrels pointing to the enemy, a line was drawn behind 
the row of rifles and parallel to it. Then each man would 
dig up the ground, starting from his part of the line back- 
wards, throwing forward the earth removed, until it 
formed a sort of breastwork. The second half of the pla- 
toon was meanwhile resting in the rear, rifle in hand 
and ready for action. After a half-hour they took the 
place of the first division at work, and vice versa. Within 
an hour work on the trenches was so far advanced that 
they could be deepened while standing in them. Such 
an open trench affords sufficient shelter against rifle 
bullets striking from the front and can be made in a 
measure shell-proof by being covered with boards, if at 
hand, and with sod. . . . 

Where we were in Galicia at the beginning of the war, 
with conditions utterly unsteady and positions shifting 
daily and hourly, only the most superficial trenches 
were used. In fact, we thought ourselves f ortimate if we 
could requisition straw enough to cover the bottom. 
That afternoon we had about finished our work when 
our friend the aeroplane appeared on the horizon again. 
This time it immediately opened fire. It disappeared, 
but apparently had seen enough, for very soon our 
position was shelled. By this time, however, shrapnel 
had almost ceased to be a source of concern to us and 
we scarcely paid any attention to it. Himian nerves 
quickly get accustomed to the most imusual conditions 
and circumstances, and I noticed that quite a number 
of men actually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion in the 
trenches, in spite of the roaring of the cannon about us 
and the whizzing of shrapnel over our heads. . . . 

At nine o'clock in the morning everything was ready 


to receive the enemy, the men taking a short and w 
deserved rest in the trenches, while we officers w 
called to the colonel, who acquainted us with the gene 
situation, and giving his orders, addressed us in a sh( 
business-like way, appealing to our sense of duty £ 
expressing his firm belief in our victory. We all kr 
that this martial attitude and abrupt manner war 
mask to hide his inner self, full of throbbing emot 
and tender solicitude for his subordinates, and 
returned to our trenches deeply moved. 

The camp was absolutely quiet, the only moveme 
being around the field kitchens in the rear, which w 
being removed from the battle line. A half-hour la 
any casual observer, glancing over the deserted fiel 
might have laughed at the intimation that the ea 
aroimd him was harboring thousands of men armed 
their teeth, and that pandemonium of hell would bn 
loose within an hour. Barely a sound was audible, i 
a hush of expectancy descended upon us. I loo) 
around at my men in the trench; some were quit 
asleep, some writing letters, others conversing in s 
dued and hushed tones. Every face I saw bore the ■ 
mistakable stamp of feeling so characteristic of the 1 
hour before a battle — that curious mixture of sole 
dignity, grave responsibihty, and suppressed emoti 
with an imdercurrent of sad resignation. They w 
pondering over their possible fate, or perhaps dream 
of their dear ones at home. 

By and by even the little conversation ceased, ; 
they sat silent, waiting and waiting, perhaps awed 
their own silence. Sometimes one would bravely trj 
crack a joke, and they laughed, but it sounded strait 



They were plainly nervous, these brave men that fought 
like lions in the open when led to an attack, heedless 
of danger and destruction. They felt under a cloud in 
the security of the trenches, and they were conscious of 
it and ashamed. Sometimes my faithful orderly would 
turn his eye on me, mute, as if in quest of an explanation 
of his own feeling. Poor dear unsophisticated boy! I was 
as nervous as they all were, although trying my best to 
look vuiconcemed; but I knew that the hush that hov- 
ered around us like a dark cloud would give way like 
magic to wild enthusiasm as soon as the first shot broke 
the spell and the exultation of the battle took hold of 
us all. 

Suddenly, at about ten o'clock, a dull thud soimded 
somewhere far away from us, and simultaneously we 
saw a small white round cloud about haK a mile ahead 
of us where the shrapnel had exploded. The battle had 
begun. Other shots followed shortly, exploding here and 
there, but doing no harm. The Russian gunners evi- 
dently were trying to locate and draw an answer from 
our batteries. These, however, remained mute, not 
caring to reveal their position. For a long time the 
Russians fired at random, mostly at too short range to 
do any harm, but slowly the harmless-looking white 
clouds came nearer, until a shell, whining as it whizzed 
past us, biu'st about a hundred yards behind our trench. 
A second shell followed, exploding almost at the same 
place. At the same time we noticed a faint spinning 
noise above us. Soaring high above our position, look- 
ing like a speck in the firmament, flew a Russian aero- 
plane, watching the effect of the shells and presumably 
directing the fire of the Russian artillery. This explained 



its sudden accuracy. One of our aeroplanes rose, giving 
chase to the enemy, and simultaneously got into action. 
The Russians kept up a sharply concentrated, well- 
directed fire against our center, our gunners responding 
gallantly, and the spirited artillery duel which ensued 
grew in intensity until the entrails of the earth seemed 
fairly to shake with the thunder. 

By one o'clock the incessant roaring, crashing, and 
splintering of bursting shells had become unendurable 
to our nerves, which were already strained to the snap- 
ping-point by the lack of action and the expectancy. 
Suddenly there appeared a thin dark line on the horizon 
which moved rapidly toward us, looking not imlike a 
running bird with immense outstretched wings. We 
looked through our glasses; there could be no doubt — 
it was Russian cavalry, swooping down upon us with 
incredible impetus and swiftness. I qmckly glanced at 
our colonel. He stared open-mouthed. This was, in- 
deed, good fortune for us — too good to beheve. No 
cavalry attack could stand before well-disciplined in- 
fantry, providing the latter keep cool and well com- 
posed, calmly waiting imtil the riders come sufficiently 
close to take sure aim. 

There was action for us at last. At a sharp word of 
command, our men scrambled out of the trenches for 
better view and aim, shouting with joy as they did so. 
What a change had come over us all! My heart beat 
with wild exultation. I glanced at my men. They were 
all eagerness and determination, hand at the trigger, 
eyes on the approaching enemy, every muscle strained, 
yet cahn, their bronzed faces hardened to immobility, 
waiting for the command to fire. Every subaltern offi- 



cer's eye hung on our colonel, who stood about thirty 
yards ahead of us on a little hill, his figure well defined 
in the sunlight, motionless, the very picture of calm 
assurance and proud bearing. He scarmed the horizon 
with his glasses. Shrapnel was hailing aroimd him, but 
he seemed utterly unaware of it; for that matter we had 
all forgotten it, though it kept up its terrible uproar, 
spitting here and there destruction into our midst. 

By this time the avalanche of tramping horses had 
come perceptibly nearer. Soon they would sweep by 
the bundle of hay which marked the carefully measured 
range within which our fire was effective. Suddenly the 
mad stampede came to an abrupt standstill, and then 
the Cossacks scattered precipitately to the right and 
left, only to disclose in their rear the advancing Russian 
infantry, the movements of which it had been their 
endeavor to veil. . . . 

The first Russian lines were mowed down as if by a 
gigantic scythe, and so were the reserves as they tried 
to advance. The first attack had collapsed. After a 
short time, however, they came on again, this time more 
cautiously, armed with nippers to cut the barbed wire 
and using the bodies of their own fallen comrades as a 
rampart. Again they were repulsed. Once more their 
cavalry executed a feigned attack imder cover of which 
the Russian infantry rallied, strongly reinforced by 
reserves, and more determined than ever. 

Supported by heavy artillery fire, their lines rolled 
endlessly on and hurled themselves against the barbed- 
wire fences. For a short time it almost seemed as if they 
would break through by sheer weight of numbers. At 
that critical moment, however, our reserves succeeded 



in executing a flanking movement. Surprised and caught 
in a deadly cross-fire, the Russian line wavered and 
finally fled in disorder. 

AU these combined artillery, infantry, cavalry, and 
aeroplane attacks had utterly failed in their object of 
dislodging our center or shaking its position, each one 
being frustrated by the resourceful, cool alertness of 
our commanding general and the splendid heroism and 
stoicism of our troops. But the strain of the continuous 
fighting for nearly the whole day without respite of any 
kind, or chance for food or rest, in the end told on the 
power of endurance of our men, and when the last 
attack had been successfully repulsed they lay mostly 
prostrated on the groimd, panting and exhausted. Our 
losses had been very considerable, too, stretcher-bearers 
being busy administering first aid and carrying the 
wounded back to the nearest field hospital, while many 
a brave man lay stark and still. 

By eight o'clock it had grown perceptibly cooler. We 
now had time to collect our impressions and look about 
us. The Russians had left many dead on the field, and 
at the barbed-wire entanglements which our sappers had 
constructed as an obstacle to their advance, their 
bodies lay heaped upon each other, looking not imlike 
the more innocent bundles of hay lying in the field. We 
could see the small Red Cross parties in the field climb- 
ing over the horribly grotesque tumuH of bodies, trying 
to disentangle the wounded from the dead and admin- 
ister first aid to them. 

Enthusiasm seemed suddenly to disappear before this 
terrible spectacle. Life that only a few hours before 
had glowed with enthusiasm and exultation, suddenly 



paled and sickened. The silence of the night was inter- 
rupted only by the low moaning of the wounded that 
came regularly to us. It was hideous in its terrible 
monotony. . . . 



[The great Austrian fortress of Przemysl, in Galicia, sur- 
rendered to the Russian forces March 22, 1915. With one 
short interruption, the siege had been continuous since 
September 21, 1914. The victory was celebrated by a Te 
Deum of thanksgiving in the presence of the Czar and 
General Staff. Until this fortress was taken, the Russians 
were not in a position to invade Hungary. Early in April 
the whole Russian battle front was moved forward along 
the Carpathians, and for some time the fight for Galicia 
was favorable to Russia. 

The Editor^ 

The fall of Przemysl, which will now no doubt be called 
by its Russian name of Peremyshl, is in every way sur- 
prising. Even a few days before, quite well-informed 
people had no idea that the end was coming so soon. 
The town was a first-class fortress, whose development 
had been an object of special solicitude to the late Arch- 
duke Ferdinand. Of course it was recognized that 
Peremyshl was the gate of Hungary and the key to 
Galicia; but, more than that, it was strengthened into 
a great point of debouchment for an aggressive move- 
ment for Austro-Himgary against Russia; for the Rus- 
sian policy of Austria, like her original plan of campaign, 
was based on the assumption of the offensive. It was 
generally understood that Peremyshl was garrisoned by 
about 50,000 men, that the garrison was exclusively 



Hungarian, and that the commander, Kusmanek, was 
one of the few really able Austrian commanders in this 
war. The stores were said to be enough for a siege of 
three years. The circle of the forts was so extended as to 
make operations easy against any but the largest block- 
ading force; and the aerodrome, which was well covered, 
gave communication with the outside world. An air 
post has run almost regularly, the letters (of which I 
have some) being stamped "Flieger-Post." As long as 
Peremyshl held out, the local Jews constantly circu- 
lated nunors of an Austrian return, and the Russian 
tenure of GaHcia remained precarious. The practical 
difficulties offered to the Russians by Peremyshl were 
very great; for the one double railway line westward 
nms through the town, so that all military and Red 
Cross commimications have been indefinitely length- 
ened. . . . 

F.or weeks past the fortress had kept up a terrific fire 
which was greater than any experienced elsewhere from 
Austrian artillery. Thousands of shells yielded only tens 
of woimded, and it would seem that the Austrians could 
have had no other object than to get rid of their ammu- 
nition. The fire was now intensified to stupendous pro- 
portions and the sorrie took place; but, so far from the 
whole garrison coming out, it was only a portion of it, 
and was driven back with the annihilation of almost a 
whole division. 

Now followed extraordinary scenes. Austrian soldiers 
were seen fighting each other, while the Russians looked 
on. Amid the chaos a small group of staff officers 
appeared, casually enough, with a white flag, and an- 
nounced surrender. Austrians were seen cutting pieces 



out of slaughtered horses that lay in heaps, and showing 
an entire indifference to their capture. Explosions of 
war material continued after the surrender. 

The greatest surprise of all was the strength of the 
garrison, which nvunbered, not 50,000, but 130,000, 
which makes of Peremyshl a second Metz. Different 
explanations are offered; for instance, the troops which 
had lost their field trains and therefore their mobihty 
are reported to have taken refuge in Peremyshl after 
Rawa Ruska, but surely the subsequent withdrawal of 
the blockade gave them ample time for retreat. A 
more convincing accoimt is that Peremyshl was full of 
depots, left there to be supports of a great advancing 
army. In any case no kind of defense can be pleaded for 
the surrender of this imposing force. 

The nimibers of the garrison, of course, reduced to one 
third the time during which food supplies would last; 
but even so the fortress should have held out for a year. 
The epidemic diseases within the lines supply only a 
partial explanation. The troops, instead of being all 
Hungarians, were of various Austrian nationahties; and 
there is good reason to think that the conditions of 
defense led to feuds, brawls, and in the end open dis- 
obedience of orders. This was aU the more likely be- 
cause, while food was squandered on the ofl&cers, the 
rank and file and the local population were reduced to 
extremes, and because the officers, to judge by the 
first sortie, took but Uttle part in the actual fighting. 
The wholesale slaughter of horses of itself robbed the 
army of its mobility. The fall of Peremyshl is the most 
striking example so far of the general demoralization of 
the Austrian army and monarchy. Peremyshl, so long 


a formidable hindrance to the Russians, is now [March, 
191 5], a splendid base for an advance into Hungary. 

[The hopes thus held out were doubtless well founded, 
as far as Russian successes over Austria were concerned. 
But in May and June, the Germans under Von Mackensen 
began a great ofiEensive which brought disaster to the Rus- 
sian forces. The Russians were driven back in the Car- 
pathians, along the Dunajec they suffered defeat, and pres- 
ently the whole Carpathian army was threatened. June 
2d the Austro-German forces recaptured Przemysl; and by 
the 14th the German army was attacking the Russians over 
a forty-three-mile front, taking positions from Czemiawa 
to Lienawa. June 21st the Austro-German forces took 
Rawa Ruska, thirty- two miles northwest of Lemberg; and 
the next day the Russians abandoned Lemberg, which was 
occupied by the Austrians and Germans. The Russians were 
then defeated on the Dniester, and on the entire front from 
Halicz to Firjelow. For a considerable time the Russians 
were able to head off the attacks on Warsaw, but on August 
5 the city fell into the hands of the Germans. The Russian 
disaster is explained by the lack of ammunition and by the 
great superiority of the German artillery and generalship.] 




[In an attempt to capture Constantinople and open the 
Dardanelles, thus securing a much needed passage to the 
grain ports of southern Russia, an English army, under Sir 
Ian Hamilton, landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 
26, 1915. The campaign which ended with the retreat from 
Gallipoli, as reported January 9, 1916, with the final aban- 
donment of positions which the British had held, covered 
a period of about eleven months. General Ian Hamilton's 
report, which made known to the world for the first time 
some of the more important details of the great disaster, 
covers the period from early May to the middle of Octo- 
ber, when General Hamilton was recalled. The operations 
at Suvla Bay took place early in August, and led to the 
climax on August loth, when the Turks made their attack 
upon the battalions of the Sixth North Lancashire and 
Fifth Wiltshire regiments. The campaign in the Darda- 
nelles came to an end with the abandonment of Sedd-el- 
Bahr. The following selection from General Hamilton's 
report tells the story of the fateful days in August. 

The Editor.] 

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, then 
assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than 
a full division plus three battalions. The North Lan- 
cashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow 
trenches by sheer weight of numbers, while the Wilt- 
shires, who were caught out in the open, were literally 
almost annihilated. 



The ponderous mass of the enemy swept over the 
crest and swarmed round the Hampshires and General 
Baldwin's brigade, which had to give ground and were 
only extricated with great difficulty and with very 
heavy losses. 

Now it was our turn. The warships and the New Zea- 
land and the Australian artillery, an Indian mountain 
artillery brigade, and the Sixty-ninth Brigade, Royal 
Field Artillery, were getting the chance of a lifetime. 
As successive solid lines of Turks topped the crest of 
the ridge, gaps were torn through their formation and 
an iron rain fell on them as they tried to re-form in 
the gullies. 

Not here only did the Turks pay dearly for their 
recapture of the vital crest. Enemy reinforcements 
continued to move up under a heavy and accurate fire 
from our gvms. Still they kept topping the ridges and 
pouring down the western slopes of Chimnuk Bair as 
if determined to regain everything they had lost. But 
once they were over the crest they became exposed not 
only to the full blast of the guns, naval and military, 
but to a battery of ten New Zealand machine guns, 
which played upon their serried ranks at close range 
imtil their barrels were red-hot. 

Enormous losses were inflicted, and of the swarms 
which had once fairly crossed the crest line only a 
handful ever struggled back to their own side of Chun- 
nuk Bair. 

At the same time strong forces of the enemy were 
hurled against the spurs to the northeast, where there 
arose a conflict so deadly that it may be considered the 
climax of four days' fighting for the ridge. Portions of 




It would be difficult to find in all history a more heroi 
episode than the landing of the British troops at Gallipol: 
The circumstances of the landing were fully described i: 
the accompanying article. The launches shown in the il 
lustration are being towed by a picket boat under cover c 
fire from the British battleship just behind them. Thes 
launches were the target of innumerable cannon, machin 
guns, and rifles, and the losses were fearfully heavy. Man; 
of the men were shot or drowned before the boats grounded 
Many more were killed on the beach, but the survivors mad 
good the landing, and, flinging themselves against th 
Turkish positions, won a precarious footing along the shore 


our line were pierced and the troops were driven clean 
down the hill. At the foot of the hill the men who were 
supervising the transport of food and water were rallied 
by Staff Captain Street. Unhesitatingly they followed 
him back, where they plunged again into the midst of 
that series of struggles in which generals fought in the 
ranks and men dropped their scientific weapons and 
caught one another by the throat. 

The Turks came on again and again, fighting mag- 
nificently and calling upon the name of God. Our men 
stood to it and maintained by many a deed of daring 
the old traditions of their race; they died in the ranks 
where they stood. . . . By evening the total casualties 
of General Birdwood's force had reached 12,000, and 
included a large proportion of officers. The Thirteenth 
Division of the new army, imder Major-General Shaw, 
had alone lost 6000 out of a grand total of 10,500. 
Brigadier-General Baldwin was gone, and all his staff 
and commanding officers, thirteen, had disappeared 
from the fighting effectives. The Warwicks and Worces- 
ters had lost literally every single officer. 

The old German notion that no unit could stand the 
loss of more than twenty-five per cent has been com- 
pletely falsified. The Thirteenth Division and the 
Twenty-ninth Brigade of the Tenth Irish Division had 
lost more than twice that, and in spirit were game for 
as much more fighting as might be required. 

[The operations in the region of Anzac were in process at 
about the same time. General Hamilton reports that during 
the night of August nth two brigades were brought from 
Imbros to Suvla Bay. The brigades and their batteries 
were landed in the darkness, and the Turks were taken by 



surprise. But misfortunes soon came here as elsewhere in 
the campaign. The senior commanders lacked experience 
in the new trench warfare, and did not understand the 
Turkish methods of fighting. On August 15th General 
Stopford was relieved of the command of his division and 
General Delisle succeeded him. Then, too, the soldiers 
suffered greatly from lack of water. A large quantity of 
water was secretly collected at Anzac, where a reservoir 
holding 30,000 gallons was built. Oil tins with a capacity of 
80,000 gallons were collected and fitted with handles. But 
at the most important juncture an accident to a steamer 
delayed the landing of the supply. It was not, therefore, 
feasible to bring up the reserves when most needed. Gen- 
eral Hamilton's report continues:] 

At times I thought of throwing my reserves into this 
stubborn central battle, where probably they would 
have turned the scale. But each time water troubles 
made me give up the idea, all ranks at Anzac being 
reduced to a pint a day. True, thirst is a sensation 
unknown to the dwellers in cool, well- watered England, 
but at Anzac, when the mules with water-bags arrived 
at the front, the men would rush up to them in swarms 
Just to lick the moisture that exuded through the 
canvas bags. Until wells had been discovered imder 
freshly won hills, the reinforcing of Anzac by even so 
much as a brigade was vmthinkable. 

[By the middle of August the British were also short of 
rifles. General Hamilton cabled for 50,000 fresh rifles and 
reinforcements "at once," believing that by their aid his 
troops could clear a passage through for the fleet to Con- 
stantinople. But the reinforcements and munitions were 
not forthcoming. The retirement from the Suvla Bay and 
Anzac regions was a step toward the abandonment of the 
entire peninsula of Gallipoli. At the time General Hamilton 



was recalled in October the evacuation of the peninsula 
seemed to him unthinkable. But the abandonment came 
as a matter of course after it became clear that Constan- 
tinople could not then be taken. Great Britain's losses in 
the Dardanelles up to December ii, 1915, are officially 
given as 112,921 officers and men. This figure, which in- 
cludes the naval lists, covers the total number of killed, 
wounded, and missing. Besides these casualties, the num- 
ber of sick admitted to the hospitals was 96,683. General 
Sir Charles Monro, then in command, reported, January 9, 
1916, that the evacuation of the peninsula was complete. 
The guns and howitzers were successfully removed, with the 
exception of a few worn-out guns, which were blown up 
before the last forces withdrew. The casualties amounted 
to one member of the British rank and file wounded, with no 
casualties among the French. Some of the forces were sent 
to Salonica, while others were assigned to duty in Meso- 
potamia. A military expert has written: "In summing up 
the effect of the Gallipoli failure it is fair to say that it is 
readily susceptible of great exaggeration. It must be remem- 
bered that the British never held very much in the Strait. 
Had they taken Constantinople, the war would certainly 
have been shortened. Having failed to take it, the war will 
follow the course it would have followed had the Darda- 
nelles movement not been attempted. This entire theater is 
subsidiary, a side issue. The movement was designed to 
help Russia, not because there was any decisively inherent 
value in Constantinople itself."] 




A PALE pink sunrise burst across the eastern sky as 
our transport came steaming into the bay. The haze 
of early morning dusk stiU held, blurring the mainland 
and water in misty outlines. . . . You must imderstand 
that we knew not where we were. We had never heard 
of Suvla Bay — we did n't know what part of the pe- 
ninsula we had reached. The mystery of the adven- 
ture made it aU the more exciting. It was to be " a 
new landing by the Tenth Division" — that was aU 
we knew. 

Some of us had slept, and some had lain awake all 
night. Rapidly the pink sunrise swept behind the 
rugged moimtains to the left, and was reflected in 
wobbling ripples in the bay. We joined the host of 
battleships, monitors, and troopships standing out, 
and "stood by." We could hear the rattle of machine 
guns and the distant gloom behind the streak of sandy 
shore. The decks were crowded with that same khaki 
crowd. We all stood eagerly watching and listening. 
The death-silence had come upon us. No one spoke. 
No one whistled. 

We could see the lighters and small boats towing 
troops ashore. We saw the men scramble out, only to 
be blown to pieces by land mines as they waded to the 



beach. On the LaJa Baba side we watched platoons 
and companies form up and march along in fours, all 
in step, as if they were on parade. . . . 

No sooner had [my companion] spoken than a high 
explosive from the Turkish positions on the Sari Bair 
range came screaming over the Salt Lake. 

They were like a little group of dead beetles, and the 
wounded were crawling away like ants into the dead 
yellow grass and the sage-bushes to die. A whole pla- 
toon was smashed. 

It was not yet daylight. We could see the flicker of 
rifle fire, and the crackle sounded first on one part of 
the bay, and then on another. Among the dark rocks 
and bushes it looked as if people were striking thou- 
sands of matches. 

Mechanical Death went steadily on. Four Turkish 
batteries on the Kislar Dagh were blown up one after 
the other by our battleships. We watched the thick, 
rolling smoke of the explosions, and saw bits of wheels 
and the arms and legs of gunners blown up in Kttle 
black fragments against that pearl-pink sunrise. The 
noise of Mechanical Battle went surging from one side 
of the bay to the other — it swept round suddenly 
with an angry rattle of maxims and the hard, echoing 
crackle of rifle fire. Now and then our battleships 
crashed forth, and their shells went hurtling and 
screaming over the moimtains to burst with a muflied 
roar somewhere out of sight. 

Mechanical Death moved back and forth. It whis- 
tled and screamed and crashed. It spat fire, and un- 
folded puffs of gray and white and black smoke. It 
flashed tongues of livid flame, like some devilish ant- 



eater lapping up its insects . . . and the insects were the 
sons of men. 

Mechanical Death, as we saw him at work, was 
hard and metallic, steel-studded and shrapnel-toothed. 
Now and then he bristled with bayonets, and they glit- 
tered here and there in tiny groups, and charged up the 
rocks and through the bushes. The noise increased. 
Mechanical Death worked first on our side, and then 
with the Turks. He led forward a squad, and the next 
instant mowed them down with a hail of lead. He gal- 
loped up a battery, unhmbered — and before the first 
shell could be rammed home Mechanical Death blew 
up the whole lot with a high explosive from a Turkish 
battery in the hills. 

And so it went on hour after hour. Crackle, rattle, 
and roar; scream, whistle, and crash. We stood there 
on the deck watching the men get killed. Now and 
then a shell came wailing and moaning across the bay, 
and dropped into the water with a great column of 
spray ghttering in the early morning sunshine. A Ger- 
man Taube buzzed overhead; the hiun-hum-hum of the 
engine was very loud. She dropped several bombs, 
but none of them did much damage. The little yeUow- 
skinned observation balloon floated above one of our 
battleships like a penny toy. The Turks had several 
shots at it, but missed it every time. 

The incessant noise of battle grew more distant as 
our troops on shore advanced. It broke out like a bush- 
fire, and spread from one section to another. Mechani- 
cal Death pressed forward across the Salt Lake. It 
stormed the heights of the Kapanja Sirt on the one side, 
and took Lala Baba on the other. Puffs of smoke hung 



on the hills, and the shore was all wreathed in the smoke 
of rifle and machine-gun fire. A deadly conflict this — 
for one Turk on the hills was worth ten British down 
below on the Salt Lake. 

There was no glory. Here was Death sure enough, — 
Mechanical Death run amuck, — but where was the 
glory? . . . We wondered how it was that we were still 
alive when so many lay dead. Some were kiUed on the 
decks of the transports by shrapnel. Our monitors 
crept close to the sandy shore and poured out a deadly 
brood of Death. . . . 

And now came the time for us to land. We huddled 
into the lighter, and hauled oiu: stores down below. 
Some of us were "green about the gills," and some were 
trying to pretend we did n't care. We watched the 
boat which landed just before us strike a mine and be 
blown to pieces. Encouraging sight. . . . 

The Kapanja Sirt runs along one side of Suvla Bay. 
It is one wing of that horseshoe formation of rugged 
mountains which hems in the Anafarta Ova and the 
Salt Lake. Our searching zone for wounded lay along 
this ridge, which rises like the vertebrae of some great 
antediluvian reptile — dropping sheer down on the 
Gulf of Saros side, and, in varying slopes, to the plains 
and the Salt Lake on the other. 

Here again small things left a vivid impression — 
the crack of a rifle from the top of the ridge, and a 
party of British climbing up the rocks and scrub in 
search of the hidden Turk. . . . 

I worked up and down the line of squads trying to 
keep them in touch with each other. We were carrying 
stretchers, haversacks, iron rations, medical haversacks, 


medical water-bottles (filled on Lemnos Island), anc 
three "monkey-boxes" or field medical companions. . . - 
The stretcher squads worked slowly forward. W« 
passed an old Turkish well with a stone-flagged fronl 
and a stone trough. Later on we came upon the trenches 
and bivouacs of a Turkish sniping headquarters. . . . 
It was near here that our first man was killed latei 
in the day. He was looking into these bivouacs, and 
was about to crawl out when a bullet went through his 
brain. It was a sniper's shot. . . . 

Now came a period of utter stagnation. It was a 
deadlock. We held the bay, the plain of Anafarta, the 
Salt Lake, the Kislar Dagh, and Kapanja Sirt in a horse- 
shoe. The Turks held the heights of Sari Bair, Anafarta 
Village, and the hills in a semicircle inclosing us. Noth- 
ing happened. We shelled and they shelled — every 
day. Snipers sniped and men got killed; but there was 
no further advance. Things had remained at a stand- 
still siace the first week of the landing. 

Rumors floated from one imit to another: "We are 
going to make a great attack on the 28th," — always a 
fixed date; "the Italians are landing troops to help the 
Australians at Anzac," — every possible absurdity was 
noised abroad. . . . Orders to pack up ready for a move 
came suddenly. It was now late in September. The wet 
season was just beginning. The storm-clouds were com- 
ing up over the hills in great masses of rolling banlcs, 
black and forbidding. It grew colder at night, and a 
cold wind sprang up during the day. . . . 

And so at last we got aboard. It was still a profound 
secret. No one knew whither we were going, or why we 
were leaving the desolation of Suvla Bay. But every 


one was glad. Anything would be better than this bar- 
ren waste of sand and iiies and dead men. 

That was the last we saw of the bay. . . . Only three 
months ago we had landed 25,000 strong; and now we 
nimibered about 6000. A fearful loss — a smashed 
division. . . . The queer thing is, that when I look back 
upon that "Great Failure" it is not the danger or the 
importance of the undertaking which is strongly im- 
pressed so much as a Jumble of smells and sounds and 
small things. It is just these small things which no 
author can make up in his study at home. . . . Stay-at- 
home critics and prophets of war cannot strike just that 
tiny spark of reality which makes the whole thing 
"hve." . . . There was adventure wild and queer enough 
in the Dardanelles campaign to fiiU a volume of Turkish 
Nights' Entertainments, but the people at home know 
nothing of it. This is the very type of adventure and 
incident which would have aroused a war-sickened peo- 
ple; which would have rekindled war-weary enthusiasm 
and patriotism in the land. Maybe most of these ac- 
coimts of marvelous escapes and 'cute encounters, secret 
scoutings and extraordinary expeditions, will He now for- 
ever with the silent dead and the thousands of rounds 
of ammunition in the silver sand of Suvla Bay. 



[In preparation for a successful campaign in the Balkans, 
Germany massed a large army on the Serbian frontier, along 
the Danube and the Drina, under command of Von Mack- 
ensen. When this army was in readiness, Bulgaria mobi- 
lized for the attack on Serbia. The order for mobilization 
was given September 22, 1915; the Bulgars invaded Serbia 
October loth, and declared war on the Serbs four days later. 
Greece mobilized, but remained neutral, leaving Serbia un- 
aided. Bulgarian armies entered Nish and swept through 
Macedonia. The Allies went to the assistance of Serbia, 
but too late to avail. Serbia resisted, but was everywhere 
overwhelmed. The campaign continued until December, 
when Monastir was captured. 

The Editor] 

Germany, in order to strike a vital blow at her most 
formidable enemy, — England, — looked to the Far 
East as the scene of her next endeavor. But an offensive 
in the East would call for a base at Constantinople, and 
Bulgaria stood in the way. Bulgaria was the bridge be- 
tween Himgary and Turkey. Without Bulgaria's aid 
the Germans could never reach Constantinople. From 
such information as is at hand, it was not merely a 
question of getting shell over the Oriental Railroad to 
the hard-pressed Turks on Gallipoli. The ammimition 
factory at Tophane near Constantinople had a produc- 
tion almost, if not quite, suificient to meet the demands 



of the Gallipoli defenders. Rumania had, it is true, 
refused to permit the passage of shell over her railroads; 
but it was more than a question of shell. It was a ques- 
tion of a place in the sim through domination of the 
Oriental Railroad; it was a question of an attack on 
Egj^t, of a thorough reorganization of Turkey in Teuton 
interests by means of a direct coimection with Germany 
and Austria. Bulgaria alone was in position to furnish 
such coimection and to provide a regular passageway 
through which free, imhampered communication could 
be had between Germany and her Moslem ally. With 
Bulgaria in the field, it remained for the Germanic allies 
to conquer only the northern part of Serbia where the 
Oriental road runs from Belgrade to Pirot, in order to 
open a direct route from Berlin to Constantinople. The 
diplomatic efforts of the Teutons were therefore con- 
centrated on Sofia, and, in spite of all the Entente could 
offer, Bulgaria, early in October, entered the lists on the 
side of the Central Powers. 

The opening gun of the campaign against Serbia was 
fired immediately upon the announcement of Bulgaria's 
decision. This campaign was essentially different from 
that in any other field of operations. Germany, as well 
as her opponents, realized from the outset that it was 
entirely subsidiary. Victory, no matter how complete, 
might bring the destruction or the dismemberment 
of the Serbian army. Under no possible circumstances 
could it bring a decision. The maximum practical result 
would be obtained when the Oriental Railroad was under 
complete control of the Central Powers, which meant 
the occupation of the northeast corner of Serbia only, 
involving the railway points of Belgrade, Nish, and 



Pirot. Any other accomplishment in this field would be 
purely incidental. 

The entrance of Bulgaria into the war contributed 
to the forces of the Teutonic Allies certainly not more 
than 400,000 men and probably not more than 350,000. 
The Serbian strength, depleted by the Austrian cam- 
paign of tlie previous year and sapped by the typhus 
scourge which had decimated the population, was at 
that time not more than 250,000 effectives. Opposed 
to this force were the 350,000 Bulgarians and an equal 
number of Austrians and Germans. Obviously, there- 
fore, Serbia could not turn back the attack alone, but 
would have to depend for the backbone of her defense 
upon assistance obtained from extraneous sources. Her 
first call was upon Greece, who, under the Treaty of 
Bucharest which closed the Second Balkan War, was 
obligated to unite with Serbia in case of attack. The 
ties of kinship with the German Kaiser proved stronger, 
however, than treaty obligations, and, contrary to the 
will of the Greek people. King Constantine refused to be 

Serbia then turned to her western Allies, France and 
England, who, taking advantage of certain leasehold 
rights in Salonica which Serbia had acquired by treaty, 
started a belated movement of troops to that port. 

When the Teutonic allies attacked, the Serbians were 
concentrated along the line of the Danube and along 
the northeastern border, guarding the railroad passes 
between Serbia and Bulgaria. The British and French 
contingents, having landed in Salonica, were moving up 
into Macedonia. As in other campaigns, the mUitary 
problem involved in this invasion can best find expres- 



sion in terms of railroads, and in this case was extremely 
simple. There is in Serbia but one railroad running 
north and south. This road, entering Serbia at Belgrade, 
has its other terminus at Monastir. At Uskub, some 
seventy miles north of Monastir, a branch breaks off 
to the northwest, nmning up toward Montenegro. It is 
obvious, therefore, that the maintenance of this one line 
was fundamental to the Serbian defense, as it was their 
single line of retreat and supply, and the one means by 
which the reinforcements of the Allies could come north 
from Macedonia. This road was then the objective of 
both Bulgarian and Teuton armies. While the Teutons 
were engaged in forcing the passage of the Danube, the 
Bulgarians struck from the east at practically every pass 
along the border. Throwing a force into Macedonia 
from Strumnitza, they had no trouble in holding the 
British and French back, whUe, penetrating the passes 
farther north, they reached the railroad at a number of 

The end came soon. The Serbians offered stubborn 
resistance from the outset, but with their life-line cut by 
the Bulgarians, imable to get food, outnumbered at 
every point, they fell back from point to point until, in 
the last week of December [191 5], the Teuton occupa- 
tion of Serbia was complete. Not a vestige of miHtary 
force remained. The British and French fell back, now 
that there was nothing for them to do, and took up a 
position in front of Salonica, which they strongly forti- 
fied. The Serbian army, or its miserable remnant, was 
either scattered in the wilds of Albania, or, having 
reached the sea, was transported by the Allies to some 
of the Mediterranean islands to recuperate. Germany 



had taken her first real step toward a place in the sun. 
While the Serbians were being driven out of their own 
country and the entire eastern situation was being got 
under control by the Teutonic Powers, Great Britain 
was maintaining an army of at least a quarter of a 
million men on GaUipoli — men who were fighting a 
series of battles in which there was not one chance in 
ten thousand of winning. These men could have been 
used to great advantage in Serbia had the British seen 
fit to transfer them. But, having undertaken the GaUi- 
poli campaign, they were afraid to let go lest the ad- 
mission of defeat would cause a loss of prestige among 
the Mohammedans of the East, where it is essential to 
the Empire that British rule be unquestioned. When it 
finally became apparent to the British High Command 
that further fighting on the peninsula was useless and 
that to acknowledge failure was really the bigger thing 
to do, Serbia had been overrun and the gates of the 
East had been opened. 




[Salonica has occupied an exceptional position in relation 
to the war. After the retreat of the remnants of the British 
army fronr Gallipoli, decisive action along the new front 
established by the Allies at Salonica was long anticipated. 
Too late to be of real service, Salonica was made the base of 
operations for the relief of Serbia. The French landed a 
division there under General Sarrail, but there was no 
Allied commander to coordinate all forces. In November, 
191 5, large Allied reinforcements arrived; yet they were 
held in Salonica, on account of the uncertain situation in 
Greece. In December the Allied forces began to fortify 
their quarters; and Salonica became notable as a blocking- 
point, rather than as a center of action. The presence of 
the Allies there seriously blocked the plans of the Cen- 
tral Powers for the conquest of Mesopotamia, Suez, and 

The Editor.] 

I HAVE been here seven months now and am beginning 
to feel like an old inhabitant. We reached here early in 
November, and now it is June. One's main impression 
of this country, if one is a native of northern Europe, 
is sunshine and ever sunshine blazing over the slender 
whiteness of minarets. I speak now of the town and not 
of the moors beyond. Macedonia, Uke Caledonia, is 
"stem and wild/' though I doubt much whether its 
inhabitants are "romantic children." 
We came here in November and had to begin at the 


beginning. Luckily there was the harbor and three good 
quays. On them we poured our men, our stores and 
ammunition, to say nothing of our mules and horses, 
guns, ovens, and pontoons. How we sorted ourselves 
all out is still a mystery. Men slept literally anywhere, 
in the mud, in the cold, in passable hotels. I, as an old 
campaigner, had little to complain about. I slept in a 
bed (and quite a good bed too), after seeing to it that 
my men were under cover. They took it all good- 
humoredly, and so went the first night. The next day 
I had time to skirmish and constituted myself the unit's 
billeting officer. I found rooms for all my friends, and 
the mosquitoes took stock of us. They were on the 

wane, however, a dying race, and only Captain F , 

a succulent morsel, was pretty properly attacked. Per- 
haps some of my own immunity was bought at the cost 
of a night's rest. 

I was given.a "dump" of canned meat and biscuit, a 
string of motor-lorries, a herd of native labor, and told 
to feed the division, more or less. My men and I and 
the native labor checked and filled up the lorries. We 
worked by some kind of artificial light fed by benzine. 
The native laborers were Greek refugees from Thrace 
and Asia Minor, and we shoved them along by signs 
and plentiful cursing. We were five Europeans to eighty 
of these enigmas. We half expected them to cut our 
throats in the dark and make off with the meat and bis- 
cuit. Why they did not do so, I have never discovered. 
However, about one o'clock in the morning the heav- 
ens began to open and the stormy winds to blow. Out 
went our flimsy lights, down came the rain. A lorry 
driver, returned from up-country, reported a bridge 



carried away and all the rest of the lorries stuck. It 
seemed about time to close the shop. The piece of waste 
land which was the scene of this first act had now become 
a swamp, the darkness was illuminated only by flashes 
of lightning, we were all wet to the skin; so I gave the 
signal to retire, which was obeyed with alacrity. Home 
I floundered to bed, leaving the division to "the vmcon- 
siuned portion of its emergency ration." Nor did the 
division take much hurt. I can see it bivouacked, hud- 
dled together, wet and muddied, snoring blissfully, too 
tired to "grouse." 

So much for Chaos. To-day the swamp where I 
worked on that first night is drained and firm; good 
roads lead to it, good roads run away inland and climb 
the hills; the flimsy bridges of yesterday are replaced 
by work unknown in Macedonia since the days of the 
Roman legionaries; and the legionaries of the Allies 
now repose in cities of wood and canvas, pitched in the 
shadow of prehistoric tumuli or covering hillsides more 
ancient still. Down in the dusty plain, too, are our 
legions, and even in the sun-baked marshland to the 
east — Serb, French, and British, and at one point 
scores of Canadians. . . . 

The retreat and the four air raids are the only things 
that have happened since we came here, except for 
our troubles with the Greek Government, which while 
I write Qune 3) seem to be exceptionally flourishing. 
Outside this quiet room. Allied troops and marines are 
moving to positions before the Prefecture and Post- 
Ofi&ce, and I dare say that, by the time this letter is 
read, the administration of Greek Macedonia will be in 
the capable hands of General Sarrail. 



The retreat of the Allies from Serbia made most of 
us sit up. It was a very breathless business, of which the 
full story will be told in time. The men that came down 
were pretty well spent — spent to the world, in fact, 
and rather relieved to find themselves alive. 

Of the four air raids I have a somewhat closer knowl- 
edge. The first was just a pretty picture seen against 
a cloudless sky. The Taubes — we always call them 
Taubes — looked like wicked moths playing amid white 
puffs of shrapnel. They did little damage and soon 
retired. The first Zeppelin was a sterner foe. It came 
when we were aU innocently asleep; and at two o'clock 
in the morning, waking or sleeping, a man's courage is 
not at its proudest. 

I was billeted at that time in a little smelly house 
of three floors and six apartments. The house was 
packed with the original tenants, Jew and Greek, to- 
gether with such lodgers as myself. In our flat of four 
rooms and a kitchen were the landlord and his lady, 
four sons and two daughters. The sons slept on the 
sitting-room floor, and if you came home in the dark 
you were hkely to tread on them. Two French ofl&cers 
shared the best bedroom, while I slept alone in the 
second best. Bang-bang-bang went the bombs from the 
Zeppelin; the French officers cried, "En bas!" and the 
boys banged at my door yelling, "Embrosl" which is 
Greek for "Forwards!" As it did n't seem to matter 
much where one went, the whole thing, failing dugouts, 
being purely a question of luck, I stayed in bed and 
touched wood. The crashes of the big bombs were 
terrifying. The house shook with each explosion; but 
as all things — good or bad — must come to an end, 



so too, after a while, ended this business. A wonderful 
orange-colored blaze lit up the world outside, and so I 
got out of bed and watched it, deciding at last to dress 
and see things at close quarters. . . . 

Most of the year the war has shifted from this quar- 
ter; and apart from the gimners, whose thunders punc- 
tuate the writing of these notes and sketches, we are 
all busy with routine work which, save for a higher 
pressure, is very like the work of peace. Incidentally 
I may say that since I began this paper, I have shifted 
toward the Serbian frontier, a line of lakes and hills, 
and am now encamped in a paradise of pied meadows, 
ever-changing butterflies, and plentiful tortoises. I sit 
out of doors, in the never-failing sunshine, and continue. 
Bang go the gims, and miles away in the Bulgar lines 
you see the smoke that foUows the bursting of the heavy 
shells. Our business aU winter was to make this possible. 

To me now, looking back, it was chiefly a matter of 
lost sleep, of lorries going endlessly up-country, night 
and day, arid of brother ofl&cers, here and there, getting 
very ragged about the nerves. Much of that time I 
was on "night duty," and an agreeable feature of my 
work was that it brought me into close contact with 
the navy. 

Our senior service, unlike our army, was ready for 
war; was, indeed, seemingly ready for anything and 
everybody. Here no improvisation was needed : a sailor 
is a sailor, whether he belong to the Grand Fleet or 
be only the humble master of a trawler. Gunnery is but 
an added virtue; the discipline and craftsmanship are 
there already. The fleet out here — and by fleet 1 mean 
every conceivable kind of vessel — had mainly been 



switched on from Gallipoli, and from lighter to battle- 
ship was full of stories and escapes that now are history. 
The transports interested me more than the fighting 
imits; they came and went so pluckily, with but the 
slightest means of defense. Hardly one that had not 
its tale of a submarine, and often of several. Here 
and there one met the submarined now serving on an- 
other vessel. Out again they would go, making strange 
courses, running through the darkest nights without a 
light. Coming here, I had ten days of similar expect- 
ancy, enough to last me a lifetime. These seamen take 
such journeyings as the normal, with loads of responsi- 
bihty and possible boards of inquiry that may cost them 
their career as an added burden. . . . 

More seriously interesting than personal fancies is 
the active quality of the Entente which one discovers in 
Salonica. In France the two armies were separated; 
here they mingle. On the Western Front, the Belgians 
held their section of the line, then came the British, 
and below them was the great French section; one 
hardly met a Belgian or a French soldier except by ac- 
cident. Here in Macedonia we mingle freely, in fact are 
arriving at friendships that must survive the war; and 
the ridiculous thing out here is the way we go discov- 
ering one another. From a hundred British mouths I 
have heard what a wonderful army is that of our Ally, 
and that if we were one tenth part as efficient, and so 
forth, and so forth; and again, from my French friends 
I hear how wonderfully organized is the army of Great 
Britain, and if theirs were one tenth part as well equipped 
and found, and so forth, and so forth. Both parties 
are quite sincere; in some points each army takes the 



lead, and it is on a few such points that we fasten. 
Nor must it be forgotten that the art of war is essen- 
tially a French art, and that in the mathematical side 
of war, as exemplified, let us say, by gunnery and forti- 
fication, the world has never known their betters. This 
scientific intensity of the good French soldier has 
rather surprised us of the New Armies, as it must 
surprise any other body of amateurs, be they British, 
Chinese, or American. In aviation, too, the Frenchmen 
win our imstinted admiration, partly because they have 
taken over the whole of that- side of our common effort, 
and partly on accoimt of the splendid human material 
which they employ in this heroic arm. It interested me 
vastly to discover that many of the French " observers " 
were young painters in normal times, and really far more 
preoccupied with art than with aerial duels. Yoimg 
Boutet de Monvel, for instance, is such an one: he has 
accounted for two Taubes, and will, I hope, accoimt 
for more. . . . 

This was shortly after the naval gunners had brought 
down the Zeppelin. I assisted at that strange spectacle, 
and have since lost all faith in such engines of terror. 
It is rather tempting Providence to say so, for while I 
write, the anti-aircraft guns on the other side of the hill 
are popping away at Herr Taube, who may take a fancy 
to the half-mile of infantry going by on the road in 
colvunn of four, bands playing, and totally indifferent 
to the hovering pursuer. The Zeppelin, however, is a 
different proposition. The first time it came we all stood 
by helpless and gasped. The second time we were ready; 
and then aU we had to do was to blind it with a sun of 
searchlights that stabbed it straight in the eye. . . . 



To tell the truth, this Salomca campaign, always 
barring the retreat, is child's play to what most of us 
underwent in France. What we actually have done, 
and that in itself is a notable feat, has been to turn a 
wilderness into a coimtry fit for settlement and per- 
manent occupation. Each day now I ride out on new- 
made roads, planned by the Allied engiaeers and made 
by the Allied iufantry. The villages I pass are tragic 
with ruined houses and the desolation wrought by 
Turk and comitadji. There are villages made dead by 
massacre and fire, and others haK standing and half 
destroyed. In some new houses have been built since 
the Greeks took over, and in almost all, at this season, 
you see that great bird, the stork, sitting on her huge 
nest. Really, once the moimtains overpassed, it is a 
beautiful coimtry, fine in climate, rich in soil, with 
splendid pasturages, and now so full of good roads, new 
light railways, and other connections as to be within 
easy access of the town and sea. . . . 




The war in the Far East began early in August, 1914, with 
the successful campaign of the Japanese against the Ger- 
mans and the capture of Kiao-Chau. The Japanese fleet also 
aided the Allies in the pursuit of German raiders and the 
protection of the seas in the Far East. Another phase of the 
war in Asia began with fighting between the Russians and 
Turks in Armenia, and later in Persia. Still another cam- 
paign started with the landing of British troops in Basra 
Province, November isth, and the occupation of Turba, 
Arabia, by troops from India. A prolonged campaign in the 
vicinity of Kut-el-Amara led at last to British success, and 
eventually to the fall of Bagdad. Turkish plans for the con- 
quest of the Suez Canal and ^gypt met with defeat, and in 
due time the British were in a position to begin a successful 
campaign in the Holy Land. 

When the war began the German colonial possessions in 
Africa amovmted to more than a million square nules, in- 
cluding Togo, Kamerun, Southwest Africa, and East Africa. 
In August, 1914, the French and British forces joined in 
attacking Togo, which Ues between French and English 
colonies, and on August 26th their occupation was complete. 
Thus thirty-three thousand square mOes passed out of 
Germany's hands. Kamerun, about ten times as large as 
Togo, and lying in the elbow of the Gulf of Guinea, was 
the next to be attacked. The French victories began in 
January, 1915. Molundu was captured by the AUies March 
19th, and the Germans in a general retreat were forced 
to leave the plateau in the center of the colony. The Brit- 
ish and French forces continued winning minor victories 
throughout 1915. 

Meanwhile the war had extended into East Africa. The 
Germans began the campaign by trying to seize Mombassa, 
the commercial capital of British East Africa. Shirati, on 
Lake Victoria Nyanza, was attacked and taken by the 
British in January, 191 5; and the fighting in the lake region 
continued until June 25th, when the British successfully 
assailed Bukoba, a fortified German port. 



[The campaign in the Far East began with the proclama- 
tion by the Japanese Government that Japan would pre- 
pare for war in behalf of England, August 4th. Two days 
later, the Germans began to fortify Tsing-tau, and the next 
day Japanese warships appeared off the coast. On the i6th 
Japan sent an ultimatum to Germany demanding the with- 
drawal of the German fleet in Far Eastern waters, and the 
giving up of Kiao-Chau. Germany rejected Japan's de- 
mands, and the Kaiser ordered resistance at Kiao-Chau, 
August 2 2d. Japan declared war on Germany the following 
day, and the Germans began action on the 24th by blowing 
up bridges to halt the Japanese invasion. The first Japanese 
troops were landed on the 30th, two islands were occupied 
the next day, and seven more September 3d. After several 
minor actions, Tsing-tau was invested September 29th; the 
city was in flames November ist; the Japanese captured 
German guns and prisoners on the 4th; and November 6th 
the fortress was surrendered by the Germans. The follow- 
ing accoxmt of the attack is by a correspondent of the 
"Minneapolis Journal" and the "Japan Advertiser." 

The Editor l\ 

Japanese Headquarters, Shantung, November 2. 
I have seen war from a grand-stand seat. I never before 
heard of the possibility of witnessing a modern battle 
— the attack of warships, the fire of infantry and ar- 
tillery, the maneuvering of airships over the enemy's 
lines, the rolling-up from the rear of reinforcements and 



supplies — all at one sweep of the eye; yet, after watch- 
ing for three days the siege of Tsing-tau from a position 
on Prinz Heinrich Berg, one thousand feet above the 
sea-level and but three miles from the beleaguered city, 
I am sure that there is actually such a thiag as a 
theater of war. 

On October 31st, the date of the anniversary of the 
birth of the Emperor of Japan, the actual bombard- 
ment of Tsing-tau began. All the residents of the little 
Chinese village of Tschang-tsun, where was fixed on 
that day the acting staff headquarters of the Japanese 
troops, had been awakened early in the morning by 
the roar of a German aeroplane over the village. 
Every one quickly dressed and, after a hasty breakfast, 
went out to the southern edge of the village to gaze 
toward Tsing-tau. 

A great black colvram of smoke was arising from the 
city and hung like a paU over the besieged. At first 
glance it seemed that one of the neighboring hills had 
turned into an active volcano and was emitting this 
column of smoke, but it was soon learned that the oil 
tanks in Tsing-tau were on fire. 

As the bombardment was scheduled to start late in 
the morning, we were invited to accompany members 
of the staff of the Japanese and British expeditionary 
forces on a trip to Prinz Heinrich Berg, there to watch 
the investment of the city. It was about a three-mile 
journey to this mountain, which had been the scene 
of some severe fighting between the German and Jap- 
anese troops earher in the month. 

When we arrived at the summit there was the theater 
of war laid out before us like a map. To the left were 



the Japanese and British cruisers in the Yellow Sea, 
preparing for the bombardment. Below was the Jap- 
anese battery, stationed near the Meeker House, which 
the Germans had burned in their retreat from the 
mountains. Directly ahead was the City of Tsing-tau, 
with the Austrian cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth steaming 
about in the harbor, while to the right one could see the 
Kiao-Chau coast and central forts and redoubts and 
the intrenched Japanese and British camps. 

We had just couched ourselves comfortably between 
some large, jagged rocks, where we felt sure we were not 
in a direct line with the enemy's guns, when suddenly 
there was a flash as if some one had turned a large 
golden nairror in the field down beyond to the right. 
A little colxunn of black smoke drifted away from one of 
the Japanese trenches, and a minute later those of us 
on the peak of Prinz Heinrich heard the sharp report 
of a field gim. 

" Gentlemen, the show has started," said the British 
captain, as he removed his cap and started adjusting his 
"opera glass." No sooner had he said this than the 
reports of guns came from all directions with a contin- 
uous nunble as if a giant bowling alley were in use. 
Everywhere the vaUey at the rear of Tsing-tau was alive 
with golden flashes from discharging guns, and at the 
same time great clouds of bluish-white smoke would sud- 
denly spring up around the German batteries where 
some Japanese shell had burst. Over near the greater 
harbor of Tsing-tau we could see flames licking up the 
Standard Oil Company's large tanks. We afterwards 
learned that these had been set on fire by the Germans 
and not by a bursting shell. 



And then the warships in the Yellow Sea opened fire 
on litis Fort, and for three hours we continually played 
our glasses on the field — on Tsing-tau and on the war- 
ships. With glasses on the central redoubt of the Ger- 
mans we watched the effects of the Japanese fire until 
the boom of guns from the German Fort A, on a little 
peninsula jutting out from Kiao-Chau Bay, toward the 
east, attracted our attention there. We could see the 
big siege gun on this fort rise up over the bunker, aim 
at a warship, fire, and then quickly go down again. 
And then we would turn our eyes toward the warships 
in time to see a fountain of water two himdred yards 
from a vessel, where the shell had struck. We scanned 
the city of Tsing-tau. The' one-hundred-and-fifty-ton 
crane in the greater harbor, which we had seen earlier 
in the day, and which was said to be the largest crane in 
the world, had disappeared and only its base remained 
standing. A Japanese shell had carried away the crane. 

But this first day's firing of the Japanese investing 
troops was mainly to test the range of the different 
batteries. The attempt also was made to silence the 
line of forts extending in the east from litis Hill, near 
the wireless and signal stations at the rear of Tsing-tau, 
to the coast fort near the burning oil tank on the west. 
In this they were partly successful, two guns at litis 
Fort being silenced by the guns at sea. 

On November ist, the second day of the bombard- 
ment, we again stationed ourselves on the peak of Prinz 
Heinrich Berg. From the earliest hours of morning the 
Japanese and British forces had kept up a continuous 
fire on the German redoubts in front of the litis, Moltke, 
and Bismarck forts, and when we arrived at our seats 



it seemed as though the shells were dropping around the 
German trenches every minute. Particularly on the 
redoubt of Taitung-Chen was the Japanese fire heavy, 
and by early afternoon, through field glasses, this Ger- 
man redoubt appeared to have had an attack of small- 
pox, so pitted was it from the holes made by bursting 
Japanese shells. By nightfall many parts of the German 
redoubts had been destroyed, together with some ma- 
chine gims. The result was the advancing of the Jap- 
anese lines several hundred yards from the bottom of the 
hills where they had rested earlier in the day. 

It was not imtil the third day of the bombardment 
that those of us stationed on Prinz Hernrich observed 
that our theater of war had a curtain, a real asbestos 
one that screened the fire in the drops directly ahead of 
us from our eyes. We had learned that the theater was 
equipped with pits, drops, a gallery for onlookers, exits, 
and an orchestra of booming cannon and rippling, roar- 
ing pom-poms; but that nature had provided it with 
a curtain — -that was something new to us. 

We had reached the summit of the mountain about 
II A.M., just as some heavy clouds, evidently disturbed 
by the bombardment during the previous night, were 
dropping down into Litsun Valley and in front of Tsing- 
tau. For three hours we sat on the peak shivering in a 
blast from the sea, and all the while wondering just 
what was being enacted beyond the curtain. The firing 
had suddenly ceased, and with the fihny haze before 
our eyes we conjured up pictures of the Japanese troops 
making the general attack upon litis Fort, evidently 
the key to Tsing-tau, while the curtain of the theater of 
war was down. 



By early afternoon the clouds lifted, and with glasses 
we were able to distinguish fresh sappings of the Jap- 
anese infantry nearer to the German redoubts. The 
Japanese guns, which the day before were stationed be- 
low us to the left, near the Meeker House, had advanced 
half a mile and were on the road just outside the village 
of Ta-Yau. Turning our glasses on Kiao-Chau Bay, we 
discovered that the Kaiserin Elisabeth was missing, nor 
did a search of the shore line reveal her. Whether she 
was blown up by the Germans or had hidden behind one 
of the islands I do not know. 

All the gvms were silent now, and the British captain 
said: "Well, chaps, shall we take advantage of the inter- 

A half-hour later we were down the mountain and 
riding homeward toward Tschang-Tsun. 

To understand fully the operations of the Japanese 
troops in Shantung during the present Far Eastern war 
one must be acquainted with the topography of this 
peninsula, as well as with the conditions that exist for 
the successful movements of the troops. 

Since the disembarkation of the Japanese army on 
September 2d everything has seemingly favored the 
Germans. The country, which is unusually mountainous, 
offering natural strongholds for resisting the invading 
army, is practically devoid of roads in the hinterland. 
To add to this difficulty, the last two months in Shan- 
tung have seen heavy rains and floods which have really 
aided in holding ofE the ultimate fall of Kiao-Chau. 

One had only to see the road from Lanschan over 
Makung Pass, on which the Japanese troops were forced 
to rely for their supplies, partly to understand the reason 



for the German garrison at Tsing-tau still holding out. 
The road, especially near the base, is nothing but a sea 
of clay in which liie military carts sink up to their hubs. 
Frequent rains every week keep the roadway softened 
up and thus render it necessary for the Japanese infan- 
try to rebuild it and to construct drainage ditches in 
order that there may be no delay in getting supplies and 
ammunition to the troops at the front. 

The physical characteristics of Kiao-Chau make it 
an ideal fortress. The entrance of the bay is nearly two 
miles wide and is commanded by hiUs rising six hundred 
feet directly in the rear of Tsing-tau. The ring of hills 
that surrounds the city does not extend back into the 
hinterland, and thus there is no screen behind which the 
Japanese forces can quickly invest the city. Germany 
has utilized the semi-circle of hills in the construction 
of large concrete forts equipped with Krupp guns of 
fourteen and sixteen inch caliber, which, for four or five 
miles back into the peninsula, command all approaches 
to the city. 

The Japanese army in approaching Tsing-tau has had 
to do so practically in the open. The troops found no 
hills behind which they could with safety mount heavy 
siege guns without detection by the German garrison. 
In fact, the strategic plan for the capture of the town 
has been much like the plan adopted by the Japanese 
forces at Port Arthur — they have forced their approach 
by sappings. While this is a gradual method, it is cer- 
tain of victory in the end and results in very little loss 
of hfe. 

The natural elevations of the litis, Bismarck, and 
Moltke forts at the rear of Tsing-tau have another 



advantage in that they are so situated that they are 
commanded by at least two other forts. All of the giins 
had been so placed that they can be turned on their 
neighbors if the occasion arises. 

A Japanese aeroplane soaring over Tsing-tau on 
October 30th scattered thousands of paper handbills on 
which was printed the following announcement, in Ger- 
man, from the Staff Headquarters: — 

"To the Honored Officers and Men in the Fortress: 
It is against the will of God as well as the principles of 
humanity to destroy and render useless arms, ships of 
war, merchantmen, and other works and constructions 
not in obedience to the necessity of war, but merely out 
of spite lest they fall into the hands of the enemy. 

"Trusting, as we do, that, as you hold dear the honor 
of civilization, you will not be betrayed into such base 
conduct. We beg you, however, to announce to us your 
own view as mentioned above." 




[General Botha's campaign in Southwest Africa began 
September 27, 1914, when troops of the Union of South 
Africa entered German territory. On December 25th, 
Walfish Bay was occupied, and January 14, 1915, Swakop- 
mimd fell into Botha's hands. Aus, an important trading- 
station, was next to fall, April ist; then Warmbad, April 
6th; Windhoek, the capital. May 12th; and July 9th, 
General Botha accepted from Governor Seitz the surrender 
of all the forces in Southwest Africa. Hostilities then ceased 
and the campaign came to a close. 

The Editor] 

It is not surprising that the magnitude of the operations 
in both the European theaters of war should overshadow 
the campaign which is at present in progress in the 
German colony of Southwest Africa. Nevertheless the 
task which lies before General Botha's troops is no light 
one: it is no petty colonial expedition, as can be judged 
from the fact that with the exception of a Rhodesian 
contingent and a few frontiersmen. South Africa has 
sent practically no troops to the help of the mother 
country. This has been made the subject of malicious 
comment by a few shortsighted English critics, whereas 
it really bears out the fact that the Union troops need 
every man they can place in the field to complete their 
own share of the work in which the British Empire is 



To reduce a country of an area of 320,000 square 
miles is in itself a big undertaking; but when, in addi- 
tion, that country is protected, not only by trained white 
troops, but by every natural and artificial barrier, to 
say nothing of an infernal climate, the difficulties of 
that undertaking are magnified tenfold. 

It was a dull morning with streaks of low-lying cloud, 
and we were stretched out for an after-breakfast smoke, 
when we heard that peculiar buzzing, humming noise 
which heralds the approach of a high-powered aero- 
plane. We could see nothing for the clouds, and though 
we should have reasoned that it was equally impossible 
for the pilot to see us through that opaque mass, the 
presence of that invisible foe overhead made our hearts 
beat in a very irregular fashion. Unluckily we had no 
high-elevation gims at that time, and so we all knew that 
as long as he kept out of rifle fire, we were absolutely 
at his mercy. It was a most impleasant experience. 

Suddenly a little puff of wind made a big rift in the 
cloud, and there right above us, at about five thousand 
feet, was a Taube monoplane, exactly like a monstrous 
bird. For a second or so, we all stared as if fascinated 
by this grim, ominous thing; then realization came to us 
and I saw men who had never blenched at shrapnel or 
the murderous hail of machine guns, turn pale, and 
lick dry lips with an even dryer tongue. Even as I 
gazed, I saw a tiny object fall from its under side, and 
to my horror I could have sworn that it was falUng 
straight on ine, — though I learned afterwards from 
men a htmdred yards away that they had precisely 
the same idea themselves. The round thing shot down, 
gradually increasing in size, until it fell about twenty 



yards from our little group, bursting with a loud report 
and covering us with sand. One man was killed and three 
wounded; and then rage somehow mastered our terror 
— rage which was only intensified by our knowledge 
of our own pitiful helplessness. Rifles went off, but it 
was useless. In quick succession three other bombs 
fell; luckily only one exploded, wounding two more men 
and killin g a mule. Curiously enough the horses stood 
the noose of the tractor without showing any signs of 
stampeding. Then the machine wheeled rovmd, went 
off at a great pace, and was soon lost to sight over the 
distant hills. It was a trying experience, and though it 
is quite true that one soon gets callous to ordinary shell 
fire and rifle fire, I don't believe that I shall ever view 
a bombardment from the air with equanimity. Cer- 
tainly there is less danger than one would expect, if one 
lies flat, but the feeling of the machine lurking above 
keeps one's terror ahve. 

Next morning, about the same time, the lookout on 
the observation tank called out, "Aeroplane just com- 
ing over the nek " (the narrow cut in the hills) ; and as 
we looked eastwards, there sure enough it was, a tiny 
speck in the sky. During the night we had hurried up 
a heavy field-piece, and the officer in charge ordered it 
up in position. When it had come within range, the 
gunners let the pilot have it with shrapnel, and the first 
shell was aimed beautifully, but alas! the fuse had been 
timed a second too late and burst when it had passed 
some fifty yards beyond. Even that distance, I could 
see the machine rock and sway dizzily, owing to the air 
concussion. The next second it dropped dead Hke a 
stone, probably owing to an airhole caused by the 



explosion; and I began to realize that fighting in the air 
must be as terrifying a job for the pilot as it is for the 
men below on whom the airmen rain bombs. With 
great skill the pilot steadied the machine and at once 
rose to a great height, just missing two shells which 
had been nicely timed, but were aimed too low for his 
rapid ascent. His narrow escape seemed to have em- 
bittered him, for, after making a wide swoop, he came 
over our camp from the rear; and when directly over- 
head — a position which rendered our field gun useless 
— -he dropped five bombs, three of which exploded, 
killing as many men and wounding six more. . . . 

These last two days had shown the Union troops how 
sadly handicapped they were from lack of even one 
aeroplane; in another week we were to learn that we 
needed another item of war equipment, if our advance 
was to be pushed on appreciably. It was decided that 
a station some miles away should be occupied, since 
from there it would be easy to send out some recon- 
naissance parties and gain an idea of the defenses of 
Aus. The place was seized next day by a strong party; 
but owing to the lack of water, it was decided that the 
main body should retire on 51 Kilometre Station, and 
the new post be held by a smaU party, who should be 
relieved every other day, the traveling being done 
mainly by night. On the third day of our occupation, 
however, a strong reconnaissance force left 81 Kilo- 
metre Station and advanced toward the pass through 
the hills on the farther side of which lies Aus, standing 
on the extreme edge of the fertile land of the Hinter- 
land. We were greeted by a smart fire from some 
machine guns, but after a brisk engagement we drove 



their outposts back and the Germans retired on Aus. 
For an hour we scanned the place through field-glasses, 
and perceived certain ominous, but insignificant-looking 
mounds of earth close to the town which looked suspi- 
ciously like modern fortificationsi Our surmise soon re- 
ceived direct proof, as a minute or two later the guns, of 
far heavier caliber than we had given the enemy credit 
for possessing, spoke, and a shell or two exploded un- 
comfortably near. Further evidence of the remarkable 
thoroughness of the German military preparations was 
shown by a great cloud of dust coming up to Aus from 
the interior, plainly raised by a column of troops along 
one of the military roads mentioned earlier in the arti- 
cle.' It was obvious that the outpost with which we 
had been in contact" was connected with headquarters 
by telephone, and no time had been lost in demanding 
reinforcements from Kubub or some other fort. 

The proof of these defenses in Aus came as a most 
unwelcome surprise, as we had no guns capable of 
demolishing the fortifications and silencing their guns. 
Their existence, moreover, is only more convincing 
evidence of the ultimate aim to which the German 
occupation of this colony tended. Any argument that 
they were constructed for defense against the natives 
is too absurd, since fortifications equal to any demand 
against natives could have been constructed at a tenth 
of the cost and labor necessary to erect these. 

This discovery, moreover, leads to another and most 
disconcerting conclusion. If the Germans have taken 
the trouble to equip in such an elaborate manner Aus, 
which in itself is not strategically important save as 
regards its entrance to the fertile Hinterland, it is impos- 



sible to avoid the deduction that Keetmanshoop, which 
is the strategical key of the railways, and Windhoek, the 
capital and wireless installation center, are even more 
heavily fortified. . . . 

After being present at this check on our advance 
against Aus, I returned to Luderitzbucht and went up 
in a transport to Walfish Bay, where arrangements were 
being made for the first attack on Swakopmund, though 
little real resistance was expected, since it was beheved 
that the town had been evacuated. We set out in the 
evening, and after a march of some sixteen miles found 
ourselves on the outskirts of the town. We then ad- 
vanced cautiously. On reaching the main square we 
halted, — halted suspiciously, for each one of us had 
an uneasy feeling of imminent danger. Suddenly the 
officer in charge cried, "Down on your faces, lads," 
and flung himself flat; and a few seconds later, a 
himdred yards in front of us, the earth heaved up in 
one awful convulsion, there was a deafening roar and 
blinding flash, and at the same moment each of us, lying 
flat though he was, felt as if he had received a st unnin g 
blow in the face and on the shoulders. It was the air 
shock caused by the explosion. Luckily, no one was 
hurt, and we soon scrambled up and were congratulat- 
ing ourselves on a narrow escape. I asked the captain 
in charge of our detachment what had led Viim to sus- 
pect the existence of the land mine, but he could only 
explain that he felt something was close. At the mo- 
ment we thought it had been timed to go oflE at a certain 
minute, which by sheer luck coincided with our arrival; 
and it was only next day that we discovered that the 
wires leading to it and to a second mine, which also 



exploded harmlessly, came from a little hut three miles 
inland, from which the Germans must have watched 
our progress. Thoroughness again! . . . 

The two railway lines from Swakopmund, which are 
linked together by a cross-line before the lower one 
swerves down toward Windhoek, were both destroyed 
as systematically as the one starting from Luderitzbucht 
toward Aus; and a reconnaissance patrol which had 
been sent out reported that the same damage was vis- 
ible as far as they dared advance. Therefore any pro- 
gressive movement from this place must be extremely 
slow, while it was almost certain that the invasion 
would be held up by the fortifications and big guns 
of Windhoek. In this case, the certainty of a similar 
deadlock along the southern line of advance (that is, 
from Luderitzbucht to Aus) would mean that both 
columns would be faced with a siege, although handi- 
capped by the absence of even a pretense of a siege 
train. The situation was therefore critical, especially 
as there was always the danger that the remnants 
of the rebel commandos tmder Maritz might burst 
out into sporadic activity along the southeastern 

Fortimately this danger was lessened by the complete 
failure of the rebel attack on Upington and the subse- 
quent surrender of Kemp. Moreover, it was ascertained 
from the prisoners taken there that Maritz was not on 
good terms with the German leaders, and that his sur- 
render might be expected shortly. 

The raids of the rebels, however, had given the Gen- 
eral Staff an object lesson. Even if they were acquainted 
with aU the water-holes inside the German frontier, still 



the distance from the border to Upington was greater 
than that which would have to be accomplished if a 
flying column were dispatched from Schuit Drift or 
Raman's Drift to seize Warmbad. For such an expedi- 
tion Port Nolloth would be exceedingly useful as a base 
of operations on the one side, since supplies could be 
landed there and then pushed forward to Steinkopf, 
which is only about twenty mUes from Raman's Drift, 
in fact, from Steinkopf to Warmbad is from sixty to 
seventy miles, which could easily be covered by a flying 
coliuim in two days. From the interior the concentra- 
tion of suppUes and men is not so easy, and it would 
entail a lot of trouble to collect enough material at 
Upington, whence it would have to be transferred to 
Schuit Drift. Seventeen miles from there is a place 
named Nous, where good water can be foimd; and an- 
other flying colvimn should manage the 6s-mile rush 
on Warmbad from there easily enough. Once Warmbad 
is occupied, supplies could be transferred there without 
much difficulty, and then a gradual advance could be 
made toward Seeheim, thus cutting the railway com- 
munication between Aus and Keetmanshoop and the 
interior. As the name suggests, Warmbad has some 
natural springs, so that the water problem, which has 
proved the great difficulty in the campaign, would have 
no further terrors. It is certainly true that the military 
roads inside the great railway loop would still be avail- 
able for reinforcements and supplies; but with the 
enormous numerical superiority of the Union troops, it 
would be a simple matter merely to invest Aus, since 
with the occupation of Seeheim, any westward advance 
on the part of the invading force would be through the 



fertile pastures which form such a startling contrast 
to the grim and sterile exterior. 

The split between the German leaders and Kemp, 
Maritz, and the remainder of the rebels, which has 
already led to the surrender of Kemp, will certainly 
facilitate the progress of operations; but the ultimate 
reduction of the country will be, nevertheless, a tedious 
business. The object of the campaign is not one of 
territorial aggrandizement, though the acquisition of 
the coimtry will bring some material reward, since it is 
not wholly composed of sand and desert, as is popu- 
larly believed. Every man, however, who takes part 
in the work will have the higher satisfaction of know- 
ing that his reward is the accomplishment of a duty 
to humanity. . . . 




The history of operations in East Africa during 1914 
and 1915 affords little but a meager record of sporadic 
raids, isolated bush fights, and attacks on blockhouses, 
the result on the whole being in favor of the Germans, 
who, at the beginning of this year, still occupied a small 
section of British territory. As regards naval warfare, 
they had less cause for self-congratulation, as their sur- 
prise of the Pegasus in Zanzibar had been completely 
offset by the bombardment of Dar-es-Salam and the 
botthng-up and destruction of the Konigsberg in the 
Rufiji River. It was plain, however, that the Germans 
would not be left for long in enjoyment of their partial 
success; and the conclusion of the campaign in South- 
west Africa left the Union free to assist the mother- 
country in another theater. 

The Imperial Government first invited the enroll- 
ment of an overseas contingent: and it was only when 
this had been dispatched to Europe that attention was 
concentrated on German East Africa. A detachment 
of home troops under General Smith-Dorrien was sent 
out; and those South Africans who, for various reasons, 
had been imable to volunteer for Europe, were delighted 
at the prospect of serving under one of the heroes of 
Mons. But this was not to be. On landing at Cape- 



town, Smith-Dorrien's health became impaired, and by 
the time he had reached Johannesburg to confer with 
Smuts, who had aheady offered his services, he fell 
seriously iU, and was imable to take up his command. 

In selecting a substitute, the Imperial Government 
was happily inspired, for Smuts was at once offered the 
appointment, with the rank of fuU general in the British 
army. This further mark of confidence in the Dutch 
was hailed enthusiastically throughout the country: 
and it was confidently hoped that he would accomplish 
his arduous task as brilliantly as his colleague, Botha, 
had done in Germany's sister colony. 

The physical character of the coimtry to be attacked 
(to say nothing of its evil reputation as the haunt of 
the tsetse fly, that dread enemy of horses and cattle) 
had persuaded the military authorities in the beginning 
to employ only infantry; but at the eleventh hour it was 
felt that the innate genius of the South African for 
moimted tactics should at least be given a trial, and the 
first batch of troops had hardly been landed at Kilin- 
dini (the port of Mombasa) when a mounted brigade 
was raised and taken up. . . . 

Anything more different from the campaign in which 
most of the South African troops had taken part a few 
months previously, than the one on which they were 
now embarked, could not be imagined. Instead of the 
arid, sandy tracts of German Southwest Africa, they 
found a cotmtry covered with thick bush, while on the 
southern horizon Kilimanjaro, within a few degrees of 
the equator, raised its snow-capped peak nearly twenty 
thousand feet above sea-level. 

The first march was to M'bu3aini, where a light rail- 


way was already in process of construction from Mak- 
tau, to be continued up to the German frontier. The 
advance guard waited for the arrival of the other arms, 
and a reconnaissance in force was directed against 
Salaita HUl, which revealed the enemy in great strength 
upon the eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro. The terrain 
was very difficult, and the men deployed against the 
German position received a severe grueling from "pom- 
poms" and mountain guns, which were admirably placed 
and difi&cult to locate. Shortly after this General Smuts 
arrived in person, and at once decided to employ the 
traditional tactics of South Africa, used in the first 
instance by T'Chaka, the Lion of the Zulus, who based 
his idea on the horns of a bull and enveloped his enemy 
by a double outflanking movement before driving home 
the impis stationed in his center. Acting on this prin- 
ciple. Smuts directed the mounted brigade, based north 
of Kilimanjaro, to sweep along the western foothills 
of the moimtain, and concentrated bis forces for a 
thrust at Moshi, the terminus of the Tanga-Kiliman- 
jaro railway. . . . 

The second position taken up by the Germans in their 
retirement was as formidable as nature covdd produce. 
Lying behind the Ltmii, they were protected in front by 
seven miles of dense bush; on the right by the Pare 
Mountains and the swamps of the Ruwu, and on the 
left by the dangerous broken spurs of Kilimanjaro. 
By a very arduous night march through the bush, the 
South African troops secured the passage of the Lumi, 
and a dash made by some moxmted men resulted in the 
occupation of Chala Hill and other positions dominating 
Taveta and Salaita. As the enemy were foimd to hold 



their line in great strength, the infantry brigades, on 
March ii, were ordered to attack the precipitous bush- 
clad hills of Reata and Latema, which formed the main 
position. The ground at this point was covered with a 
thick, thorny scrub, which rendered an advance diffi- 
cult and afforded little shelter from the rain of projec- 
tiles poured forth from giuis of all calibers, from the tiny 
"pom-pom" to naval guns Salved from the Konigsberg. 
What endless toil and labor their transport and em- 
placement must have cost the Germans and their 
native auxiliaries, the swamps and forests alone can 
teU! . . . 

A base camp had been formed at Kajiado, about 
forty-five miles south of Nairobi, on the branch line 
from Magadi Junction, and from there on March 9th the 
mechanical transport started on its way. The cars had 
all traveled down to their base by road through the 
Masai district — the paradise of the big-game hunter. 
WHdebeeste, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, kongoni, Thomp- 
son gazelles, rietbuck, and steinbok were to be seen in 
thousands. At first, roads were practically non-existent; 
the modem motor-car, however, is not to be stopped 
by the ordinary difficulties of veldt travel, though a 
series of very bad sluits necessitated the rescue of some 
cars stalled through carburetor and magneto trouble. 

The third stage, from X to Y , led through 

great forests and black swamps of evil reputation, to 
cross which a corduroy road of logs was constructed 
from the abundant timber of the neighborhood. . . . 

The advance guard was composed of cavalry, a 
sprinkling of infantry, and a mountain battery. It was 
the boast of this latter that it could bring a gun into 



action within forty-five seconds, and find its range by 
the third shot. The men are recruited from a particular 
district of India; the regiment is very proud of its record 
and jealously resents the enhstment of outsiders, en- 
trance to the ranks being an hereditary privilege. After 
this advance guard came the General Staff and the 
main body guarding the principal convoy. The rear 
guard, composed mainly of colored troops, was pre- 
ceded by a second convoy, the ammunition supply, and 
the motor-car section attached to the artillery, the duty 
of which was to keep the guns provided with shells. . . . 
The actual advance into Moshi was preceded by 
heavy bombardment of five hours, but no resistance 
was offered when the troops entered, as the place had 
been evacuated. Once, however, the invaders were fairly 
estabUshed in the town, the Germans, who had taken 
up new positions on hills commanding the station, 
opened up with their artillery early in the morning. 
Another engagement ensued, which seciured Moshi, 
though not without heavy losses. The enemy were 
now in a somewhat precarious situation; their line of 
retreat toward Tanga was no longer safe, since at any 
moment they might be headed off by the mounted 
brigade occupying Moshi. But any doubt as to the 
course of action which they ought to pursue was set- 
tled by Smuts's next move. Detaching a force to his 
left rear along the Tanga railway to prevent the 
Germans breaking back on to British soil, he concen- 
trated his main body, which had been employed in the 
thrust, in Moshi, and dispatched Van der Venter, the 
hero of the Ughtning cavalry raid across the deserts of 
German Southwest Africa, to make a dash dead west 



on Arusha, a Junction commanding the caravan roads 
to Moshi, Dar-es-Salam, and Nairobi. The Germans 
had now split up into small bands making for their main 
rail artery from Tanganyika to the coast, and one scat- 
tered imit, taking advantage of a prepared position, 
tried to bar Van der Venter's way. After a brief engage- 
ment they broke, leaving one of the guns of the ill-fated 
Konigsberg in British hands, and Van der Venter occu- 
pied Arusha without further hindrance. In this way 
Smuts's tactics had proved completely successful, and 
one cannot do better than quote the concluding passage 
of his own dispatch: — 

"During these operations the enemy has been se- 
verely defeated and has been flimg south of the Ruwu 
River. We have cleared him finally out of British 
territory, and we are now in occupation of the healthi- 
est and most valuable settled parts of German East 
Africa, comprising the Kilimanjaro andMeru areas. . . ." 

Meanwhile the cordon is being drawn closer and 
closer. To west and southwest they are barred by the 
chain drawn through Rhodesia to the Belgian Congo, 
while the entry of Portugal into the war has not only 
closed the one remaining frontier, but has put an end 
to the surreptitious smuggling of supplies landed at 
Beira in soi-disant neutral bottoms. Moreover, the 
prospects of a guerrilla warfare can scarcely be said to 
be inviting, since the Germans would be pitted against 
men who are past masters of that game; and the Prus- 
sian school of war, with its doctrine of iron discipline 
and suppression of all initiative, is the last training 
likely to turn out soldiers who can maintain dashing 
operations and imconventional tactics. 



Within a few weeks General Smuts has completely 
altered the whole aspect of this minor campaign, and 
the whole secret of his success is mobility. A study of 
the two African colonial campaigns affords a striking 
similarity, despite the difference of the physical charac- 
teristics of the two countries. ... In this campaign 
mobility has neutralized all the elaborately prepared 
defensive positions of the enemy, which became un- 
tenable owing to the menace on flank and rear. It was 
a maxim of Stonewall Jackson's that mobility and 
secrecy were the two essentials of successful strategy, 
and he acted up to his words by attacking his enemy 
where he was least expected. Aerial reconnaissance has 
robbed the modem general of much of his chances of 
secrecy, but Smuts has shown that speed and mobil- 
ity, properly applied, can still play a most important 
part ia modem war. The success of his operations was 
facilitated by the accuracy of the information obtained 
by his Intelligence Department and air scouts; and in 
all his movements he gave evidence that peace and 
politics have not blunted the skill which he displayed 
a decade and a half ago, when he led a cavalry raid 
through the Cape Province, until his burghers rode 
their horses down to the beaches of the Atlantic. 

A final word as to the composition of the victorious 
army. Not since the days of the Roman Empire has a 
force of such diverse peoples, creeds, and castes been 
gathered together under one standard; but whereas 
Saxon and Gaul, Scythian and Iberian, Dacian and 
Numidian, followed the eagles through compulsion or 
in hope of loot, the various types under Smuts — 
Englishman and Dutchman, Canadian, Australian, 



South African, Indian, and Haussa — are fighting for 
liberty. And history teaches us that in the long run 
the defender of liberty wins the day. 

[The fighting in East Africa did not come to an end with 
General Smuts's campaign, but continued intermittently. 
An official report from London, November 21, 1917, re- 
ported the sustained pursuit of the remaining German forces, 
during which nearly one thousand prisoners were captured, 
important positions occupied, and the last heavy gun re- 
maining in German possession in the colony taken intact. 
The report indicated that the remainder of the enemy was 
being driven into the Kitangari Valley. December 4th, it 
was announced in London that East Africa had been com- 
pletely cleared of the enemy; 4403 prisoners had been taken 




[England declared war on Turkey, November 5, 1914; the 
Turkish fort at Fao, at the head of the Persian Gulf, was 
taken November 7th, and Busra on the 23d. In the opera- 
tions of 1915 a force under General Townshend captured 
Kut-el-Amara, September 2gth, and the Turks withdrew 
to Bagdad. General Townshend then pushed on in the direc- 
tion of Bagdad, with fifteen thousand men; but he suffered 
a reverse, and after losing several thousand men, retreated 
to Kut, where his forces were besieged by the Turks until 
he was forced to surrender after one hundred and forty- 
three days. The second campaign against the Turks near 
Kut began to be successful in January, 1917, and Kut fell 
February 26th. By March 8th the British were within eight 
miles of Bagdad, which fell into their hands three days later. 
The way was then open for campaigns elsewhere. 

The author of this selection is a young American who 
went to Mesopotamia to engage in Y.M.C.A. work. 

The Editor.] 

The new campaign was under way. General Maude 
had taken command of the expeditionary force. Towns- 
hend and his men were prisoners of the Turks. Kut-el- 
Amara was in Turkish hands. Kut-el-Amara must be 
taken. So stood affairs when our transport arrived at 
the Tigris. We stuck on the bar at the mouth. Every 
boat does. It was hot and sticky like a summer day in 
New York. Near the mouth of the river a fleet of native 
boats, makailas, was starting on a trading expedition. 



Shades of Sinbad, indeed! Those great bulging sails 
might take their ancient hulls and the Arabian pilots 
to any magic shore. Afternoon brought the tide and set 
us free. We entered the muddy river steaming between 
banks of swamp. Little was said as we steamed up the 
winding current. We studied the faces of the skippers of 
the native boats we passed. Little they knew or cared 
whether British or Turks were winning farther up the 
river. They had their business as usual, and had never 
paid the Turks any taxes. We spent the night amid 
peaceful Oriental scenes and people, where Father Time 
is never heeded, and where present and future blend 
into one. 

We were due for a different, more modem, atmosphere 
in the morning. We were at Busra. 'All the thoughts of 
peace, of quiet, of ease, conjured up with the night fled 
before the light of a different scene. There was war, 
imceasing and tireless. The proof was on every hand. 
The river was full of transports of the army, and gun- 
boats of the navy. The land, for miles, was a mass of 
camps, barracks, supply dumps and workshops. It was 
war and nothing else. None of these things would have 
been here otherwise. It was a tremendous business and 
Busra was the warehouse and workshop. Time meant 
something now. Immense bands of Indian and Egyptian 
laborers were working at top speed on roads, raihoads, 
and wharves. Other bands were unloading stores from 
the ocean boats, and pihng them up in great huge pyra- 
mids. Here and there a motor-lorry or a Ford ambulance 
was sending up a cloud of dust as it tore over the desert, 
while at the transport stations were hundreds more, 
with their drivers awaiting orders to get on with a job. 



Not a moment must be lost. Kut-el-Amara must be 

Busra, with its river district of Ashar, lay on the west 
bank of the river. The many flat-roofed Turkish build- 
ings were now converted into billets or offices of the 
British army. Where had stood soft couches for the 
idle pasha, now stood tables with tjrpewriters going at 
newspaper-office speed. Where had been Turkish gar- 
dens, now were piles of cut stone for roads, brought 
from overseas. There were signs of the intrigue of the 
days of peace. Materials for the Berlin-Bagdad Rail- 
way were piled as they had been left by the Teuton 
railway engineers. A canal, near the town, was bridged 
for the small British army railway by rails, "made in 
Berlin," marked "Busra." Immense as were the prepa- 
rations we knew that each unit of troops, each stock of 
stores, each conveyance, machine, building, and im- 
provement was to have its share, large or small, in the 
great campaign which must be successful because every- 
thing was ready. . . . 

It was a cold, crisp evening in December, one of the 
coldest days of the year, though still above freezing, 
when a paddle boat landed at the casualty dock, and 
sent off the wounded on stretchers. With their uniforms 
spattered with blood, and rough field dressings on their 
wounds they were brought into the hospital huts. They 
were the first wounded of the campaign. Some of them, 
young boys of nineteen or twenty, had gone over the 
top for the first time. One of them was sitting up on his 
stretcher and seemed quite happy. 

"Good-evening, chum," I said. "Where d' ye cop 



With a broad grin he turned and said, "Aw, I copped 
it fair, not 'alf — a blinkin bit o' shell in me thigh." 

But he smiled when he said it. A few hours later I 
found him sitting on his bed, wiggling his five toes to 
show he coidd use the leg he still had. Another boatload 
came next day. They were a game lot. Yes, they had 
done their bit, but were willing to take more if there was 
more coming to them. Some of the operations were 
worse than woimds, but they went to them all like men. 
We had a celebration in one of the wards. A piece of 
shell was taken from one of the men's legs. With the 
iron scrap were a button and a piece of a watch that had 
come from the clothes of the comrade on his right. 
"Good Christmas present, that," he said as he thought 
of the approaching day of days. 

All was going well at Kut. General Marshall's force 
was moving westward, south of Kut, while the other 
section of the force, imder General Cobbe, was attack- 
ing the Sanniyat trenches on the northern bank. The 
Tigris, from Kut running almost due east, gave two 
distinct fronts, one on each bank. Marshes north of the 
river made any enveloping movement by the British in 
that section out of the question. But on the south side 
the position was different, and the blow was struck. The 
enemy's attention was held by our attacks on the north 
bank at Sanniyat while at some distance south of the 
river a force moved west, lengthening out its line over 
the river Hai, which flows due south from Kut, till the 
cavalry advance pest was four miles west of Kut. The 
position changed its face from north and south to east 
and west. Slowly but siu-ely the Hne moved nearer the 
Tigris, the Turks steadily falling back toward its edge. 



ere was hard fighting to be done, and Tommy did it 

Christmas came, and there was a light-hearted, happy 
of men to enjoy the songs that go roimd at Christmas- 
le. Wherever it was possible an extra fine concert 
5 got up among the men to celebrate the occasion, 
one of our hospital tents queer-looking performers 
od on the platform of the improvised stage. Ban- 
ned heads with shts for eyes, arms in slings, feet with 
idages so thick they might mean gout, brought added 
t to the occasion when each man tried to do his part 
the evening fun. When pieces of sweet chocolate 
re offered as prizes for excellence with the mouth 
;an or with songs, the applicants for the test came in 
wds. "I can no sing bu' I wi' try," said a Scotchman 
had just come from Sanniyat with a sUght scrape 
m a stray buUet. He started off on a little Scotch 
lad that sent the thoughts home to the fireside. 
3ut there were more serious things to be thought of 
swhere. In the firing trenches were men who could 
; take time off to think about Clyristmas. Many units 
i gone from our station into the trenches a few days 
ore, and each boat brought back some of the old 
inds who had "stopped" something during one of the 
jagements that were going on so steadily. January 
ne around, and the New Year started. The pressure 
linst the Turkish lines south of the river became more 
i more earnest. Casualties were heavy on both sides, 
one sector of the line a smaU detachment of English 
ops got into a tight hole, and was nearly surrounded. 
Ip was slow in arriving. Something went wrong, 
ne of them thought "the beggars have let us down," 


but they did n't say it. They gritted their teeth, and 
fired till their rifles were hot. When relief came the 
Turks were repulsed. The httle force was nearly wiped 
out, but they found more Turkish dead aroimd them 
than they had lost. 

Day after day the pressure against the Turks con- 
tinued, till at last it was too great to withstand, and 
after nearly a month's resistance they withdrew to the 
northern bank, crossing in pontoons and native craft 
under cover of darkness. The river Hai now became thet, 
center of activity, and convoys and woimded came quitd^ 
regularly from the trenches just below the town of Kut. 
"We could see the place, easy. I think we'll be in in a 
few days," said one enthusiastic Tommy who a few 
hours before had been hit as he was wildly plunging on 
toward Kut, as though it Were his responsibility to take 
the town. Little did he suppose that there was no inten- 
tion of entering the city from that direction. It would n't 
do to disillusion him. 

The ist of February was celebrated by the bringing 
down of a German Fokker airplane. Now wild and mar- 
velous exploits were following each other in quick suc- 
cession. On the 2d, a section of cavalry galloped up the 
river twenty-five miles past Kut, and threatened to cut 
the Turkish line of communications with their force. 
On the loth the force moving north was just across the 
river from Kut. The Turkish liquorice factory, "shelled 
till it was no longer a landmark," and the position 
aroimd it, fell into British hands. Five days later, in a 
bend of the river at Kut, the Turkish force, less fortu- 
nate than the one that got back to safety, surrendered. 
AU day long they came out of their trenches with white 



flags tied to their bayonets. In one place the surrender- 
ing force outnumbered the attacking force. They seemed 
happy to be taken. 

"We have waited for the rain and mud to stop you," 
said a yoimg Turkish officer, "but Fate willed that it 
should not rain." 

Now every fighting Turk was on the north bank of 
the river. Two days afterward the Scotchmen deHvered 
a terrific attack on the Sanniyat position. It failed and 
casualties that day were heavy. It was a busy time for 
us in camp, but work is a pleasure when there is such 
response as comes from woimded men. Some of the 
men had smoked their last "fags," and when we found 
them some they were as thankful as though we had 
found them bags of gold. Some had no hands to hold 
them or hght them, but when a chum stuck one into 
another's mouth and held a match to it a smile came 
over his face with a meaning that words could not ex- 
press. At night the pain grew worse and the smiles less 
broad, but there was never a whimper. One man had 
"copped it" a little worse than he could stand, and was 
gradually approaching the time to "go west." He whis- 
pered to ask whether he might have a fag. He had it, 
and the lines of his face that were drawn with pain 
relaxed in an easy smile. 

The 2 2d was a day which will be long remembered. 
Another attack at Sanniyat! — this time a success. All 
through the day they fought. Six times the Turks 
counter-attacked only to be beaten back, almost de- 
stroyed. By evening two lines of trenches were in our 
hands. AH through the night the British force on the 
other side of Kut was preparing to cross the river, the 



Turks all on the northern bank. Across the river from 
Kut there was a great conmiotion among the British 
troops, and anxious to stop what might cross there the 
Turks brought all the men they could spare to the scene. 
Nothing stirred. A little lower down a party launched 
a pontoon, crossed and captured a Turkish trench mor- 
tar. More Turkish troops were drawn down the river. 
It was nearly day when quietly, mysteriously, three 
parties of boats started to cross the river four miles 
above Kut. The Turks had been drawn away. The 
stunt was a surprise. Three companies of EngHsh and 
one of Indian troops got a foothold on the Turkish bank. 
That was the beginning of the end. A pontoon-bridge 
fairly sprang across the river. While it was in progress 
the Scotch again attacked at Sanniyat. Still trusting 
in their strong position, the Turks fought doggedly, 
despite the fact that a few miles to their rear the British 
were crossing the river. Perhaps they did not know. 
The attack was splendid and the opposition crmnbled. 
By 4.30 in the afternoon the army was crossing the newly 
made bridge, built in nine hours across a river in flood 
three hundred and forty yards wide. That was the 
end. PeU-mell the Turks rushed up the river, leaving 
guns, stores, shells, small-arms, ammunition, equipment, 
bridge material, tents, trench mortars strewn over the 
country in their wake. The story of that hasty retreat 
one hundred and fifteen miles to Bagdad with the Brit- 
ish following, gunboats on the river, cavalry on the right, 
and infantry following as fast as their legs could carry 
them, is a melodrama in itself. A river-bank strewn 
with war materials, gims half buried or thrown into the 
river, Turkish wounded, stripped and plundered by 



Arab "Budoos," half -dead animals, struggling in a mess 
of harness and rope, and the Turkish force, now a dis- 
orderly mob, fleeing for Bagdad, closed in and riddled 
with bullets on both sides, and driven from behind — 
that tells something of the scene. 

A week's halt at Azizie gave time for the British to 
reorganize and prepare for the final drive. The Turks, 
still disorganized and demoralized, took up a position 
at Lajj, the site of Townshend's camp at the time in 
191 5 when he could sweep on no farther toward Bagdad. 
A day of heavy spirited attacks was all the Turks could 
stand this time. They evacuated the position during 
the night. Seven miles south of Bagdad the river Diala 
flows from the northeast into the Tigris. Here the Turks 
made their last feeble stand. To press the advantage 
of the Turkish retreat, boats were launched in the bright 
moonlight to cross the river without the aid of artillery 
for which registering was impossible, so swift had been 
the advance. Time after time volunteers entered these 
boats, only to be shot down and to float, in the drifting 
boats, down the river. Next night, behind a barrage of 
dust raised by a volley of shells, sixty men made the 
opposite bank. All that night in a natural stronghold in 
the bank, they held back the Turkish attacks. Next 
day British machine guns on the south bank, playing 
in front of the little position, prevented the Turks from 
attacking. Next night, while the little force still held 
their position, the main British force silently crossed, 
high up, over the stream and swung round in the rear 
of the Turks. Another pell-mell retreat began, and there 
was no determined halt until the pursued Turks were 
twenty miles north of Bagdad. 



Our paddle boat was steaming toward Bagdad. We 
were turning the last bend in the winding river just as 
the sun was rising. There through the mist we could 
see the shimmery City of the Caliphs. AU that the 
wondrous tales of Bagdad had told us lay haH concealed 
through that veiling mist. The domes and the nunarets 
of the mosques, as perfect as the best in form, the 
clusters of pahns, the fruit orchards and the old wall to 
keep out the hordes of "infidels," all were there, the 
City of Golden Domes and the Palace of Harun-al- 
Raschid. We steamed nearer, the mist cleared, and 
there was the tumble-down city of a Turkish pasha. 
Nearer still we moved, and now there was more to be 
seen, barges of supplies, the paddle boats, the huge 
camps in the palms, and the British flags. It was the 
British city of Bagdad. 



[Active steps toward the invasion of Palestine began when 
the British army from Egypt, under General Sir Archibald 
Murray, laid down a railway across the Sinai Desert to 
Rafa on the Turkish border. A battle with the Turks oc- 
curred at Katia, August 4-5, 1916; El Arish was taken by 
the British, December 21st; and Rafa was captured, Jan- 
uary 9, 1917. The Turks, with 20,000 men, attacked the 
British near Gaza, March 27th, but were repulsed with the 
loss of a general and an entire divisional staff, and about 
8000 men. The Turks regard Syria and Palestine as highly 
important, and hence they deeply intrenched themselves 
between Gaza and Beersheba with forces numbering fully 
120,000. Beersheba was taken by the British November ist. 
This victory prepared the way for the capture of Gaza, 
November 7th, and the scattering of the Turkish army. 
Askalon was taken November loth, and Jaffa November 
1 8th. The accoimt which follows is by a war correspondent 
of the London "Times." 

The Editor] 

The Promised Land! After twelve months' incessant 
toil in the Sinai Desert, sometimes fighting hard, al- 
ways digging, making military works, building railways, 
constructing pipe lines and roads, and forever marching 
over the heavy, inhospitable wastes, our troops have 
at last come into the Promised Land. 

What a marvelous change of scene! They are in 
Palestine. Behind them is a hundred miles and more of 



monotonous sand. Before them, as far as the eye can 
reach, is unfolded a picture of transcending beauty. 
No wonder, when the troops come up to Rafa and look 
over the billowy downs, they break into rounds of 

Before and around us everything is green and fresh. 
Big patches of barley, for which the plain south of Gaza 
is famous, shine like emeralds, and the immense tracts 
of pasture are to-day as bright and beautiful as the 
rolling downs at home. 

I have been out on a recoimaissance over ground 
evacuated by the Turks and toward positions which the 
enemy at present holds. The high minaret of Gaza 
showed itself to us from above the dark framework 
of trees inclosing the town. That mosque was formerly 
a Christian church built by the Knights Templars in 
the twelfth century, when the Crusaders fortified them- 
selves within Gaza's walls, but Saladin drove them 

After many centuries (Napoleon's hold on Gaza was 
merely temporary) British forces are within sight of the 
town. Away on our right over the abandoned Turk- 
ish stronghold of-WaU Sheikh Narun is Beersheba, 
tucked in the plain beneath the southern end of the 
hills of Judea. These two of the most ancient cities of 
Palestine — it was in Gaza that Samson was betrayed 
by Delilah to the Philistines, and Abraham dug the 
"well of the oath" in Beersheba — have been seen by 
some of our troops, and the Desert Column is exceeding 
glad. . . . 

The biggest battle in all Palestine's long history is 
being fought at Gaza by bodies of troops on both sides 



immeasurably larger than any armies which have taken 
part in the countless campaigns of the Holy Land. 
Though we have only fought the first phase, it is clear 
that we are engaged upon the hardest struggle in this 
age-worn battle area. We have gained our first line, 
which we are consolidating, but apparently there is a 
peri«d of trench warfare before us ere we reach the 
important system of trenches which has lately been cut 
to turn Gaza into a modern fortress of great strength. 
We paid a price for our gains, but we inflicted very 
heavy casualties on the Turks, whose counter-attacks 
were repulsed with sanguinary losses. With the condi- 
tions preeminently favorable to the defense, an early 
decision before Gaza must not be expected. 

We had to dispose the British forces on a sixteen- 
mile front, practically the whole of which the Turks 
had intrenched deeply. The positions we had to attack 
on the Gaza front could not be stronger if the whole 
country had been built up for defense. There are sand 
dimes two miles deep between the sea and the town 
and an extraordinary variety of redoubts, trenches, and 
pits covering the western town, while Samson Ridge, 
three thousand yards to the southwest, is strongly held 
to secure the enemy observation posts. 

Southeast of Gaza there is a green plain a mUe and 
a half wide and six miles deep inclosed on the sea side 
by sand dunes, on the north by the town, and the east 
by a range of hills ruiming to Alimuntar, the spot where 
Samson displayed his prodigious strength. The plain 
is intersected by the Wadi Ghuzze, a ravine with pre- 
cipitous sides, through which the winter rains on the 
Judean hills pour in terrific torrent to the sea. It is now 




On December lo, 1917, Jerusalem was at last delivered from 
centuries of Turkish oppression by the British army under 
General AUenby. The Turks and their Teuton allies had 
already evacuated the city and the British forces took pos- 
session without bloodshed. 

Carrying out the customs of the Crusaders, who many cen- 
turies before delivered for a short time the Holy City from 
the infidels, General Allenby is seen in the picture entering 
Jerusalem on foot through the famous Jaffa Gate. With him 
are his staff and commanders of tie French and Italian 

Of the scene that marked the transfer of Jerusalem from 
the hands of the Turks, W. T. Massey, correspondent of the 
London "Daily Chronicle," wrote: — 

"There were no thunderous salutes to acclaim the world- 
stirring victory, which will have its place in the chronicles 
of all time. No flags were hoisted, and there was no enemy 
flag to haul down. There were no soldier shouts of triumph 
over a defeated foe, but just a short military procession into 
Mount Zion, a portion of the city two hundred yards from 
the walls, and out of it. 

"The ceremony was full of dignity and simplicity, though 
it was also full of meaning. It was a purely miUtary act, 
with a minimum of military display, but its significance was 
not lost on the population, who saw in it the end of an old 
regime and the beginning of a new era of freedom and jus- 
tice for all classes and creeds. No bells in the ancient belfries 
rang, no 'Te Deums' were sung, no preacher came forth to 
point the moral to the multitude, but right down in the 
hearts of the people, who cling to Jerusalem with the deepest 
reverence and piety, there was unfeigned delight that the 
old order had given place to the new." 

Copyright by Underwood 5r Underwood, New York 


dry, but crossings have been made for guns, cavalry, 
infantry, and supply columns. The northernmost part 
of the plain is covered with trenches protecting the 
town, and for two miles to the southeast of Alimuntar 
the enemy on the irregular hiUs and deep woods, at 
one spot, prepared an intricate system coimected up 
with trenches of great defensive power. 

Three miles due south of AUmimtar is Mansura 
Ridge, facing another important series of defenses. 
About a mile farther to the east is Sheikh Abbas Ridge, 
backed by groimd torn and cracked as if by an earth- 
quake, and looking over the country rolling to the 
Beersheba road. East by south are the tiny villages 
of Sihan, Atawinieh, Aseiferieh, and Munkheileh, near 
which our cavalry fought strong actions against infan- 
try coimter-attacking from Hareira Sharia. 

The whole coimtry is extremely difficult for cavalry, 
as it constitutes a continuous bottle neck, full of deep 
ravines, but the part played by the mounted troops 
under these disadvantageous circumstances was superb. 
Soon after daybreak on April 17 th our movement began. 
A war vessel assisted the shore batteries to cover a short 
advance of infantry to take up positions from which we 
might hope to secure our first objective at a subsequent 
date. The operations were brilliantly successful. We 
got to our mark on the sand dunes quickly, reached 
the positions in front in a few minutes, and took Sheikh 
Abbas Ridge by half-past 7, with remarkably small 
casualties. The cavahy were out on the right during 
this blazing hot morning, but it was impossible to hide 
them owing to every movement raising dense colxmins 
of dust. A wet night would have been of immense ad- 



vantage, but throughout the operations rain was denied 
to us. 

On April i8th, while the country was obscured by 
dust clouds, we made ready for the next advance, send- 
ing much supplies forward. The whole terrain was 
covered with supply columns, and when the wind de- 
creased an enormous paU of dust hung over the area. 
An occasional motor rushing across country raised a 
trail of dust like steam issuing from an express train. 
Bombardment of the outer trenches of Gaza began as 
the sun hfted over the black hills of Judea on the 19th. 

Infantry attacks were launched at 8.30 o'clock. On 
the left they gained Samson Ridge and found the 
trenches full of Turkish dead. The enemy, observation 
posts were seized. Toward AHmuntar and south of 
Gaza progress was more difficult and slower, but Scot- 
tish troops went forward with splendid steadiness under 
a desperately heavy machine-gun fire, and ultimately 
advanced two thousand yards to Outpost Hill, south 
of AUmimtar, where they have consolidated their 

There was also considerable progress from Sheikh 
Abbas Ridge. Between nine and ten I saw a "tank" 
go into action against a green hill near a warren in 
front of Alimuntar. She stood with her nose poised 
in the air across a trench, down which her crew poured 
rapid fire right and left. Then she crossed the trench 
and turned south. The Austrian gunners with the Turks 
soon found the range, and turned an immense volume 
of fire on the tank, which seemed completely surrounded 
by bursting high-explosive shells. For several minutes 
I lost sight of her, but presently she emerged, pursuing 



the imeven tenor of her way toward our lines. Then a 
second succession of rapid artillery fire again enveloped 
the tank. When the fire ceased she had disappeared. 
I thought she had been smashed to pieces. But I 
learned she dropped back into the trench we had cap- 

During the day, particularly in the afternoon, our 
mounted troops were heavily engaged. The Turks made 
five desperate counter-attacks with infantry against 
the mounted troops and camel corps. Though inflicting 
considerable losses on us, they must have suffered 
severe casualties. 

One heroic episode I did not see, but I repeat it from 
the evidence of competent witnesses. It was an effort 
by sixty men of the Camel Corps. The enemy had con- 
centrated considerable forces at one spot to break 
through. A junior officer of the Camel Corps saw the 
preparation and took his men forward, with two ma- 
chine guns, up a grassy slope, to prevent the advance, 
with absolutely no cover. His small party crept on 
stealthily, imdeterred by a murderous machine-gun 
fire, in what was a forlorn hope. A tremendous shell 
fire fell about them, but the party, gradually becoming 
smaller through inevitable losses, pressed on imtil 
within three himdred yards. The crest was lined with 
scores of machine guns and hundreds of riflemen. There 
they stopped, and kept the Turks from issuing to at- 
tack by sound and accurate bursts of fire every time 
the enemy showed themselves. For an hour and a half 
this gradually reduced band staved off attack until 
every one was hit. Most of them were kiUed, and the 
wounded fell into Turkish hands. It was too late in 



the day for the Turks to get through. My informant 
declared that every Camel Corps man in this section 
deserved the Victoria Cross, whether he be alive or 



The modes of making warfare and the habitat of the soldier 
changed rapidly after the battle of the Marne. Since the 
Germans were unable to press forward to Paris and had met 
with a disastrous defeat in open battle, the resource seemed 
to be to "dig in," as the phrase now goes, and produce 
habitable quarters underground. Accordingly, the defeated 
armies turned to the new task, and the Allied armies fol- 
lowed suit. The result was not only a prolongation of the 
war, but the discovery of new difficulties without number. 
For with all the aid that could be given by the huge guns in 
the rear and the machine guns close at hand, it was almost 
impossible to make determinate headway. The history of 
the war for many months was the exasperating record of 
trenches taken at terrible cost, lost and re- taken, with hardly 
ever a victory of importance. 

Naturally, the mode of life pursued in the trenches adapted 
itself to the type of warfare. In stormy times in cold weather, 
the trench added greatly to the hardship of war. Nothing 
short of the dangers of an attack near the barbed-wire en- 
tanglements seemed to be more uncomfortable than life in 
trenches knee-deep with cold water and mud. The suffer- 
ings from disease were added to the tortures of war. Mean- 
while, however, new comforts and even luxuries were added 
to trenches built to outlast a season. Apparently, some of 
the Germans came to prefer trench life to any other and to 
make it almost impossible for their enemies to drive them 
from their new haunts. These trenches seemed impregnable 
at a certain stage of the war. Not until the battle of the 
Somme did it appear possible to destroy on a large scale 
these new haunts of the soldier, namely, by the massed fire 
of heavy artillery, or by tunneling underneath and blowing 
up whole sections at a time. 




Coming into the trenches for the first time when the 
deadlock along the Western Front had become seem- 
ingly unbreakable, we reaped the benefit of the gallant 
httle remnant of the First British Expeditionary Force. 
After the retreat from Mons, they had dug themselves 
in and were holding tenaciously on, awaiting the long- 
heralded arrival of Kitchener's Mob. As the imits of 
the new armies arrived in France, they were sent into 
the trenches for twenty-four hours' instruction in 
trench warfare, with a battalion of regulars. This one- 
day course in trench fighting is preliminary to fitting 
new troops into their own particular sectors along the 
front. . . . 

It was quite dark when we entered the desolate belt 
of country known as the "fire zone." Pipes and cigar- 
ettes were put out and talking ceased. We extended 
to groups of platoons in fours, at one himdred paces 
interval, each platoon keeping in touch with the one in 
front by means of connecting files. We passed rows of 
ruined cottages where only the scent of the roses in 
neglected little front gardens reminded one of the home- 
loving people who had lived there in happier days. 
Dim lights streamed through chinks and crannies in the 
walls. Now and then blanket coverings would be lifted 
from apertures that had been windows or doors, and 



we would see bright fires blazing in the middle of brick 
kitchen floors, and groups of men sitting about them 
luxuriously sipping tea from steaming canteens. They 
were laughing and talking and singing songs in loud, 
boisterous voices which contrasted strangely with our 
timid noiselessness. I was marching with one of the 
trench guides who had been sent back to pilot us to oiu: 
position. I asked him if the Tommies in the houses were 
not in danger of being heard by the enemy. He laughed 
uproariously at this, whereupon one of our oflScers, 
a little second lieutenant, turned and hissed in melo- 
dramatic imdertones, "Silence in the ranks there! 
Where do you think you are!" Ofl&cers and men, we 
were new to the game then, and we held rather exag- 
gerated notions as to the amount of care to be observed 
in moving up to the trenches. . . . 

As we came within range of rifle fire, we again changed 
our formation, and marched in single file along the edge 
of the road. The sharp crack ! crack ! of small arms now 
sounded with vicious and ominous distinctness. We 
heard the melancholy song of the ricochets and spent 
bullets as they whirled in a wide arc, high over our 
heads, and occasionally the less pleasing phtt! pktti of 
those speeding straight from the muzzle of a German 
rifle. We breathed more freely when we entered the 
communication trench in the center of a little thicket, 
a mile or more back of the first-line trenches. 

We wound in and out of what appeared in the dark- 
ness to be a hopeless labyrinth of earthworks. Cross- 
streets and alleys led off in every direction. All along 
the way we had glimpses of dugouts lighted by candles, 
the doorways carefully concealed with blankets or pieces 



of old sacking. Groups of Tommies, ui comfortable 
nooks and comers, were boiling tea or frying bacon over 
little stoves made of old iron buckets or biscuit tins. 

I marveled at the skill of our trench guide who went 
confidently on in the darkness, with scarcely a pause. 
At length, after a winding, zigzag Journey, we arrived 
at our trench where we met the Gloucesters. 

There is n't one of us who has n't a warm spot in his 
heart for the Gloucesters: they welcomed us so heart- 
ily and initiated us into all the mysteries of trench 
etiquette and trench traditions. We were, at best, but 
amateur Tommies. In them I recognized the lineal 
descendants of the Une Atkins; men whose grandfathers 
had fought in the Crimea, and whose fathers in Indian 
mutinies. They were the fighting sons of fighting sires, 
and they taught us more of life in the trenches, in 
twenty-four hours, than we had learned during nine 
months of training in England. 

We learned how orders are passed down the line, 
from sentry to sentry, quietly, and with the speed of a 
man running. We learned how the sentries are posted 
and their duties. We saw the intricate mazes of tele- 
phone wires, and the men of the signaling corps at their 
posts in the trenches, in communication with brigade, 
divisional, and army corps headquarters. We learned 
how to "sleep" five men in a four-by-six dugout; and, 
when there are no dugouts, how to hunch up on the fir- 
ing-benches with our waterproof sheets over our heads, 
and doze, with our knees for a piUow. We learned the 
order of precedence for troops in the communication 

"Never forget that! Outgoin' troops 'as the right 



o' way. They ain't had no rest, an' they 're all slathered 
in mud, likely, an' beat for sleep. Incomin' troops is 
fresh, an' they stands to one side to let the others pass." 

We saw the hstening patrols go out at night, through 
the underground passage which leads to the far side of 
the barbed-wire entanglements. From there they creep 
far out between the opposing lines of trenches, to keep 
watch upon the movements of the enemy, and to report 
the presence of his working parties or patrols. This is 
dangerous, nerve-trying work, for the men sent out 
upon it are exposed not only to the shots of the enemy, 
but to the wild shots of their own comrades as well. 
I saw one patrol come in just before dawn. One of the 
men brought with him a piece of barbed wire, cHpped 
from the German entanglements two hundred and 
fifty yards away. ... I was tremendously interested. 
At that time it seemed incredible to me that men 
crawled over to the German lines in this manner and 
clipped pieces of German wire for souvenirs. 

Several men were killed and wounded during the 
night. One of them was a sentry with whom I had been 
talking only a few minutes before. He was standing on 
the firing-bench looking into the darkness, when he fell 
back into the trench without a cry. It was a terrible 
wound. I would not have believed that a bullet could 
so horribly disfigure one. He was given first aid by the 
light of a candle; but it was useless. Silently his com- 
rades removed his identification disc and wrapped him 
in a blanket. "Poor old Walt!" they said. An hour 
later he was buried in a sheU hole at the back of the 

One thing we learned during our first night in the 


trenches was of the very first importance. And that was, 
respect for our enemies. We came from England full 
of absurd newspaper tales about the German soldier's 
inferiority as a fighting man. We had read that he was 
a wretched marksman: he would not stand up to the 
bayonet: whenever opportunity offered he crept over 
and gave himself up: he was poorly fed and clothed 
and was so weary of the war that his officers had to 
drive him to fight, at the muzzles of their revolvers. 
We thought him almost beneath contempt. We were 
convinced in a night that we had greatly underesti- 
mated his abilities as a marksman. As for his aU-round 
inferiority as a fighting man, one of the Gloucesters 
put it rather weU: — 

'"Ere! If the Germans is so bloomin' rotten, 'ow is it 
we ain't a-fightin' 'em sommers along the Rhine, or in 
Austry-Hung'ry? No, they ain't a-firin' wild, I give 
you my word! Not aroimd this part o' France they 
ain't! . . ." 

How am I to give a reaUy vivid picture of trench life 
as I saw it for the first time, how make it live for others, 
when I remember that the many descriptive accounts 
I had read of it in England did not in the least visualize 
it for me? I watched the rockets rising from the Ger- 
man lines, watched them burst into points of light, over 
the devastated strip of country called "No Man's 
Land" and drift down. And I watched the charitable 
shadows rush back like the very wind of darkness. The 
desolate landscape emerged from the gloom and receded 
again, like a series of pictures thrown upon a screen. 
All of this was so new, so terrible, I doubted its reality. 
Indeed, I doubted my own identity, as one does at 



times when brought face to face with some experiences 
which cannot be compared with past experiences or 
even measured with them. I groped darkly for some 
new truth which was flickering just beyond the border 
of consciousness. But I was so blinded by the adven- 
ture that it did not come to me then. Later I imder- 
stood. It was my first glimmering realization of the 
tremendous sadness, the awful futility of war. . . . 

The fire trench was built in much the same way as 
those we had made during our training in England. In 
pattern it was something like a tessellated border. For 
the space of. five yards it ran straight, then it turned 
at right angles aroxmd a traverse of solid earth six feet 
square, then straight again for another five yards, then 
around another traverse, and so throughout the length 
of the line. Each five-yard segment, which is called a 
"bay," offered firing room for five men. The traverses, 
of course, were for the purpose of preventing enfilade 
fire. They also limited the execution which might be 
done by one shell. Even so they were not an unmixed 
blessing, for they were always in the way when you 
wanted to get anywhere in a hurry. 

"An' you are in a 'urry w'en you sees a Minnie 
[Minenwerfer] comin' your w'y- But you gets trench 
legs arter a w'ile. It'll be a funny sight to see the 
blokes walkin' along the street in Limnon w'en the war 's 
over. They '11 be so used to dodgin' in an' out o' traverses 
they won't be able to go in a straight line." 

As we walked through the firing-line trenches, I could 
quite understand the possibility of one's acquiring 
trench legs. Five paces forward, two to the right, two 
to the left, two to the left again, then five to the right, 



and so on to Switzerland. . . . My own experience was 
confined to that part of the British front which lies 
between Messines in Belgium and Loos in France. 
There, certainly, one could walk for miles through 
an intricate maze of continuous underground passages. 
But the firing-line trench was neither a traffic route 
nor a promenade. The great bulk of inter- trench busi- 
ness passed through the traveling-trench, about fifteen 
yards in the rear of the fire trench and nmning parallel 
to it. The two were connected by many passageways, 
the chief difference being that the fire trench was the 
business district, while the traveling-trench was pri- 
marily residential. Along the latter were built most 
of the dugouts, lavatories, and trench kitchens. The 
sleeping-quarters for the men were not very elaborate. 
Recesses were made in the wall of the trench about two 
feet above the floor. They were not more than three feet 
high, so that one had to crawl in head first when going 
to bed. They were partitioned in the middle, and were 
supposed to offer accommodation for four men, two on 
each side. . . . 



The trench system has one thing to recommaid it. It 
tidies things up a bit. 

For the first few months after the war broke out 
confusion reigned supreme. BelgitHn and the north of 
France were one huge jumbled battlefield, rather like 
a public park on a Saturday afternoon — one of those 
parks where promiscuous football is permitted. Friend 
and foe were inextricably mingled, and the direction of 
the goal was uncertain. If you rode into a village, you 
might find it occupied by a Highland regiment or a 
squad of Uhlans. If you dimly discerned troops march- 
ing side by side with you in the dawning, it was by no 
means certain that they would prove to be your friends. 
On the other hand, it was never safe to assiune that 
a battalion which you saw hastily intrenching itself 
against your approach was German. It might belong to 
your own brigade. There was no front and no rear, so 
direction counted for nothing. The country swarmed 
with troops which had been left "in the air," owing to 
their own too rapid advance, or the equally rapid retire- 
ment of their supporters; with scattered details trying 
to join their imits; or with dispatch riders hunting for a 
peripatetic divisional headquarters. Snipers shot both 
sides impartially. It was all most upsettiiig. 

Well, as already indicated, the trench system has put 


that all right. The trenches now run continuously — 
a long, irregular, but perfectly definite line of cleavage 
— from the North Sea to the Vosges. Everybody has 
been carefully sorted out — human beings on one side, 
Germans on the other. Nothing could be more suit- 

The result is an agreeable blend of war and peace. 
This week, for instance, our battalion has been under- 
going a rest-cure a few miles from the hottest part of 
the firing-Une. (We had a fairly heavy spell of work 
last week.) In the morning we wash our clothes, and 
perform a few mild martial exercises. In the afternoon 
we sleep, in all degrees of deshabille, imder the trees in 
the orchard. In the evening we play football, or bathe 
in the canal, or he on our backs on the grass, watching 
our aeroplanes buzzing home to roost, attended by 
German shrapnel. We could not have done this in the 
autumn. Now, thanks to our trenches, a few miles 
away, we are as safe here as in the wilds of Argyllshire 
or West Kensington. 

But there are drawbacks to everything. The fact is, 
a trench is that most uninteresting of human devices, 
a compromise. It is neither satisfactory as a domicile 
nor efficient as a weapon of defense. The most luxuriant 
dugout; the most artistic window-box • — these, in spite 
of all biased assertions to the contrary, compare un- 
favorably with a flat in Knightsbridge. On the other 
hand, the knowledge that you are keeping yourself 
tolerably immime from the assaults of your enemy is 
heavily discounted by the fact that the enemy is equally 
immune from yours. In other words, you "get no for- 
rarder" with a trench; and the one thing which we are all 



anxious to do is to bring this war to a speedy and gory 
conclusion, and get home to hot baths and regular 
meals. . . . 

For reasons foreshadowed last month, we find that 
we are committed to an iadefinite period of trench life, 
like every one else. ' 

Certainly, we are starting at the bottom of the lad- 
der. These trenches are badly sited, badly constructed, 
difficult of access from the rear, and swarming with 
large, fat, unpleasant flies, of the bluebottle variety. 
They go to sleep chiefly upon the ceiling of one's dug- 
out, during the short hours of darkness, but for twenty 
hours out of twenty-four they are very busy, indeed. 
They divide their attention between stray carrion and 
our rations. If you sit stUl for five minutes they also 
settle upon you, like pins in a pin-cushion. Then, when 
face, hands, and knees can endure no more, and the 
inevitable convulsive wriggle occurs, they rise in a 
vociferous swarm, only to settle again when the victim 
becomes quiescent. To these, high explosives are a 
welcome relief. 

The trenches themselves are no garden city, like those 
at Armentieres. They were sited and dug in the dark, 
not many weeks ago, to secure two hundred yards of 
French territory recovered from the Boche by bomb 
and bayonet. (The captured trench lies behind us now, 
and serves as our second line.) They are muddy — you 
come to water at three feet — and at one end, owing to 
their concave formation, are open to enfilade. The par- 
apet in many places is too low. If you make it higher 
with sandbags you offer the enemy a comfortable tar- 
get: if you deepen the trench you turn it into a running 



stream. Therefore long-legged subalterns crawl pain- 
fully past these danger spots on all fours. 

Then there is Zacchaeus [the sniper]. We call him by 
this name because he lives up a tree. There is a row of 
poUarded willows standing parallel to our front, a hun- 
dred and fifty yards away. Up, or in, one of these lives 
Zacchaeus. We have never seen him; but we know he 
is there; because if you look over the top of the parapet 
he shoots you through the head. We do not even know 
which of the trees he lives in. There are nine of them, 
and every morning we comb them out, one by one, with 
a machine gun. But all in vain. Zacchaeus merely 
crawls away into the standing corn behind his trees, 
and waits tiU we have finished. Then he comes back and 
tries to shoot the machine-gun ofiicer. He has not suc- 
ceeded yet, but he sticks to his task with gentle persist- 
ence. He is evidently of a persevering rather than vin- 
dictive disposition. . . . 

The day's work in the trenches begins about nine 
o'clock the night before. Darkness having fallen, vari- 
ous parties steal out into the No Man's Land beyond 
the parapet. There are numerous things to be done. 
The barbed wire has been broken up by shrapnel, and 
must be repaired. The whole position in front of the 
wire must be patrolled, to prevent the enemy from 
creeping forward in the dark. The corn has grown to an 
imcomfortable height in places, so a fatigue party is 
told off to cut it — surely the strangest piece of harvest- 
ing that the annals of agriculture can record. On the 
left the muffled cHnking of picks and shovels announces 
that a "sap" is in course of construction: those incor- 
rigible night-birds, the Royal Engineers, are making it 



for the machine gunners, who in the fuUness of time 
will convey their voluble weapon to its forward extrem- 
ity, and "loose off a belt or two" in the direction of a 
rather dangerous hollow midway between the trenches, 
from which of late mysterious sounds of digging and 
guttural talking have been detected by the officer who 
lies in the listening-post, in front of the barbed-wire 
entanglement, drawing secrets from the bowels of the 
earth by means of a microphone. 

Behind the firing- trench even greater activity pre- 
vails. Damage done to the parapet by shell fire is being 
repaired. Positions and emplacements are being con- 
stantly improved, commimication trenches widened or 
made more secure. Down these trenches fatigue parties 
are filing and ammunition from the limbered wagons 
which are waiting in the shadow of a wood, perhaps 
a mile back. It is at this hour, too, that the wounded, 
who have been lying pathetically cheerful and patient 
in the dressing-station in the reserve trench, are smug- 
gled to the field ambulance — probably to find them- 
selves safe in a London hospital within twenty-four 
hours. Lastly, under the kindly cloak of night, we bury 
the dead. 

Meanwhile, within various s tiflin g dugouts, in the 
firing-trench or support-trench, overheated company 
commanders are dictating reports or filling in returns. 
There is the casualty return, and a report on the doings 
of the enemy, and another report of one's own doings, 
and a report on the direction of the wind, and so on. . . . 
All this literature has to be sent to battalion headquar- 
ters by I A.M., either by orderly or telephone. There it 
is collated and condensed, and forwarded to the brigade, 



which submits it to the same process and sends it 
on. ... 

You must not imagine, however, that all this night 
work is performed in gross darkness. On the contrary. 
There is abimdance of illumination; and by a pretty 
thought, each illuminates the others. We perform our 
nocturnal tasks, in front of and behind the firing-trench, 
amid a perfect hail of star-shells and magnesium Hghts, 
topped up at times by a searchlight — all suppHed by 
our obliging friend the Hun. We, on our part, do our 
best to return these graceful compliments. 

The curious and xmcanny part of it all is that there 
is no firing. During these brief hours there exists an 
informal truce, founded on the principle of live and let 
live. It would be an easy business to wipe out that 
working party, over there by the barbed wire, with a 
machine gtm. It would be child's play to shell the road 
behind the enemy's trenches, crowded as it must be 
with ration-wagons and water-carts, into a blood- 
stained wilderness. But so long as each side confines 
itseK to purely defensive and recuperative work, there 
is little or no interference. . . . 



So I examine my domain. It is not very extensive, one 
himdred and twenty metres at the most, occupied by 
my sixty men. My trench is composed of the commu- 
nication trench and two large salients, each containing 
half a section or two squads. Its general arrangement 
is as follows: — 

Each of the salients is divided in the middle by a 
bomb-shield, and contains therefore two squads, whose 
dugouts, rather deep, are at the right and left ends 
of the salient. In front, in shell holes, the listening- 
patrols are posted during the night. There are ma- 
chine gims in each of the salients. My headquarters are 
so placed that I am in immediate touch with both my 
half-sections. A little winding trench leads to my dug- 
out, which is about two metres tmderground. It is 
comfortable and contains a rather dilapidated hair 
mattress which the Germans, formerly proprietors of 
this trench, brought over from the village of Perthes. 
A set of shelves made of three boards has on it some old 
tin cans, along with the things I have taken out of my 
haversack. Two or three pegs stuck in the dirt wall 
serve as clothes hooks. The furnishing is completed 
by a wooden stool brought from the village, and by a 
brazier in which charcoal is burning. In one comer are 
some trench rockets and a large case of cartridges. 

This domicile is not at all bad; it is ahnost luxurious. 


The dugouts of my soldiers are large undergrounds 
holding fifteen men comfortably. Straw helps ward off 
the dampness of the soil of Champagne, and discarded 
bayonets stuck in the walls serve as hooks for canteens 
and haversacks. Meanwhile, as the cold was a bit 
sharp, I had some braziers made for the men by pierc- 
ing holes in old tin cans with bayonets. Charcoal was 
brought up from the kitchens. 

So life was sufficiently endurable. We felt pretty 
secure. The loopholes were well protected, and one 
could fixe comfortably. The machine guns were always 
in readiness, and in short, the Germans over opposite 
did not seem malicious. AU that could be seen of them 
were white streaks across the land, many and inter- 
twined, with wire entanglements alongside. That was 
all — nothing that budged or had the least human 
semblance, only here and there a sort of ragged, bluish 
heap that seemed a part of the earth on which it lay — 
a corpse. There were not many dead directly in front 
of us, but to the west, on our left, much higher up, in 
front of the skeleton remnant of a wood, lay a number 
of those motionless bundles, bearing witness to recent 

Thus the region opposite us was fairly uninteresting 
— barbed wire, torn-up earth, skeleton trees, and dead 
men's bodies. And the enemy was there at one hundred 
metres. I discovered this rather promptly, moreover, 
and had a very narrow escape. At a given moment, 
very early in the morning, I went into the communica- 
tion trench that formed the eastern end of my trench. 
There was a large hoUowed-out place through which 
one could get a better view of what lay in front of us: 



at the left, the ruined village; in front, the labyrinth 
of trenches and the skeleton wood. Suddenly, as if 
warned by some instinct, I turned away a little. Five 
or six bullets, undoubtedly intended for me, whistled 
through my window, one of them grazing my field- 
glass. Not a little shaken up, I left that dangerous spot. 
I soon began to laugh, however, and I should have 
enjoyed telling my neighbors the Boches that they had 
missed me. But I was more prudent after that. 

Besides, everything was silent except for an occasional 
shell that passed above our heads and burst so far away 
that we could not hear it explode. Listening-patrols, 
being useless during the day, were replaced by two 
sentries for each half-section who watched through the 
loopholes of the trench itself. The men in their warm 
dugouts smoked their pipes, ate, read, or played cards. 
If this is war, thought many of them, it is n't half bad. 

But, like most good things, it did not last. At nine 
o'clock a messenger came to tell me that the captain 
wanted to see me. I went to his headquarters, situated 
in the second line. Orders had just come. A French 
attack was to be delivered on the Boche trenches to the 
north and east of Perthes. . . . The plan was to attack 
at two other points, so that, once having taken the 
German trenches there, the whole system could be 
enfiladed. Our r61e was to put them on the wrong scent, 
and at a specified time to make as much noise as pos- 
sible with our muskets and machine guns, in order to 
attract attention to ourselves at the moment when the 
main attack was being launched elsewhere. 

So I went back to my trench and gave the men the 
necessary instructions. About ten o'clock we were 



startled by four loud reports coming almost simultane- 
ously. It was a battery of "7S's," placed two hundred 
metres or so behind us. At the same instant the shells 
went whisthng over our heads and raised four black 
clouds in the trench opposite. It was the beginning of 
the bombardment. It was very violent. At the start 
we all ducked, but we gradually got used to it and 
learned to distinguish the diSerence in sound of French 
firing. . . . 

Posted at a loophole, I watched through my glass the 
effect of the bombardment. AU the German trenches, 
as far as the eye could reach, were filled with constantly 
recurring explosions. They looked like an uninter- 
rupted line of volcanoes. The noise and the superb 
masses of earth thrown up into the air fairly intoxicated 
me. The Boches in their turn began to answer, and, 
scorning us poor infantrymen, sent their shells far in 
our rear in quest of the gunners and their guns. The 
chorus grew deafening. The sensation was that of 
being under a roof of steel, invisible but with the 
voices of all the fiends. And in the midst of aU this 
din, two larks kept flitting about joyously, and mingled 
their song of life with the dull chant of the engines of 
death. . . . 

When everything was quiet, I hurried to the captain 
to make my report; he was well pleased, congratulated 
me, and instructed me to congratulate my men. Our 
baptism of fire had been thoroughly first-class, and we 
behaved rather well. As for the French attack, it had 
succeeded in seizing the extreme northern point of the 
German line. The rest' of the afternoon was uneventful. 

Then slowly night feU. The order came to detail two 


men from each squad to go with tent sheets, under the 
conduct of the corporal on duty, to fetch rations from 
the kitchens. . . . When we got back, we were re- 
warded by supper, consisting of sardines, roast meat, 
and rice, which we warmed on the braziers. After the 
meal I took a little rest. My two sergeants divided 
the rest of the night, and it was solid comfort to go 
to sleep snugly wrapped in my blanket, with my feet 
against the warm brazier. . . . 



The principal element of this modem warfare is lack 
of mobility. The lines advance, the lines retreat, but 
never once, since the establishment of the present 
trench swathe, have the lines of either combatant been 
pushed clear out of the normal zone of hostilities. The 
fierce, invisible combats are limited to the first-line 
positions, averaging a mile each way behind No Man's 
Land. This stationary character has made the war a 
daily battle; it has robbed war of all its ancient panoply, 
its cavalry, its uniforms brilliant as the sim, and has 
turned it into the national business. . . . 

To this end, in numberless sectors along the front, 
special narrow-gauge railroad lines have been built 
directly from the railroad station at the edge of the 
shell zone to the artUlery positions. To this end the 
trenches have been gathered into a special telephone 
system so that General Joffre at ChantUly can talk to 
any ofi&cers or soldiers anywhere along the swathe. The 
food, supplies, clothing, and ammimition are delivered 
every day at the gate of the swathe, and cahnly redis- 
tributed to the trenches by a sort of military express 

Only one thing ever disturbs the vast, orderly sys- 
tem: the bony fingers of Death will persist in getting 
into the cogs of the machine. 



The first-line trenches, in a position at all contested, 
are very apt still to preserve the hurried arrangement of 
their first plan, which is sometimes hardly any plan at 
all. It must be admitted that the Germans have the 
advantage in the great majority of cases, for theirs was 
the first choice, and they intrenched themselves, as far 
as possible, along the crests of the eastern hills of 
France, in a line prepared for just such an exigency. 

... It being out of the question to strengthen or 
rectify very much the front-line trenches close to the 
enemy, the effort has taken place in the rear Unes. 
Wherever there is a certain security, the rear lines of 
all the important strategic points have been converted 
into veritable subterranean fortresses. 

The floor plan of these trenches is an adaptation of 
the mihtary theory of fortification — with its angles, 
salients, and bastions — to the topography of the re- 
gion. The gigantic concrete wall of the bomb-proof 
shelters, the Uttle forts to shelter the machine guns, 
and the concrete passages in the rear-line trenches 
will appear as heavy and massive to future genera- 
tions as Roman masonry appears to us. There are, of 
course, many unimportant little links of the trench 
system, upon whose holding nothing depends and for 
whose domination neither side cares to spend the life 
of a single soldier, that only have an apology for a 
second position. 

The war needs the money for the preparation of 
important places. At vital points there may be the 
tremendously powerful second line, a third line, and 
even a fourth line. The region between Verdun and 
the Unes, for instance, is the most fearful snarl of 



barbed wire, pits, and buried explosives that could -be 
imagined. The distance would have to be contested 
inch by rach. 

The trench theory is built about the soldier. It must 
preserve him as far as possible from artillery and from 
the infantry attack. The defenses begin with barbed 
wire; then come the rifles and machine guns; and behind 
them the light artillery, the "75's," and the heavy ar- 
tillery, the "i2o's," "220's," and, now, an immense 
howitzer whose real caliber has been carefully con- 
cealed. To take a trench position means the crossing 
of the entanglements of No Man's Land under fire 
from artillery, rifles, and machine guns, an almost im- 
possible proceeding. An advance is possible only after 
the opposing trenches have been made untenable by the 
concentration of artillery fire. The great offensives begin 
by blowing the first lines absolutely to pieces; this 
accomplished, the attacking infantry advances to the 
vacated trenches under the rifle fire of those few whom 
the deluge of shells has not killed or crazed, works 
toward the strong second position under a concen- 
trated artillery fire of the retreating enemy as terrible 
as its own, fights its way heroically into the second 
position, and stops there. The great line has been bent, 
has been dented, but never broken. An offensive must 
cover at least twenty miles of front, for if the break 
is too narrow the attacking troops will be massacred 
by the enemy artillery at both ends of the broken first 
lines. If the front lines are one mile deep, the artillery 
must put twenty-five square miles of trenches hors 
de combat, a task that takes millions of shells. By the 
time that the first line has been destroyed and the 



troops have reached the second lines, the shells and the 
men are pretty well used up. A great successful offen- 
sive on the Western Front is theoretically possible, given 
milHons of men, but practically impossible. Outside 
of important local gains, the great western offensives 
have been failures. . . . 



From the first, the Great War brought surprises which showed 
that the method of warfare and the engines used were rapidly 
changing. Formerly, there were great engagements in the 
open which continued for a short time only, or forts equipped 
with heavy guns were able to hold out against a prolonged 
siege. The Germans early proved, by their successes at 
Liege, Namur, and Antwerp, that the great modern siege 
guns could soon silence a fortress which had been deemed 
impregnable against an attack from the field. After the 
battle of the Mame, trench warfare began to take the place 
of fighting in the open, and barbed- wire entanglements were 
brought into play in No Man's Land between the lines. 
Moreover, the use of airplanes as scouts made it impossible 
to carry on warfare in the open as in former times when 
armies could be deployed unseen by the enemy imtU the 
time for action arrived. The armored railway train and the 
armored car had come into being. There were not only 
machine guns, but such guns moimted on motor-cycles; also 
guns for destroying machine guns. Then, at the battle of 
the Somme, came the new British armored cars known as 
" tanks," able to ride over any obstacle and withstand heavy 
gun fire. Huge guns were still available after the warfare of 
the trenches began, but the Allies had to produce more effec- 
tive guns to meet those already possessed by Germany. 
Meanwhile bayonets and the butt-ends of rifles were still 
in vogue, and hand-grenades supplemented the older modes 
of hand-to-hand combat. 

The employment by the Germans of gas and liquid flame 
as weapons of offense compelled the Allies to adopt gas- 
masks and to find other ways of protecting troops from the 
effects of these terrible means of attack. Great skill In inven- 
tion has been shown in the effort to meet the latest output 
of the enemy with something more effective, if not more 



When the British blockade was tightening its coils 
about Germany, a sigh of relief went up from the Entente 
Powers, and their press proclaimed that with gasoline 
and rubber cut off from the enemy the war would soon 
come automatically to an end. I am not concerned 
with the failure of these prophecies to reckon with 
German chemical ingenuity; they merely throw Hght 
on the interesting fact that modem warfare, with its 
demand for swift-striking movement in every branch 
of the complicated mUitary organism, could not exist 
without the motor-vehicle in its various forms. 

Through the illustrated weeklies and the moving pic- 
tures, Americajis have become familiar with the Skoda 
howitzers, taken to pieces for travel, rumbling along 
behind great Mercedes traction-motors. They have 
seen the London motor-busses, loaded to bursting with 
grinning Tommies on their way to the front, flaunting 
Bovril and Nestle's Food signs against an unfamiliar 
background of canals and serried poplar trees. They 
caimot realize, however, because they have not witnessed 
with their own eyes, the vast orderly ferment of wheeled 
trafl&c that fills the roads on both sides of that black- 
ened, blasted battle-line between the armies of Western 
Europe. Where once the task of fulfillment fell to 
straining horse-flesh, the burden is now laid on wheels 



winged by gasoline. From the flashing wire spokes 
of the dispatch-rider's motor-cycle to the clanking, 
crushing "feet" of the caterpillar tractor that pulls the 
big guns into action, the incredibly complicated machin- 
ery of war is now dependent on an element which, at 
the time of the Spanish-American War, was imknown 
to military use. 

It was chance which got me into the British army; 
it was also by chance that I was attached to the staff 
of a captain of the Fifth Dragoon Guards and sent off 
to Belgium five days after my enlistment, without the 
usual weary months of training in the riding-school. 
On October 8, 1914, our regiment landed at Ostend; 
this was the beginning of thirteen months of service, 
during which I passed from my regular duties in the 
Dragoon Guards to the Army Service Corps as motor- 
driver to General Byng, and was subsequently attached 
to the Headquarters Staff of the Fifth Army Corps. 
While in this, I saw service in an armored car of the 
Royal Naval Air Service, went into action with the 
Motor Machine-Gim Section, and also acted as a dis- 
patch rider. This enabled me to get a fairly good first- 
hand idea of the use made by the British army of the 
various types of motor-vehicle; and if some of my 
experiences left me in doubt as to the ability of the 
human nervous system to stand up imder the rackiag, 
killing pace demanded by these branches of the service, 
I came away from my term at the front full of admira- 
tion for the men behind the organization which is re- 
sponsible for the smooth functioning of the motor- 
vehicle wing of the British army. 

My first good opportunity to see this great system in 


action came shortly after my arrival at the front near 
Zillebeke, where, while waiting for assignment to duty, 
we watched the supplies coming through. Fresh sup- 
plies — vast quantities of them — arrive every day 
from the various seaports, brought on trains which 
deposit them at the "rail-head," or private railway 
station with which every army, anliy corps, and division 
is provided. The trains are met by motor-lorries or 
trucks, which swing into the yards, range up in long 
lines alongside the freight cars, load up, and pull away 
again in surprisingly short time. As they drew out of 
the yards, I noticed that they fell automatically into 
little groups, and, on inquiry, foimd that, before the 
column is formed, all lorries containing a certain kind 
of supplies go in one group, lining up until in an orderly 
arrangement of, say, twelve trucks of meat, ten trucks 
of bread, so many trucks of clothing, groceries, petrol, 
mechanical stores, and so on, until a column consisting 
of, perhaps, one hundred lorries stands ready to start 
toward the front. 

The order given, off they go, to the clatter of chains 
and open exhausts. The roads of Belgium were once 
good roads, but the endless stream of heavy trafl&c has 
reduced them to a fearful condition, despite the efforts 
of the Royal Engineers and "Jack Ward's battalions" 
— the large semi-military force of navvies and laborers 
recruited in London by a patriotic contractor for just 
such badly needed work as highway repairing. Down 
the middle of these roads runs a strip of cobblestones — 
greasy, full of holes, but still cobblestones; on either 
side there is mud, a slough of despond for the unwary 
driver. Many a time, in winter, I have seen lorries so 



hopelessly stuck that it is impossible to get them out 
for the moment. All that can be done is to transfer the 
load to another car and leave the derelict by the road- 
side to the tender mercies of the salvage companies or 
the nearest portable mechanical transport workshop. 

Before going to the front I had never so much as 
thought of the problem of caring for the great number 
of cars that are disabled in the day's run; so that I was 
surprised to find what thorough high-class work is done 
by these portable workshops. Mounted on lorry chassis, 
they present the appearance of box-cars, the sides of 
which, in service, are lowered to a horizontal position 
and serve as platforms for the crew to stand on when 
manipulating the lathe or dynamo inside. Power is fur- 
nished by a special gasohne motor. The mechanics em- 
ployed in these workshops are all highly trained men, 
who are obliged to pass the most severe tests before 
they are accepted for this branch of the service. Most 
of them have been building cars in England, and they 
are often allowed to specialize on the make with which 
they are most famiUar. If an automobile is beyond the 
help of these first-aid specialists, it is immediately sent 
to one of the depots where there is a permanent work' 
shop, and another vehicle is sent up to the front to take 
its place. No cars are kept running if they are not in 
first-class condition, and every precaution is taken to 
avoid accidents due to defective machines. Practically 
all makes of cars are to be seen at the front. Each kind 
is assigned to the work to which it is best adapted, the 
fast cars, generally speaking being used for dispatch 
work, and also for carrying officers to and from the 
firing-line; the steadier cars find their niche in ambu- 



lance work and other duties where speed is a secondary 

These details I noted down in the impersonal way of 
the cavalryman, who is supposed to be concerned with 
other matters. While we were still at Zillebeke, however, 
the driver of General Byng's car was killed, and, as I 
knew there was a shortage of competent drivers, I made 
the somewhat irregular request to take his place. This 
was granted, to my surprise — and pleasure; for I had 
heard that all our untrained men were shortly to be sent 
back to England to finish their course at the riding- 
school. Although I had had considerable experience in 
driving cars at home, I was glad that the general was 
partial to slow going and objected strenuously to being 
bumped. This enabled me to lead up gradually to the 
more severe demands that were made on me when, 
shortly after, I wa'fe attached to the Headquarters Staff 
of the Fifth Army Corps. Here I was treated to my first, 
and only, ride into action with an armored car. 

The armored car is unquestionably the most wicked- 
looking thing at the front, and its lines, its whole appear- 
ance, give the suggestion of an unlimited capacity for 
slaughter. The entire body of the car is made of finest 
sheet steel, nearly half an inch thick; in the place of 
the tonneau there is a revolving steel turret mounting 
a rapid-fire gun or a three-pounder. The engine is pro- 
tected by the same quality of armor as the body, and the 
vulnerable radiator finds safety behind two steel doors, 
which, when the car goes into action, are adjusted so 
as to leave a small opening for the circulation of air. An 
apron of steel extends roimd the wheels to within a foot 
of the ground, guarding as far as possible the pneu- 



matic tires. However, in spite of this precaution and 
the use of double tires on each wheel, I have seen cars 
come limping home with all eight tires flat. 

The crew of an armored car is a variable quantity, 
but there are always two drivers. It was the lack of a 
spare driver that led to my being ordered one day to 
sit beside the man at the wheel of a car that was just 
going into action. In case anything had happened to 
him, I should have had to take his place. As we drew 
into the zone of the enemy's fire, the bullets began to 
hit our car, first scatteringly, then in a regular shower, 
coming at the rate of a htmdred a minute and beating a 
devil's tattoo on our armor. The din made by bullets 
on this steel plating is amazing. It sounds as if some 
one were striking with a haimner, and striking hard, too. 
I did not know that, so far as the ordinary rifle bullet is 
concerned, these armored cars are practically invulner- 
able, and I expected any moment to find the metal giv- 
ing way imder the shock. We were in action only about 
ten minutes, but in that short time the terrific noise of 
our own gun and the scoring bullets, the heaving and 
lurching of the car, the semi-darkness, and, worst of all, 
my own inactivity, almost broke my nerve. There was 
absolutely nothing to do but sit still and receive new 
sensations; and the unpleasantness of these was inde- 
scribable. When we finally got back to safety, I climbed 
out and took a look at the car, expecting to find it 
pockmarked and dented beyond recognition. Except 
for a few small depressions in the armor and a couple 
of holes through the mud-giiards where pieces of shrap- 
nel had struck, there was scarcely a trace of our ordeal 
by fire. Not a single bullet had penetrated. 



The armored car gives unlimited opportunities for 
the exercise of nerve and initiative, and no man in the 
war availed himseh of these more fully than the fa- 
mous Commander Sampson, of the Royal Naval Air 
Service. This officer (for whose capture, dead or alive, 
the Germans were reported to have offered twenty 
thousand marks) was equally at home in an aeroplane 
or an armored car. I have never seen him at work as 
an aviator, but the town in which we had our head- 
quarters was the starting-place for his amazing trips in 
his car. Just where he went, and how he got there, is 
more or less of a mystery. All we knew was that at four 
o'clock in the morning or thereabouts. Commander 
Sampson would leave Hazebrouck, and, hours later, 
come rolling back into the square, almost invariably 
with a batch of German prisoners! 

His arrival at headquarters was the event of the day. 
Every one in sight would come rushing forward to see 
what' sort of game he had bagged. From the stories that 
followed these exploits, he must have taken his car right 
into the German lines — a feat which was as dangerous 
as you please, but not literally impossible. Few people 
seem to realize that many of the highways leading cross- 
covmtry and connecting the hostile lines had not then 
been destroyed. They were formidably guarded by 
barbed-wire barricades, and their surface was torn and 
pitted by shell holes; but neither side was willing to 
eliminate a means of commimication which would be 
of vast value in case of an advance. 

These are the roads that Commander Sampson must 
have used on his swift trips of destruction. On the front 
of his car was a formidable arrangement of upright 



scythe-like wire-cutters, strong enough to rip through 
the entanglements and bunt the wooden supporting- 
posts out of the way; and with these, backed by the 
momentum of the ponderous car, he forced his way on 
steel-studded tires through barbed-wire and shot and 
shell, and accomplished the impossible — not once, but 
again and again. His car would come back looking as 
though it had been through a thousand years of war, but 
the occupants were generally safe and soimd, and, as I 
say, they had things to show that they had given the (Ger- 
mans cause to regret receiving a visit from Commander 
Sampson. So far as I am aware, no one has yet come 
forward to claim that reward of twenty thousand marks. 

It was not long after my outing in the armored car 
that I was detailed to duty in the Motor-Cycle Machine- 
Gun Section as motor-cycle driver. The machines used 
in this work are much Hghter and smaller than the 
American type. They carry a side-car attachment; but 
in place of the familiar "wife-killer," a rapid-fire gun 
is mounted, and the comfortable cushioned seat gives 
way to a wooden affair so small that the gimner prac- 
tically holds his rapid-firer in his lap. On his right is the 
box with the loaded belts of ammunition. When he 
threads these through the gun and starts firing, titie belt 
uncoils smoothly and falls into an empty box on the 
other side of the machine. 

I was almost ignorant of the workings of the section 
when our battery of four machines first went into action; 
and when, after the rush and clatter of getting into po- 
sition, my gunner began to pour streams of bullets into 
the enemy's lines, directing the aim like the spray of 
water from a hose, I sat stupidly upright in my saddle, 



fully exposed to a hot fire from the Germans. It was 
sheer luck that carried me through imhurt imtil an 
ofl&cer, hurrying past, told me in a few short, crisp words 
what sort of a fool I was. Then I dropped down fuU 
length on the groimd beside my machine until it was 
time to retire, watching my gimner — a seasoned sol- 
dier — sitting there in his little seat, improtected and 
unconcerned, working his machine without even taking 
his old clay pipe from his mouth. 

The second time I took one of these machines into 
action — near Ypres — things went much better. We 
went up in the dark, and some time before we were 
needed we were given our position — in a ditch, with 
our gim covering a road. Our orders were simply to fire 
when the Germans tried to rush that road. For several 
hours we waited in the strain of uncertainty, but not a 
sign of "Fritz," although we could hear the other gims 
along the line in action. Suddenly they attacked. It 
was a terrible sight. They seemed to rise from the groimd 
in thousands. My gimner had his machine working on 
them at the first sign, and the Germans, coming on in 
waves, seemed to melt away before our fire. I never saw 
men die so quickly before. They went down by hun- 
dreds, and stiU they came on, trampling over their own 
dead. Those Germans are extremely brave men : there is 
no other word for it. When their rush was checked and 
they had retired, we held our position for a while longer, 
returning to headquarters by evening. We had been in 
the firing-line for hours, and not once had our situation 
been dangerous. 

My last experience with the Motor Machine- Gun 
Section came during the fierce fighting around Hill 60, 



where records were made that still remain records after 
long months of war. For two days before the action 
came off we knew there was something in the wind, 
although no definite orders had been given. Our mining 
and timneling companies had been working for some 
time; a general concentration of artillery was taking 
place in the neighborhood. Finally the attack took 
place. For thirty-five minutes ninety-two batteries 
rained shells from their three hundred and sixty-eight 
cannon on the bit of rising ground known as Hill 60 — 
a withering, scorching fire which stopped as suddenly 
as it began. Off went the mines we had laid under the 
hill; the earth shook; the air was filled with thick clouds 
of mingled dirt and smoke. Instantly our men were out 
of the trenches advancing at a dead run, while our 
machine gimners poured steel into the German positions 
imtil the progress of our troops made this dangerous. 
It was aU over in a few minutes, and, although we were 
called for once again, this was the last action in which I 
served with the M.M.G.S. 

Motor-cycling, even with the best of roads, is an 
exhausting business in the long run; and when I was 
designated for dispatch-riding, I knew enough of the 
details of the work not to be overjoyed. The dispatch 
rider must, first and foremost, be speedy. A leather 
case — ■ crammed with vitally important documents or 
empty, for all the rider knows — is strapped to his shoul- 
der, and from that moment his one thought must be to 
dehver that case to its destination in the shortest order 
possible. If the rider comes to grief, he can commandeer 
the first man he meets; but the dispatches must be 
delivered at all costs. 



As I said, I was not over-eager for this new work, but 
my feelings in the matter were not consulted. My first 
trip took me from the brigade headquarters to the divi- 
sional headquarters farther back. It was dark night 
when I started; the roads were all shelled to pieces, and 
as no Ughts could be carried I. simply had to take chances 
on the shell holes. I had not been gone three minutes 
when I felt the ground drop away beneath me and I 
went flying over the handle-bars. My knees and elbows 
were skinned, but the machine was iminjured, so off I 
started again. At first I tried to be careful; I soon real- 
ized, however, that I should be losing precious time. 
All I could do, then, was to shoot ahead in the blackness, 
trusting to luck. Two or three more tumbles came my 
way on that ride, and by the time I got down to head- 
quarters I was stiff and sore beyond belief. I handed in 
my dispatch case; and then, after an hour off duty, I 
had to return over the same road. 

It can easily be seen that the light British motor- 
cycles are infinitely superior to the heavy American 
machines for this rough-and-tumble work. If one of 
these latter ever fell on the rider, the chances are that 
his leg would be broken and he, in all probability, se- 
verely burned by the heated engine as he lay beneath 
it. The nimiber of motor-cycles put out of action at 
the front is astounding. During the second battle for 
Calais alone, a dispatch rider in our corps lost fourteen 
machines. He carried dispatches through the thick of 
this fighting, and was never so much as scratched: 
a remarkable record, for statistics show that during the 
first months of the war fifty per cent of the riders sent 
to France were killed. 



Generally speaking, the branch of the motor-vehicle 
service most to my liking was driving a stafif car, and 
luckily I had more of this work to do than anything 
else. A staff driver has a car to himself, and, as a rule, 
works entirely with one ofl&cer. He has complete charge 
of the care of the car. Any one else caught driving it is 
punished for disobeying orders. When he takes control 
of his car, he signs a receipt for the car and the tools, 
lamps, tires, and accessories that go with it. For all 
these things he is personally responsible, and if any- 
thing happens to them through his carelessness he is 
obliged to make good the loss. The staff driver's life 
is no sinecure. He is liable for duty practically twenty- 
four hours each day, and carries a heavy burden of 
responsibility for the good condition of his car and 
the welfare of his officers. With all this, however, there 
goes a latitude of personal initiative and a continual 
possibility of new and interesting work that made a 
strong appeal to me. 

It was while I was driving a staff car in Flan4ers last 
summer that I was ordered to take three officers to the 
little village of Kemmel, a short distance southwest of 
Ypres. This place was almost always under fire, and 
at one time had been in German hands — in the pos- 
session of the Crown Prince, as a matter of fact. When 
they were occupying the place, we shelled it; when we 
drove them out and took the village, they began shell- 
ing, and have kept it up ever since. It was what is 
known as "unhealthy ground." 

As we turned from the main highway into the road 
leading to Kemmel, I noticed two sentries at the cross- 
ing, but they merely saluted and allowed us to pass. 



I can only account for this failure of the sentries to 
warn us of what lay ahead by the fact that I was driving 
staff officers, who are allowed to pass unhindered any- 

The road to Kemmel leads up a long hill, the top of 
which must be reached before one comes in sight of the 
village itself, lying in a little valley between Mont 
Kemmel and Mont Noir, at the bottom of a long down- 
grade. As we took the hiU going up, I had an imeasy 
feehng that all was not right, although nothing out of 
the way had been seen except those two sentries. We 
were going at a rapid clip, and as we shot over the brow 
of the hill we ran right past a post of German artillery 
observers. They were in a windmill, and I think they 
were as much surprised as we. I shall never forget my 
feeling of cold helplessness as I realized what sort of 
a trap we had put our heads in. 

Needless to say, I made that car fairly fly down the 
hill to the village, and we had hardly got there before 
sheUs began to drop around us. There was nothing to 
do but pop down into the cellar of a brewery — one 
of the few buildings that were not completely wrecked. 
It was about two o'clock in the afternoon when we got 
there, and for three hours we were in that cellar — 
shells pouring into the village all the, time. It was a 
miserable, filthy hole, half full of rotten potatoes, the 
floor deep in shmy mud, and the ceiling so low that we 
could not stand upright anywhere. There was nothing 
to do but Ue there in the dirt while the Germans tried 
their best to blow the place up. I kept wondering what 
our car would look like when the bombardment let up. 
It seemed impossible that it should escape; yet, when 



twilight came and the shells finally stopped bursting, 
we crawled out of our cellar into the ruins of the brewery, 
and found that the car had suffered no vital damage. 
It was half full of bricks and debris; there were holes 
through the body and the hood; it was dented and 
scarred almost beyond recognition. The engine, how- 
ever, was untouched; and I finally got it going, the 
sound of its whirring sweet music in our ears. 

We were now confronted by the trip back over that 
same hill. There was no other way to get out of the 
place; the Germans knew this as well as we did, and 
they were certain to have some sort of surprise waiting 
for us: a blockaded road, or machine guns — perhaps 
both. We felt our way slowly out of the rubble-fiUed 
street of the viUage, and, once on the highway, I took 
as long a run as possible for the hill, giving the car every 
ounce of power that was in her. Lights were not to be 
thought of, of course, and as it was almost pitch dark 
I drove ahead bhndly and trusted to luck to keep us 
on the road. We took the hiU magnificently — and to 
our unending surprise, the car flew over the simunit 
without a single thing happening. Evidently the pos- 
sibiUty of our escaping alive from the ruined village had 
not occurred to the Germans. 

This was as close a call as I ever had. There was no 
lack of excitement, however, when I was caught with 
an officer in the city of Ypres, at the beginning- of the 
bombardment preceding the second battle for Calais. 
We were at the farther side of the city when the shells 
began to fall, and as we had come up on horses there 
was no way for us to get through. I hunted round and 
presently came across a car — a wretched specimen; 



still, it could be called a car. It had once been an am- 
bulance, but the body had been destroyed and replaced 
by a couple of rough bucket-seats built from bacon 
boxes. Such as it was, it was a lucky find, and I seized 
on it at once. After some difficulty I got the engine 
running haltingly, and brought the car round to where 
my officer was waiting. We started off immediately. 
By this time the shells were bursting in and around the 
Grande Place at the rate of forty a minute, and our 
chance of getting through at all was a long one. I 
worked up speed as fast as I could, so that by the time 
we got to the square we were doing between thirty 
and forty miles an hour. 

In the square itself conditions were indescribable. 
The buildings were crumbling on all sides; the air was 
filled with smoke and flame and dust, to say nothing of 
flying fragments of shell and bricks, and it was impos- 
sible to see more than a few yards ahead. It seemed 
incredible that we could get through. I slackened speed. 
My officer must have felt much as I did, but he rapped 
out, "Drive like hell!" and huddled down into his 
bacon-box seat, his head held low. I threw open the 
throttle; the car choked a bit, then responded with a 
leap, the steel-studded tires striking streams of sparks 
from the cobbles. My hands were more than full with 
the steering. As one leaves the square there comes a 
very sharp turn, and I dared not think what would 
happen when we reached this. At the speed we were 
going, it was impossible to twist the car round that 
comer, yet it would be suicide to slow down. I had read 
of the trick of racing drivers who skidded round "hairpin 
turns," and I decided to try this as our only chance. 



The turn loomed up before us in the smoke, and I 
opened the throttle still wider. Just as we reached the 
comer I twisted the wheel slightly and jammed on 
the foot-brake with aU my might. The skidding studs 
squealed as the rear end of the car shot over; I felt her 
tip a little as the two outside wheels came off the ground. 
She righted at once, though, and in a moment we were 
safely through. If I had had time to examine those 
bacon-box seats, I don't think I should have dared to 
carry out my little maneuver. It is still a mystery to 
me how they held under the fearful strain of roimding 
that comer. 

With this trip fresh in my mind, I should gladly have 
dispensed with another visit to Ypres; but my wishes 
in the matter were not consulted when, later on in 
the progress of this same bombardment preceding the 
second battle for Calais, I was ordered to take an officer 
from headquarters to the village of Potijze. To reach 
this village there was no way to avoid passing through 
Ypres, and the city was stiU under such terrific fire that 
getting across seemed almost hopeless. 

We made our start about nine o'clock in the morning, 
and in a short while we were in the zone of fire, heading 
for ravaged Ypres, portions of which were in flames. It 
happened that in front of us was another car contain- 
ing two Canadian officers, — a captain and a colonel, 
if I remember correctly, — which, when we swung into 
the section of straight road leading into the city, had 
perhaps a hundred yards' start of us. We were both 
going along at a brisk clip when a shell — a big one — 
burst close beside the car in front, completely smother- 
ing it in dust and heavy smoke. Even to us the con- 




To future generations of Englishmen, Ypres, or Wipers as 
the Tommies call it, will be a sacred name. For there the 
British army has written one of the most glorious pages in 
its history. 

In October, 1914, after the German retreat from the 
Marne, the city was occupied by the little British army 
under Sir John French. Here it was attacked by a vastly 
superior force of Germans bent on driving through to Calais 
and the Channel. In this first battle of Ypres the old British 
army was virtually annihilated, but it held until support 
arrived, and the Kaiser's thrust to the sea was barred. 

Five months later came the second battle of Ypres her- 
alded by the first use of poison gas. Thanks to the magnif- 
icent defense of the Canadian troops the line held, and al- 
though the British were forced to give up the high ground 
before the city, Ypres itself remained in their hands. 

For twenty-six months the Germans, from their com- 
manding positions on three sides of the city, battered the 
ruins of Ypres with their artillery and made the British 
position one of the most costly and difficult to hold on the 
Western Front. To straighten out their line, secure the 
high positions, and attempt eventually to sever the German 
communications with their U-boat bases on the Belgium 
coast, the British, in June, 191 7, began the third battle of 
Ypres with a series of brilliant attacks that retook from the 
Germans all the ground the British had lost in the first and 
second battles. Pressing forward the British continued their 
thrusts, taking many prisoners and guns until November 
when the weather, rendered further attacks unprofitable. 

This illustration is from a photograph taken on October 31, 
1917. A group of German prisoners, captured in the battle 
of Menin Road, are seen marching through Ypres guarded 
by British soldiers and carrying a wounded comrade. The 
ragged walls and heaps of debris that alone are left of this 
city — once among the quaintest and most beautiful of Eu- 
rope — bear terrible testimony to the destructive force of 
modern artillery. 


cussion was terrific. I stopped at once and waited to 
see what had happened. 

When the smoke Ufted, the Canadian officers' car 
was revealed to us turned ahnost around on the road 
by the swirl of the explosion. As we came up, we found 
that the running parts of their car were intact, but the 
wind-shield and both the rear doors had been carried 
away; the mud-guards were torn about, and in the 
tonneau the headless body of one of the officers was 
crumpled up in a swiftly forming pool of blood. The 
other officer — he had been sitting in the front seat — 
was horribly wounded in the head and side. He had 
been flung across the driver, who, although spattered 
over with his companion's blood, was unhurt, and in- 
sisted on driving back with us to Vlamertinghe, support- 
ing the body of his officer. I shall never forget the man's 
white face, smeared with crimson, or the look of his 
staring eyes; I shall never forget the tone of his voice 
as he cried to the orderly who came rushing out of the 
field ambulance at Vlamertinghe, "For God's sake, 
take this thing away!" 

It was simply good luck that brought me unharmed 
through these experiences. The vast majority of men 
who survive the ordeal of this war will have only their 
good luck to thank. Personal initiative, a cool head, a 
quick hand, do count; but never before has the factor 
of bravery been of so little avail to the man in the fight- 
ing-line. Mere human flesh, no matter what its fiber, 
seems to stand no chance in the clash and welter of 
mechanical forces that Science has let loose over the 
battlefields of to-day. Romance, in the old high sense 
of the word, has almost vanished; but such traces of it 



as remain are found, to their fullest extent perhaps, in 
the aviation and motor-car divisions of the modern 
army. Here the man is most nearly his own master; 
here he has the best chance to show of what stuff he is 
made. It is interesting to think that some of the oldest 
and most appealing qualities of warfare have found their 
reincarnation, as it were, in the latest developments of 
the military art. 




For some time it has been noticed that the Germans, 
to make up for the enormous losses which they have 
sustained, have been replacing their soldiers by materiel. 
Men are not lacking, — not yet, — but their principal 
force of resistance is now represented by a great quan- 
tity of artillery and an abimdance of machine guns. 
The German artillery production was long ago counter- 
balanced by our own. It was the machine guns that 
caused us the most trouble in our attempts to advance, 
and we were thus forced to try to find a new instru- 
ment for their destruction. After some experimenting, it 
was decided to equip all our regiments with a new por- 
table cannon, thirty-seven millimetres in caliber, and 
designed purposely to demolish machine guns during 
an attack. 

It is not permissible for me to describe the "37," but 
I can say that there exists nothing in the world more 
accurate. Anything which can be seen can be hit, and 
it is perfectly possible to strike, with the second shell, 
a rolled-up handkerchief fifteen hundred metres away. 
The speed of fire is extreme. A well-trained crew can 
shoot thirty or thirty-five shells a minute. Since the 
cannon can be very conveniently and quickly taken 
to pieces, its transportation is comparatively easy. Its 



weight allows it to be carried by its crew over the 
roughest ground. 

When ia my regiment volunteers were called for to 
form a, group of "37" gunners, I was instinctively 
attracted toward this pretty Uttle jewel of a miniature 
cannon, and immediately offered my services. I have 
a profound distaste for talking about myself. However, 
I shall have to overcome it, because in recounting my 
experience with the 37-millimetre gun it will be abso- 
lutely necessary to speak personally. 

From the time of my arrival at the school of instruc- 
tion, I set to work with ardor. I felt in my element. I 
quickly fell in love with my new specialty. I was taught 
to be marksman of the piece, a most delicate r61e, and 
was discovered to be an excellent shot. When the course 
of instruction was over, my gim crew carried off first 
prize in a competitive examination for the army corps, 
against one hundred and twenty-three rivals. At the 
same time, though it was not obligatory, I followed the 
course of instruction for gim captains, and I learned as 
well as any non-commissioned ofl&cer how to calculate 
distances, angles of projection, and so forth. 

I was then far from realizing that this supplementary 
work would be responsible at a later day, during the 
battle of the Somme, for my nomination as a sergeant, 
and my promotion to the captaincy of the gun, "for 
heroic conduct under fire," after having been a corpo- 
ral only twenty-four hours (a unique experience in our 
regiment); for a citation in the ordre dujour before the 
whole army, the personal felicitations of the general, 
and — a nice wound which now permits me to recover 
quietly in Paris from my long fatigues and privations. 



But let us not anticipate. I should like, however, to 
say just one more word before beginning my story: you 
must not think, in reading what follows, that I am a 
prodigy of valor and recklessness. It is simply that I 
have become used to danger during my long experience 
in battles. Whatever happens, I am always calm and 
master of myself. And then, — I may as well confess 
it, — since the war I have become a fatalist. I believe 
that when the hour of death is destined to come, nothing 
can postpone it. And, on the other hand, until that 
hour is ready to strike, one is invulnerable. This idea 
is so firmly implanted in my soul that I recoil before 
nothing, knowing well that nothing wUl happen to me 
except that which must happen. 

In the first-line trenches, on September loth, our 
complete crew consisted of a sergeant, a corporal, a 
man to load the gim, four shell-carriers, and myself, 
the marksman. On the 12th, as we left to take part in 
the attack on the Forest of Anderlu, our corporal was 
wounded by a piece of shrapnel, which grazed his 
neck and then broke his collar-bone. We went forward 
on the first wave of assault, carrying on our shoulders 
the cannon, which had been taken to pieces, and six 
sacks containing altogether one hundred and eight 
shells, weighing about two hundred and thirty kilo 

For the first three or four hundred metres all went 
weU; but when we arrived at the southern edge of the 
wood, one carrier fell, wounded by a piece of shrapnel 
in the hip. Then, five minutes later, another fell, with 
a wound in the head; then the gun-loader, with a piece 
of shrapnel in his chest. Pretty bad luck for our first 



sally! Our burden became heavy with so few to carry 
it, so we decided to abandon three sacks of shells. A 
third carrier was wounded by a machine-gun bullet just 
as we were about to put the gun in position. There 
remained only the sergeant, one carrier, and myself. 
Since our "75's" had by this time destroyed the enemy 
machine guns, we arrived at our first objective with- 
out having fired a single shot. 

On the 13th, at noon, alerte! We put ourselves in 
firing position and wait. While on his way to ask the 
commandant's orders, the captain of the gun is hit in 
the thigh by a piece of shrapnel. I am alone with my 
one carrier. What am I to do? I decide to stay in the 
same place, and as we are expecting a counter-attack 
at any moment, we wait for it to break loose. I shall 
have to aim, load the gim, and fire, while my single 
carrier hands me the shells. . . . 

I take the lead of my little column, and after numer- 
ous stops, — for the cannon is hard to carry for those 
who are not used to it, especially when the shells are 
falling thick, — we arrive at a sxmken road which runs 
along the northern edge of the forest, forming our first 
h'ne of trenches. At once I look for a good place to set 
up the cannon, and I choose, at the northwestern corner 
of the wood, a high mound of earth, under which there 
is a half-demohshed German bomb-proof. From this 
position I command the ridge behind which runs the 
"Hospital Trench." I can see perfectly every point of 
this trench, and even way beyond it. Of course if I can 
see, I am seen ; but no matter. 

At half-past four the attack breaks loose. Our first 
waves of assault are soon stopped at the crest, by the 



enemy machine guns. I have made all my men get into 
the Boche bomb-proof, because the shells are falling 
rather thickly, and their splinters are fljdng round 
everywhere. As for myself, I climb up on the bank, and, 
with the aid of field-glasses, I do my utmost to find out 
where the machine-gun shots are coming from. 

All of a sudden, while looking in the direction from 
which I hear the furious tic-tacs, I believe I can see some 
very thin puffs of white smoke. My eyes are tired from 
continual straining. I make desperate efforts to differ- 
entiate the various objects. Yes, there is no doubt about 
it; there is at least one enemy machine gun over there. 
But where shaU I aim? 

Fortunately I make out, through my telescope-sight,- 
a picket twenty millimetres to the left. What luck! I 
am going to have a chance to shoot! 

"Come out, quick!" I call to my men. 

Then I lie down on the gun, carefully place my range- 
finder twenty millimetres to the right, and slowly take 
aim. I rise, put the field-glasses to my eyes, and look 
at my objective. With my foot I press the trigger, and 
the shot is fired. My first shell falls short. I lengthen 
the range and see my second fall exactly on the spot 
from which the little white puffs of smoke have risen. 
I shoot as fast as I possibly can, — thirty shells, — and 
when the last shot has been fired, I discover, with joy, 
that the rapid tic-tacs have stopped. 

A few minutes later the "Hospital Trench " became 
ours, and I did not have another chance to shoot that 
day. . . . 

The next day we were to attack the Priez farm, and I 
was under the orders of ray friend Commandant B . 



He had confidence in me, and since he was a friend of 
my family, was very fond of me. He sent for me, and 
said, — 

"You know, I've learned what you did yesterday. 
It was splendid. To-day I hope that you will do even 
better. I give you perfect liberty to make whatever ar- 
rangements you like. We shall attack at one o'clock." 

I was very happy — filled with a great desire to do 
good work. I made up my mind to try to do all I pos- 
sibly could to prove my gratitude to this man who had 
been so good to me, and who had always treated me as 
if I were his own child. I did do all that was humanly 
possible that day. But alas, I did not do enough, since 
I did not succeed in shooting the Boche who killed my 
friend a few hours later! 

I spend the whole morning in studying carefuUy, with 
my field-glasses, the Priez farm, its surroundings, and 
the ravine of Combles. In front of the farm I see five 
or six Germans running across a little open space, dis- 
appearing immediately in a hole. At once I put my 
gun in action, and the dirt and the Boches fly into the 
air. . . . 

I am in the act of leveling my cannon when I see 
Commandant B beside me, with two other offi- 

"You don't intend to knock over the brickyard with 
your little gun, do you?" he asks. 

" No, mon commandant," I answer; " but I intend to 
make my shells pass through the little loopholes which 
you see. They will explode inside the brickyard, wound- 
ing or killing the Boches who are there, and destroying 
the machine guns which may be in there, too." 



"It isn't possible that you can succeed in making 
your shells go through those little holes!" 

"Wait two minutes, and you can judge, mon comr- 

I put my cannon in position carefully, take aim, and 
shoot. The first shot is too long, and shghtly to the 
right. The second, again, is too long. The third explodes 
inside the brickyard, and several seconds later we see 
smoke coming out of the little holes. Without losing 
any time I shoot at full speed. AU my shells hit their 

The commandant and the two ofl&cers were lost in 
astonishment. Like every one else in the regiment they 
had been skeptical of the real value of our new little 
cannon, although the work which I-had done the day 
before had shown that it could be useful. But the sight 
of such accuracy of fire literally stupefied them. . . . 

At exactly five o'clock our waves of assault start for 
the attack. I hoist my cannon to the position which I 
have prepared, on the highest spot I could find. It is 
none too easy to do this, as we are in full view from all 
sides. All of a sudden, the fire of the enemy machine 
guns is let loose. In front of us, in the orchard, one, 
then two, then three, begin to shoot at full speed, as 
well as several others down in the ravine. I begin to 
fire on those situated directly in front. Immediately 
countless bullets whizz around us. I make my men go 
down, and continue to shoot alone, with one man to 
pass me the shells. I destroy one machine gun, then 
two. The third stops firing, 1 don't know why. 

Now the buUets are coming from everywhere at once, 
striking the gim-shield with a dull thud, though fortu- 



nately not penetrating it. My hour has not yet come. 
I let them clatter and whistle. And now I level my can- 
non in the direction of the ravine. I am the target of 
two or three machine gmis which are visibly and obsti- 
nately trying to put me out of action. A terrible duel is 
taking place. The man who is passing me the shells has 
his hand pierced by a bullet. I summon another and 
keep on firing. I silence two more enemy machine guns. 

Finally, seeing that our first waves of attack have 
reached the outskirts of the farm, I bring the cannon 
down, take it to pieces, and we set out in the direction 
of the orchard, by way of the "Hospital Trench." On 
the way I set up the cannon three times, and three more 
machine guns are silenced. . . . 

I spent that whole day in examining with great care 
the ravine of Combles and the ridge of Hill 140, behind 
which lies Fregicourt. I discovered during the course 
of these observations at least twenty loopholes for ma- 
chine guns. I told the commandant about them, and 
our "7S's" sprinkled them with shells, as was fit and 
proper. I did no shooting that day. 

The morning of September i6th was again spent in 
making observations, and in the afternoon, when our 
attack broke out, at five o'clock, my cannon was set up 
astride a trench ready to sweep the ravine of Combles. 
I had a great deal to do that day, for the Boche machine 
guns were numerous. It is extremely difficult to discover 
the exact spot from which the shots are fired. The 
flashes are rendered absolutely invisible by the fire- 
screens with which all the German machine guns are 
provided. Only with the greatest difficulty can one suc- 
ceed in distinguishing, even with a good pair of field- 



glasses, a very thin and tiny puff of white smoke which 
escapes from behind the screen at each shot, only to 
evaporate immediately. 

I was fortunate enough to destroy two more machine 
guns, though it was unusually hard to fire from this 
position as the ground in front was broken up into little 
valleys. Then, as our waves of assault progressed, I 
silenced a third, situated at the crest of Hill 140. I had 
a particularly hard time destroying this last one. I could 
not find any position from which to fire conveniently. 
Each time that I tried to put the gun into action, I 
encountered some n«w obstacle to obstruct my range. 
As a last resort, I decided to get right in front of the 
machine gun, about a hundred metres away from it. 
We mounted it in the bottom of the trench itself. Then 
we raised it carefully above our heads, and set it right 
across the trench. Six seconds later the first shell fell 
exactly on my objective. Two minutes later the ma- 
chine gun and its crew no longer existed. For the first 
time my gun-shield was pierced by a bullet, fired point- 
blank, I don't know from where. 

The next day an intense German bombardment 
made us fear a counter-attack, so I set up my cannon 
in a position from which I shoxdd be able to protect our 
left .flank, in case the Boches should try to surprise us 
from that side. Toward four o'clock in the afternoon, 
when I was in the commandant's shelter, the German 
bombardment still raging, the colonel entered, fresh 
from inspecting the positions of the battalion. . . . 

We are to be relieved at midnight. I begin to make 
my preparations, for I foresee that it is not going to be 
easy to transport our caimon in the pitch-dark. The 



rain, indeed, has transformed the trenches into quag- 
mires, into which we sink up to our knees. On that 
account I ask the commandant if we cannot wait imtil 
daybreak, before starting out, and he readily grants the 
permission. Toward five o'clock in the morning comes 
the order to depart. The march is extremely difl&cult. 
We sink in the mud, and it is necessary to use our hands 
to climb out. We shp. Men and cannon often fall and 
roll together in the shell holes. After a few moments 
we are nothing but moving masses of mud. It takes 
us eight hours to cover the five and a half kilometres 
which separate our first-line trenches from Maurepas. 
There we find again the gun-carriage, and — the rolling 
kitchens. . . . 

From the moment of his arrival the general begins to 
congratulate us upon the brilliant manner in which the 
regiment has conducted itself. He tells us, moreover, 
that we shall probably have, in the near future, an 
opportunity to gather new laurels. There is no longer 
any room for doubt — we are going back into that fur- 
nace. Nevertheless, we would rather know the worst 
than remain, as we have been, in uncertainty. 

During the course of the review the colonel called me 
to the attention of the general, on account of my conduct 
under fire. The general complimented me heartily, and 
told me that my citation in the order of the day would 
be brought to the attention of all the regiments of the 
army corps. He shook my hand cordially, telling me to 
continue to do my duty. 

On the 25th, in the afternoon, came the order to de- 
part. That evening we again arrived at Maurepas. On 
the 26th Combles was taken by the One Hundred and 



Tenth. During the night of the 27th we relieved that 
regiment. Our first-line trenches were situated several 
hundred metres in front of the railroad station of 
Combles. The enemy trenches were between Morval 
and Fregicourt — twelve hundred metres away. I in- 
stalled myself with my men a little to the left of the 
railroad track, in a large, comfortable bomb-proof of 
reinforced concrete which had formerly been occupied 
by some Boche ofiicers. The cannon we set up on top 
of the bomb-proof itself, taking care to cover it with 
some green painted canvas. 

During the night of the 28th we advanced our line 
three hundred metres, without opposition. The follow- 
ing night we again advanced three hundred or four 
hundred metres under the same conditions, and on the 
morning of the ist of October we found ourselves nose 
to nose with the Boches, a hundred metres from their 
trenches. . . . 



[The decisive part played by the "tanks" in the great Brit- 
ish drive at Cambrai established anew the military value of 
these engines of war. An atmosphere of mystery surrounded 
these "dust-colored tortoises" or "steel land-ships" when 
they came into being. The name given to the new section 
of the Machine-Gun Corps, at Bisley, in April, 1916, "The 
Heavy Armored Section of the Motor Machine-Gun Serv- 
ice," gave no clue, as there were no signs of cars. A site 
was chosen in a remote part of England for the preliminary 
trials, and uncommon measures were taken to protect the 
region. Later, companies were drafted and the new engines 
were put into operation. The following description of the 
"tanks" is from an article written for the "World's Work," 
September, 1917, under permission of the British Govern- 
ment, by Colonel Swinton, to whom is due the invention of 
these armored cars. 

The Editor], 

On a certain Friday in September, 1916, after two years 
of fighting, when it might have been thought that hu- 
man ingenuity in the art of killing had been exhausted, 
a fresh engine of war was suddenly sprung upon a world 
sick of hearing of new methods of slaughter. A day 
or two later, so soon as the newspapers were able to give 
some information about this development, the word 
"tank "was on all British lips, and since that moment 
has probably been spoken, written, and printed more 
often than during the whole previous period since its 



incorporation into the English language. . . . That 
Friday in September, 1916, marked a step forward. 
It was the beginning of an era in which dwindling man- 
power win force more and mor^ into prorninence the 
necessity for the conservation of life, and in which the 
power and insensibility of machinery will have to be 
as fully exploited upon the field of battle as they have 
been in that of industry. . . . Why should a fighting 
automobile have been so inappropriately named? The 
reply can be given in two words — for secrecy. In its 
experimental stage the machine was known as a "land- 
cruiser" or "land-ahip." But it is a military platitude 
that the "element of surprise" — as it is always called 
in the textbooks — has immense value in war; and it 
was naturally realized that the greatest results to be 
expected from the emplojonent of this new weapon 
would be attained if it could be laimched unexpectedly, 
so that the enemy might be caught unprepared to meet 
it. And when it crystallized into a definite shape, and 
reached the stage of production, it became obvious that 
its original names were far too suggestive of the real 
thing. It was therefore decided to christen it by some 
non-committal word which would give no inkling of its 
nature and would, at the same time, be suflSciently 
descriptive and short to be readily adopted by all 
legitimately concerned. . . . 

That all the care and precautions taken [in the manu- 
facture and transportation of the "tanks"] were suc- 
cessful in their object is now a matter of history. 
Though the Germans apparently had a suspicion that 
some surprise was in preparation, they had no knowl- 
edge of its nature until a day or two before the "tanks" 



were "let out of the bag," when their aviators reported 
certain objects that looked Like armored motors at 
certain places behind our lines. Beyond this they were 
unprepared, and had taken no special measures to meet 
the attack, which after all was the business end of the 
matter. . . . 

It is in the circumstances impossible to present, even 
to the public of a nation which is fighting the common 
foe, more than a very incomplete account, lacking in 
information and details on the very points upon which 
an accurate statement of facts would be most enlight- 
ening and welcome. And it is obvious that this must be 
so when a weapon actually in use is the subject of dis- 
cussion, more especially when it is still in its infancy 
and owes a great part of its potentialities for the future 
to whatever of its nature and capabilities still remains 
unknown to the enemy. 

Were it not for such limitations, it would be instruc- 
tive to describe the mechanical evolution of tlie "tank" 
from its embryonic stage until the actual monster, 
complete in its then form, loomed up through the mist 
on the morning of the isth of September and amidst 
the laughter of our infantry heaved its bulk across the 
crater-pitted surface of No Man's Land toward the 
startled Huns. For other reasons, also, it is not yet 
possible to give an account of the fight waged against 
apathy, inertia, and other obstacles, which, though 
merely a repetition of the history of the struggle for 
life of every other invention that has forced its way 
into existence for the benefit of a conservative and un- 
imaginative race, possesses its own special interest. . . . 

Novel to the present generation as is the "tank," 



the basic principle underlying it — i.e., the provision 
of collective protection of troops attacking, and therefore 
on the move — is not new. It has exerted its influence 
ever since the time when engines capable of throwing 
large numbers of missiles took their place in warfare. 
The present machine is the result of evolution, through 
intermediate stages, as mechanical science has grown, 
of old prototypes, such as the Roman testodo, or tor- 
toise, and the mediasval belfry, used in siege operations, 
in which the missile-throwing power of the defense 
gradually forced on the attack the adoption of some form 
of mobile protection. The reason for its production is 
the same (making allowance for development) as that 
which was responsible for the tortoise of old — the 
great fire-power of the defense, of recent years greatly 
intensified by the introduction of the machine gun. 
The possibihty of producing it is due to the perfection 
of the internal-combustion engine, to which also the 
ordinary automobile, the airplane, the submarine, and 
the airship owe their existence. 

Ever since the appearance of the magazine rifle, the 
advantage that would be conferred on the attack by 
emplojang a moving armored shield, fort, or cupola has 
indeed been so obvious that a vague consciousness of it 
has probably at some time or other formed the subject 
of the day dreams even of those not directly concerned 
with war, but happening to possess some knowledge of 
military history and mechanics and to be blessed with 
imagination. Since the introduction of the machine 
gun, and the more recent appearance of the armored 
motor-car of the ordinary wheeled tj^e, the concrete 
idea of constructing some such engine has occurred to 



the minds of many more, especially to engineers. M. 
Albert Robida, both in his writings and pictures in 
"La Caricature," predicted the use of "tanks" in 
1883. ... 

So far as the writer is aware, the first definite pro- 
posal for a fighting machine on the hnes of the existing 
"tank" was due to the appearance of the Homsby- 
Ackroyd caterpillar tractor, which was tested for mili- 
tary traction purposes in England in 1906-08. It was 
made by a military officer, and was carried up to the 
stage of the preparation of sketch drawings, when the 
project died for want of support. 

Independently, without knowledge on their part of 
the previous abortive effort, a similar idea took shape 
in the minds of some other soldiers at the very begin- 
ning of the war; and it was on this occasion inspired by 
an invention from the coxmtry in which new ideas are 
supposed always to be welcome. In July, 1914, it be- 
came known that there was in existence an automobile 
for agricultural purposes, propelled on the caterpillar 
principle, which was possessed of quite imusual pow- 
ers of crossing rough ground and traversing obstacles. 
This was the Holt tractor, made in Peoria, IlUnois. 
The accounts of the performances of this machine, 
constructed for haulage and not especially for climb- 
ing, suggested that one similarly designed especially 
to travel across country would, except in speed, have 
all the value of the existing armored motor-cars with- 
out their limitations. 

The immediate incentive to action on the part of those 
responsible for the "tank movement," therefore, was 
the fact that the construction of such a machine at 



last seemed to be a practical proposition. Even its most 
ardent backers, however, did not then fully realize how 
great the need for it was. The war had not lasted long, 
however, before this was made abundantly clear. . . . 

A word of general description and a few more upon 
the functions of the "tanks." They are powerfully 
engined, armed automobiles inclosed in a bullet-proof 
casing for the protection of their crews. Propelled on 
the caterpillar principle, they possess considerable 
powers of traveling over rough ground, both in cross- 
ing trenches, craters, and other cavities, and climbing 
over raised obstacles, such as parapets, can tear their 
way without difficulty through wire entanglements, 
can uproot largish trees, and can throw down the walls 
of ordinary dwelling-houses. Nevertheless, despite their 
elemental strength and apparent clumsiness, in the 
hands of skilled drivers they are as docile as trained 

They are divided into "males" and "females." 
The "male" is, par excellence, the machine-gun hunter 
and destroyer. He carries light, quick-fixing guns 
capable of firing shell, and is intended to be to the 
machine gun what the torpedo-boat destroyer was 
designed to be to the torpedo boat, or the ladybird is 
supposed to be to the aphis. The "female," which, 
in accordance with the laws of nature, is the man-killer, 
carries nothing but machine gims for employment 
against the enemy personnel. Her special r61e is to keep 
down hostile rifle i&re, to beat back coimter-attacks and 
rushes of infantry, and to act generally as a consort to 
her lord and master. 

Both "sexes," however, are heavy-weights endowed 



with great brute force, and share, in common, the 
attribute of being able to roll out and flatten machine 
gims and their emplacements. Both, therefore, act as 
protectors to infantry, in so much as they can destroy 
or "blanket" the one thing which has, so far, proved 
its greatest bugbear in the attack. Moreover, every 
"tank" that goes forward, whether actually moving 
or disabled, assists the infantry near it in another way. 
It bulks above them and is the center of attraction. 
It acts as a magnet for the bullets of the hostile machine 
guns, and collects them to itself as Arnold von Winkel- 
ried is supposed in 1386 to have drawn to his own body 
the spears of the Austrians at the battle of Sempach. 
Every bullet that clangs against its steel sides is one 
less aimed at the infantry. Each silvery star splashed 
on its hide is the signature of one that has not drilled 
its way through the body of an infantry soldier. . . . 

It is true that in any consideration of their employ- 
ment too much importance must not be attached to 
some of the results of their first appearance, for certain 
influences then came into play which can never again 
have quite the same effect. Against the Germans they 
had all the advantages of being a surprise, and, by their 
strangeness and the apparently irresistible nature of their 
advance, inspired terror. On our own infantry, on the 
other hand, their almost equally unexpected debut 
and their abnormality had quite the contrary effect. 
It was a relaxation of tension, and a reaction which had 
its own particular value. The very grotesqueness of 
the machines, their imgainly, indescribable method of 
progress, their coloring — surpassing in weirdness the 
sickest fancies of the most rabid Cubist — were in 




Of the many instruments of destruction that owe their birth 
to the present war none has captured the imagination of the 
world more than the British armored tank cars, first used in 
the Somme campaign of 19 16. 

These "battleships on wheels" owe their birth to an 
American, having been adapted from our caterpillar trac- 
tors. The cars are about twenty-three feet long and nine 
feet wide, and weigh approximately seventy thousand 
pounds or more. Around either side of the car are corru- 
gated belts. On the inside are two Unes of jointed steel rails 
on which the car runs, laying its track goes. Thanks to 
the size of the caterpillars the tanks can pass over ground 
that would bog any ordinary car; and as the center of grav- 
ity is near the rear base they can charge up the steepest 
slopes or nm more than half their length across a trench 
without tipping. 

The technique of tank fighting and the usefulness of the 
monsters in battle are well illustrated by the following inci- 
dent of the Somme fighting told by Philip Gibbs, the British 
war correspondent: — 

"A 'tank' had been coming along slowly in a lumbering 
way, crawling over the interminable succession of shell 
craters, lurching over and down and into and out of old 
German trenches, nosing heavily into soft earth, and grunt- 
ing up again, and sitting poised on broken parapets as 
though quite winded by this exercise, and then waddling 
forward in the wake of the infantry. 

"It moved forward in a monstrous way, not swerving 
much to the left or right, but heaving itself on jerkily, like a 
dragon with indigestion, but very fierce. Fire leaped from 
its nostrils. The German machine guns splashed its sides 
with bullets, which ricocheted off. Not all those bullets kept 
it back. It got on top of the enemy's trench, trudged down 
the length of it, laying its sandbags flat and sweeping it with 

"The German machine guns were silent, and when our 
men followed the 'tank,' shouting and cheering, they found 
a few German gunners standing with their hands up as a sign 
of surrender to the monster who had come upon them." 


reality great moral assets. They supplied the touch of 
comic relief, and excited the mirth of the British soldier, 
always blessed with a keen sense of the ridiculous. . . . 
As has been related in the accoimts published at the 
time, it was a laughing, cheering crowd of infantry 
which in many cases followed the "tanks" forward on 
that 15th of September. On the other ha;nd, the new 
engines underwent their baptism of fire, and there were 
failures due to this which should not recur. 

Some of these results were produced by the element 
of novelty, and are already discoimted. But the solid 
material value of the "tanks" to the infantry re- 

Mr. Frederick Palmer, the American war correspond- 
ent, has estimated that ia the latter stages of the battle 
of the Somme the intervention of the " tanks " — though 
many machines failed from mechanical and other de- 
fects — saved some twenty thousand British lives, and 
subsequent estimates of the quality of the assistance 
rendered by them during May, 191 7, are similar. But 
the most convincing proof of the difference made by 
their intervention is ocular, and is afforded by the 
"pattern" of the field of battle over which a British 
attack has passed. Where "tanks" have accompanied 
the advance and have been able to eat up the enemy 
machine guns left over by our bombardment, the bodies 
of our infantry strew No Man's Land irregularly, here 
and there. Where " tanks " have not been used, in some 
places the bodies can be seen to be lying in front of 
the enemy's machine-gim "nests" and strong points in 
swaths like cut com: in a series of high-water marks 
showing where the successive waves of the assaults have 



met and been petrified by the death-dealing spray of 
the German Maxims. . . . 

This — the latest engine of war — of course has its 
limitations. For instance, "tanks" alone, in their pres- 
ent state of development, cannot push matters to a 
decision, nor win a great action. That must still be 
done, as in the past, by the infantry — the "Queen 
of Battles." But "Behemoth," clad in his bullet proof 
skin, and urged onward by the power of scores of horses, 
laughs at entanglements, whilst machine guns are his 
"meat." His main object caimot be too often or too 
strongly emphasized; other, ancillary duties need not 
be specified here. To the infantry soldier attempting 
to force his way by his own puny strength, through mud 
or dust and groves of barbed wire, his body naked to 
every kind of missile, but more especially to the sleet of 
lead which whistles horizontally across No Man's Land, 
he is the mechanical big brother with the punch and the 
big stick. 



As early as July 26, 1914, British and French fleets were 
made ready for sea, the German fleet was ordered to con- 
centrate in home waters, and the Italian fleet was massed. 
July 29th and 30th, the British fleet left Portland, and the 
British and German fleets in the Far East began to mobilize. 
The first encounter of the war was between German and 
Russian cruisers off Libau, August 2d. On the same day, 
the German High Sea fleet seized the Wilson liner Castro. 
August 4th, a British mine-layer was simk by a German 
fleet. The British third flotilla had a battle with the Ger- 
mans in the North Sea, August sth, and the British cruiser 
Amphion was damaged. The German mine-layer Koenigin 
Luise was sunk, and many German merchant ships were 
seized by English, French, and Russian authorities, on the 
same day. Naval actions and the seizing of ships soon be- 
came general throughout the world. August 13th, the Ger- 
man cruisers Goeben and Breslau, which took refuge in the 
Dardanelles, were seen flying the Turkish flag. The first 
action of moment was the fight off Heligoland, August 28th, 
between British and German warships. The exploits of the 
German cruiser Emden, long the terror of the seas, began 
September 20th and continued vmtil November, when the 
Emden was run to earth by the Australian cruiser Sydney. 
November ist, a German squadron imder Admiral Spee 
defeated a British squadron under Admiral Craddock off 
Coronel, Chili, and the British flagship Good Hope and the 
cruiser Monmouth went down with aU on board. But pres- 
ently the remaining German warships and commerce- 
destroyers were either sunk or compelled to seek refuge in 
some neutral port till the end of the war, and the seas were 
free save so far as the submarines were concerned. The 
battle of Jutland brought great losses to both sides, and a 
period of relative quiescence followed. The Allies lost sev- 
eral battleships and other warships in the Dardanelles. But 
the larger warships played a less conspicuous part, as the 
submarines and their destroyers increased in numbers and 




[The following narrative is the last episode in the thrilling 
voyage of an EngUsh sailing ship, the Juggernaut, bound 
homeward with grain at the beginning of the war, and 
arriving at last in the danger-zone where enemy raiders and 
submarines may be expected to appear at any moment. 

The Editor] 

So far the navy had kept faith with them, shepherding 
them, smiling at their sluggish march. The navy, it 
appeared, knew the Juggernaut qmte as well as her 
crew knew her; but now, since they had squared away 
for the run home, the navy had become invisible. They 
were sorry for that. They had grown accustomed, to see 
the gray hulls popping up and coming to greet them. 
They missed the news they gave, diluted and censored 
as it was; they missed the new comradeship which had 
been bom of this war; the acknowledgment, at last, 
that the mercantile marine was an admitted safeguard. 
That was splendid. It gave a new color to all their work. 
Yesterday a couple of trawlers had steamed past, 
punching into the breeze which kept the Juggernaut 
hunmung; but the men did not coimect them [the 
trawlers] with the navy. They wondered stolidly what 
fishermen were doing so far from home. . . . Then, on a 
day when they drew down the Irish Coast, they heard 
the thunder of gims so distant that they wondered what 



sort of luck had permitted the Squareheads [the Ger- 
mans] to get so far west. They babbled over this for an 
hour, saw more trawlers, and confessed they were done. 
At noon a destroyer vomiting smoke from four funnels 
came full tilt from the east and halted a moment along- 
side to ask had they seen anything of the enemy. The 
Juggernaut had seen nothing and said so. "But we 
heard gun fire out west," Captain Mason added; "it 
went on for an hour. Is there any news?" 

"None. We are after one of his cruisers. Seems to 
have got through, though. Make the best of your 
breeze in to the land, Captain, if you want to see it." 

And he was off, dancing into a sea that tried to swal- 
low him. He moved in a Niagara of spray, leaping like 
the cars on a switch-back. 

If they wanted to see home! They whispered the 
officer's phrase, staring at the dim seascape, wondering, 
thrilled. At last they were in touch with the war. They 
talked incessantly of it, reiterating the facts they had 
gleaned. They longed for the speed of that destroyer 
and questioned whether the navy would have any use 
for them when they got in. . . . There had been hints of 
raiders and submarines. Captain Mason knew just how 
much and how little to pass on to the crew, and he suc- 
ceeded in keeping them enthusiastic. He had been told, 
among other things, that if he had an opportunity, he 
must sink any enemy ship, and he looked at the dim 
bulk of this grain-carrier and acknowledged her power, 
end on. 

But he was not prepared for what happened. 

For some time a dense blob of smoke had lain over 
the eastern horizon in the direction of the Channel. It 



had grown suddenly out of nothing, far off, and shortly 
after the destroyer had passed them. It was a smoke 
blotch sunilar m character to that made by the de- 
stroyer, but very much denser. Captam Mason decided, 
when his attention had been drawn to it, that it must 
be the smoke of a squadron, and again became engrossed 
in the details of sailing. . . . There ensued an interval 
given over to the men's song as they hauled, and at the 
end of it all hands clustered in the waist to watch that 
growing cloud of smoke. 

It was nearer aheady by six or seven miles. They 
began to pick out the funnels that threw it, to count 
them. Two or three were on the leading ship, the rest 
astern. They decided presently there were three if not 
four vessels astern, destroyers or cruisers, then quite 
suddenly the leading ship fired. That made them silent. 
They could not tell where the shells fell; they only knew 
they did not come near the Juggernaut. The excitement 
became intense. Here they were in the middle of it, 
hstening to the thud of guns, watching the flashes. 
They guessed it was an enemy ship chased by some of 
ours. . . . The vessels which were astern made no reply, 
only their smoke cloud became blacker, more detached 
from that of the leading vessel. It was wonderful and 
very grim — a race for life, there could be no doubt 
about that. And as they formulated their theories twin 
puffs of greenish smoke lighted momentarily by tongues 
of flame leaped forth; and far, far astern two columns 
of water Hfted without sound into the air. The men 
rubbed hands and broke into a cheer. Instinctively they 
had come to understand that this vessel which ap- 
proached at such speed was tlie enemy ship about 



which the destroyer had inquired with so much feel- 
ing. . . . 

There was no doubt in their minds now. They could 
see the three great funnels towering above the tier on 
tier of decks. She was an armed cruiser, one of the 
Atlantic liners, Captain Mason decided in confab with 
his chief, and she could steam twenty-five or six knots 
an hour. . . . The ethics of frightfuhiess scarcely touched 
him. He knew very little about it; he only knew the 
Squareheads were the devil, meet them where you 
would. A shell came to advise him of tactics about which 
all the world talked; he saw that it passed over them 
and decided that the fellow's elevation was faulty. It 
was followed by one which cut away a foretopmast 
backstay and left a humming all down the spar; but 
the mast held. It was of steel, one with the lower mast, 
and while all hands gazed considering this outrage, a 
shell fell amidst the group and two of those who had 
craned out to watch lay writhing on the deck. 

The captain looked over, calling to the mate: "Get 
them in the cabin. Carter, and see what j'-ou can do for 
them. Make the men stay in cover." 

Flags caught his eye fluttering to the raider's yard- 
arm. He fetched his code and read out: "Heave to or 
I will sink you." "And," he commented grimly, diagnos- 
ing the situation, "if I heave to you wiU sink me." . . . 

The Juggernaut leaned over heavily, pressed toward 
tlie land and humming like a top newly set spinning. 
She seemed to know what was required of her and bent 
to her task jovially. 

"Let her have it, skip!" came from the throats of 
those who watched. " Give her all she knows ! " Then 



a shell reached which pierced the ship's side forward 
and they hurried to see its handiwork. A wisp of smoke 
at once appeared from the scuttle, and when the car- 
penter returned he announced that she was holed. " Got 
us just f oreside the bulkhead, sir. She 's afire and you 
could pass a bucket through the hole they've made." 

"Good," said his commander; "teU the second mate 
to get the head pump rigged and the hose on her." He 
added as an afterthought: "Clear away the boats aft 
here, a couple of hands. We may as well be ready iu 
case anything should happen." 

The men cheered. Was their ship not drawing away? 
Was not the raider twisting on her hehn, too? Possibly 
he had sighted the column of smoke rising out there in 
the west, perhaps he considered he had aheady cooked 
the goose. But the Juggernaut was not yet out of range. 
Half a dozen shells came her way and one of them got 
the ship's short bowsprit. It was the raider's last shot 
as she turned and made off at full speed for the south, 
and with the crash it made, the Juggernaut's foretop- 
mast came down quite gracefully and took up a position 

Captain Mason scarcely stirred; he seized his mega- 
phone and gave a new order: "Forward there! Let go 
t'gallant and royal halliards, main and mizzen. Clew 
them up! . . ..One watch go on with the pumping, the 
other aft to shorten sail!" the commander added. 

He luffed to ease the pressure, watching, still, in spite 
of the strain he endured. . . . He must fight for his own 
life and the ship's. The grain he carried was wanted at 
home and presently would be worth treble its value, 
imless ships could run the gantlet and bring it through 



in safety. He was unaware that the riavy, which seemed 
to have deserted him, was even at that moment sending 
out messages which would bring him aid. He turned to 
watch the raider, acknowledged that she had scored; 
but that great vessel had lost interest in the Juggernaut 
and was bent on escape, smoke driving from her funnels, 
plunging, smothered in spray. . . . Crossing the stem 
were those three cruisers ... in the wake of the flying 
raider. It would have been good to watch them; but 
he dared spare only a passing glance. He saw the leader 
of them fire and wondered whether at that range it was 
possible to do much. He refused conjecture; noted the 
fact and continued as before, conning his ship, nursing 
her as only a master can. 

The royals and topgaUant-sails presently hung in 
their gear, and he saw the mate lead his small group for- 
ward to commence, with axes and cold-chisels, the work 
of cutting away the spars which trailed alongside. The 
ship moved easily now; but she was down by the head, 
dipping in a fashion that troubled him. She was holed 
badly forward; yet it was possible the mast and bowsprit 
would cause even greater damage than that wrought by 
the shell. By supreme good luck, or the grace of God, 
that had taken effect aforeside the bulkhead instead 
of abaft it. He acknowledged the mercy in the quiet 
fashion which comes to men of the sea when in the 
presence of peril. . . . 

He looked astern and saw the raider melting into the 
haze, the three who followed dashing in her wake. That 
was fine. He noticed, too, a signal fluttering on the 
yard of the leading cruiser and read it. "Ship ahoy!" it 
said on the one hand; "Are you in immediate danger?" 



on the other. Captain Mason realized that the ques- 
tion had long been hoisted and hurriedly replied with 
a signal flag: "No." 

He felt the thrill that comes to those who are pre- 
pared to give blows as he pulled it aloft. . . . 

Three of the trawler fleet, called by the cruisers as 
they swept out in chase, came tumbling to see what 
passed. They came direct, not by intuition or guess- 
work, nor by the law which produces a tug when salvage 
is in the air; but by methodic ordering. "Out there," 
said the message, "... is a saUing vessel dismasted 
and in danger. Go to her assistance." And they were 
there. ... , 

Two hours later a procession was trailing beneath the 
flying scud; two trawlers ahead, the Juggernaut, with 
her stem in the air and her nose down, following; and 
aft another trawler to give her a jerk if she failed to 
steer as she should. As a matter of fact, the Juggernaut 
trusted entirely to the pluck of that gentleman who 
hung on her quarter, could not port or starboard without 
his aid, and an hour before dawn passed Haulbowline 
and reached a breathing-place. 

She had been much agitated. She had lost men and 
spars. . . . But she arrived, sent her dead ashore to the 
soimd of muffled drimis and the march that wails, sad 
as the pipers of the North, and came back to sit down 
and learn the news. To find out why England was at 
war; to discover what those queer slides on the trawler's 
decks were for, and to hear miraculous stories of escapes 
from mines and submarines, and the method adopted 
by the Admiralty to fight them. . . . And that, if any 
further word be required, was how a cargo of wheat 



from Oregon reached England in the early days of her 
trial; how her crew held out against odds while the men 
in Flanders stood in ice-cold water holding back the 



[Heligoland is a small German island in the North Sea, 
thirty-five miles off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein. It, con- 
tains only about one fifth of a square mile, but is strongly 
fortified and is very important as a naval base. In 1807 the 
island was occupied by the British, and was officially ceded 
to Great Britain by Denmark, in 1814. Through a treaty 
with Germany in 1890, the island became a German posses- 
sion, in exchange for Zanzibar. This transaction, which took 
place while Lord Salisbury was Premier, now appears to 
have been one of the colossal mistakes of history. During 
the present war, Heligoland has more than once served as 
a convenient base for sudden raids on the part of German 
cruisers. The first action between British and German 
warships in the vicinity of the island occurred August 28, 
1914. The British ships sank two German cruisers, set fire 
to a third, and sank two torpedo boats. 

The Editor] 

With her Grand Fleet sentenced to inactivity within 
its canals and land-locked harbors, her merchant navy 
captured or driven from the seas, — over half a million 
tons of German shipping was captured in the first month 
of hostilities, in two months over a million tons, — Ger- 
many was already in evil case. Samoa taken by the 
New Zealand expedition and Neu Pommem in the 
Bismarck Archipelago by an Australian were early lost 
to her, the wireless stations in Togoland, South-West 



Africa, the Caroline Islands, in the Pacific, and German 
New Guinea, all went the way of her stricken raiders. 

In August, 1914, Germany had numerous fast vessels 
on the ocean routes, but she could not maintain them. 
Like the hundred-handed giant of the old fables, the 
British navy, bestriding the world, destroyed them in 
their far-separated hunting-grounds. Kaiser Wilhelm 
der Grosse was the first victim, sunk by Highflyer off 
the Cape Verde Islands, on August 30, 1914. Next 
Cap Trafalgar, after a duel with Carmania, went down 
in the South Atlantic on September 14th. Spreewald 
was captured in the same month by Berwick in the 
North Atlantic. Then it was Emden's turn, by far the 
most successful raider, whose skillful handling under 
Von MiiUer aroused considerable admiration in Britain. 
The Kaiser had just dispatched his congratulations to 
the town of Emden on "its God-child in the Indian 
Ocean" when the end came and she was battered to a 
wreck by Sydney off the Cocos-Keelings on November 
loth. On December 8th Von Spee's powerful squadron 
ran into Sturdee at the Falklands, and that day's fight- 
ing disposed of Schamhorst, Gneisenau, Niimberg, and 
Leipzig. On March 14th of the following year Dresden 
was destroyed off Juan Fernandez by Kent and Glas- 
gow. Prinz Eitel Friederich, no longer able to keep the 
seas, retired to Newport News and was interned there 
on April 8th. Karlsruhe's fate remains unknown; she 
vanished, possibly in a storm, and ceased to trouble the 
world's commerce. Konigsberg ran and hid herself amid 
the trees of a tropical African forest, but perished there, 
in the Rufigi River, under the guns of monitors on 
July II, 191 5, and tlie game was at an end. Soon, too, 



since the Fatherland could send them no assistance, the 
greater German colonies began to fall like ripe fruit 
from the shaken tree. After the Falklands battle the 
guerre de course coUapsed and before five months were 
over Germany's zone of naval warfare was restricted to 
the Baltic and the North Sea, except for the operation 
of submarines here and there in bursts of brief activity. 
In this early part of the war she had, however, one great 
and startling success against war- vessels, which brought 
sharply to the attention of Britain and the world in 
general the destructive power of this venomous type 
of craft. A single submarine under Von Weddingen 
disposed within half an hour of the cruisers, Aboukir, 
Hogue, and Cressy, ships of considerable value, though 
somewhat old and slow. The poHcy of patrolling a 
submarine area with such vessels was, of course, a mis- 
take for which Britain paid dearly. She learned her 
lesson, however, or rather lessons: that patrol work 
should be conducted with small swift craft, that ships 
in the vicinity must not slow down for the sake of rescue, 
as Cressy and Hogue did, — an act, prompted, indeed, 
by humanity, but indefensible in modern war, — and 
that the submarine must be seriously reckoned with in 
aU future operations. No comparable success was ever 
again achieved. Neutrals, too, now began to suffer 
from the hidden dangers of warfare in the new and 
stealthy style. Dutch and Danish vessels were early 
sunk by mines in the North Sea, the first American ship 
in the melancholy Hst being Evelyn, of three thousand 
tons, off Borkum. A few shots were exchanged in the 
early weeks between destroyers; then, on August 28th, 
the "certain liveliness" annoimced by the British Ad- 



miralty culminated in a pretty little engagement off 
the north of Heligoland and at times within sight of its 
defenses. . . . 

Heligoland, ceded by Lord Salisbury to Germany, 
has been converted by that power to important naval 
ends. Heavily fortified at a cost of ten million pounds 
and armed with eleven-inch guns, it thrusts a threaten- 
ing wedge deep into the North Sea, protects the "wet 
triangle " behind which lie the chief German naval ports, 
provides useful shelter, an anchorage for warships, a 
harbor or base for submarines, destroyers, or Zeppelins, 
and a telegraphic outpost for signals. The Bight itself 
forms a charmel about eighteen miles in width, through 
which Hes the course for vessels from the Elbe boimd to 
the north. In this area the British admiral arranged 
a rendezvous. Picture the saucy Arethusa stealing 
through the haze, with her gray sea-dogs, the destroyers, 
in attendance. Darker patches appear in the mist, ^ 
cruisers? destroyers? enemy or British? A few mo- 
ments' observation and the gims open fire. 

"When the range reached the two thousand yards 
mark the forward six-inch gun of the British cruiser 
spoke," says one who was there — "a short, sharp 
crack that hurt the ears, followed by the duller boom 
of the bursting shell. It was a fitting beginning for the 
inferno of noise that immediately followed. It was a 
fight in the dark where no man could see how his brother 
fared and when it was only just possible to make out 
the opposing gray shadow, and hammer, hammer, ham- 
mer at it till the eyes ached and smarted, and the breath 
whistled through Hps parched with the acrid, stifling 
fumes of picric acid. 



"Another German cruiser came up and, ranging by 
her partner, added to the rain of shells bursting aroimd 
and upon the struggling Arethusa, till, with aU save 
one of her guns silenced, she stood out of the fight for 
a moment to regain breath. Neither of the enemy's 
cruisers followed, for both had had all they wanted. 
Fifty-five strenuous minutes, then, with the wreckage 
cleared away, the wounded carried below, and her gvins 
again fit for action, the Arethusa came back for more. 
Into the haze she steamed, seeking her old opponents, 
found them, and redoubled her previous efi'orts. A very 
few minutes sufficed this time. One of the cruisers 
burst into flame, the other was visibly sinking." 

To understand such an affair as this, we must have 
some acquaintance with the aims and plans of the 
attacking squadron. Naturally, however, the British 
Admiralty has not disclosed them. But one perceives 
clearly enough that something in the nature of a raid or 
reconnaissance in force was- intended, whereby enemy 
light cruisers and destroyers scouting in the neighbor- 
hood of Heligoland might be cut off from their base 
and destroyed. If supported by heavier vessels speed- 
ing to their rescue. Sir David Beatty's battle cruisers 
were prepared to deal with them. These tactics, old 
as the game of war itself, obtrude themselves in every 
phase of the North Sea operations, German and English. 
You bait your trap with a smaU vessel or two, a larger 
squadron in wait to pounce upon pursuers. The enemy 
reinforces or retires and the opening moves may or may 
not lead to a decisive action. 

Fought in thick weather and over a wide expanse of 
water, the Heligoland battle resolved itself largely into 



a series of separate encounters. Enemy vessels loomed 
up through the haze, were engaged, disappeared. De- 
stroyer met destroyer, or cruiser cruiser. German sub- 
marines attempted unsuccessfully to torpedo the larger 
ships. A confused series of combats ended with the 
arrival of the great vessels. Lion, Invincible, New 
Zealand, Queen Mary, their high speed, "the use of 
the hehn," and the smooth sea making it easy to avoid 
the German submarines, and the overwhelming force 
drove the enemy into the nearest shelter. "We saw 
the Mainz," wrote an officer, "just before she sank, 
though we did not know at the time who she was. It 
was impossible to recognize her, as she had only one 
battered fuimel left, the stump of one mast, and was 
heavily on fire. ... I also saw the Koln sink after being 
smashed up by the whole battle-cruiser fleet. She was 
a worse wreck than the Mainz, I think, though she was 
so badly on fire that she was at times almost completely 
enveloped in smoke." The result of the action was the 
loss to Germany of three light cruisers, two destroyers, 
and perhaps twelve hvmdred men; the British losses 
were sixty-nine. Among the prisoners, some hundreds, 
rescued by the British, was the son of Admiral von Tir- 
pitz himself. 

This was the action in which the destroyer Liberty, 
thirsting for more than her due share of glory, actually 
dashed under the very forts of Heligoland to torpedo, if 
fortime held, the cruisers lying in the harbor under 
the eleven-inch gtms. The shells fired at her might have 
sunk a fleet. When only one torpedo was left, and one 
round of ammimition, she thought it time to come 
away! As she swept round, a shell killed her com- 



mander and three others, but the lieutenant took charge 
and brought her proudly home. Thus men to-day- 
shame the heroes of the ancient tales. 

This smart and dashing httle action in the dim 
weather illustrates many of the features of modern 
naval warfare. Fought at the utmost speed of the 
vessels engaged, at perhaps the distance of a couple 
of miles, or, if between larger ships, of as much as 
eight or ten, to find and keep the range in a modern 
engagement provides a dozen problems. Your first 
shot falls short and to the right; you "lengthen" and 
"correct" and your second goes too far or to the left. 
But you have your "bracket" and the third or fourth 
should find the target. Unhappily a turn of the wheel 
and the enemy sheers to port or starboard, altering her 
distance, and the range has again to be found. These 
darting shapes, moving with the rapidity of fast trains, 
have no mind to be caught and held under fire. Con- 
stant zigzagging under fire, turning away, — that is, 
a point or perhaps two points, when the enemy has 
found the range, — is now a feature of all naval engage- 
ments. Remember, too, that the gun is laid upon a 
swinging platform which, in the chop or roU of the sea, 
dances with its motion, and that to "spot" the shell, its 
splash if short or over, amid the surf churned by the 
wind and the opposing vessel's speed into perpetual 
foam, is as essential as to discharge it. With spray and 
smoke, or both, the gimner has constantly to contend. 
If the position to leeward of the enemy's line gives the 
advantage that gun-laying is not interfered with by 
your own smoke, something of a balance is estabhshed 
by the inconvenience, from which the weather position 



is free, of continual driving spray which obscures the 
gun sights. Armchair gunnery is simpler. 

"The advantage of time and place in all martial 
actions," said Drake, "is half victory." That "half 
victory" has in almost every engagement between the 
rival fleets lain with the Germans. In the Bight of 
Heligoland, as off the Jutland Bank, the British ships 
fought far from their bases in enemy waters and exposed 
to special dangers, their antagonists within sight, one 
might say, of their permanent defenses. A port imder 
one's lee is a great encouragement to face the gale, but 
the British navy always fights off the enemy's coast. 
No one can blame the German caution, nor the policy 
upon which it rests. For what alternative is open to 
the weaker power? Germany stiU adheres to the doc- 
trine of a "fleet in being"; that is, an alert and threat- 
ening fleet, which, though it may never strike, keeps 
the weapon uplifted, and by its very menace, if it can- 
not destroy, can at least impede, constrain, and distract 
from other purposes the enemy's superior but fettered 



The swift" cniiser raids on the east coast of England 
served a double purpose. They wounded British while 
they heartened German homes. They had, however, 
a miUtary as well as a pohtical object — " to entice," 
said a German sailor who was present, "the British 
fleet out of port." "In the first place," he remarked, 
"our small cruisers, which were packed fuU of mines, 
had strewn the local waters with them. ... In the 
second place, we had shown the Enghshman, who is 
always boasting of his command of the sea, that he 
cannot protect his own coast. ... In the third place, we 
have given the inhabitants of England, and especially 
the people of Yarmouth, a thorough fright." These, 
then, were the aims, illustrating clearly enough German 
tactics and German psychology. In the first raid on 
Yarmouth, on November 3, 19 14, the attacking vessels 
were invisible from the shore in the autumnal haze 
and were too distant and too frightened themselves to 
do much damage; in the second, on December i6th, 
the casualties were heavy in Hartlepool, Whitby, and 
Scarborough; many women and children were slaugh- 
tered and churches and houses wrecked, the firing being 
quite indiscriminate and at a venture. Once more in 
the mist the German vessels, retiring at full speed, 



escaped their pursuers. The third was planned but 

On January 24, 1915, Admiral Beatty's patrolling 
squadron sighted a German fleet of four battle-cruisers, 
accompanied by a number of light cruisers and de- 
stroyers, making for the EngUsh coast and distant from 
it about thirty miles. Without hesitation the Germans 
turned and fled at their best pace for home. A grim 
chase and a running fight ensued. The disposition of 
the German gims, for their vessels are more heavily 
armed for flight than for pursuit, gave them some 
advantage, while the British in the rear could bring to 
bear only their bow guns and not broadsides upon the 
escaping raiders. During the greater part of the engage- 
ment only the leading British ships, Lion and Tiger, 
came within reasonable range of the enemy. It should 
be borne in mind that in a general engagement, how- 
ever desirable it may be for the superior force to close 
with the enemy and thus insure his destruction, a com- 
plete overlap must first be established by superior speed. 
Until that is obtained the enemy screen of destroyers 
thwart any such attempt by dropping mines, the line 
of which cannot safely be crossed to secure a close range. 
With the great ships racing at thirty miles an hour, one 
marvels that the range could be kept at aU, yet the fire 
was deadly. The unhappy Bliicher, a great fifteen- 
thousand-ton ship, but slower than her colleagues, fell 
out of the line shockingly mangled, and was torpedoed 
out of existence by Arethusa. The rest fled on. Favored 
by fortune, for a lucky shot disabled one of Lion's 
feed-tanks, they reached in melancholy straits their 
own mine-fields, which forbade further pursuit, but when 



last seen the flames were mounting on Seydlitz, the 
next in line, as high as her masthead, and Derfiiinger, 
ahead of her, was in hardly better case. Some hmidreds 
of grateful survivors were picked up by the British 
from Blucher's crew, one of whom is reported to have 
said, "On land we can beat you, but here, no." Despite 
the German tales not a single British vessel failed to 
return and the casualties were very few. . . . 

This action gave pause to Germany. Licking her 
wounds and nursing tuihappy memories she decided to 
forego for a time the pleasures and political advantages 
of raiding and to spread for Britain less costly lures. A 
half-hearted attempt on Lowestoft, which had Httle 
serious resiolt, was, indeed, made in April, 1916, — a 
half-hour's friendly call: Sir John Jellicoe would have 
preferred a longer visit, but in these matters Germany 
preserves a rigid etiquette. 

Of raids great and small it may be observed that 
they are the only activities, no great things, left to the 
German navy, powerful as it is. Other and better 
occupations, indeed, it has none, no mercantile marine 
to protect, no mines to sweep, no transports or wide 
extent of coast to guard. A raiding squadron can 
choose its own hour, dash out at night or in fog, fire 
at anything it may chance to see, trawler or trader, 
fisher or warship, enemy or neutral, and return at 
express speed. Of these trivial achievements is it pos- 
sible that so great a fleet, debarred from all other under- 
takings, can really be proud? 

Come now to that stern and decisive conflict, which 
clinched, as it were, the naval situation, the battle of 
Jutland, in respect of all particulars that make a battle 



great, the magnitude of the forces engaged, the scale 
of the operations, and the significance of the results, 
the fiercest clash of fleets since Trafalgar. Fought on a 
summer's day, the eve of the glorious "first of June," 
so famous in the annals of the British navy, it compares 
in hardly a single feature with any naval conflict in 
history, except perhaps with that minor action in the 
Bight of Heligoland, which ia some fashion it resembles. 
For like that it was a far-flung and dispersed series of 
conflicts, a clashing of ships in mist and darkness or in 
patches of short-lrved light. At extreme range, to avoid 
the deadly torpedo attacks, the great war vessels 
pounded each other amid haze and smoke screens, be- 
hind which the Germans when pressed withdrew from 
sight. Wounded vessels drifted out of the scene and left 
their fate in doubt; destroyers dashed to and fro attack- 
ing and retreating; ships, the flames licking their iron 
masts a hundred feet aloft, loomed up for a few moments 
only to vanish in the mist. As "was anticipated," the 
Germans put their trust chiefly in torpedo attacks, 
easily made against approaching, difficult to direct 
against retiring, vessels. Throughout destroyers on 
both sides played a magnificent and conspicuous part, 
the "hussar " tactics of a naval action. But so numerous 
were the vessels engaged and so dim the weather that 
a certain confusion inseparable from the conditions 
reigned the entire day. Indubitably a long-hoped-for 
opportunity had come to the British, the German fleet 
had actually emerged in strength and "upon an enter- 
prise." Yet emerged only to withdraw, to tantalize, 
and, if possible, to lure into fatal areas the pursuing 
foe. . . . 



To understand, even in a measure, this immense 
conflict, one must bear in mind that the British Grand 
Fleet under Sir John Jellicoe, was on May 30th actually 
at sea, to the north of Sir David Beatty's battle-cruisers, 
who, on the 31st, having completed his sweep, turned 
away from the south to rejoin the Commander-in-Chief. 
Since the tactics which led to it cannot be here dis- 
closed, let us pass at once to the encounter itself. About 
half-past two Beatty received signals from his light- 
cruiser squadron that the enemy was out and in force. 
A seaplane scout went aloft and confirmed the signals. 
German battle-cruisers were in sight, but falling back 
upon probably still stronger forces. To engage or not 
to engage was hardly Beatty's problem. Should he 
at all cost pursue, encounter and detain the foe, or, 
avoiding more than a mere exchange of shots, continue 
on his course to join Admiral Jellicoe? Faint heart 
never won a great decision. He chose the heroic, the 
British way, and determined to force the battle, "to 
engage the enemy in sight." We may, perhaps, best 
understand the action if we divide it into three stages, 
(a) pursuit, (5) retreat, (c) again pursuit; the first, 
that in which Beatty was engaged with the enemy's 
battle-cruisers faUing back upon their main fleet, which 
lasted about an hour, from 3.48 when the opening shots 
were fired till the German High Seas Fleet showed itself 
at 4.38. At this point Beatty swung round to draw 
the enemy toward Jellicoe approaching from the north, 
and the second stage of the battle began in which 
the British were heavily engaged with a greatly superior 
force, in fact, the whole German navy. They had, how- 
ever, the assistance of the Fifth Battle Squadron imder 



Evan Thomas, four powerful battleships which had 
come up during the first phase, fired a few shots at 
the extreme range of about twelve miles, and took the 
first fire of Von Scheer's battleships. Steaming north 
now instead of south, Beatty slackened speed to keep 
in touch with the heavy ships. This stage of the action 
also lasted about an hour or more, when about six 
o'clock Jellicoe came in sight five miles to the north, 
and the third phase began. Beatty toward the end 
of the second stage had drawn ahead of the enemy, 
pressing in upon and curving roimd his line, and now 
drove straight across it to the east, closing the range 
to twelve thousand yards, with two objects, first, to 
bring the leading German ships under concentrated 
fire, and second, to allow a clear space for Jellicoe to 
come down and complete their destruction. It was 
a masterly maneuver which enabled the Third Battle- 
Cruiser Squadron, in advance of Jellicoe, under Admiral 
Hood, to join at once in the battle, and assist in "crum- 
pling up" the head of the German line. 

The supreme moment had come. Jellicoe's great 
fleet was in line behind Hood, bearing down on Von 
Scheer in overwhelming force. By beautiful handling 
the British admiral effected the junction of his fleets in 
very difficult conditions. There still remains in naval 
warfare much of the splendid pageantry of old, which 
in land operations is gone beyond recall. "The grandest 
sight I have ever seen," wrote an officer in the fleet, 
"was the sight of our battle-line — miles of it fading 
into mist — taking up their positions like clock-work 
and then belching forth great sheets of fire and clouds 
of smoke." But the prize was snatched from the British 



grasp. It was already seven o'clock, and the evening 
brought with it the thick North Sea haze behind which 
and his own smoke screens Von Scheer turned and fled 
for his ports. "Great care was necessary," wrote Sir 
John Jellicoe, "to insure that our own ships were not 
mistaken for enemy vessels." By half-past eight or 
nine practically all was over, save for the British 
destroyer attacks, which lasted far into the darkness, 
on the scattered and fleeing enemy. Only two hours 
of a misty daylight had been left to Sir John Jellicoe 
to accomplish his task. Then came night, and in the 
night the shattered and shaken Germans crept — one 
is not quite clear by what route — through their mine- 
fields to the blessed security of protected harbors. 
Had the weather been different — well, who knows 
whether in that case the German fleet would have put 
to sea? Now as ever in naval warfare commanders 
must choose conditions the most favorable to their 
designs. The British admiral remained on the scene 
of the battle, picking up survivors from some of the 
smaller craft till after midday (1.15 p.m.) on June ist. 
On that day not one German ship was in sight on a 
sea strewn with the tangled and shapeless wreckage of 
proud vessels, the melancholy litter of war. 

Perhaps Jutland, inconclusive as it seemed, may yet 
be judged by the world the true crisis of the struggle. 
While Germany, after her manner, poured forth to the 
skeptical world tidings of amazing victory, Britain, too, 
after her manner, said little save bluntly to record her 
losses, and later published merely the reports of the 
admirals engaged. They are very plain and matter- 
of-fact, tliese documents without brag. So they can 



be recommended to the attention of seekers after truth. 
For lovers of romance, of course, the German versions 
will afford brighter reading. 

Here, however, is the unofficial account of a midship- 
man on board one of the battleships: — 

"We were all as cheery as Punch when action was 
sounded off. The battle-cruisers, which, by the way, 
were first sighted by your eldest son, who went without 
his tea to look out in the foretop, were away on the bow, 
firing like blazes, and doing a colossal turn of speed. 
I expect they were very pleased to see us. The battle 
fleet put it across them properly. We personally strafed 
a large battleship, which we left badly bent, and 
very much on fire. They fired stink shells at us, which 
fortunately burst some distance away. They looked as 
if they smelt horrible. We engaged a Zepp which showed 
an inclination to become pally. I think it thought we 
were Germans. Altogether it was some stunt. 

"Yes, you were right, I was up in the foretop and 
saw the whole show. I told you I was seventeen hours 
up there, did n't I? — simply bristling with glasses, 
revolvers, respirators, ear-protectors, and what-nots. 
I cannot imagine anything more intensely dramatic 
than our final junction with the battle-cruisers. They 
appeared on the starboard bow going a tremendous 
speed and firing like blazes at an enemy we could not 
see. Even before we opened first the colossal noise was 
nearly deafening. The Grand Fleet opened fire. We 
commenced by strafing one of the 'Kaisers' that was 
only just visible on the horizon, going hell for leather. 
The whole High Sea Fleet were firing like blazes. 

"It is the most extraordinary sensation I know to be 


sitting Up there in the foretop gazing at a comparatively 
unruffled bit of sea, when suddenly about five immense 
columns of water about one hundred feet high shoot up 
as if from nowhere, and bits of shell go rattling down into 
the water, or else, with a noise like an express train, the 
projectiles go screeching overhead and fall about a mile 
the other side of you. You watch the enemy firing six 
great flashes about as many miles away, and then for 
fifteen seconds or so you reflect that there is about 
two tons of sudden death hurtling toward you. Then 
with a sigh of relief the splashes rise up all six of them 
away on the starboard bow. On the other hand, there 
is a most savage exultation in firing at another ship. 

"You hear the order 'Fire!' — the foretop gets up 
and hits you in the face, an enormous yeUow cloud 
of cordite smoke — the charge weighs two thousand 
pounds — rises up and blows away just as the gentleman 
with the stop-watch says, 'Time!' — and then you see 
the splashes go up, perhaps between you and the enemy, 
behind the enemy, perhaps, or, if you are lucky, a great 
flash breaks out on the enemy, and when the smoke has 
rolled away you just have time to see that she is well and 
truly blazing before the next salvo goes off. I had the 
extreme satisfaction of seeing the Liitzow get a salvo 
which must have caused her furiously to sink. There 
are minor side-shows, too, which contribute greatly to 
the excitement. 

"We also discharged our large pieces at the Rostock, 
but she was getting such a thin time from somebody 
else that we refrained from pressing the question. Her 
mainmast and after-funnel had gone. She was quite 
stationary, and badly on fire. We sighted submarines, 



two in number, and also large numbers of enemy de- 
stroyers, one of which we soundly strafed: so soundly, 
in fact, that it gave up the ghost. . . . 

"Well, when I climbed down from the foretop late 
that night I was as black as a nigger, very tired, and as 
himgry as a hunter, I having missed my tea. I wish 
you could have seen the state we were in between the 
decks. Water everywhere, chairs, stools, radiators, 
tin baths, boots, shoes, clothes, books, and every con- 
ceivable article, chucked all over the place. We did n't 
care a fig, because we all thought of 'Der Tag' on the 
morrow which we all expected. Destroyers and Kght 
cruisers were attacking like fury all night, and when 
I got up at the bugle 'Action!' at 2 a.m., I felt as if 
I had slept about three and a half minutes. At about 
3 A.M. we sighted a Zepp, which was vigorously fired 
at. It made off 'quam celerrime,' which means quick 
with a capital Q." . . . 

Look now a little more closely at the details and 
episodes of this engagement. Picture a cahn and hazy 
sea and spread over an immense area the fleets of larger 
ships surrounded by screens of light cr,uisers and de- 
stroyers furiously engaged in encounters of their own, 
battles within the greater battle, and one sees how en- 
tirely this action lacks the classic simplicity of such 
engagements as the Nile or Trafalgar. But the main 
movements are clear enough. The heaviest losses of the 
British were sustained in the earher, of the Germans in 
the later, stages when the efficiency of their gunnery 
" became rapidly reduced under punishment, while ours 
was maintained throughout." Hardly was Beatty in 
action before he lost two battle-cruisers, tidefatigable 



and Queen Mary. Later, Livincible, the flagship of 
the Third Cniiser Squadron, went down with Admiral 
Hood, who had brought his ships into "action ahead 
in a most inspiring manner worthy of his great naval 
ancestors." . . , 

Throughout that day of thunderous war the destroy- 
ers dashed to the torpedo attacks on the great ships, 
careless of the heart-shaking deluge of shells, utterly 
careless of Ufe and youth, and all else save the mighty 
business in hand, and when night put an end to the 
main action, continued their work in the uncanny 
darkness, under the momentary glare of searchlights or 
the spouting flames from some wounded vessel. And 
all the while the unruffled sea appeared, we are told, 
like a marble surface when the searchlights swept it, 
and moving there the destroyers looked like venomous 
insects — "black as cockroaches on a floor." Never 
in the proud history of her navy have English sailors 
fought with more inspiring dash, more superb intre- 
pidity. . . . 

So ended the battle of Jutland. But this, you may 
naturally say, is very different from the German story. 
There is no denying it, the discrepancy exists. Make 
the most liberal allowance for national prejudices and 
you cannot harmonize the versions. Which, then, are 
we to believe? There are no independent witnesses 
that can be summoned into court. How can one decide 
between statements so conflicting? There is one way 
and one way only. Victories, like everything else in the 
world, have results; a tree is known by its fruits. If, 
indeed, therefore, the Germans won, as they claim, a 
great victory, — they were certainly first in the field 



with the news, and, lest there should be any mistake in 
the matter, made the annoimcement at express speed, 
— how, the announcement apart, do we know of it? 
We have, of course, the Kaiser's assurances to his 
people, and that is of great importance. But did he also 
announce that the British blockade would no longer 
harass Germany? Oddly enough it was not mentioned 
and since the battle has become much more stringent. 
Do German merchantmen now [1917] go to sea? None 
are to be found on any waterway except as before in the 
Baltic. On the other hand, let us ponder these facts. 
Immediately after the engagement the great naval port, 
Wilhelmshaven, was sealed with seven seals, so that 
no patriotic German could look upon his victorious 
ships. Britain proclaimed her losses, Germany con- 
cealed her wounds. Later, she discovered that she had 
accidentally in her haste overlooked the loss of a few 
trifling vessels. . . . 



[On the gth of November, 1914, the Australian Cruiser 
Sydney, en route for Colombo in the Indian Ocean, picked 
up, from the Cocos Island Station, a wireless concerning a 
"strange warship." Presently a landing party from that 
ship destroyed the station from which the message was sent. 
But the word had gone forth, the Sydney came at full speed 
and immediately opened fire-on this "strange" craft, which 
proved to be the long-sought and elusive raider Emden, 
chargeable with more damage done to merchant shipping 
than any other enemy warship had wrought. The Emden 
fought hard. The Sydney's foremast range-finder was shot 
to pieces, the after-control platform was wrecked, and a 
cordite fire started. But fortunately the Sydney, a knot and a 
half faster than the Emden, could attain the speed of twenty- 
six knots an hour, and so keep her own distance, choose her 
own range. Racing at full speed, the Sydney delivered broad- 
side after broadside, during a battle lasting an hour and 
forty minutes, covering a distance of fiity-six mUes. The 
Emden, riddled with shot, finally rushed ashore on North 
Keeling, a flaming wreck. Some of the crew escaped and 
wandered far over the world in their effort to return to Ger- 
many. Miicke, one of the officers, zigzagged over thousands 
of miles of land and sea, braving storm and blockade, desert 
tribes and fever, en route for home. 

The Editor.] 

The official account of the stirring and picturesque 
adventures of the Emden is hardly likely to be given to 
the world until the gates of Captain Miiller's comfort- 



able English prison swing open for him at the end of the 
war; but in the interviews, a lecture or two, and a book- 
let by Lieutenant Miicke all the salient features have 
been covered, and it is from translations of these that 
we will endeavor to follow the fortunes of the doughty 
young Teuton whose courage, resource, and devotion 
to duty have won scarcely less admiration in the coun- 
tries of his enemies than in the Fatherland. 

Within a day or two after the outbreak of the war 
the Emden, in pursuance of the commerce-destroying 
plan which the German Admiralty had worked out to 
its least details many years before, sHpped away from 
Tsing tau and headed for the South Pacific to join 
the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Nuremberg. It was a 
later order which turned her off to the Indian Ocean to 
find both her glory and her grave. . . . 

The first ship sunk, on September nth, was the Lov- 
att, a British transport, which had promptly hoisted 
the Union Jack under the impression that the Emden 
was an "English boat." "The silly face of its captain, 
which he made after we had hoisted our flag and ordered 
him to stay with us, I would regret not to have seen," 
observes Miicke; and adds that "for the niunerous 
stables for horses on this boat we had no appreciation, 
and a half-hour later we had submitted the question to 
the sharks." 

Business was brisk for the Emden during the next 
few days, and there was one occasion on which she had 
five or six steamers (Miicke has forgotten the exact 
number) hove to and ready to sink at one place. "This 
happened so," writes Miicke: "a steamer came along 
and was stopped. Ten men and an officer went over 



to it. These got the ship ready to sink and saw that the 
passengers were all removed. While we were still occu- 
pied with this boat, appeared the top of another mast 
on the horizon. We did not need to hurry at aU; the 
ships seemed to come by themselves to us. When one 
came near enough, the Emden made it a friendly signal, 
which tempted it on to join the other boats. And by 
the time this one was prepared for sinking, another mast- 
top would appear." .... 

At the end of ten days practically every steamer in 
the northern Indian Ocean was either at the bottom of 
the sea or held in port by its apprehensive owners, so, 
in lieu of other game, the audacious Emden took a tilt 
at the oil-tanks of Madras. Sure in his knowledge of 
the antique guns which defended the historic Indian 
port, Miiller steamed in, with all lights out, to within 
three thousand metres of the shore. "The harbor light 
burned peacefully," writes Miicke, "and made naviga- 
tion easy. Our targets, the red-and-white-striped oil- 
tanks, could be plainly discerned. A few shells, a quick 
flash of blue-yellow flame, and the tanks were vomiting 
red jets from the shot-holes. Then a great black cloud 
of smoke arose, and, according to the proverb, 'Variety 
is the spice of life,' we had this time sent a few millions 
up into the air instead of down into the depths. From 
Madras a few shots were discharged at us, but without 
any aim, and the fire of the burning oil-tanks lighted us 
for ninety miles on our way." 

The Tyweric, simk but two hours after it had left 
Colombo, gave the Emden late news of the world 
through the evening papers of the Cingalese capital. 
The German cruiser appeared to be the principal topic 



of local news, and her officers learned, among other 
things, that their ship had been sunk at two widely 
separated points, and was being hotly pursued at 
another. . . . 

Ten or a dozen more steamers were sunk by the 
Emden during the next three weeks, and then she slipped 
away from the sea-lanes that she had terrorized, to rest 
and refit. This took her to Diego Garcia, an isolated 
rock in the South Ocean where two or three lonely 
Britons were holding an almost uncharted outpost of 
Empire by running a plantation. Here occurred a most 
dcHcious httle episode. "As we dropped anchor," writes 
Miicke, "there came an Englishman, his arms loaded 
with presents for us, and his eyes wet with tears of wel- 
come. He had not yet heard of the war, as the island 
received its mail only once every half-year by schooner. 
He asked us to fix his motor-boat, which was out of 
commission. This we did gladly. Then, without telling 
him anything of the terrible condition the world was 
in at present, we bade him good-bye and sailed away. 
His mail was due in fourteen days, and then, per- 
haps, he may have learned to whom he brought his 

Shipping was spread thin along the trade routes when 
the Emden returned again to the attack, and two or 
three steamers sunk in the vicinity of Miniko were the 
sum of her bag for a week's cruising. This monotonous 
hfe began to pall upon the men of the raider, and, as 
Miicke naively put it, they "felt the stirring of desire 
to make the acquaintance of real warships. We knew 
through the papers," he writes, "that sixteen EngHsh, 
French, and Japanese men-of-war were using up their 



coal in a vain search for us, and, obligingly, we decided 
to visit them in their own harbor." 

The Penang raid was the crowning achievement of 
the Emden's career, and, as it proved, the final one. It 
was a fitting "swan-song." Penang, a British Crown 
Colony, like Singapore, Hongkong, and one or two other 
ports of the Far East, is located on a small island, with 
its harbor formed by the narrow strait which separates 
the island from the mainland. For a mile or two this 
strait is no wider than the Hudson at Grant's Tomb, 
and at its narrowest place, crowning a Httle point which 
reaches out toward the pahn-fringed foreshore of the 
Malay Peninsula, is a picturesque old stone fort which 
dates back to the days when the Portuguese held the 
Spice Islands and fought the British and the Dutch for 
the mastery of the Orient. Old bronze guns peeped from 
its crumbling ports, and did brave service as hobby- 
horses when the ayahs from the ofi&cers' quarters 
brought out the babies for their afternoon promenade. 
If any modem guns had been mounted about the har- 
bor, it may be taken for granted that the Emden was 
fully informed both as to their power and location. 

The raider's only chance of a successful raid upon a 
harbor in which it was more than likely to encoimter 
superior force was to creep in unobserved, strike sud- 
denly, and withdraw in the confusion of the surprise. 
By this time the profile of the Emden was up in the 
chartroom of every warship and merchantman ply- 
ing the Eastern sdas. The resourceful Teutons, knowing 
this, hit upon the expedient of altering that profile. A 
fourth smoke-stack of painted canvas had been ready 
for weeks against just such an emergency, and when 



set up in line with the three real ones made the raider 
appear, in anything but the broad Ught of day, an al- 
most exact counterpart of a well-known type of British 
armored cruiser which was being extensively employed 
in the pursuit of the Emden. 

With all lights out, the disguised German warship 
crept in toward the narrow strait which forms the harbor 
of Penang. The arrival was timed to the minute to 
meet the first forerunning streaks of dawn. Complete 
darkness would have made it impossible to navigate in 
the restricted seaway, while daylight would have meant 
discovery. The half-Hght of the breaking day suited 
the raider's purpose to a nicety. At first only fisher- 
boats were seen; then a mass of merchant shipping im- 
folded, and, finally, looming darkly at only a couple of 
hundred metres distance, the silhouette of the Russian 
cruiser Schemtschuk took shape against the brightening 

"On board the Russian everybody was busy sleep- 
ing," observes Miicke. "We fired a torpedo at its stern. 
It was lifted by the detonation half a metre, and then 
began to sink slowly. Following the torpedo, we directed 
a hail of fire at the fore-deck, where the crew was sleep- 
ing. Soon this part of the ship looked like a sieve, and 
we could see through the holes the fires that were raging 
inside. Meanwhile, we sailed by the sinking ship and 
turned ready to run. Now we were being shot at from 
three sides — from the Schemtschuk and from two 
other directions which we could not exactly determine. 
We heard the whistling of the shells and saw the spots 
where they plunged into tlie water." 

A second torpedo finished the Russian cruiser, and 



the Emden turned to meet its new foes. Now the French 
destroyer, D 'Iberville, was descried; now a cruiser was 
reported coming in, and now a torpedo boat. The sup- 
posed cruiser turned out to be a merchantman, but the 
torpedo boat, the French Mousquet, was a real menace 
in the narrow channel. Disdaining the obsolete D 'Iber- 
ville, the Emden steamed to meet the oncoming Mous- 
quet, which was disposed of in three broadsides. Picking 
up thirty-three survivors from the water, the unscathed 
raider sHpped out of the harbor and made for the open 
sea from which it had come but a short half-hour before. 
The night mists were Hfting now, but there was left 
afloat in Penang no ship swift enough to pursue the 
audacious marauder. 

Twelve days later, on the 9th of November, the 
Emden landed a force imder Lieutenant Miicke to 
destroy the wireless station at KeeKng — sometimes 
called Cocos — Island. The Httle British colony re- 
ceived the heavily armed enemy philosophically, and 
just before Miicke began putting the radio apparatus 
out of commission the operator congratulated him upon 
having been awarded the Iron Cross. "How do you 
know I have the Iron Cross?" asked the surprised Ger- 
man. " I have just caught the message," was the answer. 
It was tlae last one received at Keeling for some time. 

Scarcely was the work of destroying the station com- 
pleted, when Miicke heard the Emden's siren signaling 
him to return at once. Rushing his men into the launch, 
he started for his ship, only to see the Emden's anchor 
woimd frantically in and the cruiser steam away at top 
speed. At first he thought that it was going to meet 
a colHer, but just before the cruiser disappeared its 



Gefeehtsflagge — the battle-pennant — was broken out, 
and columns of water flung high in the air told that 
guns of equal or greater power than the Emden's own 
were feeling for their range. The raider was nearing the 
end of its far-trailed tether. 

Crushing down his chagrin at being thus helplessly 
marooned while his ship and captain were fighting for 
their Uves, Miicke returned to the shore, hoisted the 
German flag, moimted his four machine guns and 
declared the island under martial law. Not until a 
trench had been dug and preparations made to resist 
a landing from the enemy warship, did he find time to 
climb to a house-top and endeavor to follow the distant 

His account of the fight between the Emden and 
Sydney is incomplete, disjointed, inaccurate, and not 
especially fair, and I am not setting it down here. The 
raider put up a game fight against a swifter and more 
heavily armed adversary. It was foredoomed from the 
moment the speedy Australian cruiser picked up its 
smoke-trail, and its finish was not the least glorious 
moment of an unparalleled career. . . . 




The submarine warfare has for the most part centered 
about operations in the North Sea and the British Isles. 
Turkish, British, and German submarines were successfully 
employed at the time of the Dardanelles campaign, the 
British have been active with their submarines in the Bal- 
tic Sea, and the Austrian and German submersibles have 
wrought havoc with liners in the Mediterranean. But the 
North Sea early became the point of controversy. In accord- 
ance with an announcement of intentions to that effect, the 
German submarine blockade of the North Sea began in 
February, 1915, with the sinking of a British collier without 
warning. Neutral shipping suffered very greatly from that 
time on, and German submarines ruthlessly destroyed Dutch, 
Norwegian, and Swedish ships, also several American ves- 
sels. The sinking of the Lusitania, May 7, 191 5, off the 
coast of Ireland, brought the epoch of submarine frightful- 
ness to a climax. Finally, after the sinking of the passenger 
steamer Sussex in the Channel, March 24, 1916, President 
Wilson secured from Germany, May 5, 19 16, a promise that 
merchant vessels within and without the area declared a 
naval war-zone would not be sunk without warning, unless 
ships should attempt to escape or offer resistance. ITie way 
in which the pledge was kept is indicated by the report of 
the British Admiralty showing that from May 5th to Octo- 
ber 28th twenty-two British merchant ships were torpedoed 
without warning. Presently hospital ships were sunk too. 
Then came Germany's fateful announcement that on Feb- 
ruary 1, 1917, the ruthless submarine policy would be carried 
into complete effect. The sinking of American ships be- 
gan with the loss of the Housatonic, February 7th. The 
losses in ships of Great Britain alone during the five months 
ending with July, numbered nearly 600. The number de- 
creased as the simimer drew to a close, and methods of 
fighting the submersibles became more effective. Meanwhile 
the output of submarines also increased, so that at times the 
deadly average of twenty or more ships a week was main- 




[The Cunard steamship Lusitania, bound from New York 
to Liverpool, was torpedoed without warning, May 7, 1915, 
and sank in twenty-three minutes off Old Head of Eansale. 
There were 1257 passengers aboard, of whom 159 were 
Americans, and a crew of 702. Of the 1198 lives lost, 124 
were Americans, many of them men of national promi- 
nence. The disaster aroused a feeling of horror in the world, 
outside of Germany, and quickened the most intense feeling 
toward Germany in the United States. 

The Editor \ 

Our voyage from New York had been uneventful; fine 
weather, smooth sea, and after the first few hours of 
Simday (May 2d) there had been no fog up to Friday 
morning (May 7 th), when it came in for a short time. 
The speed of the boat had not been what I had expected 
it would be. . . . During the forenoon of Thursday (May 
6th) we swung out and vmcovered twenty-two life- 
boats, eleven on each side, showing Captain Turner's 
preparedness for emergency. I was keenly interested 
in all that was done aboard ship as we approached the 
Irish coast, and in fact all through the voyage I kept 
my eyes unusually wide open. At night the shades in 
the saloon were closely drawn, and I noticed that my 
bedroom steward left a note for the night watchman 
stating just which ports were open when he (the stew- 
ard) went off duty. 



Friday noon when the run was posted, I was sur- 
prised, for I certainly thought that this was the time to 
put on speed. The sea was smooth as a pancake, an 
ideal chance for a dash up the coast. ... I noticed that 
we were not going an3rwhere near top speed and were 
following, as I remembered, the usual course up the 
Irish coast, that being about five to seven miles distant. 
I wondered at our loafing along at this gentle pace. . . . 

After lunch I went to my stateroom and put on my 
sweater under the coat of the knickerbocker suit I was 
wearing and went up on deck for a real walk. ... I 
joined [friends] and was conversing with them when the 
torpedo struck the ship. . . . Where I stood on deck the 
shock of the impact was not severe; it was a heavy, 
rather muffled sound, but the good ship trembled for a 
moment under the force of the blow; a second explosion 
quickly followed, but I do not think it was a second 
torpedo, for the sound was quite different; it was more 
like a boiler in the engine-room. 

As I turned to look in the direction of the explosion 
I saw a shower of coal and steam and some debris hurled 
into the air between the second and third funnels, and 
then heard the fall of gratings and other wreckage that 
had been blown up by the explosion. 

Remember that I was standing well forward on the 
port side, and consequently looked back at the scene 
of the explosion, at an angle across to the starboard 
side; therefore, although the debris showed between 
the second and third funnels, I think the blow was 
delivered practically in line with the fourth funnel. I 
looked immediately at my watch and it was exactly . . : 
eight minutes past two, Greenwich time. . . . 



The boat had taken a list to starboard, but it was not 
acute, and so I had no difficulty in making my way to 
and from my cabin. I tied on a life-belt, took the others 
in the room . . . and went up on deck to the port side. 
... I found those who needed the Hfe-belts, put them 
on, tied them properly, and then went aft along the side 
of the ship, for I was confident that all hands would 
naturally rush to the starboard side and so there would 
be more opportunity to help along the port side. I 
turned and walked for'ard toward the bridge, where 
Captain Turner and Captain Anderson were both call- 
ing in stentorian tones not to lower away the boats, 
ordering all passengers and sailors to get out of them, 
saying that titiere was no danger and that the ship 
would float. . . . 

• I had been watching carefully the list of the steamer, 
and by now I was confident that she wouldn't float 
and that the end was coming fast. I remembered one 
or two personal things in my stateroom which I very 
much wanted, and I figured that I had time to go down 
and get them. . . . There was a companionway for'ard 
of the main staircase, about halfway between it and 
my stateroom. ... It was not imtil I walked along this 
passage that I realized how acute was the Ust of the 
ship. ... On my return to the deck I felt that the 
steamer must make her final plunge any moment now, 
and ... I passed through to the port side. Men were 
striving to lower the boats and were putting women 
and children into them, but it seemed to me that it 
only added horror to the whole situation to put people 
into a boat that you knew never would be cleared and 
which would go down with the steamer; better leave 



them on deck to take their chance at a piece of wreck- 

True, there was no panic, in the sense that any one 
crowded or pushed his way to the lifeboats, but there 
was infinite confusion, and there seemed no one to take 
command of any one boat. As I came out on the star- 
board side, I saw, a little aft of the main entrance, a 
lifeboat well filled with people, principally women and 
children, that no one had attempted to clear from the 
davits. The steamer was rapidly sinking, and I realized 
that the boat must be cleared at once if the people 
were to be saved. I climbed into the stem of the boat. 
. . . We freed our end and swung the ropes clear, but 
we could n't make any one for'ard xmderstand what to 
do or how to do it. ... I started to go forward, but 
it was impossible to climb through that boatload of 
people, mixed up as they were with oars, boat-hooks, 
kegs of water, rope ladders, sails, and God knows what 
— everything that seemed to hinder progress to getting 
for'ard. The steamer was all the time rapidly settling, 
and to look at the tremendous smokestack hanging out 
over us only added to the terror of the people in the 
boat. . . . However, I should have gone for'ard and 
made the try, except that the stern end of the boat was 
raised by a small swell of the ocean and I was impressed 
by the nearness of the davit by getting a blow on the 
back which nearly knocked me overboard. 

Then I admit I saw the hopelessness of ever clearing 
the for'ard davit in time to get the boat away, so I 
stepped out and made a try of it by swimming. I spoke 
to several and urged them to come; but truly they were 
petrified, and only my training from boyhood up, in 



le water and under it, gave me the courage to jump, 
swam about one himdred feet away from the ship and 
len turned arovind to see if any one was following. . . . 
he Lusitania did not go down anything like head first : 
le had, rather, settled along her whole water-line. This 
anvinces me that practically all the ports must have 
een open. The stern did not rise to anything like a 
erpendicular, nor did it rise so high that I could see a 
ngle one of the propellers or even the end of her rudder, 
[ot one of her fimnels fell. . . . 

There was very little vortex; there was rather a 
looting out from the ship instead of a sucking in, after 
le sank; this I am told was partly caused by the water 
ishing into her fimnels and being blown out again by 
fcplosions made by the mixing of the cold water of the 
3a with the steam of the boilers. The sea was wonder- 
illy smooth, and it seemed to me that if one could 
eep clear of the wreckage and pick up a lifeboat,, it 
3uld be manned and we could go back and get many 
irvivors. I was able to work this out quite as I planned. 
. . Then we rowed for the shore. ... I steered for a 
ghthouse on the coast, for . . . it was a good long row 
shore and I knew we could not get there until after 
ark, and it was much better to land on a shore, how- 
ver barren, near a lighthouse, than to land on that 
art where there might not be an inhabitant for miles. 
. . We had stayed around and picked up every one 
ho seemed to be in the most helpless condition. Those 
e were forced to leave were as safe as if we had crowded 
lem into our flimsy craft. The calnmess of the sea 
as the only thing that enabled us to take so many, 
ith any degree of safety. . . . After rowing about two 



miles we came to the fishing smack, and although they 
had taken on two boatloads, they made room for us. . . . 
After being aboard about an hour we were picked up 
by the steamer Flying Fish which had come down from 




A NEW passenger, for the first time in a submarine, 
has often professed to be unaware that he was fathoms 
deep imder water and has been quite imconscious that 
the boat had been diving. Of course his astonishment 
indicates that he was not in the compartment where 
these maneuvers take place, for it is in the commander's 
turret that the whole apparatus is centralized for sub- 
mersion, for steering to the right depth, and also for 
emersion. At this jimcture every man must be at his 
post, and each one of the thirty members of the crew 
must feel individually responsible for the safety of the 
whole in the difi&cult and rapid maneuver of plunging, 
for the slightest mistake may endanger the security of 
the boat. 

The central control, situated in the commander's 
turret, is in reality the brain of the boat. When the 
alarm signal is heard to change the course from surface 
navigation to subsurface navigation, several previously 
designated members of the crew take their post of duty 
in the commander's turret. The commander, himself, 
is on duty during the whole of the expedition in time of 
war, and he seldom gets a chance for rest in his tiny 
little cabin. Day and night, if there is the slightest 



suspicion of the approach of the enemy, he watches on 
the exposed bridge on the top of the turret; for a few 
seconds' delay in submerging might forfeit the taking 
of a much coveted prize. So he learns to do without 
sleep, or to catch a few brief seconds of repose by lying 
down in his wet clothes, and he is at once ready to 
respond to the alarm signal of the officer of the watch. 

In one bound he is once more surveying the hori- 
zon through the periscope, or mounts to the bridge to 
determine with his powerful field glass whether friend 
or foe is in sight. His observations must be taken in 
the space of a few seconds, for the enemy is also con- 
stantly on the lookout, and continual practice enables 
the sailor in the crow's nest to detect the slender stem 
of a periscope, although the hull of the boat is scarcely 
visible on the face of the waters. 

The commander must come to a prompt decision as 
soon as he locates the adversary's exact position. Not 
only may a retarded submersion spoil our plan of 
attack, but we are exposed to being rammed by a rap- 
idly advancing steamer; our haste must be all the 
greater if the conditions of visibility are impaired, as is 
often the case on the high seas, for it takes time for the 
U-boat to submerge completely, and during this process 
it is helplessly exposed to the fire of long distance 

Cahnly, but with great decision, tlie commander 
gives the general orders to submerge. The internal 
combustion engines, the oil motors which, during sur- 
face navigation are used to accelerate the speed of the 
boat, are immediately disconnected, as they consume 
too much air underseas, and electric motors are nov/ 



quickly attached and set in motion. They are supph'ed 
by a large storage battery, which consumes no air and 
forms the motive power during subsurface navigation. 
Of course electricity might be employed above water, 
but it uses up much current which is far more expen- 
sive than oil, and would be wasted too rapidly if not 
economized with care. 

It would be convenient to employ the same oil motor 
for underseas navigation, but such a machine has not 
yet been constructed, although various futile attempts 
of this kind have been made. With only one system of 
propulsion we should gain much coveted space and a 
more evenly distributed weight; within the same dimen- 
sions new weapons of attack could be inserted, and also 
effective weapons of defense. The inventor of such a 
device would earn a large reward. Let him who wants 
it, try for it! 

Quickly, with deft hands, the outboard connections, 
which served as exhausts for the oil motors, must be 
closed in such a way as to resist at once the high water 
pressure. It is weU known that for every ten metres 
under water we oppose the pressure of one atmosphere 
— one kilogram to the square centimeter — and we 
must be prepared to dive to far greater depths. 

When all these openings have been carefully closed 
and fastened, then begins the maneuver of submersion. 
The sea water is admitted into big open tanks. Power- 
ful suction engines, in the central control of the boat, 
draw out the air from these tanks so as to increase the 
rapid inrush of the water. The chief engineer notifies 
the captain as soon as the tanks are sufficiently filled 
and an even weight is established so as to steer the 



boat to the proper depth for attack. Notwithstanding 
the noise of the machinery, large, wide-open speaking 
tubes faciUtate the delivery of orders between the 
commander's turret and the Central, and now is the 
moment the commander gives the order to submerge. 

All this may sound very simple and yet there are a 
great many things to consider. In the same manner in 
which an airplane is carefully balanced before taking 
wing into the high regions of the sky, a submarine must 
be accurately weighed and measured before it descends 
into the watery depths of the ocean. The briny water 
of the North Sea weighs far more than the less salty 
water of the Baltic Sea, whose western basin is com- 
posed of practically fresh water. A boat floats higher 
in the heavily salted waters of the North Sea and hes 
deeper and plunges farther down in the waters of the 
Baltic. The same U-boat, therefore, must take into its 
tanks a greater quantity of water ballast in the North 
Sea, to be properly weighted, than when diving into 
fresher waters. Even with small submarines of four 
hundred tons displacement, there is the enormous differ- 
ence of ten tons between 1.025 specific weight in the 
intake of North Sea water and specific weight 
of fresh water. On the other hand, if too much water is 
admitted into the tanks, the submarine may plunge with 
great velocity deeper and deeper beyond its appointed 
depth, and in such a case it might even happen that the 
hull of the boat could not withstand the overpowering 
pressure and would be crushed beneath the mass of 
water. And yet again if too small a quantity of water 
ballast is admitted into the tanks, the boat may not sink 
sufficiently below the surface, and thus we could not 



tain an invisible attack which is positively necessary 

■ our success. 

Bow much water then must we take in? The answer 
this question is a matter of instinct, education, and 
perience and we must also depend on the cleverly 
vised apparatus made for this purpose. 
The submarine like the airplane must be always 
lintained at the proper level. The weight of the boat 
ries continually during a prolonged voyage. Food is 
voured and the diving material of the machinery is 
tisumed. The water in which the boat swims con- 
Lually changes weight and the boat is imperceptibly 
ised or lowered in a way very difficult to ascertain, 
le officer responsible for the flooding of the submarine 
1st painstakingly keep its weight under control dur- 
l the entire navigation. The weight of a meal eaten 

■ each man of the crew, the remains of the food and 
e boxes in which it was contained, which have been 
rown overboard, must be calculated as well as the 
;ight of the water, and the officer employs delicate 
paratus for these measurements. 

On the open seas these alterations in weight do not 
cur very rapidly; but whenever a boat approaches the 
)uth of a river, then the transition from salt to fresh 
iter happens very suddenly and may provoke the 
desirable disturbances to which we have already ai- 
led. Also warm and cold currents at different depths 
aduce thermotic conditions, which surprisingly change 
; weight of the water. 

Peculiar as it may appear, a submarine must be 
htened to descend to a very great depth, whereas, in 
;ering to a higher level, more water must be admitted 



into the tanks to prevent our emerging to the surface 
with too great suddenness. This demands careful atten- 
tion, skill, and experience. 

The principal condition for the success of a sub- 
marine attack is to steer to the exact depth required. 
The periscope must not rise too far above water, for it 
might easily be observed by the enemy; but if, by 
climisy steering, the top of the periscope descends below 
the waves, then it becomes impossible to take aim to 
fire the torpedo. The commander therefore must be 
able to depend on the two men who control the vertical 
and horizontal rudders, whom another officer constantly 
directs and supervises. 

When the boat has reached the prescribed depth a 
close examination is made of all the outward-leading 
pipes, to see if they can properly resist the water pres- 
sure; if any tiny leak has been sprung, every cap must 
be tightly screwed down; for it is evident it would be 
very undesirable if any leak should occur and increase 
the heaviness of the submarine. Absolute silence must 
prevail so that any dripping or greater influx in the 
tanks can be observed. 

Quietly and silently the boat advances against the 
enemy; the only audible sounds are the purring of the 
electric motors and the unavoidable noise made by the 
manipulation of the vertical and horizontal rudders. 
Alert and speechless, every man on board awaits a sign 
from the commander, who is watching in the turret; but 
some time may elapse — now that the periscope is low- 
ered and nearly on the level of the waters — before 
the adversary becomes visible again. The ship may 
have changed her course and have taken an opposite 



direction to the one she was following at the moment 
we submerged. In that case she would be out of reach 
and all our preparations prove useless. 

At various intervals, the commander presses an 
electric button and raises and lowers the periscope as 
quickly as possible, so as to take his own observation 
without, if possible, being observed himself; for he 
knows that any injury to the periscope — his most 
priceless jewel — would, as it were, render the boat 
blind and rob him of the much coveted laurel leaves. 
During these short glimpses the commander only per- 
ceives a Uttle sky and the wide, round plate of the re- 
flected sea with its dancing waves, while the nervous 
tension of the expectant crew increases every minute. 

At last is heard a joyous outcry from the commander, 
"The fellows are coming!" — and after one quick 
glance, to locate the enemy exactly, the periscope is 
lowered. Now every heart beats with happy antici- 
pation and every nerve quivers with excitement. The 
captain quickly issues his orders for the course to be 
steered and for the necessary navigation. The officer 
in charge of the torpedoes receives the command to 
clear the loaded torpedo for firing, while the captain 
quietly calculates, first, the relative position of his boat 
to the enemy's ship, according to the course she has 
taken; secondly, at which point he must aim the torpedo 
to take surest effect, and — in the same way as in 
hunting a hare — he withholds the shot to correspond 
to his victim's gait. . . . 

With lowered periscope, he sees nothing that goes 
on above him on the sea, and like a blind man the boat 
feels its way through the green flood. Every possible 



event becomes a subject of conjecture. Will the fellow 
continue on the same course? Has he seen our periscope 
in the second it was exposed, and is he running away 
from us? Or, on the contrary, having seen us, will he 
put on full steam and try to run us down with a fatal 
death stroke from his prow? . . . 

Now comes the announcement from the torpedo of- 
ficer, "The torpedoes are cleared for firing." . . . Once 
again the periscope springs for an instant to the surface 
and then glides back into the protecting body of the 
turret. The captain exclaims, "We are at them!" and 
the news spreads like wildfire through the crew. He 
gives a last rapid order to straighten the course of the 
boat. The torpedo ofiicer announces, "Torpedo ready" 
— and the captain, after one quick glance through the 
periscope, as it sUdes back into its sheath, immediately 
shouts, "Fire!" . . . 


We were thus, in the midst of a strong southwest- 
erly gale, l3ang in wait for our prey at the entrance of 
the English Channel, but no ship was to be seen; most 
of them took the northerly course beyond the war zone, 
around the Shetland Islands, and it was not until the 
next morning, north of the Scilly Isles, in the Bris- 
tol Channel, that we caught sight behind us of a big 
steajner, running before the wind, like ourselves. The 
wind had somewhat fallen and the March sun was 
shining bright and warm; the steamer was heading for 
Cardiff, and we judged by her course that she had sailed 
from some port in South America. 

Turning about and breasting the waves we faced the 


oncoming steamer and signaled to her to stop; but 
hardly had she espied us than she also turned about in 
the hope to escape. She showed no flag to indicate her 
nationality, so surely we had sighted an English vessel. 
Even after we had fired a warning shot, she tried by 
rapid and tortuous curves to return to her former 
course, and endeavor thereby to reach her home port. 
Meantime she sent up rockets as signals of distress in 
quick succession, to draw the attention of British patrol 
ships that must be hovering in the neighborhood. 

This obliged us to fire a decisive shot, and with a loud 
report our first shell struck the ship close to the cap- 
tain's bridge. Instead of resigning himseM to his fate, 
the Englishman sent up more signals and hoisted the 
British flag. This showed us he was game, and the fight 
began in dead earnest. AH honor to the pluck of these 
EngHsh captains! — but how reckless to expose in this 
manner the lives of their passengers and crew, as we 
shall see in the present instance. 

Circling aroimd us he tried to ram us with his prow, 
and we naturally avoided him by also turning in the 
same direction. Every time he veered about he offered 
us his broadside for a shot; with well-directed aim we 
took advantage of this target, and our successful fire 
gave him fuU proof of the skiH of our guimers. The 
latter had a hard time of it; the high seas poured over 
the low deck, and they continually stood up to their 
necks in the cold salt water. They were often dragged 
off the deck by the great receding waves, but as they 
were tied by strong ropes to the cannons we were able 
to pull them up again, and fortunately no lives were 



On seeing our gxmners struggling in the seas, our foe 
hoped to make good his escape, but with each telling 
shot our own fighting blood was aroused and the wild 
chase continued. A weU-aimed shell tore off the English 
flag-staff at the stem, but the Union Jack was quickly 
hoisted again on the foretop. This was also shot down, 
and a third time the flag flew from a line of the yard of 
the foretop, but the flag had been raised too hastily and 
it hvuig reversed, with the Union Jack upside down, and 
in this manner it continued to fly until it sank with the 
brave ship. 

The fight had lasted four hours without our being 
able to deliver the death stroke. Several fires had 
started on the steamer, but the crew had been able to 
keep them under control; big holes gaped open in the 
ship's side, but there were none as yet below the water 
line, and the pumps still sufficed to expel the water. 
It often occurred that in the act of firing the waves 
choked our cannons, and the shot went hissing through 
tremendous sheets of water, while we were blinded by 
a deluge of foam. Of course we were all wet, through 
and through, but that was of no importance, for we had 
already been wet for days. 

It was now essential for us to put an end to this 
deadly combat, for English torpedo-boat destroyers 
were hurrying on to the cafls of distress of the steamer. 
Big clouds of smoke against the sky showed they were 
coming towards us under full steam. The ship was by 
this time hsting so heavily that it was evident we need 
waste no more of our ammunition, and besides the 
appearance of another big steamer on the southern 
horizon was an enticing inducement to quit the battle 



scene and seek another victim. We cast a last look on 
our courageous adversary who was gradually sinking, 
and I must add it was the first and last prey whose end 
we did not have the satisfaction to witness. We had 
been truly impressed by the captain's brave endurance, 
notwithstanding his lack of wisdom, and we knew that 
the men-of-war were coming to his rescue. We read 
in the papers, on our return to a German port, that the 
" Vosges " had sunk soon after we had departed, and 
what remained of the passengers and crew were picked 
up by the EngHsh ships. 




[In view of the extreme activity of German submarines, it 
seemed strange for a considerable period that the Allied 
submersibles were accomplishing so Uttle. With the excep- 
tion of an occasional exploit, in the Dardanelles, the North 
Sea or the Baltic, the Allied submarines appeared to be 
quiescent. Meanwhile, the Germans even ventured to send 
two merchant submarines, the Deutschland and the Bremen, 
across the Atlantic. The answer is found in the effective- 
ness of the British fleet in sweeping the seas of German war- 
ships and merchantmen. 

The Editor.] 

The submarine is not a German invention. Nearly 
a himdred and fifty years ago, in 1774, an Englishman 
named Day was drowned at Plymouth while experi- 
menting with an under-water boat of his own invention. 
American engineers, like Bushnell and Fulton, did more 
than any others to perfect the tjrpe and an American, 
Holland, first solved in a practical fashion the problem 
of submarine navigation. His vessel was so highly 
thought of in England that the construction of others 
was at once begim, and since 1901 submarines have 
formed part of the British navy. ... At the beginning 
of hostilities Germany had probably in commission 
forty such vessels as against Britain's sixty or seventy. 
Even in this region of naval strength on which she 



prides herself she was inferior. Yet no one will deny 
that the deeds of German submarmes have filled our 
ears, while little has been heard of Britain's doings 
beneath the sea. The reason is not far to seek. ... On 
all the seas of all the world passenger, trading, and 
fishing vessels, line after line, pursue their lawful enter- 
prises under the British flag. There is no scarcity of 
game for the hunter and no great glory in the sport, for, 
add neutral ships and on the busy streets of the sea, 
one could hardly discharge a torpedo in any direction 
without striking something that floats. "A week or 
two ago," wrote a Voyager in the North Sea in October, 
1914, "I coimted at one time from one point forty-seven 
vessels, tramps, trawlers, drifters, all in full view, and 
I took no count of sailing craft or of vessels hull down 
in the ofiing." Not one of these was a German ship. 
AU were open to the attack of German raiders, while 
for the British submarine commander not a single 
target was in view. Who then need feel surprise that 
vastly more has been heard of Germany than Britain 
in this form of war? . . . 

One must allow that Germany's submarines achieved 
certain legitimate successes against warships, more es- 
pecially in the early days, but these did nothing to al- 
ter the balance of naval power, and her great and less 
glorious campaign has been against defenseless vessels. 
Why has she devoted such energy and attention to 
submarine warfare? For no other reason than despair 
of doing anything else upon the seas. "On and after 
February i8th [1915] every enemy ship found in the 
war region wUl be destroyed," she announced, "with- 
out its being always possible to warn the crew or pas- 



sengers of the dangers threatening." Before that date, 
indeed, vessels like Ben Cruachan had been sunk, for 
the sake, one supposes, of a little preliminary practice. 
But the world refused to believe that men had really- 
come to this, that a great nation was prepared in pur- 
suit of her purpose to slay both friends and enemies, 
to outrage and so cultivate the respect and admiration 
of himianity. They were driven to revise their estimate 
of what indeed was possible among Christians. On May 
7th came the greatest moral shock civilization had ever 
received, and the black horror of it seemed to eclipse 
the last hopes of human kind. A great passenger liner 
[LusitanJa], unarmed, a mere floating hotel crowded 
with innocent passengers, many of them Americans, 
deliberately mangled by a German torpedo, sank in a 
few minutes with twelve himdred victims of the felon 
blow. Germany received the news with Joj^ul applause, 
with thanksgiving to the German God, for was not this 
a signal proof of divine assistance? . . . 

One point of extreme importance must here be em- 
phasized. The British declaration of foodstuffs as abso- 
lute contraband followed the German attempt to starve 
her rival by the submarine attack on traders. Germany, 
though she represents Britain as the aggressor, her- 
self initiated the starvation campaign. She saw and 
struck at Britain's vulnerable spot, the supply of food 
to her people. Von Tirpitz declared that he could 
"starve England" and the German announcement 
bears the date February, 1915; the British answer to 
it came in March of the same year. 

Possibly no single accomplishment of the British 
navy will in the end rank higher than the incomparable 



resource and incomprehensible skill with which it met 
the new, unexpected, and fiercely driven attack. Figure 
to yourself the task. Remember the number of possible 
victims on the crowded waters, the extent of the seas 
themselves, with their inmmierable and hidden ave- 
nues of approach, the invisibility of the shark-Uke 
foe, the swift and stealthy advance from any quarter, 
the destructive character of his weapon. Imagine de- 
fending yourself in the dark from a blow which may 
be struck at any moment and from any direction. Well 
may Von Tirpitz and his followers have believed that 
all precautions would be vain, and that the submarine 
ruthlessly employed must bring the hated foe to her 
knees. Resolutely wielded it seemed impossible that 

it should fail 

Despite its widely advertised activities and ravages 
among defenseless ships, against which, of course, any 
old blunderbuss of a weapon, if supported by speed, 
will serve, as a fighting vessel the submarine has proved 
distinctly disappointing. So slow a craft — no sub- 
mersible can equal the speed of a surface ship — be- 
comes the easy prey of a destroyer which, traveling 
almost twice as fast, can cover considerably over a mile 
in the time a submarine takes to dive and ram it even 
when some feet below the surface. Blind always by 
night, blind by day when the periscope is submerged, 
the submarine betrays itself in smooth water by a fol- 
lowing wave and attracts the unwelcome attention of 
excited sea-birds to whom the strange monster is clearly 
visible far below the surface. Probably in the future its 
greatest enemy will be the airship which discerns the 
unconscious enemy at a great depth, remains poised 



above it, waits for the rise, and then in perfect security 
drops a bomb which shatters and sinks it. This feat 
has already been performed by a British airman off 
Middelkerke on November 28, 1915. The effective 
handling, too, of this weapon, especially against swift 
armed vessels, is not easily learned. . . . 

We know what German submarines have, or have 
not, achieved since August, 1914. Turn now to the other 
side of the account and contrast the work of British 
ofl&cers and men in these vessels which have given so 
strange and unexampled a character to the naval war of 
to-day. Necessarily it was very different work, directed 
exclusively against the military strength of the Central 
Powers. "The Trade," as it is called in the British 
navy, offers a field to adventurous spirits, and its doings 
have been many and astounding, but unadvertised. 
Long before Germany's, British submarines crossed the 
Atlantic; but their chief centers of operations — the 
war-zones of the North Sea and the Dardanelles — gave 
to their commanders more varied and exciting problems 
than ocean cruising. . . . 

The Sea of Marmora provided even more varied 
fare, hourly thrills of the finest quality. For here the 
game was complicated by a system of nets and wires 
of fabulous and fascinating intricacy, cunning beyond 
computation, while shore batteries and even "horsemen 
on the cliffs," not to speak of patrolling tugs and dhows, 
let loose their artillery. Torpedo boats shepherded you, 
sweeping trawlers genially attempted to encircle you 
with nets, even at one time "the men in a small steam- 
boat leaning over tried to catch hold of the top of the 
periscope." A crowded scene and a busy life in the 



neighborhood of Constantinople! And when at the end 
of three weeks or so of this gentle art of sinking enemies, 
after losing possibly one of your periscopes by a well- 
aimed shot from a big gun, or bumping along the bottom 
in a fierce tide, watching the compass while the current 
swirls your vessel — or your cofl&n — to and fro, you 
crave a little respite and repose — you find it "in the 
center of the Sea of Marmora," that shady, untilled 
garden of the East. 

So runs the tale as told by these young Britons, not, 
indeed, to the curious public, but in their log books for 
the better information of "My lords" at the Admiralty. 
Their "business" was, of course, that of grievous war, 
the harrying of transports and munition ships, the 
destruction of battleships like the Barbarossa, or the 
ubiquitous gunboats. Passenger steamers they always 
spared, hospital ships went unmolested, and, even 
when dhows laden with military stores had to be dis- 
posed of, the crews were "towed inshore and given 
biscuits, beef, and rum and water, as they were rather 
wet." The Turk has proved a more honorable foe 
than his master the German; he both offers and receives 
courtesies. One is not surprised to hear that in these 
cases they parted from our humane commanders 
" with many expressions of good-will." 




Actions in the air began to take place immediately after 
the declaration of war. As early as August 2, 1914, both 
French and German airplanes were brought down. August 
2Sth Zeppelin bombs were dropped on Antwerp, and on the 
30th a German airplane dropped bombs on Paris. After this 
the bombing of towns and cities by German aircraft became 
a common occurrence. Zeppelin raids on England came to 
be accepted as part of the war in the air. Airplanes were 
soon brought into use for reconnaissance over the enemy's 
lines, and for the regulation and control of artillery fire by 
indicating targets, observing and reporting the results of 
gan fire. They are also employed for the taking of photo- 
graphs of enemy trenches, strong points, battery positions, 
and the effects of bombardments. Airmen have also rendered 
aid to the destroyers and the fleet, and have taken part in 
the destruction of submarines. Encounters in the air were 
at first between individual planes, but in time whole fleets 
of German airplanes were attacked by British or French 
squadrons. The fame of aviators increased, too, with the 
intensity of aerial warfare, and some of the more daring 
pilots were credited with the destruction of large numbers of 
enemy machines. Captain George Guynemer, the famous 
French aviator, who was brought down during a reconnais- 
sance flight over Flanders in September, 191 7, had de- 
stroyed no less than fifty-two German machines, according 
to oflScial reports. Great skill and daring have been shown 
in bombing expeditions and assaults upon enemy fleets. A 
compilation from British, French, and German official 
reports shows that 717 airplanes were shot down during 
April, 191 7, and 713 in May. Of this nvimber the Germans 
lost 369 machines in April and 442 in May. The increasing 
losses on the Teutonic side indicate that the Allies have been 
winning the supremacy of the air. 



^'he writer of the following selection is an Englishman who 
itered the service of the Royal Flying Corps as soon as his 
ctreme youth would permit. His training began with flights 
ider careful supervision in England. Then, as an author- 
ed "pilot," he was transferred to the Continent, in readi- 
;ss for active service. 

The Editor^ 

AM here at last. Where that is, however, I can't tell 
3U. . . . We had a good journey. . . . You would hardly 
slieve we were on active service here, although we are, 
: course, within hearing of the big guns. There is a 
ream near by where we can bathe. We have sleep- 
ig-huts fitted with electric light, nice beds, a good 
ess, and a passable aerodrome. The fellows all seem 
!ce, too. . . . 

I have been up several times, but have not had a job 
jt. I have been learning the district, and how to land 
id rise on cinder paths ten feet wide. ... A good land- 
g is a bounce of about twenty feet into the air, and 
diminuendo of bounces, Uke a grasshopper — until 
)U pull up. . . . Every one here is cheerful and thinks 
>^ing is a gentleman's game, and infinitely better than 
le trenches; when your work is over for the day, there 
no more anxiety until your next turn comes round, 
r you can read and sleep out of range- of the enemy's 
ms. What a pity the whole war could not be conducted 



like that, both sides out of range of each other's guns 
all the time! . . . 

On Thursday I went up with an officer observer on 
a patrol, to look for Huns and gun flashes, etc. We 
could not see anything above three thousand feet; so 
we came down to twenty-five hundred feet and flew 
up and down the lines — well on this side, though — 
for a couple of hours. I thus got a splendid view of the 
trenches for miles, and it was awfully interesting to see 
the fields in some places behind our lines, originally 
green pasture land, now almost blotted out with shell 
holes and mine craters. . . . 

This morning we were up at half-past two o'clock. 
We got up eight thousand feet, and waited the signal 
to proceed from our leading machine; but the clouds 
below us completely blotted out the ground, so we were 
signaled to descend. When I had dived through the 
clouds at five thousand feet, I discovered to my surprise 
what appeared to be another layer of clouds down be- 
low, and no sign of the ground at all. I came lower and 
♦ lower with my eyes glued on the altinaeter, and still 
ho sign of the ground. Finally I went through the 
clouds until I was very low, and then suddenly I saw 
a row of trees in front of me, pulled up, cleared them, 
and was lost in the fog or clouds again. I decided that 
that place was not good enough, and, not knowing 
where I was, I flew west by my compass for about a 
quarter of an hour and came down very low again. 
This time we had more success, and could occasionally 
see patches of ground fairly well from about twice the 
height of a small tree. We cruised around until we 
spotted a field, and, after a good examination of it, 




Generally speaking the air-fleet is divided into four classes. 
First come the fighters, flying at a height of ten thousand to 
fifteen thousand feet. Their duty is to keep off all enemy 
planes so that the other squadrons can perform their work. 
Next at a height of six thousand feet come the photographers 
and observers, — the eyes of the staff, — whose task is to 
gather information regarding enemy terrain and activity. 
Below these are the spotters — the eyes of the guns. Fly- 
ing at about five thousand feet they direct the artUlery fire, 
wirelessing the range to their batteries. Last of all come 
the scouts and bombers — the eyes of the infantry. From 
an altitude of five hundred to one thousand feet they sweep 
the enemy trenches with bombs and machine guns, and carry 
information to the infantry. 

Alone of modern fighters the airman is encouraged to 
develop his initiative and many of the most famous have 
characteristic methods of their own. Guynemer, for instance, 
the premier "ace" of the French flying forces, preferred to 
approach his antagonists from below, rearing up his machine 
to fire, and if he missed looping the loop to avoid a collision. 
Immelmann, the great German aviator, preferred, on the 
other hand, to hide behind a cloud and swoop on his unsus- 
pecting prey from above. 

The airplane shown in the illustration is one of the speedy 
French Nieuport scout machines capable of making over 
one hundred and thirty miles an hour and climbing at the 
rate of a thousand feet a minute. The machine gun is oper- 
ated by electricity from the pilot's seat. It was from one of 
these "wasps of the air" that Captain Guynemer shot down 
most of the fifty-three enemy planes with which he was 
credited before his death in September, 191 7. 


landed all right, and found on inquiry, to our great 
relief, that we were in France. The observer-officer 
and I shook hands when we landed. We returned later 
in the day when the weather cleared up. I am not the 
only one who had a forced landing, but we all came 
out all right, I believe. . . . 

I have been putting off writing till I can tell how I 
like German Archies [anti-aircraft guns]. . . . Yester- 
day I was some miles across the Une with my observer, 
as an escort to another machine, and was Archied . . . 
shells bursting all around and some directly under me. 
Why the machine was n't riddled I don't know. I was 
nearly ten thousand feet up too. The Archies burst, 
leaving black puffs of smoke in the air, so that the gun- 
ners could see the result. Those puffs were all over the 
sky. Talk about dodge! Banking both ways at once! 
'Orrible! What's more, I had to stay over them, dodg- 
ing about until the other machine chose to come back 
or finished directing the shooting. Both W. and J. 
who came here with me got holes in their planes from 
Archie the day before yesterday, and W. had a scrap 
with a Fokker yesterday and got thirty holes through 
his plane about three feet from his seat. The Fokker 
approached to within twenty-five feet. W. had a me- 
chanic with him, and he fired a drum of ammunition 
at it, and the Fokker dived for the ground. So the pilot 
was either wounded or — well, they don't know how 
the machine landed, but are hoping to hear from the 
people in the trenches. . . . 

My latest adventure is that my engine suddenly 
stopped dead when I was a mile over the German lines. 
My top tank petrol gauge was broken, and was register- 

, 403 


ing twelve gallons when it was really empty. I dropped 
one thousand feet before I could pump up the petrol 
from the lower tank, and was being Archied, too; but 
I could have got back to our side easily even if the en- 
gine had refused to start, though it would have been 
unpleasant to cross the lines at a low altitude. . . . 

I was flying at a quarter to three this morning. I was 
orderly pilot, and a Hun was reported in the neighbor- 
hood. I went to bed after two hours' flying and was 
knocked up again — all this before I had anything to eat 
or drink. . . . The Hun I was chasing (or rather looking 
for) on my second patrol was brought down a few miles 
from our aerodrome by a French aviator. The pilot 
and observer were killed. Neither my observer nor I 
saw anything at all of the fight, as we were patrolling 
farther down the line. . . . The smash was brought to 
our place and taken away by the French. The machine 
seemed essentially German — very solid and thick, 
weight no^object. . . . 

I had another twenty minutes' night flying a couple 
of nights ago, and did a good landing. It was almost 
pitch dark, as there was a long row of clouds at two 
thousand feet which hid the moon. We had flares out, 
and a searchlight lighting up the track; but from the 
moment you start moving you go out into inky dark- 
ness, flying on, seeing nothing till the altimeter tells 
you that you are high enough to turn. Then round, 
and the twinkling lights of the aerodrome beneath. 
Higher, arid gradually, as you become accustomed to 
the dark, you pick out a roof here and a clump of trees 
there, till finally the picture is complete. At length, 
you throttle down the engine and glide — keeping a 



watchful eye on the altimeter, aerodrome, and air speed 
indicator. When about four hundred feet up, you open 
out your engine again, and fly in toward the aerodrome, 
stopping your engine just outside. Then you glide 
down and land alongside the flares. . . . 

To-day I went up to take photos, and went over the 
lines four times, carefully sighting the required trenches, 
and taking eighteen photos. I spent nearly two and a 
half hours in the air, and when I got back I found the 
string that worked the shutter had broken after my 
third photo, and the rest had not come out. It was dis- 
appointing, because my last three journeys over the lines 
need not have been made, and incidentafly it would 
have saved getting a hole through one of my planes. . . . 

Well, I went up night-bombing yesterday. I went up 
after dinner, and as it was a bit misty I signaled down, 
"bad mist." They signaled to me to come down . . . 
but as I did n't want any doubts on the subject, I 
sloped off toward the lines. I soon lost sight of the 
flares and then became absolutely and completely lost. 
Everything was inky black, and I could see only an 
occasional thing directly below me. My map-board was 
in the way of my compass, so I pulled the map off, 
chucked the board over the side, and then flew east 
for about a quarter of an hour, when I saw some lights 
fired. I crossed the lines about four thousand feet up, 
and tried to find my objective, but it was no go. I went 
about four miles over, and came down to two thousand 
feet with my engine throttled down, but could not even 
recognize what part I was over, owing to the mist. 
Then, to my surprise, the Huns loosed off some Archies 
nowhere near me, so I expect they could n't see me; 



but it looked ripping. They got a searchlight going 
and flashed it all round, passing always over the top of 
me. Then some more flares went up from the lines, and 
I could see the ground there beautifully, as clear as day, 
and some deep craters, but it did not show me sufficient 
to enable me to recognize what part of the lines I was 
over. Deciding it was hopeless, I set out for home, 
flying due west by my compass. It seemed ages before 
I picked up the aerodrome lights again, and I was afraid 
I might have drifted away sideways, but I spotted them 
all right, and just as I was nearing them, passed an- 
other of our machines by about two hundred yards in 
the darkness. . . . Then 1 signaled down and came in 
"perched" (with all my bombs on, of course). . . . 

Yesterday G. and I were doing a big shoot some four 
miles or so over the lines, and as it was a bit misty we 
went up to about six thousand feet and sat right over 
our target for about a quarter of an hour. There was 
a Hun patrol of three machines buzzing round that 
neighborhood, and when they got within a few hundred 
yards, I thought it was about time to draw G.'s atten- 
tion to the matter. He sat up with a jerk, gave a quick 
glance round, never noticed them, and glued himself on 
his target again. "All right," I said to myself, "you'll 
wake up with a jump in a minute." To my surprise two 
of the Huns took no notice of us and went on, while the 
third circled about very diffidently watching us. Once 
he passed right over about two hundred feet above us, 
and at that moment G. looked up. You could see the 
black iron crosses painted on a background of silver 
on the wings, and at that G. moved, and quickly, too. 
I was busy watching the Hun and did not feel a bit 



excited or nervous. I watched and waited, and then 
suddenly the Hun stuffed his nose down and swooped 
behind us, and we heard his machine gun popping away 
like mad. I waited till he was about a hundred yards 
away, and then did a vertically banked "about turn" 
and went slap for him, and let him have about forty 
rounds at about seventy yards' range. G. had his gun 
ready to fire, when the Hun turned and made for home. 
We chased him just a short way for moral effect, and 
then went back to our target and on with the job 
[dropping bombs]. We were awfully surprised when he 
did n't come back. I suppose we scared him or some- 
thing. This little chat took place about seven thousand 
feet up, and five miles on their side of the lines. 




[The Zeppelin raids against England began January 19-20, 
1915, with the attack on Yarmouth, Cromer, Sherington, 
King's Lynn. Up to August 2 2d, thirty-four raids had taken 
place, according to Major Baird, of the Aerial Board, in ten 
of which no casualties had occurred, while 384 people were 
killed in the remainder. Several more raids occurred in 1916, 
and then there was a lull until March 16, 1917. The toll of 
Zeppelins lost was heavy from the first. Ten were lost in " 
1914, before the raids on England began; nineteen were 
lost in 191 5; eleven were destroyed or sunk in 191 6; and eight 
in 191 7, up to October 19th, when three were shot down by 
the French on the Alsace border. The losses began August 
23, 1914, when a Zeppelin was brought down by French guns 
at Badonviller. The English naval pilots began as early 
as October, 1914, to bring down these airships; and on 
November 21st two were destroyed in a raid on Friedrichs- 
hafen. During 1917 the Zeppelin raids were supplemented 
by airplanes, and the casualties were greater. May 26th 
76 persons were killed, and 174 injured in a raid on Folke- 
stone; in the raid of June 13th 104 were kUled, and 403 
injured; and on July nth 37 were killed and 141 injured in 

The Editor] 

Last night [September, 1915] was clear, calm, and 
moonless, — ideal Zeppelin conditions, — and walking 
down from my hotel to the Coliseum at eight o'clock, 
1 noticed that the searchlights were turning the dome 
of the sky into one great kaleidoscope with their weav- 


ing bands of brightness. The warming-up drill was over 
as I entered the music-hall, and, returning home at the 
end of the "top-liner's" act, I picked my precarious 
way by the light of the stars and the diffused halos 
of what had once been street lamps. I was in bed by a 
quarter to eleven, and it was but a few moments later 
that the distant but unmistakable boom of a bomb 
smote upon my unpillowed ear. I was at my east-facing 
window with a jump, and an instant later the opaque 
curtain of the night was being slashed to ribbons by 
the awakening searchlights. 

For a minute or two, all of them seemed to be reeling 
blind and large across the empty heavens, and then, 
guided by the nearing explosions, one after another they 
veered off to the east and focused in a great cone of Light 
where two or three slender slivers of vivid brightness 
were gliding nearer above the dim bulks of the domes 
and spires of the "City." 

Swiftly, undeviatingly, relentlessly, these little pale 
yellow dabs came on, carrying with them, as by a sort 
of magnetic attraction, the tip of the cone formed by 
the converged beams of the searchlights. Nearer and 
louder sounded the detonations of the bombs. Now 
they burst in salvos of threes and fours; now singly at 
intervals, but with never more than a few seconds be- 
tween. Always a splash of lurid light preceded the 
sound of the explosion, in most instances to be followed 
by the quick leap of flames against the sky-line. Many 
of these fires died away quickly — sometimes through 
lack of fuel, as in a stone-paved court; more often 
through being subdued by the firemen, scores of whose 
engines could be heard clanging through the streets — 



others waxed bright and spread until the yellow shafts 
of the searchlights paled against the heightening glow 
of the eastern heavens. 

The wooden clackity-clack of the raiders' propellers 
came to my ears at about the same moment that the 
sparkling trail of the fuse of an incendiary bomb against 
the loom of a familiar spire roughly located the van ol 
the attack as now about half a mile distant. After that, 
things happened so fast that my recollections, though 
photographically vivid, are somewhat disconnected. 
My last "calmly calculative" act was to measure one 
of the oncoming airships — then at about twenty-five 
degrees from directly overhead — between the thumb 
and forefinger of my outstretched right hand, these, 
extended to their utmost, framing the considerably 
foreshortened gas-bag with about a half-inch to spare. 

Up to this moment the almost undeviating line of 
flight pursued by the approaching Zeppelins appeared as 
likely to carry them on one side of my coign of vantage 
as the other; that is to say, they seemed not unlikely 
to be going to pass directly overhead. It was at this 
juncture, not urmaturally, that it occurred to me that 
the basement — for the next minute or two, at least — 
would be vastly preferable, for any but observation 
purposes, to my top-floor window. Before I could trans- 
late this discretionary impulse into action, however, a 
small but brilliant light winked twice or thrice from 
below the leading airship, and a point or two of change 
was made in the course, with the possible purpose (it 
has since occurred to me) of swinging across the great 
group of conjoined railway termini a half-mile or so to 
the north. This meant that the swath of the bombs 



would be cut at least a hundred yards to the northeast, 
and, impelled by the fascination of the unfolding spec- 
tacle, I remained at my window. 

During the next half-minute the bombs fell singly 
at three- or four-second intervals. Then the blinking 
light flashed out under the leader again, — probably 
the order for "rapid fire," — and immediately after- 
wards a number of sputtering fire-trails — not unlike 
the wakes of meteors — lengthened downward from be- 
neath each of the -two airships. (I might explain that 
I did not see more than two Zeppelins at any one time, 
though some have claimed to have seen three.) 

Immediately following the release of the bombs, the 
lines of fire streamed in a forward curve, but from about 
halfway down their fall was almost perpendicular. 
As they neared the earth, the hiss of cloven air — simi- 
lar to but not so high-keyed as the shriek of a shell — 
became audible, and a second or two later the flash of the 
explosion and the rolling boom were practically simul- 

Between eight and a dozen bombs fell in a length of 
five blocks, and at a distance of from one to three hun- 
dred yards from my window, the echoes of one explosion 
mingling with the burst of the next. Broken glass tin- 
kled down tp the left and right, and a fragment of slate 
from the roof shattered upon my balcony. But the 
most remarkable phenomenon was the rush of air from, 
or rather to, the explosion. With each detonation I 
leaned forward instinctively and braced myself for a 
blow on the chest, and lo — it descended upon my back. 
The same mysterious force burst inward my half- 
latched door, and all down one side of the square cur- 



tains were streaming outward from open or broken 
windows. . . . 

Tremendous as was the spectacle of the long line of 
fires extending out of eye-scope to the City and beyond, 
there is no denying that the dominating feature of the 
climax of the raid was the Zeppelins themselves. Em- 
boldened, perhaps, by the absence of gun fire, these had 
slowed down for their parting salvo so as to be almost 
"hovering" when the bombs were dropped opposite my 
vantage-point. Brilhantly illuminated by the search- 
lights, whose beams wove about below them like the 
ribbons in a Maypole dance, the clean lines of their 
gaunt frameworks stood out like bas-reliefs in yellow 
wax. Every now and then one of them would lurch 
violently upward, — probably at the release of a heavy 
bomb, — but, controlled by rudders and planes, the 
movement had much of the easy power of the dart of a 
great fish. Indeed, there was strong suggestion of some- 
thing strangely familiar in the lithe grace of those sleek 
yellow bodies, in the swift swayings and rightings, in the 
powerful guiding movements of those hinged "tails," 
and all at once the picture of a gaunt "man-eater" 
nosing his terribly purposeful way below the keel of a 
South-Sea pearler flashed to my mind, and the words 
"Sharks! Sharks of the air!" leaped to my lips. 

While the marauders still floated with bare steerage- 
way in flaunting disdain, the inexplicably delayed firing 
order to the guns was flashed around, and — like a pack 
of dogs baying the moon, and with scarcely more effect 
— London's "air defense" came into action. Every- 
thing, from machine guns to three- and four-inchers, — 
not one in the lot built for anti-aircraft work, — belched 



forth the best it had. Up went the bullets and shrap- 
nel, and down they came again, down on the roofs and 
streets of London. Far, far below the contemptuous 
airships the little stars of bursting shrapnel spat forth 
their steel bullets in spiteful impotence, and back they 
rained on the tiles and cobbles. 

Suddenly a gruffer growl burst forth from the yelping 
pack, as the gunners of some hitherto unleashed piece of 
ordnance received orders to join the attack. At the 
first shot a star-burst pricked the night in the rear of 
the second airship, and well on a line with it; a second 
exploded fairly above it; and then — all at once I was 
conscious that the searchlights were playing on a swell- 
ing cloud of white mist which was trailing away into 
the northeast. The Zeppelin had evidently taken a 
leaf from the book of the squid. . . . 

I have been under shell fire on several occasions, and 
I confess quite frankly that I never before felt any- 
where near so "panicky" as during that long half- 
minute in which the airships appeared certain to pass 
directly overhead. The explanation of this, it seems 
to me, may be found in the fact that, in the trenches or 
in a fort which is under fire, one is among cool, deter- 
mined, and often callous men who are meeting the ex- 
pected as a part of the day's work, while in a Zeppelin 
raid one is more or less unconsciously affected by the 
unexpectedness of it, and by the very natural terror of 
the unhardened non-combatants. At any rate, to say 
that there was not a very contagious brand of terror "in 
the air" in the immediate vicinity of the swath of last 
night's raid would be to say something that was not 
true of my own neighborhood. 



As soon as the firing ceased I slipped into my street 
clothes and hurried out, reaching the "Square" perhaps 
ten minutes after the last bomb had fallen. That terror 
still brooded was evident from the white, anxious faces 
at street doors and basement gratings. . . . 

At the end of a block my feet were crunching glass 
at every step, and a few moments later I was in the 
direct track of the raid. By a •strange chance — it 
is impossible that it could have happened by intent — 
that last fierce rain of bombs had descended upon the 
one part of London where the hospitals stand thicker 
than in any other; and yet, while every one of these was 
windowless and scarred from explosions in streets and 
adjacent squares, not one appeared to have been hit. 
One large building devoted entirely to nervous disorders 
was a bedlam of hysteria, and the nurses are said to have 
had a terrible time in getting their patients in hand. 
From another, given over to infantile paralysis, hip 
disease, and other ailments of children, came a pitiful 
chorus of wails in baby treble. The other hospitals, 
including one or two foreign ones, appeared to be pro- 
ceeding quietly with their share of the work of succor, 
receiving and caring for the victims as fast as they could 
be hurried in. 

The fires, except for a couple of wide glows in the 
direction of the City and a gay geyser of flame from a 
broken gas main in the next block, had disappeared 
as by magic, and most of the places where bombs had 
dropped in this vicinity could be located only by the 
little knots of people before the barred doors, or by 
following a line of hose from an engine. 

Except for an occasional covered stretcher being 


borne out to a waiting ambulance, the killed and 
maimed were little in evidence; and but for a chance 
encounter with a friend who was doing some sort of 
volunteer surgical work, I should have failed entirely 
to have an intimate glimpse of the grimmer side of the 
raid. I jostled him at a barrier where the crowd wag 
being held back from a bombed tenement, and he 
pressed me into service forthwith. . . . 

[Thirteen Zeppelins raided the eastern and northeastern 
counties of England October 19, 191 7, thirty-four persons 
being killed and fifty-six injured. On the rfetum voyage the 
Zeppelins were attacked by French airmen, four machines 
were destroyed and three captured. L-4g was brought down 
intact, the first one thus captured since the war began. The 
commander and his crew leaped out, and the commander 
tried to destroy the Zeppelin, but was compelled to surrender. 
Experts were then summoned to examine the machine. It 
was found to be 470 feet long, with five motors of 260 horse- 
power each, one in the forward car, one in each of the side 
cars, and two in the rear car. This Zeppelin is further de- 
scribed as follows, by the "Boston Transcript": — 

"Outside the airship is painted black, but inside the cen- 
tral gallery, which runs practically the whole length of the 
ship, everything is yellowish in color, from the metal-work 
to the ballonets. In the central gallery, which is ranged 
neatly in compartments, are all sorts of spare parts — oxygen 
apparatus for the use of the crew in great altitudes and life 
buoys in case of a wreck at sea, hand-grenades, parachutes, 
etc. She was able to carry about 11,500 kilograms (about 
eleven and one half tons) of explosives and she had a very 
well-fitted-up wireless room. 

" Examination also revealed that in the construction of the 
framework of a Zeppelin from ten to twelve tons of alumi- 
num are employed. The covering of the eighteen balloons 
inclosed inside the big outer envelope is made of cotton 
substance, lined with gold-beater's skin, instead of with 



rubber, and the quantity used is so large that the intestines 
of thirty thousand cattle go to the making of the material 
for one Zeppelin. Each of the eighteen balloons is fitted with 
a valve, and separated from those on each side of it by 
a funnel to carry off the explosive mixture of the hydrogen 
of the balloons, the oxygen of the air, and the gases given oS 
by the engines. When all five motors are working together 
— one contained in the forward car, one in each of the two 
side cars, and two in the rear car — the speed attained is 
sixty-eight miles per hour, but, as a rule, all the engines are 
not used at one time, and the normal rate of flight is from 
fifty to fifty-six miles per hour. The ordinary crew consists 
of twenty-two men, but during raids only eighteen are car- 

"The cubic capacity of the present Zeppelins is from fifty 
to sixty thousand cubic metres (about 1,060,000 cubic feet), 
or about ten times the capacity of the first that were built, 
and they are being made at the rate of about two a month. "1 



This is the story of how five British airplanes fought 
twenty-seven Germans and beat them, sending eight 
to earth, crashing, crippled, or in flames. It was on 
Saturday, May 5, 191 7, a day of great heat, when there 
was a haze so thick that you could hardly see the 
ground from a height of two thousand feet. Our men 
had started fairly late in the afternoon, and at five 
o'clock were well over in enemy country, when, with 
the sun at their backs, they saw two enemy machines 
ahead. They tried to close with the enemy, who made 
some show of giving fight. It was only a show, however, 
for as our leading machine drew near the Germans 
turned and made with all speed for home. 

The tactics suggested that the two enemy machines 
were only decoys, intended to lure our little flotilla as 
far as possible from its base — and the suspicion was 
soon confirmed. Even as we started to chase the two 
flying enemies, out of the haze and void on all sides 
new fleets came closing in. 

The new arrivals flew in three formations, two of 
which contained eight machines, and the third con- 
tained nine, making twenty-five German airplanes, all 
of a tiniform fighting t)^e, to whom the other two, 
which now ceased to run away, joined themselves, 
making twenty-seven enemy machines in all. 

One of the enemy fleets, taking advantage of the 



thick air, had passed behind our little squadron and 
came at it, as from the direction of our own lines, 
straight between it and the sun — an awkward direc- 
tion from which to have an enemy flying at you late 
in the afternoon, when the sun is getting fairly low. 
The other two fleets came from the southeast and north- 
east. As they approached they spread out so that our 
men were ringed around with enemies on every side. 

The fight began at about eleven thousand feet; but 
in the course of the things that followed it ranged any- 
where from three thousand feet to twelve thousand 
feet, up and down the ladders of heaven. And the 
extraordinary fact is that all the while that it went on, 
German anti-aircraft guns below kept at work. Usually, 
as soon as airplanes engage overhead, the Archies are 
silent for fear of hitting the wrong man; and whether 
the German gunners were drunk with excitement at 
what was going on above them, or whether it was that 
our machines formed so isolated and compact a mass 
in the heart of the great maelstrom that it seemed still 
possible to shoot at them in safety, is not known. At 
all events, the tumult in the skies was increased by the 
constant pimiping into the tangled mass of shells from 
the ground. 

The actual fighting lasted for a full hour, from five 
to six o'clock, an extraordinary time for such a thing, 
and during all that hour our men fought tooth and 
nail. And the fight had lasted but a few minutes when 
we drew first blood, and an enemy machine which 
Captain A. had attacked went down in flames, with 
the wings of one side shot away. Then it was Lieuten- 
ant B.'s turn. He caught his adversary at close range 



fairly, and the German airplane went down, turning 
over as it fell straight down eleven thousand feet, leav- 
ing a trail of smoke behind. Lieutenant C. scored next, 
his enemy's machine spinning plumb down to where, 
somewhere below the haze, it must have crashed. 

Then, for a moment, it seemed that our luck was 
turning. Lieutenant B.'s engine gave out and he was 
"compelled to leave the formation." It is a simple 
phrase, but what it means is that, helpless and with 
engine still, the airplane dropped out of the fight from 
eleven thousand feet down to three thousand feet. 
It was a dizzying drop, and as he fell, an enemy, seeing 
him defenseless and scenting easy prey, went after him. 

But other eyes were watching. Lieutenant C. saw 
his crippled comrade slipping downward and saw the 
German diving after. Quick as a flash he followed, and 
before the German could do his work the British air- 
plane was almost touching the tail of his machine, and 
in another second the German turned clean over in the 
air and then crashed nose foremost into the abyss. 

Then, almost by a miracle, B.'s engine caught its 
breath again. Once more the machine was under con- 
trol and B., who was one of those who were new to the 
game, climbed and rejoined formation. Some eight 
thousand feet he had to climb, with the baffled Archies 
blazing at him from below, up into the inverted hell 
above, where his four comrades were fighting enemies 
who outnmnbered them six to one. Just as he "re- 
joined" another German fell. It was A.'s second victirn 
of the day, and friend and foe alike saw the machine go, 
sheeted in flames, down into the gulf. 

Then once again it seemed that a throw had gone 



against us, for, still under control, but with flames 
bursting from its reserve petrol tank, one of our ma- 
chines began to drop. Again an enemy, glimpsing an 
easy quarry, dived for the flaming ruin as it fell, but, 
quicker than he, A. also dived, and while our crippled 
machine, still belching flames, slid off, with its nose 
set for home, the German, mortally hit, dropped like a 

It was just retribution. The unwritten laws of this 
marvelous game prescribe that no honorable fighter 
attack an enemy in flames. Such an enemy is out of the 
fight, and has trouble enough for a brave man. The 
German who dived for our burning machine knew that 
he was doing an unchivalrous thing, and it may be 
that that knowledge unnerved him so that he paid the 

Strangely enough, our burning airplane got home. I 
have seen the wreckage, with the reserve petrol tank 
on the roof bearing two bullet holes on one side and 
great ragged tears on the other side where- the bullets 
passed out. The whole tank is scorched and crumpled. 
The flames had burned away the whole central span of 
the upper plane. The thick rear main spar was charred 
and bui:ned through, and two ribs were completely 
severed and hung with loose, blackened ends. Yet, like 
a great blazing meteor, it crossed our fines and came to 
earth, not, indeed, at its home, but on safe and friendly 
ground; and, as another airman said to me in admira- 
tion, "He made a perfectly topping landing." 

Meanwhile the wonderful fight was drawing to a 
close. The British pilot, Lieutenant D., emptied a belt 
from his machine gun into an enemy when so close that 



his wings almost brushed the other's rudder; and the 
enemy turned turtle, clear over on his back, and, spurt- 
ing out a thick column of black smoke, went down. 

Some of the enemy were already drawing off, but our 
men were in no mood to let them go. It is harder to 
get out of a losing fight than it is to begin it, and before 
the enemy mob could disentangle itself from the battle 
two more of their machines had gone to earth — one, 
his third in the fight, falling to Lieutenant C. and one 
to Lieutenant E. 

Then the last four of our machines, still lords of the 
air, came home. 





The hospital and ambulance services of the Great War have 
kept pace with the modem modes of warfare, thanks to the 
automobile and other modem inventions. The Allied ambu- 
lances on the Western Front have been driven by some of the 
bravest and most devoted men, among them Americans 
who very early volunteered for service in France. Venturing 
even to the first-line trenches in quest of the wounded, these 
daring men have taken the greatest possible risks as they 
drove their machines over ditches and along rough roads to 
the nearest relief station or hospital, there to turn over their 
precious charges to the awaiting surgeons. The hospitals in 
turn have been provided with every device made available 
by modem knowledge and skill, and manned with surgeons 
whose consecration to their work was unsurpassed. A remark- 
ably large number of men have been returned to the firing- 
line from the hospitals. Meanwhile stretcher-bearers, am- 
bulance drivers, and surgeons have had a new and most sad 
kind of case to deal with since the days of gas attacks by the 

The Red Cross has rendered assistance on all fronts in 
cooperation with the special relief organizations of each 
country or army, such as the Royal Army Medical Corps 
of Great Britain, and the red cross has been employed as a 
common designation. The combined organizations include 
the casualty clearing-stations in the field, the field hospital, 
the stationary and general hospitals at the base, and the 
more distant hospitals in the home countries. The losses 
involved in some of the greater conflicts, such as the battle 
of the Somme, have tested the relief and medical organiza- 
tions to the utmost, and called for the most heroic devotion. 



[The French field hospital mentioned in the following sketch 
is about five miles from the firing-line. To it are brought the 
wounded who may not without danger go farther. Maud 
Mortimer is one of many American women who volunteered 
for this service. 

The Editor^ 

The sun rises at last on a glistening world. All night a 
furious cannonade has broken the secretive silence of the 
falling snow. It has grown at times so violent that our 
shacks have creaked and rocked and our beds nunbled 
under us, as though sharply twitched and springing 
back with a vibratory movement, starting from the 
corner pointing toward the loudest noise. 

High up, to the right, stodgily swings a saucisse 
[observation balloon] keeping watch on the enemy lines, 
and aeroplanes, with their painted discs, red, white, 
and blue, buzz over us like great blow-flies. More and 
more of them speckle the distance, while little balls of 
smoke, now black, now white, materialize around them 
for a moment, then are unwound and dragged in long 
feathery wakes by the light breeze, until finally engulfed 
in the insatiable blue of the cloudless day. 

Uninterruptedly the routine of the hospital runs on 
to the accompaniment of the continuous roar along the 
front. Up and down the wooden pathways the stretcher- 



bearers carry the wounded from their wards to the 
operating-rooms and back again to their beds, the 
scarlet stretcher blankets showing up against the snow. 
There is plenty of time to-day to attend to them all. 

In the afternoon our dapper general, in immaculate 
red trousers, dustless black coat, and braided cap, his 
hand on the shining scabbard at his side, pauses for 
a moment to listen. Then, looking .along the suffering 
beds, he says exultantly, "C'est moi qui tire!" All day 
long, bang and rattle, rattle and bang, a series of ap- 
parently disconnected explosions, or the continuous 
jarring sound of machine guns, like long heavy chains 
dragged clanking through iron hawse-holes, the whole 
forming in my mind a rhythmic sequence to which a 
graphic form — linked loops and dots, domed curves 
and sharply pointed angles, Jerked from the point of 
some monster telegraphic needle — might perhaps be 

For twenty-four tours no newcomers. The obsession 
of the thundering guns lifts from our spirits as we re- 
member the general's words and begin to hope the dam- 
age done is all on the other side. 

It is nearly dinner-time. Suddenly three whistles 
announcing the arrival of blesses [wounded] sound 
shrilly. Off I speed, trying to keep my balance on the 
narrow paths now slippery in the evening frost. Stand- 
ing at the door of the salle d'attente are two ambulances, 
the drivers with grave faces holding lanterns, while 
stretcher-bearers gently lift or help the wounded out of 
the cars. Two, four, six, seven — they are all in now. 

I follow them into the long room round which, from 
lanterns, dim, black-framed slices of light move un- 



steadily. Three men, variously bandaged, stand facing 
me, smiling "Good-evening." On stretchers on the floor 
are four shapeless heaps. 

A second — to check a wave of sick apprehension at 
sight of them. 

Whose need is the most pressing? We unwrap blank- 
ets, lift them one by one on to beds. But here is one 
who cannot be moved. He seems unconscious. The left 
trouser has been spHt open to the top leaving bare a 
leg, the knee a httle raised, mottled blue by gunpowder. 
It lies queerly zigzag on the stretcher, in an un-leg-like 
way. The right leg is bandaged, as also the whole right 
arm and hand, of which the bandages are soaked with 
recent bleeding. The upper part of the left arm is ban- 
daged too, and as for the head — tiny rivulets of blood 
from scalp, forehead, and nose have trickled down it 
like some ghastly wig combed over the face, leaving 
nothing familiarly human visible, and have spread to 
neck and chest as far as we can se,e through the partly 
open shirt. 

Is this thing, lying there so still, alive? "Hot-water 
bottles quickly!" I take the right boot off the frozen 
foot and am just beginning to cut the laces of the other 
heavy boot which still hangs on the end of the limp, 
bare, blue leg, when a clear, firm voice says, "Don't 
give yourself the trouble, madame, to remove that. 
When they cut off my leg the boot can come off with it." 

I look up and catch the glance of two steady bright 
young eyes peering at me through that lamentable mask. 

"Eugene Sureau, 79th Territorials." 
That is all, written on a card over your bed and in- 


delibly also written in my memory. Why do I so re- 
member you, Eugene Sureau? 

You came in the night when I was not even on duty. 
It did not fall to me to cut off the torn, blood-soaked 
clothes to give you the first cheer, the first warmth after 
the wet, cold, unthinkable trenches and the torturing 
journey over rough roads in a poorly hung ambulance 
where, in the dark, you must have lain silently shrinking 
under each fresh jolt. 

It snowed the night you came in and all the day 
following — a fine hard snow that sparkled on the little 
wooden ways that spanned the mud between our shacks. 
It sparkled, too, on the high-sitting old windmill which 
through so many sunsets I have seen turning, like 
Verhaeren's mill, on a sky couleur de lie. Even the color 
of the lees of wine was not in the sky on that evening 
when you found your place in my memory, Eugene 
Sureau. I did not see your wounds. Sometimes that 
gaping, indecent horror photographs itself on the mind. 
They told me you had come in full of shrapnel wounds; 
but that was true of so many others. 

Once or twice during the day, as I passed your bed, I 
had smiled you a "Comment allez-vous, mon ami?" 
[" How are you, my friend? "] and heard your patient 
"Ca ne va pas tres bien, ma soeur." When at nightfall 
of that same white day I turned into Salle IV, you 
were not in my mind, Eugene Sureau. I had forgot- 
ten the big stretcher-bearer who lay so uncomplain- 
ingly in bed 6. The ward v/as darkened, and the day 
orderlies had gone off duty. Only the orderly whose 
watch held him there until midnight was noiselessly 
moving from bed to bed, preparing the men for their 



night of pain. But round bed 6 the screens were 
drawn, and, hearing me open the door, a nurse beckoned 
to me from a space between them. 

"He has just died. I am alone. Will you help me 
to lay him out?" 

There you were, the play of that patient smile still 
across your lips. The doctors had done what they could 
for you, but your wounds were too many and a terrible 
hemorrhage had left you too weak to bear more. Both 
your legs were bandaged from hip to heel. 

"Take the forceps out of that wound and put on 
layers of wool and more bandages," the nurse whispered. 

And as I obey and add to the deforming bandages 
wool and yet more wool, you seem so Uttle dead, so 
warm, that with a shame-faced sense of intrusion I 
expect to see your eyes turn on me or a look of pain 
tighten your lips. No muscle moves. We can do as we 
will with you. We cannot hurt you. You are warm, 
yet far away; you are warm, yet Hfe, which your ath- 
lete's body and strong sweet face had perhaps made 
dear to you, has gone as capriciously, as mysteriously, 
as she came. Are you satisfied not to be? I vaguely 
wonder. Or is that quiet smile merely the tribute of the 
parting guest to his host, a well-bred acknowledgment 
of favors received, of discomforts too short-lived to be 

We have wrapped you in your shroud, fastened the 
corner with its purple satin cross over your head. The 
nurse has stolen away through the hushed and now 
sleeping ward to call the stretcher-bearers. I stand 
beside you, becoming compassionately more and more 
aware of the fine strong lines of your body. Then sud- 



denly I glance up and see the card over your bed: 
"Eugene Sureau, 79th Territorials." What are you to 
me but a name, a fine hne, a thrill at one more turn of 
the screw among so many others heroically borne? 

Yet from that moment you live for me. On some 
sunny countryside in France are your mother, your 
wife, your "gosses" playing at soldiers, perhaps, and 
talking of your home-coming. All unconscious are they 
that you lie here shrapnel-torn in this darkened, sleeping 
ward, still warm but dead, while I, stooping down, give 
you in their place the kiss of peace the living give the 

You have been dead since the begiiming of the world, 
yet you are still warm, Eugene Sureau. Why does your 
name so echo in my memory? What were you, Eugene 

When I arrived he [Le Groux] was already one of the 
pets of the hospital and the pride of the doctors — not 
because of any show of health he made, poor lamb, but 
because he was still alive after all they had been allowed 
to do to him, and out of gratitude to him for all they 
thought they had learned to do against another time. 

As a little boy he had been an acrobat, and his deli- 
cate grown-up boniness still gave one some idea of what 
that reedy childhood must have been. Then, weary of 
that hard life or kicked out of the company for some 
slip, he became a waiter in a cafe. Never very communi- 
cative, he was as silent on that score as on others. We 
can only infer that something learned there or before 
led him to commit le crime — ever so little a one, per- 
haps, such as many we know may have committed. 



Only, you see, he was so thin in body and environment, 
there was nothing with which to cover it up; while others 
less exposed, well padded with fortune and with place, 
sail virtuously on their ways all unsuspected. This 
crime, then, — he, as I have said, having nothing with 
which to hide it, — lay not only naturally bare, but was 
dragged into a glittering, artificial light by those whose 
interest it may have been to blacken and defame him 
and so gain another soldier for the not too popular 
African Light Infantry. 

He was condemned, of course, and "poured" (as they 
so forcibly say) into the Bataillon d'Afrique to be a 
Zephir or Joyeux then and until his death. Brave boys, 
many of these Joyeux are. Their crimes forgotten when 
the war bugles blow, they are sent to the hottest cor- 
ners; for, having nothing to lose but a trifling something 
of physical enjoyment and, perhaps, of physical com- 
fort, they fight with a daring and a foolhardiness born 
of their adventurous, irresponsible lives. Their zealous 
light-heartedness wins for them their name; and, if good 
fighters, they are no less heroes under suffering as I, for 
one, happen to know. 

There is always, of course, a chance of rehabilitation 
dangled before the eyes of any one of them who, more 
desperate than the rest, shall win a military laurel by 
some signal deed of daring. Once the cross or medal is 
pinned on his breast he can, if still whole, be "poured" 
into a regiment of better social repute, whitewash his 
blackened name, and salve the old family sore that his 
backsliding may have caused. But, as one boy explained 
to me, the grapes so gathered too often turn sour in the 
eating. It is sufficient for a theft or some unfathered 



act of insubordination to be committed in his new sur- 
roundings: presto, it is the Joyeux who is guilty. 

Why go any farther? We have all heard of the dog 
and his name. The Joyeux, even with his Cross of 
Honor, bought at a so much higher price than other 
people's crosses, generally prefers to remain in his own 
battalion, where there is honor even among thieves. 

Our Le Groux, then, "Joyous One" or "Light 
Breeze," a bullet through the spleen and kidney, half- 
flayed, with stomach, liver, and part of his intestines 
laid impudically bare, drains in the abdominal cavity 
and in his back, was one of the pets of the hospital and 
of the medical staff. If the doctors cherished him and 
cherished themselves in him, he no less cherished the 
doctors — one especially, a fine figure of a man, all that 
Le Groux was not, who to real skill added the " happy 
hand" so dear to those suffering men, and who in return 
was adored by them. "Monsieur le majeur est un chic 
type," Le Groux would say; and a happy look of confi- 
dence would flit across the emaciated face, lighting into 
sigm'ficance the bright, brown eyes, high, hectic cheek- 
bones, and somewhat oblique, thin nose. 

Every one spoke of Le Groux and asked, after each 
dressing, how he was; glanced many times a day at the 
chart over his bed and speculated what he would be fit 
for when, rehabilitated by a decoration of which even 
a whisper would send his temperature speeding up to 
the danger-point, his wounds finally drained and cleaned, 
he should be handed on by us to a base hospital and 
thence nu'ngle once more in his country's civil Hfe. The 
gray hospital ambulance, with its prominent red cross, 
never whirled one of us into the nearest town, there to 



buy provisions and other household necessities, without 
bringing back some dainty for Le Groux, — oysters, 
fish, petits gateaux, or fruit, — in the hope of tempting 
his capricious appetite and winning for ourselves his 

Yes, certainly he was one of the pets of the hospital. 
And not only did he adore his doctor, but he also adored 
his faithful friend the nurse, his nurse, to whom alone, 
by virtue of her skill and devotion, was entrusted the 
ceremony of his terrible dressings, and whose care came 
nearer to a true mother's than anything this boy had 
ever known. And yet his mother lived. How we found 
it out- 1 do not know. That was one of the things that 
always set us thinking. At rare intervals, he would men- 
tion a sister, but never, never had any one of us heard 
him speak of his mother. Did he know her shamed and 
broken-hearted by that slip, that blot, that crime, by 
reason of which he was "poured" into the Bataillon 
d'Afrique? We shall never know. 

Here, then, you have his life with us, the slow, drag- 
ging days colored only by his changing moods, mixture 
alike of fineness and coarseness, at moments pulling one 
up short with a sense of one's own inferiority, then 
again flashing too crude a light on that past of which we 
guessed so much and knew so little. 

At the end of four months — by one of those brusque 
changes common, I am told, in all military hospitals 
(due, some say, to intrigue, others to a legitimate desire 
on the part of a paternal General Staff to give to all 
medical aspirants an equal chance of experience and 
practice at the front) — the general signed the papers 
and our medical staff was changed, the chic type among 



the number. "Promotion" the authorities called it, 
though he thought otherwise; and there was much heart- 
burning and putting of heads together in our camp. 

When Le Groux heard that his doctor was to go to 
another hospital he said brightly, "Eh bien, you will 
wrap me up well and take me with you." 

"Alas, no, mon vieux, you must wait until that 
bronchitis is better. Then I will come myself and fetch 
you. Au revoir et sois sage. You will, I hope, soon be 
well. The new doctor will be good to you." 

Le Groux lay still all that day and all the next. In 
the evem'ng of the second day I stood looking down at 
his wan, pinched face, with the tightening skin round 
nose and lips. He slowly opened his eyes. "Is there 
nothing I can get for you? No? Not even prunes?" 
They were his favorite sweet. "Things stick in my 
throat these days," he whispered, "but if you will cook 
them, to please you I will try to eat them." A moment 
later he stretched out his hands to his nurse who folded 
him in her arms, her big hot tears falling on his white face. 

Twenty minutes later the general, followed by the 
new medecin-chef, turned the handle of Salle I. The 
general held a Croix de Guerre and a Medaille Militaire 
in his hand. 

"Where is Le Groux, ma soeur?" 

"He is dead." 


"Yes, he lived only on his courage. When they re- 
moved his doctor he lost hope and died." 

Without a word, his head bent, the general turned and 
left the ward, two little unopened boxes in his hand, his 
sheathed sword hanging impotently at his side. 



Out of the endless muddy plains of western Belgium 
choose some three hundred yards, rather more muddy 
than the rest, and round them draw with a loose- jointed 
compass, so that the curve may wobble here and there 
and try more than once to escape at a tangent, a thick 
black line. Press on your point until it sinks into the 
soft mud and your outhne becomes a ditch. Then, out 
of the sticky, fertile inner rim of your ditch, draw up a 
hawthorn hedge, eight feet or so in height, and you 
have the site of our field hospital. 

On one side of this sticky field is a space given up 
to cars and ambulances and known as "the yard." It 
is bounded on its northeast side by low, ramshackle, 
wooden shacks, one, open in front, the car-shed, the 
others closed and serving severally as cabins for the 
chauffeurs, storehouse, coal-bin, and mortuary chapel. 
Between the mortuary chapel and the next shack, there 
is a space roofed over with planks to form a covered 
way which, in turn, opens upon a margin of our field and, 
through a low wooden door in the hedge, out on to the 
deeply rutted village road. 

The little chapel is hung all round and curtained in 
with unbleached calico haunted by a taint of gangrene. 
A plain wooden cross hangs on the east side, and in the 
center are trestles on which the bodies awaiting burial 
are laid, first in their shrouds, later in their plain deal 
coffins. These coffins, the carpenter once boastingly 
told me, he could knock together in twenty minutes 
each — the lowest terms to which this, the last need of 
man, has been reduced. 

On a gray day in early January as I passed along one 
end of the yard, I saw a group of poilus, their helmets 



on, their faded, mottled, horizon-blue overcoats looped 
back, their guns at rest with bayonets fixed. The supply- 
wagon that served us as a hearse stood under the cov- 
ered way in front of them, while at one side, leisurely 
putting a stole on over his uniform and preparing to 
officiate at a funeral, was one of our mobilized priests. 

My favorite nurse, in her dark blue cloak, the small 
red cross on her white head-dress, stood a little apart 
from the rest, waiting. 

"Laloux is to be buried," she whispered; "won't you 
stay with me? " 

I have but lately come to the hospital and the edge 
of emotion is still cutting. Quietly we stand together, 
while the stretcher-bearers go behind the curtains and 
presently reappear, carrying the coffin, which they slide 
into the supply-wagon. On each of o_ur coffins, for all 
decoration, is nailed a metal cross, and tenderly enough 
— allowing for the wear and tear of daily repetition — 
is laid a small wreath of yellow immortelles and a bunch 
of artificial, rain-proof Parma violets. Silently we fall 
into place: first, an orderly carrving a long thin plain 
deal cross; then, the soldier-priest in his stole, a half- 
open breviary in his hand, a finger in the burial serv- 
ice; then, three soldiers abreast, with guns and bayo- 
nets fixed; behind these, the improvised hearse drawn 
by two shabby horses, with three more soldiers, on each 
side, in single file, three abreast immediately following. 
Twelve soldiers in all, twelve guns, twelve bayonets 
fixed. Behind the soldiers the stretcher-bearers, fol- 
lowed by a solitary mourner who has come a twenty- 
four hours' journey to arrive too late, but not too late 
for death. After her walk the nurses, a few officials, 



orderlies, any one who likes, out of curiosity or piety, 
to join our straggling procession. 

The gray desolate day seems grayer and more deso- 
late as we pick our way across puddles and ruts, trying 
to catch a rhythm in twelve heavy marching feet and 
oscillating iron-bound wheels on rough-worn cobble- 
stones. On, past the diminutive wayside chapel outside 
our farthest gate, round a bend in the road where 
a dilapidated windmill stands, raised on its high plat- 
form against the sky, and drags ragged sails in monoto- 
nously repeated, jerky circles — on and on into the 
little village of one street, over the bridge that spans 
the canal, with its half-inimdated banks turning broken 
gray mirrors up to a glowering gray sky. This canal is 
famous now, and will be famous as long as the history 
of Belgium is told, for the heroic resistance put up be- 
hind the scant refuge of its inhospitable banks to the 
untiring attacks of merciless hordes. 

Most of our men, many of them old Territorials 
ordered there to beat time, as they themselves would 
say, and because in that "hot corner the less precious 
lives might best be thrown away," were wounded within 
a few hundred yards of the bridge across which, to the 
heavy rhythm of tramping boots, we carry them dead. 

On and on we go, meeting weary convoys who, as 
they trudge in an opposite direction, conscious their 
turn may be the next, pay tribute by their expression- 
less faces and the dire simplicity of their salute, to the 
elemental dignity of death. 

We reach the Httle market at last, turn sharply to 
our left, and pass into the village church. There we 
pause for a part of our burial service — for the swung 



censer and the holy water sprinkled alike on living and 
on dead. Out and on through the north door to the 
farthest edge of the little churchyard, where, circling 
a third of the space, row on row, four abreast, rough 
black wooden crosses, high as a man, tell their tale. . . . 



BY A. P. A. 

For many years before the war there existed at Neuilly- 
sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, a semi-philanthropic in- 
stitution supported by Americans and known as the 
American Hospital. At the outbreak of the war this in- 
stitution instantly and naturally became the rallying- 
point for Americans who loved France and wanted to 
help care for her wounded soldiers. ... A multitude of 
doctors, surgeons, and nurses were brought over from 
the United States; and thus the American Ambulance 
Hospital in the Lycee Pasteur, with accommodations 
for more than six hundred wounded soldiers, came into 
being. Soon the generosity of another American friend 
of France made possible a second American Ambulance 
Hospital, and the venerable College of Juilly, located 
about thirty miles east of Paris, was steam-fitted, 
electric-lighted, and made over into a hospital for about 
two hundred additional wounded, with distinguished 
American surgeons in charge. 

From the outset it was clear that the saving of sol- 
diers' Hves depended quite as much upon the quick 
transportation of the wounded as upon their surgical 
treatment, and in September, 1914, when the battle- 
front surged close to Paris, a dozen automobiles given 
by Americans, hastily extemporized into ambulances, 



and driven by American volunteers, ran back and forth 
night and day between the western end of the Marne 
Valley and Paris. This was the beginning of the Ameri- 
can Ambulance Field Service. . . . During the autumn 
and winter that followed many more cars were given 
and many more young Americans volunteered, and 
when the battle-front retired from the vicinity of 
Paris, sections of motor-ambulances were detached 
from the hospitals at Neuilly and Juilly and became 
more or less independent units attached to the several 
French armies, serving the dressing-stations and army 
hospitals within the army zone. . . . 

In Belgium and Northern France, where the Ameri- 
can Ambulance Field Service has had an important 
section since the early months of the war, the valiant 
service rendered during the second battle of the Yser, 
and during the many bombardments from long-range 
guns in and about Dunkirk, has attracted official recog- 
nition from the highest officers in the army. At the time 
of the prolonged battle in the vicinity of Ypres in May, 
General Putz wrote that the American Section had, 
by working five nights and days without interruption, 
assured the evacuation of the hospitals in Everdinghe, 
though under continual shell fire which covered all of 
the roads in the neighborhood and even the hospitals 
themselves. . . . 

In the section of Alsace which France has recovered 
from Germany, the American Ambulance Field Service 
has now the only automobile ambulances and they are 
performing a service which no other automobile am- 
bulances could perform. Because of the lightness and 
power of our little cars, and because we are willing to 




When a man in the front trenches is hit he is given first aid 
by his comrades and carried by the stretcher-bearers to the 
advance dressing-station. There his emergency bandages 
are taken off, the wounds hastily dressed, and he is trans- 
ported by motor ambulance to the clearing hospital and 
thence by train to the base hospital. 

Long before America declared war American ambulance- 
drivers were risking their lives along the Western Front 
bringing in wounded poilus from the advance dressing- 
stations. That their work lacked neither thrills nor dangers 
is shown by this brief sketch taken from the diary of one of 
the American drivers who served through the hottest fight- 
ing at Verdun: — 

"You are asleep in the straw, perhaps dreaming of home. 
Toward midnight you are awakened by a hand on your 
shoulder, and a whispered voice says: 'We are going to the 
Cabaret to-night — the Cabaret Rouge.' 

"If hell has its theaters and cabarets, the devil will do 
well to pattern his entertainments from the spectacle we see 
nightly at this one. The house is halfway up the slope in 
a valley. Behind it, in front of it, on all sides of it, are the 
French batteries. The German shells are bursting in the 
fields around, while our own gims flash and thunder inces- 
santly. Immediately in front of us, above the hilltop a 
couple of kilometres distant, the red signal rockets illumine 
the sky, varied occasionally by a white rocket demanding 
a curtain fire or concentrated artillery bombardment at a 
certain point in the trenches; sometimes a green flare warn- 
ing us of a gas attack. Down from the trenches, along the 
winding boyaux, come the stretcher-bearers with their crim- 
son burdens. They are deposited on the straw, re-bandaged, 
given a drink of water or cold tea, and loaded into our cars — 
sometimes groaning, sometimes shrieking, sometimes silent. 
The wall of the house, with a shell hole through it big enough 
for five rnen to stand in, looms dirty red amid the flashes 
of artillery. Red Cabaret, red rockets, red fire, red blood." * 

' From Diary of Section VIII, American Ambulance Field Service. 


use them up in this service and replace them with- 
out restrictions, the ambulances are running over steep 
mountain passes in Alsace which the French automobile 
ambulances were unable to cross and over which 
wounded soldiers were formerly carried on mule-back. 
They have been able to reduce the journey of the 
wounded between the dressing-stations and the hos- 
pitals from four or five hours to less than one, at 
the same time substituting transport in a comfortable 
springed vehicle for the agony of transport in the mule- 
litters. Two of the men in this Section have already 
received the Croix de Guerre for special acts of valor. . . . 
We have a Section of ambulances in Lorraine to 
which has been entrusted exclusively the service of 
carrying the wounded in the much-fought-over region 
around Bois-Ie-Pretre. This Section alone has carried 
on the average about seventy-five hundred wounded 
per month. The men work continually within range of 
the German shells and are almost daily under German 
fire. The Section as a whole, and their leader, have 
received honorable mention in official dispatches and 
have been given the Croix de Guerre. 



[The following selections from the letters of one of the 
young American volunteers in the ambulance service indi- 
cate some of the experiences and perils to which the driver 
of an ambulance is subject. Like so many other letters from 
the front, those from which the selections are taken were not 
originally intended for publication. Hence, as some one has 
written, "from this unconscious story one gets an impression 
of the devoted service which young Americans are rendering 
in France and of the way in which they are reducing the 
agony and saving the lives of wounded French soldiers." 

The Editor] 

I CAME here — Pont-a-Mousson — last night [June 16, 
1915], after a seven hours' journey to Nancy from 
Paris. On the way I found much to interest me, as (if 
you will look on your map) you will see that the rail- 
way runs beside the river Marne, then the Meuse, and 
lastly the Moselle. An officer pointed out to me all the 
interesting places where the Germans advanced and 
then retreated in a hurry, leaving everything behind 
even to their flags, which I believe are now in London. . . . 
On arriving at Nancy I was met by Salisbury, our 
Section leader, and after a good rneal in the most beau- 
tiful little town you could hope to see (and where the 
Kaiser and ten thousand troops in' dress parade were 
waiting on a hill close by to enter in state last October), 
we started by motor for Pont-a-Mousson. Some fif- 



teen kilometres farther on, our lights were put out and 
then we entered the region under shell fire. . . . 

At last we came to Pont-a-Mousson, a dear little vil- 
lage -with about eight thousand inhabitants, and felt our 
way, so to speak, in the darkness and silence to the bar- 
racks which are now the headquarters of the ambulance. 
I found that there were about twenty cars and twenty- 
two men there, the latter all enthusiastic about their 
work and the help the Section were giving the French. 
. . . After being introduced to the "boys," I went to my 
room which is some one hundred and sixty metres up the 
road — nearer the trenches, but safer for all that. 

Here I found I was to share the house with another 
man, Schroeder by name, a Hollander and a very nice 
feUow, who has already lost one brother and has had 
another wounded in the French army. My bedroom is 
a quite typical French peasant room, very comfortable, 
and I felt grateful to know that I was to have a bed and 
not straw to sleep on. I went to sleep there my first 
night in comparative quietness, only hearing now and 
then the crack of a musket which in peace-time one 
would think was merely a back-fire of some motor. In 
the morning I woke at six and went to breakfast in our 
barracks, which is always served at seven o'clock. . . . 
My friend or housemate pointed out, about five hundred 
metres away, what looked like a fallen tree across the 
road. Imagine my feelings when he told me they were the 
French trenches. On the ridge of hills on the right, one 
sees a brown Une — these are the German trenches, and 
walking down the road to breakfast, one gets the knowl- 
edge that a first-rate rifle shot could pick one off. 

After breakfast ... we started on a tour [in a Fprd 



ambulance], or "petit promenade," as an ofl&cer told 
us we were doing. . . . We left the river (where we could 
be clearly seen by the Germans intrenched some thou- 
sand metres away), and I confess I sighed in relief — 
for it is difficult to accustom one's self immechately 
to the possibility of receiving a bullet in one's head or 
a shell in one's stomach, . . . We left Pont-a-Mousson 
and started up the hill to our first " place de secour" 
[reUef station]. . . . 

On the other side of the hill on our right extended the 
famous Bois-le-Pretre; but it is no longer a wood — 
it is just a wilderness with a fe_w brown stumps 
sticking up. . . . We turned to the left and mounted a 
steep hill and entered it. Here the birds were singing 
and all was green and beautiful, . . . but one could see 
trench after trench deserted. Here was an officers' 
cemetery, a terribly sad sight, six hundred officers' 
graves. Close by were also the graves of eighteen hun- 
dred soldiers. ... As we waited a broken-down horse 
appeared with a cart-load of what looked like old 
clothes — "lesmorts" [the dead]. I had never seen a 
dead body till that moment. It was a horrible awak- 
ening — eight stiff, semi-detached, armless, trunkless, 
headless bodies — all men like ourselves with people 
loving them — somewhere — ■ all gone this way — 
because of what? I don't know, do you? . . . One 
becomes habitue, they told me. . . . 

It hardly seems possible that we are so close to the 
German trenches — fair food, even hot water, wonderful 
moonlight nights, and a comfortable bed. Every other 
night we have to sleep in the barracks to be on duty 
any moment, and so we sleep on straw and don't undress. 



Every fourth night we are on duty all night and go to 

X and stay there in the car taking wounded to the 

first, second, and third base hospitals. . . . For two out 
of the six kilometres we are exposed to German view 
and the whole of the way, of course, to shell fire. 

On my first arrival at this Uttle mountain village 

[X ] I was horrified to see two people lying dead 

in the road in huge pools of blood. Six German " iso's" 
had been suddenly launched into the village which is 
full of soldiers, and killed six soldiers and wounded 
some thirty. Three of the six shots had landed actu- 
ally in the road itself. Two of our ambulances were in 
the streets at the time and only chance spared them. 
I asked where the shells had struck, and my stretcher- 
bearer looked around for a moment and then pointed 
under my own car, and there was a hole some nine inches 
deep and two feet wide. . . . Only five minutes before, 
and it might happen again at any moment. I took down 
three couches, as the lying-down ones are called, and 
had to pass in front of a battery of "75's" which fired 
as I passed and gave me a shaky feeling, I can tell you. 
Then backward and forward for two hours carrying 
more wounded. . . . 

Last night I was on duty all night at X , and it 

was a great strain riding backward and forward in pitch 
darkness up and down the very steep and narrow road. 
I had to go toAuberge St. Pierre •et about two o'clock 
this morning. This road is in full view of the Germans 
and much bombarded, and shrapnel burst close by, which 
reminded me that a lovely moonlight night, with trees 
and hills and valleys dimly shaping themselves, can be 
other than romantic. 



It was a sad trip for me — a boy about nineteen had 
been hit in the chest and half his side had gone, and as 
we Ufted him into the car, by a little brick house which 
was a mass of shell holes, he raised his sad, tired eyes 
to mine and tried a brave smile. I went down the hill 
as carefully as I could and very slowly, but when I 
arrived at the hospital I found I had been driving a 
hearse and not an ambulance. It made me feel very 
badly — the memory of that faint smile which was to 
prove the last effort of some dearly loved youth. All the 
poor fellows look at us with the same expression of 
appreciation and thanks; and when they are unloaded 
it is a common thing to see a soldier, probably suffering 
the pain of the damned, make an effort to take the hand 
of the American helper. I tell you, tears are pretty 
near sometimes. . . . 

On Friday [July gth] I again took down a German 
wounded — this time a German of the Kaiser's or 
Crown Prince's Bodyguard (the German Crown Prince 
is against us here). He was dying. Picture to yourself 
a fine, truly magnificent man — over six feet four — 
wonderful strength — with a hole through both lungs. 
He could not speak, and when I got to the hospital, I 
asked in German if he wanted anything. He just looked 
at me and chokingly murmured, "Catholic." I asked a 
soldier to fetch the priest, and then two brancardiers 
(stretcher-bearers) and the doctor, the priest, and I knelt 
down as he was given extreme unction. That is a little 
picture I shall never forget — • all race hatred was for- 
gotten. Romanist and Anglican, we were in that hour 
just all Catholics and a French priest was officiating 
for a dying German — a Boche — the race that has 



made Europe a living hell. I came back about seven 
o'clock at night with more wounded and asked if he 
still lived. Yes; would I like to see him? I went in 
and although he breathed his last within an hour after, 
his look showed recognition, and that man died, I am 
sure, with no hatred for France. . . . 

The day before yesterday [August 13th], after having 
made several trips with wounded, I had a pressing call to 
Auberge St. Pierre. There the Germans were bombarding 
as usual, and it was unpleasant. A shell had landed near 
a kitchen, killing several and seriously wounding one 
soldier. He had a hole as big as your fist right through 
his back. "There is a chance if you can get him to the 
operating room quickly," I was told — it was eighteen 
kilometres to the best surgeon; so off dear old "No. 10" 
and I started on our rush for life. Toot ! toot I toot ! — 
and even the soldiers, realizing that I had a man's life 
in my care, made a clear way in the road ahead — and 
through village after village, without moving the throt- 
tle, we sped on and on. Bump, bump, bump, — what 
did it matter if I had to shake him about a little — 
he was unconscious, and every second counted. "I hope 
I won't have a puncture," I found myself muttering 
from time to time. Finally ... I drew up at the tent. 
In a second two brancardiers had the car unloaded — 
the surgeon in white was washing his hands — and 
thirty minutes, from the time my charge was given 
into my care, he was lying on the opera ting- table. 
"He may live," said the surgeon. That was my reward! 
That is why I am happy even here — only for this rea- 
son — one sometimes saves lives and never intention- 
ally kills. . . . 



To-day [September 14th] the Section and our Section 
leaders were decorated. The ceremony took place in the 
garden and the Croix de Guerre was pinned on Salis- 
bury's breast. The double kiss, given with dignity, and 
a few words of congratulation by .the medecin division- 
naire [division doctor] ended the notable event. So we 
now have hanging over our mantelpiece this coveted 
insigne. . . . 

No letter from America has come to me for over two 
weeks, which is not very stimulating. Out here, mole- 
hills are mountains, and mountains — impassable, and 
although it is of no real importance whether one gets 
a letter or not, or whether the letter one may get is 
cold or warm, yet these small and seemingly insignificant 
things are sometimes enough to send away sleep. I 
suppose the truth is, I really need a rest and change. It 
has seemed to me lately that modern warfare means 
even more of a nervous expenditure than a physical one. 

The nights are getting cold, dark, and damp. The 
leaves are falling, underbrush turning, — the icy hand 
of winter stretches out nearer and nearer, — and the 
trials of the poilus are doubling every day. 

Yesterday I talked with a priest. He and most of his 
calling voluntarily accepted at the beginning of the war 
the fearful task of burying the dead. It sounds very 
simple, does n't it? It means handling terrible objects 
covered with blood-soaked clothing, that once had the 
shape of human beings. . . . That is a little of what 
burying the dead means. . . . And this is the work the 
priests of Peace are doing in France. Wonderful, you 
think? No, it is French temperament, French cour- 
age. . . . 




[The author of the diary from which this selection is taken 
is an American volunteer who succeeded Leslie Buswell as 
driver of Ambulance No. 10. He was assigned work at 
various parts of the front in France until finally he was put 
on duty at Verdun during the great battle. 

The Editor^ 

Such a splendid trip! We came down through Senlis, 
the town where the Boches did their worst. They 
burned every tenth house, and shot the citizens, includ- 
ing the Mayor. Then we came along the valley of the 
Marne, and saw the whole of the great battlefield. A 
perfect day, and the Lieutenant ran slowly so that the 
convoi should get a chance to take the views. At that, 
we are to-night [June 23d] at Chalons — some ride! 
Every bone in my body aches and it's hard even to keep 
awake to write this. Woody [one of the ambulance 
drivers] got an awful spill. He nearly went to sleep, a 
very common thing after one has been driving for a 
great many hours — sort of h3^notism; his car turned 
turtle, but threw him clear. ... I find the only thing to 
do is to try to compose a letter or a verse or remember 
songs one half knows. It keeps one's mind out of that 
hypnotic rhythm. Here I am on a wonderful soft down 
bed with sheets! The Russians are here also. The lady 
of the house where I am quartered says that last night 



• there was a Boche aeroplane raid, but it did no damage, 
except it made her baby cry with the noise. . . . 

We passed many smashed-up villages to-day, includ- 
ing Sermaize, and the famous Vitry-le-Frangois, the 
turning-point of the battle of the Marne. ... As we 
neared Bar-le-Duc we passed the Tenth Cavalry, every 
man leading an extra horse. All the horses are little, 
quick-acting animals of the polo pony type. They 
looked very efficient. We also passed the Seventy- 
ninth de ligne returning from the front. The men were 
haggard and done, but a fine-looking lot. Ten days 
should put them on their toes again. . . . 

We arrived at Bar-le-Duc yesterday [June 24th] at 
five o'clock, and had our tents up and kitchen work- 
ing by 6 P.M., to the astonishment of a neighboring 
camion [motor-truck] section. We turned in at nine 
o'clock. At II P.M. a call came to go at once to Verdun, 
as there had been a big gas attack. We chucked every- 
thing out of our cars, got masks and "tin derbys," and 
beat it. We made the outskirts of Verdun (fifty kilo- 
metres) by I A.M. over fearful roads and not a car broke 
down, though there were several blow-outs. We ran 
into the Norton Section and our No. 2. They were 
very much surprised — as they knew we had only 
arrived that evening — to find us right on the job. 
As we loaded the coughing men into the cars, the guns 
were going like mad and a terrific explosion occurred 
— either a mine or a powder depot. . . . 

Each car took five men and we landed them back at 
Bar-le-Duc as the day was breaking. . . . To-day we 
are taking things easy and awaiting orders. The man 
who sat beside me told me that the reason they got 



caught by the gas was that they had taken their masks 
off to see more clearly, as the ground was treacherous 
and full of shell holes, and some of the gas was still 
lurking in the low places. . . . 

No rest for the wicked. We had only just got thor- 
oughly repaired and straightened out after our trip, 
when we were called out again : this time to a little east 
of Verdun at 3 a.m. Well, we galloped out over that 
awful road again, dodging two solid lines of camions 
and guns for the whole fifty kilometres. The French, by 
the way, call it the Voie Sacree (Sacred Way), as, when 
the railroad was cut, the use of this road for carrying 
supplies saved Verdun. Nobody got into much trouble, 
however. . . . When we got to Dugny we found it packed 
with ambulances. There had been another gas attack. 

Chapman, the American airman, was killed yesterday 
near here. He shot down three Boches before he got his 
own. We saw his wrecked plane. . . . 

It develops that the reason we were sent for was only 
partly to concentrate the American Ambulance, but 
also for the purpose of feplacing a French Section of 
twenty cars, of which only ten are now working and 
whose drivers are about all in. Five of the men got 
caught in a tunnel the other night when two Austrian 
"380's" exploded one at either end and a third on top. 
The air concussion threw them some fifteen or twenty 
feet, first one way and then the other, while not only 
the glass headlights, but even the floor boards of their 
cars were blown in ! 

June 29. We have been moved to Dugny on the 
Meuse, six kilometres from Verdun. It is to be our 
headquarters . . . and we are to run up to the posies de 



secour from here. We were taken to Fort Tavannes, the 
cabaret, and other pastes de secour. While at the cabaret 
the Germans began shelling the series of batteries which 
were all along the road. Some twenty huge (at least, 
they seemed huge to us) shells fell around us. This was 
the heaviest shell fire I have yet been under, and I was 
glad to have something to do to keep my mind off 
it. Two men about one hundred yards away were de- 
capitated and there were a number of dead horses about. 
I can see we are going to have a lively time. Coming 
back, an incendiary shell set a big house on fire on the 
outskirts of Verdun, and the shells came whirring rap- 
idly. We passed several smashed ammunition wagons 
and one ambulance all in pieces. After dinner we saw 
some German prisoners going by. They had just been 
captured and were a bedraggled lot, but were neither 
extremely young nor extremely old, indicating that 
there is still a pretty good "bunch" of Boches left. We 
started in our service this evening and calls began to 
come in right at dinner-time. We send a car out 
every twenty-five minutes at night, but in the daytime 
we go every hour and a half. There is practically no 
repos. . . . 

July 2. I had an amusing trip with a captain this 
morning. I had been running all night from Tavannes 
and the cabaret. The Germans made an attack near 
Vaux and our tir de barrage stopped it. We drove past 
some one hundred guns, "7S's" and "los's," whose 
muzzles project over the road, and when they fire as 
we pass an incessant tir rapide, the noise is enough to 
break the ear drums. I stuff cotton in my ears and keep 
my mouth open. The sheets of flame come half across 



the road and the concussion has even broken some of 
the little windows in the cars. 

Well, this captain was at Dugny and asked me to 
take him up to Tavannes, as he was going on his way 
to the front lines. Being daylight it was against our 
official rules; but, individually, we endeavor to be of as 
much aid as we can to the army and often waive such 
rules. When we passed the cabaret we could see the 
German saucisses [observation balloons], and, of course, 
they could see us. At Tavannes, the captain suggested 
that I should carry him on to the Mardi Gras redoubt 
close to the lines and in plain sight. I told him I was 
"under his orders," so we proceeded, passing more dead 
horses and all $orts of smashed stuff, and winding our 
way around huge craters. At last we got there. In 
thanking me he said some complimentary things, and 
remarked that he had asked a member of another 
Ambulance Section to take him up here a few days 
ago, and that he had refused, although it was still only 

Incidentally I picked up three blesses at the redoubt 
who were about to be taken the couple of miles down to 
the cabaret paste de secours on pousse-pousses, little two- 
wheeled push-carts which carry one stretcher. This 
meant the saving of an hour or two for them. When I 
got back here, I foimd Will Irwin and another magazine 
writer being shown the fighting by Piatt Andrew. Un- 
fortunately they missed the tir de barrage, which, alone, 
is worth crossing the ocean to see. A solid Kne of flame 
several kilometres long, crowned by exploding shrapnel 
and all kinds of colored lights and flares and a noise so 
deafening as to make one's head reel and one's brain 



stop working. There were eleven hundred guns working 
just as fast as they could (about twenty-five shots a 
minute) for an hour in the space of about two square 
miles. No words of mine can do justice to that tir de 
barrage across the Etain road. I have been scared in 
my life, but never like that. The German "incomers" 
[incoming shells] one regards as luck. One hears the 
warning whistle and thinks it's coming right at one, 
and it falls a hundred yards away. Again one hears the 
whistle and regards it as distant — and she blows up 
right beside one. There's a cheerful uncertainty that 
means bad luck if one is hit; but when obliged to drive 
in front, within twenty feet, of those " 75's," and others, 
with the flame apparently surrounding you, and un- 
able to hear or think for the sturming noise, you don't 
know whether the motor is going, and you also wonder 
where the roads are going. They, alone, are enough to 
kill a man. You also hope the gunners are on to their 
job, as some new recruit might aim a foot too low! Then, 
occasionally, a badly timed shot bursts at the muzzle, 
which means exactly above the car. Believe me, I'd 
rather take a chance with the erratic "Germ" incomers 
than to have to pass that often. If I get out of this 
without being permanently deaf I'll be lucky. 

Just as the old Fokkers [German airplanes] beat all 
other war planes and the Nieuports [French] beat the 
Fokkers in point of speed, the Boches have suddenly, 
within a few days, introduced a new Fokker much faster 
than the fastest Nieuport. Johnston, one of the Amer- 
ican Ambulance men who went into the Aviation Corps, 
and is in the camp at Bar-le-Duc, told Sponagle to-day 
that he and his squadron were caught by surprise 



over, the German lines, and only escaped by the greatest 
luck. The French and English, of course, will immedi- 
ately start to build an even faster plane, but tempo- 
rarily the supremacy of the air appears to have been 
snatched from the Allies and even our aviators admit 

July II. ... In the afternoon, the lieutenant, Spon- 
agle, and I went up to Fort Dugny and had the luck to 
see another attack on Souville. For once it was clear 
and the sight was marvelous. The whole hill smoked. 
We also saw the American Escadrille go into action, 
six of them; but they disappeared in the smoke far back 
of the German lines. The big bombardment was fol- 
lowed by a gas attack between Vaux and Douaumont, 
and the fight was fierce all night, around Damloup. 
We began to get calls around 5 a.m. and, thereafter, 
ran all day under heavy fire. I saw a bully " 155 " shell 
on the road and wanted to pick it up, and had already 
slowed down, when one burst within thirty feet of the 
car — I changed my mind and moved on! Nearly all 
the men we carried were "gassed." They kept coming 
in all day from the trenches, or rather shell holes, in the 
Bois Fumant and the Froide Terre near Fleury. We 
alone carried some twelve hundred of them, and believe 
me, it was some strain. 

Many new dead horses along the road. The gas gets 
them, even the smallest whiff, and, of course, they have 
no masks. Even at 10 a.m. there was still enough to 
make our eyes smart. The Germans tried a new dodge 
— a sort of tir de barrage of " 77 " gas shells. They do 
not make much noise, just about as much as a yacht 
cannon, but the gas spreads fast. It was about forty 



feet high and extended for about two hundred metres 
along the fitain road. The men who were caught by it 
all admitted they had taken off their masks for one 
reason or another. ... It is not amusing to talk to men 
who don't know they are as good as dead! 



In every one of the belligerent countries there is now a 
new army, the army of maimed and crippled men. So 
great is their number — they are to be counted by hun- 
dreds of thousands — and so serious is the loss to the 
efficiency of the respective nations that it is realized 
that nothing less than heroic measures can minimize 
the evil both to the community and to the individual 

While the war goes on the first consideration in deal- 
ing with the men who appear in the casualty lists under 
the heading of "wounded" is to get as many as possible 
fit again for the firing line. This exclusively mihtary 
standpoint has had a tendency to leave the man in- 
capacitated for further fighting to shift for himself or 
rely upon charity. The army authorities, finding that 
a wounded soldier could not be patched up, have lost 
interest in him, given him his discharge and a pension, 
and forgotten other national needs. It has, however, 
become increasingly evident that, while a man may 
have ceased to be of further mihtary value, it would be 
disastrous to let him become a useless member of so- 
ciety, a source of expense to the State and a burden to 

A man may have lost a limb or his eyesight, and 
yet, given the opportunity, he may be fitted for some 
new useful occupation. Accordingly, in Germany and 



France, and to some extent in Great Britain, the foun- 
dations are being laid for a system of "re-education," 
that is, a system of vocational training that will enable 
wounded men to begin a new career of usefulness. In 
this way it is hoped to alleviate somewhat the horror 
of the hiunan wreckage and reduce the waste of indus- 
trial man power. 

One of the striking features of the war has been the 
rapid progress in surgery consequent upon the necessity 
of saving life and limb. Surgeons have performed oper- 
ations that were hardly thought possible before the war. 
New methods have been discovered, new appliances 
invented, and, indeed, an entirely new chapter has been 
written in the history of surgery. Soldiers, whose fight- 
ing days seemed at an end, have been remade and sent 
back to the front as fit and strong as when they first 
joined the colors. 

In the old days, as any one who has read history knows, 
the practice was to amputate as a matter of course. 
Now every effort is made not to amputate, for surgery 
in its progress has become conservative in the best sense 
of the word. Thus, at the Herbert Hospital, Shooter's 
Hill, London, there have been between three and four 
thousand operations on wounded soldiers, but of these 
only about twenty-five have been primary amputations. 

Extraordinary operations are being performed every 
day in cases of bone, muscle, and nerve fracture. The 
surgeons, discovering that the himian body has greater 
powers of recuperation than they thought, do not hesi- 
tate to take a piece of bone from one part of a patient's 
anatomy and utilize it to repair another that has been 
destroyed or removed. At another miHtary hospital 



in London there was, for example, a case of severe in- 
Jury to the jaw. The surgeon removed a piece of bone 
about two and one half inches long from the tibia (the 
large shinbone) of the patient and fixed it in the jaw. 
The man's leg has healed up, and the jaw has im- 
proved so much that eating is now a far less painful 
process. In very many cases a broken bone is rejoined 
by a steel splint screwed to the bone just as a carpenter 
screws together two pieces of wood. The steel plate, 
which is sometimes an inch wide and four or five inches 
long, remains permanently in the wound, together with 
the steel screws, without pain or inconvenience. One 
of the surgeons who has performed many of these 
operations believes that in time the steel will become 
dissipated in the system and disappear altogether. As 
iron is one of the constituents of the blood, the splint 
does not become a source of danger. 

Wonderful successes have also been achieved with 
injured nerves. At the Hammersmith General Hospital, 
London, for example, six useless muscles were taken 
from one side of a patient's wrist and transferred to the 
other, with the result that the hand, previously para- 
lyzed, could once more be used. In another case the 
surgeon found four inches of a nerve in the arm gone. 
He telephoned round to the other London hospitals to 
inquire whether an amputation was in prospect and 
learned that a man was to have a leg off that afternoon. 
He asked that the severed limb should be put at once 
in a saline bath and brought to him in a taxicab. The 
patient was aheady under an anaesthetic when the 
leg, still blood-warm, arrived. The surgeon promptly 
transferred four inches of nerve from the amputated 



leg to the arm of the patient with a perfectly success- 
ful result. 

But perhaps the most wonderful surgical triumph was 
that in the case of a man with a shrapnel wound. A 
piece of metal, about the size of a twenty-five-cent piece 
and much thicker, had entered the breast and lodged 
in the region of the heart. It was actually touching the 
heart and impeding its action. When the opening was 
made the surgeon thrust his hand right in and pulled 
out the piece of metal. The soldier made a complete 
recovery. The triumphs of British, French, and German 
practitioners would fill volumes. 

The bacteriologist has also played an important part 
in the war. In the earlier period of the war tetanus was 
playing havoc among the troops, and great work was 
done in combating its ravages by the famous French 
physician, Doyen, since dead. More recently an impor- 
tant discovery has been made by Miss Mary Davies, 
bacteriologist for the Robert Walton Goelet Research 
Fund, as the result of experiments at a hospital in 
France. One of the chief causes of infection has been 
pieces of uniform shot into the body. Miss Davies, who 
had already gained distinction by inoculating herself 
with gangrene bacilli to prove the efficacy of Taylor's 
specific, set to work to discover how soldiers' uniforms 
could be rendered aseptic. She finally devised a treat- 
ment based upon a combination of cresol and soft soap 
with which the clothing is to be periodically impregnated. 

Mr. Lloyd George, then War Minister in England, 
on receiving Miss Davies's report, ordered that the Brit- 
ish soldiers' clothes should be sterilized with her prepa- 
ration. In addition to its value in reducing the pro- 



portion of highly septic wounds the preparation- is also 
welcome as a destroyer of body lice, one of the great- 
est discomforts of life in the trenches. 

Mihtary considerations have, of course, been so far 
uppermost in the treatment of wounded men; but it is 
recognized that steps must be taken to prepare the 
maimed, crippled, and invalided as effectively as pos- 
sible for civil life after the war. Germany has in this 
respect taken the lead. There sixty schools are already 
in existence for the purpose of training men in new oc- 
cupations. France has also made a vigorous beginning 
in the matter of reeducation des mutiles. M. Millerand 
took the initiative while Minister of War. As a result 
of the movement then begun, the Ministries of the 
Interior, of Commerce, and of Agriculture have since 
joined hands to create a system of training the "muti- 
lated" for new occupations. 

At first there was naturally some confusion of method. 
Men who had lost legs or feet were placed in the same 
institutions as those who had lost arms or hands, when 
obviously two such distinct classes of wounded men 
needed different courses of training. But these early 
mistakes have been corrected, and the French Govern- 
ment, beginning with the great school established at 
Bordeaux, has evolved a system which will ultimately 
classify the "mutilated" according to the limbs or 
organs they have lost and find appropriate occupations 
for the different groups. Legless men who can use their 
hands will learn different crafts from those who are 
armless, and so on. 

Great Britain has moved more slowly than France 
or Germany in the task of re-educating her mutilated 



men. Nevertheless a start has been made, in one 
instance more through the spontaneous desire of the 
wounded soldiers to have something to do to pass the 
time than because of any carefully thought-out plan. 
At the MiKtary Orthopedic Hospital, Shepherd's Bush, 
London, a proportion of the eight hundred inmates 
have been set to work at a variety of occupations. 
Workshops have been built, as well as a gymnasium. 
In one of the shops a number of men are now making 
surgical boots, and have developed so much skill that 
their work is as good as that of the lifelong craftsman, 
while the hospital is getting the articles it requires at 
practically cost price. Other wounded men are making 
aluminium splints, steel supports, and leather bandages 
for their comrades. 

One of the most pathetic, and yet curious, sights is to 
see two men who have each lost a hand combining to 
do the work of one man. You will see, for example, in 
the blacksmith's shop attached to the hospital a one- 
handed soldier pumping the bellows till the steel is red 
hot. Then he takes it out of the fire and places it on an 
anvil, where he holds it in position while another one- 
handed man hammers it into shape. In the carpenter's 
shop you will see similar teamwork by a couple of men 
engaged on a skillful piece of joinery for hospital use, one 
man holding the nail while the other does the hammer- 
ing. Men who have lost the right arm or hand learn to 
put the left to new uses, and it is amazing how resource- 
ful a man with only one hand can become. 

The British Government, however, is slow in develop- 
ing a national system of re-education for the disabled, 
for in this, as in most things, the British way is not 



to plan beforehand or with much logic, but to improvise 
and build up as one goes along. John Galsworthy, how- 
ever, has foreseen the danger that must inevitably arise 
if the treatment of the wounded and disabled is to be 
dealt with from the military point of view of salvaging 
manhood merely for a new lease of life in the trenches. 

"If it remains simply an army problem," he has 
declared, "our towns and countrysides, when the war 
is over, will be plastered for the next twenty or thirty 
years with well-nigh useless men. To retain control of 
the patient, so that his treatment may be coherent and 
sustained, seems to be of the very essence of what can 
be done for the future of most of these men. Vital it is 
that the most huge calamity of this war shall be divested 
of every consequence which foresight and ingenuity can 
strip away. Not all discharged men, of course, will need 
refitting for civil hf e — there are some whom refitting 
cannot serve; but for the great majority it is essential. 
The disablement is so various; eighteen categories exist. 
Think what that means in the diversity of treatment 
required. Every man who is discharged without being 
first remade so far as possible goes back to civil life half 
beaten. The half-beaten man is soon done for altogether, 
and becomes a ghost to haunt us all." 

But these ghosts are already haunting the people. 
In every town, in every Httle village, the belligerent 
countries swarm with the cripples and invalids, the 
wreckage of the war; and so it will be for a generation 
to come. It is that which makes the thought of living in 
those countries after the war a thing of horror. Already 
in England some of these men who have escaped with 
their lives but not with bodies intact are being driven 



to eke out their scanty pensions by such disguised forms 
of begging as soliciting pennies with the aid of a street 
organ. Before the war Great Britain had nearly a mil- 
lion persons whose legal status was that of paupers. It 
is easy to imagine what the condition of the country 
will be if the poor-law army is allowed to be swelled 
by thousands of men who have been disabled in the war. 
The aggregate of disabled men for all the warring 
nations runs to millions, and they are practically all 
Europeans. This immense population, j&Uing the hospi- 
tals now as thick as leaves in an autumn forest, depend- 
ent upon public and private benevolence, despite the 
salvage that will be effected by refitting and re-educating 
a certain proportion, already means a huge loss to the 
productive capacity of Europe and the social and in- 
tellectual activities upon which economic well-being 





The sufferings of hundreds of thousands of people in Bel- 
gium, either deprived of their homes, subjected to the tor- 
tures of the German occupation, or otherwise brought to 
misery through the horrors of war, so filled the horizon for a 
time that the equally great miseries of the Poles, the Serbs, 
the Armenians, and other peoples were often overlooked. 
Under Mr. Hoover's management the work of relief for the 
^stricken Belgians went forward with remarkable success, 
and attracted the admiration and praise of the world. Mean- 
while many independent measures of relief were set on foot 
in behalf of the other nations, although the work in Poland, 
Serbia, and elsewhere was not so well known. The Red 
Cross had already been accomplishing whatever its resources 
would permit in military and civilian relief. With the en- 
trance of the United States upon the scene of action in 
Europe, the forces of the American Red Cross were added to 
those already in the field; and large sums of money were 
appropriated for medical research work in France, the es- 
tablishment of canteens at railway stations, the building 
of warehouses for supplies, the purchase of supplies, and 
the fostering of all other branches of the service. Under the 
auspices of the British, the Y.M.C.A. was already in the 
field with its huts and its workers in behalf of the walking 
wounded and the soldiers in the trenches. The American 
Y.M.C.A. was added in 1917, with plans for the extension 
of Association work throughout the armies of France, Italy, 
and Russia, also the succoring of sLx millions of prisoners in 
the prison camps of Germany and Austria. Thus the various 
systems for relief grew in scope and attained a unity of organ- 
ization never known before. It became the province of the 
Christian Association to provide for the moral well-being of 
the soldiers and the walking wounded, while the functions 
of the Red Cross began with the wounded on the field 
unable to walk and the subsequent measures of medical, 
hospital, and other kinds of relief in close affiliation with the 
preventive work of the Christian Association. 


[According to the "Red Cross Magazine," the American 
Red Cross has accomphshed the following, to August, 191 7. 

The Editor] 

The War Council of the American Red Cross, since its 
appointment on May loth, appropriated up to and 
including August 31st, the sum of $12,339,681.87 for 
work in Europe, of which $10,692,601 is for use in 
France. . . . Five separate commissions have been dis- 
patched to Europe. These are: one to France, which at 
first included work in Belgium; one to Russia, located 
at Petrograd; one to Italy, with headquarters at Rome; 
one to Rumania and one to Serbia. A Belgian Com- 
mission is now located at Havre. . . . 

The French Commission included in its personnel one 
authority on industrial organization; one experienced 
overseer of hospitals; one expert in town planning; one 
established engineer; one veteran Army medical man 
with experience in the Philippines; one director of 
Civilian Relief; one investigator of the tuberculosis and 
medical needs of France; two former directors of the 
War Relief Clearing House; orie expert in public relief 
work and care of destitute and delinquent children; one 
publicity man; and an accountant. 

The work in France divides itself between Military 
Relief and Civilian Relief. The former is primarily to 
be centered about the American army. One hundred 
thousand half-pound tins of ether are to be shipped for 
this work, and plans are under way for establishing near 



the front a small factory for the repair and manufacture 
of the more simple surgical apparatus. One hundred 
thousand dollars has been appropriated for medical 
research work; $519,000 has been voted to establish and 
equip Hospital Warehouses near the theater of war; the 
War Council appropriated $1,500,000 for immediate 
purchase of foodstuffs for the sick and needy; $1,000,000 
was set aside for the purchase of supplies in France — 
this covers particularly a stock of blankets and certain 
foodstuffs. In response to a demand for tobacco, certain 
prominent firms donated 3,000,000 cigarettes, 20,000 
packages of smoking tobacco, and 10,000 ten-cent cuts 
of chewing tobacco. Most of the transportation in 
France has to be handled by motor trucks. Units of 
trucks, with a personnel of fifty trained men each, have 
been planned, one of which has already been forwarded. 
The CiviHan Relief Department has arranged a 
Tuberculosis Sanitariimi in France and is making 
strenuous efforts toward the prevention of the disease. 
One million dollars was appropriated for the sick and 
wounded French soldiers and their families. An Infant 
Welfare Unit has been organized and dispatched to 
combat the high death-rate of children, which compared 
in igi6 with the birth-rate in the proportion of eleven 
to three. A temporary children's shelter, also, has been 
estabHshed at Toul, a city in the war-zone. Destitute 
French refugees from the devastated war-zone number 
about 400,000 and an effort is being made to minister to 
them as effectively as possible. The "re-education" of 
mutilated soldiers is being organized, and $403,090 has 
been appropriated for a provisional experiment in the 
relief of poverty stricken families in the war-zone. . . . 



[The following is from an account of the Red Cross work in 
France by an American reporter who was permitted to visit 
the various centers of activity after the arrival of the 
United States forces. 

The Editor] 

In due course I received my sauf-conduit — and then 
did not have to use it once throughout the entire trip! 

The sentries at the outskirts of the villages signaled 
with their rifles for us to slow up; but when they saw 
Croix Rouge Americaine painted across the front of our 
car they waved us on with friendly smiles. We were 
Americans — Allies! 

As we followed along, deeper into the country, the 
roads became noticeably better; and we were to dis- 
cover later, as we progressed toward the front, that the 
food also grew better and cheaper. Excellent meals at 
half Paris prices. Later we passed long, patient trans- 
port lines, camions and artillery trucks, and horses 
weaving in long gray undulations toward some invisi- 
ble goal. We whirled through little villages thick with 
troops en repos. 

The country was beautiful, with green little gems of 
valleys, soft rounded hills, and slow ample streams, 
lined with poplars, flowing as smoothly as a canal; sheep 
in the meadows; cows in the clover; tow-headed girls 



tending geese; old men whipping the streams for trout 
— the whole affair intimate, sun-steeped; cozy, with an 
air of fine tranquillity that made the reports of the des- 
perate fighting behind the slopes toward the north seem 
like a sinister nightmare. 

Over all this country the Germans had poured; but, 
nevertheless, only a few scattered or fallen crosses in 
fields of grain and poppies mark the invasion. The 
harvests this year are excellent. That it is not a bumper 
crop is due to the fact that the shoulders of the women 
of France are not quite strong enough to drive the plough 
to its deepest furrows. But there is an abundance of 
wheat, barley, and potatoes. . . . 

At C we stopped to visit a canteen operated by 

the Red Cross, the largest and most complete of its kind 
in France. Conceive gigantic barracks, light, spacious 
and decorated with beauty and dash. The young 
Frenchman who designed the interior color schemes of 
this building won the Prix de Rome, and since the war 
has turned his art into making camouflage — protective 
designs for French guns and camions. 

The barracks are about evenly divided into three 
sections — dining-room, rest-room, and dortoirs, or 
sleeping-quarters. Here a French soldier, arriving from 
the front and infested by the terrible crawling plague 
from the trenches, may take a hot bath, get his uniform 
disinfected while he is doing so, procure clean under- 
wear, have a shave, and, if he is hungry, dine. This 
meal, simple and nourishing, and based upon what the 
soldiers like, costs about fourteen cents — if the soldier 
has it. If he is temporarily broke a ticket man at the 
door will mend matters. Placed as the building is, 



directly at the railroad station of C , one of the 

busiest transportation centers of the war-zone, where 
from twelve thousand to twenty thousand troops pass 
through daily, and perhaps twice that number during 
an ofifensive, this canteen serves thousands with the 
veriest necessities of Ufe. 

The value of such an establishment, so placed that 
it catches all the men coming and going, is inestimable. 
Good food, baths, beds, a pleasant room to write or 
rest in — these will be priceless comforts, indeed, 
through the coining winter. Heretofore nothing had 
been done for these men, save to serve them coffee. And 
while they waited for their trains to the front, or to the 
rear, there was nothing for it but to sit for hours on the 
wooden benches, their heavy kits dragging down their 
shoulders, weary statues of patient immobility — or 
betake their way to the lower quarters of the town, 
where vice has mobilized itself for the occasion. 

The French Government, realizing the gravity of this 
situation and its immediate reaction upon the morale 
of the troops, has cooperated with the Red Cross in 
designating certain big transportation centers and 
erecting these barracks. Given the building, the Red 
Cross then ftumshes the interior fittings, the persoimel, 
the funds — and gets to work. On cold days, aside from 
the meal in the dining-room, the Red Cross also serves 
coffee from the platform to thousands of troops en route, 
who may not descend from the trains. 

As an extension of this same kind of work with the 
French troops, the Red Cross is also sustaining, just 
back of the first-Hne trenches, canteens for the men in 
the trenches. The French have twenty-one such can- 



teens; the Red Cross has promised to duplicate that 
number — which will swing an unbroken line of coffee 
clubs along the entire French army! Working in abris, 
or underground shelters, often under fire, these canteen 
men serve hot coffee to the detachments of troops con- 
stantly circulating between the first lines and the rear. 
In each abri an American works with a Frenchman. . . . 

There exists at Washington a sort of agreement be- 
tween the leaders of the Red Cross and those of the 
Y.M.C.A. that the social welfare of the American soldier 
shall belong to the Y.M.C.A. 

Ill or wounded, he automatically becomes the charge 
of the Red Cross; but well and strong, he is the 
Y.M.C.A.'s particular job. 

Thus, during those first rainy, homesick weeks of the 
pioneer American army in France, it was the duty of 
the Y.M.C.A. to provide recreation centers, where the 
soldiers could gather at night, read, play games, or 
write home; for in the men's billets no lights were 



General Secretary of the National War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A. 

In the trenches which reach from Flanders to the Swiss 
border, and back of these trenches in the reserve and base 
camps, in the training stations, in the villages and towns 
where the Allied troops are billeted, in the posts of debarka- 
tion and at naval bases, a multitude of men wearing the 
Red Triangle of the Young Men's Christian Association are 
serving the Allied fighting forces in multifarious ways. The 
effectiveness and range of this service far exceed the achieve- 
ments of the Association workers in earlier wars and have 
won the fullest approval and heartiest admiration of the 
officers, enlisted men, and Government leaders of the various 
nations concerned. Great Britain, including her self-gov- 
erning dominions and colonies, has more than five hundred 
Association centers among the troops in France who fight 
vmder the Union Jack. In dugouts, cellars, stables, ruined 
houses, and, in regions less devastated by shell fire, in tents 
and huts, these constructive activities that bring comfort, 
utilize leisure time, and conserve health, character, and 
faith, are being conducted. During the earlier years of the 
war, through ways of friendly cooperation, America aided 
in the maintenance of similar centers for the French army. 
Now that the United States is an active participant in the 
vast tragic drama, many hundreds of Association leaders 
have gone overseas to carry on this ministry for American 
soldiers and sailors. On January i, 1918, about eight hun- 
dred such workers had reached France, including more than 
one hundred and fifty women who serve in the canteens and 
so keep before our fighting forces a reminder of American 



ideals of womanhood. Other American Red Triangle work- 
ers are making possible a great increase in the number of 
similar centers for French troops and for those of Italy, for 
in both these armies the commanders-in-chief have asked 
for a maximum of cooperation from the American Y.M.CA. 
The expense of all phases of this work in France and Italy 
as carried on by American workers will soon amount to 
about two million dollars a month. The story of the Red 
Triangle achievements on the Western Front, only a part 
of the far larger story of Association activities in this war, 
has nowhere been more finely or more dramatically told 
than in this article by Mr. Francis B. Sayre, who for months 
was an exceedingly effective member of the headquarters 
group of American Association workers in France. 

John R. Mott. 

Never in all history has there been such an assemblage 
of the manhood of the world as that met on the plains 
of France to-day. In one of the great English base 
camps are gathered countless thousands of men in 
khaki from every county of England; hordes of dark- 
skinned East-Indians in picturesque turbans and native 
uniforms of khaki; men with tanned faces from the wind- 
swept plains of far-away Australia; Scotch Highlanders 
in their khaki kilts and gray tam-o'-shanters; New- 
Zealanders in their broad-brimmed felt hats; Canadians; 
West-Indians; South- Africans — men from every corner 
of the far-flung British Empire; gallant Belgians; 
Frenchmen in their blue uniforms; swarthy Arabs from 
northern Africa in their red fezzes; Chinese coolies from 
the Far East; German prisoners in their faded gray- 
green — men from every reach and quarter of the world. 
There has been nothing like it since the days of the old 
Crusades; since the time of Peter the Hermit there has 



been never such an opportunity to minister to the con- 
gregation of the world. In a vast tented city, covering 
the French plain for miles, this motley throng dwells for 
two or three weeks, receiving the last word of instruc- 
tion in bombing, in the use of gas masks, on where and 
how most effectively to thrust the bayonet home. It is 
easy to imagine the thoughts of these men who are, most 
of them, thousands of miles from home in a strange land, 
and stripped of all the comforts of life, and who are 
preparing themselves to enter the most horrible experi- 
ences that this world can offer. Little wonder that they 
are thinking as they have never thought before, and 
wondering, amid the tragedy and the ruin all around, 
what, after all, in life and death is worth while and fun- 
damental. Was there ever such an opportunity for a 
creative, healing work for the bodies and minds and 
souls of men? 

Into such a field the Y.M.C.A. has been privileged 
to enter. In the center of each group of tents is erected 
a huge wooden structure, known as a "hut," marked 
at- each end with a bright-red triangle. The hut usually 
contains a "canteen-room," a large lecture-hall, and a 
number of smaller rooms for classes and group meetings. 
In this building and on the athletic field close by centers 
the camp Hfe of the troops. The canteen-room, a large 
lounging-place, fitted up with board benches and tables, 
decorated with gay bunting or bright pictures of home 
life, or possibly with wall-paintings done by some sol- 
dier decorator, is usually thronged with troops at every 
hour of the day when soldiers can be found off duty; 
for it is generally the only place in camp where soldiers 
can gather for recreational or social purposes. At one 



end, by the canteen counter, lined up to get their hot 
coffee, their buns, crackers, sweet chocolate, sandwiches, 
or the like, are crowds of soldiers; others are sitting at 
the tables, writing letters home on the stationery fur- 
nished them; still others are at the other end of the 
room, gathered around the piano or victrola, playing 
the tunes they used to play at home; many are reading 
the home newspapers and magazines which are given 
out at the counter, or selecting books from the library, 
or matching their wits in friendly games of checkers. 
Outside on the athletic field, during such afternoons as 
they are not on duty, crowds of soldiers are delighting 
in games of baseball, handball, or volley ball, or watch- 
ing a lively boxing or wrestling match, or taking part 
in inter-company field contests. The silent psychologi- 
cal influence of the few Y.M.C.A. secretaries upon these 
masses of troops is a striking and interesting phenome- 
non. Because of their presence, there seems to prevail 
all unconsciously, a finer spirit, an atmosphere of good- 
fellowship, of clean sportsmanship, of manliness at its 
best, that is no small factor in making up the tone and 
morale of the camp. In another part of the hut is a large 
lecture-room with a stage at one end ; here are given 
in the evenings educational lectures, soldier minstrel 
shows, musical entertainments, cinema shows, patriot 
addresses, and religious talks; and here, too, are gen- 
erally held the Sunday religious services and meetings. 
Scarcely an evening goes by that does not see these halls 
packed to the doors. I have seen them so crowded, on 
the occasion of some stirring rehgious talk, that after 
the benches were all filled and the standing room taken, 
soldiers kept crowding in through the windows to sit 




The Red Triangle, symbol of the Y.M.C.A., is known wher- 
ever there is an English-speaking, Belgian, or French soldier. 
And wherever the Triangle has been seen it has come to be 
recognized as one of the great influences of the war zone in 
behalf of the soldier. 

The American Y.M.C.A. was put on a war basis soon after 
this country entered the war. The support and cooperation 
of the Association was tendered to President Wilson, a 
National War Council was organized, and work begun on 
hundreds of buildings for the rest and recreation of our 

The standard Y.M.C.A buildings or "huts," such as is 
shown in the illustration, are usually one story in height and 
about forty by one hundred and twenty feet in floor area. 
Early in 1918 there were about 300 in operation with the 
American Expeditionary Force, 300 with the French army 
and upward of 1000 with the British and Colonial armies. 
In this country their cost is about $6000, and in France about 
$15,000. These buildings are fully equipped for the soldiers' 
welfare. There are outfits for baseball, basket-ball, volley- 
ball, quoits, boxing, wrestling, and athletic meets; pianos, 
stereopticons, talking machines and records, books and 
magazines, indoor games, and many other kinds of equip- 
ment to meet the mental, spiritual, and physical needs of 
the men. The huts are situated, not only at all American 
training camps, in the French ports where our troops dis- 
embark, and in the French cities where the lonely soldiers go 
on leave, but even in the danger zone at the front withm 
reach of the enemy's shells; and the mfluence on the soldiers 
of having these centers of friendliness always available has 
been of incalculable value. 


on the floor of the platform, and others remained stand- 
ing outside to Hsten to the speaker through the win- 
dows. Surging iri and out of the thirty huts in one of 
these base camps there pass daily actually sixty thou- 
sand men of every race and creed; every night between 
ten and fifteen thousand men are listening to educational 
lectures and entertainments; on two nights every week 
a like number are crowding in to hear religious talks. . . . 

Closer to the firing-Kne all large buildings become 
impossible. Not only would they be seen by the enemy 
aeroplanes and shelled to bits, but it would be unsafe, 
from a military viewpoint, to mass so many troops 
where they could be seen and shelled together. The 
"huts" becoming impossible, and large meetings being 
unsafe, the Y.M.C.A. must devise smaller units, and, 
in company with the soldiers whom it seeks to serve, 
go underground. If the conditions under which it must 
work in the great base camps are unusual, they are 
infinitely more so in the desolate towns under enemy 
shell fire. 

We are walking through the streets of one of these 
ruined cities some two or three miles behind the front- 
line trenches. Only a short time ago it was athrob with 
life and activity and production. Now it is silent and 
desolate, and its streets, save for a few stray soldiers, 
are empty; it is literally a city of the dead. Every few 
moments we hear the whine of a German shell being 
hurled into what is left of the shattered city, followed 
by a loud explosion and the sound of falHng debris; 
and we know that another house has gone. The streets 
are lined with tattered walls and shattered masonry; 
here a great corner is torn out of a building, leaving the 



roof hanging; there the whole side of a house is com- 
pletely gone. As we pass, we can see into the deserted 
rooms. Some of them are mere masses of debris ; others 
remain just as they were left that wild night when the 
occupants fled in their terror before the oncoming Huns. 
In some rooms we can see the pictures still hanging on 
the walls, and books lying on the tables. In others, lace 
curtains are hanging by broken window-frames, and 
bureau drawers are half-drawn out as though to allow 
the hasty snatching of a few belongings; in one room 
is a little cradle with the coverlet still thrown across. 
Tragedy everywhere, and desolation. 

We walk down to the central square; gaunt ruins are 
all that is left of what were once magnificent old public 
buildings. A machine-gun emplacement commands the 
square, and barbed-wire entanglements are in evidence 
for use in case the Germans should attack. We walk 
past the cathedral; it is now a ruin with tremendous 
walls and naked arches standing out stark against the 
sky, what was once its nave now a huge pile of fallen 
masonry. We pass on and turn a corner; on the wall 
of what was formerly a French home of the well-to-do 
class we see painted a large red triangle. As we reach 
the door, several Y.M.C.A. secretaries welcome us and 
take us inside. Here they have lived through all the 
furious shelling of the preceding months, serving hot 
coffee and caring for the needs of thousands of soldiers; 
and, strangely enough, this house, the ground-floor 
rooms of which have been crowded with troops night 
after night, is the only one in the vicinity which has not 
been partially wrecked by German shells. The upper 
stories, scarred with shrapnel and flying shell fragments, 



are not in use; the secretaries are' sleeping underground 
in what was once a wine-cellar, with the floor above 
them sandbagged and bomb-proofed. They tell us, to 
our surprise, that the seemingly deserted city is filled 
with troops; we learn that under the city is a vast net- 
work of labyrinthine cellars and connecting passages, 
and in these underground mazes, with the rats and 
vermin, the soldiers are living. No wonder that that 
little friendly Y.M.C.A. building is thronged with 
troops night after night. We hear that in some way, 
I know not how, the secretaries managed to secure last 
week fifteen thousand fresh eggs which they supplied 
to the troops going up to the trenches; they are giving 
out ninety gallons of hot coffee every night. We ask 
what chance for rest they have, and are told that a few 
days before one of them spent his time unloading boxes 
of supplies from five in the afternoon tuitil three the 
next morning, and turned in at last, only to be called 
out a few moments later by the arrival of fresh troops, 
whom he spent the rest of the morning serving. As 
we watch them at their work we begin to understand 
that a cup of hot coffee and a bit of cheery atmosphere 
may sometimes preach the most eloquent of sermons. 

Still nearer the firing-Kne, often only a few hundred 
yards back of the front-Kne trenches, are the Httle 
Y.M.C.A. dugouts for serving the troops as they enter 
and leave the trenches. I think of a typical dugout 
near the crest of a certain famous ridge which we came 
to one evening about sunset. We were crossing a battle- 
field but freshly taken from the enemy; it was like a 
nightmare of desolation. The trees had been mostly 
shot away; only a few dead trunks and twisted limbs 



remained. Picking our way past great shell craters, 
many of them twenty feet in diameter and twelve feet 
deep, we came finally to what was left of the old Eng- 
lish front-Hne trenches. There they still were, damaged 
and broken by shell fire, but plainly visible, where poor 
human beings had hved for months. We start across 
into what was No Man's Land; there is not a yard of 
earth here that has not received a direct hit; the ground 
is as tossed and broken as the surface of a storm-beaten 
ocean. The stench of the dead is still in the air; the 
horror is indescribable. We pass the remains of a body; 
a can of beef and a cHp of shells is still beside it. The 
ground, ploughed and churned by titanic forces, is a 
terrible mass of twisted barbed-wire entanglements, 
steel shell fragments, timbers and bits of concrete em- 
placements, pieces of clothing, shrapnel, broken rifles, 
unexploded bombs, rifle-shells, human blood and bones 
— all shattered and ghastly and horrible. We are in 
front of the English batteries and can hear the English 
projectiles go whining and hurtling over our heads. 
The German shells come screaming back, seeking out 
the English batteries, and throwing high into the air 
great columns of earth and smoke. Farther and farther 
we make our way up toward the present front line; the 
atmosphere grows so unhealthy with flying shrapnel 
and bursting shells that we are not sorry to reach the 
little red- triangle sign beside the entrance to a dugout; 
we dive into the dugout, feeling our way down the steep 
steps. At first we can see nothing; then by the dim light 
of a sputtering candle we can make out the forms of 
troops in their steel helmets gathered around us. Over 
in the rear a secretary is serving out hot coffee. The 



men are just in from the front trenches, which are only- 
eight hundred yards away from us; they are silent for 
the most part, or talking in low, subdued tones. The 
darkness, the foulness of the atmosphere, the cramped 
dimensions of this rat-ridden den, make indeed a squaUd 
setting for a ministry that is like a pearl without price. 
Twice the week before orderlies were killed here while 
serving the troops; a neighboring dugout only a short 
time before was smashed to bits with every one in it. 
Yet the secretary in charge shows us a map of all the 
trenches and explains how he is crowding more and 
more dugouts to the front. "The 'Y.M.' must follow 
the troops wherever they go," he tells me. "The thicker 
the shell fire the greater the need." 

So adaptable to ever-changing conditions is the or- 
ganization of the Y.M.C.A., and so varied is its work, 
that it is possible to give only a -few random pictures 
of the Y.M.C.A. in action throughout the army zones 
in France. I think of the Indian "huts," crowded with 
East-Indian troops, in their turbans and native uni- 
forms, being served with native food brought by the 
British Government all the way from India, all caste 
dropped under the shadow of the Y.M.C.A. I think 
of the countless soldiers kneeHng in the "quiet rooms" 
of the various huts throughout the army zones, pouring 
out their hearts in silent prayer. I think of the railway- 
station huts where tired and hungry troops, being trans- 
ported by rail from the base camps up to the front, and 
compelled to wait during long night hours between 
trains, find their only shelter and sleeping accommoda- 
tions in the Y.M.C.A. I can see the travel-stained sol- 
diers, loaded down with their full kits, pouring out of 



the French railway carriages, at two in the morning, 
dumped out on a cheerless station platform at a junc- 
tion point not far from the front, and then, catching 
sight of the Y.M.C.A. hut, all crowding into what seems 
like the one cheerful spot on the horizon. I can see their 
tired faces lighting up with genuine pleasure at the 
cheery words of the English ladies at the canteen, serv- 
ing hot coffee and sandwiches all night long to each 
arriving train-load. I can see them as they pass into 
the dormitory and walk past rows of bunks filled with 
sleeping soldiers, till they find some empty places, and 
there stretch out in their blankets, with their knap- 
sacks for pillows, to secure a few hours' sleep. 

I think of the Y.M.C.A. emergency work when a 
great push is on and the wounded soldiers are streaming 
back from the front literally by the thousands, maimed 
and torn and bleeding. The numbers are so vast that 
the stretcher-bearers can only attend to the prostrate 
wounded; all those who can manage to walk or crawl, 
known as the "walking wounded," must make their 
own way as best they can to the first-aid stations. By 
the side of these first-aid stations the Y.M.C.A. takes 
its place; and all the walking wounded who come in are 
given hot coffee and made as comfortable as possible 
while they wait, sometimes hours, for the overcrowded 
ambulances to take them to the hospitals in the rear. 

Or, again, I think of the work in the English army 
for relatives of wounded men. In certain cases where 
soldiers are gravely wounded the surgeons report that 
the best tonic — perhaps the only hope of recovery — 
would be the cheering sight of a loved face from home. 
The word then goes out to the mihtary authorities who 



usually give the requisite permission, whereupon the 
Y.M.C.A. undertakes to bring the wife or sweetheart 
or mother from the Channel coast by Y.M.C.A. trans- 
port to the cotside of the wounded man. I see the little 
Y.M.C.A. hostel by the side of one of the hospital camps, 
where He thousands of gassed or wounded men. In 
that little hostel are met together relatives from all over 
England, made one by their common grief; their hearts, 
torn between hope and gripping fear, are centered in 
the great hospital encampment across the road where 
Destiny is busy settling the great issues of life and death. 
Here each one is waiting, perhaps to help her loved one 
struggle back to life, or else, if that cannot be, to be 
with him at the end, and finally, in the pathetic little 
room at the corner of the encampment, separated by a 
small glass window from the body laid out before a yttle 
altar, to bid a last good-bye. Can one ever describe 
what the Y.M.C.A. means to them? 

Such is the work as it has developed among the Eng- 
lish and Canadian armies, and as it is fast developing 
among the American soldiers in France. 





The war had its beginning in considerable measure in the 
political problems of the Balkans. These problems became 
more intense as the war proceeded, and the attitude of 
Bulgaria, Rumania, and Greece became a matter of doubt. 
There was not only pan-Germanism but pan-Slavism in- 
volved, the fate of Turkey and Egypt, of Armenia and 
Palestine, but any number of complications due to secret 
diplomacy and international marriages. All political events, 
however, paled into insignificance in comparison with the 
Russian revolution, in the spring of 191 7, with the oppor- 
tunities it seemed to afford for the spread of democracy. 
The revolution began with remarkable promise, but soon led 
to internal dissension and disruption, a lessening of activity 
at the front, and finally to a complete military breakdown. 
After a series of kaleidoscopic changes, Kerensky, the mod- 
erate socialist who had assumed a virtual dictatorship, was 
overthrown by the Bolsheviki or radical socialists under the 
leadership of Lenine and Trotzky, and peace negotiations 
were begun at B rest-Li tovsk. On January 26, 1918, the 
Ukraine, or southern Russia, declared its independence and 
made a separate treaty with the Teutonic powers. The Bol- 
sheviki at first refused the onerous terms dictated by Ger- 
many, whereupon the German armies invaded Russia upon 
a wide front, compelling the acceptance of a peace which 
left the western provinces of Russia (Poland, Finland, 
Lithuania, Livonia, and Esthonia) virtually independent but 
really under the domination of Germany. Rumania was 
soon after compelled to follow suit, leaving the Teutonic 
powers, at last, free to concentrate their entire forces on the 
Western Front. 




March 10, I went to the principal shopping district in 
and around Nevski Prospect [Petrograd], where I had 
many errands to do in preparation for my departure on 
Monday the 12th for the Ural Mountains. Notwith- 
standing my preparation for coming events, I was 
shocked when I turned from the Katherine Canal into 
the Nevski, and beheld it filled with long columns of 
Cossacks, knout in hand — a forest of lances. 

The Nevski is a street apart, with an atmosphere of 
its own: a thoroughfare for a great human current 
which undulates over its little bridges, eddies about its 
tawdry shops, or flows smoothly past the Dowager's 
red palace, while the gardens in front of Kazan Cathe- 
dral form a haven of refuge for those fatigued with mid- 
stream. A place of color and life and freedom of move- 
ment, it suddenly looked still and bleak. The wide 
expanse of well-packed snow had never seemed static 
before; it had been part and parcel of the moving pic- 
ture, cut in swirls by skidding sleighs or whipped up 
by motor-wheels; constantly traversed by living things. 
Now it looked whiter and wider; it glistened, and I 
thought of the snow on the plains. 

The cessation of usual life in the street, the disap- 
pearance of the cheery, overcrowded red trams and the 
subtlety of the snow, all heightened the psychologic 



effect of impending change, as the blank white curtain 
at a movie drama stands for both the suspense in emo- 
tions and the rapid transition of events from the black 
misery and injustice of the first reel to the red revolt 
and bright heroics of the second. That Saturday after- 
noon on the Nevski was the blank between the reels. 

After watching it all quietly from afar, I came down 
into the picture and mingled with the crowds. At the 
curb, where the people pressed by the solid phalanxes 
of mounted Cossacks, there was much badinage. The 
omnipresent woman of the working class, with shawl- 
covered head and eyes alert, was the voice of all the 
timid or self-conscious onlookers. She walked right up 
to these men of her kind and called out : "You would n't 
really kill us, would you? You know all we want is food. 
Will you obey those who starve us?" . . . 

Although the revolution may be said to have started 
on Saturday, March loth, real concerted clashes be- 
tween the troops and the people did not occur until 
Sunday, the nth. I had an engagement for the early 
afternoon at a friend's across the river. Leaving the 
house where Mary and I have lived since autumn, I 
found no sleighs in circulation. All trams had disap- 
peared. The crowds were immense, representing all 
classes, and a black stream, like an army of ants, poured 
over the Liteiny Bridge, from the Viborg manufacturing 
district beyond. The people were expectant and good- 
natured — out to see something, like a crowd waiting 
for a balloon ascension, the hour of which is uncertain. 
Large bodies of Cossacks were out, either standing at 
rest or exercising at a walk. 

When I had nearly reached the Nevski, sudden com- 



The turning-point of the Riissian Revolution was when the 
army that had been stationed in Petrograd to quell any 
attempt at revolt went over — regiment after regiment — 
to the side of the revolutionists. 

For days Petrograd had been in the grip of a bread famine. 
The lines before the bake-shops grew longer and longer. 
Ominous mutterings began to be heard as working-men 
and students mingled with the crowds preaching sedition. 
Thousands of Cossacks were sent into the city to suppress 
disorders. But these were not the Cossacks who had so ruth- 
lessly suppressed the revolt of 1905. The professional sol- 
diers, trained by long years of obedience, had been destroyed 
in the war, and the men sent in to put down the uprising 
were lads fresh from farm and factory. The working-men 
and their women cried to them, "We ask only for bread. 
Would you shoot us for that? " The soldiers hesitated, re- 
fused to fire. The crowd mingled with them, told them of 
their sufferings, and at last won them over. Slowly at first, 
then with ever-increasing momentum, the troops deserted 
the Government, sealing forever the fate of Czardom and 
of the dark forces that had so long controlled the destinies 
of Russia. 

The scene shown in the illustration was one of the most 
dramatic in the Revolution. The first entire regiment to go 
over to the people is shown marching up the Nevski Prospect 
on the way to the Duma to declare their allegiance to the 
Russian Republic. Some of the bitterest street fighting of the 
Revolution took place along this splendid avenue. Machine 
guns had swept its length, and spots of blood scattered here 
and there on the snow showed that, even though the soldiers 
had surrendered, enough of the police had remained loyal 
to give the Revolution its martyrs. 


motion ahead and a general scuttling for doorways drew 
my attention from passers-by. The Cossacks were 
charging down the sidewalks on both sides of the street. 
Thanks to the fact that nearly all the buildings have 
wide entrances for vehicles, every one found refuge. The 
Cossacks passed with a clatter; they made no attempt 
to touch any one and for the most part kept their faces 
averted. After this there was more excitement, but, in 
my crowd at least, no show of anger, just as if an irre- 
sponsible runaway horse had bolted through a densely 
thronged street. 

I soon turned into Nevski Prospect, still rather hoping 
to find a sleigh and keep my engagement. At that point 
there were no Cossacks and the situation seemed almost 
normal except for that evanescent tenseness in the air. 
As I approached the big crosstown street, Sadovaya, I 
heard a fusillade of rifle-shots not far off. The pedes- 
trians thinned out miraculously, and what I saw about 
seventy feet ahead of me riveted my attention. Lying 
on their backs, with blood running from their mouths, 
were two young workmen in high boots and black 
reefers. As I stood over them and looked into their 
unseeing eyes, a woman stooped, peered into their faces, 
shuddered and said, "What a shame! boys, only boys!" 

As I left them, I saw the cordon of soldiers which 
had fired the volley stretched across the street at the 
corner. I now had to avoid pools of blood every three 
or four yards. Frantic groups in the doorways of Ht- 
tle shops told where the wounded were. I passed six 
men wearing green students' caps, who were bearing 
over their heads in the street a corpse on a sign-board. 
A company of Cossacks whirled past and surrounded 



them, presumably to prevent a demonstration farther 
on. A passing limousine was waylaid by men who held 
the chauffeur and made two occupants get out, after 
which wounded civilians were put in and hurried away. 
I also saw this act repeated with two private sleighs. 

By this time I had nearly reached the Sadovaya, and 
was within twenty -five yards of the infantry. A bugle 
was warning the Cossacks far down the Nevski. I heard 
a sharp command and saw the men of the cordon fhng 
themselves forward on their stomachs. Another com- 
mand rang out; the rifles came up as one, and as I turned 
the corner into safety, the air was rent with a fratricidal 

The mobs in the side streets were on the qui vive with 
excitement. One began to hear the word "revolution," 
and the people who were being killed were called revo- 
lutionists. During the first part of the day the troops 
were ordered to fire upon the crowds because they 
would not disperse; but by three in the afternoon the 
people were firing on the troops — not as parts of a 
large organization, but as small and independent groups 
which seemed to spring up from nowhere. By nightfall 
every one realized that the strikes and food-riots had 
grown into a thorough-going revolution, and despite 
the anxiety about the effect of it on the armies at the 
front, nearly every one was glad. 

Monday, March 12 th, was the crucial day of the 
revolution. Street-fighting assumed formidable propor- 
tions early in the morning, centering around the govern- 
ment arsenal on Liteiny Prospect. Soon the populace 
was thrilled by the news that five celebrated regiments 
had joined the people's cause and were actively oppos- 



ing the loyal troops. Some officers were killed, others 
mauled, and those who would not come out in open 
opposition to the government hid themselves away. On 
Liteiny Prospect a lively engagement was fought be- 
tween the soldiers, the loyalists lying on their stomachs 
in the snow while the revolutionists stood erect. Excited 
crowds in passages and doorways naturally took the 
side of their protagonists. Even women and children 
left shelter and walked out calmly under a lively fire to 
drag back the wounded. 

In spite of earnest protests, I went out on foot to 
keep yesterday's tryst across the river. At the farther 
end of the Troitsk Bridge I encountered a huge crowd 
held back by police and troops: the Government had 
decided to stop the influx of people to the center of 
Petrograd. But even here privilege overruled authority, 
and persons arriving in motor-cars or sleighs were 
allowed to pass over the bridge without question from 
the authorities; but there was a question in the common 
mind, and it achieved expression a few moments after I 
arrived. Bolder members of the throng scattered them- 
selves back along the car-tracks, and as soon as a 
machine or sleigh slowed down on approaching the 
crowd, three or four men leaped aboard, rapidly eject- 
ing driver and passengers and appropriating the con- 
veyance to their own ends. 

When returning home at dusk, I saw a scene which 
brought back memories of "A Tale of Two Cities." 
Kamennostrovski Prospect, which is the main artery 
of that quarter of Petrograd beginning at the Troitsk 
Bridge, was Uterally choked with a great surging mass 
of revolutionists, who had tramped over here from the 



fighting zone, to proclaim victory and to. draw all luke- 
warm persons to their flaming cause. It was an earnest, 
serious crowd, devoid of ranting or vandalism; its tem- 
per was that of Russian music — strength with pathos, 
optimism without joy. Gray army trucks throbbed in 
the midst of it, loaded with soldiers, women, and boys 
bearing crimson banners. Bayonets were decked with 
scraps of red bunting, and bonfires lit up pale faces and 
eager eyes. Now and again a touring-car would thread 
its way nervously through the mob, stopping every 
hundred yards for a student to make a one-minute 
speech, or continuing to bore its way while Red Cross 
nurses threw out handfuls of bulletins. The Sociahsts 
got out literature so fast that it seemed as if the pent-up 
energy and stifled utterances of years were behind their 
presses; strange scraps of paper such as were never seen 
before in this city floated freely in the air with the 
headline, "We asked for bread, you gave us lead." 

Eventually I wormed my way through the crowd, 
past the beautiful cathedral whose graceful domes 
looked down with aloof incomprehension upon the 
drama at their feet, until I came out at the Troitsk 
Bridge. I hardly noticed that it was open to all and that 
the police had disappeared, because of the glory of the 
view that lay before me. Over my right shoulder the 
turrets and castellated walls of Peter and Paul, fortress 
and prison, threw their grim silhouette against the dy- 
ing sun, a dynasty gone to rest. To the left the sky was 
all molten gold and forked with giant tongues of flame; 
the High Tribunal, Courts of Justice, and jails, instru- 
ments of injustice in the Old Order, were making room 
for the New. ... 



Some one had brought in a copy of the first bulletin 
of the Provisional Government. It started off this way, 
in big type: — 

ISVETSIA [News] February 27 1 

The Newspapers do not come out! 

Events move too fast, and the People must know 

WHAT is going On! 

Dissolution of the Duma by Nikolai II! 

Decision of the Duma to remain in session! 

Telegram from Rodzianko, Head of the new Govern- 
ment, to the Tsar: — 

"The situation is serious. The capital is in a state of 
anarchy. The Government is paralyzed. There is universal 
discontent. The streets are filled with disorderly shooting. 
Parts of the army are shooting on each other. [Literally : 
"friend on friend."] It is necessary to find a person who has 
the confidence of the whole country, to establish a new 
Government. Make haste. Procrastination means death. 
I pray to God that the responsibility will not fall upon the 
Crowned Head!" 

A Copy of this Telegram was sent to all Commanders 
AT THE Front, asking them to uphold Rodzianko in 
his Appeal to the Tsar. 

Second Telegram from Rodzianko to the Tsar: — 

"Affairs are worse. You must act at once. To-morrow it 
will be too late. This is the last hour in which to decide the 
fate of the country and of the dynasty." 

The Revolutionary Army, accompanied by the Armed 
Citizens, appeared at the Duma at 2 p.m. They were 
met by the Deputies and the Latter were loudly 
cheered. Speeches. 

' March 12, New Style. 



Chief of the Artillery Factory, General Martusov, 
IS killed. The Arsenal is under guard of the Revo- 

Arrest of the President of the Council of the Empire, 
Scherglovitov, Former Minister of Justice. 

Duma Committee formed for the Maintenance of 
order in Petrograd, for the Protection of Industry 
AND Safeguarding the Public. 

When we went to bed, the sky from our windows was 
still bright from the fire. Rifles snapped fitfully, and the 
yelling of bands of hooligans reached our ears through 
double panes. 

Early Tuesday morning we no longer considered it 
safe to stay in our house, so we hastily prepared to avail 
ourselves of an invitation from friends on the French 
Quay. . . . 

Motor-cars continually sped past, decked with red 
banners and bristling with rifles and bayonets. They 
made a very dramatic appearance, with soldiers lying 
forward on the mud-guards, and rifles with fixed bayo- 
nets protruding in front. Many open cars had machine 
guns rakishly trained fore and aft from the tonneaus, 
and there was a continual procession of thundering army 
trucks loaded to the guards with soldiers and civilians, 
armed with drawn revolvers or swords taken from the 

Later in the forenoon, the Cadets' Corps, with a 
band, followed by a great crowd, marched down the 
quay. As the band struck up the "Marseillaise," hats 
came off and hundreds of people from all classes joined 
hands. Every one wore revolutionary colors. The color 
impression was that of Boylston Street after a football 
victory over Yale. 



In the afternoon I found a crowd sacking a poKce 
station. Windows were smashed, the furnishings 
knocked about, and jubilant people inside were throw- 
ing out armfuls of records and letters on the blazing 
bonfire by the curb. Later I saw the same thing at the 
station on Fontanka Canal. Every one seemed to take 
delight in lugging out his share of the archives. They 
threw them into the fire with a righteous zest. As soon 
as the tide of revolution turned in the people's favor, a 
city-wide police hunt was started. Out of twenty to 
thirty thousand police, not one was to be seen in the 
streets. During the first two days they were killed on 
sight by soldiers and civilians alike; but forgiveness 
outweighs lust for revenge in the Russian soul, and 
after the first flash of anger, the people took their erst- 
while tormentors as prisoners. The search had many 
spectacular features, including battles on the house- 
tops, where groups of poHce armed with machine guns 
stubbornly defended their positions against revolution- 
ists on other buildings. Many of the police, in small 
groups of threes and fours, fired on the people from the 
upper windows of tall apartment houses where they 
had taken refuge. 

I witnessed an affair of this kind only a short distance 
from our house. I saw a rifle stuck out of a black win- 
dow, and an instant later, as I heard the report, a piece 
of a sign-board splintered away over my head. A pass- 
ing soldier immediately took up his position at the cor- 
ner and began firing as fast as he could, while I peeked 
over his shoulder to observe his marksmanship. By this 
time, half a dozen soldiers were concentrating on the 
window from different vantage-points, while a crowd 



gathered. The police kept up their fire with spirit until 
an armored car came up and gave the window a hail of 
bullets. Then a party entered the building, and a few 
minutes later a soldier brushed past me exultantly 
exclaiming, "Five more taken!" 

At midnight, March 12th, the Executive Committee 
of the National Duma was organized, under the lead- 
ership of Michael Rodzianko, President of the Duma. 
That committee, which became the executive branch of 
the Government of all Russia for the time being, issued 
a bulletin Tuesday morning, outlining its policy, admon- 
ishing the population to refrain from acts of violence 
and vandalism and closing as follows: — 

In spite of the deep difference of political and social ideals 
of the members of the National Duma constituting the 
Temporary Committee, in the present difficult moment com- 
plete unity has been attained among them. Before all stands 
a task which must not be postponed — that of organizing 
the elemental popular movement. 

The danger of disorganization is comprehended by all. 

Citizens, organize! That is the call of the moment. In 
organization lie salvation and force. Hear the Temporary 
Committee of the National Duma. 

On Tuesday about two hundred portfolio ministers, 
generals, and other officials of the old. regime were 
arrested by the revolutionists, including I. G. Sheglo- 
vitoff, one of the traitors who left the Russian armies 
without ammunition just before the enemy's advance 
in Poland; B. V. Stiirmer, former President of the Coun- 
cil of Ministers, who intrigued for a separate peace with 
Germany; and Major-General Balk, Chief of PoUce of 



Also on Tuesday there were great Jail deliveries, all 
prisoners being liberated indiscriminately. Estimates 
of the number vary from ten to twenty thousand. All 
of the prisons except the historic Peter and Paul were 
burned by the people. A friend of mine met an old 
white-haired man tottering across the Troitsk Bridge 
asking questions of all passers-by. It seems that he had 
just been freed from Peter and Paul after having sat in 
a dungeon below the level of the Neva for forty years, 
waiting to come to trial. When a young man he had 
been put in as a poHtical suspect. 

On Wednesday the 14th, I visited the charred and 
smoking shell of the Courts of Justice. The courtyard, 
with its trees and walks, was crowded with curious peo- 
ple who wandered in and out, delving for souvenirs of 
that which was already a thing of yesterday. The grand 
staircase was entirely wrecked; only the lower third of a 
marble empress remained on her pedestal. The black- 
ened torso lay at my feet, the imperial head, orb, scepter, 
crown, among the debris, and the archives were like the 
mouth of a live volcano. Going through a dark corridor, 
I reached an inner court next to the prison. The street 
entrance to the latter was closed by the soldiers, but I 
followed a crowd which had just forced an entrance 
through a high window reached from a wood-pile and 
the roof of a lean-to. 

I shuddered when I found myself inside this great 
human cage where everything was steel and stone, 
clanked, and was cold. Think of the delirious joy that 
flew on wings from cell to cell as the revolutionists bat- 
tered down the gates and flung wide every door! I went 
in scores of cells and in each saw a cube of black bread, 



in each case just a little bitten off; the call to freedom 
had come at the beginning of this simple meal, which 
was never to be finished. Most of the bread lay dashed 
upon the floor, but some prisoners, perhaps hopeless 
ones, thinking the first alarm too good to be true, had 
placed theirs on a shelf. I suppose some of us will try- 
to put bread on a shelf when Christ is coming. Those 
have seen so many overloaded shelves that they have 
grown skeptical about good tidings. 

Eventually I reached the commandant's oflSce, 
which was gutted and wrecked. Since there were not 
many bidders for it, I walked off with an oil portrait 
of the Emperor under my arm. The work-rooms were 
depressing. It hurt to look at the well-worn tools. I 
hurried on to the chapel, with its shattered door and 
its Byzantine fittings in wildest disarray. Books, vest- 
ments, and robes were strewn about the floor. The 
marble altar was damaged and the crowd was curiously 
handling the ceremonial vessels. Presently a young 
soldier snatched up a richly embroidered robe and flung 
it over his shoulders; next, he put on a long embellished 
collar; and last of all, he jammed a battered miter on 
the side of his head. Then he opened the Testament 
and began to intone in a comic bass voice, while the 
bystanders laughed and some chuckled. There was 
nothing vindictive in the young soldier's manner. He 
was perfectly sober, but having a great lark. A short 
week ago it would have been indiscreet even to conjure 
up in one's mind such a picture as that chapel presented. 
The priesthood, for the most part minions of the gov- 
ernment, are conspicuous by their absence during these 
stirring days. 



It seems here as if the whole world must be topsy- 
turvy. The incredible is becoming a common sight, the 
commonplace has quite disappeared. For instance, I 
passed a jolly group of soldiers who were eating and 
chafl&ng around a great bonfire on the snow, made of 
piles of gilded imperial eagles and crests of royalty 
which they had stripped from Government buildings 
and shops which purveyed to the aristocracy. . . . 

While order was gradually being restored in some 
quarters by the hastily organized City Militia, com- 
posed mainly of student volunteers, other districts were 
still being hotly contested. Wednesday afternoon I 
walked to the Nikolai Station; great crowds surged 
back and forth in the wide square, like the ground swell 
of the sea, against the massive base of the equestrian 
statue of that arch-reactionary, Alexander III. The 
lower end of the Nevski was in a riotous state. Sniping 
from windows was still going on, and the police station 
near by was in flames. I witnessed the exit into the 
street from the station of some Siberian troops, who 
immediately went over to the revolutionists amid wild 
demonstrations of the people. Earlier in the week the 
Emperor's regiment and the Cossacks who were sent in 
from Tsarskoe-Selo to quell the rebelhon went over to 
the people without firing a shot; all of which proves 
how universal was the spirit of discontent, and how deep 
the longing for a democratic government. Even now, 
huge crowds are parading the streets, singing and,bear- 
ing aloft enormous red banners with the legend, "Great 
Russia must be a Democratic Republic." 


[Estimates of the cost of the war ordinarily include such 
tables of figures that the mind is scarcely able to grasp their 
significance in concrete terms. Bonar Law, British Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, in the House of Commons, De- 
cember 14, 1916, stated that England had already spent 
$19,260,000,000, and was then spending $28,500,000 a day. 
An estimate published early in 191 7 put the total cost of the 
war to January i, 1917, as $65,000,000,000; the cost each 
day to all belligerents being $105,000,000. Under date of 
October, 191 7, the Mechanics' and Metals National Bank of 
New York City stated that the war was then costing $160,- 
000,000 each day, or four times as much as when it started; 
while the total cost was put at a hundred thousand million 
dollars. The mind can more readily grasp these figiu"es by 
turning back to an earlier estimate and noting the details 
given in regard to several of the leading countries. The 
statement is from "The Economist," London, the leading 
financial weekly of Great Britain, December 18, 191 5. 

The Editor.] 

The expenditure of the United Kingdom was £1,490,000 
per day for the first eight months (or £1,270,000, exclud- 
ing external loans), and has been rising rapidly since, un- 
til it is estimated at £4,450,000 per day (or £2,740,000, 
excluding loans) for the five months to March 31st next. 
The total expenditure to that date is estimated on 
actual and budget figures at £1,222,200,000, plus £474,- 
800,000 for external loans, or £1,697,000,000 together. 
These figures represent the excess over a previous 
£80,000,000 a year for the army and navy. 

Of the loans, about £50,000,000 will be made to our 


own dominions, but this is offset by the loan we have 
obtained from the United States. We have, more than 
all the other belHgerents, raised money by special taxa- 
tion. Our loans to AlUes and neutrals are estimated to 
amount to £425,000,000 to March 31st next, and the 
burden which has fallen on us in this respect is doubtless 
more than twice as heavy as that of any other belliger- 
ent, Germany probably ranking next. We have lent 
chiefly to Russia (for purchases in the United Kingdom 
and elsewhere outside Russia), to France (for purchases 
here), to Italy, Belgium, Serbia, and certain neutral 

Judging by the credits voted, the war has cost France 
£660,000,000, to June 30, 1915, to which must be added 
£2 24,ooo,ooofor the quarter to September 30th, £240,- 
000,000 for the quarter to December 3ist, and £327,- 
000,000 for the quarter to March 3ist-next, making a 
total to the last-mentioned date of £1,451,000,000. Ex- 
cluding loans, it is probable that the war has cost more 
to France than to any belligerent, except Germany. 
Special taxation of various kinds is only now proposed, 
including, in particular, a war profits tax. France has 
made loans to Russia (for purchases in France), Bel- 
gium, Serbia, and neutrals, and the total so disbursed 
in the first year was probably in excess of £50,000,000; 
while it has borrowed £50,000,000 from the United 
States, and considerable sums from us. 

The Russian war expenditure has been £188,000,000- 
(including £37,000,000 for mobilization) to November 
14, 1914; £576,000,000 to July 14, 1915, and £639,000,- 
000 to August 14, 1 91 5. The seven months to January 
14, 1916, are expected to cost £429,000,000, and the 



year to January 14, 191 6, £764,000,000, making a total 
of over £1,000,000,000 from the coirimencement of war. 
The expenditure was at first £1,400,000 a day, excluding 
the costs of mobilization, while for August last it was 
£2,000,000 a day, and for the year 1915 it is estimated 
.at £2,100,000. Special taxation is proposed, including 
an income tax. Russia has lent money to the smaller 
belligerents, but has doubtless received much heavier 
loans from this country, for purchases here and in 
America, and from France in respect of purchases in 

Italy, which came into the war on May 23d, is be- 
lieved to have spent £80,000,000 on preparations prior 
to entering, and its expenditure for the four months to 
September 30th last was £14,600,000, £16,500,000, £17,- 
400,000, and £16,600,000, making a total of £145,000,- 
000 to that date. 

Belgium and Serbia have been largely helped with 
loans by France, Russia, and ourselves, their power to 
provide being, obviously, very considerably curtailed. 
The bulk of Belgium has been in the hands of the enemy 
since the end of the first month of war. 

An estimate of Germany's costs has to be derived 
mainly from its votes of credit, which have been £250,- 
000,000 in August, 1914; £250,000,000 on December 2, 
1914; £500,000,000 last March, £500,000,000 on Au- 
gust 20th, and £500,000,000 this month. At the time the 
August credit was asked for. Dr. Helfferich stated that 
the war expenditure was nearly £100,000,000 a month. 
To the above have to be added the £10,250,000 of 
mobilization treasure in the Juhus Tower at Spandau, 
and the product of the "defense contribution," or 



Wehrbeitrag — a capital levy payable in three install- 
ments, at the beginning of the years 1914, 1915, and 
1916, which was expected to bring in £50,000,000 to 
£80,000,000. Partly, perhaps, because of this capital 
tax, imposed before the war, Germany has hitherto not 
levied any special taxation, but a war profits tax, for- 
merly said to be impossible to formulate until after the 
war, is proposed to be shortly raised. Loans of large 
amounts have been made to Turkey, Bulgaria, and neu- 
trals. It is not clear whether Austria-Hungary has also 
been partly financed by the German Goverimient. 

[It is interesting to compare these statements with the 
usual estimates concerning the cost of other recent wars: — 

Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815 $6,250,000,000 

Crimean War, 1853-1856 1,700,000,000 

American Civil War, 1861-1S65 8,000,000,000 

Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 3,500,000,000 

South African War, 1900-1902 1,250,000,000 

Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905 2,500,000,000 

The following statement by the Mechanics and Metals 
National Bank adds the cost of war-loans to other esti- 

Advances, or loans, by the stronger Powers to the 
weaker allies and to neutrals, have in three years ex- 
tended well beyond $10,000,000,000. Great Britain has 
loaned more than $5,000,000,000; the United States, 
$2,500,000,000; Germany, $2,500,000,000; France, 
$800,000,000. The responsibiKty falUng upon the Brit- 
ish nation in respect of loans is twice as heavy as that of 
any other beUigerent, but the programme outHned for 
the United States, if fulfilled, presently will make our 
loans equal those of Great Britain. 



War costs up to August i, 191 7, of the four nations 

making advances to the weaker allies, are given below. 

Figures of net costs appear in a column parallel to those 

of gross costs, and are based on war credits actually 

voted, and in the case of Great Britain and France, on 

actual ascertained costs : — 

Net war costs Gross war costs 

August I, jgi4 August i, igi4 

to August I, igi'^ to August i, igiy 

United States $2,200,000,000 $3,500,000,000 

Great Britain 20,750,000,000 .25,800,000,000 

France 16,600,000,000 17,400,000,000 

Germany 19,600,000,000 22,100,000,000 

The present rate of war expenditure by the United 
States, based on recent Administration statements, 
may be placed at a higher figure than that of any other 
nation engaged in the hostilities. Every day the direct 
military cost is $29,400,000, arid, in addition, loans to 
our alHes are at a rate that makes the total gross daily 
war cost for the United States more than $40,000,000. 

Great Britain has a total daily war cost of $39,000,000 
gross. Germany is spending not far from $30,000,000 a 
day, and France is spending $21,000,000. 

For these nations the figures include advances to 
allies. The United States has extended credit for the 
purchase of military supplies to Great Britain, France, 
Russia, Belgium, Serbia, and Italy. Great Britain has 
loaned funds to Russia, France, Italy, Belgiimi, Ru- 
mania, and certain neutral countries. France has made 
advances to Russia, Belgium, and Serbia. Germany 
has extended assistance to Austria-Hungary, Turkey, 
and Bulgaria, and, it is said, to Greece. 

On a daily basis, the four nations are making current 



pa)Tnents about as follows. Gross costs, it must be kept 
in mind, are direct military costs, plus foreign loans or 
advances: — 

Present daily Present daily 

net war cost gross war cost 

United States $29,400,000 $40,360,000 

Great Britain 35,000,000 39,000,000 

Germany 27,200,000 30,000,000 

France 20,200,000 21,000,000 

The cost of the war averages three dollars daily for 
each soldier enlisted. Total daily expenses of all the 
Alb'es are $115,000,000, as compared with $43,000,000 
for the Central Powers, the ratio being 2^ to i. The 
disparity is explained by the different conditions under 
which the embattled groups are fighting, by the need of 
the AlKes to spend large simis in keeping their navies 
and mercantile fleets at sea, by the different system of 
pay in the armies, by manufacture and transportation. 
War's money is now largely expended in the laboratory, 
the foundry, and the machine shop, and, in the cause of 
the Allies, an important part is expended in costly 
steamship and railway transportation. 


[An estimate published by "The Economist," London, 
December, 1915, puts the losses to that time as foUows: 
United Kingdom, 800,000; France, 2,000,000; Russia, 
5,000,000; Italy, 500,000; Belgium and Serbia, 550,000: 
total for the Entente Allies, killed, wounded, and missing, 
8,850,000. Of this number 2,0^0,000 were said to be killed, 
dead from disease, or perma»ently incapacitated. The 
Central Powers to that time had lost 7,400,000, of which 
1,980,000 were killed, dead from disease, or permanently 
disabled. According to estimates published by the War 
Department at Washington, October 22, 1917, at least 
38,000,000 were then under arms, 27,500,000 on the side of 
the Allies, and 10,600,000 on the side of the Central Powers. 
These figures do not include the naval strength, which would 
raise the total several millions. The table on page 507 
represents the total enlistment from the beginning. It was 
compiled by the Mechanics and Metals National Bank from 
whose "Cost of the War" the following general statement 
is taken. 

The Editor. \ 

It is impossible to compute accurately the human lives 
that have been sacrificed since the beginning of the war. 
All the beUigerent nations forbear to make public the 
wastage of men, and private attempts are highly specu- 
lative and subject to serious gaps. 

However, that the number of slain had run into mil- 
lions was a general assumption in the very first year of 
the war. Having read daily of campaigns of vast armies, 
of attacks of infantry in mass formation, of great guns 
hurling projectiles weighing thousands of pounds, of 



terrific and long-continued bombardments, of sweeping 
fogs of poison gases, of death rained from the sky and 
dealt from beneath the sea; having read of all these 
things the world recognized long ago that the war had 
taken an appalling total of human life. 

The nmnber of men engaged in hostilities shows how 
vast is the war, and from what a large supply the casu- 
alties have come. The numbers called to the colors of 
the various nations have been roughly as follows: — 

Men enlisted 

United States 2,000,000 

British Empire 7,500,000 

France 6,000,000 

Russia 14,000,000 

Italy 2,500,000 

Belgium, Serbia, and Portugal 1,000,000 

Entente Allies 33,000,000 

Germany 10,500,000 

Austria-Hungary 7,000,000 

Bulgaria 500,000 

Turkey _. - 2,000,000 

Teutonic Allies 20,000,000 

Total, all 53,000,000 

Of this 53,000,000, representing able-bodied and skill- 
ful workmen, possibly a fourth can be said to have been 
killed or injured since the outbreak of the war. The 
stage of the war and the performance have been so 
gigantic that deaths in the first three years of hostilities 
were in the neighborhood, of 7,000,000, while injuries 
leaving men invalids were more than 5,000,000. This 
means, to use a familiar comparison, that a number of 



men equal to one eighth the population of the United 
States suffered death or permanent injury in the first 
three years of the war. The killed equaled seven per 
cent of our population, the maimed equaled five per 

The total of killed, as a matter of fact, has in the 
elapsed period of the war equaled the full number of 
men called to the colors by the British Empire. It has 
exceeded the number of the whole French army, and 
has been four times as great as the number of men now 
enlisted under the American flag. The total of killed 
and permanently wounded has reached an amount 
greater than the enlisted nvunber of any single nation, 
except Russia, and even the 14,000,000 total of that 
nation is being crowded by the records of casualties. 

While total figures by themselves are large, the ac- 
tual death-rate indicated by the mortality records of the 
war is not more than 45 per 1000 per aimimi. Thus 
the loss of h'fe has been about one in twenty-two each 
year. Referring to single campaigns on the Western 
Front, the Committee on Public Information at Wash- 
ington recently made the statement that "figures, taken 
when the casualties were greatest in proportion to mo- 
bilized strength and combined with the highest pro- 
portion of deaths, show losses due to deaths from 
wounds and killed in action to be approximately 11 in 
every 1000 of mobilized strength." The statement 
added that the high-water mark of total casualties in 
the French army was reached early in the war^t the 
battles of Charleroi and the Marne. In that period they 
were 5.41 per cent of the mobilized strength. 

Statistics are often dry as dust, but when measuring 


the carnage of war they register one of the most tragic 
calamities of all history. The nearest approach to the 
hvmian sacrifice of this war is contained in the record of 
the Napoleonic Wars, which extended over more than 
twenty years and took toll altogether of 2,100,000 lives. 
Compilations made by the War Study Society of Copen- 
hagen, from such information and statistics as could be 
secured, showed that in the first two years of the hostili- 
ties — August I, 1914, to August I, 1916 — more than 
4,600,000 deaths occurred in all the armies engaged, 
while 11,200,000 soldiers were wounded, a third of them 
being made permanent invalids. 

We present below a table estimating for three years 
to August I, 1917, the loss of life among soldiers to the 

Two years 

August I, 1014 

io August I, 


One year 

August I, 1Q16 

to August I, 


Total three 

Dead: — 








Entente Allies . . . 





Teutonic Allies . . 

Total, all... 




. 105,000 















5 5, 000 























different countries engaged in the war, based on tlie 
Society's figures. The first column contains the list of 
dead in the first two years of the war, as estimated by 
the Society. The second column contains an approxi- 
mation of the deaths of the third year of the war, the 
figures being arrived at by assuming that the casualties 
of the third year were at the same rate as those of the 
first two years. This basis of calculation is neither accu- 
rate nor satisfactory, but without official figures it at 
least gives some conception of war's destruction of 

One reason for the wide margin between the losses of 
the Entente Allies and the Central Powers is the rela- 
tive unpreparedness of the Entente at the begirming of 
the war, the disastrous retreat of France in 1914, and 
of Russia later from the Mazurian lakes and the Car- 
pathians and in Rmnania. France suffered tremendously 
in its early retreat to the Marne and later in its defense 
of Verdun. 

Because it is fighting on interior lines without suffer- 
ing disastrous retreats, and because of a highly efl[icient 
medical service, Germany has suffered relatively less 
than some of the other nations, notwithstanding that 
her offensives on various fronts have led her into heavy 
losses in dead. Nearly one third of her casualties are 
estimated to have been suffered around Verdun. 

Russia has been the heaviest loser in man power, its 
total of loss in deaths, injuries, and prisoners being 
nearly double that of any other nation. Austria- 
Hungary also has been a heavy sufferer. In regard to 
the losses for Russia and Austria-Hungary, the great 
campaigns in the East are to be considered, these having 



Two years 

August I, igi4 

to August I, 


Permanently wounded: — 








Entente Allies 





Teutonic Allies 

Total, all 

One year 

August I, igi6 

to August 7, 















S 73. 000 








Total three 










1, 936,000 


been carried on by large forces in the open, over wide 
stretches of territory. Lack of communication and hos- 
pital facilities also have been a factor. 

England's losses have been smaller than those of the 
other European Powers, owing to the time required to 
bring her full strength to bear in the war theater. Italy 
until recently was saved from extreme casualties through 
the confining of open operations on her mountain fron- 
tiers. Rumania, although entering the war late, suffered 
disastrously by reason of Germany's invasion. Belgiimi 
and Serbia, the two small States overrun by the German 
machine early in the war, lost heavily in proportion to 
population. Turkey has been a heavy loser, through 
waging war oji a wide sweep of front from Gallipoli 


through Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. 
Bulgaria has been, relatively, a small loser. 

The number of men wounded in the war can only be 
roughly estimated. Many of the wounded are regarded 
as so slightly hurt that no reckoning of them is made in 
casualty lists; many are wounded a number of times, 
and their reckoning confuses the figures. More than 
five million men have been made permanent invalids 
in the three elapsed years of war, however. The accom- 
panying table (on page 511) shows the nimiber of the 
permanently injured, figures in the first column, show- 
ing the returns of the War Study Society of Copen- 
hagen for the first two years, being made the basis 
for the estimates of the third year on the basis of a 
like yearly average. 

Military experts agree that the killed in action and 
dead of wounds have never at any time in the war 
exceeded twenty per cent of the total casualties. 





On the 31st of January, 191 7, Count von Bernstorff, Ger- 
man Ambassador to the United States, handed to Mr. 
Lansing, Secretary of State, a note in which his Govern- 
ment announced its purpose to carry into full eSect the 
ruthless submarine policy against which the Government 
of the United States had been protesting. The announce- 
ment declared that "a prohibited zone" had been mapped 
out by Germany, bordering Holland, England, and France, 
and including portions of the Mediterranean, and that on 
and after the next day, February ist, ships of any nation 
from any port would be sunk without warning, save that for 
one American vessel a week, carrying passengers only, "a 
safety zone" would be established enabling this ship to pass 
to and from a designated English port in safety. In response 
to this decree the Government of the United States severed 
diplomatic relations with Germany, February 3d, by dis- 
missing Count von Bernstorff, giving him his passports; 
and recalling the American Ambassador, James W. Gerard, 
from Berlin. On the same day President Wilson addressed 
both Houses of Congress and announced the complete sever- 
ance of relations between the United States and Germany. 
The policy adopted by /the Government for the time being 
was that of "armed neutrality," and it was proposed to 
equip merchant ships to meet their foes, the German sub- 
marines. During the interval, while this policy was under 
discussion, it became plain that the German Government 
was determined to make good its threat, and on March 
1 2th orders were issued to place armed guards on American 
merchant ships. This temporary policy came to an end with 
the address of President Wilson to Congress, April 2d, in 
which he asked Congress to declare the existence of a state 
of war with Germany. On April 6th, the House of Repre- 
sentatives passed a vote accepting the joint resolution which 
had already passed the Senate, and war was formally 



I HAVE called the Congress into extraordinary session 
because there are serious, very serious, choices of policy 
to be made, and made immediately, which it was 
neither right nor constitutionally permissible that I 
should assume the responsibility of making. On the 
third of February last I officially laid before you the 
extraordinary announcement of the Imperial German 
Government that on and after the first day of February 
it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or 
of humanity and use its submarines to sink every vessel 
that sought to approach either the ports of Great 
Britain or Ireland or the western coasts of Europe or 
any of the ports controlled by the enemies of Germany 
within the Mediterranean. 

That had seemed to be the object of the German 
submarine warfare earlier in the war, but since April of 
last year the Imperial Government had somewhat re- 
strained the commanders of its undersea craft in con- 
formity with its promise then given to us that passenger 
boats should not be sunk, and that due warning would 
be given to all other vessels which its submarines might 
seek to destroy, when no resistance was offered or escape 
attempted, and care taken that their crews were given 
at least a fair chance to save their lives in their open 



The precautions taken were meager and haphazard 
enough, as was proved in distressing instance after 
instance in the progress of the cruel and unmanly busi- 
ness, but a certain degree of restraint was observed. 

The new policy has swept every restriction aside. 
Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their char- 
acter, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have 
been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning arid 
without thought of help or mercy for those on board, 
the vessels of friendly neutrals, along with those of 
belligerents. Even hospital ships and ships carrying 
relief to the sorely bereaved and stricken people of 
Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe 
conduct through the proscribed areas by the German 
Government itself, and were distinguished by uimiis- 
takable marks of identity, have been sunk with the 
same reckless lack of compassion or of principle. 

I was, for a httle while, unable to beUeve that such 
things would in fact be done by any Government that 
had hitherto subscribed to the humane practices of 
civilized nations. International law had its origin in the 
attempt to set up some law which would be respected 
and observed upon the seas where no nation had right 
of dominion, and where lay the free highways of the 

By painful stage after stage has that law been built 
up, with meager enough results, indeed, after all was 
accomplished that could be accomplished, but always 
with a clear view at least of what the heart and con- 
science of mankind demanded. 

This minimum of right the German Government has 
swept aside, under the plea of retaliation and necessity, 



and because it had no weapons which it could use at 
sea except these, which it is impossible to employ, as it 
is employing them ^ without throwing to the winds all 
scruples of humanity or of respect for the understand- 
ings that were supposed to underlie the intercourse of 
the world. 

I am not now thinking of the loss of property in- 
volved, immense and serious as that is, but only of the 
wanton and wholesale destruction of the lives of non- 
combatants, men, women, and children, engaged in pur- 
suits which have always, even in the darkest periods 
of modern history, been deemed innocent and legiti- 
mate. Property can be paid for. The lives of peaceful 
and innocent people cannot be. 

The present German submarine warfare against com- 
merce is a warfare against mankind. It is a war against 
all nations. American ships have been sunk, American 
lives taken, in ways which it has stirred us very deeply 
to learn of, but the ships and people of other neutral 
and friendly nations have been sunk and overwhelmed 
in the waters in the same way. 

There has been no discrimination. The challenge is 
to all mankind. Each nation must decide for itself how 
it will meet it. The choice we make for ourselves must 
be made with a moderation of counsel and a temperate- 
ness of judgment befitting our character and our motives 
as a nation. 

We must put excited feeling away. Our motive will 
not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the phys- 
ical might of the Nation, but only the vindication of 
right, of human right, of which we are only a single 



When I addressed the Congress on the 26th of Febru- 
ary last I thought that it would suffice to assert our 
neutral rights with arms, our right to use the seas against 
unlawful interference, our right to keep our people safe 
against unlawful violence. But armed neutrality, it now 
appears, is impracticable. Because submarines are, in 
effect, outlaws when used as the German submarines 
have been used against merchant shipping, it is impos- 
sible to defend ships against their attacks, as the law of 
nations has assiuned that merchantmen would defend 
themselves against privateers or cruisers, visible craft 
giving chase upon the open sea. 

It is common prudence, in such circumstances, grim 
necessity, indeed, to endeavor to destroy them before 
they have shown their own intention. They must be 
dealt with upon sight, if dealt with at all. 

The German Government denies the right of neutrals 
to use arms at all within the areas of the sea which it 
has proscribed, even in the defense of rights which no 
modern publicist has ever before questioned their right 
to defend. 

The intimation is conveyed that the armed guards 
which we have placed on our merchant ships will be 
treated as beyond the pale of law and subject to be 
dealt with as pirates would be. 

Armed neutrality is ineffectual enough at best; in 
such circumstances and in the face of such pretensions, 
it is worse than ineffectual: it is likely only to produce 
what it was meant to prevent; it is practically certain 
to draw us into the war without either the rights or the 
effectiveness of belligerents. There is one choice we can- 
not make, we are incapable of making: we will not clioose 



the path of submission and suffer the most sacred rights 
of our Nation and our people to be ignored or violated. 
The wrongs against which we now array ourselves 
are no common wrongs: they cut to the very roots of 
human life. 

With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragi- 
cal character of the step I am taking, and of the grave 
responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating 
obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I 
advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the 
Imperial German Goverimient to be, in fact, nothing 
less than war against the Goverimient and people of 
the United States; that it formally accept the status of 
belligerent which has thus been thrust upon it ; and that 
it take immediate steps, not only to put the country in 
a more thorough state of defense, but also to exert all 
its power and employ all its resources to bring the Gov- 
ernment of the German Empire to terms and end the 
war. What this will involve is clear. It will involve the 
utmost practical cooperation in counsel and action with 
the Governments now at war with Germany, and, as 
incident to that, the extension to those Governments 
of the most hberal financial credits, in order that our 
resources may, so far as possible, be added to theirs. 

It will involve the organization and mobilization of 
all the material resources of the country to supply the 
materials of war and serve the incidental needs of the 
Nation in the most abundant, and yet the most eco- 
nomical and efi&cient way possible. It will involve the 
immediate full equipment of the Navy in all respects, 
but particularly in supplying it with the best means 
of deahng with enemy submarines. It will involve the 



immediate addition to the armed forces of the United 
States already provided for by law in case of war, at 
least five hundred thousand men, who should, in my 
opinion, be chosen upon the principle of universal Ka- 
bility to service, and also the authorization of subse- 
quent additional increments of equal force so soon as 
they may be needed and can be handled in training. 

It will involve, also, of course, the granting of ade- 
quate credits to the Government, sustained, I hope, so 
far as they can equitably be sustained by the present 
generation, by well-conceived taxation. I say sustained 
so far as may be equitable by taxation, because it seems 
to me that it would be most unwise to base the credits 
which will now be necessary entirely on money bor- 

It is our duty, I most respectfully urge, to protect 
our people, so far as we may, against the very serious 
hardships and evils which would be likely to arise out 
of the inflation which would be produced by vast loans. 

In carrying out the measures by which these things 
are to be accomplished we should keep constantly in 
mind the wisdom of interfering as little as possible in 
our own preparation and in the equipment of our own 
military forces with the duty — for it will be a very 
practical duty — of supplying the nations already at war 
with Germany with the materials which they can obtain 
only from us or by our assistance. They are in the field 
and we should help them in every way to be effective 

I shall take the liberty of suggesting, through the 
several executive departments of the Government, for 
the consideration of your committees, measures for the 



accomplishment of the several objects I have mentioned. 

I hope that it will be your pleasure to deal with them 
as having been framed after very careful thought by the 
branch of the Government upon which the responsibihty 
of conducting the war and safeguarding the Nation will 
most directly fall. 

While we do these things, these deeply momentous 
tilings, let us be very clear, and make very clear to all 
the world, what our motives and our objects are. 

My own thought has not been driven from its ha- 
bitual and normal course by the unhappy events of the 
last two months, and I do not beHeve that the thought 
of the Nation has been altered or clouded by them. I 
have exactly the same things in mind now that I had 
in mind when I addressed the Senate on the 2 2d of 
January last, the same that I had in mind when I 
addressed the Congress on the 3d of February, and on 
the 26th of February. 

Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles 
of peace and justice in the life of the world as against 
selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the 
really free and self-governed peoples of the world such 
a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth 
insure the observance of those principles. 

NeutraHty is no longer feasible or desirable where the 
peace of the world is involved and the freedom of its 
peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies 
in the existence of autocratic governments backed by 
organized force which is controlled wholly by their will, 
not by the will of their people. We have seen the last of 
neutraUty in such circumstances. We are at the begin- 
ning of an age in which it will be insisted that the same 



standards of conduct and of responsibility for wrong 
done shall be observed among nations and their govern- 
ments that are observed among the individual citizens 
of civilized states. We have no quarrel with the German 
people. We have no feeling toward them but one of 
sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse 
that their Government acted in entering this war. 

It was not with their previous knowledge or approval. 
It was a war determined upon as wars used to be deter- 
mined upon in the old, unhappy days, when peoples 
were nowhere consulted by their rulers and wars were 
provoked and waged in the interest of dynasties or of 
little groups of ambitious men who were accustomed to 
use their fellow men as pawns and tools. Self-governed 
nations do not fill their neighbors' states with spies or 
set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical 
posture of affairs which will give them an opportunity 
to strike and make conquest. Such designs can be suc- 
cessfully worked out only under cover, and where no 
one has the right to ask questions. Cunningly contrived 
plans of deception or aggression, carried it may be from 
generation to generation, can be worked out and kept 
from the light only within the privacy of courts or 
behind the carefully guarded confidences of a narrow 
and privileged class. They are happily impossible where 
public opinion commands and insists upon full informa- 
tion concerning all the Nation's affairs. 

A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained 
except by a partnership of democratic nations. No auto- 
cratic Government could be trusted to keep faith within 
it or observe its covenants. It must be a league of 
honor, a partnership of opinion. 



Intrigue would eat its vitals away. The plottings of 
inner circles who could plan what they would and render 
account to no one would be a corruption seated at its 
very heart. Only free peoples can hold their purpose 
and their honor steady to a common end and prefer the 
interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own. 

Does not every American feel that assurance has been 
added to our hope'for the future peace of the world by 
the wonderful and heartening things that have been 
happening within the last few weeks in Russia? Russia 
was known by those who knew it best to have been 
always in fact democratic at heart; in all the vital habits 
of her thought, in all the intimate relationships of her 
people that spoke their natural instinct, their habitual 
attitude toward Hfe. 

The autocracy that crowned the summit of her 
political structure, long as it had stood and terrible as 
was the reality of its power, was not in fact Russian in 
origin, character, or purpose; and now it has been shaken 
off and the great, generous Russian people have been 
added in all their naive majesty and might to the forces 
that are fighting for freedom in the world, for justice, 
and for peace. 

Here is a fit partner for a league of honor. One of the 
things that has served to convince us that the Prussian 
autocracy was not and could never be our friend is that 
from the very outset of the present war it has filled 
our unsuspecting communities and even our offices of 
government with spies and set criminal intrigues every- 
where afoot against our national unity of counsel, our 
peace within and without, our industries and our com- 



Indeed, it is now evident that its spies were here even 
before the war began; and it is' unhappily not a matter 
of conjecture but a fact proved in our courts of justice 
that the intrigues which have more than once come 
perilously near to disturbing the peace and dislocating 
the industries of the country have been carried on at 
the instigation, with the support, and even under the 
personal direction of official agents of the Imperial 
Government accredited to the Government of the 
United States. 

Even in checking these things and trying to extirpate 
them we have sought to put the most generous inter- 
pretation possible upon them because we knew that 
their source lay, not in any hostile feeling or purpose 
of the German people towards us (who were, no doubt, 
as ignorant of them as we ourselves were), but only in 
the selfish designs of a Government that did what it 
pleased and told its people nothing. 

But they have played their part in serving to convince 
us at last that that Government entertains no real 
friendship for us and means to act against our peace and 
security at its convenience. 

That it means to stir up enemies against us at our 
very doors the intercepted note to the German Minis- 
ter at Mexico City is eloquent evidence. 

We are accepting this challenge of hostile purpose 
because we know that in such a' Government, following 
such methods, we can never have a friend; and that in 
the presence of its organized power, always lying in wait 
to accomplish we know not what purpose, there can be 
no assured security for the democratic Goveriraients of 
the world. 



We are now about to accept gauge of battle with this 
natural foe to liberty and shall, if necessary, spend the 
whole force of the Nation to check and nullify its pre- 
tensions andats power. 

We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of 
false pretense about them, to fight thus for the ultimate 
peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, 
the German peoples included; for the rights of nations 
great and small and the privilege of men everywhere 
to choose their way of Hfe and of obedience. The 
world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace 
must be planted upon the tested foundations of political 

We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no con- 
quest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for our- 
selves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we 
shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of 
the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those 
rights have been made as secure as the faith and the 
freedom of nations can make them. 

Just because we fight without rancor and without 
selfish object, seeking nothing for ourselves but what 
we shall wish to share with all free peoples, we shall, I 
feel confident, conduct our operations as belligerents 
without passion and ourselves observe with proud 
punctilio the principles of right and of fair play we pro- 
fess to be fighting for. 

I have said nothing of the Governments aUied with 
the Imperial Government of Germany because they 
have not made war upon us or challenged us to defend 
our right and our honor. The Austro-Hungarian Govern- 
ment has, indeed, avowed its unqualified endorsement 



and acceptance of the reckless and lawless submarine 
warfare adopted now without disguise by the Imperial 
German Government, and it has therefore not been 
possible for this Government to receive Count Tar- 
nowski, the Ambassador recently accredited to this 
Government by the Imperial and Royal Government of 
Austria-Hungary; but that Government has not actually 
engaged in warfare against citizens of the United States 
on the seas, and I take the liberty, for the present at 
least, of postponing a discussion of our relations with 
the authorities at Vienna. We enter this war only 
where we are clearly forced into it because there are no 
other means of defending our rights. 

It will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as 
belligerents in a high spirit of right and fairness because 
we act without animus, not in enmity toward a people or 
with the desire to bring any injury or disadvantage upon 
them, but only in armed opposition to an irresponsible 
Government which has thrown aside all considerations 
of humanity and of right and is running amuck. 

We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the 
German people, and shall desire nothing so much as the 
early reestablishment of intimate relations of mutual 
advantage between us, however hard it may be for 
them, for the time being, to believe that this is spoken 
from our hearts. 

We have borne with their present Government 
through all these bitter months because of that friend- 
ship — exercising a patience and forbearance which 
would otherwise have been impossible. We shall, 
happily, still have an opportunity to prove that friend- 
ship in our daily attitude and actions toward the mil- 



lions of men and women of German birth and native 
sympathy who Hve amongst us and share our life, and 
we shall be proud to prove it toward all who are in 
fact loyal to their neighbors and to the Government 
in the hour of test. 

They are, most of them, as true and loyal Americans 
as if they had never known any other fealty or alle- 
giance. They will be prompt to stand with us in rebuk- 
ing and restraining the few who may be of a different 
mind and purpose. 

If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with 
with a firm hand of stern repression; but, if it lifts its 
head at all, it will Kft it only here and there and with- 
out countenance except from a lawless and malignant 

It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen 
of the Congress, which I have performed in thus ad- 
dressing you. 

There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and 
sacrifice ahead of us. 

It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people 
into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all 
wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. 

But the right is more precious than peace, and we 
shall fight for the things which we have always carried 
nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of 
those who submit to authority to have a voice in their 
own governments, for the rights and hberties of small 
nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a 
concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety 
to all nations and make the world itself at last free. 

To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our for- 



tunes, everything that we are and everything that we 
have, with the pride of those who know that the day 
has come when America is privileged to spend her blood 
and her might for the principles that gave her birth 
and happiness, and the peace which she has treasured. 
God helping her, she can do no other. 




[At the urgent request of the French Commission which 
visited the United States in April, American troops were 
sent across earlier than had been intended, the first con- 
tingent reaching France late in June. Before winter they 
were ready for their final training in the front trenches. 

The Editor.] 

Toward the end of October the first American con- 
tingent seemed to be about as letter-perfect in their 
work as could reasonably be hoped. There was even 
a danger that further application to the same training 
might make them stale. Thsy had come along in grand 
style physically. Boys whose blouses used to sag on 
them like a middy last sunamer were now bursting the 
chest buttons of the same uniforms. And they had 
learned to perform like clockwork everything their in- 
structors had taught them. They were a pretty fine lot of 
soldiers, as we used to know soldiers in those piping days 
of ease, before 1914. But they were not yet fighting men. 
It was to make them fighting men that General 
Pershing put them into the front line with the French. 
There is a vast difference between learning things in a 
training camp and doing them opposite an active enemy, 
so the American commander planned to put the finish- 
ing touches on the first contingent by some work within 
reach of the Boche guns, to harden the men and teach 
them how to take care of themselves in trench warfare. 



He selected a quiet sector for the purpose; probably 
he could not have found a more reposeful sector in all 
Europe. His idea was to round out training with as 
little fuss as might be, so that the men of the first con- 
tingent would be competent to instruct the green troops 
coming from America. And as soon as all had been 
given' the experience the battalions were withdrawn. 

That is all there was to it. The proceedings were 
devoid of fireworks. The Paris edition of an American 
newspaper solemnly announced that our forces had 
taken over a sector of the front during the dark hours 
of the night and that when dawn broke the astounded 
Germans were apprised of the event by the spectacle 
of the Stars and Stripes floating proudly from our para- 
pets; but actually there was no moving-picture stuff 
whatever. The troops eased in with the French. 

The more quietly it was done the better satisfied 
were the American and French commands. They 
wanted no blare of bands, and Old Glory on a front- 
line trench could wait until the trench was empty. 

Moving out of villages back of the line the com- 
panies marched along the roads leading to the com- 
munication trenches and, arrived there, went in to 
reheve the poilus in platoon groups. It was very dark 
and the rain fell drearily. About the only persons who 
saw this movement were a few French soldiers en repos 
in the villages, some old men and women, and a httle 
girl in a cape, who trotted along beside the marching 
column of one battalion, talking to the intent, silent 
men. As they reached the crossroads where they turned 
to go along the canal she stopped and waved her hand 
at them for luck. May Heaven bless her! 



Here is a picture of the way you go in. Your ex- 
perience will differ from this in the local setting and 
details when the time comes, more especially if you 
happen to be hurried up to support battalions that 
are being strafed; but in the ordinary course of events 
you will do it about the way the first contingent did it. 

They have been keeping you back in a village during 
the training period, sixty or seventy or ninety kilo- 
metres behind the front. In plain sight is another vil- 
lage and there are American troops billeted there also. 
Everywhere you turn in this section of France you find 
them. The roads and fields are full of khaki figures; 
the streets of every hamleli swarm with them. And 
there is a hamlet every two or three miles. 

Well, they have gradually seasoned you by the hard- 
est kind of work. You are physically fit to tackle your 
weight in wild cats. Out on the training ground beyond 
the village you have practiced every form of trench 
work and open warfare until you do it automatically 
at command. And you have grown acclimated too; 
your billet, which used to be a storehouse with a hay- 
loft in it, no longer seems chilly when the temperature 
is at a raw damp fifty-five degrees. Or if you have been 
living in one of the frame barracks provided, you don't 
begin to think of pneumonia every time the roof leaks 
or a cold wind comes tearing through a fissure in the 
wall. In fact, you 're fit, my boy — fitter than you ever 
were in your Hfe, not even barring the proud day you 
made the eleven. 

On a day your battahon receives orders to get ready 
to move. Perhaps you know what is coming off, per- 
haps you don't. At any rate, that is none of your busi- 



ness; all you've got to do is obey orders and keep your 
rifle clean. So you hustle round, pack your kit, stall 
off Abe Green when he inquires whether you feel like 
paying back that twenty francs you borrowed, and pres- 
ently parade with the others in full inarching order 
and your helmet on. 

Strapped to your back is the kit — a full seventy 
pounds, and more. The oflicial figures give the weight 
as something less; but I have weighed a dozen of them. 
In the kit you carry your bedding, which consists of 
three blankets, extra socks and extra shoes, mess tins 
,and emergency rations, first-aid dressings, ammuni- 
tion, everything you will require for a ten-day tour in 
the trenches. With bayonet and pick and shovel the kit 
is a sizable load. You bend forward as you march, and 
if it does n't sit snugly Heaven help you! 

Long lines of motor-trucks are in the road. You pile 
into one of them; and when all is ready the driver lights 
a cigarette, says, "Well, we're off! Giddap, Sarah!" 
And a moment later you go careering out of the village. 
Behind you comes another truck, and another, and 
another — trucks are strung out as far as the eye can 

It is n't such a bad business, bowling along a country 
road in France, even in a motor-truck. The driver 
keeps his machine on the crown of the road and lets the 
automobiles that overtake him do the worrying. The 
wild warning shrieks of their sirens seem to fill him with 
a holy joy; a smile of infinite peace comes to his face as 
he holds the nose of the truck exactly in the middle. . . . 

You pass through a score of villages and toward 
dusk arrive at one which shows the scars of war. The 



stark ribs of ruined houses stick up through piles of 
debris. Where a "Jack Johnson" landed is a jumbled 
mass of bricks and twisted metal and shattered stone. 

"That used to be the mairie." 

You 're in the fighting zone now, but the trucks keep 
on; and it is dark when you arrive at your destination. 

Everybody piles out and eases cramped legs. You 
are in a tiny village and few people are stirring. Oppo- 
site you is a cafe called the Cheval d'Or; through the 
window you make out the figures of several poilus 
seated at a table, drinking wine. There is a wide, old- 
fashioned fireplace at the end of the room and over it 
a woman is cooking supper on an andiron contrivance 
that holds a pan and two kettles. The order is given to 
fall in. The darkness deepens as you stand there in 
the road waiting for the command to move. . . . 

" Companee ! Ktten.-shun ! " 

Thirty seconds later you are headed for the trenches. 
Of course it has begun to rain. It falls with a steady, 
dreary murmur. The iron-hard road is covered with 
a thin layer of mud, deposited by the constant passage 
of trucks and wagons. The rain drips sadly from the 
tall trees standing like gaunt sentinels on either side. 
With your poncho hanging from your shoulders, and 
your head bent under the load of your pack, you tramp 
out of the village. 

One of the boys tries to strike up a song. 

"Silence! " barks an ofiicer. 

You turn a corner and follow a canal. Tramp, tramp, 
tramp — that and the rumble of the kitchens and 
machine guns are the only sounds. Some sparks fall 
from the swaying kitchens and dimly you discern the 



outlines of the mules pulKng the little devils so dreaded 
by infantry. Behind them are more doughboys. 

The column is lost in the night both ahead and behind 

The man next to you is breathing hard, and you 
wonder whether he is nervous; but you don't ask him. 
For it is your first time in, and everybody is keyed up. 

A Red Cross ambulance dashes up from nowhere and 
pulls out to give the marchirig column right of way. Its 
driver flashes on his Hghts an instant. 

"Turn that out!" cries an officer; and the blackness 
is worse than before. 

You keep this up until the pack weighs about eleven 
hundred pounds and the man behind you is beginning 
to mutter: "Doggone, wjiere are them trenches any- 
how? In Rooshia? " 

At last you are halted. You can't see anything but 
the road under your feet and the outlines of some trees, 
but the dark becomes peopled with strange shapes. 

After a while your platoon is called to attention; the 
remainder of the company stands at rest. And before 
you can guess what's up you are marching along beside 
a hedge up a hill. The going is slippery, for you are on 
a dirt road. 

You skirt an embankment from which come mufHed 
voices. A curtain hfts and then you discern that what 
you took for a blur is the entrance to a dugout. A man 
in the doorway of the dugout says something to the 
platoon commander; but you are already past him. 

Still uphill ; the mud is harder to shake than a book 
agent. At last you reach comparatively level ground 
and march along beside more blurs. You hear voices 



inside the blurs and occasionally see the tiniest streak 
of light; but though you strain your eyes you cannot 
make out what the blurs are. 

"Artillery dugouts, I reckon; huh?" some one whis- 
pers, and the man in front of you stumbles. 

"Zowie! Look out!" he warns, and next moment you 
plunge blindly into an opening in the earth. 

You are now in the communication trenches. The 
mud is ankle-deep and it gives you plenty to do to keep 
on your feet and not hold up the line. No wonder they 
gave you all those hardening exercises ! This — is — a 
holy — fright. 

However, you manage to hold the pace. Twisting 
and turning; dipping downward; feeling your way along 
the wall of the trench; now you hit a stretch of duck 
boards and the walking is better. You see nothing but 
a pale streak of sky when you lift your head. Stumbling 
blindly in the wake of the man in front and swallowing 
in silence your rage against the man behind when he 
walks on the calf of your leg; about a million miles of 
this and the line halts. 

There is whispering ahead of you. Now that you are 
used to the dark, you descry other forms than those of 
your comrades in the trench. A figure in a pale uniform 
pushes past you, going out. Another and another follow; 
they are the poilus your platoon is relieving. 

The line moves slowly forward. You pass a dugout; 
then a dark opening from which a pair of legs protrudes, 
evidently a Frenchy has crawled into a funk hole to 
snatch a forgotten piede of property before he marches 

It is your turn now. You are the head of the line; all 



the men in front of you have taken up their positions. 
A French soldier standing close to a fire step moves 
back and you move into his place. He does n't speak 
to you and you don't speak to him. You simply take 
over the spot he has held and give your comrades room 
to move along. And so the relief goes forward. 

Standing there, you wonder how far off the next man 
is. Presently comes an officer, who shows you the en- 
trance to a dugout and gives some whispered instruc- 
tions as to what you shall do in case of bombardment. 
Then he leads you to a cavity in the wall of the trench 
where the reserve supply of ammunition and the rock- 
ets are kept. You tell him you 've got it all clear, and 
he passes on. 

Once more you are standing on the fire step staring 
with smarting eyes into the dark. A machine gun is 
chattering somewhere in the night, and far away, from 
the edge of the world, comes a sullen muttering like a 
heavy surf on a seashore — the big guns at Verdun. 

Suddenly a flare goes up in front of you. You catch a 
flashing vision of a valley and a bare slope; and there, 
right under your nose, is a tangled mass of wire entirely 
filled with Boches. 

You let fly. In two minutes you have emptied the 
chamber; and then the sergeant arrives hot-foot to 
inquire what the blue blazes you are shooting at. 

"There's a bunch of Boches out there in the wire," 
you tell him in a voice you strive to hold steady. 

"Those are posts, man," he replies in disgust. "Cut 
that out!" 

You relax and mop your brow. Gee, that was a close 
call! And abruptly you experience a blessed relief from 



tension. No matter if you did make a mistake, you were 
on the job; a dim realization of that all-important fact 
gives you confidence. So you settle down for the long 
night watch. 

An officer approaches, using a trench stick. It is 
nothing but an ordinary cane, with a steel point to help 
progress in the mud. Somehow the sight of him unarmed, 
with nothing but that little stick, gives you courage. 
There cannot be much danger if he goes round with a 
cane! Thus you reason. The officer's stick is one of the 
moral forces of trench warfare. 

"How's everything?" he queries. "Feeling all right? 
That's the boy. We 're all right now. We're in!" 

There is the story of an entry into the trenches. It's 
a lot different from what you have been dreaming, 
n'est-ce pas? But that is always the way; the front is 
never like the mental picture you draw of it. There 
was n't a man of the first contingent who had n't in- 
dulged in day-dreams of what it would be Hke; not one 
of them came within a mile of the reality. 

What happened at the front is more or less familiar 
to the American public. The Boche immediately grew 
attentive. He did not try anything very serious; but 
his artillery showed activity in spasms, and on the night 
of November 2-3 he put over a raid. However, the 
object sought by the American command was accom- 
plished. Those battalions are fit for a crack at the 
Boches any day. 

"What did we learn?" repeated a brigadier in answer 
to a query. "This: They went in boys; they came out 



[On January 8, 1918, President Wilson delivered before 
Congress a momentous speech on America's war aims. In- 
tended principally to hearten Russia in her hour of peril, 
his speech was endorsed alike by radicals and conservatives 
in Allied countries and was of the utmost value in uniting 
men of all shades of opinion in the resolve to achieve a just, 
democratic, and lasting peace. The first part of his speech 
dealt with the peace parleys then being held between the 
Teutonic Powers and Russia. The latter and more impor- 
tant part follows. 

The Editor.] 

Theej; is no confusion of counsel among the adversaries 
of the Central Powers, no uncertainty of principle, no 
vagueness of detail. The only secrecy of counsel, the 
only lack of fearless frankness, the only failure to make 
definite statement of the objects of the war, lies with 
Germany and her allies. The issues of life and death 
hang upon these definitions. No statesman who has the 
least conception of his responsibility ought for a moment 
to permit himself to continue this tragical and appalling 
outpouring of blood and treasure unless he is sure be- 
yond a perad venture that the objects of the vital sacri- 
fice are part and parcel of the very hfe of society and 
that the people for whom he speaks think them right 
and imperative, as he does. 



There is, moreover, a voice calling for these defini- 
tions of principle and of purpose which is, it seems to 
me, more thrilHng and more compelling than any of the 
many moving voices with which the troubled air of the 
world is filled. It is the voice of the Russian people. 
They are prostrate and all but helpless, it would seem, 
before the grim power of Germany, which has hitherto 
known no relenting and no pity. Their power, appar- 
ently, is shattered. And yet their soul is not subservient. 
They will not yield either in principle or in action. Their 
conviction of what is right, of what it is humane and 
honorable for them to accept, has been stated with a 
frankness, a largeness of view, a generosity of spirit and 
a universal human sympathy which must challenge the 
admiration of every friend of mankind, and they have 
refused to compound their ideals or desert others that 
they themselves may be safe. They call to us to say 
what it is that we desire,' in what, if in anything, our 
purpose and our spirit differ from theirs, and I beUeve 
that the people of the United States would wish me to 
respond with utter simphcity and frankness. Whether 
their present leaders believe it or not, it is our heartfelt 
desire and hope that some way may be opened whereby 
we may be privileged to assist the people of Russia to 
attain their utmost hope of hberty and ordered peace. 

It will be our wish and purpose that the processes of 
peace, when they are begun, shall be absolutely open, 
and that they shall involve and permit henceforth no 
secret understandings of any kind. The day of conquest 
and aggrandizement is gone by; so is also the day of 
secret covenants entered into in the interest of particu- 
lar Governments, and likely at some unlooked-for 



moment to upset the peace of the world. It is this 
happy fact, now clear to the view of every public man 
whose thoughts do not still linger in an age that is dead 
and gone, which makes it possible for every nation 
whose purposes are consistent with justice and the 
peace of the world to avow now or at any other time the 
objects it has in view. We entered this war because 
violations of right had occurred which touched us to 
the quick and made the hfe of our own people impos- 
sible unless they were corrected and the world secured 
once for all against their recurrence. What we demand 
in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. 
It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in, and 
particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving 
nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, 
determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and 
fair dealing by the other peoples of the world, as against 
force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world 
are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own 
part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to 
others it will not be done to us. 

The programme of the world's peace, therefore, is 
our programme, and that programme, the only possible 
programme, as we see it, is this: — 

1. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after 
which there shall be no private international under- 
standings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed 
always frankly and in the public view. 

2. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, out- 
side territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, e3{cept as 
the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international 
action for the enforcement of international covenants. 

• S40 


3. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic 
barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade 
conditions among all the nations consenting to the 
peace and associating themselves for its maintenance. 

4. Adequate guarantees given and taken that na- 
tional armaments will be reduced to the lowest point 
consistent with domestic safety. 

5. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial 
adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict 
observance of the principle that in determining all such 
questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations 
concerned must have equal weight with the equitable 
tlaims of the Government whose title is to be deter- 

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

7. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be 
evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit 
the sovereignty which she enjoys in conamon with all 



other free nations. No other single act will serve as this 
will serve to restore confidence among the nations in 
the laws which they have themselves set and deter- 
mined for the government of their relations with one 
another. Without this heahng act the whole structure 
and validity of international law is forever impaired. 

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

9. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be- 
effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationaUty. 

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

11. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be 
evacuated, occupied territories restored, Serbia accorded 
free and secure access to the sea, and the relations of 
the several Balkan States to one another determined by 
friendly counsel along historically established lines of 
allegiance and nationality, and international guarantee 
of the political and economic independence and terri- 
torial integrity of the several Balkan States should be 
entered into. 

12. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman 
Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the 
other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule 
should be assured an undoubted security of life and 
an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous 



development, and the Dardanelles should be perma- 
nently opened as a free passage to the ships and com- 
merce of all nations under international guarantees. 

13. An independent Polish State should be erected, 
which should include the territories inhabited by indis- 
putably PoUsh populations, which should be assured a 
free and secure access to the sea, and whose political 
and economic independence and territorial integrity 
should be guaranteed by international covenant. 

14. A general association of nations must be formed 
under specific covenants for the purpose of affording 
mutual guarantees of political independence and terri- 
torial integrity to great and small states alike. 

In regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and 
assertions of right, we feel ourselves to be intimate 
partners of all the Governments and peoples associated 
together against the imperialists. We cannot be sepa- 
rated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand to- 
gether until the end. 

For such arrangements and covenants we are willing 
to fight and to continue to fight until they are achieved, 
but only because we wish the right to prevail, and desire 
a just and stable peace, such as can be secured only by 
removing the chief provocations to war, which this pro- 
gramme does remove. We have no jealousy of German 
greatness, and there is nothing in this programme that 
impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinc- 
tion or learning or pacific enterprise, such as have 
made her record very bright and very enviable. We do 
not wish to injure her, or to block in any way her legiti- 
mate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her 
either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade, 



if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other 
peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of jus- 
tice and law and fair-deaUng. We wish her only to accept 
a place of equahty among the peoples of the world — 
the new world in which we now live — instead of a place 
of mastery. 

Neither do we presume to suggest to her any altera- 
tion or modification of her institutions. But it is neces- 
sary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a prelim- 
inary to any intelKgent dealings with her on our part, 
that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for 
when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag major- 
ity or for the military party, and the men whose creed 
is imperial domination. 

We have spoken now, surely in terms too concrete to 
admit of any further doubt or question. An evident 
principle runs through the whole programme I have 
outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and 
nationalities, and their right to hve on equal terms of 
liberty and safety with one another, whether they be 
strong or weak. Unless this principle be made its founda- 
tions, no part of the structure of international justice 
can stand. The peoples of the United States could act 
upon no other principle, and to the vindication of this 
principle they are ready to devote their lives, their 
honor, and everything that they possess. 

The moral climax of this, the culminating and final 
war for human liberty, has come, and they are ready to 
put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their 
own integrity and devotion to the test. 



if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other 
peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of jus- 
tice and law and fair-dealing. We wish her only to accept 
a place of equahty among the peoples of the world — 
the new world in which we now live — instead of a place 
of mastery. 

Neither do we presume to suggest to her any altera- 
tion or modification of her institutions. But it is neces- 
sary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a prelim- 
inary to any intelligent dealings with her on our part, 
that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for 
when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag major- 
ity or for the military party, and the men whose creed 
is imperial domination. 

We have spoken now, surely in terms too concrete to 
admit of any further doubt or question. An evident 
principle runs through the whole programme I have 
outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and 
nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of 
liberty and safety with one another, whether they be 
strong or weak. Unless this principle be made its founda- 
tions, no part of the structure of international justice 
can stand. The peoples of the United States could act 
upon no other principle, and to the vindication of this 
principle they are ready to devote their lives, their 
honor, and everything that they possess. 

The moral climax of this, the culminating and final 
war for human liberty, has come, and they are ready to 
put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their 
own integrity and devotion to the test. 


U . S . A