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Cornell Iniu^ratt^ Sltbrarg 




SliMirs m. Sage 


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Cornell University 

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Sole Agents for South Africa ; The Central News Agency, Ltd. 

19 1 6. 



The French Offensive-Defensive, Novembeb, 1914, to AraiL, 1915 ... 1 

Science and the Health of the Armies ... ... ... ... ... ... 41 

The Dardanelles Campaign (III.) : Two Months' Land Fighting in Gallipoli 81 

The Spirit of Anzac ... 121 

Railways and the War ... 161 

Operations on the Western Front, April to September, 1915 ... ... 201 

Prisoners of War ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 241 

The King's New Armies and The Derby Recruiting Scheme ... ... 281 

The French Offensive in Champagne 321 

The Battle of Loos ... ... 361 

The Fighting Round Loos, September 28 to October 13, 1915 401 

CHAPTER evil. 
The Execution of Miss Cavell 429 

Wak Atlas, Statistics, List of Place Names. 


NOVEMBER, 19 14, TO APRIL, 191 5. 

Scope or the Chapter — PiEasons fok the Reticence or the French as to theie Operations — 
French Review of the Fcsitton on February 1, 1915 — iStrateoicax Problem of General 
Joffre on Xovember 11, 1914 — Fighting from La Bassee to Belfort between November 11, 
1914, axd February 1, 1915 — Actions round Arras, Battle of Soissons, Bombardment of 
Reims Cathedral, Engagements in Champagne, the Argonne, and on the Heights of the 
Meqse, and in the Vosges — Events from February 1, 1915, to March 31 — Actions at Les 
Eparges and Vauqltois — Battle of Perthes — The French take the Ridge of Xotre Dame 
de lorette. 

IX Vo]. I. (Chapters XX III., XXVI. and 
XXVIT.) we dealt with the fir-st offen- 
sive of tlie French in Alsace, their offen- 
sive in Lorraine and the Ai-dennes, the 
series of liattles on the Meuse and Sambre and 
the glorious retreat of the Allies to the banks 
of the -Alarne ; while in Vol. II. (Chapters 
XXXII., XXXIV., XLV. and XLVI.) the 
Battles of the Marne and Aisne, the condition 
of Paris imder the rule of General Gallieni 
diu-ing those terrible days when the fortunes of 
the Parisians, of France, and the civihzed world 
hung in the balance, together with the extension 
accompanied by the Battles of Roye-Peronne 
and Arras of the western wings of the opposing 
armies - from Compiegne to the N^orth Sea at 
Xieuport Bains, were described and their 
strategical significanoe discussed. The Battle of 
Flanders, comprising the numerous struggles 
known as the Battle of the Yser, the first 
Battle of Ypres, and the Battle of Armen- 
tieres-La Bassee, was the culmination of 
that extension. In Vol. III. (Chapters 
Vol. VI.— Part 66. 

XLVIIL, LIV., LXIL. LXIII.) and in Vol. IV. 
(Chapter LXV.) the desperate and successful 
resistance opposed by the Belgian Army, which 
had escaped from Antwerp, and by General 
d'Urbal's and Sir John French's armies to the 
last attempt of the Kaiser to tiu-n or pierce the 
left wing of the Allies in the western theatre of 
war was narrated, and in Vol. III. (Chapter 
LXI.) and in Vol. IV. (Chapter LXX.) some 
particulars were given of the autumn and 
winter campaign in Central and Eastern France. 
The present chapter is designed to provide 
a sketch of the main operations conducted by 
the French from the end of the battle of 
Flanders to the moves preliminary to the 
Battle of Artois, which began on May 9, 1915. 
, Between those dates, north of La Bassee, 
had occurred the bloody Battle of X'euve 
Chapelle, the combats of St. Eloi and Hill 60 
and the Second Battle of Ypres, at which the 
Canadians first met the Germans and the 
Germans first began the use of poisonous gas. 
The fighting of the British, French and Belgian 


General JoiFre and members of his Staff have luncheon by the roadside. 

troops north of La Bassee from November II 
to May 9, the Battle of the Aubers Bidge 
(May 9-10) and that of Festubert (May 15-18), 
both of which were contemporaneous with the 
beginning of the Battle of Artois and were 
intended to divert German reinforcements from 
it, have also been depicted. 

It will be seen that a continuous narrative 
has been fiu-nished of the doings of the Allied 
and German forces north of La Bassee to the 
date when Sir John French, after his gains at 
Festubert, was consolidating his position at the 
edge of the Aubers Ridge. Along the line, 
approximately fifty miles long, of the Allies 
from the sea to the western environs of La 
Bassee no decisive victory had been gained by 
either side. On the remainder of tlie Allied 
front, which measvired, as the crow flies, about 
six times, and, if the ^vindings of the trenches 
is taken into consideration, perhaps eight times 
that length, some 2,500,000 French troops were 
either engaged or were held in readiness to be 
thrown into tlie various battles or combats 
constantly going on along the far-flung line. 

We must, therefore, never forget that severe as 
were the struggles in which we and the Belgians 
had been concerned, our gallant Ally had been 
and was still engaged in a long series of fights, 
none of them possibly of the first magnitude, 
but all of importance for maintaining the dam 
which kept back the German hordes from the 
centre of France. 

During the momentous months in which the 
new British Armies were in training the strain 
endured by the French troops was tremendous. 
Week after week, by day and night, they were 
subject to continued assaults, against which 
they had to deliver repeated counter-attacks, 
frequently' involvmg hand-to-hand struggles 
with the bayonet and bombs, to which an 
almost unending cannonade was the terrible 
accom])animent. The victories of the Battles 
of the Marne and of Flanders had saved France, 
but they had not broken up the gigantic 
machine constructed by Moltke and Roon, 
and remodelled and enlarged under the super- 
vision of the Kaiser by the pupils of those 
formidable theorists and practitioners in the 


art of war. Joffre by every means in his 
power had to conceal his plans from the most 
vigilant and cunning Staff in the world, from 
inen who, however deficient they might be in 
some of the higher qualities that distinguish 
great from mediocre captains, examined by 
themselves or their subordinates every sprap 
of information with the patience and care of 
scientists. The result was that the French 
communiqiiis and the official and semi-official 
reports, the best material available in 1915 for 
a narrative of the exploits of the French Army, 
were bald in comparison even with Sir John 
French's dispatches. As for the German 
accounts of the engagements, they cannot be 
trusted. The German authorities had to 
explain to the German and Austro -Hungarian 
peoples and to neutrals why it was that Paris 
remained untaken, why the French, Belgian 
and " contemptible " British Army had not 
been destroyed. To distort the facts was a 
necessity, and " necessity knows no law." 

Before entering into the details of the 
fighting it wiU be as well to regard the situation 
on February 1, 1915. " The German offensive," 
said a French semi-official report, " is broken. 
The German defensive will be broken in its 

turn."* How few of the Allied soldiers who 
were marching southward at the end of August, 
1914, ever imagined that such words would be 
soberly penned by a Frenchman five months 
later ! 

The changes brought about in the com- 
position of the French Army during the interval 
had been mainly these. Elderly generals and 
officers had, for the most part, been eliminated. 
Their places — and the places of others of proved 
incompetence — had been taken by younger or 
abler men. " Ability proved on the field of 
battle," it is observed, " is now immediately 
recognized and utilized. . . . The Army is led 
by young, well-trained, and daring chiefs, and 
the lower commissioned ranlcs have acquired 
the art of war by experience." As for the 
strength of the French Army, it was at this 
time, including all ranks, over 2,500,000 — in 
round numbers the population of Paris. 
Imagine the capital of France entirely peopled 
by soldiers and one has then some idea of the 
huge force which with the British and the 
Belgians on February 1, 1915, barred the road 

* The quotations are from a series of articles issued by 
Renter's Agency and published by Messrs. Constable in 
book form. 

A big French gun pouring shells into the enemy's position. 


to the Kaiser. No less than 1.250,000 men 
were at the depots ready to replace losses. 
" The quality of the troops," continues the 
rcsport, " lias unproved perceptibly since the 
beginning of the war. ... In Avigiist it neither 
hked nor had the habit of u.sing the spade. 
To-day those who see our trenches are 
astounded." During the preceding six months 
tlie French infantry had acquired an ascendancy 
o\ cr the Germans. From the outset its cavalry 
had possessed the superiority. It "showed 
itself perfectly adapted to the necessities of 
fighting on foot." The artillerymen had un- 
questionably handled the " 7o " gun with a 
skill that had won the admiration of tlie 
Germans thenaselves. That precious weapon, 
which had contributed so largely to the French 
successes, had perfectly stood unprecedented 
wear and tear. 

The heavy artillery "in process of reorganiza- 
tion when the war broke out " had been one of 

Inset : A German gun aestroyed Dy French 

the weak spots in the French ,^riiiy. By 
February 1 tliis branch had been transformed 
beyond recognition. The 155 cm. «as an 
accurate gun, firing a shell comparabk'' in many 
ways with our own 60-pounder ; the 1((5 cm. a 
new and powerful heavy field gun. In addition 
to tlicse weapons, still larger guns and huge 
liowitzers had taken the field. The munljcr of 
machine guns had been very largely increased, 
and, with regard to all the minor devices for 
life-taking which the trench warfare at short 
distance had brought into use, the position A\as 
very favourable. 

Enormous quantities of ammunition had 
been accumulated. The blue and red uniform 
had been or was being replaced by a uniform 
of an inconspicuous coloiir. The transport 
services had worked witli a smoothness and 
celerity beyond all expectation, and the 
commissariat department, which had so signally 
broken down in 1870, had kept the troops 
regularly supplied with wholesome food. " The 
Germans," confidently concluded this report, 
" can no longer oppose us with forces superior 
to ours. They will, therefore, not be able to 
do in the future what they could not do in 
the past, when they were one-third more 
numerous than om'selves. Consequentlv our 
final victory miist follow by the imperious 
necessity of the concordant force of facts and 



Soldiers stopping their ears during a bombardment. 
Inset : A French 75 destroyed by a German shell. 

Events alone could prove whether these 
calculations were correct, but that the hopes of 
the French of ultimate triumph were very 
reasonable the occurrences south of La Bassee 
between November 11, 1914, and February 1. 
1915, establish. 

The prodigious expenditure of ammunition 
during the first three months of the war had 
depleted the French arsenals, and for the greater 
part of the period under review Joftre could 
only, in his own word, " nibble " at the German 
line. Luckily for the Allies, the need the 
Kaiser was imder to restore the prestige of 
Germany and Austria-Hungary, badly shaken 
by the victories of the Grand Duke Nicholas 
over Hindenburg and the Austro-Hmigarians 
in the Eastern theatre of war, prevented the 
Germans taking advantage of the unfavourable 
situation. Otherwise it is conceivable that 
something similar to what happened the next 
year in Galicia, when Mackensen drove back 
Dmitrieff and Ivanoff, might have occiured in 

We shall divide the vast battle or elongated 
siege into several sections : from La Bass(5e south- 
wards to Compiegne, from Compiegne eastwards 
to Berry-au-Bac on the Aisne, from Berry-au- 
Bac south-eastwards to Reims, from Reims 
eastwards across the Argonne to Verdun, from 
Verdim south-eastwards round St. IMihiel to 

Pont-a-Mousson, on the iloselle, thence again 
south-eastwards, to the crest of the Vosges. 
The fighting in the Vosges and the Gap of 
Belfort will be the last or seventh action. 

Despite their defeats at the Marne and in 
Flanders, the Germans were still on an ex- 
tremely strong line for taking the offensive. 
Dixmvide was theirs, so was the eastern edge 
of the ridge of the Mont-des-Cats — the key to 
the position north of the Lys. The heights at 
La Bassee and those from Notre Dame de 
Lorette, north-west of Lens, to the region of 
Arras, other heights from the soutli of Ai-ras, 
east of Albert to the Somme, and both banks 
of the up)>er course of that river were held by 
them. De Castelnau had not advanced any 
considerable distance up the gap between the 
Somme and the Oise. From Compiegne along 
the Aisne to Berry-au-Bac the French since the 
Battle of the Aisne had made little progress on 
the north bank. The environs of Berry-au-Bac, 



where the road from Reims to Laon crosses the 
river, the whole line of the Aisne eastward 
almost up to the latitude of Verdun, and, south 
of the Aisne, most of that portion of Champagne 
which lies north of the Reims-St. Men6hould- 
Verdiln railway were retained by the enemy. 

In this area behiad the Gorman hnes ran from 
Bazancourt, a station on the Reims-Rethel rail- 
road, a railway which crossed the Upper Aisne 
and the Argonne and terminated a Uttle to the 
north of Varennes, so celebrated in the liistory 
of the unfortunate Louis XVI. 

A glance at the map reveals that here no 
great natiual obstacle barred the advance of 
the Germans southward to the Marne above 
Chalons-sur-Marne. The trenches of the army 
of Langle de Gary, connected with those of 
Sarrail defending Verdun and its environs, alone 
bridged this important gap. 

The Southern Argonne and Verdun itself 
were, indeed, in little danger. General Sarrail 
had not wasted his time, and the glades and 
wooded hills of the Argonne, and the neighbour- 
hood of Verdun, through which went the railway 
from Metz to Paris, had been so entrenched and 
fortified that they were probably by now 
impregnable. But between Verdun and Toul 
the Germans under Von Strantz had at the end 
of September broken the fortified line and 
obtained a crossing over the Meuse at St. 
Mihiel. If he could debouch in force from St. 
Mihiel, Von Strantz would either threaten 
Sarrail from the south or advance on Ohalons- 
sur-Mame and the rear of Langle de Gary, or 
descend against he communications of the 
army of Lorraine defending the formerly 
unfortified but now strongly entrenched interval 
between Toul and Epinal. 

At St. Mihiel, it is true, Joffre's main 
difficulties ended. From Pont-i-Mousson on 
the Moselle the French line extended east 
of St. Di6, along the western slopes of 
the Vosges to the Schlucht. From that pass 
it followed the eastern crest of the wooded 
mountains near Steinbach, Aspaoh and Upper 
Bumhaupt to the gap of Belfort. The 
fortresses of Toul, Epinal and Belfort, the 
entrenchments of the Grand Courorme of Nancy, 
and the forts between Epinal and Belfort were 
now well behind the southern part of the Alhed 
right wing, the direction of which, since the 
departure of de Castelnau to the Somme-Oise 
region, had been given to General Dubail, one 
of the most competent and enterprising of the 
French commanders. 

Born at Belfort in 1851, Dubail was sixty- 
tliree years old. He had been through the 
War of 1870-71. Appointed captain after the 
conclusion of peace, he had lectm'ed on geo- 
graphy, strategy and tactics at the Ecole 
Speciale Mililaire, and had entered the Ecole de 
Guerre in 1876. Later, hke Joffre, ha ha<f 
served in the East and in Algiers, where for 
ten years he was Chief of the Staff. On 
returning to France he had commanded the 
Alpine brigade at Grenoble and there famihar- 
ized himself with the problems of moimtain. 
warfare. Twice he had been Chef du Cabinet 
of the Minister of War. He had then filled the 
post of Commandant of the Military School of 
St. Cyr, the Sandhurst, of France. At the 
expu-ation of his term of office he was placed 
at the head of the 14th Division, whose head« 
quarters were his native town, Belfort. He 
had thus become thoroughly acquainted with 
the country in which he was now manoeuvring. 
Finally, first as Cliief of the Staff of the French 
Army, then successively Commander of the 
9th Corps and member of the Superior Council 
of War, he had completed his education for 
one of the most responsible taslcs set by Jofire 
to any of his Heutenants. When Pan's offea- 
sive in Alsace was abandoned, the command of 
the 1st Army and the defence of Alsace and the 
line of the Meurthe and Mortagne had been 
entrusted to Dubail, and he and de Castelnau 
on his left by their vigorous defensive-offensive 
measures had enabled Joffre to concentrate the 
bulk of his forces between Verdun and Paris 
and win the Battle of the Marne. Ultimately 
DubaU was given the direction of all the armies 
from Compiegne to Belfort, as Foch had been 
given that of the armies disposed between 
Compiegne and the sea. 

With his right wing so placed and manoeuvred 
by a man of Dubail's experience and ability, 
with Verdun defended by the indefatigable and 
initiative-loving Sarrail, Joffre could devote 
most of his attention to the many dangerous 
points on the line from Verdun to the North 
Sea. Large as his effectives were, the length 
and the shape of his front, the left wing of which 
was fighting with its back to the sea, rendered 
it liable, to be pierced. Except for the flooded 
district between Nieuport and Dixmude, there 
was nowhere an obstacle which could be fairly 
described as almost impassable, and a frost 
might at any moment neutralize the effect of 
the inundations on the Yser. The AlHed troops 
were disposed along or in the vicinity of t«o 



sides of the triangular figure Verduii-Compiegne- 
Nieuport, nearly all the third side of which, 
that of Verdiin-Nieuport and parts of the 
remaining two sides Verdun-Compiegne and 
Compiegne-Nieuport were in the possession of 
tiie enemy. Aji enormous artillery, an enor- 
mous store of munitions, a vast expenditure of 
life, and of lahour and money on entrenchments 
«ere needed to render the new and temporary 
frontier of France secure. 

The north-western section of the Franco- 
German front — that from La Bassee to Com- 
piegne — may be divided into three parts : 
from La Bassee to Arras, from Arras to the 
Somme, and from the Somme to the junction of 
the Oise and Aisne at Compiegne. In the first 
of these the immediate objective of the French 
was to drive the Germans from the hills and 
ridges on the edge of the plain of the Scheldt, 
recover Lens, and, with the assistance of the 
British Army attacking from the north, cut off 
the La Bassee salient and retake Lille. 

The enemy had established himself on the 
chalky and ravined plateau west of the Lens- 
Arras railway, between the Lys and the Scarpe, 
which is a tributary of the Scheldt flowing 
through Arras. The northern edge of the 
plateau is dominated by the ridge of Notre Dame 
de Lorette, running west and east. South of the 
ridge are the townlets of Ablain St. Nazaire 
and Souchez, still farther south that of Carency, 
then the Bois de Berthonval, and the hill called 
Mont St. Eloi, north of the Scarpe. The high 
road from B^thune to Arras crosses the ridge 
of Notre Dame de Lorette and descends to 
Arras through Souchez and La Targette. From 
Carency to La Targette the Germans had con- 
structed the entrenchments known as the 
" White Works," continued eastwards to the 
townlet of Neuville St. Vaast and then south- 
ward to " The LabjTinth," a veritable fortress 
of the new type, created to bar any direct 
advance up the Arras-Lens road. Between " The 
Labyrinth " and Arras the enemy were in or 
round the villages of Ecurif and Roclincourt, 
and south of Roclincourt, close to Arras, those 
of St. Laiu'ent and Blangy. This region was 
destined dviring 1915 to be the field of some of 
the bloodiest fighting in the war. 

The Notre Dame de Lorette-Labyrinth plateau 
could be turned from the north, if the French 
could penetrate between it and the La Bassee 
ridges. Accordingly General de Maud'huy, 
who was subsequently sent to serve im.der 
Dubail and was replaced by General d'Urbal— 
the local commander of the French in the 
Battle of Flanders — not only attacked the 
plateau from the south, west and north, but 
also endeavoured to approach Lens through 
Vermelles, Le Rutoire, and Loos. On Decem- 
ber 1-2 three companies of infantry and two 
squadrons of dismounted Spahis carried the 
Chateau of Vermelles, and on the 7th Vermelles 
and Le Rutoire were taken. Later in the month 
'lu-ther progress towards Loos was made. 


Meanwliile the German positions on. the 
plateau were being vigoroiisly attacked. On 
December 7 some trenches south of Carency 
were captured, and the next day there was 
fighting close to " The Labyrinth." The weather 
was very bad and impeded the movements of 
Germans and French alike ; the mud often 
choked the barrels of the rifles and the fighting 
relapsed into that of primitive ages. The troops 
in the flooded trenches suffered terribly from the 
cold and the wet. On December 17-20 trenches 
of the Germans defending the ridge of Notre 
Dame de Lorette were carried, while from 
Arras the French attacked the enemy in 
St. Laurent and Blangy. On January 15 the 
Germans counter-attacked, and recovered some 
of the trenches near Notre Dame de Lorette 
and at Carency, and on the 16th they bom- 
barded and assaulted the French in Blangy. 
The German " 77," " 105," " 150," and " 210 " 
guns and minenwerfer wrecked the foimdrj^ and 
malthouse of the village and destroyed the 
barricade in the main street, killing a lieutenant 
worldng a mitrailleuse. Soon after noon the 
fire of the German artillery was directed on the 
French reserves and at 2.30 p.m. the village 
was assaulted The French in it were lolled, 
wounded or taken prisoners. An hour or so 
later, however, the reserves at this point 
counter-attacked and the Germans were driven 
back to their former position. By February 1, 
1915, in the section La Bassee-Arras, the 
balance of advantage lay with the French. 

From Arras to the Somme there had also in 
the same period (November 11 to February 1) 

been numerous combats. North of the Somme, 
between Albert on the Ancre and Coinbles to its 
east, there were, in the second fortnight of De- 
cember, severe actions at Ovillers-la-Boissellc, 
Mametz, Carney and Maricoiu't. A German 
counter-attack on December 21 near Carney 
failed. On January 17-18 there was renewed 
fighting at La Boisselle. There again the 
French, on the whole, had had the upper hand. 

General de Castebiau, too, in the plain between 
the Somme and the Oise, since his victory at 
Quesnoy-en-Santerre at the end of October, had 
not been idle. On liim and General Maunoury 
devolved the most important duty of protecting 
the hinge, as it were, of the Allied left wing. On 
November 29 he had advanced a little in the 
region between the Somme and Chaulnes. 
During December there were various encounters 
south of Chaulnes and north of Roye, and also 
in the region of Lihons, a mile or so to the north- 
west of Chaulnes. Columns of the Germans 
counter-attacking on December 19 were, liter- 
ally, scythed down by the French artillery and 
macliine guns. Every day the possibility of the 
Germans recovering Amiens or marching on the 
Seine below Paris down the western bank of the 
Oise, became more remote. 

In the second section of the front — that from 
Compicgne to Berry-au-Bac — affairs had not 
been so satisfactory for the French. The army 
of Maunoury had, indeed, seemed the Foret de 
I'Aigle in the northern angle formed by the Oise 
and Aisne. On November 13 he took Tracy-le- 
Val at its eastern edge, and liis Algerian troops, 
on the 19th, brilliantly repulsed the German 

Motor-car used on a railway to convey troops and provisions to the trenches. 



counter-attack. Twelve days or so later (Decem- 
ber 1) the enemy near Berry-au-Bac also failed 
to carry French trenches. From December 6 
to 16 there was an artillery duel along 
the whole front. The French seem to have 
scored more than their enemy, and a German 
attack at Tracy-le-Val on the night of the 
7th-8th niet with no success. On the 21st, too, 
some German trenches in the region of Nampoel- 
Puisaleine were carried and retained, hut in 
the first fortnight of January the centre of tlie 
army of Maunoury in the region of Soissons 
suffered a serious reverse. This engagement, 


called by the Germans " The Battle of Soissons," 
deserves to be treated in some little detail. * 

Since September llaimoury and Franchet 
d'Fsperey had been vainly striving to dislodge 
Ivluck from his formidable position, which has 
been already described in Vol. II., Chapter 
XXXIV., on the north bank of the Aisne, 
of Beri'y-au-Bac. Generally speaking, the 
French remained at the foot ot the heights occu- 
pied by Kluck with the river behind them. 

* A brief account of this battle has been already given 
with Vol. IV., Ch. LXX. with a map (page 229) of the 
Soi^^sons district. 

Bridges through, above and below Soissons were 
in their possession, and on January 8, 1915, 
Maunoury, of his own initiative or by the orders 
of Joffre, made another determined effort to 
reach the plateau. From a bam, on a spot to 
the south of the river, affording a magnificent 
view, Maunoury himself, through numerous tele- 
phones, directed the attack. Owing to the tor- 
rential rain, he could, however, have seen with 
liis own eyes very little of what went on. 

A long line of closely set poplars on the horizon 
indicated the distant goal ot the French. In the 
valley below a couple of chimney-stacks and 
sonae houses beyond Soissons in the loop of the 
flooded river marked the village of St. Paul. 
Between St. Paul and the poplars rises, to the 
right of the village of Cuffies, on the Soissons-La 
Fere road, the spur called " Hill 132." Nearer 
and to the right of " Hil l 132," but divided from 
it by the village of Crouy on the Soissons-Laon 
road, is " Hill 151." The villages of Cuffies and 
Crouy are half way up the slope. The French 
wore in CufBes and Crouy and on a line from 
Crouy round " Hill 151 " eastward through 
Bucy and Missy, higher up the Aisne than 
Soissons. At Missy was a wooden bridge, and 
between Missy £ind Soissons another at Venizel, 
opposite Bucy. 

The attack was commenced by a heavy bom- 
bardment of the two hills and by sappers cut- 
ting the barbed-wire entanglements which had 
not been destroyed by the shrapnel or common 
BheU. At 8.45 a.m. the infantry assaulted " Hill 
132 " at no less than ten different points. The 
rain falling in sheets, though it impeded the 
arrival of the supporting guns, probably assisted 
the foot soldiers. In a few minutes all three 
lines of trenches were captured, and guns were 
dragged up to the summit of " Hill 132 " and of 
"Hill 151." The German artillery at once 
cannonaded the lost positions, and at 10.25 a.m., 
at 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., coiuiter-attacks were 
dehvered against " Hill 132." The last was 
beaten back by a bayonet charge of Chasseurs, 
a hundred of whom, carried away by their 
eagerness, were, however, surrounded and killed 
to a man. 

The next day (January 9) at 5 a.m. the Ger- 
man attack on "HiU 132" was renewed, and a 
part of the third-liiie trench was recovered. 
Three and a half hours later the French artillery 
dispersed a German battalion being sent up to 
support the assailants. The bombardment con- 
tinued, the French, dripping to the skin, con- 
atantlv repairing trenches and entanglements. 



During the night another cou iter-attack was re- 
pulsed, and on the 10th the R ench attempted to 
push eastwards. The Germans advanced to 
meet them, but, assisted by a body of Moroc- 
cans, the French flung them off, and at 5 p.m. 
had occupied two more lines of trenches and part 
of a wood to the north-east. They had lost in 
wounded alone 548. Tliroughout the 11th the 
struggle continued and the French progressed 
still farther eastward. 

Meantime the river, swelled by the never- 
ceasing rain, went on rising, and during the 
night of the 11th- 12th all the bridges of 
Villeneuve and Soissons, with the exception of 
one, were carried away, and those at Venizel 
and Missy followed suit. On a small scale the 
position of Maiuioury's force resembled that of 
Napoleon's at Aspern, when it found itself 
with the flooded Danube and broken bridges 
behind it. Kluck, like the Archduke Charles 

The surrender of a oarty of Germans to the French. 



in 1809, violently attacked. Two Corps, it is 
believed, were hurled at the weak French troops, 
magnified by the Germans in their reports into 
the " 14th Infantry Division, the 55th Reserve 
Division, a mixed brigade of Chasseurs, a regi- 
ment of Territorial Infantry and " (imidenti- 
fied) " Turcos, Zouaves and Moroccans." 
Before 10 a.m. on tlie 12th the Germans, 
as at Mens in soUd masses, were thrown by 
Kluck at the French right above Crouy ; 
at 11 a.m. a huge body was launched at 
the trenches on "Hill 132." Gradually 
Maunoury's men, inflicting terrible losses on 
their foes, were pushed back towards the 
river. Two pieces, rendered useless, were left 

To cover the retreat across the river, on the 

13th a counter-attack at "Hill 132" was 
delivered, and the Moroccans, covered with mud, 
endeavoured, towards Crouy, again to scale the 
heights. But the only bridge now remaining 
was that at Venizel, and Ivluok was doing his 
utmost to fling the French from Crouy to Missy 
into the river. His artillery shelled Soissons. 
The Venizel bridge, the road to which was 
almost under water, might at any moment be 
destroyed. Mavmoury, therefore, wisely de- 
cided to withdraw most of his men to the south 
of the river. They effected their retreat during 
the night of the llth, but St. Paul, in the loop, 
was retained. An attack on it (January 14) 
was beaten off, and on the 15th the French 
artillery from the left bank dispersed a body of 
Germans mustering opposite it. The batteries 
on " Hill 151," handled with extraordinary 
skill, were saved, but at other points guns liad 
to be left behind. Some 40,000 Germans had 
defeated but, under the most favourable circimi- 
stances, had been unable to destroy perhaps 
12,000 French troops. The Germans are credibly 
reported to have lost 10,000 killed and wounded, 
the French 5,000. 

This battle was absurdly compared by the 
Germans with the Battle of Gravclotte. In 
one of the German narratives occurred the 
statement that Kluck had " anew justified 
brilliantly his genius as a military chief. He 
appears more and more," wrote the journalist, 
" to be the Hindenburg of the West." 

We here insert an account of The Times 


A French airman about to start off. The bombs are attached to the side of the machine. 

Inset : A captive balloon being hauled down after reconnoitring. 



French troops leaving their trench to storm a German position. 

correspondent's visit of inquiry on January 28 
to Soissons and his meeting with General 
Maunoury. It will be seen how Mttle the French 
General was affected by his defeat : 

In Italy the German lie factories declare that as the 
result of the check sustained this month by the French 
on the Aisne the German troops are in possession of 
Soissons on the left bank of the river. I lunched to-day 
in Soissons as the guest of General Maunoury, the brilliant 
victor in the battle of the Ourcq, which contributed so 
greatly to the retreat of the German Army on the Marne. 

General Maunoury, in bidding my two colleagues and 
myself welcome, said: "I am very happy to receive 
the representatives of our great Ally. It affords me 
particular pleasure to do eo in Soissons. You will bo 
able to see for yourself that, although we have un- 
doubtedly suffered a check upon the opposite bank o" 
the Aisne, that check is without strategic importance. 
We hold the Aisne as strongly as we did before. Our 
trenches on the other side give us two bridge-heads, and 
ive are able to advance across the river with the same 
ease as before." 

General Maunoury is a fine type of the modest, hard- 
worldng, and unselfish French soldier, who has made 
the Army of our Allies the splendid instrument it is 
to-day, and is turning it to best account. At the 
luncheon table were gathered three or four officers of 
his Staff, all of them men of the same unassuming nature. 
While the French Army is the most democratic in the 
world (the son of my concierge is a sub-lieutenant), the 
officers of the active army remain nevertheless a class 
apart. They are drawn from families who have behind 
them a long record of military history. They are men 
of no wealth, and, although as representatives of the 
Army they are held in the highest esteem by the whole 
nation, their miserable pay is not compensated by the 
caste distinction which the officer enjoys in Germany 
and in a lesser degree in Great Britain. The work they 
do is in peace time the least recognized of any .service 
for the State, and in war time they remain anonymous. 
The old class of soldier d panache, the general whose 
sword was for ever flashing in the sun, whose proclama- 
tions were epic poems, has vanished. His place has 
been taken by men such as I met to-day, hard-working, 
hard-thinking, and hard-fighting citizens, whole 
soul is given without personal thought to the service of 
France and of her Army. 

Our conversation during 

luncheon showed that with all the national sense of the 
practical it is the ideal which the French Array has 
before its eyes in the conduct of this war. 

With philosophical skill General Maunoury exposed 
the terrible retrogression in the German national 
character since 1870, which he remembers well. He 
dwelt iipon the Bemhardi theory of war as practised by 
the German armies, the deportation of non. combatants, 
the placing of women and children as a protecting screen 
in front of their troops, as affording clear proof that 
the German morals had become swamped by materialism, 
Frank as are French officers in their condemnation of 
their enemy's morality, manners, and methods, they are 
none the less quick to render tribute to their bravery. 

The advance of the Germans in massed formation, 
described by our soldiers in letter after letter from the 
Flanders front as resembling the football crowd pouring 
into the gates of the Crystal Palace, was also seen in the 
Battle of Soissons. Flanders taught the Germans the 
valuo of extended formation more quickly than any drill 
instructor, and the return to this callously costly form 
of advance along the Aisne was due to the presence 
among the attacking troops of many young and un- 
trained soldiers. " It is not surprising," said one of 
the officers at table, " that the Germans should deem 
it wise to send these young fellows forward with the 
courage which comes from contagion and the feeling of 
support given by massed formation. "UTiat is surprising 
is that these young chaps should obey." 

In the old days the withdrawal of the French 
to the south bank of the Aisne in the region of 
Soissons might have caused a simultaneous 
evacuation of all their positions to the north of 
that river. But the new mechanism of war had 
changed both strategy and tactics. Troops 
could be protected by artillery sometimes 
posted twenty miles away from them ; the 
railway and motor traction enabled reserves of 
man-and-gun power to be shifted on a tele- 
phonic call from point to point with unexampled 
rapidity ; machine guns, repeating rifles, bombs 
and grenades, barbed-wire entanglements and 
properly constructed trenches permittedposition* 




formerly regarded as untenable or perilous 
to be held with impunity. To f3ght with 
one's back to a river had been once considered 
I'he height of imprudence. The punishment 
infJicted by Napoleon on the Russians at 
Friedland, by Bliichor on Macdonald at the 
Katsbach, had been imbedded in the memories 

of several generations of soldiers. Yet since 
the beginning of the second fortnight of Septem- 
ber Generals Maiinpury and Franchet d'Espercy, 
and, for a time, Sir Jolin French, had kept large 
bodies of troops and a considerable number of 
guns on the north bank of the Aisne, on the 
outer rim of one of the most formidable positions 
in Europe. Apart from the reverse at Soissons, 
no serious mishap had occurred. 

Farther east, near Craonne, an attempt by 
the Germans on December 1 to dislodge the 
French had failed ; on January 23 they had 
bombarded Berry-au-Bac, but by February 1 
they had not succeeded, except round Soissons, 
in clearing their enemy from the north bank of 
the Aisne between Compiegne and the last-men- 
tioned crossing. Nor from Berry-au-Bac to the 
eastern environs of Remis had the Germans 
been more successful. Franchet d'Esperey and 
Fooh had, in September, brought the enemy's 
counter-offensive from the valley of the Suippe 
westwards to a standstill, and the irritation 
of the Germans had been shown here as at 
Ypres by spasinofhc renewals of their senseless 
practice of destroying architectural master- 
pieces. The Cathedral of Reims, which bears 
the same relation to so-called Gothic that the 
E'arthenon bears to Greek architecture and 
sculpture, was, hke the Cloth Hall at Ypres and 
the Cathedrals at Arras and Soissons, being 
gradually reduced to a heap of broken stones. 


Listening post in an advanced trench: The white outlines in the background Indicate the German 

trenches. Centre picture : Field optical telegraph. Top picture : Telegraphists 

putting their instruments in order. 



of aircraft the summit of "Reims Cathedral 
was being used by French artillerj' observers ex- 
hibits the childish side of the German cliaracter. 
'Jliat French generals for tiny teclmical advan- 
tages would expose to demoUtion a shrine asso- 
ciated so intimately with the history of their 
race, its art and religion, was inconceivable, 
though not to the minds of the men who perhaps 
believed that Ivuig Albert and the Belgians, 
King George V. and the British would sell their 
honour with the same alacrity as Ferdinand 
of Coburg. The natm-e of German Kidtur 
w-as never more strikingly exemplified than 

On their way to reconstruct trenches from which 

they had previously driven the Gernnns. 
Top oicture: A dispatch rider cycling through a 
trench. Bottom picture: A machine-gun in action. 

The work of unknown medieval sculptors, which 
has not imfavoiu-ably been compared by com- 
petent critics with the masterpieces produced at 
Athens in the fifth century B.C., was being 
•deliberately smashed by the new Goths, Vandals 
and Huns, probably at the biddmg of the mon- 
arch who had caused Berlin to be disfigured with 
marble images of his ancestors almost as inar- 
tistic as the wooden idol of Hindenburg erected 
there in 1915. The excuse that in the age 



in this absurd falseliood and in the action 
which it endea\-oured to justify. Tlie shelling 
of Reims Cathedral was a fitting epilogue to 
the scenes of drunkenness and debauchery 
which had accompanied the entry •anddepartm-e 
of the German Army -from the city to which Joan 
of Arc had conducted her exiled king. 

The extent of the damage done to the Cathe- 
dral at so early a date as September 25, 1914, 
may be gathered from a report of the well-known 
Kew York architect, Mr. Whitney Warren : 

Xuxt day I vas again at tlie cathedral from 7.30 in 
the morning until 4.30 in the afternoon, visiting it in 
detail and endeavouring to realize the damage done. 
On September 4, when the Germans first entered Reims, 
there was a bombardment of the cathedral by their guns 
and tour shells fell upon it — one on the north transept — 
but little damage was done. The Gerinans themselves 
declared that this was either a mistake or caused by 
the jealousy of some corps which had not been given 
precedence in entering the city. The bombardment 
recommenced on .September 14 and 15, after the Germans 
had evacuated the city, but the cathedral was not 

On the 17th two bombs struck it, one on the apse 
and the other on the north tran.sopt. The cathedral 
was again hit on the next day, the shell falling on the 
southern flying buttresses and on the roof, killing a 
gendarme and several wounded Germans. The build- 
ing was fairly riddled with shell during the entire day 
on September 19, and about 4 o'clock the scaffolding 
surrounding the north tower caught fire. The fire lasted 
for about an hour, and during that time two further 
bombs struck the roof, setting it also on fire. The cure 
declares that one of these bombs was incendiary ; other- 
wise it is difficult to explain the extraordinary quicloiess 
with which the flames spread through the roof timbers. 

The fire from the scaffolding descended until it 
reached the north door of the main faf;ade, which 
caught rapidly, burned through, and communicated the 
fire to the straw covering the floor of the cathedral. 
U'his straw had been ordered by the German commander 
for 3,000 wounded which he intended to place in the 
cathedral, but the evacuation of the city by the enemy 
prevented the project from being carried out. \\Tien 
the French arrived the flag of the Ked Cross was hoisted 
on the north tower, and the German wounded placed 
in the cathedral in the hope that it might be saved. 

The straw, as I have said, caught ablaze from the 
fire originating in the scaffold, burning through the 
doors and destroying the fine wooden tambours or 
vestibules surrounding these doors in the interior, and 
also calcinating the extraordinary stone sculptures 
decoraling the entire interior of this western wall, 
'j'hese sculptures are peculiar to Reims, being in high 
full relief and cut out of the stone itself instead of being 
applied. Their loss is irreparable. 

AH the wonderful glass in the nb»'e is absolutely gone ; 
that of the apse still exists, though greatly damaged. 

The fire on the outside calcinated the greater part of 
the fa(;adc, the north tower, and the entire clerestory, 
with the flying buttresses and the turret crowning each 
of them. This stone is irretrievably damaged and 
flakes off when touched. Consequently all decorative 
motifs, wherever the flame touched them, are lost. The 
treasury was saved at the commencement of the fire, 
and the tapestries for which Reims is renowned were 
fortunately removed before the bombardment. Half 
the stalls have been destroyed : the organ is intact, and 
several crucifixes and pictures in the apse are untouched. 

If anything remains of the monument it is owing to 
its strong construction. The walls and vaults are of a 

robustness which can resist even modem engines of 
destruction, for even on September 24, when the bom- 
bardment was resumed, three shells landed on the 
cathedral, but the vaults resisted and were not even 

It was in northern Champagne — in the sec- 
tion between Reims and Verdun — that perhaps 
most activity was shown during the months 
of November, December and January. This 
was one of the weakest spots in the five hundred 
mile long line of French front. Until the 
enemy were driven north of the Aisne (east of 
Berry-au-Bac) and completely expelled from the 
Forest of the Argonne, he might again resume 
the offensive, and by an advance to the Mame 
try to cut off the French right wing from its 
centre. To Generals Langle de Cary and 
Sarrail was deputed the task of preparing the 
way for an offensive which would finally dissi- 
pate that danger. Opposed to Langle de Cary, 
whose four corps in the middle of January, 
1915, were strongly reinforced, was Genera! 
Von Einem with an army of approximately the 
same size. The immediate objective of Langle 
de Cary was the Bazancourt-Grand Pre railway 
running behind the German front, crossing the 
Forest of the Argonne and terminating at Apre- 
mont, four miles or so north of Varennes. This 
line was connected through Rethel on the Aisne, 
Bazjincoiu-t, and, farther east, through Attigny 
on the Aisne, and Vouziers, with the Mezieres- 
Montmedy - Thionville - Metz railway. The 
country tlirough which the Bazancourt-Grand 
Pre railroad could be approached was of a 
rolling nature ; the valleys were shallow, the 
villages snaall and poverty-stricken, the farms 
unimportant. Here and there clmnps and 
plantations of fir trees planted in the chalky 
soil seemed to punctuate the austerity of the 
bleak landscape. It was in this forbidding 
country, against a system of entrenchments 
similar to that which the Germans had so 
rapidly constructed between Arras and Lens, 
that Langle de Cary cautiously advanced. 
Simultaneously Sarrail's troops worked north- 
ward up the Argonne. On December 10 
Langle de Cary progressed towards Perthes. 
Twelve days later he was again advancing, this 
time not only against Perthes, but against 
the farm of Beausejour, west of it on the 
road from Suippes, through Perthes and Ville- 
sur-Tourbe to Vareimes. Up to December 
25 the French pushed forwards and repulsed 
several counter-attacks, capturing many block- 
houses, some machine guns, and a gun under a 
cupola. This advance was assisted by the 



'■'/ VV ■;, 


A portion of the front of the famous Cathedral before it was destroyed by the Germans. 

(From a drawing by Joseph Pentiell.) 

pressure exercised by the forces round Reiros, nounce that since November 15 it had advanced 

which to the north of Pranay between December a kilometre in the region of Prunay and two 

19-20, and again on December 30, attacked kilometres in that of Perthes, where seventeen 

Von Einem's right flank. On January 15 the counter-attacks of the Germans had been 

French Staff was only, however, able to an- repulsed and the village taken on the 9 th. 



A portion of the wrecked Cathedral viewed from 

a side street. 

Two da3fs later the French were on the outskirts 
of Perthes and north of the farm of Beausejour. 

Equally stubborn had been the resistance of 
the Germans in the Forest of the Argonne. 

The ground in the Argonne is exceedingly 
difficult, out up by watercourses, alternate 
ridges, and valleys which are covered with woods 
with a thick undergrowth between the trees. 
There is a sort of hog's back running through 
the centre of it from north to south between 
the Aire and the Aisne. Two main roads pass 
through it, the one from St. Men6hould to 
Clermont, the other from Vienne-le-Chateau to 
Varennes. Parallel to tliis last, and north of 
it, there is a rough road through the forest 
which, starting just above Vienne, goes to Mont 
Blainville, traversing that portion of the 
forest Icnown as the Bois de la Grurie. Still 
farther to the north there is a second rough 
road, which goes from Biuarville to Apremont. 
In the southern portion of the forest the river 
Blesme runs towards the north as far as Le Four 
de Paris, then turns sharply to the west and 
joins the Aisne below Vienne. Along its banks 
there is a road coming up from the south and 
joining the Vienne-Varennes one by the Four 
de Paris. Just outside the main country of the 
Argonne, on the east, there is also a good road 
which goes up from Clermont tlirough Varennes 

and St. Juvin and Grand Pr^, and there is on 
the west another from Vilry-le-Fos through 
St. Menehould, Vienne and then to the 

When the Germans were driven back from 
the Marne their columns retired on both sides 
of the Argonne, the available ways through 
it being quite unsuited for the movement of 
troops. They finally took a defensive position 
about the line of the road running from Vienne- 
le-Chateau to Varennes so as to hold the entries 
to the district. Their pursuers, when they 
arrived, moved up by the road in the centre of 
the forest. The Germans, to hold off any possible 
attack on the inner flanlra of their troops at 
Vienne-le-Chateau or Varennes, in their tm-n 
advanced into the woods. The French could 
not debouch from it on the western side, but 
they took up a position facing the German 
trenches which ran frona Vienne-le-Chateau to 
Melzicourt. Gradually the French extended up 
the western border, turning the Germans out of 
their trenches on the right banlc of the Aisne 
and occupying a few redoubts at Melzicourt up 
to the point where a stream runs into the Aisne 
to the north of Servon. u 

On the centre and east side the French were 
stopped by strong forces of the 16th Army 
Corps, which had entered the forest between 
Varennes and Mont Blainville and held the 
ground as far as Apremont. On November 24 
the French were around Four de Paris ; 
on December 6 they were nearing Varennes 
from the south-east. Very soon they were 
over the Vienne-la-Ville- Varennes road and 
round Four de Paris, Saint-Hubert, Fontaine- 
Madame and Pavillion de Bagatelle. All these 
positions are in the wood of La Grurie, and they 
only reached the border at Barricade. Engage- 
ments ensued in which the Germans, at first, 
were successful, but subsequently they were 
pushed back by the French, whose forces, 
back to back, faced the western and eastern 
entries into the Argonne. One example will 
suffice to give some idea of the nature of 
the fighting here. The Germans on Decem- 
ber 7 pushed out three saps from the first- 
line trenches towards the French trenches 
tuitil the right and centre reached within a 
distance of about 20 yards from the French, the 
left sap getting as close as eight yards, but on 
December 17 the French had mined the ground 
over which this sap passed and blew it up. 
The next day, the 19th, the Germans repaired 
the damage done and the centre and right sapa 



reached to within about seven yards of their 
opponents. From here they drove two mining 
galleries beneath the French trenches, and on 
the 20th they blew them up. Meanwhile 
assaulting colunxns had been tormed and 
advanced, covered by sappers provided with 
bombs, axes, and scissors for cutting the wire 
entanglements. On the 21st the French re- 
gained two-thirds of the lost ground. On 
January 5, after exploding eight mines, Sarrail's 
troops, aided by a contingent of Italian Vokm- 
teers under Constantin Garibaldi, attacked the 
German trenches north of Courtechausse. For 
a time they carried everything before them, but 
the Italians advanced too far, Garibaldi was 
killed, and at the end of the day the line here 
was much the same as it had been in the 
morning. Round Fontaine-Madame a violent 
engagement was also raging, which continued 
from the 8th to the 10th, but produced no 
important results. Similar incidents to these 
were of constant occurrence, but none of them 
had any real influence on the main struggle. 
It need hardly be said that the official bulletins 
in Germany claimed a series of victories in the 
Argonne, but then it must be remembered that, 
when the Aiistrians were driven back in the 
Buliovina, it was dryly announced that they 
were drawing nearer to the passes over the Car- 
pathians, from which, as a matter of fact, they 

had advanced but a short time before, only to be 
driven back by the Russians. Similar treatment 
was afforded to the defeats of the Turks in the 
Caucasus ; German official news stated that as 
a consequence of the bad weather operations 
in the Caucasus were suspended on both sides. 
The German public appeared to have an un- 
rivalled capacity for swallowing official false- 

From the eastern edge of the forest of Argonne 
south of Varennes, in the region of Vauquois, the 
line of Sarrail's trenches curved north and east- 
wards across the Meuse round the entrenched 
camp of Verdun, the perimeter of which was 
being constantly enlarged. In December the 
French were approaching Varennes from the 
east and south through Boureilles and Vau- 
quois, were pushing do^vn the valley of the 
Meuse in the direction of Dun, on the Verdun- 
Mezieres railway, and up and over the height:^ 
separating Verdun and the Meuse from Metz. 
and the Moselle. The town of Verdun, thanks 
to Sarrail's dispositions, had scarcely felt 
the pinch of war. Writing from it on Decem- 
ber 2 a British war correspondent* observes : 
" The point of the German lines now nearest 
to the town is the twin hills known as the 
Jumelles d'Orne, and that is 10 miles from 
the town and four from the nearest fort — 
* Mr. W. H. Ferris. 




fM^^^^K^^-^^-iy ^'^^^HH^I^I 


.*.., : :,igp»'«*i|^ 






The Ijne shows approximately 

lnco-german operations. 

! Front on November 11, 1914. 





generally speaking, the German batteries 
are about 20 miles from Verdun." The 
Verdun-Etain-Conflans-Metz railway was by 
tlien at several points under the fire of the 
French artillery, and the line of trenches went 
from Vauquois north-east through the Bois de 
Montfaucon, from Flabas to Azanne, south to 
Omcs, out away east towards Etain, and thence 
south-west through wooded, hilly country to 
Eparges, and from Eparges by Amorville to St. 
Mihiel, the Sole crossing of the Meuse south of 
Verdiui possessed by the Germans. The net 
effect of the fighting up to the beginning of 
December had been, in the words of Mr. George 
Adam, w ho w-as permitted to visit Verdun at 
this epoch, " to place the French at the top of 
the liills, from which their view stretches away 
into Germany. At the end of six months of 
siege," he added, " the Germans have not 
succeeded in throwing a single shell into 

As we have seen, the fortified lines from 
Verdun to Toul had been pierced at St. Mihiel. 
Happily, the forts to the right and left of 
the gap had held out long enough for SarraU 
with two cavalry corps to head the columns of 
Germans crossing the Meuse and to confine 
them in the salient Les Eparges-St. Mihiel- 
Bois le Pretre. The Bois le Pretre is just north 


and west of Pont-Ji-Mousson on the Moselle. 
But the Germans had secured a considerable 
portion of the heights of the Meuse between 
St. Mihiel and Les Eparges, and they had 
uninterrupted access to Metz and the railway 
from Metz to Thiaucourt. 

The efforts of Sarrail and Dubail were directed 
against the western and southern faces of the 
sahent, and its apex. On November 13 at 
both ends of the southern face there was fight- 
ing ; and on the 17th there was an advance 
from Verdun against the western face. The 
next day the Germans blew up the barracks of 
Chauvoncourt, close to St. Mihiel itself. But 
on December 8 the French penetrated into 
the Bois le Pretre, and took a mitrailleuse 
and several prisoners, who alleged that their 
officers had forbidden them to fire lest they 
should provoke the French. 

West of the Bois le Pretre the Germans on the 
southern face of the salient were being slowly 
pushed back from the forest of Apremont and 
the wood of Ailly to its left, and the com- 
munications of the defenders of the space 
between Les Eparges and the Bois le Pretre 
were jeopardised by the French artillery. . On 
January 18, and again on January 22, the 
station at Arnaville on the Thiaucourt-Metz 
railway was successfully bombarded. By the 



17th all of the Bois le Pretre was in French 
hands with the exception of the portion loiown 
as the Quart-en-Beserve. That day the Quart- 
en-R^serve was attacked and several trenches, 
some officers, and a company of infantry 
captured. On the 18th there was a further 
French success, but dviring the next few days 
the Germans counter-attacked and recovered a 
third of the lost trenches. On the 27th the 
German bridges across the Mouse at St. Mihiel 
were smashed by the French guns. St. Mihiel, 
the capture of which, in September, 1914, had 
raised the hopes of the enemy, and the salient, 
of which it was the apex, were proving a death- 
trap for the Germans. 

Descending from Pont-a-Mousson the French 
line went east of Nancy protected by the Grand 
Couronne entrenchments and of Lunoville, 
The recoil of De Castelnau and Dubail, conse- 
quent on the crushing defeat of the French 
who had entered Lorraine in August, 1914, 
had ended with the battle of the Marne. 
By the close of November the French Staff 
were able to announce that Nancy was out 
of reach of the German artillery, that the 
French had progressed both north of Lunoville 
and also farther south to the north-east and 

east of Saint-Die, which had been recaptured. 
On December 2 Dubail's troops moved from 
Pont-a-Mousson, east of the Moselle in the 
direction of Jlctz and captured the hill of Xon 
and the village of Lesmesnils beyond it. 
Another detachment on December 24 was 
close to Cirey, east of Luneville and within a 
few miles of Mt. Donon, the culminating 
summit of the Vosges on the north. North- 
west of Cirey the French were clearing the 
enemy from the Forest of Parroy, and east of 
the line Luneville-St. Die they advanced 
north and south of Senones and in the Ban-de- 
Sapt, where on November 29 they beat off three 
counter-attacks. The advance to the passes in 
the Vosges, seized by Pau in August, 1914, 
had again begun. 

The operations in the Vosges during the 
winter months, like those in the Argonne, were 
favoiu?able to the French, whose nimbler wits 
and greater individuality gave them the 
advantage. The Chasseurs Alpins of the 
French 15th Corps, often mounted on skis, 
performed feats as heroic as those of Pvonarc'h's 
marines at Dixmude in October and November. 
Deep snow now encumbered the passes, and filled 
the ravines and glens up which General Pan's 


Funeral of a French soldier. 




forces had swarmed to recover the lost province. 
Dubail's progress was necessarily slower than 
Pail's, but it obliged the German leaders to 
keep large forces in Alsace and to squander 
lives and waste their resources at a point where 
they could gain no decisive victory. Some 
incidents of the fighting may be referred to. 

On November 9 the French had repulsed a 
German attack directed against their position 
on the heights near St. Marie-aux-Mines. 
On December 2 they moved once more south 
of the valley of the Thur on Miilhausen and 
captured Aspach-le-Haut and Aspaoh-le-Bas, 
south-east of Thann. The next day they 
advanced on Altkirch, between BeLfort and 
Miilhausen. In the Northern Vosges they seized 
the Tete-de-Faux, near the Pass of Bonliomme. 
During the rest of December the struggle for the 
valley of the Thur continued, chiefly round Stein- 
bach, stormed on December 30, and Cemay. On 
January 7 the French captured BiurJiaupt-le- 
Haut, between Thann and Altkirch. The next 
day, however, it was recovered by the Germans. 
Snow storms then suspended the major opera- 
tions for some time, but the French secured the 
summit of the Hartmaimsweiler, a peak north 
of Cernay, but the detachment on it was lolled 
or captured on January 21. 

O Lu- survey of the events which happened on 
the battle -front from La Bassee to Belfort in 
the period beginning with the discomfiture of 
the Prussian Guards in the Zonnebeke-Gheluvelt 
woods east of Ypres and ending on February 1 
has been necessarily brief. The reader must 
imagine for himself the inmmierable heroic 
and hideous scenes enacted, the daring ex- 
ploits of the airmen — their duels thousands 
of feet above the surface of the ground, their 
expeditions to reconnoitre, to observe the effects 
of the fire of artillery, to bomb aeroplane sheds 
and railway stations — the thousands of guns of 
all cahbres daily vomiting projectiles, some 
of which crushed in cupolas and casemates 
constructed by the most scientific engineers of 
recent years, others of which destroyed acres 
of barbed-wire entanglements and buried or 
slew officers and men hiding in deep dug-outs. 
Bv day and night the 450 miles or so of trenches 
which ran from the waterlogged plain of the 
Lys c-er the chalky plateau of Notre Dame de 
Lorette to Arras, from Arras across the hills, 
over the Somme and its plain to the Forest of 
the Eagle and the wooded heights to the north 
of the Aisne, thence to the outskirts of the 

battered city of Pveims, from Reims over the 
bare downs of Champagne, through the glades 
and hillocks of the Argonne round Verdun to the 
tree-clad heights of the Meuse, by St. Mihiel 
to the Moselle, and from the Moselle and the 
Meurthe to the summits of the Vosges were, it 
must be remembered, alive with vigilant foot 
soldiers sniping at, bombing or bayonetting one 
another. In sunlight, fog, mist, haze, imder 
torrential rain, or amid snow storms the struggle 
between the wills of the French and German 
nations-in-arms went on. 

As in 1792, the representatives and agents of 
the houses of HohenzoUern and Hapsburg were 
again trying to subdue the spirit of the French. 
Then the tools of the Teutonic despots had been 
a few thousand mercenaries ; now they had 
enlisted in their cause the armed millions of 
the German race. In 1792 the Hohenzollerns 
and Hapsburgs had fallen on a disunited 
France, whose capital was seething with revolu- 
tion. They had fondly fancied that 122 years 
later the circumstances in France would be 
substantially the same ; that when war broke 
out Republicans and Monarchists, Clericals and 
anti-Clericals, Socialists and anti-Socialists 
would fly at each other's throats. 

Never were despots more dramatically dis- 
illusioned. The miu-der of Jaures had been the 
prelude to no civil war, but to the most extra- 
ordinary consolidation of a people known to 
history. Not even under Camot and Bona- 
parte had the French exhibited more prowess 
and military ability than they had vmder Joffre. 
When Namur fell it had seemed to many tha't 
nothing would be able to withstand the 
avalanche-like descent of the German army on 
the centre of Western civilization. By Feb- 
ruary 1, 1915, the danger of Europe relapsing 
into a barbarism, which being scientific was 
more appalling than the barbarism of primeval 
times, had vanished. The following extract 
from the French official report referred to above 
was the literal truth : 

It may first of all be affirmed that the fundamental 
plan of the German General Staff has completely failed. 
This plan has been superabundantly set forth by German 
military writers, and also in tJie Reichstag by the 
Ministers of War. It aimed at crushing France by an 
overwhelming attack, and at reducing her to a condition 
of helplessness in less than a month. Germany has not 
succeeded in this. Our Army is, as we have seen, not 
only intact, but strengtiiencd, full of trust in its leodera 
and profoundly imbued with the certainty of final suc- 
cess. Germany has not attained, then, tlie essential 
object which she publicly set before herself. But the 
defeat which she has sustained does not apply only to 
her fundamental plan. It extends also to the various 
operations in which she has essayed to secure partial 



A view of the German first-line trenches. 

advantages over us, in default of the decisive advantage 
which she had failed to win. 

la the three days which followed the declaration of 
war the German General Staf^ massed great forces in 
front of Nancy. With what purpose ? A sudden attack 
which from its very beginning should break our lines. 
This attack did not take place, because the reinforce- 
ments of oxir frontier force at the end of 1913 and the 
defensive organization established on the Grand Couronne 
discouraged the enemy from an enterprise which, though 
possible a year sooner, had become full of risk. Being 
unable to strike at Nancy, the German command directed 
ail its resources to the outflanking manceuvre which, by 
enveloping our left, would permit of the investment of 
Paris. Our left was not enveloped. Paris was not 
invested. And the German Army was obliged in the 
S3cond weak of September to save its own threatened 
communications by a precipitate retreat. 

With a desperate effort the General StaS of the enemy 
attempted to offset the eiiect of this retreat by piercing 
our centre in Champagne. There, as elsewhere, he failed 
and had to withdraw in great haste. In the month of 
October, with more extended lines, he endeavoured to 
repeat his enveloping manceuvre and to turn our left ; 
but right up to the North Sea we built an impassable 
barrier against him. He accumulated his forces in 
Belgium to outflank us by the coast and reach our 
maritime bases. His attack was broken. With despera- 
tion he sought to cut our forces to the south of Ypres : 
we maintained all our positions. 

To sum up, the German General Staff has placed upon 
its record since the beginning of the campaign — apart 
from the failure of its general plan, which aimed at the 
crushing of France in a few weeks — seven defeats of 
high significance, namely, the defeat of the sudden 
attack on Nancy, the defeat of the rapid march on 
Parig, the defeat of the envelopment of our left in 
August, the defeat of the same envelopment in Novem- 

ber, the defeat of the attempt to break through our 
centre in September, the defeat of the coast attack on 
Dunkirk and Calais, and the defeat of the attack on 

The German Army, powerful and courageous as it may 
be, has therefore succeeded in gaining the advantage 
upon no single point, and its forced halt after six months 
of war condemns it to a retreat, the pace of which may 
or may not be accelerated by the Russian successes, but 
the necessity for which is now in any case a foregone 

Such was the proud but sober language in 
which the French described their own achieve- 
ments. We proceed to narrate the main events 
from February 1 to the preliminaries of the 
Battle of Artois. 

The birthday of the Emperor William II., 
January 27, and the next day had been cele- 
brated by an ineffective German offensive at 
several pomts, La Bass^e, La Creute, Perthes, 
Bagatelle in the Argonne, and also in the 
Woe\Te. The loss of the enemy was calcu- 
lated by the French Staff at 20,000. It was a 
good omen for the Allied operations from Belfort 
to La Bassee. We propose now to work back 
through the seven sections of the battle-front 
from the frontiers of Switzerland to Artois. 

In the Vosges, owing to the depth of the snow, 
wliich was frequently as deep as a man's height, 



Dubail was content with maintaining an 
aggressive attitude, but for a time he made no 
serious efforts to enlarge his conquests in Alsace. 
There was a slight advance, indeed, diu-ing 
February in the regions of Amertzwiller and 
Altkirch at the southern, and in those of 
Senones and the Ban-de-Sapt at the northern 
«nd of the mountain chain, wliilo French 
airmen bombed important points beliind the 
German lines, notably, on February 5, the 
aeroplane sheds at Habsheim. Counter-attacks 
of the enemy at different points were repulsed, 
but in the region of the Col du Bonliomme the 
Germans obtained a temporary footing on a 
summit between Lusse and Wissembach, irom 
which they were expelled on the 19th. Up 
the valley of the Fecht, down wliich runs the 
Miinster-Colmar railway, the enemy advanced 

on the 20th with the object of recovering the 
crest of the mountains. They were roughly 
handled, and on the 22nd the pursuing French 
gained a foothold in the village of Stosswihr. 
On March 2 the French gained a success at 
Sultzeren, north-west of Miinster. Their grip on 
the Hartmannsweilerkopf was not abandoned, 
and on March 5 they captured a work, some 
trenches and two mitrailleuses. The prepara- 
tions for obtaining a complete mastery of the 
valley of the Fecht leading to the Miilhausen- 
Cohnar Strassburg railway continued. The 
barracks of Colmar were bombed by an airman 
on the 17th. The snow was melting and the 
operations could be more freely resmned. 
Seven days later (March 24) the second-line 
trenches of the Germans on the Hartmanns- 
weilerkopf were carried and the French 







































































Chasseurs were once more close to the summit, 
which was secured on the 27th after severe 
fighting, no fewer than 700 German bodies 
being counted and 40 officers and 353 men, all 
unwounded, being captured. 

Proceeding northwards to the region between 
the Meurthe-Moselle and the German borders : 
there was fighting round Badonviller at the 
end of February. The Germans claimed a 
great success for February 27, but their in- 
formation given later with regard to it gives 
little to support their first claims, and it is 
probable that here there were only some 
partial engagements during February and March 
in which very httle useful work was done by 
either side. The same remark appUes to the 
combats in the forest of Parroy. 

It will be recollected that the signal station 
on the hUl of Xon, in the north-eastern environs 
of Pont-Ji-Mousson, had been captured by the 
French, who from its summit could observe the 
country to the gates of Metz. The lull Xon 
directly commanded the approaches to Pont-a- 
Mousson and the bridges over the Moselle there. 
During February there was a desperate but 
ineffective effort on the part of the Germans 
to recover this spot, which menaced their hold 
on the base hne of the St. Mihiel saUent. 

Against the southern side from Pont-^- 
Mousson to St. Mihiel numerous attacks during 
February and March were made by Dubail. 
The possession of the Bois le Pretre, the forest 
of Apremont, and the wood of Ailly were 
stubbornly disputed by the enemy. But it was 
the western side which became the theatre of 
the bloodiest engagements at this epoch. At 
Les Eparges, during the months of February and 
March, there were outbursts of violent fighting 
almost deserving the name of battles. 

The first commenced on February 17 and 
lasted till the 22nd ; and the second took 
place from March 18 to the 21st. Les Eparges 
is situated on the heights east of the Me use, 
on a height of over 1,100 feet, and the ground is 
difficult for the movements of troops. The 
Germans had occupied it on September 21, 1914, 
and their line went back from there to the wood 
known as the Foret de la Montague. The actual 
village of Eparges had remained in French hands , 
as well ss the valleys and hills more to the 
north at Mont Girmont, and the hill known as 
the Cote des Hures. and on February 9 a sur- 
prise attack gave them St. R6my. The German 
lines were strong and they held the ground to 
the north of Eparges— several lines of trenches 

flanked by a redoubt at the east and west 
extremities. The line they held commanded 
from its left flank the road from Eparges to 
St. Remy, thus cutting the communication 
between these two places and the line of hills 
from Hattonohatel to the Cote des Hures. 
This line of hills formed the northern defences 
of the position behind St. Mihiel. By February 
17 the French had sapped towards the enemy's 
trenches and had constructed mines under the 
German hne which, when blown up, formed a 
series of craters, in which the French troops 
assembled before making a further forward 
movement. A vigorous artillery fire was then 
directed against the German lines, especially 
against the western redoubt, and so great was 
its effect that the French troops were able to 
rush the first two lines of the trenches without 
much loss. During the night the redoubt was 
severely bombarded by heavy guns, and on 
the 18th the Germans began a counter-attack 
and at first drove out the French, but later in 
the day they in their turn made a fresh attack 
and recaptured the redoubt. 

The same day another attack by the Ger- 
mans was stopped. They then poured such a 
heavy artillery fire on the work that the French 
were compelled to evacuate it. But the French 
once more advanced to the attack. By the 
morning of the 19th they again held the 
redoubt, and on that day the same drama was 
performed. The French retired under artillery 
fire and then their guns drove out the Germans. 
Four times did the Bavarians, who were 
fighting here, assaiilt the French, and each 
tmae they were driven back. But still the situa- 
tion of the French was a precarious one. The 
shelter made by the craters was inadequate for 
the purposes of protection, and it was considered 
desirable on the 21st to take the work which 
supported the east end of the German en- 
trenchments. This work followed the line of a 
pine wood, and the regiment told oH to take it 
carried the work and even succeeded in pene- 
trating into the wood. Here severe fighting 
took place, until at length both sides had dug 
themselves in. The French attack, delivered 
against the space between the two works pro- 
tecting the flanks, was unsuccessful, but a fresh 
counter-attack by the Germans was also 
without result. During the night the French 
prepared their defences on the conquered 
position under a fire of bombs, and on the morn- 
ing of the 22nd a strong counter-attack towards 
the work on the east of the lines forced back 



the French. Then the latter again assumed the 
offensive and managed to make some progress. 
The second period of fighting took place 
between March 18 and 21. The object of the 
French assaults was to take the eastern re- 
doubt, and three battalions were told off for 
the purpose. They managed to carry a part 

of the first line of German trenches, capturing 
about one hundred yards on the right flank 
and three hundred and fifty on the left. A 
little later, on March 27, a Chasseur battalion 
was unable to close up nearer the eastern re- 
doubt. The result of the fighting, which 
appears to have been very severe, was that the 
French gained a little ground, but the Germans 
state that no progress was made. 

The French objective at Les Eparges was to 
clear the enemy from the heights of the Meuse. 
West of Verdun one ami of Sarrail was to dis- 
lodge the Germans from the banks of the Aire, 
to cross it and attack Varennes and Apremont 
(in the Argonne), where the Apremont-Grand 
Pre-Bazancourt railway terminated. 

In the middle of February there was some 
fighting directed against the German position 
of Boureuilles-Vauquois, where, according to 
the French, some progress was made ; but 
according to the Germans the French attack 
was completely defeated. On February 28 
fresh operations were begvm. At Hill 263, 
east of Boureuilles, the French captiired about 
300 yards of trenches, probably in front of the 
village of Vauquois, which is situated on this 
hill, and got a firm footing on the edge of the 

Waiting to be marched off. Inset : Types of German prisoners. 



plateau. The hill in question is about 300 feet 
above the valley of the Aire. It was a strong 
position, as there were numerous oaves in it 
which were safe from artillery fire, and the woods 
behind it were cover for reserves. On March 2 
the French claim to have held the captured 
ground despite two counter-attacks, and to 
have made some prisoners. If the Germans 
are to be beUeved, on each occasion these attacks 
were driven off with heavy loss. On the 3rd 
and 4th further progress was made by the 
French. As to this the Germans were silent. 
On March 5 fresh German attacks were made, 
which were defeated with heavy loss, the 
French taking a considerable number of 
prisoners. Later on in that day our Ally 
made still further progress on the west side of 
the vUlage, the only part where the Germans 
still held out. The German reply to these 
statements of the French was that they had 
driven off all counter-attacks. It will be 
observed that the specific statements of the 
French were met only with general denials 
by the Germans. That the fighting here was 
very severe is proved by the French accounts 
published in the " Journal Officiel " of March 15, 
wherein it is stated that four assaults were 
made and were thrown back by the Germans. 
It would seem that on March 2 and 3 the 
French made progress. During the day of the 
3rd the French appear to have occupied them- 
selves in consolidating their position, and the 
fighting was renewed during the night of 
March 3-4, the Germans having received 
reinforcements. Their counter-attack was re- 
pulsed and so was a further attempt made 
during daylight on March 5. 

Across the Aire, from Varennes to Vienne-le- 
Ville on the Aisne, the forest of Argorme, con- 
tinued to be hotly contested. At 8 o'clock 
in the morning of February 10, after a heavy 
preparatory artillery fire, the enemy blew up 
15 yards of the fort of Marie-Th6rese, in the 
wood of La Grurie, by mines, besides throwing 
on the two faces of the salient very large 
bombs, the explosion of which produced damage 
to the parapet. Immediately after, three 
German battaUons advanced to the attack. 
The first hne carried bombs, which they threw 
into the French trenches. It seems probable 
that the artillery and the big bomb explosions 
had somewhat cowed the French, and there was 
very little active resistance to the German 
advance. The centre of the German attack 
Bucceeded in pushing the French out of their 


German prisoners being interrogated by a French 

Intelligence Officer. 

front trenches, and the men falling back carried 
with them the garrison of the supporting 
trenches immediately behind, but it was only 
over a short space that this occurred. To 
right and left the troops held their ground. 
The French made a counter-attack, but it 
was brought to a standstill by the German 
machine guns, and only a small portion of the 
left of the captured trenches could be regained, 
but the Germans were unable to carry the 
second line of the trench. In the afternoon a 
fresh counter-attack succeeded in regaining 
160 yards on the right of the lost front-line 
trench, but no progress was made in the centre. 
The fighting continued during the night 
without any great resvdts, but our Allies re- 
captured a bomb-thrower and a gun which 
had been lost in the moiTiing. The enemy dug 
themselves in about 400 metres from the French 
first line, where they entrenched themselves. 
It will thus be seen that the Germans had 
made a slight gain, though nothing of any 

It wa., west of the Argonne, between the 
Aisne and the Suippe, that the most important 
of the battles in the early part of 1915 was 
fought by the Allies. We have pointed out 
that Von Einem's forces, deployed as they were 
from the borders of the Argonne west and south 
of the Aisne to Berry-au-Bac, constituted a 
serious menace to Joffre's whole position from 
Belfort to La Bassee. Should the German and 
Austro-Hungarian operations in the Eastern 

X " 

—I >■' 

H -S 

oi XI 

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H a 
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theatre of war be successful, the enemy's army 
in France and Belgium would be reinforced 
and the German offensive, closed by the battle 
I if Flanders, probably be renewed. UntO the 
German Crown Prince's and Von Einem's 
troops were expelled from the Argonne and 
the Champagne-PouUleuse respectively, the 
new German offensive might be directed to 
cutting oft Joffre's right wmg from his centre, 
or to an advance westward against Reims, 
and, behind Reims, the rear of Maunovtry'p 
army. The sooner, then, Von Einem was 
driven to the north bank of the Aisne, the 
better it would be for the Allied cause. 

There was also an imperative reason, uncon- 
nected with the situation in France, why Joffre 
should take the offensive. Just as we now 
know that one of the motives for the Darda- 
nelles Expedition was the urgent request of 
the Russians, so it was afterwards explained 
that the French offensive in Champagne during 
February had for its ulterior motive " to fix on 
this point of the front the largest possible German 
force, to oblige it to use up anununition, and to 
prevent any troops being transportedtoRussia." 
Accordingly, in February, Langle de Gary 
was ordered by Joffre to attack Von Einem in 
the region of Perthes. Dixring December the 
French had conquered about one and a half 
miles of ground on the line Perthes-Le Mesnil- 
Massiges and made an important capture in 
winning the Hill 200 on the road to Souain, 
about a mUe and a quarter west of Perthes. 
This dominated the ground in front and 
was a favourable point of observation against 
the German trenches. From January 25 
to February 4 had been a period of counter- 
attacks by the enemy, which were driven 
back by the French, who advanced their line 
still farther to the north to a small wood 
about 500 yards to the north-west of Perthes 
and to another nearly a mile to the north- 
east of Le Mesnil. In front of Massiges there 
was no change ia the position, so that early in 
February the line here ran from the north of 
Souain, north of Perthes, back to Beaus^jour. 
But on February 16 Langle de Gary captm-ed 
nearly two miles of trenches to the north of 
Beausejour, and a number of counter-attacks 
made by the Germans were beaten back, our 
Allies taking a considerable number of prisoners. 
The 6ghting was extremely local in character, 
with here partial successes and there partial 
repulses, but on the whole the French got the 
better of the day. 

On the 17th the French gained still more 
ground, capturing many more of the 
German front Ime of trenches. They were 
subjected to a number of counter-attacks 
all of which were beaten off and some 
hundreds of prisoners taken. Amongst these 
were included ofSoers and men of the 6th 
and 8th German Army Corps, and the 8th, 
10th and 12th Reserve Army Corps. On the 
night of the 17th-18th, and on the morning of 
the 18th, two very severe attacks were made 
by the Germans to reconquer the positions they 
had lost. They reached quite close up to the 
line held by the French, but were eventually 
driven off by the bayonet. On the next night 
(18th-19th) five more counter-attacks were 
made by the enemy, but thev were all defeated. 
The German explanation was that " at a few 
important points the French succeeded in 
penetrating our advanced trenches." On the 
20th the fighting still went on, and the French, 
besides holding their ground, made some further 
progress to the north of Perthes, though accord- 
ing to the Germans the latter enjoyed, m com- 
parison with the last few days, comparative 
tranquillity. On the 21st the Germans still 
claimed the same relative cessation in the 
fighting, but, according to the French, German 
counter-attacks were driven off with great loss, 
the enemy pursued, and the whole of the 
trenches to the east and north of the wood 
above Perthes were captured and held. Some 
progress was also made to the north of Le 

There is the same discrepancy in the accounts 
of the fighting on February 22, the French 
clamiing to have captured a line of trenches 
and two woods besides beating back a couple of 
severe counter-attacks. On the 23rd a further 
advance was made to the north of Le Mesnil, 
and the German attacks were as usual beaten 
back. According to the Germans, the whole 
of the fighting of the 23rd and 24th ended in 
their favour, a categorical statement being 
made that the French had completely failed in 
their object. The same monotony of falsehood 
is to be found in the German narratives of the 
fighting right up to Jlaroh 12. The result of the 
battle, as a whole, was that, although no great 
successes were obtained by the French, they 
distinctly pushed the enemy back and gained 
positions one to two miles in front of the line 
they had originally held and over four and a 
half miles in length. But they had done more : 
they had secured a line which dominated the 



Erroiuid in front, and formed, tlieretore, a favour- 
able jiimping-off point for future successes. 
The German losses had been heavy ; the 
Guards, who had been brought to this part of 
tlie Hne, being very severely handled. Four to 
five and a half Army Corps had been engaged 
by the enemy, of whom two thousand were 
taken prisoners and ten thousand killed ; and 
in addition a considerable amount of material 
had been captured. 

Generally speaking, the operations must be 
regarded as successful from the Allied point of 
view. The French had held a considerable 
German force and they had attracted to this 
region further numbers. Thus, on February 16, 
the Kaiser's troops in the Champagne numbered 
119 battalions, 31 squadrons, 64 field batteries, 
and 20 heavy batteries. By March 10 these 
had been strengthened by 14 battalions of 
Infantry of the line and six of the Guard, one 
regiment of Field Artillery and two heavy 

batteries. Notwithstanding this increase of 
strength, the enemy had been unable to win 
back the lost ground, and he had not only been 
compelled to hold troops in the Champcogne, 
but to add to them, and so great had been the 
need of reinforcing the German armies at this 
point of the long line of battle that they had 
even been compelled to draw from the troops 
facing the British Army si.x battalions and eight 
batteries, two of the Guard. Even the German 
bulletins were obliged to recognize that their 
losses had been very heavy, from which it may 
be deduced that their numbers engaged were 
very numerous. In one of their bulletins they 
admitted that the German Army had lost 
more troops in the Champagne than in the 
fighting round the Mazurian Lakes in the 
Eastern theatre. There they had 14 Army Corps 
and three Cavalry Divisions, yet they had the 
effrontery to assert that they had only in Cham- 
pagne two feeble Divisions fighting against the 
French from Souain to Massiges, a distance of 
10 miles, a statement which is plainly absurd. 

Though the Battle of Perthes, as it may be 
called, did not produce the retreat of Von 
Einem to the Aisne, by hindering or preventing 
the transport of German troops to the Russian 
front it was probably a material cause of the 
Russian victories between February 25 and 
March .3 on the Nareff, and certainly, by divert- 
ing German troops from Flanders, it facilitated 
the gaining by the British of the Battle of Neuve 

French cavalrymen exercising their horses. Inset : Awaiting orders to advance. 


An old parishioner visits her ruined church in an Alsatian village. 

Chapelle. Before leaving the Battle of Perthes 
we shall describe the combat for the Sabot 
Wood, a subsidiary action in the region to the 
left of the battle-field. 

From Perthes to Souain there ran a road more 
or less along the crest of the hills which stretched 
out to Souain. To the north of this woro the 
German trenches ; on the south, sheltered by the 
ground, the first French position. To hold the 
French position it was necessary to capture the 
crest line which went east and west through 
the Sabot Wood. It had been strongly fortified 
by the Germans ; furnished with frequent bomb- 
proof covers bristling with machine guns and 
with every possible means of defence. It was 
held by Bavarian Landwehr. 

The French trenches at this time were at a 
<listance of from thirty to two hundred yards 
Irom the Germans, the nearest being at the 
point of the Sabot, the farthest towards Perthes. 
The German position was ordered to be captured 
an March 7, when two French battalions pre- 
pared to storm it. The assault was naturally 
preceded by a severe artillery fire, and then 
one battalion advanced from the west against the 
toe of the Sabot, while the other made a more 
or less direct attack on its right. The left attack 

had but a short space to go, and at the first rush 
reached the extremity of the wood, but here a 
tremendous fire from many machine guns 
brought it to a standstill. The southern attack, 
notwithstanding that it had farther to go, was 
more successful. The rush of the French 
infantry, gaining momentum as it went along, 
broke with an irresistible vigour on the Ger- 
mans, drove them back from their first line, and 
captured the second. Moving still onward, they 
reached the northern border of the wood, but 
here a trench, made by the Germans perpen- 
dicular to their foremost lines, took the French 
in flank and they were obliged to retire to the 
second German line, where they proceeded to 
instal themselves without interruption from the 
enemy. During the night no less than four 
attempts to regain the lost ground were made 
by the Germans, but all without success. At the 
first dawn of day a fresh attempt was made and 
some of the French yielded to the shock, but the 
Colonel commanding the regiment at once 
advanced to meet the Germans with the bayonet, 
which dislodged the enemy from the toe of the 
Sabot and thrust them back farther to the east. 
Thus in two days' fighting a considerable gain 
had been made. From the 9th to the 12th 



The German gunners having found the range of the church, shells rained 

numerous small encounters enabled the French 
to strengthen their position and to extend it 
more towards the heel of the Sabot. Large 
working parties also excavated communication 
trenches which led from the rear to the French 
position, thus facilitating the approach of rein- 
forcements and the removal of the wounded. 

On the 14th a further attempt was made to 
capture a German trench which connected to- 
gether the heads of three communications. Tlie 
first attempt was unsuccessful ; a second was 
deferred till the 15th. At 4.30 two French 
companies were sent forward to the assault, and 
in a moment the rival troops were engaged with 
the bayonet. The result at first was a success, 
but the way was stopped by a blockhouse armed 
with machine guns, and these drove back the 

French troops. Yet another attack was made, 
but it took two hours of heroic efforts before the 
blockhouse could be penetrated. Even then 
the enemy did not give up, and two smart 
counter-attacks were made shortly after day- 
break. These were beaten off with bombs and 
then the Germans gave up the contest. They 
evacuated the wood, leaving it in the hands of 
the French and m3rely hanging on to a small 
trench at its nortli-eastern extremity. 

We have noted that if Von Einem — rein- 
forced — were to take the offensive, one course 
open to him would be to advance westward 
between the Aisiie and the Marne towards the 
Oise. During the Battle of Perthes there was 
an indication that he was, perhaps, contem- 
plating a step of the kind. During the night of 


The Postern. 




upon the village, causing fires which rapidly spread from house to house. 

TWarch 1-2 the whole of the French front from 
Betheny through Reims to Prmiay was vio- 
lently bombarded. At 2.15 a.m. the Germans 
launched an attack near Cernay, and three- 
quarters of an hour later, under cover of a 
clump of firs, another between the farm of Alger 
and Prunay. These attacks were, however, 
feints, and at dawn the main German effort was 
made against the farm of Alger, north of the fort 
of La Pompelle. Preceded by a flight of aerial 
torpedoes, two columns of Germans rushed 
forward, but, caught by the fire of the French 
mitrailleuses and by a hail of slu-apnel, this' 
charge, like the fight during the night, was a 
complete lailuxe. 

In the meantime, on the Aisne from Berry- 
au-15ac to Compiegne, there had been a 

.succession of artillery duels but no action of 
any importance. The Cadmean victory of 
Soissons had been followed by a cessation of 
the German offensive. IMaunoiu-y's guns kept 
Kluck from crossing the river and bombarded 
the roads leading to the latter's front, the sta- 
tions and railroads utilized by him, and his gun 
or mitrailleuse emplacements. Kluck's artillery 
\\a3 almost equally active, but its targets 
were not of a merely tactical character. Thus, 
on March 1, two hundred shells were thrown 
into Soissons, the continued existence of which, 
like the existence of Reim^, Arras and Ypres, 
annoyed the representatives of Teutonic Kultiir. 
One piece of misfortune to the Allies must be 
recorded. On March 12 Genera,! de Maunom-y 
and General de Villaret, one of his corps 


The Ditch, showing the destruction of the iron fence on the scarp and counterscarp. 



commanders, were badly wounded while in- 
specting from the first-line trenches the German 
position, at this place thirty or forty yards 
away. Maunoury's left eye was injured. The 
brave and able victor of the battle of the 
Ourcq — the action which more than all others 
decided the battle of the Marne — had to go 
into hospital. In August he paid a visit to 
his estate at LoLr-et-Cher, where the veteran 
had been spending in retirement the latter 
days of his life engaged in agricultural pursuits. 
Like Cincinnatus, with 'whom he was compared 
by his fellow-countrymen, he had rejoined the 
army and proved that it is a mistake to suppose 
that an old soldier is necessarily timid and in- 
competent. " A little place," he said with a 
smile to an inquirer, " will soon be found for 
ine." That place was to be the Governorship 
of Paris, vacated by General Galli^ni — his 
coadjutor at the battle of the Marne — when 
Galli^ni succeeded M. Millerand as Secretary 
for War in the Briand Cabinet. The news of 
the wounds inflicted on Maunoury and Villaret 
may well have encouraged the Germans. 

On March 14, and again on the 22nd, they 
bombarded the Cathedral of Soissons. The 
French reply took the form of airmen dropping 
on March . 22 explosives on the barracks of La 
Fere and the stations of Anizy, Chauny, 
Tergnier, and Coucy-le-Chateau. The French air- 
men at this period were particularly active. One 
of them dropped bombs on the barracks and 
station of Freiburg, in Baden. On March 27 
a squadron of ten airmen attacked the 
airship sheds of Frescaty and the railway 
station at Metz, and also the barracks, east of 
Strassburg. The enterprise of the German 
airmen was also shown on several occasions. 
For example, on March 30, one of them dropped 
bombs on the apse of Reims Cathedral. 

Turning to the area between the Oise and 
Arras, in February and March there was, 
unless judged by the standards of most previous 
wars, little to mention. On January 28 — the 
day following that of the anniversary of the 
Kaiser's birth — the Germans had made a vain 
and costly attack in the region of Bellacourt. 
On February 1 there was an engagement north 
of Hamel. The night of the 6th-7th the Ger- 
mans exploded three mines on the face of the 
group of houses in La Boisselle, north-east of 
Albert, held by the French. As the smoke and 
dust cleared away it was perceived that three 
companies of the enemy had left their trenches 
and were clambering among the ruined 

buildings. The French infantry and artillery 
ke])t the Germans, however, to the craters 
formed by the explosions. At .3 p.m. the enemy 
was then assaulted by a company and, losing 
150 dead and many wounded, the Germans 
were dislodged. During the next few days 
there was more mining, followed by explosions, 
on both sides, but the balance of advantage lay 
with the French. Throughout .January and 
February the artillery duels went on, the bar- 
rages of fire frequently preventing German or 
French attacks maturing. On March 1, at 
B6court, near Albert, a German force mustering 
to assault the French trenches was stopped 
before recourse had been had to bayonet or 
bomb. At Carnoy, in the same district, the 
Germans on March 15 exploded a mine, and the 
usual crater-fighting ensued for several days. 
The reader who has followed our narrative of 
the struggle for Hill 60 will realize for himself 
what that meant. As was truly pointed out bj' 
the French military authorities on March 1 , 
although in the then present stage of the War 
it was rare for important masses to grapple with 
one another, there were daily operations of 
detail, " destructions by mines or gun-fire, 
surprises, offensive reconnaissances," and the 
more active of the adversaries by constantly 
threatening his opponent obtained a moral 

While everything from Reims to Arras 
tended to remain in a state of equilibrium, 
it was different north of Arras. Just as in 
Champagne, in the Argonne, on the Heights 
of the Meuse, and the southern face of the 
St. Slihiel salient, and in parts of French 
Lorraine and in Alsace, the fighting between 
Arras and La Bassee was fierce and sanguinary. 
The prize at stake was Lens, and, if Lens fell. 
La Bassee, probably, Lille and perhaps the 
whole plain between the Scarpe-Scheldt and the 
Ly.s. To achieve these objects, to recover the 
whole of Artois, to cut the communications of 
the enemy in Flanders and to menace those of 
the enemy south of the Scheldt and Sambre 
two initial steps had to bo taken — the seiziu-e 
of the Notre Dame de Lorette-Ablain-Carency- 
La Targette-Neuville St. V'aast-Vimy plateau, 
and the piercing of the German line between 
the heights of Notre Dame de Lorette and those 
of La Bassee. 

Here, as elsewhere, the Germans were not 
content with a passive defensive. In the 
morning of February 1 they attacked the 
hinge between Sir John French's and Maud- 



'luiy's army near La Bas^cc, bvi'l were beaten 
witli heavy luss. On the 4th it was the turn 
ot the Freneh to athanee. ni>t cin this sidi'. 
hut in the regien of Anas. Tlie read frenn 
Arras to Lens was barred by the fortress, 
already referred to, ealletl by the J'Yeneh "The 
Labyrinth." A httle to the west and east 
res]iectively <>{ tlie road liefore it traA-ers(>d 
" tlie Labyrintli " and nearer Arras were the 
vilhifjes of Eeurie and Roclinconrt. Havini,' 
bl.iwn up widi five mines eneui_\''s trenehes 
noi'tii of Keiu'ie, tiiree small columns — two ot 
Zoua\'es and one of /African Light Infantry — 
were directed into the mine-craters, which were 
occupied, fortiHed and connected by a com- 
munication trench with the J''rench [losition in 
the rear. On tin' nitrlil of the (ith-Tth the 
French mines lilew up a (Jerman trench on the 
outskirts of C'arency. The next day, February 8, 
a mill on tin- Befhune-La Bassee road was 
captured by the French, and the (_!crmans 
massing for a counter-attack disjiersed with 
shrapmel. Near Fioclincourt, east of Eeurie and 
south of " The Labyrintli,' a German trench (ju 
Februarj' 17 was lilnwii up and a counter- 
attack repulsed with hea\"y loss. On the other 
hand, at tlie beginning of Jlarch the (Jerinans 
won a trench of the French near Notre Dariie 
de Lorette, and ap])arently captured a consider- 
able number ot prisoners. Tlienext day, INlarcli 4. 
the French counter-attackt'd and recovered 
part of tlie lost groimd and in their turn made 

bin Oermans prisoners. On the titli the French 
claim to lia\e gained further ground and to 
lui\i' inllicted a se\-ere clieck on tin' tierma.ns. 
Tile iii'xl day a further hy the eneiuy 
was alsii driven Ijack. On the Sth tlie (h-rmans 
claiiiied aiKither succi'ss, but the Freneh 
repiorts <i( the loth state thai notwithstanding 
the severe fighting the ]iositinii was unchanged. 
The llilh was another critical day in the long 
and bliiody struggle for the plateau. The 
h'rench stonucd thi-ee lines ot trenches, cap- 
tured a lumdred prisoners, and de;troyed two 
machine guns. In the region Ecurie-Roclin- 
coui't ether tri'nchcs were blown up that (la\-. 
In spite ef counter-attacks, the French ]iuslied 
on for (he crest of the ridge of Notre ]-)aiiie de 
Lorette, gaining on the 19th the conmunication 
trenches descending towards Ablain, but thf^y 
lost somi' of these on the 20th. By the 2l!rdmost 
of the ridge was virtually in their po.ssession. 
The next day they captured and destroyed a 
German trench, south of Ablain, near Carency. 
Two German assaults on the Notre Dame de 
Lorette ridge were defeated on tlie i.'ith. On 
the 27tli, perhaps out of revenge, the (iermaiis 
again bombarded Ai'ras. 

At this [joint we break off the na.rrati\'e. Tlie 
British during Jlarch had regained Neuve 
Chapehe, the French the ridge of Notre Dame 
de ijorette. The opening moves of an Allied 
otfi'iisive against the Germans in the triangle 
Lille-La Bassee-Arras had been made. 

A destroyed gun emplacement. 




War and Disease — Vindication of Science in Recent Mimtaby Experience — Bacteriology 
IN the Field — Tetanus — The Use of Serum — Gangrene — " Getting Back to Lister " — 
Antiseptic Methods — Sir Almroth Wright's Teaching — Vaccination — The Conquest of 
Typhoid Fever — Inoculation — " Typhoid Carriers " — The Water Supply Problem — • 
Cholera and Anti-Cholera Vaccines — Typhus Fever in Serbia — Plague and Health 
Problems in Egypt — The Achievements 01- Science — German Gas and Counter-Measubes. 

PRACTICALLY aU the great wars of 
past ages were carried on in conditions 
of dirt and misery and privation whicli 
to-day are scarcely to be found in the 
whole world. The association of famine and 
sword and of disease and war was no f ortmtous 
one : these scourges were in fact indissolubly 
associated, and war without plague and epidemic 
was Tinknown. 

It is easy in the Hglit of modern scientific 
knowledge to realize how this state of matters 
arose. In those days men lived, in homely 
l)hrase, very near the soil. The margin of 
safety so far as disease was concerned was 
aln-iiys a narrow one. There was no effective 
sanitation ; and modern ideas in regard to 
sewage disposal and public health simply did 
not exist. Almost all the diseases which we 
now spoak of as epidemic were then endemic, 
that is to say, they remained permanently fixed 
in a locality and attacked all members of the 

War broke down instantly what slender 
protection the people had built up against 
disease, and so engulfed whole populations in 
tlie terrible disasters which are known by such 
names as " black death " and " great plague." 
■\\'ar, too, swept away the ordinary necessities 
of life, and thus brought in its train diseases 
like scurvy, which often decimated armies as 
Vol. VT.— Part 67 41 

no hostile weapons could. The fighting man 
was exposed to a thousand rislcs, and usually 
in the end fell victim to one of them. Danger 
from the enemy was the least of all the menaces 
which threatened him. 

This state of matters existed without any 
alleviation right down to the period when 
scientific thought began to predominate in 
Europe. Tliat period may be placed about the 
middle of last century, for in the beginning 
science was occupied for the most part with 
her own -ivarfare against superstition and 
ignorance. The battle had been won, however, 
when the discovery of micro-organisms finally 
vindicated the scientific claims and swept 
away for ever the idea that pestilence was a 
special manifestation of Divine wrath. It was 
realized, as it were, all of a sudden, that pesti- 
lence could be prevented just as pests could be 
prevented — by killing it, and, further, that so 
far as war was concerned the horrors of disease 
could be eliminated. 

It is unnecessary to trace the growth of these 
ideas in tlie great wars of this generation — the 
Russo-Japanese W'ar, the Boer War and the 
Balkan A^'ars. These wars were, from the 
scientific point of view, experiments. The 
Boer War was an unsuccessful experiment out 
of which success was snatched by a study of 
many errors and mistakes ; the Russo-Japanese 




Wtw was a triumphant \indication of science. 
The Japanese attained the ideal ; that is to 
say, their losses from disease were trifling as 
compared with their losses from tlie bullets of 
the enemy. 

Britam and France and Germany therefore 
went into this war with a full knowledge of the 
scientific needs of the situation. Scientists, as 
differentiated from medical men, were attached 
to the armies of all the belUgerents, and these 
scientific forces included bacteriologists and 
public health officers. 

From the pomt of view of the scientist war 
is a test on the grand scale. Unlike the medical 
man, he does not cliiefly deal with the individual. 
His business is with the His mission is 
prevention. From liis point of view the 
hospitals and the ambulances, in so far as 
they minister to cases of disease and infection, 
are proofs of failure ; they show tViat preven- 
tion did not acliieve the perfection hoped for 
from it. He visits the hospitals therefore in 
order to study failure, so that from failure 
he may win success. 

Science, as will be shown, anticipated many 
events in this w ar and failed to anticipate many 
others. Science anticipated the probability of 
an outlsreak of typhoid fe\'er on the grand 
scale ; Ijut she did not foresee that the soil of 

France, the soil of an ancient land, intensively 
cultivated through many generations, would 
play a part of ahnost crucial importance in 
connexion with the health of armies, ^^'ith the 
soil of France, therefore, the scientific history of 
the war properly begins. 

For a considerable period it has been known 
tliat there are certain bacteria inhabiting 
soil, or commonly found in soil, wliich, wlien 
introduced into the human body, give rise 
to most deadly diseases. These bacteria 
are probably put into the soil in tlie first 
instance m manure, tor they are found in 
greatest abundance in well-manured or in- 
tensively cultivated soils — the soils of old 
agricultural countries like France. One of tlie 
liest known and also one of the deadliest of 
tliese germs is the tetanus bacillus (bacillus of 
lockjaw). Tliis bacillus is normally present in 
manure, and m times of peace claims a certain 
nmnber of victims each year. The usual 
liistory in these cases is that some small wound 
was suffered in connexion with work in the 
garden ; very otten the wound was made by a 
rusty nail which had been lying near or in a 
manure heap. The trivial character of the 
wound causes it to be neglected, until some days 
later the early signs of lockjaw show them- 




Bonfires to destroy flies. — Inset : The Fly-net, 

which was used in the Dardanelles, covered the 

head and shoulders and afforded complete protection 

against the fly pest. 

seh-es. Horses are subject to the disease, and 
infecti(jn is usuall\- convej-ed to them through 
some small ci'ack in a Iioof. 

Before bacteriological knowledge was avail- 
able man}' erroneous ideas prevailed as to the 
cause and character of the disease. And even 
to-day the superstition that a cut between 
thumb and first finger will give rise to lockjaw 
is widely believed. Bacteriologists showed, 
liowever, that the site of the -wound does not 
matter. What does matter is the character of 
tlie ^vound and tlie character of the gi'ound upon 
which the wound was sustained. 

The bacillus of lockjaw has certain individual 
peculiarities which determine its powers of evil. 
Of these the chief is the fact that it cannot 
flourish in air ; only when the atmospheric air 
has been completely excluded from the ■svound 
in which it lodges can this deadly germ survive. 
For this reason it is known as an anaerobic 

Bullet wounds, however, and wounds made 
by small pieces of shell are exactly the tjqDC of 
wounds into which air is not likely to penetrate ; 

they are small, deep wounds and they tend to 
heal quicldy upon the surface, so that the air 
is shut off and the bacteria are left in the kind 
of surroundings most favourable to their growth. 
At the beginning of the Great War, that is 
to say in the autvmm days, when the British 
Army was fighting its way back through 
Flanders and Artois to Paris, the terrible 
danger which lay in the soil of France became 



clear. Tlio soldiers, during the Great Retreat, 
were suliject to many hardships and privations. 
They had to fight all day in order that they 
might be free to retreat Lmder co\-er of night, 

and they snatched what sleep they could ^;et 
as opportunity offered. They slept by ine 
wayside, in the fields, in stables. Their cloth- 
ing, \\'hich they had no chance to change, 
became saturated with imid and dirt, a veritable 
breeding-ground of bacteria, especially the 
bacteria of the soil. When a bullet hit one of 
these men it carried with it into his body 
slireds of the dirtj^ uniform he wore, and so in- 
oculated him successfully with bacilli. Nor w as 
there any time or opportmiity to have small 
rounds treated in an adequate manner. The 
e\'acuation of the seriously wounded was i'ar 
too great a problem for the small body of men 
engaged in solving it. 

For these reasons the doctors in charge of 
/Vrmy hospitals soon found themselves con- 
fronted with cases of lockjaw of a severe and 
fleadly type, and had to aclaio«'ledge with 
apprehension that tliis disease seemed likely 
to prove one of the horrors of the Great War. 
For lockjaw is an aflliction terrible alike in its 
manifestations and in its mortality. 

Nor at this period was any cure to be obtained. 
Shortly after the great discovery that a serum 
eoukl be prepared against the disease diphtheria, 

PREPARATION OF SERUMS. [By courtesy 0/ Parke Davh & Co. 

Withdrawing blood from immunised horse. Inset : Filtering the serum. 




efforts were made to jiirpare an anti-tetanus 
serum. Bat mibappily the good results wliicli 
had been obtained in the case of di|)litheria 
were not obtained \vitli tetanus. Dijilitlieria 
yielded at once to the serum ; tetanus did not 
yield, and the cases indeed showed no im])rove- 
ment. Jt was tlierefore concluded by man>- 
that anti-tetanus serum was a faiku'e and 
scarcely worth using — though it continued to 
1)6 used, or rather tried, in a nvunber of eases. 

The serum is prepared in a. manner which 
illustrates how close and careful scientific 
reasoning has become. A lifirse is used, and 
the animal is gi-\en a ^ cr y mild <lose of the 
disease, ironi which it soon reco^"ers. A more 
potent dose is then administered, and again a 
still more potent dose, until the animal is capable 
of standing deadly doses without showing rniy 
sign of illness. In otlier words, the blood of 
the horse has been able to prepare antidotes 
to the poison and the animal lias acquired what 
is known as '■immunity" to the disease — some- 
what as a smoker acc|uireK immunity to tlie 
ill-effects of tobacco or an opium-eater to the 
ill-effects of opium, but to an incomparably 
greater degree. 

When this stage has bei-ii reached, some of 
the blood of the horse is drawn off and made 
up in bottles for injection into patients sutfenng 

from the diseasi'. liefore being made u]i tlie 
hlooil is standardized liy mi.aris of giiiui'a-pigs, 
so tli.-it exact (loses may lie adiuiiiistered. 

'J'lie serum, lio\\e\cr, failed in most insiauees 
to sa\-e the li\-i>s of the men alTi'cted witli 
tetanus. ]\lore anci \'et more eases aTitsi:-, iind 
the situation, early in Sepiteniher, I'.)I4. was 
ex( •(■(•( hngly al.-irniiuL'. 

Help however was at liaiid. and (-nci' more it 
was science which came to the rescue. It had 
Ijcen suggested on many occasions that if 
,anti-tetanus serum could be administered imme- 
diately after the wnund \\"as sustained, the 
results would v>rolial)ly be Ijettei-. It now 
occurred to doctors to put tliis idea to the 
test. Orders wi're gi\en to the hospitals 
cases \\H]\ ■wounds of the type hl-icly to be 
infected with tetanus sIkiuIcI receixc at once a 
dose of serum, and tliat careful ivcords of the 
results should be ke|it. 

This policy was not at first an easy one to 
carry out ujion an extensive scale, for the simple 
reason tliat supplies of serum were limited. 
Hut that fault was quickly remedied. Inocula- 
tion at a very early dale became treneral. most 
of the badly woundeil men receiving their 
antitetauic serum at the field hospitals. 

The result was r"niaikable aiifl justified to 
the fullest possible extent the jirocedure 
adopted. A\'itliin an exceedingly short period — 
corresponding roughly to the period of the 
Battles of the Aisnc and Ypres — tetanus had 

lOiiir/t-sr of Pailr. D,tvr. ■- Co. 

ill— 2 



ceased to be a serious problem. A little later the 
disease actually ceased to occur. The victims 
of wounds which, judging from the experi- 
ences of the early days, wouJd most probably 
have proved to be infected with the lockjaw 
microbe, suffered no iU, and passed satelj' 
through the danger period. Tliis was notlung 
Jess than a great scientific achievement which 
in times of peace would have attracted universal 
attention ; it passed ahnost unnoticed, except 
amongst doctors and niu'ses who had good 
reason to be thankful that so dreadful a scourge 
had been met and defeated. The practice of 
injecting serum became, of course, universal, 
so that every woimded man received his injec- 


A French soldier disinfecting a captured German 

trench in the Champagne. 

tion simply as a matter of coiu'.se. What the 
state of matters would have been had this 
discovery not been made and this work not 
carried out, it is difficult to say ; this much is 
certain, a heavy tetanus mortality would have 
been encountered, and the horrors of the war 
added to in a manner calculated to terrify even 
the bravest. 

But the lockjaw bacillus was not the only 
one found in the soil of France. In addition, 
there were found to be present a group of 
organisms which gave rise to severe suppura- 
tions, and often the so-called " gas gangrene." 
It is unquestionable, however, that much mis- 
apprehension existed in the pubUc mind con- 

cerning the nature of the various form of gan- 
grene met with. Gangrene is a word which 
inspires so great dread that the mere mention 
of it was enough to excite morbid interest and 
curiosit}^. It was not generally recognised that 
some of the cases of gangrene were not infections 
at ell, but were the result of tight bandages 
applied to stop bleeding and kept too long a 
time in position. In other cases, gangrene 
supervened as the natural result of a woimd 
which cut off the blood supply of a limb. The 
true " gas gangrene " was of a different type. 
It owed its origin to infection, and it was, in 
fact, a severe \'iolent infection which fre- 
quently proved fatal in a very short period. 
Dr. Delorme, the Inspector-General of the 
French Army Medical Corps, described it in his 
book on " War Surgery " as " acute, violent, 
excessive, constringent." " Nearly all the 
patients," he said, " ascribe it to the construc- 
tion of the apparatus, or of the dressings, but if 
these are taken oS it is found that swelling 
may not, as yet, exist." This gangrene was 
naturally regarded as a terrible comijlication 
of wounds, and every effort was made to cope 
with it. Unfortunately the early attempts of 
surgeons were not crowned with great success. 
Surgeons in these early days had not fully 
realised the immense difference between the 
methods of peace and the necessities ■ of war. 
They had not yet come to see clearly that the 
technique of the operating theatre in a great 
hospital and the technique of the field were 
two totally different matters. 

Moreover, a gigantic problem faced them. 
Most of them had to deal not with a few, but 
with hundreds of infected wounds — wounds, 
moreover, infected with germs of such virulence 
that unless measures were jprompt and thorough 
a fatal result might be looked for in a large 
percentage of the cases. Prompt and thorough 
measures were often exceedingly difScult to 
carry out, because in these early daj^s hospital • 
accommodation was scanty, and medical com- 
forts and appliances were difficult to obtain. 

From the soldiers' point of view the Retreat 
from Mens was a great military achievement ; 
from the point of view of the statesman it was 
a calamity, until the Battle of the Mame 
brought salvation ; from the point of view of 
the surgeon it was a tragedy — he found himself 
suddenly face to face with the greatest emer- 
gency of his life, and the means to deal with the 
emergency were wanting. But there remains 
yet another point of view, that of the scientist. 

A dressing station, an operation in progress. 



Disinfecting the clothes of German wounded. 

Tn his eyes the Retreat from Mons, the battles 
of the Mame, Aisne, Ypres, and the Yser were 
events the result of which was one of the 
greatest epidemics — if we include the Eastern 
front, probably the very greatest epidemic — 
which the world has seen. The fact that the 
victims were wounded men in no way altered 
this view. ]Men seldom die of a clean wound if 
it be not immediately fatal ; it is the poison in 
the wound, and not the \s'0und itself, which is 
lethal. The man of science, the bacteriologist, 
saw all Europe living tinder the scourge of blood 
poisoning on the grand scale ; every fresh 
wound created a fresh victim, because almost 
every wound was infected. Every wound 
served to multiply the evidence of infection, 
and to prove more and more conclusively that 
this wa-s not only a matter for cure, but also, 
hke other infections, a matter for prevention. 

But at the beginning the scientist had to give 
place to the surgeon. It was a moment for 
the best possible treatment in the circumstances 
and the best possible treatment was afforded — 
in the circumstances. Surgeons very soon 
foLmd out that their methods of asepsis — 
scrupulous cleanliness — were useless where 
everytliing \\as already as dirty as it could be, 
so ahnost with one accord they abandoned the 
aseptic method and began to clean up these 

terrible wounds with the same chemicals which 
Lord Lister had used a generation earlier when 
he discovered his antiseptic treatment. 

This " movement " was called, appropriately 
enough, " getting back to Lister." It very 
quickly became universal. The old solutions of 
strong carbolic acid, of mercury, of iodine, were 
to be found in every hospital. Surgeons 
at the Front swabbed iodine into the wounds 
they had to treat. It was considered that the 
one essential was to disinfect as quickly as 
possible and as strongly as possible. 

This was exactly Lister's teaching. Lister's 
work was built up on the fact that a wound did 
not suppurate unless germs had gained entry 
to it ; the germs entered from the patient's 
sldn or from the hands or instruments of the 
surgeon. Operations were deadly because this 
fact was not recognized. Lister began to oper- 
ate therefore in conditions of " antisepsis." 
He used .sprays of carbolic acid to kill the germs 
and liis results were so immensely superior to- 
those of all his surgical colleagues that very 
soon his procedm?e was adopted by everyone. 

But it was a natural assmnption that opera- 
tions would be still more effective were there 
no germs to kill. Carbolic acid did not affect 
the bacteria only ; it acted also upon the tissues 
of the patient's body. So modern surgery 



began to aim at absolute cleanliness rather than 
at efforts to destroy dirt already present. The 
new doctrine was not " Idll the germs," but 
" exclude them." This was called the aseptic 

The aseptic method was as vast an improve- 
ment upon the antiseptic method as the anti- 
septic method had been upon the early days of 
dirt and ignorance. By naeans of scrupulous 
cleanhness germs were banned altogether, and 
it was no longer necessary to use the irritating 
fluids wliich in Lister's early days had so often 
caused trouble alike to doctor and patient. 
Operations became much less dangerous and 
much more successful in the broadest sense of the 
term. Sm-geons declared that their teclinique 
was now perfect. The few wounds which were 
dirty at the time of treatment were still dealt 
with by means of antiseptics, but these were 
for the most part mild conditions when com- 
pared with the woimds which Flanders and 
France were soon to show to an astonished 

" Back to Lister " was therefore a reversal of 
the order of evolution ; it was, speaking in the 
strictest and most formal language of science, 
a retrograde step, though clearly justified by 

circumstances ; and, in the circumstances, 
science condoned it and even applauded it. 
But this applause could not be expected to 
continue when the circumstances had changed 
and when opportunities offered for research 
and investigation. And, in fact, so soon as the 
military situation unproved and medical work 
on a great scale became organized at centres 
lil-:e Boulogne and Havre, the scientists began 
to devote themselves to the problem of infected 
wounds — by far the greatest medical problem 
of the war. 

The scientists viewed the joroblem from a 
new angle. They were concerned ( 1 ) to prevent 
infection at all, if this should be found possible, 
and (2) to destroy it in such a manner that 
only the infecting germs and not the tissues 
of the patient should suffer. In the eyes of 
the scientist the pioneer methods of Lister 
lacked precision ; they resembled the shot-gmi, 
which discharges many pellets in the hope that 
some will hit — and in this instance with the 
added fear that not only the invading geruis 
will be hit but also the body tissues of the 
patient. Scientists hankered after the exact- 
ness of the \\ell -sighted rifle. They wanted 
to hit the germs only and to spare the patient ; 

A chamber at a hospital in Pctrograd. Clothing of patients placed into a cylinder. 



in otlier \vorcls. tliey wanted to e\oIvi? a remedy 
or a remedial treatment which should T)e 
specific for the infection and shoiild destroy 
the infection with absolute certainty. 

The first scientific efforts were dominated to 
some extent ]>y war experience, and a niunber 
fif antiseptics were produced and tried. 
3Jany of them were foimd to be little better 
than the agents already in use, though there 
were notable exceptions to this rule. Mean- 
while a second, very robust school of scientists 
liad begim to preach a new doctrine, and to 
state openly that their investigations had led 
to the conclusion that the "back to Lister" 
movement was being overdone, that harm was 
frequently wrought by the too free use of 
antiseptics, and that a halt must be called in 
this indiscriminate application of strong chemi- 
cals to open \\ ounds. 

This new school owed its origin to Sir Ahn- 
roth \Vright, and commanded an attenti\'e 
hearing the mom(«t it made its opinions 
known. It spoke at an opportune moment, for 
many observers were beginning to distrust the 
antiseptic treatment as applied and to wish 
for a more exact and s<;ientific method. 

Sir Almroth Wright, at the Royal Society of 
]\Iedicine, stated the case imequivocally. He 
said that he had never seen a womid rendered 
aseptic by chemicals inserted into it with the 
object of killing the bacteria infecting it. Some 
of the bacteria might be killed, but all of them 
were not, and there were grave objections to 
the process in any case. 

Tliese objections he dealt with in great 
detail, revealing the fact tluit a vast amount 
of most careful scientific work had already 
been accomplished in liis laboratory at Bou- 
logne. This work ha<l gone to shoAv that, otlier 
things being ec^ual, the most eftieient preven- 
tive a man possesses against infection, that is 
against germs, is to be foui d in iiis own blood. 
Kature, as soon as a woimd is sustained, fl<jods 
the wound with a fluid known as lymph. This 
lJ^llph is highly bactericidal and if left to «'ork 
is able to kill the invading gornxs. The lymph, 
however, is a very unstable i^roduct. If it is 
daniined up it quickly becomes changed ; it 
"decomposes" ; and soon the fluid that was 
possessed of the power of killing bacteria 
becomes in tact an excellent food for them so 
that they grow and flourish in it. 

Recognition of tliis vital and fundamental 
truth made it apparent at once that all circum- 
stances ^\■hich tended to dam up the flow of 

The Royal Robert Koch Institute, Berlin. In the Plague Department. Inset : The Serum Department. 



lymph — that is, to prevent its free di'aiiiage 
from the wound, tended to increase rather than 
to diminish the infection. Dressings apphed to 
the woimd and left in position after they had 
became soiled and dried dammed up the lympli 
and produced tliis evil effect — as was M-ell seen 
in the eai-ly days when-the conditions of the 
military situation made the frequent ohangings 
of dressmgs an impossibility. So also did 
coagulation of the lymph fluid itself, for if the 
iTOiph coagulated it formed an obstruction to 
the free flow, and so acted just as a dirty dress- 
ing acted. 

But one of the effects of strong antiseptics 
wa.s to make the lymph exuding from the 
wounci coagulate. So that one of the effects 
of strong antiseptics was to dam up the very 
flow which it was so important to encoiu'age 
and stimulate. Reasoning a little further, 
strong antiseptics in the last issue did more 
harm than good because they interfered with 
Nature's own antiseptic methods- and mechan- 
ism, and gave little or nothing in exchange for 
what they took away. 

Sir Almroth invited his audience to consider 
the character of a wound made by slirapnel — 
perhaps the commonest cause of wounds. The 
wound was not clean cut, it was jagged, a 
tearing of the tissues. It was full of " pockets," 
some shallow, others very deep. Often it was 
contaminated by pieces of clothing and other 
foreign matter wliich had been carried into it 
in the first instance. This wound Natvu-e soon 
flooded out with her lymph. Her object was 
to wash out the impurities and to kill the 
germs, and so to allow of rapid healing. The 
question was, in what manner Nature might be 

It was not assisting Nature to fill that wound 
with a strong and irritating solution. The solu- 
tion might penetrate a certain distance and 
would no doubt kill some bacteria ; but it did 
not penetrate to the deep pockets. It missed 
these, and meanwhile it coagulated the lymph 
.and so formed obstructions over the openings 
of the pockets. In the pockets the germs were 
able to multiply at their leisure, the decom- 
posed Ij-mph forming an excellent pabulum for 
their nourishment. Within a very short time 
the number of germs which had been destroyed 
was fully replaced, and far exceeded, and the 
latter state of the wound tended to be worse 
than the first. 

Needless to say this attack upon established 
ideas produced an immediate effect. Sir 

At the Western Ophthalmic Hospital, Marylebone 
Road, London, where an electric magnet was used 
for extracting fragments of shells and bullets from 
the eyes of wounded soldiers, the magnet attracts 
the fragments to the front of the eye and a smaller 
magnet was then used to extract them. 

Almroth Wright had practically impugned the 
basal idea of the " back to Lister school." 
He had dealt a heavy blow at the antiseptic 
treatment of wounds ; he had refused to acce[)t 
the idea that the process of evolution must be 
reversed in tliis special case. He stood, 
therefore, as a pioneer in the true sense. He 
demanded a new conception of infection, and a 
new treatment founded on this new con- 

But he did much more than this. As will be 
seen in a moment, it followed from these 
researches that if Nature can be assisted along 
strictly scientific lines when disease has become 
established, so also can she be assisted along 
scientific lines in her continuous effort to pre- 
vent the beginning of disease. In other words, 
it is not possible to say that the natural germ- 
killing power of the body can be augmented 
during an invasion of germs without inferring 
that it can be strengthened before such an 
invasion takes place. 

Sir Almroth's second line of reasoning was 
directed to the elucidation of this latter prob- 
lem — the problem of prevention as opposed 
to the problem of ciu-e. And here he found 
himself upon the siu-e ground of science, for 
science, as has already been said, is interested 

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to prevent disease as well as to deal with 
it, and views the hospital ward, thronged with 
sick and infected men, as a phenomenon, de- 
manding a change of method or an improve- 
ment in technique. Sir Almroth saw the 
problem of prevention of infeetioii in wounds 
as he had at an earlier date seen thr^ problem 
of the prevention o£ typhoid lever — that 
merciless scourge of armies in the field. He 
saw it whole, and he saw it clearly. 

The wounded man falls a victim to bacteria 
wliich have become lodged in his woimd because 
he cannot mobilize in his blood sufficient 
germ poison to kill the invaders. His blood, 
so tar, is not accustomed to the new poison, 
and so has not developed any antidote 
to it. After a time, however, in favourable 
circumstances, an antidote will be produced 
and the poison killed off. 'Jlie aim of tbe 
scientist must be, therofor'e, to j^repare the 
blood beforehand to meet the danger to which 
it is likely to be exposed. 

This conception of preparation is at the 
root of the vaccine therapy which now bulks so 
large in medicine. It has been found that it is 
not the actual presence of the germ which 
causes disease, but the poison which the germ 
produces during the course of its life — the 
poison which it " excretes." This poi.son cir- 
culates in the blood and sets up disease pro- 
cesses, often in remote oi'gans. But the blood 
is armed with methods' of destroying the 
poisons, and also the bacteria which produce 
them. Long ago the great French scientist, 
Professor Metchnikoff, showed how the white 
cells of the blood are in reality warrior cells 
capable of attacking bacteria and destroying 
them. This is one phase of the subject. The 
body itself is able, as has been shown, to secrete 
into the blood antitoxins, or antidotes, of great 
subtlety, vvhicli are exactly calculated to meet 
and annul the poison — are, indeed, specially 
prepared for the special type of poison present. 
Thus, by a double action, bacteria and their 
poisonous products are removed and normal 
health rega ined. This process takes place during 
acute fevers, like pneumonia. 

Occasionally, however, the germ which 
makes the attack is so virulent, or m so great 
n\unbers, that the normal reaotion of tlie body 
is not shown, and then the |)aticnt dies of the 
infection. Or the patient himself may be in 
a weak state of body, as from exhaustion, or 
cold, 01 strain, or .-ihock, and be capable of only 
a feeble resistance to the in\'aders. He may. 


A splint used by the German Red Cross for 
treating wounded with a shattered hand. 

for example, be a soldier who has fought hard 
through long days and nights, taken part in 
forced marches while heavily loaded, had 
irLSufficient sleep, food, rest, or watrr, been 
subjected to terrible an.^iety or weather con- 
ditions of exceptional severity. In these 
circumstances how shall his wearied and 
en.feebled body bear up against the added shock 
of a wound, with the loss of blood and of nervous 
energy, and the wracking pain ? His A\'ound is 
soil very favourable for the growth, of any 
hostile germ, and he Lacks the strength to 

German soldiers working a pedal of a sewing- 
machine and turning a cart wheel fixed lo the wall. 

C7— 3 




produce an immunity as quickly as may be 

How to prepare tliis man's blood for the 
danger it may be exposed to ? It has been 
found that the response of the blood is related, 
in ordinary circumstances, to the quality of 
the poison. But the poison itself depends on 
the number of germs and on their character 
and virulence. The blood, therefore, seems 
to be guided in its output by the special 
characters of the microbic enemies it has to 
contend against. 

If now a few of the germs which commonly 
infect wounds, the cocci as they are called, 
are taken and grown in a test-tube and then 
killed by heat, we shall possess in that test- 
tube a cjiuantity of the poison which, had the 
germs been present in a wound, would have 
been circulating in the victim's blood. If 
now we take that poison and measure out 
a minute dose of it (and it is to be noted that 
the germs have been killed, only the poison, 
not the actual germ is used), and inject that do?e 

into the bodj' of a healthy man we shall occasion 
in his blood a reaction to the poison. His 
blood will at once prepare an antidote on the 
assTimption that an invasion of germs has 
occurred. But as the poison was introduced in 
very minute dose, so it will easily be neu- 
tralized. The blood of the man will now possess 
a certain power against this particular 

If we repeat our injections, giving each time 
a little more poison, we shall presently produce 
a high degree of immunity in the blood of the 
man. His blood will indeed be in a state of 
preparedness against invasion by this par- 
ticular poison^ — that is, by this particular 
germ. If he is wounded and his blood is 
infected by this germ unpleasant results are 
not likely to follow because the germ will not 
be able to hurt him. He will be, in short, 
vaccinated against wound infection. 

It was this idea which Sir Almroth sug- 
gested as the preventive measure against the 
war epidemic of infection. Needless to say 
it was hailed with great interest. It was not 
seriously assailed, because it was founded upon 
scientific reasoning of a very close and 
cogent order, and, moreover, because 
another application of the same reason- 
ing had already produced, as will be shown 
later, the great triumph of anti-typhoid 

But a reply of another kind was made by 
another school of workers. Ever since the 
great German chemist and bacteriologist. 
Prof. Ehrlich, had shown that chemical bodies 
could be found which had a special action 
upon special germs and little or no action upon 
the tissues of the body containing these germs, 
investigators had been busy studying the 
chemistry of antiseptics. Ehrlich had sliown 


I Luurtesy of l-'arKe, Vuvis i^' Ot>. 


French troops removing their dead and wounded from the trenches. 



Filling phials with vaccine. the micro-organism of th? disease syphilis 
— the so-called apirochaeti'. pallida — was killed 
immediately if a compound of arsenic and an 
aniline body, " Salvarsan " or " 606," waj 
injected into the patient's blood. Salvar.^an 
did not injure the patient : its action was 
" specific " for the ."pirochicte. The research 
workers who devoted themselves to the treat- 
ment of infected womids upon chemical lines 
aimed at finding a substance which should 
prove destructive of the germs of infection and 
yet be innocuous to the tissues of the body. 
They aimed, in fact, at producing a sighted 
rifle to replace the bhmderbus of indiscriminate 
antiseptic treatment. 

Some success attended this effort. In 
the Brilixh Medical Journal of July 24 
there apjieared an account of an antiseptic, 
which had been used by Professor Lorrain 
Smith, of Edinburgh, and three members of 
Ills department. This substance was hypo- 
chlorite of sodium, and the research work in 
connexion with it v\as assisted by the National 
Healtli Insurance Jledical Research Committee. 
Curiously enough, antiseptics belonging to 
the same chemical group were used almost 
simultaneously in the Organic Chemistry 
Department, Leeds University, by Dr. H. D. 
Dakin. Dr. Dakhi worked in collaboration 
with the distin'^uished American siirgeoa, Dr. 

Alexis Carrel. Later Dr. Carrel and Dr. Dakin 
LLsed the preparations in a field hospital at 
Compiegne, beliind the French firing line, with, 
they stated, very satisfactory results. With the 
cooperation of the French War Office and the 
RockefeUer Institute, a large hospital and 
laboratorie.s were established at Compiegne. 
Professor Landouzy read a paper on the 
antiseptic before the French Academy of 
Sciences on August 4, 191. 5, and said that 
hypochloridc of hme was the most powerful 
antiseptic known to science, but that up till 
that time this substance had been of no prac- 
tical utility on accouiit of the difficulty of 
preserving it, and because of its alkalinity, 
which was injurious to human tissues. These 
difficulties had been surmounted by various 
means, and might now be sa'd to have 
passed away. The new preparation had 
been applied to the most frightful wounds, 
with the result that within eight days their 
aspect had been modified in a way quite 
unknown under the old antiseptic processes. 
Cases of gangrene had been radically prevented 
at the very outset. Indeed, if the antiseptic 
was applied in time it was not too much to 
say that the infection of wounds might hence- 
forward be considered impossible. 

The antiseptic, diuring the first few montlis 
of its trial, gave certainly very good results. 



But the claim that it was tlie ideal antiseptic 
which would destroy the septic agents in wounds 
without damaging tlie tissues was not allowed 
by all observers, and meantime interest con- 
tinued to be focussed upon Sir Almroth W'i'ight 
and upon his researches. 

Sir Ainu-oth had laid it down that every 
wound should be kept as wide open as possible 
diu-ing the period when septic matter remained 
in the woimd, dnd he had also suggested that 
means should be employed to induce a freer 
flow of lymph from the wound. Such means 
were " wicks " placed in the wound, and also 
the application of the solutions having the 
effect of stimulating l3'mi:)h flow. Later, at 
the Koyal Society of Medicine, October 8-14, 
he elaborated the idea. The application of a 
strong solution of salt to a wound would, he 
said, cause the sweeping away of all obstruc- 
tions from the wound. The result \^ould be a 
wound absolutely clean. This clean woiuid 
would, however, still be verj^ easily re-infected 
as it would be open. The next steji, therefore, 
was to bring forward the army of white blood 
corpuscles — the army whose duty it is to attack 
invading germs. In order to do this the solu- 
tion of salt must be diluted very considerably, 
froin 5 per cent, to .85 per cent., or so-called 
" normal saline solution." This normal saline 
solution acts by drawing to the surface the 
white blood cells, so that in a little while a fine 
grey film — composed of the white " warrior 

cells," ajopcars on the surface of the woimd. 
This is another great advance. But it is a 
fact that these ■\\arrior cells do not long survive 
exposure on the surface of the wound. Soon 
they break up and die and then again the wound 
is likely to become infected. 

What then is the next step V Sir Almroth 
suggested what is Icnown as " secondary 
suture of the wound." The wound was clean; 
It \\'as protected by leucocytes. Danger no 
longer lay within, but threatened from without. 
The time had come to shut the door in the face 
of danger. 

Meam\'hile vaccination ought to have pre- 
pared tlie blood for resistance. Sir Almroth 
held that every mounded man should be 
inoculated as soon as he reached the first-aid 
post. A second opportmiity would present 
itself if there was any sign of a spread of 
infection along the sldn near the woimd. In 
the case of the wound which was sewn up after 
being cleaned vaccination formed to bo a 
method of completing the work and destroying 
the bacilli that might remain in the woimd. 

Sir Almroth made the following suggestions 
regsirding the treatment of wounds to be 
applied to work in the actvial field of opera- 
tions : 

(1) An injection of vaccine at the first-aid 
post — i.e., of vaccine prepared from micro- 
organisms comraonly infecting wounds. " Tiiere 
would," he said, " follow upon the inoculation 


The apparatus employed includes a cistern for sterilising instruments in boiling water, bottle of 

tincture of iodine (with brush), injection-syringe, phial of vaccine, and forceps. 



Being inoculated against typhoid. 

a rapid immunising response, whicli would, one 
is entitled to anticipate, in a VjiiUet wovmd 
perforating only tissues, extinguish the infec- 
tion, and would in other wounds do the same 
in those regions' where the physiological con- 
ditions were not too unfavourable." 

(2) At the field £»iibulance simple operations 
should be performed for the excision of projec- 
tiles and foreign bodies and securing thorough 
drainage of the wovmds. Also here all wounds, 
except those promising to get well of themselves, 
should be treated with strong solutions of salt 
( " hj-pertonic salt solution") "wicks" made 
of bandage soaked in salt and sodium citrate 
should be put into the wounds in order to 
encourage a flow of lymph from them. 

(3) At the Casualty Clearing Station, the 
next step in the journey from the front, X-rays 
and other eqviipment became available, and 
so more extenj?ive operations could be carried 
out and fuller drainage of the wound secured. 
It was important to realise that travelling was, 
for the sick soldier, mostly a time of retro- 

gression, and so every effort must be made to 
prevent the wound becoming "lymph bound," 
and so a seat of infection. 

(4) At the base hospitals the full procedure 
should be carried out. 

The importance of those researches and 
sxiggestions must be evident to everyone. 
They stimulated the miijids of medical men in 
regard to the whole treatment of wounds, even 
though at the end of sixteen months of war 
they v.ere still so new as to be tentative. It was 
felt even by opponents of Sir Alnxroth Wright's 
views that the vast problem of infection had 
been placed upon a new footing, and that a new 
conception of surgical treatment had been 
afforded. Sir Almroth's own words may be 
quoted (Lancet, November 13, 1915). 

" It has come home to everybody that every 
woimd is infected, and that the infection is the 
really serious element in wounds. Coming on 
the top of this, practically everybody has 
become aw are that the antiseptic system has — 
so far as the treatment of the woiuid infection 
is concerned — completely broken down. So 
finally it comes to this that the progress of 
knowledge has filched away from the ordinary 
medical officer everything, other than the 
knife, which he was relying upon for the treat- 
ment of bacterial infections of wounds." Clearly 
the ideal antiseptic remains to be discovered. 

If the treatment of infected wounds was the 
big scientific j^roblem of the war, because the 
\vomids were actually there to be treated, 
the prevention of the old-time scourges of 
fighting men was also a huge difficulty, because 
no man could doubt that unless measures 
were taken in advance the old foes would soon 
show themselves, and the old story of death 
and wretchedness be repeated. But here, 
happily, science was well prepared. The 
lessons of the past had been learned ; doubts 
and suspicions scarcely existed ; there was no 
battle against doubt or misgiving to be fought. 
It was linown and accepted as a fact that by 
means of vaccination these diseases could be 
met, and could be held at bay. 

The history of this remarkable movement is 
like a romance. With it the names of Wright 
and Leishman will ever be associated, a= its 
success was due largely to their painstaking 
efforts. The story may be said to have begun 
when the specific germ of typhoid fever was 
discovered. The bacillus is a minute body with 
small hair-like projections, the so-called cilia 



by which it is able to move itself about. It was 
linown that after the entrance of typhoid 
bacilli into the hvunan body, the tissues ulti- 
mately developed an antibody or antidote, which 
destroyed the invaders. Advantage was taken 
of this fact by Widal, who invented a subtle 
bacteriological test for the disease. The essence 
of this test consisted in taking a few drops of 
the blood of the suspected victim, and adding 
then:i to a solution containing hving typhoid 
germs. If the patient had had the disease 
his blood would for some time contain sonie 
antibody, and so the germs would be altered 
and be clumped into masses. If on the 
contrary the patient was not affected, his blood 
would not possess tliis power of " agglutina- 
tion." The " Widal test " proved a very 
helpful adjunct to the physicians' powers of 
observation, and came into general use. It 
contained the genn of the futi-u-e vaccine treat- 
ment as will presently be seen. 

The idea of vaccination was of course no new 
one. Ever since Jenner made his great discovery, 
the conception of cure " by a hair of the tail 
of the dog that bit you " had been prevalent. 
Koch, too, the discp^'crer of the Tubercle 

Bacillus, had introduced a substance "tuber- 
culin," which was, in fact, a vaccine, and had 
claimed for it diagnostic and immunising powers. 

The step to the production of a vaccine 
against typhoid fever was thus a short one. 
All that seemed to be necessary was to secure 
some of the poison or toxin excreted by the 
bacilli and inject this in gradually increasing 
doses into the patient's body. 

Theory is one thing, however, and practice 
another. The Boer War afiorded a great 
opportunity to those who hoped to render 
the soldier immune against typhoid. Coming 
as it did shortly after the Spanish-American 
War, in which the death rate from typhoid fever 
was terrible, the Boer War may be regarded 
as the first testing gi'Oiuid of the new medicine. 
Tlie test was a severe one, because the condi- 
tions were severe and the climate difficult. 
The results were, on the whole, good, though 
they are not usually sjjoken of as satisfactory. 
In the first place, the correct dosage was not 
clearly known, and in the second the technique 
of the process had not been fully worked out. 

The result was that a tendencj' arose to be- 
little inoculation as a useless method. Stories 

British troops in France placing uniforms and blankets in an oven. 



Being vaccinated as a precaution against cholera. 

v.ere told by ignorant people wliich suggested 
t'lat evil effects followed the inoculation, and 
that good effects did not exist. It was pro- 
claimed by tlic enemies of the treatment that 

men %\ere killed by the injections, and that 
injected men fared no better — sometimes 
w orse — in respect of the disease than did imin- 
jeeted men. The arguments, wliich are 
familiar, concerning " preser\'ing a pure blood 
[jure," were heard in many quarters. 

This was not an encouraging atmosphere for 
patient and earnest research work. Neverthe- 
less, workers were foimd to carry on the in- 
vestigation, and to reap success v\'here only 
partial success appeared to be. Technique was 
perfected ; results were watched ; deductions 
were made, and as a result of a vast bulk of 
evidence it was ]>roved to the satisfaction of 
exacting minds that in this anti-typhoid 
inoculation science possessed in fact a most 
potent weapon against tiie onset of the disea»se. 
This result was due in large measure to 
the splendid work of Sir Wui. Leishman in 

When the war broke out the army authorities 
decided to give immunising injections in all 
cases in which the soldier himself consented. 
The matter was discussed in public, and notably 
in the columns of Tlte Times, and pleas on behalf 
of vaccination wore entered by such distin- 
guished authorities as Sir W. Osier, Sir Almroth 

Sterilising Clothes. 




British nurses who attended to the stricken Serbians, 

wearing special costumes. Inset ; Nurses on the 

way to Serbia being inoculated agilast typhoid. 

A^^right and Sir Lander Briinton. 
Osier ■(^rote : 

" The work of the French Army doctor.? onl 
of British Army surgeons, particularly in 
India, has shown conclusively the remarkable 
reduction in the incidence of typhoid when 
vaccination is thoroughly carried out. The 
experience of the American Army is of special 
value, as the disease is so much more prevalent 
in the United States. The number of cases 
in the home army has fallen from 3.53 per 
thousand men to 0.03 in six years, and tlie 
death rate from 0.28 in 1!K)9 to zero in 1913." 

Sir Wm. Osier then called attention to the 
work of the Vaccine Department of the Army 
Medical College, the Lister Institute, and other 

The work of the Army Medical College was 
indeed, of supreme value at this hour. As has 
already been stated, Sir Wm. Leishman had 
placed the whole world in his debt by his 
splendid services vipon anti-typhoid vaccina- 
tion. He may be said to have worked this 
problem out with the patience, the courage, 
and the honesty of pvirpose which alone can 
triumph over great obstacles. Very large 
numbers of men owe their lives to his efforts. 

Sir Almroth AVright declared that "the 
absolute necessity of making provision against 
this disease by inoculation is now a common- 
place of mihtary hygiene." In the same letter 
(September 5, 1914) Sir Almroth referred to the 
use of vaccines in wound treatment, stating 
that his department at St. Mary's Hospital had 
supplied gratuitously to oiu- Army and Navy, 
and also to the French military hospitals, a total 
of 180,000 doses of " anti- sepsis " vaccine. In 
addition this department had, by working long 
hours in response to a War Office request, 
fiu-nished, as a contribution, for the use of the 




Medical Director of the American Sanitary Red 

Gross Gommission. 

Army, nearly 280.000 doscs of anti-typhoid 

These letters, and the publicity given to them, 
imdoubtedly influenced the public mind to a 
great extent, and as a result the vast majority 
of recruits accepted vaccination with alacrity. 
They received their small doses of the virus, 
and the number who suffered any serious in- 
convenience in consequence was found to be 
exceedingly small, so carefully had the pro- 
cedure and technique been studied and worked 
out. Our army went to France and to the 
Etist as a vaccinated force, with it.s blood 
prepared against the typhoid danger, to which 
it was so likely to be subjected. 

But the case of the scientist was not deter- 
mined nor liis vigilance bounded by this one 
great method of prevention. Experience had 
taught that disease docs not arise spontaneously, 
but is in fact j^ropagated from man to man. 
Therefore, m order to produce typhoid fever in 
one man, typhoid bacilli must be present in 
another man, and must be conveyed from 
infected to luiinfected. This is so self-evident 
that it seems too simple to require emphasis. 
Experience, however, has often proved that it 
is just the neglect of these simple truths which 
lead to disaster. 

It -s^-as known of typhoid fever that 
men might suffer from it and retain a 
very considerable amount of health and 
strength, or they might pass through an 
attack and recover from it and yet remain 
infected with the bacilli for long periods. 
These latter patients were known as " typhoid 
carriers," and in civil life very many epidemics 
had been traced to the presence in a com- 
munity of even one of these carriers. Thus, a. 
whole water supply might be poisoned through 
the instrumentality of a typhoid carrier. 

It was obvious that in addition to preparing 
the soldiers against disease efforts must be 
made to secure thein from unnecessary in- 
fection, and therefore plans were laid to carry 
out a careful scheme of prevention on what 
may be described as sanitation lines. 

Tj'phoid bacilli are " water borne," bvit they 
can be carried also in food and by other means. 
It was clearly essential that those men handling 
the food of the troops should be guaranteed free 
from infection. A " typhoid carrier " in the 
commissariat would have partaken of the 
nature of a calamity. 

So all the men in the food services were 
examined with a view to determining their 
suitability for the work to which they were 
about to be sent. Suspicious cases were, of 
course, rejected at once. Other cases were 
dealt with as occasion arose, and thanks to 
miremitting care it was secured that no carrier 
was in a position to bring disease to his fellows. 

In addition to these precautions the question 
of water supply had to be considered. It was, 
of course, obvious that in a country which had 
been fought over, and which had been the soene- 
of fierce conflict, the water supply was exceed- 
ingly likely to be contaminated. There was, 
moreover, no assurance that contamination 
with typhoid or other water-borne bacilli 



might not have taken place or might not take 
place. It was therefore necessary to supervise 
with the utmost care the drinldng and washing 
water supplied to the troops. This problem 
was no easy one, for while sterilisation by 
boiUng is, of course, quite sufficient and 
efficient on a small scale, when one comes to 
deal with millions of men it is cumbersome. 
Therefore various other expedients were tried, 
including the addition of certain disinfectant 
substances to the water. At the end of sixteen 
months of war the problem had been met and 
solved, but scientific workers were even then 
busily engaged in suggesting and testing new 
and improved methods so that the maximuna 
of efficiency and safety might be secured with 
the minimum of labour and trouble. Labour 
and trouble, and more especially a troublesome 
technique, are the great enemies of all-round 
success, because the more they are multiplied 
the greater becomes the possibility of error or 
carelessness on the part of some subordinate 
worker ; and this is emphatically a chain 
which must have no weak links. 

Safety was therefore secured in tlu'ee definite 
directions and by three separate proceedings. 

(1) Tlie men were protected by vaccination; 

(2) " carriers " and other hmnan sources of in- 
fection were eliminated ; (3) the means of 
propagation, water and food, were brought 
imder the strictest possible supervision. 

These throe factors undoubtedly achieved 
one of the greatest triumphs which this or any 
other war has demonstrated. Thanks to them, 
and to the men who so boldly conceived them, 
and so vigorously and imselflshly carried them 
out, typhoid fever simply did not coiuit in the 
British Army in France and Flanders. When 
the size of that Army is taken into considera- 
tion, indeed, the number of cases encountered 
was almost ludicrously small. When, as it 
seemed, all the circumstances favouring the 
onset of a great epidemic were present together, 
no epidemic occurred. Pessimists prophesied 
again and again that terrible trouble was almost 
siu^e to breed upon those dead -strewn fields, 
but their forebodings were falsified ; the 
autumn wore on into the winter, and the winter 
again gave place to summer, and still the antici- 
pated outbreak of typhoid fever did not come. 
Typhoid fever had been beaten — defeated 
before the battle as it were. Our Army went 

Patients outside the American Hospital. 




A wounded soldier taking an electric bath. 

scathless, and hundreds, nay thousands, of 
supremely useful lives were saved to the service 
of the country. 

This greac triumph passed almost imnoticed, 
as the triumph over tetanus had done, for in 
time of war it is mistakes which loom up large 
upon the public horizon. Yet it will stand for 
all time as a vindication of the scientific mind 
and of the scientific method. 

But science had not finished her work with 
tliis enemy after a year of war. There remained 
certain difficulties, particularly in the detection 
of " carriers," which required further patient 
research. One of these difficulties was the 
direct outcome of vaccination. A vaccinated 
man, if by any chance he did develop the 
disease — and these instances were exceedingly 
few — could not, of course, be expected to 
give for diagnostic purposes so clear a 
reaction to the Widal blood test — seeing 
that liis blood had been rendered munune m 
advance. By far the best way to make sure of 
infection by the typhoid germs in liis case was by 
finding the germ and conclusively demon- 
strating its identity. But unhappily in these 
cases many other types of germs were usually 
present and it was difficult to separate out and 
to find the tyjihoid germs — often exceedingly 

The matter received careful attention, and 
at length a chemical was discovered which had 
the effect of destroying practically all the 
types of germs from the intestinal con- 
tents except the tj-phoid and allied germs. 
This chemical, named " Brilliant Green," 
belonged to the aniline dye series \\'hich has 
been so prolific in potent drugs dm-ing the past 
decade. As applied by Dr. Browning, 
Director of the Bland - Sutton Institute of 
Pathology at the Middlesex Hospital, the 
results were highly S'lecesstnl. When it 
was added to any solution containing the 
typhoid germs, these were permitted to flourish, 
so that discovery of them became relatively a 
much easier matter. Other methods directed 
towards the same end were evolved, and some 
of them hav3 also jjroved useful. 

The only outbreak of tyi:)hoid fever on the 
western front occurred in connexion with the 
Belgian Army after the battle of the Yser, and 
at a time when the whole of the medical 
equipment had been lost during the retreat 
from Antwerp. The outbreak was quietly 
stamped out by a A'igorous application of the 
scientific method — i.e., by vaccination and 
segregation of infected soldiers. It served to 
show how quickly any relaxation of a vigilance 
(in tliis case vigilance was rendered impossible 



temporarily by the exigencies of tlie military 
situation) was followed by an outbreak of the 
disease ; and secondly, how quickly the 
disease could be mastered when the weapons 
of the laboratory were brought to bear against it. 
It is not possible to leave this port of the 
subject without a reference to the allied con- 
dition " paratyphoid." This disease was met 
with in Gallipoli, and occasioned there a great 
deal of trouble and anxiety. It i.s not true 
typhoid, nor is it due to the true typhoid 
bacillus, and hence the fact of its presence was 
no land of proof that vaccination had failed. 
On the contrary, it merely served to show how 
precise and exact the typhoid vaccination was 
for while the patient was securely protected the one type of germ he was not pro- 
tected against the other type. Inoculation 
with several strains of germs allied to the 
typhoid germ is, happily, within the po%\-ers of 
scientific technique, and therefore the problem 
of paratyphoid is essentially similar to the 
problem of typhoid. Commenting upon this, 
the Medical Journal of November 1,3, 
1915, stated that paratyphoid inoculation had 
been carried out upon a large scale in Serbia. 
The process " consists in preventive inoculation 

with cultures of Paratyphoid A and B bacilli 
wluch have been killed by carbolic acid. In 
view of the special conditions existing in that 
coiuatry (Serbia) inoculation against para- 
typhoid has been combined with inoculation 
against typhoid fever, and cholera as M'ell. 
Professor Castellani therefore employs what he 
calls a ' tetra vaccine,' or prcferablj' a quadruple 
\-accine, to protect against these fom- infections. 
His paper shows tliat it has been administered to 
over 170,000 persons among the military and 
civil population of Serbia without the occur- 
rence of any untoward results. Naturally we 
have no means as yet of judging the success 
attained by the use of this quadruple vaccine 
up to the present time. But if it is at all com- 
parable to the success which has attended the 
employment of anti-typhoid inoculation in our 
own armies. Professor Castellani and his 
medical colleagues will have effectively con- 
ferred a inobt valuable benefit upon the in- 
habitants of that much-vexed country, and pro- 
spectively a comparable benefit upon the armies 
of the Allies which are going to its a,ssistance. " 

The great success of the work upon typhoid 
naturally led to a careful consideration of the 




Showing the special apparatus. 

danger of cholera, and early in 1915 an effort 
was made to bring a strain of the cholera 
germ to tliis country from Riissia so that 
inoculations might be prepared. The Medical 
Research Committee of the National Insurance 
Act enabled Dr. Freeman, of St. Mary's Hospi- 
tal, to go to Galicia to secvire a strain of the 
bacilli, and tliis he did. In Paris, too, at the 
Pasteur Institute, due preparations were made 
against the danger of an epidemic, and very 
large numbers of anti-cholera vaccines were 
held in readiness. These " weapons in test 
tubes " were despatched to the danger areas, 
and were used there with excellent effect, so 
that outbreaks which in other days might have 
proved disastrous were coimtered and quelled. 
The cholera vaccine is prepared upon the 
lines already described. It depends for its 
utility, of coiu'se, upon the presence of a specific 
germ, just as the tj'phoid vaccine does. Its 
great worth was proved conckisively in the 
Greek Army diu-ing the recent war, when a 
catastrophe was prevented by its use. 

Cholera is, of course, the scourge par excel- 
lence of armies in the field ; should it gain the 
upper hand, terrible suffering and loss are 
certain. That science should have been able 
to hold this terror also at bay is, indeed, a 
matter for deep thankfulness, and proves once 
more how far-reaching, how momentous and 
how trimnphant has been her share in this 
world struggle. Disease, the enemy of armies, 
has played but a minor part ; its ancient 
decisive character has been filched away from 
it. Between the soldier and the epidemic 
that would devour liim there has stood a figiu-e 
new in the history of wars, a fighter whose 
weapons are his eyes and his ears and his 
faculty of close reasoning and stern self- 
discipline. The man of science has often been im- 
pugned as "cold blooded " andaslacldng thegood 
and warna impulses of Iris brother the doctor. It 
may be so. But this at least shall also be said, 
in the early days of the Great War he saved 
more lives by his " laboratory methods " than 
all the engines of war were able to destroy. 



The war against dysentery, wliich proved so 
troublesome in certain theatres of action, 
cannot well be dealt with at this time. In 
spite of the fact that dysentery is an old disease, 
as the age of disease is reckoned, science had 
not yet — at the end of fourteen months of war 
— compassed its prevention as it had com- 
passed that of typhoid fever. Tho " carrier " 
problem had indeed been attacked, and a serum 
had been produced which was of great value 
when bacilli were the cause of disease. Tliis 
serum was used with excellent effect in many 
cases, as also was the drug " emetine," wliich 
has a special power over another of the causa- 
tive organisms, the Entamceba histolytica (for 
there are two distinct types of this disease, 
each having a separate causative organism). 

The terrible outbreak of typhus fever in 
Serbia during the early months of 1915 naturally 
directed scientific attention to this, in England, 
well-nigh extinct disease. T3rphus fever, 
which used to be laiown as " gaol fever," from 

its prevalence in prisons, was at one period a 
scourge dreaded as much in tliis country as 
was smallpox. What vaccination accom- 
plished in the case of the latter affliction clean- 
liness and hygiene accomplished in the case of 
the former. Typhus fever, essentially a du't 
disease, disappeared with the dirt in wliich it 
bred and flourished, and its exit was hailed, 
and rightly hailed, as a triumph won by the 
public health official. 

But the conditions of armies are not those 
of great cities in times of peace. Serbia had 
been invaded ; twice over she had repelled the 
invader. Her national life was disturbed, her 
systems of govermnent and control were 
unliinged. The normal protection against 
disease — never, it is to be feared, very adequate 
in Eastern countries — was broken down. 
Typhus reappeared, and reappeared in a form, 
of great virulence, so that the whole country 
was plunged into calamity, and terrible scenes 
of suffering and death were witnessed. 

AVhen the great need became known in this 


Taking an X-ray photograph. 



ooimtry heroic bands of doctors and nnrses at 
once ottered their services, and with these 
there went to the stricken land a large number 
of bacteriologists and men of science in the 
strict sense. 

In the eyes of the man of science t3'phus 
fever is a disease belonging to the class known 
a,s " insect-borne,'" just as typhoid fever 
belongs to the class " water-borne." Another 
gi-eat member of the insect-borne class is, of 
course, malarial fever, and still another member 
is plague, ilalarial fever is carried by a 
inosq\iito, plague by the rat flea ; typhus 
fever is conveyed in the body of the louse. 

This knowledge, gained by much patient 
labour, was, of course, the bed-rock upon 
which all measures of amelioration were built 
up. The cjuestion in Serbia was, first and fore- 

most, how to get rid of the lice. are not, 
of course, themselves infected with typhus 
fever in the first instance, and a man may 
harbour many of these loathsome pests and 
never contract the disease. But if the lice 
settle upon thei-body of a patient who has typhus 
)ever and pass from him to the body of another 
man the fever will be transmitted. It is easy 
to vmderstand how in the conditions prevailing 
in Serbia at this period practically no soldier 
was free from the chance of infection, and 
so the infection spread with fell rapidity 
throughout the country. The problem was 
therefore a problem of prevention — a problem 
of cleansing. It was discovered that the lice 
tended to gather upon the inner garments, 
and that if these were removed and burned 
the insects were killed with great case. Vast 






Tins containing poison-gas deposited by Germans at night outside the French wire entanglements. 

By daytime the cans were hit by enemy rifle fire, so as to release the asphyxiating fumes. 

measures designed to segregate the contacts, to 
destroy their clothing and to sweep away the 
infected lice were instituted. Other measures 
to prevent lice from reaching the body, and 
to keep them away, were devised and all 
manner of applications tending to secure this 
end were in use. Eau de Cologne was found to 
be very effective in this respect, as were a 

number of other substances having a pro- 
nounced perfume. Little by little these 
measures won the fierce battle, and the country 
was rescued from its evil plight — or, at least, 
that plight was ameliorated. And these 
measures were carried on with energy and 
determination, so that treatment may be said 
to have moved hand in hand with prevention- 














































When treatment ended, with tlie subsidence 
of the epidemic in its acute form, this was m 
reality a victory for prevention. Prevention 
held the field which it liad won. 

Typhus was not confined to Serbia during 
this period, though it was only in that country 
that its full horror was realized. Wherever 
lice are to be found and infection is able to 
penetrate, there may the disease be expected 
to show itself. 

For this reason strict measures were enforced 
in connexion with the armies operating in 
France and Flanders — which armies suffered, 
as all armies do, from the attacks of vermin — 
what have been described as " the minor 
horrors of war." On the British front elaborate 
and careful precautions were enforced in order to 
keep the pest down as far as possible. These 
consisted of frequent bathings as often as 
opportunity allowed, also of frequent fumi- 
gation of clotliing, and especially of mider- 
clothing. Elaborate arrangements were in 
force for securing that infected or suspected 
cases were removed at once to a place of 
segregation, and all " contacts " kept under 
observation. Clothing, too, of a dangerous 
character was at once destroyed, and every 
effort exerted to see to it that the troops were 
shielded as far as might be from everj' possible 
sovirce of danger. The idea! — no vermin in the 
trenches — cannot be attained so long as 
thousands of men of all kinds are congregated 
together, but there can be no reasonable doubt 
that those measures had the effect of pre- 
venting outbreaks of disease which, had no 
such measures been taken, would have occurred. 
Here again the Army owed a deep debt of 
gratitude to its scientific advisers. 

Wliile these great works were in progress 
another piece of scientific war work of a totally 
different character was being carried out in 
Egypt, under the auspices of the Royal Army 
Medical Corps, and with the help of the Medical 
Research Committee of the National Insurance 
Scheme. This research was undertaken with 
a view to determining the nature and mode of 
propagating what was in fact one of tho most 
ancient and most troublesome of the plagues 
of Egypt. 

This plague, known as " Bilharziosis," from 
the name of the discoverer of the worm which is 
the cause of it (Bilharzj was a source of great 
economic loss to Egypt, and was spoken of by 
Lord Kitchener in his annual report on Eg.ypt 


for 1913. He said. " It is high time that 
serious steps should be taken to prevent the 
continuity of infection which has been going 
on so long m this country." 

The research was entrusted to Lieutenant - 
Colonel Leiper, Hehninthologist to the London 
School of Tropical Medicine. Colonel Leiper, 
in his report which was submitted to the Royal 
Society of Medicine, and afterwards published 
in The Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 
(July- August, 1915), described the evil effects 
of this disease. " During the Boer War," he 
said, " 025 men were infected with bilharziosis 
in South Africa. In 1911, 359 of these were 
still on the list, exclusive of those meanwliile 
permanently pensioned. The cost to the State 
for ' conditional ' pensions for these 359 men 
was about £6.400 per annmn The ' perma- 
nent pensions ' already allotted amounted to 
an additional sum annually of £4,400." 

The bilharziosis of the Nile delta is mucli 
more widespread than that of South Africa and 
more severe. It was therefore needful, since 
troops were being concentr3,tcd in Egypt, that 
preventive measures should be taken against 
the disease. But luiliappily, though the para- 
sitic natm'e of the disease was known, nothing 
definite concerning the life-history of the worm 
parasite had been discovered. In other words, 
it was known that a certain email worm caused 
the condition by entering the body of the victim. 
But how that worm lived outside of the body 


before enlry was a mystery. And unless 
this mystery could be solved it was mani- 
festly impossible to kill the worm and so 
pre\'ent the disease. ]\Iany ideas had been 

formed on the subject, bvit these had not 
been proved. 

The great antiquity of the disease is proved 
by the fact that evidence of its occurrence has 
been foiuid in early Egyjjtian records, and in the 
bodies of niuiuniies now in the Cairo Museum. 
The disease was prevalent among the French 
troo])(r during the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt. 

The worm belongs to the order laiown as 
" trematode." It had already been sliov\n 
that some of the worms of this type complete 
their life-cycle in the bodies of molluscs — e.g., 
the snail. This, therefore, was a reasonable 
basis for investigation, and, moreover, some 
earlier researches made by Lieut. -Colonel 
Leiper in Cliina had led him to regard this 
hypothesis as a reasonable one. This idea had 
also been present to the minds of other workers. 
The in\'estigation was therefore organized under 
several heads, of which the following are 

To coUect and specifically determine all the 
fresh-water molluscs in the selected endemic 


German prisoners who were captured by the French. They were about to pump gas into the trenches 

of the Allies, but a French 75 shell fell on to the cylinder with the result that they themselves were 

gassed. Inset : Two of the prisoners suffering from the effects of poison-gas. 


German method of spraying liquid fire in the British trenches in Northern France. 

area — i.e., within half a day's journey from the 
laboratory in Cairo. 

To dissect large niombcrs of all species found 
for trematode larvEc. 

To ascertain which, if any, species of mollusc 
showed chemiotactic attraction for bilharzia. 

To ascertain experimentally whether infec- 
tion took place through the skin, or by the 
mouth, or in both ways. 

This was necessarily a very great work. But 
so carefully was the investigation organized 
that within a relatively short space of time a 

large collection of these fresh-water shell-fish 
had been made. The shell -fish were recovered 
from the field drains — " agricultural drains" — 
both near villages and away from them. It 
soon became clear that large numbers of snails 
" found at spots daily frequented, such as the 
praying ground, at the embankment crossing, 
in front of the cafes, and at the bend of the 
Canal daily used for washing " were infected 
with bilharzia. The same species of snail ^vas 
common at other parts of the Canal, but was 
not infected in these situations. 


The next step wa^ to discover whether 
ammals could be infected experimentally. 
It was noted that in the regions affected by 
the disease rats and mice were very scarce. 
A professional rat-catcher who was employed 
failed entirely to secure any of these animals. 
A possible inference from this was that rats and 
mice are susceptible to the disease, and so do not 
live near infected areas. On June 13, 1915, a 
positive result was obtained when a rat was 
experimentally infected. In addition to tame 
white rats and various types of mice, " the 
Egyptian desert rat, obtained from the neigh- 
Ijourhood of the Pyramids, was found to be 
susceptible to experimental infection, while 
guinea-pigs were peculiarly so. Mangaby 
monkeys were also capable of being infected." 

It was thus shown that a snail inhabitmg 
the Canal and ditches was the intermediate 
host of this worm. But it remained to be dis- 
covered in what marmer the worm passed from 
the snail to man, or again from man to the 
snail. This was determined by experiment — 
permitting animals to drink infected water, and 
also to wade in infected water. Those which 
drank the infected water were infected nauch 
more severely than those which merely waded. 

An inspection of respirators. 

l)ut both classes were infected. In the experi- 
mentally infected water were large niunbers of 
the so-called bilharzia " cercaria " — free swim- 
ming forms with tails and suckers. It was con- 
cluded that the chances of infection are mucli 
greater in bathing than in drinking, "because 
imder the former circumstances a much larger 
quantity of water comes into contact with the 

The question of naturally infected water next 
demanded attention. One of the difficulties was 
that it was known that the general water supply 
of Cairo, the same for natives as Eurofjeans, 
was of a very high quality supplied from filters. 
How, it was argued, could this water affect 
anyone with a disease like bilharziosis ? The' 
matter engaged the attention of the research 
workers, who found that " in addition to the 
series of pipes supplying Cairo with filtered 
water, it appears that there is a second system, 
carrying to the numerous gardens of Cairo 
imfiltered water drawn direct from the Nile in 
the neighbourhood of the Kasr Nil bridge, a 
spot where in recent years numbers of European 
troops have, while bathing, become infected 
shortly after their arrival in Egypt. It is well 
known that the children even of better-class 
Egyptians are allowed to run about in the 
privacy of their own courtyards in a state of 
semi-nudity during the summer months, and 
are thus continually exposed to the risk of 
uifection from the hose used in the garden or 
stable. The lower classes probably derive 
their infection from the same som'ce, although 
under diSerent circumstances. To them water 
is a dear commodity in Cairo. There is no 
free supply. In the poorer quarters one fre- 
quently sees water being hawked about in 
large skins, and there is the standing induce- 
ment to the middleman to increase his margin 
of profit by arranging to draw liis stock, possibly 
surreptitiously, through a friendly gardener 
from the unfiltered supply, for wliich the water 
companies make a lower charge." 

It was shown also that the eggs of the wonn 
pass from its human host into water : there 
they enter the body of the snail — and only of 
the particular snail concerned — and midergo 
a process of evolution, and six weeks later the 
mollusc has become a dissemmating agent of 
the disease. It retains its power of dissemination 
during considerable periods. The following 
conclusions have therefore been formulated : 

(1) Transient collections of water are quite 
safe after recent contamination. 



Training troops to accustom them to the German 
poison-gas attacks : Soldiers wearing the protective 
masks descending an underground chamber filled 
with poison-gas. Inset ; A French soldier's anti- 
asphyxialing-gas equipment. 

(2) All permanent collections of water, such 
as the Nile canals, marshes, and birkets are 
potentially dangerous, depending upon the 
presence of the essential intermediary host — 
the snail. 

(3) Tlie removal of infected jiersons from a 
given area would have no effect, at least for 
some months, in reducing the liability to 
infection, as the intermediate liosts discharge 
infective agents for a prolonged j^eriod. 

(4) Infected troops cannot reinfect them- 
selves or spread the disease directly to others. 
They could only convey the disease to those 
parts of the world where a local mollusc could 
efficiently act as carrier. 

(.5) Infection usually takes place both by the 
mouth and through the skin. Recently contami- 
nated moist earth or water is not infective. 

(6) Infection in towns is acquired from un- 
filtered water, which is still supplied, even in 

SiW*-*^- '^-i 

Cairo, in addition to filtered water, and is 
delivered by a separate systeni of pipes. 

(7) Eradication can be effected without the 
cooperation of infected individuals by destroy- 
ing the molluscan intermediaries. 

This last conclusion contained the germ of the 
protective measures which the research was 
designed to suggest. Egypt is fortunately 



situated in that her irrigation work is in the 
hands of the Govcrnnient. Every year during 
the dry season the small pools and canals are 
emptied, and the molluscs which live in them die. 
But many small pools are left, and it is in these 
that the disease is kept alive. Lieut. -Colonel 
Leiper suggested that action on the part of the 
irrigation authorities was necessary to have 
these pools filled up or treated chemically. 
The molluscs would then be l-dlled off, and the 
^^•orm, robbed of its necessary intermediate 
host, would gradually become extinct. The 
difficulty in Cairo was the imfiltered water 
supply, wliich, it seemed, was essential to the 
gardens. Happily it had been foimd that the 
free swimming form of the bilharzia does not 
live for a longer period than 3G hours. If it 
were possible to store Cairo's daily requirement 
of unfiitered water for two days or a day and a 
half, there was no doubt that it would become 
practically free from danger so far as bilhar- 
ziosis was concerned. One-third of the 30,000 
children born annually in Cairo became infected 
with the bilharzia. 

The immense importance of this w-ork mast 

be obvious to everyone. At the meeting of the 
Royal Society of lledicine, at which Lieut. - 
Colorifl L'iper recounted the storj' of his work. 
Lord Cromer stated that " the wjiole people 
of Egypt owed him an undying debt of grati- 
tude." There could be httle doubt that the 
result of these very careful experiments would 
be both far-reaching and in the highest degree 

These, then, were the most notable scientific 
acliievements of the first year of war. But 
scientists were at work in very many other 
fields, and great ad\-ances in knowledge were 
recorded. Tlie use of X-rays, for example, 
became mvich more accurate and well under 
stood than had been the case before the war. 
JIany workers dealt with this subject, and 
especiall}- with the difliciilt matter of the 
localization of bullets and pieces of shrapnel, 
and various methods were evolved and 
improvements on older methods suggested. 
Amongst methods which commended them- 
selves to a large number of workers was the 
s^tereoscopic iiiethod — by \\hich a bullet can 


When the Germans released a wave of asphyxiating gas — French troops wearing their masks 
awaiting an infantry attack at the entrance of their trenches. 



be seen in perspective, like a \ie\v in a stereo- 
scopic picture. Tliis method natiirally afforded 
a useful idea of the exact whereabouts of a 
foreign body and of its relations to the sur- 
rounding structures. The installation of X-raj' 
ajiparatus became a matter of necessity in 
every well-organized military hospital. A great 
deal of work, too, was performed in connexion 
with the investigation of disease conditions 
arising from causes peculiar to the conditions 
of trench w-arfare. Tliis work included a careful 
inquiry into the nature of frostbite, so-called 
" trench-foot," and some valuable suggestions 
for its amelioration. The " frost-bite " was 
found to be dependent not only upon cold, not 
even chiefly upon cold, but upon the association 
of cold with wet, and hence various means, 
including the use of oiled-silk foot and leg wear, 
by which wet could be excluded, were sug- 
gested. The results of these researches were 
submitted to the military authorities. 

The problem of supjilying artificial limbs also 
engaged attention, and several remarkable new 
pieces of apparatus were shown at the Queen 
iNIary's Hospital, Roehampton. These artificial 
limbs were of so ingenious a character that their 
wearers seemed often to be " as good as whole 
men." Further work upon this subject was 

It would be impossible to close a chapter 
of tliis kind without a brief reference to the 
work of the Medical Research Conxmittee of the 
Xational Insurance Scheme, presided over by 
Lord Moulton. Tliis committee, early in the 
war, offered its help to the War Office, and soon 
made its potentiality for good felt in connexion 
with the majority of the gi-eat scientific efforts 
being carried out. Tlie committee granted 
assistance to Six' Almroth Wright and many 
other workers in the field of wound infections ; 
it played a part in the work of bringing the 
strain of cholera bacilli to England from 
Galicia ; it afforded to Lieut. -Colonel Leiper 
all necessary field and other expenses inci- 
dental to his research. These, however, were 
but a few of its activities, for it also aided and 
encouraged researches in many other fields. 
The study of gtmshot and shell wounds and 
^■arious injuries occasioned by bullets, of nervous 
disorders, heart conditions, and the like was 
included in this wide purview. These most 
valuable researches proved of great assistance 
both to doctors and patients, and conferred a 
boon upon hmnanity. This splendid organiza- 

tion thus placed the whole profession of 
medicine imder a debt of gratitude. 

iSurveying, as a whole, this vast field of scien- 
tific labour, one sees that a great war was 
\\aged against the minute, unseen forces of 
disease during all the days and nights in 
which the war of nations continued. Science 
fights without noise or dust of battle ; she 
has no heralds, no trumpeters. Her vic- 
tories do not bulk large in the eyes of men. 
But her victories are, nevertheless, splendid 
with the splendour of patience and care and 
selflessness which from defeat have won triumph, 
and from death life. There are tens of thou- 
sands to-day among our bravest and best 
who owe their lives in full rneastu'e to this 
silent warfare — with its precision and its hard 
logic. And the sum of the suffering which has 
been saved to humanity who shall reckon ? 
The enemies of science have often pointed to her 
as a figure of cruelty rejoicing in the infliction 
of pain and deaf to the appeals of sympathy. 
Let them now regard the work which she has 
accomplished, and let them ask themselves 
which, after all, is the nobler pity, the pity 
wliich is vocal or the pity which, in silence, 

This recital of the work which science has 
accomplished has so far gone to show only the 
good which was w rouglit. There is, unhappily, 
another side to the picture, for our enemies 
devoted much of their brilliant scientific 
genius to the production of means of death 
rather than means of life. The most notorious 
of these efforts was, of course, the use of 
poison gas in Flanders and on the Russian 
Front. * 

The use of this gas must be attributed directly 
to the laboratory, because the gas employed, 
chlorine, is essentially a laboratory product. 
Chlorine is an clement, one of the so-called 
halogen group. It is found freely in combina- 
tion in nature as sodium chloride, or common 
salt. It remained for the- chemists to split up 
this substance and other chlorine-containing 
matters, and so to produce the element in its 
pure state. 

Chlorine is a heavy gas, with a yellow-green 
colour, and having a pungent effect on the 
mucous 'membranes of the mouth and nose. 
Owing to its heavy character, it tends to lie 
upon the ground, and not to disperse, ^md so it 

* The first great German gas attack in April, 1915, has 
been described in Vol. V., Chapter LXXXII. 


'^.l^' .- ^^> 

A scene at an English country house. 

fills up all holes in the ground, like trenches, 
and remains there, making life in these areas 
impossible. Jloreover, it is " irrespirable " — 
that is to say, when it enters the mouth and air 

passages spasm, and then a serious inflamma- 
tion, is set up, leading to bronchitis and terribly 
distressing breathlessness. 

A careful consideration of these facts sho^-s 


tup: times iiisTnuv of tiii: 

Bringing in a Russian soldier sufferin;^ from tlie etTects of poisonous gas. 

tliiit thf usf of fiilnnuc \\;i.< \-(.'i'y di'liln'i-afi'ly 
ciliiilati'd hi'forcli.iinl \\ilh tlic iitiuo.-l in- 
ueiiuitv. It was soon tliiit. eivfii ii still (laV; 
with ii liglit wind bliiwinn towards the c-ui'iny 
trcirclic-s, iiud L'ivi'ii a .^iiflirifnt siipiily "1 iln- 
gas i-rleased fi'oiri i-^"liufl(.'r.^ at liigh ja'fssnrc. 
tlj'- cloud would pa^s almost an-oss to Iho 
(^inMriy tri-iir-lif-s, would cliuu to tlie uriHiiid 
ami \voiild tlii'ii fill ii|i tlio I M-iifhcs, and I'l-ndci' 

it ]IM|io>s|Mf to I'rliialU in tlli'lll. The MCtitns 

\\<iu!d be iiiia.lilf to Iji-oMtlio. and in their a.t;ony 
Would ln,c Control of I !iiuis(d\"i-^-. rnid rush 
anywiiore for salet\". .Mon-ovf-r, llio yas would 
lie ciirried liaek o\'i-r line after line ui;lil a. 
1, roc-OS, of douiurali/.arion should ha\e ijei-n 

'I'o a i:i'oa.l oxti-nl I lies ■ w oro jusliliod. 
Till' uas thd 111 fa<t >we-eji away ihi- itii-n in i Ir- 
from' treiirlii-s at ^'|ll■.■-•. llut il dii I not 
domorali/i' thiai' i.-oinradi-- — in this lo-oi-ri ihr 
.•lio|ii,\ had miM/eli-iilatod. and had falird to 
eomi H'l'lioiid I he In loii- (jiialities of I In lii-ilish 
and ' troops, d'ho.^c nun hi-lii on. 
though ,^'ilfo:iim ul'oat a.;oii\. and b\' tliear 

supreme valour .saA-ed (he da.^-. Tlieir sufferings 
were too terrilif- to dosrrilie. f)eaths from siiffo- 
eation. from injuries to the liin</s. fi'om remote 
poisoning were .ali too eommon. 'Tlie pain was 
otton eonf iiiiied over m.tny days and ivi-n wei-k,^. 
l>ut seie-nce which iia.d ma.di.' this aboniinat ion 
was ahli- to meet and eoiinfer it. Thanks lo 
the lliat no time wa.s lost liy tin- authorities 
in dealing with the matter, the use of respira.- 
tors was (piickly i-n.^ii rod. Seimee sa\', that the 
only Wiiy tei drat with ohloi'ino wa.^ to eoniliim^ 
it again with some other elmmieal siilistaiieo. 
and so, by " ehainuiLi it up," ronder il inncHaious. 
Happily thi'i-o are' supsi aiiei.-s which will 
immciliately eembmc with free ehlorine gas to 
foini liarmiess compounds like common salt. 
Si.weral of these substances w ere u.sed in solution 
u|ion respirai ors, ^u lliat tin- deadly gas was 
unable to penetrate to (he moiilli of the soldii'i', 
and liccimc dcstrie.i'd, as it were, upon his 
h|)S. J le was able to face the ilcadl,\- cIoLid witli 
ef|uaniiiiit\', and to await calinl\" and sternly 
till- onset of (he foe who .should follow his 
hafeflll wea|Hiji. 



Second Day of the Battle op The Landing — Anzaos Hold their Ground — How Colonel 
Doughty -WyiiiE Fell at Hill 141 — The Thibd Day's Advance — Scenes at Anzac — Results 
on the Fourth Day — Exploits op British Submarines — First Battle op Krithia — Second 
Battle op Krithia — Charge op the New Zealanders — The Goliath Torpedoed — Great 
Attack on Anzac on May 18 — Battleships Sunk by German Submarines — Third Battle op 
Krithia — Heroism op the Manchester Territorials — Brilliant Exploit by the French 
Corps — Battle op the Gully Kavine — Enver Pasha and the Anzacs. 

IN Chapter XCIV. the problem of the 
land attack upon the GalUpoli Peninsula 
was examined in considerable detail, 
and the configuration of the coEist and 
the various landing beaches, as well as the 
more prominent points of the interior, were 
fully explained.* The stirring episodes of the 
first day (April 25) of the great Battle of 
the Landing were described, and the whole 
narrative was carried through the night to the 
early morning of April 26. The present section 
of the story deals first with the next three days' 
fighting, on April 26, 27, and 28, which may 
properly be held to form part of the Battle of 
the Landing. 

By the afternoon of April 26 the AustraUan 
and New Zealand Corps had flrmly established 
itself in its isolated position at " Anzac," 
and though fighting in the Anzac sphere never 
ceased afterwards, its share in the opening 
battle may be considered to have terminated 
on the evening of that day. The forces 
which had landed on the southern beaches 
of the peninsula fought hard all through 

• For topographical details Chapter XCII. should 
also be consulted. 
Vol. VI.— Part 68. 81 

April 26, and made a general advance without 
much opposition on April 27. The great 
general advance- from the south was made on 
April 28, and constituted the final phase of 
the Battle of the Landing. By the afternoon 
of that day some of the troops were within 
three-quarters of a mile of Krithia, but further 
progress was impossible, and all hopes of 
obtaining a footing on Achi Baba upon that 
occasion were abandoned. With that adnus- 
sion the Battle of the Landing closed, and the 
troops dug themselves in as best they could. 

Then followed the first three battles of 
Krithia, and what may for convenience be 
designated as the P'irst and Second Battles 
of Anzac. The two days' fighting at Anzac 
on April 25 and 26, when the troops were 
first put ashore, are reckoned as part of the 
Battle of the Landing. The First Battle of 
Kjithia lasted for parts of two days, and 
•consisted of a Turkish attack on the night of 
May 1, followed by a British counter-attack 
on May 2. The Turks were heavily repulsed, 
and also suffered great losses in the counter- 
attack, but the British gained no ground. " The 
Second Battle of Krithia began on May 6, 



British troops in their newly made trench. 

and lasted three days. It was mainly an 
attempt to occupy the Krithia ridge, the ulti- 
mate object being the captiu-e of Achi Baba. 
The British front waf: advanced over ,500 yards, 
but the main purpose was not achieved, and 
the battle must be counted extremely inde- 
cisive. 'J'he First Battle of Anzac was simul- 
taneously fought on May 6, 7, and 8. and con- 
tinued during May fi and 10. The Anzacs 
werr attacked by the Turks, and adopted 
defensive tactics, but beat off the attack 
and maintained their ground. The Second 
Battle of Anzac was on May 18, when the 
Turks dehvered an attack in great force. 
Their assault completely failed, and they were 
slaughtered in large numbers. The British 
forces before Krithia won a little ground 
during the following fortnight, and on June 4 
the Third Battle of Kxithia was fought. It 
■nas another British attempt to reach Krithia 
and Achi Baba, but the line was advanced by 
less than 500 yards. There was persistent 
fighting during the remainder of June, marked 
by heavy losses on both sides. On June 21 
the French Expeditionary Corps captured a 
work kno\vn as the Haricot Redoubt, and 
brilliantly stormed the enemy's positions above 
the stream called the Kereves Dere. On 
Jvme 28 the British left attacked, carryuQg 
several lines of trenches, and during the next 
two nights strong Turkish counter-attacks 

were driven back. This action of June 28 
became known as the Battle of the Gully 
Ravine. The Anzacs had much vigorous 
fighting at the end of June and the beginning 
of Jtily. On July 12 the Fourth Battle of 
Krithia was fought, but it only resulted in a 
gain of between 200 and 400 yards. Desultory 
encounters followed until the landing of fresh 
British forces at Suvla Bay on August 7, 
which coincided with a general advance by the 
Anzacs upon the ridges towards Sari Bair. 

These various conflicts will now be described 
in greater detail, though necessarily not with 
the minuteness which was possible in deahng 
with the clear-cut and unprecedented episodes 
associated with the first day of the Battle of 
the Landing. That was a day without parallel 
in British history. Thereafter the fighting 
grew more confused, and also more normal, 
until at length it lapsed into a variation of the 
trench warfare which became so familiar in 
France and Flanders. From the time the 
first landings were effected on April 25 the 
British troops were always more or less mider 
fire. Every day brought its encounters, an^ 
hostilities were practically continuous. Certain 
larger actions, such as the battles just noted, 
stand out in great prominence, and lend them- 
selves to consecutive narrative. The story of 
May, June, and July on the GalUpoli Peninsula 
can, however, only be handled in a selective 



manner. Even Sir Ian Hamilton, when he 
came to write his second long dispatcli, dated 
August 26, felt the impossibility of recording 
in full the incessant attacks and counter-attacks 
of this crowded period. " Several of these 
daily encoimters," he said, " would have 
been the subject of a separate dispatch in 
the campaigns of my youth and middle age, 
but, with due regard to proportion, they cannot 
even be so much as mentioned here." He 
contented himself, therefore, with giving one 
example each of the later activities during this 
period of the French, British, and Australian 
and New Zealand Forces respectively. 

The general position on the morning of 
April 26, the Second Day of the Battle of the 
Landing, may be briefly recalled. There were 
two separate spheres of action, one at Anzac 
and the other based on the beaches at the 
extreme end of the peninsula. These two 
broad divisions of the land attack at the 
Dardanelles never effected a union, and each 
requires to be dealt with separately. The 
Anzacs had shortened their line on the evening 
of April 25, and were holding a semi-circular 
area at the top of the cliffs next morning. 
There was a small isolated force at De Tott's 
Battery, above Beach S. At Beach V the troops 

which had landed from the River Clyde were 
gathered under the shelter of the old tort 
near the shore, awaiting the order to attack 
the \Tllage of Sedd-ul-Bahr and Hill 141. 
The forces landed at Beaches VV and X had 
effected a junction, and held a small corner 
of the penirLsula in front of Cape Tekl^e. The 
1st King's Own Scottish Borderers and the 
Pljrmouth (Marine) Battalion of the Royal 
Naval Division were being withdrawn from 
Beach Y. Sir Ian Hamilton made an error 
about Beach Y in his first dispatch, which was 
repeated in Chapter XCIV. He said that the 
attack on Beach Y was commanded by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Koe, who afterwards died of 
wounds. Long afterwards it was officially 
announced that this was a slip, and that the 
attack on Beach Y was commanded by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel G. E. Matthews, C.B., of the 
Royal Marine Light Infantry, who was re- 
sponsible for all that took place there. The 
battalion of Marines fought tlu-oughout with 
the utmost gallantry and resolution, and fully 
shared with the Borderers the brunt of heavy 

In describing the second day of tlie Battle 
of the Landing the separate Anzac zone may 

The graves of Lt.-Col. Doughty-Wylie and Capt. G. N. Walford, R A. 
Both Officers were awarded the V.C. on April 26, 1915. 




1 t' 



z . 

Q a> 

ta 5 





















— i 







be taki n liist. Dn.wn disclosed the Anzaes in 
possession of a sq\iare mile of ground. Sir Jan 
Hamilton \xTOte that " despite their losses and 
in spite of their fatigue, the inoraing of the 
2(ith found them still in goofl lieart and as full 
of fight as evei'." fluy hud got up machine 
guns, and e\"i']i on the lii'st day had wrought 
di';ully execution oil the Turks advancing in 
close formation. The landing of men, guns, 
and stores had continued during tlie night, 
alt iiough movement on the narrow beach «as 
much hampered owing to tlie n'tuming strciun 
of «oundefl. The units and formations were 
still intermingled, and it was not until three or 
four days afterwards that the force was partially 
sorted out and reorganized. The great change 
from the first day was that the front had been 
straightened out and defined, and the jjcriod of 
indiscriminate fighting was oa er. 

In the early morning hours it bec.ime clear nt 
.^izae that the enemy had received further rein- 
forcements. The watchers on the \\arshi]is 
could see the Turks creejiing in large numbers 
over the northern shoulder of Sari Bair. The 
enemj' were obviouslj' adepts at taking cover, 
and they steadily drew nearer, sniping the 
Anzacs a.s they came. By 9. SO a.m. the conflict 
was once more in full progress. The Turks had 
brought up moi-e guns in the niglit, and were 
" plastering " the Anzacs with shrapnel. They 
liad the range of the beach, which was swept 
with shrapnel also. I'hey even fired shrapnel at 
the warships lying off the coast, not always 
entirely witho\it result. As the Tm-kish snipers 
gathered round the Anzac position, sonic of 
them actually ensconced themselves on the 
cliffs towards Suvia Bay, and began a fusillade 
against Rear-Adniiral Thm'sb}''s sc|uadron. 
Their object was to pick off officers and men, 
and many of their bullets fell on the decks. 
The war had seen many strange developments, 
but nothing stranger than this latting of rifles 
against battleships. Nor was this all. The 
Turks had again brought warshijjs into tlu' 
Narrows, and one of these was firing ovry th'- 
peninsula. Triuui))h chopped a few 
.shells arotmd her, a.nd apparently she thou 
retired to a safer position, though her fin- 
continued intermittently throughout the day. 

The Auzacs were not idle. They wove hiiul- 
i]ig li(.'ld giuis tip the steep slopes of the coast, 
antl ri-inforcemcnts were still trickling a-shon-. 
Adiuind Tliursby's sc\'cn battleships had 
nio\-i(l closir in, and were maintaining a terrific 
bomljardiiii'ut. The amoimt of actual execu- 



tion wrought against the scattered Turks was 
doubtful, but the din was terrific, and the moral 
effect probably considerable. The mighty 
Queen Elizabeth had been summoned to give 
her aid, and an eye-witness declared that 
wherever her shells struck the ridges were 
transformed into " smoking volcanoes." Her 
15-inch slirapnel shells each contained twenty 
thousand bullets, and it was a pitj' she had no 
more concentrated target. As it was, she con- 
\'eyed on the \\hole a sense of comparative 
impotence. The 15-inch shells were not much 
more effective against hordes of snipers con- 
cealed over a \iide tract of coimtry than were 
the bxillets of the Tiu-kish riflemen against the 
battleships. Yet the ships helped the troops 
more than might have been expected. They 
covered the landing, and they cow ed the Turks. 

and delivered a dashing counter-attack, before 
which the Turks broke and fled, though with 
manifest reluctance. On that day, as on many 
others, the Turk shewed tiimself a gallant and 
not unworthy foe. There ^ve^e local conflicts 
later in the day, and the Turkish shrapnel was 
never long silent ; but at Anzac on April 2f> 
the principal fighting occm-red bet-neen 9.. 30 
a.m. and noon. On the day's results the 
Anzacs gained some ground, and they were 
never sliaken in the least. They deepened their 
trenches, and the reserves, which they were by 
this time accvmiulating, began to prepare dug- 
outs and shelter-trenches on the coastal slopes. 
The resemblance to the warfare of Flanders 
and Northern France was unconsciously develop- 
ing. All experts had foreseen that the grea.t 
war would produce many changes in tactics. 

Who commanded a portion of the Anzac front. 

Sometimes their shells found a Turkish unit, 
and when they did death was scattered broad- 
cast. Above all, they gave the gallant Anzacs 
a sense of backing which was sorely needed ; and 
the naval gunners must have felt that their bom- 
bardment was not wholly in vain when Admiral 
Thursby received from the shore the following 
signal : " Thanks for your assistance. Your 
guns are inflicting a,wful losses on the enemy." 
Towards noon the Turks gathered for an 
attack, and instantly the combat reached its 
height. The artillery and rifle fire on both 
sides deepened into an almost continuous roar, 

and the Anzacs from their shallow trenches 

poured in a concentrated hail of bullets upon 
the advancing foe. The Turks wavered and 
liesitated. The Anzacs rose from their trenches 



Chief of StafiF. 


None had realized the extent to which the spade 
would come into its own again. All over 
Em-ope the progress of ordnance was com- 
pelling men to burrow once more into the 
earth. And just as this change was not fully 
foreseen, so when the attack upon Gallipoli was 
planned no one seems to have recalled that at 
Plevna, nearly forty years earlier, the Turks 
had proved themselves master.^ of spade warfare. 
It was eminently suited to their temperament. 

Next in the story of the second day of the 
Battle of the Landing come the beaches of 
death at the southern end of the peninsula. 
Beach V claims foremost place. 'By dawn two 
officers of the General Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Doughty-Wylic and Lieutenant-Colonel Wil- 
liams, had gathered together the survivors of 



the Dublin* and IMunster Fusiliers, and a 
couple of companies of the Hampshire Regi- 
ment, under the shelter of the old fort on the 
beach. The gaping sides of the transport 
River Clyde had long since yielded up the 
balance of her human freight, and during the 
night the lighters and other craft between the 
ship and the shore had been firmly lashed in 
position. Tlie task before Colonels Doughty- 
VVylie and ^^'illiams wns formidable. They 
had to restore organization to the shattered 
units who had spent the night on the open 
beach. They had then to clear the village of 
Sedd-ul-Bahr, still packed ■\\ith Turldsh snipers, 
and afterwards to direct an attack on Hill 141, 
the s\velling height covered with trenches and 
entanglements which dominated tli« whole 

Early in the morning General Hunter- 
Weston, the gallant coTianander of the 29th 
Division, arranged with Rear-Admiral \Vemyss 
for a searching bombardment of all the enemy 
positions beyond Beach V. The warships 
poured their shells upon the old fort, the village, 
the Castle beyond, and the trenches on tlie 
hill. Covered by this bombardment, and led 
by Coloiael Doughty -AVylie and Captain Walford, 
Brigade Major R.A., the troops, who had 
completely rallied, cjviickly cleared the old fort. 
They then entered the village, between 9 and 
10 a.m., and were assailed by a hot fire from 
concealed riflemen and machine gmis. Des- 

♦ In Chapter XCIV. it was correctly stated that the 
landing in open boats at Beach V was made hy three 
companies of the lat Royal Dublin Fusiliers, but there- 
after, on p. 469, Vol. IV., they wore more than once 
referred to as " the Munster.'j." The Munsters weje on 
the Ri\er Clyde, and not in the open boats. How well 
the Dublins fought at Gallipoli was shown in a speech 
made to the battalion by Major-General Sir Aylmer 
Hunter-Weston, K.C.B., D.S.O., commanding the 29th 
Division, on their relief from the firing line, after fifteen 
days' continuous fighting, in the Gallipoli Peninsula : 

" Well done. Blue Caps ! I now take the first oppor- 
tunity of thanking you for the good work you have done. 
You have achieved the impossible ; you have done a 
thing which will live in history. When I first visited 
this place with other people we all thought a landing 
would never be made, but you did it, and therefore tlio 
impossibilities were overcome, and it was done by men 
of real and true British fighting blood. You captured 
the fort and village on the right that simply swarmed 
with Turks with machine guns ; also the hill on the left, 
where the pom-poms were ; also the amphitheatre in 
front, which was dug line for line with trenches, and from 
whence there came a terrific rifle and machine gun fire. 

" You are, indeed, deserving of the highest praise. 
I am proud to be in command of stich a chstinguished 
rciment, and I only hope when you return to the firing 
line after this rest (which you have well earned) that you 
will make even a greater name for yourselves. Well 
done, the Dubs ! Your deeds will live in history for 
time immortal. Farewell." 

perate hand:to-hand fighting followed, and 
many fell on both sides. A naval officer who 
entered the village next day saw Turks and 
Britons still lying dead side by side in the streets, 
one poor soldier with his little red book of 
prayers near his hand. FA-cry house had 
to be emptied in tm-n, and it was not imtil 
noon that the northern edge of the village was 
reached. Captain M'alford had already fallen, 
and in recognition of his gallantry the Victoria 
Cross was posthimiously conferred upon him. 
When the village was won, the Castle and the 
hill had still to be carried. There -sAas a pause 
while the troops were formed up afresh by 
Colonel Doughty-Wylie, and while H.IM.S. 
-Albion provided a final bombardment. She 
ceased firing at 1.21 p.m., and the storming 
party of Dublins, jMunsters, and Hampshires 
advanced undauntedly into the open. They 
were led again by Colonel Doughty-Wylie, 
whose tall, commanding figi.ire inspired general 
confidence. His coolness in these last moments 
w on an admiration that can never fade. Carry- 
ing only a light cane, he showed the way up 
the green slopes with intrepid and unfaltering 
courage through a storm of fire. Though he 
fell at last, being instantly killed, the spiiit 
he had kindled carried the rank and file to 
^■icttl"y. Other brave officers died on those 
fatal slopes, none braver than jNIajor Grimshaw 
of the Dublins. But the attack stirged on. 
The last trenches were passed, the Castle at . 
the summit was gained, and before 2 p.m. the 
whole position was in the hands of the British, 
and the 29th Division had gained fresh laurels. 
Men who saw most of the Battle of the 
Landing afterwards declared that in a series 
of conflicts in wliich heroism abounded the 
boldest exploit of aU was the storming of Hill 
141 by the Irishmen and the Hampshires. 
They were the remnants of a force which had 
faced death time and again, and tliey had then 
been struggling for thirty-six hours against 
terrific odds. Nothing stopped them long on 
that second day. They swept the amphitheatre 
and the old barracks tare. They did their 
task thoroughly, and never ceased fighting 
imtil it w as completed. -Amid all the incidents 
of those deathless hours, one other must 
receive special record. In the last assault on 
the Castle a party of the Dublins was checked 
by a murderous fire from a concealed machine 
gun. A young officer. Lieutenant Bastabic, 
rushed forward and emptied his revolver into 
the embrasure, killing or wounding the men 


Shells from the Turkish batteries falling round the warship when she stranded near Anzac. The enemy 

gunners did not open fire until they observed the hawser of H.M.S. " Canopus " showing above the 

water. Bottom picture: H.M.S. "Albion" replying to the fire from the Turkish batteries. 




Ueut.-General Sir W. R. Birdwood, K.C.S.I., 
D.S.O., Commander of the Australian and New 
Zealand Army Corps, outside his dufi-out. On 
May 14, 1915, General Birdwood was slightly 

around tho giui and silencing its fii-e. Jliraeii- 
lously lie escaped unhurt, but soon afterwards 
he received a rifle V)u!let through his cheek. 
No man who fell in tlie Battle of tlie Landing 
was more deeply regi'etted than Colonel 
Donghty-AVylie. Before the war he had gained 
distinction as a Consular Officer in A.sia Minor. 
He it was who, accompanied by his bra^■c wife, 
had gone to Adana in 19(t9 and sought to check 
the massacres of Annenians in that cit>'. 
Although then wounded, a shot having broken 
his right arm, he and Mrs. Doughty-\A'yIie 
remained at Adana protecting and succouring 
the unfortLuiate Armenians under circum- 

stances of great danger. His devoted wife, 
twice widowed bj' war, had establislied and 
personally directed plague hospitals in India, 
and worked among the wounded in South 
Africa. In the Levant Service both had won 
great esteem. Colonel Doughty-\\'ylie received 
the Victoria Cross posthumously, and the 
height he died to win was ever afterwards 
laiowii to his comrades and to all Britons as 
" Doughty-Wylie's Hill." 

The forces landed at Beaches W and X, who 
had effected a junction across the landward 
slopes of Cape Tekke on the afternoon of the 
first day, passed out of sight altogether in the 
early published records of the war. Sir Ian 
Hamilton waxed eloquent about the exploits 
at " Lancashire Landing " ; special correspon- 
dents employed their most thrilling phrases ; 
artists drew vigorous pictures of the penetra- 
tion of the W'ire entanglements on the beach. 
But having got the Lancashire Fusiliers and 
the Worcesters on the high ground beyond, 
having told how they were unable to reach 
Beach V on the first day owing to the heavy 
I'ifle fire from the ruins of Fort No. 1, Sir Ian 
Hamilton and the unofficial recorders alike 
left them behind a veil. Their story was never 
continued either in the official dispatches or in 
the other leading narratives of the time. What 
really happened was that they had a good deal 
of miscellaneous fighting on the 26th, found 
their wa,y through the remaining wire en- 
tanglements, cleared the nest of snipers in 
Fort No. 1, and ultimately joined hands with 
tlie Beach V forces above the " amphitheatre " 
after Sedd-ul-Bahr and Doughty-Wylie's Hill 
were carried. During the remainder of the 
afternoon consolidation of the whole position 
was rapidly continued. By nightfall the 
French Expeditionary Corps was being landed 
with comparative ease at Beach V, and suffi- 
cient troops moved across towards De Tott's 
Battery, near Beach S, to relieve the South 
\\'ales Borderers established there from their 

The general results of the second day of the 
Battle of the Landing may be briefl_y summed 
up. The Anzacs had steadily maintained 
and slightly enlarged their position. All the 
reixiaining defences directly commanding the 
southern beaches had been carried. Contact 
had been established all the way acro,ss the 
peninsula from Beach S to Beach X. More 
troops, including the French., were being landed 
without immediate exposure to rifle fire. At 



nightfall on the first day the British were still 
holding on " by teeth and eyehds." At night- 
fall on the second day they had a continuous 
line across the southern end of the peninsula, 
and knew that their foothold was ^\on. 

The third day of the Battle of the Landing, 
April 27, was comparatively uneventful, though 
marked by substantial progress. The Turks 
had been heavily hammered, and had reahzed 
that their opposition, though desperate, had 
been in vain. The British were v,el\ ashore, 
and were evidently going to stay. The enemy 
had suffered great losses, and needed reinforce- 
ments. The landing at Anzac had served one 
good purpose. It distracted the Turks, who 
seemed to fear it most. They had flimg against 
Anzac reinforcements which had a much better 
chance of success on the Krithia line. Through- 
out April 27 their opposition in front of Krithia 
was desultory and spasmodic, and during the 
chief movements of the day they offered no 
opposition at all. 

Sir Ian Hamilton considered the situation 
on the morning of Ajjril 27. He saw that the 
main beaches were now at his disposal, but 
they were becoming congested. Troops and 
stores and weapons were still pouring ashore. 
He needed more elbow-room, but he also 
needed water, for the problem of thirst was 
becoming serious. Accordinglj', he ordered a 
general advance. It was fixed for midday, and 
was accomj^lished without difficultj'. The line 
he desired to occupy was drawn from Hill 236, 
near De Tott's Battery, across to the mouth of 
a small stream two miles north of Cape Tekke. 
The stream emerged upon Beach Y2, described 
in Chapter XCIV. The new line, which was 
tlu'ee miles long, was reached and consolidated 
in the course of the afternoon. It was held on 
the left and centre by the tlu-ee brigades (less 
two battalions) of the 29th Division, under 
General Hunter -Weston. Then came four 
French battalions, and finally the South Wales 
Borderers on the extreme right. Long before 
nightfall the British left was at the mouth of 
the " nullah " known as GiiUy Ravine, which 
was aftei-n-ards to give the name to an important 

The Anzacs had a busy though never a menac- 
ing day on April 27. During the night of April 
26 the enemy had brought up many more field 
gims. With these he rained shrapnel on the 
trenches, the beaches, and on the boats plying 
to and fro between the transports and the shore. 

All attempts to establish guns in positions 
whence they could enfilade the beaches were 
promptly checked by the warships, which also 
dealt effectually with a renewed bombardment 
from Turkish warships in the Narrows. There 
were no organized infantry attacks on Anzac 
on this day, the enemy relying chiefly upon 
their gims and upon snipers. ' A special 
correspondent, describing the scene on April 27 
at Anzac, wrote : 

The stretch of fore.shore and cliHs occupied by the 
AustraUan and New Zealand troops has been nained the 
Folkestone Leas, and the ground certainly does bear a 
striking resemblance to what Folkestone must have 
looked like before the town was built on the cliffs. On 
going ashore through an avalanche of bursting shrapnel 
you land on a beach about 30 yardi wide between the 
water and the cliffs, which then rise very steeply for 
several hundred feet. There are regiments waiting to 
move to the trenches, fatigue parties unloading boats 
and lighters, others making great pyramids of tinned 
meat and biscuits, others fetching water, of which a 
supply has been found on shore. There are trains of 
mules endeavouring to drag field guns into position, 
Indians in charge of mountain guns, dressing stations 
where the wounded are hastily tended before being piled 
into barges and sent to the ships. Other fatigue parties 
are laying telegraph and telephone wires, and still others 
carrying supplies up the cliffs. 

You run across your beach parties from the battleships, 


Quartermaster-General, outside his quarters. 



'Llhott & Fry- 


Late Commander of the Australian Division, who, 

on May 15, 1915, received a severe wound which 

proved fatal a few days later. 

and see young midshipmen who have been working 
incessantly for days now building themselves bomb- 
proof shelters and complaining that their last one was 
considered sucla a perfect model of its kind that some 
siperior officer no sooner saw it than he appropriated 
it for his own use. Thousands of hnrdy New Zealanders 
and Australians are concentrated on this narrow shore, 
each engaged in some occunation, for no sooner does a 
man get out of the front trenehes than ho is required for 
fatigue work, and very few have had more than a few 
hours' sleep for days past. 

The whole scene on the beach irresistibly reminds you 
of a gigantic shipwreck. It looks as if the whole Army 
with its stores had been washed ashore after a great gale 
or had saved themselves on rafts. All this work is 
carried on under an incessant shiapnel fire which sweeps 
the trenches and hills. The shells are frequently 
bursting 10 or 12 at the same moment, making a deafen- 
ing noise and plastering the foreshore with bullets. The 
only safe place is close under the cliff, but every one is 
rapidly becoming accustomed to the shriek of the sliells 
and the splash of the bullets in the water, and the work 
goes on jast as if there was not a gun within miles. 

These Anzacs are extraordinarily cool under fire, often 
exposing themselves rather than taking the trouble to 
keep in under the shelter of the cliff. One of the 
strangest sights of all was to see numbers of them 
bathing in the sea with the shrapnel .bursting all around 

This coJony suddenly planted on the shores of Gallipoli 
is now assuming a definite form. The whole face of the 
cliffs is being cut away into roads, dug-outs, and bomb- 
proof shelters. Thus a kind of imprDvised town is rising 
up as the troops slowly dig themselves in and make 

themselves comfortable. As you climb up the newly- 
made paths to the front trenches you realize some of the 
difhculties the Australians and New Zenlanders had to 
face when thej' first advanced from the beach on April 2;j. 
We are now holding a semi-circular position. The 
trenches are well made and provide ample cover, but 
if you show your head above the parapet for a second 
j''ou are certain to get a bullet In or close to it. 

This incessant sniping is one of the great puzzles of the 
men in the trenches, and presents the great problem 
to be dealt with at the present time. Apparently even 
when an advanced post is thrown out to hold some 
commanding point the enemy's sharpshooters remain 
behind and continue to pick off any tmwary man who, 
either through carelessness or indifference, exposes 
himself. Volunteers go out at night and hunt about for 
these snipers, but up to the present they have not been 
able to keep them under. 

The cheerfulness of the men in the trenches is most 
marked. Thny feel they have overcome the initial 
dihiculties and have paved the way for success. These 
Anzac divisions now occupy a position and have en- 
trenched it so thorougirly that all the Turks in Thrace 
and Gallipoli will never turn them out of it. 

The Anzacs were, however, becoming ex- 
hausted, and reinforcements were sent up to 
them next day. 

On the night of April 27 Sir Ian Hamilton 
once more examined the situation at the 
southern end of the peninsula. He had got 
his three-mile line, but it was, as he himself 
acknowledged, " somewhat thinly held." His 
troops had suffered heavy losses, and some 
units had sadly diminished in size. The lull 
of April 27 was not likely to continue. The 
Turks would assuredly bring up further re- 
inforcements as quickly as possible. To t?ie 
anxious Commander-in-Chief it seemed impera- 
tive to push on as rapidly as possible. The 
village of Ivrithia and the heights of Achi Baba 
lay before him. His sorely tried men needed 
rest, but he could not afford to wait. He 
therefore ordered a great general advance for 
next morning upon Krithia and Achi Baba. 

April 28 was the last day of the Battle of 
the Landing. The great attack was delivered, 
and though a whole mile of ground was gained 
upon most of the front, it failed in its principal 

The line advanced at 8 a.m. The 29th 
Division were under orders to advance on 
Krithia, their left brigade, the 87th, leading. 
The French were to extend their left in con- 
formity with the British movements, but 
apparently they were not to advance beyond 
the river Kereves Dere, which lay athwart 
their path in a deep bed a mile ahead. Krithia 
was the main objective, and from the village 
it was hoped that the western slopes of Achi 
Baba would be reached. The 87th Brigade 
included the Drake Battalion of the Royal 



Naval Division, which had been used to replace 
tho King's Own Scottish Borderers and tlie 
South Wales Borderers. The Brigade advanced 
rapidly for a couple of nailes, and then the 1st 
Border Regiment found a strong enemy work 
on their left flank. The battalion halted and 
prepared to attack, but before thoy could 
advance the Turks delivered a fierce counter- 
attack. The enemy were beaten off, but had 
attained their piu'pose, for the British advance 
was held up at this point. The Queen Elizabeth 
came to the assistance of the men of the Border 
Regiment, and her shells prevented the Turks 

from continuing their success, but the Border 
Regiment got no farther. The men eventually 
entrenched for tlie night where they stood. 
The 1st Roj^al Inniskilling Fusiliers, on the 
right of the Border Regiment, fared rather 
better. They readied a point about three- 
cjuarters of a mile from Kritliia, but the check 
elsewhere prevented them from continuing 
their advance, and eventually they fell back 
into line. The 88tJi Brigade, farther to the 
right, had pushed forward -s-ery steadily vmtil 
11.30 a.m., when they were brought to a stand- 
still by heavy opposition. Their ammimition 

Lieutenant McGregor, Colonel Pollen (Military Secretary), and Colonel Maitland, A.D.C. 



British Staff officers questioning Turkish officers on 
the battlefield. Centre picture: Turks delighted 
with their new occupation. Bottom picture : 
Wounded Turks being brought into the British lines. 

was also failing. The situation was growing 
anxious. Both tlie leading brigades of the 
29th Division were stationary. 

The Sfith Brigade, imder Lieutenant -Colonel 
Casson, had been held in reserve. It was 
ordered to pass through the 88th Brigade, and 
to endeavour to reach Ivrithia. The new bolt 
A\as launched at 1 p.m., but it fell short. 
Suiall advance parties got ahead, and even 
reached within a few hundred yards of the vil- 
lage. The bulk of the brigade \\as unable to 
advance bej'ond the line held by the 88th. 
The French had met with an almost similar 
fate. They had arrived on the wei^tern verge 
of tlie Kereves A'alley, but found the enemy 
strongly posted. Their left, in contact with 
tlic 88th Brigade, got mcU in advance of 
their right, as A\as intended, and at one time 
t'lej' were within a mile of Krithia. But our 
Allies found further progress impassible. Tlie 
Turkish resistance increased, and later in the 
flay they were even forced to give ground. 

By 2 p.m. it was seen that the full objects of 
the day would probably not be won. All the 



Examining arms and ammunition left behind by the 
Turks. Centre picture : An interval for lunch. 
Bottom picture: Men at work making bombs. 
Old jam tins and other similar receptacles were 
used, also fragments of Turkish shell and enemy- 
barbed wire were cut up and used as filling. 

available troop.?, with the .single exoei)tion of 
the Drake Battahou of the Royal Naval Divi- 
sion, were then in the firing Hne. Sir Ian 
Hamilton in hia disj)ntch wrote ; 

The men were exhausted, and the few gans landed at 
the time were unable to afford tlieni adequate artillery 
support. The small amount ot transport available did 
not suffice to maintain the supply of munitions, and 
cartridges were running short despite all efforts to push 
them up from the landing-places. 

At least it \vas lioped to hold the ground 
gained, but even this limited purpose was 
jeopardized m hen an hotu' later masses of Ttirks 
advanced with the bayonet against the British 
centre and right, and against the I'rench. 
There was a partial retiren^ent, and for a time 
it seenjed as though the line would be pierced 
at the point of contact between the British 
and French. The right flank of tlie 88th 
Brigade was uncovered, and the 4th Worcesters 
suffered heavily in consecjuence. The French 
were also forced back, as has been mentioned, 
and their casualty list was high, especially 
among their gallant officers. At six o'clock 



tlie whole line was ordered to entrench and 
endeavour to hold on where it stood. This 
was sucoessfidly done, and with the invaders 
brought to a complete standstill the Battle of 
the Landing came to a close. 

If on the last day Sir Ian Hainilton'.? purpose 
was not fulfilled, yet it must also be said that 
the day was not lost. The attacking forces 
had gamed a mile of front, and never after- 
wards during the months of fighting which 
followed was so much ground placed to the credit 
of the Allies in a single day in the southern 
spliere. Sir Ian Hamilton, summing np the 
results of the last day's fighting, wrote : 

Had it been possible to push in reinforceinents in men, 
artillery, and munitions during tbc day, Krithia should 
liave fallen, and much subsequent fi^^'htiiig lOr its capture 
would have been avoided. 

Two days later this would have tjeen feasible, hut I 
had to reckon with the certainty that the enemy would, 
in that same time, have received proportionately greater 
support. 1 wa.s faced by the usual ehoiee of evils, and 
although the result was not what I had hoped, I have no 
reason to believe that hesitation and delay would better 
have answered my purpose. 

It ^^•as afterwards said, with obvious truth, 
tt-.aj the men, artillery, and munitions needed 
before Krithia were engaged in tJie Anzac 
ad\'enture. Hji,d Sir Ian Hamilton bee.i able to 
fling the dashing Anzac Corps in a completely 
fresh condition against the Turks in the south, 
insteal of tlie exhausted 29th Division, he 
uiight perchance ha\'e slept in Krithia on the 
night of April 28, and seen Aclii Baba crowned 
by his troops at sum'ise on the following 
mornmg. But the suggestion does not cover 
the whole of the possibilities of the situation. 
If tlie Anzac attack ^^■eakened Sir Ian Hanni!ton 
in the sovith, it also weakened the Turks in 
that area. They ^\'ere terribly perturbed 
about Anzac, and a large proportion of their 
reserves were sent tliither. Had the British 
operations been solely directed against Ivrithia 
and Aclii Baba, the Turks would have been 
able to face the attack on these positions in 
far greater strength than was actually 'the 
case. Nevertheless, on a balance of proba,bilities 
it would perhaps have been better if Anzac 
liad been left severely alone. 

The Battle of the Landing succeeded in its 
initial object, because the landing was effected. 
It failed in its later objects, which were to 
effect a junction between the Anzac and the 
Southern Contingents, toi take Krithia and 
Aclii Baba, and to advance upon Maidos and 
the Narrows. The primary cause of the failure 
«as that the Allies delivered their attack in 




An incident during the recapture of a trench by the Inniskilliogs, near Achi Baba, A New Zealand 
officer attached himself to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during an attack on a trench which had been 
rushed by the Turks the preceding night. As the Irishmen crept up a small communication-trench from 
a nullah, the New Zealander armed himself with half-a-dozen jam-tin bombs and, with an orderly to 
assist him, created a diversion by hurling them into the midst of the Turks. One of the bombs had to 
be re-lit and the shortened fuse caused it to explode prematurely — wounding him severely. The Fusiliers, 
meanwhile, had dashed on to the main trench held by the Turks, whom they destroyed or captured. 

insufficient force. The secondary cause -Has 
that the forces ayailahle were unduly dispersed. 
Behind these lay a third cause, that of laclc 
of accurate topograpliioal knowledge of a 
]5eninsula -ishich liad been for centuries an 
object of deep interest to ardent soldiers, and 
especially to British soldiers. To these causes 
may be added the complete and most unwise 
elimination of the element of surprise, due to 

Ihe original decision to rely on naval strength 

The total losses in the Battle of the Landint; 
were not stated separately, but were probably 
over 10,000 of all ranks, exclusive of the French 
losses, which were proportionately heavy. 

One reason why Sir Ian Hamilton found 
himself exceptionally sliort of reserves on AprD 



28 was that he had been obliged to send assist- 
ance to General Eird«ood at Anzac. Fonr 
battalions of the Royal Naval Division were 
dispatched as reinforcements. The Chatham 
and Portsmouth Marine Battalions, together 
with the Brigade Headquarters, under the 
command of Brigadier-General C. N. Trotman, 
C.B., R.M.L.I., landed near Gaba Tepe at 
5 p.m. on April 28. They were attached to the 
Australian Division comn aided by Major- 
General Sir W. T. Bridges, K.C.B., and at once 
proceeded up the slojjes to relieve certain 
Australian units. The Anzacs had not then 
succeeded in dealing fully with the mixing 
of miits \\hich inevitably occurred on the 
first landing. The Tm-kish lines had approached 
them within a stone's thi'ow at various points, 
and the enemy were maintaining a continuous 
and intense fire against the Anzac trenches by 
day and night. A conrpany of the Motor 
Maxim Section of the Royal Naval Division 
landed next morning, and was placed in 
reserve. Anotlier Marine Battalion, and the 
Nelson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, 
also disembarked on April 29, under the 
command of Brigadier-General David Mercer, 
C.B., R.M.L.I. The Australians thereby re- 
lieved were able to obtain a little of the rest 
they so greatly needed, and to reorganize 
their scattered and depleted units. The new- 
comers soon found that the Turkish artillery 
had got their range accurately, and the constant 
bursts of shrapnel caused many casualties. 
On several occasions at this period the Turks 
conducted minor attacks, and on April 30 they 
captured a section of a front-line trench held 
by the Chatham Battalion ; but the Chathains 
regained it during the following night. After 
three days and four nights of arduous strain 
the British battalions were relieved by a 
reorganized Australian Brigade under Brigadier- 
General Walker, D.S.O. 

One of the objects of the Allies at this junc- 
ture was to prevent reinforcements and supplies 
from reaching the Turks in (jallipoli. The 
enemy's land conmiunications were difficult. 
The nearest railway was far away in Thrace, 
and the single available road which entered the 
peninsula was liable to be shelled at the Bulair 
lines. It was common laiowledge that men 
and stores were being chiefly sent to Gallipoli 
by marine transport' through the Sea of Mar- 
mora. Admiral de Pvobeck therefore decided 
to attempt to harry the Turkish sea communi- 
cations by means of submarines. The exjjeri- 

ment was conspicuously successful from the 
outset, although at the very beginning one 
submarine was lost. AE2, a submarine of the 
Pvoyal Australian Navy, cormnanded by Lieu- 
tenant-Commander Henry Hugh Gordon Dacre 
Stoker, R.N., was sunk on April 30 while 
endeavouring to enter the Sea of Marmora. 
Ijieutenant-Conunander Stoker, Lieutenant 
Geoffrey Arthur Gordon Haggard, R.N., Lieu- 
tenant John Pitt Gary, B.N., and se%enteen 
men were made prisoners, and twelve men 
were lost. Submarine E14, conunanded by 
Lieutenant - Commander Edward Courtney 
Boyle, R.N., had better fortune. She passed 
the mine-field in the Narrows on April 27, 
sinking; on the way a Turkish gunboat of the 
Berk-i-Satvet class. She remained in hostile 
waters until May 18, when she successfully 
traversed the Dardanelles once more. She 
sank a transport on April 29 ; a gunboat on 
May 3 ; a very large transport full of troops 
on May 10 ; and compelled a small steamer to 
run aground on May 13. For these services 
Lieutenant-Commander Boyle, who had ranged 
the whole Sea of Marmora right up to the en- 
trance to the Bosphorus, received the Victoria 
Cross. The other officers of El 4, Lieutenant 
E. G. Stanley, R.N., and Acting-lieutenant 
R. W. Lawrence, R.N.R., received the Dis- 
tinguislied Service Cross, while the Distin- 
guished Service Medal was granted to every 
member of the crew. Submarine Ell, com- 
manded by Lieutenant-Commander i'fartin E. 
Nasmith, R.N., performed an even more 
brilliant exploit in the Sea of Marmora later 
in the month. She sank a vessel containing a 
large amount of howitzer ammunition, several 
gun mountings, and a 0-inch gun. She then 
chased a supply ship with, a great cargo of 
stores, and most daringly torpedoed her along- 
side the pier at Rodosto. After'iA-ards stie 
chased and ran ashore a smaller store ship. 
Emboldened by these successes, she actually 
entered the Golden Horn and torpedoed a 
transport lying off the arsenal. Finally, while 
on the return journejr. she turned back to 
torpedo a transport. Tjieutenant-Commander 
Nasmith received the Victoria Cross for his 
" most conspicuous bravery," his subordinates. 
Lieutenant Guy D'Oyly Hughes, R.N., and 
Acting-Lieutenant Robert Brown, R.N., were 
awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, 
and every member of the crew was decorated. 
These incmsions inaugurated a period of 
British submarine activity in the Sea of 



Marmora which was long contmued. The 
greatest consternation was caused in Con- 
stantinople, the sea communications of the 
Turks were incessantly interrupted, and the 
Hst of Turkish losses between Constantinople 
and Gallipoli grew very long indeed. 

It may be noted that on April 27 British 
airmen reported a Turkish transport of about 
8,000 tons near the Narrows, off Maidos. The 
Queen Elizabeth was notified, and fired three 
shells, the third of which strvick and sank the 
vessel. It was not known whether she con- 
tained troops. The Fleet occasionally fired at 
the forts in The Narrows in the days w-hich 
immediately followed the Battle of the Landing. 
H.M.S. Triumph bombarded Maidos across the 
ppninsula on April 29, and at niglit the town 
was reported in flames. 


For two days after the Battle of the Landing 
terminated on April 28 the troops on the 
Krithia line had a comparatively quiet although 
an extremely busy time. They had partly lost 
their normal formations during the abrupt 
check in the last phase of the b.attle. Some of 
the units of the 86th and 88tli Brigades had 
become mixed, and there were flaws in the 
line, especially at the points of contact between 
brigades. All through April 29 the work of 
straightening and strengthening the lin3 con- 
tinued, and though tliere was some exchange 
of both rifle and artillery fire, the enemy offered 
little hindrance. On April 30 much the same 
work proceeded. The Allies finished landing 
their artillery, and the French, who were 
growing in numbers, increased their share of 
the line. Two more battalions of the Ro^al 

Bringing up forage for their mules. 




Two companies of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers making a flank attack on the 

Kaval Division A\ere disembarked, and v,ere 
formed into a temporary reserve in conjunction 
with three battalioas of the SSth Brigade, 
withdra^vn from the trendies. On jMay 1 the 
29th Indian Infantry Brigade arrived, and 
was placed in reserve, thus enabling the SSth 
Brigade to regain its tliree battalions. 

The First Battle of Krithia l^egan at 10 p.m. 
on the night of ]May 1, and was by no meatus 
expected by the British. After half an Iiour's 
artillery preparation, the Tm-ks advanced in 
tliree solid lines just before the moon rose. 
The enemy had made very careful preparations 
under German supervision. The men in their 
front rank had been deprived of ammmiition, 
in order to compel them to rely upon the 
bayonet. Sir Ian Hamilton said : — "The offi- 
cers were served out witli coloured Bengal 
lights to fire from then' pistols, red indicating 
to the Turkish guns that they were to lengthen 
their range ; white that our front trenches liad 
been stormed ; green that our main position 
had been carried." If the gxeen lights were 
ever used, it must have been in error or in hope ; 
and very little justification was gained for the 
use of the white lights. The orders to tlio 
Turkish ranlc and file were to crawl on their 
hands and Icnees until the -word was given to 
charge. They had been exhorted to fiing the 
British into the sea in an address which read 
thus : 

.\ttack the enemy with tlio bayonet and utterly 
destroy him ! 

We shall not retire one step ; for, if we do, otir religion, 
our country, and our nation will perish I 

Soldiera I Ths world is lookinj; at you ! Your only 

hope of salvation is to brin^: this battle to a suecessful 
issue or gloriously to give up your life in the attempt ! 

These inciting apprehensions about the 
possible fate of the Turkish race and religion 
bore the not very Ottoman-like signature, 
" Von Zowenstern." The first impact of the 
Turkish charge stn-ick near the centre of the 
British line, on the right of the 86th Brigade. 
It was " an imlucky spot," observed Sir Tan 
Hamilton, for " all the oPficei's thereabouts 
had already l)een killed or wounded." The 
rank and file ^^■ere taken unawares by the silence 
of the Tirrkish advance, and the enemy got into 
their trenches with the bayonet and made 
" an ugly gap." The emergency was instantly 
met. The .'ith Royal Scots, the fine Territorial 
battalion which formed part of the adjoining 
SSth Brigade, faced to their left flank and 
charged the intruders impetuously with the 
bayonet. The Essex Regiment, belonging to 
the same brigade, was detached by the brigadier 
for a similar purpose, and the gap was closed. 
The attack against the rest of the British lino 
was not pressed home with the same vigour, 
and General Hunter-Weston did not have to 
bring his reserves mto action. But the Frencli 
left, which adjoined the right of the SSth 
Brigade, was in difficulties very soon afterwards. 
The French left coirsisted of a force of Sene- 
galese, Vjehind whom were stationed two 
British Field Artillery Brigades and a Howitzer 
Brigade. The Turks smote the Senegalese 
^^ith persistent vigour, and after the conflict 
had swayed to and fro with great violence for 
some time, the Africans began to lose ground- 



4^ ^9 Ni *-^^ 



Turks near Achi Baba. The Inniskitlings secured a " bag " of 152 prisoners. 

The moonlight revealed what was happening, 
and a company of the 4th Worcesters, belonging 
to the much-tried 88th Brigade, hurried to the 
aid of the Senegalese. The Turks did not 
desist, and another company of the Wor- 
cesters came up, after which the enemy's 
attack gradually ceased. At 2 a.m. a battalion 
of the Royal Naval Division was sent from the 
reserve to strengthen the extreme French right, 
and the first phase of the action terminated. 

Three hours later, at 5 a.m., the Allies began 
a counter-attack. The whole line advanced. 
The British left had gained 500 yards by 7.30 
a.m., and the centre had also gained groimd 
and punished the enemy heavily. The British 
right and the French left also progres.sed, but 
the remainder of the French line was checked, 
doubtless because the Kcreves Dere was very 
strongly held. Thus the counter-attack, which 
had looked very promising at tho outset, 
began to languish. The British centre and 
left came under a heavy cross-fire from machine 
guns, and it was found impossible to maintain 
the ground won. The whole force, therefore, 
withdrew to its original line of trenches. 

Nevertheless, the First Battle of Rrithia left 
the honours in the hands of the Allies. They 
had beaten back the Turkish attack, and had 
killed " great numbers " of Tmrks. Sir Ian 
Hamilton afterwards declared that " had it 
not been for those inventions of the devil — 
machine guns and barbed wire — which suit 
the Turkish character and tactics to perfection, 
we should not have stopped short of the crest 
of Achi Baba." rnfortunately, modern in- 

strimients of warfare must be taken into 
accoimt, even if handled by Tui'ks, and the 
crest of Achi Baba was still two miles away. 
The Allies took 350 prisoners m the course of 
the action. 

The Tiu-ks buried their dead imder a Red 
Crescent flag during May 2, and at night they 
attacked the French portion of the line, being 
once more repulsed with heavy loss. They 
came forward once more against the French on 
the night of May 3, the reason why they chose 
the French section of the line presumably being 
that the approaches were easier. During the 
three night attacks the French casualties 
mounted up to such an extent that on May 4 
they relincjuishcd a portion of their line to the 
2nd Na^'al Brigade, ^^'elcomo reinforcements 
arrived for the British on May 5, when the 
Lancashire Fusilier Brigade (5th, 6th, 7th, and 
8th Lancashire Fusiliers) of the East Lancashire 
Territorial Division were disembarked from 
Egypt and placed in reserve behind the British 
left. Preparations for a fresh British advance 
had been steadily continxied, and the receipt of 
reinforcements made it possible to give battle 

The losses of the land forces up to and 

including May 5 (not coiuiting those of the 

French) were : 

177 officers and 1,990 other ranks killed. 
412 ofTicera and 7,807 other ranks wounded, 
13 officers and 3,580 other ranks missing. 

The Second Battle of Kj-ithia was decided on 
by Sir Ian Hamilton on May 5, and was fought 
on Maj' 6, 7 and 8. It deserves careful attention. 


British troops beating back the enem> 


y fire from machine guns and rifles. 




))opause it was in many respects the most 
significant land battle fought during the Dar- 
danelles operations. Its lessons ought to have 
been considered conclusive, for it demonstrated 
clearly the growing strength of the Turkish line 
before Krithia and of the defences of Achi 
Baba. Sir Ian Hamilton afterwards wrote that 
his inmiediato object ^vas to seize some of the 
half-mile of debatable ground which lay 
between the opposing forces, because he needed 
more room on the peninsula. He gained a 
depth varying frona GOO to 400 yards ; but the 
real object of the three days' battle was mani- 
festly to seize Krithia and Achi Baba, and this 
object was completely frustrated by the Turksj 
The Second Battle of Ivrithia plainly proved 
that there was not the slightest hope of carry- 
ing the Gallipoli Peninsula, or any important 
portion of it, A\ith the culminating rush of 
a manoeuvre battle. It therefore led to 
the definite adoption of the alternative of 
siege warfare. It ought to have led to the care- 
ful reconsideration m T.ondon and Paris of the 
whole position at the Dardanelles. The battle 
was one more of those occasions for re-cxaniina- 
tion of the project, so frequently offered to the 
Allies, but so in\-ariably ignored until the late 
autumn. Siege warfare in the Dardanelles 
might imply operations as protracted as the 

siege of Troy. The whole peninsula was being 
converted mto a vast fortress, upon a scale that 
Vauban and Briahiiont had never ch-eamed of. 
Its configuration offered possibilities of line 
after line of almost impregnable defences. 
A\'hen the Japanese burst one point of the inner 
ring of forts at Port Arthur they knew that the 
fortress had fallen. At Gallipoli the capture of 
one line of defences could only mean the revela- 
tion of a fresh and almost endless series of lines 
behind. It was at this stage that the true object 
of the attack upon the Dardanelles — to j)rovide 
means for the passage of the Fleet — was appar- 
ently lost sight of both on the spot and at home. 
The obstinate attempts to carry a series of 
Tiu'ldsh defences became an ofiject in them- 
selves. Britons wished to show that they were 
never beaten, a laudable desire, bvit not of vital 
importance in a world-wide war. Even when 
men began very properly to ask what the Fleet 
could do if it gained accesi to the Sea. of Mar- 
mora, fev/ connected the c^uestion with the con- 
tinuance of the stubborn and unavailing efforts 
to overtlirow the well-entrenched Turks in 
Gallipoli. These efforts were blindly continued, 
and many ingenious but evasive re3,sons were 
offered in apologetic excuse. 

The Allied forces had been gradually re- 
organized after the First- Battle of Krithia. 

A quaint name given to a dug-out by Australians. 



Sir Ian Ilaniilton Iiad at last been able to creati; 
a General Reserve. He had brought down the 
2nd Australian Infantry Brigade and the New 
Zealand Brigade from Anzac, and had formed 
them, with a Naval Brigade consisting of ih ■ 
rhanoiith and Dra.lce Battalions, into a Com- 
posite Division, held m reserve. Thu 29th 
Division had been reconstituted into four 
brigades, consisthig of the SSth and 87th Bri- 
gades, the Lancashire Fusilier Brigade (Terri- 
torials) and the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade. 
The French Corps had been reinforced by the 
2nd Naval Brigade. On the first morning of 
the battle the 29th DivLsion held the British 
line, the other portion of the front being held 
by the French Corps and the 2nd Naval Brigade. 
Communication between the two sections was 
maintained by the Plymouth and Drake Bat- 
talions, iriio broad purpose assigned to the 
29th Division was to seize the ground about 
Ki-ithia, while the French were to carry the ridge 
above the hollow through which ran the Kereves 
Dere. The French attack was very important, 
because unless it succeeded the left of the Allied 
front would have been advanced too far, and 
would have been in danger of being enfiladed. 

The gallant 29th Division, wearied but un- 
damited, marched into battle at, 11 a.m., sup- 
ported by the fire of warships in the Gulf of 
Saros. The French 75 guns near the village of 
Sedd-ul-Balu- simultaneously opened fire upon 
the T'lukish positions beyond the Kereves Dere, 
sending salvoes of four shells at a time. At 
11.30 a.m. the French Corps advanced to the 
attack, the Senegalese troops leading. Some of 
the British warships endeavoured to help them 
by directing their fire into and bej'ond the 
Kereves Valley. The British advance on the 
left was steady but slow, for every yard was 



stubbornly contested by the Turkish sharp- 
shooters. A few isolated Turkish trenches were 
carried, but tlie main positions of tlio enemy 
■were not reached at all. In t« o hours the line 
had advanced between two and three hundred 
yards, and three hoiu's later it was still ill tlie 
same position. The fight had raged backwards 
and forwards, but the front had not materiallj' 
altered. The 88th Brigade was held up by a 
furious fire, apparently from concealed macliine- 
guns, trained on a chmip of fir-trees which the 
Brigade sought to carry. Time after tune 
companies tried to storm the clump, but were 
repidsed. The Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade 
had also suffered much from machine guns. 
After the battle had continued on the British 
front for five hours the men were ordered to 
entrench where they stood. For that day, at 
any rate, their attack had practically faded- 
The French Corps had fared little better. They 
had topped the crest overlooking the river 
\aUey, to find themselves under a fire so galling 
that they could go no farther. Again and 

again the Senegalese advanced, only to give way 
before the tremendous fusillade which greeted 
them. They had further discovered a concealed 
redoubt on their left which greatly impeded 
their movements. They were not even able to 
entrench mrtil after dark. They had to face a 
bayonet attack during the night, but on the rest 
of the line the night was quiet. 

The second day of the battle opened with a 
fierce bombardment from the warships directed 
against the ground around Krithia, before the 
British left. A watcher on a distant hill-top 
wrote that " the shell smothered every yard of 
the ground, and it seemed unpossible for anyone 
to live within this zone, as the shrub and 
ravines were yellow with bursting lyddite." A 
((uarter of an hour later, at about 10 a.m., the 
Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade moved out into 
the open to renew the attack. They had to 
cross the partially cultivated area near lirithia, 
but there was much dead ground, in which 
machine guns had been cleverly hidden. A 
terrific blast of fire greeted their appearance, 





and it was at once clear that the naval gims had 
neither destroyed nor demoralized the Turks. 
The brigade was unable to cross the open 
gi'ound. Nevertheless, the advance progressed 
on their right, for the 88th Brigade pushed 
forward, and the 5th Royal Scots rushed the 
obnoxious fir clump. Its secret was immedi- 
ately revealed, for it was full of Turkish snipers 
on platforms hidden awaj^ among the trees. 
The sniiDers were soon disposed of. The 1st 
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, of the 87th Brigade, 
moved up on the left of the 88th Brigade, and 
for a time it reall5r seemed that further progress 
was possible. At 1.20 p.m., however, the 
Turks recaptured the firs in a coimter-attack. 
The battle still hxmg in the balance. The 
plucky Inniskillings took three Turkish trenches, 
which were made good by the 1st King's Own 
Scottish Borderers. But the Lancashire Fusi- 
liers were absolutely held in check by the cross- 
fire from machine gims, and at 3 p.m. they 
reported that they were " stuck." The French, 
on the right wing, had been quiet diu-ing the 
morning, but soon after 3 p.m. they gained some 

Sir Tan Hamilton decided to make one more 
supreme effort. He ordered a general attack 
for 4.i5 p.m., at which hour the Tiu-ks brought 
fresh guns into action against the French on the 
right. The whole line advanced at the time 
named, and there was no sign either of fatigue 
or reluctance. The British made progress, 
excej)t on their extreme left. The fir clumj) 
was carried once more with the bayonet. The 
French met an incessant slirapnel fire from the 
new Turkish guns, which was so disconcerting 
that their line wavered and melted away. 
General d'Amade threw forv\ard his reserves, 
who quickljf saved the situation. The British 
again advanced at 6.10 p.m., and far back at 
Sedd-ul-Bahr the khaki lines could be seen 
slowly moving onward. But they, too, were 
smothered by Turkish shrapnel, and at night- 
fall the combat slackened. The great effort 
had only met with a limited success. 

It was resolved to make one more try next 
day. The tired troops again dug themselves 
in, and were not seriously molested in the 
darliness. The I.,ancashire Fusiliers Brigade 
was withdrawn into the reserve, and was 




replaced by the Xew Zealand Brigade. Every- was made ready for a final attack after 
breakfast. Sir Ian Hamilton's reason for 
resolving to continue the battle ^^■as that he 
knew fresh Turkish reinforcements were coming 
up, and it AA-tis desirable to lose no time if he 
so ight to snatch a victory. 

On the third day, ]\Iay 8, the action began 
afresh more fierceh' than ever, for all ranks 
realized that success must be attained that day, 
if at all. Soon after 10 a.jn. the warshijjs 
resmned their bombardment, with equally little 
result, for ^\'hen the Kew Zealand Brigade 
began to march on Krithia it instantlj' encoun- 
tered a furious ovitlmrst of rifle and machine 
gun fire. The resolute New Zcalanders pressed 
on, supported by the British artillery and by 
the machine guns of the 88th Brigade. Their 
centre got well beyond the fir clump, a,nd was 
then checked, but by 1.30 p.m. the New 
Zcalanders -were 200 yards nearer Krithia than 
anj' unit had got before. Small parties of the 
87th Brigade were meanwhile working through 
a raH'ine on the left, in the hope of getting in 
among the enemy's machine guns. An on- 

looker x\ho saw the whole New Zealand advance 
wrote : 

Ifc looked as if sonio annual tnanoeuvrea were taking 
place. (Successive lines of khalii figures were pressing 
forward, across the green fields and through tlie farms and 
orchards, towarcLs the firing line. The enemy's shrapnel 
burst over them, but inflicted .small damage, owing to the 
open formations adopted. AVlien each successive line 
K'ached the fire zone it doubled across the open ground, 
resting iri the vacated trenches, and then passing on to 
the next. The whole of the plain seemed alive with these 
khaki-clad infantry. It was, indeed, a perfect example 
of the Classical Biitish attack, carried out over a broad 
front so a? to concentrate the maximum number of men 
in the (ij-ing line for the final assault on the enemy's posi 
li'iii with a minimun'i of loss. 

But the Turks held hack the attack, and 
the French over towards Kereves Dere sent 
word that they could move no further unless 
the British line advanced. There was a long 
lull, and many thought that the day was over. 
Sir Ian Hamilton was, however, concerting 
measures for the greatest moment of the 
battle. At 4 p.m. he ordered the whole line 
to fix bayonets, .slope arms, and march on 
Krithia at fi.SO p.m. A cjuartcr of an hour 
earlier 'the wOiole of the warships and every 
battery ashore opened " a most stupendous 
bombardment," and " the noise was appalling." 
The thunder of the guns died away, and long 
lines of glittering bayonets \vere seen moving 
outwards. They j>assed into the smoke- 
v\reathed zone of the bombardment, and dis- 
appeared from vieu'. The French ^■anished 
into the battle-sn'oke with cb-ums beating and 
bugles sounding the charge. The whole scene 
A\as blotted out by the smoke, and when dark- 
ness fell the results were still only vaguely 
knou'n. They can be told in a sentence, 
ilore grottnd was gained, but the Ttirkish line 
remained unbroken. Such \\'as the end of the 
S.'cond Battle of Krithia, and «ith it ended all 
hope of taking Krithia and .\clii Baba by 
direct assault. 

The full story of the closing ei)isDdes only 
became known next tnorning. The first lines 
of New Zcalanders had passed the enemy's 
juachine guns without discovering them, and 
their supports had suffered heavilj' in conse- 
quence. The brigade, which was coinmanded 
by ISrigadier-General I'. E. Johnston, had 
nevertheless got within a few yards of the 
"J-'urkish trenches, and its first ■ line had dug 
itself hi. The 2nd .Australian Infantry Brigade, 
under Brigadier-General the Hon. .J. W. jMcCay, 
had shown equal valour, and though b.adly 
mauled, had won nearly 400 yards of ground. 
The 87th Brigade, under Major-General W. R. 



Marshall, on the extreme left, had tried to 
advance over the open area between the ravine 
and the sea, but was checked by machine giins, 
which ^vorked sad havoc anaong tlie Soutli 
Wales Borderers. After sundown the men of 
the brigade begged to be led again against the 
enemy, and actually won another 200 yards. 
The French had been battered by the 'fire of 
the lieaviesf Turkish artillery, and though the 
2nd Division attacked with ardour, the Sene- 
galese broke. The attacking column was most 
gallantly rallied by General d'Amade and 
General Simonin in person. It recovered 
momentum, and stormed and held the redoubt 
at the end of the Kereves Dere hollow which had 
proved so troublesome. The 1st Division had 
very hard fighting in the Kereves valley, and a 
battalion of Zouaves was temporarily repulsed, 
but Lieut. -Colonel Kieger, of the 1st 
Regiment de JIarche d'-^frique, gripped the 
position in the nick of time, and in the end the 
Division foimd itself master of " two complete 
lines of Tiu'lvish redoubts and trenches." 

By general consent, the honours of the da}^ 
on the British section of the front rested with 
the Anzacs, who suffered severely. They were 
warmly praised by Sir Ian Hamilton for their 
" determined valour," and for the " admirable 
tenacity " with which they clung to the ground 
they gained. The eye-witnesji already c^uoted, 
in describing t)ie final attack wrote : ■ 

The New Zealanders and tlie Au^ljalians advanced at 
the same moment, over open firoiinl which provirled 

little or no cover. They were met by a tornado of bullets, 
and were enfiladed by machine guns from the right. The 
artillery in vain endeavoured to keep down this fire. 

The manner in which these Dominion troops went for- 
ward will never bo forgotten by those who witnessed it. 
The lines of infantry were enveloped in dust from the 
patter of countless bullets in the sandy soil and from the 
hail of shrapnel poured on them, for now the enemy's 
artillery concentrated furiously on the v,diole line. The 
lines advanced steadily, as if on parade, sometimes 
doubling, sometimes walking. They melted away under 
this dreadful fusillade, only to bo renewed again, as 
reserves and supports moved forward to replace those 
who had fallen. 

Although some ground was won, the broad 
result of the Second Battle of Krithia must be 
frankly said to have been failure. Sir Ian 
Hamilton admitted that it compelled him to 
realize that the operations had reached " the 
limit of what could be attained by mingling 
initiative with sur[)rise." He observed : 

Advances mu^it more and more tend to take the shape 
of concentrated attacks on small sections of the enemy's 
line after full artillery preparation. Siege warfare was 
soon bomld to supersede manoeuvre battles in the open. 
Consolidation and fortification of oru- front, improvement 
of approaches, selection of machine-gun emplacements, 
and scientific grouping of o\ir artillery under a centralized 
control must ere long form the tactical basis of our plans. 

It is time to turn once more to Anzac, which 
had been strongly attacked on each day of the 
Second Battle of Krithia. The task of the 
Anzacs at Gaba Tepe was defined as being, first, 
" to Iceep open a door leading to the vitals of 
the Turkish position " ; and second, " to hold 
up as large a body of the enemy as possible," 
in order-to lessen the'strain'at'the end of the 




peninsula. Tlie. Anzacs were then holding a 
semi-circular position at the top of the cliff, 
with a diameter of about 1,100 yards. They 
were constantly under shell fire, and it was 
recorded that as many as 1,400 shells had fallen 
in this tiny area within an hour. All round 
the semi-circle the Turkish trenches were close 
at hand. 

The Homeric conflicts on thi.s little patch of 
ground above the cliffs were so incessant and 
so similar in character that jjrobably even those 
who took part in them lost all count. They 
were never adequately recorded. One typical 
exainple of dozens of such encounters may be 
mentioned. On the night of May 2 the Anzacs, 
whose sturdy conception of acting on the 
defensive was to attack on every possible 
occasion, made a thrust at the Turks through 
a deep narrow ravine, which had been called 
" Monash Gully." They succeeded, and dug 
themselves in, but the Turks responded with 
a withering machine gun and shrapnel fire, and 
the position grew critical. The Anzacs were 
being hard hit, and the Ch.atham and Ports- 
mouth Battalions of the Royal Marine Brigade 
were sent up the gully to their aid. It took 
the whole of the following day and the next 
night to consolidate the position, and in that 
one episode, so small that it found no mention 
in any dispatch, the Marines alone lost 500 
officers and men killed and wounded. The 
First Battle of Anzac was so overshadowed by 
the Second Battle of Krithia that it received no 
allusion in the dispatch of Sir Ian Hamilton. 
It began on May 0, and practically lasted five 
days. For the first three days the Tiu-ks 
repeatedly attacked, and made desperate 
attempts to overwhelm the depleted Anzac 
forces. On the foLu-th day the 15th and Kith 
Battalions of the 4 th Australian Infantry 
Brigade sallied forth with the bayonet and 
took three lines of Turldsh trenches. On the 
fifth day, at dawn, the Turks retook the trenches 
but could make no inipression on the main 
-Australian position. 

More reinforcements begin to reach the 
British at Cape Helles. The 4:2nd Division 
was landed towards the end of tlie Second 
Battle of Krithia, and on May 11 the heroic 
29th Division was withdrawn from the line for 
the first time for eiglitcen days and nights. 
The whole front before Krithia was di\'ided 
into four sections, and regular siege warfare 

On the night of May 12 H.M.S. Goliath, a 



battleship of 12,950 tons, comijleted in 1902, 
was torpedoed oS Morto Bay, in the entrance 
to the Straits, while she was protecting the 
French flanlv. Over 500 officers and men were 
lost; including the captain, and 20 officers and 
160 men were saved. The occurrence was as 
startling as it was entirely imexpected. The 
Mouavenet-Milieh, G20 tons, a Turkish destroyer 
of German construction, built in 1909 at one 
of the Schichau yards, had slipped down the 
Straits under cover of darkness. She managed 
to torpedo the Goliath and to get back safely. 

try to capture the position by escalade from 
the beach after dark. Their scouts had made 
a reconnaissance up the precipitous cUff on the 
night of May 10, when they were discovered 
bj- the enemy and fired upon. JIajor-General 
H. B. Cox, conmianding the 29th Indian 
Infantry Brigade, then submitted an elaborate 
plan, which included a bombardment from the 
sea and shore, and an infantry demonstration, 
imder cover of which the Gurkhas were to 
repeat their escalade in greater strength. The 
plan succeeded perfectly. At 6.30 p.m. on 

Anzacs working their guns on Gallipoli Peninsula. 

The Goliath had been on the east coast of 
Africa before she went to the Dardanelles, and 
had bombarded Dar-es-Salaam. 

The same night the British left was advanced 
nearly 500 yards by a successful strategem. 
On a bluff north-east of Beach Y, which had 
been abandoned in the Battle of the Landing, 
the Tuj'ks had established a strong redoubt 
armed with machine guns, vvhicli constantly 
harried the British line. Tlie :Munsters and the 
Dublins unsuccessfully tried to take the bluff 
on May 8 and 9. Lieut. -Colonel the Hon. 
C. G. Bruce, of the Gth Gurkhas, himself an 
expert moimtaineer, suggested that his men, 
who could climb like cats, sliould be allowed to 

May 12 the cruisers Dublin and Talbot began to 
pour in shells, while the 29th Divisional Artil- 
lery bombarded from the British lines. The 
IManchestor Brigade of the 42nd Di\'ision co- 
operated with rifle fire, and in the midst of the 
din a double company of the Gurkhas scaled 
the cliff and " carried the work \\'ith a rush." 
Another double company followed by the same 
route, and next morning the gain was con- 
solidated and joined to the British front. The 
iinoU was ever afterwards known as " Gurkha 
Bluff." The losses in this attack were .^ 21 
killed and 92 wounded. The eavly months at 
the Dardanelles teemed \\ith such exploits, 
though 2>erhaps few were so dramatic. 



The French completed the disembarcation 
of a second Di\nsion during the second week in 
May, and on 'Sla.y 14 General Gouraud took 
ov-er the command of the whole French Corps 
from General d'Amade. General Gouraud was 
47 years of age, the youngest officer of his rank 
in the rejuvenated French Army, and he had 
been so successful in his command of the 
Argonne section of the front in France that 
his countrymen had dubbed him " the Lion of 
the Argonne." Sir Ian Hamilton sent the 
following letter of farewell to General d'Amade : 

12th May, 1915. 

Mo>i Ge>^srai., — With deep personal sadness I learn 
that your country has urgent need of your great experi- 
ence elsewhere. 

From the very first you and your brave troops have 
done all, and more than all, that mortal man could do to 
further the cause we have at heart. 

By day and by ni^ht, for many days and nights in 
succession, you and your gallant troops have ceaselessly 
struggled against the enemy's fresh reinforcements and 
h^ve won from him ground at the bayonet point. 

The military records of France are most glorious, but 
yon, mon General, and your Soldiers, have added fresh 
brilliancy if I may say so. even to those dazzling 

The losses have been cruel. Such losses are almost 
unprecedented, but it may be some eonsolaticn to think 
tliat only by so fierce a trial could thus have been fully 
disclosed the flame of patriotism which burns in the 
hearts of yourself and of your men. 

With sincere regrets at your coming departure, but 

Using the Periscope. 

with the full assurance that, in your new sphere of 
activity, you will continuo to render the same valuable 
service you have already given to France 
I remain, 

jMon General, 

Your sincere friend, 

Ian Hamilton, 


During the remainder of May, and for the 
first day or two of June, there was more fighting 
on the Anzac front than on any other part of 
the position. The Turks never liked Anzac, 
and were alwaj'S fearful that the Anzacs might 
launch an attack against the heart of their 
stronghold overlooking the Narrows. At the 
outer edge of the Anzac curve was a spot known 
as Quinn's Post. It was so named after 
Major Quinn, of the 15th Australian Infantry, 
who met his death close to this very point 
during an Anzac counter-attack on May 
29. At Quinn's Post the Anzac fire trenches 
were "mere ledges on the brink of a sheer 
precipice falling 200 feet into the valley below." 
The enemy's trenches were a few feet away, 
and the post was never securely held until 
some weeks later a body of New Zealand 
miners made elaborate underground shelters. 
Quinn's Post was soon renowned for its un- 
ending series of sorties, attacks and counter- 
attacks. For instance, on May 9 the Anzacs 
carried the eneniy's trenches before Quinn's 
Post by bayonet attack at night. On May 10 
the enemy coimter-attacked at dawn and won 
the trenches back, but they were so severely 
dealt with by the Anzac guns that, according 
to records afterwards captured, two Turkish 
regiments alone lost on that day 600 killed and 
2,000 wounded. There were no safe corners at 
Anzac, and even the generals in high command 
had to disregard the usual wise precautions 
and take the same risks as the men. On May 
14 Lieut. -General Sir W. R. Birdwood 
was slightly wounded, bvit did not relinquish 
his command. Next day Major-General Sir 
W. T. Bridges, conunanding the Australian 
Division, was so severely wounded that he 
died in a few da3's. Sir Ian Hamilton wrote of 
him that ho was " sincere and single-minded 
in his devotion to Australia and to duty." 

During May 18 reports of unusual activity 
fining the enemy came to Anzac from many 
soiu'ces. The warships could see troops massing 
at various points near the coast. The airmen 
saw other bodies of troops landing near tlie 
Narrows and moving across from the direction 
of the Pasha Dagh. The Turkish bombard- 
ment grew in intensity throughout the day. 




Being led through a deep gullv. Inset : Giving a 

drink to a wounded Turk. 

Shells rained upon Anzac from 12-inch and 
9-inch guns, big howitzers, and field guns. 
The portents were not misleading. General 
I-iman von Sanders himself proposed to clear 
away the Anzac thorn by tlirowing it into th^ 
sea. He had planned a great attack, and was 
about to fling massed cokuTins, numbering 
30,000 in all, against the Anzac zone. Word 
passed down to the trenches for the defenders 
to be alert and ready. 

At midnight the storm burst, and machine 
giui and rifle fire of unprecedented volume and 
force was concentrated on the Anzacs. They 
lay snug in their trenches, and were very little 
injured. At 4 a.m. the Second Battle of Anzac 
began, and a dense Tiu-kish colimm advanced 
to the assault. It was beaten back, chiefly by 
rifle fire. Other columns followed, and various 
sectors of the Anzac line were assaulted in tiirn. 
At 5 a.m. the Turkish attack had so far 
developed that it had become general, and the 
heavy artillery was once more participating. 
For the next five hours the enemy strained 
everj' nerve to press their onslaught home. 
They never had a chance of succeeding. No 

Turkish foot ever touched a single Anzac 
trench that day. The close Turkish forma- 
tions were mown down. The Turks died in 
heaps. The battle became a butchery, for the 
Anzac field guns and howitzers were doing their 
share of execution. The attack of General 
Liman von Sanders was sheer folh', and the 
pimishment of his imhappy instruments was 
terrible, ^'\'hen the fight ended he had lost at 
least a fourth of liis attacking force, for it was 



estimated that the Turkish losses on that one 

morning alone numbered over 7,000. The 

estimate was moderate, and was perhaps too 

low. Over 3,000 Turks lay dead within actual 

view of the Anzac trenches. In one corner> 

100 yards by 80 yards, 400 corpses were 

counted. A large proportion of the losses were 

afterwards found to have been caused by 

artillery fire. The Anzac losses numbered 

about 100 killed and 500 woimded, including 

nine officers wounded. There were few more 

remarkable examples in any theatre of the war 

of the disproportionate advantage which 

modern weapons sometimes confer upon the 

defence in prepared positions. 

A visitor who went round the Anzac front 

lines after the battle wrote : 

The ground presents an extraordinary sight when 
viewed through the trench periscopes. Two hundred 
yards away, and even closer in places, are the Turkish 
trenches, and betw-een them and our lines the dead lie in 
hundreds. There are groups of twenty or thirty massed 
together, as if for mutual protection, some lying on their 
faces, some killed in the act of firing : others hung up in 
the barbed wire. In one place a small group actually 
reached our parapet, and now lie dead on it shot at point- 
blank range or bayofietted. Hundreds of others lie just 
outside their own trenches, where they were caught by 
rifles and shrapnel when trying to regain them. Hun- 
dreds of wounded must have perished between T.he line^. 

There were some curious negotiations dm'ing 
the days following the Second Battle of Anzac. 
At 5 p.m. on May 20 the Turks displayed white 
flags and Red Crescents, and various Tiu-kisli 
officers came out into the open. They were 
met by Major-General H. B. Walker, com- 
manding the Australian Division, and asked for 
an armifctice to bury their dead and collect 
their wounded. General Walker pointed out 
that he was not empowered to treat, and in 
any case the principal Tiu-kish officer had no 
credentials. It was noticed that the Turks 
were massing afresh, and General Birdwood 
ordered all trenches to be manned as a pre- 
caution. The Turldsh object seemed to be to 
effect a fresh concentration without being 
harassed by artillery fire. Towards sunset 
masses of Turks advanced behind fines of im- 
armed men holding up their hands. Intense 
firing broke out, and was continued until 1.20 
a.m., when the enemy attacked Quinn's Post 
in strength. They were beaten back, and these 
strange proceedings, which had a strong flavour 
of German inspiration, came to an end. 'When 
Sir Ian Hamilton heard what had happened, 
ho sent Major-General W. P. Braithwaite, C.B., 
on May* 22 to assist General Birdwood in 
further negotiations. General Braith%vaite was 

the Chief of the General Staff at the Dar- 
. danelles, and Sir Ian Hamilton described 
him as the best Chief-of-Staff he had ever 
known in war. A formal armistice was then 
arranged with the Turks, and lasted from 7.30 
a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on May 24. Considerations 
of health made such a truce desirable. The 
Turkish burying parties were supplied with 
cotton wool soaked in solution to deaden the 
stench. They ^rorked e.xpeditiously, and the 
armistice was scrupulously observed by both 
sides. But thereafter, until June 5, there ^\'as 
more exciting fighting of the episodical kind 
around Quinn's Post than even that most 
imrestful corner had ever known. A whole 
chapter could be filled with descriptions of the 
stirring events of those ten days on that one 
section of the Anzac front alone. 

A new menace against the Allied l^leet at the 
Dardanelles developed during the month of 
May. Weeks earlier large German submarines 
had been seen going south through the Bay of 
Biscay, and afterwards near Gibraltar and off 
the north coast of Africa. Neither the Adiniralty 
nor Admiral de Robeck were for a moment 
under any illusions about the meaning of these 
movements. Admiral von Tirp.-tz was about 
to take a hand in the ^gean, and his move w^as 
difficult to counter. The Army needed support 
from the naval guns. On the other hand, even 
old battleships could not be kept stationary 
near the peninsula to be picked off lUce sitting 
partridges. The first result of the news was 
that the Queen Elizabeth was hurried back to 
the North Sea, despite the anxious though un- 
warranted representations of the War Office. 
The other battleships were gradually removed, 
and certain effective refuges from submarines 
were prepared for those wliich remained. 
Great risks had to be taken, however. Until 
the new shallow-draught monitors, then being 
built in England, could be sent out, some at 
least of the battleships had to lie at times off 
the Dardanelles coast in verj' exposed positions. 
According to IMr. Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, 
whose accounts of the first months at Gallipoli 
must always be of inestimable value to historians, 
the earliest sign of the presence of enemy sub- 
marmes off the Dardanelles was detected on 
May S2. As a consecjuence, H.M.S. Albion 
went ashore in a fog off Anzac at 4 a.m. next 
morning. H.M.S. Canopus came to her rescue, 
but it took six hours to get the stranded battle- 
ship off the sandbank on which she had 



grounded. During all that tiuis both battle- 
ships were Linder a strong fire from Turkish field 
guns, bvit fortunately tlie Ttirks were not able 
to bring heavy guns to bear. On the juorning 
of May 25, at 8 a.m., a submarine ^^■as seen and 
fired upon by H.M.S. Swiftsure, but the shots 
took no effect. The submarine made off 
towards Anzac, chased by British destroyers. 
At 10.30 a.m. she \insuccessfully fired a torpedo 
at the battleship Vengeance, near Gaba Tepe. 
At lunch-time H.M.S. Trimuph (Captain Maurice 
Fitzmaurice, R.K.), a battleship of 11,800 tons 
displacement, originally built for the Chilian 
Government, was torpedoed and sunk south of 
Gaba Tepe. She had her torpedo-nets out, but 
both the two torpedoes fired at lier pierced the 
netting and took effect. Eight minutes after 
being struck she turned turtle, and she finally 



Leaving the Naval Observation Station and makln;! 

his way to Cape Helles. 

Inset : Rear-Admiral Nicholson. 

il'holoby Elliolt & Fry.) 

plunged beneath the waves half-an-liotu- after- 
\vards. Tlie cajitain and nearly all the crew 
«ere saved by destroyers. 

All the available destroyers and patrols sot 
out in search of the U\o submarines, for another 
had been seen off Rabbit Island. H.M.S. 
Swiftsure was sent to the protected waters of 
Much-os Harbour, and the Admiral's flag was 
transferred to H.M.S. Majestic (Captain H. F. G. 
Talbot, R.N.), the oldest battleship on the 
station, displacement 14,900 tons, built in 1895. 
On tlie night of May 26 the Majestic was 
anchored off Cape Helles, opposite Beach W, 
and inside a line of transports. At b.40 a.m. 
next morning a submarine found and torpedoed 
her. At once she listed heavily, and in a very 
few moments she was lying on lier side. The 
officers and crow took to the water, and all ths 
vessels near hastily sent launches and small 
boats. Very few lives were lost. The Majestic 
sank quickly in shallow water, and as her bows 
were resting on a sandbank a small piece of her 
ram remained exposed to view. Mr. Ashmead- 



Bartlett, who was among those rescued, stated : 
— " As she turned o^'er and sank, a sailor ran 
the whole length of her keel and finally sat 
astride the ram, where he was subsequently 
taken off without even getting a wetting." 
Thousands of troops on shore saw the disaster. 
Captain Talbot was picked up by a launch, but 
afterwards jjlunged in again and rescued two of 
his men from drowning. Although these losses 
caused considerable apprehension, for a long 
time afterwards the German submarines were 
much harried and met with little further success- 

The British losses in killed, wounded, and 
missing at the Dardanelles up to May 31 
numbered in all 38,636, including 1,722 officers. 
Thus in this one theatre alone there had been 
more casualties in less than six weeks than -sNere 
recorded diu'ing the whole of the South African 
War, when the casualties in conflict numbered 
38,156, spread over a period of three years. 

The Tliird Battle of Ki-itliia was fought on 
June 4, and was finished in one day. Both 
British and French had been sapping and mining 
during the latter half of Jlay, preparatory to a 
further attempt to rush the Tui-kish trenches. 
There had been more than one small advance, 
and the Turks had delivered many attacks 
without definite result. Sir Ian Hamilton 
deemed that the tune had come for a further 
concerted and general effort. In the Third 
Battle of Krithia large losses were inflicted on 
tlie I'urks, and there was a gain of from 200 to 

400 yards over three miles of front ; but much 
of the ground won in the early stages of the 
battle could not be retained, because the Turlcs 
drove in the French left in a powerful covmtcr- 
attack, and the British line was in consequence 
enfiladed. The British and French losses « ere 
also heavy. One sentence in Sir Ian Hamilton's 
dispatch told its own story. " The Collingwood 
battahon of the Royal Naval Division," he 
wrote, "wliioh had gone forward in support, 
(was) practically destroyed." 

The line of battle was formed, from right to 
left, by the French Corps, the Royal Naval 
Division, the 42nd (Kast Lancashire) Division, 
and the 29th Division. The British had 
24,000 men massed on a front of 4,000 j'ards, 
and General Hunter-A\'eston, now commanding 
the 8th Army Corps, had 7,000 men as a corps 
reserve. The enemy's position had by this 
time been developed into rows and ro\\'S of 
trenches stretching right across the peninsula. 
Achi Baba was hone3'Combed with works and 
galleries, and cro\^'ned by a strong redoubt. 
" The barrier," wrote a special correspondent 
the day before the battle, " constitutes one of the 
strongest defensive positions anj' army has held 
or captured during the present war." The 
facts might have been even more strongly 
defined. The battle Ijegan with an intense 
land and sea bombardment at 8 a.m., which 
continued for 2i hoiu-s, stopped for half an 
liour, and then resumed for tv\enty minutes, 


(Exclusive to " The Times") 





Torpedoed off Gallipoli, May 27, 1915. 




£ ^ e; I mc. 


Arrive on hoard H.M.S. Lord Nelson. The 
Triumph was torpedoed b>' a suhniarine at the 
Dardanelles on May 26, 1415. Inset : The 
Captain's clerk of H.M.S. Triumph who swam 
with the ship's ledger until he was picked up h\ 
a destroyer. 

after wliieli a brief feint attaok was made. Al 
11.30 the Allies recommenced their bombard 
nient, which continued until iiiion, when tli'- 
signal was given for a gcm-ral adsance. Aceoin- 
panied by parties of boinb-throwtTs, the wliolr 
line dashed forward with bayonets fixed. Thr 
assan]t met with swift success. 'J'he Freiirh 
1st Division, on the extreme right, took the 
trenches before them, and the I<"rench 2nd 
Division stormed and ca]itured the strong 
" Haricot " redotibt at the head of the Keivves 
Dere hollow, which previously they IimiI 
three times sought in ^•ain to seize. Tin- 
weak sj50t was at the point of contact In- 
tween the French and British forces, on th.- 
extreme left of the French front. Tliere thr 
Turks, who were well served by communication 
trenches, developed rapid ciamter-attacks and 
effected a marked checlc. Their discovery of a 
flaw in the line eventually changed the aspect 
i>f the whole battle. 

The Royal Xaval DiMsii.n, mxt in the lii;,-, 
fought with the utmost gallantry, and never 
did better than it di<l that day. Tn fifteen 
minutes the naval men had charged I in- Turkish 
trenches and obtained possession I'f tlie wh(.le 
jiosition immediately before theuj. The Ansnn 
battalion stormed a Turkisli r.'d.iubt whirh 
formed a salient in the enemy s line, and the 
Howe and Hood battalions wnc consolidating 
captured Turkish liiK's by 12.L'.-j [j.m. The 

^hineliester Jjfjgade ol the 4l'iid J)i\isL(jn diil 

e\'en bi'ltcr. and \\ I'Luiylit d Is which madr 

their city thi-ill with [iritle. while they loa.df 
the name of the Tci-nturial l-'<irci- immortal. 
The Manche.-tcr Brigade carrird tlir first 
line of trenches before them within .fi\ i- miniilis. 
By 12. .'50 they had adi-anced a third ...f a, 
mile, overw liehiu'd the si-cund T\irkish line, 
and were calml^' establishint^ themseh'cs in 
their ni'w position. Lani-ashire, Ireland, 

Australia, and Mtw Zealand share the tragic 
gliiries of (.iallipoli. The 20tli Division, on tho 




left, was soon desperately engaged. The 88th 
Brigade had a fierce bayonet struggle with the 
Turks, but with the Worcesters in the van, the 
entire brigade swarmed into the Turkish first 
line and could not be dislodged. On the extreme 
left was the Indian Brigade, which was much 
baffled by barbed wire entanglements which the 
British artillery fire had failed to destroy. The 
14th Sikhs lost three-fourths of their effectives 
while checked by these obstacles, and a com- 
pany of the 6th Gurkhas, which had gone along 
the cliffs, was temporarily isolated. Eventually 
the Indian Brigade had to withdraw to its 
original line, where it was reinforced. 

But the shining success of noontide did not 
endure. The Turks had poured in a terrific 
counter-attack against tiie French in the 
Haricot redoubt, which they regained with the 
aid of their well-served guns. The French fell 
back, and thereby exposed the Royal Naval 
Division to enfilading fire. The Ansons had to 
relinquish their redoubt with heavy loss, and the 
Howe and Hood battalions were in turn en- 
filaded and forced back across open ground 
imder a terrible rifle and machine-gun fire. 
It was while rendering succour to these harassed 
battalions that the CoUingwoods met with such 
a disastrous fate. ^ It may be noted that in the 
early phase of the action the Naval Division 
had been supported by its armoured motor- 

cars, armed with maxims. By 1.30 p.m. the 
Naval Division had lost all its new trenches, 
and was back on its old line, and the enemy 
were enfilading the Manchesters in their turn. 
The fire was maddening, and the Manchesters 
were cruelly reduced in munbers. They lost 
their brigadier and many other officers, but 
Lancashire grit was not to be intimidated. For 
five hours the Manchester men stuck to their 
position in the hope that the Turks who were 
enfilading them would be driven back. They 
faced round their right flank to confront the 
foes who had got such an advantageous position. 
Reinforcements were sent to them. The Royal 
Naval Division was told to co-operate with the 
French in a fresh attack, timed for 3 p.m. 
T\vice General Gouraud postponed the advance, 
and at 6.30 the gallant French commander was 
obliged to report that he was unable to move. 
The Manchesters had to be brought back to the 
first line of captured trenches, and such was 
tlie spirit of the men that when first told to 
withdraw they refused to move. The Royal 
Fusiliers had meanwhile made a local advance, 
but they were also directed to withdraw, in 
order to maintain an even front. The French 
1st Division was twice counter-attacked during 
the succeeding night, but with this exception 
the conflict had ended before nightfall. Most 
of the reserves had been brought into the 



firing line, and it was not considered desirable 
to renew the attack next day. The British took 
400 prisoners, including 11 officers, and most 
of these captures were effected by the 42nd 
Division, which was commanded by Major- 
General W. Douglas. The prisoners included 
five Germans who formed part of a machine-gun 
crew furnished by the Goeben. The Third Battle 
of Krithia could not be coimted a success. Much 
of its original gains were lost, and its cliief 
result was to reveal the increasing strength of 
the enemy's resistance. 

The French had a brilliant action to them- 
selves on June 21, when they fought from dawn 
to dark with the object of seizing the Turkish 
works overlooking the hollow of the Kereves 
Dere. By noon the 2nd Division had stormed 
two lines of trenches, and captured again the 
coveted Haricot redoubt. On the right the 1st 
Division struggled for hours to take lines of 
Turkish trenches, which passed into the alter- 
nate possession of Frenchmen and Turlis time 
after time. General Gouraud made a last in- 
spiring call to the 1st Division at 2.45 p.m. He 
said that if the trenches were not taken before 
dark the gains of the 2nd Division would be 
lost. The youngsters who had been brought 
out from France to reinforce the 1st Division 
responded nobly. Their general had his wish, 
and by 6.30 the whole of the positions above 
the Kereves Dere were in French possession. 
A battaUon of the Foreign Legion and a 
battalion of Zouaves made the brilliant final 
charge which ensured complete success. During 
the day the French battleship Saint Louis bom- 
barded the Turkish artillery on the Asiatic 
side of the Straits from a point near Kmn 
Kale. No more notable, compact, or valu- 
able action was fought by the French dviring 
the whole of the operations on the peninsula. 
The French losses during the day were 2,500, 
and the enemy's casualties were estimated 
at 7,000. General Gouraud was badly wounded 
by a shell on Jime 30, and the command 
of the French Corps passed to General Bailloud. 
The injuries to General Gouraud proved very 
serious, and on Ixis passage back to France 
it was found necessary to amputate his right 
arm. His right thigh and left leg were broken. 
Vice-Admiral Nicol, the youngest vice-admiral 
in the French Navy, had been appointed some 
days earlier to command the French Fleet at 
the Dardanelles, Bear-Admiral Gu6pratte re- 
maining as second in command. 

The heartening French success had marked 

the end of the phase of general attacks all along 
the line, for which sectional attacks were 
thenceforth substituted. On June 28 the 
British left repeated in an even more striking 
manner the French victory on the right. The 
Turks had always been very strong, and 
extremely pertinacious, on the coast of the Gulf 
of Saros, opposite the British left. They were 
helped by a deep cleft, known as the Gully 
Ravine, whicn ran inwards towards Krithia 
from a point near Beach Y ; and the action of 
June 28 was recorded as the Battle of the 
Gully Ravine. The plan of the attack was 
prepared by General Himter -Weston, and the 
battle was fought by the 29th Division, the 
156th Brigade of the Lowland Division, and the 

I Ellioll ,- Fry. 

Who commanded the 87th Brigade. 

Indian Brigade. The 29th Division had lost a 
very large proportion of its original effectives, 
and some battalions had not a singlo officer left 
of those who landed on AprU 25 ; but large 
drafts had been sent out, and the Division was 
up to strength. The attack dehvered was in 
the form of an arc ; five trenches had to be 
carried near the sea, but only two farther inland. 
There was the usual artillery preparation, and 
H.M.S. Talbot (carefully guarded by destroyers 
and trawlers) steamed round Cape Tekke and 
enfiladed the nearest Turkish trenches with her 
fire. The enemy seemed short of ammimition, 
and throughout the day their field guns fired 
less than 300 rounds. The 10th Battery, R.F.A., 
did effective work in smashing wire entangle- 
ments, and the French had lent some trench 
mortars which proved useful, The bombard- 
ment, which began at 9 a.m., lasted nearly two 
hours. Just before 11 the 1st Battalion of the 



Border Regiment rushed a small work called 
by the British " Boomerang Fort," on the right 
o£ the ravine. Ten minutes later the 87th 
Brigade (the King's Own Scottish Borderers, 
Royal InniskiHing Fusiliers, and South Wales 
Borderers), conunanded by Major-General W. R. 
Marshall, stormed tliree lines of Turkish 
trenches between the ravine and the sea. 
Many Turks were found to have been buried in 
the trenches by the bombardment, but about 
100 surrendered. On the right of the ravine the 
4th and 7th Royal Scots of the Lowland Division 
took two lines of trenches, but the remainder 
of the 156th Brigade were checked by the 
Turkish fu-e. At 11.30 the 86th Brigade, led 
by the 2nd Royal Fusiliers, passed through the 
three trenches held by the 87th Brigade and 
took the remaining two trenches on the coast. 
The Indian Brigade had meanwhOe moved along 
the cliffs and seized a spur nmning from the 
west of the fiirthest captured Turkish trench to 
the sea. This was the limit of the British ob- 
jective. The trenches on the right of the attack, 
nearer Krithia, were not taken. The enemy 
made several counter-attacks on the two 
following nights, but without avail. The British 
losses in this spirited action were 1,750, and 
they were considered small. The dLstinguisliLng 
feature of the engagement was the splendid 
culminating charge of the 86th Brigade. The 
gains were definite and considerable ; "a whole 
mile along the coast, five lines of Turkish 
trenches, about 200 prisoners, three mountain 
guns, and an immense quantity of small arms 
ammunition and many rifles." No action since 
the first landing did more to cheer the British 
forces. It seemed to promise further progress. 
The Turks had been turned out of strong posi- 
tions, and had been utterly unable to retake 

Mr. Asliniead-Bartlett, who visited the Gully 
Ravine next day, wrote : 

All the way up that portion of the gully, only 24 hours 
before in the enemy's possession, there is a litter of 
dibris of the camp and of the great fight. Scattered 
bodies half protruding from the ground, hastily-dug 
graves, hundreds of rifles and bayonets, some broken, 
but the majority intact, thousands upon thousands of 
rounds ol ammunition— we made a very big haul indeed 
in this last engagement — entrenching tools, loaves of 
bread, soldiers' packs, Turkish letters, a Mullah's prayer 
stool (a souvenir eagerly sought after), great coats and 
kits, blankets and old sacks, cooking utensils, and 
Brewood, left just where the enemy abandoned them when 
our gallant infantry broke through at the bayonet's 
point! Great fires are burning at intervals. They 
are avoided by all, and give forth a horrid, a sickly 
stench. On these the Turkish dead, who have been 
hastily collected, are being burnt, for it is all important 

to get the dead out of the way as quickly as possible 
in this hot climate. 

The last prominent episode at Gallipoli during 
June was a determined attack upon Anzao, 
personally directed by Enver Pasha. He had 
come down from Constantinople, and ordered 
the Army to drive the Australians and New 
Zealanders into the sea. On the night of June 29 
a heavy musketry and artillery fire developed 
at midnight, principally against that portion of 
the Anzac front commanded by Major-General 
Sir A. J. Godley. At 1.30 a.m. a heavy column 
advanced to attack, and was quickly broken by 
the rifles and machine guns of the 7th and 8th 
Light Horse. Another attack an hour later 
against the left and left centre melted away 
with equal rapidity, and Enver returned to the 
capital, presumably discomfited. 

There was further heavy fighting during July, 
which will be dealt with later ; but the essential 
fact of the situation at the Dardanelles at the 
end of June was that the difficulties were in- 
creasing daily. Sir Ian Hamilton thus summed 
up a portion of them : 

The efforts and expedients whereby a great army 
has had its wants supplied upon a wilderness have, I 
believe, been breaking world records. 

The country is broken, mountainous, arid, and void 
of supplies ; the water found in the areas occupied by our 
forces is quite inadequate for their needs ; the only 
practicable beaches are small, cramped breaks in im- 
Dracticable lines of cliffs ; with the wind in certain 
quarters no sort of landing is possible : the wastage, by 
bombardment and wreckage, of lighters and small 
craft has led to crisis after crisis in our carrying capacity, 
whilst over every single beach plays fitfully throughout 
each day a devastating shell fire at medium ranges. 

Upon such a situation appeared quite suddenly the 
enemy submarines. On May 22 all transports had to be 
dispatched to Mudros for safety. Thenceforth men, 
stores, guns, horses, etc., etc., had to be brought from 
Mudros — a distance of 40 miles — in fleet sweepers and 
other small and shallow craft less vulnerable to sub- 
marine attack. Every danger and every difficulty was 

A far more vital factor was the formidable 
and growing strength of the Turkish positions. 
It was true that sectional attacks, such as that 
at the Gully Ravine, had proved successful ; 
but there were 50 miles of ravines on the Galli- 
poli Peninsula, and the Turks seemed ready to 
contest each one of them. The end of June was 
clearly another period at which careful re-exami- 
nation of the whole problem should have been 
made in London. The problem did receive 
some consideration, but the only result was the 
acceptance of plans for a fresh landing north 
of Anzac and the dispatch of large fresh forces, 
who went straight to disa,ster on the rolling and 
arid uplands above Suvla Bay. 



Australia's Prepabedness fob Was — The Navv — War Legislation — Dominion Leaders — 
Genesis oe the Anzacs — The Expedition to Gallipoli — History of the Campaign — Austra- 
lasian Episodes and Achievements — Deeds op Valour — The Situation at Home — Eelations 
with the British Government — Munitions and other War Work — New Zealand — Austra- 
lian Finance — The Tragedy of Gallipoli — Mr. Fisher as High Commissioner in London. 

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand from 
the beginning played their part iii 
the war with vigour and whole- 
heartedness. Their enthusiasms 
rivalled those of the Mother Country, and their 
direct and practical methods gave promise of 
valuable developments in the governance of 
Empire. The Imperial structure had been 
prepared for war so far as war had been foreseen. 
But an abundance of thinly developed Imperial 
Defence schemes, and of advice from the 
Imperial General Staff on early steps to be 
taken to protect local interests, was not real 
military preparedness. Of the Dominions 
generally, it must be said that their military 
strength was unorganized, although it was a 
potential military strength fully half that of 
the Mother Country. A few months before 
the war an effort had been made in New 
Zealand and AustraUa to prepare more definite 
plans, and the leading military officers, on the 
advice of the Imperial General Staff, had sug- 
gested that certain sections of the Dominions' 
armies should be organized on the basis of 
expeditionary forces, ready at a few days' 
notice to move to any part of the Empire. In 
AustraKa certain Scottish militia battalions 
were to be aUowed to wear kQts, instead of the 
distinctive Australian Garibaldi uniform, in 
recognition of their pledge to go where the 
Empire required their services. The reception 
of this scheme was distinctly unfavourable. 
Vol. VI.— Part 69 

because neither Austraha nor New Zealand 
had concluded the organization of its home- 
defence civilian armies. 

No such risks had been run with preparations 
on sea. The Australian Navy, purposely kept 
at greater strength than that of Germany in 
the Pacific, was ready to take its station in the 
Admiralty's prearranged plans. The ships 
were maintained at an efficiency very nearly 
bordering on complete mobilization, and their 
part in the event of war had been mapped out 
in detail. The organization was used for pro- 
tecting the trade routes, for snapping up 
Germany's possessions in the Pacific and for 
destroying her commerce. These objects were 
so efficiently pursued that the German Navy 
was unable to interfere with a single British 
ship in the South Pacific. Om- conunerce 
proceeded as in times of peace, except for 
variations in routes ; and the strong German 
squadron could do no more damage than a 
" thorough " but easily remedied disturbance 
of the Pacific Cable Board's station on Fanning 
Island. When this scourge was removed, 
H.M.A.S. Australia, a battle -cruiser paid for 
and maintained by direct Australian taxation, 
took her place among her sister ships in Admiral 
Beatty's battle-cruiser fleet, leading the second 
squadron ; and the light cruisers, torpedo craft 
and submarines filled their respective roles. The 
Australia reached northern waters too late for 
the engagement of January 24, but she had an 




Sir George Reid, the High Commissioner for Australia, inspecting an Australian Contingent at Romsey. 

unequalled steaming record to her credit, and she 
soon earned a reputation for cleanliness and 
readiness. The Grand Fleet dubbed her the 
" wa.llaby ship," because her mixed Australian 
and British crew received " wallaby " rates of 
pay. Their physicjue -svas uneciualled in the 
Fleet, and their keenness for battle was intense. 
There were soon regrets in Australasia that 
a better perspective of the war had not been 
obtained in these early months. The diffi- 
culties of judgment can readily be seen from 
the uncertainties which characterized the 
situation everywhere. No Australian leader 
had felt cpiite certain that many thousands 
of the country's young men would leave their 
new homes and friends and risk all for a 
cause that seemed assured of quick victory. 
(.)n the eve of the appeal for the first twenty 
thousand men, several of the political leaders 
felt some anxiety as to whether reinforcements 
could be promised in addition. It was not at 
once recognized that war had precipitated a 
spirit of supreme self-effacement. Dviring those 
months the public showed eagerness to spend 
all, and there \\'as far more restlessness at the 
lack of demand for sacrifices than there was 
contentment with the part, vigorous though it 
was, tliat Australasia was playing. Through- 
out cities and country, private opportunities 

for sharing the trials of the Allies were 
eagerly sought. Goods of high value and extra- 
ordinary assortment %vere given to the Defence 
Department. It became almost a mark of 
lack of sympathy to ride in a motor-car which 
was not doing some war work, or on a horse 
which had not been offered to the troops. 
Estates were handed over to the Government 
for use as camping grounds, large gifts of floiu" 
and meat were made for the armies. By 
November, 1915, the sums contributed to the 
War Funds in Australia amounted to more 
than three millions and a half sterling. Of this, 
nearly one million was subscribed for Belgian 
relief, a cause that secured a great outpouring 
of sjrmpathy in Australia. More than that sum 
was raised for the benefit of Australian wounded. 
In one day £700,000 was raised for the 
"Australia Day" Fund. South Australia 
alone contributed £250,000, or ten shillings 
per head of population. The demonstra- 
tions of private generosity were no less con- 
spicuous in New Zealand. The sinking in the 
English Channel by a German submarine of a 
ship specially chartered to carry chosen gifts 
from the people of New Zealand to those of 
Belgium did more than many official cables 
to make the Dominions realize the conditions 
prevailing in Eiu-ope. All the people asked 



was that their whole resources should be mobi- 
lized and thrown into the scale. They asked 
that the cost should be shared, that it should be 
a national effort, and that all should be spent 
ratlier than defeat risked. True, there was a 
certain feeling, eneoiu'aged by oflicial delays 
in London, that Australasian strength could not 
weigh in the scales. Only a small section of 
Australasia really believed that their country 
itself was in danger from the Germans. The 
appeal for military action could not be a direct 
appeal for defence of Australian homes. Everj'- 
thing done was done, as in other parts of the 
Empire, from broad and honourable motives 
of pursuing the common cause of the Empire. 

Towards the (Germans in Australasia 
restrained but obstinate feeling was displayed. 
Throughout the latter half of the last century 
Germany provided Australasia with more immi- 
grants than any other foreign country. They 
were for the most part Prussians, Bavarians, 
and Saxons, who went into farming districts 
where the pioneering had already been done. 
They formed their colonies, and German 
was the language spoken in several thickly settled 
districts in South Australia, and in a few localities 
in the Geelong district of Victoria and the 
Riverina district of New South Wales. Some 

efforts were made by Berlin to organize pr»- 
German opinion before the ^^■ar, and an ener- 
getic Consul-General, Herr Kiliani, toiu'ea 
the German settlements with a retinue of naval 
officers. Though many Germans made con- 
ditions unpleasant for themselves and com- 
pelled the creation of large concentration 
camps, in which they were interned, and 
though it could not be said that the sym- 
pathies of the older German colonists were wholly 
alienated from their Fatherland, a remarkable 
cordiality towards the land of their adoption 
was the outstanding characteristic of the prob- 
lem which their presence raised. Their 
Church Synods passed resolutions supporting 
the cause of Australia, and they sent their sons 
with the expi'ditionary forces. Many German 





0Bm^ . \ 



Lady Maxwell (wife of General Sir John Maxwell, 
commander of His Majesty's forces in Egypt) 
unfurling the flag at the New Zealand Hospital, 

Flying over the New Zealand Hospital, Cairo. 

assemblies which had found foncbiess for Ger- 
many as they remembered it stronger than their 
loyalty for the coimtry which had given them 
their homes hurried to renounce their old faith 
when the Lusitania was simk. The number of 
German names in the Australian casualty lists 
must have struck every observer. These men 
for the most part would not admit that they 
were fighting for Great Britain ; they were at 
war for Australia, which they were boimd to 
defend. The distinctive characteristics of 
Australia and its people, the newness and fresh- 
ness of life there, had thus captured the 
Australian -Germans of the second generation. 

The strongest denmonstration against aliens 
came after the loss of the Lusitania, when wild 
riots occurred, and the Governments closed all 
German clubs and halls and interned large 
numbers of men. Germans were compelled to 



Australians returning to camp after breaking-in remounts. 

resign from public positions. >s'o one whose 
patriotism and support of the war A\as not in- 
tense could remain in any official situation. 
In South Australia the Attorney-General, ^Mr 
Homberg, although his sympatliies were beyond 
question, resigned from office in face of pubUc 
feehng. The public resented the treatment 
given to the interned men, many of whom had 
been earning scanty hvings as bandsmen and 
had been interned at their own request, in 
conformity with international law. The 
imprisoned Germans showed their inherent 
capacity for orderliness by making the intern- 
ment camps models of well-lit, well-built, and 
well-managed institutions. Australians had to 
confess that these were better camps than their 
own military encampments. The New Zealand 
Germans were interned on an island in shark- 
infested Wellington Harbour, where they could 
do what they liked without troubling anybody. 
The Imperial Government used the comparative 
harmlessness of German concentration camps 
in Australasia to good advantage, and large 
ntunbers of Germans arrested for internment 
in Ceylon and other dependencies were taken 
charge of by the Australasian authorities. The 
New Zealand public demanded a wholesale 
rounding up oi the alien enemies in the 
Dominion, and included a section of the 
naturalized Germans. But the policy of both 
Dominions was to follow Imperial advice in all 

matters affecting internati<jnal law, a rough 
and ready line of demarcation faitMuIly fol- 
lowed by all the Dominions. 

The measures of Federal and State Parlia- 
ments to adapt life to war conditions became of 
lasting interest to the rest of the Empire because 
of their coiu-ageousness. In the attitude towards 
the enemy nothing was left to chance. No 
attacks were made on things German simply 
because they were German. But the Attorney- 
General of the Federal Ministry, Mr. William 
Morris Hughes, who introduced the principal 
Acts, and who was throughout the principal 
spokesman of the irreconcilable anti-German 
community, gave his countrymen a satisfying 
feeling that nothing remained undone through 
lack of detestation of the enemy. His rights 
under ' the Patents Acts disappeared. The 
rush for naturalization was abruptly stopped. 
The German hold on Australian industries was 
gradually relaxed. Acts controlling alien 
enemies gave drastic powers to the authorities. 
Under the Trading with the Enemy Act prose- 
cutions showed marked determination to root 
out the evil, regardless of the standing of the 
persons concerned. The military authorities 
were encouraged to make searches of establish- 
ments where business with Germans had pre- 
viously been done. In one such place a collec- 
tion of rifles was found, but no attempt at 
organized rebelUon was discovered, nor indeed 


Soldiers from Victoria 

would it have had the slightest support of any- 
large body of Aiistralian Germans. Apart from 
such measiu-es and the long and hard fight for 
release of the metal industry from German 
control, the attention of the Governments was 
fully occupied in raising the armies and in 
regulating the new industrial situation. In all 
States and in New Zealand drastic methods 
were taken to prevent exploitation of the public's 
new circumstances. Legislation instituting 
boards to fix prices was hurried through. Thus 
in New South Wales, where the State Govern- 
ment commandeered wheat and foimded State 
bakeries, the price of flour remained con- 
siderably lower than the world price. The 
Government acquired more than 300,000 
bushels of wheat from its farmers at a set price 
of 53. a bushel, when the world price was over 
8s. These boards met with varying success, 
and their utility changed with the seasons. 
They could not prevent an increase of nearly 
30 per cent, in the cost of living, but it was 
noticeable that the increase was lowest in those 
States in which their work was continuous. 
As trade became more settled the tribunals 
relaxed their activities, imtil, after a year of 
war, only a few fixed maximum prices remained. 
For many months tlie State legislatures 
seemed unable to settle down to any legislation 
not directly bearing on the war, and they gave 
the bulk of their time to reforms in the industrial 

on a route march. 

legislation and to directing the employment of 
men who had lost their occupations owing to 
restriction of employment. It must be remem- 
bered that, imlike the United ICingdom and 
Canada, Australia received little share of the 
mimition and war material manufacture which 
maintained industrial activity at a liigh 
standard elsewhere. Yet there was no part of 
the Empire where relations between employers 
and their men remained on such excellent 
terms. The unions never attempted to bring 
pressure upon employers by threats of strikes. 
The severe limitation of profits on war con- 
tracts, followed by the decision of the Federal 
Ministry to commandeer all profits on war 
material manufactures above the average 
percentage for the tliree years preceding the 
war, satisfied the workers that their industries 
were not being exploited for the gain of the 

The policy enunciated at first from seemingly 
authoritative sources, that of " keeping Aus- 
tralia going with as little hindrance to sound 
industry and local development as possible," 
never had more than a temporary popularity. 
Australia worked as if war was at its own doors, 
and an invader was being dealt with. Women 
on all sides engaged on a mass of ill-directed 
war work which at any rate eased their minds. 
There was a great national demand to have an 
individual part in the war, and where the 




Goveminents failed to provide outlet for ener- 
gies private organisations stepped in. Rifle 
clubs were thronged with new members, new 
clubs sprang up in all parts of the country. 
Volunteers for home service pressed their claims 
upon the Defence Department, and when refused 
official recognition formed large organizations of 
their own. In New South Wales, where the 
movement was led by the ex-Minister of Educa- 
tion, the Hon. Campbell Carmichael, M.L.A., 
who later formed a battalion of 1,000 sharp- 
shooters from his reservists and enlisted for 
service with them as a private, 20,000 able- 
bodied men were enrolled in a fortnight. 
The idea behind these organizations, which 

organized criticism from the Opposition benches. 
Both Dominions went through the pangs of 
general elections, and five Australian States had 
State elections close upon the heels of the 
Federal elections. These did not excite the 
outbursts of feeling which formerly characterized 
Au.stralaslan poUtical contests. It was common 
for rival meetings on opposite street corners to 
end about the same time, and the notes of the 
National Anthem would arise from the opposing 
camps. In the Parliaments, the Governments 
had only to say that their measures were war 
naeasures to ensure quick acceptance. In New 
Zealand, where the elections gave the Massey 
Government an unworkable majority, both 


The last of tue raiding German cruiser " Emden," which was destroyed by the H.M.A.S. " Sydney" in one 
hour and forty minutes after the firing of the first shot off Cocos Keeling Island, November 9th, 1914. 

flourished particularly in the south island 
of New Zealand, was that men who could 
not then be accepted for foreign service, or 
whose position was such that they would 
be amongst the last to be called up, should 
secure what training could be gi\-en in the city 

In the political sphere there was a wise 
tempering of opposition with action. The old 
class jealousies largely died down, hushed by the 
.seriousness of the conomon crisis ; but in all the 
Austrahan Parliaments, and for eight months in 
the New Zealand Parliament, there remained 

parties joined forces to ensure efficiency and ease 
in war administration. 

The Dominion had in Mr. W. F. Massey, 
Sir Joseph Ward and Mr. Allen typical Austra- 
lasian leaders, who had risen from working 
boys to be men of substance. An Ulster- 
man who had gone through the heartaches of 
colonial farming, Mr. Massey showed himseK 
a plain-thinking and practical man, and he 
was typical of that imquestioning New Zea- 
land loyalty which no disaster could ever shake. 
Sir Joseph Ward, more adroit, perhaps, in 
Parliament and on the platform, brought into 



service a wide experience of Imperial adminis- 
tration, and personal knowledge of those leaders 
in London who had never thought it worth 
while to travel within the Empire. Mr. Allen 
was a cautious administrator, economical, and 
a zealous student of London models. No coali- 
tion was achieved or even seriously considered 
in Australia. Powerful newspapers, nervous 
about the prospects of radical legislation passed 
as war measures becoming permanent, de- 
manded a fusion, but neither side in the Federal 
Parliament believed that its leaders could work 
with strength alongside the men they had 
fought in some of the bitterest and most 
advanced political contests in the history of the 
Empire. Mr. Andrew Fisher, who took rank 
during the war as one of the strongest men in 
the Empire, thoroughly disbelieved in coalitions. 
He remained until October, 1915, the supreme 
liead in Australia, settling the most troublous 
questions in all departments, and controlling 
Parliament without difficulty. Like Mr. Massey 
and his own lieutenant, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Fisher 
was a native of the United Kingdom. He was a 
product of the coal mines of AyrsMre, and hard 
experiences in boyhood had evolved that poUcy 
of caring for Uves more than for property, which 
for five years had been the outstanding note in 
the Australian Parhament. Mr. Fisher secured 
the Opposition's representation on a war com- 
mittee of twelve, six from each side, who shared 
the secrets of the Prime Ministry and the 
Defence Department and assisted in recruiting. 
But though the Opposition appointed the ex- 
Prime Minister, Mr. Joseph Cook, who, like Mr. 
Fisher, had begun life in a British coal mine- 
Senator E. D. Millen, an aggressive and re- 
sourceful ex -Minister of Defence, and Sir William 
Hill -Irvine, the ex -Attorney General, a North 
Irishman who had been the first to sound the 
note popularly called " pessimisin " and who 
brought a well-equipped and powerful intellect 
into the counsels, the Cabinet retained respon- 
sibility and control of all measures. The war 
committee was never accepted as an authorita- 
tive body in the conxmunity, and it achieved 
little. Better success attended the treatment 
of the demands of the Government that refer- 
endums should be taken to enlarge the Federal 
Constitution at the expense of the States. 
This was in reality a search for the key of the 
Labour programme, which entailed the estab- 
lishing of national industries on a large scale, 
beginning vrith iron and shipping, and the 
regulation of prices, wages and profits. The 

(iovermnent certainly found itself hampered by 
the sovereign rights of the States, and in such 
matters as the acquiring of the meat output at 
the request of the Imperial Government there 
were serious conflicts between Federal and State 
authorities. The sacrifice by which all parties 
agreed that the Federal Parliament should have 
full powers during the war and for one year 
afterwards was one that onljr those who had 
lived through the transition stage in which 
Australia passed from a collection of autono- 
mous and jealous States into a continental 
nation could appreciate. It showed how Aus- 
tralia recognised that in party politics the clock 
had stopped. It was another exemplification of 
that policy of " setting our teeth and seeing it 
through," expressed by Mr. Hughes after the 
early casualty lists. The nation was in no 
mood to fight in factions. Its anxiety for its 
men in Gallipoli, and its desire to use more of its 
strength, had become acute. It suffered from 
an itch of impotence, feeling helpless and un- 
happy tlirough not being fvdly organized and 
led to supreme efforts. It was generally said 
that those men only were happy who had 
donned the Australian uniform and taken rifles 
to the firing lin . The spirit of Anzac had per- 
colated through the two nations, and changed 
their fibre. The thoughts of Australia and New 
Zealand were following the fortunes of their sons 
on those dreary and inhospitable cliffs where the 
destiny of Turkey was being so strangely linked 
with theirs. They were busy, too, with visions 
of a new Australianism and a new Imperialism, 
and for the first time in their history were be- 
coming conscious of their place in the troubled 
orbit of conflicting nations. 

The Australian and New Zealand Ai-my Corps 
had acliieved an historical feat, and its com- 
position and work require examining. Its 
renown as one of the finest fighting forces any 
Empire has produced led to its being called a 
corps d'elite, but it was characteristic rather than 
specially representative of Australasia. It was 
merely the first assemblmg of early volunteers 
after the declaration of war. The men came 
into the camps from all parts of the DominioiLs, 
many journeying hundreds of miles on horse- 
back or on foot to enlist. Botfi Dominions had 
been roughly mapped by the military leaders 
into territorial areas, from each of which a 
quota of recruits was to be accepted. It was 
thus arranged that the men from one district 
should fight side by side — that the man from 









1 . > ^^ta 

^^B ' ' Wm^' I^^^B ^^^^9SHHB^^^«9^H 




the Snowy should find himself beside a comrade 
from his own locality in the Light Horse, and 
men from the West Australian minefields should 
be together in the engineers. Except that re- 
striction of employment through drought in- 
creased the quotas from Victoria, it was found 
that similar enthusiasm prevailed in all parts, 
and recruits came forward from States and Pro- 
vinces in about equal percentages of population. 
They were drafted into training camps in eacli 
State, and took naturally to that open-air life 
which for six months before their supreme trial 
toughened their muscles and hardened their 
spii-its. It was all new work, both in Austraha 
and New Zealand. But the Kitchener com- 
pulsory training schemes — the outcome of Lord 
Kitchener's visit to Australasia in 1910 — though 
insufficiently advanced to provide many trained 
men for the expeditionary armies, had set 
up administrative machinery which proved 
invaluable. Working upon raw material of 
the finest quality, this machinery was able 
to produce within two months a fully equipped 
division in Australia and half a division in 
New Zealand, both ready to the last button, 
and locally provided with every necessity 
except hea\'y howitzers. Australia indeed 
had set about its mihtary administration 
so earnestly that in addition to equipping 
its ov\'n forces it was able to assist other 
Dominions. It had for foiu- vears had the 

advantage of the strongly developed war 
administration of Senator George Foster 
Pearce, an Australian-born carpenter whose 
name is indissolubly linked with the creation of 
the Austral ian Army and Navy. It helped South 
Africa with ammunition, and was in the early 
days applied to by that coimtry for artillery. 
It I'aised a heavy siege brigade for European 
service, and sent a flying corps to General 
Nixon's expeditionai-y force in Mesopotamia. 
As they watched their little army grow, Aus- 
tralians regretted that they had not taken still 
greater heed of warnings given their statesmen, 
on the subject of German aggression, at the 
1911 Imperial Conference. But they could 
justly claim that on land as on sea they were 
more ready than any other self-governing 
Dominion. They were in the peculiar position 
of having a higher military annual cost per head 
than even Germany, and yet finding themselves 
without trained men to send out of the country. 
They had to improvize, to expand, and to create. 
A few years more of preparation would have 
made their early war measures very differej\t 
indeed. Australia and New Zealand could then 
have launched, within a month, armies of fully 
150,000 men, fit to march against any troops 
in the world. 

Such was the genesis of the Anzacs. Here, 
among their own people, they were equipped. 
Much they owed to Major-General William 



Throsby Bridges, who began liis work for the 
first Australian Division with the first sound of 
M ar, and ended by giving his life for it on the 
tands in GalhpoU. Before he could lead the 
Division, General Bridges had to organize it. 
His energy and force infused the factories 
which produced xiniforms froni mere wool, 
rifles from mere steel, boots from new hides, 
and hats from the furs of rabbits. Much 
the Division owed., too, to the workers in the 
factories, who joyfully laboiu'ed day and night 
that the Dominion's forces should have the best 
of everything ; to the railway employes and 
the tentmakers, the sock-loiitters, and those 
who had horses and motor-cars to give. In 
both Dominions it required such generous and 
indefatigable efforts as came from all classes to 
secure the results achieved. Both communities, 
led by their small staffs of military experts and 
by politicians who did not falter at any ex- 
pense, laid aside other work in order that this 
should be well done. There were scenes of 
great rejoicing when, two months after the 
declaration of war, the men inarched through 
the cities, as magnificent an arrav of manliood 

as the Empire had seen. Thirty-three thousaiif' 
men were ready to sail by the end of November : 
fifteen thousand men were training in camp, 
getting ready to fill the places of those who, 
jaunty now in confidence of their strength, 
might fall. 

It will never be clainied, however, that the 
Australasian Army Corps was made in tlie 

Inset : Maori Chiefs in Egypt. 



training fields of Australasia. There, on their 
own land, in the sunshine they had not yet 
leajnt to prize, the men from the factories, the 
warehouses, and citj^ offices, the long, " lanky " 
Queenslanders from the Warrego, the farmers' 
sons from the Parramatta, and the wiry country- 
men from the Hunter, the Murrumbidgeo pastor- 
alists, and the kangaroo shooters from the 
Murray Plains — there, with broad-backed miners 
from Bendigo and Kalgoorlie, and stocky South 
Australians, they were given their first martial 
training, their company drill and musketry 
courses. But it was in Egypt that they were 
made into soldiers. It was the desert that made 
them. On the long marches on the sands and 
in the long watches round the Pyramids and 


New South Wales Signallers at their camp in the 
Desert at Heliopolis, Cairo. 

Heliopolis camps, they passed tlirough the 
ordeal of labour which is the essential prepara- 
tion for every achievement. It was there that 
the first 30,000 men from Australia and the first 
10,000 from New Zealand were moulded into an 
army corps. Lieutonant-General Birdwood, 
chosen by Lord Kitchener as their coromander, 
met them. The new discipline of foreign service 
settled down upon them, the esprit de corps of 
their force became a thing to be reckoned with. 
The men grew to hate the desert. They were 
in it for three months. They became jaded, 
mentally and physically, under the iron soldiers' 
regime. As draft after draft came forward 
from Australasia, and the army grew into three 
divisions, and all gaps in the ranks were filled 
by the regidar inflow, the process was always 
the same. Egypt preceded the firing line, and 

rigid training under an Imperial officer — at 
first under Lieutenant-General Birdwood, then 
under Major-General Spens — was imposed on 
all except those reinforcement drafts urgently 
wanted after heavy losses. It was so loyally 
and cheerfully gone through that General 
Bridges declared that the Australians had won 
their first victory on the sands of Egypt. Their 
commonsense and desire to become an efficient 
unit in the Imperial armies triumphed over the 
self-dependence learnt on their own free and 
limitless spaces, and many men wrote home to . 
say that, though they loathed the sands of 
Egypt, they owed to them their strength as 
fighting men. 

It was with great joy and eagerness that the 
men embarked for Gallipoli. They were at last 
to fight. Training had taken more time than 
they had bargained for. They had begun to 
fear those disintegrating forces which, in the 
midst of the strange, monotonous soldier's life in 
a country that was ever remote from their ideas 
of home, had shown themselves in such incidents 
as the mild riots in the Whasa district of Cairo. 
They had confidence in their leaders and them- 
selves, and though they loiew that casualties 
would be high in their earlj' fighting, they had 
no doubt about the result. General Birdwood 
had made the First Australian Division the firet 
division of his corps, and his second division he 
had formed out of the two brigades of infantry 
and the moimted infantry sent by New Zealand, 
together with the Fourth Australian Infantry 
Brigade and the First Australian Light Horse 
Brigade, part of which were divisional mounted 
troops. Commanding the first division was 
General Bridges, who proved in fighting 
as in organizmg to be "a leader possessing in 
rare strength the greatest qualities of a soldier," 
as General Hamilton said after his death. 
General Bridges had on his staff the most bril- 
liant young Australian professional soldiers 
produced by fifteen years of Federal army work, 
and it should be mentioned that in his Chief of 
Staff, Colonel C. B. Whyte, p.s.c, who received 
one of the many decorations bestowed on Aus- 
tralian officers, he, possessed an inspiring j'oung 
Australian leader 'who became a great force in 
Anzac. In command of the mixed Australian 
and New Zealand Division was Major-General 
Sir A. Godley, of the Irish Guards, %vho for some 
years had been tutoring New Zealand in its uni- 
versal service scheme. General Godley had 
Imperial officers in the principal positions on his 
staff, and his division more nearly approximated 



Party of the New Zealand Contingent in Egypt. 

to a British division than did either of the Aus- 
tralian divisions — a difference to be expected 
from the absence in New Zealand of that dis- 
finctive nationalism which had developed ir 
Australia. The complete success of the landing 
spoke much lor the two divisional and the six 
brigade staffs. It was difficult to realize what 
an enormous amo'jnt of work and strain had to 
be borne in preparation for such a feat, in which 
no detail could be left to chance it disaster was 
to be avoided. The loss suffered by the force 
when General Bridges fell to a Turkish sniper 
could be weighed in lives. A cold man with an 
ideal of meticulous accuracy, he had neverthe- 
less endeared himself to his troops, and they 
were not satisfied until thoy had taken a revenge 
upon the Turks, in the actions of May 18-19, 
tlescribed in Chapter XCVIII., so severe that the 
enemy was compelled to seek an armistice to 
bury his dead. General Bridges was posthu- 
mously knighted, and his body was taken from 
its grave in Egypt to Australia, where it was 
interred on the Federal capital site at Canberra, 
in the wild bush near the Royal Australian 
Mihtary College he had created. 

After General Bridges's death, Brigadier- 
General Walker, an Indian Army soldier 
brought by General Birdwood on his staff, 
took over the First Division. The Federal 
Government sent from Melbourne the apostle 
of compulsory service, Colonel J. G. Legge 
to take over the First Division, and promoted 
liim brigadier-general. But he had been only 

a lew days on the peninsula when it became 
necessary to give the division a rest from the 
trenches, in which they had been for nearly five 
months. He was given the onerous task of 
organizing and commanding the Second Aus- 
tralian Division, which he formed out of large 
drafts from Australia then completing their 
training in Egypt. With this he returned to 
GaUipoli in September, thus enabling the First 
Division to rest and refit. It was a disappomt- 
ment to Australia that General Legge, who witli 
Colonel Whyte was the military hope of the 
Australian democracy, did not find scope in the 
nation s first military operations until the story 
of Anzac was so far advanced, but in General 
Walker the division had a hard-hitting, down- 
right soldier, who shared with his men the 
Anzac spirit of enduring comradeship. 

In previous chapters the narrative of the 
earlier episodes at Anzac has been given. There 
are, however, considerations and incidents 
which should be set torth here. They help 
us to weigh the Imperial importance of the 
Australasian effort in the war, and explain 
the spirit which promised much after the 
war. What was expected from the Australasian 
Army Corps during the first days in GaUipoli 
was not made clear. Certainly the prevalent 
opinion was that the task was simple, that the 
naval fire would have a shattering effect on the 
TurlvS, and that the peninsula would soon be 
straddled. Although General Bridges and 
Colonel Howse, V.C., a New South Wales 



(country doctor, who did heroic work as director 
oi' medical services on General Bridges's staff, 
arranged as far as was in their po^^er for evacua- 
tion of 5,000 wounded, others were not so long- 
sighted. There were very few hospital ships 
prepared for casualties from the landing. 

With each force, the British at Helles and the 
Australasian at Sari Bair, artillery horses and 
full ambulance transport were sent, indicating 
the existence of hopes and expectations which 
wore doomed to disappointment. On the other 
hand, though calculations were made upon an 
over-estimation of the power of the naval 
artillery to cover the advancing army, it was 
fully expected by the Australasian staffs that 
the landing would be sternly opposed and would 
lead to very heavy losses. As a matter of fact, 
great feat though it was, the Australasian 
landing was assisted by an extraordinary mis- 
hap. The Navy in the darkness, steaming 
without lights and in unknown waters, had 
landed General Birdwood's pioneer force one 
mile north of the position chosen. They hit 
upon a spot so rugged and barren that the Turks, 
thinliing that no force could be landed there and 
that no commander would be foolish enough to 
attempt it, had prepared few defences. On the 
wide point of Gaba Tepe, on the other hand, 
where clear undulating plains open an easy way 
across the peninsula, the Turks had erected 
barbed wire entanglements in the sea and made 
a landing almost impossible. Had the Aus- 
tralasians been put ashore here, as proposed, 
they would have won an exposed foothold, but 
they might liave been utterly broken in the first 
assault upon the Turk. " Our orders were to 
land, to get into contact with the enemy, and to 
push in," wrote a senior Australian officer. 
" We had thought of all contingencies, and had 
decided our policy in the event of mistiming in 
landing or of overwhelming opposition. That 
policy was to send in boatload after boatload, 
until in the end as much of our programme as 
was possible was achieved, or we ourselves were 
wrecked in this honourable but hazardous 

The Australasians' qualities as fighters proved 
equal to every change in the situation in 
Gallipoli. At first, when a thin line, stretched 
along the edges of the cliffs and guJlies, was 
precariously holding back great bodies of 
Turks, it was indeed a question whether the 
corps should not be re-embarked. Twice 
the transports lying off the coast were ordered 
to send in their small boats, lest withdrawal 

should be forced upon the Australasians. 
The army corps commanders were doubtful 
on the first evening about the advantages 
or possibility of holding on, and the decision 
was referred to General Hamilton on his 
staff ship off Helles. For some days the 
Turks had all the best of things. Their snipers 
enfiladed the gullies, their artiller}' poured 
shrapnel from each side upon the beaches and 
trenches. Only the slight protection afforded 
by the cliff itself made the future Anzac possible. 
The strain upon physical endurance was intense. 
Great difficulties were experienced in getting 
water and ammunition across the roadless 
gullies, through the thick scrub, up the pre- 
cipitous sides to the few defenders. There 
seemed to be none of the elements of victory 
and all the elements of disaster. Months after, 
when the survivors looked back on those awful 
days, they agreed that it was sheer physical 
strength that had enabled the corps to hold on. 
The men had the will and physique to endure. 
In the extremes of tiredness, they were slightly 
less tired than the Turks. From the first day 
a wonderful spirit was displayed. The wounded 
.staggered back from the di'essing stations to 
the trenches. Men died with the same simple, 
unquestioning heroism with which they had 
fought. The mortally wounded did not com- 
plain. Those being carried down from the hills 
roused themselves, as they passed the reserves, 
to breathe a word of encouragement or defiance 
It was a fiery spirit, and it carried forward thest 
forty thousand men, trained to the last ounce 
in physical strength, with irresistible momentum. 
Anzac became theirs. But its problems 
never became simple. No one could see how 
it could be used, so broken and precipitous 
was the country into which it led. No one could 
see, for a time, how it could be held. It was 
merely a foothold on cliffs, on a deep gully and 
on the gully-sides beyond ; the posts along the 
side were slenderly held, and to be swept off 
at one would mean that the others were un- 
tenable. At the gully head was a position 
commanding the whole of Anzac, known as 
"Dead Man's Ridge," which the Australasians 
lost large numbers in several efforts to capture, 
and from which only the resourcefulness and 
skill of the Australasian snipers — old " rifle 
club " men for the most part — kept the Turks. 
The weather was beautifully cahn and mild, 
but no one could tell when tho exposed 
anchorage would become tossed by winds for 
days on end, and neither stores nor reinforce- 



The march past before General Sir Ian Hamilton at Mena Gamp, near Cairo. 

ments could be landed. For protection on the 
flanlis, the navy's guns had to be relied upon ; 
and the appearance of enemy submarines com- 
pelled the disappearance of the fleet until such 
time as specially adapted monitors and old 
cruisers arrived to take up the work. It was a 
situation calling for not only endurance and 
courage, but engineering skill and resource in 
organization. The use of hand grenades had 
not been foreseen ; bombs had to be improvised, 
and bomb-throwers instructed. The way these 
civilian soldiers — farmers' sons fresh from their 
ploughshares, solicitors and clerks brought from 
their libraries and desks — made of Anzac an 
ahnost impregnable fortress was one of the finest 
feats of the war. "Remarkable defences were 
improvised at such places as Quinn's and 
Courtney's Posts. Tunnelling, barricading, and 
sap making proceeded uninterruptedly for five 

Resource and initiative were developed 
in unsuspected quarters. A New Zealand 
solicitor. Colonel Malone, proved himself a 
military engineer of great ability. Having 
transformed Quinn's Post from a vital point of 
danger to a foothold for offence, he died there. 

The Post was the key to Anzac, and the en- 
counters upon it would alone make an epic. It 
was held on the night after the landing by ijhe 
remnants of several companies driven back to 
the edge of the gully, and the Turks were never 
nearer victory than when they faced these lonely 
and worn-out infantrymen. Major Quinn, 
a Queensland officer, after whom the Post was 
named, was killed whilst organizing an attack 
from it, and later a liight Horse company went 
to its doom from it as part of the costly opera- 
tions of early August. It should be recorded 
that artillery officers, among whom were the 
first graduates of the Royal Military College, 
got their guns into the very trenches throughout 
Anzac, and suffered always from the handicap 
that their emplacements were necessarily fe\A' 
and well known to the Turks, whereas the Turks 
had square miles in which to choose their 
positions. A young private invented a peri- 
scope rifle, wliich, until the enemy copied it, gave 
the whole corps a marked ascendancy over 
Turkish trench fire. In many extraordinary 
ways the Dominion men's self-reUance and 
initiative displayed themselves. Perhaps the 
most notable of all was the resourcefulness of 

Field Artillery returning to camp from the desert. 




the siiipera. l:>y sheer obstinacy and skill the 
Australasian riflemen overcame the Tm-ks, 
until it became perfectly safe to walk in gullies 
which the Turks commanded, and even to show 
oneself over the Australasians' lines. The 
Turks contrived wickerwork boxes which, 
placed slantingly in their sandbags, seemed to 
defy detection. But they soon learnt that they 
could not fire without attracting a deadly return. 
Nor could they throw one bomb upon the 
Australasians without getting two or three 
back. The Australasians became ascendant. 
The Turks were obviously afraid of them. 
Their prisoners told how for some weeks no 
men would go into the trenches opposite Quinn's 
Post unless given special promotion, so frightful 
was the Australian rain of bombs. It was said 
that Enver Bey, during a visit to his country- 
men's lines, stopped this procedure, and ordered 
a charge which ended in complete disaster. 

To those who went through it, more striking 
even than the facing of death in Gallipoli was 
the capacity of the soldiers to endure. They 
were faced with hardships comparable with 
those of the Crimea. They were never, at 


A scene on the Quayside. Inset : The Gamp 


any point, out of range of Turk gims. Tlirir 
dug-outs afforded them more mora! than pliy- 
sical shelter. They were in reality safer in the 
trenches than on fatigue duty on the beaches 
iir in the gullies. The weather until late 
October wivs indeed a glorious calm, the sky 
scarcely clouded, the blue waters of the ^gean 
scarcely rufifled. Sometimes, for a few minutes 
only, when bathers were in the sea, and Xorth 
Sea trawlers APere steaming leisxirely about with 
stores, one could imagine, at Helles, at Anzac, or 
at Suvla, that in this wild and inhospitable 
country all was at peace — that war could not 
take place for such barren shores, and that the 
dread reality would prove a dream. But the 
guns were seldom silent. The rain of shells 
and the whistle of bullets wore everlasting. The 
work in the trenches was continuous. Our 
hold was never firm. It always required all 
the efforts of all the men we cculd land and 
feed in Gallipoli. The food could never be what 
it was in France. There was nowhere to forage, 
except the little Greek island villages on Imbros, 
which was inaccessible exccjot to a very few. 
Bully beef, onions, biscuits, tea, and water were 
the staple, almost the only, articles of diet. 
There were three great days in Gallipoli — the 
first when the troops first got news through the 
issue at General Headquarters of a daily broad- 
sheet. Peninsular Press ; the second, when 
they got meat ; the third, when they got bread. 
But bread as Icnown in Gallipoli was different 
from what these men had consumed at home. 
Once the Army Service Corjas got fresh eggs to 
the Suvla trenches, and it performed other 
feats. But the monotony of the food meant 



a great deal. The men could grt no change, and 
they suffered. They could get no relief from 
■work. They were never without great hopes 
and determination, or \\itho\it full confidence 
that the Turks could and would be beaten. But 
there was throughout the Peninsula a mental 
and physical strain which «aa often manifest. 

Few armies have borne so much over such 
a length of time, few have risen better to 
perilous tasks at the call of their commanders. 
When after the great Tm-kish assault on 
Anzac Une.s on May 18-19 — an assault in 
which the eneniy changed completely in one 
hour the Australasians' feelings to\\'ards the 
Turks, by an exhibition of unsurpassable 
bravery — the Tm-kish dead brought flies to 
the scene, the agony of dysentery was added 
lo those of the prolonged and obstinate fighting. 
The dysentery could never be overtaken. 
It smote down nearly everyone in Anzac. 
The place was septic, and men in ill-health 
had small chance of picking up again. Though 
not a particularly virulent form of the disease, 
it had mortal effect in many hundreds of 
cases, owing somewhat to the difficulties 
encountered in hospital transport. When the 
flies disappeared with the first signs of winter, 
the Ohiess abated. But by that time dysentery 
almost more than Turkish bullets and shell had 
sadly reduced tlie armies in each zone. As an 

army of offence, the Australasian Army Corps 
had lost its original vigour after the great 
assaults of early August, when the first Aus- 
tralian Brigade won the Lone Pine position on 
the right of Anzac, the sixth and eighth Light 
1 torse Brigades were flung in a great and hope- 
less charge against " Baby Seven Hundred," and 
the Fomth Australian Iirfantry Brigade and 
two. New Zealand brigades suffered terribly 
in the brilliant work against the Sari Bair 
Ridge to the left of the New Zealand outposts. 
But nothing cheered the men more than to be 
told that a Turkish attack was expected, or 
an Anzac attack was being planned. They 
would manage to struggle round, at all costs, 
wiiile there was real fighting in sight. Heroic 
endurance was the order of the day. Men 
scarcely able to stand remained by their guns, 
because they knew they could not well be spared. 
The cases of those whose sickness fully justified 
removal, but who kept resolutely to the trenches, 
wore to be numbered in thousands. 

The most moving part in the Gallipoli 
story will ever be the splendid feelings it called 
forth in the breasts of young Australasians. 
To them it was no ordinary adventiu'e in war- 
fare. These single-minded, loyal youths had 
different conceptions of God. But every con- 
ception fitted into the sublime conception that 
this work for their race and country \\as Clod's 

A lunch in the desert. 




Enemy snipers driven from their lurking- 

work. L'pou tlie tissue of their natures, the 
warm affections, tlie cleanliness and the liberty 
among which they had been brought up, this 
fighting call in Gallipoli jirecipitated something 
that seemed to them the liighest thing possible. 
They did not stop to gi\c it a name, or they 
would have been able to distinguish it, bj' its 
accompaniment of home-longings and fierce 
connection of this enterprise with Australian 
people and Australian soil, as Australianisiii. 
A\'hat they loiew was that they wished to go to 
Anzac, tha^t they were prepared to die there, 
that the Australian army had become for them 
a sacred institution. Their hearts were touched 
by the death of comrades, their eyes took fire 
at the sight of the distinctive Australian uni- 
form. Gallipoli proved, if it did not in itself 
go far to produce, a warmth and generosity in 
the Australian character. The difficulty ex- 
]jerienced by the commanders was not to get 
men to this shell-torn place of hardshiiD, but to 
keep them from it. Half the members of tlie 
Light Horse Brigades and all the drivers of 
artillery and ambulances had been left behind 
in Cairo or Alexandria, to attend to the horses. 
But it was impossible to keep them there. 
Thej' decided amongst themselves who could 
be spared. Everyone wished to go, tiiose 
cliosen were thought lucky. They boarded 
traasports at Alexandria, stowed away until 
the ships were at sea, and then reported tliem- 
selves to the officers commanding. One artil- 
lery brigade lost 39 of its men in this manner. 
General Hamilton could never find it in his 
heart to send back men who came with tears in 

their eyes and asked for nothing better than to 
be given privates' work in Anzac. There were 
oases in which sergeants gladly forfeited stripes 
and pay for the chance. Men could not bear 
to go back to their homes and say they had not 
done their share in Anzac. 

And of their discipline, which was attacked 
because it was sometimes unorthodox, what 
better can be said than what was told in the 
luidying story of the Southland ? The South- 
land was torpedoed by a German submarine 
in the JEgean Sea, when conveying the 21st 
Australian Infantry Battalion and part of the 
23rd, 1,500 strong, from Alexandria to Mudros 
They were Victorian country boys, recruited for 
the most part from the farms and stations of the 
Wimmera and theGoulburn Valley. Panic ensued 
among the ill-assorted crew of this converted 
German liner. Three of the four holds filled with 
water, the hatches of the hold first damaged 
were blown out and in the water there the 
Australians could see the dead bodies floating of 
their comrades killed by the explosion. No one 
tlionght that the ship could keep for long above 
water. But the soldiers stood at their stations 
They waited for their turn. One went to tlio 
piano, and played favourite airs. Others, when 
volunteers were asked for, jumped into the water 
to right overturned boats. When at last all the 
men wei'O off the stricken vessel, standing on 
half-submerged rafts, clinging to the edges of 
boats, swimming alongside improvised supports, 
volunteers were called for to stoke the ship into 
port, all the men within hearing offered for the 
hazardous Six officers and seventeen men 



■ i*^^Bk^ 

^ ,_, ™ , , , ^._ - , T^,-,^ —J- 

''■. ','■■ :' y . • -■ 

.-— -; 



WKKSBlf^^^ /ii^je^^a^M 







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^^''■^.- :r.'Aiis-*^ 


places and hunted out by the Anzaos. 

climbed the rope ladders again, and with her 

bows under water and her stern low down, the 

ship was brought into Mudros and beached. 

It was a triumphant vindication of the discipline 

of Dominion troops. " The discipline was 

perfect," wrote Captain C. E. V^ . Bean, ofBcial 

reporter at Anzao. " The men turned out 

immediately. There had been boat drill on the 

voyage and the inen ran straight to their proper 

places and lined up." They sat down on the 

declcs, under orders, and removed their boots. 

" There were officers shouting, ' Steady, boys ; 

that's the only thing, steady ! ' The men's 

stations were partly in the half darlcness of the 

'tween decks and partly in the sunlight on the 

upper deck. . . . Occasionally a man would 

turn his head and look down to see how t)ie 

water was making. ' Bad luck, that two and 

a half months in the desert should end in this,' 

said one. ' Are we downhearted ? ' called 

another. ' No ! ' they all shouted. ' Are we 

afraid to die 1 ' called someone else. ' No ! ' 

they shouted again." A letter home, which 

was published in The Times, paid a generous 

tribute to the raw young soldiers : — 

I received orders to go to Anzac to join the batteries. 
We had an infantry regiment wliicli sliould go down to 
history for a deed only equalled by the Marines on board 
the Birkenhead. After two days' sailing, at lO.M a.m.. 
I hoard a sentry shout, "My God, a torpedo," and we 
watched this line of death getting nearer and nearer 
until crash ! and the old ship reeled with the shock. 
Then the order "Ship sinking," and "Abandon ship" ; 
without a cry or any sign of fear, without any more 
hurry than a brisk march and singing " Australia will be 
there." I cannot say how magnificent, how fine they 
were. They went to their stations and lowered the 
boats in an orderly, careful way, taking the places they 
had been told off to, the injured going in first. . . . The 

only losses ont of 1,600 of the soldiers is one officer and 
.SG men, of whom 12 were killed by the explosion, two 
from boats crushing them, and the rest were drowned 
from overturned boats. The moment when the toi-pedo 
came towards us was the most awful experience I can 
ever remember. To wait and keep calm in the face of 
what seemed certain death. Never can men have faced 
death with greater courage, more nobility, and with a 
braver front than did the Australian troops on board the 
Southland. The song they sang was " Australia will 
be there," and by God ! they were. They were heroes ; 
wo knew they were brave in a charge, but now we knovr 
they are heroes. Long live in honoTir and glory the 
men of the 21st and 23rd Australian Infantry. 

The narrative of military operations con- 
tained in our earlier chapters on the Darda- 
nelles campaign will be continued later, 
but several episodes may be related here. 
The first capture of a Turkish trench and its 
retention deserve special notice because this 
brilliant exploit fired the whole of Anzac, 
after fifteen weeks of monotonous trench 
fighting, for the great aggressive opera- 
tions of August and September. The work 
was known as Northern Turkish Despair 
Trench, or Tasman Post, and it was stormed 
under severe fire on July 31 by a composite 
company of the 11th Battalion (West Aus- 
tralia) of General E. G. Sinclair-MaoLagan's 
Third Brigade, under Captain R. L. Leane. 
After two days a heavy counter-attack was 
launched by a battalion of Turks, who regained 
a section of the work, but were again driven 
out. Tlie ejjisode cost Anzac 300 casualties, 
but showed what could be done. Near the 
close of the series of attacks which this suc- 
cess began was another charge, the simple 
truth of which was v^orth accomplishing, even 



at the cost. Tt was the charge of the First and 
Third Light Horse Brigades, differing from thti 
charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava only 
in that it was made by horsemen who had 
volunteered to fight on foot, and that it suc- 
ceeded in one object — that of holding largo 
bodies of Turks who would otherwise have 
been used against the new British landing at 
Suvla Bay. The Eighth and Tenth Regiments 
of the Tliird Brigade \^ent out from Walker's 
Ridge. It was a charge into death from the 
first moment, and before the men of the second 
line leapt from tlreir trenches they shook 
hands, knowing that they could not survive. 
They were met by a fusillade that became a 
continuous roaring tempest of machine gun 
and rifle fire, and out of the 300 men in the first 
line only one returned. The Second Regiment 
of the First Brigade was sent out from Quinn's 
Post, charging into so iixipossible a fire tliat 
the first line had to be left to its fate, and the 
second, third, and fourth lines held m the 
trenches. The First Regiment of the First 
Brigade charged up the slopes of Dead Man's 
Ridge and found a similar fate. It was all over 
within ten minutes — in the case of the charge 
from Quinn's Post within a few seconds. "The 
Turkish machine giuis drew a line across that 
place which none could pass," wrote Captain 
C. E. W. Bean, official observer with the 
Australian Division, " and the one man who 

went out and retm-ned unwounded put his 
escape down to the fact that he noticed the 
point on our sandbags on which the machine- 
gun bullets \serc hitting, and jumped clear 
over the stieaiu of lead. The guns were 
sweeping low, and a man who was hi! once by 
them was often hit again half-a-dozen times as 
he fell through the .stream \vhich cauglit hiuj. 
The whole of the first line w'a.s either killed or 
w oiuided ".vithin a few seconds of theu leap 
from our trenches." But though the charges 
shattered four regiments of as good fighting 
men as the Empire possessed, they created an 
imperishable unpression. " As for the boys," 
\\rote Captain Bean, " the single-minded, 
loyal Australian country .lads who left their 
trenches in the grey light of that morning with 
all their simple treasures on their baclis, to 
bivouac in the scrub that eveniiig, the shades 
of evenmg found theux lying m the scrub with 
God's wide sky above them. The greeu 
arbutus and the holly of the peninsula, not 
unlike their native bush, ^^ill some day claim 
again this neck in those wild ranges for its 
own. But the place will always be sacred as 
the scene of this very brave deed — this charge 
of the Australian Light Horse into certain 
death at the call of their comrades' need during 
a crisis in the greatest Vjattle that has ever 
been fought on Turkish soil." They helped 
the Fom-th Australian Brigade and the New 

At work near the Pyramids. 



On top of the famous bill which was successfully carried by the Australians and New Zealanders. 

Zealanders in their night march among the 
hills to the north, and they made the Suvla 
Bay landing at least a bit safer for the raw 
youths, much like themselves, from Lancashire, 
Essex, and Ireland. 

To understand the Australian soldier it 
was necessary to appreciate hLs open-handed 
liberality. He was built on generous lines in 
every way. His physique was the wonder of 
the Mediterranean. Some sqiiadrons of Light 
Horse averaged six feet in height. The 
regular life and hard work in the deserts filled 
out the city men and gave uniformity to the 
magnificent infantry. No doubt also a con- 
sciousness of stalwart manhood brought to 
them a dignity and confidence of bearing 
which, as they swung themselves down the 
steep sides of Anzac or worked, stripped to 
the skin, beside the guns in their emplacements, 
brought emotion to the observer at the sight 
of so much fine life. But generosity in mind 
and spirit was as characteristic as generosity 
in physique. The Australasian's views, his 
sympathies and his sacrifices wore alike hberal. 
He went to death, as at Walker's Ridge and 
Lone Pine and on the shoulders of Chvmuk 
Bair, with the same generosity with which he 
spent his money. " He shed his blood in 

Anzac," said Colonel Nash, M.P., who left a 
large Sydney practice to minister to his country- 
men on their first battlefield, " as prodigally 
as he spent his substance in Cairo." The Aus- 
tralasians were often misunderstood, but never 
by those alongside whom they fought. Pay- 
masters were overwhelmed with requests from 
soldiers in the field to make over thsir pay to 
comrades in hospital. " They may have a 
chance to spend the money, it is no good to us 
here." British regiments recorded how when, 
a-s sometimes happened, they ran short of 
tobacco, the Australasian force alongside sub- 
scribed and bought enough for all. The 
Australasians' generosity to each other in 
action was equally marked. There were 
terrible times after a charge, ■when wounded 
had to be left alone in the dead country 
between trenches to languish and die. Many 
Australasians lost their lives in vain endea- 
vours to ventiu-e out for comrades after dark. 
Others spent day and night in digging saps 
to bodies, in the hope that they would recover 
them before suspicious Turks, noticing the 
hasty spade work, put artillery on to the spot. 
Amongst the heaviest sufferers at Anzac were 
the ambulances and stretcher bearers, who 
ventured into all parts of the field and followed 




The great landing of troops and supplies ; on the lef 

THI-: TIMES HlsTom- OF TIfl-: 




d Cross Dressing Station, protected by sandbags. 



the infantry in their charges. The Fourth Field 
Ambulance, an Adelaide force, lost more than 
half its men. The bearing of the Ai'jstralian 
wounded was l^eyond all praise. It seemed 
almost as if they ^^ere proof against pain, so un- 
complaining and cheerful they remained. Will 
and spirit triumphed over body. It was a point 
of honour with the wounded to make no sound. 
It seemed a point of honour, too, to make no 
(■all for medical men, to fight on until strength 
departed, and even then to ask that others 
should be treated first. Such things are ex- 
pected. But with a shaken force, battering 
against a victorious and niunerically over- 
po'wering enemy under distracting conditions 
of hardship, the factors making for demoraliza- 
tion are sometimes irresistible. Where the 
Australian soldier was not liberal was in his 
hatred of the Turk. Until May 18 the hatred 
was of heart and soul. But on that memorable 
day, when wave upon wave of Turks broke 
against the Australasian lines until 7,000 of the 
enemy lay dead and wounded, the feeling in 
Anzao was convulsed. There were always 
strange threats and oaths, bitter feelings and 
desires, when a sniper sighted a Turk or machine 
guns began to play upon rest camps or reserves 
do\^'n on the plains. But for " Achmed," as 
the Australasians called the Turk, there grew 
up a strong respect. There was respect for 
such glowing bravery as the Turks showed in 
charging, and more specifically in chancing 
death for their wounded comrades. Except 
where there were German officers, who were 
confined in Gallipoli to a small number of 
■commissioned and non-commissioned men m 
charge of artillery and machine gims, the Turks 
fought fairly. They respected the Red Cross, 
tliey sought to minimize suffering, they even 
braved danger for the sake of Australasian 
^^■olmded. One striking instance was given on 
Anzac's left. In the cUislc a Turk was seen 
ci-awling fortJi from his trench, wriggling across 
tlie grornid, and disappearing into a hole not 
far from the Australian lines. The operation 
■\\'as three times repeated. The Australian fire 
Mas withheld, despite fear of mining, liecause 
it was suspected that a wounded Turk was 
being succoured. But when in the dead of 
lu'ght a small Australian party made its way to 
tlic indentation, they found not a Turk but an 
Australian, witli a Turkish blanket covering 
liim, a Turkish fly-net over his face, Turkish 
food bc^itlo him, and Turkish bandages upon 
his wound. General Birdwood, early in the 

history of Anzac, sent a company down to 
Gaba Tepe by sea, more for reconnoitring than 
for a serious landing, but with some hopes that 
the place would be found undefended and the 
emplacements of the mysterious guns in the 
olive groves discovered and destroyed. The 
party found occupation of the little peninsula im- 
possible. They were met by withering fire, they 
found the beaches defended by stout, sunken 
barbed wire. They had to take again to their 
boats. And the Turks stopped their fire while 
the Australians were lifting their wounded from 
beach to boats, and did not re-open until the 
wounded had been removed into comparative 

It is necessary to say a word in praise of the 
Australian officer. He was born of the occasion. 
Australia was able to call upon very few pro- 
fessional officers to take up the work. New 
Zealand was in an even worse position. 
Although military science had been more 
seriously studied in Australia than in any other 
Dominion, it seemed when war broke out that 
the Commonwealth was in no way capable of 
officering even the first expeditionary force of 
twenty thousand men. For the headquarters 
staff General Bridges had several well-trained 
yo^uig Australian officers who had passed 
through the Imperial schools under the system 
of exchange and study sedulously encouraged 
by Senator Pearce during his creative periods 
of administration at the Defence Department. 
Such men as Colonels Whyte, Brand, Blarney, 
and Cass justified expectation of brilliance. 
In addition General Bridges was fortunate in 
having serving in Australia at the time of the 
war several expert officers lent by the War 
Office for special organizing purposes, and 
these, of -iA'hom Colonels Glassfurd, Marsh, and 
Maekworth were specially trained in infantry 
control, army service work and signalling, 
merited much of Anzac. The appointments 
of brigadiers was Australia's chief difficulty. 
The Govermnent had available various briga- 
diers under the con:ipulsory training scheme. 
Tliey were civilians, had had little or no field 
\\ ork, and had not impressed General Haniilton 
during his visit to the Commonwealth. Of the 
eleven Brigadier-Generals appointed to the 
four I>ight Horse and seven Infantry Brigades, 
nine reached the front with their commands. 
Brigadier-General Linton, a typical Australian 
self-made civilian turned soldier, was lost when 
the Sutherland was torpedoed, bemg thrown 
intn the water from an overturned boat and 



The Australians take possession of the S.S. " Lutzow " near Sedd-uI-Bahr, 

refusing assistance till all the men liad been brig.ides had lieen so rednced that his men 

got into shelter. Colonel Spencer Browne, a were, needed as drafts. 'Phe Second and Third 

Brisbane joumahst, found when he got to Egypt Light Horse had found it hard to leave their 

with the Fourth flight Horse that other hovsps behind them in Kgypt and go to war as 




infantry, especially as with true Australian 
sjanpathy for horses thejr had become greatly 
attached to their mounts, and they liad had 
no ti'aining for war ■\\"ithout them. But the 
Fom-th Ijjght Horse was called upon to surrender 
not only its character as mounted troops, but 
a,lso its formation. It was soon seen that the 
early appointments of Vjrigadiers had been 
happy. This is not to say that permanent and 
skilled soldiers, who had given all their lives to 
the study of war. would not have been even 
more successful, or that lives were not lii;t 
through the later appointment of men too old 
for the rigours of Gallipoli. But it certainly 
showed that the type of Australian civilian 
appointed to the senior commands — successful 
business men who had put in their holidays for 
many years at training camps, solicitors, 
engineers, and joiu'nalists — cjuickly became 
resourceful, determined and clever soldiers. If 
anything, they were too contemptuous of per- 
sonal danger. General J. W. il'Cay, of- the 
Second Brigade, was first from the rest trench 
in the great charge made by his brigade in 
May at Krithia. Kxclaiming, " Xow is the 


time for me to do the heroics," he walked 
along the top of the trench, in face of heavy 
tire, rallying his men and giving that inspiration 
which carried tliem on to the enemy's lines. 
<;leneral ^I'Cay was later wounded in the leg, 
and he was not the only Australian General 
who in defiance of the medical corps returned 
to Anzac before fit for work again. As a result 
his leg broke at the old wound, and he missed 
command of the First Dix'ision. A solicitor 
with a largepractice inMelbourne, (General M'Cay 
had been State and Fedei'al politician and 
.Minister, ^Minister of Defence, Chief Censor and 
lepresentative banker before his soldiering took 
hirji to Gallipoli. On return to Australia he 
became Inspector-General of the Forces. 
Another lawyer-brigadier. General M'Laurin, 
was killed with his brigade-major, ^lajor Irvine, 
a trusted and valuable Imperial officer, on the 
day after the landing. liike many other officers, 
including GJeneral IBridges liimself, they exposed 
themselves freely to. Turkish snipers in order 
to increase the men's sense of confidence when 
for the first time tmder hea\'y fire. Officers of 
both divisions suffered very heavily during the 



early days, but though it robbed the army corps 
oi' many trained men who could never be 
replaced, it was a fa orifice no loss conscious 
and no less noble in that it was premeditated 
recldessness, designed to inspirit men under fire 
for the first tune. The two professional 
soldiers given brigades were Colonel Chauvel, 
an Austrahan cavalry officer who at the out- 
break of war was succeeding General Legge as 
Australian representative on the Imperial 
General Staff, and Lieut.-Colonel Sinclair- 
MacLagan. of the Yorkshire Regiixient, to whose 
work at the Austrahan Royal Military College 
at Duntroon the training of the cadet-officers 
was largely due. Lieut-Colonel Sinclair-Mac- 
Lagan, who became temporary Brigadier- 
General after the landing, was generally ad- 
judged the most successful of the Anzac 
brigadiers. A disciplinarian with tact, a skilled 
soldier, and above all a clever tactician, he was 
given the most respousibk) work on April 25. 
It was Ixis Third Brigade which General Hamil- 
ton sent to Mudros in March to practise landing 
on an exposed beach from small boats. The 
Brigade was first ashore. It drove back the 

Turlffi frojn the cliff trenches. It got far inland 
towards Maido.s, and it suffered heavily. A 
composite brigade from the four least populated 
States, it had that element of wiry and resource- 
ful Queenslanders and tough West Australian 
miners generally considered the best composi- 
tion in Australian forces. General Sinclair- 
MacLagan was compelled to take a great 


Australians at the entrance of a dug-out on the GalHpoIi Peninsula. Inset : Using a periscope 

and a periscope-rifle in the trenches. 




decision on the day of landing, inclining his 
men towards the left and thus happily striking 
the undulation later famed as Shrapnel Gully. 
In General Godley's Division, General Russell 
and General Monasli, the former a New Zealand 
city man and tlie latter a Melbourne civil 
engineer, were given the bulk of the work. 
General Monash, in command of the Fourtli 
Australian Brigade, led the ill-fated attempt 
to capture Baby Seven Hundred, in which his 
brigade lost heavily. He later led liis bri- 
gade, brought up after severe wastage to a 
strength above 4,000, in support of the New 
Zealanders in the great advance from Anzao's 
left, in w^hich the shoulder of Chunuk Bair was 
reached, and the force was terribly reduced. 
It will never be decided whether the utmost 
was made of the gallant New Zealand and 
AastraHan brigades on this occasion, when the 
Second Division lost to an extent which was 
tragical. But to say that the general officers 
were worthy of their men in Anzac is to say no 
more than is their due. 

It was, in fact, no easy matter to lead such 
a force. Where intelligence in the ranks is 
liigh only brave and skilled officers will com- 
mand re.spect. The younger officers were 
frankly amateurs. The majority had had no 
nxihtary training. They had learnt their first 
drills as privates at the Australasian camps, 
and had gone through hiu'ried training at 
officers' training schools in Australasia and 
Kgypt. They started only with keenness, 
energy and ability, but they understood their 
men, and their sympathy won a confidence 
which in the Imperial Army is won by military 
skill and com'age. They were for the most 
])art athletic yoimg adventurous Australians, 
of a simila,r type to the men in the ranks. 
Except at the very beginning of the war, every- 
body had to enlist as a private in the ordinary 
way ; an age limit of twenty-three was fixed, 
and commissions were awarded in open com- 
petition. It was a democratic army, and 
it should be said that the young men weighed 
careiuUy the resijonsibilities of officers' work 
before they sought coimnissions. Large num- 
bers of educated men remained in the ranks, 
't'he extra jjay for conmaissioned rank, 21s. 
a day for lieutenants and corresponding 
increases for each promotion, did not appeal. 
The Australasians rather scouted the idea 
of payment for their fighting. Their pay was 
high, 6s. a day for privates, including 
Is. deferred until discharge ; their non-com- 

missioned officers received more in some 
classes than British heutenants. But to Aus- 
tralasians their pay was a means to an end, 
and they spent it so freely that orders were given 
limiting the amount drawable to 2s. a day, 
balances to be drawn only \ihen really required. 
In the ranks was to be found an extraordinary 
mingling of rich and poor, of educated and 
raw human material. One tent of eight men . 
in the Fourth Light Horse Brigade owned 
pastoral property and stock ^^'orth £.500,000. 
Of nine members of the Perth City Club who 
enlisted in the Third Light Horse Brigade only 
three secured commissions, and the remaining 
six agreed that they would remain steadfastly 
together in the ranks. Every member of their 
reguuent, the only Light Horse regiment 

'Elholl •". fry. 


raised m West Austi-alia, brought his o\mi 
liorse into camp \vhen he enlisted. Through- 
out every battalion and every squadron, and 
particularly in the artillery brigades, were 
men of wealth and substance ; youths whose 
fathers were amongst the most distinguished 
and wealthiest men in Australasia maintained 
throughout their service the humble rcle of 
privates, and met the private's varying fate. 
General Birdwood foLuid in the ranks of the 
Light Horse two sons of the Australian branch 
of his family ; General Hughes's and General 
Ijnton's sons enlisted in their father's brigades 
as privates ; Mr. Jolin Wren, who had race- 
coLU'se interests throughout Australasia and 
owned a newspaper, served as a corporal. 
The plain story ot Galllpoli will be enough 
to stir the pride and rouse the emulation of the 
British race for generations. But some of the 
distinctive acts in Anzac were so remarkable as 




Wellington Battalion, awarded 
the D.C.M. 


New Zealand Divisional Signal 
Company, awarded the V.C. 


.Auckland Battalion, awarded 
the D.C.M. 

to comppl mention. (General Walker, after the 
Lone Pine attaek, found it necessary to mention 
more than 1.50 men, each of whom had per- 
formed what would in normal conditions be 
acts justifying decoration. The first Anzac 
V.C. was a typical Victoria Cross deed. Cor- 
poral .Jacka, a young Bendigo miner, was the 


Victorian Battalion, Australian Expeditionary 

Force, the first Australian to be awarded the 

Victoria Cross. 

sole sur\-ivor in a trench in which seven Turks 
secured a footing. Instead of retreating down 
the communication trench he sprang into a 
sniping post, and by covering their line of 
advance kept the Turks where they were. 
.Tacka must have expected death from behind 
from other Turks who would be following their 
comrades, but he held his position until an 
officer approached with men. " It is not safe 
to come round there, sir," he called to his 
officer. Asked for suggestions, Jacka replied 
that the only thing to be done was to send a 
]^arty along the trench to rush the Turks. 
He agreed to lead the party, bvit the first man 
roimd the trench was shot, and this form of 
attack was seen to be impossible. " Send a 
larger bombing party," called .Jacka. But when 
after an interval the party was ready and 
arrived, they found seven dead Turks, with 
Jacka sitting on the body of the last, smoking a 
cigarette. He had leapt across the trench, got 
behind the Turks, shot five and bayonetted 
the other two. It should be said that all the 
nearest men volunteered to form the first 
attacking party, several remarking, " It's got 
to be done. Let's do it now." This admirably 
btated the Australasians' point of view of 
danger. Xone courted death. To regard the 
Australian or New Zealander as reckless is to 
misunderstand. It seemed reckless that they 
should liathe in the sea while the guns from the 
<jUve grove were casting shrajaiel over the 
uaters. It seemed reckless that the officers 
should expose themselves as thej' did in order 
to observe positions and get the best results for 
their men. It seemed reckless that they should 
go out singly and ..t twos and threes to search 
for hidden snipers. But they did nothing with- 



out a purpose, and if they risked death for a 
bathe, it was because they felt so much better 
fighting men after their customary swim. The 
Australasians had, indeed, every possible reason 
for wishing to live. The warm affections of well- 
established homes were awaiting them, good 
careers in a free and peaceful country stretched 
ahead, life to these young men seemed very 
sweet indeed. They measured the sacrifice by 
the stake, and knew that the great aim of main- 
taining the happiness of their nation justified 
the giving of themselves. The early August 
operations at Lone Pine, and in the ridges 
along the north, when for one brief moment the 
Australasians saw the waters of the Narrows 
and the Straits beneath them, produced a 
crop of nine Victoria Crosses. There were few 
finer incidents in the war than the work for 
which Captain Shout, who succmnbed to his 
injuries, was decorated. With a very small 
party he charged down trenches strongly 
occupied by the enemy, killing with his own 
hand eight Turks, and assisting in the rout of the 

remainder. From this captui'ed trench he led a 
similar charge against another section, captur- 
ing it, and maintained mitil his wounds became 
unbearable a heavy bomb fight with the enemy 
vmder severe fire. Nor could anytliing he more 
picturesque than tlie way in which Lieutenant 
Throssell and Corporals Dunstan and Burton, 
although badly wounded, built up a barricade 
under fire and thus saved a critical position. 
Yet every Victoria Cross man declared, when 
his woimds were dressed, that every man in the 
battalions had done work as good. 

The story of Australasian efforts would be 
incomplete without reference to the work of the 
Australian Army Medical Corps. The medical 
resources of Australia and New Zealand were 
fully mobilized, and in addition to providing a 
large section of the treatment for the Mediter- 
ranean Expeditionary Force wounded and sick, 
more than a hundred doctors were sent at the 
War Office's request to France. The doctors 
of Australasia seemed unanimous in their desire 


7th Battalion Australian 

Intperial Force, awarded 

the V.C. for bravery at 

Lone Pine. 

7th Battalion Australian Im- 
perial Force, awarded the 
V.C. for bravery at Lone 

1st Battalion Australian Im- 
perial Force, awarded the 
V.C. for bravery in the 
Gallipoli Peninsula. 




A Quarter-Master of the Canterbury Rifles. 

to go with their sons and their sons' friends into 
battle, and the appHcations for positions came 
in such niimbers that the Defence Department 
was able to choose the best. Several leading 
consultants and surgeons went to Egypt at 
their own expense, when they foimd that room 
could not be made for them ; one took with 
him his assistant, two nurses, and full equip- 
ment. In Sir Alexander McCormaek, Drs. 
Syme, Stawell, and Maudsley, and many others, 
Australia had the services of its most distin- 
guished medical men. The work in the Mediter- 
ranean was not only distressing, continuous, 
arid extremely fatiguing, it also required a 
self-effacement and submission to discipline 
which to less patriotic men would have been 
a severe trial. The sands of Egypt and the 
islands of the ^gean were against quick 
healing. The medical corps was continually 
fighting its septic surroundings, and the system 
grew up of sending as many cases as possible 
direct in hospital ships from GalUpoli to 
England. The Australian Army Medical Corps 
suffered severely in Gallipoli, but it established 
traditions. In one man alone, Dr. Mathiesori, 
of Melbourne. Australian Universities lost a 
life Aihich had been judged infinitely precious. 
It was felt that in public interests a different 
system from that followed in the army should 
prevail, and brillian' men with proved capacity 
for research work should not be allowed to risk 

their lives. But the Australian Army Medical 
Corps was proud to bear its heavy sorrow,-- 
without complaint. The men at the front Lived 
imder fire, they had their little hospitals on the 
beaches. The ordinary system of stationary 
hospitals behind the firing lino could not apply 
to warfare on the peninsula, where the ground 
held was so .slender. There were many in- 
cidents showing the heroism and self-sacrifice 
of medical workers in Gallipoli, but nothing 
more appealing than the refusal of a hospital 
imit at Suvla Bay to hoist the Red Cross flag, 
lest the Turks should think we were sheltering 
under it the army corps headquarters close by 
As a whole it may be said that the Dominion 
medical corps, which in the Mediterranean 
included Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian 
units, brought something new into army 
medical work. The Dominion men were 
extraordinarily quick in their methods. They 
did much that might have been left to orderlies, 
and waited on no man. Australia organized 
no less than ten fully equipped and staffed 
general hospitals, and added seven auxiliaries 
to its two hospitals in Cairo. Where convenient, 
Australian wounded and sick were sent to 
Australian hospitals, but as a general rule 
British and Australian lay side by side in the 
nearest hospital able to deal with them. The 
Governments agreed to pay each other a daily 
allowance for each of their soldiers treated in a 
hospital established by another, but as the war 
progressed these charges appeared by common 
consent to be cast aside. Both New Zealand 
and Australia sent many more doctors and 
nurses than were required for the treatment of 
their own sick and wounded, excessively large in 
nuinbers though these were. They sent also 
nxunerous hospital ships, chartering the best 
liners in their waters, and sparing no expense. 
There was a striking rally of Australasian men 
and women to the Red Cross, and the keen 
anxiety of the nation to know that their 
wounded were getting the best that could be 
provided v/as shown by the display of pubUc 
indignation when convalescent men were 
instructed to travel by ordinary train between 
Melbourne and Sydney. 

It is now necessary to take up in detail the 
narrative of the war activities of the six million 
people from whom the Anzacs, in regidar drafts, 
had come. There were regrets and recrimina- 
tions when it was thought that anothel: ten 
thousand men landed in Gallipoli on the first 



day, or another two divisions added to the five 
British divisions landed at Suvla Bay in August, 
wojild have made the difference between success 
and failure. It could not be said that in the 
Dominions the men did not exist, or that the 
training would have been impossible. Govern- 
ments and people, however, never had the 
information upon which drastic and complete 
action could be based. Lord Kitchener's cable 
in June that he could arm and use " every 
available man " was the first direct intimation 
that all was not well. Several of the offers of 
brigades and reinforcements were accepted so 
t-ardily that there were doubts as to whether they 
were really needed. The utmost news that the 
Government received from Downing Street for 
many weeks about the Dardanelles was that 
there was reason for " satisfaction." Mr. 
Fisher wEis led in the Hoiise of Representatives 
to malie public complaint that he had to rely 

for valuable Imperial information upon what 
the Press reported by cable of answers given by 
Under-Secretaries to questions in the Imperial 
Parliament. He was compelled to " express 
the opinion that the British Government does 
not yet realize to the full the real position of the 
distant Dominions in matters that very nearly 
affect us." There was, of course, good reason 
for secrecy. To send confidential information 
to Australia was to take a risk, vmder some 
ciromnstances, which did not make for Imperial 
efficiency. No risk with regard to the arrange- 
ments for the Gallipoli landing, for instance, 
could well have been justified. But the Domi- 
nion Governments were throughout more 
jealous of official secrets than was London, 
and one of the episodes which puzzled tlie 
Australians was the noising about of great 
secrets in London, and their discussion in the 
House of Lords, before they wei'e entrusted to 

'^^Kf^r ' "'V 

Outside their dug-out at Gaba Tepe. 



their Goveriunents. TJiere could be no com- 
plaint about the complete confidence reposed 
in Dominion Prime Jlinisters when they visited 
London, but the lack of clear Imperial leader- 
ship distinctly delayed emergency efforts in 
Australia. Ko adequate attempt was made 
to use the Dominion Press, which was allowed 
to flounder along in the darlc, with two articles 
in its creed — faith in Great Britain, and down- 
right certainty of victory. 

After early vain offers to turn Australian 
factories into munition workshops, and to acce- 
lerate recruiting if the Imperial Government 
would pro\'ide rifles, the Fislier Government 



settled down into steady efforts to produce what 
AustraHa could within its omi strength and in 
a high state of efficiency turn out. The policy 
was persistent, thorough work, instead of an 
emergency effort that could and would have 
produced 250,000 able-bodied men within 
fifteen months of war. A severe medical test 
was imposed on volunteers, and the average 
number of rejections was as high as 46 per cent. 
What was done was done without regard for 
vested interest and with thorough regard to 
the men's fitness as soldiers. Equipment was 
of the best. All militia officers were called to 
Avork at the tr.aining camps, which became 
great semi -permanent institutions. There 
was cjuick response to every suggestion from 
T-ondon. At a mere hint the whole of the 

frozen meat trade was taken over for Imperial 
soldiers. Horse-buyers were sent into the 
remotest parts to make sure that the best 
available should be secured for the forces. 
Though surprised when Lord ICitchener an- 
swered a plaintive appeal for further directions 
with a cable, " Send a motor transport column," 
the Government searched every city for motor 
tvagons, bought the best they could find, and 
set the State raUvvay workshops to work to 
build repairing shops on wheels. As soon as 
fear of surprise attacks on the coast was over, 
a large section of permanent Australian Garrison 
Artillery men were formed into a siege brigade, 
under Colonel Coxon. These men created a 
most favourable impression in England, where 
their stature was generally commented upon 
amongst artillery officers. A bridging train 
was raised under naval officers, and put through 
thorough training in Government House 
Grounds, Melbourne. The tasks set the Aus- 
trahan and New Zealand Govermnents were 
performed with characteristic directness and 
completeness. What was lacldng was a 
mobilization of all resources on a final scale, a 
thorough education of the public in the necessity 
of supreme efforts if they were to gain the one 
outstanding desire of the nation. 

The cjuestion of equipment became para- 
mount in the Government's considerations of 
what could be done, both in New Zealand and 
AustraUa. In New Zealand the one requisite 
of which an ample supply was soon assured was 
kliaki cloth. The Otago and Canterbury mills 
were soon busy producing the typical New 
Zealand khaki, which had a shade of green, 
and they adapted their looms to serve Aus- 
tralian needs. The whole cloth output of the 
Australian imlLs was taken over by the Govern- 
ment, the Federal Clothing Factory, a national 
enterprise established by Senator Pearce four 
years previously to make uniforms for the 
citizen soldiery and the Post Office, was trebled 
in size and put on double shifts, and large 
private clothing factories became practically 
national concerns. The Government fixed 
conditions of work, exercised a general control, 
and took the whole of the output. This was 
in keeping with the practical policy of rigid 
regulation of private war efforts, and resulted 
in a system similar to the new munitions scheme 
in Great Britain being instituted in the Com- 
monwealth long before the Ministry of Munitions 
was thought of. A Federal saddlery factory 
had been established for army and postal 


Tending wounded on the heights after they had been stormed by the Australians and 

New Zealanders. 




Australians calling for their mails. 

requirements in peace time. Tliis was at once 
extended, and again private output was 
regulated. Export of hides except to Gifeat 
Britain was prohibited. Care was taken to 
select the local boot factories wliich produced 
the best possible service boots. The same poUcy 
was pursued in coimexion with underwear, 
hats, and general accoutrements required by 
the troops. No better equipment was sent 
into the firing line than that of the Australasian 
soldiers. " The most perfectly equipped sol- 
diers I have seen," wrote The Times Special 
Correspondent in Egypt. " Everything is of 
good quaHty, and stands wear weU." The 
Australian tunic, a pure woollen flannel garment, 
became distinctive. The Australasian over- 
coats were eagerly sought after. An officer of 
the Lancashire Territorials told in his diary 
how eagerly the troops at Suvla Bay wrapped 
themselves in them when lucky enough to come 
upon the piles collected from the Australian dead. 

There was never lack of clothing at Anzac. 
Other troops suffered through being sent on an 
autumn expedition m tropical uniforms, but 
though the Australasian's ruthlessly cast aside 
everything but abbreviated "shorts" dtuing 
tlieliot months, they got back into their native 
\\ oo! when the nights became cold again. 

Conscription had been discussed at the first 
mention of war. A large section of practical 

opinion held that the nation had a right to its 
best, and that the fate of generations was too 
serious a matter to take the slightest risk with. 
It was not, however, until late in June, 1915, 
that the utmost efforts were put into recruiting. 
The Australian force had then grown to 90,000, 
the New Zealand to 23,000. By July 1 3 Austraha 
had reached 100,000. Recruiting campaigns 
were instituted by the State Parliaments, and 
that in Victoria brought in 19,000 men in three 
weeks. The Governments adopted the uncom- 
promising attitude of mobilizing the last man 
and the last shilling. " The struggle is titanic, 
and will have to be fought to the death," said 
jNIr. Hughes. " We mtLst win ; but we can 
only do this by bringing into the scale every 
oimce of energy we possess and every resource 
at our command." The New Zealand Govern- 
ment compiled a compulsory register of all 
men between the ages of 17 and 60 years, 
with full particulars of status, occupation, 
physical condition, military experience and 
niUTiber of dependents. Men of military age 
were asked if the}' intended to serve, and " if 
not, why not." The Australian Government com- 
piled in September, 191.5, a record on the same 
lines, in addition to full particulars of the wealth 
of the commtinity. Every person was com- 
pelled to state his wealth, and the Government 
became possessed of information on which 



complete mobilization of gold could be based. 

By November the number of men enlisted for 

active service, including those preparing in 

the training camps, was nearly 170,000. \^^^en 

the full extent of the losses at the Dardanelles 

was at length estimated, it was decided to raise 

another full army corps of 50,000. The 

reinforcements necessary for the armies in the 

field were then 9,000 a month, and the new 

corps promised to bring Austraha's total by 

June, 1916, up to 300,000. There was never 

doubt that the men could be raised. Nor was 

there any real split on the question of forced 

service if necessary. Several trades-union 

organizations protested against compulsion 

before the first boatloads of wounded returned 

from Gallipoli, but the real issue was whether 

it was necessary. A Universal Service League 

was formed in August, with branches in all the 

States, its leaders including men of such different 

political views as Mr. J. C. Watson, ex-Labour 

Prime Minister and principal leader of the 

unions, Mr. Wade, ex-Premier, and Professor 

Edgeworth David. The general sentiments 

of the Dominion were well expressed by the 

Sydney Bulletin, an outstanding Socialist 

journal ; 

There is no party that questions the justifiableness 
of this war ; it is not being waged for territory ; and even 
if we won it in an unthinlcably sliort time there would 
still be no financial profit in it. It is one of tlioso 
Imperial death-struggles which occur but once in cen- 
turies : the sort of war that Carthage waged — and lost. 
It is peculiarly our war. . . . The first anomaly that 
ought to go is voluntary service. The business of wailing 
for recruits by means of posters, politicians' speeches, 
white feathers, and so forth is as degrading as those 
other appeals by which our hospitals are periodically 
rescued from insolvency. Speaking broadly, the system 
gets the wrong men — the best — leaving the bad patriots 
and the cowards behind. There is everything against 
voluntary service as a means of raising a national army 
and nothing but a few deceptive old catchwords in its 
favour. It is especially fatal in a war where every fit 
man is wanted, inasmuch as it can never rope in all the 
nation's fit men. 

Li New Zealand Blr. Massey guaranteed that 
he would stick at nothing, and Blr. Allen 
declared on November 4 " There is much 
evidence that the public mind is veering towards 
compulsory service. The evidence in the 
South Island is overwhelming, and the matter 
is receiving very serious consideration." In 
both Dominions the Derby Scheme methods 
were vised to the full in the months preceding 

Turkish prisoners guarded by Anzac Troops. 



Christmas, 1915. There were never two 

opinions as to the conditions on which peace 

could be accepted. Sucli statements as the 

following, by the New South Wales Labour 

Premier, Mr. W. A. Holman, came from all 

the leaders : 

I am one of those who hope that, when victory is 
achieved, there will be no weakness on the part of the 
AUieJ Governments; tliat, acting in the interests of civili- 
zation, they will aval' themselves of so unprecedented 
an opportunity to declare that the public law of Europe 
is n-^i longer a law without sanction and without punish, 
ment, but that those who break the public law of Europa 
are to be treated like criminals who break any other law. 
I hope we shall have the pleasure of seeing some of the 
members of the Great General Stafl of the German Empire 
and some members of the German Ministry placed upon 
their tjial for wilful murder and brought to account for 
the various acts committed at their instigation. If I 
live CO see that day I shall feel that I have belonged to a 
nation and a race that deserves well of humanitv and has 

nothing. In Australia the war and drought 
acted as co-ordinated scourges, wliich imposed 
a discipline on the country such as many 
generations will remember. The drought 
followed seven bountiful years, and was easily 
met in the financial ivorld by a conservative 
banlving policy, and by drawing upon the great 
reserves which squatters, traders, and working 
class savings banks had piled up. Its effect 
was, however, most tmfortunate, for it meant 
that Australia had to import wheat at high 
prices instead of sending forth a great surplus 
to command the war retiuns ruling in Europe. 
The meat trade, which during 1912 and 1913 
developed with Great Britain and the United 
States, was less badly liit, but the export was 
obtained very largely by reckless marketing of 

An Australian gun in position on Bolton's Ridge. 

justified its existence in the long and melancholy history 
of mankind. It is to the resolute hearts, the clear 
heads, the strong arms, and the determined spirit of our 
race that we must look now to guide us through this 
crisis and bring us triumphantly out. 

New Zealand prosperity increased during the 
first year of war. A series of bountiful years 
ctolminated in one of remarkable prodttctivity, 
and high prices ruled. For the staple exports, 
wool, wheat and frozen meat, the Dominion 
sectu-ed the full benefit of war prices. This 
made the task of financing the war compara- 
tively easy. Mr. James Allen, who was Finance 
Minister as well as Minister of Defence tintil the 
Coalition, when Sir Joseph Ward relieved him 
of the former office, had to place no serious new 
imposts on the people. There were complaints 
in the north island of drought, but compared 
with the sufferings in Austraha the damage was 

valuable stock. Stookowners depleted their 
breeding stocks and sold their ewes to such an 
extent that even the pastoral ists' newspapers 
suggested preventive legislation, saying with 
true Australian opportunism that " it is always 
risky to leave it to the individual to act in the 
interests of society." In New South Wales the 
sheepbreeders estimated that the drought cost 
them one-third of their flocks, while in Western 
Queensland and South Australia the calamity 
was even worse. While drought thus reduced 
trade in the main requirements of armies, the 
war for a while killed the wool and coal export. 
At a word from the Imperial authorities, wool 
export was prohibited. It had been going in 
large quantities to the United States, the usual 
markets of Belgium, Northern France, Ger- 
many and Austria having been suspended ; and 



upon it a considerable nvunber of American 
factories were dependent. Tiie stoppage had a 
double effect, as intended. It brought pressure 
upon the United States, and prevented supplies 
from going to the enemy. When at length a 
trust was formed in New York guaranteeing 
that the German alUance would get none of the 
product, export was again allowed, and ab- 
normal prices were obtained. The uncomplain- 
ing way in which Australia submitted to the dia- 
looation of its wool trade, which as the main 
export of the continent amounts to nearly 
£40,000,000 a year, was another of the many 
instances of the patience and sacrifice of Aus- 
tralian loyalty. The butter export, wliich had 
reached an average of four millions sterling 
annually, was reduced to little more than half 
that figure for the drought year and that 
following. Fine rains during autumn and 
spring in 1915 assured all States of a return to 
prosperity, and as the Governments had in 
every way encouraged the increase of acreage 
under crops the harvests became such that 
serious problems of transport developed. The 
official estimates for New South Wales and 
Victoria, which had in their best previous years 
produced thirty-five and thirty-three million 
bushels respectively, were that oacli would 
harvest sixty million bushels in the svimmer of 
1915-1916. The Federal estimate was an 

exportable crop of 150,000,000 bushels for all 
States. Railway departments set to work tu 
improvise trucks for this rich result, and even 
carriages were reduced to wheat waggons. The 
women went into the fields, and the school boys 
of the cities were sent in organised bands to 
assist, but the main work of this great harvest 
had to be done by the farmers and those 
fanners' sons who subdued their fighting spirit 
until they had seen " the old people " tlu-ough 
the good year. The release of the metals by 
the establislmient of a metal exchange freed 
from foreign influences promised also to bring 
money to the country, and Australasia looked 
forward into 1916 with confidence that it could 
pay its share of the war expenditure and sub- 
sist. In general; the effects of the war upon 
trade were that the large import and export 
trade «Iiich Germany had secured was paralysed 
and that the United States and Japan, whose 
commercial travellers swarmed over Australasia, 
secured a greater share of this available con- 
nection than did the slower moving exporters 
of Great Britain. 

In its public finance Australia did not face 
the task of getting on with less borro^ved money 
than in normal years. New Zealand borrowed 
least of all Dominions, Australia most. ilr. 
Fisher, as Federal Treasurer, used all the 
Cominonwealth Government's authority , to 

Graves of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade. 

I.!ixclusive to "The Times.") 



Red Gross men at work on board a war vessel at Lemnos. 

ciorb loan expenditure by the States. But the 
State Premiers, who in the majority of cases 
were the Treasurers also, found their requests 
to London for money for public works -were 
consistently well received by the IiTiperial 
Treasury, and tliey accepted the easy policy 
of borro^ving in preference to that of stopping 
public works on hand, or even curtailing them, 
and interfering with the livelihood of the 
several scores of thousands of men employed. 
During the year ended July, 191.5, the six States 
borrowed £25,990,000 — more than a million 
more than in the previous year of profound 
peace, and eight millions more than in 1912-Kj. 
The point of view expressed by the State 
Treasuries was that Great Britain was quite 
willing to lend the money, and that there was 
.so much money in London that there was u, 
danger that the Imperial Treasury might forget 
it liad lent any to the States. This view was 
encourag'-d by tlie attitude of the British 
Treasury when requests were made by State 
Premiers, against the wishes of the Federal 
Prime jMinister, that an agreement entered into 
in Uecember, 1014, should be broken on their 
side. This agreement pro\ided that the British 
Treasui'y should lend to the Commonwe-alth 

Treasury eighteen million pounds, which it 
must use for war expenditure, but which would 
enable it to finance the States to a similar 
extent ; and that the States would agree not 
to borrow elsewhere during the next twelve 
months except for renewals or by merely 
normal sales of Treasury bonds. London 
accepted the Premiers' assurances that more 
money was needed, and in seven months 
allowed the States nearly twelve millions more. 
Being well into the field before the States 
with a strong case for war taxation, the 
Commonwealth Government led the way with 
stiff income taxes, a new inheritance tax, an 
increased land tax, and ne-iv import duties. 
Mr. Fislier, who a few years ago had surprised 
Australia by budgeting for an expenditure of 
eighteen million pounds, found himself in 
1914-191.5 faced with an outlay of £38,003,000, 
of which £14,792,000 was %var expenditura, and 
when he left office in October, 1915, to tike up 
the High Commissionership in London, he fore- 
casted that the expenditure for 1915-1916 would 
be £74,045,000, of vi^hich £45,749,450 would be 
upon the expeditionary forces and the Fleet. 
He proposed that taxes should raise more than 
enough for the swollen " normal " expenditure, 



now increased by war pensions and interest on 
war loans to £24,460,025. His income tax was 
to begin at 3d. in the £ on incomes of £157 a 
year, rising by steep gradations to 53d. in the £ 
on those over £7,750. The heavy taxation was 
accepted throughout Australia with scarcely a 

A first war loan of £20,000,000 was success- 
fully floated in Australia in September, and Mr. 
Fisher announced that another of £25,000,000 
would be raised soon after. Of the first loan, 
wliioh was issued at 4i per cent., with immunity 
from taxation — a concession that for investors 
with the highest scale incomes brought the 
interest up to £6 4s. per cent. — £13,000,000 was 
immediately subscribed. 

Although the part played by Australia and 
New Zealand in the supply of munitions was 
small, it could not be said that the failure was 
due to lack of local desire or effort. Both 
Dominions had been taught to rely upon Great 
Britain — and to some e.Ytent, in the case of 
cartridge cases, upon Germany — for their ov.n 
needs in artillery and aiximunition, and they 
had not even experts available for sudden 
adaptation of their industries. As far back as 
September, 1914, Senator Pearce offered all 
Australia's shell-making facilities to the Im- 
perial GoveiTunent. The war pressure in 
London naturally delayed receipt of full 
information, but on December 31 the High 
Commissioner was instructed to obtain quota- 
tions for a comjjlete manufacturing plant. 
When the outcry for shells came in May, 1915, 
the people of both Dominions reproached them- 
selves for not having done more. They eagerly 
repeated their offers. The controllers of all 
private enterprises concerned — mining, smelting 
and engineering companies — as well as the 
State Governments, placed their works at the 
disposal of the Minister of Defence. But 
though these works contained the essential 
lathes in abmidance, and though the new steel- 
works of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company 
at Newcastle soon produced a stoel fit for shell- 
cases, it was late in the year before work could 
be begun. The time passed in securing 
fommlas from the Imperial authorities, and 
general disappointment was caused by the 
impression that London regarded Australian 
workshops as a negligible factor not worth 
troubling about. In New Zealand munition- 
making followed a similar course. It was felt 
to be unfortunate that the strong resources in 
metals and metal workin.'j; in Australasia should 

not have been mobilised early in the war, and 
the ohijection that shells made in Australia had 
to be transnorted half way round the \\'orld 
before they got to the filling factories of Great 
Britain was answered by the consideration that 
such cargo could take the place of ballast. The 
Commonwealth Government sent officers to 
London early in 1915 to become specially 
trained in shell-maldng, but these proved so 
valuable in British factories that their services- 
were requisitioned, and it was not till several of 
the larger workshops in the Dominion had been 
converted, after long and intricate negotiations, 
into shell factories that they were allowed to 
retiu-n. In October tenders for the manufac- 
ture of shell-cases were accepted from the New 
South Wales, Queensland, Victori,",n and Soutli 


The Sultan of Egypt and General Sir John 

Maxwell visit the wounded from the 


Australian Governments, nine firms, 
two South Australian firms and the War 
Munitions Company of West Australia, first 
deliveries to be between November 1 and 
January 1. 

The tragedy of Gallipoli was long in unfolding 
itself to the Australasian people. Inherent 
in them was a confidence in Great Britain 
capable of withstanding many rude shocks. 
The homesickness of the pioneers and settlers 
had passed down to Australasians of the second 
and third generations, and the Mother Country 
was regarded with strong veneration and 
affection. Those disposed to criticise the 
methods of the Englishman had faith in his 
powers, and the ability of the Empire to win 



the war was never questioned. In the early 
sta_'e.-: of the Gallipoli cani)3aign anxiety was 
limited to a few poHtical leaders, and even they 
believed till many months after the Battle of 
the Landing that the Imperial armies would 
get through. News was scant, and unreliable. 
Official reports told little, official press repre- 
sentatives were never a lowed to touch on the 
strategical situation, and tiie lurid tales from 
Athens filled tiie place of legitimate news. In 
the Donuiiions it was believed that on the first 
days the Australasians had straddled the 
peninsula, that Maidos had been taken, that the 
fall of the Turkish army was a matter of days. 
The letters home from the wounded brought 
first particulars of actions that absorbed the 
public jnind, and their exaggerated optimism 
supported the popular theory of infallibility. 
Casualty lists were long and numerous ; family 
after family was smitten, until it could be said 
cliat tliose who had not a relative in the lists 
had at least a friend ; the total of casualties 
rose with alarming rapidity to the full number 
of the first expeditionary force. But notliing 
could shake the patient confidence in the race. 

The main product of the Dardanelles adven. 
ture in Australia, a[)art from the new national 
spirit it aroused, was a renewed determination 
to see the war through. The Dominioas felt 
drawn even closer to Great Britain in common 
suffering and disappointment, and they 
stiffened their backs. There were many who 
expressed their disappointment candidly, but 
there were none who cast blame. What 
Australasia looked for as a result of the lessons 
of the Dardanelles was avoidance of mistakes in 
future. Misfortxme on the battlefield could not 
daunt the Dominions ; the only thing that could 
weaken their Imperial affection was weakness or 
indecision in the supreme control of the war. 

The effect upon the political leaders was more 
definite. The Australian Cabinet had in 
January, 1915, sought a ineeting of Dominion 
leaders in London, in order that the full 
resources of the Empire should be mobilised. 
This suggestion was put forward by Mr. Fisher 
to -Mr. Lewis Harcourt., then Secretary of State 
foT' the Colonies, but it had a poor reception in 
London. Blr. Massey, after accepting the 
London view that an Imperial Conference in 
war time was unworkable, supported the 
Australian Prime ^Minister, but Sir Robert 
Borden and General Botha were understood to 
be against it. The rejection of tliis project 
made the Dominion leaders feel even more in 
the dark than before, and they reached out 

anxiously for such scraps of official mforination 
and guidance as came over the cables. Mr. 
Fisher's Imperialism was never to be questioned, 
and liis admiration of London institutions and 
abihty was always frank. But he stated in tlte 
House of Representatives that he was dis- 
appointed with the means of communication 
between the Dominions and London in war 
time, and that lie could not regard a promise 
made by ]Mr. Harcourt, that the Dominions 
would be considted before peace was accepted, 
as a satisfactory recognition of the Dominions' 
rights. What was feared was that Dominion 
opinion might count for little in peace, except 
as regards any suggestion that the German 
colonies should be returned ; whereas what 
really mattered was effective organisation of 
DoQiinion resources, and their co-orchnation 
in Imperial plans. At length the leaders could 
stand it no longer. Mr. Harcourt, in rejecting 
the plan for a round table conference, had in- 
fomied the Prime Ministers that he would be 
glad to see them and any responsible Ministers 
from the Dominions in London, and to lay before 
them all the information available to the 
British Cabinet. This invitation was repeated 
by Mr. Bonar Law when he assumed control of 
tlie Colonial Office. By the end of October, 
when the mistakes of the Dardanelles were more 
or less bare, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Massey 
and Sir Joseph Ward decided to visit London. 
Mr. Fisher, whose recent experiences had con- 
vinced him of the importance and necessity of 
official work for Australia in London, decided 
to follow Sir George Reid as High Commissioner, 
and to take over the position in January, 1916. 
Mr. Hughes, who succeeded Mr. Fisher as Prune 
Minister, decided to make a brief visit to 
London al)Out the same time, and Mr. Massey 
and Sir .Joseph Ward were asked by their 
Ministers to take a similar journey as soon as 
could be arranged. The visits were looked 
forward to in the Dominions with intense 
interest. It was felt that they would mark a 
new, and perhaps a startling, departure in 
Imperial governance, and that from them 
would arise an enduring and invincible cohesion 
in the elements of Empire. Something, too, 
was expected from the visits paid to London 
by large numbers of Australasian soldiers. By 
November 11,000 sick and wounded Australians 
and ij,000 New Zealanders were in Great Britain, 
and the broadening effect of travel had been 
added to the discipline of Anzac. Everywhere 
an undeniable demand was arising for more 
vigorous co-operation of the Empire as a whole. 



Importance of Railways in War — The Sooth African Wak — German Strategic Lines 

The Invasion of Belgium — The French Railway System — Russian and Italian Systems 
— The Balkans — British Railway Executive Committee — The Expeditionary Force sent 
to France — The Railway Transport Officer — Ambulance Trains — Making Munitions. 

ON the outbreak of the Great War it 
was not easy for the average person 
to grasp the essential fact that the 
railways over which in normal times 
he travelled for purposes of business or pleasure 
were not only an indispensable part of the war 
machine, but perhaps the most powerful 
weapon in the armoury of the nations. There 
were wars before railways were built, and man- 
kind will probably retain force as the final 
international court of appeal when railways 
shall have been superseded by other methods 
of land transport. The European War was, 
however, more than any conflict between the 
armed forces of mankind which preceded it, a 
war of railways. 

There had, of course, been many interesting 
examples of the successful use of railways by 
armies in the field, and it was a subject which 
had received for a generation or more the very 
closest attention of the Military Staffs of the 
great nations on the Continent of Europe. The 
first examples of the use of railways on a large 
scale for miUtary purposes were furnished by 
the wars of 1859 and 1866 in Europe, and the 
War of Secession in America. On the lessons 
then taught Germany framed a military railway 
policy which, in the war of 1870, had much to 
do with the rapid success won by the German 
armies. In France the teachings of earlier 
wars had been insufficiently regarded, and the 
rapidity of mobilization of the German forces, 
due to the efficient use of the railways, found 
Vol. VI.— Part 70. 

the French military authorities inadequately 
prepared. Moreover, what had been done in 
Germany itself enabled the Germans to make a 
more efficient use than would otherwise have 
been the case of the French railways of which 
possession was gained at an early stage of 

The fall of Toul and Metis gave uninterrupted 
railway communication between Germany and 
Paris as far as Nanteuil, 52 miles distant from 
the capital. The bridge over the Mame had 
been blown up by the French in their retreat, 
and this break in the line hampered the German 
advance, but when Soissons capitulated in 
October, 1870, the German armies held the lino 
from the valley of the Marne to Reims, 
Soissons and Crespy. The Orleans Railway, 
and then the Western line to Rouen and Havre 
were also secured, although m the case of the 
Orleans Railway the retreating French army 
succeeded in destroying the railway bridge over 
the Loire. 

In comparison, however, with the feats in 
railway transport which were accomplished in 
the war ol 1914, the use made of the railways 
in the war of 1870 appeared to have been almost 
trivial, at least m the occupied territory. 
Owing to the general hostility of the civilian 
population and the more active tactics of bands 
of Francs Tireurs, the German provision, troop 
and hospital trams were only permitted to 
travel over the French railways by daylight, 
and it is stated that such trains occupied five 




days on the journey from railhead in France to 
the interior of Germany. No proper system of 
guarding ocqupied railway routes from raiders 
was jjut ia force, and not imtil the South 
African War was an example given of the use 
of efficient methods of protectmg long railway 
communications in areas subject to enemy 

The experience of that war in connexion with 
the use made of the railways was unique. 
At that time Great Britain possessed no 
military railxi'ay organization such as had been 
created on the Continent, and perhaps until 
England appeared likely to be mvolved in a 
great Continental war there wa,s no real need 
to set up an organization in imitation of the 
German system. In this instance the policy 
of drift could be defended. If, however, the 


Shovelling ballast out of railway trucks at Banbury. 

Inset : Unloading cars. 

British as a nation have lacked the gift of 
creating iron-bound systems and have, there- 
fore, had to start de novo on the outbreak of 
every war in connexion with the work of 
supply and transport, the national characteris- 
tic of imijrovization had not infrequently stood 
us in good stead. The old British Army was 
not to be judged by Continental standards ; it 
had to fight its battles in many parts of the 
world and always under different conditions. 
It is certain that no organization planned in 
days of peace could possibly have served the 
needs of British campaigns in the Soudan, 
India, and in South Africa. 

When the South African War broke out the 
whole of the British military railway organiza- 
tion consisted of two railway companies of 
Royal Engineers, amounting to 300 men of 
all - ranks ; an organized railway staff and a 
scheme of operations were non-existent. The 
story told in The Times History of the War 
in South Africa is a fascinating narrative of 
the way in which the transport problem was 
solved under circumstances which were new 
m warfare. The work done by the staff imder 



the direction of Captain and Brevet-Major 
E. P. C. Girouard, afterwards Sir Percy Girou- 
ard, was one of the best examples of successful 
improvization for a special occasion which the 
annals of wart are contain. From the outset 
the Contmental system, under which the 
Director of Railways was to be in absolute 
control of the railways, subject only to the 
Commander-m -Chief, was adopted. That prin- 
ciple was borrowed from Germany; the rest 
of the plan was British. The railway con- 
ditions were quite different from those on the 
Continent of Europe. The many thousands 
of luiles of railway which had been con- 
structed from the coast into the interior were 
nearly all narrow gauge single line, often con- 
structed, owing to the nature of the country 
traversed, on heavy radients and curves of 
short radius, so that the carrying capacity 
was far below that of the standard railways of 

The strategical concentration for the march 
on Bloemfontein vmder Lord Roberts was under 
the circumstances a great feat in troop 
transport. The railway was called ui:)on to 
collect the met, horses, transport, guns, and 

stores and supplies from many points, and to 
concentrate them on the short section of line 
tietween the Orange and Modder rivers. The 
troops had to be detrained at various stations, 
where no accommodation existed, on a single 
line railway, while the concentration had to be 
done in a certain time and be carried out with 
the gi-eatest secrecy. With supreme confidence 
in the system which he had devised, the Director 

Loading pontoons on a train in Northern France. Inset : British and French troops guarding a railway. 



Great Central Ry. 

L. & Y. Ry. 

L. & N.W. Ry. 


of Railways undertook the whole respom'ibilitj' 
for the task, and m fifteen days a total 
of 152 trains passed northward and 30,000 



troops vvitli horses, guns, etc., were detrained. 

It was only gradually that the 5,000 odd 

miles of railway in operation in South Africa 

at the beginning of the war passed under 
British control, and at the coinniencement of 
hostilities the Boers, from the strategical 
standpoint, were m a very favourable position. 
Like Geniiaiiy and Austria in the European 
War, they were acting on interior lines and could 
move troops from one frontier to another with 
great rapidity. The chief defect of the Boer 
railway system, in which respect it resembled 
the railway systeixis of Germany and Austria, 
was that only one of its lines connected with 
neutral territory and was available for the 
importation of supplies. The Boer railway 
manageinent had, however, taken advantage of 
the tact that the loosely-knit network of South 
African railways was worked as a single 
economic system to retain for their own use a 
favourable balance of rolling stock on the eve 
of the war, the loss of which was severely felt 
as additional railway mileage came under 
British control. So cleverly indeed did the 
Boer Railway Department handle the question 
of rolling stock, that it was not until a com- 
paratively late date that what had not been 
destroyed in the Boer retreat was recovered. 

MR. C. H. DENT, 
G.N. Ry. 

MR. F. H. DENT, 
S.E. & C. Ry. 


Midland Ry. 




N.E. Rv. 

Caledonian Ry. 

L.B. & S.C. Ry. 

Only the rapidity of Lord Roberis's advance, 
which was rendered possible by the excellent use 
made of the railway facilities, prevented tiie 
Boers from destroying all the engines and 
rolling stock w-hich they were unable to retain. 
They did, of, on some of the routes 
destroy the railway itself with a considerable 
degree of thoroughness — stations, telegraphs, 
water supply, permanent way, and bridges 
being wrecked wholesale, and thus threw a 
great strain on those charged with the repair of 
the lino. Fortunately, however, Elandsfontein 
Junction, the key of the railway system in 
South Africa, was recovered in an undamaged 

In the later stages oi the war, when the whole 
of the South African railway system was in 
possession of the British Forces, the railways 
were subject to the persistent attacks oi Boer 
raiders, which on one occasion stopped all 
traffic for over a fortnight. It became- neces- 
sary to adopt effective measures to protect the 
long lines oi railway on which the supplies of 
the British Army depended, and the steps taken 
bv the establishment of the blockhouse system 

not only secured the communications but had 
the effect of converting the railways into 
fortified barriers, which played an essential 


part in the policy of separating, enclosing, and 

hunting down the Boer Commandos. 

Originally, the railways had been protected 

Secretary to the Committee. 



L. & Y. Ry. 

Great Western Ry. 




An heroic act by an eighteen-year-old Belgian Corporal. J. de Mante ran along the plank by the side 
of the bridge, lighted torch in hand, which he plunged into the barrels of paraffin already prepared. 
They blazed up instantly. Bullets whizzed round him, but he climbed upon the bridge and completed 
his task by rubbing his torch on the paraffin-soaked boards, after which he left the bridge a roaring furnace. 

by small parties of mounted men, but in addi- 
tion to the large drafts which such a system 
made on tlie fighting forces it was ineffective 
against raiders in any force, and the idea of 
establisliing definite fortifications was evolved. 
The type of blockhouse ultimately adopted took 
the form of two cylinders of corrugated iron with- 
out woodwork, the spaces between the cylinders 

being packed with shingle, and the construction 
roofed and loop-holed. It was possible to build 
these blockhouses at a very low cost, and 
the defence which was thus provided, in con- 
junction with armoured trains provided with 
cjuick-firing guns, as well as Maxims and 
searchlights, made the railways safe from 
raiders. On some sections of railway block- 



houses were erected at such short intervals as 
200 yards and, in addition, the lines were 
fenced with barbed mre. It was a system 
■designed to meet the needs of a special case, 
and the conversion of long lines of railway into 
permanent fortifications for the successful 
prosecution of a war was a feat which was only 
oiade possible by local conditions. 

Brief reference should also be made to the 
work carried out in the shops of the various 
South African railway companies, an example 
which was so largely followed in the European 
War. The resources of the manufactiu-ing 
departments of the railways were diverted for 
increasing the output of munitions. The con- 
trol works at Pretoria successfully undertook 
the production of gun ammunition, and the 
repair of ordnance, while the wagon shops 
provided the necessai-y number of ambulance 
trains. The South African campaign as a 
whole was a revelation even to the great military 
nations of the uses to which railways could be 
put for the piu-poses of war. 

In the American AVar of Secession excellent 
use had been made of the rail transport facilities 
available, but in view of what was achieved by 
railways in the European War of 1914, attention 
was directed in the American Press to the lack 
■of strategic railways in the United States m the 
light of modern experience. It was pointed 
out that owing to the great distances over 
which troops would have to be transported in 
the event of the United States being threatened 
on either of its exposed seaboards, the lack of 
strategic railways would prevent that rapid 
mobilization which war had shown was one of 
the first essentials of a successful campaign. 
Attention was particularly directed to the need 
of providing improved terminal facilities at 
those ports and harbours at which an enemy 
might seek to make a landing in order to avoid 
the congestion which took place in the dispatch 
of troops to Cuba in the Spanish-American 
War. A demand was made for a transportation 
survey and the preparation of plans so that a 
comprehensive programme might be worked 
out with a view to providing against the da.nger 
of invasion. 

The disadvantages which arise from the 
want of adequate transport facilities were very 
vividly illustrated in the Russo-Japanese War. 
In that case the only method of transporting 
troops to the scene of warfare was by means of 
the Trans-Siberian Railway, which at that time 
was mainly a single line track, and it was partly 

Director General of Railway Transport. 

for want of adequate transport that Russia 
concluded a peace when she had only put a 
comjiaratively small number of her available 
men into the field. 

In the Great \Var the railways exercised a 
constant influence on the course of the fighting. 
The campaigns in Belgium, France, Russia, in 
Northern Italy, and the great thrust into the 
Balkans, by which the enemy sought to gain 
possession of the through railway route to 
Constantinople, furnished many illustrations of 
the tendency in modern warfare to wage 
battles for the possession of transport facilities, 
and to utilize to the fullest extent the mobility 
which railways confer. Germany made free 
use of her railway system to transfer large 
forces from one battle front to the other and to 
hold up each in turn during the early stages of 
the war ; the excellent employment made of 
Freiich railways enabled our Ally to be at least 
partially prepared to deal with the invader, 
and it was largely by means of her railways 
that Russia mobilized in a period of time ■v\hich 
surprised the enemy and occupied territory in 
East Prussia at a moment when Germany was 
concentrating on the march to Paris. The 
fine use which was made of the railways by the 
combatant armies was often overlooked for 
the simple reason that thej' were common 
features of every-day life. 

In Great Britain there was, of course, with 




one possible exception, no such tiling as a 
strategic railway. The main lines ot communi- 
cation and practically every branch railway 
were constructed to serve ordinary commercial 
needs. The building of strategic railways had 
always been the busiiiess of the State, and in 
Oreat Britain there were no State railways, 
although the Goverrunent in virtue of the 
powers vested in it took possession of the 
railway system when war was declared. 

The position on the Continent was very 
different. The pohey of building railways by 
which military forces could be rapidly placed 
•on artificially created frontiers had been 
pursued for many years. In this respect 
Oermany had taken the lead, and had con- 
structed a large mileage of railway lines for 
which there was military but certainly no 
commercial justification. It was a simjjle task 
indeed for any railway expert to destroy the 
whole edifice of Gcrn:ian sophistry regarding 
the responsibility for the war by a reference to 
the policy pursued by Germany in strategic 
railway construction. It was plain that the 
invasion of France through Belgium was an 
essential part of the plan of invasion. There 
•could be no other reason for the remarkable 
network of lines which had been constructed 
on the frontiers of Belgium, and which when 
the time came were employed for the invasion 
of that unhappj' country. The only excuse 
that the Germans could offer for their railway 
policy was that the best defensive consists in 
preparedness for an offensive. The work of 
constructing these railways was simplified by 
the fact that the German railway system was 
owned and worked by the Government. 

In a war which in its character was so 
often a struggle for lines of communication, 
every mile of the railway was an asset. The 
following table, compiled for the Oreat Eastern 
Railway Magazine, from which some of the maps 
in this chapter have been reproduced, may, 
therefore, be regarded as possessing historical 
interest, as it represents the railway conditions 
as they existed at the outbreak of war : 

Area Sq. 


Miles of 

[Miles per 

tion per 






Great Britain ... about 








France ... ... ,, 




Russia ... ... ,, 




Germany ... ,, 




Austria-Hungarv ,, 




Italy , 




\_Swain e, 

Assistant Director of Railway Transport. 

The table reveals the disadvantage at which 
Russia was placed in relation to Germany, and 
\\hy the latter coimtry was confident of holding 
up the slow-moving Russian armies while 
France was being beaten to her knees. That, 
with a railway system so inferior to that of the 
enemy, Russia was able to mobilize her forces 
for the in\'asion of East Prussia at so early a 
stage in the conflict was one of the marvels of a 
war which Avas full of surprises. 

Germany, with that genius for organization 
which proved to be one of her great assets in the 
long struggle, had, during the forty years of 
peace which followed the war with France in 
1870, created a railway system which, however 
well it may have served the needs of the 

General Manager, G.E. Ry. 



A railway engine " pontooned " across the Orange River, March 14, 1915. 

travelling and commercial community, had, as 
indicated above, been largely built with a view 
to military needs. It is obvious to anyone 
who studies the accompanying maps that the 
possession of railways which covered the 
frontiers of France, Belgium, and Poland, 
which provided dviplicate routes between East 
and M'est, which linked all the railway centres 
by direct lines with the frontiers, was a great 
military asset. The trunk lines were all im- 
jjortant, but it was some of the smaller railways 
on the frontier that held the main interest for 
the military chiefs. These were, indeed, of 
supreme importance to Germany. The line 
between Emden and Munster afforded con- 
nexion across the marshy country of Ems ; its 
branch lines were also of military value. In 
the triangle formed by Cologne, Aix la Chapelle, 
Emmerich, Limburg and the Rhine, Germany 
had multiplied strategic lines to the point of 
apparent confusion. These, in addition to 
controlling the frontiers, served Essen and 
other industrial towns. 


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A glance at a map shows how important, 
apart from its influence on the Belgian cam- 
paign, was the seizure of Luxemburg. It gave 
a straight road from Verviers to Metz, with 
connexions on the Rhine. Into this line and 
the territory behind it between Cologne and 
Saarburg many branch lines and connexions 
had been constructed. So military in purpose 
were sonie of the railways on which Germany 
relied for the rapid invasion of Belgium that 
they had never been used for ordinary traffic 
before the war. One of these secret lines was 
that connecting Malmedy and Stavelot. Yet 
its existence was almost essentia,! to the success 
of German military plans. The line linking 
IMalmedy with Weymertz was another im- 
portant strategic route. Major Stuart Stephens 
had reminded us that without the aid oi these 
short lines the troops entrained at Coblenz, 
Cologne, Bonn and Gladbach could not be 
secretly projected on the Belgian frontier. As 
a bhnd to the real intentions in constructing 
these particular railway links, Germany had 
provided an alternative route between Aix and 
St. Vitti, but this was not built as a military 
railway, and had, before Germany was ready 
for war, to be superseded by a high-level line. 
As a corollary to the little Stavelot-Mahnedy 
line four million pounds were expended in 
building this high level line between AVeymertz 
and Malmedy. It was designed to be finished 
in June, 191-1, and as is now loiown war broke 
out at the beginning of August in that year. 
Such was the gigantic "bluff" put up by 
Germany in regard to the reasons for building 
these two lines — the Stavelot-Mahnedy and tlie 
Weymertz -Jlahuedy— that a considerable por- 



tion of the capital was provided by Belgium, 
and that country actually at its own cost linked 
these lines, designed to facilitate the rapid in- 
vasion of its territory, with the Belgian railway 
system. The annexation of Luxemburg was, of 
course, a very simple affair. The railways were 
already in German hands, and it was an easy 
task to transport an army into the cai^ita! of the 
Duchy and announce its annexation for the of the war. 

There were other points in the German 
railway policy before the war to which atten- 
tion should be directed to show the determina- 
tion to be ready for war, although it was 
known, in the phrase used by Sir James Yoxall, 
that in the months preceding the outbreak 
of hostilities " grass grew hay-high between 
the rails of the few French strategic rail- 
way's." The same writer furnished some 
striking information as to what the Germans 
had been doing in constructing railways 
through the volcanic province of the Eifel, just 
inside the German frontier. Ten years ago the 
railway was a simple single line, but by the 
time war was declared it had been straightened, 
doubled, and throughout its steeper gradients 
flattened ; in certain sections it had been 
tripled and quadrupled, and sidings, absurdly 
large for the trading or social needs of the 
population, were laid out near any railway 
station which was in flat onen country and itself 

situated on )evel ground with plenty of space 
in the vicinity of the station. At Gerolstein, 
a village with 1,200 inhabitants, sidings suitable 
for the traffic of a large town had been laid out. 

A marked feature of German railways was that 
there were very few heavy gradients, and that 
on many of the main lines there was not a single 
tunnel. That routes had been selected for 
the railways which presented so few natui-al 
obstacles was a great advantage as long as the 
railways remained in German possession, but in 
the event of invasion, which a military Power 
such as Germany probably never contemplated 
when laying out the railway system, it would 
clearly be very difficult for German armies in 
retreat to damage the railways to an extent 
which would prevent their use by an invading 
army for anything more than a short period. 

It may be pointed out that even during peace 
time Gerinan railways were administered by 
military methods. On the mobilization of the 
army they were immediately taken over by the 
military authorities, under the guidance of the 
Railways Section of the Great General Staff. 
The German railway adininistration was of 
a somewhat complicated character, but the 
Imperial Government had always possessed 
arbitrary powers in connexion with railway 
construction, and it had been no unusual cir- 
cumstance for military lines to be constructed 
through territory in op2:)osition to the will of 

Transporting engines and rolling stock by pontoon across a river in Russia. 



the inhabitants. Tn suoh a degree of complete- 
ness had tlie German railway organization been 
brought that rules had been framed before the 
war governing the administration of railways 
in foreign countries \\ Inch were occui^ied by the 
Ceniian army. 

No doubt many fine feats in transport were 
achieved by CJeruian railways dui-ing the war, 
bvit some of the stories concerning the rapid 
movement of troops from east to west or the 
converse which were published in the Press 
were obvious exaggerations. There is a limit 

in transportation of which every practical 
railway man is fully aware, and some of the 
performances with wliich rumour credited the 
German railway organization were of an im- 
possible character. One fine achievement, 
however, stands to the credit of Von Hinden- 
burg who, in spite of the handicap of air recon- 
naissance, succeeded by the transfer of a 
large force from the Cracow and Czenstochau 
dLstricts in effecting a surprise upon the Russian 
forces m the neighbourhood of Kalisch. In a 
period of four days Von Hindenburg trans- 
ported a force of nearly 400,000 men over a 
distance of 200 miles. The fact that it took 
four days to move this army o\er a compara- 
tively short distance, although in itself a good 
performance, gave an index to the time which 
^\■ould be occupied in transferring any large 
body of troops from the eastern to the western 
front, a jom-ney which in peace times occupied 
about twenty hours by express train and which, 
even when the necessary rolling stock had been 
assembled at the point of departiu-e, a long and 
wearisome business in itself, would under 
miUtary traffic conditions take many times as 
long. Even when credit is given for all the 

German Landsturm in Belgium. Inset : A German armoured train. 








_, .:,.y - 



advantage wliich followed the fact that Cler- 
many was fighting on interior lines, a majority 
of the stories which gained cixrreney at various 
times during the war may be relegated to the 
same category as that of the transport of a 
Russian army throvigh England. 

The French railway system, although it was 
not constructed for strategic purposes, was 
admirably adapted for the rapid transport of 
troops and material of war. The lines along 
the eastern frontier from Boulogne, through 
Amiens, Tergnier, Laon, Beims and Verdun 
commanded the German frontier and that through 
Cambrai and Mons to Brussels enabled troops 
to be transported to the Belgian frontier. 
These, however, were commercial railways, not 
strategic in the ordinary meaning of the word, 
nor was the frontier, as was the case with 
Germany, a maze of railways whose only 
functions were that of army transport. Under 
normal peace conditions the French railways 
were under the control of the Minister of Public 
Works, but as was the case in Great Britain, 
they were automatically taken over by the 
Government on the outbreak of war. 

It will be interesting to show in some detail 
how the French railways were managed during 
the war. The whole of the railways were 
operated under the condition even in times of 
peace that if the Government required to 
transport troops and stipplies to any point on 
any railway system the Company must inune- 
diately place all its facilities at the service of 
the State. * As this obligation had existed for 
a period of forty years a permanent military 
organization was in existence whose duties 
were to prepare the railways lor service in time 

of war. According to an account of the 
system in force whicli appeared in the Journal 
des Transporls, each of the large railways had 
attached to it a Committee of two, known as 
the Commission de Rescau, composed of a 
technical member, us\ially the general manager 
of the railway, and a military member, who 
was a high officer of the general staff nominated 
by the Minister of War. The duties of this 
Committee were to investigate in all its bearings 
in the light of strategic requirements the manner 
in which the railway' could be utilized for the 
purposes of -war. In addition to the Com- 
missions de Reseau a Military Railways Com- 
mittee had been created m the year 1898. 
This Conunittee, which was presided over by 
the Chief of the General Staff, consisted of six 
military officers of high rank, three representa- 
tives of the Ministry of Public Works, and the 
members of the Conimissions of the different 
railways. The functions of this Committes 
were mainly advisory, but it sat in judgment 
on all questions relating to military transport, 
and assented or dissented from measures 
proposed by the Commissions de R&eau. 

Special regulations affecting railway em- 
ployees came into force on the declaration of 
war. These provided that when a railwayman 
was called to the colours he was mobilized as a 
railwayman, and the working of this system 
was successfully tested during the railway 
strike of 1910, the railway men being then called 
out under martial law. On the first day of 
mobilization the railways were required to 
jjlace at the disposal of the military authorities 
the whole of their transport facilities either over 
the whole of the systems or on certain specified 










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PARIS to North and to Battle Front 

routes. The railway system of France v.'as on 
mobilization divided into two zones whieh, 
although administered by different authorities, 
were both under militarjr control. The army 
zone was placed under the control of the 
Commander-in-Chief of the armies in the field, 
to whose staff was attached an officer whose 
status was that of Manager or the army railways. 
This zone was subdivided into the sections of 
line which were within and without the actual 
sphere of military operations. Within the zone 
of actual field operations the service was con- 
ducted by military units, while the sections of 
line outside that area were manned by the 
employees of the company who were mobilized 
imder a territorial system for that purpose. 
The other railway zone, known as the interior 
zone, was under the direction of the Minister of 
War, who gave authority to the Commission 
de Roseau of each railway to carry out execu- 
tive functions, each of the two members of the 
Committee retaining individual responsibility, 
the military member being entrusted with 
military measures, and the technical member 
being charged with the provision of rolling 
stock and other technical requirements. 

While precedence was given to the transport 
of troops and uiaterials of war, provision was 
also made for the carriage of food-stuffs and 
general commercial merchandise. Within the 
army zone ordinary traffic was entirely sus- 
pended except on the order of the Commander- 
in-Chief. In the interior zone ordinary passen- 
ger and goods traffic was carried according to 
the conditions prescribed by tlie Mmister of 
War, who had the power after mobilization and 
concentration were completed to authorize the 
partial or complete resumption of ordinary 
passenger and freight traffic. 

The French Army at the outset of the war 
was undoubtedly under the handicap of having 
a muoh smaller mileage of strategic railways 

than Germany. I'lie deficiency w .as to a certain 
extent remedied diu-ing the progress of the war. 
The French had a valuable asset in a fine corps 
ot railwa3' engineers, and in connection with the 
repair of railways damaged during the march 
on Paris and the subsequent advance the 
ser\-ices of British railwaymen wei-e requisi- 
tioned both for this repair work and for the 
building of new lines. 

An account of the fine work done on the 
French railways during the early days of the 
war was furnished by the French authorities, 
and the report indicated with what remarkable 
precision the transport system worked. Its 
first great task \v'as the transport of the 
" troupes de couverture," the army sent to the 
frontier to meet the first shock of the enemy, 
a proceeding which enabled the mobilization of 
the main armies to be carried out undisturbed. 
This was theworkof the first department of the 
three heads into which the French transport ser- 
vice was divided. The second department was 
charged with the regular supply of men, horses, 
provisions, ammunition and material to the 
armies in the field. The third department was 
responsible for the transport of troops from one 
part of the theatre of war to another where 
their presence would contribute to the success 
of an operation. Tlie transport of the " troupes 
de couverture " commenced on the evening of 
July 31, 1914, and was completed on August 3 
at noon without any delay either in the depar- 
ture or arrival of trains, and before any of the 
ordinary services been suspended. Nearly 
600 trains were required on the Eastern system 
alone, and the merit of this fine feat in trans- 
portation was enlianced by the fact that the 
transport of troops in connection with the 
general mobilization commenced on August 2 
and was, therefore, partially concurrent with the 
movement of the armies to the frontier. 
The transports needed for the concentration of 
the armies generally commenced on August 5, 
the most urgent period ending on August 12. 
During these eight days no fewer than 2,500 
trains were dispatched, of which only 20 were 
subjected to slight delays, and during a period 
of fourteen days nearly 4,500 trains were 
dispatched, and in addition 250 trains loaded 
with siege supplies for the fortresses. These 
excellent results of French railway organization 
were rendered the more noteworthy from the 
fact that the original destination of four army 
corps was changed after mobilization had 



The last few moments before departure. 

In the transport of troops from one part of 
the theatre of operations to another some 
remarkable performances were accomplished by 
French railways. During the French offensive 
in Lorraine and Belgium in August, 1914, at 
which time the transport in France of the British 
Expeditionary Force had also to be undertaken. 

during the retreat beyond the JMarne, and the 
subsequent advance, and again at the time of 
the extension of the left of the annies operating 
in France to the North Sea, over 70 divisions 
were moved by railway from one point to 
another, the journeys varying in length from 
60 to 360 miles, and necessitating the employ- 




German soldiers repairing a train that was overturned on the line to obstruct the advance in Belgium 

of the German Army. 

nient of over 6,000 trains. The report which 
made these facts public rightly attributed a large 
measure of the success attained by the Allied 
armies to the manner in which the railway 
transport problem was solved, and in particular 
assigned to the railway ami the main credit for 
the erecting of the impassable barrier against 
wliich the enemy made his vain attacks in 

With regard to the ordinarv transport 
service of the Army which was directed from 
the control stations on the railways, as de- 
scribed in Chapter I^XXII. dealing with the 
feeding of the Army, this worked with perfect 
regularity froni the beginning of the war. 
During the retreat on Paris the control stations 
had to provide for ali sorts of unforeseen needs, 
such as the removal of military and other stores, 
of the inhabitants from abandoned towns, and 
the withdrawal of French and Belgian railway 
rolling stock. In doing these things ample 
proof was given of the skill with which the 
organization had been worked out. Magnifi- 
cent service was rendered by the French 
railways from the first day of war. 

In regard to railway facilities for the move- 
ment of troops. Russia was throughout the w ar 
at a great clisad\'antage as compared with 
Germany. She was, when war was declared, 
engaged in the building of certain strategic 
lines to the German frontier, and it was sug- 
gested that one of the reasons for the selection 
of 1914 as the year when the war clovid should 
burst was the need for making war on Russia 
before her strategical railway system had been 

completed. The figures in the table on page 
169 show the disparity of the Russian railway 
system in comparison with that of the enemy. 

The Russian system had its focus at Moscow, 
and the German frontier was by no means well 
served. There was a line from Moscow to 
Warsaw and Brest, a railway from Petrograd 
to Warsaw, a railway from \\'ilna into East 
Prussia, and the Kursk, Krew-Lemburg and 
Odessa-Lemburg lines. In Poland the chief 
railways were those between Tliorn, Kalisch, 
Grancia to Warsa\^', and Grancia, Ivangorod 
to \^'ar,:aw, with various branch lines. In 
comparison with conditions on the German 
side of the frontier there was a lamentable 
absence of rail transport for the armies of the 
Tsar. It was, as previously stated, the superior 
railway facihties on the German side of the 
Poland border which enabled Von Hindenburg 
to effect his first great concentration for the 
attack on Kalisch. When Poland and Russia 
were at last invaded by the Austro-German 
armies a good deal of the advantage of gaining 
possession of certain railways was lost owing 
to the difference in gauge between the German 
and Russian systems, which prevented through 
traffic from Germany, and, as the Russians 
removed the rolling stock when the time came 
for them to retreat, the possession of these 
lines was made a still more barren asset for the 
(ierman Arm\-. 

It is true that the German railways had 
provided convertible axles on some of the 
rolling stock to enable them to employ German 
trains on the Russian 5 ft. gauge, while a 



corps of engineers was set to work to build 
new lines of standard gauge, for which purpose 
some of the Belgian railways were taken up 
and the material transported to Russia. The 
break of gauge was, however, a serious dis- 
ad-\-antage to the Russian and German 
armies in turn when invading the other's 

In the early stages of the war, when the 
French Army was being beaten back on Paris, 
it was the heroic efforts of the Russian railway 
men which saved the military situation. With 
a greater rapidity than could possibly have 
been expected, and at a moment when Germany, 
deeming any immediate Russian offensive im- 
possible, was seeking to deal a smashing blow 
in the west, a Russian arnij^ appeared on the 
banl<s of the Niemen and the Vistula and 
invaded East Prussia. In spite of the counter- 
blow which, owing to sviperior railway facilities, 
Germany was able to make, new forces were 
poured without cessation along the Russian 
railways, and enabled the Army of the Tsar to 
apply a pressure which was one of the decisive 
factors m arrestmg the blow aimed at the heart 
of France. When all the circiunstances are 

taken into accoimt, this was one of the greatest 
railway achievements of the war. 

The employment of the railways as an 
adjunct to military strategy by Italy, although 
of the first importance, was restricted by the 
mountainous character of the frontier where 
the Italian and Austrian forces first made 
contact. The accompanying map shows the 
principal railways on the northern frontier of 
Italy. Free use was made of the direct Milan- 
Udine and the Milan-Codogno-Padua-Udine 
route, and the railways from Verona to Fran- 
zenfeste, and that from the latter place to 
Villach. The possession of the latter line 
through the mountains was, indeed, essential 
to a successful offensive, as these northoni 
lines were in direct rail communication with 
Austrian and German railways, and it was 
tlu'ough them that if Italy lost the offensive 
an enemy might descend in force on the 
Italian northern plains with little hoj^e of help 
coming from France. 

The railway links with the French armies 
were the single line along the sea coast to 
Nice and the railway from Turin through 
tlie Mont Cenis Tunnel. It was plain to the 

Transporting supplies on light trucks. 



The gauge is too broad for German trains to run on. 

military authorities that for any active co- 
operation between the Italian and tlie 
French armies it would be necessary to rely on 
sea transport. 

The need for securing possession of the 
frontier railways was therefore urgent. It is 
true that they could not, owing to the 
fact that for long distances the railways 
were single lines, separated from each other 
by difficult country, give to the military 
force in possession any great power of con- 
centration, which is the function of railways 
in war, but once these Unes were in Italian 
hands there was little chance of a successful 
Austrian offensive. To gain the mountain lines 
a rapid blow was necessary, as the railway 



Between the VISTULA and the ODER 

facilities possessed by Austria were much 
superior to those of Italy, and would under 
normal conditions have enabled an Austrian 
force to be concentrated on the frontier before 
Italy wai ready to parry the blow. The military 
organization knew the disadvantage imder 
which it stood in relation to transport in 
comparison with the enemy, and took steps to 
counter it by a determined stroke at the 
frontier railways. Since the year 1905 the 
majority of the Italian lines had been imder 
State control, but little or no building of 
strategic lines was undertaken by the Govern- 
ment, although considerable sums were ex- 
pended in improvement of and additions to 
rolling stock, and in converting some of the 
single railways into double line tracks. During 
the war the railways were operated under 
military control on methods which differed only 
in detail froni those already described. 

The campaign in the Balkans f ocussed attention 
on other railway systems of Europe. There were 
several important main lines of railways for the 
possession of whicli the struggle in the Balkans 
was forced by the Germanic Powers. It will be 
noted that ordinary methods of communication 
were few in number, the difficulties wliich faced 
railw ay construction being such as could only be 
overcome by wealthy coimtries. ■- The natural 
obstacles which the armies in the field had to 
face were chiefly the mountains and rivers. 



As was pointed out by a correspondent of the 
staff magazine of the Great Eastern Railway, 
which published a series of articles on the War, 
the mountain ranges in the Balkans were so 
closely connected that the construction of roads 
which coxild be used by large armies was 
practically impossible. From the Adriatic 
Coast to the River Vardar, from the River 
Vardar to the River Mesta, and from the River 
Mesta to the River Maritza, owing to the trend 
of the mountains north by south, communica- 
tion from east to west was very difficult. The 
Transylvanian Alps and the Balkans formed an 
almost impenetrable barrier, and from the 
mountain ranges unnavigable winding rivers 
presented frequent obstacles to an army on the 
march. These natural conditions very much 
enhanced the military value of the railways, 
and explained why any destruction of railway 
bridges or of the permanent way hampered the 
pursuing forces more than would have been 
the case in less difficult country. The great 
high road along the valleys of the Morava and 
the Maritza connecting Central Europe and 
Asia through Constantinople was selected as 
the route that the railway from A'ienna to 
Constantinople should follow. The important 
line from Laibach and Budapest entered Serbia 
at Belgrade by a bridge across the Save, and 
was thence carried down the valley to the 
heart of Serbia at Nish. The Nissava was 
traversed through a remarkable gorge by Pirot, 
Serbia's eastern gate, and the railway builders 
entered Bulgaria between the mountains of 

Zaribrod. The succeeding section to ths 
Vakarel Pass was built over the plateau leading 
to Sofia, and was then constructed along the 
Maritza, through Mustapha Pasha, the Tiirkish 
junction. At this point the railway emerged 
from the mountain ranges which had been 
entered at Nish, the succeeding section of the 
line followed the River Ergene and making the 
passage of the famous lines of Tchataldja 
entered Constantinople. 

It is not surprising that, hemmed in as they 
were on the sea, the Germanic Powers shovild 
seek to open up commimication with Con- 
stantinople. It was realized at the outset of 
the Balkan campaign that an army which could 
cross the Danube and gain a footing on the high 
side of the river at Belgrade could obtain 
possession of the railway as far as Nish, if it 































was in sufficient force to drive the Serbian 
Army into the mountains, and protect the 
bridges, three in number, between Belgrade 
and Nish. The possession of Nish, the natural 
centre of Serbia, was vital to the success of the 
plans of the invader, as it gave into his hands 
not merely the Oriental Railway as far as Nish, 
but the railways up the Timok to the 
Roumanian frontier, and the lines going south 
to Uskub, Monastir and Salonika. 

Much interest attached to the Salonika-Nish 
section of the line, as it was by means of this 
railway that the Anglo -British forces landed 
at Salonika might hope to effect a junction with 
the Serbian Army. It was only a single line 
railway, partly in Serbian and partly in Greek 
territory, and, apart from the political question 
which arose out of Greek ownership of the 
Salonika section, the capacity of this line of 
railway for transporting troops and material 
became of vital importance to the cause of the 
Alhes. Vulnerable points on the line were the 
four bridges which carried the Une over the 
Vardar between Salonika and Bania. Between 
the latter place and Uskub there was fairly 
open country in which to operate, and the 
River Vardar afforded the railway some 
protection from Bulgarian raids. Uskub and 
Veles were, however, uncovered at other points 
between Kara Dagh and Veles, and this section 
of the railway could also be used for an attack 
on Sofia by way of Kostendil. 

Turning to the Bulgarian ra,ilways, Adrianople 
assumed importance as the Bulgarian terminus 
on the through route. Another link in the 
system was the line from Dedeagatch, trains 
on which were shelled from the roadstead 
by the Allied Fleet operating in near Eastern 
waters. North of the Balkans was the line 
to Varna on the Black Sea, a port which 
received the attentions of Russian warships, 
with connections to Nicopoli and Rustchuk 
on the Danube. The line to the last-named 
place from Varna was built by an English 
company, and was the first of the Balkan 

The long cherished dream of making an 
attack on Egypt through the Suez Canal was 
intimately linked up with the provision of the 
necessary railway transport. The fine use 
which was made of the railways in' the early 
part of the war doubtless led the German 
military party to the view that the transport 
difficulties of an attack on Egypt had been 
exaggerated, and that a great deal covld be 

accomplished by means of the lines whicli 
had already been constructed. Hindenburg 
was credited with the statement that the 
organization of the railway weapon had solved 
the problem of waging successful war over long 
distances. Distance, however, was not the 
real difficulty in the case of the projected grand 
attack on Egypt. The cjuestion to be answered 
was the extent to which the existing railways, 
aided by hght railways, could be expanded to 
make possible the transport across the desert 
of a large and well-equipped force. The 
choice of Meissnor Pasha, the German builder 
of the Hedjaz and Bagdad Railways, to super- 
vize the railway preparations for this advance 
was an intimation of the extent to which the 
idea of making a successful attack on Egypt 
had taken root in German militarv circles. 

An Austrian General's car used for quick transit 
from the Base to the lines occupied by his army. 

Before the European War indicated the exact 
character of the services which railways could 
give to an advancing army, it had been imagined 
that an almost prohibitive amount of railway 
construction must precede an Egyptian cam- 
paign from Turkey. It may be taken for 
granted that Meissner Pasha was not misled 
by the fact that the small forces used for the 
first invasion of Egypt succeeded in crossing 
the desert. That was a feat \A'hich had been 
accomplished before. No doubt if he could 
have had his way, and the necessary time had 
been available, Meissner would not only have 
undertaken the construction of light railways 
across the desert, but the doubling of a large 
mileage of the single track line from Hedjaz to 
Damascus, of the railway from Damascus to 
Aleppo, as well as of the Bagdad railway from 
Aleppo to the Bosphorus. These were am- 
bitious plans and would have involved the 
driving of important • tunnels through the 



French Soldiers cutting out chalk for roadmaking. 

Taurus and Amamis ranges, if the trenaendous 
handicap of breaking bulk in the transport of 
supplies was to be overcome. Whatever 
might be the case in the future, it seemed 
certain to those acquainted with local con- 
ditions that any force advancing on the Suez 
Canal from Turkey, while it might succeed in 
drawing its food supplies from Asia Minor, 
would have to be munitioned from Europe, 
a circumstance which opened up a new problem, 
that of dealing with the munition traffic on the 
single line from Constantinople to the frontier 
of Palestine. This was the situation from the 
railway standpoint which had to be faced by 
those responsible for attacking any force on the 
Suez Canal. 

In England, despite the absence of strategic 
lines, the railways did excellent work, the 
railway interests of the nation being the one 
great business undertaking to give efficient 
and loyal war service without the prospect 
of a penny of extra profit for the pro]>rietors. 
The scale of payment to the railways was based 
on the earnings in a normal period before the 
war, although it soon became common know- 
ledge that with depleted staffs the railways 
were carrying far more traffic both in jjas- 
sengers and goods than in years of peace. 

It was a ready criticism during the war that 
Great Britain — not by any means for the first 
time in her history — had been caught by the 
enemy in a state of unpreparedness for the 
struggle that was thrust upon her. Nobody 
ever really questioned the truth of the criticism 
or the abihty of the nation to win through 

in spite of the slow start. Even the bitterest 
critic, however, always modified his con- 
demnation of our unreadiness for war by 
excepting from it the Navy, which from the 
first day of war assumed command of the 
seas. To the Navy should have been added the 
railways, which were placed on a war footing 
by the stroke of the pen which gave notice 
of Government control, and which immediately 
put into practice plans which had been devised, 
tested, and perfected during long years of peace. 

It will not be without interest to give an 
accomit of the steps which enabled the railways 
in. a day to become efficient instruments of 
military transport. 

Immediately following the declaration of 
war the Government, exercising the powers 
it possessed under the Regulation of the 
Forces Act, took possession of the railway 
system of Great Britain — but not of Ireland. 
The control was exercised through an Execu- 
tive Committee, which was composed of General 
Managers of the various railway companies. 
The President of the Board of Trade was 
the official Chairman, but to Sir H. A. Walker, 
the General Manager of the London and South 
Western Railway, was entrusted the Acting 
Chairmanshi].). The task of the executive 
was to operate the whole of the railways of 
the country as one undertaking, or, as it was 
expressed in the public announcement, " the 
railways, locomotives, rolling stock, and staff 
shall be used as one complete unit in the best 
interests of the State for the movement of 
troops, stores, and food supplies." 



The Executive Committee was not as many 
believed a new body, it having existed in the 
form of a War Railway Council for some years 
past. It was this Council which had drawn 
up plans which were to be put into operation 
in the event of Great Britain being involved 
in a European war. Nor had the subject 
escaped attention in earlier years. As long 
ago as 1865 the Engineer and Bailway 
Stafi Corps came into being. This corps 
was formed with the object of directing the 
apphcation of skilled laboiu- and of railway 
transport to the purposes of national defence, 
and for preparing plans to meet the direct 
shock of war. Even when the Territorial force 
was created, the Engineer and Railway Staff 
Corps, although merged in the Royal Engineers 
of the Territorial Force, remained under the 
administration of the War Office. The corps, 
as originally constituted, was composed of a 
certain number of engineers, several of the 
great contractors, and the general managers 
of the principal railways, the contractors 
forming what was known as the " Labour 
Branch " of the Corps. It was intended that 
in the event of war the officers of this corps, 
acting under the direction of the mihtary 
authorities, would superintend the working 
of the railways, and it was hoped that by 
making the best use of the organization and 
resources available no difficulty would be 
experienced in concentrating a considerable 
Dody of troops within a brief period upon any 
point of the coast which might be threatened 

by a foe. The spirit which had been infused 
into these early plans to repel invasion was 
present in the British railway organization 
when the war cloud burst in 1914, and the cruder 
plans of the Victorian era had been worked out 
and perfected when King George, the grandson 
of the Great Queen, saw his Empire plunged 
into war. 

In a lecture which the late Sir George Findlay 
delivered before the School of Military Engi- 
neering, this eminent railway manager put upon 
record the duties of railways in time of war. 
There would be general agreement with the 
statement that in Great Britain, where the 
whole of the railways had been constructed by 
private enterprise, the antecedent conditions 
differed so widely from those obtaining on the 
Continent that any such arrangements as had 
been devised in Germany, Austria, France or 
Italy would bo inapplicable. Hence the de- 
cision to give the State the powers of control 
embodied in the provisions of the Act of 1888, 
and the drawing up of plans by which the 
Executive Committee, who were all Lieutenant- 
Colonels in the Railway Staff Corps, should 
operate the whole of the railways under the 
direction of the military authorities as a single 

It would be more correct to write that the 
railways were during the war administered, not 
by the Government, but for the Government, 
the management of the railways and the Staff 
control being the same as in the days of peace. 
Orders for necessary facilities were issued by 

French Sappers constructing a railway. 




the Transport Department of the War Office 
and the Railway Executive furnished the trains. 
The only thing which the public noted during 
the earlj' days of the war was that the railways 
were placed under military guard — an essential 
precaution — and that the number of trains 
carrying troops increased. Other%vise — except 
for a rise in the percentage of trains which did 
not keep time — tliere was no public incon- 
venience. Behind the scenes, however, all 
grades of railwaymen, from the members of the 
Executive down to the humbler members of the 
uniform and clerical staffs, were passing through 
days and nights of stress. The outbreak of war 
was a bolt out of the blue ; the holiday traffic 
was at the flood and simultaneously with the 
extra call on the railway for transport facilities 
there was an appreciable reduction of staff 
owing to the return to the colours of the large 
number of railway reserves and the enlistment 
of the new armies. The nuniber withdrawn 
from railway service by the call of the Army 
and Navy was even before Lord Derby's great 
recruiting effort over 100,000, and it became 
necessary after a certain period, in order to 
ensure the efficient working of the railways, to 
forbid the enlistment of railwaymen. 

It was a great national asset when war was 
declared that British railways were ready to 
put into practice the programme of working 
which liad been evolved by the War Railway 
Council. Everything worked smoothly from 
the first day of w-ar. 

The elaborate arrangements which had been 
made in adN-ance for troop transport were soon 
piit to the test, for the decision to send an 
Expeditionary Force to the Continent was taken 
immediately and the work of transporting this 
force to the port of embarkation put in hand 
at once. Southampton, which had been 
similarly used in the South African War, was 
selected as the port for this purpose. That the 
work was well done by the railways the public 
knew later from the public statements of Lord 
Kitchener and Sir John French. The actual 
words used when the work of placing our first 
little army by the side of the French forces had 
been accomplished should be put on record, for 
the appreciation had been well earned. , 

Lord Kitchener wrote : " The railway com- 
panies, in the all-important matter of transport 
facilities, have more than justified the complete 
confidence reposed in them by the War Office, 
all grades of railway services having laboured 




with untiring energy and patience. And it is 
well to repeat that the conveyance of our troops 
across the Channel was accomplished, thanks 
to the cordial cooperation of the Admiralty, 
with perfect smoothness and without any un- 
toward incident whatever." 

Sir John French added his word of praise. 
He wrote from France under date September 9, 

" The transport of the troops from England 
both by sea and rail was effected in the best 
possible order and without a check. Each imit 
arrived at its destination in this country well 
within the scheduled time." 

A surprising fact not brought out in either of 
these testimonies was the secrecy which 
shrouded the whole of this important operation. 
Many hundreds, indeed thousands, of those 
engaged on the railways must have known of 
the work which was being done, and yet it was 
stated on good authority that in spite of the 
wide knowledge of the transport work in railway 
circles, and in a community which at that time 
at least was teeming with spies, the first know- 
ledge which Germany had of the transference 
of the British forces overseas was when they 
found their army corps opposed by Sir John 

French's army during the historic retreat from 

The transport of the Expeditionary Force to 
the Continent was only the beginning of a period 
of enormous demands on the railways for facili- 
ties for the movement of troops, supplies, 
provisions, horses, mules and equipment of all 

Of this early work and of some of the subse- 
quent services given to the military and naval 
authorities an excellent account was given in the 
special supplements issued by the Railway Neius. 
It was impossible, however, for the full story of 
the work of British railways in the war to be 
then put on record, if only for the reason that 
the period of greatest demand on the Railway 
Executive for transport facilities came some- 
what late in the war. That an organization 
■which had never contemplated having to 
move armies of the size which were ultimately 
raised should have come so successfully through 
the ordeal without inflicting greater inconveni- 
ence on the non-military portion of tho com- 
munity was a wonderful achievement for which, 
owing to the secrecy which veiled the military 
traffic, fviU credit was never given. 

Figures could be quoted which would give an 



index at least to the \'ast volume of traffic 
handled, but they would furnish nothing more 
than the dry bones of the narrative. It would 
be foolish, however, for the historian to attempt 
to rid himself altogether of the incubus of 
statistics. Thus in the first five months of war 
tlie London and South Western Railway pro- 
vided nearly 15,000 special trains for the naval 
and military traffic. The strategical position 
of this Company's lines, the fact that the port 
of Southampton, owned and managed by the 
Company, was an important port of embarka- 
tion, and that so manj' military camps had been 
established on this system, accounted for this 
large volume of traffic. Other railways also 
provided many thousands of special trams 
during the same period. On the small Brighton 
Company's system 4,400 such trains were 
required, and even the Metropolitan Railway 
passed over its lines dui'ing the five months in 
question nearly 2,750 troop trains. That meant 
in the case of the London and South Western 
Railway the running of 100 special trains every 
twenty-four hours in addition to a vast volume 
of ordinary traffic. The fact that such a feat 
was possible, and moreover that every one of 
these trains reached its destination at or before 
schedule time, constituted an achievement of 

which the Railway Executive had every reason 
to be proud. On the Greai Western system 
during the first seven months of the war no 
fewer than 6,684 special military trains had to 
be provided, apart from the very great amoimt 
of military traffic carried in ordinary trains. 
The Great Eastern Railway during the same 
period was called upon to put into its time-table 
over ."^jOOO military and naval trains, repre- 
senting a considerable daUy average. The 
Company also converted its hotel at Harwich, 
which fortunately had been reopened shortly 
before the war, into a military hospital, la 
the case of the Great Northern Railway, while 
no actiial figures were available, a great many 
troop trains passed over the system, and the 
Company, which carried an enormous traffic 
to and from the London docks, handled more 
wagons at the London end of the system than 
at any previous period in its history. In 
addition to what might be regarded as the 
normal increase in both troop and horse traffic, 
an increase wWch made the running of thousands 
of special trains necessary, the Lancashire and 
Yorkshire Railway had its accommodation 
severely taxed by the activity of the Yorkshire 
w loUen trade and the partial renewal of the 
cotton trade in East Lancashire. I\Iany other 

Destroyed by French Engineers. 




A special on the French railway carrying water to the troop? in the trenches. 

details and figure could be quoted, Ijut these 
may serve as an iiidex to a traffic intensity 
winch had never before been approached on 
British railways. Yet it must be confessed 
that bulk figures of this sort, however 
instructive in a general way, would have no 
meaning unless the reader could analyse them 
and split them up into the component ceaseless 
activities which they re^ reasnted. They implied 
that more traffic was being handled on British 
railways than at any previous period of their 
history, that reinforcements were being rushed 
to the front to aid the original gallant Uttle 
army, that wounded were being brought back 
to hospitals in England, that a vast tonnage of 
food for the feeding of the army, more artillery, 
more munitions, more material of war of all 
descriptions for both the army and the navy 
were daUy passing over the railways into the 
theatre of war. 

Subsidiary causes also contributed to the 
pressure on the resources of the railways. It 
was not merely Government traffic which 
caused that congestion of the railways with 
which the Railway Executive wrestled with 
such success : there were other traffic demands, 
and these coming on top of naval and military 
requirements made necessary the provision of 
new sidings for marshalling and storage pur- 
poses. There was also much traffic ordinarily 
carried by sea which was thrust on the rail- 

waj's. This was a direct result first of the 
closing of certain ports to ordinary traffic, 
and, secondly, of the tremendous rise in 
freights. To take only one case : it was 
stated in the railway Press at the time that 
coal for London and the south of England 
which was usually water-borne was carried 
by the railways during the war in very great 
quantities, the tonnage conveyed by one of 
the larger railways to places in the metropolitan 
area exceeding the normal tormage by one- 
third. This was quite a normal rate of increase. 
\^'as it to be wondered that there was congestion 
in various quarters, especially at junctions and 
exchange stations ? Tlie surprise was that the 
handling of ordinary traffic was not at times 
entirely suspended, and it is but fair that the 
extra work tlirown on the railways in dealing 
with the ordinary demands of the mercantile 
community while meeting without delay urgent 
Go\-ernment commands sliould be recorded. 

What has been already written refers to the 
broad general principles on which railways 
were employed in the war, the measures adopted 
in connexion with mobilization and concentra- 
tion of the armies ; what ought to be regarded 
as the ixiain line traffic of the military railways. 
In the actual fighting zone the work which had 
to be carried out was of a somewhat different 
and certainly of a more strenuous character. 
J ust as on an ordinary railway in day's of peace 




On the way to 

the area of dense traffic is on the hnes which 
converge towards great centres of population, 
so it was at the front to which the many 
millions of troops converged that the railway 
problem was most acute. Here, -where the 
Railway Transport Officers had control of what 
iTiight be termed the local traffic of the war, 
men of whose activities the public knew 
nothing grappled with a great task. The 
work was of a character to call for the services 
of men skilled in railway traffic management. 
The French authorities had the advantage that 
all the railwaymen were automatically enlisted 
for the period of the war, and were available 
wherever their services were reqmred ; the 
British Army was fortunate in having attracted 
so large a number of railwaymen to the colours. 

Transport in the case of the British forces 
was not a simple matter. An account of that 
part of the work connected with the provision- 
ing of the Army was given in an earlier chapter. 
The story there told indicated the difficulties 
arising out of the need for dealing with trans- 
port in its three phases, rail transport in 
England, the sea carriage to the French port 
used as an overseas base, and the rail and 
mechanical transport to the front. The feeding 
of the Army was, however, only one depart- 
ment of the work of transport. The railways 
had also to provide tor a constant stream of 
troops, horses, guns, stores and eqmpment of 
all kinds. 

At the ends of tlie long line of rail com- 
munication tJie strain on the transport staff 
was relaxed ; the blow fell on the Railway 
Transport Officer, w-hose station was anywhere 
near the fighting line, with full force. In civilian 
life the officer \ias probably a high rail -.vay official 
— men from the traffic department of all the 

the fighting line. 

railways of the Empire had answered the call — 
ill the war zone he was merely a more or less 
subordinate officer of the railway transport, 
responsible to his superiors for a link in the 
cliain of communication which must never 
break, or he would be broken with it. There 
was no room in this service for inefficients. 

The main work of such an officer, who was 
invariably understaffed, was to take hold at 
the particular point on the railway to which he 
had been ordered and perform miracles. He 
had to deal with a never-ending stream of men 
and guns, horses and mules, stores and 
materials, until he gained the impression that 
the populous places of the earth had been 
denuded to form the procession of men he 
passed on, and that the workshops of a nation 
were pouring their production along his par- 
ticular piece of line. He had not only to 
regulate trains, but to manage men, to under- 
stand how to deal with horses and mules, and 
to be familiar with a bewildering variety of 
articles, for which insistent demands were 
reaching him by letter, telephone and wire. 
Even during the war in fixed positions the 
work was arduous and wearisome ; v, hen active 
operations were in progress it was one long 
struggle to keep faith with his military 
superiors. Agamst difficulties such as those 
which enveloped transport during the retreat 
on Paris, at a time when the system had not 
been completely organized, it was a hard fight, 
but the men in charge withstood the strain. 
The rail transport system was always harassed, 
but never overwhelmed. A change of railhead, 
orders to transport large numbers of men by 
new routes, the need to provide travelling 
facilities for the civilian population of the 
invaded territory, a call to aid a division in 



retreat, or to rush forward reinforcements to a 
point where a stand might be made ; this was 
the lot of the railway transport officer. He 
often worked for twenty -two hours out of the 
twenty-four. Many qualities and gifts were 
demanded of him. If he were an Englishman 

for a constant stream of remonstrances, en- 
treaties and complaints, which he had no means 
of evading. He was there to be shot at and 
riddled by all kinds of people who wanted 
things he had not got, and by other persons 
who had got the things they did not want. He 
had to be all things to all men ; to give to this 
man the soft answer that turned away wrath, 
and to that the decisive word that ended 
discussion. The fact that mattered was that 
the work went on smoothly or with difficulty 
as the case might be, and that the general high 
level of efficiency maintained had a profound 
effect on the fortunes of the campaign. 

There was other railway work in the war zone 
apart from that of traffic regulation. This was 

An Austrian train in the Eastern Campaign. 
Top picture : A British train crossing a bridge in 
East Africa. Bottom picture: Giving final instruc- 
tions to a driver in Northern France. 

serving in France he was required to speak 
fluent French and to have the command of 
several kinds of English ; he had to draw upon 
all the knowledge of railway work it was possible 
for man to acquire and to make, in addition, 
large drafts on the quality of instinct to get 
things done. When not actually engaged in 
superintendence of the traffic, he was required 
to write innumerable reports, and to answer 
perpetual inquiries as to why he had done this 
and left undone that. His office, more often 
than not a disused railway wagon, was a target 

rather a matter for the railway engineer. 
Broken lines had to be repaired, bridges re- 
constructed, telegraphic communication res- 
tored, light railways laid down beyond the 
limits of permanent track. It was a revelation 
to those unacquainted with railway work with 
what rapidity temporary lines could be put in 
place, and even little narrow gauge trench 
railways constructed in order to link the actual 
front with the complex system of main and 



branch line railways on which the armies were 
based, and by which they lived and moved. 

The pubUc in England knew little and under- 
stood less of these feverish activities. Even 
the services being rendered by the railways in 
Great Britain were never appraised at their 
real value. 

The public whose imagination was aroused 
by the fable of the Russian legions passing over 
the British railways for an unknown destination 
paid little regard to the work which passed in 
daily review before their eyes. They saw 
something of it — no traveller by railway in 
England could help seeing it — but little thought 

British Territorials on a railway in France. 

was given to the organization which at the 
period of mtenso pressirre provided at the 
appointed place tlie necessary engine power and 
rolling stock, with so little disturbance of 
ordinary schedules, and with a watchful eye on 
the need which might have arisen at any moment 
for having trains m readiness to transport an 
army to any threatened point on the coast. 

The picture drawn by a correspondent of 
The Times of a night scene at one of the great 
railway junctions gave a vivid impression of 
the work of the railways in troop transport : 

"There are time?." he wrote, "when the military 
element is so predominant that the station looks as if it 
were a strate^'ic point of the first importanee. Tliere are 
soldiers and sailors camping out in booking halls, yarning 

round waitmg-room fires, sitting in groups at refreshment 
room tables, resting tired limbs on trucks and trolleys 
interminably pacing the platform in twos and threes. 
Trains and soldiers, soldiers and trains, the heart of the 
boy that beats in the breasts of all of us leaps to greet 
them. A dozen trains roll in one after the other. Special 
coaches bring sailors from Devonport returning to the 
Grand Fleet from leave. Hands in pockets they swing 
along the platform as if it were falling away from them 
like the more familiar battle deck. A military relief 
train draws in with a strangely mixed company. 
Wounded soldiers homeward bound for a brief period of 
convalescence, eager Territorials on their way north to 
say good-bye before leaving for the front, keen young 
fellows in the new army returning to their billets for the 
final stage of their training. New contingents leap from 
the crowded corridors of other trains, some in kilts, 
others with the shamrock in tlieir caps, flying men. Red 
Gross workers, cavalry men, booted and spurred, men 
of the lino regiments with hands encased in sheepskin 
gloves and ears deep in woollen helmets, men with rifles 
and men with canes, men in khaki and men in blue, but 
never a red coat amongst them. So the great trains 
come and go, are shunted and remarshalled all night long 
in this gathering-ground of tho forces on furlough. It is 
the halfway house between north and gouth, giving fresh 
steam to down trains splashed with rain and to tip trains 
plastered in snow. There are two distinct service tides ; 
that for the fleet is setting north ; that for the army is 
setting south. Like ships that pass in the night, soldiers 
and sailors have just time enough to exchange signals 
before they are swallowed up behind the blackened win 
dows and drawn blinds of trains which speed unseei 
through the night in war time." 

Before the war had been long in progress steps 
were taken to provide facilities for both rest and 
refreshment for soldiers and sailors, who had 
frequently to wait long hours at railway 
stations for connecting trains, and in somo cases 
it was possible for men in uniform to obtain a 
bed at tlie railway terminus. 

The difficulty of the task was greatly increased 
by the constant depletion of the railway staffs 
as more and more men flocked to the fighting 
line, or were lent to the French railways, and 
the news that the Executive Committee sat 
night and day at the offices in London, so that 
all reqviirements of the Government could 
receive immediate attention, did not come as a 
surprise. The railway officials grappled with a 
comple.x; problem in a business way, and the 
military authorities, wisely recognizing that 
while the demands were made by those trained 
in war their fulfilnaent was a commercial under- 
taking, left the purely transport part of the 
work where it properly belonged — in th3 hands 
of the railway experts. 

The results were eloquent of sound niethod, 
and it was not surprising that when Mr. Lloyd 
George was looking round for men wherewitli 
to fill important positions at the Ministry of 
Munitions his choice fell in many instances on 
highly placed railway officials. It was one of 
the first indications given of a desire on the part 
of the authorities to enlist directly in the service 



An officer of the R.A.M.C. on the footboard of a fast-moving train going from carriage to carriage 

to attend to urgent cases. 

of the Government the business training and 
instinct which it was then realized could alone 
in a war of this cliaracter ensure a successful 

The provision of train transport was only, 
however, a portion of the work wliich was 
carried out by the railways. It was a fortunate 
circumstance for the nation that railway enter- 
prise had been so closely associated with dock 
and harbour development. In the acquisition 

and improvement of harbour facilities the 
railways had expended between £40,000,000 and 
£50,000,000 in the years preceding the war. 
As a result the Government not only acquired 
the control of the railways, but of the maguificent 
chain of railway docks, which are witho it rival 
in the whole world. The existenca of facilities 
at Southampton for the largest ships which have 
yet been built, the services of men long trained 
to the work of loading and unloading between 



train and ship, and who from experience gained 
during the South African War were acquainted 
•with mihtary transport work was a great asset. 
Similar accommodation — if on a less lavish scale 
— had been provided by the Southern railways 
at Newhaven, Folkestone and Dover, all of 
which ports were available for the important 
-cross -Channel services. On the East Coast there 
was Harwich, where the great quay at Parkeston 
— used in peace time by the Continental 
steamers of the Great Eastern Railway and 
other services — was handed over to the Ad- 
miralty. Further North the Government had 
the use of the twin ports ot Grimsby and 
Inimingham — both the outcome of the effort 
made by the Groat Central Railway to extend 
its commercial boundaries. At Hull, Hartle- 
pool — the scene ot a bombardment by 
German wai'ships — at Middlesboro' and on 
the Tyne were a series ot fine docks owned by 
the North Eastern Company, the largest dock 
owning railway in the world. The general use 
made of these East Coast docks by the Admiralty- 
must remain a closed chapter of naval history, 
but from the purely railway aspect it should be 
recorded that it was in the warehouses of the 

new dock at Hull that the battalion of the 
Northmnberland Fusiliers, raised and equipped 
by the North Eastern Railway from its own 
employees, were housed dtu-ing their training. 
Good service was also rendered by the Bristol 
Channel railway ports, Newport, Cardiff, Barry, 
Swansea. It was into Newport that the first 
Cierman steamship to bo captured after the 
outbreak of war — the Belgia, of the Hamburg 
Amerilia line — was brought, mainly through the 
exertions of the railway officials. It was typical 
also of the use made of other railway dock 
property that owing to the congestion of the 
regular passenger ports some of the principal 
steamship companies diverted their services to 
Newport, whore an improvement scheme com- 
pleted on the eve of the war made the port 
accessible to the largest liners. The large fleet 
of steamships ov\Txed by the railways was also 
available lor Government work, and some were 
lost in the hazardous duties of transport service. 
Of the 200 odd ships bmlt by the railways for 
cross-Channel traffic over 100 were, under 
arrangements with the Railway Executive 
Committee, at once taken over by the authorities 
a. id the rest usefully employed in maintaining 

Ward in an ambulance train, showing cots suspended in ship's berth fashion. 




Royal Dublin Fusiliers lined up for inspection. 

Inset : Guarding the line at Rochester. 

communication with Ireland and the oountriei 
of oirr Allie?. 

One or two examples of the manner in which 
the port and dock facilities of the railways 
were employed during the war will be of interest. 
The possession of the dock at Fleetwood, 
which had always been closely associated with 
the fishing industry, enabled the Lancashire 
and Yorkshire Railway to provide a home port 
for many of the trawlers which had been accus- 
tomed to fish the North Sea and to take their 
catch into East Coast ports. The maintenance 
of the food supplies of the country was also 
materiallj'- assisted by the Lancashire and 
Yoricshire steamship services between Fleet- 
wood and Belfast and between Liverpool and 
Drogheda. The I/ondon, Brighton and South 
Coast Company, in addition to the running of 
the special trains for troop transport referred 
to above, undertook the carriage of large quan- 
tities of food and supplies in connexion with 
the feeding of the Army. The Continental 
Department of the Company, in cooperation 
■with its French partners, also maintained 
services to France, and except when mines 

were reported to be in close proximity 
to the sea route followed, kept these going 
daily in botli directions. Newhaven was 
required for other purposes, but the 
passenger boats to Dieppe were run. from 
Folkestone, and the cargo boats from either 
Folkestone or Sovithampton. The pressure- 



Repairing a railway point. Going back to the 6ghting line. 

on the resources of these ports became so 
great, however, that while the war was in 
progress it was decided by the Brighton 
Company to develop yet another port on 
the South Coast. 

The early services of the railway steamers 
were arranged partly with the object of bringing 
to this country Belgian refugees, goods which 
English firms had in warehouses in Belgium, 
while an increased service of cargo boats 
brought over food-stuffs from Holland. 
Through the gates of Harwich, Folkestone, 
and the Port of London Belgian refugee; 
poured into England. The first party reached 
Liverpool Street ' station at the beginning 
of September. Those who witnessed their 
arrival in London saw these victims of a 
calamity, the extent of which they appeared 
too dazed to realize, standing in forlorn groups 
on the railway platform around the boxes 
and bundles containing the few personal 
belongings they had been able to gather 
together in their hasty flight from the German 
hordes which were then overrunning their 
comitry. Slany of them were country people, 
speaking no language but Flemish, and for 
the most part they remained silent and listless, 
resigning themselves without comment into 
the hands of their new-found friends. Torn, 
at a moment's notice, from the cottages and 
the fields in which their simple life had been 
mainly passed, they seemed strangely out of 
place in the whirlpool of the great London 
terminus. British refugees ' 'from Germany 
were also brought back in railway steamers 

from the Hook of Holland. Again and again, 
while there was a possibility of refugees desiring 
to take passage to England, the railway 
steamers braved the dangers of the Ndrth Sea 
passage, and on more than one occasion were 
chased and attacked by German submarines. 
The case of the steamship Colchester should 
be referred to in this connexion, Captain 
Lawrance, who was in command of that 
ship, exhibiting a fine courage which earned 
for him not only the praise of his immediate 
employers, but the thanlcs of the Board of 

The South Eastern and Chatham Company's 
part in bringing refugees to Folkestone was 
also a fine piece of work. When Germany 
began to invade Belgium an arrangement was 
made by the Local Government Board that the 
Company should put on an additional service 
between Folkestone and Ostend, and as 
Germany gradually occupied the whole of 
Northern Belgium, a great demand was made 
for additionaj boats to carry the war refugees 
from Belgium. The Admiralty one day re- 
cfuested that every available boat should be 
sent to Ostend, and on one day alone the South 
Eastern Company's fleet landed over 6,000 
war refugees at Folkestone. Reference should 
also be made to one or two incidents in which 
familiar cross-Channel steamers were concerned. 
Tlie Inviota, known to multitudes of voyagers 
to the Continent in hajjpier days, was instru- 
mental in saving some of the survivors of His 
JNIajesty's ship Hermes, and the Queen — the 
first turbine boat to be put into the Dover- 



Calais service, rescued over 2,000 panic- 
stricken refugees from the Aniiral Gauteaume, 
when that ship was attacked in mid- 
channel by a hostile submarine. Other 
railwajf steamers were fitted up as 
hospital ships and rendered most useful 

Nor does this record complete the story of 
the part which British railways played in tlie 
Great War. The leading railways had in 
operation — and this applied to the railways 
of the Allied nations as well as to those of 
Great Britain — many large and well-equipped 
establishments in which during years of peace 
locomotives were built and were repaired 
and railway carriages and wagons constructed. 
Following the example set by the South 
African railways during the Boer War, the 
whole of these establishments were placed 
at the disposal of the Government. One of 
the first demands made upon the manufacturing 
resources of the railways was for the construc- 
tion of ambulance trains for the transport of 
the wounded both on Continental and home 
railways. In view of the urgency of the 
demand the usual plan adopted was to make 
up the ambulance train from vehicles taken 

from ordinary service, the carriages being 
altered to suit the required conditions, ilosfc 
of the trains were completed in the course of 
a few days, the record for rapid construction 
being held by the London and North Western 
railway mechanics, who succeeded in providing 
a naval ambidance train within a period of 
thirty hours. All the larger companies undertook 
the provision of trains for the transport of 
wounded, the numbers being apportioned 
among the railway manufacturing estab- 
lishments in proportion to the manufacturing 
capacity. Many of the public had an oppor- 
tunity at a later date, when additional trains 
were ordered, of gaining through personal 
inspection an idea of the care lavished in the 
design and arrangement of these trains so that 
the wounded should receive every possible 
attention. A typical ambulance train — one 
of those constructed by the Groat Western 
Railway — included a saloon with beds for 
orderlies and stores compartment, a restaurant 
car, five ward coaches, each with accommoda- 
tion for eighteen patients, a pharmacy coach 
containing dispensary, operating room, and 
linen stores, a saloon with beds for eight 
patients, and accommodation for two niu'ses 




and two doctors. This train would carry 
ninety-eight patients, in addition to the doctors, 
nnrse?, and orderlies. Tlie pharmacy coach 
was divided by partitions into the dispensarj-. 
operating room, office, and linen stores, and a 
sliding door giving admittance to the operating 
room was designed of such width as to admit 
a stretcher being taken in sideways. Special 
arrangement? were devised to ensure that a 
plentiful supply of hot water was available 
for sterilizing and other purposes from a boiler 
in the coach, and the floor of the operating 
room was covered with zinc. The heating 
was by steam, and the lighting by oil-gai. 

On the way to Northern France, 

which was also used for the warramg and 
heating of food. 

At a very early stage of the war the passage 
o' these ambulance trains over British railways 
became a sad but familiar feature. A Times 
correspondent, dealing with the night traffic 
at Crewe, wrote : " While the merry-go-round 
is in full swing a train of a kind with which 
Crewe is becoming only too familiar creeps 
in out of the station smoke and the fog beyond. 
It is an a.mbulance train, one of fovir or five 
that are on their way this night from the South 
Coast to the Northern hospitals. The singing 
and tlie dancing cease as sound fighting men 
crowd behind the barriers and catch glimpses 
of wounded con-irades, some propped up in 
bed with bandaged head or limbs, others 

limping on crutches to the carriage doors. 
The long string of luxuriously fm'nished 
Red Cross coaches seems a haven of rest after 
the impression of incessant strife that one has 
caught from exploding fog signals, shrill whist- 
ling of giant engines and creaking carriages 
scrunching over points. The train of mercy 
passes out into the night, as it seems on silent 
wheels, leaving the station staff still battling 
with the novel demands of war." 

On French, German, and Russian railways 
elaborate arrangements were in force for the 
care of the wounded, which in the case of the 
German Army must have thrown a prodigiou.? 
strain upon the organization. What was 
done by France will serve as an index to the 
general arrangement on Continental railways 
for the transport of the wounded. The com- 
plexity of the problem which the French 
Railway Administration had to solve may be 
gathered from the statement that on an average 
there were 5,000 casualties during each terrible 
twenty-four hours of battle. Mr. Walter S. 
Hiatt, wi'iting in the Railway Age Gazette, 
described how by slow degrees the wounded 
man was carried to the rear and placed in 
trains that were always waiting to whirl the 
wounded back to Paris, Orleans, Bordeaux, 
Lyons, to the sea coast at Toulon in the 
distant south, to Tours or to St. Nazaire at 
the mouth of the Loire. At the end of a year 
of war these trains of nriercy had carried 
nearly a million men into the hospital country. 
One phase of this service was the evolution of 
a life-saving hospital car out of a rudely con- 
structed cheap box car. At the beginning of 
the war, when the railways had rendered the 
first-rate service of launching the soldiers 
towards the frontiers, the problem of ' caring 
for the wounded was in a state of infancy. 
It was, however, soon recognized that the 
only hospital in which a seriously wounded 
man could be treated effectively was one in 
a building away from the heat, the noise, and 
the life of the camps, and that the only way 
to get the soldiers to these hospitals was by 
train. In the early days of the war it sometimes 
took a long period owing to scarcity of hospital 
trains to convey the wounded to the hospitals, 
but after tliree naonths of war 000 ambulance 
trains were in service on the French raOways. 
At first the sleeping and dining cars were 
used as temporary moving hospitals, but, 
although they rendered excellent service, their 
weight made too great a, demand for engine 



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During the Anglo-French Expedition's Battle with the Germans at Nlohe, December 6, 1?14. 

power, and hence there was evolved the idea of 
converting the often despised box-car into a 
travelling hospital. ^A'herever the idea origi- 
nated credit must be given to Commandant 
E. Loiseleur, in charge of the Fourth Bureau 
of the War Department, for putting the plan 
into operation. The 30 ft. ear, when rebuilt, 
was divided into three parts — an operating 
room, a medical store, and a kitchen. The 
effect that the provision of these trains had in 

saving the lives of wounded soldiers was quite 
remarkable. One report showed that of 350 
men taken at one time to Brest, a long slow 
ride from the front, across Brittany, there were 
no deaths. Another report showed that, of 
418 wounded taken to Kouen, 200 had been 
treated on the train. Another case was that 
of a train with 611 wounded, where the lives 
of five were saved by operations, and many 
others had their wounds dressed. The service 



\7as raised to such a level of efficiency that 
a soldier wounded on the Yser in the North 
could be delivered at a Paris hospital within 
thirty hours if in a condition to be moved at 
all. The services rendered by the railways 
both in Great Britain and on the Continent 
in providing for the transport of the wounded 
were a revelation of the scope and usefulness 
of railways in war, wliich at the time were 
only dimly rmderstood. There were cases in 
which men were in hospital in London within 
24 hoiu'? of being \^ounded in France. 

The workshop staffs in which the ambulance 
trains had been built having filled this urgent 
need tiu-ned to the supply of other military 
requirements. There was a call for motor- 
lorries which was beyond the capacity of the 
motor manufacturing industry proper, and 
the railways undertook to deliver large nmnbers 
of these useful links for transport work between 
rail-head and the front. Many other branches 
of war work were also undertaken, including 
the supply of the regulation army wagons used 
by horse transport, gvm limbers, and other 
auxiliaries of the artillery or transport arm. 
In some of the great railway works special 
steels for ordnance manufacture were pro- 
duced, in others ordnance itself was manu- 
factured ; in all of them work was undertaken 
for the Ministry of Munitions. Existing works 

were not only fully manned to assist the 
successful prosecution of the war, but new 
factories were erected and equipped in response 
to the call for more and yet more munitions. 
The building of locomotives and all but abso- 
lutely essential repair work were suspended ; 
wagon and carriage construction except for 
the needs of the war was a dead indtistry. 
The mamier in which equipment designed for 
an entirely different purpose was adapted 
to the execution of military contracts was 
a fine example of the resourcefulness of the 
railway engineer. 

Not only in Great Britain but throughout 
Eiu-ope the same thing was being done. In 
France, in Austria, in Russia, in Italy railway 
activities, altogether apart from the transport 
problem, which was the primary duty of the 
railway arm, were mobilized to aid the suc- 
cessful prosecution of the war. The building 
of armoured trains for use on lines within 
the war zone was an important part of this 
task, and on many occasions excellent work 
was done by these mobile forts both in attack 
and defence. Special vehicles for arnaament 
traffic were constructed in every railway work- 
shop in the belligerent countries. In England 
wagons to carry heavy guns up to 130 tons 
in weight were built for the Woolwich Arsenal 
railwavs. and armour-plate wagons for the 

Guarded by Sentry and Blockhouse on top of cutting at right. 



Handing out bread from a Russian supply train. 

Sheffield and Manchester districts, and many 
other tjrpes were to be seen passing over British 
railways. An English railway — the Great 
Eastern — recognizing the difficulty of feeding 
troops when travelling by train or when on 
the march got out designs for a commissariat 
train to supply every four hours a hot meal 
for 2,000 men. The German railways, which 
furnished many examples of resourcefulness, 
provided trains to enable men coming back 
from the firing line for rest to enjoy the luxury 
of a bath. These trains consisted of a loco- 
motive, tender, a wagon with water in a reser- 
voir, three wagons for hot baths and several 
wagons to serve as cabins. The reservoir 
was capable of holding 2,300 gallons of water, 
and fifty men could bathe at the same time. 
Each train could give a bath daily to at least 
3,000 soldiers. Some fine feats in restoring 
broken railway communication, following the 
repulse of the German Army from the gates 
of Paris, were done by the French railwa5T:nen 
with the assistance of the railway works. 

In all the combatant natiorts the new sig- 
nificance of railways in war was recognized, 
and steps were taken with varying, but in all 
instances a great measure of success to obtain 
froin the railways the maximimi assistance 
they could afford either for attack or defence. 
The mobility conferred on an army by the 

possession of either permanent or temporary 
railways on many occasions enabled assaults 
to be pressed home or a threatened position 
saved. The successful retreat of the hard- 
pressed Russian Army, the repulse of the 
fierce German thrust at Calais, owed much to 
the skilful use made of the railways by those 
in charge of the operations ; the possession 
of the Belgian railway system, with its high 
percentage of mileage to the area of country 
traversed, was an incomparable asset to the 

Railway work in the Great War was so 
intimately connected with the incidents of the 
various campaigns that its liistory is the history 
of the war itself. If the illustrations which 
appear in this chapter were the only moans 
by which the importance of the railway 
arm could be measured they would tell 
a wonderful story. By their aid alone 
the world-wide character of the Great 
War could be easily mirrored. They would 
call up a picture of the first great rush of troops 
to the frontiers of threatened territories, of 
the dispatch of the British Expeditionary 
Force, the arri\-al of the Empire soldiers from 
overseas, the ready response of the Princes 
of India to the call of the King- Emperor. 
There would be revealed glimpses of the 
Russian Army in Galicia going on from success 



to success as new and important positions were 
secured, the subsequent rolling back of the 
tide of Russian invasion, when, such was the 
devastation wTOught by the invading armies, 
the peasants who owed allegiance to the 
Tsar were forced to seek temporary homes 
in railway wagons. From the desolation of 
Russia the mind could tiu'n to the brighter 
pictvire of the Italian Army coming into the 
war when the Allies had reached a dark hour, 
and advancing with high hopes into the 
momitains which guard the Northern frontier. 
Another change of the kaleidoscope and the 
mind could see an image of the Austro-German 
rush on Serbia, of the Bulgarian Army leaving 
for the front, and other incidents of the cam- 
paign against heroic Serbia. A fresh turn of 
the wheel, and there would be a vision of 
Africa, where by means of the Wiudlioek- 
Keetmanshoep line, at a moment when the 
South African forces were rounding up the 
rebels, Germany might have hoped to strilie 
swiftly at Cape Colony. There would also 
be sho^vn the work of armoured trains and 
other incidents of the war in the back places 
of the Empire. Then he who would seek to 
reconstruct the story of the war would be once 
more in France ; he would see the measures 
being taken to facilitate the French advance 
on the trenched-in, dispirited German Arn y 
on the Western front. 

Next he would be with the British Army, its 
long line stretching from the front in France 
to the great camps in England. It was com- 
monly said that except for occasional raids of 
enemy airships England did not feel the breath 
ot war. Those who spoke thus overlooked the 
daily reminder- given in London itself of how 
near the war %vas to the heart of the Empire. 
The scene at Victoria Station when the train 
with those returning from leave left on the 
first stage of the journey to the front formed a 
definite linlc with the great conflict being waged 
only a few miles away. To pass within the 
platform barriers and stand beside this " trench 
train " on tlie eve of its departure was to touch 
the fringes of the fighting area. That last 
word " Good-bye " was being said by men who 
on the morrow would be facing the enemy. 
The story told in Frith's famous picture of the 
scene at a great railway terminus was of trivial 
significance compared with the daily drama of 
the war train, where bravo women smiled 
tlirough their tears and looked the farewells 
they could not speak. Finally, the picture 
would tell of the joiu-ney by rail and sea, and 
rail again to the British front, where a million 
jnen auaited w-ith calm confidence the victory 
which was destined to give safety to the Empire 
and to civilization the assurance that the 
menace of militarism had been definitely 

Returning to Camp on a Light Railway. 



Reasons for the Comparative Inaction of Allies from JIay to September — Fighting in 
THE Air — Thf, Belgians — British Operations round La Bassee and Ypres — Extension of 
British Line — ^Battle of Artois — Actions of Hijibuterne and QuENNEVifeRES — Germans 
Repulsed at Beausejour and Ville-sur-Tourbe — German Crown Prince's Offensive in 
THE Argonne — French Storm Les Eparges Crest — Fighting in the Wood of Ailly — Capture 
and Recapture of the " Height of the Ban de Salt " — French Advance in Alsace — Eve 
OF THE September Offensive. 

IN Chapter XC\T:. we described the opera- 
tions on the Western front between La 
Bassee and the Swiss frontier down to 
March 31, 1915. The fighting from La 
Bassee to the sea at Nieuport-Bains, which 
included the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the 
Second Battle of Ypres, and the Battles of the 
Aubers Ridge and Festubert, "had been already 
narrated. The last two battles, which occurred 
in May, 1915, were closely connected with the 
Battle of Artois, the name which may be 
given to the French offensive in May and June 
south of La Bassee and north of Arras. The 
present chapter continues the story of the 
Franco-German campaign from March 31, and 
of the Anglo-Belgian campaign from May 25 — 
the last day of the Battle of Festubert — up to 
September 25, when French and Joffre again 
struck heavily at the German lines in Artois 
and Champagne. 

During the period under review vast changes 
occurred outside the Western theatre of war. 
By sinking the Lusitania (May 7), and by 
numerous interferences in the domestic politics 
Vol. VI.— Part 7L 

of the United States, the German Government 
further exasperated the American people. On 
May 12 General Botha captured Windhoek, 
and German South-West Africa was speedily 
conquered. On April 25 British and French 
forces were landed in the Gallipoli Peninsula. 
On May 23 Germany's ally, Italy, declared war 
on Austria-Hungary. 

Nevertheless, the Germans and Austro- 
Himgarians and their leaders from April to 
September displayed the utmost energy. 
Taking advantage of the fact that the Frencl* 
and British in the West had not yet accumulated 
sufficient men and munitions to pierce the net- 
work of barbed-wire, trenches, redoubts, and 
underground fortresses which had been so 
skilfully constructed by the German engineers 
along Germany's new frontier, the Kaiser 
threw overwhelming forces against the Russians, 
who were suffering from a grievous lack of 
weapons and miuiitions. Przemysl, captured 
by the Russians on March 22, had to be 
abandoned by oiu- Allies. On June 22 Lemberg- 
was evacuated. In August the Germans- 




\ strongly forti&ed German trench captured 

entered Warsaw and, one by one, the fortresses 
— Ivangorod, Kovno, Novo Georgievsk, Brest 
Litovski, Grodno — protecting Russia proper 
from invasion were lost, and on September 18 
the Germans were in Vilna. 

Thus the Allies did not succeed in seriously 
retarding the Austro- German re occupation of 
Galicia and invasion of Russia. Huge as were 
the forces and the store of munitions of the 
Allies in the West, they were not proportionately 
so great as those possessed by the Kaiser when 
in August, 1914, he had invaded Belgium and 
France. If WOliam II., with aJl the advantages 
of a vast superiority in numbers, heavy artillery, 
and machine guns, had been unable to batter 
his way through the French defences, it is not 
to be wondered that the French and British 
in 1915 made slow progress against a baffled 
but not badly defeated enemy, who were 
numerically perhaps their equals and were 
magnificently equipped and supplied with new 
and hideous engines of destruction. It was 
evident that, except at a ghastly sacrifice of 
life, no advance which had not been prepared 
by a pirodigious expenditure of shells could 
be made. The danger in face of an enemy — 
amply provided with shells and partridges — 
of depleting the reserve stores of munitions 
was soon brought home to the French Staff 
by the battles in Galicia and Russian Poland. 
Each section of Joffre's tour hundred mile 
front had to be kept supplied with a sufficiency 

by the French, and remains of a German ^un. 

of ammunition to prevent the German com- 
manders from blasting their way through 
it. The railroads and motor-traction per- 
mitted the German leaders rapidly to con- 
centrate their reserves behind any point in 
their immense battle front, and a temporary 
absence at any point of ammunition on the 
part of the Allies might have led to an irre- 
trievable disaster. The German gas-and-fiame- 
aided offensives round Ypres and in the Argonne 
proved that the enemy was far from considering 
that his cause was hopeless in the West, 
and there was always the chance that the 
invasion of Russia would be suspended and 
that Mackensen with his phalanx and gigantic 
artillery would be transferred to Belgium or 

With these preliminaries, we commence our 
account of the main events which occurred on 
the AUied front from Aoril 1 to September 24, 
1915. We shall, as in Chapter XG^n., treat 
them not in strictly chronological order, and 
we shall ask the reader to accompany us along 
the line of battle from the sea at Nieuport-Bains 
to the Vosges. 

Before doing so we devote some lines to the 
war in the air. On AprU 1 a German aeroplane, 
whose occupant was dropping bombs on Reims, 
was brought down by a lucky shot. The next 
day British aviators bombed Hoboken and 
Zeebrugge, and French aviators wrecked the 
railway stations at Neuenburg and Miilheim. 



On April 3 St. Di6 was attacked by a Taube. 
Zeebrugge was again, on the 8th, bombed by 
British airmen. The French on April 11 
launched explosives on the railway station 
and a foundry at Bruges. German airships 
were busy the next day. One caught fire 
at Aeltre, another did some damage to Nancy. 
On the 14th French aviators disquieted the 
German headquarters at M6zieres-Charleville ; 
others, soon afterwards, inflicted damage 
on the inilitary railway station at Freiburg. 
A French airship on April 19 attacked the 
railway station at Strassburg. A few hours 
later some French aeroplanes set fire to stores 
of fodder at Mannheim. Mannheim and 
Miilheim were bombed on the 21st ; Fried- 
richahafen, on the Lake of Constance, and 
Leopoldshohe on the 28th, and the railway 
station at Valenciennes on the 30th. In May, 
on the 3rd, French airmen dropped bombs into 
the headquarters of the Duke of Wiirtemberg. 
A German aeronaut on May 11 attacked St. 
Denis and another (May 22) Paris itself. The 
French, on May 26, sent a squadron of aero- 
planes to destroy factories at Ludwigshafen. 
June 7 was memorable for the exploit of 
Lieutenant Warneford, who destroyed a Zeppe- 
lin between Ghent and Brussels, while other 
British aviators bombed a hangar near the 
Belgian capital. A week later (June 15) civilians 
in Nancy were killed and wounded by German 
aeronauts. Carlsruhe that day was visited by 
Allied aircraft and the castle there damaged. 
This operation was undertaken by way of 
reprisal. Zeebrugge, Heyst, Knooke, and 
Friedrichshafen were all attacked in the 
last days of June. In Belgium, on July 2, the 
German airship sheds at GhisteUes, which had 
been destroyed and rebuilt, were again rendered 
useless. Near Altkirch a duel in the air 
between German and French aviators ended 
in the defeat of the Germans. On August 26 
a British aviator dropped bombs on a German 
submarine off Ostend, while British, Belgian, 
and French aviators set fire to a large portion 
of the Forest of Houthoulst, which during the 
end of August was ahnost daily bombed. 
Concentrations of German troops there had 
been signalled. On August 31 the celebrated 
French aeronaut P^goud was killed in a 
duel near Belfort, a serious loss to the Allies. 
He had exhibited extraordinary courage and 
skill in a class of fighting where the individual 
counted as much as he had done at sea in the 
days of Elizabeth 

While the Allied aircraft chased Taubes and 
Zeppelins, and interfered with the communica- 
tions of the German armies, the iOO-mile long 
battle continued to rage. On the extreme left 
of the Allied line the Belgians in the period 
under review maintained their position. The 
floods of the Yser were drjong up, and the 
country from the sea to the south of Dixmude 
was becoming a morass. In this muddy 
region a nmnber of minor actions took place. 
On April 4 a German detachment took Drie- 
grachten and crossed the Yperlee Canal. They 
were driven back across the Canal on April 6. 
Three days later, the enemy, on rafts armed 
with macliine guns, tried to reach St. Jacques- 
Cappelle, on the western side of the Yser, south 
of Dixmude. They were repulsed by the 
French marines. Reinforced, the Germans 
again, on April 14, attacked near Dixmude, but 
unavailingly. Eight days later an effort on 


Showing bombs and hand-grenades placed in 
readiness for an attack. 



their part to take the Chateau de Vicoigne, in 
the loop of the Yser, north of Dixmude, met with 
no success. On April 26 they used south of 
Dixmude some of the poisonous gas which they 
were employing in tlie Second Battle of Ypres. 
They were, however, unable to break the 
Belgian line. Three bridges of boats, by which 
(liey tried to cross the Yser at Dixmude, were 
destroyed by the Belgian artillery on April 29. 
The day before, a monster Krupp gun in a 
concrete casemate near Dixmude threw shells 
into Dunkirk, killing some civilians. It uas 
promptly put — at least temporarily — out of 
action by the Allied aeronavits and gunners. 
On Ma.y 9 Nieuport was violently bombarded 
by the enemy. In a blinding Sindstorm he 
advanced up the sea shore, but was beaten 

It was now the turn of the Belgians to take 
the offensive, and on May 11 they obtained a 
footing on the right bank of the Yser. The 
Germans, towards the end of Blay, again 
endeavoured to advance from Dixmude, and 
between Dixmude and the loop of the Yser. 
Their efforts led to nothing of importance. In 
June the monster gun or, if it had been 

smashed, another of the same calibre, once 
more bombarded Dimkirk. On July 10 there 
was a skirmish at the House of the Ferryman 
on the Yser Canal. Forty Britisli men of - 
war bombarded the Belgian coast from Ostend 
to Zeebrugge on August 25. The object of the 
bombardment partly was to destroy the 
submarine base at Zeebrugge. The bombard- 
ment was repeated in September, and was 
supported by the Belgian and French artillery 
on the Yser front. The aim of Joffre was, it 
seems, to induce the German commanders to 
believe that he was about to take the offensive 
in Bolgiiun witli the assistance of troops landed 
from England east of Nieuport. To draw the 
German reserves to Belgium and Alsace, while 
he pierced the enemy's line in Artois and 
Champagne, was apparently his plan. 

The Belgian right wing joined on to the 
French troops defending the Yperlee Canal in 
the neighbourhood of Ypres. The attempts of 
the Duke of Wiirtemberg to obtain a footing 
on the western bank of the Yperlee were every- 
where foiled. 

From the expiration of the Battle of Festu- 
bert in the fourth week of May to the beginning 

L^' '#■ .^^ '^_*^*o^ ^^*^^ 


An outpost in the woods. 




The farmhouse in the background was so pounded by the enemy's shell-6re that it was almost un- 
recognisable as a house. The flames of the burning lit up the countryside for miles around. 

of the Battle of Loos on Seistember 25 the 
British Army was comparatively inactive. 
The Germans, who had calculated that with 
their poisonous gas they would achieve results 
in Flanders similar to those to be secured by 
Mackensen's overwhelming artillery, remained, 
generally speaking, after their failiu-e at the 
Second Battle of Ypres, on the defensive. 
To the disappointment of many people in 

England still bemused by optimistic politicians 
and writers, Sir John French imitated the 
German example. The number of the trained 
ofjicers and privates, who had performed 
such prodigies of valour and exhibited such 
sidll in the fighting from Mons onwards, 
had sadly dwindled. Tune was needed to 
complete the training of the Territorials and to 
convert into soldiers the brave civilians in the 





A French searchlight station. 

ranks of the New Armies. Our heavy artillery 
was still inferior in quantity, if not in quality, 
to the enemy's. The enormous mass of shells 
and grenades required in the trench warfare 
had not yet been provided. Our experiences 
at the Battles of Neuve Chapelle, the Aubers 
Ridge, and Festubert, the experience of our 
French Ally in the Battle of Artois, about 
to be described, had driven home the lesson 
that the Art of War had been revolutionized by 
high explosives, aircraft^ machine guns, barbed 
wire, and motor traction. " Festma lente," 
the favourite maxim of the founder of the 
Koman Empire, was now that of the British 

It must not be supposed, however, that 
the last week in May, the months of June, 
July, and August, and the fii\st three weeks of 
September were for the British troops un- 
eventful.. Niunerous incidents occurred which 
in. our previous wars would have caused columns 
of the newspapers to be filled with glowing 
narratives. Some of these engagements may 
be briefly recorded. 

The character of the fioihting which followed 

the Battle of Fpstuberb in the La Bassee region, is 

admirably delineated by an eye-witness ; 

Fighting had been in progress for nearly a week, 
and the British were gradually working their way from 
left to right (that is, from north to south) along the old 
(ierman Une. The general position was thought to be 
favot-U'able, and the German infantry were showing 

signs of demoralization, but the right extremity of the 
British progress was still a dangerous and difficult place. 
Part of the old German breastwork had been captured by 
a charge across the open, after a most destructive 
British bombardment. T'he Canadian garrison were, of 
course, holding the old rear side, originally thinner than 
the front and now severely battered by our shells. For 
more than 200 yards on the left the wliole breastwork was 
so much knocked about as to afford no cover at all. 

The communication trench which had been run back 
to the old British line? had been made under heavy 
German shelling, and was little more than a track across 
the field. Not only was communication with the left 
and rear thus made dangerous by night and almost 
impossible by day, but on the right there were several 
hundred yards of the trench still in German hands, 
with a fort at the end in which were two machine guns 
and a trench mortar. Another German fort stood in a 
communication trench running straight out from the 
front of the breastwork. A counter-attack with hand 
grenades might begin at any minute from both these 
places, and if it were successful from, the communication 
trench, the troops to the right would be cut off and 
attacked from both flanks. 

Two companies of the Post Office P.ifles went to take 
up this position on the night of May 22. Until the 27th 
the whole battalion was almost unbrokenly at work, 
eitlier winning more of tho trench to the right or putting 
the place into a state of defence and improving its 
communications with the rear. On their way up the 
first two companies found the road blocked by parties 
of stretcher-bearers taking away the wounded The 
German trench mortar and light guns were already 
active, and no sooner was the relief completed than — in 
the fearful thunderstorm of that night — tho expected 
counter-attack with bombs was begun. I*erhaps it was 
only defensive in intention ; at any rate it was kept 
down by tho courage and enthusiasm of the Post Office 
bombers, both in fighting and in bringing up boxes of 
bombs from the stores behind. 

The next day was Whit Sunday. It was a quiet day 
as those days went, but the French and British gunners 
were busy : there was a little bombing, and there was 



much fatigue work on the defences. The strong effort 
to clear things up was planned for the following dawn. 

At 2 a.m. Major Whitehead attacked with his company 
towards the right, and cleai'ed 250 yards of the trench. 
When that length had been gained, all the bomb&rs 
were either dead or wounded, and two of the throe 
subalterns in the company had come by mortal wounds. 
It was necessary to stand fast and block the trench. 
jNIeanwhile the Canadians had taken the fort in front by 
an assault across the open, only to be shelled out of 
it. For more than seven hours the Germans bom- 
barded with the greatest violence. By midday the 
platoons on the left had less than a third of their men 
un wounded. 

As the front to defend was now, of course, longer, 
another platoon, with the machine-gun section and two 
troops of Strathcona's Horse, had reinforced under 
machine-gun fire across the gap on the left. They, too, 
had casualties, and in tlie evening, when the shelling 
was again heavy, the men were tired out. All day they 
had had neither food nor water. The trench was 
choked with dead and wounded, and in many places 
the parapet had been blown down by shells. Fortunately, 
a fresh company came up from support to press the 
bombing attack on the right, but it had little success. 

The attack had to be pushed on. at all costs, and 
next evening, at 6.30, in conjunction with an assault 
by the brigade on the right, it was carried on till the 
last bend before the little fort. The fort had to be 
left for yet another time. An infantry assault in 
the moonlight was made. AVhen Major Whitehead 
jumped on the parapet the Germans had hoisted the 
white flag and thrown down their arms. One officer 
and 36 men {nearly half of them wounded) gave them- 
selves up, along with one Canadian who was their 
prisoner. The booty included the trench mortar, a 
machine gun, and 400 rifles, a great store of equipment 
and comforts, and, curiously enough, a drum. 

The whole section of trfcnch captured by the battalion 
was under a quarter of a mile in length, and there had 
been a casualty for almost every yard of it. Five of 
tho officers had lost their hves and four more were 
wounded. After the fighting came the heavy and dis- 
gusting work of clearing up the breastworks and re- 
building them. On the night of the 26th the riflemea 
were so much exhausted that the officers and N.C.O.'a 
did all the sentry duty in order at last to let them 
snatch some sleep. On the 27th the battalion inarched 
away to another part of the front. 

It wall be recollected that the Canadlaa 
Division liad, after the Second Battle of Ypres, 
taken part in the closing stages of the Battle 
of Festubert. On May 20 the intrepid Colonials 
had captured the orchard near La Qiiinqiie Rue 
which had defied the efforts of other troops 
during the last-named battle. The next day 
they had attacked a redoubt known as " Bex- 
hill." It was captured on May 2-i, In these 
and subsequent actions the Canadian artillery 
greatly distinguished itself. 

Monday, May 24, was also noteworthy for 
an attack delivered by the Germans against the 
Ypres salient. At 2 a.m. a violent bombard- 
ment with gas and other shells along the 
British front from a point north of Wieltje to 
near Hooge began. Simultaneously a vast 
quantity of poisonous gas was discharged from 
the cvhnder^ in tlie German trenches. The 


A French 75 being used as an anti-aircraft gun in France. 




The " Adrian helmet," which was a means of preventing wounds and saving the lives of many French 
soldiers. 1. A helmet struck by a bullet which ricocheted without penetrating. 2. Helmet that saved its 
wearer's life : showing the crest torn by a shell-splinter and brim bent by the soldier's fall. 3. Helmet 
pierced by a bullet which was deflected : showing the holes of entry and exit. 4. French sniper's 
helmet that saved his life : exhibiting marks of bullet which struck it as he was lying down. 

enemy then attacked from the neighbourhood 
of St. Julien, Zonncbeke and the Polygon Wood. 
They gained some trenches near Shelltrap Farm, 
with others on both sides of the Ypres-Roulers 
railway and south of the Bellewaarde Lake. 
Coimter-attacks during the day, however, were 
at most points successful, and the Germans 
seciu'cd httle by the renewal of their treacherous 
tactics. Captain Francis Orenfell, V.C., one of 
the most promising of the yoimger officers in 
the Army, was killed. In the vicinity of Hill 
60 and near Bois Grenier there was also 
fighting in which the British had the upper 

For several days the struggle in the Festubert 
region went on, but led to no decisive results. 
On the evening of May 31 the British recaptured 
the stables of the Chateau of Hooge. About 
this time the British Premier, Mr. Asquith, 
visited the front. He was accompanied or 
followed by the Postmaster-General, Mr. 
Herbert Samuel, M.P., and by Mr. Ben Tillett 
and JMr. Will Crooks. JM.P. The last two had 

been enthusiastic recruiters for the New Armies. 
Mr. Tillett and Mr. Crooks published their 
impressions. " On leaving the Army," wrote 
Mr. Tillett, " I had a mixed feeling of humilia- 
tion and of gratitude to our men." 

On June 2 the enemy made a violent attempt 
to pierce the British position round Hooge, 
but the troops of the 3rd Cavalry Division and 
the 1st Indian Cavalry Division beat him back, 
and the next day the British seized some out- 
buildings of the Chateau, or rather the ruins 
of it. The 2nd Army took over the French 
trenches as far as Boesinghe on the Yperlee 
Canal, and on June 15 the 1st Canadian Brigade 
carried the front-line German trenches north- 
east of Givenchy, pushing towards Rue d'Ouvert 
and Chapelle St. Roch, but, the flanks of the 
Canadians being exposed, they were withdrawn 
to their original position. 

The next day, June 16, the 5th Corps attacked 
the Gennans south of Hooge, cleared their 
first-line trenches, and reached the edge of the 
Bellewaarde Lake. The British subsequently 



retired a little, but a thousand yards of trenches 
had been gained. The Honourable Artillery 
Company and other Territorials behaved very 
gallantly in this engagement. At the same 
time the 2nd and 6th Corps delivered holding- 
attacks and the artillery of the 36th French 
Corps shelled PiLkem. On Tuesday, July 6, 
Lord Kitchener paid a visit to the army, 
and stayed tOl Thursday evening inspecting 
the troops. The day of his arrival, at 6.20 a.m., 
in misty weather, after a brief bombardment 
by British and French guns, the 11th Infantry 
Brigade captured a German salient between 
Boesinghe and Ypres. From the 10th to the 
13th July the Germans endeavoured to 
recover the trenches which they had lost, but 
were repulsed. They bombarded the position 
with gas shells and carried some of the trenches, 
but were expelled by our troops with bombs 
and grenades. East of Ypres, about 10 a.m. 
on the 13th, they rushed one of our advanced 
posts on the Verlorenhoek road. It was at 
once retaken. 

Six days later (July 19) a German redoubt 
near Hooge was successfully mined and 
destroyed and some trenches captured. Both 
sides were frequently exploding mines, but 
the days when fortresses could be breached 
by a few bags of gunpowder were over. The 
struggle round Hooge went on, and on .July 30 
the Germans introduced to the notice of our 
men a new weapon. It was the Flatmnen- 
we.rfer, a steel cylinder resembling a inilk- 
can in shape and filled with inflammable 
liquid. To one side was fitted six feet of rubber 
hose with a long steel nozzle at the end. By 
padded metal arms the cylinder was attached 
to the back of the operator. Stamped on the 
top was the German Imperial crown. 

The interior was divided into two chambers, 
the lower containing a compressed gas to 
furnish the pressure. A valve released the gas, 
which pushed the inflammable fluid into the 
rubber pipe. Two other valves held the fluid in 
check before it reached the device for igniting it 
at the nozzle. This device consisted of a small 
tube containing a spring, a detonator, some 
gim-cotton, and a wick soaked in paraffin. 
When the gas pressed the fluid against the 
spring, the wick ignited and a jet of flame 
projected from the nozzle for twenty yards or 
more. It was accompanied by volumes of 
black smoke, and could be made to last two 
minutes. For each ignition, however, a firing tube 
had to be fitted into the end of the steel nozzle. 

Tliis diabolic instrument had been employed 
against the French in October, 1914, and was 
then being used in the Argorme. With the 
assistance of the Flamrneniverfer the Germans 
gained some trenches at Hooge on the Menin- 
Ypres road. 

On August 9, at 4 a.m., the British and 
French artillery directed a terrific fire on the 
trenches secured by such unnatural means, and 
these, with 400 yards of German trench north 
of the Menin road, were recovered. 

From the end of the action at Hooge to the 
Battle of Loos there was, in Sir John French's 
words, " relative quiet along the whole of the 
British line, except at those points where the 
normal conditions of existence comprised 
occasional shelling and constant mine and 
bomb warfare." The preparations for the 
great offensive at the end of September were 
being made. Detachments of the New Armies 
were constantly arriving, and the British line 
was gradually extended south of La Bassee 
towards the plateau of Notre Dame de Lorette. 
The New Armies filled the French with admira- 
tion. M. Pichon, ex-Ministor for Foreign 
Affairs, who had been to the British front, 
published on August 25 an account of his 
visit : 

It is certain that at first sight the rapid formation 
of a huge British Army might appear impossible and the 
difficulties almost insurniountable, but British tenacity 
has overcome them. It has been a huge task, involving 
enormous expenditure, a method and co-ordination of 
effort without pause or limit, and a will which would 
not bend before any obstacle. That is exactly what has 
happened. Kitchener's Army is in being and is now 
on our soil with all the requisite services provided and 
equipped in a manner which excites our admiration. 

It was on the plateau of Notre Dame de 
Lorette, and south of it, that the bloodiest 
battle in the West during the spring and 
simxmer of 1915 was fought. 

On April 28 General von Mackensen com- . 
menced liis great offensive for the recovery of 
Galicia, and by the evening of May 2 it is 
probable that Joffre was informed of the 
gigantic forces in men and artillery opposed 
to the Russians defending the space between 
the Carpathians and the Upper Vistula. 
Although the Russians had an enormous tract 
of cotmtry into wliich to retreat, every indirect 
form of pressure consistent with the safety of 
the Allies in the West had to bo exercised oil 
the Germans to force tltem to recall troops to 
Belgium and France. 

The question for the French Generalissimo 
to decide was at what point in the long line 




from the North Sea to Switzerland he should 
use his reserves of men and munitions. For 
various reasons he selected the region south 
of La Bassee and north of Arras. If, pivoting 
on Arras, he could drive the Germans from the 
heights between the Lys and the Scarpe into 
the plain of the Scheldt and, capturing Lens, 
advance towards the line Li He -Valenciennes, 
he would threaten the communications of the 
armies facing the French from Arras to the 
jimction of the Oise and Aisne, and also be able 
with the British forces from the west of La 
Bassee to Armentieres to dislodge the enemy 
from the ridges north of the La Bassee-Lille 
Canal, and remove once and for all the danger 
of a German thrust from I^a Bassee in the 
direction of Boulogne. Assuming success, Lille 
might then be invested. 

The difficulties in the way of carrying out a 
plan of this kind were very great. South of 
the Bethmie-La Bassee-Lille Canal the French, 
who had captured Vermelles and Le Rutoire 
in December, had indeed made some progress 
in the plain towards Loos and l^ens. But the 
high ground round Loos, the ridges nortJi of 
the stream of the Souchez, and most of the 
hilly ravined plateau, which from the ridge of 
Notre Dame de Lorette extends west and 
south of Lens to the banks of the Scarpe 
below Arras, were held by the Germans, and 
had been converted by them into one of the 
most formidable fortified positions in the 

Lille, too, had been put into a state of de- 
fence by the German engineers. The forts, 
unfinished or dismantled at the outbreak of 
war, had been made, so far as German science 
could make them, impregnable. Electrified 
Vjarbed wire entanglements encircled the city. 
Fifteen miles or so east of Lille an entrenched 
camp had been formed at Tournai on the 
Scheldt, and heavy guns placed on Mont 
St. Aubert, which, north of Tournai, commands 
the plain for several miles. Coiu'trai, on the 
Lys below Armentieres, had also been strongly 
protected. Even if Joffre expelled the enemy 
from La Bassee and Lens, the fortified area in 
the triangle Courtrai-Lille-Toumai would pre- 
sent a redoubtable obstacle to a further advance. 
In the centre of the side Courtrai-Lille were the 
cities of Toiu'coing and Roubaix, which, like 
Lille, Tournai, and Courtrai, would be de- 
fended not only by artillery but by innumerable 
machine-guns. If farms and villages held 
by machine gunners delayed, as they had done 

at Neuve Chapelle, the advance of over- 
whelming numbers, it was to be presumed that 
cities bristling with mitrailleuses would be 

The alternative plan of marching on the 
Scheldt above Tournai and descending on the 
conuxiunieations of the German armies be- 
tween the Scarpe and the Oise was perhaps 
more promising, biit the Scarpe and the 
Scheldt would have to be crossed, and the 
forests of Vicoigne and Raismes, between the 
Scarpe and the Scheldt, and the high ground 
south of Valenciennes would provide the 
enemy with excellent defensive positions, 
while from the triangle Coiurtrai-Lille-Tournai 
he could attack the left flank of the French 
moving on the Scheldt. 

The above considerations must be borne in 
mind or we shall not vmderstand why Joffre, 
despite the straits to which the Russians were 
reduced in the suimner of 1915, was content 
with comparatively small gains at the Battle 
of Artois. 

-Ajiother reason for the French Generalissimo 
selecting the Arras-La Bassee region for his 
offensive was that a stroke at Lens was calcu- 
lated to assist the Allies engaged since April 22 
in the Second Battle of Ypres. On May 2 Sir 
John French had ordered Sir Herbert Plumer to 
retire to a new position nearer to the walls of 
Ypres, and there can be little doubt that, up 
to the opening of the Battle of Artois, the 
situation of the British and French round 
Ypres was distinctly dangerous. The battles 
of the Aubers Ridge, Festuberc and Artois 
were in the natiu'e of counter-strokes. That 
they were effective, events were to j)rove. 
Though, as mentioned, the Germans on May 24 
attacked the British, they had broken off the 
battle for Ypres on May 13, foiu- days after the 
Battle of Artois began, and they had suffered 
General Putz on May 15-17 to drive them 
from tfie west bank of the Yjierlee Canal, %Ahich 
they had reached by the use of chlorine gas. 
The Battle of Artois may not have acted 
as a brake on the German war machine in the 
east, but it brought to a close the last great 
offensive of the enemy in the west during 1915. 
We will now describe the earliest of the 
exhibitions on a large scale of the power of the 
French heavy artillery. In 1914 the Germans 
had shown the value of high explosive s.hells dis- 
charged from gigantic guns and howitzers trans- 
ported by railroad or niotor traction. At Neuve 
Chapelle, in Champagne, at Les Eparges, in 




Owing to the sudden rising of a river in Flanders, a temporary bridge collapsed and the gun overturned 

into the water. 

the AVood of Ailly and elsewhere the Allies had 
already taught the enemy that they had no 
monopoly of t?je machinery which tended more 
and more to transform war from a contest 
between soldiers into one between chemists 
and mechanics. The French leaders perceived 
that without a superabundance of heavy artil- 
lery the Allies would never be able to overcome 
their enemy. When the war broke out, that 
branch of the French Army was, according to 
a semi-official report, " in process of reorgani- 
zation." Wliatever the phrase may mean, 
we learn from the same semi-official report that 
.Joffre rsent to the Battle of Flanders no more 
than 60 heavy guns. It is unquestionable 
that the Germans in 1914, though their Ught 
artillery was inferior to that of the French, 
were, so far as heavy artillery was concerned, 
ahead of their enemies. 

Since November 11, 1914, an immense change 
had come over the scene. Under the direction 
of Joffre, M. JMillerand, the Jlinister of War, and 
I\l. Thomas, the Minister of Munitions, a large 
]jart of the civilian French population had been 
moVjilized for the production of artillery, 
inacliine-guns, rifles and munitions. With 
feverish haste men worked day and night in 
arsenals, factories and shops to turn out the 
implements which would free France from the 
despised and hated " Boches." The labour 
of the men was supplemented by that of the 
women. The a\'erage French woman has always 

taken kindly to business, and some of the 
chief commercial establishments in France 
have been under female control. After, and 
e /en before, the fall of Napoleon III. education 
in France was every year becoming more 
scientific and less literary. Universal mDitary 
service had spread the knowledge of strategical 
and tactical probleins. The result was that the 
Govermnent could call upon a host of chemical 
and mechanical experts of the two sexes both 
able and willing to help it in its stupendous task. 
The French, unlike the Germans, had not 
for a generation been considering every inven- 
tion and discovery from the point of view of a 
soldier bent at aU costs on conquest. In this 
crisis, however, they swiftly applied their 
laiowledge and wits to the purposes of war. 
From Ancient Greece and Rome the catapult 
was borrowed to discharge, not spears and 
bolts, but bombs and grenades. Helmets and 
shields manufactured of a compound of steel, 
which for its hardness, lightness and toughness 
would have astonished medieval knights, were 
provided for the trench warfare. Improved 
forms of aerial torpedoes were invented. 
New kinds of grenades and bombs to be thrown 
by hand ; baby mortars to laimch projectiles a 
score of yards, monster howitzers and guns to 
hurl them almost o.s many miles, issued from 
the cannon foundries. If Great Britain and 
Russia had been proportionatelj' as well 
equipped as was France in I\Iay, 1915, the 



British repulse at the Battle of the AuberiS 
Ridge and the victories of Mackensen in Galicia 
might never have occurred. 

On May 8, while Sir Douglas Haig was 
putting the finishing touches to his preparations 
for stoi'niing the Aubers Ridge, General d' Urbal, 
who had replaced General de Maud'huy — the 
latter had been sent to serve under General 
Dubail in Alsace — as leader of the lOtli Army, 
gave his final orders for the battle v\hich, it was 
hoped, would end in the recovery of Lens. 
General d'Urbal, it will be remembered, had 
been Sir John French's coadjutor in the Battle 
of Flanders. There had been a recent re- 
distribution of conunands. The local direction 
of the French troops north of the Lys had been 
assigned to General Putz, who, later in the year, 
was succeeded by General Hely d'Oissel. 
South of d'Urbal's army, that between the 
Somme and Oise had been transferred from 
General de Castelnau to General Petatn. The 
former now directed the armies of the Allied 

centre from Compiegne eastward. General 
Dubail continued to superintend the operations 
of the right. General Foch those of the left 

Foch was with d'Urbal, and during the Battle 
of Artois both were joined by Joffre him- 
self. To d'Urbal had been allocated seven 
corps. Some 1,100 guns of all calibres ^\ere 
concentrated for the task immediately to hand. 
Since January the French sappers had been 
undermining the enemy's defences. In the 
sector of Carenoy alone the underground works 
constructed by the French engineers measured 
in length one and a half miles, and the quantity 
of explosives in the mines weighed more than 
thirty tons. 

Ample as were the preparations, large as the 
numbers of the men at d'Urbal's disposition, 
they were none too many. The position to be 
carried by assault had been converted by the 
Germans into a fortified area the like of which 
had never existed before the Great ^Var. The 

4; ■'- «r<^ 

C^^>l l^-'^ 

An episode during a bombardment : the car skimming past a cavity formed by a shell. 




The Quarries occupied by the Germans. 

engineering skill of an age which had witnessed 
the tvmneUing of the Simplon and the piercing 
of the IsthmLis of Panama had been applied to 
the ridges, hollows and ravines between Arras 
and Lens. Manufacturers of barbed wire and 
chEvaux-de-friae had assLstod the efforts of 
the engmeers. In tunnels, caves and trenches, 
in cellars and loopboled buildings were 
ensconced thousands of Germans armed with 
every instrument of destruction wliich the per- 
verted ingenuity of the Fatherland's chemists 
and mechanics could devise. An enormous col- 
lection of guns and homtzers in the back- 
ground were ready to deluge with high-explosive 
shells and shrapnel the avenues of approach 
to the position and, if it were lost, to bombard 
it. Mackensen's task in Galicia was child's 
play to d'Urbal's in Artois. 

Although there was fighting north of the 
plateau of Notre Dame de l^orette, the battle 
may be said to have been confined to an assault 
of the German line from the region of the 
Chapel on that plateau to the Labyrinth, which 
was the name given to the two square miles of 
trenches, tuimels and roofed-in pits across the 
Arras-Lens high road north of the villages of 
Ecurie and Roclincourt. The ridge of which 
the plateau is the eastern extremity is the 
southern boundary of the plain that stretches 
to the Bethune-I^a Bassee Canal. The ridge 

is six miles long and, in places, wooded. 
The plateau at the eastern end is bare. From 
the north the slopes of the ridge are easily 
mounted, but on the southern side it is ap- 
proached up steep spurs separated by ravines. 
West of the village of Ablain St. Nazaire is the 
Spur Mathis, then, going eastwards, the Great 
Spiir, the Arabs' Spur, the Spur of the White 
Way and the Spur of Souchez, which dominates 
both the eastern edge of Ablain St. Nazaire 
and the Sugar Refinery between Ablain and 

About March 20 the French had worked 
their way up to the foot of the Great Spur, and 
by April 14 they were close to Ablain St. 
Nazaire. But the Germans retained most of 
the plateau of the Chapel of Notre Dame de 
Lorette, and the whole of the Spur of the White 
Way and tlie Spur of Souchez. 

On May 9 the French line ran some 1,100 
yards west of the Chapel to the summit of the 
Arabs' Spur, and thence by the Great Spur and 
the Spur Matliis descended into the valley west 
of Ablain. 

No less than five lines of German trenches 
had been dug from the Arabs' Spur across the 
plateau to the Arras-B6thune road near Aix- 
Noulette. These trenches were very deep and 
covered with double and triple iron networks, 
and protected by sacks of earth or cement and 



by chevaux-de-frise. At every hundred yarda 
or so they were crossed by barricades in which 
were fixed machine guns. Several small forts 
supported the defenders, and the one north-east 
of the Chapel contained dug-outs over 50 feet 
deep. The artillery and machine guns in 
Ablain raked the southern slopes of the ridge, 
those in Souchez the eastern face of the plateau. 
Guns hidden in the hoiises of the villages of 
Angres and Lievin, north-east of the plateau, 
shelled troops attacking the trenches from the 
plain to the north or advancing against them 
along the ridge. This part of the German line 
was defended by troops from Baden of excellent 

Nestling below the southern side of the plateau 
of Notre Dame de Lorette were the con- 
siderable villages of Ablain St. Nazaire and 
Souchez, both in possession of the enemy. 
Between them, closer to Souchez, was the Sugar 
Refinery — a collection of buildmgs 200 yards 
long on the banks of the rivulet Saint Nazaire. 
A little to the south of it were three ruined 
houses called the Mill Malon. The ground to 
the east of the Sugar Refinery was very marshy. 
The Sugar Refinery and the Mill Malon had 
been powerfully fortified by the Germans. 

To the south of Ablain St. Nazaire rose the 
wooded heights of Carenoy, with the townlet of 
that name situated in a hollow. It consisted 
of five groups of houses, one in the centre and 
the others facing north, west, south and east. 
Four lines of trenches defended Carency. 

Each street and house in it was fortified and 
connected by undergroimd passages. Four 
battalions — Saxons, Badeners, and Bavarians — 
and more than six companies of engineers 
garrisoned this important point. A great 
number of guns and mitrailleuses had been 
installed in the gardens and orchards and behind 
the church. It was only poseible to attack 
Carency from the south or east. Trenches con- 
nected it with Ablain St. Nazaire and Souchez. 

Souchez is on the Bethune-Ai-ras high road. 
Between Souchez and Arras lies the hamlet of 
La Targette. The Germans had cut lines of 
trenches, known from their chalky parapets as 
the " White Works," from Carency to La 
Targette. The ruins of La Targette covered 
another underground German fortress. A short 
distance east of La Targette was the town of 
Neuville St. Vaast, also in German hands, situ- 
ated between the Arras -Bdthune and Arras- 
Lens roads. Neuville St. Vaast was a straggling 
village some one and a half miles long and seven 
hundred yards broad. It, too, had been 
turned into an underground fortress. 

Soiith of Neuville St. Vaast extended tho 
Labyrinth on both sides of the Arras-Lena 
road. " Possibly," wrote a Special Cor- 
respondent of the Morning Post, " never has a 
similar stronghold been planned and con- 
structed . . . Inside it there is a complete 
and cunning maze, containing every species of 
death-dealing device known to science, in- 
cluding numbers of gas and inflammable liquid 




engines. Underground tunnels, coupled with 
mines, coinjiete with small fortresses con- 
taining gims for the better destruction of the 
daring invaders. In a maze ono constantly 
turns corners to meet blank walls of hedge. 
In the ' Labyrinth ' such blank walls are death 
traps, and from their subterranean refuge 
bodies of the enemy are liable to appear to the 
rear of the advancing attackers. The ' Laby- 
rinth ' is linked up by imdergrovmd tunnels 
to Neuville St. Vaast, and probably to Thelus, 
near A'imy. Anyhow, it is an integral and 
consummately important part of this fortress 
land — an entire district which constitutes one 
concentrated fortress." Abovit two miles east 
of the Labyrinth and Neuville St. Vaast was 
the edge of the heights bordering the plain 
between the Scarpe and the Bethune-La- 
Bassee-Lille Canal. 

Such was the subterranean fortified area 
which the Frencli were called upon to carry. 
Their aeronauts and other observers could give 
them but a faint idea of its nature. The 
(iermans had made the fortresses of Brialmont 
seem as obsolete as those of \'auban. Could 
the French miners and gunners solve the 
problems set them by the mm-derous intelli- 
gences who had designed the Labjrrinth ? On 
the answer to that^ question seemed almost to 
depend the issue of the Great War. If the 
engineer had got the better of the artilleryman 
and the miner, the Germans, with countless 
" Labyrinths," would hold up the Allied offen- 
sive, and the War might continue indefinitely. 

On Sunday, May 9, as the last stars were 
fading in the grey of the morning, the assaulting 
French troops were inspecting their rifles, 
filling their water bottles, inserting cartridges 
into their belts and hand-grenades into their 
bags. The sappers had cut steps in the sides 
of the trendies to enable the men to climb out 
more quickly. At sumise there was the sound 
of firing in the distance. A British aeroplane 
from the direction of La Baasee was crossing 
the German lines. It was hit, but the aeronaut 
inauaged to descend lieliind the French trenches. 
Tlu'ee French aeroplanes immediately after- 
w ards ascended, and the observers in them 
took a last look at the gashes and holes in the 
ground, the ruined chapel of Notre Dame de 
Lorette and the remains of the villages of 
AVjlain St. Nazaire, Souchez, Carency, La 
Targette and Neuville St. Vaast, in, or under 
wliich were hu-king the German infantry and 
the enciny's gims and mitrailleuses. 

At six a.m. the signal was given for the 
bombardment to open. The sound produced 
by the discharge of the thousand and more 
French pieces resembled the rolling thunder of 
a tropical storm. The British engaged in 
mounting the Aubers Ridge were startled by 
the intensity of the distant cannonade. " I 
am quite well," wrote, four days later, a French 
artillery officer who was present at the battle, 
" although I am still stunned by the noise of 
the cannon." 

The sound produced by the French howitzers, 
heavy artillery, Soixanle-quinze guns and 
trench mortars, suggested the storm ; the 
effects of the bombardment were seismic. 
" I went," says the same officer, " and after- 
wards looked at one of the enemy's trenches. 
It was a terrible sight. Everything was upset ; 
there was blood everywhere, and, as the exca- 
vations are narrow, we had to walk over heaps 
of corpses, legs, arms, heads, rifles, cartridges, 
machine guns, all in a confused mass. That." 
he adds, "was the work of our artillery." 

The heavens had rained projectiles, which 
blew in the sides of concreted trenches, formed 
huge craters, smashed to fragments the chevaux- 
de-frise. cut lanes through the barbed wire 
entanglements, and caused bags of earth and 
cement, baulks of timber, and iron nettings to 
collapse on the heads of the Germans. More 
than 20,000 shells rained upon the houses of 
Carency alone. The other villages and build- 
ings in the area received similar attention. 
Over 300.000 -shells were discharged that 
day. To complete the work of destruction, 
at 6.4.5 a.m. the seventeen mines in the sector 
of Carency were fired. The subterranean 
refuges of the enemy were uprooted. Hi5 
coimter-mines were buried or the wires for 
detonating them destroyed. Most of the 
German sappers were killed or buried aUve, 
but one company of French engineers rescued 
seventy cowering in a gallery. On the plateau 
of Notre Dame de Lorette and at other points 
French mines were also exploded with analogous 

The assault did not immediately take place. 
For three hours the bombardment continued, 
the French in the trenches, loudly applauding. 
At 10 a.m. the order was given to attack. Of 
the five fines of trenches on the plateau of 
Notre Dame de Lorette, three were carried by 
the French Chasseurs and supporting infantry, 
but with heavy losses. The little fort in the 
centre of the German line, however, held out ; 



British Infantry attacking a German trench in France. 

the men of Eaden putting up a desperate 
resistance. From Angres, the German bat- 
teries played on the lost trenches, or rather on 
the depressions in the ground and craters. 
From Ablain St. Nazaire the enemy's mitrail- 
leuses continued their ceaseless fire. On the 
plateau men struggled confusedly with bayonets 
andknives andhurledbombs and grenades ateach 
other. Night fell, and, amidst theexplosionsof the 
shells, the cries of the wounded and the whistling 
of the bullets, the French dtig themselves in. 

Meanwhile, south of the plateau, across the 
valley, a no less bloody struggle was pro- 
ceeding from Carency to the Labyrinth. At 
the same moment that the attack was delivered 
on the plateau the French attacked Carency. 
They carried the German trenches and, despite 
the orders given, endeavoured to storm the 
village. They %\-ere miable, however, to break 
in, and a fortified work to the east of the 
village, wliich the Germans retaineo, forced 
them to halt. Nevertheless they pushed 




forwards towards Souchez and approached the 
road leading from Carenoy to that place. Many 
prisoners — over 500 — had been captured, and 
thirty machine guns. It was no longer pos- 
sible for the Germans to use their communica- 
tion trenches between Carency and Souchez, 
and the only connexion of the Carenoy garrison 
with the rest of the line was by the trenches 
from Carency to Ablain St. Nazaire. 

Carency was almost isolated. Not only had 
the French reached a point from which they 
could take it in reverse from the east side, but 
the bastioned trenches of the White Worlis 
which had joined it to La Targette had, with 
La Targette itself, been captured. At 10 a.m. 
two regiments had left their trenches in the 
Wood of Berthonval and, bayoneting the 
enemy in their path, speedily placed the White 
Works behind them. Ignoring the fire of the 
mitrailleuses which had not yet been put out 
of action, the mass of enthusiastic soldiers 
made for the Arras-Bethune Road between 
SouL-hez and La Targette. A Brigadier- 
General fell shot tlu-ough the chest. A Colonel 
was seriously wounded ; and the loss in officers 
was very heavy. Bxit the heroic band rushed 
up the slopes and readied the crest. By 11.30 
they had covered over four thousand three 
hundred yards. A (Jennan Colonel was cap- 
tured and the equivaltnt of a German brigade 
put out of action. 

Meantime, across a luendow, other French 
troops had marched on La Targette, where the 
road from Mont St. Eloi crosses the Arras- 

Bethune road and continues through Neuville 
St. Vaast to the Arras-Lens causeway. The 
strands of barbed wire, thick. as a finger, had 
been destroyed by the artillery. To cross 
the trenches, light wooden bridges were carried 
by the men. But so eager were they that they 
threw them down and leapt the obstacles, which, 
as usual in the case of German trenches, were 
very narrow. In front of La Targette were 
two big works armed with artillery. So rapid, 
however, had been the French advance that 
the Germans, with the exception of a few 
machine-g-unners, disappeared into their dug- 
outs. Sonie of the French stormed the village, 
which was in their hands by 11.15. Three 
hundred and fifty prisoners, several " 77 " 
guns and numerous mitrailleuses had been 
captured. The sappers rapidly organized the 
defences of this important point, and batteries of 
French artillery galloped up, unlimbered, and 
opened on the German reserves. 

Passing roimd and through La Targette, the 
French next attacked Neuville St. Vaast. The 
right wing was held up by the defenders of the 
Labyrinth, but the centre succeeded in both 
gaining a footing in a group of houses at the 
southern end of Neuville St. Vaast, and in 
ap))roaching the cemetery of the vUlage. Twice 
during the day amid the tombs a desperate 
hand-to-hand combat took place. Half of the 
village itself remained by nightfall in the 
possession of the French, who took many 
prisoners. The dirty, terrified Germans were 
directed to the rear by cavalrymen. 



Such was the battle of May 9. The French 
had proved that defences wliich the Germans 
regarded as impregnable could be stormed. 
They had taken 3,000 prisoners, 10 field guns, 
and 50 mitrailleuses. 

By Monday, accordingly, the French had 
wedged themselves into the centre of the Ger- 
man position. To keep the enemy's reserves 
employed, a feint attack was made north of the 
Notre Dame de Lorette plateau in the direction 
of Loos. The fighting on the plateau con- 
tinued. Some progress was made on the left 
until it was brought to a standstill by the 
artillery hidden in Angres. The little fort by 
the side of the chapel was a thorn in the side 
of the French. A strong counter-attack from 
the Sugar Refinery between Ablain and Souchez 
was signalled, and the French oSensive was 
here suspended. The artillery by a barrage of 
fire prevented the Germans from debouching, 
and the French infantry, heartened by this, 
descended from the plateau towards the Ablain 
ravine. From the note-book of Captain Sievert, 
who commanded a German battaUon, and was 
subsequently killed, we learn the importance 
attached by the Crown Prince of Bavaria and 
his Staff to the Germans retaining the Lorotto 
plateau and the line Ablain-Carency, also the 
insufBciency of the means at the disposal of 
Captain Sievert. His first company had been 

reduced by May 10 to four non-commissioned 
officers and twenty-five men ; his second 
company to one officer and eighty non-com- 
missioned officers and men. The third and 
fourth companies were of about the same 
strength, and the battalion now mustered only 
tliree officers and 272 non-commissioned officers 
and privates. " I demand again," he wrote, 
and he underlined the words, " reinforcements. 
I must, at all costs, have a large number of the 
hand-grenades which I have already sent for." 

Carency was undoubtedly i-i great danger. 
The Germans appear, indeed, from the French 
official narrative, to have recovered some of 
the conununication trenches and tvmnels con- 
necting it with Souchez, but during the day 
some houses east of the village were stormed, 
and the enemy cleared out of a hoUow south of 
the Carency-Souchez road. On the right, be- 
yond the Arras-B6thmie road, the cemetery of 
Neuville St. Vaast was carried, and the Grerman 
reserves who had been motored up from Douai 
and Lens were repulsed with loss. 

The 11th was another day of sangtiinary com- 
bats. The French in the evening, after a 
terrific encoimter, mastered the lower slopes 
of the Arabs' Spur. In the night the Germans 
counter-attacked from the Spur of the White 
Way. They were beaten back. The guns 
in Angres and the machine guns in Ablain 

Filling a captive balloon with hydrogen gas from cylinders. The cylinders are attached to the 

supply tube of balloon. 







The French bombarded the village and at the point of the bayonet took the German trenches close by. 

kept lip a never-cea'img fire at the French posi- 
tions. The conditions on the plateau were 
unusually disgusting. Tlie biu'sting shells had 

dLsinterred the corpses of the hundreds of French 
and Germaixs whose lives had been sacrificed 
during the preceding months. 

The days of the garrison of Carency were now 
numljered. On the 11th the French gained 
the wood east of the village, and the coninuuii- 
cation trenches with Souchez could no longer 
be used by the enemy. A woody hOlock, forti- 
fied by the Germans, still kept the French from 
storming the east end of the village. Their 
approach from the west was checked by the 
infantry in a stone quarry nearly 300 feet deep. 
The Germans, however, in this sector were be- 
ginning to despair. Captain Sievert and his 
officers had refused to take part in a night 
attack because they had too few projectiles 
and grenades. " The enemy's artillery," he 
notes, " fires uninterruptedly and inflicts losses 
on us." 

Away to the south the French were still 
attacking NeuvUle St. Vaast and the Laby- 
rinth. They had at last established their hold 
on the cemetery of the village, but the Laby- 
rinth had not been reduced. 

The next daj', Wednesday, May 12, saw the 
capture of the httle fort and the Chapel of 
Notre Dame de Lorette, also that of Carency. 
General JofEre had arrived to observe the 
operations. In pitch darkness the French 
Chasseurs clambered into the Joriin, anrl after 

a desperate hand-to-hand combat, it and the 
remains of the Chapel were at last gained. 
At daybreak, under the fire of the enemy's 
artillery, the French pushed towards the Spur 
of the Wliito Way, which commanded the 
valley beneath from Ablain to Souchez. 

Before the fortin and Chapel fell, Carency had 
been taken. The French infantry, well sup- 
ported by the artillery, routed the three com- 
panies defending the wooded hillock to the east 
of the village. After violent fighting, the 
stone quarry to its west was cleared of the 
enemy. The French entered the western block 
of houses, whilst the eastern group was also 
assaulted. The enemy sold their lives dearly. 
Firing through windows and trap-doors, they 
retreated from house to house. At 5.30 p.m., 
what remained of the garrison surrendered. A 
motley collection of Bavarians, Saxons and 
Badeners crying " Kamerad, Kamerad " issued 
from the village. They numbered over a 
thousand. The officers, stiff as usual, clicked 
their heels together and saluted the French 

" Who is in command i " asked a French 

After some hesitation, a Colonel advanced 
and explained that he had only arrived that 
morning and that he was not the director of the 
defence. Whether the Brigadier-General in 
conmaand had been IdUed or woimded, was 

Tlie German officer, with all his faults. 



respects ability, especially ability in the art of 
destroying human life. " Your fire," said one 
officer to his captors, " has been mathemati- 
cally precise. Your infantry have charged so 
quickly that it was impossible to resist them." 

From Carency the conquerors pushed on to 
Ablain St. Nazaire. The night was suddenly 
illuminated by an immense fire. Ablain, or 
at least part of it was in flames. The Germans, 
who were evacuating the village, retained some 
houses at the eastern end. Two thousand 
prisoners, guns, howitzers, minenwerfer, 
machine guns, rifles, ammunition, and other 
material of war, had in this region alone fallen 
into the hands of the French. 

On Thursday, in drenching rain, d'Urbal 
tried to seize the Spm- of the White Way, but 
the French were held up by machine-gun fire. 
That day M. Millerand despatched this letter 
by telegraph to General Joffre : 

Mt dear General, — I do not wish to await the end 
of the operations begun on the 9th inst. by our troops 
in the Arras region before sending you and asking you to 
express to your soldiers my grateftd congratulations for 
the results already obtained by our action, which 
demonstrate the excellence of the preparations made, 
the splendid way it was carried out, and the superiority 
we have gained over an opponent who recoils from no 
crime. It is a new and happy presage of his ruin. You 
and your armies have once more won the admiration 
and gratitude of the country, and I am happy to convey 
them to you. 


On the 15th another French attack on the 
Spvu- of the Wliite Way failed. Thence- 
forward up to the 21st the French on the 
plateau, under the fire of the German artillery 
in Angres and Lievin, were engaged on con- 
solidating their position. 

Below in the valley the Germans still clung 
to Ablain. They had apparently recovered the 
church and they were also occupying the 
cemetery. Neither in Ablain nor in Souchez, 
east of it, was their position enviable. On 
the 17th Captain Sievert made this note. 
" Covered in sweat, we arrive at Souchez. The 
sights are indescribable. It is one hideous 
mass of ruins. The street is littered with 
fragments of shells. The staff of the 11th 
Infantry Reserve Regiment is in a cellar. 
Souchez has been completely destroyed by the 
artillery." From Souchez he proceeded the 
same day to Ablam, which, it seems, was also 
a heap of broken building material. Only a 
quarter of the church tower was left. " MTien," 
he observes, " we were in the ravine of Souchez 
we did not believe that there could be any 
worse position. Here we perceive that it is 
possible. Not only are we exposed to frontal 
and flank fire, but the French are firing at our 
backs from the slopes of the plateau of Notre 
Dame de Lorette." Still, and it must be 

French trench-diggers in steel helmets on the way to reconstruct the trenches. 




admitted to the credit of this meinber of a 
stubborn race, he did not despair. " Wc have 
become tolerably apathetic in this mouse- 
trap. I ordered the battalion to fight to the last 

Notwithstanding this affirmation, it is clear 
from the Captain's entries on the 19th and 
20tli that his spirits were sinldng. Food was 
rmining low. The road by which the portable 
kitchens reached Ablain. was swept by the fire 
of the French artillery. The nerves of his men 
were shaken. Threats of bringing them before 
a court-martial failed to keep them at their posts 
when the shells fell. He demanded that he 
and his men should be relieved, but the German 
Higher Command has no mercy. There is some- 
thing pathetic in the last hues wliich he wrote. 
" How much longer," they run, '" shall we have 
to stay in this mouse-trap ? I am in a state 
of nervous collapse. The fire of the enemy has 
reached its greatest violence. Indescribable." 

It was on May 21, in the afternoon, that the 
French from the north, south and west attacked 
the German trenches on the Spiu' of the "White 
Way. Leaving its position on the Arabs' 
Spur, one body, in a few minutes, captured the 
lines of the enemy in front of th"ni. From the 
north another seized the German central 
comimmication trench. Surrounded on every 
side, the enemy threw down their arms and 
threw up their hands. The assault directed 
from Ablain was ecjuiJly successful. The 
houses west of the church %vere secured and the 
communications of the ^\'hite Way with 
Souchez cut. Three hundred prisoners and a 
gun had been captiu-ed. At 2 a.m. on the 
22nd the Germans, who retained a few houses 
in Ablain, counter-attacked, but \\ ere repulsed. 
In the course of the combats, from the 9th to 
the 22nd, the enemy had lost very heavily in 
dead and wounded. On the plateau and its 
slopes over 3,000 German corpses were counted. 

The Germans had been dislodged from the 
plateau of Notre Dame de I^orette. The next 
step of d'Urbal was to expel them from Ablain. 
On May 28 an attack « as launched against the 
doomed handful of brave men \\ lio, in obedience 
to orders, still occupied the trenches round the 
cemetery. It ^^as a beautiful, clear day, and 
the houses in the village, through the broken 
walls of which one perceived the I.oretto spurs 
or the blue sky, stood out as if in a painting. 
The French artillery threw a ciu-tain of shells 
east of the cemetery so as to pre-i-ent the 
garrison from being reinforced. CheerinL' 


General de Castelnau (left) and General Franchet 
d'Esperey (right). 

loudly, tlio assaulting infantry with fixed 
bayonets made for the cemetery. The Germans 
offered no resistance, and soon afterwards 
400 men, including seven officers, smrendered. 
Diu-ing the night the bu.siness of clearing the 
enemy out of the group of houses to the south 
of the church was imdertaken, and outside 
Ablain a fortin stormed. On the morning of 
the 20th the church and the rectory, defended 
by three companies, were attacked. Only 
twenty Germans escaped and were made 
prisoners. The Frencli in this last combat had 
lost 200 Idlled and wounded. The majority 
had been struclc by fragments of " Jack 
Johnsons " rained on Ablain by the German 
gunners, who may have believed, what was 
afterwards asserted, that Ablain had been 
evacuated. Five hundred German corpses in 
the ruins, about as many prisoners and 14 
machine auns attested the French victory. 




I '^mMty:^L^ 

- -mm 

French soldiers filling their water-bottles at a well at Perthes-les-Hurlus. 

With Ablain in their possession, the Frencli 
descended the valley, and on May 31 drove the 
enemy out of the three rained houses, known as 
the Mill Malon. From these houses a com- 
munication trench ran to the Sugar Refine'"%' 
already referred to. The French infantry, 
flinging grenades in front of them, rushed up it, 
chasing the flying foe before them. They 
entered the Refinery on the heels of the surviv- 
ing fugitives. By nightfall they had killed or 
expelled every one of the gaiTison. Hastily 
the defence of the place was organized. To- 
wards midnight the Germans counter-attacked, 
.ind gradually pushed the French back into the 
fommimication trench. A telephone message 
was at once sent to the artillery to isolate the 
enemy by a curtain of fire, and to the troops on 
the outskirts of Ablain to march on the 
Refinery along the bed of the rivulet. The 
men m the commimication trench were rapidly 
re-formed and they counter-attacked. The 
Gennans fled, and by the evening of June 1 the 
conquered position was connected with Ablain 
by communication trenches. 

Throughout June, and indeed up to the great 
offensive on September '25, the fighting in 
the rpgi'.m of the Battle of Artois went on. 
The French from May 25 to 28 had made 
some little jjrogress eastwards in the direction 
of Angres. In June and the sucoeechng months 
they nibbled at the German trendies traversmg 
the plain to the Betlnme-La Bassee Canal. 

South of the plateau of Notre Dame de Lorette, 
which remained in their possession, they 
penetrated from the Sugar Refinery into the 
outskirts of Souchez. But it was in the 
section of Neuville St. Vaast that there was the 
hardest fighting. An officer wounded there on 
June 19 has graphically described what the 
conquest of the Labyrinth entailed : — 

The war of the trenches is nothing compared with 
the stmggle of the burrows that we had to carry on for 
three weeks. Picturo to yourselves narrow g.alleries. 
feebly lit by flickering oil lamps, in which the foes are 
separated only by sandbags, which they keep pushing 
against each other. As soon as an opening shows a 
terrific hand-to-hand fight begins, in which grenades 
and the bayonet are the only arms possible. Sometimes 
the Germans take to knives and revolvers, and one day 
they even began throwing corrosive liquids, which 
burnt badly ; but, in spite of these cowardly tz'icks, 
our men always had the best of it, showing a marvellous 
spirit of initiative. They fought with clubbed rifles 
and fists when required, and their courage was never 
stiaken, as the Germans soon saw. 

The passages in which we w-ere advancing were 18 ft. 
deep, and often 24 ft. or more. The water was sweating 
through in all directions, and the sickly smell was 
intolerable. Imagine, too, that for three weeks we were 
not able to get rid of the dead bodies, amongst which 
we+iad to live night and day ! One burrow, 120 ft. long, 
took us thirteen days of ceaseless fighting to conquer 
entirely. The Germans had placed barricades, trap- 
doors, and traps of all descriptions. When we stumbled 
we risked being impaled on bayonets treacherously 
hidden in holes lightly covered with earth. And all 
this went on in almost complete darkness. We had to 
use pocket electric lamps and advance with the utmost 

Besides the strategic advantages of the future occupa- 
tion of the famous " Labyrinth " position, its capture 
has had another result. The Germans had come to 
consider "The Labyrinth" as an impregnable fortress. 



and thoir men were accustomed to this belief. Their 
disillusionment was proportionately great when they 
learned that we were masters of it. We were able to 
notice this ourselves when we announced the news to 
our prisoners, who at first refused to beUeve the news, 
and when they were confronted with the reality were 
completely demoralised. One of them gave expression 
to the prevaihng impression when he said, " Nothing 
resi.sts these French devils." * 

With this quotation we end our account 
of the Battle of Artois. Joffre, Foch and 
d'Urbal, if they had not succeeded in breaking 
the German line, or indirectly reducing the 
pressiire on the Russians, had forced the enemy 
to desist from his offensive round Ypres. They 
had, too, proved that, diabolically ingenious as 
the German engineers had shown themselves 
to be, it was possible, if there was an adequate 
gun-and-mine preparation, to storm at com- 
paratively small cost tfie German entrench- 
ments and burrow-fortresses. The losses of the 
Germans in the battle have been estimated at 
60,000, perhaps they were considerably more. 
What the French losses were is problematical, i" 
but it LS said that the casualties of one division 

* Published in the Standard, 

fThe Crown Prince of Bavaria fixed them at 60,000, a 
ciirious coincidence. 

which killed 2,600 of the enemy and took 3,000 
prisoners were only 250 killed and 1,250 

While the last stages of the Battle of Artois 
were proceeding, south of Arras, wliich, like 
Ypres, was being constantly bombarded by the 
Germans, General d'Urbal took the offensive 
between Serre and Hebuteme. H^buterne is 
nearer Albert on the Ancre than Arras. The 
French had occupied Hebuterne, the Germans 
Serre. The villages were a mile and three- 
quarters apart, each situated on a shght rise. 
Halfway between, in front of the farm of 
Tout Vent ran two lines of German trenches. 
The fields of the farm were enclosed by a line 

Wounded being removed to a farm in the rear of the battle-line. Inset : First aid in a French trench. 



uf liig trees. 'I'he ITtli riaden Recriineiit was 
entrusted Willi tlic tlel'cnce of (he [losituui. 
Tliey were attacked on .liiue 7 l>y Bretons, 
Vondeens and troops from Sa\'oy and Daupliine. 
From ?> a.m. on the inornini; of Juno 7 tlie 
(Jerma.ns, who had been forewarned by the 
intensity of the French artillery preparation, 
kept u|) an ineessnnl fire at their enemy's 
treiLi-hes. The Freneli uiins repHod with a. 
eontiniious stream of |irojee1 ilos. At J a.m. 
the assault wa-s di-Usi'icd. lu ten miniiti-s the, 
men from the enast and mountains were 
east of their opponents' trenches and diguing 
tlii'mseUes in. The next day, under the fire 
of tlie (German hea\ y artillery, the concpiered 
ai'ea was extended to the nortli and also in 

Showing part of the ceiling made of steel plates. 

deptli, rill June 9 there was sc\"ere liguinig in 
the Cermaii communieatiun trendies, and on 
the 10th a few hundred yards of trendies to 
the soutli were captured. The number of 
]jrisoners taken was 58(1, including ten oflicers. 
The 17th Baden Pvegiment had vu-tually ceased 
to e.xist, and two battalions of anotlier German 
regiment suffered se\'erely. 

The day before the action at llebuterno 
began, General de Castebiau, in tlie nortliern 
angle of the OLsc and Aisne, had made a gap 
ui the German hne east of the Foret de I'Aigle, 
\\liieli is a continuation of tlie Forest of Coiii- 
piegne, and is divided from it by the Aisne. On 
the eait it is bounded by a vast plateau tlirough 
which rividets How down to that river. The 
country is liighlj- culti\'at(jd. Spiimeys mark 
the situation of the large farms whicli, like 
the farm of Tout Vent, arc, or were, surrounded 

by taU trees. The farms of Ecaffaut .and 
(.^uennevieres were witliin the French, those 
of Les Loge.s and Tout Vent were Ijeliind the 
German lines. Facing the farm of Quenne- 
\ ieres the enemy's front foinied a salient, at 
the point of which was a kind of small fort. 
\\'here the northern and .southern ends of the 
salient touchi'd the rest of tlie German position 
Hanldng works liad been constructed. 

Along the arc of the salient ran two lines of 
trenches ; in places there was a third. The 
cliord of th(.' arc was defended i>y an indented 
trencli. In a ra\iui- wliich descends towards 
'i'out Vent Asere se\'eral German guns. As the 
plateau sloped slightly towards the salient, 
the French ha.d a considerable advantage. 
Nonnally the salient ^^■as garrisoned by four 
companies of the German 8Gth Regiment, 
recruited from the Hanseatic towns and 
Sehleswig, but on Jtme 5 the reserve com- 
]ianies posted in the Tout Vent ra\-ine had been 
lirought up, their place being taken by other 
I roups. The tituhi.r commandiT of the SOtli 
lli.giment was the German Empress. Four 
liattalions, Zouases, sharpshooters, and 
1 Iretons, had been detailed by the French 
'ommander for the assault. 

During June ■> the French artilleiy methodi- 
cally pounded the little fort, the trenches and 
the accessory works. Throughout the night 
the guns went on firing, and to prevent the 
enemy repairing tlie damage done in the day- 
time the French infantrj' kept up an incessant 
musketry fu'e, while from time to tmie aerial 
torpedoes were discharged. Between 5 a.m. 
and 9 a.m. on the Otli the bombardment 
bi'came fiercer. For tliree-C|uarters of an hour 
it ceased, and then, at short intor\'als, gusts of 
shells succeeded one another. A mine under 
the little fort was exploded. The Germans, in 
groups of four, six or ten, had taken refuge in 
their dug-outs, but the roofs of many of these 
hail been blown in by the large shells, and the 
inmates wore either dead or dying slowly of 
suffocation. At II). l.j the French gunners 
lengtheni'd their fire, and the infantry, \\ho 
discarded their loiapsacks, dashed forward. 
Each man had tlii'ee days' rations, 2.50 cart- 
ridges, two grenades, and a saiic. The sack 
was to bo filled with earth so that the dcfe:e'e 
of the position to be captured might be rapidly 

The ba3onets glittered in the sim as the hne 
of cheermg soldiers crossed the 200 yards 
w'liich separated them from the enemy. The 


Infantry storming a deep German trench. 



Gemian infantrj' and machine gunners fired 
wildly, and in a few minutes the first trench 
was taken. Two hundred and fifty prisoners, 
the sole survivors of a couple of German 
battalions, were made. From the ravine of 
Tout Vent the companies in reserve had rushed 
to the aid of their comrades. A hurricane of 
shells from the Soixante-guinze guns laid them 
low. Kearly 2,000 men had in vmder an hour 
been put hors de combat. 

Encouraged by the execution wrought by 
the French artillery, the Zouaves, preceded by 
patrols, headed for the Tout Vent ravine. In a 
clover field they came on a work armed with 
three guns and protected by a wire network. 
The gimners had sought refuge in a dug-out. 
Guns and gimners were captured, but the 
attack on the ravine was not pushed home. 
The German local reserves had arrived, and 
French aviators signalled the approach of 
new reinforcements. It transpired that two 
battalions were being motored from Koye to 
the east of the Gise. Before they reached 
the battle-field tlie Germans comiter-attacked, 
and were mown down by machine-giuis and 
shrapnel. At the extreinities of the salient 
the French sappers, with sacks of earth, were 
erecting barriers. By nightfall the position 
had been put in a state of defence. 

It was time that it was. During the night 
the troops from Roj'e made eight fierce attacks, 
and on the morning of tlie 7th endeavoured to 

storm the barriers at the northern and southern 
ends of the salient. Recklessly they advanced 
up the communication trenches, but were kept 
at bay by a hail of grenades. Towards sunset 
the attack died down. Some 2,000 German 
corpses were lying in the area where the 
counter-attacks had taken place. The German 
losses in dead alone exceeded 3,000. 'J'his 
brilliant little victory had cost de Castelnau 
250 killed and 1,500 wounded. Twenty 
machine-gi-uis, nimierous shields, telephones, 
field-glasses, and a c^uantity of ammunition 
were among the spoils. 

As has been pointed out in Chapter XCVI., 
one of the w eak points in the French line from the 
North Sea to Switzerland was the section from 
Rheims to the Forest of the Argonne, defended 
by the army of General Langle de Gary. Until 
the Germans had been driven back across the 
Aisne at every point the French centre and also 
the right wing from Verdun to Belfort were in 
jeopardy. We have previously described (see 
Chapter XCVI.) the efforts made by I.angle 
de Gary to expel Von Einem from the Cham- 
pagne Pouilleuse. The preliminary step was 
to deprive the enemy of the use of the railway 
which ran from Bazancourt across the- Upper 
Aisne tlirough the Forest of the Argonne to a 
few miles north of Varennes. I^angle de Gary 
had met with considerable success, and in the 
course of his operations on February 27 had 
baken the little fort of Beausejour, to the north- 

Bombarding the German trenches. 




Carrying water to the wounded at Perthes-les- 

Hurlus. Inset : Carrying a wounded French soldier 

from the firing-line. 

eiist of Perthes. On April 8 the Germans 
attempted to recapture it. 

A violent cannonade on the fort and tlio 
communication trenches preceded the attack. 
The French look-outs reported a concentration 
of the enemy in his trenches. The northern 
salient of the fort. \¥hich jutted out hke an 
arrow towards the German position, ^\as 
assaulted from east and «est by t\\ o companies 
of volunteers belonging to all the regiments of 
the German di\ision in this region. They 
acted as a forlorn hope. On the eastern side 
the enemy met with little success. Caught by 
the lire of machine guns and the French 
artillery, the assaulting infantry was soon 
mown down. The other attack was more 
Bucoessful, and a footing was obtained in the' 
•western trenches and the extreme point of the 
salient. The next day, however, the French 
artillery rained projectiles on the intruders, 
who, crowded elbow to elbow in the narrow 
cuttings, lost heavily. Those who escaped 
the shells were bayoneted. By nightfall the 
fort was again entirely in the possession of the 

The assault on Beausejour was not the only 
German offensive between Rheims and the 
Argonne during the spring and summer of 1915. 
At Ville-sur-Tourbe, some seven miles east of 
Beausejour, where tho undulating plains of 

Champagne approached the wooded heights 
of the Argonne, the Germans on May 15 
delivered a serious attack. Ville-svir-Toiu'be 
was garrisoned by the French Colonial Infantry, 
who had taken Beausejour on February 27. 
Our Allies held a bridge-head on the north 
bank of the stream of the Tourbe. The village 
had been reduced to a mass of ruins by the 
German artillery. Two hillocks, separated by 
the high road from Saint-Menehould to Vou- 
zieres, had been converted by the French 
engineers into miniature forts. A zigzag of 
communication trenches connected tnem with 
the village. If the works on the western of the 
two hillocks, which extended north-westwards, 
could be carried, the French hold on the 
eastern hillock and on Ville-sur-Tourbe would 
be jeopardized. It _ is an interesting fact. 







showing the meticulous attention given by 
the German Higher Command to details, 
that a reproduction of the French work to be 
attacked had been made behind the German 
line, and the troops selected for the assault 
had been trained in m.ock attacks. 

Three mines had been driven under the 
French trenches. On May 15, at 0.2.5 p.m., 
they were fired, producing the effect of an 
earthquake. Simultaneously the enemy's guns 
opened on the village, on the rest of the French 
trenches, and on the positions where it was 
presumed that guns were hidden. Immediately 
afterwards the Germans succeeded in capturing 
two lines of trenches on the northern face of 
the fortin. During the night a desperate 
struggle ensued. At daybreak the French, 
with grenades, counter-attacked, and their 
artillery threw a curtaiu of shells in front of 
the German trenches, so that the retreat of the 
enemy who had entered the fort was cut off. 
By 3 p.m. the attacking force had been killed, 
wounded or taken prisoners. It consisted of 
WestphaKans, Hessians and Thuringians. 

During June and July the Argomie was the 
theatre of a considerable offensive on the part 
of the Germans. The German Crown Prince, 
whom rumoiu- had killed several times, was in 
command of the enemy at this point. He was 
strongly reinforced from the army in the St. 
Mihiel salient, and the aged Marshal von 
Haeseler, one of the most experienced soldiers 
in the -German Arrnj', was on the spot to 
advise. Tlie French, it will be recollected, had 
worked across the Vienne-Varennes road into 
the Bois de la Grurie. Their enemy's front ran 
eastwards from the south of Binarville, which is 
five mUfes north of Vienne-le-Chateau, north of 
Bagatelle — a shooting lodge — and the wood- 
land spring known as Fontaine Madame, and 
then descended across the Vienne-Varennes 
road and issued from the forest south of 
Boureuilles, which is in the same latitude as 

On June 20 the German attack began. It 
was accompanied, as usual, by a tremendous 
bombardment, which, however, owing to the 
wooded, broken natiu-e of the cotmtry, was less 
effective than elsewhere. It was at first 
directed against the western side of the French 
position. The Germans tried to work down to 
Vienne-le-Chateau, and the Wiirttembergers 
and Prussian Landwehr gained some ground. 
According to the German official accoimt, 
seven officers, 627 privates, 6 machine gims. 

and fifty trench -mortars were captured. 
The French, from June 21 to 29, counter- 
attacked, and, according to the veracious 
German Staff, used liquid fire. This was an 
untruth designed to excuse fiu-ther German 
breaches of International Law.'* 

The next move of the enemy was to endeavour 
to thrust his way down the centre of the forest. 
They attacked the French in the neighbourhood 
of Bagatelle, and on the 7th advanced between 
Fontaine Madame and the ride in the wood 
called the Haute Chevauchee, capturing a 
hillock called La Fille Morte. This was 
subsequently recovered by the French, who 
also drove the enemy back in the direction of 

A French corporal, Ren6 Destouches, wlio 
was captiu-ed and afterwards escaped, has 
recorded the interview which he had with the 
German Crown Prince. The Crown Prince, 
with whom was an elderly officer, perhaps 
von Haeseler, accoiding to Destouches looked 
thin and tired. He paced up and down 
his tent with his hands in his pockets, and, 
if Destouches is to be believed, spoke excellent 
French with a nasal accent. He assured 
Destouches that life in a German prisoners' 
camp was not very terrible. After asking 
several questions, which were answered eva- 
sively, he threw away his half-smoked cigar, 
and with a sad smile remarked : "I am afraid 
you axe rather stupid, Destouches, and don't 
keep your eyes open. I suppose," he added, 
" your cliiefs never tell you how badly things 
are going with you." The answer of the 
French corporal was : " that every Frenchman 
saw for liimself that the situation was excellent." 
A weary expression passed over the Crown 
Prince's face. He shook his head, and with 
his companion passed out of the tent. 

Whatever we may think of Destouches's 
story, there is no reason to believe that the 
Crown Prince felt elated. Some time before 
the war he had expressed to an Englishman 
the hope that he would soon have a chance of 
fighting with — to use an expression, which, in 
liis mouth, is not offensive — " the French 
swine." He had had his wish, but apart from 
the ciu-ios he had collected in French chateaux 
he had gained httle out of the cataclysm which 
he had helped to produce. 

* The German official narrative claims that 7,000 to 
8.000 French were put out of action between June 20 
and July 2 in the Argonne fighting. 



^Ve have narrated in Chapter XCVI. the 
various efforts of tlie French to dislodge the 
Germans from the St. jMihiel sahent. They 
had attacked it on both sides and also near the 
apex. The advance to the crest of the Eparges 
liill, which dominates the plain of the Woevre, 
had been proceeding since February. It cul- 
ininated on April 9 in a decisive French 

The German engineers had protected the 
summit by tiers of trenches one above the 
other, at points no less than five in number. 
Guns of all calibres and mitrailleuses were con- 
cealed on the flanks of the hill and its summit. 
On April 5, at 4 p.m., the French began their 
final move to reduce the fortress. Rain was 
jioiu'ing in torrents, and the ground was almost 
impassable. The troops were in places up to 
their thighs in mud. Wet to the skin, covered 
in sweat, they, however, pressed forward, and, 
after nxmierous melees, established themselves 
in a part of the German trenches. To the east 
their progress was stopped by flights of aerial 
torpedoes, each one of which, when it burst, 
destroyed whole ranks. At 4.30 a.m. on 
the 6th the Germans counter-attacked. Fresh 
troops had been sent up from Combres, and they 
drove back the worn-out French. At nightfall 
the latter, reinforced, returned to the attack. 
A trench at the eastern end of the plateau was 
captm'ed. On the west progress was made 
towards the summit, but in the centre the 
Germans put up a fierce resistance. During 
the night, in a pitiless downpour of rain, 
the French with the bayonet drove the 
Germans back foot by foot. When day broke 
several hundred yards of trenches had been 
taken and many jirisoners and officers, but 
the Germans did not immediately give way. 
Counter-attack succeeded counter-attack. The 
French artUlery, with its shrapnel, assisted the 
infantry toiling up the slopes. A furious 
charge by the Germans at 5 a.m. on the 
morning of the 7th failed. More troops from 
Combres arrived on the scene. The masses 
were mo%vn down by shrapnel. But at one 
point the French fell back. 

Meanwliile the French General directing the 
0|)erations was sending up fresh troops. At 
9 a.m. on the 8th the advance was resimied. 
Two reguuents of infantry and a battaUon of 
Chasseurs were ordered to storm the summit. 
The magazines of the riQes were choked with 
mud, and the men liad to rely on the bayonet. 
An liour later the summit and the western 

crest were in their hands. They pushed 
forward to the crest on the eastern side, revers- 
ing the parapets of the German trendies. By 
midnight, after fifteen hom-s of uninterrupted 
fighting, the whole of the summit, with the 
exception of a small triangle at the eastern 
extremity, had been gained. Sixteen hmidred 
yards of trenches had been lost by the CJernians 
and also the formidable bastion on the suimnit, 
which was the key of the position. 

Both sides rested on the morning of the 9th, 
and another French regiment arrived soon after 
midday. It had taken fourteen hours to 
climb up the muddy, slippery paths. At 
3 p.m. the French once more attacked, in a 
hurricane of wind and rain. The ground in 
front of them was honeycombed with deep 
holes, but, covered by the tire of their artillery, 
they approached the last refuges of the enemy. 
Suddenly the summit of the hill was shrouded 
in fog. The French guns ceased firing, the 
enemy counter-attacked, and the French fell 
back. Their officers called on them to make 
a new effort and they again advanced. At 
10 p.m. they held the whole ridge and summit 
of Les Eparges. During the 10th there was no 
fighting, but on the night of April 11-12 the GtT- 
mans made a final counter-attack, which failed. 

Such was the capture of Les Eparges. We 
leave the French Staff to draw the moral : 

To keep this position the Germans ieft nothing 
undone. We have seen the strength of their defensive 
works. We have noted the fact that at tlie end of 
March they brought to Les Eparges one of their best 
divisions. To this were joined five pioneer battalions 
with machine guns from the fortress of Metz and a 
large number of trench mortars of 2 1 and 24 cm. Their 
shelters were caverns dug at their leisure. They had 
constructed a narrow-gauge light railway. Their 
troops were provided with rooms for resting in, their 
officers had a club, and they could bring up reinforce- 
ments unobserved, while ours were exposed to the fire of 
their artillery and machine guna and even of their rifles. 
Under these circumstances supply difficulties, both in tha 
matter of food and of munitions, may be imagined. 

Here was every indication of a fixed determination 
to resist all our attacks. Indeed, we found on ofticera 
taken prisoners orders to hold out at all costs. The 
German General Stafi was resolved to sacrifice every- 
thing in order to retain this dominating crest, and the 
German troops offered the maxinaum of resistance. 
Their conduct was magnificent. 

In order to deprive the machine-gun detachment 
of any temptation to cease fire the men had been chained 
to their weapons. Nevertheless, we conquered in spite 
of all. The Gorman resistance was singularly favoured 
by the conformation of the ground. The steep slopes 
and the waterlogged soil constituted the most formid- 
able obstacle to our attacks. We lost unwounded men 
drowned in mud and many of our wounded could not be 
rescued in time from the morasses into which they fell. 
The German howitzers and trench mortars had an easy 
mark in our advancing men, so long as the enemy held 
the summit. 



French Chasseurs defending a trench with the aid of stones rolled down the hillside against 

the Germans. 




^' « '• 


illy' I 


'"'■■'^" iiiiiflliM 



f ^^^jn^^H 


^"Wf^W imKr^f^mf^Lf, 

*»^n ♦" ij^ 

■iiiimil hli 


w w 




Regiments marching past the Crown Prince in the Argonne. 

Two months ago the Germans at Les Eparges had 
a full view of our lines. Now it is our turn to over- 
look their positions. Even the height of Combres, 
which they still hold, has been reduced to a kind of islet 
between our machine-gun fire from Les Eparges and St. 
Remy. We have achieved this result at a cost of half 
the losses which we inflicted on the enemy. 

What does this mean if not that the victory of Les 
Eparges is one among other proofs of the growing 
superiority of our Army V We are attacking. The 
enemy is on the defensive. He holds the heights and 
we take them from him. He has the advantage of posi- 
tion. We are driving him from his trenches. Those 
who have survived these battles know that our triumph 
is certain and that it has already begun. 

While the French were beginning their final 
assault of Les Eparges, they also attacked the 
southern side of the apex of the St. Mihiel 
salient, capturing the Wood of Ailly, on the edge 
of the Forest of Apremont. 

This little action aptly illustrates the nature 
of the great struggle raging for months from 
La Bassee southwards to the region of Com- 
piegne, from Compiegne eastwards along the 
banks of the Aisne to Berry au Bac, thence 
south-eastwards to the environs of Rheims, 
again eastwards across the Forest of Argonne 
to Verdun, from Verdun once more m a 
southerly direction round St. Mihiel to Pont-a- 
Mousson, from Pont-a-Mousson through the 
(iap of Nancy to the summits of the Vosges. 
A description of the conflict may enable the 
reader to imderstand «'ith what effort, at what 
risk, and with what human suffering each step 
leading to the deliverance of France was taken. 

The road to St. Miliiel ran west of the 'Wood 

of Ailly, now no longer a wood, but a wilderness 
of stumps, traversed by the irregular lines of 
trenches. Branching off this road was a path 
leading to Apremont. Where the St. Mihiel 
road and the Apremont path crossed the 
Germans had made an important work. From 
it a trench went northwards parallel with the 
St. IMihiel road, another eastward pa,rallel with 
the route to Apremont. These two trenches 
were connected behind the work by two others, 
crossed by a communication trench running 
back from the work to the north-eastern border 
of the wood. The word " trench " gives an 
inadequate idea of the deeply sunken excava- 
tions, covered in at places, which the Germans 
had constructed. 

The French process of preparing the attack 
was almost as scientific as a inodern sm'gical 
operation. The " 75 " guns blew wide breaches 
in the barbed-wire entanglements, which were 
over 36 feet wide and 6 feet high ; the larger 
" 155 " guns (about equivalent to our 6-Lnch 
guns) crushed down the skilfully hidden em- 
placements of the Germa.n mitrailleuses. The 
effect of the French bombardment may be 
gathered from the following extract from an 
imfinished letter of a Bavarian taken prisoner : 
"At 7 a.m.," he wrote, "the French com- 
menced a terrible bombardment, principally 
with their heavy artillery and with shells as 
big as sugar loaves . . . When this storm of 
fire had lasted aVjout an horn- a mine exploded 



and blew up our trench many feet into the air, 
by which we lost 30 men. Huge stones cast 
up fell back on us, killing and burying many 
soldiers. The bombardment increased in in- 
tensity. The air was filled with shrapnel 
bullets and the fragments of high-explosive 
shells, and to add to this there came a terrible 
fire from the rifles of uifantry and macliine 
guns. I have taken part in many actions, but 
this battle of five days surpasses all I have ever 
seen. To add to our trials it rained without 
ceasing, the dull, leaden sky and the air 
■cliarged with moisture condensed the smoke so 
that we could scarcely see through it." 

The utmost care had been taken by the 
French commanders to ensure success. " The 
Colonel," says a soldier present, " had shown to 
each of vis the tree he was to make for."' 
The French infantry contained miners and 
mechanics. Light bridges had been prepared 
by the engineers to throw across the trenches. 

At last, on April 5, the signal for the advance 
was given. In three waves the French, now 
relying on the bayonet and hand grenades 
alone, dashed forward. The infantry had been 
ordered to pass over and not to descend into 

the trenches, winch were to be cleared by the 
supporting troops. Two companies attacked 
the St. Miliiel road trenches, two more those on 
the Apremont side. When it had passed 
through the wood, the battalion was to unite. 
The work at the salient of the wood had been 
destroyed by the artillery. 

The trenches on the St. JMihiel road were 
carried by the first rush, and the rearmost 
German trench was reached, in which the 
French proceeded to estabhsh themselves. The 
two companies storming the German entrench- 
ments on the Apremont path at first were 
equally successful, but, taken in flank by the 
fire of concealed machine guns, were compelled 
to fall back. Their retirement entailed that 
of the companies on the St. Alihiel road front. 
But the fortified work and tlie first line, and 
some of the second line trenches north of it, 
were retained and Uned with mitrailleuses. A 
coimter-attack at 4 p.m was repulsed chiefly 
by the French artiUery. The fighting u ent on 
during the night, and at daybreak, April 6, the 
French were masters of the line. Fresh attacks 
were organized against the German position, 
and these resulted in hand-to-hand fighting 

Recaptured by the French. 




Used in the Preach Army for protection 
against enemy fire. 

\Aitli bayonet and bomb. The Germans lought 
liravely, but were miable to resist the more 
vigoroiis efforts of their adversaries, and when 
night fell the whole salient of the wood was in 
the hands of our Allies, who had even pushed 
some distance up the road to St. JMihiel. The 
whole German garrison had been kUled, 
wounded or taken prisoners. It was only on 
the 8th, after a rest of two days, that the 
Germans ventured to counter-attack, and then 
imsuccessfully. The French maintained and 
consoUdated their position. 

The capture of the Wood of Ailly wan one of 
a number of similar engagements along the 
southern side of the St. Mihiel salient. There 
was fighting in the Forest of Apremont, in the 
Wood of Montmare and in the Bois Le Pretre, 
which latter wood is just west of the Moselle, 
and was christened bj' the Germans the " wood 
of death," and the " wood of widows." Into 
the Bois Le Pretre the Germans constantly 
poured troops from Metz, but the French 
gradually expelled them from it, and in May 
reached the northern edge. From this position 
they could threaten the communications from 
Mctz to Thiaucourt along the narrow valley of 
the Rupt de Mad. 

South of Pont-&-Mousson, on the Moselle, 
through the gap of Nancy to the sunmiits 
of the Vosges, the French line in the spring, 
summer and early autumn remained, broadly 

speaking, imchangcd. Roimd La Fonte- 
nelle, in the Ban-dc-Sapt, the Germans took 
the offensive in April and June. East of 
I.a Fontenelle the French cngmeers had, on 
Hill " 627," created a fortress similar to that of 
the Germans on the siunmit of Les Eparges. 
The enemy, xuiable to storm it, had recourse to 
mines, but this was a slow process, as the sub- 
soil consisted of a very hard rock. Neverthe- 
less, with the tenacity of their race, the German 
sapjjers bored galleries beneath the French 
works. The French counter-mined, and from 
April 6 to 13 there was a succession of under- 
ground combats. The enemy's sappers pro- 
gressed, but were tempted into a communica- 
tion gallery which had been mined, and they 
were blown up. All through the night (April 
13) the German officers could be heard shouting 
to their men to renew the attack, but the latter 
rei:>lied with " Ncin, noin ! " 

On June 22 another, and this time a success- 
ful, attack was made on the hill. The pleasure 
this achievement gave to the Germans is 
evidenced by an order of the General com- 
manding the 30th Bavarian Division. " I have 
confidence," he said, " that the height of the 
Ban-de-Sapt " — the name given by the 
Germans to Hill " 627 "— " will be transformed 
with the least possible delay into an impregna- 
ble fortress and that the efforts of the French 
to retake it will be bloodily repulsed." The 
General was speedily undeceived. At 7 p.m., 
on July 8, after heavy bombardment, a French 
column burst through the five lines of trenches 
and canied the block-house on the summit, 
which was protected by trunks of trees, corru- 
gated iron and gun shields. Another column 
attacked the enemy's trenches on the left and 
surrounded the hill from the east. A third 
column, by a vigorous demonstration, kept the 
enemy employed on the French right flank. 
Two battalions of the 6th Bavarian Ersatz 
Brigade had been killed or taken prisoners 
The number of the prisoners was 881, including 
21 officers. Among the officers were professors 
and clerks and a theological student. 

In Alsace the advance by the French was, 
in April, impeded by snowstorms, but despite 
the bad weather General Dubail pressed on. 
For many reasons it was advisable to give the 
enemy no rest in this region. In Alsace the 
French were directly in touch with the German 
civilian population. Defeats in Belgium and 
France might be hidden from the subjects of the 
Kaiser, and even transformed into victories by 



a few strokes of the pen. But, if the Germans 
were routed on the eastern slopes of the Vosges 
in the plains of Alsace or on the banks of the 
Rhine, the news would travel throughout 
Germany. The crossing, too, of the Rhine 
itself between Bale and Strassburg might be a 
stupendous operation. But before Germany 
could be brought to her knees the AlUes would 
probably have to cross the river. Here they 
were within a few miles of it. At all other 
points they were divided from the natural 
bourtdary of Germany by rivers, hiUs, woods, 
entrenched positions and fortresses. 

The step preliminary to gaining the plains of 
Alsace and the banks of the Rhine was the 
seizure of the valleys on the German side of the 
Vosges. During the spring and summer 
months particular attention was bestowed on 
the valleys of the 111 and Fecht. On April 26 
the Hartmannsweilerkopf, which commanded 
the coiTununications of the 111 and the Thur 
Valleys, was again the scene of very severe 
fighting. It was, however, further north, in 
the valley of the Fecht and the surrounding 
mountains, that the main effort of the French 
was made. Their object was to descend the 
valley and reach Miinstor, and the railway 
which served the naountain railways and roads 
leading to the crest of the Voges. In the 
course of the mountain campaign one episode 
peculiarly heroic occurred. 

On Jime 14 a company of Chasseurs was 
isolated. Surrounded by Germans, they did 
not surrender, but constructed a square camp 
and prepared to defend themselves to the last 
man. In tliis place, attacked from below, 
from above, and on the flardis, they held out 
till June 17, when they were relieved. The 
ammunition numing low, the soldiers resorted 
to the primitive device of rolhng rocks on their 
enemies. The incident of the defence of this 
camp throws a flood of light on the transforma- 
tion which had taken place in warfare. The 
Chasseurs were saved by curtains of shells 
discharged by the French artillery rmles away. 

Loading a French heavy gun. Inset : After firing. 




^\^lile the company of Chasseurs was thus 
engaged, the advance do-svn the Fecht and the 
ascent of the mountains commanding the 
^■aUey were proceeding. On June 15 and 16, 
tlie summit of the Braunkopf was stormed and 
the Anlass attacked. From the Braunkopf, 
the Chasseurs turned Metzeral by the nortli. 
The Germans set fire to the to«ii, wliich blazed 
through the niglit of the 21st and 22nd. Tlie 
capture of Jletzeral forced the enemy to retire, 
and the whole of the valley of the Fecht as far 
as Sondemach was acquired by the French. 
In July and August, the Lingenkopf and the 
Schratzmiinnele were captured. From the 

siuiimit of the Schratzmarmele, which was 
cleared of the Germans on August 22, the 
French troops saw below them the valley of 
Miinster, the plain of Alsace and the city of 
Colmar. Joffre was in a position to take, if he 
chose, the offensive in the plains of Alsace. The 
fact that he had unbolted most of the gates 
into the lost province proved of great impor- 
tance. It forced the Germans to keep large 
bodies of troops away from the regions — the 
Champagne Pomlleuse and Artois — where 
the next blows were to be struck by the 
French generalissimo towards the end of 



Prisoners of War in History — Napoleonic Times — First International Agreement — 
Calculated Friohtfulness — Shooting of Prisoners — German Hatred for the British — 
German Treatment of Irish and Mahomedans — Irish Brigade — The Commandant and 
THE Camp — Treatment of Enemy Civilians — Submarine Reprisals — Exchange of Prisoners — 
Relative Treatment — Conflicting Reports, Discrepancies Explained — Inspections hy 
United States Officlals — Brutalities on Capture — The Journey to Captivity — Major 
Vandeleur's Report — Official German " Reply " — German Hospitals : The Brutal 
Doctor — Internment Camps — Wittenberg — Discipline — Camp Brutalities — Food — Treat- 
ment OF Officers — Use of Prison Labour — Work Camps — Enemy Civilians in Germany — 
Murder of Henry Hadley — Ruhleben — German Prisoners in England — Neutral Reports 
— Prisoners in Russia — The Y.M.C.A. in Germany — Prisoners' Help Organizations. 

THE lot of the captive, whether 
wounded or unwovmded, has through- 
out history been painful and hard 
to bear. The level of treatment has 
usually been below the level of the morality 
of the period. War, that so often brings 
noble qualities to the surface, brings the evil 
ones into even greater prominence. The his- 
tory of captivity has suffered especially in this 
way. From the earliest dawn dowTi to a 
period of little over two hundred years ago 
captLire on the field of battle meant selling into 
slavery, slavery in the mines, the hulks or the 
o-alleys. Even chivalry, which alleviated the lot 
of the knight and the noble, made no effort to up- 
lift the condition of the ordinary man-at-arms. 
During the Napoleonic Wars the position of 
the prisoners of war began to improve, Ijut even 
then the French prisoners in England were fed 
on " weevUy biscuit " and other food " which 
sowed the seed for a plentiful harvest of 
scurvy, dysentery, and typhus." 

The terrible sufferings in the campaign which 
had its consummation at the battle of Solferino 
caused the Swiss Government to summon a 
conference at Geneva which resulted in the 
First General International Agreement in the 
year 1864. So little advanced was public 
opinion even at that date that the Agreement 
made no alteration in the treatment of un- 
wounded prisoners of war. 
Vol. VI.— Part 72. 

Before the treatment of prisoners by the 
belligerents in any war can be seen in its 
true perspective many matters must be 
taken into account. The size of the problem 
to be dealt with is not the least important, 
although its importance diminishes as the 
months pass. The difficulty of making 
adequate arrangements is obviously greater in 
the early days of rush, when everything, or 
almost everything, must be sacrificed to the 
necessity of getting men and munitions to the 
war zone. As the months pass the character 
of this necessity changes. With time the 
facilities for dealing with priso 3rs increase at 
a greater ratio than their increasing numbers. 
As in all other problems, whether civil or mili- 
tary, experience provides the greatest assistance. 

In the Russo-Japanese War the Japanese 
had to handle 67,701 prisoners. That struggle, 
on the other hand, provided Russia with no 
real experience of the difficulties surrounding 
the care of captives. Her total of Japanese 
captured ofily amounted to 046. 

Though the Boer War put 32,000 prisoners 
into British care, the only nation possessing 
any real acquaintance with a problem com- 
parable to that presented by the Great War was 
the German. In the debacle of the Franco- 
Prussian War, when army corps and armies were 
compelled to surrender, about 400,000 French- 
men passed under the Prussian yoke. 




German Prisoners from France at Southampton, on their way to the Internment Gamp, 

September 29, 1915. 

After the present war had lasted five nionths 
the German Headquarters claimed to have 
captm-ed 8,120 officers and 577,475 men, being 
composed of : 




... ^,K^ 



... 3,.i57 





British ■ 



By August, 1915, as the result of twelve 
months' war, the Austro-German claim had 
swollen to 2,000,000, of whom 300,000 were 
British, French, and Belgian, the remainder 
being Russians. Without accepting the Ger- 
man figures as correct, the number of Russian 
prisoners was enormous, the majority being 
captured in the great German " drive " in 
Galicia. It is, of course, obvious that a 
retreating army, the roads blocked not only 
with wagons and artillery, but by fugitives, 
civil and military, loses a large proportion of 
its v\oi-uided. . To stop, even for the simplest 
cause, whether exhaustion, a sprain or sleep, 
means inevitable capture. Altogether apart, 
however, from the losses on a prolonged retreat, 
the fluid character of the war on the Eastern 

front was favourable to the making of prisoners. 
The official figvires of Austro-Gcrman prisoners 
in Russia in May, 1915, were 600,000, whilst 
by October they were reported to have reached 

The official figiores for British prisoners in 
Germany stood, in December 1915, at 33,000, 
a large proportion of whom had been captured 
during the retreat from Mons. The number of 
naval and military prisoners interned in Eng- 
land in December, 1915, was 13,476. 

Any estimate of the numbers of prisoners 
requires checking by so many factors — by no 
means the least miportant being the veracity 
of Governments — that any true conception 
is difficult, but it is probably well within the 
mark to say that on Cliristmas Day, 1915, not than two and a half million people were 
eating the bread of captivity. 

Included in the armoury of Clerman warfare 
was the idea that calculated frightfulness naight 
attain victories denied to arms. It was 
doubtless upon this ground that Brigade orders 
were issued from time to time instructing the 



troops that no prisoners were to be made, but 
that all soldiers, whether wounded or not, who 
fell into German hands were to be shot. It is 
probable, however, that this " fyightfulness " 
was intended to apply only to troops in the 
field. Taking into account the calcvilating 
character of the Teuton, it is unlikely that the 
harsh treatment of prisoners after removal 
from the field — whether upon the journey or 
in the prison camp — can have been any part 
of a concerted plan. Though inhuman and 
uncivilized, it was not of the character either 
to break the moral of opposing troops, or to 
terrify the civilian population. 

It is certain that the German was brutal 
towards his prisoners of whatever race. That 
his malignancy was specially directed towards 
the British soldier is equally proved. Those 
innumerable cases where the German refused 
to give the British wounded even those small 
considerations which he gave to the French 
showed that the German venom was specially 
directed against England. 

Just as the British suffered from the hatred, 

the Riissian writhed under the contempt of 
the Gemians. The Russian, speaking a lan- 
guage laiown to few not of his own race, of a 
civilization diflering in degree, and almost m 
kind, from that of either his captors or his 
fellow prisoners, poor, ill -nourished, and from 
a land whose vast distances and inadequate 
intercommunication made the sending of relief 
almost impossible, suffered terribly from 
hunger, tubercle, typhus, cholera, and hard 
enforced labour. 

The hatred for the British soldier carried 
with it two interesting phenomena. If hatred 
for the British people was stronger against 
any one of its component parts than it was 
against any other, it was directed more strongly 
against the Canadian, whilst at one time, and 
for some imaccountable reason, there seemed 
to be a possibility of preferential treatment 
being given to the Australian. 

Direct and transparent political motive dic- 
tated German treatment of Mahomedan and 
Irish prisoners. French and British Mahom- 
edans were segregated in a special camp at 

Marching through a peaceful country lane on their way to the Detention Camp at Frimley. 



■24 o 

Zosscn, where their religious susceptibilities 
were scrupulously regarded, and a special 
mosque was built for thom. 

The Irish, the majority of whoni were assem- 
bled in a separate camp at Limburg, were sup- 
plied with special literature, had the number 
of their fatigue duties reduced, and, having 
been warned that failure to do as they were 
desired would be rewarded with correspondingly 
harsher treatment, were privileged with a visit 
from an ex-British Consul-General, Sir Roger 
Casement, who made his way to Germany early 
in. the war by way of Scandinavia, and was 
received with open arms by the German Gov- 
ernment. Sir Roger, having described the 
historical woes of Ireland, called for volunteers 
to form an Irish Brigade. Despite oratorical 
exhortations, secret . inquisitions and per- 
suasions, the screw of hunger and the lure of 
freedom, the Irish, to their eternal honour, 
forgot what to many of them had been a 
. life-long political quarrel, and remembered 
only their oath of allegiance to their King 
and the weal of their realm. Fewer than 
sixty out of two thousand succumbed to the 
temptation, and the rose failed. 

For both officers and men the discipline 
was " German." One retiuned prisoner said of 
the treatment that, " the fact is the prisoners 
were treated just as the German soldiers were 
treated." The " atmosphere " of a camp 
depended chiefly on the commandant. In 
general the German conxmandants appeared, 
to the American authorities, disposed neither to 
make life harder than seemed to them to be 
necessary nor to discriminate intentionally 
against the British. 

Some commandants were popular and the 
prisoners, therefore, happy. Some were hated 
and feared, with the consequence that all was 
impleasantness, bickering, and trouble. The 
capip at Schneidemuhl was a good example 
of this. During the year 1914 there was 
notliing but complaints. Discipline covild only 
be maintained by brutality. Men were held 
over barrels and beaten with sticks. In 
January, 1915, a new commandant was 
appointed. Immediately the thrashings ceased, 
guards who ill-treated prisoners were pimished, 
and the general character of the camp 
showed a marked improvement. 

Similar changes, usually for the better, but 
sometimes for the worse, ^vere made in other 
camps. Of the camp at Torgau the .American 
Ambassador said, "From being one of the 

worst it has become one of the best camps." 
The possible — and, as events showed, the 
actual — variation \^'as greater in Germany 
than in Britain chiefly because the lowest in 
the former cmmtry was so markedly — and 
monstrously — lower than the worst in tho 
United Kingdom. There appears to have been 
at least one camp in Germany as good as 
anything to be found in the countries of the 
Allies. It was a small officers' camp at 
Blankenburg i/Mark, and was described by 
Mr. J. B. Jackson, of tho United States 
Embassy in Berlin, as " a four-storeyed house, 
well built, heated throughout and lighted by 
gas. It is surrounded by attractive, well-kept 


of the Scottish Rifles. 

grounds, in which a tennis court has just been 
made. The house itself is as comfortable as 
any of the places where I saw interned officers 
in England, although the neighbourhood is not 
so attractive as that of Dyffryn Aled or Doning- 
ton Hall. There are several modestly-furnished 
mess and recreation rooms, and a terrace which 
is used for' afternoon tea and in connexion 
with tho canteen. The older officers occupy 
sinele rooms. . . . Officers below the rank of 
major occupy the larger rooms, which are 
apparently well ventilated, no more than ten 
persons being in any one room, nationalities 
not being separated. . . . On each floor there 
are baths and water-closets, and a general 
washroom for the use of the junior officers, all 
of which are in good condition. Officers are 
allowed to remain in the garden until 6 p.m., 
and in the open-air court of the building until 
dark. . . . Smoking is permitted generally. . . . 

72 2 



The commandant is interested in his work, and 
evidently does all he can to make conditions 
agreeable." The misfortune \\as that Blanken- 
burg held only 110 officers, of whom but nine 
were British. 

The correct procedure in the case of civilian 
alien enemies -vvithin the borders of an opposing 
belligerent had been, for many years, to expel 
them, or to grant them permission to remain 
with such restriction of movement as the 
exigencies of the military situation demanded. 
They were to be regarded as honovirable though 

Never since the days of the French Revolu- 
tion had there been any internment of alien 
civilians upon a large scale. It can only be 
justified upon military grounds, such as general 
espionage, threatened revolt, or the presence of 
enemy civilians in such numbers as to be a 
probable impcdinient to military operations, 
or a possible specific danger to the exis- 
tence of the State. In any case, whatever 
may be the grounds of their detention, or 
internment, the alien enemy civilian, even 
more than the enemy soldier, has the right to 
demand and receive the fullest privileges and 

That in many places besides Ruhleben the 
action of the German authorities did not 
accord with this view was shown by Mr. 
Jackson's report in March, 1915, on the camps 
of Burg, near Magdeburg, and Magdeburg. 
" These camps had already been visited several 
weelcs earlier by other members of the Embassy, 
and the interned officers stated that conditions 
had improved in the meanwhile. Even as they 
were, however, it seemed to me that the prisoners 
were treated more like ordinary offenders than 
they were like officer prisoners of war." 

The Great European "War saw nations, not 
soldiers, ranged in arms. Kormally for a 
nation to allow, or to compel, alien civilians 
to return to their native coimtry had little 
result other than tha.t of relieving the nation 
of their maintenance. In the Great Eixropean 
^^'a^, fought with the uttermost of the reserves 
both of men and wealth, such repatriation, at 
least in the case of men of fighting age, 
strengthened, rather than burdened, the oppos- 
ing belligerent. The (German authoril ies. know- 
ing that the German population in Britain far 
exceeded the British population in Germany, 
and considering that, owing to conscription 
and industrial organization, the German of 

suitable health and age was a greater military 
and economic asset than the average individual 
Englishman, desired the mutual exchange of all 
enemy civilians. A\'isely the British Government, 
though with some incomprehensible delay, 
laid an embargo on Germans of potential 
military value between the ages of 17 and 55 
leaving the country. 

In a somewhat similar manner the British 
Government, having to deal ■nith alien enemy 
population great in numbers, largely trained in 
arms and the tenets of obedience, feeling in- 
tensely the national character of the struggle, 
the subjects of a State whose political and 
military ethics had induced it to regard whole- 
sale espionage as not merely a legitimate but a 
natural and essential weapon, and driven by a 
Press and public horrified by conditions pre- 
vailing in German prison camps, proceeded to 
uitcrn the more dangerous portion of the alien 
enemy population. 

A new chapter in naval warfare was opened 
when, as we have seen in earlier chapters, 
the German Admiralty decided to use 
its submarine fleet as merchant raiders. 
The victims were to be both British and 
neutral ships trading with England, which 
might be found Avithin an area proclaimed by 
the German Government as a " war zone." 
In the case of British ships no notice was to be 
given, and no difference of treatment made, 
whether the vessel was carrying contraband or 
innocent cargo. All vessels falling under the 
German ban were to be sunk forthwith. At 
this point it seemed probable that, though such 
procedure was contrary to International Law, 
the British Government would content itself 
with a vigorous protest. The German authori- 
ties then made another move in their underseas 
policy which was destined to have considerable 
influence on the treatment of prisoners of war. 
Though never very careful to ensure the safety 
of the crews upon the ships they sunl^, the sub- 
marines usually gave them some stated period 
of time, whether wholly sufficient or not. 
in which to leave their vessel. The new 
mo^•e consisted in torpedoing these merchant 
ships without warning, no time being given 
for the crews or passengers to make their 
escape from the doomed vessels. In some 
cases the torpedoed ships sank in less than ten 
minutes. Their crews, when lucky enough to 
reach their boats, were left to find their way to 
land as best they might. The treatment pro- 
ceeded from bad to worse, as in the case of the 




A scene at the Battalion Quarters of the Coldstream Guards in France. 

■^rimsby trawler Acantha. This small vessel 
was torpedoed and .sunk. While the boats were 
being lowered several shots were fired at the 
crew, and even after the men had taken to the 
boats the crew of the submarine continued to 
fire at them with rifles. 

England ^^■as ablaxe with resentment and 
indisnation. The British Government, ^\■ith 

slightly unnecessary pompo.^ity, declared that, 
in future, the crews of submarines believed to 
have been guilty of such offences i\ould not, 
in the event of capture, be regarded as honour- 
able prisoners of war, but, whilst being well and 
humanelj' treated, would be sej^arated from 
the other prisoners. This was done in the case 
of three German submarines. 





German prisoners returning to camp after their day's work. 

Reprisals are always the mothers of rejjrisalh. 
In this case the child was quicldy born. On 
April 13, 1915, Berlin declared her views on the 
British treatment. For every member of a 
submarine crew, whether officer or man, who 
received differential treatment, the German 
Government resolved to treat a British officer 
in a corresponding fashion. A number of 
officers of distinguished names or connexions 
were sent to gaol, some to Cologne, some to 
Burg, the majority to Magdeburg. Two slight 
errors on the part of the German Government 
provided the only amusing relief. Lieutenant 
C. F. ffrcnch, of the Royal Irish Regiment, 
was chosen because of the erroneous idea that 
he was Sir John French's relation, whilst 
Lieutenant Baron W. Allistone owed the 
attention to the assmnption that his first name 
was derived, not from the font, but from the 
fountain of honour. The German Government 
affected to believe that their prisoners were 
treated as " ordinary prisoners." 

The conditions under which these prisoners 
were actually confined in England is, perhaps, 
best shown by the following telegram sent on 
May 3, 1915, by the United States Ambassador 
in London to the United States Ambassador in 
Berlin. The telegram refers to twenty-nine 
officers and men interned at the Naval Detention 
Barracks, Chatham Dockyard. Their treat- 
nifint was typical of that accorded to all those 
interned for these offences : 

Lowry reports officers and men at ChiUham in good 
health, and supplied with money. Officers receive 2.s. fid. 
per day from British Government. None in solitary con- 
tinement, but are kept in separate rooms at night. Size 

of room 8 feet by 12 feet. Men eat together in one mess, 
and officers together in another mess. Officers and men 
have same food. Dietary composed of bread, cocoa and 
tea, sugar, potatoes, suet pudding, pork and pea soup, 
cheese, beef, mutton and milk. Officers may have butter. 
Men supplied with margarine. AU supplied with books 
and tobacco. Officers are allowed servants from among 
the crew. All have use of well -equipped gymnasium 
daily at stated periods. Permitted to write letters once 
a week, and to receive money, parcels, and letters. Both 
men and officers exercise in association, but at different 
times. Recreation quarters indoors as well as out of 
doors. Officers complained of being held in detention 
barracks rather than in officers' camps, but no com- 
plaint as to quantity or quality of food. No complaint 
as to treatment, or as to character of accommodation. 
Hygiene and sanitary requirements excellent. Pvooms 
and all surroundings specklessly clean. 

The German " reply " to the Briti,5h treat- 
ment of submarine prisoners can with most 
authority be shown by the report of the Ameri- 
can representative : 

At Magdeburg 14 British officers have been placed in 
solitary confinement in the police prison, which we were 
informed has been put at the disposal of the military 
authorities during the war. ... A number of prisoners, 
other than militarj', are quartered in the same building, 
but are in no way brought in contact with the British 
olfieers. Tho building has the advantage of having been 
built in 191.S, and of being scrupulously clean. The 
bathing and other sanitary arrangements are of modern 
construction, and appear to be thoroughly clean. 

Each of the officers is locked in a cell, which he is only 
allowed to leave between the hours of 8.30 and 0.30 in 
tbe morning and .1 and 4 in the afternoon, during which 
time all the officers are permitted to exercise together in 
a courtyard, roughly 35 metres in length, and about 
20 metres wide at ono end and 25 metres wide at the 
other. . . . 

During the period of exercise the officers are allowed 
to talk together, but during the rest of the day they 
liave no opportunity of seeing or communicating with 
one another. The cells are approximately 12 feet long 
and 8 feet wide, but those in which the lieutenants are 
imprisoned are only about .5 feet wide. Each cell has a 
window, a bed, with which a sheet and one blanket 
are furni.shed; the beds, however, are chained up to the 



wall during the day. There arc also shelves where thinss 
may be kept, a chair and a table for writing, etc. The 
light is good and the cells are clean. 

The meals, for which 1.60m. per day is paid, are the 
same as those furnished in the officers' camps ; for 
breakfast two pieces of bread and butter, and a cup of 
coffee; for lunch, at 12.30 o'clock, a piece of meat and 
potatoes and bread ; and for dinner, at 6.30 p.m., two 
pieces of bread, one of them with sausage, and a cup of 
coffee. The officers are allowed to have whatever food 
■supplies, hooks, etc., they had received from home, and 
which were in their possession before they were placed 
luider arrest, and the regulations about receiving parcels 
in prisoners' camps apply equally to the officers under 
arrest. Smoldng is permitted at all times. . . . 

On the whole, the officers looked as well, and appeared 
as cheerful as is possible under the circumstances. 
There were no complaints as to the treatment received 
from the officers and non-commissioned officers under 
whose immediate jurisdiction they are placed. 

The treatment of the "reprisal" prisoners 
at Burg was very similar to that described at 
Magdeburg. The treatment in Cologne was 
very much worse. The food was of a lower 
standard, smoking was prohibited, and the 
facilities and hovtrs for exercise were fewer. By 
May 7, however, the general conditions were 
raised to those described as prevailing in Burg. 

Early in June, 1915, the British Government 
decided to abandon its policy of differential 
treatment. Automatically Germany aban- 
doned hers. So closed a rather pitiful chapter 
in the history of reprisals. 

After much dela.y the various Governments 
agreed to the mutual exchange of physically 
incapacitated prisoners of -n-ar. Tho agreement 
between the British and German Governments 
was concluded in December, 1914. August, 
1915, saw two fiu'ther important arrangements, 
one for the repatriation of civilians unfit for 
military service — the decision as to " unfitness " 
resting entirelj' with the Government holding 
the prisoner — the other a tentative scheme 
under the auspices of the Swiss Federal Govern- 
ment for the intormnont of siclc or convalescent 
prisoners in Switzerland. Only too slowly tho 
broken men of the different belligerents reached 
their native shores. 

If the condition of exchanged prisoners is any 
criterion of the treatment received, the hum.ine 
treatment of prisoners in England and the 
brutality and inhuman character of the treat- 
ment of British prisoners in Germany is 
abundantly proved. The evidence of the 
Dutch neutral Press upon this point is con- 
clusive. In the one case the returning prisoners 
looked well fed, were well clothed, and had few 
complaints, whilst in the other the men were 
wrecks, garbed in tattered, thin, and mi.acel- 
laneous clothes, and showing every sign of bad 
feeding and ill-treatment. 

In the Concentration Camp at Frith Hill, Camberley. In the compound various games, 
football, were played, and concerts were arranged by civilian prisoners. 





Germans who had been taken prisoners on the battlefield of Flanders inarching through London to the 

railway-station for transference back to Germany, in exchange for British troops 

who were arriving back from the prison camps in Germany. 

Xo cliarge is made, or material fact alleged, 
in the course of this narrative unless the par- 
ticular act coixiplained of has been spoken to, 
directly or inferentially, by more than one 
person or circumstance, except in those 
cases when the evidence iipon similar in- 
cidents is so strong as to render it hmnanly 
certain that the particular thing alleged really 
hajjpened. Great use has been made of the 
official evidence supplied by officers of the 
United States Diplomatic Service. The 
acevu'acy and veracity of this evidence is 
unqviestionable, as was the utility of their 
labours to humanity in general and the British 
prisoner of war in Germany in particular. 
Although unimpeachable, this evidence is not 
conclusive except upon the things seen by these 
officials. Cases of apparent discrepancy are 
often explained by reference to dates. Similarly, 
negative is never so strong as positive evidence. 
Taking, by way of example, the charges against 
the Iseghem Hospital, to be foimd on page 2.57, 
the first case appears to have happened after 

the -^-isit of the American representative ; 
whilst in the second it appears jirobable that 
the victina had been removed before that visit. 

Wliilst admitting, on the one hand, that 
prisoners of wai, like all classes of witnesses, 
are prone to exaggeration, it must always be 
remenAered that as soldiers they are accus- 
tomed to discipline, \\hLch inclines them to 
answer C[uestions truthfully, and to hardship, 
which inclines them to minimise harshness. But, 
above all things, whilst accepting thankfully 
and wholeheartedly the American official 
accounts, it is well to recollect that the absence 
of complaint in a hospital or camp may as 
easilj' arise from fear of consec^uenees as from 
lack of grounds. Even had this fear of con- 
sequences had existence only in the minds of the 
prisoners themselves it -would have been suf- 
ficient, but evidence exists, and has been given, 
of cases where, after the Ambassador's visit was 
concluded, men who had made coiTiplaints to 
him were punished ^^ith more or less severity. 

\^'hen the American representative asked 



the British prisoners at Mer.^eburg whether they 
had any complaints, three men stepped for- 
ward.* In the case of one man his complaint 
was merely that the parcels were kept so long 
in the parcel room before delivery that the food 
in them became uneatable. On the following 
day he was sent to the cells, where he was kept 
for some days in solitary confinement. During 
this time his food consisted of fom- ounces of 
black bread and one pint of water per day. He 
was without an overcoat, and was obliged to 
sleep on the cold floor at night. 

Although in several cases the American officials 
made " surprise visits," the great majority 
appear to have been amioimced beforehand. 
A great body of evidence shows that special 
preparations were made for these visits, and 
many features normally present in the camps 
were removed or hidden. Ship's Steward 
Higgins, of Grimsby, reported that he and his 
companions, seized in the North Sea on the 
charge of being mine layers, were lodged in an 
open field at Sennelager for fourteen days in 
Septeinber, 1914. From the 4th to the 7th 
they were v\ithout food. Pvain descended on 
twelve out of the fourteen days. They were 
then lodged in a large tent full of holes. "^Vhen 

* " Tho others, myself ineliuled, were afraid." — Pte. 
R. Gainfort, Koyal Irish Regiment. 

^vord came that the United States represen- 
tative was coming they were removed to new 
quarters, but after he had gone they were 
moved back. 

In some cases the military authorities 
requested thfit no communication should be 
held with any or with particular prisoners. 
This applied not only to ordinary visitors 
but to the accrechted representatives of the 
United States Embassy, and even to the 
Ambassador, Mr. Gerard, himself. 

Dr. Olmesorg, United States Naval Attache, 
reported that in April, 1915, he went to 
Salzwedel, where " the General asked me, 
showing mo a letter from the General Kora- 
mando supporting his request, that I would 
please refrain from conversing with any 
prisoner in an undertone or alone." 

At another cam]5 " tho military authorities 
remarked that they had had considerable 
cliRiculty with " three detained British medical 
officers, " and recjuested the Counsellor of the 
Embassy not to .speak with them." 

In April, 191.5, the American Ambassador 
himself had to report : " I went to Halle, where 
there is also an officers' camp, and was there 
kept waiting for half an hour and, at the 
expiration of this time, was told that I would 
be permitted to visit the camp, but under no 

These British soldiers arrived in England, from Germany, on December 7, 1915. 



A game of Rugby In the Internment Camp. 

oircivmstances would be allowed to speak to 
any prisoner out of hearing of the officers 
a,ccompanjnng me. As this \v'as directly con- 
trary to the arrangements wliich I mads with 
the General Staff and the Kreigs-Ministerium 
... I refused to make any inspection." 

That the United States reports are not eon- 
ckisive was showai by a letter from the American 
Ambassador :* " In these camp matters, in 
order to obtain speedijr and more effective 
a.ction, I deal directly with tlie bureau of the 
War Ministry which has charge of prisoners of 
war." The officers' camp at Hanover-Miinden 
" is not in good condition, and I do not send the 
report by this mail as I v/ish to secure a better- 
ment of conditions rather than to furnish 
ground for controversy." 

The vohmie of evidence relating to German 
brutality upon Allied soldiers at the moment 
of capture is both large and weighty, and is 
illustrated by the cases where British wounded, 
having been left in a trench, were found, on its 
subsequent recapture, with their throats cut. 

Early in the war some of the German sokUers 
developed the habit of stripping both the dead 
and the wounded. A tjrpical example of this 
is the case of Private Palin,t of the 2nd South 
Lancashire Begimcnt, whose spine \vas pierced 
by a buUet in the battle of Jlons. His legs 

* "Written to tlie U.S. Amljas^ador in London. May 4, 

Ijecame paralysed. The Germans stripped him 
of his clothes, and for two days and two nights 
he lay helpless on the field. 

No indictment more precise or repulsive has 
ever been laid than that found in the diaryj of 
a German officer of the 13th Regiment, 13th 
Division of the Vllth German Corps. The ex- 
tract is dated December 19, 1914 : " The sight of 
the trenches and the fury — not to say the besti- 

t Eye-witness fOfficial), April 16, 1915. 

Times, Jlardi 11, 1915 




ality — of ovir men in beating to death tlio 
wounded English affected me so much that for 
the rest of the day I was fit for notliing." 

The jovirney to captivity was ever terrible, 
for the imwounded as well as the woimded. 
Perhap? the most remarkable docmnent on 
this subject was a report by JIajor C. B. 
Vandelevir, who escaped from Crefcld in Decem- 
ber, 1914. 

Attached to the Chesliire Regiment, Major 
Vandeleur, of the 1st Cameronian; (Scottish 
Rifles), was captured near La Bassee in Octo- 
ber, 1914. Although otherwise well treated by 
his actual captors, he was compelled to march 
until, owing to a woimd in his leg, he %vas 
unable to niove further. Being taken to 
Douai, he -n'as detained, under guard, in the 
square in front of the Hotel de Ville, and 
" subjected to continual abuse and rcvilement. 

" On the arrival of the other prisoners we 
were all confined in a large shed for the night. 
No food, except a little provided by the French 
Red Cross Society, was given, also no straw, and 
we spent a terrible night there, men being 
obliged to walk about all night to keep warm, 
as their greatcoats had been taken from 

This habit of depriving prisoners of their 
overcoats, and in some cases of their tunics, 
was particularly cruel, as the vitality of the 
men, lowered by exposiu-e, inadecjuate food and 
frequently by wounds, rendered them ill able 
to resist the fatigues of travelling and the 

rigoiu-s of the climate. It was also a direct 
breach of both Articles 4 and 7 of the Hague 

" On October 17, in the morning, the French 
Red Cross gave us what they could in food, 
and did their very best, in spite of opposition 
from the Germans. At about 2 p.m. we were 
all marched off to the railway station, being 
reviled at and cursed all the \i-ay by German 
officers as well as by German soldiers. One of 
oiu- officers was spat on by a German oflicer. 

" At the station we were driven into closed-in 
wagons from which horses had junt been re- 
moved, fifty-two men being crouded into the 
one in which the other four officers and myself 
were. So tight were we jacked that there was 
only room for some of us to sit down on tl.o 
floor. This floor was covered fally three inches 
deep in fresh manure, and the stench of horse 
Lu-ine was aknost aspliyxiating. 

" We were boxed up in tJiis foul wagon, with 
practically no ventilation, for thirty hours, witli 
no food, and no opportunity of attending to 
purposes of nature. All along the Une we were 
cursed by officers and soldiers alike at the 
various stations, and at Mens Beraen I was 
pulled out in front of the wagon by the order 
of the officer in charge of the station, and, after 
cursing me in filthy language for some ten 
minutes, he ordered one of his soldiers to kick 
me back into the wagon, ^.vliich he did, sending 
me sprawling into the filthy mess at the 
bottom of the -Hagon. I should like to mention 







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and his little Dutch friend. 

that. I am thoroughly conversant mth German, 
and miderstood everything that was said." 

Thoroughly to understand the gravity of 
Major Vandelenr's story it niust be remembered 

that at this time he was not only a prisoner 
but a wotmded prisoner. The condition of the 
wagons in which many of the ]jrisoners were 
transported has been spoken to by so great a 
number of witnesses as to lift it beyond the 
reahn of possible doubt. The ammonia rising 
from the floor caused agonies to the chests and 
eyes of many men, whilst wounds, untended 
except for the hasty bandaging of field dressing 
stations, suppurated and gangrened. 

" Only at one station on the road wa.s any 
attempt made on the part of German officers 
to interfere and stop their men cursing us. 
This officer appeared to be sorrj' for the sad 
plight in which we were. I should also like to 
mention that two men of the German Guard 
also .appeared to bo sympathctie and sorry for 
us ; but they were able to do little or nothing 
to protect us. 

" Uj) to this time I had managed to retain 
my overcoat, but it was now forcibly taken 
from me by an officer. 

"On reaching the German-Belgian frontier, 
the French prisoners were given some potato 
soup. The people in charge of it told us that 
none was for us, but that if anjr was left over 
after the French had been fed we should get 


British sailors making models. To prevent the men "running to seed" mentally and physically 

Commodore Wilfred Henderson, in command of the interned Naval Brigade, assisted the men to adopt 

useful occupations, such as rug-making, knitting garments, carpentering, tailoring, boot-making, 

. and net-making. 




what remained." Major Vandeleur tlien adds 
that a little soup and a few slices of bread 
were divided amongst the twenty-five British 
prisoners oonfuied in the same wagon with him. 
Major Vandeleur's is, unfortunately, far from 
having been a soUtary case. The differentia- 
tion of treatment against the British was as 
marked a feature of many camps as upon the 

Although both food and driul< were bupplied 
to their guards, many British wounded were 
refused either for long periods, sometimes for 
5S hours. In some cases even German Red 
Cross sisters would only supply refreshment to 
the guards upon the condition that they did not 
give it to the English. It is well to remember 
that this injunction was not always complied 

Screaming crowds of men and women 
appeared at many of the stations, anx-ious to 
see and revile any English prisoner who might 
pass through. "Women, men and little chil- 
dren howled and in many cases spat " at the 
prisoners, " while the sentries," who had made 
them get out of the train, ".stood by and 

Major Vandelem:'s terrible report proceeds : 
" It is difficult to indicate or give a proper idea 

" * Report of Corporal W. Hall, 1st Life Guards, 
wounded and captured October. 1914. The Time,, 
March 12, 1015. 


of the indescribably wretched condition in 
wliich we were after being starved and confined 
in the manner .stated for three days and three 
nights. As is well known, one of these wagons 
is considered to be able to accommodate six 
horses or forty men, and this onlj' with the 
door? open so as to admit of ventilation. What 
with the filth of the interior, the mimbcr of 
people confined in it, and the absence of ventila- 
tion, it seemed to recall something of what one 
has read of the Black Hole of Calcutta. 

" I found out that the wagon in front of us was 
full of English soldiers. Tliis particular ii-agon 
had no ventilation slit of any sort or description, 
and men were crowded in this even worse than 
they were in the wagon in which I was. They 
banged away continually on the wooden sides 
of the van, and finally, as, I supposed, the 
Germans thought that they might be suffocated, 
a carpenter was got, who cut a small round 
hole in one of the sides." 

Major Vandeleur's report, together with those 
of other exchanged or escaped prisoners, were 
of such a grave character as to produce in 
June, 1915, an official reply from the German 
Govermnent. The reply is particularly in- 
teresting as being more an apologia than a 
defence or denial. Only three short quotations 
need be given : 

" If the English pretend that they were attended 
to durinn; the journey only after the French, the reason 



is to be found in the quite comprehensible bitterness of 
feeling among the German troops, who respected the 
French on the whole as honourable and decent opponents, 
whereas the English mercenaries had, in their eyes, 
adopted a cunning method of warfare from the very 
beginning, and, when taken prisoners, bore themscKes 
in an insolent and provocative mien." 

To the charges c-f brutalities committed after 
capture the German official retort is a simple 
lu quoque ; 

The question refers perhaps to individuals who have 
been foimd by German soldieis in the act of killing 
helpless German wounded and have met with their just 

The German reply to the allegations levelled 
by two exchanged Russian doctors contained a 
sinister remark. One of the doctors, it asserted, 
had complained "in a loud and unseemly 

fashion " to a sergeant on duty, saying that 
officers were lodged m barrack rooms ordinarily 
inliabited by German soldiers. " After the 
unseemliness of his behaviour had been brought 
to the attention of this doctor no further 
opposition was made to the camp regulations." 

The general character and equipment of 
German hospitals appears to have been good, 
and the medical and surgical treatment and 
nursing of the patients in them satisfactorj^ 
A very large number of them were the normal 
hospitals of the country, but even in those im- 
provised for the purpose modei'n scientific 
appliances were, in the majority of cases, 
installed. The most prevalent complaint con- 
cerned the food, which was very similar to that 
provided in the camps and, however suitable 
for the healthy, was unappetising to the sick. 
The liospital brea,d was made from wheat and 
rye in equal proportions. Although distasteful 
at first, this bread was wholesome and sufficient. 

In tho hospital, however, as in the prison 
camp and tipo!! the field, the human equation 
was of the greatest importance. Any depiirtiu-o 
fronj the normal dictates of himianity in tho hot 
blood of battle is to be deprecated but under- 
stood ; brutality ill the prison camp, brutality, 
that is, to a healthy, able-bodied man, assumes 
great unportance only when frequent or gene- 
rally prevalent. The hospital is the home of 
inevitable suffering, and inlimnanity, even in 
isolated hospitals and in isolated cases, must be 

A game of chess. Inset : Eagerly awaiting parcels sent by friends in England. 




On the sports ground in the civilian internment 

camp, Ruhleben. 

Inset : A civihan sets up in business as an 


placed upon an entirely different footing. 
Unfortunately the brutal doctor and inliunian 
hospital treatment were neither unlcnown nor 
rare. Brutality does not appear to have been 
in any way usual, but it was not infrequent. 
The American representative visited tlie hos- 
pital of Iseghem some time before .June 12, and 
the EngUsh prisoners " of their own accord," 
but apparently in the presence of the Comman- 
dant, " spoke ill praise of the Surgeons and 

Private George Foote, of the 3rd I-toyal 
Fusiliers, was wounded on JMay 21, and after 
more than three weelcs arrived at Iseghem. 
His account, and some others, are here taken 
from an interesting series of articles contributed 
to the Daihi Mail by Mr. F. A. McKenzie. 

" This hospital was in the charge of a very 
clever, but very brutal doctor. Mj' mate and I 
(my mate is in the ward here in this I^ondon 
hospital with iTte) were placed in beds opposite 
the operating room and saw far more of what 
was going on than we liked. The doctor did 
not believe in using chloroform. He used it as 
seldom as ever he could, particularly on English- 
men. He would do all kinds of operations 
without it. He would take a inallet and a 
chisel and get a bit ot bone off a man's leg with 
the man in Iris full senses." 

Private McPhaO, a Canadian, was hit outside 
Ypres on April 24 ; after eight days he arrived 

at tho Iseghem hospital. He was blind in one 
eye. " They led mo to an operating taljle a,nd 
put me on it. Three attendants .and a sister 
held me down. The sister asked a doctor a 
question, and he answered in English for me to 
hear: 'No, I will not give an ana;sthetic. 
Englishmen do not need any chloroform.' He 
turned up my eyelid in the roughest fasliion and 
cut mj' eye out. He used a pair of scissors, 
tliey told me afterwards, and cut too far down, 
destroying the nerve of the other eye. . . . 
Suddenly I lost consciousness, and I remem- 
bered no more all that day nor all the next 




nigbl." " Soon after tliis ■ ' McPliail %vas moved 
from Tsephem. 

Other operations withovit rlilorofomi are 
alleged to have been performed at a liospital in 
Hanover. At least one similar case occurred at 
a general hospital where, after being treated in 
a rough and brutal manner, a man was subjected 
to an operation to his face necessitating Ifi 
stitches. No ansesthetic was given. 

At Miilheim Ruhr dangerous! j' woimded men 
were made to take b.aths in the open in bitter 
weather. Bandages were left on until they 
reeked. Helpless men vsere handled brutally', 
their bandages, when changeil, torn from their 
wounds. " I will not soon forget Miilheim Ruhr." 

Paper waa sometimes used as a dressing for 
wounds. " I myself saw one of tho Gorman 
doctors go up to a party of Russian prisoners 
lying asleep by the roadu ay and press tho burn- 
ing end of his cigarette into their cheeks. He 
was insulted, I suppose, because the men had 
not been standmg at attention when he passed. 
I saw another take a rimning kick at a Russian 
soldier in the tenderest part of his body." 

After an operation a man of the Royal 
Horse Guards was in intense pain. Tho in- 
tensity of the pain, and semi-delirium, made 
him puJl some of the wool clj-essing from vmder 
the bandagi« The flressing fell over the floor 
and so annoyed an ordei-ly that he struck the 
patient and knocked him on to the floor. " There 
were also * two Englishmen, Philips (Royal 

* Report by Mr. .Tohri Burke, an American subject, 
in the Nav York \Vur'.i:l. 

Scots) and Dickson (Lincohxs), who, after 
lingeruig between life and death in the hospital, 
were hterally kicked out of bed liy a newly 
arrived German doctor, and sent out at the 
beginning of March with nothing on but thin 
cotton jackets, old pants, a shirt and ^'lOoden 
sabots. They could not stand alone, and were 
SO emaciated that one scarcely believed it 
possible for a human being to exist ^i-ith such a 
total abecnce of flesli. Dickson was half crazy 
through his sufferings and starvation. In en- 
deavouring to aid each other up the stop leading 
to the bunl-c Dickson fell, being unable to stand 
the few seconds his one foot was lifted to step 
over ; Philips, in trying to save him, fell also, 
and neither could rise without the assistance of 

" Some French sui'geons, who had been sent 
to Langensalza to Mght the growing typhus, 
pitied these two men, .and ordered Dickson 
some milk each day. Of course ho could not 
fetch it himself, so another lifeguard (Geeves) 
went to the hospital for it. En route he en- 
countered the medical officer, an enormous'y 
big man, who angrily asked him what he was 
doing there. When he showed the written 
order of the French doctor the M.O. tore it up 
and drove him back." 

'l"he internment camps and hospitals in 
Germany appear to have run the whole gamut 
from good to terrible. Of many hospitals and 
some camps no complaint of substance has been 
made. Of the officers' detention camp at 
Mainz it has been said that " a spirit of con- 



tentment pervadod the entire prison." Some, 
such as Erfurt, are reported to iiave been 
" good " ; a few, riuch as Schloss Celle, a 
small civilian eanip, excellent. Again, other;:', 
like Burg, were bad ; whilst a few, like Torgau 
and Wittenberg, were terrible. On Noveuiber 8, 
191."), or fifteen months after the outbreak of 
war, the conditions at Wittenberg compelled 
the Aiiieriean Ambassador to forward two 
reports to London. The first report, prepare* 1 
by Mr. Lithgow Osborne, said : 

The matter of clothing was the chief source of troiiblp. 
Upon arriving in the camp I asked the coniniandanf there were stores of clothing. He replied, 
"Yes." To my further enquiries I di;-itinctly under- 
stood both the commandant and his assi=itant to say that 
every English soldier had been provided with an overcoat 
When I investigated among the prisoners, who were 
drawn up in line, T was informed that practically no over- 
coats had been given out by the authorities. On the 
contrary ten overcoats wliich men had had sent out from 
England had been taken from their owners and given to 
other British prisoners who were going to worl< camps. 
When I brought, this to the attention of the commandant, 
he stated that the property of the prisoners eould be 
disposed of by the authorities a'^ thoy saw fit. When 
I pointed out the fart that exceedingly few of the British 
had received overcoats he modified his former statement 
to the extent of saying that they would bo supplied in 
the near future, in so far as poe°ibIe, but that it was at 
present very difficult to get overcoats. I wa-^ later shown 
the overcoats^ and then I received a third vereion of the 
story. I inquired whether these overcoats were to be 
given out upon application, and the commandant 
replied in the afiirniativo ; when I asked if these would b*^ 
given to British prisoners who asked for them and ncederl 
them, he again ans\vered afhrmatively. 

From many of the men I had heard complaints that 

one 01 the watchmen had a largo and fierce dog which he 
took inside the barracks, and which had attacked ond 
torn the clothes of the prisoners. I informed the com- 
mandant that T did not know how far this was in accord- 
ance with facts, Vjiit sucgcsted that it was unnnco-^sary 
to bring the dog inside the compound, particularly as I 
had never heard of it being done in other camps. Ho 
replied that he considered it necessary, and that this 
cor.ld not be changed, as the prisoners were in the habit 
of remaining np lato at nitjht, keepmg their lights 
burning, playinit cards, etc. 

The evidence of brutalities of this character 
is overwhelming. A French priest reported 
-that in the camp at Mindeu " the German 
soldiers kick the British prisoners in the stomach 
nnd break their guns over their back." It is 
only proper to add that in somo cases, as at 
Mtinster, the German soldier was punished 
when his conduct was brought to the attention 
of his ofliccrs. This priest added that the 
British were almost starved, " and such have 
been their tortures that thirty of them aslced to 
hf- shot." 

I'he report on Wittenberg continued : 

My whole impression of the camp authorities at 
Wittenberg was utterly unlike that which I have 
received in every otlier camp I have visited in Germany. 
Instead of regarding their charges as honourable prisoners 
of war, it appeared to mo the men were regarded as 
criminals, for whom a regime of fear alone would 
suflice to keep in obedience. All evidence of kindly 
and human feeling between the authorities and the 
prisoners was lacking^ and in no other camp have I 
found si;,'ns of fear on the part of the, prisoners that what 
tliey might say to toc would result in suffering for them 

A mid-day meal at the prison camp. 

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So horrible was this report that the U.S. 
Ambas?ador requested that it should be re- 
garded as confidential \intil he had inspected 
the camp personally. The subsequent visit 
by the Ambassador compelled him to report 
as follows : 

I was anxious that Mr. Osborne's report should not 
be made public until I had had an opportunity of view- 
ing actual conditions myself, and I regret to have to 
state that the impression which I gained upon careful 
examination of the camp, and after long conversations 
with the prisoners, was even more unfavourable than I 
had been led to expect. 

Upon my arrival at the camp I was not received by 
the general who acts as commandant, but by a major, 
who, together with certain other officers, took me 
through the camp. 

At the present time there are over 4 000 prisoners of 
war in the camp, 278 of whom are British. There is 
also a small number of British prisoners in the hospital 
at the camp, and there are 600 British soldiers employed 
in a number of working camps through the Province of 
Saxony. There are also 36 British civilians interned in 
the camp. Among these I found that 12 were without 

I next visited the three barracks where British military 
prisoners are interned, and where the men were lined up 
together, so that I had an opportunity of speaking to 
them collectively as well as individually. In the first 
barrack which I visited there were 68 men, none of whom 
had overcoats; in the next barrack, 136 men, of whom 
8 had overcoats ; and in the third barrack, 74 men, of 
whom 8 had overcoats. This makes a total of 16 over- 
coats among 278 men. 

One of the chief complaints which I received was that 
overcoats had been taken away from British prisoners to 
be given to other British prisoners who were going out 
on working parties, and who were without overcoats. 
This was at first denied by the authorities, but finally 
the officer with me said that this course was perfectly 
proper. . , . 

... It must be said that on the whole they were 
insufficiently clad. 

The Ambassador then proceeds to point out 
another case of assault, upon a doctor, which 
does not seem to have been included in those 
mentioned in the previous report : 

The men also told me that one of the British medical 
officers at the camp had been recently struck by a German 
non-commissioned otficer, and upon investigation this 
fact proved to be true. . . . 

Many of the prisoners complained that dogs were 
brought in by German soldiers on duty at night, and that 
in certain cases the prisoners had had their clothes torn 
by these dogs. . . . 

Two prisoners informed me that conditions in the camp 
had unquestionably improved greatly in the last months, 
that last year, when an epidemic of spotted typhus existed 
in the camp, conditions had been indescribably bad. My 
impression of the camp as a whole was distinctly unfavour- 
able. The entire atmosphere is depressing, due not so much 
to the conditions under which the men live, which are 
practically identical with those existing at other camps, 
as to the fact that nothing appears to have been done 
towards bringing about any organization among the 
prisonerP themselves which would be of mutual benefit 
to them, and to the authorities. Tlie attitude which is 
taken towards the British prisoners seems to be based 
upon suspicion, and they are not given positions of trust. 
It is true that they are now housed in barracks together, 
which is a great improvement, but they have no oppor- 
tunities for playing games such as football, or for exercise 

other than walking. A theatre, however, has now been 
started, and it is hoped that it will prove a success. 

A report of this character whicli condemns 
the conmiandant, who, in this case, was a general 
and not an " under-officer," must by impHca- 
tion condemn also the German Government. 
Exaggeration cannot be alleged of the U.S. 
Ambassador when he wrote, more than a year 
previously, that the case of British prisoners of 
war in Germany " is a matter which reqtiires 
the immediate attention of the British Govern- 

Of camp brutalities there was evidence 
without end. Of the more petty tyrannies 
but one example is given. In tha camp 
at Sennelager were interned — ^but for a long 
period unhoused — a number of North Sea 
trawler men with one half of their hair, 
beards and moustaches shaved clean. Tliis 


must have been done either at the in- 
stance or -with the concurrence of the com- 
mandant, as so notorious and remarkable a 
spectacle could not, for long, have been kept 
from Ids notice. 

At Ohrdruf, at Soltau, at Sennelager and at 
other camps, prisoners for verj' small offences 
were tied to posts, sometimes in the snow, 
usually for a few horn's only, but in some cases 
for many hotirs, with the result that in some 
cases when they were released they "just 
tumbled to the ground." At Zerbst this 
treatment was admitted by the Commandant 
to the American official visitor. In other cases 
men were punished with solitary confinement, 
and in others were held over barrels and beaten 
with sticks. 

Considering the physical condition of many of 



the prisoners, and the poor, strange diet, tlie 
general health of the German camps was good, 
and deaths were relatively few. The Russian 
prisoner was the greatest sufferer, apparently, 
from all diseases. Tuberculosis, pneu- 
monia and diabetes were prevalent, pro- 
bably, in the main, due to exposure in 
the trenche.s. Both typhus, the child of 
dirt, alleged to have been introduced by 
tlie Russians, and dysentery claimed many 
victims and \isited a large number of 

In Germany all the prisoners were vaccinated 
against small-pox and imiiuinized against 
typhoid and cholera, whilst in England such 
precautions were offered for voluntary accep- 

An exceedingly fruitful source of complaint 
lay in the fact that the views in relation to food, 
as, for instance, raw pickled herrings, which 
British soldiers detested, or white bread, the con- 


Dig^in^ trenches in Germany. 

Inset : Preparing wooa for supports for ttie trenches. 

tirmous use of wViicb was monotonous to the 
tJermau, and the views concerning military 
ceremonial and discipline were so radically dif- 
ferent in the land of the captor and the captive. 
In speaking of the camp at Doberitz the U.S. 
representati-\'e said : — " There were no general 
complaints, except with regard to the German 
character of the food — and those were the exact 
counterpart of complaints made to me by Ger- 
man prisoners in England." 

That the food complaints of British prisoners 
in Germany did not arise from mere fastidious- 
ness is shown by the general remark ot the U.S. 
representative that " frequent protests were 
made to mo concerning the food — not so much 
because of its quality as because ot the insuffi- 
cient quantity and the monotony of the diet." 

The food provided for the non-commissioned 
ranks consisted for the most part of 300 grammes 
of black bread per day. This bread was served 
out every five days and was composed of rye 
and wheat flour. It was dark, unpalatable and 
exceedingly heavy and hard. A little weak 
coffee or tea was given each morning and even- 
ing, and at midday one dish of thick vegetable 
soup, sometimes with a little meat or fish in it. 
The " vegetables " were principally soya beans, 
turnips, potatoes, carrots and maize. 

The evening ration was a thick soup, some- 
times meal soup, with the occasional addition of 
a small piece of sausage or cheese. 



At the work camps, such as Suder-ZoUhaiis, 
where men were employed in tilling the soO, or 
other labour, they were called at 5.30 a.m., and 
at 6 a.m. were given a ration of gruel. On this 
breakfast they were supposed to work till noon. 

By Article 17 of the Hague Regulations all 
officer prisoners receive the same rate of pay 
as officers of corresponding rank in the coimtry 
in which they are detained. AVhen this is done 
the officer is expected to feed and clothe himself. 
On September 2i, 1914, Sir Edward Grey 
declared the intention of the British Govern- 
ment to adhere to this Article subject to a sinii- 
lar adherence on the part of the German Govern- 
ment. Until the intentions of the German 
authorities covild be ascertained only half these 
rates of pay were to be given, but free messing 
was to be supplied. 

Germany did not adhere to the Hague Regula- 
tions, but allowed only GO marks per month to 
lieutenants and 100 marks to officers of superior 
rank. The result was that in many cases 
junior officers had nothing left after paying 
obUgatory mess charges. 

As a consequence tVie British Government, 
. whilst still declaring its willingness to adhere to 

the Hague Regulations, vxas obliged to abandon 
its previous scale. The new scale bore the same 
ratio to minimum British infantry rates for cap- 
tains and lieutenants as the pay issued by the 
German Government to British officers prisoners 
of war in Germany bore to ordinary German 
minimum rates for captains and lieutenants. 
Even under the new conditions the British rate 
was approximately double the German, the 
British subaltern in Germany receiving sixty 
marks a month, or approximately 2s. Od. per 
day, whilst the corresponcUng ranks amongst the 
German prisoners in England received 4s. Od. 

The refusal of the German authorities to 
adliere to the Hague Regulations is rendered 
the more curious and significant as they contain 
a clause requiring the amount which has been 
paid to officer prisoner-: to be refunded by their 
respective Govermnents, thus entailing no per- 
manent cost to the Government of the country 
in which the officer is interned. 

The labour of prisoners was considerably used 
in Germany, France and Russia, though little 
resorted to in Britain. By Article G of the 
Hague Regulations the labour of all prisoners 
of war, exce)it officers, may be used according 

British officers' quarters. A room in wtiich there is accommodation for six officers. 



t(i their rank and capacity. The work, which 
must not be excessive, must " have no connexion 
with the operations of the war." The Germans 
used many prisoners for the purposes of groom- 
ing and exercising horse? intended for subsequent 
miUtary purposes, and even employed these 
jirisoners to entrain horses for dispatch to the 
front, ^^'hether or not this %\as a violation of 
the prohibition is rather a question for the inter- 
national lawyer than the historian. The labour 
may be employed in the public service, for 
private persons, or on the prisoners' own 
account. Road making, levelling, clearing and 
draining the ground, and building huts for 


A wounded British officer dictating to a German 
Red Gross nurse a message for home. 

themselves are examples ot labour for State 
purposes -sshich foiind favour — least so in 
Britain — in all the comitries of the Allies and the 
Central Empires. Prisoners were largely used 
on the land in the employment of private per- 
sons in Germany. In Germany prisoners of 
war were also used in mines and factories, 
and in other waj's. Of course, in all 
countries inaintaining prison camps, the 
barber and tailor quickly became recognized 
institutions for ^vhom huts or rooms \\'cre 
usually provided. 

As was to be expected, it was in Germany that 
the greatest use of this labour was made. In 
addition to, and quite se]3arate from, the ordi- 
nary prison camp, the German Government 
established " Arbeitslager," or "working 
C-imps." To these camps were sent those who 
\'olunteered for \\ ork, and many others besides. 

The cam]5 at Siider-ZoUhaus was a tj'pical work- 
ing camp, and contained, in May, 1915, about 
2,000 prisoners of war, of whom 479 were 
British. In that month Dr. Ohnosorg, U.S. 
Attache, reported : 

The barracks are larger than the ordinary barracks 
seen in other prison camps. The men sleep on straw, 
which is placed directly on the floor of the building. 
Thero are no mattresses ; each man ia supplied with a 
blanket. In the centre of the compartment is a doublo- 
decked arrangement for sleeping. One small stove 
heats this large compartment. 

The latrines are of the trench system, housed over 
lime, and a substance similar to moss being used as a 
disinfectant. . . . The diet is about the same as that 
described i.n previous reports. 

For working camps the official allowance 
for food was 10 per cent, in excess of that 
allowed in ordinary camps. Tliere seems 
considerable doubt whether this was given in 
all cases. At Siider-ZoUhaus the official 
dietary for Monday, April 26, 1915, was: 
INIorning. — Coffee, 10 grammes sugar, 300 

grammes bread. 
Jlidday. — Swedish turnips and potatoes and 

I'^voning. — Meal soup with vegetables. 

For Tuesday, April 27, 1915 : 
.Morning. — Rice soup, with meal and turnips, 

,S00 grammes bread. 
!\Iidday. — Fresh fish with potatoes. 
I'^vening. — ]\Ieal soup with vegetables and 

The hospital arrangements wevo primitive, 
and the medical attention inadequate. The 
report says : " A small porticsn of a building is 
set aside for hospital purposes, containing, 
perhaps, forty bunlcs. The conveniences are 
very crude, the bunks being in double tiers, 
m.\de out of plain pine boards, with mattresses 
of burlap stuffed with straw ; each patient is 
supplied with a blanlcet. I'here was no 
doctor living at the camp, a civilian from the 
city of Flensljurg making periodical visits 
and being smnmoned by telephone whenever 
an emergency arises. The immediate care of 
the sick is intrusted to prisoners who have 
been roughly trained in this work." 

The supply of blankets would seem to have 
been quite inadequate, and the medical atten- 
tion in striliing contrast to the regulations in 
force in England, where a resident medical 
o Ticer formed part of the staff of each place of 
internment. Siider-Zollhaus was tv\elve miles 
from Flensburg. 

As this camp is supposed to be a vv-orking carnp, it 
se;ras to me that only prisoners who are physically fit 
tu do the work should bo quartered here. Cripples and 
m ni who are sick or are not physically fit for the work 




British prisoners taking compulsory exercise. 




required of them should not be retained m a camp of this 
type. In the so-called hospital were probably thirty 
patients at the time of my visit. Of these six were 
British. Ono of them had been there for a month with 
an attack of dysentery. His condition was jjitiable — 
nothing more than s]:in and bone, and very weak. 
Although he received modicinal treatment* there was 
no effort made to give him special diet, which he sadly 
needed. I obtained the promise of the commandant 
that he would be immediately transferred to the military 
hospital in Flensburg. 'J'he other ca<5es were those 
witli a dropsical condition of the extremities due to a 
weak heart. There had been, I was given to under- 
stand, several cases of this cardiac trouble which had 
developed previously in the camp. There was one 
British prisoner who was still suffering from the effects 
of frost-bite of toes. JMen in such poor physical 
condition have no business being quartered in such 
an encampment. They are in need of sfiecial 
diet and careful nursing, and should either be trans- 
ferred to some hospital or returned to the parent camp 
at Gustrow. 

"Cy the Hague Regulations, when the work 
Ls done for the State, payTi:ient inust be ntade 
at rates proportional to those paid for similar 
work when executed by soldiers of the national 
arjTiy, or, if no such rates are in force, at rates 
proportional to the work executed. When 
the work is for other branches of the pubUc 
service, or for private persons, the rates are to 
be fixed in agreentent with the mihtary autho- 
rities. In Britain inilitary prisoners, and 
civilians if thev volunteered, were, when used, 

paid at the same rates as British soldiers doing 

similar work. The position in G.ermanj'- is 

best indicated in the American Official Report 

on Siicler-Zollhaus : 

There is no stated scale of wages for those employed 
at work in tho fields. I should say that the average 
labourer received about 30 pfennige per diem for his 
work. The British do not accept any payment for work 
done. They say that their Government pays them while 
they are prisoners of war and they think that if they 
accept anything from any German individual their pay 
from their Government will be forfeited. The work which 
these prisoners do is for private individuals, i.e., tho 
farmers of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Under the Hague Regulations the wages of 
prisoners must be used for the purpose of 
improving their position, and the balance 
paid to them on their release, " deductions on 
account of the coat of maintenance excepted." 

The camp of Friedrichsfeld on the Lower 
Rhine, near Wesel, was typical of the majority 
of those holding prisoners of war. It was 
a mighty camp, and in May, 1915, it held 
20,000 prisoners, of whom rather fewer than 
300 were British. Probably the best description of 
the camp itself is that contained in the report of 
the American representative who inspected it : 

The dwelling shacks are all alike, about 200 feet long 
by 50 feet wido. and not more than 15 feet in height. 
They are solidly built enough, but they are roughly put 




together and finished, and they Jook uncomfortably low. 
Each of them is designed to house 750 prisoners, and is 
divided in tho middle by a wall without doors. Against 
either side of this wall there is a room for non-com - 
itiissioned officers, and at either end of the building there 
is a room for a barber or tailor, etc. Bunks fill the 
remaining space in each shack. They are ranged across 
the floor in sets of twenty-five or more, with a low 
partition behind them on which there is a shelf and a 
place for hanging clothes. The bunks are small and 
close together, and are not separately detachable from 

Perhaps because of their shape the shacks give the 
impression of being overcrowded and of being unfitted 
for very hot or very cold weather. By calculation 
they provide for more than five cubic metres of space per 
inmate. The air in them was good, but, on account of 
the width of the buildings, their windows do not give a 
great deal of light. . . . 

The Idtchens are housed in small shacks of theii" own 
and were simple and clean, easy of access and egress, 
and not very different from one another. In each of 
them there were three large cauldrons over separate fires, 
all necessary utensils, and their floors were ol brick or 
concrete. The latrines are ranged along one edge of the 
camp, 100 yards distant from any other building. They 
are identical as to design and structure, and contain a 
long room with two inclined benches in it, and a lu-inat- 
ing room. They can accommodate about forty men each; 
are cleaned and disinfected daily, and were free from 
pronounced odour. They will not become a source of 
annoyance in hot weather, but they are somewhat 
distant for night use, notwithstanding the fact that the 
dwelling shacks are never locked. 

In many camps the shades were looked at 
night, necessitating the calling of a sentrj^ 

when men desired to leave them. Many of the 
camp brutahties arose from the annoyance of 
tlie guard on theae occasions. The report 
continues : 

The most striking thing about the Friedrichsfeld camp 
is the pace at which it is being improved by the interned. 
S\irface drainage is being completely done away with, 
concrete ducts and water troughs are being built, gardens 
are being laid out and embellished, electric wires near 
woodwork are being encased in tubes, shacks are being 
bettered internally, etc. The prisoners have initiated 
little of this work, but they have almost complete charge 
of its execution. There is still room for further im- 
provement, of course, but the camp is already in very 
fair shape, and its further improvement lies largely in 
the hands of the prisoners themselves. This applies 
especially to housing conditions, for beyond the standard 
of cleanliness fixed by their warders, prisoners can 
clean their dwelling shacks as much as they like. 

The out}>reak of war saw no general intern- 
ment or even ill-treatment of British civilians 
in Germany. In isolated onuses only \^as violence, 
and, in some instances, murder resorted to. 
Of such was the murder of Henry Hadley. The 
following report was officially furnished by the 
German Government on April 17, 1915 : 

The British subject, teacher of languages Henry 
Hadley, behaved most suspiciously in every respect 
during his trip in the corridor train from Berlin leaving 
at 1.25 p.m. to Cologne on August 3, 19U, in company 
of his housekeeper, Mrs. Pratley, 


In the first place, he gave the conductor to iiiulerstand 
by shrugging his shonlder?, ^vhen he was asked how far 
ho was tra\'elling wlien the train \va,5 leaving Berlin, 
that ho could not speak German, while the conductor 
heard him :?peaking German several limes. Further he 
talked with his companion several times in. foreign 
languages. While in the dining car Hadley had acted 
in a conspicuous and impolite manner and also had an 
excited dispute with a waiter. Finally he made, accord- 
ing to the conductor's statement on oath, ironical 
remarks and gestures regarding passing officer^'. 

The conductor drew the attention of First Lieutenant 
Xicolay, who was in the same train, to the stj'anger, 
whereupon First Lieutenant Xicolay watched Hadley 
from the corridor. As the train approached Gelsenkir- 
chen, Hadley came to the conductor, who was standing 
with First Lieutenant Xicolay, and asked him whether 
this station was Cologne, First Lieutenant Nicolay 
asked Hadley where he intended to travel to. Hadley 
replied, *' Well, I think to Paris," which caused Fir^^t 
Lieutenant Xicolay to remark that it was remarkable 
that he (Hadley) did not know whejo he desired to 
travel. Hadley, who was listening, overheard this, and 
began a conversation with the conductor. First Lieu- 
tenant Nicolay forbade the conductor to answer, and 
the conductor informed the stranger to this e0ect, 
Hadley told the conductor in German that the officer 
had no right to command him {the conductor), where- 
upon the conductor answered that under these cir- 
cumstances the officer was his superior. First Lieutenant 
Nicolay now blocked Hadley's way by stretching out hi-^ 
arm?, and told him in English that ho was not to leave 
tho train, letting him know at the same time that he 
was a Prussian officer. But as Hadley assumed an 
a;igrfssive attitude. First Lieutenant \icolav called 

' Hands up " several time, in German and Kngli-ih. 
Hadley paid no attention, but raised his sticks so that 
First Lieutenant Nicolay was led to expect an actual 
attack, and' he called again, " Hands up or I shall 
shoot." He thereupon fumbled with his hands under 
his waistcoat, saying that he was a British subject. 
As First Lieutenant Nicolay believed that the stranger 
intended to bring out a weapon and use it against him, 
ho fired at him, in order to be first. Thereupon Hadley 
\vas taken to the door and on to tho platform by tho 
people who were present, resisting with all his might ; 
at tho station First Lieiitenant Xicolay handed over 
Hadley and his companion to two civil police offjcials. 
Hadley, who was brought into a hospital and placed 
under doctor's care, died on August 5, 1914, at 3.15 a.m., 
in consequence of the wo\ind caused by the bullet. 

Court-martial proceedings were instituted against 
Captain Nicolay, as he now is, for killing Hadley which 
proceedings wero discontinued upon the completion of 
the investigation of the case. 

This dastardly murder of an unarmed civilian 
occurred on August 3, the day before the 
declaration of war. 

But outrage, tliough not unknown, was not 
general. British citizens, wJiilst bound to re- 
port themselves to the pohcC; were not inter- 
fered with, though their movements were 
restricted. Following upon the increased strin- 
gency of t}ie British Government in deahng with 
alien civihans, the German Press commenced a 


French wounded on their way to entrain for hospital, and, on the left, German wounded prisoners 

waitirg to be conveyed to a base hospital. 




German officers who were discovered by the French hidden awav in cellars and dug-outs. They were 

conveyed by motor-'bus to the French headquarters. 

campaign oalling for " reprisals " against the 
British subjects in Germany. An article, en- 
titled " The Persecution of Germans," appeared 
in the Frankfurter Zcilung, which said : 

The Government has caused thousands of Germans 
and Ausirians, who have committed not the smallest 
offence, to be arrested, in order to bring them into the 
terrible concentration camps in which Germans, declared 
to be prisoners of war, are interned. The disgusting 
nature of these places scandalously defy all sanitary 
requirements. . . . One must assume that the condition 
of these camps is known to the Government. But the 
Government has made no changes, and if it now throws 
further thousands into them, the object no doubt is 
similar to that pursued by a former British Government 
in the internment of Boer women and children. It is 
desired to take vengeance upon Germany for defending 
herself with all her strength against England, and for 
winning victories, and although that may not have been 
the primary intention, the Knglish have no doubt the 
miserable idea that it does England no harm if a few 
thousands perish in these camps They are only 

The article then deals with the possibility of 
espionage, and denies that any real fear existed 
in England : 

If the British Government does not stop persecuting 
shamelessly the Germans who are in its power, it becomes 
necessary to show this Government plainly that Germany 
is both able and willing to reply with reprisals of equal 
severity. The English subjects may then become 
conscious that they owe the deterioration in their position 

to those same Ministers of his Majesty of Great Britain 
who, like mad gamblers, plunged England and Europe 
into this terrible war, and who are now not content to 
fight the war by military means between State and 
State, but extend hatred and destruction to spheres and 
to persons that, in the spirit of International Law, ought 
to remain protected from the violence of war. 

Almost every paper contained " interviews " 
and accounts, true or apocryi^hal, of the con- 
ditions in the intermnent camps of England. 
The German Government yielded, and the first 
general internment of British civilians com- 
menced in the first week of November, 1914. 

The interning was done in a wholesale, system- 
atic, thorough and German manner. Though 
small bodies were scattered in various gaols and 
camps throughout Germany, the majority of 
civilians ^\ere interned at Ruhleben, near 
BerUn. The camp, wliich was situated on a 
large trotting track, soon contained about 4,000 
British subjects. The prisoners, \\ho were of 
all ages, social classes, and conditions of health, 
were lodged in the yards, stables and grand- 
stand of the racecourse. 

Of Rulileben it is peculiarly difficult to write, 
as the conditions were in a constant flux, though 
\Yith a steady tendency towards improvement. 



Under the regime of Count Soliwerin — 
described by one prisoner as a " kindly man " — 
and Count Taube, the " patience and devotion " 
ol' both of whom the American Ambassador 
jiraised in tlie warmest terms — the camp grea.tly 

Tn tlic earlier days the horse-boxes, some 
Kl ft. in. -^^ide, were made to house six people, 
uhilst the lofts were also grossly overcrowded. 
For bedding a very limited supply of straw ■nas 
jjrovided. The stra^\' was simply strewn on the 
damp concrete floors of the horse-boxes, and, 
trodden and damp, soon became unwholesome 
and verminous. A little later, sacks were pro- 
vided into which the damp straw was placed 
and mattresses made. Apparently only one 
blanket was provided. Xo proper washing or 
sanita.ry arrangements existed. There were 
only two taps for each stable, which acconmio- 
dated over 300 men. The latrines for the use 
of the prisoners were at a considerable distance 
from the stables. There were no baths except 
a shower bath, which \\'as situated some 
^^ay froni the camp. All prisoners were roused 
at b , and, after " dressing," had to go more 
than 500 yards to get their morning coffee. 
Everj'one had to go to l:)ed at 8 p.m., with 
" lights out " at 9 p.m. 

The lofts and stables, which %^'ere dark and 
cold during the day, were cold, clammy and un- 
ventilated at night. I'articularlj' when the age 
of many of the prisoners, the variety of the 
social classes, and the fact that a very large 
portion of the British population in Germany 
was there solely for reasons of health, Kuhleben, 
jiarticularly in its early days, was a disgrace 

not only to the civilization, but to the humanity 
of CJcrmany. 

l^argely in consequence of the efforts of the 
.American Ambassador unprovements were 
gradually introduced. New barracks, which 
improved the conditions and relie-v-ed the over- 
crowding, were gradually erected, recreation 
groimds provided, new and better latrines con- 
structed, some hundred persons removed to 
sanatoriiuns, and a similar number released. 
The gi-eatest improvement of all, hoM-ever, was 
the formation of a prisoners' cominittee, into 
whose hands a large part of the internal camp 
management -was placed. Life then became 
tolerable in Rulilebcn. 

Unfortunately, ^^hilst their removal to a 
sanatorium did something to relievo the conges- 
tion in Ruhleben, it did little to benefit the 
patients. The sanatorium belonged to one 
Weiler, and those patients who were unable to 
pay for themseh-es were supported by the 
Britisli Govermnent. As late as November IG, 
1915, the American Embassy reported on the 
main building of the sanatorium, Nussbaum 
AUee, " we found here, as in the house on 
Akazicn-Allee, that there was no effort made to 
segregate communicalile disease. ]n a pre- 
vious visit the attention of the authorities was 
called to cases of tuVjercnlosis and a suggesticn 
made that they be removed from the immediate 
association with those not so afflicted. No 
effort to do this has yet been made, nor does 
there appear any likelihood of it being done." 

The report adds : " Tliis last visit has con- 
vinced us more than ever that the proprietor 
of this sanatoriiun cares more for peciuiiary 

Cavalry attached to the French Army bringing into a base town German prisoners from West Belgium. 




Outside a farmhouse in the Champagne. 

Inset : Sweeping the roads in the North of France. 

gain than the humanitarian side of liis 

Of the man Weiler it is nmiecessary to say 
more. The vital fact reniains that these sick 
civilian prisoners of %%ar, the cost of \\Iiose 
maintenance was not even borne by tlio 
German Go\'ermnent, were kept interned in 
this sanatorium under the surveillance of and by 
the orders of that Government. It is well that 
such an indictment is laid in the official docu- 
ments of a neutral Power, for the history of 
captivity must, before this war, be traced far 
back before a similarly authentic and repulsi\-e 
incident can be found. The history of civiliza- 
tion is the debtor of the American people. 

In England the German prisoner was housed 
either on ships or in the usual land camp. The 
ships, about which a great outcry arose in 
Germany, were principally looked upon as 
winter camps, as it was easier to keep them 
warm and comfortable than those ashore. The 
principal defect lay in the limited acconunoda- 
tion which they provided for exercise. This 

defect was felt more acutely in those ships in 
which military prisoners were mterned. In 
fact, the ships had distinct advantages in the 
case of civilians, particularly owing to the ease 
with which the authorities were enabled to 
separate the various classes. For a small extra 
pajTnent the wealthier prisoners could obtain 
the use of a cabin. 

The British Govermiient having given the 
U.S. Ambassador at Berlin permission to 
appoint any person to inspect prison camps in 
England, he thereupon gave the German Foreign 
Office the choice of selecting any member of 
his Embassy staff for that purpose. Tlie 


German Foreign Office selected Mr. J. B. 
Jackson, former American Minister to 
Cuba and Eomnania. jMr. Jackson, having 
been a Secretary of the American Embassy at 
Berlin for a period of about eleven years, and 
having been responsible for the irtopection of 
a large number of prison camps in Germany, 
^vas both well linown to the German Govern- 
ment and well qualified for the task. 

Mr. Jackson received a general passport, 
which empowered him to visit all prison camps 
in England \\ithout being previously announced. 
Ho was also pennittcd to converse freely with 
the prisoners without any other person being 

In April, 1915, Mr. Jackson reported that he 
had been able to inspect nine sliips and thirteen 
other places in which German prisoners of war 
were interned. Approximately there were 
400 officers (including a few Austrians), 6,500 
soldiers and naval sailors, and between 19,000 
and 20,000 merchant sailors and civilians 
(German and Austrian) interned on February 1, 
1915. Probably less than one-third of the 
total number of Gerinan subjects or persons of 
German birth in the United Kingdom were 
interned, and many of those interned had no 
wish to return to Germanv. Besides seafaring 

persons there were a considerable nuinber of 
boys under 17 and men over 55 who wore 
interned, but in every case wliich came to his 
attention note had been taken of the fact by 
the local commandant and reported to the 
authorities, with a view to repatriation, except 
V here inen had no 'n ish to bo sent to Germany. 

He heard of no cases where women were 
interned. Wherever he went he was granted 
CA'cry facility to see all that there was to be 
seen and to converse freely with the prisoners 
without any kind of control or supervision. 
On two occasions he lunched with the German 
officers, no British officer or soldier being 
present. The officers were under practically 
no supervision so long as they remained within 
the camps themselves, and there was no direct 
contact between them and the British officers 
and soldiers, except when they left the barbed 
wire enclosure. 

The German fatigue and police work was 
done by the prisoners themselves. 

An investigation of Frith Hill Camp, 
Frimley, near Aldershot, by an independent 
American showed that " the prisoners run their 
own little republic under their non-com- 
missioned officers, who are respoiLsible to the 
military authorities. They have their own 

Officers captured by the French from the Army of the Crown Prince. 



Lined up for inspection. Centre and bottom 
pictures : Erecting barbed-wire enclosures in which 
they are confined, 

police, even their secret police." This organi 
zation of secret police has a characteristically 
Teutonic flavour. 

In continuation, Mr, Jackson reported that 
opportunities were given for exercise, but that 
it was not obligatory, although all prisoners 
were compelled to spend certain hours every 
day outside their sleeping quarters. 

Up to the date of Ixis report very little had 
been done to provide occupation or employ- 
ment for interned prisoners, military or civil. 
Soldiers and sailors were allowed to wear civilian 
clothes when they had no uniforms, and 
civilians were provided with blankets, shoes 
and clothing of all kinds by the British Govern- 
ment when they had no means to purchase 
such articles. Soap was provided, but towels, 
tooth paste, brushes, etc., usually had to be 
provided by the prisoner himself, or through 
the American Embassy in London on account 
of the German Goverrunent. Books printed 
before the outbreak of the war were permitted 
in English and other languages, and English 
newspapers after January, 1915. I^he regula- 
tions relating to the receipt of parcels, letters 

tr . .Ai'.jis^di: 




and money and for outgoing correspondence 
were similar to those in Germany. 

An interesting sidelight on the food supplied 
in British prison camps was shown by the 
infinitesimal number of parcels received, whilst 
the number of parcels containing food and 
clothing which were sent to Germany momUed 
week by week, and ultimately achieved colossal 

]Mr. Jaclcson then adds that in certam cases the 
right to receive correspondence was suspended 
as pvmishment for breaches of discipline, sucli 
as the receipt or transmission of clandestine 
letters, or the attempt to send letters through 
bottles thrown from the prison ships. 

The food supplied to prisoners ' was practi- 
cally the ration of the British soldier, and 
seemed to be generally satisfactory, both as 
regards quality and quantity, though there 
were a considerable number of individual 
complaints, mostly concerning the monotony 
of the difet — there was too much beet and too 
little pork ; white bread instead of brown ; 
and not sufficient fresh vegetables. 

The free use of tobacco was permitted every- 
where, and in most of the camps visits were 
permitted. In general the hospital arrange- 
ments were jarimitive, but appeared to be suffi- 
cient, and the health of the camps had been 

The officers without exception told Mr. 
Jaclison that they had always been treated 
lilie officers and honourable men by the English 
soldiers, and many of the German soldiers told 
him of instances where they had been protected 
by the English from assaults by the mob on 
their way through France. From the civilians, 
however, there were many complaints, espe- 
cially from those who had been taken from 
neutral ships or had been arrested in the 
Colonies, as to the mamier of ' their arrest and 
their treatment before being brought to the 
detention camps. 

Mr. Jackson's rcjiort made a noteworthy 

conclusion : 

On the whole the present treatment seems to be as 
iiood as could be expected under the circumstances. 
Q'he new camps are all better than the older ones, and 
everywliere there seemed to be an intention to improve 
on e.xisting conditions. Lack of organization and pre- 
paration would account for most of the haidships which 

* The rations which were issued free consisted of ; — 
Bread, 1 lb. 8 oz., or biscuits 1 lb. ; meat, fresh or 
frozen, 8 oz., or pressed, 4 oz. ; tea, i oz., or coffee, 1 oz. ; 
palt, i oz. ; sugar, 2 oz. ; condensed milk. 1-20 tin ( 1 lb. ) ; 
fresh vegetables, 8 oz. ; pepper, 1-72 oz. ; 2 oz. cheese 
to be allowed as an a,lternati\e for 1 oz. butter or mar- 
garine ; 2 oz. of peas, beans, lentils, or rice. 

prevailed at first. Absolutely nowhere did there seera 
to be any wish to make the conditions any harder or 
more disagreeable for the prisoners than was necessary, 
and I saw no instance, and heard of none, where any 
prisoners had been subjected either to intentional 
personal annoyance or undeserved discipline. 

This report, which has been cjuoted at such 
length on account both of the interesting 
character of its contents and the Linimpeaoh- 
able cliaracter of its author, relates that all 
prisoners on board the ships were locked 
below decks at night, and that this caused 
some nervousness among them owing to the 
apprehension of clanger from Zeppelins. 

Tlie International Red Cross Association in 
Geneva appointed Professor Eduard Naville 
and M. Victor van Berchem to visit and inspect 
the various prison camps in the United King- 
dom. In February', igi,'), they reported that 

An Austrian officer under cross-examination. 

out of the 10,000 German officers and men 
who were prisoners in England, not one was 
cUssatisfied with his food or treatment. 

The prisoner had only to make representa- 
tion that his clothes or boots were tattered or 
insufficient, and he recei%'ed \\hat he required. 
Unlike those in France and Germany, the 
prisoner in Britain was not in any way dependent 
for his clothing upon supplies provided from 
his own countrj-. 

In an interesting report * on the prison 
camp at Holyport, Mr. T. E. Steen, a 
Norwegian, says : " AA'e passed through a 
nmnber of lai-ge well-furnished rooms. In 
the largest we found some fifty prisoners, 
smoking, chatting, or reading. In the centre 

* The Times. Januarv 29, 191.5. 



Russian, Belgian, French and British 

was a large Christmas-tree, which gave a 
piotviresque and gay note to the room. In the 
large dining-rooin I saw on the wall the German 
flag spread out with a freedom which went far 
to prove the broadminded spirit of the British." 

Similar toleration \\as occasionally shown in 
Germany. In the camp at Hameln the pri- 
soners made a flov^er-bed representing the 
Allied flags. In this camp " the great 
majority of the prisoners . . . .spoke well of 
the w-arders and especially of the Comman- 

\A'hen leaving Hol3'port Mr. Steen asked the 
(German) colonel whether he had any com- 
])laint to make, and received a reply in the 
negative. The colonel added : " The English 
are very kind. I tell my people in Germany of 
their kindness in every letter I write . . 
everywhere the English seem intent on pro 
viding their prisoners with comfortable and 
healtlijr accommodation. And as to the food 
it is the same as that provided for the soldiers 
and it is a well-known fact that no soldier i.- 
better fed than those of the King of England.' 

From the earliest clays the British authorities 
endeavoured to enlist the cooperation of the 
prisoners in the conduct of the camp. 

By .Time, 1915, the American Ambassador 
in Berlin was able to report that, except with 
regard to the confinement on board ships, 
which was still a sore point, " the German 
military authorities have now satisfied them- 

flanked by an Algerian and a Senegalese 

selves that German prisoners in England are 
being treated as well as the conditions permit." 

In May, 191.5, the Budget Committee 
of the German Reichstag, ignoring the 
conditions prevalent in German prison 
camps, declared itself shocked at the " bru- 
talities " to which German prisoners in Russia 
" w'ere exposed." 

Russia, with her vast distances, her scanty 
means of intercommunication, solved the diffi- 
culties surroimcUng the care of prisoners chai ac- 

The great bulk of her unwounded prisoners 
were removed to Siberia and billeted on the 
population. During the winter months the 
prisoners were conveyed to their destination 
in well-warmed trains. On arriving, the 
prisoners were supplied with clothing suit- 
able to the climate. The attitude of the 
Russian authorities towards their charges was 
^\■ell shown by the official Proclamation issued 
by the Governor of the province of Akmolinsk, 
in wliich many prisoners were detained. A por- 
tion of the proclamation was in the following 
terms : 

The Russian people have too nohle a soul for them to 
be cruel to those in misfortune. Peasants .' Receive 
not the prisoners sent to you as your enemies. Have 
consideration for others' sorrows. Our great ruler, His 
Imperial Majesty, has relieved them from enforced 
labour ; and they are permitted to enter into work 
by voluntary agreement. Peasants ! By institutinij 
friendly relations with the prisoners, but not oppressing 



them, you will meet oa their part a readiness to be 
friendly and helpful to you. 

Perhaps the most interesting statement on 

Russian hospitals which appeared during the 

war was the letter from an exchanged invalided 

prisoner given on November 10, 1915, in the 

Vienna Arbeiter Zeitung, This prisoner, who 

had lost his leg by amputation, had experience 

•of no fewer than eight hospitals in Stanislau, 

Solimertnka, Tscher, Kassy, Kiev, Moscow, 

Jaraslow and W . The letter is here given, 

with both its praise and blame, and without 

comment of any kind. After stating that 

*' conditions varied in each Russian military 

hospital," it says ; 

Practically the treatment of the wounded depends on 
those to whom they are handed over, or those who 
deliver them up. . . . 

To speak truthfully, I must admit that on the whole 
in Russia no di_fference is made between prisoners and 
Russians, hospital trains are well arranged and the 
nursing is better than in hospital, 

I should like here at once to correct the very general 
impression that Russian doctors are too ready to ampu- 
tate, that they, as has been asserted, would rather 
amputate at once — that if. at least not right in all cases. 
For instance, I know a case, a North Bohemian, severely 
wounded in the lower part of the thigh, who repeatedly 
begged Russian doctors at five places to remove his leg ; 
they did not do it, and I can testify that before 1 parttd 
with him he had once more been operated on and was 
then bimself convinced that his leg could be saved. 
One of the worst evila is that wounded prisoners, as in 
my case, were dragged from one hospital to anoblier. 
That may partly be caused by the immeixse distances 

that have to be traversed to reach the interior of Russia. 
For example, we travelled three nights and two daya 
from Kiev to Moscow. That ia not only harmful for 
the recovery of the wounded, but it has also the result 
that prisoners can hardly ever hear from their belongings 
and especially that no money reaches them. By the 
time letters or money reach them the wounded have 
gone on to the second, or a third hospital. . . . 

Food in the hospitals, unless one is especially fastidious 
is quite sufficient. 

The hospital attendants consist mostly of good natured, 
if not very intelligent folk. It is at first unpleasant that 
the orderly uses no handkerchief and seldom a towel. 
He rises early, quickly washes, and not having a towel, 
dries himself on his far too wide and soiled blouse. 
There, too, he cleans his nose and immediately afterwards 
with the hands which he has used for this purpose, ha 
distributes bread and sugar I One only notices that at 
the beginning ; later on one gets used to it. 

Once we were four weeks without clean body Hnen ; 
the consequence was — vermin. 

The nursing sisters perform their duties conscientiously. 

Prisoners arriving in Petrograd. Inset : Round a camp fire. 


Their position towards doctors and patients is much more 
independent than with us. 

The largo number of medical men in every Russian 
ho-spital astonished me. Nowhere was a lack of doctors 
to be noticed. Certainly the majority were not genuine 
doctors, who had studied at a University, but army 
doctors (Feldscherer), in the interior generally students, 
but still intelligent people. In most cases well educated, 
and especially fairly experienced in tho treatment of 
wounds. The doctor generally leaves the whole work 
to them — himself reading newspapers, and only appearing 
when called by the assistant to notice some case. But 
there are also hospitals where the assistant may not bind 
the wound until instructed by his doctor. But these 
hospitals are in tho minority. Also the doctors, qualified 
and unqualified, are mostly hvunane towards the prisoners 
— at least as conscientious as towards their own country- 
men. On the other hand, the necessary furnishings are 
often lacking in the hospital. Of all the towns in whose 
hospital I waSj Kiev and Moscow were the only ones 
possessing Rontgen apparatus, and so the medicos have 
to do without the right renuisites. . . . 

Many were tho devices for whiling away the 
hours — all the time-worn schemes of prison 
liistory. In most of the camps games such as 
football were permitted, in" a few tennis was 
allowed, the courts being laid largely by the 
labour, and usually at the expense, of tho 
prisoners. Of the maldng of knicknacks there 
was no end, the Russian excelling all others in 
this. Then concerts and theatrical per- 
formances, even Shakespeare was essayed, the 
most delicately featured and complexioned of 

the prisoners being cast for the female parts. 
It was often asserted that if you kept your eyes 
away from the boots the illusion w-as complete. 
Probably the most anibitious attempt was a 
" Kevue in Eight Episodes," entitled " Don't 
Laugh ! " given in Ruhleben in May, 1915, 
complete with Lyrics, Prologue, Episodes, and 
Beauty Chorus. 

" The Kuhleben Song," in particular, was a 
great success : 

Oh, we're roused up in the mormng, when the day is 

gently dawning, 
And we're put to bed before the night's begun. 
And for weeks and weeks on end we have never seen a 

And we've lost the job our energy had won. 
Yes, we've waited in the frost, for a parcel that got lost, 
Or a letter that the postmen never bring. 
And it isn't beer and skittles, doing work on scanty 

Yet every man can still get up and sing : 

Line up, boys, and sing this chorus 

Shout this chorus all you can ; 

We want the people there, 

To hear in Leicester Square, 

That we're tho boys that never get downhearted. 

Back, back, back again in England, 

Then we'll fill a flowing cup ; 

And tell 'em clear and loud of the Ruhleben crowd 

That always kept their pecker up. 

February, 1915, saw the commencement of an 
interesting experiment in German prison camps. 

A group of Russians captured by the Germans. 




Unloading potatoes. Bottom : Marching through 
a Polish village. 

The American branch of the Y.]\I.C.A. extended 
its sphere of operations, Gottingen and Altcn- 
grabow being first attacked. A building was 
erected at Gottingen with rooms for prayer, 
for reading, for concerts and lectures, 
equipped vnth a library of English, French 
and Russian books, pianos, blackboard, 
maps and pictvu-es. The building was erected 
by the men themselves. Never was labour 
more willingly given. At the opening ceremony, 
on April 15, one of the prisoners of war called 
the new building " Our Home," and many a 
head bent low when one of the Camerons, 
with a high tenor voice, sang, "Be it ever so 
humble, there is no place like home." 

In any account of the life of prisoners in 
the Great War mention must be made of the 
work done by prisoners' help organizations. 

In England this necessary work lay at first 
in the hands of individuals, or separate organi- 
zations. In March, 1915, the War Office 
sanctioned the appointment of a Prisoners of 
War Help Committee with an executive council, 
consisting of Sir Charles Lucas, (chairman), 
Mr. Rowland Berkeley (hon. treasm-er), Lieut.- 
Colonel C. J. Fox, Mr. W. J. Thomas, Mr. N. E. 
Watcrhouse, and Mr. B. W. Young (hon. 
secretary). Increase in the faoiHties and 
efficiency for dealing with prisoners, and the 
prevention of overlapping and waste, were 

amongst the principal duties of the Committee. 
In order to make full use of local patriotism 
and esprit de corps, the subsidiary organizations 
were arranged on the regimental plan. The 
interests of prisoners were placed in the care 
of their regimental organizations, those of 
native troops being in the care of the Indian 
Soldiers' Fund. Although the regimental plan 
possessed the inestimable advantage of using 
intimate knowledge and sympathy for the 
benefit of the prisoner, it was subject to one 
grave disadvantage. Each regimental organi- 
zation was primarily responsible for its own 

Unfortunately the resources and the obliga- 
tions of the different regiments varied. In 
some cases regiments with a long list of wealthy 
subscribers had had few men captured, whilst 
in others, particularly so in the case of 
many gallant Irish regiments, the losses had 
been heavy, and the subscription lists were 



meagre and inadequate. The Prisoners of 
War Help Committee dealt with the difficulty 
in three ways. Any money or offers of help 
received were handed over to the regimental 
organizations whose needs were most pressing. 
In addition to the regimental organizations 
there were others, such as the Royal Savoy 
Association, which were ready to deal with 
any prisoner, civil or military, whose needs 
were not otherwise provided for. Relief was 
given to an overburdened organization by 
apportioning some of its obligations to one of 
these unattached associations. 

Finally the Committee controlled the " adop- 
tion " of prisoners by individual sympathizers. 
Anyone desiring to help a prisoner otherwise 
than by subscribing to an organization, could 
" adopt " a prisoner. This plan worked excel- 
lently in the hands of conscientious people, 
but was always open to the defect that the 
'' parents " might tire or become irregular in 

their attention to the prisoner's needs. This 
was a particularly grave offence, as weeks might 
pass before either the regimental organization 
or the Committee learnt what was happening. 
During this time the prisoner was helpless and 
his position deplorable. 

By Article 16 of the Hague Regulations all 
letters, money orders, valuables, and postal 
parcels intended for prisoners of war were 
exempt from all postal charges or import or 
other duties. Whilst the British Post Ofifice 
dealt with all packages not exceeding 1 1 lbs. in 
weight, the Committee, immediately on its 
formation, secured the services of the American 
Express Company. This company, as a neutral 
carrier having agencies throughout Germany, 
had special advantages. All parcels for Ger- 
many were sent via Rotterdam. On April 8 
the number of packages handled was 23, 
whilst on November 15 this had risen to 870, 
weighing about 4J tons. 






The Aemy at Outbreak of War — Army Reserve and Territoriais — First Rush or Wab 
Recruits — The Government's Call tor 100,000 Men — Formation op the New Armies 
— Appeal for Another 100,000 Men — Sbpabation Allowances — Administrative Blunders 
and Misunderstandings — The Policy of Secrecy — More Appeals and Raising of Age 
Limit to Forty — Mr. I.loyd George and " Conscription " — The National Register and 
" Pink Forms " — National Service Movement Revived — The Government and Labour — 
Lord Derby as Director of Recruiting — The Derby Scheme — The Group System 
— Unmarried Men First — The Derby Canvass — The King's Letter to His People — 
Mr. Asquith's Pledges to Married Men — Armlets for the Attested — Fol-r Groups Called 
Up in Januaby, 1916 — Results of the Derby Canvass — Cabinet Hesitations — The Cabinet 
Adopts the Principle of Compulsion — Opinion in the Country. 

THE outbreak of wax found the British 
Army consisting of two different 
parts, each self-contained. The 
first-line Army, which provided the 
so-called Expeditionary Force and the British 
garrison in liidia and elsewhere abroad, was 
composed of professional soldiers, who served 
for twelve j^ears, part of the time (generally 
seven years) with the coloars and the remainder 
in the reserve. The periods devoted to the colours 
and the reserve respectively varied according 
to the arm of the Service. The old Militia 
had been aboHshed and had been replaced by 
the, Special Reserve, a force destined on mobi- 
lization to maintain the fighting strength of 
the Regular Army overseas. The second-line 
Army was composed of the Territorial Force, 
which had superseded the former Yeomanry 
and Volunteers, and which had a complete 
divisional organization analogous to that of the 
Regidar Army. » 

The strengt.hs of the Regular Army on 
January 1, 1914, were as follows : 

On Home and Colonial Establishment 
On Indian Establishment 


Vol. VI.— Part 73. 



The age limits for enlistments were from 
18 to 25 (in some cases 30), and the height 
standard varied from 5 feet 11 inches for 
the Household Cavalry to 5 feet 2 inches for 
the Royal Flying Corps. 

The rates of pay on enlistment for the various 
branches of the Regular .'Vrmy were the fol- 
lowing. Lodging, uniform and kit were 
provided free, but as much as 5Jd. a day might 
be deducted for messing and wasliing. A con- 
siderable increase was granted to men on 

attaining proficiency. 

Pay per week 

s, d. 

Household Cavalry ... ... ... ... 12 3 

Cavalry of the Line ... ... ... ... 8 2 

Royal Horse Artillery (gunners) ... ... 9 4 

Royal Horse Artillery (drivers) ... ... 8 9 

Royal Field Artillery ... 8 5J 

Royal Garrison Artillery ... ... ... 8 5J 

Royal Engineers ... ... ... ... 8 2 

Foot Guards ... ... ... ... ... 7 7 

Infantry of the Line ... ... ... ... 7 

Royal Flying Corps (2nd Class Mechanics) 14 

Royal Flying Corps (1st Class Mechanics) 28 

Army Service Corps ... ... ... ... 8 2 

Royal Army Medical Corps ... ... ... 8 2 

The Army Reserve, consisting of the trained 
Regular soldiers who had retm'ned to civil life 
after service with the colours and remained 





liable to be called vip on general mobilization, 
numbered on January 1, 1914, 146,756 men. 

It was composed (1) of reservists who had 
volunteered to come up, if called upon, to 
complete to war establisliment vmits detailed 
for a minor expedition, and who received 7s. 
a week reserve pay ; (2) of reservists liable only 
to be called up for general mobilization, and 
who received 3s, 6d. a week reserve paj' ; and 
(3) men wlio, after their twelve years' service, 
had re-enlisted for a farther four years in the 
reserve on the same terms as (2). They were 
only to be called up after (1) and (2) had been 
embodied. Reservists were liable to be called 
out for twelve days' annual training or twenty 

The Special Reserve consisted of a fixed 
nimiber of battalions, representing an allot- 
ment of one or more reserve battalioiLS to 
every line battalion at home, in addition to 
twenty-seven extra reserve Battalions for 
fortress defence and lines of communication. 
The tenn of enlistment \ias six years, and all 
ranks were liable for foreign service in war. 
Recruits were trained by a " regular establish- 
ment " of officers posted to the depot, the 
training consisting of an initial course of 
five to six months with an annual training of 
three to fovir weeks in every subsequent year of 
the man's service. The war function of the 
Special Reserve was to act as a feeder to its 
battalion in the field, and to assist in the work 
of coast defence. Belonging to it were three 
regunents of cavalry, the " North " and the 

" South " Irish Horse and King Edward's 
Horse, which were not drafting reserves, but 
service units resembling yeomanry. A special 
reservist, while undergoing training, received 
Regular pay, together with certain bounties. 
The strength of the Special Reserve on 
January 1, 1914, was 63,089, some 17,000 
below its establishjnent. 

The Territorial Force, with a period of 
enlistment of four years, and a height standard 
of 5 feet 2 inches and age limit of 17 to 35 in- 
clusive, was onl}' liable for home service. When 
the war came, however, a large proportion of 
the Force volunteered for foreign service, and 
was employed in the first instance on garrison 
duties abroad, thereby releasing units of the 
Regular Army for the front. The raising and 
equipping of the Force was in the hands of 
County Associations. Every man was liable to 
attend camp for at least eight days in each year 
miless excused, and to make liimself efficient 
under a penalty of £5. In 1913 66 per cent, of 
the Force attended camp for fifteen daj'S, and 
23 per cent, for less than fifteen days. While in 
camp a man received Regular pay and rations, 
and a further sum of Is. per head per day was 
allowed for additional messing piu-poses. On 
January 1, 1914, the Territorial Force num- 
bered 251,706, its establishment being 315,485. 

It will thus be seen that, on paper at all 
events, the British Army at home at the 
outbreak of war numbered approximately 
366,000 of the first line and 251,000 of the 
second. To these must be added the National 



Reserve, consisting on January 1, 1914, of 
217,680 men, of whom a large proportion were 
old soldiers and sailors fit either to take -their 
place in the field or for garrison and adminis- 
trative duty at home. Within a few weeks of 
August 4, 1914, about 80,000 of the National 
Reserve had joined the Regular Army. 

With regard to officers, there were on the 
establishment of the Regular Army before the 
war about 10,600 offioers, who had either been 
trained at the Royal BliUtary Academy, Wool- 
wich, or at the Royal Military College, Sand- 
hurst, or were University candidates trained 
in the Officers Training Corps. In the case of 
the Special Reserve and the Territorial Force, 
officers were appointed either after service in 
the Officers Training Corps or direct from 
civil life. Tiie Officers Training Corps was 
composed of senior division contingents belong- 
ing to the Universities, and junior division con- 
tingents belonging to the public schools. Tlie 
total strength of the Officers Training Corps 
was approximately 25,000, of whom about 
5,000 were undergraduates of miUtary age 
available for immediate service. The Terri- 
torial Force contained about 9,500 officers. 

The Expeditionary Force was originally 
intended to consist of six divisions of infantry, 
each of about 20,000 men, all ranks, and one 
cavalry division, about 10. 000 all ranks. The 

Recruits receiving the King's shilling. 

nmnber actually landed in France in the first 
instance did not exceed 60,000 officers and 

With the outbreak of war came a reniarkaijle 
rush of recruits to the colovirs. No better 
evidence of England's unpreparedness for war 
can be imagined than the complete lack of any 
adecjuate provision for dealing with this rush. 
During the first week of the war pathetic scenes 
were to be witnessed at the recruiting stations. 





After hours of weary waiting, sometimes in 
heavy rain, it was no uncommon thing for as 
many as 700 men to be left standing outside 
one station alone when the doors %\"ere closed. 
Nothing could exceed the enthusiasm of the 
would-be recruits, who were occasionally so 
eager in their desire to join the Army as to 
require the services of mounted police to pre- 
serve order. On August 10 it was reported 
that 1,100 men had been enrolled in London 
alone in the previous twenty-four hours, and 
that 500 or 600 had been left over. Large 
numbers of reservists appUed to extend or 
renew their service. The City of London 
Territorial units, with five or six exceptions, 
had already been filled up to their full strength. 
Veterans' corps throughout the country 
accepted men between thirty-five and sixty. 
Various irregular corps were being v^ell sup- 

It will be remembered that on August 6 
Lord Kitchener had been appointed Secretary 
of State for War, and that on the same day 
Mr. Asquith asked the House of Commona 
to sanction an increase of the Amiy by 
500,000 men. Next day an advertisement 
appeared in the Press which, for the first time, 
although this did not appear on the face of 

it, contained an appeal for the formation 
of what was to become the first of the new 
Ai'inies. The advertisement ran as follows : 

An addition of 100,000 men to his Majesty's Regular 
Army is immediately necessary in the present grave 
National Emergency. 

Lord Kitchener is confident that this appeal will be 
at once responded to by all those who have the safety 
of our Empire at heart. 

Terms of Service. 
General service for a period of 3 years or until the 
war is concluded. 

Age of enlistment between 19 and 30. 

Old soldiers up to the age of 42 were also 

On the same day, August 7, the Government 
made clear its intention in a circular addressed 
to the Lords-Lieutenant of counties and 
chairmen of the Territorial Force County 
Associations, which was published on August 
10. The cvirious inability of the authorities 
to come straight to the point which dogged 
the steps of the voluntary system of recruiting 
throughout the war was illustrated in this 
circular by the fact that not until the last 
paragraph did the War Office explain that 

Before the war. 







ggy ^^ 


T- '^'S' 





w.-' -^S 




B m^^^Mk 



. ■■^-"'' '■ 5^ 







iw 1 ^ 

\ ■ l"\;:r ■■*!! 

. . 1 








■ », ■ '• ' 

^ ' '4 



F^ : 





. - 

!:^.. , 


■:. _^ _., * 

Major Lionel de Rothschild, M.P. (X), and a number of recruits outside the bank in St. Swithins Lane, EC. 

tills was " not an ordinary appeal from the 
Army for recruits, but the formation of a 
second Army." Tliis explanation was very 
necessary, for, as a matter of fact, the appeal 
was an invitation to the county authorities to 
cooperate in the work of raising " the ad- 
ditional number of regular recruits required at 
once for the Army." Only gradually was it 
made clear that the desired " addition of 
100,000 men to His Majesty's Regular Army " 
had nothing to do with the Territorial Force, 
which was not to be responsible for their 
clothing or equipment, nor with the existing 
cadres of the Army, but was an entirely new 
army altogether. 

-As for the Territorial Force itself, it was not 
to recruit over its establishment until the 
100,000 men were forthcoming. Individuals 
were to be permitted to transfer into the 
new Armies, but the Force was not asked to 
volunteer en masse for foreign service. Tn a 
circular opening with a phrase which was later 
to become only too familiar — " there seems to 
be a certain amount of misunderstanding " — 
Lord Kitchener desired the County Associa- 
tions to divide the Force into two categories, 
those able and willing to serve abroad and 
those precluded " on account of their affairs " 

from volunteering. By August 26, 69 whole 
battalions had vohmteered. The first Terri- 
torial regiment to be in the firing line was the 
Northmnberland Yeomanry, which was in 
action with the 7th Division on October 12. 

Considerable difference of opinion existed in 
military circles as to the wisdom of Lord 
Kitchener's method of creating " his " army. 
Many eminent officers, including Lord Roberts, 
considered that he would have been better 
advised if he had merely expanded the Terri- 
torial Force, the cadres of which would have 
provided a ready-made organization, and 
which, without any serious dislocation, would, 
while retaining its existing character, have been 
enabled continually to throw off fresh divisions 
for service abroad. 

For whatever reason, the public was some 
time in reahzing exactly what the official 
appeal meant. Thus another " misunder- 
standing " had to be disposed of by a War 
Office announcement, which ran as follows : 

It has been freely stated in the Press during the last 
few days that " Lord Kitchener's new army of 100,000 
men is to be trained for home defence." This is totally 
incorrect. Lord ICitchener's new army of 100,000 men 
is enlisted for general service at home and abroad, and 
when trained to the proper standa,rd of efficiency will be 
employed wherever their {sic) services may be most 




Director-General of Recruiting. 


A considerable, though not a very remark- 
able, increase of recruiting followed iirnne- 
diately on the Government's appeal. The 
country was in no sense a^\ake. _ Long years 
of peaceful prosperity had produced a frame 
of mind not easily to be moved, even by the 
advertising campaign, as gigantic as it was 
hmniliating, which was subsequently set on 
foot by the joint Parliamentary Recruiting 
Committee created, at the suggestion of the War 
Oifioe, on August 31. More than a year, 
indeed, was to elapse before the mass of the 
people can be said to have become to its 

[Elliott & Fry. 

Chairman .Toint Labour Recruiting Committee. 

responsibilities. Meanwhile tliere were many 
circimistanoes which tended to abate the early 
flush of enthusiasm. Apart from the general 
ignorance of wliat was happening, due to the 
misguided obscurantism which from the first 
characterised the Government's attitude to- 
wards the public, the difficulties and dis- 
couragements which faced those whose only 
wish was to serve their country could not fail 
to have an Lmfortunate result. Owing to the 
complete unpreparedness of the War Office for 
dealing with the flood of recruits — an unpre- 
paredness wliich, in itself perfectly natural in 

Joint Chairman, Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. 

[Elliott & Frv. 






view of the fact that it was now receiving as 
many recruits in a week as it had been accus- 
tomed to receive in a year, was infinitely 
accentuated by its incapacity to shake itself 
free from tlie trammels of red tape which in 
peace time checked initiative in every direction 
— the mere process of enrohnent was com- 
passed about by fatuous routine. In tliose 
days the practice of merely attesting men and 
allowing them to retui'n to theu: civilian 
occupations until needed found no acceptance 
with the .authorities. Hence the men, after 
they had succeeded in enlisting, were huddled 
together, often in the most insanitary conditions. 


and, devoid of uniforms, rifles and equipment, 
were set to make the best they could of cir- 
cumstances of which the only redeeming 
feature was their own mextinguishable 

An officer of the new army, himself a member 
of one of the learned professions, has given a 
lively description * of the difficulties which had 
to be overcome. He believes, he says, that 
his battalion, wliich was formed about Septem- 
ber, 1914, and belonged to the second new 
army, started with three officers, one a young 

* The New Army in the Mahing. By 
London . Kegan Paul 

an Officer. 


M.P. K.C. K.G.B. 

























Regular, and two straight from the Officers 
Training Corps. Upon them fell the duty, one 
wet night, of receiving about a thousand re- 
cruits, nearly all quite raw, who were deposited 
by train at the depot : 

There were about 45 to 50 tents ready, bvit there were 
no blankets, practically no arrangements for cooking, 
and the new recruits had nothing but their civilian 
clothes and their enthxisiasm. Think of it, you who have 
managed a big office or factory, you who have organized 
political campaigns or governed schools and colleges ! 
A thousand miscellaneous, unknown men, from every 
class in society, from a hundred different trades, a 
hundred different towns and villages, of whom a mere 
handful had the least conception of military discipline, 
and all of whom were glowing with the rather hectic 
enthusiasm of patriotic self-sacrifice, and with the belief 
that they were at once to set about killing Germans. . . . 

In lata autumn and winter it raifted — cats and dogs — 
and round the tin huts which had takeh the place of the 
original tents the trampled earth turned into loose mud 
a foot deep, with eccentric watercourses and oozy ponds 
which made the camp intolerable. 

No praise can be too high for those who, in 
these miserable circiuTistances, stuck to their 
work with patriotic fervour. It is in con- 
ditions s\ich as these that the spirit of the 
voluntary system finds its highest expression. 
In spite of the many unsatisfactory featiu-es — 
amounting in soine cases to a pressure lacking 
little of compulsion but the name— which were 
to characterize the final efforts of the volimtary 
system, it must always be remembered that 
this spirit enabled the men who enlisted during 
the early period of the war to endure without 
grumbling hardships such as no army recruited 
under compulsory service would be called upon 
to bear. England would have lasting cause to 
be proud of these gallant fellows, even if they 
had never proved their merit in the field. 

On August 12 Lord Kitchener announced 
that the response to fiis appeal " had enabled 
him to decide on and define the framework to 
be employed and to make all the necessary 
arrangements for the infantry training." 
(Curiously enough, this important decision, 
which was essential to the proper distribution 
of the troops, seemed to have been postponed 
mitil after, instead of preceding, their enlist- 
ment.) Six divisions were to be formed, each 
consisting of three brigades, the battaUons of 
which, as was announced five days later, were 
to be additional battalions of the regiments of 
the line, with numbers following consecutively 
on the existing battalions of their regiments. 
These divisions were to be known as the 
Scottish, the Irish, the Northern, the Western, 
the Eastern and the Light Division. The 
Irish Division, consisting entirely of Irisfimen, 
was to be stationed at the Curragh, the Western 

Division on Salisbury Plain, the Eastern at 
Shorncliffe, the Scottish and Light Divisions 
at Aldershot. The station of the Northern 
Division was still "under consideration." 

By August 25 Lord Kitchener was able to 
inform the House of Lords, on his first ap- 
pearance as a Minister of the Crown, that the 
100,000 recruits had been " already practically 
seciu'ed." He added a note of warning : 

I cannot at this stage say what will be the limits of 
the forces required, or what measures may eventually 
become necessary to supply and maintain them. The 
scale of the Field Army which we are now calling into 
being is large and may rise in the course of the next six 
or seven months to a total of 30 divisions continually 
maintained in the field. But if the war should be pro- 


IP rlr 





Officials instructing the heads of families how to 

fill up the forms. 

tracted, and if its fortunes should be varied or adverse, 
exertions and sacrifices beyond any which have been 
demanded will be required from the whole nation and 
Empire, and where they are required we are sure they 
will not be denied to the extreme needs of the State by 
Parliament or the people. 

In commenting on Lord Kitchener's speech, 
The Times pointed out that, proud as we might 
be of the national spirit, the rest of the nation 
had no right to shelter itself behind the sacri- 
fices of those who, at the call of duty, had left 
their businesses and homes to face, if need be, 
the issues of life and death. , It urged that the 
age limit of tliirty was too low, and that the 
Continental nations were calling up men many 
years older. It further drew attention to the 
vast niunbers of young men who might serve 



M. Marcel Samett, a French soldier from the trenches ; Sir Peter Stewart Bam and Miss Katie Botha, 

C. W. Neimeyer, of the 

but wlio preferred to loaf at home " attending 

cricket matches and going to the cinema — in 

short, the great army of shirkers," and summed 

up by declaring : 

It IS a national scandal that the selfish should get off 
scot free while all the hurden falls on the most public- 
spirited section of our available manhood ; and if the 
voluntary system can do no better it will have to be 

The fact of the matter was that, although 
tlie men who were f(]ining forward were the 

Answering the call. 

pick of the nation, both in physical fitnese and 
in moral, the maintenance of the supply of 
recruits, in view of the greatness of the emer- 
gency, could not fail to arouse serious mis- 
givings. A strong feeling in favour of com- 
l^ulsory service began to manifest itself in those 
organs of the Press which were unaffected by 
party shibboleths. For the prevailing ignor- 
ance which led, for example, to the impression 
that, because the Government had asked for 
100,000 men, only 100,000 were required, the 
Goverrmient alone was to blame. The cohunrLS 
of The Times at this period teemed with sug- 
gestions from correspondents for the enlighten- 
ment of the cottntry. The majoritj' of these 
were carried otit in the course of the next 
fifteen months, but at the moment they were 
curtly dismissed by the Government whenever 
questions relatuig to them were asked in the 
House. Mr. Asquith, asked on August 20 
nhsther the Government intended to introduce 
a measm'e for compulsory service, replied that 
the answer was in the negative, and referred 
the inquirers to Lord Kitchener's speech. 

On August 28 the first 100,000 men had 
apjiarently been obtained, for the following 
appeal for another contingent of the same size 
was issued : 


Anoth1':r 100,000 Men Wanted. 

Lord Kitchener is much gratified with the response 
already made to the appeal for additional men for His 
Majesty's Regular Army. 



niece of General Botha ; Mile. Marie Somers, a Belgian Red Cross Nurse from Antwerp ; Sergeant 
First Canadian Contingent. 

In the grave "Xational emergency that now confronts 
the Empire, he asks with renewed confidence that 
another 100,000 men will now come forward. 
Terms of Service. 
{Extension of Age Limit.) 
Age of Enlistment, 19 to 35 ; Ex-Soldiers up to 45 
and certain selected ex-Non-Commissioned Officers up 
to 50. Height, 5 ft. 3 in. and upwards. Chest, 34 inches 
at least. Must be medically fit. 
General service for the war. 

Men enlisting for the duration of the war will be 
discharged with all convenient speed at the conclusion 
of the war. 

P.4Y AT Army Rates 

and Married Men or Widowers with Children will be 
accepted and will draw Separation Allowance under 
Army conditions. 

It will be noticed that the age limit was 
now raised to thirty-five. Attention may also 
be drawn to the appeal to married men. 

On the same day Mr. Asquith, moved at 
laat by the mass of evidence supplied by the 
Press as to the ignorance and indifference of 
the country, informed the Lord Mayor of 
liOndon, the Lord Provost of Edinbtu-gli, and 
the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cardiff that 
" the time has now come for combined effort 
to stimulate and organize pubUc opinion and 
public effort in the greatest conflict in which 
our people has ever been engaged." He pro- 
posed, as a first step, that meetings should be 
held throughout the United Kingdont " at 
which the justice of our cause should be made 
plain, and the duty of every man to do his part 
should be enforced." 

The campaign was inaugiu'ated by an 
invigorating meeting on September 4 at the 

Guildhall, when Mr. Asquith rnade a stirring 
speech, and was followed by Mr. Bonar I-aw, 
Mr. Balfour and Mr. Winston Churchill. 

Whether as the of the campaign thus 
set on foot, which rapidly spread throughout 
the countrj', or, as is more probable, of the 
publication of a list of nearly 5,000 casualties 
and the return of wounded from the front, 
the second 100,000 A\as enlisted far more 

Swearing-in a Recruit. 



rapkUy than the first. The following figures 
for tlie London area were published : 

August 26 . 

. 1,723 


31 . 

. 1,020 

27 . 

. 1,650 

September 1 . 

. 4,600 

28 . 

. 1780 



. 4,100 

29 . 

. 1,800 


3 . 

. 3,600 

30 . 

. 1,928 

4 . 

. 4,028 

The physical difficulty of enlisting still 
remained. A visit to several recruiting stations 


A Crimean hero addressing a meeting at the 

village pump in a village in Somerset, 

Inset : A Chelsea pensioner shaking hands with a 

new recruit In London. 

in London revealed groii[)s of men who had been 
waiting their turn for six or eight hours. 

The attitude of the trade unionist leaders at 
this juncture was illustrated by a, manifesto 
issued on September 3 l>y the Parliamentary 
C'onunittee of the Trade Lmion Congress. 
After expressing gratitude for the manner in 
which the Labour Party in the House of Com- 
mons had responded to the appeal made to all 
political parties " to give their co-operation in 
securing the enlistnient of men to defend the 
iiaterests of their country," the manifesto 
declared the conviction of the Committee 

That ill the event of the vokintary system of miHtary 
.ser\'ice fuilint^ the country in its time of need, the demand 
for a national system of compulsory military ser\ice will 
not only be made with redoubled vigour but may prova 
to be so persistent and strong as to become irresistible. 
The prospect of having to face conscription, with its 
permanent and heavy burden upon the financial resources 
of the country, and its equally biirdensome effect upon 
nearly the whole of its industries, should in itself stimu- 
late the manhood of the country to come forward in ita 
defence, and thereby demonstrate to the world that a 
free people can rise to the supreme heights of a great 
sacrifice without the whip of conscription. . , , 

The mere contemplation of the overbearing and brutal 
methods to which people have to submit under a Oovern- 
ment controlled by a military autocracy — living as it 



were, continuously under the threat and shadow of war 
— should be sufficient to arouse the enthusiasm of the 
nation in resisting any attempt to impose similar con- 
ditions upon countries at present free from military 

Only a cynic or a neutral could find fault 
with this characteristic expression of the 
Englishman's love of freedom. The remainder 
of the manifesto was equally characteristic, for 
it drew the attention of the Govermnent to the 
necessity of its taking, in retm-n for the perform- 
ance of the citizen's duty, " a liberal and even 
generous view of its responsibilities towards 
those citizens who come forward to assist in 
tho defence of their country." The Viasis of 
tl'iis appeal for generous treatment of recruits, 
" not so much for themselves as for those who 
are dependent upon them," rested doubtless 
on the Englislunan's natural love of home and 
family, which he shrinks from leaving imlefs 
he is assured that "they will be looked after 
when he is .gone." And it is certain that many 
hesitated to come forward from imcertainty 
as to what might happen to those dejiendent 
on them. The necessity, under tlie vohintary 


Who joined the Sportsman Battalion as a private. 

He was engaged in raising the 18th Battalion of 

the King's Royal Rifles. 


(On right) with Mr. Lloyd George. General 

Thomas, who raised many Welsh battalions, was 

charged with the duty of raising a Welsh Army 

under Lord Derby's scheme. 

system, of rendering the duty of serving the 
State less impalatable, as it were, to those who 
undertake what, under compulsory service, is 
regarded as a privilege is none the less extrava- 
gant because it is inevitable.* 

Meanwhile, in spite of the inability of many 
employers to realize that the best way of 
promoting their own interests was to contribute 
nten to win the war^ — an obstacle to recruiting 
so great that it called forth from Lord Kitchener 
a special appeal — and in spite of defects 
in organization which even the Under- 
Secretary of State for War had to admit to the 
House of Commons, the flow of men henceforth 

* The separation allowance granted by the regulations 
at this period of the war was 7s. 7d. a week to the wife 
ond Is. 2d. a week for each ij;irl under 16 and each boy 
under 14 years of age. Towards this a minimum of 
3s. Gd. a week was contributed by the scldier from his 



lor a. time increased. On Sefiteml^cr 10 Mr. 
Asquitli, in asking the House to sanction an 
increase of the Army by anotlier 500,000 men, 
stated that, up to the e\'ening of the previous 
day, " the number of recruits who have enlisted 
ill the Army since the declaration of war — 
that is, exclusive of those who have joined the 
Territorial Force, is 438,000, practically 439,000. ' ' 
These figures, as also that of 33,204, which was 
given as the total enlisted in the United King- 
dona in one day (September 3), were accepted 
Nvith complacency. But Mr. Asquith liastened 
to add : 

We do not think the tinie has come when we ought in 
any way to relax our recruiting etiforts, and when people 
tell me, as they do every day, " These recruita are coming 
in by tens of thousands ; you are being blocked by 
them, and you cannot provide adequately either for 
their equipment or for their training," my answer is, 
*' ^^'e shall want more rather than less ; let us get the 
men. That is the first necessity of the ,State — let us get 
the men." Knowing, as we all do, the patriotic spirit 
which alway.s — now, of course, in increased emphasis 
and enthusiasm — animates every class of the community, 
I am perfectly certain they will be ready to endure hard- 
ships and discomforts for the moment, if they are satisfied 
that their services are really lequired by the State, 
and that in due course of time tliey will be supplied 
with adequate provision for training and equipment 
and for rendering themselves fit for service in the 

The Prime Minister further announced that 
men who had been attested, and for whom 
there was no accommodation, were henceforth 
to be allowed to return home until needed, at 
3s. a day. The question of separation allow- 
ances was " receiving our daily and constant 

Lord Derby had proposed the same day that 
the separation allowances given in the footnote 
on page 293 should be raised to 10s. 6d. and 
4s. 8d. respectively. Meanwhile, The Times 
urged that payiuents should be made weekly 
instead of monthly, as being more compatible 
with the regvilar habits and customs of the 
people. This very desirable reform was put into 
force on October 1. 

So " blocked " with recruits were the mihtary 
authorities becoming, that on September 1 1 
the height standard for all men other than 
ex-soldiers enlisting in the infantry of the line 
was raised to r> feet 6 inches. This step, however 
necessary it may have appeared to the over- 
burdened War Office, had an unfortunate 
moral effect, for it produced the impression 
that nrore men were not really needed after 

At this moment was announced the composi- 
tion of the various armies into which the 



original first nev; Army 
It was as follows : 

had been expanded. 

9th to 14th Divisions and Army Troops 

15th to 20th Divisions and Army Troops ... 

21st to 26th Divisions and Army Troops ... 

27th to .32nd Divisions, of wliich the infantry 

were to be selected from the dnpUcated 

Reserve Battalions 

New Army. 





The formation of a 5th and 6th new army 
was announced on January 2, 1915. 

All this looked beautiful on paper, but, as 
the Military Correspondent of The Times 
pointed out, we did not. possess armies simply 
because we possessed men : 

Good officers, good N.C.O.'s, guns, rifles and ammuni- 
tion wagons talce time to provide, and without a good 
nucleus of trained professional officers and N.C.O.'s the 
creation of efficient troops is extremely arduous. . . . 
There can be little doubt that, so long as the country is 
in its present mood, we shall be able to raise a million 
men a year, and gradually to fashion them into a for- 
midable fighting force. But we must not minimize the 
time needed for creating such a force. An officer, a 
N.C.O., a gun, a rifle, and a thousand rounds of ammuni- 
tion all take a certain timo to turn out, and nothing but 
disappointment can ensue if we think that we can dn 
in six months what has tnken Germany half a century 
of effort. 

By September 15 the number of recruits 
raised since August 4 was reported to be 
501,580, England having produced 396,751, 
or 2'41 per cent, of the male population ; 
Scotland, 64,444, or 2'79 per cent. ; Ireland, 
20,419, or 0-93 per cent. ; and Wales, 19,966, 
or 1'94 per cent. 

Who was wounded at the battle of Ypres busily en- 
gaged designing posters for the recruiting campaign. 

Mr. .'isquith was enthusiastically received 
in Ireland and Wales on his visiting those parts 
of the kingdom for the purpose of stimulating 
the formation in each of a special Army Corps. 

Troops returning from a route march. 



Neverthek'So, by the end of October, 191i, 
the position with regard to recruiting had 
begun to cause anxiety to the authorities. The 
Recruiting Department issued an appeal in 
which young men were " reminded " that 
adequate arrangements £or accommodation had 
been made, that steps liad been taken to ensure 
the prompt payinent of separation allowance, 
that the rninimLun height for recruits had been 
reduced to the normal standard of 5 ft. 4 in., 
except for those imits for which special stan- 
dards had been authorized,- and that the age 
Jimit had been raised to 38, and, in the case of 
ex -soldiers, to 45. A fortnight later the height 
standard was again reduced — to o ft. 3 in. 
At this period London was producing an average 
of only 1,000 recruits a day, C4Ia3go\v about 
100, Leeds fewer than 40. Recruiting was 
undoubtedly hanging fire. Men were, it is true, 
still joming the Territorial Force and various 
specialized and unofficial corj^s in fair numbers, 
but uncertainty as to the Government's inten- 
tions with regard to separation allowances 
and pensions, combined with local prosperity. 

t^Ew Scale 

LD Scale 

s. cl. 

s. d. 

. 12 G 

11 1 

. !.5 

12 10 

. 17 6 

14 7 

. 20 

16 4 

. 22 

17 6 


Marching from the Recruiting Office to the railway 


Inset : Waiting to be attested. 

tlie lack of arms and uniforms, and a general 
failure to " realize the war," had brought 
recruiting for " Kitchener's Army " to a 
low ebb. 

Mr. Asquith had announced on September 17 
that the following new scale of separation 
allowances would be adojited : — 


"Wife and 1 child 
Wife and 2 children 
Wife and 3 children 
Wife and 4 children 

* New Scale, whether " on the strength " or not ; Old 
Scale. " on tho strength " only. 

These allowances, as already mentioned, 
were to be payable weekly through the Post 
office as from October 1. 

As for pensions, it was not until November 10 
that a new scale was issued. It showed the 
following increases in respect of the lowest 
grade of the Service : — 

Widow without children 
Widow with 1 child 
Widow with 2 children 
A\'idow with 3 children 
Widow with 4 children 
Motherless children ... 

Total Disablement 14«. to 23,9. 10s. 6ci. to 17«. 6d. 
Partial Disablement 3s. 6d. to 17s. 6d. 3s. &d. to 10s. 6d. 

Writing on November 7, The Times, m 
discussing the remedies needed to improve 
recruiting, insisted upon the absolute necessity 
of a fuller and more adequate supply of news 

New Scale 

Olp Scalb 

e. d. 

8. d. 

7 6 


... 12 6 

e 6 

... 15 


... 17 6 

9 6 

... 20 




(each child 

(each child) 

\ip to 3, and 

4s. each ad- 

ditional child) 



from the front, so far as was consistent with 
military requirements: 

Our Allies in the west do not need this incentive, for 
the meaning of the war and its horrors is visible to the 
eyes of their people. The French and Belgians do not 
require to be told, but our people do. The Press does not 
urge this view in its own interest, but in the interest of 
the Allied cause. If France needs more help, as she 
does, she must let us raise that help in our own way, by 
showing our people the character of a war which Franco 
can see and our people cannot. . . . The Allies must 
make their choice. They can give the news and get the 
men, or they can suppress the news and do without the 
men. . . . 

The next remedy lies in the adoption of clearer, more 
systematic, and more far-seeing methods at the War 
Office in obtaining recruits and in handling them when 
enlisted. We are not in the least attacking the War 
Office, for we consider that it has accomplished marvels, 
and done far more than the country had any right to 
expect. The machinery, however, is still inadequate for 
the enormous demands likely to be made upon it in the 
next few months, and it should summon to its aid all the 
best available lay help for this gigantic task of getting 
more and still more now armies. . . . Above all the 
Government have got to make up their minds instantly 
on the subject of pay, separation allowances, pensions 
and widows' pensions. 

Nearly a year was to elapse before, as will 
be seen (pp. 306-3 10), the wisdom of this 
advice to put the business of recruiting in 
civilian hands was recognized by the Govern- 
ment. The Times once more urged the im- 
portance of merely attesting recruits and then 
allowing them to continue their ordinary 

^^^^^R^^HUUMHP' 1 





IS 1 H E 


F <l It M 1-^ N 














^^^^^^H^^B " 

L:., „., 



vocations, at Army rates of pay, until they were 
required. This also was to prove one of the 
most popular features of Lord DerVjy's scheme 
a twelve-month later. Meanwhile tlie Pre.=;.s 
of the whole countrv teemed with discussions 

The 24th Middlesex, outside St. Paul's, appeal for 500 new recruits 




An anti-aircraft gun in the Lord Mayor's Proces- 
sion in London, November, 1915. 

German guns from Loos on view at the Horse 

Guards Parade, St. James's Park. 

Centre picture: New recruits marching across the 


of the desirability' or otlierwisf of compulsory 
service. The vi'hole of tlie London district on 
October 6 yielded only 500 recriiits as compared 
with the high-water mark of over 5,000 in one 
day in September. Tliree days later a remark- 
able illustration of the soundness of the view 
that the sluggish English iiiind needs the stimu- 
lant of pageantry and music to lift it out of 
its peaceful groove \vas to be seen in the effect 
upon recruiting of the Lord Mayor's show, a 
naval and miUtary spectacle which aroused 
the gi-eatest enthusiasm. More men joined 
the colours in London on that day than on any 
one day since the rush which followed the out- 
break of war. Tlu-oughout the country, too, 
a considerable improvement was perceptible. 
The issue on November 10 of the new scale 
of pensions and allowances (see p. 296) no 
doubt contributed largely to this satisfactory 

It is needless to repeat the description already 
given in Vol. V., page 205, of the expedients 
which were tried during the following months, 
and which soon tended to resemble com- 
pulsion while avoiding either the justice or the 
effectiveness of that method of recruiting. 
On November 9, at the Guildhall Banquet, 
Lord KitcKener had said that he had no com- 
plaints whatever to make about the response 
to his appeal for men, and a week later Mr. 




Asquith, in asking the House of Coimnons to 
sanction the increase of the arroy by another 
1,000,000 men, announced that not loss than 
700,000 recruits liad joined the colours since 
the beginning of the war, not including those 
in the Territorial Force. But for a time at 
least the most successful recruiter was the 
enemy. Such incidents, for example, as the 
bombardment of Scarborough never failed to 
produce an instantaneous rush of recruits. But, 
as The Times pointed out, there was a danger 
lest the presence of more recruits than could 

conveniently be dealt with at the moment 
should blind the Govermnent to the- necessitj 
of looldng forward to the time when the last 
half-million men should be needed to turn the 
scale. The Government suppressed recruiting 
returns and was adamantine in its refusal to 
discuss the matter, but Lord Haldane, while 
declaring that the Government saw no reason 
to anticipate the breakdown of the voluntary 
system, reminded the House of Lords (on 
January 8) of the truism that compulsory ser- 
vice was not foreign to the constitution of the 




country, and that in a great national em3rgoncy 
it might bocomo nscessary to resort to it. His 
utteraneas raised a great o\irery in that part 
of the Press which wa^ opposed on princijile to 
compulsion, but a little reflection might have 
suggested that the establisliment of compulsory 
service was not in any case conceivable without 
the consent of Parliament. 

On INIarch 1 ]\Ir. Asquith declared that the 
Government had no reascjn to be otherwise than 
satisfied «ith the progress of recruiting. But 
before tlie month was ovit it became abundantly 
evident that the whole matter was in an un- 
healthy state of muddle. 

The official attitude appeared to lietray a 
lack of courage and franlcness and a nervous 
unwillingness to face the situation boldly. All 
that the Govermnent could ]>roduce was a 

series of vague and humiliating appeals, 
tempered by speech-making " campaigns " in 
Ijondon and elsewhere, tho success of which 
was largely due to some timely Zeppelin raida 
and the news of hard fighting round Ypres. 
.Meanwhile the disproportionate enlistment of 
married as compared with unmarried men con- 
tinued to be a reproach upon the justice of tho 
voluntary system. 

A remarkable speech by Lord Derby at 
Manchester on AprU 27 aroused the public, by 
this time growing weary of the recruiting clam- 
our, to the realization of the over-optimism of 
the Government. Mr. Lloyd George had said 
that Lord Kitchener was satisfied with tho 
rate of recruiting. In Lord Derby's opinion, 
he was perfectly justified in saying that he was 
satisfied for the moment, but that did not 
mean that recruiting could not and ought not 
to be increased. Lord Derby announced that 
lie had Lord Kitchener's authority for saying 
that he asked that the recruitin;^ efforts should 
bo maintained and that " the time would come 
— sooner, perhaps, than most people expected — 
when he would ask for additional and re- 
tloubled efforts." That seemed to Lord Derbv 
to mean that " in a very short time they would 
have made to tliem an appeal to which none of 
them would be able to say nay. He thought 
that there would be a compulsory demand on 
the services of this country." 

Gn May IH, Lord Kitchener appealed in the 

Who took part in a recruiting campaign organised by the United Irish League of Great Britain, 
appealing for recruits in Hyde Park. Inset: Sergeant O'Leary with Mr. T. P. O'Connor, MP., 

on the way to the meeting. 




Lance-Corporal E. Dwyer of the East Surrey 

Regiment, in London on a few days' leave, 

addressing a meeting In Trafalgar Square. 

Inset : Lance-Corporal Dwyer (centre). 

House of Lords for 300,000 more recruity, 
and next day the age limit ^vas raised to 40 
and the height standard reduced to 5 ft. 2 in. 
A month later The Times published a pro- 
phetic letter from Lord ]Milner : 

Tlie State [he wrote] ought not to be obliged to tout 
for fighting men. It ought to be in a position to call 
out the number it wants as and when it wants them, and 
to call them out in the right order — the younger before 
the older, the unmarried before the married, the men 
whose greatest value is as soldiers in preference to thosa 
who can contribute more to the successful conduct of the 
war in a civilian capacity, as makers of munitions, 
transport workers, tillers of the soil or what not. . . . 

The present call for another 300,000 — any men, just 
those who choose to listen to it — may succeed or it may 
fail. If it succeeds, it will still be, like previous levies 
of the same kind, needlessly disorganizing and wasteful. 
Many men will go who would be far more use at home 
than others who will not go. The unfairness of leaving 
it to individual intelligence or good will to decide 
who is to bear the burden will become increasingly evident 
and disturbing to the public mind. And how about the 
next 300.000 and the next after that ? . . . 

The way we are at present going on is unfair to every- 
body. It is unfair to our splendid men ab the front and 
our gallant Allies. But it is unfair, also, to thousands of 
men at home, who are unjustly denounced as " slackers," 
or "cowards," when they are simply ignorant, or be- 
wildered — and who might not be bewildered between the 
alternating screams for help and psans of victory ? — 
orsorely puzzled to choose between conflicting duties. . . 

Amid the controversies involved in the forma- 
tion of the Coalition Government, Mr. IJoyd 
George, now Minister of Munitions, was alone 

among members of the Cabinet in speaking out 
courageously on the subject of compulsory 
service. At Manchester, on June 3, he in- 
formed a meeting of engineers that he had come 
to tell them the truth. " Unless you know it," 
he said, as The Times had been saying for 
months past, " you cannot be expected to 
make sacrifices." Arguing that " conscription" 
was a question not of principle, but of necessity, 
he declared, amid cheers, that if the necessity 
arose he was certain that no man of any party 
would protest : 

" But," he added, " pray don't talk about it as if it 
were anti-democratic. We won and saved our libertiea 
in this land on more than one occasion by compulsory 
service. France saved the liberty she had won in the 
groat Revolution from the fangs of tyrannical military 
empires purely by compulsory service; the great Re- 
public of the West won its independence and saved its 
national existence by compulsory service ; and two of 
the countries of Europo to-day — France and Italy — are 
defending their national existence and liberties by means 
of compulsory service. It has been the greatest weapon 
in the hands of Democracy many a time for the winning 
and preservation of freedom." 



But henceforth, imtil mid-September, the 
country was too much occupied with the i-U-gent 
need for munitions to remember that, as Lord 
Milner reminded it, "if there was one thing 
which the war ought to have taught, it was that 
you have to look ahead, and that you cannot 
afford to think only of one thing at a time." 
Six or nine months hence, he added — and his 
prophecy was to be fyilfilled even sooner than 
he thought — tlie deficiency of material might 
liave been made good and the great cry once 
more be for men. 

Before the end of June the Government was 
to recognize the truth which, although pressed 
upon it from divers quarters, it had hitherto 
persistently ignored — namelj% that the first 
step towards making the best use of the national 
resources in men was to discover what men 
were available. The National Registration 
Bill, introduced on June 29, and described in 
V^ol. v., page 317, although it abstained from 
asldng for a good deal of the information 
which the authorities in Continental countries 
reciuire as a matter of course from every citizen, 
enabled the Government to take stock of the 
adult population from the jjoint of view of 
occupation, warlike or otherwise. " When this 
registration is completed," said Lord Kjtchener 


at the Guildliall on July 9, " we shall, anyhow, 
be able to note the men between the ages of 19 
and 40 not required for munition or other 
necessary industrial work, and therefore avail- 
able, if physically fit, for the fighting line. 
Steps will be taken to approach, with a view to 
enlistment, all possible candidates for the Army 
— mmiarried men to be preferred before married 
men, as far as may be." 

With this object returns of men between the 
ages of 19 and 41 were copied upon so-called 
" pinli " forms for the use of the military 
authorities, while men engaged on Govermnent 
work or in essential war industries were 
" starred " as exempt from the attentions of 
the recruiting officers. The use of these " pink" 
forms, and the haphazard principles on which 
" starring " was carried out, were immediately 
and, as was clear to detached observers, in- 
evitably to lead to extreme dissatisfaction 
with War Office methods. This dissatisfaction 
culminated on the publication (October .5) of a 
War Office circular of September 30 instructing 
recruiting officers to " take whatever steps 
considered most effectual " to induce unstarred 
men to join the Army. Officers were further 
enjoined to see " that no unstarred man is 
able to complain any longer that he is not 
wanted in the Army as ' he has not been 
fetched,' ' ' and to report the number of unstarred 
men who " refuse to give their services to the 
country by enlisting in the Army, where they 
are so much needed." So great was the feeling 
caused by the coi"nmencement of this military 
canvass that it « as immediately abandoned. 

The number of " starred " occupations, which 
were at first confined to munition work, 
Adnairalty work, coal mining, railway work, 
and certain branches of agriculture, tended as 
time went on to show a very remarkable in 
creasf, and undoubtedly led to much " shirk- 
ing " disguised under the form of engagement in 
essential industries. It seems quite certain 
that an enormous number of unmarried men 
entered " starred " trades with the object 
of escaping enlistment. There can be no 
doubt that a far more satisfactory plan would 
have been to have " starred " individuals 
without regard to their occupation, but it was 
probably felt that this task, which in other 
countries is deliberately performed in peace 
time, was too extensive to be attempted amid 
the improvisations of war. Trades, therefore, 
were " starred " as a whole, and it was not 
until the abuses of the system became flagrant 




A great army of British recruits who had enlisted under the group scheme \rhich came to a close on 
Sunday evening, Dec. 12, 1915. Everywhere the rush of recruits taxed the capacities of the various 
officers to the utmost. Armlets of khaki cloth bearing a crown cut out of scarlet cloth were served 

out to all those who had attested. 

that the restoration to the " unstarred " list of 
men who, by the fact of their belonging to 
"starred" trades, had been "starred" them- 
selves, but who could be shown,, 
not to be essential to those trades, was imder- 
taken by a subsequent and painful process of 
extraction. By the end of December the list of 
so-called "reserved occupations" numbered 

several hundreds, divided into innumerable 
sub-occupations. With regard to most of these 
it was clear that they were of vital importance 
to the proper carrying on of the essential 
industries of the country. What remained to be 
made clear was the importance to any of them of 
any individual man — at all events, so far as the 
unskilled ranks of labour were concerned. 



The King's Trumpeter, sounding the " Fall In." 

the attention of his Majesty's Government." 
He added that when the Government, without 
undue delay, with as much deliberation as the 
gravity of the subject demanded, arrived at 
their conclusions, they would present them to 
the House, and they would become the subject 
of Parliamentar}' discussion. Dtu'ing this 
period, those who \irgod the Govermnent to 
make up their minds were commonly repre- 
sented as desiring to impair " the unity of the 
country." Such are the trivial catchwords 
with which English politicians faced the greatest 
war in history. 

On the foUo^ving day, however, Mr. Asqiuth 
made an important statement in which ht 
declared the total numbers iri the Navy and 
Army (including those already serving when the 
war began, the reservists summoned back to 
duty m both services, the Territorial Force, 
and the various special services formed for 
military and naval purposes) to be " not far 
short of three millions of men." As for the re- 
cruiting, it had kept up for 13 months at " a 
fairly steady figure," though he regretted that 
the last few weeks had shown signs of falling 
off. Lord Kitchener, in the House of Lords, 
considerably amplified this statement. While, 
as he said, the response of the country to calls 

Meanwhile, abundant expressions of support 
were forthcoming for a National Service move- 
ment, summed up in the comprehensive sen- 
tence : " Every fit man, whatever his position 
ill life, must be made available, as and when 
his country calls him, for the fighting line, or, 
if specially qualified, for national service at 

It was announced on September 6 that a 
Committee had been appointed, under the 
chairmanship of Lord Lansdowne, to advise 
the Government on the best method of utilizing 
the National Register " for the successful 
prosecution of the war." A Cabinet Committee, 
under the presidency of Lord Crewe, had been 
sitting during the Parliamentary recess for the 
purpose of ehciting information as to our mili- 
tary requirements in men. It was understood 
that the majority had reported that the only 
decision possible was the introduction of a 
comprehensive system of national service. Mr. 
Asquith, adroitly postponing the matter until 
the last half -minute of a speech in the House 
of Commons on September 14, permitted liim- 
self to raise a laugh by observing that NationaJ 
Service was " a matter which has not escaped 




for recruits had been " little short of marvel- 
lous/' he pointed out that the provision of men 
to maintain the forces in the field depended in 
great degree on a large and continuous supply 
of recruits, and added : " The provision to 
keep up their strength during 1916 has caused 
us anxious thought, which has been accentuated 
and rendered more pressing by the recent 
falling off in the numbers coming forward to 
enlist, although every effort has been made to 
obtain our requirements under the present 
systems." He very properly closed with the 
remark that, though recruiting had declined, 
he did not " draw from this fact any conclusion 
unfavourable to the resolution and spirit of the 

The world had yet to learn the full truth 
regarding the response to Lord Kitchener's 
appeals. In the absence of figures, which, 
with the idea of misleading the enemy, were 
kept strictly concealed, it was impossible to 
say exactly what was the strength of the 
new Armies in the autumn of 1915. But it 
was known in many quarters that the men 
needed to maintain existing and authorised 

formations were not being secured, and as the 
year went on the situation went from bad to 
worse. Sir Edward Carson was subsequently 
to show in the House of Commons (December 
21) that three of our divisions in the East 
which should have numbered 30,000 infantry 
were reduced to 11,000 men, or in other words 
that we had failed to make good by drafts the 
wastage of war in the field. And on the follow- 
ing day Colonel Yate showed that a certain 
Second Line Territorial division in England, 
due for the front in March, 1916, had only 
4,800 infantry in place of its proper 12,000 

The total difference between the establish- 
ments and the strengths of the Army was 
undoubtedly exceedingly serious, and whatever 
the actual numbers may have been, it was clear 
that affairs were approaching a climax. la spite 
of the Prime BGnister's appeals for silence, the 
House of Commons continued to discuss the 
matter with great energy. On September 30 a 
statement was issued by a conference of the 
Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union 
Congress, the IManagement Committee of the 
General Federation of Trade Unions, the Execu- 

New Recruits for the 9th Royal Scots in their uniforms. 



tive of the Labour Party and members of the 
Parliamentary Labour Party, in which the con- 
ference pledged itself " to assist the Government 
in every possible way to secure men for service 
in the Navy, Army, and in munitions works," 
and for this purpose decided to organize a 
special Labour recruiting campaign throughout 
the coimtry. Great "recruiting rallies" were 
held in London and elsewhere on October 2, 
and the following days, but the results were 
meagre in the extreme. The time had come 
to try new methods and a new man. 

The next phase opened with the annoimce- 
ment, on October 6, of the appointnnent of 
Lord Derby as Director of Recruiting. Al- 
though himself an advocate of national service, 
I^ord Derby had for ten years past done perhaps 
more than anyone to make the vohuitary 
system a success, A typical Englishman in 
his straightforwardness and sinceritj-, Lord 
Derby had shown himself to possess a remark- 
able combination of qualities wliich might welJ 
have been utilized loiag before. His own posi- 
tion and ardent patriotism stood above question. 
He had an intimate knowledge of the great 
industrial centres in the North. He was 
businesshke and immensely industrious. His 
ajjpotntment was hailed with general satis- 

faction, not only on account of his personal 
popularity, but because it was felt to be an 
advantage that the preliminary work of securing 
recruits should be in civilian hands, leaving the 
War Office free to concentrate upon the 
work of training them after they had been 

Forthwith the Laboiu' Recruiting Committee 
issued an appeal stating that " the respon- 
sibility for victory or defeat rests with those 
who have not yet responded to the call," and 
declaring that " if the vohmtary system is to 
be vindicated at least 30,000 recruits per week 
jnust be raised to maintain the efficiency of our 
armies." So far as can be seen, this figure only 
represented infantry needs. About 35,000 men 
per week were really recp.iired to keep up 
exist ing formations. 

On October 1.3 Lord Derby outlined his 

scheme* in considerable detail. Starting with 

the genera! principle that recruiting should in 

futme be done entirely by civilians, instead of, 

as in the past, by the military authorities with 

civilian assistance. Lord Derby explained that 

the cliief responsibiUty would rest with the 

* Lord Derby subsequently explained that the scheme 
was the work of three Lancashire men — the Secretary to 
the Territorial Association, and two candidates for Parlia- 
ment, Unionist and Liberal respectively. 






Recruits answering to their Names. 
Inset : Leaving the Horse Gufirds Parade. 

Parliamentary Recruiting Conimittee and the 
Joint Labour Recruiting Committee. In every 
area a local committee, whether already existing 
or to be formed, would vmdertake the work of 
canvassing, availing itself of the services of 
the political agents of all parties. A letter 
would be sent to every " unstarred " man in 
order that lie might have a direct appeal and 
be unable to say in future that he was not called 
upon to join. The canvass would continue 
until November 30. 

In a letter to The Times Recruiting Supple- 
ment, published on November 3, Lord Derby 
wrote : 

" My conception of an ideal recruiting cam. 
paign is to get as many men to enUst under the 
voluntary system as would have to come under 
a compulsory one. I have always urged that 
it is the duty of every man in this crisis to offer 
his services to the State, and for the State 
definitely to allot him his position, whether it 
be in some branch of his Majesty's forces or in 
the munition works, or in one of the indispensable 
industries of this country, or even as an indis- 
pensable person in a private business. But it 
must be the State and not the individual which 
decides a man's proper place in the machinery 

U^ .^ * 


■;■ ? . ' -1 


of the country. I hope by the present scheme 
not only to ascertain what is each man's right 
position, but to induce him voluntarily to take 
it. But before this can be done a man must 
actually enlist, not merely promise to do so. 
By enhsting men in groups, only to come up 
when called upon, and allowing them before 
actually joining to appeal to local tribunals to 
be put in later groups for reasons which can be 
specially urged, we shall be able to allot proper 
places to aU men in the ' unstarred ' list. Then 
we must carefully examine the whole of the 
' starred ' list, and where we find a man 
wrongly placed in that list, or a man who, 
though rightly placed in it, can be spared 



Addressing a meeting in the Strand, London. 

from his industry, tliat man must be placed 
in the ' unstarred ' list and dealt with ac- 
cordingly. . . . 

' ' There is no necessity under this scheme for 
a man when he enlists to join his regiment 
immediately. He can do so if he wishes ; but 
if he prefers to be placed in such a group as his 
age and condition — i.e., married or single — 
entitles him to enter -and only come to the 
colours when his group is called up for service, 
he can request the recruiting oificer to do this. 
He has this assurance : groups will be called up 
strictly in their order, the younger unmarried 
men before the older men, and all unmarried 
men, except those who may be proved to be 
indispensable to their businesses, before any 
of the married men. The recruiting officer will 
inform the recruit of the number of his group, 
which is determined, as stated above, by age 
and whether married or single. Be it under- 
stood, however, that any man who has married 
since the date of registration will be placed in a 
group as if unmarried. 

" 'WTiether the scheme will be a success or not 
is in the lap of the gods. No mere numbers 
will make it a success. The older married man 
who enlists mast not be penalized by being 
brought forward earlier for active service than 
he can rightly expect because the younger 
man has failed in his duty. Each group;repre- 
sents a particular age, and success can only be 
attained when it can be shown that each group, 
and tlierefore each age, has played its part and 
come forward in something like equal propor- 
tions. Unless the young ■ unmarried man does 
come forward this voluntary scheme will not 

have succeeded and other methods will have to 
be adopted. It is essential that faith should 
be kept with the patriotic men who do enlist. 
I therefore tirge everybody of reoruitable age 
to present themselves to the recruiting officer 
and let that officer decide if he is physically fit 
for service. If he is, let him take his proper 
place in his group. The local tribunals will 
give fair hearing to the recruit's request that 
he should be put in a later group owing to his 
being indispensable to his business." 

The groups above referred to were the follow- 
ing : 








18 — 19i' 


18— 19t ., 












2] 22 




22—23 '.'. 
























28 — 29 
























34 — 35 


35—36 ... 18 



36—37 ...( 19 



37—38 ...; 20 



38—39 ... 21 











t No man was to be called up until he had attained the 
age of 19. 

It will be realized from the above that a 
recruit had the option cither of joining the 
Army at once or of joining the group appropriate 
to his age and condition, whether married or 





unmarried. In the latter case ho was simplj' 
attested, received the sum of 2s. 9d. for his one 
day's " service," and returned to his oivihan 
occupation as a member of Section B of the Army 
Reserve, to be called up at a fortnight's notice 
as required in the order of the groujjs. Local 
tribiuials, to which appeal tribunals were added, 
were to decide whether a man could rightly 
claiin exemption and whether his claim to be 
transferred to a later group should be allowed. 

In his letter to the " unstarred " men, Lord 

Derby wrote : 

If this effort does not succeed the country knows that 
everything possible will have been done to make the 
voluntary system a success and will have to decide by 
what method sufficient recruits can be obtained to 
maintain our Armies in the field at their required strength. 
May T, as Director-General of Recruiting, beg you to 
consider your own position ) Ask yourself whether in a 
coimtry fighting as ours is for its very existeuce you are 
doing all you can for its safety, and whether the reason 
you have hitherto held to be valid as one for not enlistino- 
holds good at the present crisis. Lord Kitchener wants 



every man he can get. Will you not be one of those who 
rc-^pond to your coiuitry's call ? 

Lord Derby's schema did not apply to 

The canvass was carried out for the most part 
by civilian voUmteers of both sexes, chosen by 
a local sub-committee, the men being above 
recruitable age or otherwise excused from enlist- 
ment. In some cases soldiers were also employed. 
Vnder the committee for each Parliamentai-y 
constituency branch committees were set up 
where recjuired in district borouglis, borough 
M-ards, and sub-divisions comprising groups of 
villages. The use of To\\'n Halls, Mimicipal 
Offices, Schools, and similar useful buildings 
M as secured as Canvassing Headquarters. Blue 
cards containing the nanies of eligible :nen were 
supplied to the Chairmen of the Committees, as 
also duplicate white cards, which were kept as 
a register of results, and on which the essential 
particulars entered by the canvassers on the 
blue card were briefly recorded. The blue and 
white cards were provided with spaces for the 
name, address, age. and occupation of the man 
canvassed, his employer's n.amo and address, 
and particulars as to whether he was married or 
single, and the number of his children or other 
dependents. Attestation sub-committees were 
appointed to assist the canvassers in getting 
the men attested, and particularly to collect 
men willing to Join on certain future dates. 
Travelling inspectors, of position and influence. 

were appointed to visit frequently the sub- 
committees to see that the work was being done 
efficiently. Railway warrants for those willing 
to enlist at once were supplied in advance. 

The following were the official directions for 
canvassers issued bv the Parliamentary Re- 
cruiting Committee : 


WHETHER Regular, New Army, Special Reserve 
OR Territorials. 

2. You will bo provided with a eard which will give 
you the authority to call upon reciuitable men. 

3. The cards that you receive contain name.^ of men 
who. according to the National Register, can be spared 
to enlist. 

4. j\take a point of calling repeatedly until you actually 
see the man himself. You must not be put off by assur- 
ances or statements from other people. Make a special 
report if ultimately yon. fail to see him. 

.5. Put before him plainly and politely the 


6. If he agrees, give him all necessary information as 
to where and how he may enlist. 

7. If he hesitates or refuses, try to find out what are 
his reasons. Note these carefully. Ascertain whether' 
his difficulties or objections can be removed by furnishing 
him with information on any specific point (for example, 
pensions, separation allowances, vacancies in particular 
regiments), or by some possible action with his employer 
or relations. 

8. Treat your conversations as confidential and do not 
disclose them except to those authorised to know the 

9. Note all removals and try to ascertain from neigh- 
bours or others the new address. 

10. Make careful notes on every card and report 
daily at the office until your list is completed. 

11. Verify all particulars on card (especially age and 
occupation). Tick if correct. 

12. Amend particulars that are incorrect. 

13. Ascertain if the nian has been discharged from 

Outside a Recruiting Office at Melbourne Town Hall. 



A scene outside a Recruiting Office in Ottawa, Canada, 

the Navy or Army. Tf so, extract reason for discharge 
and date from his discharge paper. State if reason for 
discharge has since been removed. 

14. If the man has been refused on account of being 
medically unfit or for other reason, insert on the card 
the date and place of rejection from his notice paper. 
If he is not in possession of a notice paper he should bo 
told to go to the recruiting office where he was rejected 
to get one. Please state carefully cause of rejection — 
e.g., under standard, medically unfit, eyesight, etc. 

]n. If a man has enlisted since the Register was made 
up, give re;zinient and, if possible, date and place oi 

16. Canvassers must endeavour to get all the men 
they possibly can for the Infantry. It is Infantry that 
is required to maintain the Armies in the field, and the 
issue of the war largely depends on this arm. They 
should be told that their services are equally useful 
whether they join the Regular, New, Special Reserve, or 
Territorial Force. 

17. Where a man states that he is employed bj- a firm 
engaged on Government work, reference should be made 
to the nearest recruiting oflicr^r to ascertain whether 
under War Office instructions the man should not be 

It will be seen that if these instructions were 
properly carried out no eligible man would be in 
a position to say that he did not know that he 
was wanted. No totals were puVjlished daring 
the progress of the canvass. All that could be 
gathered was tliat it was being more successful 
in some districts than in others. 

The movement thus started was given a 
great impetus by the following stirrmg letter 
from the King, published on October 23 : 

Buckingham Palace. 
■ At this grave moment in the struggle between 
my people and a highly organized enemy who 
has transgressed the Laws of Nations and 
changed the ordinance that binds civilized 
Europe together, I appeal to you. 

I rejoice in my Empire's effort, and I feel 
pride in the voluntary response from mj' 
Subjects all over the world who have sacrificed 
home, fortvme, and life itself, in order that 
another may not inherit the free Empire which 
their ancestors and mine have built. 

I ask you to make good these sacrifices. 

The end is not in sight. More men and yet 




On the last day of the Recruiting Campaign. 

more are wanted to keep my Armies in the 
Field, and through them to secure Victory and 
enduring Peace. 

In ancient days the darkest moment has ever 
produced in men of our race the sternest 

I ask you, men of all classes, to come for- 
ward voluntarily and take your share in the 

In freely responding to my appeal, you will 
be giving your support to our brothers, who, for 
long months, have nobly upheld Britain's past 
traditions, and the glory of her Arms. 

George R.I. 

As the result of this and other appeals, a 
flood of recruits came pouring in even before 
the formal canvass could be put into operation. 
There was still, however, as there had been from 
the first, much difficulty in persuading some 
employers to allow their employees to enlist, 
and it was not long before various uncer- 
tainties connected with the scheme led to a 
regrettable, if natural, hesitation on the part 
of certain classes affected. The married men, 
in particular, wished to know how they would 
stand in the event of its being only partially 
successful. What would happen if, owing to 
the faOure of the unmarried to come forward, 
the married groups were called up forthwith, 
and then, after all, compulsory service became 
necessary ? What was really meant by the 
phrase on the recruiting posters, " Single men 
first " ? 

On November 2 Mr. Asquith delivered a 
speech in the course of wliich he said : 

I am told by Lord Derby and others that there is 
some doubt among men who are now being asked to 
enlist whether they may not bo called upon to serve, 
having enlisted, or promised to enlist, wliile younger and 
unmarried men are holding bacit and not doing their 
duty. So far as I am concerned I should certainly say the 
obligation of the married man to enlist ought not to be 
enforced or binding upon him unless and until — T hope by 
voluntary effort, and if not by some other means — the 
unmarried men are dealt with first. 

Now, by Lord Derby's scheme as published, 
there was no question of attested married men 
being called up before attested luimarried men. 
The Prime Minister's characteristically ana- 
biguous statement was, therefore, taken to 
mean that, before the married men were called 
up in their groups, comptJsion would be' 
applied to the eligible unmarried men in the 
event of their not enlisting voluntarily. 

In point of fact Mr. Asquith explained on 
November 12 that in his speech he had 
" pledged not only himself but his Govern- 
ment when he stated that if young men did 
not, under the stress of national duty, come 
forward voluntarily, other and compulsory 
means would be taken before the married 
men were called upon to fulfil their engage- 
iTient to serve." But even so, anxieties were 
not allayed. Many married men enlisted in the 
belief that they would not be called up until every 
tnamarried man had been compelled to enlist, 
but Mr. Asquith' s fencing replies to questions in 
the House of Commons soon revealed to them 



that their position was by no means so clear 
as they had supposed. As the result of the 
uncertainty as to what, if anything, the Govern- 
ment meant to do, and the feeling among the 
married men that they had been enlisted 
under false pretences, I'ecruiting was thrown 
back for over a week. Lord DerVjy, indeed, gave 
the married men his personal pledge that faith 
would be kept with them. He added that 
the day that faith was not kept he would go 
out of office. In his view, there was no dis- 
crepancy between the " other means " of Mr. 
Asquith's speech of November 2 and the 
" compulsory means '' of Mr. Asquith's explana- 
tion of November 12, for the simple reason that 
there was no alternative to voluntary methods 
except compulsory methods. But, if Par- 
Hament had to be required to consider compul- 
sory service, and refused it, the obligation upon 
attested married men would not be held binding. 
This view was formally expressed by Lord 
Derby in a letter published on November 20, 
and was endorsed by Mr. Asquith as correctly 
expressing the intentions of the Government. 
Lord Derby wrote : 

Married men are not to be called \ip until young 
unmarried men have been. If these young men do not 

come forward voluntarily wo will either release the 
married men from their jiledge or introduce a Bill into 
Parliament which will compel the young men to serve, 
which, if pa^ssed, would mean that the married men 
would be held to their enlistment. If, on the other hand. 
Parliament did not pass such a Bill, the married men 
would be automatically released from their engagement 
to serve. 

By the expression " young men coming forward to 
serve " I think it should be taken to mean that the \-ast 
majority of yoimg men not engaged in munition work 
or work necessary for the country should offer them- 
selves for service, and men indispensable for civil 
employment and men who have personal reasons which 
are considered satisfactory by the local tribunals for 
relegation to a later class, can have their claims examined 
for such relegation in the way that has already been laid 

If, after all those claims have been investigated, and 
all the exemptions made mentioned above, there remains 
a considerable number of young men not engaged in 
these piusuits who could be perfectly spared for military 
service, they should be compelled to serve. On the other 
hand, if the number should prove to be, as I hope it will, 
a really negligible minority, there would be no question 
of legislation. 

Meanwliile strenuous efforts were made to 
recover the time and men lost bj' this unfor- 
tunate muddle. Lord Derby informed a 
meeting of the Stock Exchange that "men 
must come in in very much larger numbers 
in the next three weeks if they were going to 
make the position of voluntary service abso- 
lutely unassailable. A gradual relaxation of 


Soldiers from the trenches in France welcome their t)rospective comrades outside a Recruiting Office. 



















the formalities prescribed on attestation became 
visible. The eyesight test for men enlisting 
on the group system \\as deferred until they 
should be called up for service. With the 
\'iew, doubtless, of swelling the gross total, 
Civil Servants, who had hitherto considered 
themselves exempt, were invited by the 
Government to enlist, the only Departments 
immune from the attentions of the canvassers 
being the Admiraltj', the War Office, and the 
JNIinistry of Munitions. The date for the con- 
clusion of the canvass was extended, first to 
December 1 1 , and then to December 1 2. After 
the latter date enlistment could only be for 
inamediate service without the intervention 
of the group system. As December 12 drew 
near the rusli of recruits completely over- 
whelmed the arrangements made for dealing 
■s\'ith it. Just as in the early period of 
the war, men waited for many hours in 
vain outside the recruiting offices.* In 
some cases no attempt could be made 
to carry out a medical examination. The 
recruiters instructions appeared to be to 
attest anyone who presented himself, leaving 
it to the future to decide whether he had or 
had not justified his sojourn in Section B of 
the Army Reserve. The " starring " system, 
of which so much had been heard, went by 
the board, " starred " men of all classes and 
occupations lieing invited to present themselves 
with the rest. The local tribunals were, 
therefore, to be called upon to do over agam, 
on the "starred" man's coming up with his 
group, the work which had in theory been done 
at the tiiue of the making of the National 

The idea of permitting those who placed 
their ser\'ices alisolutely at the disposal of the 
Goveriuuent to wear an armlet had been 
suggested as early as September, 1914, by the 
National Patriotic Association, but nothing 
came of it, war badges being issued instead, 
though in a haphazard manner, to some of 
the men engaged on niimitions work. On 
October .30, 1915, however, it was announced 
that the Govermuent had decided to issue 
khaki armlets, bearing the Royal Crown, to 
the following classes of men : 

(1) Those who enlisted and were placed in 
groups awaiting a call to join the colours. 

* It was decided at the last moment to take the names 
of men still unattested at midnight on December 12 and 
keep open the group system for them alone for a further 
three days. 



Leaving the Recruiting Office in Jamaica Road for their training camp 

(2) Those who offerea themselves for enhst- 
ment and were found to be medically unfit. 

(3) Those who had been invalided out of the 
Service with good character, or who had been 
discharged as " not likely to become efficient " 
on medical grounds. 

A good deal of dissatisfaction was arovised 
in sonae quarters by this announcement. It 
was felt that, unless armlets were equally 
issued to " war workers " who were not supplied 
with badges, obloquy would fall upon many 
who in no way deserved it. There was further 
much dislike of the idea that a man should 
pubUcly proclaim himself as medically unfit, 
and thereby, perhaps, spoil his chance of 

obtaining emplojTnent. On Novenrber 15, 
therefore, the proposed issue to recruits rejected 
as medically unfit was withdrawn for further 
consideration. On December 27 it was an- 
nounced that, after January 15, 1916, armlets 
would be issued to rejected men, subject to 
their presenting themselves again for medical 
examination. Those who had been rejected on 
accovuit of eyesight or some slight physical 
defect would now, if they passed the exaniina- 
tion, be attested and passed into the .Army 
Reserve. When the rush of recruits came 
at the finish of the period laid down, the 
supply of armlets for attested men proved 
quite inadequate. But even among those who 

\ ,-. 





• mr.; 

K s ^^Hp^ "*' %nl^ A 

^fct— #*^..-*^ 

^■. .^"^i^rr 

Major Jackson swearing-in the new recruits. 



duly received their armlets on attestation, a 
curious reluetaneo to wear them manifested 
itself. It is probable that nianj' of those who 
thus- hid their light under a bushel did so 
from the Englishman's natiu-al inclination to 
shrink from making himself conspicuous. 
Others, again, may have been merelj^ prompted 
bj' the desire to keep their armlets clean, 
with a view to preserving them as a memento. 
But, whatever the cause, it was remarkable to 
note the almost complete absence of armlets 
in the streets, and it was not until the Kmg 
himself expressed the hope that every man 
entitled to wear an armlet would do so that the 
practice of wearing them became other than 
most imusual. 

The canvass having been completed, the 
Government acted, for once, with great prompti- 
tude and on December 18 issued a Proclamation, 
dated December 20, calling up for service the 
unmarried men belonging to the second, third, 
fourth, and fifth groups. (See page 308.) 
The first group, consisting of men between 
eighteen and nineteen years of age, was left 
until they should have grown older. The men 
called up were instructed to present themselves 
in batches beginning on .January 20, 1916. 
Meanwhile ciaims for postponement were to 
be delivered in writing to the clerks of the local 
tribunals not later than December 30. Men 
belonging to the following three categories — 
(1) those "starred" by reason of their occu- 
pation on their National Register " pink " 
forms, (2) those authorized to wear a Govern- 
ment badge denoting that they were engaged 
upon essential work for the Government, and 
(3) those actually engaged on a reserved occu- 
pation, lists of which had been published in the 
Press — were not to be called up for actual 
military service unless it had been decided, 
after due inquiry by the conapetent authority, 
that it was no longer necessary in the national 
interest to retain them in their civil employ- 

Those who had hoped to learn the result of 
the Derby scheme, and with it the fate of the 
voluntary system, before the HojLise of Commons 
adjourned for Clxristmas were doomed to dis- 
appointment. In asking Parliament, on 
December 21, to sanction the addition to the 
Army of yet another 1,000,000 men — making 
the fourth million since August 5, 1914 — Mr. 
Asquith armoimced that Lord Derby's report 
had not been received until the previous 
evening and that, while the figures and the 

inferences to be drawn from them were re- 
ceiving from the Govermnent tho careful 
consideration that they deserved, it ■n'ould be 
impossible to communicate to the House the 
results in any detail, or, indeed, at all. " To 
avoid all possibility of misunderstanding," 
he repeated the pledge to the married men, 
which he had given on November 2 (see page 
312). Meanwhile, he warned the House of the 
enormous deductions which would have to be 
made, under whatever sj'stein of recruiting, 
before it became possiVjle to arrive at tho 
" recruitable maximum." The debate jjro- 
duced nothing except a vague belief that the 
Derby scheme had failed to bring in the number 
of yormg single men wliich alone, according to 
Mr. Asquith's pledge, would warrant the calling 
out of the married groups. One plirase, 
however, of Mr. Asquith's speech deserves 
record, if only because it was one more instance 
of tho belated Ministerial acceptance of opinions 
urged by the Press during the previous year 
of war. Sir. Ascjuith laid down the principle 
tViat " we should aim at getting potentially 
every man of military age and capacity, not 
disqualified by physical or domestic conditions, 
who is available, consistent with making 
provision for our other national necessities." 
Such provisions included the Nav}"", the business 
of the production and transport of munitions 
and tho maintenance of those industries on 
which our subsistence, our social life, and oui 
export trade depend. But this organization 
is jjrecisely what compulsory service, and eoin- 
jjulsory service alone, can achieve in a just and 
economical manner. 

The next few days were spent by a portion of 
the Press in a form of guessing competition as 
to the results of the canvass, and deductions 
according with the preconceived ideas of the 
newspapers were freely based vipon these 
admittedly conjectural assertions. But even 
the more violently " anti-conscriptionist " 
organs revealed an uneasy feeling that, in spite 
of the final rush of recruits — a rush which only 
the extensions of the date of closing the list had 
rendered possible — their confidence that the 
influx of unmarried men would render the 
fulfilment of Mr. Ascjuith's pledge unnecessary 
was destined to be deceived by events. Gradu- 
ally there became reason to believe that the 
gross total of attestations had amounted to 
nearly 3,000,000 men. But not only owing to 
the wholesale sweeping into the net of men who 
were certain to be subsequently rejected on 



various grounds, but also because a number 
estimated at between 500,000 and 650,000 of 
unmarried men had refused to enlist, or had 
taken refuge in " starred trades " for the 
purpose of evading the canvasser, the inevit- 
ability of some form of compulsion in order to 
obtain the country's maximum effort had 
become unmistakably clear. 

This would have been a period of considerable 
anxiety if the public had believed for a moment, 
as some of Mr. Asquith's most ardent supporters 
in the Press appeared to invite them to believe, 
that the Prime Minister would not carry out, 
in the spirit as well as in the letter, his definite 
pledge to the married men given on November 2 
and confirjned on various subsequent dates. 

At a Cabinet meeting held on Boxing Day 
grave differences of opinion apparently mani- 
fested themselves. No decision was arrived at 
as to the action to be taken on Lord Derby's 
report. The meeting lasted for two hours and 
was eventually adjourned until next morning. 
There is good reason to believe that Mi. Lloyd 
George intimated that unless Sir. Asquith's 
pledge were interpreted in the strictest sense 
he should resign. On December 28, which was 
to prove an ever -memorable date in English 
history, the Cabinet sat for two hours and a 
half and subjected Lord Derby's report to a 
more thorough analysis than had been possible 
on the previous day. It was understood that 
the great majority of the Ministers, all of whom 
were in attendance, agreed upon the following 
line of policy : 

1. That the Prime Minister's pledge to the 
married men was binding on the Government 
as a whole, and not upon Mr. Asquith alone. 
, 2. That the pledge should be redeemed at 

3. That the principle of Compulsion should 
be accepted. 

4. That the Prime Minister should make an 
announcement to this effect immediately on 
the reassembling of the House of Commons on 
January 4. 

It appeared that the Cabinet had decided 
that the nmnber of single men who had not 
attested was by no means a " negligible 
minority." It was, in fact, larger than most 
Ministers had expected, after the final rush to 
attest imder Lord Derby's scheme. The 
decision to proceed to compulsion was strongly 
opposed by a minority of Ministers, among 
whom were Mr. McKenna, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and Mr. Runciman, President of 

the Board of Trade. The former was beUeved 
to have his own opinion about the military 
need of more men, but to object mainly on 
financial grounds and to believe that the 
financial commitments of the country were 
already as heavy as it could safely bear. The 
objection of the President of the Board of 
Trade was believed to be based on the necessity 
of maintaining unimpaired the country's export 
trade. But with regard to the military situation, 
at all events, it was obvious that Lord 
Kitchener's opinion was more valuable than 
Mr. McKenna's, and as for the economic 
objections it was clear that, if the troops 
required to win the war were not provided, our 
financial position would not be worth con- 
sidering. On the other hand, there was no 
ground for the assumption that all the men 
taken for the Army would be withdrawn from 
productive occupations, thereby necessarily 
crippling them. The natural remedy would be 
to replace men of mihtary age by older men, 
lads and women, and at the same time to make 
a strenuous effort to reduce expenditure. 

The attitude of Mr. Arthur Henderson, 
representative in the Cabinet of the Labour 
Party, gave rise, for a moment, to some uncer- 
tainty. The Labour members, though sus- 
picious as a whole of changes in oui' recruiting 
methods, had never assumed a hostile attitude 
to compulsion, if the demand for it were backed 
by the Government of the day. Mr. Henderson 
decided to consult his colleagues before definitely 
declaring himself. But, since the working class 
was as keenly interested in the redemption of 
the Prime Minister's pledge as any other section 
of the community, there was no reason to fear 
serious obstruction from that quarter. The 
House of Commons contained a small and 
negligible group of irreconcilable Radicals who 
were unlikely to be propitiated at any price. 
Most of them had never had their heart in the 
war, and had given little help or enooiu-agement 
to the Government during its progress. The 
position of the Irish Nationalist members was 
exceptional. They were determined that com- 
pulsion should not be applied to Ireland and 
at the same time felt that their position might 
be prejudiced in the eyes of the Empire by the 
adoption of compulsion for Great Britain 
alone and the retention of the voluntary system 
for their own country. It must be remembered 
that the Derby scheme did not apply to Ireland, 
which was still recruiting on the old lines. 

As for the public at large, the news of the 



Cabinet's decision wa-s received without a trace 
of excitement. The general feeUng seemed to 
be one of quiet satisfaction, tempered by regret 
that the decision had not been reached long 
before. It was clear that the idea of " com- 
pulsion " had ceased to bear the suggestion of 
" degradation " attributed to it, incredible as 
it maj' seem, by one of the posters of the 
Parliamentary Recruiting Committee. From 
the earliest days of the war public opinion had 
been considerably in advance of the views of 
its political leaders, and most men had long 
since made up their minds that they would 
accept compulsion or anything else from the 
Government if it were put before them as an 
indispensable means of victory. 

Lord Derby's final report, dated December 20, 
li)15, was issued on January 4, 1916. Lord 
Derby wrote : 

" The gross figures are as follows : 
23rd October to 15th December, 1915 





Men of military age (a) 
Number starred 



Number of rnen enlisted {b) ... 
Number of men attested (c) ... 
Number of men rejected {h) ... 








Men of military ape ... 
Presenting themselves 



Number remaining 



Total starred men attested 
Number unstarred attested 



(a) IMen who joined His Majesty's Army between 
August 15, 1915, and October 23, 1915, are excluded 
from these figures. 

{h} \Aliilst total is based on actual records, the dis- 
tribution as between single and married is only an 
estimate, but may be taken as substantially accurate. 

(c) Actual records. 

Grand total of military age ... 5,011,441 
Total attested, enlisted, and 

rejected 2,829,263 

Total number remaining 


" Large as are the figures, I am afraid that on 
analysis they do not prove as satisfactory as I 
could have wished. Owing to the great rush of 
recruits it was impossible in many cases to have 
more than a most perfimctory medical examina- 
tion, and the ntmiber of men who Avill be re- 
jected ■i\hen the various groups are called up 
and are subject to a proper examination must 
be very large, the number of men actuallj' 

unexamined being 925,445. This total includes 
both ' starred ' and ' unstarred ' men. 

" For the same reason — the great rtish of 
recruits — I fear there may be many instances 
where men have not been noted as being 
' starred,' ' badged,' or belonging to ' reser\ed ' 
occupations and a deduction must be made on 
tliis account. 

" Lastly, there are many who will come under 
the heading of being indispensable, men who 
are the only sons of widows, sole support of a 
family, &c. 

" 5Iy calculations for these necessary deduc- 
tions have been submitted to Dr. T. H. C. 
Stc^'cnson, Superintendent of Statistics at the 
General Register Office, and the following 
tables are now presented in accordance \'\-ith 
his recommendations. The percentages of 
deductions are my own. They of neces- 
sity be only estimates, but they have been 
arri\'ed at upon the best information available. 

Total number of single men attested 840,000 

Of these the number starred was 


The ntimber of unstarred single men 

attested was therefore 527,933 

For final rejection as medically nnfit 
a number of unstarred men have not 
been examined, sav ... ... ... *260,000 

Balance 267,933 

Deduct 10 per cent. " badged " and 

"reserved" •26,793 

B.alance 241,140 

Deduct 10 per cent, "indispensable " *24,114 

As shown above, it is estimated that 
of the un.starred single men attested 
those not examined as to medical 
fitness numbered ... ... ... *260,000 

Deduct 10 per cent. " badged " and 

"reserved" ... ... ... ... *26,000 

Balance 234,000 

Deduct 10 per cent. " indispensable " *23,400 


Balance 210,600 

Deduct 40 per cent. unJit *84,240 

Estimated net number available of 

single men attested ... ... ... ' 

Total number of married men attested 1,344,979 
Of these the number starred was ... 449,808 


The number of unstarred married men 

attested was therefore ... ... 895,171 

For final rejection as medically unfit a 
mmiber of tmstarred men have not 
been examined, s.iy ... ... ... *445,000 

Balance 450,171 

Deduct 15 per cent. " Ijadged " and 

"reserved" ... ... ... ... *G7,526 

Balance 382,645 

Deduct 20 per cent, "indispensable" *76,529 




As shown above, it is estimated that of 
the unstarred married men attested 
those not examined as to medical 
fitness numbered ... ... ... ♦4-15,000 

Deduct 1.5 per cent. " badgod " and 

"reserved" ... ... ... ... *G6,750 

Balance 378,2.50 

Deduct 20 per cent. " indispensable " *75,650 

Balance ... 
Deduct 40 per cent, unfit 

... 302,600 
... *121,040 

• 181,560 

Estimated net number available of 
married men attested 


(There are probably more married men than single 
men who are in reserved occupations, and certainly 
amongst the indispensable class. I have increased con- 
siderably the percentage of deductions in both these 
cases. ) 

The figures marked * are estimates only. 

" I mtist again draw attention to the fact 
that the men in the married groups can only 
be assiuned to be available if the Prime 
Minister's pledge to them has been redeemed 
by the single men attesting in such numbers 
as to leave only a negUgible quantity un- 
accotuited for. 

" On comparing the above figures it will be 
seen that of the 2,179,231 single men avail- 
able, only 1,150,000 have been accounted for, 
leaving a residue unaccounted for of 1,029,231. 

" Deducting the number of starred single 
men who have attested, 312,067, from total 
nmnber of starred single men, 690,138, leaves 
378,071 starred men. 

" If we deduct this figure from 1,029,231 
(the remainder of single men left who have 
not offered themselves), it shows a total of 
651,160 unstarred single men unaccounted for. 

' ' This is far from being a negligible quantity, 
and, under the circumstances, I am very 
distinctly of opinion that in order to redeem 
the pledge mentioned above it will not be 
possible to hold married men to their attesta- 
tion tmless and until the services of single men 
have been obtained by other means, the present 
system having failed to bring them to the 

" I have been at some pains to ascertain the 
feeling of the country, and I am convinced 
that not only must faith be kept with the 
married men in accordance with the Prime 
Minister's pledge, but more than that ; in my 
opinion some steps must be taken to replace 
as far as possible the single men now starred, 
or engaged in reserved occupations, by older 
and married men, even if these men have to a 
certain extent to be drawn from the ranks of 

those already serving. Especially does this 
apply to those who have joined these occupa- 
tions since the date of the Royal Assent to the 
Xational Registration Act. This applies, though 
naturally in a minor degree, to munition workers. 

" There is another point to wliich I would 
most earnestly ask the Government to give 
consideration. I have already drawn attention 
in my previous Report to the detrimental effect 
that the issue from time to time of lists of 
' reserved ' occupations has had on recruiting. 
Even since that Report was written further 
and lengthy Usts have been issued. I do not 
presume to state what are or are not industries 
Indispensable to this country, but if there is to 
be any further reservation of occupations it 
is quite clear that the figtues I have given 
above must be subject to a reduction, and I 
cannot help hoping that there should be some 
finality to the issue of these lists. 

" Before concluding, it might be interesting 
to give one or two features of the campaign. 
The figures given above refer only to recruits 
received between October 23 and December 
15, but as I have been in my present office 
since October 11, I include recruits for 
immediate enlistment from that date to 
Smiday, December 19 inclusive, and I also 
include belated returns of men (61,651) taken 
in the group system. It has not, however, 
been possible to allot these latter acoiu-ately 
as between single or married : the majority 
appear to be men in starred occupations. 
During that time there have been taken for the 
Army as follows : — 

Immediate enlistment 
Attestation in Groups 

275. OH 1 

A gross total of 2,521,661 

" Some of the figures of the take of recruits 

under the group system for particular days may 

also be of interest : — 

On Friday, December 10, we took 193,527 

On Saturday, December 11, we took 336,075 

On Sunday, December 12, we took 325,258 

On Monday, December 13, we took 215,618 

Or a total in the 4 days of ... 1,070,478 

" In order, however, to get at the number 
of men who have offered, themselves, it is 
necessary to add to the above figures those 
who have been definitely rejected on medical 
grounds, viz., 428,853. This shows that a total 
of 2,950,514 men have shown their willingness 
to serve their country, provided they were able 
to be spared from their employment and could 
be accepted as medically suitable. 



" There will be additions to make to these 
numbers, slight, but very significant. In 
foreign towns where there are English com- 
munities, men have banded themselves together 
to come under the group system. Men have 
written from Hong Kong, Rhodesia, Cadiz, 
California, offering to come home to be attested 
for Army Reserve (Section B)." 

In the course of his first Report, which had 
been dated December 12, and was also issued 
on January 4, Lord Derby said : 

" Many difficulties have been met with, but 
the chief difficulty has been the unreliability 
of the starring as distinguishing between those 
who should and those who should not be taken 
for the Army. Instead of starring being of 
assistance, it htis been a distinct hindrance to 
the canvass. More especially is this so in rural 
and semi-rural areas, owing to the fact that it 
was known before Registration Day what 
branches of the agricultural industry would be 
starred, with the result that many men who had 
no right to do so claimed to come under these 
particular headings. The sense of unfairness 
thus created and the inequality of treatment of 
farmers has been most detrimental in tliese 
areas. The farmer himself is not a starred 
man, but there are numberless cases of his 
sons and labourers being starred as cowmen 
and horsemen, &c., though in many instances 
it is known that they are not really so 

" It is essential that the starred list should 
be carefully investigated, and in cases of inis- 
description the star removed and the man made 
avaOable for military service. This applies to 
the starred men in all industries. 

" The issue, during the process of canvass, 
of lists of trades which were to be considered 
' reserved occupations ' has also proved an 
obstacle. I recognise that it was essential that 
such lists should be issued, but the fact remains 
that trades other than those mentioned in these 
lists have been applying to be so included, and 
the men engaged in those trades are expecting 
to be treated in the same way ii-s ' starred ' 

men, and have been deterred from coming 

" Many men also who would willingly serve 
find themselves barred from doing so by 
domestic, financial and business obligations. 
Tills especially applies to professional and 
commercial men, who find difficulties in meeting 
such obligations as payment of rent, insurance 
premium, interest on loans connected with 
their business, and provision for theii' family, 
due to the fact that their income is entirely 
dependent on their individual efforts, and 
ceases when they join the Colours — separation 
and dependants' allowances being quite in- 
adequate in such cases to naeet these obliga- 
tions. This applies not only to married men, 
but also to single men in many cases. 

" Another obstacle to recruiting has been the 
unequal treatment of individuals. Parents and 
relations especially cannot understand why 
their sons, husbands or brothers should join 
while other young men hold back and seciu'e 
lucrative employment at home. 

" Apart from the number of men who have 
actually enlisted and attested there are many 
who have promised to enlist when ' So and so ' 
has also promised to go. There may, of course, 
be a number of men who make this answer as 
an excuse. But that it is genuine in a very 
large number of cases, and is accentuated by 
bad starring, thsre is no reason to doubt. 

" Further, the system of submitting cases to 
Tribunals to decide is a novel one and is viewed 
with some distrust, partly from the publicity 
which may be given to private affairs, and partly 
to a fear, wliich personally I do not share, that 
cases will not be fairly and impartially dealt with. 

" The canvass shows very distinctly that it 
is not want of courage that is keeping men 
back, nor is there the sUghtest sign but that th" 
country as a whole is as determined to support 
the Prime Minister in his pledge made at 
Guildhall on November 9, 1914, as it wa« 
when that pledge was made. There is abim- 
dant evidence of a determination to see the 
war through to a successful conclusion." 



The Great Offensive in September, 1915 — Munitions and Allied Strategy^The French 
Feont — Main Offensive in Champagne — The Great Artillery Preparation — Six Zones 
OF Attack Described — Details op the German Defences — The Attack on September 25 — 
The Six Assaults and their Results — The Fighting from September 27 to October 3 — 
Gains in the Massiges Section — Review of the Offensive — The French Lloyd George — 
Effect of the Attack upon the Germans — German Admissions — French Heroism — What 
the French Offensive Achie^ ed. 

THE key to the military history of the 
operations in the first part of 1915 is 
to be found in the munitions question. 
The shell problem was not confined to 
Great Britain. In France, although in another 
form, it became just as acute as in Great 
Britain, and it was in the course of the opera- 
tions conducted simultaneously with the British 
in the spring that the B'rench realized that 
matters were seriously wrong. When, after 
the Battle of the Marne, the vital importance 
of shell supply was forced upon the attention 
of the French authorities they immediately 
took steps similar to those taken in Great 
Britain to provide reciuisite supplies. They 
mobilized a.ll their available resources and 
managed in a very brief space of time very 
greatlj' to increase their daily output of shell. 
But in the haste to procure shells inferior 
methods and materials were employed, the 
drilled shell was provided instead of the 
forged shell, and the results were not long in 
revealing themselves in the rapidly growing 
number of gun bursts along the Western front. 
It was deficiencies of this nature that brought to 
a standstill the offensive begun in the early 
months of the year in the north of France. 
^Vhen those operations ceased, comparative 
Vol. VI.— Part 74. 

quiet descended upon the line, while behind it 
in France the method of shell manufactm'e was 
rapidly altered and in Great Britain the 
output was increased. Throughout the summer, 
from June to the end of September, action 
along the French front was confined to fighting 
for positions, chiefly in the ^^osges. 4,s regards 
the number of men engaged and the extent 
of front involved, these operations were 
of a local character. They none the less 
served a very useful purpose. The enemy was 
worn out and exhausted by fruitless and 
costly counter-attacks. He was constantly 
threatened by a French offensive in Alsace, 
and this menace acted in some degree as a 
screen to the preparation of the Allies' plans 
for a general offensive along an extended front. 

By many it had been supposed that 
after the check of the jVrtois offensive 
(described in Chapter CI.) the Western 
Allies «ould confine their energies to local 
operations and to accumulating vast stores of 
mimitions and of men for a gigantic sledge- 
hammer blow upon the enemy's lines in the 
spring of 1910. 

There were, liowever, a himdred reasons of 
an international, of a military, and of a psycho- 
logical nature which weighed in determining 




Lighting the fuse of a battery of four " Grapouillots " : French Infantry about to fire their home-made 


General .Toff re and Sir .John French to make a 
great effort before the advent of a winter cani- 
I>aign with all its hardships. 

The military and political situation in Russia 
was not the least of these determining factors. 
The great enemy drive seenied, in spite of the 
valoiu- of the Russian soldier, to be approaching 
a triumphant end, and it was the duty of the 
Western Allies to do their utmost to relieve 
the pressvire upon the Eastern partner. LTpon 
the West these same Russian operations had 
obliged the enemy to remain entirely upon the 
defensive and to leave the initiative to the 
French and the British. The British Army 
had been solidly reinforced, and had thus been 
enabled to take over a further stretch of the 
front in France. Moreover, thanks to this fact 
and to changes and reorganizations in the 
French Army, the regrouping of certain regi- 
ments and the formation of new forces had 
become possible. Also, the indu,strial output 
of France had been increased to a very large 
extent, and a vait reserve of several million 
shells of all calibres had heca accumulated. 

All these reasons applied with equal strength 
both to the French and the British Armies in the 
West, and in a conference betv\'een the military 
and political leaders of both coimtries simul- 
taneous and co-ordinated action was agreed 

upon b3r the British and the French working 
togetlier in the north, and by the armies under 
the direct command of General Castelnau in 
the centre of the great rampart of civilization. 

What that rampart svas could be realized 
only by those who had seen it, who had spent 
days in the trenches, which were its ultimate 
e.xpression, who had studied the intricate and 
vast mechanism which kept it fed and supplied 
with its multifarious requirements, who had 
been able to visit the vast caverns in which 
men sheltered, who had e.Kplored the cunningly 
concealed machine-gun emplaceinents, who had 
wandered through acre upon acre of seemingly 
endless communication trench, tramped over 
miles of corduroy road, stumbled upon vast 
sandbag cities, wandered in the new worlds 
created underneath the ruins of the old in the 
cellars., drains and graveyards. Nothing so 
stupendous, so infinitely painstaking, so 
amazingly ingenious, so solidly resisting, had 
been seen in the history of war. 

The will of man against such a barrier 
would have been impotent, the great onrush 
of the Revolutionary Wars suicidal. Science 
and patience alone could prevail ; they alone 
could render useful the display of the human 
qualities of braveryand fearlessness, of patriotism 
and self-sacrifice. 



Both science and patience found their ex- 
jji'es<<ion in the tremendous bombardment u hich 
preceded the AlUed advance. For weeks tlie 
enemy was pounded witli high explosive and 
slirapnel along the whole front. Shell poured 
from British guns of every calibre, and from 
■ the French mountain 6.5mm. to the gi'eat 
370mm. howitzers there fell a constant rain of 
destruction upon the German lines. The trench 
artillery, from the converted cartridge-case to 
the big mine-throwers, joined in. High above, 
favoured by the fine weather, great fleets of 
aircraft controlled and " spotted " for the 
artillery, while the heavy guns of the bombard- 
ment flotillas threw their loads of explosives 
and carried destruction far beyond the range 
of the heaviest field gmis on to railway and 
supply centres or troop concentration [joint.s. 

This bombardment was carried oiit for weeks 
l^ractically along the whole line with the double 
object of preventing the enemy from seeing at 
which point tfie infantry was preparing to 
follow and of rendering it impossible for the 
enemy to prepare any serious counter-attacks 
or to forestall the offensive anywhere along the 

The great offensive in France, bi'oadly speak- 
ing, consisted of three parts. The first arm to 
begin the a.ttack was the airplane, which, since 

the beginning of the war, had been very con- 
siderafily developed and was at last building 
up, if slowly, a system of aerial tactics and 
strategy. By the summer of 1915 the existing 
possibilities of the airplane had become recog- 
nized a.nd classified ; industry was furnishing 
the different types of machines required and 
squadron formations had taken definite shape. 
The work of the airplane at this stage of the 
war was split up under three general headings : 
1. Reconnaissance. 2. Fight. .3. Bombard- 
ment. For each class of work special types of 
plane had been provided, and each one of them 
played a vitallj' important part in the Cham- 
pagne operations. Tlie aerial activity of the 
French which had an immediate bearing upon 
the Champagne offensive began in .lulj^, when, 
as ])art of the fighting in the Argonne, the 
raihvay jimctions and supply centres of the 
Crown Prince's army were vigorously bom- 
barded with explosive shells of high calibre by 
squadrons of bet^veen thirty and forty machines. 
With these bombplane squadrons went the 
chaser planes, or Hawks, as they were known 
to the French Army, powerful machines armed 
for fighting, which, flying above, ahead and on 
the flanks of squadrons, acted as escort and 
engaged any enemy planes \vhich might attempt 


Two of the battery of four "guns" fired: two about to be fired. 


THE TIMK.-^ lllS'lonV oF THK IT'. I/?. 

\ ievv taken from the top of a Prench trench, showing a German trench in background. 

A\'liili' all llii.-^ rai(liii;j \\(irk wa.^ ;^'>iiig <-'ii 
licliiiiil till' ■■n'.'iiiy's liiii'- .--waniis of rrcnuiiais. 
saiicc plaiirs were engaged in the less spectaeular 
Imt (MjLially claiiLrefUtis and useful work of 
]<liotogi-a|5]iy o\"iT the I'lieiiiy's lines, spotting 
fur till' guns, loeatiug artillery positions, and 
]iii'\ lilting any (leruia.n ]i!anes from discovering 
tlie great movements and ]iri'|.arat i' nis in 
jirogress for the offensi\e. 

All this aeti\"ity v,as, lio\\-e\-er. hut an in- 
liiiitely siiiall [la.rt of the really gigantie Ijusiness 
of the otfensive. Siiine idea of the nature of the 
\\iirk jierformed hy tin.- \arious Staffs lie 
gained froui a description of tin- ma|iping 
operations carried out before the ('hamjiagne 
offensi\e. The cartogr-'ijihy of peace even on 
its largest scale iiro\ed quite ina(li'(|uate aiifl 
misleadiuLi in a siegi- war where exery bend of 
a stream, e\'i'ry riiini'd hou-e, e\"ery clump of 
trees, every fold in the ground had to be 
expliiied for artillery or machine-gun einplace- 
iiHiit- where indeerl at some portions of the 
hiji- the ajipearance of a new sandbag, a new 
jjatli wi'i'u into the ground might jjossess signi- 
ficance. The armies had. it is true, V;een facing 
each other on jiracticallN unclianged lines since 
the French advance in March, 1!)1,"). In trench 
warfare, howex'er, a ma[) may be out of date 
ill -lime all-important particular in less than a 
week, and map correcting and amplification 
■proceeds without a lireak day after day. The 
base of them all \ias, of ci mrse. <"h<' I General Staff 
map, npoii which uere Mm'iI the re.^ults of aerial 

pholograjjfi\', of panoramic photograpihj' fi'om 
the first line trenches, the discoseries of the 
observation ofiieers. tin' work of the artists who 
from points of xantage haxe turned tlieir 
talents to military accoiuit and hitlden in a tree 
or a ruin created a new school of realistic 
landscape jjainting for the special l)enefit of the 
artillery. Some idi'a of the di'tail required can 
he gaiiifd from t he map of the ( 'hampiagne front 
puhlishefl on ]ip. lUo 1. That is a. small-scale 
production coiniiared with the maps u.sed by 
company eoinina.nders. It is, moreover, a rnaj) 
piipared cntiiely by the indirect mea.ns de- 
seiiiied. A map of the French jiosition before 
till' offeiisi\"e would ha\e Iieen i-rowded with 
intinitely more minute detail. J^'or in the maze 
of trenches leading to the front line there was 
a multitude of i ipport unit ies of error — error 
\\ huh iiiiglit well lia\"e l.K^en disastrous and 
1 hi-owii the whole sup]ily of men to the front line 
into terriljle confusion. I'Acry yard of the 
ground had to be studied, lat>elled, numbered 
or named. The rough and ready methods of 
indicating the entrance to a communication 
trench, signposts of bottles or of sticks, would 
have been enough for troops used to the position, 
but arrangements had to be made for the 
a.d\ance of largi' bodies of sujiports and 
reserves who were comparative strangers to the 
positions, and those arrangements had to ho 
effective, for tlie whole attack was planned out 
\iry much in the methodical manner of a 
railway timetable, and delay at one point 



would have meant delay along the line and the 
adding of fresh difHculties to the problem of 
keeping regiments in touch with each other in 
advancing over trench positions. 

The problems of the map maker were but a 
small part in the huge complications of the 
offensive, the final Staff preparations for which 
were made while the most intense bombardment 
in history was in progress. 

That bombardment began in the middle of 
August, and while it was general along the front, 
there were certain districts which cariie in for 
more than their proportionate share of attention 
from the masses of artillery assembled behind 
the French front. These special zones going 
from north to south w-ere (1) Belgian front, (2) 
Souchez district, (3) Arras, (4) Roye, (5) Aisne, 
(6) in Champagne between Moronvillers and 
Souain, (7) Argonne, (8) Woevre, (9) Lorraine. 
The bombardment remained general (growing 
in intensity, however, in the Champagne) until 
three days before the actual infantry operations 
began, when, without ceasing day after day, 
night after night, the Champagne front was 
deluged in shell. 

Whatever doubts the Germans may have had 
about the intentions of the French as to the spot 
at which they intended to strike hardest were 
then set at rest. It was in the Champagne 

The front upon which the French attacked 
was broad. The previous successes on both 
sides in the West had ended in check because 
the front attacked had not been broad enough. 
In Artois, at Soissons, and in the Argonne each 
local success scored remained purely tactical. 

It was one of the commonplaces current in 
France throughout the summer of 1915 that 
Joffre could break through where he wanted 
to do so. This maj' have been quite true. If 
you bring enough artillery — enough of the right 
kind of shell — to bear long enough uponany given 
section of the front, the line will break at that 
point as it did at Festubert, at Souchez, as it 
did at Soissons, as it nearly did in the Argonne. 
But the wedge driven into the line had 
up till then failed to yield any strategical 
results. On to the narrow fronts threatened 
both sides were able to concentrate their trooj3.s 
and their material, with the result that troop? 
breaking through the lines had only foiuid 
themselves confronted with another barrier a 
little distance farther back. They were imable 
at any time to get back to the war of manoeuvre, 
to surface fighting, as the Germans managed 

German guns captured in the Battle of Champagne. Inset : A German trench gun was devised for 

throwing bombs. 





to do in their great drive in Galicia. As 
Mr. John Buohan pointed out in The Times : 
'' If yoii can tear a great rent in the enemy's 
lines — 20 or 30 miles wide — then you prevent 
him repairing the damage in time and with 
luclt you may roll vip the ragged edges, force 
the whole front to retire. That is what von 
Mackensen did on the Dunajec in the first days 
of May. He broke Radko Dmitrieff on a 
40-mile front and there was no halting till 
Galicia was lo^t." That is what Joffre set 
himself to do in September of 1915 along the 
V^''estern front, where, it is true, the conditions 
of the French differed very largely from those 
of the Germans in their great offensive in the 
East, both as regards the munition supplies of 
the enemy and as to their means of communica- 

When the tactics and strategy of the opera- 
tions on the Western front dtiring 191,') are 
studied, it will be seen that in the fierce spring 
fighting in Artois, where that remarkable 
soldier of France, General Petain, gained a 
widespread reputation outside the ranks of 
the Army, principles which governed all 
subsequent fighting were most clearly ex- 
pressed. Few of those civilians who glibly 
used and gaily accepted the expres.=ion " siege 
warfare " in describing the war at this period 
can have had any idea of the terrible accuracy 
of that description. It was not only siege 
warfare, but siege warfare, aj it were, under a 
microscope. Any yard of the front might 
become a bastion and delay advance at the 
cost of hundreds of lives to the assailants and 
a minimum of loss to the defenders. The 
ininute localization of this war is shosvn quite 
clearly on reference to the communiques. Day 
after day Europe^ the greater part of which 
was in the war area, waited eagerly for news 
of events at the sugar refinery or the cemetery 
of Souchez, at the ferryman's house on the 
Yser, the crest of Hartmannsweilerkopf in 
Alsace, the Four de Paris in the Argonne. It 
was not until 1915 that the French seem defi- 
nitely to have realized this intense localism of 
the war, and to have conducted all their opera- 
tions on that knowledge. 

All flanliing movements having become 
impossible since the war settled down into the 
trench, the task of attacking generals really 
was to create flanks and effect enveloping move- 
ments upon small sections of the front, by 
tl\rusting infantry into the enemy's line at 
different points, much as the dentist's pincers 

are thrust down into the base of a tooth, and 
then to eat a way round the village or work to 
be carried. This operation was repeated time 
after time in the detailed fighting in Artois 
in the early summer. It was this principle that 
Joffre applied on a huge scale to the strategy 
of the great summer offensive. Powerful and 
gigantic thrusts were to be made on two 
sectors of the front, which were, if all went well, 
to be taken up along the whole line, and all 
these thrusts, composed of detailed actions 
much like those in Artois, were to contribute to 
the execution of tliat strategy upon a vast 
scale. The offensive began simultaneously in 
the north and in the centre. The attack upon 
the latter section was, by reason of the number 
of men engaged and the results achieved, by 
far the more important. Tlip centre of the 
French line was held by three armies, from left 
to right, by the 6fch, the 5th and the 4th, under 
General Langle de Gary. It was upon the 
front held by the latter that the offensive was 

If any clear idea of the fighting is desired a 
very close study of the country is necessary, 
for, although chosen by history as the stage for 
some of the most tremendous events in the 
military liistory of Europe, the country is by no 
means simple and straightforward. 

The field of battle was that of Attila, and it 
lies a little to the north of the region through 
which historians have looked in vain for the 
exact spot of the great Hun's last stand. Even 
in time of peace it is a desolate region. Man 
has had to fight for his living on this ungrateful, 
tumbling soil of chalk. Fields of saffron, woods 
of pine and spruce are the chief evidence of 
agriculture. Roads are few and villages very 
scarce. Nearly all of them he on the banks of 
the small streams which have cut their beds 
into the chalk iiills — the Suippe, the Ain and the 
Tourbe. The line held by the Germans in this 
region covered the Bazancoin-t-Challerange rail- 
way at a distance varying from si.\- to nine miles. 
These were practically the positions which the 
German General Staff had organized during 
the advance, and to which they fell back after 
the defeat of the Battle of the Marne. Natu- 
rally very strong, the position had been 
strengthened by every device of the military 
engineer imtil the Germans were justified in 
calling it the " steel barrier." 

Although from the point of view of a general 
description the country does not vary much 
from west to east, from a military standpoint 



it was by no means nniform, and was di\iiied 
by the French General Staff into six zones. 

Going from Auberive, the western end ot the 
line, to Ville-sur-Tourbe in the east, the first 
zone was constituted by a ridge of about five 
miles, cut through almost at its centre by the 
road from St. Hilaire to St. Souplet and the 
Baraque de I'Epine de Vedegrange. The slopes 
of this ridge were covered by many small 
clumps of spruce thinned out very considerably 
by shell fire and by the timber requirements of 
trench repairs. 

The second zone comprised the hollow of 
Souain with the village of that name in the 
bottom, the road from Souain to Somme-Py 
and the Navarin Farm, about two miles to the 
north of Souain on the crest of the hills. 

The third zone lay to the north of Perthes, 
and was formed by the slow-moving, mono- 
tonous valley, about two miles broad, between 
the wooded hills of Bricot Hollow and the 
Mesnil Ridge. This valley was defended by 
several lines of trenches and closed by several 
veiyhiglilj' organized heights — the Souain Ridge, 
Heights 195 and 201, and the Tahure Ridge. 

To the north of Mesnil lay the fourth zone, 
which, from the point of view of the defence, 
was very strong. The hills in the west. 
Mamelle Xord and Trapeze, and the Mesnil 

Ridge on the east, formed the bastion of the 
German positions, and were linlced up by a 
powerful trench organization, behind which, a.s 
far as Tahure, stretched a broken, wooded 

In the fifth zone, to the north of Beausejour, 
the country was fairly easy. The soil, bare of 
vegetation, rose gently in the direction of 
Ripon as far as the IWaisons do Champagne Farm. 

The strongest point of the line lay to the 
north of Massiges, where Heights 191 and 
199, stretching like an open hand, formed the 
eastern support of the entire front. 

The whole of this front had been connected 
by the German engineers by a complicated and 
elaborate system of defence works. By the 
disposition of the trenches the whole ground 
had been split up into a series of more or less 
regular rectangles, each one of which, armed 
with an abrmdance of machine giuis, was 
capable of standing a siege in the proper sense 
of the word, of delaying the advance of the 
enemy, of becoming a centre of resistance and 
a rallying point for any counter-attacks. 

A study of the map which appears on pp. 340-1 
reveals the formidable nature of the German 
defences. The portion of the hne attacked by 
the French consisted of two main positions 
separated by two or two and a-half miles. The 

Ready to fire a German Anti-aircraft gun. 



rib' , ISiji. ' 





■ i' L ■ . - ' , ■ . '>^B 



P*-*^ " 


P^'iRHCv flfl^BlHHiHiUiH^M.i_A ^'^ 






E^W * * ^^ajfr^ ** a\ ^^^imjIkwj 




Ingeniotis French gunners mounted their gun on an improvised platform made from an old disused 

gun carriage. 

first-line defences were extremely dense, and 
consisted of a complicated network of defence 
and communication trenches formed by at least 
three, and in some places by five, parallel trench 
lines facing the French, ami cut up into com- 
partments by lateral defence lines, and thus 
studded with trench squares of formidable 
strength. This first line was some 400 yards 
i I depth, and between each trench in it had been 
placed large fields of barbed-wire entanglement, 
some of them bO or 70 yards in depth. The 
second position consisted on the whole of but 
one single trench. Here and there was a 
support trench. Along the whole line this 
second trench had been constructed on the 
itnseen side of the hill crest, the upper slopes of 
the hills under the obser\-ation of the French 
being only held by machine-gun sections and 
artiilerj'- spotters, whose advanced posts ^vere 
linked up by timnels with the trench beliind 
them. The whole of the couple of miles 
separating these two positions had been fortified 
and netted with transversal, diagonal and 
lateral trench works and commimication 
trenches, which, protected with barbed wire and 
armed with mitrailleuses, became a by-system 
of fortifications, capable of putting up a long 
fight even after the hostile infantry had swept 
over the positions. 

Thanks to forward trench and airplane 
observation, there was not much about the 
position which had not been noted by the 
cartographical survey of the army. Each 
trench, each bristling clump of shell-stripped 
tree trunks, had been baptized or numbered on 
the maps. Artillery positions, supply centres, 
headquarters beViind the line were also loiown 
to the French. 

It has been said that the airplanes were the 
first to begin the offensive ; the artillery took 
it up, and the middle of August saw the 
beginning of the sustained homliardment upon 
this section of the front. In the five weeks 
which preceded the action of the infantry, on 
no fewer than twenty-five days the front de- 
scribed above was reported in the official covn- 
iiiuniques as having been violently bombarded. 
The objects of this bombardment on the first 
position were fivefold : 

1st. Destruction of barbed-wire entangle- 

2nd. Burial of defenders in dug-outs. 

3rd. Levelling of trenches and blocking of 
fire holes. 

4th. Closing up of commimication trenches 
and tunnels. 

5th. Demoralization of the enemy. 

Meanwhile the long-range naval and military 







u ■> 

Z a 


O £ 

O - 

< o 






guns were busily employed bombarding head- 
quarters, camps, railway stations and the 
Challerange-Bazancourt railway, impeding or 
interrupting the shell and food supply of the 
firing line. 

On September 22 and 23 remarkably fine 
weather favoLu-ed the airplanes in theii- spotting 
work for the artillery, and on the 22nd the 
bombardment burst into a tronendous roar 
along the Champagne front, which was sustained 
at frenzy point until the hour for the infantry 
advance had struck. 

On September 22 all private communications 
between the zone of the armies and the interior 
of France ceased. The long suspense of weeks 
of tremendously significant bombardment was 
at an end. 

On the night of September 24 an extra ration 
of wine was issued and the men were acquainted 
with their task by the following General Army 
Order : 

Grand Quariier General, Sept. 23. 
General Order 43. 

Soldiers of the Republic ! 

After months of waiting which have enabled us to 
incre£ise our .^.trength and our resources while the enemy 
was using his, the hour has come to attack and to conquer, 
to add fresh pages of glory to those of the ]\Iame, of 
Flanders, the Vosges and Arras. 

Behind the storm of iron and fire unloosed, thanks to 
the labour of the factories of France, where your com- 
rades have worked day and night for you, you will go to 
the assault together upon the whole front in close union 
with the Armies of our Allies. 

Your dash will be irresistible. 

It will carry you with your first effort up to the 
enemy's batteries beyond the fortified line opposing 

You will leave him neither truce nor rest until victory 
has been achieved. On, then, with your whole heart for 
the liberation of our country, and for the triumph of 
right and liberty. J. Joffre. 

Already during September 24 the clouds had 
been gathering, and although they had re- 
mained high enough not to impede the work of 
air reconnaissance, there seemed no possibility 
of the rain not being brought down by the 
tremendous artillery fire on the ne.xt day. 

AVhen reveille sounded at 5.30 on the morning 
of the great day, September 2.5, those who had 
slept through the din of gimfire awoke to a 
world of gloom. Clouds heavy with rain swept 
low across the grey chalky landscape, reflecting 
on the heavens the monotony of the timibled, 
dirty grey landscape. Between 6 and 6.30 the 
morning coffee was drunk with many a jest 
merry and lugubrious, and then, conversation 
being impossible, the men squatted down by 
the trench wall and smoked and thought of 
what the dav might bring forth. Then, as the 

titne of the attack drew near, the company 
commanders threw their glance over 
their men's equipment, assembled their men 
where possible, addressed to them their last 
orders an<l explained all that was required 
of them. 

The Frenchman, of whatever class he comes, 
is a man of intelligence. Ho only gives of hif 
best when he knows what he is figliting for 
and what he is figiiting against. Under a 
pouring rainstorm which broke at 9 o'clock, in 
a few Vjrief phrases the general situation and 
the general ocheme of operations of the day 
were set before the men. Then by the time 
given by wireless to the Anny from the Eiffel 
Tower the fuses of the artillery behind were 
lengthened, the officers scrambled out of the 
advanced parallels with a last shout of " En 
Avant, mes Enfants " to the men and the wave 
of " invisible blue " tipped the parapets with 
foam. The great offensive of 1915 had begun, 
and all those who took pa.rt in it are agreed 
that no moment of the battle was so thrilling, so 
soul -stirring and impressive as that which saw 
the first wave of Frenchmen in blue uniforms, 
blue steel Adrian casques, with drums of 
grenades hanging at their \yaists, burst from the 
trench in which they had lain hidden for so 
many months and strike across the intervening 
No Man's Land for the enem}''s lines. 

General Castelnaii, who was in direct com- 
mand of the operations, had declared to an 
officer on his staff : " I want the artillery so to 
bend the trench parapets, so to plcpugh up the 
dug-outs and subterranean defences of the 
enemy's line as to make it almost possible for 
my men to march to the assault with their 
rifles at the shoulder." 

This desire was at points almost realized, 
and there is nothing so remarkable in the 
Champagne Battle of 1915 as the rapidity with 
which the first line of the enemy was carried 
by assault and the tremendous obstacles which 
met the attacking infantry once it had swept 
over the first-line trenches. 

The front was extremely varied. In some 
points all semblance of resistance had been 
obliterated by the preliminary bombardment ; 
in others a little nest of machine guns had 
remained untouched by the artillery tire and 
delayed the advance by hours. At one point 
an entire French Army Corps occupied its 
section of the first German line with a loss in 
killed and wounded wltich did not exceed 150 
men ; at another spot men fell in their 



hundreds before a position wliich had either 
been overlooked by or had resisted tiie artillery. 
The fighting may be divided roughly into 
two distinct parts. The first waves which 
went dashing out of the trenches had about 
250 yards to co\'er before they reached the first 
German line, and such was the dash of thc^ 
French troojjs, such were the effects of the 
artillery fire, that practically along the whole 
front the firet line wa-s taken before noon. Up 
to tills point success liad been complete. But 

In a well-protected position. French gunners 

wearing their shrapnel-proof helmets. Inset : Alter 

bombarding the German defences. 

at several points along the line resistance was 
maintained. Machine guns ^vere unmasked, 
the German artillery, which had been too late 
with its attempt to stop the first advance with 
a tir de barrage, got to work, and along the 
entire front the fighting settled down into a 
series of more or less isolated sieges, some of 
which were successful, wliile others failed. 

It is therefore necessary to describe the 
fighting in each section of the front in some 

Tn the first section, going from west to east — 
the section of the Epine de Vedegrange — the 
German line was situated at the foot of the 
large ^\ooded ridge. The salients of the line 
gave to it all the strength of the flanking fire 
of a fortress, so that the attacking troops were 
imder fire at practically every point along the 
line from three sides at once. Taking the 
St. Soviplet and St. Hilaire road as marking 
the centre of this section on the western side, 
there were no fewer than three of these salients, 
forming as many entrenched bays swept by 
machine-gun storms. Here the difficulties of 
the position were increased by the very con- 
siderable support given to the enemy by their 
artillery, which had been massed in great • 



numbers on the ]\toronvillers plateau to the 
west of tlie front attacked. 

The first assault, however, carried the 
sevenfold wave of the French blue line through 
the first trenches of the Germans up to a sup- 
porting trench, where concealed fields of barbed 
wire which had not been destroyed by the 
bombardment stayed further progress. The 
Germans farther to the left, profiting from the 
fact that that section of the line had not been 
stormed, organized a covinter-attack which, 
sweeping from west to east, and firmly sup- 
ported by the guns from Moronvillers, forced 
the French left back a little. The French 
right in this small portion of the front held 
all the ground gained, and on the following 
days, indeed, pushed farther and farther 
forward into the labyrinth of trenches, 
keeping pace with their comrades in the 
neighbouring section of the line, where the 
difficulties confronting the assailants were only 
equalled by the courageous tenacity with which 
they were overcome. 

Upon their positions here the Germans had 
lavished a vast amount of tackle, and the work 
of their pioneers in the woods and trenches had 
made of it one of the most elaborately defended 
positions of the German centre. A glance at 
the map will show the tremendovis strength of 
those defences, which consisted of triple, and 

in places of quadruple, lines of fire trenches, 
and almost innumerable machine-gun block- 
houses, and was leinforced by a very large 
number of batteries of artillery in positions 
hidden in the woods of the sloping ground 
behind. Along this portion, too, the advance 
met with varying fortune. Again it w as the 
local left — that is to say, the troops operating 
with their left on the east side of the St. Souplet- 
St. Hilaire road — that got stopped, this time 
after they had carried the first trench line, 
by hidden mitrailleuses wliich executed great 
damage on the French. There, where the 
difficulties seemed greatest, however, the 
advance was most successful, and the right of 
the attacking troops carried all four lines of 
trench — some of them hidden in woods — difficult 
targets for the French artillery, and rushed 
about a mile and a half of covmtry, making 900 
prisoners, of whom 17 were officers, and cap- 
turing two German 77 mm. field guns and five 
105 guns. 

Farther east, under cover of a fold in the 
ground, the French got a footing in the German 
trench line for a distance of about 500 yards, 
but here again check was called, for the enemy 
hastily concentrated his artillery fire into the 
breach, while from the left and the light of it 
unconquerable macliine guns sputtered check, 
check, check. 

Bedsteads used in dug-outs and trenches in Champagne. 




Such, briefly described, were tlie results of 
the first day's offensive. The resvilts show the 
general rhytlim of the battle right along the 
line and the principles wliich inspired both 
attack and defence. The defence had formed 
a nvunber of resistance centres separated each 
from the other by a weaker trench fortification 
system which was under the protection of the 
bastions formed by the resistance centres. 
The French struck boldly for the weaker line, 
meanwhile gettuig their teeth into the strong 
positions, bombing and firing while their 
comrades got round to the flanks of the bastions 
and forced surrender or retreat. The position 
at Auberive-sirr-Suippes was one of these 
resistance points, the district on eacli side of 
the St. Souplet-St. Hilaire road, one of the 
weaker lines ; while the salient to the east of 
the road once more became formidable. 

To the east again, in the semi-circular entrant 
around Souain. the enemy's defences were 
more slender, and in this section the French 
advance was more remarkable. 

Here the French lines almost touched the 
German trenches at the western point, the 
Moulin, and at the east point of the curve, the 
Bois Sabot. The French lino between those 
two points was elliptical, and left about 1,000 
yards of No Man's Land between the opposing 
trenches north of the village of Souain. It 
was in this section of the front that some of 
the most delicate and dangerous preparatory 
work of the offensive was carried out. It had 
been learned Vjy costly experience that against 
a line well fitted w-ith machine gims it was 
necessary (unless great loss of life was to be 
incurred) to bring the attacking troops to 
witliin about 200 or 250 yards of their im- 
mediate objective. Here to the north of Souain 
they had to push forward about 800 ya.rds 
before the offensive began. This was done by 
sajjping out and linking up with parallel trenches, 
and at times by rushes at night under the glare 
of searchlights and the cold, scrutinizing eye 
of the star shells and pistol flares of the enemy. 
T'nder fire the men dug themselves in where 
they dropped, and then dug backwards to the 
main trenches. In this manner the average 
distance separating the two lines of trench was 
reduced to its proper minimmn of between 
200 and 250 yards. 

Here, again, so intricate and detailed were 
the operations, it was necessary to subdivide the 
section attacked into three parts corresponding 
with the direction of the assault, which radiated 

out froiu Souain to the west upon the woods of 
Hills 174 and 167, to the centre along the 
Souain-Somme-Py road, and to the east along 
the Souain-Taluu'e road. In the first two 
subdivisions up the hill slopes on the west of 
the cm've and in the centre due north the ad- 
vance was extremely rapid. Here, as along 
the rest of the battlefield, the assault was 
unchained at 9.15 a.m. ; in less than an hour 
the Palatinate and Magdeburg fortifications 
had been carried, the Von Kluck Trench over- 
run, and the Harem communication trench, a 
mile and a cjuarter behind the first Gernian 
trench, had been reached. Progress to the north 
was even more startlingly rapid, for there by 
ten o'clock, three-quarters of an hovir after the 
first shout of " En Avant," the French had 
stormed up the hill, swept over Eckmiihl 
Trench and the Gretchen Trench on towards 
the Navarin Farm, a little south of the Ste. 
Marie and Somme-Py roads. 

On the eastern side of the semicircle things 
were by no means so easy, a number of machine 
gims having escaped destruction in the Bois 
Sabot, at the southern extremity of the curve, 
and no great progress was realized here on the 
first day of the offensive. 

The wooded region between Souain and 
Perthes was in many ways the most interesting 
bit of tlie battlefield. It had been fiercely 
fought for in February and in March, when the 
French, in spite of almost superhuman efforts, 
only succeeded in getting a footing in the Bois 
Sabot and in maldng slight progress to the 
west of Perthes on Hill 200. The German 
defences between these two points had then 
offered an unshakable resistance. This 
" Pocket," as the French termed the system 
of defences, constituted one of the most solidly 
organized resistance centres of the German line, 
with its Coblentz work and the Hungarian, 
Rhine, Prague and Elbe Trenches rumiing from 
north to south, linked up on the north by the 
horizontal trenches of Dantzig and Hamburg. 
To the north of the Pocket lay the core of the 
defence in the fairly tliick w-oods of the Bricot 
Hollow, whicli stretched along a front of about 
a mile and extend northwards for two and a half 

East of the Bricot Hollow the coimtry was 
bare and easy. Its defences were comparatively 
slender. The first line was formed by a triple 
row of trenches with about 100 yards between 
each. Then, after a distance of about three- 
quarters of a mile, came a solitary support 




French Colonial troops resting after the battle. 

trench — the York Trencli — beyond which there 
was nothing until the second German position 
was reached at Tahure Kidge. 

The main blow was struck at this chink in 
the armour. Tlie left, playing a secondary 
part, had been ordered to carry the Pocket and 
subsecjuently to cooperate in the envelopment 
of Bricot Hollow, in which work the troops 
attacking the eastern slopes of the Souain 
semicircle were to assist. 

The attack was carried through without a 
hitch. The first assaulting line of Frenclimen 
and the lines of support had already swept 
over and beyond the first German trenches 
before the German artillery awoke to what was 
Tianpening, and began its barrage tire, u-hich, 

hindered at every moment by the French 
gunners, did but little damage to the waiting 
French troops in the Place d'Armes, the huge 
caverns scooped out for the cover of large 
bodies of men. 

At 9.45 a.m. the converging column which 
attacked the salient of the Pocket joined up. 
The whole position was surrounded and those 
of its defenders who were left -ivere made 

Meanwhile the attack Lipon the main position 
had made good progress. Almost at the same 
time that the Pocket was surrounded the first 
French Vjattalion had got a footing in the 
southern edge of the Bricot Hollow woods. 
■W^hiie they held on, succeeding battalions which 



liad been working up northwards to the east 
of the woods swung round to the left, seized 
the support trenehes and installed themselves 
m the coniniunication trenches, while other 
Jjattalions which had adxanccd north fioni 
Perthes got into the eastern edge of the wood, 
where so rapid and siu-prising had been their 
rush that they surprised some of the officers 
cahnly lying in bed, so great was their confidence 
in the resisting power of the " Steel Barrier " of 
the first lines. 

The York Trench was occupied ahnost with- 
out a shot being fired, but farther to the east 
progress was stayed for a while along the 
Perthes -Tahure road, where small blockhouses 


A Telephone Operator at work. 

and pivot-points put up a desperate fight. 
One machine gum, tucked away beneath an 
armoured shield, did a great deal of damage, and 
w-as only silenced by the drastic step of bringing 
up artillery to bear upon it. An infantry 
officer, with the help of an artillery non-com- 
missioned officer, got up a gun to within .300 
yards of the obstinate machine and destroj'ed 
it at that range. The dam had burst, however, 
and through the breach poured in the French 
troops. The later w-a\es had hard fighting with 
grenade and bayonet before they cleared out 
the wooded clumps. But here again their 

arrival was a surprise, batteries of artillery w ere 
rushed from the flank and the rear, and the 
gimners bayoneted in the act of firins. Thus 
in the advance straight to the north of Perthes 
10 heavy guns of lO."} mm. and five of 
150 mm. were captured. The same process was 
going on in the woods to the east of Perthes- 
SoLiain-Tahure roads, where one regiment 
travelled two and a-half miles in two hours, 
capturing 12 guns, five of 105 mm. and seven of 
77 mn". 

By the end of the afternoon the Souain- 
Tahure road had been reached by the first 
French regiment. The advance was great, Ijut 
already the difficulties of the attackers were 
beginning. The incessant downpour rendered 
the work of the artillery very difficult, for they 
were now firing on new targets, and observation 
spotting was impossible. The advance had 
taken place over ground terribly broken by 
trench and mine, and liaison between the 
different units had broken down. In a few- 
graphic words a French officer thus described 
the scene at this period of the attack : 

The Germans were busy pouring a converging fire 
upon our men from the Souain and the Taliure Ridges. 
The bare stretch of country, veiled in driving rain, was 
dotted with scattered groups of men, and officers who liad 
got separated from their men were hurrying about trying 
to find them again. I was trying to restore my regi- 
mental liaison, and every now and again a junior officer 
of another regiment was reporting to me and asfiing for 
instructions. Disorder was apparent, but everywhere 
order was working. It took some time to get tilings 
straightened out again, and the worlc was rendered easy 
by the inner laugh we all got out of a young St. Cyrien — 
one of those lucky youths who, had it not been for the 
war, would still have been studying the Napoleonic 
campaigns at the Military Schools. He came up to me 
caked in the chalk mud which covered us all. He was 
proud of his chalk and flushed with the elation of sensa. 
tion. He was even prouder of his sword; for with the 
utmost gravity and delightful " panache," instead 
of giving the hurried hand salute which, on a battlefield 
with shells bursting around us, would have been ample, 
he must needs draw his sword and with a fine, if com- 
.pletely incongruous, flourish _^ave me a magnificent 
parade-ground salute, as he reported. 

Company was linked to company, regiment 
to regiment, and in spite of growing fire from 
the Germans the line advajiced as far as the 
slopes of Hill 193 and the Tahure P.idge. 
There the men dug themsehes in and waited 
for dawn and their artillery. 

It was in the Mesnil section that the first day 
attack met with the rnost serious opposition. 
Kere all that was accomplished was done with 
great difficulty. In the course of the previous 
winter the French had succeeded in getting 
a foothold on Height 196. The Germans 
remained in Kitchen Gully ; to the east of this 




A church close to the fighting lines used by the French Red Cross to shelter wounded soldiers 

■who were moved out of the danger zone. The wounded were arranged in rows down both sides of the 

church, and rested on small piles of straw which covered the flagstones. 

gully was the only portion of the line which the 
first day's offensive captured. 

North of Beausejour better fortune attended 
the French. Almost in one dash they broke 
tlirough the Fer de Lance and Demi-Lune Woods 

and the Bastion. Some of their troops were 
carried right through the hill crest of the 
Maisons de Champagne, bayoneting gunners 
at their guns as they swept victoriously on. 
The mine-torn region of Beausejour, which 



The entrance to a French ammunition store. 

with its deep craters resembled a liinar land- 
scape, was crossed as far as the Bois Allonge 
in the ISIaisons de Champagne road. There 
the enemy gminers knew what was happening, 
and they had their horses harnessed and were 
saving the guns when the French infantry wave 
burst upon them. The line was pierced here 
AAith a vengeance. The gap was growing hour 
by hour. Everywhere war once more 
coining to the surface. The armies of France 
were moving over gromid wh.ich had not known 
the tread of Frenchmen for over a year. Guns 
were coming out of their lairs, harnessmg np, 
and galloping into action over the trench Ime 
they had l)een bombarding for months. Even 
the ca\-alry, as they had shared the winter 
misery with their infantry comrades in the 
trenches, had been buoyed up with the hope 
that their day might come, began to move 

forward. Their hopes of a dart were disap- 
pointed, but at one or two points they did 
useful work. Thus, in this section t\vo 
scjuadrons of hussars, dashing across the 
enemy's iir de barrage, were making for the 
batteries north of the Maisons de Champagne, 
when they foLuid themselves under the machine- 
gun fire of a section of the German line which 
was still holding out. Several horses were 
killed, and the hussars thereupon dismounted, 
and sabre in hand advanced to the assistance 
of the infantry. Thanks to this timely, if un- 
orthodox, assistance, the 000 Germans who 
were still resisting surrendered. 

The extreme east of the line hung upon the 
tremendously strong positions of the plateau 
of Massiges. Hero the Colonial troops, ad- 
vancing at the double, got right up to the top 
of the plateau in a cjuarter of an hour. There 



Excavation made by 

their progress was stopped for the day by the 
tremendous machme-guii concentration of the 
enemy. But enough had been done at this 
point, whence the enemy had dominated the 
entire hne, to make secure the gains along the 
rest of the front. 

The day's operations were thus smumarised 
in the olficial communique of September 26 : 

" In Champagne obstinate engagements have 
occurred along the whole front. 

" Our troops have penetrated the German 
lines on a front of 25 kilometres (15 J miles) to 
a depth varying between one and four kilo- 
metres (five-eighths to two and a-half miles), and 
they have maintained during the night all the 
positions gained. 

" The number of prisoners actually counted 
exceeds 12,000 men." 

Thus the results of the first day's fighting 


i German shell. 

may be smnmed up as being entirely successful. 
The assault at the two ends of the line around 
Auberive and Servon failed to carry the 
position, but with heroic tenacity, under 
converging artillery fire and counter-attacks, 
the men fought on, and they retained very 
large forces of the enemy upon their front, 
pinned the enemy's two wini.s down, and thus 
facilitated the work upon the centre. There 
the " poilu" had done his wt rk well, but already 
the obstacles which in the days to come finally 
brought the movement to a check were 
hanging the advance up at certain points. 
The night was passed m quiet activity. Tlie 
Germans appeared to be stunned by the blow 
given them, and no counter-attack or bom- 
bardment came to worry the preparations for 
the next day's operations. Throughout the 
night the roads in the rear were filled with the 



(Showing German t 







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^-4f4;*'%^//(iiiiw^ „, 

,, ^„ ,^ , %//'^ v^-"' Minaucoui 

'Enervations "J_ .' HVPlUS 

Ad . 

i.-i\ a-t I ._ ^ , -_.v.j . ^ . 

-..-^.Tir ---J-- ,' ^J \-vc:iss'--, ■■'■'■■ -A ." , , ^ 


^'"my-'^wmm€'^'^r^ y^mrn^ 




\vhiif^' y' 






4 * -^*d«^%L 

"*^ iv'si':'"^-..l.-W?'C^ - 

In the distance is seen the remains of a wood, and in the foreground the crater of a mine explosion. 

bombardment miseathed, had to be enveloped. 

tremendous traffic- of supply, of reliefs and 
reinforcements. Advantage was taken to move 
ujj even the heavy artillery, so as to afford 
support for the continuance of the operation 
so hajjijily begun. 

Gomg again on the map from west to east, 
the French had been stayed at the wood 
bordering the St. Hilaire-St. Souplet road. 
Tliis they seized on September 27, and on the 
same day they carried the long Eijine de 
Vedegrange trench, thus getting their teeth 
into tlie German second position, where their 
farther progress was stopped by the intact 
wire entanglements defenchng the Parallel du 
Bois Chevron. 

In this Vedegrange section the fighting died 
away after September 28, upon which date the 
yield of the offensive here was thus stated by 
the French General Staff : '" Capture of nearly 
10 scjuare miles of closely fortified country, 
44 guns (seven of 105 and six of 150 nmi.) and 
over 5,000 prisoners." 

In the Souain section it was not until Sep- 
tember 28 that along the whole line the French 
got into contact with the second German 
positions. The German defence of the Bois 
Sabot, composed mainly of machine guns, 
which had come through the preliminary 

The circle was completed on the 27th, when 
the troops corning from the Souain-Tahure 
road made their junction with the cohunns 
attacking to the north of Perthes. A small 
investing force was left behind, and parle- 
mentaires were sent to the Germans to point 
out the hopelessness of further resistance. 
They were greeted with shots, and in the night 
the desperate and famished defenders (they 
had been ^^■ithout food for days) made a 
forlorn effort to break through. 

The greater nmnber of them were Idlled, and 
the others, then convinced of the uselessness 
of further refusal to accept defeat, surrendered. 

hi. front of Perthes, where halt had been 
called towards noon by the severity of the 
converging enemy artillery fire, the night was 
busy, and artillery was brought up right 
beyond the York Trench to support the next 
day's movement. The situation of the men 
was such that they either had to retreat or 
advance, so at da\\'n the re-formed regiments 
pushed forward and got into immediate con- 
tact with the second German line from the 
Souain Ridge to the Tahui'e Ridge. They even 
carried one or two advanced parts of that line, 
but here again they were held up by un- 
destroyed wire, which lay in great fields on the 



re\-erse slope of the hilis. Here they lay, 
digging themsjclves in, and building up under 
the guns of the enemy a whole system of de- 
fence until October 6. 

Tlie leUiiwtiv, as it were, of the succeeding 
days of the battle Mas heard strongest in the 
Mesnil sector. Here even the first day's 
offensive had spent itself in vain against intact 
wire, and it was not until six days later that 
the northern tip of the Jlesnil Ridge was cap- 
tured and the Trapeze on the top of the 
southern crest encircled. 

The most stubborn resistance on September 
25 had been encountered on the Main do 
Massiges. The Germans had some ground ft r 
their boast that this position could be held by 
" two washer vvome? 1 and two machine guns," 
for it was indeed of extraordinary strength. 
The three hills which run in a south-westerly 
direction and the valleys between them have 
the appearance of the back of the fii-st 
three fingers of a hand. On the Staff 
maps tliis similarity is heightened by the 
network of trenches which cover the heights, 
which are as close and as comj^ilicated as the 
lines upon a finger. The French had declined 
the in\'itation to advance up the open valleys 

between these fingers, ^v-here certain destruction 

awaited thein, and had struck over the back 

of the hand, and had got on to the jalateau. 

Here the fighting became one long personal 

straggle in timnel and in trench with the 

bayonet and the gi'cnade. An endless human 

chain \vas formed from Massiges, along which 

grenades were passed from hand to hand to 

the gi-enadier parties. The fighting followed a 

regular course after a fierce bombardment, 

regulated by flag signals. From the attacking 

Ime came a swift avalanche of grenades — the 

bomb-throwers advancing with bayoneting 

parties and fighting their way up the narrow 

trenches foot by foot. A semi-official account 

of this great feat said : 

Having announced in its communtqu6 of September 29 
that the French had been unable to take the heights 
to the north of Massiges, the German General Staff 
announced, in its communique of September 30 that 
Hill 191 had been evacuated because it was taken in 
the flank by artillery fire. In point of fact, we reached 
the summit of these heights on September 25, and 
during the following days completed their conqnest. 
The number of prisoners we made there, together with 
the still greater number of German corpses which filled 
the trenches and the communication trenches on Hill 
191, bear witness to the bitterness of the struggle. 
There was no question here of a voluntary evacuation 
or a retreat in good order, but of a broken resistance and 
a costly defeat. Our adversaries were holding a for- 

A shattered German trench in Champagne. 













W :?r> 







* 3 





















midable bastion which assured, by flanking works, the 
security of a great stretch of their front in Champagne. 
They thought this bastion impregnable. We knew tliat 
the saying was current among them, "Hill 191 can be 
held with two washerwomen and two machine guns." 

The possession of this fortress was indispensable to 
the success of onr attack, and the honour of the assault 
fell to the Colonial Infantry, who wrote a new page 
of heroism in their history at Massiges. By our first 
assault on September 25 we reached the summit of the 
plateau. Our artillery had completely wrecked the 
slopes and ra-vines and torn gaps in the barbed-wire 
entanglements which the enemy had stretched below. 
The German regiments which occupied Hill 191 at the 
moment of attack, confident in the solidarity of their 
fortress, were disorganized and demoralized by the 
rapidity of our first rush. Their machine guns enabled 
them to prolong their resistance, but imder the weight 
of our artillery and grenade fire they gave way little by 
little. Reinforcements selected from the best troops of 
the Crown Prince's Army were sent to their assistance. 
These newcomers did justice to their reputation. Over- 
whelmed by our shells and grenades, they clung to their 
trenches. " Surrender ! " shouted in German the 
colonel of one of our colonial regiments, who was ad- 
vancing with his grenadiers and had reached a distance of 
30 yards from the enemy. A German lieutenant fired 
at him and missed. Not one of his men escaped. There 
are so many corpses in the trenches of Hill 191 that at 
certain points of the plateau they literally fill up the 
trenches, and one has to walk over them exposed to the 
enemy's fire. 

Our methodical advance was continued from Sep- 
tember 25 to September 30. As the trenches were 
conquered the Germans, surrounded in the intermediary 
communication trenches, raised their hands in sur- 
render. We took them prisoners in groups of about a 
thousand, amongst whom were several officers. One 
active officer swore at his men. " I can only make them 
advance with the stick or the revolver," he said. When 
it felt that the possession of the heights was being 
wrenched from its grasp, the German General Staff 
attempted a counter-attack, which debouched from the 
north-east, but the assaulting troops, as they deployed, 
came under the fire of our machine guns and artillery, 
and were swept away in a few moments. The survivors 
fled in disorder. Our troops, seeing the enemy give 
ground, continued the fight with joyous ardour. " I 
can't find men to take the prisoners back," said an 
officer. They all want to remain up there." 

This version of the struggle does but scanty 
justice to the exploit of the Colonial Corps. 
The number of German dead which " 611 up 
the trenches" alone testifies to the stubborn 
resistance which the French had to overcome, 
and an oflficer who took part in the fighting 
was more gallant, and perhaps more accurate, 
W'hen he declared that "the enemy fought 
with amazing courage against a still more 
amazing attack. Time and again the enemy 
machine gtms were only put out of action 
when the gtmners had been bayoneted at 
their posts. Grenadiers fought with despera- 
tion, £Wid so close was the fighting that many 
of them were killed or wounded by the ex- 
plosion of their own grenades." The possession 
of these heights enabled the French to carry 
by flanking attack the trenches east of the 
position, which resisted all frontal storming. 

The official storj^ of the fighting was contained 
in the following passages of the cotnmiinlqiie 
issued day by day from the French War Office : 

Scpteniber 2Q, evening. 

In Champagne our troops have continued to gain 
ground. After crossing on almost the whole front 
comprised between Auberive and Ville-sur-Tourbe the 
powerful network of trenches, communication trenches, 
and forts established and perfected by the enemy during 
many months, they advanced northwards, compelling- 
the German troop:-: to fall back un the second position 
trenches, three or four kilometres in the rear. 

The fighting continues on the whole front. We have 
reached the Epine de Vedegrange. passed the cabin on 
the road from Souain to Somme-Py and the hut on the 
road from Souain to Tahure. Farther east we hold the 
farm of Maisons de Champagne. 

The enemy has suffered very considerable losses fron* 
our fire and in the hand-to-hand fighting. He has left 


A German deserter explaining in detail a German 

position in Champagne to a French officer. 

in the works which he has abandoned a large quantity of 
material, which we have not yet been able to tabulate. 

At present the capture of 24 field guns has been 

The number of prisoners is increasing progressively, 
and at present exceeds 16,000 unwoimded men, including 
at least 200 officers. 

Altogether, and on the whole front, the Allied troops 
have taken in two days over 20,000 able-bodied pri- 

September 28. , 

In Champagne the struggle continues without inter- 

Our troops are now on a wide front before the second 
line of the German defences — between Hill 185 (east of 
the Somme-Py-Tahure road) to the west of the farm of 
Navarin {on the Souain-Somme-Py road, ha!f way be- 
tween the two places), the ridge of Souain-Tahure road, 
and the village and ridge of Tahnre. 




The number of guns captured from the enemy cannot 
be estimated at the present moment, but it exceeds 70 
field pieces and heavy weapons, 2:i of which were cap- 
tured by the British. 

The Germans to-day took the offensive in the Argonne, 
but were stopped. 

Four times they attempted an infantry attack on our 
positions at La Fille Morte, after having bombarded 
tliem with projectiles of every caHbre and with aspli\'xiat- 
ing .shells. The enemy was only able to reach at some 
points our first line trenches, he was stopped there by 

the fire from our support trenches, and was repulsed 
everywhere else with heavy losses. 

September 28. 

In Cliampagne fighting went on tenaciously along the 
entire front. 

We occupied at .several points, notably at the Trou 
Bricot (about three miles north-east of Souain), north of 
the Macques Farm, some positions, which we had already 
passed, in which the enemy still maintained himself. 

We made 300 officers prisoners in Champagne, and not 
200, as originally reported. 



September 29. 
In Champagne the Germans are resisting in their 
reserve positions, protected by extensive and concealed 
wire entanglements. 

We made some further progress towards Hill 185 
(west of the Navarin Farm) and towards La Justice, 
north of Massiges. 

In the Argonne, the obstinate attacks delivered 
yesterday by the enemy, with six to eight battalions, 
against our first line trenches at La Fille Morte and 
Bolante resulted in a serious defeat. 

The counter-attacks earned out by us in the course of 
the night permitted us to expel the German infantry 
from almost all the points where thej^ had been able 
to penetrate. The ground in front of our trenches is 
covered with the enemy's dead. 

September 30. 
The reports which are coming in permit us to measure 
more completely each day the importance of the success 
obtained by our offensive in Champagne, combined with 
that of the Allied, troops in Artois. 

The Germans have not only been lorced to abandon 
on an extensive front positions which were strongly 
entrenched, upon which they had orders to resist to the 
end ; they have sustained losses the total of which in 
killed, wounded, and prisoners exceeds the strength of 
three Army Corps. 

The total number of prisoners is now over 23,000; 
the number of guns brought to the rear is 79. Seventeen 
thousand and fifty-five pi'isoners and 316 officers have 
passed through Chalons on their way to their internment 

The clearing of the battlefield and the counting of the 
a.rms of every kind, and of the field and trench material 
which the enemy was obliged to abandon to us. is being 
proceeded with. 

In Artois the progress reported yesterday east of 
Souehez continued. 

October 1. 
In Champagne we gained a footing at several points in 
the German second defensive position west of tlie Butte 
de Tahure and west of the Navarin Farm. 

At the latter point certain of o\ir troops crossed the 
German line and advanced determinedly beyond it. but 
their progress could not be maintained owing to a 
barrage of artillery fire and very violent flanking bom- 

Our men are holding firmly the captured positions in 
the enemy's second line. 

South of Ripont (east of Tahure, on the Souain-Tahure- 
Ceniay road) we extended and completed the conquest 
of the first German position by carrying a part of the 
important support works known as the " Works of the 

October 2. 
In Champagne we stopped dead with our fire a counter- 
attack in the region of Jlaisons de Champagne. 

The number of prisoners made yesterday evening, in 
the course of our progress north of Massiges, was 280, 
including six officers. 

In Champagne a coup de main between Auberive and 
TEpine de Vedegrange enabled us to capture from the 
enemy more machine guns and about 30 prisoners. 

October 4. 
In Champagne the Germans bombarded, in the course 
of the night, our new lines at the Epine de Vedegrange 
and east of the Xavarin Farm. Our troops won a con- 
siderable portion of the enemy's positions which formed 
a salient on the present line north of Mesnil. 

In Lorraine German reconnoitring parties attacked 
two of our posts near Moncel and Sorneville. They were 
repulsed and pursued until they returned to their lines. 
The night was quiet on the rest of the front. 
Our air squadrons threw a very large number of pro- 
jectiles upon the railway stations and lines behind the 
enemy's front. 

To this official record must be addod the text 

of the telegrams exchanged between the Allied 
Chiefs of State : 

PARIS, Sept. 28. 

The Tsar has sent the following telegram to 
President Poincaro : 

" Plav'ing received the news of the great 
success achieved by the glorious French Army, 
it is with pleasure I seize this happy occasion 
to exjiress to you and to the valiant Army my 
warmest congratulations and my sincerest 
wishes for the future and the unchangeable 
prosperity of France. 

" XlCtlOLAS." 

PARIS, Oct. 1. 

King George yesterday sent the following 
telegram to the President of the French 
Republic : 

" I have followed with admiration the mag- 
nificent exploits of the French Army, and seize 
this opportunity of congratulating you, M. le 
President, as well as General Joffre and the 
whole French nation, on the great success 
achieved bj^ the valiant French troops since the 
beginning of our joint offensive. 

*' George, R.I." 

The congratulations of the President of the 
Republic to the Army were expressed in the 
following letter to M. jMillerand, Minister of 
AVar : 

" j\Iy Dear Minister, — The magnificent 
results produced by our operations in yVrtois 
and Champagne enable us to estimate the 
extent of the victory which the Allied Armies 
have just won. Our admirable troops have 
given in this tough fighting new proofs of 
their incomparable ardour, of their spirit of 
sacrifice, and of their sublime devotion to the 
Fatherland. They have definitely asserted 
their superiority over the enemy. 

" I beg you to transmit to the General-in- 
Chief, to the Generals commanding Army 
groups and Armies, and to all the Generals, 
ofticers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, 
my warmest and most heartfelt congratulations. 

" Believe, my dear Minister, in my most 
devoted sentiments. 

"(Signed) R. Poincare." 

In this bald official phraseology a thousand 
epics lay hidden. Concealed in the restrained 
language of the coinmuniqn e ^\Tite^ were a 
tliousand feats of arms, each of which was 
worthy to inspire another Homer. In singing 
the praises of the PVench troops the lyric mood 





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is alone permissible. They performed prodigies 
of valoiu', and coLm.tless are the instances of 
direct sacrifice for tiie well are of the country. 
In no way is the merit of the French troops' 
behaviour lessened by a more detailed descrip- 
tion of the effects of the French bomlDardment 
upon the German trenches. The strength of 
that line had to be seen to be believed. Shells 
such as were employed at that moment in the 
\var were about the size of a pillar-box, and did 
not contain enough high explosive to shatter 
the shelters and caverns in which the enemy 
infantry lay waiting with their machine-guns. 

General Castelnau had said before the begin- 
ning of the offensive that he wanted the 
bombardment to be so terrific that his men 
might go to the attack of the opposing trencVi 
lines with their rifles at the shoidder. It was 
the business of M. Albert Thomas, Under 
Secretary of State for Munitions, to see to it that 
the realization of this wish was possible. M. 
Albert Thomas is one of the very few instances 
in the war up to this period of a man being 
developed who really was worthy of the 
circumstances. Kno^vn before the outbreak of 
the war to his pohtical friends and opponents as 
Ij'Homme-Cliien, on account of his tremendous 
growth of beard and hair, M. Albert Thomas was 
recognized rather as one of the coming forces 
of International SooiaUsni, as an econoinical 
WTiter of the French business man's jomnal 
L' Information, than as the great " organizer 
of victory," as his friends did not hesitate to 
name him in 1915. For a long time he worked 
behind the scenes, and it was not until long 
after the Battle of the Marne had flung the 
invader back from Paris that France as a whole 
learned that in all matters of artillery and shell 
supply M. Millerand, who was the Minister of 
War, had had the benefit of M. Albert Thomas's 
advice. His position was given official recogni- 
tion by his appointment to the newly created 
post of Under-Secretary of State for Munitions, 
not long after the great shell upheaval in 
Great Britain and the consequent appointment 
of Mr. Lloyd George to the new portfolio of the 
Ministry of Munitions. M. Thomas was in- 
evitably dubbed the French Lloyd George. 
The service he rendered to France was, to say 
the least of it, equal to that so splendidly given 
to Britain by his British colleague, and the title 
reflected honour upon each. Like Mr. Lloyd 
George, M. Albert Thomas had to fight against 
the dead weight of settled convictions, of settled 

procediu-e in the minds and methods of 
bureaucracy. Like Mr. Lloyd George, and 
perhaps before him, he conquered all those 
difficulties, and although it may be said that 
the offensive in Champagne came to an end 
through a miscalculation, a misLuiderstanding, 
a non-realization as to the tremendous quantity 
of high explosive to blast a way tlirough the 
main German line, Vjoth first and second, in the 
Champagne, the blame — if blame of any sort 
there be — cannot be laid at the door of M. 
Albert Thomas. As he frankly stated to the 
Paris correspondent of The Tiines while the 
offensive was stOl in progress on September 29, 
there were three lessons to be gained from the 
success of the Chamjaagne offensive. The first 
weis perhaps the most satisfying. It was that 
all agitation for shells and for the mobilization of 
industry (of which the agitation in Parliamen- 
tary Committees was by no means the least 
important) had been " a real and sohd work." 
The writer, who in March had visited the State 
arsenal of Bourges, who had stayed at the 
works of Messrs. Schneider & Co. at Le Creusot, 
was among the fLrst privileged to see the 
tremendous purpose of French industrial mobili- 
zation. The men, who, bare to the waist, and 
sweating with the work, let loose the flood 
of molten steel from the fiu-nace, who watched 
over its safe progress to the moulds, who 
toiled and troubled at the presses, who 
pushed backwards and forwards through 
rollers the long trimk of red-hot steel, the men 
who measured calibres with a precision such 
that the thousandth part of a tenth of an inch 
made all the difference between acceptance and 
rejection, the old peaceful ladies from Brittany 
in white lace caps who, with pots of spring 
flowers before them, stamped out the parts of 
the shell first, poured the deadly mixture of 
chemical into the hollow steel cavern of the 
shells, they all had before them but one aim — 
the beating of the Boches. Only this unity 
of national purpose rendered possible the 
tremendovis shell expenditure of the trench in 
the Champagne. 

The second lesson of the offensive, according 
to M. Thomas's remarks to the Paris corre- 
spondent of The Times, was " that the work 
accoinijlished had been carried out upon the 
right lines, and had given the troops the shells 
they wanted in the qualities and quantities 
required for the needs of the attack." In 
other words, all the old Colonial experience — 
whether it be South African or Moroccan — as 



The French Red Cross at work. 

to tlie benefits of shrapnel, had been laid on 
one side ; the special requirements of siege 
warfare had been met by provision of vast 
quantities ot high-explosive shell which, poured 
in sufficient quantities upon the opposing 
front, destroys all semblance of trench, levels 
the deep-dug line with the rest of the country 
in a multitude of volcanic explosions. 

Never before had such a whirlwind of shell 
and chemicals been unloosed upon the en.rth. 
The unfinished letter? found upon the prison- 
ers made in the fighting bear eloquent testimony 
to the horror of the bombardment. Thus one 
German soldier, %%Titing on September 24, said : 
" For two days the French have been fighting 
like madmen. To-day, for example, one of our 
shelters was demolished. There were sixteen 
men in it. Not one remained alive. There 
are also a great many isolated dead and a great 
mass of wounded. The artillery fire as quickly 
as the infantry. A cloud of smoke hangs so 
thick upon the ii'ont of battle that nothing 
is to be seen. The men are falling like flies. 
The trenches are nothing but a heap of ruins." 
In other letters and note-books there is talk of 
the " rain of shells." A man in the 100th 
Regiment of l^ield Artillery, writing on Septem- 
ber 25, said : " We have been tlirough Vjitter 
hours ; it seemed as though the world were 
crunibhng to jjieces. We have had naany 
losses ; a company of 2.50 men had (JO men 
killed last night and a neighbouring battery 

lost 10. The following incidents will show 
you the terrible power of French shells. A 
shelter, 15 ft. deep, with 12 ft. of earth above 
it and two layers of timber, was broken like 
a match." In a report made out on the 
morning of September 24 by a company 
commander it is stated, " The French are 
firing upon u.s with heavy shells and mitrail- 
leuses ; we must have reinforcements quickly ; 
many ot the men are no longer good for any- 
thing. It is not that they are wounded, but 
they belong to the LancLsturm and the wastage 
is bigger than our reported losses. Send 
supplies of food at once ; no rations have 
reached us to-day. We are in urgent need of 
flares and hand-grenades. Is the sanitary 
column never going to come ? " 

On the morning of September 25 the cry of 
despair was acute. The same officer wrote : 
" I insist upon having reinforcements. My 
men are dying of fatigue and lack of sleep. 
I am without any news of the battalion." 

Perhaps one of the most grajjhic accounts 
of the bombardment was furnished from 
German sources. It is that of Professor 
Wegener, correspondent of the Cologne Ga-:eUe : 

It is Friday morning. Djring the night we have 
been hearing thi sound o£ distant gu i-fire which in 
vohime and duration J as exceeded anything we have 
experienced since we liave been here. 

Yesterday evening already the bombardment was 
exceptionally lively ; it then died down towards mid- 
night. But at about i o'clock this morning it started 
afresh, with imprecedented intensity — a typical big- 



scale bombardment, with shot following shot in ono 
unbroken t^rovvl of thunder like the roll of drunks. One 
hour— two hours — four hours — and still no end to it ! 

There is excitement in the town. The like of it has 
not been heard ever since the days when the first German 
advance passed like a storm over this re^ijion. Where is 
it ? What does it mean ? 

The thunder of distant guns can be heard better up 
on the hills than down in the valley. So I went up to 
the top of the hill which rises outside the town. And I 
have just returned. It is now 1 1 a.m., and the guns are 
still thunderin;:;. It is extraordinary. The roll of the 
borabardmenl in the Arjj;onne which preluded the recent 
French attack on the Marie Ther^se fieldworks lasted 
from S lo 11 — three hours. This bombardment has 
already been going on for more than twice as long. And 
the sound of it, up on the top of the hill . . . ! The 
whole atmosphere was in a state of dull vibration ; 
it seemed as if one perceived the sound not only with 
the ear, but as if one had the physical sensation of being 
shaken by the air-waves. It was as if the sound came up 
from the unknown depths of the earth. Indeed, more 
than anything it was like the uncanny underground 
growling of a distant volcano in eruption, shaking — as I 
have repeatedly experienced it in Java and in Marti- 
nique^the earth's crust for miles around and making it 
tremble like a man in a fit of a^^ue. 

It was the most remarkable and exciting sensation 

imaginable. All around, as far as the eye could reach, 
the countryside lay bathed in a gracious peace, and 
through the clear, sunlit air, from beyond the sky-line, 
camo these awe-inspiring sounds. It seemed to come 
straight from the south, or perhaps from south-south - 
west, and therefore from Champagne. A peculiarly 
sultry, oppressively hot south wind, a sort of sirocco, 
unusual in these parts, was blowing from that quarter ; 
and it may be that this wind carried the sound with 
unwonted clearness. 

In any case something tremendous and awful is going 
on. What it is, whether it is we, or the French, or both. 
I cannot, as I write these lines, yet tell. But I think 
that it is likely to be the rolling thunder of French guns, 
probably between Reims and the Argonne. Nor am I 
altogether surprised bv it. On the contrary',. I had, 
almost with certainty, expected it. 

The reader will remember that I recently went out to 
join General Fleck's Rhenish Corps in Champagne in the 
expectation that something might happen tliere during 
my stay. It is an open secret that we are reckoning 
with the possibility of an attempt by the enemy to start 
a new great offensive somewhere on the West front. 
Wo are ready for it ; the whole front is in a state of 
electric tension ; and I am not going too far when I say 
that there is hope, too, in the hearts of our troops, who 
are eager for the fray. I cannot state at which point our 
supreme command primarily expects the attack. At 


The officers, wearing steel helmets, common to the French forces, inspectiag a ruined village. 



several points perhaps ; at [iiany points at onco. it 
may be. 

In Champagne itself tlierc was a very atrong expecta- 
tion that this region would be one of the points of 
attack. For a long time past we have observed the 
considerable movements, by road and by rail, which 
have been proceeding along and behind the French 
front over against us. Prisoners have told us that on 
the other side, too. there is this peculiar atmosphere of 
tension. The Chief of Staff of the . . . Army, who 
received us before we left to join Fleck's Corps, told us 
the same thing. We have so far not witnessed an attack 
of the expected Icind ; but in manifold ways we have 
learned how an attack of this kind will be parried. 
There was, thank God, no tendency to minimize the 
seriousness of a new great lunge forward by the French ; 
hut always when we asked, " Do you think they can 
lireak through ? " we met with the uniform reply, " Out 
of the question." 

Towards noon the voice of the guns at last was still. 
Everyone who has heard it on the spot knows how 
awful and terrible a thing, even for the victor who holds 

Setting off a flare rocket. 

A grenade-thrower. 

the ground at the last, is the sound of them, as I heard 
it to-day, like the rolling of drums. 

This bombardment was both moral and 
material in its eflect. While trenches went 
up in a floating veil of smoke and dust along 
the front shelters, and batteries were pounded 
to pieces, and the whole steel barrier was crumb- 
ling away, the moral and fighting spirit of the 
enemy was being undermined through the phy- 
sical deprivation of sleep and food, and by the 
senae of isolation brought about by the complete 
rupture of communications not only with the 
rear and the source of authority but even 
with the neighbouring trench defenders. There 
is no more striking contrast than that to be 
di'awn between the victorious French and the 
defeated Germans in this battle. For the 
collapse of their moral, and, indeed, of the 
whole of their elaborate staff machinery, the 
Germans cannot claim the mitigating circtxm- 
stanees of complete surprise. Operations 
which demand »ii inces.sant bombardment of 
many weeks, which demand a close preparation 
during many months, camaot be held entirely 
secret, especially with the aeroplane and 
photography. For many weeks before the 
storm burst the waiting and eager Frenclimen 
in the trenches had been taunted by their foe. 
J^ay after day placards had been hoisted in 
the German trenches telling the French in 
more or less provocative language that the 
Germans knew they were going to attack, 
and asking tliem to screw their courage up 
to do it at an early moment. Aeroplanes 
had dropped leaflets among French troops 



in the Argonne bearing similar tavints ami 

Already on August 15 General von Dit- 
fiu'th in an Army order warned liis men 
" to expect the })Ossiljility of a great Froncli 
offensive." On September 22 General von 
Fleck, \v\\o commanded a jjortion of the German 
army in Champagne, issued the following ordei' 
to his troops : 

Amieegruppe Fleck, 1 A NR 21845, 

Comrades : Let us swear in this solemn hour tlial 
each one of us, no matter where he may be, whether 
in the trenches, or in tlie batteries, or in positions of 
command, no matter where, wnll do his duty there right 
to the bitter end. Wherever tlie enemy may hurl 
himself to tho assault we will receive him with a well- 
directed fire, and if ho reaches our positions we will 
throw him back at the point of the bayonet, and pelt 
him with hand grenades. 


The projectile was dropped from a German 

aeroplane outside a French trench. 

If we have the determination to act in tliis manner, 
and if we are determined to face death, every enemy 
attack will be broken by us, and tlie country may con- 
fidently look on this wall of steel constituted by her 

Complete stu-prise was, perhaps, impossible' 
to achieve, but in the hmits of possibility 
the French succeeded in misleading the enemy, 
who, aware of the general line which was aliout 
to be attacked, had not for a moment foreseen 
the tremendous force which had been gathered 
behind the Freucli lines for the assault, and 
had completely miscalculated the means of 
victory wliich the French had fasliioned for 
tliemselves in their war factories, and which 
they had always possessed in the incomparable 
valour of the French soldier. The ignorance 
of the German (General Staff as to the magni- 
tude of the blow about to be dealt to the 


Reading distant signals. 

Western line is clearly sho\\ii by the inadequacy 
of the steps they took to meet it, for during 
tlie artillery preparation tlu^y only reinforce 'tl 
their Champagne front with the IS3rd 15rigade. 
the 5th Division of the iird Corps, and half 
the 43rd Reserve division, or, in other woi-ds. 
twenty-iune battalion.-. This somewhat i-.rro- 
gant contempt of the German General Staff 
for the offensive capacities of their enemy \\as 
reflected right away through the military 
hierarchj', and recei\ ed clear illustration in 
the capture of a number of German officers 
in the second line, both in Bricot Hollow and 
at the Epine di" ^'edi 'grange. These officers, 
.ill 1 1 01 1 L'l ! tli('\- liail .lieen informed fliat a 

Collecting trophies. 


French general offensive could be expected, 
were so confident in tlie resisting strength of 
their first hne that even after communications 
of every sort had been interrupted between 
tlie first and second line they gave not a 
thought to the matter, and, as we have seen, 
were captvu'ed by the victorious French in- 
fantry while in their beds. 

Everything tends to show that the complete- 
ness and the rapidity with wiiich the first 
line was rushed constituted that element of 
surprise \^hich in war is one of the essentials 
of success. 

That sur[)rise threw the whole staff worlv 
of the Gernian army into confusion. The 
local reserves they had formed to meet the 
ex[jecterl offensive were entirely inafleL[iiate, 
and they had to throw hurriedl)' into bittle 
not only the lUth Corps brought back from 
Russia, but even the local reserves of the 


German prisoners carrying in a blanket one of 

their seriously wounded comrades. 

Inset : Captured Prussian Guards in their trenches. 

front roimd Soissons, in the Argorme, in the 
Woevre, and in Alsace. In the handling of 
these reserves, in the marmer in \^"hich they 
were brought into the firing line, there was a 
complete absence of that spirit of method 
which \vas the strength of German staff work. 
The men were sent off from their billets bat- 
talion by battalion, as soon as they were ready 
to move, and so pressing n\ as the need that they 
were even moved in detachments of a couple 
of companies. They reached the front anyhow 
and anywhere, as was shown by another 
" letter which did not reach him," found on a 
soldier belonging to the 18th Regiment, in 
which he says : 

Wo started on a mad race in motor-cars through 
Vouziers as far as Tahure. There we had two hours of 
rest in the rain, and then we started off on a six-hours' 
march for our posilioiis. On our way we were wel- 
comed so heartily by tlie enemy's shell fire that only 
224 of the 280 men of the second company got to the 
trenches safe and sound. These trenches had been 
newly dug, were scarcely deeper than four or five inches. 
Mines and shells constantly burst around us, and 
we had to keep these trenches and look after them for 
118 hours without having anything hot to eat. It 
cannot be worse in hell. To-day 600 fresh men arrived 
for the re^^'iraent. In five days we have lost as many 
and more. 

Units arrived in confusion, and the dis- 
order was sho\vn by the fact that of tho regi- 
ments of the 5th Division of the Srd Corps 
the 81st was located near !\Iassiges, while one 
battalion of the I2th was at Tahure and a 
battalion of the 32nd at Bricot Hollow. The 
regiments of the 5(ith Division were strtmg 
along the front in a similarly haph.-.zard 



manner, the 88th and 35th Regiments at 
Mas.siges, the 91st at Souain, and a battaUon 
of the 79th west of Tahure Ridge. So great 
was the muddle made by the Oerinan General 
Staff in bringing up their reinforcements that 
on the small stretch of front between Maisons 
de Champagne and Hill 189 there were on 
October 2 no less than 32 battalions belonging to 
no less than t\venty-one different regiments. 
These men were flung into the inferno of battle 
badly rationed, badly equipped, and lacking 
proper supplies of ammimition ; they were 
rushed to a front of which their officers had no 
personal knowledge, without any definite plan 
save that of stemming the French advance 
wherever the two lines came into contact, 
and with no means of establishing their liaison 
with neighbouring battalions. The haste with 
which these men were brought into action on 
positions already completely s%vept by the 
French fire, and wliich had already been 
mastered by the French infantry, explains a 
portion of the very heavy losses suffered by 
the Germans. 

The reiiiforcements the Germans sent did 
no more than replace their losses, and on the 
first day of the offensive the enemy was com- 
pletely incapable of serious resistance, oven 
through liis artillery. 

It was, indeed, one of the most noticeable 
features of the first day's fighting that the 
German artillery was not only badly served 
and badly equipped with shell, but also it was 
always late. The tirs de barrage, which are 
always the first real line of protection against 
assault, came in on nearly every section of the 
front after successive waves of French infantry 
had swept over the barrage zone. 

The utmost the enemy could do was 
to launch a counter-attack upon specially 
tfireatened i:>ositions, and even then those 
a,ttacks were only carried out upon very 
restricted fronts. They were hastily organized 
and badly conceived, and resulted, as was 
shown by the fate of the attack launched 
upon the French on the Massiges heights, 
in heavy losses. Here it was that the enemy 
sent forward isolated battalions of the 123rd, 
124th, and 30th Active Regiments, and of the 
2nd Ersatz Regiment of the 16th Corps. 
The losses of these battalions as they broke 
one after the other upon the counter-shock 
of the French advance were extraordinarily 

The experience of this and similar counter- 

attacks along the front pro\'ed ilii? accuracy 
of General von Ditfurth's impressions, which 
had been con\'eyed to his troops in an army 
order in which he said, " I have the injpreswion 
that oiu- infantry at some points conBnes its 
action solely to the defensive. ... I carmot 
energetically enough jjrotest against such 
proceedings, which of necessity result in 
lulling the spirit of the offensive among our 
own men, in wakening and in strengthening 
the feeling of superiority among our enemies. 
The enemy is given lus full freedom of action, 
and our own action is subordinated to the 
enemy's will." 

Another sui-e sign of the decay in the enemy's 
moral is seen in the numbers of German 
jjrisoners, in the maimer in which they sur- 
rendered as well ad in tlie statements they 
made to their captors. The Paris Corre- 
spondent of The Times, in a telegram about 


Being conducted to the rear by way of their own 
communication trenches. 



tlie batbte of September 30, tluis described 
the general impression conveyed by the pri- 
soners, and noted the contrast between tlie 
attitude of those captured, particularly the 
officers, and that of the prisoners after the 
Battle of the Marne : 

Everywhere large bodies of Germans left behind in 
the retreat are surrendering. In this work of clearing 
np behind the first impetuous dash African cavalry 
performed excellent service. . . . For the most part 
the captiired prisoners made a good impression. Here 
and there men who had been cut off for days from their 
supphes were exhausted and famished, but the majority 
of the men, although dazed by the violence of the bom- 
bardment, were well-nourished, and once they had 
been captured were delighted to be out of it. Their 
good humour may be judged from the following little 
picture, outlined to me by a wounded officer, of some 
twenty prisoners who had been marshalled under an 
escort of cavalry. Noticeable among them was a tall, 
fat, blonde, spectacled German, of the type rendered 
famihar by the caricaturist. The convoy was rather 
slow in starting ; when the officer gave the command '* En 
avant, marche," adding the German " Schnell, schnell," 
this particular man started off with such good-will that 
he fell, and as he was at the head of the section rolled 
several feet down the hillside. His comrades in cap- 
tivity immediately burst into a roar of laughter. 

The officers were pained and siu-prised by their pre- 
dicament. They accused the French artillery, as they 
have done before, of " inhumanity," but oh the whole 
they were noticeably less arrogant and more polite than 
after the Battle of the Marne. 

In the creation of this chastened mood the 
losses inflicted by artillery fire, the nervous 
tension of hving in an inferno of bursting 
shell, mine, and torpedo, played an enormous 
part. A lieutenant who was not captured 
until five days after the offensive was begun, 
after the tenific rainstorm had ceased, had in 
his note-book : " Again fine weather. If it 
would onlj' begin to rain again, or if only the 
fog would come. But now the airmen will 
come, and we shall have again torpedo fire and 
flanking fire upon the trenches. This beastly 
good weather ! Fog, fog, come to our aid ! " 

It is very difficult to state with any accuracy 
the extent of the German losses in the battle, 
but from the declarations of prisoners the 
Fi'ench were enabled to form a general estimate 
of the enemy casualties. It was known that 
at the beginning of September the enemy had 
some seventjf battalions on the Champagne 
front. Anticipating the French offen-sive they 
brought up twenty-nine battalions, so that 
when the storm broke loose they had, taking 
into account the normal quota of artillery and 
engineers, 115,000 men directly engaged in 
the battle. Between September 25 and Octo- 
ber 15 so heavy were the losses of the Germans, 
either through the preliminary bombardment 
or in the actual assault or the futile and costly 

coimter-attacks, that whole battalions had 
ceased to exist, and the German General 
Staff was forced to replace almost completely 
the 115,000 men who had met the first few- 
days of onslaught, and they brought up no 
less than ninety-three fresh battalions. A man 
of the .3rd BattaUon of the 153rd Regiment, 
which was engaged on September 26, stated, 
indeed, that so tremendous were the losses 
of that regiment that after it had been engaged 
only for two days^that is to say, after it had 
suffered one day of sustained bombardment 
and one day of actual infantrj' fighting — it 
had to be withdrawn from action, a*; it had 
ceased to present the characteristics of a 
regiment. The same fate overtook other 
units, such as the 27th Reserve Regiment 
and the 52nd Active Regiment after one daj' 
of battle ; for on the evening of September 25 
the French had captm'ed of the one 13 officers 
and 933 men, and of the other 21 officers and 
927 men. 

The losses were imdouljtedly heaviest on 
the German side during the first two days of 
the actual battle, and it may reasonably be 
esthnated that of the 115,000 men the French 
had against them atjout 50 or 00 per cent, 
were killed, wounded, or captured. The 
support fiu'nished by the fresh battalions 
brought up and tlu-ust hurriedly forward 
under heavy fire lost about 50 per cent. 

There was another cause which increased the 
German net loss. In every country im- 
provements in the medical service have red uced 
the number of permanejitly incapacitated 
woui\ded men, and had the battle been a 
normal ojjeration the Germans would un- 
doubtedly have been able to save a great 
niunber of their wounded, and return them 
to the front after a iew weeks in hospital. 
In this Champagne struggle the evacuation of 
the wounded to the rear was impossible, and 
it is no exaggeration to state that nearly the 
entire force defending the first (jorman line 
became a dead loss to Germany, for in addi- 
tion to tVie 20,000 unwounded prisoners were 
all the \s'Ounded, who, in normal circumstances, 
would have been evacuated. After careful 
collation of evidence the French General 
Staff estimated that this dead loss in killed, 
woimded, and captured amounted to no less 
than 140,000 men. 

The French soldier was his own Homer in 
the battle, and no poet coiild improve the 
splendid virility of the phrases in which the 



_^ . ■<«■&>'■ 

An incident in the battle of Champagne: a commander of a French battalion stops to shake hands with 

a wounded captain. 

tliin impetiiovis aristocrats and the tubby but 
\\ir3' little bourgeois voiced the glory of the 
day or uttered their o«n epitaijhs. There in 
those glorious fields of Champagne the words 
of Wolfe became a coLiimonplace. An officer 
in charge of a reconnaissance was wounded 
mortally. He turned to his sub-lieutenant, 
sayiiig : "'Obey me once more. Carry on the 
reconnaissance, and leave me to die. We 
have won. I a.m happy." A lieutenant who 
had been wounded for the fii'st tune at the 
Battle of the JIarne, and who had been sent 
liack to the front at his ov\'n request, had 
passed through a very violent Ur de barrage 
with his men, and \vas killed on the ]-<arapet 
of the trench he conquered, shouting en- 
couragement to his men: "Bravo, my chil- 

dren ; the Boches are clearing out. En 
avaiit ! T'/re la France ! " A lieutenant- 
colonel, who liad carried his battalion over a 
mile and a halt of country without stopping, 
was mortally wounded, and as he lay upon the 
ground, lie shouted out : " En avant ! I 
can only die once." Coiuitless were the cases 
ill A\hicli wounded officers and men lying in 
the trenches and the cum ounication ttmnels 
begged their comra.des to throw them out of 
the trench on to the fields s-svept by machine- 
gun fire, so that they might not impede the 
traffic up the trench. " Go on," cried one man, 
\\\\o was lying woimded on the road, to an 
officer, who was stepping aside to avoid him. 
" I"ui wounded. The whole people are tile 
only ones that matter to-day." A captain. 



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who had been badly wo\uided by a grenade 
splinter in the face, refused to go to the rear 
to have his wound attended to, saying, " I 
can't stop for a small wound to-day ; death 
is the only thing that will stop nie ! " He 
remained in his trench and fought for five days 
before he \\ as killed. 

This holy fire of heroism descended upon tlie 
whole army, and at no time has the democracy 
of France been more splendidly manifest. 
Officers' servants accompanied their masters 
into battle, where their Tluties did not call 
them, and when the battlefield was cleared up 
many of these servants were found lying dead 
in front of theii' masters, killed by the same 
bullet or the same shell. Perhaps the most 
extraordinai-y instance of this devotion of the 
men to their officers is to be found in the official 
record of the death of a captain in the Colonial 
Artillery. When he reached the second German 
trench he fell, shot full in the chest by a German 
who had raised himself above the parapet. 
The men around the officer immediately 
stormed the trench and bayoneted the little 
group of men of the 30tli Prussian Infantry 
Regiment who defended it. Among the dead 
they recogniz<!d the man who had killed their 
captain. They took out his body, and while 
under very hot rifle and machine-gun fij'e, 
propjjed it up against the parapet, near their 
dying officer, who said, " I'm glad to fight with 
men like you, and to shed my blood with you 
for such a cause." When the German bodj' 
had been placed in position one of the soldiers 
di'ew a camera from his haversack, and, still 
under terrible fire, took a snapshot, of the 
man who had killed his captain, saying as he 
turned the film, " We'll send that to the 
Captain's mother. It will show her that he 
was avenged." 

As an example of the French soldier's com- 
plete ignorance of his own bravery the fol- 
lowing letter from Sergeant Quittot to the 
captain commanding a Colonial company 
should be quoted : " I am in charge of the 
small post on the left of the hollow road. 
This morning I noticed that the shots fired 
upon us came from our left. I went out there 
and found three Boehes in a machine-gun 
shelter. I killed two of them, who tried to 
run away, I have the third at your disposal, 
for I think he may have some useful informa- 
tion. In this shelter there are the machine- 
gun carriage and some range-finding instru- 
ments, twentv-five full boxes of ammunition, 

and three reservoirs with rubber tubes, the 
use of which I don't know. What should I 
do ? I think there are still niore Boehes in 
the otiier trench. I ani at your disposal if 
you want them put in the soup. I am keeping 
the prisoner with n\e." 

Hei-e, indeed, was the much-advertised New 
France. But Old France also had its page of 
glory. A lieutenant, a man of sixty-two years 
of age, who had rejoined the army on the 
outbreak of the war, took part in the first 
assault and was killed as he cried to liis men, 
" Now then, parade step ; hold your heads 
high. To-day we're off to the ball." A 
corporal who had been wounded turned to 
his sergeant, who lay wounded beside him, 
saying : "I know I'm going to die ; but what 
does that matter since it's for France ? " 
A colonel in coinmand of a Colonial infantry 
brigade, spent the five minutes before the 
first offensive was timed to start in fixing 
his cap and brushing the chalk oft his uniform, 
and at a quarter past nine ordered the 
regimental flag to be unfurled. Then, as, 
first along the line. Vie clambered up the {rench 
ladder to the open field, he tm-ned to those 
behind him saying : " Gentlemen, my time 
has come," and fell back, killed by a shell 

The initiative of the French soldier was in 
a very great degree responsible for the rapidity 
with which the confusion between the first 
and second German lines was restored. Men 
who had lost all their officers seemed to have 
an instinctive grasp of what was rec|uired of 
them, and pressed forward mider the leader- 
ship of any private who assumed command. 
Thus 300 men who had lost all their officers 
on the eve of September 25 captured a German 
trench. Finding themselves far in advance 
of the rest of the line and without support or 
liaison they e\-acuated the trench in the 
night, and the next morning, still without 
officers and without orders, they set off again, 
recaptured the trench, and continued to 

It is impossible to say whether the officers 
inspired their men by the covmtless acts of 
collective and individual bravery of those 
Sefjtember daj's, whether the men inspired 
the officers, or whether, faced with a tre- 
mendous crisis in the country's history, the 
whole nation wa=i found equal to the deniands 
made upon it. Among the men there is the 
case of Sergeant (Quittot. At the other end 



nf tlie military liierarcliy is the case of General 
Marchand. Early in the morning of Sep- 
tember 25 the' (ieneral ^^"as in the advanced 
sap which had been pushed out during the 
night right up to the Tlcrman lines, far in 
advance of the normal trench line. Of the 
first Ha\'e of assault two ciirrents to right and 
to left achiinced without difficulty towards 
the Xavarin Farm. The centre u'as held up 
by four machine-guns which had escaped 
destruction hy artillery ; oflicers and men 
were falling one after the other ; there was the 
inevitable moment of wavering hesitation. 
Then General Marchand, his pipe in hisniouth, 
and armed with a walking-stick, dashed out, 
and as' he took his place at the head of tlie 
hesitating centre, he fell with a bullet through 
his abdomen. His orderly officer ran to him, 
and ignoring the order of the General, \iho 
said : " I'm hit ; mj' spinal colunm is broken : 
lea^"e me alone, " had him carried to the rear. 
ilean%vhile his men, fired \:>y his examjile 
and the desire to make the (iermans pay dearly 
for their General, swept forward and pierced 
the German centre. 

The results of all this lieroism, of all the 
straining and toiling in the factories of France, 
of all the vast work of.statf preparation which 
had gone on w ithout a break for five months, 
were e.'ctremely important ; for the French 
victory in the Champagne, although it remained 
from the military point of view tactical, was 
a.lmost the first definite notification to the 
world that initiative along the Western front 
had passed froni the liands of the Germans 
into those of the Allies. 

An attack upon a first line is a very different 
matter from a simultaneous assault upon a 
first and second line. In the Chamj^agne 
months of stationary warfare had enabled the 
French to get the exact range of every position 
upon the first line, but when their artillery 
moved up new range-finding becanie a necessity, 
geography became more doubtful, reconnais- 
sance work, having been of necessity entirely 
aerial, became less reliable. When the French 
reached the German second line they >>ecame 
aware practically for the first time of the 
formidable nature of its defence, and, perhaps, 

the greatest obstacle to the strategic completion 
of the French offensive was found in the system 
the Germans had adopted for defending their 
second lino along the crest of the hill running 
p,i.rallel to the fhallcrange-Bazancourt Railway. 
Upon the south-western slopes exposed to 
land observation there was practically no 
sign of defensive j^reparation. Here and 
there, upon the face of a hill could be .seen a 
few sandbags, an occasional moimd of white 
upturned chalk denoting the emplacement 
of a machine-gun section or an observation 
post. These positions, as the E'rench foimd 
out after the offensive had'been launched, were 
but the outworks of the main defence. Upon 
the '■ other side of the hill," to quote Napoleon's 
expression, lay the German surprise. It con- 
sisted of dense sunken fields of barbed wire, 
huge pits dug in the chalk soil to a depth oi 
six or seven feet, and, on an area of about 
seventy yards, filled up to the level of the earth 
with solid barbed-wire entanglements. Behind 
these entanglements, which were practically 
invisible from the air .and completely screened 
by the crest of the hill from the French observers 
in the forward trenches, lay a whole system of 
f ortificatio)!, in which each, hill became a bastion, 
and swept with an enfilading fire of machine- 
guns and field-gims the zone separating it from 
the similar bastions to its right and to its 
left. The post on the exposed side of the hill 
communicated with the liidden trenches through 
galleries dri\en right underneath the hill 

This line of defence had remained compara- 
tively untouched by the artillery bombardment, 
and although the French in subsecjuent fighting 
got a footing in it, the exploit of the Germans 
on the Dunajec in l^reaking through the 
Ku.ssian front a,nd rolling up its edges was 
not repeated. 

In short, the Champagne oifiensive was a 
trial of strength wliich was in some ways 
comparable with the victories of Austerlitz 
and Jena, althougli it did not achieve so 
victorioas a result. It nevertheless turned 
very definitely in favoiu- of the Allies, and 
constitutes one of the finest pages in the 
military history of France. 



Arrival in September of Reinforcements and Guns on the British Front — Feints to 
Deceive the Germans — The Holding Actions at Hooge, Bois Gkenier, Keuve Chapelle, 


Dispositions of Sir John French — First Day of the Battle of Loos — The Great Artillery 
Bombardment — Gas and Smoke used by- British — Advance op the I. Corps on Auchy, 


Loos, and Hill 70 — Charges of the Highlanders and London Territorials — The French 
Attack Souohez — Second Day of the Battle of Loos — Germans Evacuate Souohez — 
Third and Fourth Days of the Battle of Loos — Charges of the British Guards on Hill 
70 — The French 10th Army Engaged with the Prussian Guards on the Vimy Heights — • 
French 9th Corps Relieves Brjtish in Loos and on Hill 70 — End of the Battle of Loos — 
Its Results. 

THE great offensive of the French 
in the Champagne Pouilleuse, 
described in tlie last chapter, coin- 
cided with the Battles of Loos and 
Vuny. These were in effect a renewal on a 
still more gigantic scale of the Battles of 
Artois, the Aubers Ridge, and Festubert de- 
livered by Generals Foch, d'Urbal, and Sir 
John French in the preceding May. The same 
leaders were now to renew their efforts to 
win their way into the Plain of the Scheldt 
between the La Bassee salient and the Scarpe, 
while General de Castelnaii between Reims 
and the Argonne endeavoured to drive back 
the Germans before him to the banks of the 

By the third week of September, 1915, 
thanks to a stream of reinforcements from 
England, the British Army had extended its 
right wing to Grenay opposite Loos and Lens, 
taking over from the French, and consolidating 
and enlarging, most of the trenches which ran 
southwards from the Bethune-La Bassee Canal 
to the ridge and plateau of Notre Dame de 
Lorette. The numbers of the British were 
sufficient for the coming battle. 
Vol. VI.— Part 75. 

It was not with numbers alone, however, 
that the British Army had been strengthened. 
The additional troops sent by us to France 
had all arrived properly equipped with a due 
proportion of artillery, in addition to which 
a large number of guns and howitzers had 
reached the army and furnished it with a 
material which more than fulfilled expectations, 
and which indeed produced far greater moral 
and physical effects on the Germans than 
the latter had ever believed possible. The 
British and French attacks were necessarily 
frontal because the German line was continuous 
to the sea. Under these circumstances no 
attack can be successful unless it has been pro- 
perly prepared by artillery fire. It is necessary 
to create a point where the infantry can brealc 
in. To do this not only must the hostile de- 
fences be thoroughly disposed of, but the 
obstacles in front of them must be swept away 
before an assault can be successful. To destroy 
fortifications of the semi -permanent character 
which the Germans had erected, to blow away 
parapets, ruin trenches, and the bomb-proof 
shelters of concrete and iron constructed in 
them, requires shells of vast weight containing 




British troops on their way to the trenches. 

very lar^e high - explosive bursting charges. 
By the time the advance was determined on 
siifficient howitzers and heavy guns were 
available. The guns which the divisions pos- 
sessed, 18-pounders, 60-pounders, and 4'5 in. 
howitzers were ready to plaj'' their part in 
totally destroying the Ijroad belts of barbed 
wire obstacles which covered the front of the 
German line. Through these no troops, how- 
ever gallant, could possibly hope to penetrate 
so long as the troops in the trenches behind 
them could bring a concentrated fire from 
numerous machine guns and rifles to bear on 
the assailants. 

For decisive victories in Ai'tois and Cham- 
pagne it was not sufficient merely to collect 
there men, artillery, and munitions. If they 
knew in advance where JoSre's and French's 
great blows were to be struck, the German 
leaders by means of their railroads and motor- 
traction might accumvilate in the Champagne 
Pouilleuse and in Artois artillery and nimibers 
capable of rendering the Allied efforts nugatory. 
The Gfcrman reserves had to be diverted to other 
points on the four hmidred mile long line of 
battle. To effect this purpose feigned attacks 
were organized. It was decided that while 
General de Castelnau deli\'ered the main French 
attack through the Champagne Pouilleuse, as 
already described in Chapter CIV., General 
Dubail, who had mastered some of the gateways 
into Alsace, should demonstrate, as if he were 
about to descend from the \'osges to the banks 
of the Upper Rhine, 

At the extreme end of the Allied left wing 
similar demonstrations were made. On the 
evening of September 24 Vice-Admiral Bacon 
sent two monitors and certain auxiliary craft 
to bombard the next day Kjiocke, Heyst, 
Zeebrugge, aijd Blankenberghe, while with 
other vessels an attack was made on the 
fortified positions west of Ostend. In both 
cases considerable damage was done to the 
enemy's works. On September 26, 27, and 
30 fm-ther attacks were made on the various 
batteries and strong positions at jMiddelkirke 
and Westende. From August 22, indeed, the 
British Admiral with the seventy-nine vessels 
at his disposal had at frequent intervals 
bombarded the Belgian coast-line from the 
mouth of the Yser at Nieuport to the Dutch 
frontiers. This bombardment, which was 
especially severe on September 19 and 25, 
might signify in the German eyes an intention 
to disembark a, large force at Zeebrugge or 
another point. For some time before the 
Battles of Loos and Vimy telegraphic and postal 
communications between Great Britain and the 
rest of the world were suspended, and the 
German leaders, after the extraordinary daring 
of the British landings in the GallipoU Pen- 
insula, could not safely ride out the possi- 
bility of a British disembarkation in the neigh- 
bourhood of Ostend behind the end of their 
right wing. 

As a landing on the Belgian coast would be 
almost certainly accompanied by an attempt 
of the Allies in the Ypres salient to lireak 



through the enemy's lines and ach'anco down 
the north banli of the Lys on Ghent against 
the communications of the Duke of Wvu-- 
teniberg's Army, west of Ghent, orders fippear 
to have been given to General Hely d'Oissel, 
commanding the French troops wedged 
between the Belgian Army on the Yser and 
Bixschoote, and also to General Sir Herbert 
Plumer to menace the Duke of ^^'urtem- 
berg with an offensive. This menace was 
accompanied on September 25 by four holding 

On the 25th the German positions in the 
Ypres salient and south-westwards to La 
Bassee were subjected to a tremendous artillery 
fire, and foi-u" attacks were launched by the 
British. The first was directed at the German 
trenches east of the Ypres-Comines Canal, 
the second at those south of Armentieres 
in the region of Bois Grenier, the third from 
Neuve Chapelle against the Moulin du Pi6tre, 
and the fourth just north of the Bethiuie-La 
Bassee Canal near Givenchy. The object 
of the attacks was to draw the German 
reserves away from the Battles of Loos and 
Vimy. It was successful. 

In the first of these engagements an attack 
by the 3rd and 14th Divisions of the V. Corjjs, 
fonning part of the Second Army under Sir 

Herbert Plumer, was made along a front of 
about 500 yards between the Ypres -Menin 
road and the Ypres-Roulers railway. After 
a severe cannonade, which lasted from 3.50 to 
•1.20 a.m., a mine was exploded by us north of 
the Bellewaarde Farm, and the columns of 
smoke caused by the explosion were still 
drifting away from the crater, 30 yards across 
by 30 feet deep, as oiu- men left the trenches. 
A battalion of the Rifle Brigade was on the left , 
one of the Oxford and Bucks in the centre, 
and one of the Shropshires on the right. In 
reserve beliind Sanctuary Wood was a bat- 
talion of the King's Royal Rifles, and a bat- 
talion of the Somerset L.I. was also held in 
readiness. The Shropshires had to attack a 
very strong point south of the Bellewaarde 
Farm which was powerfully defended with 
machine guns, but they succeeded, ne\erthe- 
less, in forcing their way into the German lines, 
the Grenadiers particularly distinguishing them- 
selves. The right cohunn of the Oxford and 
Bucks put a machine gmi out of action, and 
then swept through the enemy's positions, 
clearing the Germans out of their dug-outs and 
destroying another machine gun. The left 
column, however, could not make good its 
footing in the German trenches. As soon as 
they left their own lines tlie men came under 

Men of the Royal Field Artillery shelling German trenches. 



a very hea\-y fire from tlie German mitrail- 
leuses, and tlieir failure impeded the general 
advance. The result was that it was found 
impossible properly to consolidate the ground 
gained, and by about 8 a.m. our men with 15 
prisoners were withdrawn to their original 
lines. During the remainder of the day the 
Germans organized several ineffectuaJ counter- 
attacks from the Bellewaarde Wood, and 
heavily shelled our trenches, 300 six -inch 
shells falhng on one small length of line 

The Bois Grenier action was on our side 
fought by other details of the Rifle Brigade, 
by the Lincolns and by the Royal Berkshires. 
The attacks on the left and right were successful, 
but that in the centre w-as held up. The British 
line here curved away from the enemy and 
formed a re-entrant. The advance was timed 
for 4.30 a.m. The Lincolns, posted on the 
left, had the difficult task of storming a strong 
fort at lie Bridoux, and in successfully accom- 
plishing that feat they not only killed many 
Germans, but captured 80 of the 106 prisoners 
taken in the sector. Lieut. Leslie and Cor- 

* Second-Lieut. R. P. Hallowes, of the 4th Middlesex 
Regiment, for his gallantry on this occasion and in the 
fighting near Hooge up to October 1, gained the V.C 


poral Carey crawled forward before the fort 
had fallen and siu'prised five Germans in a 
dug-out. They returned later and captured 
18 more. In the centre the Berkshires, re- 
vealed by a German searchlight, had to attack 
a redoubt known as the " Lozenge," where the 
trenches and dug-outs were exceedingly strong. 
One private named Jenkins did splendid work 
by standing behind a traverse and bayoneting 
seven Germans as they came up round it. 
Another man was seen squatting on the 
parapet and sniping coolly from this position. 
Notwithstanding the gallantry of our men, the 
Germans substantially maintained their posi- 
tion, with the result that the men of the Rifie 
Brigade on the right, who had made their 
attack so swiftly that they caught many of 
the Germans without their rifles and equipment, 
and had gained by 6 a.m. the second line 
trenches, could not maintain contact with the 
Berkshires on their left. Before 10 a.m. they 
had fallen back to the German first line trenches. 
Meanwhile the Germans skilfully massed their 
reserves under the lee of the Bois Grenier, and, 
as the main aim of our attack had succeeded, 
a general retirement was ordered soon after 
3 jj.m. It was carried out in good order, and 
a ditch which ran straight in front of the old 
ciu'ved hne was retained. 

In the Neuve Chapelle sector also a 'deter- 
mined effort was made by a battalion of 
the Black Watch, with the Second Leicesters 
on one flank and battalions of the Meerut 
Division of the Indian Expeditionary Corps 
on the other, to break the German line at the 
Moulin du Pietre. The Leicesters and Indians 
were hung up by barbed-wire entanglements 
which, as at the Battle of the Aubers Ridge, 
the British artillery had been unable to destroy. 
The Black Watch, however, rushed the first 
line German trench, and, with the regimental 
pipej?s (one of whom was killed, the other 
wounded) playing " Hieland Laddie," bombed 
four more lines of trenches, and, advancing 
600 yards or so across an open field, reached 
the enemy's reserve line near the Moulin du 
Pietre. But, as both their left and right were 
exposed to cotmter-attacks and enfilading fire, 
the Scotchmen had to be withdrawn. Captain 
M. E. Park, of the 2 /Black Watch, had 
shown conspicuous courage. From 6 a.m. 
t« 10 a.m. he directed a company of bombers 
in close and continuous fighting. Captain 
J. I. Buchan, of the same regiment, who with 
his men had been gassed by the Germans 



British troops surprise a party of Germans who were busily engaged sapping. 

•eached the enemy's reserve line trench near 
the Moulin dii Pietre and was wounded in the 
counter-attack. ]\Iajor Frederick Lewis, of 
the 2/ Leicesters, at an early stage of the com- 
bat had been hit in the neck by shrapnel, but 
for three hoiu"s he remained at his post directing 
the attack. After his woiuid had been dressed 
he subsequently took command of the battalion ; 

his senior officer having been incapacitated 
by wounds. Another officer of the Leicesters, 
Captain W. Carandini M"i!son, althougli badly 
wounded in the stomach, refiis?d to leave the 
field until his men were over the parapet of 
the German trench, while Rifleman Kublir 
Thapa, of the ;5rd Queen Alexandra's Own 
Gurkha Rifle.s, who had l^een severeh^ wounded 





Commanded a squadron of seventy-nine ships, bom- 
barded the Belgian coast line from the mouth of the 
Yser to the Dutch frontier. 

saved, under peculiarly difficult circumstances, 
two of his countrymen and a badly injured 
soldier of the Leicesters. For his bravery 
and devotion Thapa was awarded the V.C. 

The attacks near Bois Grenier and NeiiA'e 
Chapelle suggested that the real offensive 
might be about to be delivered against the 
northern, not the southern side of the La 
Bass6e salient. At the Battles of Neuve 
Chapelle, the Aubers Ridge, and Festubert 
tlie aim of the British had been to sever the 
Germans round La Bassee from Lille by an 
ad\'ance over the ridges north of the La Bassee- 
Lille Canal. 

Further, to mystify the enemy as to our 
tlcsigns on the 25th, Sir Douglas Haig, with 
[portions of the I. Corps, assaulted the German 
trenches near Festubert and Givenchy, as if a 
direct attack on the j^oint of the salient was con- 
templated. In this feint Second Lieut. S.S.Jolm, 
of the 9th Cheshire Regiment, at the conclusion 
of the attack, when the British had retired to 
their trenchffs, crawled out and saved a wounded 
ofllcer and about twenty men. The Military 
Cross was his reward, as it was for Second 
Lieut. J. K. W. Trueman, of the Gth Wilts, 
who had taken command of a company and 
handled it with remarkable sJcill. 

The many efforts from Xieuport to Bel- 
fort, accompanied by the bombardment of the 
whole of the enemy's line, made it difficult 
for the Germans to decide where the main 
blow was to be struck, though in a stationary 

combat such as here obtained, to keep plans 
entirely hidden was impossible. Aeroplanes 
can observe a good deal, and report any large 
accmiiulations of men or guns. Spies cannot be 
entirely eliminated, although it is possible 
sometimes to deceive them by false orders 
isstied for their benefit. But from their aerial 
observers the Germans learned little, for the 
superiority of our men had given them com- 
pletely the upper hand. Throughout the sum- 
mer the work of the Royal Flying Corps had 
gone on continuously, even during the unfavour- 
able weather. The enemy's positions had been 
photographed, so that plans of his trenches 
had been constntcted and the dispositions of 
his guns furnished to our gunners. Such work 
is most tiring and hazardous, for the airmen 
must remain for long periods within range of 
the enemy's artillery. The danger from this 
can be best exemplified by the statement that 
on one occasion a machine was hit no fewer 
than three Inmdred times soon after crossing 
the German ifcies, and yet the observer suc- 
cessfully carried out his task. Deeds of this 
kind show the highest courage, and when it is 
mentioned that they were almost of daily 
occui-rence the efficiency of the corps can be 
easily imagined. Nor ^vas it without opposi- 
tion from the Ciennan aircraft. Thus a 
British airman drove off four hostile machines 
and then completed his reconnaissance. An- 
other time two officers engaged no fewer than 

\Gaie & PoMen. 

■Who commanded the 12th Division. Killed. 



six of the enemy'^ Toubcs and disabled at least 
one of them. 

The notes or photographs taken by the air- 
men were supplemented as much as possible 
by observations made on the surface of the 
ground. Before and cku-ing the Battle of 
Loos many arduous and venturesome feats were 
performed b\' British officers and men seeking 
to learn the height and depth of the obstacles, 
the positions of which had been detected by 
the airmen or had been revealed in the negati\-es 
of the latter's photographs. The choice of 
observation stations from which the effect of 
fire could be telephoned back was a diflicult 
and dangerous duty, which had necessarily to 
be done on the ground itself. It involved 
walking naany miles with not even the caps 
of the sui'veyors \'isible over the crests of the 
trenches. Often only periscopes could be used 
for observation, which was therefore a lengthj' 
business. But this instriunent gave in many 
places insufficient information, and then per- 
sonal reconnaissance had to be resorted to. 
For instance, on the nights of September 12-13 
and 23-24, Second Lt. M. H. Gilkes, of the First 
Surrey Rifles, crawled up to the German wire 
entanglements near Maroc. In the covu-se of 
his second reconnaissance he was woimded in 
two places. Second Lt. C. H. H. Roberts, of the 
same regiment, emulated Gilkes's example. 


Who commanded the 7th Division. Severely 

wounded at Loos on September 26th, 1915, died 

on the 27th. 



Who commanded the 9th Division, Killed near the 

Hohenzollern Redoubt. 

Again, Second Lt. N. R. Colville, of 10 /Argyll 
and Sutherland Highlanders, on August 7 and 
September 8 and 9, at great personal risk, in- 
vestigated the formation and wiring of the 
Hohenzollern Redoubt. 

In addition to their reconnoitring work and 
their personal encounters, our airmen did excel- 
lent service by bombing the German communi- 
cations. During the operations towards the 
end of September nearly six tons of ex- 
plosives were dropped on various objec- 
tives. The Flying Corps had become the Fifth 

Of the feats of individual airmen some may 
be here recorded. On September 21, four days 
before the battle of Loos, Captain L. \A'. B. 
Rees, R.F.C., accompanied by Flight Sergeant 
Hargreaves, sighted a large German biplane 
armed with two macliine guns, some 2,000 feet 
belo^v them. Though he himself had only one 
machine gun. Captain Rees spiralled down and 
dived at the enemy. The latter, whose 
machine was faster, mana"'uvred to get Captain 
Rees broadside on, and then opened a heavy 
fire. But Captain Rees pressed his attack, 
and apparently succeeded in hitting the engine 
of the German biplane, which fell just inside 
the German lines. Captain Rees had previously 
engaged in two successful duels in the air. He 
was awarded the Military Cross. 




Another officer who received the same 
distinction was Second ]^ielit. S. H. I-ong, 
of the Durham Light Infsintrjr and Royal 
Flying Corps. On September 10 he had, with 
bombs, put out of action an anti-aircraft 
battery and had narrowly missed destroying an 
observation balloon. On September 23 he 
twice attacked German trains from the low 
height of 500 feet. While tlie Battle of Loos 
\v-as in progress he bombed at a train imder 
heavy rifle fire and damaged the line. Later 
in the day, in spite of darkuess and bad \veather, 
he endeavoured to destroy other trains. The 
heavy rain prevented his reaching them. In- 
stead, he attacked the railway station of 
Peronne, which, hov\ever, was saved by the 
anti-aircraft Ijattery in the neighbourhood. 
Prevented from reaching the station. Long 
climbed up to 1,500 feet and silenced the gnn 
of a " Rocket " batter\'. 

As mentioned, trains did not escape im- 
scathed from the British airmen. On Septem- 
ber 26 Second Lieut. D., A. C. Symington, 
of the Royal Flying Corps, wrecked a large 
portion of one moving towards St. Amand. 
Another airman given the D.S.O. was Lieut. 
G. A. K. Lawrence. On September 21 he 
reconnoitred CO miles within the German 
lines, being repeatedly attacked by a hostile 
machine. During the first day of the Battle 
of Loos he descended to tiOO feet froiii the 
ground and hit a moving train near Lille. The 
next day he drove off a German aeroplane 
which was interfering with our bombing 
machines. Finally, on September 30, he 
reconnoitred for three hours in very bad 
weatner. His aeroplane was liit in seventy 
places by anti-aircraft guns as he was crossing 
the German lines on his way out. 

A last examjjle of the daring displayed by 
individual airmen. Lieut. C. E. C. Raba- 
gliati, of the Yorks Light Infantry and Roj'al 
Flying Corps, and Second Lieut. A. M. 
Vaucom-, of the Royal Field Artillery and 
Flying Corps, on Se]5tember 28 reconnoitred 
over Valenciennes and Douai. They had to 
fly in thick cloud nearly the whole distance, 
and their aeroplane frequently got into a 
" spin." Each time it did so the machine was 
righted, and the two gallant officers from a 
height of 2,800 feet, under heavy fire, per- 
formed their dangerous task. 

Nor should the good work of our anti- 
aircraft gunners be overlooked. The feat of a 
Canadiah about this date, who had "brought . 


Preparing food on a charcoal fire in the first line 

down eight Hun aeroplanes in three months " 
is worthy of record. 

The feints to decei\-e the German Higher 
Command have been mentioned. The services 
rendered by our airmen and anti-aircraft 
gimners in preventing German aerial observers 
from perceiving that the main Allied forces of 
men and material north of Compiegne were 
being concentrated between Arras and Bethime, 
their expeditions to obtain information or to 
interfere with the CJerman communications 
ha\'e been sufficiently acknowledged. It re- 
mains to describe the German positions whicli 
Fiench, Focli and d'Urbal had decided to 
assault on September 25 and the subsequent 

It will be remembered that in JTay and .June, 
at the Battle of Artois, General d'Urbal, with 
the lOtli French Army, had, under the eyes of 
Generals .loffre and Foch, driven the Germans 
from the plateau of Xotrc Dame de Loretle, 
captured the villages of Ablain St. Kazaire and. 
Carency, the White "Works connecting Carency 



with the hamlet of La Targette, the village of 
Xeiiville St. Vaast, and the formidable sub- 
terranean fortress called "The Labyrinth," 
constructed across the Arras-Lcns road. Down 
the ravine-like valley leading from Ablain 
St. Nazairo to Souchez on the Arras-Bethunc 
road they had in June gradually forced their 
«ay, capturing the sugar refinery and the 
group of ttaee houses known as the " Mill 
Malon." On June 17 the cemetery of Souchez 
was taken, but the Germans, assisted by clouds 
of poisonous gas, recovered it some three 
weeks later. 

A glance at the map will show the miportanee 
of what had been achieved by the Frencli ; but 
)iorth of Soucliez the Germans still clung to 
the eastern slopes of the plateau of Notre Dame 
de Lorette and the Bois-en-Hache, and their 
line extended north of Angres and Lievin in 
front of the low Loos-Hulloeh-Haisnes heights 
to the Bassee-Lille Canal in the 
vicinity of La Bassee. South of Souchez it 
ciu'ved eastward of the high road which runs 
from Bethune through Souchez and La Tar- 
gette to Arras, and crossed the Scarpe in the 
outsldrts of that battered cit3'. 

Between the French and the plain stretching 
from tha Scarpe below j\rras to the La Bassee- 
Lille Canal lay the heights of Vimy. The 
mining city of Lens is in the low ground to the 
east of Lievin and south-east of Loos. The 
captiu'e of either the Loos-HuUiich-Haisnes 
ridges or of the Vhny heights would oblige the 
Germans to evacuate Lens. 

The loftiest point on the plateau of Notre 
Dame de Lorette is 540 feet high, bvit the 
plateau itself is not sufficiently elevated 
completely to command the heights of Vimy. 
The culminating point on the Vimy heights is 
400 feet above sea level, and behind Souchez 
they reach an altitude of 390 feet. 

North-east of Neuville St. 'S'aast the crest of 
the heights was crowned by the thick wood of 
La Folic, which the Germans held. They also 
were entrenched in Thelus, Farbus, Petit 
\'imy and Viiny. From La Targette the 
Arras-Bethune highroad winds downv\ards to 
the wood-fringed -i-illage of Souchez, which lies 
in a hollow. Before Souchez was reached an 
isolated building, the " Cabaret Roiige " was 
encoimtered Beyond, on the left of the road, 
was the cemetery, and a hundred yards farther 
on the. first houses of the village. To the east 
of the road the groimd, intersected by hedges 
and with here and there a tree, rose gently 

upwards towards the dark mass of the La Folic 
wood, and, north of it. Hill 140. On the 
heights behind and cast of Souchez is Hill 1 19 and 
the village and wood of Givenchy-en-Gohelles. 

Along the ridge from Hill 119 to Hill 140 
were lines of German trenches connected by 
tunnels with the reserves and the heavy 
artillery behind the crest. The Vimy heights 
fall rapidly to the plain, so that troops and 
gims below the crest were comparatively safe 
from the French artillery, while the barbed 
wire entanglements here could not be cut by 
shrapnel. Nearer the French and halfway 
down the slope was a sunken road running 
parallel with the crest. Its lower banlc, some 
15 feet high, had been prepared for defence by 
a parapet ; moreover, the Germans had 
tunnelled down from the road and constructed 
on the French side great caves, each capable of 
containing half a company of men. Access to 
the caves was olitained by flights of steps, 
securely covered from the view of the French 
so that when their troops advanced over the 
roofs of the caves and descended into the road 
they could be attacked by the enemy issuing 
from his subterranean refuges. 

In the valley below the heights Souchez, its 
cemetery, the " Cabaret Rouge " and the 
Chateau de Carleul, in its immediate vicinity, 
had been fortified with every device known to 
the German engineer. The village could be 
approached from the south and north along 
the Arras-Bethune highroad, from the south- 
west and west by the valleys of the streamlets 
Carency and Nazaire, which join to form the 
stream of the Souchez. At the liead of these 
valleys were the ruins of Carency and Ablain 
St. Nazaire. By damming up the Carency and 
Nazaire streams the Germans had created an 
impassable swamp, which perforce split in two 
the French assaulting colitmns. 

Against the north side of Souchez an assault 
was impossible so long as the Germans retained 
their trenches on the eastern slopes of the 
plateau of Notre Dame de Lorette, and in 
tlie Bois-en-Hache. To dislodge them from the 
wood and trenches was difficult, because the 
advancing infantry would be enfiladed by 
the German artillery in Lievin. Angres and 
Givenchy-en-Gohelles. As Sir John French 
observed, the French 10th Army under General 
d'Urbal had to attack "fortified positions of 
iimnense strength, upon which months of skill 
and labour had been expended, and which 
extended many miles." 




The bombers went before, the assaulting infantry came after them. Most of the bombs were of the 

rocket kind, and were carried in canvas bags. A Ipiece of webbing which payed out as the bomb was 

thrown caused the missile to land head down^vards so as to ensure explosion. 

The task of Sir Doviglas Haig, commanding 
the British First Army, of whicli the right 
wing had in September been extended to the 
region of Grenay, three miles or so north of the 
plateau of Notre Dame de Lorette and some 
four miles west of Lens seemed, on the map, 
easier, because the Loos-HuUuch-Haisnes ridges 

were on an average only half the altitude of 
the Vimy heights. But even the largest scale 
map gives no indication of the difficult pro- 
blems confronting the British leaders. The plain 
crossed by the Loos-Hulluch-Haisnes ridges 
^^•as dotted with villages, factories, mine-works 
and slag-heaps intersected witli trenches. For 


With a machine gun. 

years before Die outljreak of the war industrit's 
liad sunk shafts and tLinneUed beneath it ; and 
for nearly twelve n\onths the plodding Germans 
and their enslaved captives had burrowed in 
the hollows and thrown up trenches on tlie 
ridges, so that the grovmcl where it was not 
covered by buildings or mining refuse re- 
sembled the preliminary excavations for a 
might}' cit}^ 

The lattice work of German trenches — 8 or 
9 feet deep, mostly cemented or floored and 
furnished with wooden platforms for musketry 
and macliine guns — between ]-.ens and Loos, 
Loos and Hulluch, HuUuch and Haisnes, and 
Haisnes and La, Bassee, was supplemented by 
I'edoubts and observation posts. 

Ojjposite Grenay and west of IjOos were two 
large slag heaps, known as the J)onble Grassier, 
bristling with mitrailleuses. Nearer Loos the 
cemetery and numerous fortified chalk jiits 
formed a powerful barrier. Behind the dwarf 
walls of the graveyard numerous machine guns 
\^'ere ensconced. On a track leading from 
A'enuelles to Loos along the crest of the downs 
was a Gei-uian redoubt. 500 yards in diameter, 
whence a view could be obtained of Loos, 
beyond it "Hill 70." and the outskirts of Lens, 
while to the north Hulluch and its quarries, 
the hamlet of St. Elie and the \-illage of Haisnes, 
in front of which were Pit 8 and the Hohen- 
zollern Redoubt, we're visible. 

Loos itself, a town wfiich before the war 
contained 12,000 inhabitants, of whom none 
but the heroine Emilienne Moreau and a 
handful of half-star\'ed -women and children 
remained, was an agglomeration of two- 

storeyed miners' cottages clustered about an 
ancient ^■illage. The principal street ran west 
and east, and was lined by roofless shops and 
cafes. The parish church, though reduced to 
ruins, still ser\-cd to remind the spectators 
of the antiquity of the place. Conspicuous 
for forty miles roimd rose out of Loos the 
tracery of the "Tower Bridge," .300 feet high. 
It was the name given by our soldiers to two 
square towers of steel girders, joined two-thirds 
of the w ay up by others. It was used as a plat- 
form for German artillery observers, snipers and 
mitrailleuses. The possession of the " Tower 
Bridge " midway between La Bassee and the 
Vimy heights gave the Germans for observa- 
tion purposes a considerable advantage over 
their foes. 

Behind, and south-east of Loos on the 
direct road to Lens, was the shaft of Pit 12. 
Due east the ground sloped gently up to the 
Lcns-St. Elie-La Bassee highv\ay and an 
eminence digiaified by the title of Hill 70. 
On the north-east side of Hill 70 was a strong 
redoubt. A little to the north of the redoubt 
was the coal-mine " 14 bis," powerfully fortified, 
as also was a chalk pit to tlie north of it. 
East of Hill 70 the gromid dip]>ed, and on the 
next rise was the village of Cite St. Auguste. 

Three thousand yards north of Loos were 
the hovises of Hulluch strung out along a small 
stream. ISTorth-west of Hulluch were the stone 
qiiarries converted into a fortress, similar to 
that wliich west of Carency had up to Stay 11 
blocked the French advance on that village. 
Behind the Quarries was the mining village 
of Cite St. Elie on the Lens-La Bassee road. 
Half a mile or so north-west of the Quarries 
and iive hundred yards in front of the German 
trenches was the Hohenzollern Redonbt;. It 
was connected with their front line by three 
communication trenches attached to the de- 
fences of " Pit 8," a coal mine with a high and 
strongly defended slag-heap a thousand yards 
south of Auchy, a village nearly a mile distant 
from the banks of the Bethime-I^a Bassee-Lille 
Canal. The villages of Haisnes and of Douv- 
rin east of the railway, Cuinchy - Pont a 
Vendin-Lens, which passes between them, 
afforded rallying points for the enemy should 
he be driven from Pit 8, the Hohenzollern Re- 
doubt and the Hulluch Quarries. 

From west to east the German position was 
cro.s.sed by the Bethune-Beuvrj'-Annecjuin- 
Auchy-La Bfissee road, off which branched a 
road through Haisnes and Douvrin cutting the 



La Bassee-Lens highway; next by a road from 
X'ermelles by Hulluch to Pont a Vendin ; 
then diagonally by the Bethune-Lens high- 
road, and lastly by the Bethune-Grenay-Lens 
railway. Behind the British trenches went 
south of Auchy the lia Bassee-Vermelles- 
Grenay road and, in the background, was part 
of the Bethune-Noeux-les-Mines-Aix Noulette- 
Souchez -Arras causeway. A railway half a 
niile west of Grenay connected the Bethvuie- 
Lens line with La Bassee. Just to its west a 
smudge of red and white ruins amid the green 
fields and black slag-heaps indicated Vermelles, 
the scene of such bloody fighting in the winter 

The distance between the British and German 
trenches varied from 100 to 500 yards. They 
ran parallel south of the Canal iip an almost 
imperceptible rise to the south-west. Between 
the Vermelles-HuUuch-Pont a Vendin and 
Bethune-Lens roads the groimd rose to'\\ards 
the Germans. South of the Bethune-Lens 
road, where the trenches crossed a spur, it was 
the reverse. Long grass, self-grown crops, 
and cabbages in patches grew on the chalky 
soil. Dull grey sandbag parapets marked the 
presence of the German trenches, before which 
were tloree separate barbed wire entanglements. 

The first line of trenches was well west of 
Loos, the second running in a slight depression 
covered part of the town and then turned 
abruptly east and ran through the middle of 
Loos. Behind Loos there was a third line. 
A power-station furnished trenches and dug- 

outs with electric light, and an elaborate tele- 
phone system enabled the German commanders 
to support any point with infantry and gim 
fire. Observation posts constructed of I'ein- 
forced concrete to))pedby steel cupolas, machine- 
gun emplacements encased in concrete and 
iron rails and " dug-outs " from 15 feet to 
.30 feet deep, abounded. A tj^oical " dug-out " 
may be described. To a dejjth of 20 feet a 
shaft, boarded in, had been sunk. By means 
of a pulley a machine gun could be lifted and 
lowered up or down this shaft as occasion 
required, and by a ladder the occupants de- 
scended to a room 6 feet or so high, also boarded. 
It was furnished with a table and chairs and 
iour sleej:)ing bimks. Out of it a steep staircase 
led into another trench. Some of these sub- 
terranean bedrooms had whitewashed walls 
and were lit by lamjDS and decorated with 
pictm'es. The reader who loves comparisons 
is recommended to turn, or return to tlie " Ccn- 
mentaries " of one of the first great entrenching 
generals, Ctesar, and study his account of the 
circumvallation of Alesia. He will then appre- 
ciate the immense progress which had been 
made in the engineering branch of the Art of 
AA'ar since the days of the man whose name has 
been degraded into Kaiser. 

By Friday, September 24, the preijarations 
for the great offensive in Artois as for tliat in 
the Champagne had been completed. To win 
the rim of the Plain of the Scheldt and to sur- 
prise the Germans in their formidable strong- 

A German trench captured by the British. 
















































































^'^':'-ms :^-'^^^'^ss^ 


The Sreat iron structure — a part of the mining machinery — known to the British soldier as 

the "Tower Bridge," 

holds from La Bassee through Loos, and Lens 
to Vimy, it was necessary not merely to make 
feints at the enemy's line between Ypres and 
I<a Eassee but to station the French and British 
reserves in such places that their employment 
at the front would not be plainly evident. 
Generals Foch and d'LTrbal concentrated their 
reserves in the region of Arras. The Indian 
Cavalry Corps, under General Rimington, was 
moved to